The 56th Annual Grammy Awards
The Grammys. It is an awards show that airs almost every year, yet it remains a dark and dangerous mystery to many of us. UNTIL NOW.
Just kidding, the Grammy Awards is just some boring chore and nobody truly cares about it. I feel like we should talk about it anyway because it’s been so long since we’ve talked and last time we talked it was just about Heather Malone and her trifling husband. I’m frankly tired of all that gossip and yearn to speak of something real. Something like THE GRAMMYS. The Grammys are not real, they are fake and they bloom from a rich soil of lies. But they do feature TONS of music and the artists who make that music. Some interesting things happen. NOT MANY but SOME. This year was no different.
Couple things about the 2014 Grammys: It was taped at the Staples Center, which is a terrific venue for a terrible arena concert, but a terrible venue for a TV show. Like, I’m happy that the people in attendance got strobe lights and smoke machines and jumbotrons flashing in their faces, but that just did not look good on HDTV, sorry. (I don’t personally own an HDTV but there is a whole wall of them at Sears.) But yeah the TV-unfriendliness of most of the productions here bordered on shocking. Just badly conceived and ugly as h*ck. Maybe I’m just biased because for the most part I did not enjoy most of the songs performed, but I think even a bad or boring song could benefit from a really engaging production (i.e. 85% of Wicked). Another thing was the sound and energy seemed so strange to me. Particularly in the beginning, there was so much dead air and low-energy performance and everyone was wearing black. It reminded me a funeral where everyone has mental problems. Also a lot of it made me sad and woozy, so I kept checking to see if maybe I had a gas leak. Typical Grammys!
Anyway, I will stop yammering and let’s start talking about this thing!
Everything started with Beyoncé, as everything ever has, even if only metaphorically because by now we know Beyoncé is a human representation of pure talent. Except, whoops! What was going on with Beyoncé this night? She came out with wet-look hair and she was wearing one of Rihanna’s old Rated R costumes and she was slouching in her chair like she wanted to be excused from the dinner table. Adding insult to injury there was a fog machine clearly being controlled by a poltergeist and strobe lights flashing directly into the camera. Because THAT is what people with HDTVs want to look at instead of Beyoncé: Epilepsy lights and haunted house smoke. Anyway, she sang "Drunk in Love" which does not even make the Top 5 of good songs on her new album, but it did allow her husband to come out and do some kind of awkward married-couple dosey-doe with her.
I don’t know. I like Beyoncé but I did not understand this performance and also I feel like I might have mono now. The audience was into it though:
No but for real, I am probably going to talk some junk on the Grammys right now (spoiler) but every single time Daft Punk appeared on camera it made me very, very happy. I think they are unimpeachable, I will just say that right now. I don’t even 100% love the album they made this year because it’s just regular disco, the kind of songs Daft Punk used to sample and turn into FUN songs. But still Daft Punk are extreme geniuses and their winning so big made the Grammys seem almost respectable this year. You know? Anytime "Get Lucky" wins a Grammy it’s fine because I can pretend it’s just a retroactive grammy for "Digital Love." In fact I am going to go listen to "Digital Love" four to five times right now BRB.
Anyway, then the host L.L. Cool J came out and shouted at everybody. Question: Do ladies love Cool James still? Do they love when he shouts at the audience about Grammys? That’s what he did. MUSIC! BRINGS PEOPLE! TOGETHER FROM ALL OVER! LIKE FRANCE AND COMPTON AND TAYLOR SWIFT’S DIARY! We get it, Cool James. Relax.
You might have assumed that tonight’s main theme of the Grammys was "music." But the actual main theme of the night was "People Under 5’3." Also I feel like I don’t need to even bring up Pharrell Williams’ hat because it clearly speaks for itself. It is a hipster-Mountie masterpiece. If it doesn’t eventually end up in the Louvre then burn the Louvre to the ground because everything is junk compared Pharrell Williams’ hat.
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis won tons of things tonight, but I am feeling very crestfallen about it because I always thought it was pronounced Mackle-more, not Mack LeMore. I truly don’t know what I will do now that I know I’ve had it wrong this whole time. Just kidding my brain doesn’t retain knowledge and definitely not Macklemore-related knowledge! Sorry Macklemore. And deal w/it, Ryan Lewis.
