54th Grammy Awards and Angry Birds

Adele

Adele with her six Grammy Awards

So what do the Grammys and Angry Birds have in common?  You’ll have to read this article to find out.

The Grammys are of course the biggest music event of the year and this year was no exception.

This year was the first year that I got a chance to watch the Grammys in HD and with a PVR.  This was great for a number of reasons but best of all was not having to stay up too late to see the whole thing.  (Maybe I’m not a real musician I guess.)

The evening was filled with so much emotion.  Not the least of which was the passing of Whitney Houston just over 24 hours before the show started.  So much of the evening was overshadowed by the sadness  felt by so many of her peers.  Toward the end of the show Jennifer Hudson sang Houston’s hit, I Will Always Love You.  It was definitely a highlight of the night.

Beyond the sadness were some truly amazing and inspiring moments.

Throughout the night the cameras showed Adele looking rather nervous in her seat.  You couldn’t help but wonder if she was going to be able to sing after all the news of voice problems a few months ago.

It’s odd to think that no so many months ago I’d never heard of her.  I was filling in on bass for a local cover band and the keyboard player, Howard McMahon’s daughter was doing a guest spot in the show.  She wanted to sing this song called Rolling In the Deep.  At first I thought it was a rather simple and basic song, but it didn’t take long for the song to get under my skin.  This is a truly great song and quite worthy of the Song of the Year award it won last night.

Waiting for Adele to get up and perform was a bit nerve racking.  She did get up to accept an award here and there. (Four up to that point.)  But, once she hit the stage, it was pure magic.  And so apparent that this is one seasoned professional.  I guess I’ve watched way to much Idol over the years and held that sense of empathy for the performers that they might not do well.  Adele nailed it with beauty, style and confidence and showed to all that this was what she was born to do.

After the performance, to a standing ovation, Adele stood quietly and smiled while the house shook.  Almost looking as though she didn’t know what the fuss was all about.  Simply a humble performer.  But very apparent that music is in her soul.

For me, of course, the big draw was to see Sir Paul.  He’s someone I’ve known all my life.  Not personally of course, but I’ve followed his career since The Beatles were still actively recording.  And he remains one of my favorite bass players.  But I have to say that, I love you Paul, but you are getting a bit old.  McCartney’s performance with Joe Walsh and Diana Krall was more reminiscent of watching a Tony Bennett performance and not my favorite rocker.  Let’s play Helter Skelter next time okay?  Please Sir!

The evening was also filled with notable tributes to the likes of Glen Campbell, who now has Alzheimers, and The Beach Boys.  Boy are they getting old.  (Well I guess we all are!)

One new band, well at least new for me, was The Civil Wars.  (Bio: “In some ways, music doesn’t get much more modest or minimalist than it is in the hands of The Civil Wars, a duo comprised of California-to-Nashville transplant Joy Williams and her Alabaman partner, John Paul White.“)  This couple was absolutely charming.  The sparseness of their music is so refreshing in amongst the big production numbers others performed that night.

The one big surprise moment for me was seeing Taylor Swift performing Mean.  So often you see these beautiful young kids coming up and becoming these huge stars.  You wonder if they have any substance behind them.  For Taylor the Cover Girls ads don’t add much perception of depth of character, but hey, if ya got it why not flaunt it.  And I bet the paycheque doesn’t hurt.

But for Taylor Swift this performance was very well done.  The big budget depression era set didn’t hurt of course, but here’s a young girl doing her craft and doing it very well.  And most impressive was that she appears to know how to play banjo.  At least strumming the chords, but playing with total confidence. The number was choreographed and was really well done.

The Foo Fighters have been around for some time, but I really haven’t followed them.  They played a number of spots last night and I think I’m a fan.  These guys can really rock.  But beyond just the music was the philosophy that really knocked me out.  These days so many artists rely so heavily on technology to make them sound good.

This excerpt by guitarist Dave Grohl from one of their acceptance speeches really spoke to me as a musician… “…This record was a special record for our band.  Rather than go to the best studio in the world, down the street in Hollywood, and rather than use all the fanciest computers that you can buy, we made this one in my garage with some microphones and a tape machine.  …  To me this award means a lot because it shows that the human element of making music is what’s most important.  Singing into a microphone, and learning to play an instrument, and learning to do your craft, that’s the most important thing for people to do.  It’s not about being perfect.  It’s not about sounding absolutely correct.  It’s not about what goes on in the computer.  It’s about what goes on in here [your heart] and it’s about what goes on in here [your head]…

That alone shows the kind of stuff it takes to win a Grammy.  (Foo Fighter’s won five Grammys including Best Rock Performance for “Walk”)

Just in case you didn’t catch them here is the list of Grammy Awards list for the night…

  • Record of the Year – Rolling In The Deep, Adele
  • Album of the Year – 21, Adele
  • Song of the Year – Rolling In The Deep, Adele
  • Best New Artist – Bon Iver
  • Best Pop Solo Performance –Someone Like You, Adele
  • Best Pop Duo/Group Performance – Body And Soul , Tony Bennett & Amy Winehouse
  • Best Pop Vocal Album – 21, Adele
  • Best Dance Recording  ­- Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites, Skrillex
  • Best Dance/ Electronica Album – Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites, Skrillex
  • Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album – Duets II, Tony Bennett & Various Artists
  • Best Rock Performance – Walk, Foo Fighters
  • Best Rock Song – Walk, Foo Fighters
  • Best Rock Album – Waiting Light, Foo Fighters
  • Best R&B Performance – Is This Love, Corinne Bailey Rae
  • Best R&B Song – Fool For You
  • Best R&B Album – F.A.M.E., Chris Brown
  • Best Rap Performance – Otis, Jay-Z and Kanye West
  • Best Country Solo Performance – Mean, Taylor Swift
  • Best Country Song – Mean, Taylor Swift
  • Best Short Form Music Video – Adele

Was a splendid night!

Oh and the Angry Birds connection?  Check back tomorrow at 1:00 AM…  (oink oink hee hee hee!)

Terri

 

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One Response to 54th Grammy Awards and Angry Birds

  1. Anita says:

    The Beach Boys looked like deer in headlights! But still, love that surf music!

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