Grammy Schmammy: Why This is My First Watch in Over a Decade

The Grammy’s.  You can generally just chalk this night up as one where I’ll be watching something on the DVR.  Seriously, I haven’t watched in, well I don’t remember the last time I watched.  But this year is different.  This year there is a carrot being precarisly dangled in front of my face saying “watch Melissa, magic will happen”.  What is this carrot?  This:

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In case you are rock challenged, from left to right that’s:  Josh Homme, Trent Reznor, Lindsey Buckingham, and Dave Grohl.  I’m so damn amped up about this finale that I will be watching the entire Grammy’s this year, minute by miserable minute.

Well, that AND!!!! Queens of the Stone Age are up for two awards this year:  Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Album.

All of my excitement over what boils down to several minutes of this several hour long mess got me thinking, “why the Grammy hate Melissa?”  Hmmm, I love music.  I love music a lot.  I love music more than 98% of things in life.  So why wouldn’t I watch music’s biggest award show of the year?  Because they get it wrong so often.  Don’t believe me?

Exhibit A:  Best New Artist

Holy kiss of death.  Go google the winners of this category.  See if it doesn’t yield a lot of who and WTF moments.  How many of these names went on to success?  Want to feel a little more confused?  Look at the nominees.  Oh, shit, that’s how that guy won.

Arrested Development

1993 yielded this list.  All of the music being made and this is what it boiled down to.  Arrested Development is cool.  Their ONE album was great (yes, I know they actually made more albums).  Thank god they took home the Grammy otherwise my heart might have achy breaked right in two.

Remember this year:

Vacated[III]

That was 1990 when the Grammy went to a group that didn’t even sing.  And it wouldn’t be the last time it almost happened:

Christina Aguilera

Brit-brit and here dying goat paired with pissed cat whinings almost won in 2000.  Xtina is still around.  Kid Rock’s gone country.  Susan?  Macy Gray….well there was that one song.

Point is:  for every Beatles (1965) there are (at least) two duds like Starland Vocal Band (1977) and a Marc Cohn (1992).

starland6

Look at these sparkly new artists.

Exhibit B:  Album of the Year

There are some shining beacons of taste and excellence on this list, Rumors; Thriller; Joshua Tree, and then there’s:

1981 Christopher Cross
Christopher Cross

On what planet does Christopher Cross beat Pink Floyd?  I mean, I’m guilty; I love me some Sailing, but let’s get real here.  A Grammy for BEST album?

1997 Celine Dion
Falling into You

I’m gonna throw up.

Let’s move on.

Exhibit C: 

It all boils down to this one, dear readers.  As a 90s teen, I know, deep down in my bones, that the 90s were at least a little about rock.  Right?  Mixed in with the Color Me Bads (nominated for Best New Artist!) there were some minor bands that were well below the radar: Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden et al.  You know, because grunge and rock weren’t 90s at all.

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In the 80s and 90s popular music had changed so much that new categories had to be invented:  Best Alternative Album (1991) and Best Rock Album (1995).  I guess the Grammy’s thought, shit, if we’re going to plug along awarding folks like Milli Vanilli, I guess we need to find some way to appease the people who listen to actual music.  And that’s where my rock friends have been hiding in their jeans and tees for years.  Those winners I can surely agree with…right?

1995 The Rolling Stones Voodoo Lounge

oaifjahgao;pehaqoewt!!!! 1995 and the best rock album went to The Rolling Stones?  For real….it did!  I get they’re rock royalty, but a win, in 95?  No effin way.

1999 Sheryl Crow The Globe Sessions

Dammit man.  That just hurts.  These were the best rock albums of 1999?

The only positive I can really give is that Dave Grohl and his Fighters of the Foo have taken home many a Grammy.  So sometimes they do get it right.  But he’s not the only deserving musician out there making rock.  What gives?

I just can’t figure out what the Grammy’s is based on.  It’s not album sales (though I suspect that has some pull) and it’s not critical acclaim (at least not reliably).  So what is the algorithm?  Quick Google search and…Oh, there’s a “committee”.  Nominations come from the record companies and the public through online submissions.  Weird, I’ve never heard of vote solicitation, so who is voting/nominating?  If it’s the same public watching and bringing us American Idol winners it’s all starting to make sense.  I need to start some sort of change.org project to get my rock loving brothers and sisters to stuff the nomination boxes.