Lorde is great. I do love her velociraptor dance. I’m very tired of "Royals" but good thing her album has easily ten more good songs on it. Feeling super bad for her flat-iron today, though. That little guy must be more beat up than Johnny 5 after his alley beatdown in Short Circuit 2! Anyway, yeah I like Lorde. Another good artist who won tons of things.
Then a Kermit-voiced tinyhunk named Hunter Hayes came out and sang a ballad about bullying. Which, is that still a thing? Obviously bullying is still a thing because people are still generating children and children love to bully. But is bullying awareness still a thing? I guess so. I guess I may as well do my part. Everybody stop bullying, please. Okay pretty sure that fixed it.
At this point when I don’t recognize somebody I just assume they’re a country singer. Was this guy a country singer? He was a country singer right? Anyway, there was still a full three hours to go at this point and no Anna Faris appearances were going to change that fact.
So here’s Daft Punk winning their first Grammy and they don’t talk because of their personas, which you can SAY is silly but look at the bigger picture: THEY DIDN’T HAVE TO TALK. It’s genius, really. So Pharrell did all the talking but if we’re being honest his hat was already saying it all.
Tons of movie stars presented the bands and singers tonight. What was that all about? Oscar envy? Attention Grammys: the Oscars are also terrible. You aren’t going to get instant credibility by having movie stars here. Anyway, Steve Coogan is pretty talented.
Then Lady Snape came out and condescendingly lectured the audience about the dark arts.
Jeez, leave it to Katy Perry to give a witchcraft ‘n warlock themed performance complete with light-up bra, evil puppet horse, and Katy Perry being burnt at the stake and it’s STILL boring? The one thing that nobody can take away from Katy Perry is that she is a true trailblazer when it comes to loud, abrasive, painful-to-the-senses entertainment that will put you right to sleep.
And then Robin Thicke performed with Chicago and it was exactly as fun as that sounds.
Then one of the judges from American Idol came out and jammed with another guy. They jammed so hard. They just jammed right and left and backwards and forwards. Do you like it when two men with phallic musical instruments get up next to each other and jam? Then I don’t even need to tell you how horny this made you because that’s what happened here for what felt like 45 minutes.
Backstage there was this awkward machine that helped people take selfies using an ipad on a podium. Taylor Swift was very into it.
John Legend sang a song on a piano and I think this was his wife sitting under a spotlight in the audience gazing at him so it was probably supposed to be romantic even though it looked like A NIGHTMARE. I do not trust that woman and I think John Legend is in danger assuming he’s not already missing. Has anyone checked in on John Legend today? Is he still on the grid? The reason I ask is because this lady.
Kevin Hart came out and screamed himself hoarse, doesn’t matter why.
Um when did rock and roll get so alarming? Those song titles are just really aggressive. Those song titles need healing crystals and a weekend in Joshua Tree.
Have you heard this terrible song that Paul McCartney recorded with the surviving members of Nirvana in half an hour? It’s very terrible and I know it and you know it and Paul McCartney knows it and Nirvana knows it, including the dead one. What was his name? Kurt Hummel? Related story, I am fairly certain I once saw Courtney Love in a Big Lots parking lot eating a seagull.
Look, I know better than to trash talk Taylor Swift to you guys. I haven’t learned much from my time on this earth but I HAVE learned that people take Taylor Swift PERSONAL. So fine, you can have her. I don’t get her, but you clearly do. But make no mistake she does NOT get you. That is an act. She is a former child performer who only goes on dates when her management contacts the management of another celebrity and sets up dates for her. That is not a romance you can or will ever relate to, doesn’t matter how many ordinary details she throws in for relatability.
This lady is a gifted actress. Do NOT trust her.
Why did Pink do this again? It’s now officially her main thing in addition to singing. Except she just lip-synced here. I never thought I’d be bored by a lady dangling without a harness over the Staples Center but man, I have had enough of this.
I DID like when a buff dude suddenly showed up and they did some tumbling exercises together. That was inspired, credit where credit’s due.
Then the lead guy from Fun Period came out and screamed right in Pink’s face! It was very rude and reminded me of the dinosaur that spit in Newman’s face in Jurassic Park. Pink was cool about it though. She has a pretty good ‘tude about these things. Also she was probably super winded from the bungee ballet and the stud-tossing. At that point you just kind of have to let the guy from Fun Period scream in your face.
Then two more members of The Borrowers came out and stole thimbles and spools of thread to bring back to their family for use as furniture.
