Justin Timberlake

Grammy take me home

Monday, February 11th, 2013 | musiX | No Comments

I didn’t watch this year’s Grammys. Instead I caught a blow by blow account on Twitter, which is just like being there. Yes, millions gathered to essentially Mystery Science Theater the shit out of the Grammys. Some of it was even funny. Steven Hyden of Grantland got this gem of a jab in: “Did you know they set jazz musicians on fire to keep Katy Perry’s hands warm backstage?” What was even funnier (meaning sadder) was the number of people who still buy into the concept of the Grammys. They sent out heartfelt congrats to Mumford & Sons and the Lumineers, two bands whose sound I liken to rustling paper (I’m also a little suspicious that I’ve never seen these two bands in the same room together). And there was no in-between. You were either completely on board, or you were the kid making armpit fart noises in the back of the classroom.

In fact, if the Grammys didn’t provide the endless stream of snarky comments, I’d say there’d be no real reason for them to exist. It’s amazing to me that—with the changes in the music machine over the past decade—that this gala event still rolls out its boney carcass every February, still unaware that there are rock bands out there other than the Black Keys and the Foo Fighters. Even Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney have to be thinking, “Yeah, how the hell were we nominated over Ty Segall?” And this year’s nominees for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance were the same names that got Tipper Gore’s panties in a bunch/my parents pissed at me almost three decades ago.

Of course, it’s no secret that the Grammys (the Grampys?) are out of touch. I mean, come on, no sideboob? I’m pushing 40, and I’m getting too young for this shit. But they do still have the pop down in 2013: Adele (who hasn’t put out an album since 2011), fun. (Best New Artist, formed in 2008), Justin Timberlake (FutureSex/LoveSounds came out in 2006), Frank Ocean (lost out to Mumford & Yawns), Beyoncé (released 4 in the summer of 2011), Kelly Clarkson (can do no wrong). Other than that, I don’t really see the point in all this. It’s like Bizarro world, but not nearly as bizarre. Even Jack White seems to be going through the motions these days. And the most interesting stuff isn’t even televised. At least the entire thing ended with a performance by Chuck D, LL Cool J, Tom Morello and Travis Barker from Blink-182, who brought rock and hip-hop together for perhaps the first time ever.

So what is the point of the Grammys? It’s obvious. To give something for cynical pricks to crank on about, and to give a few artists the distinction of having their names prefixed by “Grammy Award-winner.” I just learned that Dave Grohl has 13 Grammys—I wonder if he puts them on the mantle? I bet Taylor Swift does.

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‘Motherlover’ lover

Monday, May 11th, 2009 | musiX | No Comments

Sarah Palin being out of the picture is great for the country … hasn’t been so great for Saturday Night Live. SNL struck comedy gold in 2006 (has it been that long?!) with “Dick In a Box.” What better way to recapture some of the magic than with a follow-up?

Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake returned this past weekend as the Color Me Badd-asses singing about loving one another’s mother. It’s five months later, they’re out of jail after being busted for putting their thingies in a box. Now they need a quick gift for mom … guess what it is? Not what I had in mind, although a couple of my friends’ mothers … I kid. “Motherlover” isn’t quite as catchy as “Dick In a Box” (don’t tell me you weren’t singing it after it came out), but damned funny nonetheless.

“Motherlover” …

… and for old-time’s sake …

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‘Word’ is the word

Sunday, November 9th, 2008 | booX, pdX | No Comments

I attended Wordstock, Portland’s three-day festival dedicated to wordsmiths and the words they smith. Writers are a strange lot. Egotistical, yet extremely fragile and insecure. And competitive. Everyone wants to be a writer. It’s sexy. It makes becoming a raging alcoholic and abusing your spouse a-OK. Bukowski. Faulkner. Hunter S. Thompson. Writers love ‘em.

But I didn’t go because I wanted to rub elbows with authors, or schmooze my way into a premiere writing gig. Hell, I can’t even read. Or right very good. I simply wanted to show my support for John Hodgman.

His name might not be instantly recognizable. But you no doubt know him for his role as PC, the guy who gets picked on by that smarmy little prick of an Apple. Never mind the fact that he’s become, in his words, “a very famous minor television star” for his appearances as The Daily Show‘s resident expert, or that he’s published articles in McSweeney’s and The Paris Review, or contributes to This American Life, or has written a couple of books—John Hodgman has been getting dumped on by that jerk Justin Long for two long years. He’s so brave.

I stood there proudly with the throngs as Hodgman peddled his books and briefed us on his encounter with Justin Timberlake outside a hotel. “Nice guys don’t always finish last afterall,” I thought. And I bet John Hodgman doesn’t have a drinking problem, or beat his wife. So. What did I take away from the whole experience? That PCs are way better than Macintoshes, of course.

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