My Night With The Grammys : Monitor Mix A truncated dispatch from The Grammys:
NPR logo My Night With The Grammys

My Night With The Grammys

A truncated dispatch from The Grammys:

The show starts with Frank Sinatra. My first thought is 'What year is this?' but then paired with Alicia Keys this turns out to be one of the least offensive dead-meets-living duets. And classic black & white footage of Sinatra is better (classier?) than a hologram.

Carrie Underwood takes the stage with a bunch of angry feminists bashing on cars. It's Stomp! meets Streets of Fire meets 9 to 5.

Morris Day and The Time. I wasn't expecting keytar so early in the show. Out of all the groups that could have reunited after 15 years, I don't know if The Time would have been at the top of my list. Just when a mirror comes out and I'm trying to recall what Disney movie it's all reminding me of, Rihanna steps in and saves the day.

More love for Canada than for The Band? The mention of our neighbors to the North garnered a bigger applause than the mention of Levon Helm. Ouch. I thought this was a music show.

The camera passes by Jeff Tweedy as Cindy Lauper and Miley Cyrus take the stage. My favorite part is when Miley Cyrus says (in reference to Lauper): "The woman standing next to me won 'Best New Artist' in 1985, which is amazing!" The way Cyrus puts the emphasis on the last part of the sentence makes it sound like she meant either , "wow, can you believe how old this lady is?", or "it's amazing she ever won". Then Cyrus goes on to let the audience know that Winehouse is Lauper's favorite among the nominees. Kids are awesome on live TV!!

Who is Taylor Swift?

Jason Batemen is in charge of bringing the Grammy's into the 21st Century. Viewers get to choose what young, talented classical musician gets to play along with the Foo Fighters in an orchestra conducted by John Paul Jones. Thankfully the writer's strike is over, otherwise this concept could have become its own reality TV show.

Fergie, no. Please stop singing.

Tina Turner looks and sounds amazing. Even the permanent look of surprise on her face courtesy of plastic surgery can't ruin this moment. I love the hints of gospel in "Better Be Good To Me", which are played up in the live version. It gets even better when Beyonce joins her for "Proud Mary".

I turn the channel and watch The Wire.

I think I missed Brad Paisley but I get to see Feist. After the Broadway-like productions of some of the other acts, it's refreshing to see a singer on stage with only a guitar. The moment comes across as brave, even though there are people doing this very thing every night. But not at The Grammys they're not.

Winehouse. It is strange to have such a heavily nominated artist perform from across the pond. The songs and the lyrics come across as alibis for her Grammy no-show.

Is that Josh Groban doing a tribute to Pavarotti? I switch the channel and don't look back.

Final thoughts: The Grammys are like if all the awards in a baking contest went to the frosting. Frosting deserves recognition, but it's only a small part of the cake.