Meeting Popular Music Again: Cool Dad Watched the Grammys

photo: John Shearer

Last night I watched the Grammys, not so much to celebrate today’s hottest acts, but because I wanted to know who the heck today’s hottest acts are. For years I’ve eschewed popular music in favor of indie acts. But since I’m writing more about pop culture as a job, I figured the Grammys would be a semi-classy 3-hour refresher. 

Since I’m relearning the music industry, I don’t have an opinion on who won what, so you’ll have to look elsewhere if you want outrage on Mumford & Sons winning Best Album. Actually, don’t go! I’ll fake it.

Frank Ocean was ROBBED! How could anyone NOT want to get out of his dreams and get into his car?! ROBBED!!!

I tuned in late, but here’s my take on a few moments:

  • Bruno Mars, Sting, Rihanna tribute to Bob Marley, though I’m not sure how Ri-Ri (which is how it seems people in the know refer to her) fits in. Sting, from The Police and their reggae tones, and Bru-Bru, influenced by The Police, make sense at least.
  • The Black Keys, “Lonely Boy.” I’ve seen these guys come up everywhere, but I never bothered checking them out. They peddled some raucous blues rock, which is cool.
  • The Lumineers, “Ho Hey.” I’ve heard this song a few hundred times at the coffeeshop I work out of. Nice to actually see the genial folk who wrote it.
  • Hunter Hayes, some song. Sorry, but I put it on mute after a couple of bars to focus on whatever I was reading on my computer.
  • Elton John, Zac Brown, Mavis Staples, Mumford & Sons and Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes, “The Weight” by The Band. Some of these folks I knew, some I didn’t, all did a good job.
  • Frank Ocean, “Forrest Gump.” My first time hearing Mr. Ocean. The whole show felt like it was leading up to his Grammy debut. The walking video motif was cool, but the awkward performance made me wonder what the buzz is all about.
  • LL Cool J, Chuck D show finale. I love old school rap, but this seemed tacked on, mainly as a way to showcase LL, star of NCIS: Los Angeles. Better than a duet with Marilyn Manson and the goth chick from NCIS, I guess.

And with that, I’m back to another year in my indie music cave. It’s a big cave.

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