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New, Unimproved! Why Grammys Underwhelmed as Usual This Year

The 58th Grammy Awards showcased what's best in music, but did little to reassure that the industry's downward spiral won't continue. (Photo: NARAS)

The 58th Grammy Awards showcased what’s best in music, but did little to reassure that the industry’s downward spiral won’t continue. (Photo: NARAS)

With only a handful of actual awards handed out on television, The Grammys did its utmost best to convince us nothing is wrong with the music business. Again. It’s kind of like the orchestra on the Titanic–if the Titanic took 20 years to sink.

I’ll be honest. I didn’t watch all of The Grammys. I can only take it in maximum doses of about three-minutes. So there was a lot of back-and-forth trying to keep my lunch from repeating on me.

What I did see reminded me of the 1978 comedy classic “Animal House.”

“Remain Calm! All is well!!” cried Kevin Bacon’s character.

There’s no denying, under all the make-up and Jello, Lady Gaga is a seriously talented artist. But was she the best choice to pull off a David Bowie tribute? The music icon died late last year.

Why not include a variety of different artists from different genres and show how his music was interpreted differently by each performer? Just because he was Ziggy doesn’t mean the entire thing has to be Space Mountain.

As much as I loved The Eagles and the late Glenn Frey, they looked sorely out of place on last night’s telecast.

Don Henley, Bernie Leadon, Timothy Schmit, Joe Walsh and Jackson Brownelooked like your grandfather’s band jamming in the middle of your bar mitzvah.

And what was up with the audio?

There’s something totally “Spinal Tap” about a music show having sound problems. Sure, things go wrong with live broadcasts, but couldn’t the production wizards have a sound tech a few feet from Adele in case of emergency?

How hard would it have been for a guy who was kneeling next to the stage to pop up and right the mic that fell into the piano?

One second of awkward stage dude might have spared everyone, especially Adele, five plus minutes of feeling like you’re watching a suspension bridge swaying back and forth in heavy winds.

In spite of borrowing heavily from the likes of James Brown and The Time, Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” is definitely a catchy tune.

But, aside from the fact we’re sick to death of it by now, to give Song of The Year 2016 to a single that was released in November 2014, before there was a verdict in Ferguson, makes Bruno Mars seem like a tribute band.

Let’s face it, The Grammys are only relevant to the six people left in the music business. And it shows.  


David Fagin

David Fagin

David Fagin is a New York writer, producer and musician. His resume boasts an incredibly diverse range of contributions, from top news sites such as Salon, AOL News, Yahoo and The Huffington Post to a wide-range of humorous entities such as The Onion, The Muppets, Comedy Central, Dennis Miller, and Howard Stern. He is fascinated by technology and social media and the seemingly love/hate relationship we have with the changing world. He is also a food snob.


 

To call out streaming services like Spotify for not supporting artists, when the entire history of the show has been dedicated solely to the support of a select handful of multi-millionaires, is a tad hypocritical.

If you want to watch music that’s alive and vibrant, turn off your television, go down to the local pub and take in the splendor of a band busting their ass to entertain you for fifty bucks. Someday, they may be on an awards show and you can talk about how much better they were when they were making fifty bucks.

If you want to hold a vigil at the bedside of the clinically dead music business, watch The Grammys.

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