Extra Cheese: The Grammy Awards Blog
Every year the music community gathers in their Sunday Best in Staples Center in Los Angeles (formerly Radio City Music Hall in New York) to honor the elite in musical performing and songwriting over the past year. Now in a time where songs called “Laffy Taffy”, “My Humps”, and “Morning Wood” are being downloaded to iPods all over the country and actual albums with timeless music are few and far between, such a high brow celebration of music, may seem a little outdated. Nevertheless, on a Wednesday with nothing else but a foregone conclusion called Syracuse-UConn to watch. I sat down and watched from beginning to end for the first time; The Grammy’s. This isn’t a completely pain-staking task. I love music. I always have. A good rock song will take me back to the Friday nights before a high school football game when I was getting ready to run out of the locker room. A good love ballad will remind of the times I fell in love, both good and bad. A good hip-hop song will remind of my years surviving the drugs and violence of the ghetto. Okay that last one may be a Frey but before I exaggerate anymore I give you The Pizza Parlor’s First Running Diary, from this past Wednesday’s Grammy Awards.
Grammy Awards Running Diary Blog
February 8, 2006
Live from Staples Center in Los Angeles, it’s the 48th Annual Grammy Awards!
8:00- The opening number is Madonna with Gorillaz. The number opens with the Gorillaz (actually the former lead singer of Blur with a couple DJ’s and some below average rappers) hit “Feel Good Inc.” then Madonna comes out to sing her latest single of desperation “Hung Up”. She’s wearing a purple corset-leotard type thing and looks good enough but I have a question. For all the re-inventions Madonna has come up with, are we coming to the end of “Kaballah obsessed gay pop-culture icon Madonna”? Isn’t the world ready for “MILF Madonna” by now? She could rehash those song from the early 90’s that had guys my age masturbating before they even knew what they were doing, she would break up with Guy Ritchie and date someone like Wilder Valderama. Maybe do another bad skin flick like “Body of Evidence 2”. I think this would add years to her career.
8:09- Alicia Keys (looking absolutely smoking) and Stevie Wonder bring us back from the review of appearing celebrities. Stevie’s first words “Doesn’t she look beautiful tonight?” I found it rude that the crowd simply applauded rather than answering the question. After sending “shout-outs” to the people of New Orleans and Coretta Scott King, they present the Grammy for Best Female Vocal Performance. Your nominees are Mariah Carey, Kelly Clarkson, Sheryl Crow, Bonnie Raitt, and Gwen Stefani. Your winner is Kelly Clarkson but WAIT JUST A MINUTE!! Bonnie Raitt is still making records??? Does she only make music for these awards? Is there a radio station on the planet playing Bonnie Raitt right now? Can you even buy a Bonnie Raitt album in a store? I’m in shock! Anyway, Clarkson short of breath thanks everyone not named Simon, Randy, or Paula and walks off stage.
8:15- Coldplay performs their latest single “Talk”. I have about half a page of notes of things to write shitting on Coldplay, but I have to be honest, this performance is AMAZING! They may have sold 10,000 Coldplay albums in that performance alone. I almost thought of buying one. Beyonce on the other hand looks under whelmed. It’s pretty much a given after everyone of these rock performances they will show a hip-hop artist in the audience after it, and vice versa.
8:25- Critical sensation John Legend performs. Apparently it’s against 48 state laws to say anything bad about this guy. He performs his song “Ordinary People”. Don’t turn me in…it’s an Ordinary song which will be played in some Ordinary hotel’s Ordinary lounge in two Ordinary years. In other words, I don’t get it.
8:29- We start one of two country music performances with the Best New Artist Nominee Sugarland! Reportedly the lead singer of this band is hot! And she’s good looking but not enough to make me like their song “Something More” which was exactly what I was expecting from the lead singer. Big n’ Rich joins them to announce the awarding of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Merle Haggard…good for him. They present the Best Country Album to Alison Krauss and Union Station. The only thing entertaining about this is the acceptance speech both Krauss and Union Station are a little underdressed and have that “first time in a blue state” look in their faces. Priceless.
