Monday, February 11, 2008

50th Grammy's Program...

Ah, the Grammy's. Though I don't completely agree with the nominations or picks, I can enjoy this award show for what it is. Plus, I had to cover it for the Inside Beat anyway, so why not share my thoughts with you guys? Here's a serious rundown of the night's events:

8:00 – Alicia Keys sings a sensual duet with a superimposed image of Frank Sinatra, Mr. Blue Eyes himself, on “Learnin’ The Blues” backed by a blaring brass band.

8:05 – Carrie Underwood is smokin’ hot in her knee-high boots but “Before He Cheats” feels like the most over-played song, ever.

8:09 – Ladies man Prince announces the first televised award as Alicia Keys’ “No One” wins Best Female R&B Vocal Performance

8:17 - Morris Day and the original members of The Time energize disco-style, combining with Rihanna. Sporting a tan, feathery top and skirt combo, she performs electronic renditions of hits “Umbrella” and “Don’t Stop The Music.”

8:23 – Tom Hanks present Canadian rockers The Band with Lifetime Achievement Award recipients and introduce a trippy Cirque du Soleil interpretation of Across the Universe, a tribute to Brit legends The Beatles.

8:33 – Cindy Lauper’s wild, gray-blonde hair looks an absolute mess while she and Miley Cyrus announce Best New Artist Amy Winehouse.

8:37 – My Grammy Moment pits three YouTube musicians, two violinists and an upright cellist, against one another to rock out with Foo Fighters later in the telecast. Now, please make those horrible noises stop.

8:45 – Kanye West emerges, with “MAMA” stenciled in his hair, on an otherworldly stage of erupting smoke, rocking a luminescent jacket/shades combo to perform “Stronger” with French dance-pop crew Daft Punk. Then, drenched in a solitary spotlight and backed by angelic images, ‘Yeezy performs a tear-wrenching a cappella to “Hey Mama,” receiving a standing ovation after singing “Last night I saw you in my dreams/ Now I can’t wait to go to sleep.”

8:52 – Looking strung-out and puffy-faced, Fergie tries to be taken seriously singing alongside John Legend’s ivory-tickling then announces the Love soundtrack as the Best Compilation Soundtrack Album. Ringo Starr and Beatles producer Sir George Martin take the podium to accept.

9:03 – Cher’s dress is hideous but she brings out a supple Beyonce in lime green booty-shorts. The modern songstress pays tribute to former divas before introducing a stiff but still spunky Tina Turner in a Tin-man sheer dress to perform a duet.

9:12 – Burt Bacharach receives a Lifetime Achievement Award, Nelly Furtado needs to lose the slicked-back ‘do and hire a new hairstylist.

9:15 – Well-deserved Song of the Year award goes to Amy Winehouse for “Rehab.”

9:20 – Back to My Grammy Moment, goody. The winner is violinist Ann Marie Calhoun, who performs with the Foo Fighters outside the Staple Center with an orchestra led by John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin. Just for the record, Dave Grohl has the sweetest rock-star hair, period.

9:32 – South of the border comedy import George Lopez introduces Braid Paisley, who has an affinity for screaming wild, wild west style in between lyrics. Yee-ha!

9:37 –Chris Brown looks ridiculous in a Colonel Sanders white and red suite alongside Akon and Solange Knowles to present Best Rap Album to Kanye West for Graduation. That makes three, one for each album in his discography. Thankfully, the Grammy band halts its leave-the-stage music per ‘Ye’s request as he speaks about his late mother, Donda.

9:42 – The Queen Aretha Franklin and Bebe Winans, the dude with the fly black-and-white jacket, sing praises on a high-energy version of “Never Gonna Break My Faith” supported by a gospel choir. How ‘bout them trombonists.

9:56 – The iPod commercial girl Feist is oh, so catchy singing “1 2 3 4.”

10:00 – An awkward Keeley Smith & laid-back cool Kid Rock present Best Rock Album to the Foo Fighters for Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace.

10:11 – Twenty-five time Grammy winner Stevie Wonder honors Motown Records founder Berry Gordy then introduces a slammin’ Alicia Keys for an impressive rendition of “No One” with help from John Mayer.

10:18 – Ringo Starr announces that Vince Gill wins Best Country Album with These Days. “I just got an award given to me by a Beatle,” Gill said, “Have you had that happen yet, Kanye?” Ha, he’s got jokes.

10:24 – Jazz master Herbie Hancock and Chinese pianist Lang Lang interpret Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, known by most as the theme for United Airlines’ old campaign.

10:33 – Best Rap Collaboration goes to Rihanna and Sean “Jay-Z” Carter, even though it’s really an R&B song with an 8-bar rap verse from the Jigga Man.

10:40 – Live From London, it’s Cuba Gooding, Jr.! No, he just (finally) introduces the sexy weirdo that is Amy Winehouse to sing – then stumble. Unable to be in the States due to visa complications, Winehouse’s voice is booming.

10:47 – Tony Bennett and Natalie Cole presents Doris Day with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Then, the Record of the Year goes to… Amy Winehouse for “Rehab!” What a presence from the up-and-coming U.K. bad girl this year.

10:58 – President and CEO of the Recording Academy Neil Portnow puts on a little PR campaign, then jazz prodigy Eldar performs a song from the late pianist Oscar Peterson, who passed away around Christmas.

11:02 – A run-down of all the musicians who passed this year, including Max Roach, Luciano Pavarotti, Dan Fogelberg, Pimp C, and Ike Turner then Josh Groban and Andrea Bocelli pay tribute to Pavarotti.

11:12 – Nine-time winner Bonnie Raitt introduces Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis and John Fogerty to perform a scorching set, including “Good Golly Miss Molly” and, possibly the best song ever, 1957’s “Great Balls of Fire.”

11:24 – “Professor” pretentiously schools the crowd and viewers to the “importance” of the Grammy’s, finishing with a pinpoint freestyle.

11:26 – Usher and Quincy Jones appear on stage for the moment of truth, Album of the Year. And the winner is… Herbie Hancock for his Joni Mitchell tribute River: The Joni Letters?! Well at least Kanye, Amy, the guys from Foo and Mr. Gill, lost to a true jazz great, an artist in a uniquely American genre that hasn’t won in eons.

11:30 – Recap time: Amy Winehouse wins out with 5, Kanye West gets 4, 3 go to gospel singer Karen Clark-Sheard and Garden State Boss Bruce Springsteen, and Herbie Hancock gets Album of the Year. It’s been real, until next year.

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