Monday, February 9, 2009

Ground Control to Major T(h)om

Like Robert Plant, I feel "bewildered" after watching last night’s Grammy’s. It was the first time I’ve watched the Grammy’s in years, and it definitely lived up to my memories, ranging from the ridiculous (Katy Perry and, um, fruit) to the sublime (Thom, Jonny, and lots of brass and drums).

Some of the evenings highlights:
U2’s completely uninspired opening: “You don’t know how beautiful you are…” But Bono sure knows how beautiful HE is. It sounded like a recycled “City of Blinding Lights." Then, in the first of many bizarro TV moments, Whitney Houston received a standing ovation for walking out on stage to present the first award. Did I miss something? Or were they standing because she finally left Bobby Brown? Or because she’s not in rehab? In that case, they should have stood for Kid Rock. Shit, they should have stood for Jennifer Hudson. Now SHE’S talented and resilient, and delivered an awesome performance.

The members of Blink-182 announced the band was getting back together. Who knew (or cared) that they were ever apart?
And what’s with me that I never before noticed what Nicole Kidman and half the women on this planet have known— Keith Urban es très adorable.
Morgan Freeman introduced his “good friend” Kenny Chesney (really?), and I found out that super cool Charlie Haden is Jack Black’s father-in-law (REALLY!)

The “Hip Hop Summit” was decidedly NOT earth shattering. I would’ve much preferred the VERY pregnant Ms. Arulpragasam to sing “Paper Planes” alone.

And is it just me, or has Sir Paul McCartney just gone downhill after that whole post-9/11 “Freedom” debacle? Instead of seeming like one of the key architects of one of the world’s greatest bands, he comes across as an arrogant prick with jail-bait dates.

After hearing Robert Plant and Alison Krauss I’m kind of sorry I didn’t hear them when they were in Baltimore last year. Hmm. Wonder if I could’ve requested “Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You,” my favorite Zep song ever since I was a little kid (what the hell does that say about ME?!)

Ok, it’s just gotta be said. What is UP with Coldplay? I mean, do they have to wear those Sgt. Pepper uniforms all the time? I understand when they were first promoting the album and everything, but, really….! And I hate to be one of those Radiohead fans that has this thing against Coldplay. And I don’t, I really don’t. But I’ve always agreed with Jon Pareles’ assessment of them musically. The Case Against Coldplay - New York Times They are insufferable. But I feel bad about saying it. They seem like pleasant enough lads, and they sing pleasant enough songs. And poor lovely Gwyneth, giving that gushing introduction to Radiohead! Years ago she said in an interview something to the effect that if her husband gave her a free pass to bed any man it would be Radiohead drummer Phil Selway because she had so much respect for him… I mean, dudes, I understand that you look up to Radiohead, and you want them to like you back, but pimpin’ out your wife just isn’t cool….

But yes, it was a pleasure to see and hear Thom and Jonny— to watch Thom flail, to see Jonny smile (!!) --even though Thom looked quite unwell (he is, after all, still Thom). I much prefer the live percussion to the electronica of the record. Radiohead’s performance was definitely worth enduring some of the more interesting moments. And Cat Power singing Space Oddity to sell cars to boot.


  1. Photo of the lads from

  2. Great review - and snarky to boot!

    I agree about Coldplay. Mining the same formulaic territory as usual. It's like background elevator music for hair salons and yoga classes. One or two songs from PARACHUTES sates my need to hear anything subsequent. That said, all Ramones songs sound the same too - but they're funny!