It happens every year around this time. The Grammys are on Sunday, and once again, I’ll be in front of the TV, cheering on Eminem, Cee Lo Green and Arcade Fire all by my lonesome. The only other person I know who shares my love of the Grammys (and therefore knows how to have a good time) is my older sister, but she’s thousands of miles away right now. So there’s not a soul I can talk to about what Beyonce’s wearing or whether the reason Jennifer Lopez still looks so gorgeous is because she’s had a recent facelift. Oh yeah, or about the music.
You see, everyone else I know would either be bored by the Grammys or stick their noses up and thumbs down to the glitzsy, Hollywood extravaganza that celebrates what they think of as superficial pumped-up mediocrity, otherwise known as pop music. They’ve moved on in their musical tastes, far from mainstream sounds served up on AM radio airwaves.
I, however, remain enamored of many of today’s major hits and artists. I love the beats, the stories they tell, the swagger. Everything about them makes me want to dance, or at least shake my hips, and that’s a very good thing.
These songs are perfect for keeping me going on the treadmill and the best of the videos are pure performance art (though cut with all the near-naked females, guys. Time to lose the ‘tude and get more creative).
Other than that, it’s all fun. Even Eminem’s blistering diatribes and Kanye’s narcissism make me smile. The guys are smart. You want your art to tell stories of anger, love, sorrow, fear, hurt, betrayal, redemption, and, the odd time, joy? Why not get it with a great beat? The Bible can’t do that for you.
So I think my friends and family are missing out. I tell them, but they still don’t get it. Last year, my husband kindly sat with me in front of the TV for awhile. But it wasn’t long before I noticed he was spending more and more time making snacks in the kitchen. Eventually, he forgot to return.
Maybe they’d be more open if they had seen some all-time great Grammy moments (all available on YouTube), like Kanye West, Jamie Foxx and their marching band posse singing Gold Digger.in 2006; Eminen in duet with Elton John singing Stan in 2001; the return of Tina Turner in 2010, and Christina Aguillera’s knockout rendition of It’s a Man’s World in honour of recently-deceased James Brown (yes, you’re right, she’s lost it since then).
And what about: Aretha in 1998 stepping in at the last minute to cover for an ailing Pavarotti; Beyonce singing and dancing anything (she’s up to 16 Grammys now), and Gnarls Barkley’s 2007 performance of Crazy… my handlers tell me I should stop here, so I’ll leave I’ll leave it at is.
As I said, I’ll be rooting and tooting on my own again this year, looking forward to some great tunes, dance, and outfits (though not from Lady Gaga. She’s Jumped the Shark).
So who exactly am I rooting for? Though I fret sometimes about the lyrics in Eminem’s Love The Way You Lie (featuring all around bad-girl Rihanna), and love the catchiness of Cee Lo Green’s F*** You, I’m rooting for the former for best song.
It would be nice to see Montreal’s Arcade Fire jump from Best Alternative Music category into the Best (all around) Album category with Suburbs (go listen to it, NOW), but I’m still rooting for Eminem. His comeback with Recovery deserves notice, and no one tells a story more honestly, or better. I take comfort thinking Arcade Fire’s bound to come home with something in hand, and if there’s a god, Katy Perry won’t walk away with anything other than Russell Brand.
It would be nice to see Drake, Degrassi Street homeboy, take Best New Artist, but what’s the chance against the (near homeboy) Beibs? And, it’s true, I want Lady Gaga to take home Best Female Vocalist for Bad Romance, Check out the video.
Word has it that Bob Dylan will be performing. My hearts thumps in anticipation. I pray his performance will stagger and soften enough young people to create one more generation of followers. How can we not praise the Grammy organizers for bringing Bob on for a number, though being Bob, we can’t possibly predict how he’ll play it.
So if you need me, you know where I’ll be tomorrow night, 8 p.m. Since it’s best not to be alone, I’ll have a big bag of chips at my side. I’ll still feel sorry for myself because I’ll have no one to do a running commentary with (e.g., were those sparks or daggers flying between Rihanna and Drake?), but I’ll try finding my sister afterward, traveling on the road somewhere.
My hunch is that wherever she and her husband settled in for the night, her agenda included the Grammys, and she’ll be thrilled to get my call. Like me, she doesn’t have anyone to talk to about the important stuff going on in the world.