Nevermind The Posers

See ya in the pit.

The 52nd Annual Grammy Awards…Some Thoughts. February 4, 2010

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.

Hank and Cupcakes and Belikos @ Cameo Art Gallery. January 22, 2010

1 – Background Noise (not audible to me)
2 – Turn That Racket Down!
3 – What is that?  (caught my attention)
4 – Groovin’ (I can get into this)
5 – Blast that Shit! (the louder the better)
On January 16th, I decided to head into Brooklyn and check out some live music at Cameo Art Gallery, Hank and Cupcakes and Belikos to be exact.   
Hank and Cupcakes took the stage first.  Cupcake started the show by explaining how their heat has leaked and that the apartment floor is all wavy from water damage.  After her explanation, she couldn’t figure out why she was complaining at all because the people in Haiti are worse off than a wavy floor and heat problems.  She also stated that we should all be happy to be alive, that tonight, we should all party hard and be happy with what we have, our lives.  This dynamic duo kicked off their set with one of my favorite songs, “Pleasure Town”.  Cupcake took over the vocals and drums (she plays while standing!) and Hank rocked the bass.  I categorize Hank and Cupcakes as an electro-indie rock band with pop influences and an experimental attitude.  Think the Ting Tings mixed with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and a Silversun Pickups vibe.  The crowd, energetic and ready to dance to anything that came out of the speakers, loved them.  Hank utilized his effects pedal to the fullest, creating some really great sounds.  Well played, Hank and Cupcakes, I look forward to seeing you again soon. 
Rating = Groovin’ (I can get into this)
     Next up was Belikos, who blew me away.  I’d like to officially deem Belikos as the second band I would hire if I were having a house party- just so we’re on the same page here, I’m not having a house party anytime soon, but if I was, Belikos and Bodega Girls would be on the set list- meaning I had a blast watching their set.  Belikos displayed some smooth moves on stage as well as a ton of energy!  As most of you know, hip hop is not my genre of choice, so I was questioning my attendance before I even walked in.  Belikos is so much more than your typical hip hop group.  Lyrical rap about bitches and ho’s did not dominate the microphone here.  Instead, I was pleased to hear clever rhymes that fit perfectly with a guitar.  The lyrics just flowed- nothing was forced or felt uneasy; my ears were pleased.  It’s so hard to put a genre label on this band, they’re touching all areas: a little hip hop, some rock n’ roll, funk and blues; definitely an original band to check out.  All in all, Belikos was tight, on the beat and in time.   Due to a late start, the crowd diminished in size from Hank and Cupcakes set, but grew in movement.  Lead singer Shane Page knew how to get the crowd going, and in many ways, it almost felt like a house party.  They pulled out some covers (“Give It To Me” from Jay-Z and my personal anthem “TNT’ from AC/DC) that were phenomenal.  This is rare for me to say, I’m not usually a fan of covers, but after a few drinks and a house party atmosphere, anything goes.  A few times while watching, I was reminded of a band I checked out a couple of months ago called Bad Rabbits, they are somewhat similar in their band set up and style, but by the end of the night, Belikos totally blew Bad Rabbitsout of the water.  There is something about Belikos that draws you in, powerful, strong, fun to watch and listen to.  Bad Rabbits = Out, Belikos = In.
Rating = Blast that Shit! (the louder the better)

Be sure to catch Belikos and Hank and Cupcakes at Pianos on February 5th!

 – TNT