Nevermind The Posers

See ya in the pit.

2010 Grammys- Taylor Swift’s Day or Mayday February 5, 2010

By Gregory Swindasz

So the Grammys are all said and done, but the dust storm known as Taylor Swift has not yet settled.  Taking home the most honored award in the music industry has not helped the doe-eyed country phenomena, in fact, it seems to have only hurt her future.  As we all know, after the Kayne West MTV VMA embarrassment, Swift was on top of her game.  Even Obama called West a “jackass”.  We all felt bad for the cute young sacran-sweet blond from Tennessee.  Her teenage ballads remind us of a time when we were young and hopeful for our fairytale ending (“Love Story”) or of the vulnerable times of young lives (“Fifteen”), but no one, at least of those who I have spoken to, thought she deserved what she got – either at the VMAs or the Grammys.

With contenders like “I Am…Sasha Fierce” (Beyoncé) and “The Fame” (Lady Gaga), Swift’s “Fearless” did not seem to compare for Album of the Year.  As cute as the songs are, this was not game changing music that would go down in the anthems of American music history.  Songs like “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” or “Poker Face” had a bigger impact on the music world then “Fifteen”.

This is only one piece of the puzzle.  Her performance at the Grammy Awards (and really at any other live on-air performance) was less than stellar.  So much so it prompted CEO of Big Machine Records, Scott Borchetta, to say to the Associated Press: “This is not `American Idol.’  This is not a competition of getting up and seeing who can sing the highest note.  This is about a true artist and writer and communicator.  It’s not about that technically perfect performance.”  When the CEO of your record label has to compare the Grammys to American Idol to defend your seemingly undeserved victory, something is off, and it’s not just her pitch.

There is something off here.  Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Green Day and so many others gave perfect and amazing performances.  Beyoncé whipping her hair around as she bounced up and down on her knees, Gaga singing with Sir Elton John, or even the triumphant claim by Will.i.am at the end of the Black Eyed Peas performance “Welcome to the future” is what the Grammys are all about.  I’m sorry Taylor, if you’re going to win Album of the Year, at least sing on key.

There could have been something else here.  I remember hearing a few months ago that Swift was what the young people wanted, so the music industry was going to give it to them.  If giving Swift this highest of honors was in some way a shot at reclaiming sales lost to piracy, then that truly is the furthest thing from honorable.  Personally, I don’t believe that’s true.  We will all just have to watch and see how things go.  There is something off here, maybe it is just her pitch or maybe we will never know.

 

GO BIG, GO BOLD…WE GOTTA BEAT GAGA! LIVE PERFORMERS STEP UP THEIR GAME AT THE 2010 GRAMMYS February 4, 2010

{The 2010 52nd Annual Grammy Awards Edition!}

By Dave “The Klone” Maresca

“Well, it’s Grammy time again, and this year fans of the music industry are in for quite the treat – watching all of their favorite artists perform at a higher level of showmanship than ever before.  You may be asking, “Why’s that, Dave?  What’s the big deal this year?” and if I gave you two guesses, you’d probably only need one.  In my opinion, after an entire year of extrava-GaGa-nt  performances from now heavy-hitter Lady GaGa, going all the way back to her self-sacrificial MTV VMA performance in September, the rest of the music industry is revamping their game for the Grammy stage.  With that perspective in mind, let’s look at some of the more notable GaGa Reactionary performances.”

Pink goes nude.  So cool.

When she appeared scantily clad in the 2001 “Lady Marmalade” video, I remember finding Pink rather unremarkable.  Awkward and sort of not as feminine as the other ladies she was covering the song with, I kind of never wanted to see her even close to nude again.  Tonight has completely erased that last thought from my mind.  She picked a terrible song to perform, “Glitter in the Air”, but she combined eroticism with grace wearing little more than strategically placed ribbons, and pulled off an aerial acrobatic beginners’ routine that kept my eyes glued to the screen.  Can’t wait to see the rebuttal from camp GaGa next year.


Black Eyed Peas 2.0
Armor clad, and ready to throw down, the fearsome foursome of pop-candy hip-hop are propelled up through the floor of the stage by some kind of behind-the-scenes movie magic.  I find it hard to imagine that we would’ve seen a performance like this if we didn’t have an entire year of goo-goo for GaGa’s techno-drenched dominance of the digital and analog airwaves.  Am I supposed to really buy that the same peeps who flowed “Let’s Get It Started (Get Retarded)” would really be sharing the stage with retro Beastie Boys robots, if Lady wasn’t the performance sensation of the year?  Is this supposed raising of the bar for the entire awards show simply an industry-wide knee-jerk reaction to the next generation’s Madonna, Brittney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Lindsey Lohan all wrapped into one?  If this performance says anything, it definitely says, “You know it”.

The Economy Blows, Anything Goes.
Slash performed with Jamie Foxx, T-Pain and Doug E. Fresh doing some awful atrocity of a lip-synched, phoned-in, “we don’t give a crap anymore, people will love it” excuse of a song (commonly known as “Blame It”).  Oh how the mighty have fallen.  Slash must really be hurtin’ for cash, what with no touring money or G N’ R royalties being what they used to be.  A little piece of me died tonight.  When the market crashed, it really crashed, huh?
 

The 52nd Annual Grammy Awards…Some Thoughts.