8:39- Bono says that U2 is more of a folk band but can write a song like Vertigo which “makes you want to burn your house to the ground”. No Bono, not the whole house, just the iPod it’s playing on. After Vertigo, Mary J. Blige (looking like a black Princess Leia) joins them in a rendition of “One”, which was one of the highlights of the night.
8:46- Matt Dillion and Ludacris introduce David Bowie as a Lifetime Achievement Award winner. Hold on! I thought Merle Haggard was the Lifetime Achievement Award winner. How many of these are they giving out? Is Gerardo getting one? He better! Ay ya Ay een ya ya….RICO!...Your nominees for Best Rap Album are Common, Missy Elliot, Eminem, 50 Cent, and Kanye West. Kanye wins, and steps to the stage in a 70’s leisure suit and whips out a note with “Thank You List” on the back. You think this guy may be a little cocky?? You think??
(Non-Televised presented awards are being shown ticker-style on the bottom and System of a Down won Best Hard Rock Performance and Slipknot won Best Metal Performance…I don’t think we’re getting live performances)
8:56- Ben Roethlisberger shows up looking like a guy whose been traveling and drinking back and forth between coasts for three days straight. He musters enough energy to read off the teleprompter and introduce Kelly Clarkson and her red dress performing “Because of You”. My Dad comes downstairs to say “that’s the only dress that will cover her mega-big ass!” My Dad ladies and gentlemen!
9:00- Pregnant Gwen Stefani and Billy Joe Armstrong from Green Day present the Best Rock Album to U2. Bono starts to compare being in a rock band to being in a circus and being a ringmaster, a clown, and cleaning elephant dung while The Edge in the background rolls his eyes “here we go again!”
9:08- Ellen DeGeneres says “Our next performer needs no introduction” then walks off. That may have been the funniest joke Ellen DeGeneres has ever done. Paul McCartney performs. I hate Paul McCartney for this reason alone. He did a song called “Vanilla Sky” for the Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz waste of 8 bucks by the same name. It got nominated for an Academy Award. Now Vanilla Sky is forever the Academy Award nominated Vanilla Sky. God I hate that movie!
9:16- John Legend is presented the Best Male R&B Performance for Ordinary People…I guess.
9:26- Mariah Carey manages to keep her boobs in her dress for the 3 millionth playing of “We Belong Together” then proceeds to play some gospel song with a choir.
9:32- Teri Hatcher up to present the next award in a see-through dress “I feel like we’ve all been saved!” Kelly Clarkson beats Fiona Apple, Sheryl Crow, Paul McCartney, and Gwen Stefani. Yes, Kelly Clarkson beat Paul McCartney. In her acceptance speech Clarkson thanks radio saying “radio has been very very friendly to me”. You could add two more very’s and it’s STILL the understatement of the year.
9:41- More country with Keith Urban and Faith Hill. Urban performs “Don’t Think of Me” winner for Best Sac-less Break-Up Country Music Performance. Faith Hill performs…well I forget. Moving on.
9:47- Chris Brown (the guy that sings that “run it” song) and Carlos Santana (who has done songs with every one of tonight’s nominated artists, by the way) present Best Rap Collaboration. I knew there was a reason for all those. It goes to Jay-Z and Linkin Park…ahhh Ebony and Crappy Ivory! Together it will be mediocre harmony!
9:57- Recent recluse David Chappelle introduces the tribute to long time recluse Sly Stone. Now I had done a project in my Senior Year Humanities History class on Sly and the Family Stone so I was very curious to see the man as he has been out of the public eye for about 19 years. But first we get Joss Stone (no relation, I don’t think), Will.I.Am (have no idea Who.He.Is or Why.I.Care), John Legend (just to haunt me now), Fantasia (the other American Idol winner), Ciara, Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Robert Randolph, and finally…Sly Stone. Stone comes out looking like Wesley Snipes in Demolition Man. Plays the keyboard for a little while, makes no eye contact with the audience, and misses all his cues, then walks off…never to be heard from again. Well worth the 19 year wait I would say!
