Monday, February 14, 2011

The Music Lover's Guide to the 2011 Grammys, aka I Love the Way I need A Doctor


If you survive around long enough, most of life's questions will be answered. What came first, the chicken or the egg? The answer is Lady GaGa . The dance diva from New York tried to upstage herself from the whatever the last thing she did, so having people deliver her to the Staple's Center in Los Angeles for the 53rd Grammy Awards in an egg sort of did that. She hatched herself to sing her new equal rights song Born This Way, which sounds a lot like Madonna's 1980s tune Express Yourself, also about the same subject. The bottom line message is, every 25 years someone will say the same thing musically but do it in a more ridiculous way.

That's how the awards show started. It was actually uphill from there. Except for a Justin Bieber career retrospective, which actually ended nicely. Having known everything about him in a five minute span makes it easier to forget him, by tomorrow. I expect to replace my daughters posters by next Tuesday.

As a music lover, and it being Valentine's Day, I wanted to show you part of my heart that didn't include Bobina and my girls. Music is my other love(r). Every year I watch the Grammys. Every year I complain about them. Every few years, I get surprised and actually like some things. There was an Aretha Franklin tribute featuring several people singing back up for my girl Christina Aquilera. Against the wishes of people who actually know better country music was recognized, and Lady Antebellum inexplicably won several awards including record of the year for their version of Starland Vocal Band's 1976 hit Afternoon Delight, called Need You Now. Bottom line message there, every 35 years, someone will say the same thing blandly and get an award they don't deserve for it.

The things I liked, I liked a lot. Katy Perry showed up and did something kind of cool musically but I was too busy keeping eyes in the appropriate places. She was nominated for 4 awards in 4 major categories. She was shut out. Katy did bring her own Grammy. Her 90 year old grandmother was her date. She bedazzled a cane for her and gave her grandmother a heck of a birthday night out.

Muse, the Radiohead derivative band with a cool song, Resistance, won for best rock album, besting better records by Pearl Jam and the timeless Jeff Beck. I was mildly disappointed. It's one category I really care about but at least I didn't want to kill the winner. Then things got good.



The biggest rock star on the planet, Marshall Mathers otherwise known as Eminem took over the show. Fresh off his two commercials on the Super Bowl, the Detroit rapper-songwriter, showed why his album Recovery, a brilliantly profane portrait of personal improvement was the best thing anyone recorded in 2010. His collaboration with pop superstar, Rihanna, Love The Way You Lie, which lost it's nominations, was performed. Then after 4 minutes of excellence, Eminem introduced the world to Skylar Grey. The 24 year old songwriting wunderkind who penned parts of Love The Way You Lie, and the next song performed, I Need A Doctor, from Dr. Dre's new album Detox showed the music world something different. A petite brunette full of soul, fire, and talent that stole the whole show from even heavyweights like Dr. Dre and Eminem. She was outstanding, as were they.



Then things got crazy. The major award is Album of the Year. Usually it's awarded to the record that sold the most or was the most popular. The favorites were Eminem's Recovery, Katy Perry's Teenage Dream, and Lady GaGa The Fame Monster. Yet, the French Canadian indie rock band, Arcade Fire pulled off one of the biggest upsets in Grammys history.

With only 400 thousand units sold, Arcade Fire's six month old album of arena rock disguised as alternative weirdness, won. Then they played an encore, also for the first time ever in Grammys history, and the show ended with mouths agape, and twitter accounts afire. The bottom line message to it all, every 20 years or so, something comes along that takes back the music business. Arcade Fire pulled a Nirvana. It wasn't most deserving or even the most fair, but it was the best thing for music. Arcade Fire, with it;s two sing performance won me over and took back the biz. Bravo, indie rock, bravo.

Today's song was my favorite performance from last night. Dr. Dre, the superman music producer spent 11 years making his Detox album. The first single is I Need A Doctor, penned by he, Eminem, and the aforementioned soon to be household name Skylar Grey. The rage, muscle, power and honesty put forth in the performance was terrific. Play it loud and proud. Happy Valentine's Day, music lovers.