Get it right this year Grammy’s, just a hint.

2014

Bowie, Young, Sabbath, and Zeppelin = music gods.  But this year belongs to QOTSA.

You know, maybe I don’t even want them to win a Grammy because most of my faves are not held to a Grammy standard.  They’re held to something much, much more important, my standards. But then again, I did own a Chumbawamba album.  So……

 

Just kidding!  Give them a damn Grammy!

Who are your favorite nominees this year?

Stay posititive & love your life!

-Melissa

Today:

Listening to: The Milk Carton Kids – Michigan

Oh I totally forgot another major reason to watch this year!  This guy is presenting:

Jared-Leto-Girlfriend

Twisted Mix Tape Tuesday: Music of the 90s Part 2

I’m back for my second week of participation in http://jenkehl.com/ ‘s Twisted Mix Tape Tuesday.  I had so much fun with these guys last week that I had to come back for more!  It’s also week 2 of the 90s.  And there’s not a decade about which I’d be more eager to blog.  The rules of Twisted MixTape are as such: “Try to create a 5 song mix based on this week’s theme. As we move through the decades the assumption is you know about the music in the past, but not what is to come.”

The start of the 90s saw me entering 4th grade and closed out with me in my sophmore year of college.  So as you can imagine, there was A LOT of change going on for me both personally and musically.  I started the decade loving stuff like NKOTB, Madonna, and Tiffany.  In the mid 90s I was sporty flannel and emulating the grunge scene.  By the end of the decade my musical taste had broadened to include everything my parents cruelly subjected me to as a kid (ie. the music of the 60s, 70s, and 80s which I greatly adore to this day), all of the alternative rock bands that defined my high school years, and the few decent bands that emerged in the late 90s (there weren’t many).

In last week’s TMTT post I included some of my favorite angst ridden songs and I’ve already written about the 90s albums that I consider to be the most definitive of my teenage years.  Today I give to you songs from some great bands of the 90s that I really didn’t get into until  after the 90s were over.  Sure, I might have jammed to some of their songs that were played on the radio (for those who actually got air play), but I never owned any of their albums and wouldn’t have really named myself a fan.

Bands of the 90s:  Better Late Than Never

 Foo Fighter- Big Me 1996

As I mentioned in previous posts, I love Nirvana.  And I just wasn’t eager to acknowledge Dave Grohl in his new, more peppy positive role.  I found myself enjoying their music, but just never made the leap to fan.  It wasn’t really until the last several years that I’ve really started to dig these guys.  It mostly spawned from my deep admiration for Dave (musical genius)  and the fact that their music is evolving.  They just get better and better (unlike other aging bands….looking at you Red Hot Chilli Peppers).  Their latest album is amazingly good.  I’ve listed to “Rope” several million times at this point.

Also, if you haven’t seen these guys live yet, do yourself a huge favor. I’ve seen them twice now.  They put on one hell of a show.  And they play an insanely long set.  The first time I saw them, they were on stage for over 3 1/2 hours!  No one does this.  It was probably the best concert I’ve ever experienced and that’s saying a lot!

Screaming Trees- Alice Said 1991

The Screaming Trees never really came across my radar in the 90s save “I Nearly Lost You” on the soundtrack for the movie “Singles”.  And funny enough, it was this soundtrack that sent me in search of their music years later while in grad school.  Mark Lanegan just has such an interesting voice that every time the song would come on I’d think, I really need to listen to more of these guys.

Fugazi- Promises 1989 (close enough….)

Technically born in the 80s, these guys saw their biggest success in the 90s.  And somehow I didn’t hear song one till around 2000.  But then there was no looking back.  Punk rock with more musicality.  I was hooked.  “13 Songs” was on repeat in my car for so many months that it’s ridiculous.

Our Lady Peace- Starseed 1994

Just like with Screaming Trees, a compilation disk led me to these guys.  I can’t even remember what the song was or what the disc was at this point.  It was some sort of 90s alt rock promo disc.  “Somewhere Out There” was all over the radio but I don’t feel it’s very representative of their standard sound.  I guess the mainstream loves a good ballad.  I ended up picking up 2 CDs in a CD Warehouse (used CD store for those of you not familiar) several years ago and really got into them.  Matt also missed out on these guys in the 90s and is now a big fan.

