Kelly Clarkson

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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Dentists, Latex and X-Ray Spex

Monday, October 18th, 2010 | musiX, pdX | 4 Comments

I went to the dentist today for my semi-irregular checkup and cleaning. Of course, I’m always paying close attention to the music being piped over the office’s system. Listening. Judging. Judging and listening.

A dental hygienist named Janet came in to take some X-rays and cause a bloodbath clean my teeth. She was nice. I’m guessing she was relatively new—yep, just checked; she graduated from the dental hygiene program at Mt. Hood Community College in 2006. Janet sat me down, handed me the television remote, shoved some jabby thing in my mouth and proceeded to shoot X-rays into my skull. She was very gentle.

At this time I was ignoring the TV, and listening to what was coming through the speakers. I heard “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (promising) and a bunch of bands that sounded like variations of Michelle Branch and the Goo Goo Dolls … including songs by Michelle Branch and the Goo Goo Dolls. By this time I was in full recline and Janet was scraping a year’s-worth of plaque buildup from my enamel. There was an awful lot of blood on her Latex gloves and I wondered if she was cleaning my teeth or if she had removed my spleen without me knowing. This is when I heard the Jack Johnson song—all sweet and inoffensive—coming through the speakers. It sounded oddly similar to the White Stripe’s “We’re Going to be Friends.” “He totally ripped that off!” I thought to myself. Turns out he got permission from Jack White to rip that off, as the cover-version appears on the Curious George soundtrack, released the same year Janet graduated from the dental hygiene program.

I was mortified. I would rather they clamp Poly Styrene braces to my choppers … though it did make the news that they will be filling a cavity and yanking three wisdom teeth from my skull seem less painful in comparison. Next thing you know they’re going to tell me Kelly Clarkson did a cover of “Seven Nation Army.”


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