The Grammy’s suck every year. So why do I keep watching? I think it’s more of an ambulance-chasing thing than anything else. Or maybe I keep holding on, grasping at the idea that perhaps something will happen that will reaffirm my faith in the big record business. The Police were never a band I liked and I’ve pretty much always despised Sting musically, so I was completely underwhelmed by their opening the show. Their choice of song (“Roxanne”) was logical, I suppose, but all too predictable. I mean really, that song is basically their version of “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” i.e. a song that just should never be played again because it’s been beaten to a bloody pulp on the radio, in movies, culture, etc. No more.
I’m not saying that the Grammy’s should go totally indie, either. I understand what it’s about – mainstream music. But wouldn’t it be cool if The Police had stepped on stage and banged out “Synchronicity II?” You know? Something……urgent. THAT song would have rattled the rafters at the Grammy’s. But I get it – they had to play down to the common denominator. Play it safe.
Some of the performance were quite good this year – The Dixie Chicks, for example, surprised me. I found myself really liking that “kiss off” song they sang – I’ve already forgotten the title – it was a pretty impassioned and competent performance and I didn’t know that Natalie Maines could sing like that. Does one of them have a kinda crazy eye, though? The whole band warrants further investigation.
The performance of the night had to the be Gnarls Barkley version of “Crazy,” another one of those songs that will inevitably have to join “Roxanne” in the bin of songs that drive people to drink because of overexposure. Yet I inexplicably sat there and gave them the chance and it paid off! They re-worked the song and turned it into an epic, complete with strings and a change in tempo. I love when band re-work songs – there’s a time and a place to do spot-on reproductions of album songs live, but this one was overdue for a change. Beautifully done and superb!! Even better that the two musicians were decked out in pilots uniforms during the performance!
Nirvana – Scoff
Uncle Tupelo – I Wanna Be Your Dog
Billy Squier – I Need You
The Beatles – Something
Big Star – Feel
Bob Dylan – To Be Alone With You
The Elected – The Bank & Trust
Queen – Long Away
The Olivia Tremor Control – Jumping Fences
The New Pornographers – The Bleeding Heart Show