Say what you will about the Grammys — and believe me, I have plenty bad to say about any organization that gives an award to Train — I have to credit last night’s show for creating some magnificent and ridiculous spectacles: Lady Gaga arriving in an egg, Cee Lo Green dressed as a bird playing with muppets, and Mick Jagger moving around like someone who wasn’t born during World War II.
As for the actual awards, it was a fair mix of “What is the world coming to?” and “Maybe there’s hope for us after all.” Examples of the former: Lady Antebellum winning both Record of the Year and Song of the Year. Examples of the latter: Justin Bieber getting shut out, and Arcade Fire miraculously winning Album of the Year. Below, I’ve got some scattered thoughts on the show, with videos of performances and the full list of winners on the following pages.
- A shiny nickel to the person with the best Spinal Tap joke for Lady Gaga.
- @goldengateblond: “She was at the VMAs covered in meat. Now she’s at the Grammys dressed as an egg. Two more red carpets and Gaga will be a Denny’s Grand Slam.”
- Gaga performed her new song “Born This Way,” which in case you haven’t heard it sounds exactly like Madonna’s “Express Yourself.” The chorus, as far as I can tell, goes “I was born this way / I was born this way / Express what he’s got / Oh baby ready or not.”
- Cee Lo’s performance was fantastic in the most literal sense of the word: “Whoa, I had this crazy dream that Cee Lo was singing ‘F**k You’ but without the swear words, and he was dressed like a Carnivale showgirl with an armored breastplate, and his backup band was muppets, and then Gwyneth Paltrow showed up, and I think she had sex with a unicorn?”
- Listen, I hate Gwyneth Paltrow just as much as everyone else who doesn’t spend $400 on five ounces of hand lotion, but I’ll admit that her performance wasn’t bad. It was a sensible (and perhaps inevitable) conclusion to the wave of publicity she’d gotten from her “Glee” performance and hosting “SNL” when Cee Lo was the musical guest.
- Drake is the worst rapper since Ja Rule. Stop grinding on Rihanna, A-hole.
- I’ve never heard of Esperanza Spalding and I don’t know what her music sounds like, but she’s more deserving of Best New Artist than Justin Bieber.
- Clarification on my dislike of Bieber: it’s fine that teenage girls love him, but we as adults need to recognize that his music blows. And really, you should be 20 years old before you wear a black leather jacket. Or at least smoking cigarettes during your lunch break.
- Jaden Smith, hellspawn of Will and Jada, showed up to rap a verse during Bieber’s performance. One of his rhymes was about having shorter arms than Bieber. I’ll leave it at that.
- I fast-forwarded through anything that looked boring, so I have no commentary on Barbra Streisand.
- A note on CBS’s terrible production: several presenters and musical acts started talking/playing without any kind of introduction. Considering that very few music fans know who everyone is across the spectrum of country music to rap, that’s pretty stupid.