2014 Grammy Vlog

2014 grammy awards by thebutterfly-d745mpb.jpg

Date Aired
January 29th, 2014
Running Time
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Todd: Okay, Grammys happened again this year, and um...I guess I'd call it one of the better Grammys in recent memory. It's one of the best ones since I started doing vlogs. I should go back and re-watch it, but... I think this may be...it may be the best Grammys in a while because it had the least actual Grammys in it. I think over, like, the course of four hours, they gave out, like, six awards. About an average of about an award and a half per hour. You know, it's like...I know no one cares about the Grammys, but this is...this is surrendering; I feel like it's giving up. They're like, fine, we know you don't care, we know no one cares.

There were a lot of no-shows in those awards that they were giving out. I suspect they know ahead of time who's going to win, they don't keep that under wraps, because there are a lot of people who would've received awards, whose awards weren't shown because they weren't there, and all the awards that they did give out were to people who were there. I...I get the feeling they're not trying to hide this, this is no longer a secret. And like I said, that's kind of surrendering. I guess they don't want to show how many people just don't care anymore.

But like I said, this...this was one of the better ones, but it's still kind of boring. It's still always gonna be a little boring. I'm trying to put my finger on why, you know. If they're gonna make a concert show—which, basically, it was, just a long concert—it needs to be a lot crazier, like the MTV Awards. There were five different songs, three of them in a row were just like, basically had the same setup I do: just person and a piano. Maybe they can be more exciting, pick it up. Does anyone really care about John Legend? I mean, I didn't even know he had a song out this year. Did you?

But I guess I should talk about the highlights though, 'cause there were a lot more highlights this year than in a past few. Chris Brown didn't perform twice, so... The biggest highlight by far for me, a lot of people will say it was Macklemore, but for me, the biggest highlight, definitely Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons, just head and shoulders above everything else. That was a star-making performance for both Kendrick and the Dragons. They just kick...you know, they like to throw artists together. And I remember, especially last year and the year before, they have, like, "Rihanna performs with Coldplay," and it'd be, like, Rihanna performing one song, then handing off to Coldplay and then walking off the stage. And a lot of times, it just doesn't work. This worked well. They did, like, an honest-to-God mashup of their songs, and they both got a chance to shine. Kendrick didn't win a single award last night, but he won the night. This is what Frank Ocean needed to do last year that he didn't do. This is where Kendrick's gonna really, really hit people. And I also have to say, as someone who's completely sick of "Radioactive", Imagine Dragons just killed it last night. They rocked, they ruled. Next year, I'm voting for Kendrick and the Dragons for Best New Artist. They need to record an album.

And this was...the staging of these shows are incompetent, because right after Kendrick—and not even, like, an award between the two performances, right after Kendrick—they had poor little Kacey Musgraves with her light-up cowboy boots making her own little song, and that's an impossible act to follow, especially when you're a low-key country artist. But I really loved her performance. I've never heard that song before, "Follow Your Arrow", and it was absolutely excellent. Those two songs back-to-back were just some great television; maybe I wouldn't feel the same way if I'd already known that song, but being introduced to it for the first time, that was really great. The thing is, she beat Taylor Swift for the country album award. I feel like I wanna say, like, I was attacking Taylor Swift back when she was still super-popular, and now that she's super-hateable, I feel like she needs defending. But Kacey Musgraves is the antidote to Taylor Swift in all the right ways. She is what the country world needed. And she speaks with a level of wisdom that Taylor Swift doesn't have, and she's certainly much less judgmental, and much more observant of the world around her, let's say, and a lot less selfish a songwriter than Taylor Swift is. And I wouldn't have minded if she won Best New Artist either.

