Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Shammys

All subjective awards are ridiculous. It's just the nature of the beast. Even the most respected honors are tainted by inherently questionable procedures, petty backbiting, and ghastly oversights. (I don't know for sure, but I imagine even the Nobel Prize for Physics leaves someone saying "anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation, my ass!")

But no governing awards body offers a larger buffet, year after year, of outrageously populist, wrongheaded, and tin-eared decisions than whatever pack of lobotomy wait-listers runs the Grammys.

And so it is again this year. I don't know why it still maddens me. The first crime I noticed was the nomination of "My Humps" by The Black Eyed Peas for Best Pop Performance. If you put a group of 13-year-old mall rats in a room with a gossip columnist and an Atari 2600, and gave them 20 minutes to write a song, there's no question in my mind they would emerge with "My Humps," note for excruciating note.

The second crime (equally predictable) was even worse: Multiple nominations for James Blunt and his ode to vacuity, "You're Beautiful." One of the first things I ever read about Blunt -- back when, mercifully, I had yet to hear him bleat -- compared him to David Gray. Now, those who know me might argue that I have too much fondness for Mr. Gray. This is a long story that I won't bore you with now. But for our current purposes, I just want to point to one verse of a David Gray song:
Light another cigarette
But the one I got's still lit
I can't seem to keep my fingers steady
Never noticing the war
Till it's right there at your door
And suddenly your hands are bloody
Not bad for a pop song, methinks. Now, here's the core lyric to the nominated Blunt song:
You're beautiful
You're beautiful
You're beautiful
It's true
Ready for the kicker? According to the list of nominees for "Song of the Year," it took three people to write that puppy. One for each "You're beautiful," I guess. (But whichever one came up with "It's true" is the genius of the group, obviously.)

But the last crime was so heinous, it had the ability to shock, even given the history of the Grammys. The last crime was a nomination for the Pussycat Dolls, who, if you're lucky enough to have never heard of them, are basically a handful of strippers hired by a record company to prance through videos for songs recorded inside empty garbage cans.

Circle February 11 on your calendars. Enjoy the show, everybody!


Anonymous JB said...

I got no reason

But that I must

Maybe I feel

Like I've been gatherin' dust

I must leave this harbour for the sea

I'm too young to settle down and make a home But I don't know where I'm wanting to be I just know I have to be there alone

(Gives me goosebumps every time)

11:39 AM  
Blogger K said...

anyone who awards a castrati victim like James Blunt should be shunned.

2:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to work with a woman who liked James Blunt's song "You're Beautiful" so much she would roll her eyes and slap her hands on her (prodigious) thighs for emphasis. Needless to say, I never liked her much. -- tavia

10:43 PM  
Blogger Helen Skor said...

Whenever I need a good cry, I put on White Ladder because it reminds me of a lost love.

So whose to worry
If our hearts get torn
When that hurt gets thrown
Don't you know this life goes on
And won't you kiss me
On that midnight street
Sweep me off my feet
Singing ain't this life so sweet

10:45 AM  
Blogger Dezmond said...

The Grammys have long been the worst of the mainstream awards shows. While there are still glaring omissions, wrong decisions, "lifetime achievement" awards, and political wrangling, you can at least find SOME sense in the Oscars each year. Not so with the Grammys. As much of a music nut as I am, I have not paid attention to the Grammys for over a decade.

You David Gray people, I swear.

7:28 AM  

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