Grammy Blues (and all that jazz)
And so this year’s Grammy’s went by without me having an inkling about it. For someone like me who claims to be in the loop when it comes to music, this is indeed a boring surprise.
Well actually I’ve been having this self-imposed exile out of the music scene for the last years. And by that I mean I haven’t been exerting effort to give the new dippers in the pool of music industry an ear. My idea of music for the last years have been somewhere in between Rush and The Sundays, and that’s more than enough for me and never have I felt as if I’m missing out on anything. Perhaps this is what getting old has done to me: maturity has made me uncovered that behind the veneer of popular music that I had been so passionate about when I was young is a dynamic of manipulative, manufacturing, money-grabbing individuals that I’ve lost interest in giving it a time of my day.
If it weren’t for some online news pop-up I wouldn’t have known that there exists a group called Lady Antebellum. I read that a song of theirs called Need You Now won the Song of the Year, so out of curiosity I researched it and gave myself a listen. Now it would be unfair for me to say that the song sucks big time, because to begin with that kind of music is not my cup of brew at all. But I’m just thinking, Gee, does the musical taste of today has become that bad that this song is considered to be the best release of the year 2010 by the very prestigious award-giving institution Grammy’s? Or perhaps there was just a lack of options to choose from? Because I don’t hear anything special about it; if anything it just sounds like a Taylor Swift song with a piano loop that Lady Antebellum seemed to have only ripped off from When We Dance by Sting. Try to compare, guys.
In a couple of write-ups I read this morning about the Grammy’s, it appears to me that the overall show was a disaster. True it’s easy to dismiss the write-ups as biased ones, maybe because their writers are not fans of the Grammy’s performers (can you blame them if they are not?) But I’m pretty good in distinguishing, so I would have to say that the writers who made the reviews were not being obnoxious: they were just telling the truth. Aside probably from Arcade Fire winning the Album of the Year and that tribute to Aretha Franklin, I would have to agree that the rest of the show was sub par.
The fact is the Grammy’s has been reduced to a mere show, and no longer a showcase of musical gems. Bruno Mars, sure, I’ve heard a bit of him, and he’s okay. And he’s half-Filipino, so that’s cool. Justin Bieber, sure; I imbibe Led Zeppelin like a fish so what do you expect me to say about his music? I’m sure he’s a nice kid, though. Eminem, sure I must admit he’s got talent. However my personal views about him changed when he dissed a lot of people in his songs. God, he even dissed his own mother in his songs. And he beat up his wife, too, so there goes my respect for him out the window. Such a waste. (In some way he reminds me of Amy Winehouse, that great artist and past Grammy winner whose potential went downward spiral as she made snorting cocaine a thankless habit.)
12 years ago, my idea of music was completely different. Even though I was growing up hearing the 60s rock music my mother listened to and the Grunge and scary metal music my older brother would blast from the stereo, I had my own little musical world: I was into pop music in the strain of boy bands and British ear candy. Dear Lord I was even the biggest fan of the Spice Girls! I had all of their albums, bought their posters and every single magazine that had them on the cover. And I had all of their music videos taped in VHS, and I even had a copy of their movie! This was before adolescence, and I’m never ashamed of my musical past because this is where all my musical/pop culture self all started: it was the time that I begun watching every awards show, be it Grammy’s or Oscar, MTV and Channel V, and I watched movies on cable all the time. Basically I was, as an old kid, very well-versed when it comes to music, current events and Hollywood news and gossips.
I don’t know what happened to me now; even though I’m still kind of in the know with the goings-on around, I have no more interest whatsover in What’s New or What’s The Latest. My concept of pop culture has since been those of the ’90s, ’80s, ’70s and ’60s; everything modern I’ve distanced myself.
There are a lot of factors that led me to being so, and me going through them would quite a mouthful and dizzying. Let’s just say that the past 10 years had been a crucial eye-opener for me: I slowly begun thinking on my own and weighed things myself, and eventually I discovered that our society is a wealth of bullshit. Things suddenly became sort of clear to me: too much hypocrisy, too much narcissism. Too much emphasis on beauty and What Others Will Say. That the real talents are being buried under the pile of screaming lowlifes. Remember the song Video Killed the Radio Star? And the Internet only compounded this state of affairs; would you believe that I only started blogging last November? And it was a hard decision, me finally doing this. Because I see the Internet as the avatar of this generation, and I did not want to be part of it. But I eventually relented, obviously. But my plan was for this to be a sarcastic and satirical blog, I wanted to make fun of the Net people; but then I met very wonderful folks, so I changed my mind and became a bit more understanding.
I’ve been writing for the last 10 years, and they were all about my observations of the world. I wish I still have those writings of mine, but I’ve only retained a few of them.
Am I just getting old, or is the world just slowly but surely going to the dogs?
Lady Gaga. Again she pulled another stunt by arriving at the Grammy’s no less than inside a giant egg. Born This Way, she claims. I used to like her, because I thought she was funny. But then I realized how she’s been profiting off the gay community by claiming she’s one with them. Really now.
I should write a separate article about her. She represents my (de)generation, so that would be interesting.