In general I don't love the Grammys and have never been very committed to watching them. I love music and love the idea of recognizing achievement in music, but I don't like that commercial success trumps musical talent in a lot of categories and I think there is an underrepresentation of the music scene at large.
The music industry is always notoriously behind and in the technological age the industry is changing a great deal. For now, the mainstream will remain the highest grossing music segment but there's been a steady shift over the last 50 years towards smaller touring bands and most people have a lot of music on their ipods that you'd never hear on the radio.
I recognize that the Grammy's will never please everyone because music is one of the most individualized artforms and people have very strong opinions on what they consider good or bad that varies a great deal depending on your own personal taste. In other words, not many people can be truly objective towards music that isn't in their wheel house and will never enjoy the Grammys as a whole.
The Grammys do try to represent the best of every genre, and while I'm not sure that they are truly successful at that (or even cover every genre) I still enjoy many things about the show and like many of the artists represented.
One thing I do like about the Grammys is a chance to see big names in music do live collaborations with one another in and across genres. I love seeing "legends" and "up and comers" together doing classics or new material. Seeing young artists meet and play with the artists that inspired them to get into music in the first place is in a word "cool". Having a place to pay tribute to artists of the past, especially ones who are not with us anymore, is a great thing.
That being said, my personal favorite performances from last night weren't the big collaborations.
I think my favorite was Jack White. I have never really been a big fan of the White Stripes or Jack White in general but Jack White has been steadily growing on me the last few years and I'm starting to respect him. He loves music. He's matured and gotten progressively better over the years. He's not afraid to play whatever music in whatever genre he feels like, he pulls from the past, he cares about the artform itself. I really like that. His performance last night was one of the best musically. It was also the most "rock" of all the performances which I feel is sometimes missing from the Grammys. I really enjoy a traditional rock and roll performance and he delivered.
Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z's performance was another well executed moment (and they aren't always executed well at the Grammys) that I very much enjoyed. In general I find more merit in the production of their albums then the actual content, but it was a good performance and their both pretty solid vocally.
I just like Mumford and Sons and appreciate that they always sound great live. There was nothing particularly special about their performance, but it was just them...simple and good. I was glad to see them win Album of the Year because I think they're talented.
There are many other things I could comment on but I'll end with this thought. I wish there wasn't a "Christian" or "Gospel" category. These categories bother me because the Grammy's are divided by genre. This is the only category that is categorized based on content rather than genre. I kind of hate that for several reasons. I'm bothered when artists that are genuinely good get stuck in this category simply because they are Christians or have Christian themes to their music. By and large Christian music has a reputation for not being very good. Which is probably true in a lot of cases (and if it is they have no business being at the Grammys anyway), but not always. There are some wildly talented artists that get lumped into these categories that could easily be included in and even win in the actual genre they are apart of. Many of them don't even consider themselves "Christian bands" but have gotten labeled as such for Grammy purposes.
Tweets I didn't tweet:
I've never liked LL Cool J as a host. I'd rather have seen Ellen stay up there and do all of it.
John Mayer looked really normal. Which was weird. Also if he's gonna be present I feel like he could be playing guitar at some point.
I can't see Taylor Swift ever growing up. I think she'll be exactly the same person at 40.
Since the CMT awards exist couldn't we just ignore mainstream Country music at the Grammys? No?
A rare "classy" Rihanna last night next to that guy everyone still hates.
Did anyone else notice that a Mumford was nominated in the "Americana" category? Someone explain this to me.
I've realized I'm just never going to like anyone off of American Idol.
"Carly Ray Jepsen should NOT be at the Grammys." - John Paul #lovehim
I felt the same way about Prince that I always feel about Prince. A little creeped out but okay with it.
I pretty much hate all radio DJs and their Grammy opinions. #morningaftertweet