Loud-mouthed liberal feminist. Anarchist knitter. Tequila-drinking artsy-smartsy fat chick. Bluesy folk-rock singer-songwriter. Rebel with too many causes. Quirky eclectic pagan poet. Paradoxical intuitive smartass. Sarcastic brainiac insomniac. You know, for starters.


Grammy Recap (wherein I wax poetical)

I don't usually watch awards shows. For some reason watching a bunch of pretty people patting each other on the back for being so darn pretty just bores me. (Which isn't to say that there aren't often worthy performances...the shows themselves that bore me, despite knowing that people have sometimes earned a pat on the back for doing their jobs well. Although to be honest, the giant fucking paychecks seem like they ought to be reward enough. Lord knows that's all I get, only on a much much much smaller scale. Not that I'm bitter.)


But last night, I was doing laundry and futzing around with the guitar and a notebook, and so I put the Grammys on for background noise. (Yes, I know I chose an awards show over freaking Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy on Masterpiece.....but sometimes in the battle between lust and the Muse, the Muse wins.)

Some of the show was....er...blah.

  • Carrie Underwood, I know you're an American Idol and stuff, and that song is (relatively) badass (if a little trite) and everything, but thigh- high boots with hot pants? Seriously?

  • Beyonce....love. Seriously, you're fabu. But the dancy-pancy beat-poetry trip down black women's performance history - while highlighting some seriously freakin' awesome musicians - had me scratching my head. Unnecessary. It seemed a little gratuitous, you know?

  • Amy Winehouse. Can someone explain to me what's so damn great here? Setting aside the almost absurdly true-to-life lyrics...the music seemed (to me) solid, but not spectacular. Certainly not what I would call award-winning. (Clearly I define this differently than the Academy.)

  • I wanted more of The Mayer. Seriously, Grammys, what's your problem? That bitty guitar solo was not enough, even if Alicia Keys is growing on me.


  • Kanye. I don't give a shit if his mouth writes checks his ass can't cash, if he's a sore loser, or if he rocks with Daft Punk and lets the asshat announcers get away with never mentioning them. Kanye is brilliant. I don't like a lot of rap, but I like what he does. And I was blown away by his tribute to his mom. That kind of artistic expression is what fucking music is FOR. Well done.

  • Fergie with John Legend....wow. I'm not a big fan of her music (I mean, how can I take someone who sings about "lady lumps" seriously?), but this was a gorgeous performance.

  • Carol Woods and Timothy Mitchum and a gospel choir recreating my absolute favorite rendition of "Let It Be" EVER (and the likely reason I'll shell out for "Across the Universe" on DVD). Although part of the impact during the movie for me was the context created on film...it was still a heartbreakingly beautiful performance. I forget sometimes how very much I love gospel-style music, and how much that figures in my own performance style. Plus Carol Woods just fucking rocks.

  • Andrea Bocelli + Josh Groban = too much gorgeous singing for words. Although I did feel bad for Josh, taking a breath halfway through that last note; he may have a singularly beautiful voice, but Andrea Bocelli actually *is* an opera singer.

My favorite artists don't often appear on these programs (some of them because they're Jim Croce and dead....others because they're Dan Bern and not the kind of thing that gets enough attention, despite being AWESOME). But I can't say that there wasn't a boatload of talent featured on the Grammy stage (Dan Fogerty! Aretha! Tina Turner!), and parts of the show I was glad to have seen.

The real trouble with watching this sort of thing is how it gets me all fired up about music. I mean, to watch some of these performances and feel my own reactions to other people's art, it just makes me all the more intent on creating my own, expressing my own stuff, sharing my vision of the world through those creations. Because when someone whose life experience is so vastly different from mine can create something that evokes such a strong reaction in me...it reminds me just how freaking powerful art can be. Musical, visual, poetical, literary....art is such an amazing mirror to see ourselves in.

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