Oh then Lorde won a Grammy! I ALMOST felt bad because her whole image is this cool, detached teen who is tired of glitz, and now here she has one of the least cool things in existence: A Grammy. Sorry, Lorde. That is definitely a double-edged sword right there.
Just kidding, Ozzy Osbourne did not say anthing coherent. He yammered for a awhile and then wandered away.
Ringo Starr came out and did whatever it is Ringo does. Sing? Doesn’t matter. He was also trying to peddle a book he wrote that is just a bunch of old photographs. Ringo gotta eat! It’s not like he has McCartney money. I liked this one though:
Oh man, Instagram was so old-fashioned back then.
Then Jamie Foxx came out and attempted to read the nominees for an award but he just sexually harassed Beyoncé for 15 minutes instead.
She and her husband did NOT look stoked about it. Maybe Jamie Foxx was not sober? That is a possibility, but who am I to judge. He also just might be a creep. Anyway, then Jay Z won something:
It was cute in his speech when he referred to the trophy as a "golden sippy cup" for his toddler. That honestly seemed about right, yeah.
Then Kendrick Lamar, one of the greatest living rappers, was forced to perform a duet with Imagine Dragons, one of the worst living bands. It was a truly embarrassing rap-rock situation that was only slightly entertaining for a split second when the lead singer dude took a 5-lb blast of color dust to the face.
That is A LOT of purple powder up the nose. [Elaborate, fanciful drug joke to come, stay tuned.]
Kacey Musgraves is very delightful, right? Good song, nice message, cool boots, extremely attractive stage. Especially following that Imagine Dragons nightmare, this was one of the best performances of the night. Great job, Kacey Musgraves!
Julia Roberts is turning into Barbra Streisand and it is VERY upsetting.
I don’t know who these old librarians were, but the piano was funky and so were this lady’s dance moves:
DO IT GIRL. GET IT. THROW IT DOWN. PICK IT BACK UP. SHUT IT DOWN.
I’m not sure who was backstage practicing necromancy but the end result was VERY frightening. Kudos!
Pharrell won again, for whatever.
So did Bruno Mars. Congrats, Bruno Mars!
No idea what Jeremy Renner was doing there. Trying to FIND A WIFE MAYBE? (IS QUEEN LATIFAH STILL SINGLE?)
Honestly this was so sad and confusing. One hundred thousand old men took the stage and mumbled out-of-sync while their lifeless hands sort of batted at instruments aimlessly. I truly had no idea what to make of it and the crowd looked equally baffled.
Poor Macklemore was goaded into laughing by his ladyfriend but he at least knew not to do that on camera. He’s a true professional.
It was seriously a terrible and sad performance and it was made even worse when these other country singers came out and were like, "Wasn’t that great?" Don’t rub it in, guys. Those old men can’t hear much anymore anyway. R.I.P. Willie Nelson, the Betty White of country music.
Then Kacey Musgraves won a Grammy! Cool, I like her. Also her song is about tolerating gays and maybe smoking pot if you feel like it. It’s very extreme and offensive and I’m already writing to Congress.
Neil Patrick Harris made an appearance as is law. Oh, he was presenting Daft Punk! Honestly that is a true honor.
I really liked the set Daft Punk used. See, I really didn’t like how everyone else’s back drops were jumbo-tron and strobe-light based. Those things look terrible on TV. But this ’70s era recording studio just looked so much nicer! Also it was cool to see Stevie Wonder sitting in for "Get Lucky." This witch knows what I’m talking about:
Oh, and then Daft Punk made an appearance and everything was perfect:
They even mixed in snippets from "Better, Harder, Faster, Stronger" and "Around the World" and I got so many chills. Have you ever seen Daft Punk live? You should try and see Daft Punk live. Just do it. Go and do it. Treat yourself. If they ever tour again. Who knows? I don’t!
Then Janine from Ghostbusters came out and presented a couple more singers. Sara Bareilles and Carole King!
They dueted and did one of those genuinely cool mashups that the Grammys is capable of. I really liked that Lady Gaga-Elton John one from a few years ago. This was that good too, just fun and full of good spirit. I went to college with Sara Bareilles but we didn’t really know each other. FUN FACT!
Lorde won again. Reasonable.
UNREASONABLE. Do not let Jared Leto pay tribute to Lou Reed ever again, and especially not by reciting lyrics to "Walk on the Wild Side" and tie it into Jared Leto’s role in Dallas Buyer’s Club. Stop it, dummies. Absolutely ridiculous.
