Hosing Down

State of the Art

For as long as I can remember, I have refused to attend the Grammy Award Ceremonies and will continue to boycott them until the day comes when they nominate me for something. Until that time, they are nothing to me but a yearly television program that brings me up to date on what’s going on with popular music and rap (which disguises itself as music and has sadly fooled the majority of the world’s consumers).

So every year I get a free and quick education, gleaning much through the scrupulous focus that my “substance-free” lifestyle makes possible (two and a half years now, and it sure sucks, lemme tell ya). Following are some of the more vivid bits of information I learned recently during the live broadcast on CBS:

Taylor Swift is beginning to creep me out. Sure, she looks tantalizing in a tight, sparkly jumpsuit and with those ruby red lips that ache to be wrapped around my ego, but the chick is nuts. She goes just as crazy with joy when she loses as when she wins. The eyes widen, the glistening mouth-cave opens in shock and joy and she jumps around like a chicken with its head cut off. We could all use that kind of attitude when the Terminal Drought Secret becomes public, but it gets a bit tiring to see her doing it again and again on so many awards shows throughout the years… She’s got to be one of the most unnaturally happy people on the planet. Even when a promising love affair with some lucky dude goes south, do you think she’s gonna sit around and pine? Hell, no; for her it’s all raw material from which to create another song and amass another several million dollars. Capitalist bitch. And you know she’s an icon and in it for the long haul when the public eats up her singing affectations, with her quirky/”cool” pronunciations of self-referential words (Oim for I’m and May for Me. Take that, Joan Jett).

Headwear is getting dangerous. The show’s host, LL Cool J, wore a tastefully modest hat, which earns him a happy salute. Joe Perry and Johnny Depp, however, each sported dirty-looking chapeaux that I wouldn’t want my most avid tormentors to touch, much less try on. Most offensive of all was the artist who can’t even spell his own name right (to the detriment of millions of elementary school children across this great land of ours). He calls himself The Weeknd (yep, you read that right) and came up with the insane idea to crazy-glue a dead black poodle to the top of his head! Let’s hope the ASPCA and the Department of Health took note and are doing their damnedest to make sure this sort of thing doesn’t become a fad.

The Grammys broadcast drinks its own bathwater. (Just like most of the performers on the program.) A few of the performances were followed by mini-documentaries about the preparations and the making of those very performances. Oops, sorry… let’s not forget that on this show, they’re never known as “performances” but as “Grammy Moments.” Buncha snobs; another reason I stay away…

Gwen Steffani thinks she’s Madonna who thought she was Marilyn Monroe. When tributes become obsessions, the public needs to cry foul and demand something new. Also, the Grammys touted Gwen’s “Grammy Moment” as the “filming of a live video,” but there were enough pre-taped inserts to immediately reveal them as dirty liars. The Grammys’ contempt for its audience’s intelligence extended all the way to Broadway:

They didn’t “crash” a real Broadway performance of Hamilton. Even the much-admired Stephen Colbert was part of this Grammy lie. No, the “Grammy Moment” here was a just-for-the-Grammys (and a small, handpicked audience) performance from the theater which was otherwise “dark” (closed) on Monday. That’s why the timing was so perfect. Duh.

Adele is human. She seemed to be having a “pitchy nightmare” of a time, and my heart went out to her.

Carrie Underwood can’t be human. She just seems so perfect, and she gets more gorgeous as time passes. While the thoughts her beauty inspires in me will probably condemn me to Hell; her voice will at least make my journey there somewhat bearable. Lawd, gotsta have me some…

The Hollywood Vampires didn’t suck. But they were afforded far too much stage time for what is essentially a cover band/novelty act. Alice Cooper must have cut himself shaving earlier and forgotten to change his bloodstained shirt. Johnny Depp, unrecognized this year by the Oscars, turned in a credible performance as a rock star. Joe Perry, like the rest of the band, looked miserable for the entire segment, which is a major requirement of the New Cool. (Remember how the Beatles would always be smiling? Do that today and you’re considered a buncha wusses.)

The (remaining) Eagles were fine. It was a moving tribute to Glen Frey, with Jackson Browne singing lead. My little brother Gee says that he blew some of the lyrics but I didn’t notice; I will say I’ve been in that position far too many times and a lot of sweet memories are tainted by the unexpected brain drains. But back to the Eagles—was that Timothy B. Schmitt or Caitlyn Jenner on bass?

Kendrick Lamar is quite a poet. But his performance of “The Blacker the Berry” and “Alright” seemed interminable to me. It took the focus away from music for too long a time; forgive me but this was oft-unintelligible, rapid-fire spoken verse and the Grammys is supposed to be about music, not some overly dramatized poetry slam. Or maybe it’s just not the case anymore. Perhaps the Dumbing-down Insurgents should finally claim their victory after all.

Justin Bieber. I think this is the last time I’ll ever write that name. Sure hope so.

Lady Gaga was the right choice to do the David Bowie tribute. I mean, since I wasn’t asked. Still, I think she crammed too much music into the rather generous time allotted. Of particular interest was that nothing seemed to have been selected from the last 30-some years of Bowie’s career, for a bit of balance or comprehensiveness. But Lady Gaga’s segment was touching because…

The Grammys are thought-provoking. Which is as they should be. The 58th annual Grammy Awards Ceremony has become the most written-about edition in the history of “Hosing Down,” since I’ve never written about the Grammys until now. And I won’t again until they nominate me or at least start giving away their little Victrola awards in versions that somehow are actually able to play music. I mean, what a rip-off!

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