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Offering a fresh way of helping you keep up with art and entertainment happenings around the Capital District.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

thoughts on the grammy awards

Say what will about the Grammy Awards, it's the most entertaining award show on television. It's fast-paced and the winners generally don't dwell on thanking every person they've met in their life.

In the interests of full disclosure, I admit I watched on dvr and did not listen to every thank you, but those that I heard made me wonder why God cares so much about rap singers and pop artists.

Something else I'll never understand. Why do pop singers all have to wear costumes instead of clothing? I can understand flamboyant clothing but costumes when not performing?

If the dress is over-the-top what about the numbers? Each was bigger and more extravagant than the last. I think that has to do with most of the major talents today perform in arenas where big is not only better - it is necessary. It is no accident the presentations were made in Staples Arena.

It comes as a thought that sometimes production values can hide performance flaws. Watching the light shows, the back-up dancers and buildings burning, leaves less time to notice or care that the performer has limited talent.

It impressed me the way that Mick Jagger came out and just by the power of his personality and talent held the audience in the palm of his hands. No fancy effects just some powerful rock and roll. It was the only time the jaded audience seemed to be really having a good time as the cameras caught them all on their feet rockin' with Mick.

Probably the only talent that could follow that moment was Barbra Streisand and she did with the quietest of songs. Again the power of her voice and the majesty of her presence held the audience in quiet awe.

Rick and Barbra two talents on the opposite end of the spectrum defined star power.

On a less positive note, Bob Dylan was sad. He sounded terrible and looked worse. Time has not been good to Dylan and though a legend his aloof attitude will not make him a beloved figure as he ages further. Dylan is no Pete Seeger.

On the topic of looking bad, Kris Kristofferson didn't appear in full control either. At least he didn't attempt to sing.

As for the winners of the awards - my basic opinion is few will be remembered in ten years and many not even at the next Grammy Award show. Performers who have to depend on special effects instead of talent are not around for the long run.

One last note. Am I the only one who noticed performing on the show is a guarantee of winning a Grammy? Isn't the idea that no one is supposed to know the winners until they are announced. Yet, it was obvious that too many people won the Grammy minutes after they performed. Coincidence? Not a chance.

You might hate the music but you can't deny the Grammy Award show is a truly unique night of entertainment.


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