I thought it should've gone to Kendrick. It actually went to Macklemore, who...I said this in the "Best Of" review. I like Macklemore a lot, the year belonged to Kendrick for me. Macklemore isn't a thug or anything, but he robbed Kendrick last night. And Macklemore is walking such a difficult tightrope that he does not have the skills to walk 'cause he wants to be as inclusive as he possibly can. There's always gonna be a certain contingent who are not going to accept him because he's a straight white guy, and he's so, so, so self-conscious about it. He made such weird things, like he apologized to Kendrick, and then he Instagrammed his apology to Kendrick for winning, which... I don't know what he should've done, I'm not sure that was it. But his performance last night, that was...he did "Same Love", and then Queen Latifah got onstage in the middle of it to preside over thirty gay weddings, and Madonna was there and sang "Open Your Heart", and...you know, that's just good television, even if you think "Same Love" is corny. It's very corny in a lot of ways, but that's...you should really try to enjoy that, you really, really should. That was a glorious night.

And, um...you know, come to think of it, it was a pretty gay Grammys. 'Cause not only "Same Love", Kacey Musgraves performed "Follow Your Arrow", which is explicitly pro-gay rights, then Sara Bareilles performed "Brave", which was also intended to be pro-gay-ish. I mean, you wouldn't know it just listening to the lyrics, I don't think. So that's three in a row. If you are "pro-traditional marriage," then not a night for you.

Sara Bareilles was nominated for Best Album, which is weird. I don't think there were many people who thought Sara Bareilles made one of the best albums of the year. I mean, I listened to it. It's okay. That's one of the weird things about the Grammys—they never seem to be in touch with anything. They don't even seem to be pretending. Like in the Oscars, like every once in a while, some middle-brow piece of crap like The Reader sneaks in there, but for the most part, they're much more in tune with what people say are good movies than the Grammys are with good songs.

And this was one of the better years for the awards too. Not many bad things getting awards. I mean, they gave one to "Holy Grail", which I definitely would not have given; Bruno Mars for Best Pop Album, which...I really like two of those songs on that album, but everything else was...you know... I wouldn't call it very good.

Of course, Daft Punk were the big winners, and Daft Punk did a pretty good performance. So you can't get mad about that. Is that the first electronica album that's ever won Best Album? Probably. You know, I'm a huge Daft Punk mark, I'm a huge fan of them, so you can't be mad about that. That's one way to keep the Grammys shorter—you give awards to people who don't talk. Like, oh no, you cut off Daft Punk during their speech. Obviously, that didn't happen. It would've been great if they just popped off the mask and gave an actual speech, but obviously that didn't happen.

For the most part, yeah, it was pretty boring. Which...less boring than usual, but still pretty boring. Like I said, there were five piano ballads. And a lot of the...even like the wilder, wackier performances didn't really hold up, like Katy Perry with her weird, crazy witch thing she was doing for "Dark Horse ", which is a terrible song, for the record. "Roar" is a bad "Firework", and "Dark Horse" is a bad "E.T.". And...like, maybe if she'd been performing a better song, that whole setup would've worked, but mostly it was kind of dull.

Pink comes down wearing her...you know, doing her acrobatic stuff, and... I've seen it, she's done that. She's done it a billion times, she does it at every awards show she's ever done. I mean, God knows, if I could that, I'd do it every single time too, you know, but... And then she performed "Try", which was an okay song. She performed "Give Me a Reason", "Give Me Just One Reason" with Nate Ruess from fun. Nate Ruess is...has no chemistry with Pink. Pink and Nate Ruess have absolutely no chemistry whatsoever. I guess it fits the song, they don't... I am very worried about their relationship, I feel like it's on its last legs.

Paul McCartney performed. I mean, it's an even-numbered year, so Paul McCartney's gonna perform at the Grammys. Surprising no-show from Sting, Mick Jagger, Springsteen, Elton John, U2, usually at least one of them performs. They gave it to Paul McCartney this time. They also gave it to Ringo, which was weird. They gave it to Ringo. They let Ringo do a performance. What's it like to be a musical legend who's also a punchline? You know, you can't feel bad for Ringo, he's certainly never seemed like he's minded it at all. You know, good for him, I guess. If you want a musical legend to perform at the Grammys, Ringo is the very lowest you can go and still technically be a musical legend.