12 comments:

  1. I have mixed feelings any time a Canadian band hits it big. On one hand, I like having our own culture, separate from everyone else, and our music scene is one I'm very proud of. On the other hand, it's ALWAYS nice for good musicians to get the recognition they deserve. And I perpetually root for the underdog, and Arcade Fire was exactly that last night.

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  2. I am a huge Dr. Dre fan. I mean I went to school for music production and engineering and I idolize the way he makes tracks sound. He takes you on a journey...it's just amazing.

    However, I hope "I need a doctor" is not going to be on Detox. I dig the song, but it's not a Dre song. I hope it's just a single that Em did and had Dre ft on it. It doesn't fit the "Producer who could rap and control the meistro" theme that Dre has.

    With everything else...the only thing that I thought was good is The Arcade Fire winning their award. I have slowly become a fan over the years. But, the rest of the awards...I could give two shits about.

    It's tough being a music fan when all you see is crap on the screen. Well, 85% of it crap and the rest is actual talent. I have boycotted the grammy's for years. I don't watch. I jsut let others tell me about it and then watch some of the performances the next day.

    The Grammy's are no better than the American Music Awards. They just give the award to the artist that sells the most or is the most popular. it's no longer rewarding musicians for talent and writing good music.

    However, this Skylar girl is interesting. Great voice. She reminds me of another good female voice on an album that came out this year. The Glitch Mob's "Drink The Sea". The track is titled "Between Two Points" featurning Swan. She is amazing and the album is genius. You should check it out.

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  3. Perfection. As I didn't watch the Grammys I was hoping someone would come along and tell me all the important bits!

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  4. I agree with most of this.... The Eminem and Dr. Dre show was amazing. Rihanna rocked it as well as Skylar Grey. (and eminem is hot)

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  5. Jen - Arcade Fire has been kinda sorta making that climb into the mainstream for a year or so. I didnt' "get" them until last night. They are a performance band, and I like that a lot.

    IHUbby - Dre has been mixing hop hop and pop for the past decade. Eminem has shown him, you can walk in both paths successfully. From what I've read, Detox is supposed to be really hard. I think we'll be fine w the effort. Skylar Grey, I hope, is going to be huge. She was so good last night, I cant imagine her being major.

    Bobina - we were both mesmerized on the couch last night. Eminem is hot? wow, guess that's what I get for looking at Christina and Katy. sarcasm

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  6. I agree with everything but Atari Fire...or whatever they are called..Eminem should have won. End of conversation.

    Katy Perry doesn't normally thrill me but I did love her performance last night and especially liked the wedding shots in the background.

    I enjoyed Cee-Lo but enjoyed T Mizz dancing around the living room singing along. I loathe Gweneth Paltrow.

    Drake wow'd me again...only cause he's hot and his hair line is tight.

    I will be in Atl next weekend. I expect to see you and Bo. We will be hitting Mall of Georgia first. I expect our arrival to be between 1 and 2. Lunch?

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  7. This is the exact reason I do not watch the Grammys. You put it so much better than the talking idiot box ever could. Thank you. Plus, I have no idea what you just said. Yay!

    You are the best hubby/daddy ever! What a wonderful valentines day present! I made my guys a special dinner then let them eat ice cream. Oh yeah, we got crazy over here.

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  8. This year's Grammys was like no awards show I've seen. It was more concert than anything else... and with Cee Lo and Paltrow - circus/Muppet Show.

    I actually fell asleep before the end of the show, so that says something about how entertained I was by the whole thing.

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  9. The Ramones should have received the Lifetime Achievement Award during the live telecast. I didn't watch in protest. (really, I didn't watch because my brother was in town and I was busy, but this sounds better). I too am a Dr. Dre fan--glad he was on the show.

    Nice recap Lance!

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  10. "Except for a Justin Bieber career retrospective, which actually ended nicely. Having known everything about him in a five minute span makes it easier to forget him, by tomorrow" -- Dude that is effing hysterical, and yes I I have already forgot about him..who were we talking about.

    I've obviously gotten older, I just can't get into any of this new music. I like country but Lady A is a pop band with an occasional fiddle making it 'country' which is what most of them are...here's the litmus test...when your supposed 'country' song can be mixed and put on Star 94...you ain't no country band. Just sayin!

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