Watch the 2013 Grammy Awards with Pop Rock Nation
Nothing has happened at the 2013 Grammy Awards yet, but I know that I never want one of my younger relatives dating Taylor Swift.
I just learned Kat Dennings. a pretty actress on a bad sitcom, is presenting. I approve.
Taylor enjoying the Alice in Wonderland dominatrix scene. She is now not allowed to date older or younger relatives. Somewhere Nicki Minaj thinks things are tame. Taylor writes a pop hook as well as anyone, but Katy Perry wants the schtick back. As I type that, the camera flashes to Katy wearing a halter thingy so she technically breaks the “no boobs, buttocks or genitals rule” CBS wanted tonight. Those sure looked like boobs.
Tswizzle? Because Taylor Swift is, nah, never mind.
James, don’t be going to Whitney already.
Ladies love cool James. I stress “so far” I’ve only won two Grammys. I love him too, but this is the weakest opening of any awards show ever.
Ed Sheerhan got a Grammy nom because “The A Team” is an awesome, vulnerable song. Sir Elton is the wrong duet partner. no matter how much Bernie Taupin’s lyrics influenced young Eddie. The song’s vulnerability is shot.
#grammys. Got it. That’s the first of many attempts to beg for social media attention. Sorry, writing this first.
Pitbull and J. Lo sashay to a mic. Way to sneak in “dale”, Pit, as you kiss up to your mother’s best friend, I mean, Ben Affleck’s ex. Carly Rae Jepsen with those two would be a hoot. Alas, Adele beats out the puppy because Adele hasn’t lost a Grammy nom yet.
Neil Patrick Harris intros Fun . These guys are where Maroon 5 was after they dropped “Songs from Jane” a decade ago, down to a lead singer whose name no one could remember. Just like I went out and bought Adam Levine’s Kara’s Flowers CD back then, you’ll be hunting for early Nate Ruess tracks for years. A solid version of “Carry On” complete with rain on the stage, caps an excellent performance.
Guitar gunslingers Raitt & Mayer intro Dierks Bentley and Miranda Lambert. No disrespect to them, but I would rather hear Raitt and Mayer. The two song medley is unremarkably nice, which is starting to summarize tonight’s show.
A Dick Clark tribute is absolutely appropriate, but too short.
Miguel turns in another great performance. Still not sure he needs Wiz Khalifa, but my head is trying to move from “Rolling Papers” to country diva Carrie winning yet another Grammy. That makes a squintillion statues for her. No idea on how many rolling papers she has or if she ever heard Khalifa and Snoop’s newish party anthem.
Radio.com just paid a ton for an ad as LL Cool J kept the social conversation going.
The specter of Tim McGraw’s shrouded face (did Chris Brown hit him too?) accompanied a cyborg designed to show what Faith Hill will look like when she turns 65 appear to present Song of the Year. It’s big, but it’s not Record of the Year. They are scary looking!
Song of the Year is fun. They are young (kinda), and this track absolutely deserved its Grammy. Maroon 5. I’m telling you. Nate admits that everyone with HD can see they are not young, having been touring for 12 years. The orchestra plays off the Song of the Year winners.
Johnny Depp has a movie coming out so he intros Mumford & Sons. A year ago, they were breaking through. Now they sell out venues and scalpers get $300 plus per seat. Another strong performance.
Ellen and Beyonce appear, neither looking especially comfortable. Ellen’s goofy faces take Bey uncomfortably off-script as they intro Justin Timberlake’s return to music, which actually occurred a while ago, but this is his return to live music in front of a lot of industry people. The entire Grammy Awards undergoes an Instagram conversion and is now shown in black and white. Then Bey’s husband gets pulled up on stage, which meant he had to have someone hold his brandy snifter. Justinmagic colorizes the Grammys again and the ghost of every great R&B singer ever inhabits his body, perfect falsettos and stage presence. We lost years of JT so he could be in “Bad Teacher” and “Friends with Benefits”? I want those years back.
The whole moment gives way to Best Urban Contemporary album being presented by Kelly Rowland and Nas. Keith Urban is not nominated. Maybe he is nominated in Urban Country. I thought he was a contemporary urban. Maybe the Grammys will one day call a, wait, never mind. Chris Brown and Frank Ocean are nominated. Frank wins the award he should win, and Chris Brown can keep beating up Grammy nominees, but that’s not the way to get on the primetime show.
Dave Grohl gets to walk onstage with a pretty actress, plug his documentary and announce that producer of the year is Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. The Keys solidify that award two minutes later by winning Best Rock Performance.
Maroon 5 and Alicia Keys would be a supergroup I would pay to see. Alicia sizzles while singing “Girl on Fire” and playing percussion. The audience swoons during the mashup of M5 and Keys and ends greeting the pretty people with a standing ovation.
Another American Idol alum redeems herself to the pop rock crowd. Ms. Clarkson’s “Stronger” beats Fun., Miguel and several other worthy nominees. Kelly mentions alcohol, but might have already imbibed. She admits to getting her dress caught on Miranda Lambert’s, not knowing Miguel’s music but wanting to sing with him and her boyfriend being sexy tonight. Kels grabs her Grammy and scoots off in search of a drink.
Rihanna, as we’ve never seen her before, is like we’ve heard her, and crushes her duet “Stay” with Mikky Ekko. She’s beautiful, vulnerable and Chris Brown is nowhere on stage. All pluses. Then the song ends, and we have to look at the smug bastard again.
