The Grammys- plastic surgery for the music biz? – by John Robb

Winning stuff and awards ceremonies – it’s not very rock n roll is it?

The Grammys is the night when the music business can get back on the catwalk and pretend everything is ok again.

The panic and the doom of its imminent collapse is put on hold as the old school Limos and flashing paparazzi cameras are wheeled out for one last time in a ”˜showbiz spectacular’.

Full of what celebrity magazines call glamour and with that puffed up preening of the last days of Rome, a ”˜galaxy of stars’ collect their awards. The music biz gets apastic surgery make over and with a face full of botox grins its toothy grin at the world again. When the real pop culture drama is on the streets of Egypt the Grammys looks like another world where the ”˜stars’ get to wear dresses that cost more than the aid bill for a so called third world country and to show off their Hollywood bellies and get those photo opportunities in.

Whether its Lady Gaga arriving at the ceremony dressed as an egg or Kings of Leon being confused with being a rock band this is world that eat itself years ago. Someone called the Zac Brown band won the best new band- even their name sound old and dusty and not in the best kind of way.

This was the year that Arcade Fire entered U2 world- that massive space where millions of people turn up to fill your stadium gigs not quite sure who the band is but glad they are there anyway and Beyonce went home with six awards.

There was three British winners including Imogen Heap, Jeff Beck with that never changing hair that’s starting to look a bit unreal won Best Rock Instrumental Performance for ‘A Day In The Life’ and fantastically Judas Priest won Best Metal Performance for ‘Dissident Aggressor’.

One of the surprises was when the best album honours went to Arcade Fire’s ”˜The Suburbs’, the third studio album from the seven-member band led by the married couple Win Butler and Régine Chassagne who had their last chance to look like indie outsiders.

The other surprise was Lady Antebellum’s ”˜Need You Now’, a low key harmony hit of closing-time yearning which was named record and song of the year.

In reality, like the Oscars, there is no real space for anything outside the loop- this is about big sellers, music for the shopping malls and the vaguely interested. Like the Oscars does for film it’s the music biz giving itself awards and promoting its latest projects while the rest of the world slumps in front of the TV.


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