Grammy Notes (Don Ward)

By: Don Ward
By: Don Ward

Here are some thoughts on last night's Grammy Awards.

GOOD SHOW, GOOD MUSIC

I'm not a critic. 

I'm just a life-long music fan.  Here are some of the things I liked about the Grammy's on KKTV 11- CBS last night.  I'm not going to talk about things I didn't like.  It's art  - so if any of us didn't like it , that doesn't necessarily mean it wasn't any good.

I didn't really see any of it until I got home from work a little before midnight, then I scanned through it on the DVR and saw some great stuff.  I didn't write anything down so this is all just off the top of my head.  I'm sure I'm forgetting some excellent performances...sorry.

Muse won best rock album for "The Resistance" and they played "Uprising"  I love Muse and this was my favorite moment, though I certainly acknowledge that my favorite moment and the best moment don't have to be the same. Matt Bellamy's singing is consistently strong.  Here's a picture from when I saw them in Denver in October.

 

The tribute to Aretha Franklin was great.   Some amazing voices honoring an amazing singer. 

I really liked the Mumford and Sons and Avett Brothers folk-rock segment.  Any time you've got a banjo plucker together with a fellow on a cello, you're seeing and hearing something unique. Then Bob Dylan came out to front them all on "Maggie's Farm"  The best part of all that was seeing how thrilled all of them seemed to be to perform with him.  It was a very nice moment.

Eminem with Rihanna, Skylar Grey and Dr. Dre was pretty spectacular  There's something about the menace that Marshall Mathers musters in his voice that makes his perfomance hard to ignore. 

I'm not a fan of Lady Gaga but she is clearly the "Fame Machine" Queen.  She makes herself impossible to ignore.  There's a lot to be said for that when so much of music is marketing.

The other lady last evening was Lady Antebellum.  They were the night's big winners. I can tell by what they did that they are very, very good at what they do. It's just not my thing. I really did enjoy the Keith Urban/John Mayer/Norah Jones rendition of Dolly Parton's "Jolene" ..great guitar work!

I don't know much about Usher.  I fear I know too much about Justin Bieber simply because I have a TV!  Cleary Usher has incredible talent.  Bieber seems to have the kind of charisma that makes his astounding popularity understandable.  What was really cool was the short moment when the two of them did some dance moves together...really good.  The whole mentor/protoge backstory made that moment even more interesting.

I have to admit I haven't yet caught the heat of Arcade Fire.  That's my fault not theirs. They performed well, I just don't know the music well enough yet.

Barbra Streisand seemed a little scared to be singing in front of the Grammy's crowd, then almost surprised by the tremendous ovation they gave her!  I remember hearing "Evergreen"  a lot as a kid. I didn't really like it then, but I liked it last night.

Finally...one of the great moments came from one of the great rock stars of all time. Mick Jagger strutted around the stage like he owned it..and in a way he does. His tribute to Solomon Burke was his first appearance at the Grammy's.  Jagger reminded all of us that sometimes in Rock and Roll, just as important as singing the song is selling the song. He showed a room packed full of music superstars just how it's done! 

Good show overall.  I think I've enjoyed some past Grammy's shows a little more.  There were clearly some moments that didn't work as well. I'll leave that discussion to the critics!

We'll talk again soon.

Don Ward

 

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