I’m a huge music fan, yet I’ve never cared about the Grammys. I tried to get to bottom of this once, but couldn’t quite figure it out. The last few years though, the show has provided its share of water cooler moments, so I decided to throw qualms to the wind last night and watch, with Red and The Boyfriend as my co-pilots.
Here’s a running diary of the evening:
8:00 We begin with Lady Gaga performing against a steampunk-meets-Flashdance backdrop. She’s wearing some kind of green, heart-shaped unitard that’s been bedazzled within an inch of its life, and has pink triangles around her eyes. So far, so good.
8:04 After a few minutes of “Polker Face,” her dancers dump her into a vat of fire – like you do - and she re-emerges at a piano with, Who else? Elton John. He is wearing glasses covered in a sequence and has a giant birdcage earring. I want to baby-sit their children.
8:09 OK, that spectacle is going to be hard to top, but the Grammys are trying, because there’s Stephen Colbert! Huzzah. The Boyfriend just asked if Colbert is hosting. I wish.
8:14 Hold on a sec, Monday is February 1st isn’t it? Excuse me while I write my rent check.
8:18 Jeez, it’s taken almost 20 minutes to get the actual awards on this thing. The awards are really a secondary part of this ceremony, which makes sense, since Grammy awards are worthless.
But here we go with Song of the Year. I have no idea who is nominated for anything tonight, so this category – as with the others – will be a complete surprise. The nominees are “Polker Face,” some Maxwell song, “Single Ladies,” “Use Somebody,” and a Taylor Swift song. I like “Use Somebody,” but I’m pulling for Beyonce.
8:19 Beyonce wins! All is right with the world.
8:21 J. Lo introduces Green Day, who perform a song from 21st Century Breakdown with the cast of the Broadway production of American Idiot. I don’t care enough to think about how confusing this is.
8:25 Honestly, how is Taylor Swift “country”? I bet she doesn’t even own a set of Truck Nutz.
8:28 Aww yeah, Beyonce time! She’s got an army of dancers and … Did she just grab her crotch? God, I hope so.
8:32 Halfway through Beyonce’s performance, the stage went red and she started singing “You Oughtta Know.” Red is using every fiber of her being not to stand up and start singing along, I can tell.
8:34 Woo, good thing it’s a commercial break because I need a cigarette after that performance. And I don’t even smoke.
8:39 We’ve just been told that Leonard Cohen won the first of about 382 Lifetime Achievement Awards they’ll be handing out tonight. But he’s not there; instead Pink performs on a trapeze. Is Leonard Cohen dead?
8:44 Leonard Cohen is not dead.
8:47 Ooooh, Best New Artist, the “Kiss of Death” award! The Zac Brown Band wins. I’ve never heard of them before, and probably never will again, since they won this award.
8:54 Red, The Boyfriend and I are debating who’s sexier: Miley Cyrus or Taylor Swift. The consensus is Miley, and the creepy factor in my living room just rose by 112%.
8:55 Now the Black Eyed Peas are berating us to have fun. For a second during their performance, the sound cut out. It’s probably because Fergie said something naughty, but I like to think that somewhere in the bowels of the Staples Center, a sound tech guy decided to give Liz’s nerves a 5 second break.
9:05 Red gets all excited that a band called Lady Antebellum has a “scrim,” which is apparently theatre nerd talk for “see-through sheet thing.”
9:06 HA! The scrim fell on the chick singer’s head. More scrim please!
9:17 Record of the Year time. There is always confusion over the difference between Record of the Year and Song of the Year. I believe Record goes to the songwriter, and Song goes to the artist. The Kings of Leon win for “Use Somebody,” which doesn’t help me test my theory at all because they both wrote and recorded it. I’ll forgive them because they admitted to being drunk.
9:20 Hey, its Robert Downey Jr.! Red is yelling at me for not recognizing him right away, even though he was in the dark. See what I have to put up with?!?
9:22 Auto-tune Auto-tune Auto-tune
9:26 East Coast Bias Alert! They’re doing this thing tonight where you can vote for what song Bon Jovi will perform, but by the time they’re airing it on the West Coast, the voting is closed. Why must our voices always be stifled!!!
9:36 This “Zac Brown Band” is performing America Beautiful. Seriously: Never. Going. To hear from them. Again. Ever.
9:47 Stevie Nicks makes a surprise appearance in the middle of a Taylor Swift song. The Witch keeps fixing Taylor with a look that says, “Talk to me in 30 years when Lindsay Buckingham’s written four albums about you and your septum’s been dissolved by cocaine.” You’re all right, Stevie.
9:50 FYI, Sam Adams Winter Lager and Cool Ranch Doritos don’t go well together :(
9:52 Awww yeah, here we go: Its time for The Michael Jackson Extravaganza! This is either going to be awesome or a complete train wreck. I’m hoping for a little bit of both. 3D glasses … on!
9:53 Wait, what? Earth Song?!?!? LAAAAAME!!!! Even this would have been better than that.
9:59 Aw, poor orphan Jack-o kids. I know it hurts, but your Daddy is free now. HE’S FREE!
10:07 OK, time to see what EVERYONE EXCEPT THE WEST COAST thought Bon Jovi should sing. And the winning song is … Oh wait, first we have to hear a few new songs no one cares about.
10:14 And the winning song is … “Bed of Roses”! Just kidding. It’s “Living on a Prayer,” obvs.
10:25 Hey Wyclef. While you’re here, why don’t you tell us about Haiti?
10:33 Oh Christ, we just realized this beast goes until 11:30!! Mother of God. Red’s going home. I wish I could, but I’m already there!!!
10:47 Beyonce wins “Best Diva.” Or something. Stop acting surprised, B.
10:55 Seriously, does anyone listen to Maxwell? I never hear him on the radio or anything. Someone explain Maxwell to me, please.
11:03 Oh look its Jeff Bridges. You know I’m really glad to see … OH MY GOD WHAT IS LADY GAGA WEARING?!? They just showed her in the audience, and she’s costume changed into what appears to be an artistic interpretation of an iceberg. She is not the new Madonna. She is the new Cher.
11:12 Quentin Tarantino is taking the Elvis approach to aging, isn’t he?
11:15 They’re having a coming out party of sorts for Drake, the DeGrassi star turned rapper. He shouldn’t have come out after Lil’ Wayne and Eminem, though. It was probably designed to be a torch-passing thing, but they’re just cold schooling him.
11:25 OK, final award of the night. Thank Christ. The nominees for Album of the Year are Beyonce, Black Eyed Peas, Lady Gaga, Dave Matthews Band and Swifty. Yawns all around. And the Grammy goes to …
11:26 … Taylor Swift. Yeah, whatever. I’ve spent the past three and a half hours being reminded of why I don’t watch this thing.
As a reward for those of you who read this long, here’s a dose of what last night’s show desperately needed. Cheers!
It never get's old.