February 16, 2011

Grammy Recap by an Arcade Fire fan.

It has been SO interesting to see all the intense reactions to Sunday's Grammy Award broadcast.  There are mainstream fans who feel like Eminem was robbed for Album of the Year because they have never heard of Arcade Fire.  Then there are the less-mainstream fans who actually saw a glimmer of hope when artists like Esperanza Spalding and Arcade Fire went home with big ticket awards.

I have to admit that I am of the latter mindset.  And to those more mainstream music fans out there, I hope seeing performances by artists like The Avett Brothers, Janelle Monae, and Mumford & Sons will push you outside the bandwidth of your mix radio station.

And to address the upheaval of opinions about Arcade Fire... first, the main song the band performed is definitely not my personal favorite (and TV sound mixing definitely did NOT help). Also, just because you don't understand the style of their music, doesn't mean they aren't incredibly talented.  Let's take modern art, for example... just because you don't understand the meaning of a Rothko painting, does not make his contribution to the art world any less important.

(Arcade Fire)
This was the first Grammy Award show in quite a few years that I was actually excited to watch, because somewhat obscure artists that I LOVE were surprisingly nominated.  As awards were handed out, I noticed there was a balanced mix of both mainstream acts and more under-the-radar artists that were recognized. The artists with massive sales this year such as Eminem, Lady Antebellum, and Lady Gaga took home plenty of little gold phonographs.  And the hipster darlings snagged a few too (much to my delight).

Please don't misunderstand... I own and enjoy pleeeeeenty of popular music.  In fact, I find myself with the urge to admit that I, too, have "Bieber Fever" (ultra-hip NYC friends, disown me now). What can I say? The kid's got talent!  Do some of his lyrics sound like they were written by a 15 year old? Yes, but they are supposed to.  Are some of his hooks catchy as hell?? Of course!  I've had "baby baby baby ohhhhh" stuck in my head for a good eight months now.  On Sunday night, it was just nice to see that a more diverse group of musicians was represented in the performances and the award recipients.

So, let's hear it for, what some might call, a minor paradigm shift in the music industry this last Sunday night.  I just hope it pushes some people to start exploring new music via websites such as Pandora or Last.fm.  And if it's local artists you happen to discover... even. better.

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