For the first time in years I actually tuned in and caught some of the Grammy Awards this year. That might make me an exception in TRN–Stef and Chris eagerly await the performances each year by their pop idols. So what made this year different for me? It feels like the Academy is finally starting to catch up with the new music industry that the rest of us have known about and enjoyed for quite some time. It’s pretty amazing that people like Bon Iver (Best New Artist) and The Civil Wars are getting their due from such a glitzy, over-the-top industry event. These are artists that represent the real future of music–less glamor, less pre-packaged pop emptiness, and more honest and heartfelt songwriting.
Whitney Houston’s death reminded me of what the Grammys and the music industry used to be. It seems like my family and everyone else we knew gathered around the TV annually to watch brilliant pop stars perform. We didn’t have cable and my parents definitely didn’t shell out the cash to for me to see Michael Jackson or Paul McCartney in concert. The Grammys were one of the few chances I actually got to see those artists perform in a live setting. In my house live performance was the true test of talent. We gleefully anticipated unedited renditions of the biggest songs of the year to see if artists could actually pull it off in a live setting. How well can Mariah actually sing outside of the studio? Can Sir Paul still hit those high notes? What in the hell is MC Hammer wearing?
Music and celebrity weren’t so accessible back then, and it’s kind of mind blowing to think how much things have changed. Nowadays kids don’t just hear vague urban legends about Anthony Kiedis’ crabs (who remembers that?)–they can go to youtube or twitter and bear witness to crazy ass celebrities in real time (insert Kanye twitter joke here).
The performers did not disappoint this year. I have to listen to a lot of crap with my 5 and 9 year old kids and do a lot of vetoing. Bruno Mars is actually a breath of fresh air when Selena Gomez and LMFAO are involved. I’ll gladly be subjected to Bruno’s tunes after that show stopping James Brown act he did.
And Alicia and Bonnie Raitt? THAT is what I’m talking about.
I was really bummed that Cee Lo’s double Grammy winning “Fool For You” didn’t make the televised portion. As you’ve probably heard on our various social networking sites, Orgone provided the absolutely devastating backing tracks. They holed up in Killion Sound a few years back with producer Jack Splash and cut a ton of tracks that have since ended up on Alicia Keys, Anthony Hamilton, and Jasmine Sullivan records. It’s a shame that they aren’t given more credit for their amazing work on all this stuff, but especially “Fool For You.” After my first listen to Cee Lo’s The Lady Killer, it was my favorite track. I kind of freaked when I heard that they played on it.
So congrats to Orgone! They are hitting the road in a few weeks. You can bet that TRN will be front and center at their Schubas show on March 16.