There’s been a lot of post-Grammys snark around the interblogs, and of course there were a million things to hate about last night’s broadcast. So here I am, trying to think of a “Top 5 Good Things About the Grammys” post; you know, “accentuate the positive” and all that. But I can’t do it. Every time I think of something halfway decent that happened on the seemingly endless broadcast last night, I remember something that disqualifies it. Take, for instance, Kanye and Daft Punk. A funky, jazzed-up combo performance by the eccentric rapper and the French techno duo, followed by a heartfelt ode to Kanye’s mom: what could go wrong? But the imitation Daft Punk pyramid looked like it was made out of cardboard, and its goofy game-show-reminiscent opening-up to reveal the duo in their light-trimmed suits just looked cheap. Right afterwards, Kanye sang his heart out, but they had to accompany his performance with a laughably cheesy projection of a slo-mo angel; did they think the “MAMA” shaved into the back of Kanye’s head wasn’t going to be a big enough clue?
The best part of the Grammys, Amy Winehouse, wasn’t even there: her winking, energetic performance of “You Know I’m No Good” and “Rehab” took place at an intimate London club, done up with little lamps like a cabaret. While the reason for the “remote” was lack of a travel visa, it seemed like a tacit acknowledgement by the producers that everything done inside the arena was going to suck.
Can I at least talk about one of the things I completely hated? Please? Okay: NARAS president Neil Portnow, seemingly trying to soften up his image after last year’s stern “don’t download, kids!” speech, gave this year’s still-pretty-ornery (and self-serving) soliloquy accompanied by the lilting sounds of Eldar on the piano. Like, maybe I won’t be offended by your attempt to tie your cause to the writers’ strike if there’s soothing new age tinkling in the background? Arrrgh! And I’m going to shut up now before I start talking about “Professor” will.i.am’s Grammys-history “rap.”