10:13- LL Cool J awards our 28th Lifetime Achievement Award of the night to producer Robert Johnson and introduces Jay-Z and Linkin Park to do “Encore” which is bad enough and then the apocalypse comes. Paul McCartney comes out and all three acts sing “Yesterday”. What?! Isn’t this illegal?!?! There’s a rule that anytime a hip-hop and rock act get together it’s supposed to be a great moment. You add a Beatle and it’s supposed to be ten times as great. But this just sucks! John Lennon must be banging on the inside of his grave trying to get out and stop this!
10:23- Tom Hanks awards a Lifetime Achievement Award to this folk band from the 20’s who were supposedly communists. Okay, enough already! On an up note I finally get my Bruce Springsteen performance. On a down note, it’s “Devils and Dust”. I’m as big a Bruce fan as anybody but this song even depresses me. Part of me kind of hopes he will transit from this into “Dancing in the Dark” just to pick up my spirits. He shouts “bring ‘em home” at the end which is the extent of the Bush bashing done at this event, a miracle considering the company in attendance.
10:30- Destiny’s Child comes out annoyed that not enough of a big deal is being made of their brief reunion after their brief parting. The nominees for Song of the Year are Rascal Flatts (not winning), Bruce (probably not winning), John Legend (hopefully not winning), U2 (for You Can’t Make it on Your Own), and Mariah Carey (for We Belong Together). U2 wins but the guy running the sound board at Staples Center plays Mariah Carey’s song. Hilarious. The Edge simply thanks the fans and notes this is a “remarkable night for our band”. Good to know there’s a band that still cares about winning these things.
10:32- Kanye West and Jamie Foxx are set to do their performance. Funny the Staples Center is Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson’s home arena and these two are two biggest egos to ever set foot in Staples Center. They do Golddigger as a Battle of the Bands between KW State (get it, Kanye West State) and JFU (get it, Jamie Foxx U but could be Fuck You, haha that Jamie Foxx is amazing!)
(By the way, all the Jamie Foxx hatred comes from this interview he did where he claims he was about to join the Army until a recruiter heard him playing piano and ripped up his enlistment papers. He says he knew he would have lasted in the military because he played high school football in Texas and that was similar. But he hates war, and thinks the soldiers in Iraq are fighting more for their own lives then for their country. Opinions aside, I will see Booty Call twenty times straight if that recruiter piano story isn’t bullshit.)
These two are fantastic performers and theirs was by far the most entertaining segment of the entire night.
10:43- Sting (master of tantric sex) and Sheryl Crow (recently broken off her engagement) (hmmm….) present the Record of the Year to Green Day for Boulevard of Broken Dreams. In case you were wondering and wanted to learn something after reading all this, song of the year is given to the best written song lyrically and best record song is for the best performed song musically. Now back to bashing famous people!
10:53- Piano legend Herbie Hancock performs with Christina Aguilera. Now, it’s great to see Xtina again and she looks great but there is no in-between with her. She is either flexing her lungs doing classical like she does here or sings strip club songs. Where is the thong and ass-less chaps?? Anyway this song bores me.
11:05- Fiona Apple, Chuck D, and Common (what a grouping this is!) are up to present Best New Artist. They mention artists like Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey and The Beatles who have won this award but neglect Paula Cole, Arrested Development, Sheena Easton and Milli Vanilli. This is quietly the award nobody wants to win. And it goes to…John Legend. YES! Nice knowing you John! Good luck on the cruise circuit!
11:17- Bonnie Raitt and James Taylor are up to present the Album of the Year Award. Your nominees are Mariah Carey, Paul McCartney, Gwen Stefani, U2, and Kanye West. And in a mild upset U2 beats Kanye West! Kanye looks pissed but gracious when Bono shakes his hand. Bono proceeds to condescendingly congratulate all his inferiors in one acceptance speech. For those keeping score that’s Rock Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year, TIME Man of the Year. If it makes Kanye, Mariah, Paul, and Gwen feel any better, there’s STILL disease and poverty in Africa! Ha! Take that Bono!
11:25- Grammy Producer and head-honcho Ken Ehlrich thanks everyone and introduces Dr. John and some other notable New Orleans musicians as an uplifting performance to one of the great musical cities in our country.
Congratulations to all our nominees and winners and to me and you the readers for getting through my first running diary!