Bonus, they are still making great music.

Queens of the Stone Age- Regular John 1998

I was only a few years late to the show for these guys.  I picked up when a lot of others did, the release of “Songs for the Deaf” in 2001.  I immediately went out and bought their first two albums and have purchased every album since.  Josh Homme is perfection.  I love the weird guitar that you can immediately peg as QOTSA.  I love his odd voice.  I love that Dave Grohl has drummed for them.  And I especially love that I will finally get to see them live this year at Music Midtown. 

Oh, and in case you couldn’t already guess what I think about their new album….love it.

So I cheated a bit and went over my five songs in terms of Youtube videos, but I technically only listed five 90s songs.  So it’s like, whatever dude.

Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

Today:

Listening to:  Neutral Milk Hotel – In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

Eating:  Couscous and black-eyed peas.

Drinking:  H2O

Random fact:  I always feel a bit taken aback when I discover a “new” band that’s been around for a while.  It’s a combination of feeling dumb for not previously being aware that they existed and feeling deprived of all of their musical goodness over the years.

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Me (second from the right) in 1999ish.  I really need to dig out some OLD pictures so I can seriously embarrass myself.

Five for Friday: Five Famous Dudes I Find Oddly Attractive

Attraction comes in many forms. It can be a look, a smell, a shared life theory. It can stem from admiration or basic carnal desire. Sometimes we find ourselves oddly attracted to people who aren’t our “type” or what we think our type is. And sometimes they aren’t even close to what anyone would consider conventionally good looking. When people typically make a list of famous guys to which they’re attracted, they offer up names like Brad Pitt and Channing Tatum. Shocker. What a boring list. Today I bring you a different kind of list. These are people I find attractive that really kinda aren’t…..at least not in the shallow, conventional looks department sort of way.

Number 5- Steve Jobs

steve_jobs_apple-580-75

Why- The man was brilliant. Intelligence is attractive. And not only was he smart, he was super successful. Apple continues to grow and innovate.

Ok, so this one’s a bit of a cheat. Steve Jobs was actually HOT in his youth. And it is a bit morbid since he’s dead. He probably should have been saved for a list of dead dudes who were attractive…or something like that.

jobs

See?!

Number 4- Bill Clinton

bill

Why- He was president. Power is attractive.

Sure he is a shitty husband. And he is old as dirt now. But in his prime, Bill was the man. And for a president, he’s smoking hot. Go look at the list and get back to me.

Number 3- Bobby Flay

Why- Bobby can throw down in the kitchen AND he’s gotten filthy rich doing it. Cooking skills are hot.

I don’t know what else to tell you on this one. Sometimes I don’t get the “why” either.

Number 2- Jack White

jackwhite

Why- Pure musical genius. He can write, sing, and play various instruments. And he does it all well. How many successful projects has he been involved with? About a million. I own music from 3 different bands plus his solo project.

Yes, he does look like a cross between the Crow and the Joker, but so what. 1. I thought Brandon Lee was hot. 2. Heath Ledger played the joker. Again, hot. Great, two more dead guys mentioned.

Number 1- Conan O’Brien

conan-o_brien

Why- Funny? Smart? Successful? Yeah, but even I don’t get this one. I’ve just always had a “thing” for him.

Honorable Mentions:

Dave Grohl- Again, another musical genius.

2011DaveGrohlNMEAwardsDC200112

Josh Homme- That voice. That guitar.

josh

Ok, this one IS a definite cheat. Because he’s clearly good looking.

Observations:

What’s Attractive Check-list: Intelligence, success, power, musical prowess, business savvy, culinary skills, humor. I’m sure a lot of people would list these qualities.

How three gingers made this list, I’m not sure. Maybe I have a secret ginger crush? I kinda do dig Ron Weasley….

Who’s on your list?

Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

Today:

Listening to: Kurt Vile – Wakin on a Pretty Day

Eating: Leftover squash, aspargus, black rice, and spinach

Drinking: H2O

Random fact: My favorite type of beer is IPA.