By Tina Teresi

  • First off, I think the Grammy Awards should be offered as a Pay-per-View special or something.  Only the most popular awards get aired on national television while the rest are given out preceding the televised event.  I don’t think the masses even know they give out Grammys for Instrumental, New Age, Jazz, Gospel, Bluegrass, Blues, Folk, Hawaiian, Native American, Latin, Cajun, Reggae, Metal, World, Children, Musicals, Soundtracks and Classical music.  I feel that if you’re winning a Grammy, it should get aired on national television, regardless if it’s trendy or if the recipient is present.  If it was on Pay-per-View at least I’d be able to fast forward the awards/performances I have zero interest in.
  • To the voting members of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, please consider airing these categories next year (thank you for adding Best Comedy Album this year [Colbert Christmas, The Best Gift of All], that was cool of you): Best Electronic/Dance Album (The Fame, Lady Gaga), Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance (“Working On A Dream”, Bruce Springsteen), Best Hard Rock Performance (“War Machine”, AC/DC), Best Metal Performance (“Dissident Aggressor”, Judas Priest), Best Reggae Album (Mind Control, acoustic, Stephen Marley) and Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package (Neil Young Achieves Vol. 1- 1963-1972).
  • Taylor Swift’s Fearless took home Best Country Album, I have no problems with that.  What I do have a problem with was her acceptance speech.  She thanked her record label for letting her write her own music.  Way to call attention to an ongoing problem with the major labels out there, Swift.  Hear what Dave “The Klone” has to say about it here.
  • I was not thrilled with Beyoncé’s performance, felt like I’ve seen it before.  And why would she cover ‘You Oughta Know’ by Alanis Morissette?  That was a terrible idea.  Beyoncé did not have the right attitude for the song.  If she was smart, she would have had Morissette on stage and performed it as a duet.  Morissette can kick Beyoncé’s musical ass any day of the week.  That’s right, I said it.
  • The Best New Artist award went to the Zac Brown Band this year.  I would have liked to see it go to The Ting Tings or MGMT instead.  Win some, lose some.
  • I loved that this year the Grammy Awards provided a countdown time with the ‘coming up’ announcements right before a commercial break.  There’s nothing worse than blindly waiting for your favorite artist to take the stage or accept an award.  Well done.  I also loved the commercials.  Watching the Grammys for me is like watching the Super Bowl for others.  You root for your favorite artist/team to win, some people have a party around this event, the commercials are great, you know it cost tons of money to produce it and there are performances.  It’s just a coincidence that there is only a week in-between these two events .
  • The Record of the Year award went home with Kings of Leon for Use Somebody. I’m just happy they won because I’d have some serious beef with the NARAS members if it went to Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Black Eyed Peas or Taylor Swift.  Kudos to Kings of Leon for giving a cool acceptance speech, they told it like it was: “Not going to lie, we’re all a little drunk, but happy drunk”.  They thanked the usual people- their fans, families, God, and their label.  “Whoever else I forgot, I’ll buy you shots afterward”.  I’m still waiting for my shot Nathan Followill.  😉
  • Worst performance of the evening goes to Jamie Foxx singing “Blame It” with T-Pain, Slash and Doug E. Fresh  I felt like it was a variety show, just too much going on at once.  I hate auto-tune.  It can  instantly turn anyone into a rap star, and I think it’s used too often (Jamie Foxx, did you add T-Pain’s Auto-Tune app on your i-Phone?).  If you need to use auto tone, you probably should not be on a stage.  Then Slash walks on stage and a piece of me died.  They could have used any guitar player, (a line of guitar is the only thing that can save a monstrosity of a song like this), but why Slash?  What do you think?  Did Slash take the gig because, well, a gig’s a gig or do you think he likes this song?  Or maybe Jamie Foxx just likes being surrounded by famous people.  I mean, have you seen the video for “Blame It”?  Ron Howard, Jake Gyllenhall, Samuel L. Jackson?
  • What a monstrosity Taylor Swift’s performance was!  I don’t know what the big deal about Taylor Swift is anyway.  I’ve never liked her voice nor thought she was talented enough to be the country pop star that she is today.  How embarrassing to perform with your so-called “idol” and be singing off-key.  Swift is 20 years old and with this performance, proved that she’s not talented enough or ready for the Grammys.  Never mind Jamie Foxx, Taylor Swift just took the worst performance of the evening from you.
  • It’s hard to believe that Bon Jovi has never performed at the Grammys before; it’s even harder to believe they limited his song selection to three choices so that the fans could vote.  I imagine that if I were in a band as awesome as Bon Jovi and performing at the Grammy Awards for the very first time that I would want to choose my entire set list.  They start with “We Weren’t Born to Follow” then joined by Jennifer Nettles for “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” and finish with fan’s choice of “Livin’ on a Prayer”.  I like how no one told Jennifer Nettles to get off stage after her song.  The fans voted on the song, not on her sharing the vocals.
  • Best Rock Album, what a misleading bunch of nominees.  I had no problem with Black Ice by AC/DC, Live From Madison Square Garden by Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood or the winner 21st Century Breakdown by Green Day.  My problem was with someone placing U2’s No Line On The Horizon and Dave Matthews Band’s Big Whiskey & The GrooGrux King in the Best ROCK Album category.  I’m not a fan of U2 or DMB and most certainly would not consider them in the same genre of rock as the other nominees.  Congratulations Green Day, let’s hope 21st Century Breakdown really is the Best Rock Album of the year, and you better knock on wood, find a four-leaf clover and rub a rabbit’s foot that your musical isn’t a flop.
  • Honestly, I think the rumor of Taylor Swift winning Album of the Year because of the Kanye West incident at the MTV Music Awards was true.  After her horrific performance with Stevie Nicks, how could anyone believe she deserves this award?  Granted, I’m not a fan of the other nominees this year, but anyone would have been a better choice than Swift.  Deep down, everyone knew she didn’t deserve this award, even her.