It’s that time again: The Grammy Awards, a time when pop dreams are crushed by a barrage of country stars winning awards chosen by really old, really privileged record executives that haven’t been in touch with the consumer market since 1983.
Since I didn’t really feel like doing a massive write-up about the show, I’ve taken the liberty of uploading the pictures of my notes taken during the broadcast. Because, hey…it’s not like this award means anything anymore. Take heed: The scribbling began shortly AFTER Gaga. I apologize in advance.
Really, it was pathetic: The guilt-tripping plea for music lovers to fund artists (FIND A NEW BUSINESS MODEL), the occasionally embarrassing presenters ushered in as “hot topic” celebrities (Adam Sandler), and most importantly, the endless series of performances from artists that haven’t been relevant for years. A vote for Bon Jovi? WHO. CARES. HONESTLY?! No wonder little Justin Bieber Bopper mistakenly read their name as “Beyonce” on screen. He’s got no idea who the fuck they are!
To pass the time (and bear the endless barrage of industry insiders wanking itself off), a couple of friends and I took to a short-and-sweet drinking game with rules that developed as the show went on: Take a swig for each Beyonce win (a happy victory!), one each time Miley Cyrus said “y’all” in her presentation, and most importantly (and often), each award upset. But by the time Taylor Swift‘s Fearless was announced for Album of the Year, there wasn’t even an opportunity to take a sip–everyone was already filing out the door in disgust.
Say what I will about her lofty claims and exhausting efforts to remain creative, the fact remains that the beginning of this new decade will be defined by no other pop icon than Lady Gaga. Honestly, it’s laughable to suggest that Taylor Swift released the year’s finest record. Did it break sales and chart records? Certainly! It was a glowing achievement for the very young, talented artist.
But The Fame did something far greater and far more important: It completely relaunched the brand of pop music.
Yes, Lady Gaga is tiring. She’s pretentious, snotty, and occasionally insincere. But whether or not you subscribe to the Gaga, it’s all but impossible to deny her influence. From reinventing celebrity fashion, to redefining the limits and boundaries of artistic expression on a mainstream level, to the very sound of the radio itself thanks to her RedOne-produced revolution of Euro-friendly beats, Gaga has ushered in a new era of pop. No, she isn’t original per se, but she did bring the focus of pop back to the things we’ve always loved about it: Glamour, performance, and escapism.
I am of the most confident belief that Taylor Swift’s win was nothing more than a product of industry pity over Kanye West‘s interference at the VMA Awards. She’s a sweet, sweet girl, but leave it to MTV to sort out their own guilt issues–not one of the most prestigious award institutions in the world.
Lady Gaga was robbed, but she already knew that was going to happen. Or did you not ‘get’ the meaning behind her opening performance?