Carole King's still got it. She performed with Sara Bareilles, she's still got it. Stevie Wonder seemed a little shaky; he hasn't performed in a while, I don't feel like. But I did really like Daft Punk's performance with Pharrell and Stevie and Nile Rodgers. Um...Beyonce performed the show, she looked pretty damn good. Don't like the song. I swear to God, there are Beyonce songs I like. I swear to God. I just haven't gotten a chance to actually talk about them.

Um...oh yeah, Robin Thicke and Chicago. That's a match made in my nightmares. Oh, my God. But Chicago, [he still can't believe it] they were fine. They were good. They only played the songs I like from them, from pre-sell-out, pre-1976. And "Blurred Lines" is actually pretty awesome with a horn section. So that was actually a good night. A good thing for the night.

Let's see, what else? Oh yeah, they did a tribute to Lou Reed. They got up to talk about how great Lou Reed was. And then Metallica sang a Metallica song. They led right into that. I thought Metallica was gonna perform a Velvet Underground song or a Lou Reed song, or at least... They performed "One", a song by them. I thought maybe they would at least perform something they performed with Lou Reed 'cause they did... Lou Reed and Metallica put out an album together; I still haven't listened to it because, by all accounts, it is the worst thing that ever happened. It is just awful from beginning to end. So I guess I understood why they didn't perform anything from Lulu, their album. Here, you know, Lou Reed is great; let's hear some Metallica. Oh yeah, they performed it with some classical musician, Lang Lang, that I never heard of. I don't listen to much classical, or maybe he's jazz, I don't know. They did that about ten years ago with Foo Fighters and Chick Corea, the famous piano player. It worked about as well each time, as in, not really. Maybe Metallica should perform instead with an entire symphony. You know, I'm just throwing that out there. That would sound great. We're never gonna see that.

Oh gosh, Oh yeah, yeah, "Okie from Muskogee", the Highwaymen. Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, and Blake Shelton got in there and performed the country songs of the night. I mean, I guess they had Keith Urban in there too and Hunter Hayes, but none of those are really country. But they performed some country music, some old classics. They performed "Highwaymen", they performed "Okie from Muskogee". "Okie from Muskogee" is the most proud anti-hippie conservative song that's ever been written. It's a weird thing to perform on the same night you're performing "Same Love" and "Brave" and "Follow Your Arrow". Even like...everyone performing was kinda laughing at it. It's kinda tongue-in-cheek anyway. But...you know, with like...Willie Nelson's up there singing about not smoking marijuana, Blake Shelton's up there singing about not making a party out of loving. Just so out of touch with the modern country scene. But it was still fun. They were clearly enjoying themselves, so that was one of the better ones of the night.

Mostly the Grammys just doesn't work as a show. LL Cool J is so corny. It's...it's weird that the man who performed "Mama Said Knock You Out" and, you know, "I'm Bad" has turned into so much of a cornball. I can't put my finger on why the Grammys are so much worse than the Oscars or the Emmys. I came up with a drinking game. Every time you're so embarrassed, you have to take a drink, take a drink. I guess I grew up watching the Country Music Awards, which is, like, super corny, but not boring. Like, they'd have these stupid little skits and they'd have crazy moments, but they were a lot more fun if you're into country music and you've got that sort of cornpunk [sic] sense of humor. But these things have way more energy. The Grammys, they're just so inessential. The Oscars, they put on a real pageantry of a show. Even if it's ridiculously terrible and embarrassing, it's not boring. And...I don't know.

This year, there were a couple moments worth watching, and that's made it better than it usually is. Watch it for Daft Punk, watch it for Kendrick and Imagine Dragons, watch it for Kacey Musgraves, even Robin Thicke and Chicago. But...someday they need to figure out how to put on a show. They just don't have a handle on it, and they really need to start putting it together. There needs to be more awards. Maybe if they started treating the awards more seriously, they had people who took it seriously. But it's...you know, we're a long way off from Soy Bomb, the most interesting thing that's ever happened at the Grammys. We need more Soy Bomb. All right, thank you. I'm Todd In The Shadows, have a good day.

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