Then a bunch of local dads came out and played "heavy metal" while Chinese Liberace shredded the ivories.
It was very, VERY intense. But not as intense as this:
Is everything okay with Steven Tyler lately? I’m starting to worry about him to be honest. Smokey Robinson looked very scared.
Here’s the white version of Daft Punk winning another Grammy. FAIR.
Then this part happened. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis played that song "Same Love" which is just one of those things. I live in a gay bubble where being gay is fine and normal and TWTA (the way things are) so these lyrics about gay acceptance just make me cringe and whatnot. But I understand and get that a lot of other people are in difficult circumstances and this song is very valuable for that and I’m very glad it exists. But the main thing to know is that this song only became popular because of this lady:
THAT HOOK. Like, I’m sorry, but THAT HOOK. All of it. All of it is just so, so good. Mary Lambert is her name. She is amazing. I wish she’d become more famous so that these awards shows would stop inviting more famous divas to walk in and and tag-in for her during her parts. Because her parts are perfect and she’s always the better singer anyway. But whatever. I just really like this hook and this singer. Say what you will about Macklemore and the heavy-handedness of the lyrics but this chorus is unimpeachable and timeless.
noted homosexual Queen Latifah came out to officiate an actual, real-life wedding of forty couples both gay and straight MID-SONG. If you didn’t feel tons of emotions then your heart is trash.
Like, I’m sorry, rant coming on, but I still think it’s offensive that someone who refuses to admit that she is MARRIED to someone of her own sex is going to officiate other peoples’ gay weddings. I just think that’s fraudulent somehow. Clearly Queen Latifah is from an earlier generation of celebrities who cling to the closet at all costs and like Jodie Foster she’s desperately hoping to skip the whole coming-out thing and is now just being stubborn about it. But I don’t really think you can insist on keeping your sexual orientation private and then also be a part of this big, bold, landmark event on TV. Because no matter how you felt about this mass-marriage ceremony, it was history-making.
And then an albino vampire crept onstage and sang an old Madonna song. Who am I to complain about True Blue era Madonna tunes being sung on the Grammys? Nobody, I am nobody to complain about that and I WON’T.
Then they brought Chinese Liberace back out to play piano during the death montage. (Okay his name was Lang Lang, fine.)
This Everly Brothers cover was really terrible. Like, both of these people are fine individually, but Billy Joe Armstrong does not sing and also Miranda Lambert should not sing with Billy Joe Armstrong. This was ugly on my ears! Come on, guys, let’s just listen to "J.A.R." instead.
Oh my gosh, we were so, so close to the end at this point. So then Alicia Keys’ wayward cleavage came out accompanied by Yoko Ono’s top hat. Things were truly heating up!
Haha I know I was not the first person to point this out, but yeah, Taylor Swift and the guy next to her definitely heard "Red" when Alicia Keys started to read off "Random Access Memories". Taylor Swift was already in the early stages of her "Who me?" shocked face! But nope, quick save, it was Daft Punk. AS IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN.
I mean honestly, what else is there to say about this? The Grammys stumbled upon actual deserving winners this year. It’s just a rare occasion in which the Grammys were relevant, edgy, AND correct. It is probably a fluke that will never happen again.
Then L.L. Cool J came out and shouted at everybody and I was so excited that the credits were about to roll because we were 15 FULL MINUTES past the end time by this point. But nope! One last performance, and by the most random assortment of musicians possible.
Nine Inch Nails!
Lindsey "What Up With That" Buckingham and his magical finger waggles!
Queens of the Stone Age! Except, right in the middle of their song the credits rolled and we were seeing a Delta Airlines ad. Sorry Queens of the Stone Age, but also NOT SORRY, some of us need to sleep!
THAT WAS IT, EVERYBODY. THE GRAMMYS. I hope you enjoyed it. It was 16 hours of music-related content. Obviously some big and deserving winners, so in honor of Daft Punk, I would like to show you what they look like as humans, because I KNOW you are curious. Please enjoy this still frame from their brilliant and nearly unwatchable film Electroma!
DAFT PUNK FOREVER BASICALLY
… Which win were you most excited about?
… What was the biggest upset?
… For how many weeks will Imagine Dragons have purple boogs?
… Did you get married at the Grammys this year?