Carly Rae Jepsen and Ne-Yo battle for Best Metallic Costume while presenting Rap Collaboration. “No Church in the Wild” wins, and Jay-’s subjects stand to pay fealty. Frank Ocean and The Dream get to speak because the Fresh Prince of Chicago is nowhere around. Mr. Carter continues his transformation to Mr. Sinatra, and all is well in rap this night.
Kat Dennings introduces Dr. John, The Black Keys and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. I love all three artists, but it’s Kat. In truth, the musicians blend with the power of a NOLA hurricane, the alcoholic one Kelly Clarkson is still trying to find, not the bad weather. This melange of three amazing artists are vying with Rihanna for the best performance of the night. I forgot about Kat through most of the song, and then sadly, she is gone, but the audience shows love with a standing ovation.
Kelly Clarkson, possibly fueled up, shows up again to salute Patti Page and Carole King’s lifetime achievement awards. The whole thing is at risk of becoming American Idol’s “Songs the Judges Remember From their Childhood”, but Clarkson smokes “The Tennessee Waltz” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”. She is safe in this week’s voting. There is a reason she sang in front of millions at The White House. It wasn’t just to give a well deserved Grammy to a choking-up Zac Brown and the Zac Brown Band, but that is exactly what she does next.
The Marley tribute plugged for hours starts with “Locked out of Heaven”, which Bruno Mars wrote decades after Bob died. Hawaii isn’t Jamaica, but damn, Bruno writes brilliant hooks too and still looks way younger than his 27 years, especially when Malcolm McDowell or Sting or one of them appears on stage with a bass. Sting sings the next verse in Bruno’s range. I want to buy this track right now. How good is this? Taylor Swift, Neil Patrick Harris, Adele and Keith Urban are all shown singing along. You want to buy this track too. We’ll find a link and post it below.
The segue to The Police’s “Walking on the Moon” is as smooth as both cool dudes. Rihanna and Ziggy Marley join the fun. The audience dances. Damian Marley shows up and thousands sing along with Bob’s “Could You Be Loved”. Has Chris Brown paid the director or just threatened to beat him up? There were more closeups of Chris Brown in that segment than of Damian Marley, and Damian has better hair and was allowed to sing tonight.
The Lumineers and all of Disney’s Dwarves sing “Ho Hey” while a shot of lovely Melissa Etheridge shows she can sing both words in time with the band. Taylor Swift dances and sings some more because no one has apparently broken up with her during the show.
Jack White followed immediately with songs that had more words so the audience couldn’t sing along. Then he let his ax run loose and one of rock’s most eclectic and talented musician cruised through 3 genres in 4 minutes.
Katy Perry’s breasts drag her onstage to present the Best New Artist kiss of death. She screams fun., which is apparently the award’s winner instead of life without Russell Brand. Nate Ruess has to pee, at least that’s what he said, so he stepped back to let others speak.
How much power does Carrie Underwood wield? Protege Hunter Hayes was given a mid-audience piano and minute and a half to sell some music. Prom Queen Carrie takes the stage and decides to show Simon and Randy that she can hold a note longer than Kelly Clarkson. Carrie apparently stopped by a Gypsy wedding to borrow a bridesmaid dress that had its own lighting system.
Record of the Year! This is the big one. Prince is here. I don’t have to type the symbol any longer. Taylor leads the cheerleaders because no one has the courage to yell, “Down in front”. Gotye got the musical endorsement of his life when Prince muttered that he loved the song. Gotye returned the favor by paying respect to Prince. As they were played off, Kimbra also thanked Prince. Classy.
After a commercial break, Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke lead respect to Dave Brubeck without intro because that is how influential his music was in so many genres. The suits invade, but wait! The new “Honorary Chairman of the Grammy Foundation” is Ryan Seacrest. Between radio, New Year’s Eve, American Idol and now the Grammys, the new rule is that you may not enjoy music in the future without Ryno’s approval.
Want to sound even more stiff? Stand next to Ryan Seacrest and Justin Timberlake and try to sound glib. Ryan and JT announce a music educator award. Poor Neil Portnow. He’s the very smart, usually glib academy executive who has apparently stolen Wolf Blitzer’s facial hair and intros the legacy reel.
The memorial song is “The Weight”, supposedly for Levon Helm, is kicked off by Elton John and tribute to the Sandy Hook kids. Others were Zac Brown, T Bone Burnett, some Mumfords and Mavis Staples who can still put a song over despite losing some of her register. Sir Elton’s second foray behind a mic isn’t much better than his first.
Latin guitarist Juanes proved Elton John’s “Your Song” sounds fine in either language and honored the song’s inclusion in the Grammy Hall of Fame. It’s a pretty guitar arrangement. Another pretty song follows when Frank Ocean sings “Forest Gump” behind some cool screen effects. His suit is yellow, and unlike Carrie Underwood’s, remains that cool.
Adele takes the stage and is just so darn cheerful presenting Album of the Year to Mumford and Sons’ “Babel”.
That would ordinarily be it, but LL Cool J paid his dues long enough to get to hang with his new DJ buddy and invite in Chuck D and Tom Morello for an extended jam to end things.
The Grammys are getting better. There is still a long way to go, but America lacks tolerance for a 3 hour music award show across genres. Moving from Jay-Z to Zac Brown to Bruno Mars is tough for any show dole out in the best possible doses. The Grammys are getting better at doing that, but while this year’s show was enjoyable, it wasn’t memorable.