For the first time since I became aware of them, I won’t be watching the Grammys. I made other plans weeks ago and forgot they were airing tonight. I’m fairly confident I won’t be missing anything. Last year Amrit, Brandon, and I enlisted Videogum for our annual Grammys liveblog and it did not make the seven hours go by any quicker. (The Grammys are seven hours long, right?) The MSM talking point this year is NARAS has turned a corner, determined to get relevant/populist/ratings by bestowing Beyoncé with ten nominations, Taylor Swift with eight, and Black Eyed Peas with six. That is six too many for Black Eyed Peas. Meanwhile, Taylor Swift’s and Beyoncé’s pop hits, while immune to overexposure, debuted in the fall of 2008. They might as well nominate Hall & Oates.

Oh, that’s right. They did. The 34-year-old ballad “Sara Smile” revisited the charts last year via Jimmy Wayne’s country cover. This is not the version that’s nominated! The record competing for Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals — against the Fray, Black Eyed Peas, Bon Jovi, and MGMT (“Kids” is the category’s deserving dark horse) — comes from Live At The Troubadour via the duo’s U-Watch Records’ audio license of a Shout! Factory concert DVD. How many people had to vote for “Sara Smile” to be nominated? Two? Three? Are any of them under 60?

Not that I don’t love Hall & Oates’ greatest hits. I just wanted to illustrate how this decades old institution remains hampered by cronyism and reparations (e.g., Clapton Unplugged beating Nirvana/U2/etc. in ’93, Herbie Hancock’s soporific Joni Mitchell tribute taking top honors in ’08).

Here’s a curious lede from Associated Press yesterday (“Music World Preps For Sunday’s Grammys”):

LOS ANGELES – The music world is celebrating all over town this weekend with tributes, rehearsals, parties and, of course, a gift suite or two in anticipation of the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday night at Staples Center

I am sure most of that is true. And gift suites are the best (gift suites are not the best), but when it comes to celebrating music, Stereogum and NARAS don’t live in the same “world.” This guy knows what I’m talking about.

So no, I won’t be watching live. But Amrit will (sorry Amrit!), so please feel free to shoot poison arrows along with him in the comments of this post.

These folks will be performing:

  • Jamie Foxx, T-Pain, Slash & Doug E. Fresh
  • Drake, Eminem, Lil Wayne & Travis Barker
  • Jeff Beck & Imelda May
  • Green Day & the Broadway cast of American Idiot
  • Roberta Flack & Elton John
  • Sugarland
  • Beyoncé
  • The Black Eyed Peas
  • Bon Jovi
  • Dave Matthews Band
  • Lady Antebellum
  • Lady Gaga
  • Maxwell
  • Pink
  • Taylor Swift
  • Zac Brown Band
  • Celine Dion, Jennifer Hudson, Smokey Robinson, Carrie Underwood & Usher in a 3D tribute to Michael Jackson
  • Mary J. Blige & Andrea Bocelli covering “Bridge Over Troubled Water”

Ladies Gaga and Antebellbum? Worlds been had colliding!

Nineteen million viewers watched the Grammys on TV last year. By comparison, 51.7 million people tuned in to see Thriller dominate in ’84. Sure, network television’s weakening reach is mostly to blame. But either way, we’re gonna need a bigger FREE 3-D GLASSES.

UPDATE: Your “winners”:

Song of the Year: “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)” – Thaddis Harrell, Beyoncé Knowles, Terius Nash & Christopher Stewart, songwriters (Beyoncé)

Best Solo Rock Performance: “Working on a Dream” – Bruce Springsteen

Record of the Year: “Use Somebody” – Kings of Leon

Best Country Album: Fearless – Taylor Swift

Best Rock Album: 21st Century Breakdown – Green Day

Best Hard Rock Performance: “War Machine” – AC/DC

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration: “Run This Town” – Jay-Z, Rihanna & Kanye West

Best Dance Recording: “Poker Face” – Lady Gaga

Best Female Pop Vocal Performance: “Halo” – Beyoncé

Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals: “Use Somebody” – Kings of Leon

Best New Artist: Zac Brown Band

Best Electronic/Dance Album: The Fame – Lady Gaga

Best Alternative Music Album: Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix – Phoenix

Best Contemporary R&B Album: I Am… Sasha Fierce – Beyoncé

Best Female R&B Vocal Performance: “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)” – Beyoncé

Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals: “I Gotta Feeling” – The Black Eyed Peas

Best Rock Song: “Use Somebody” – Caleb Followill, Jared Followill, Matthew Followill & Nathan Followill, songwriters (Kings Of Leon)

Best Pop Vocal Album: The E.N.D. – The Black Eyed Peas

Best Male R&B Vocal Performance: “Pretty Wings” – Maxwell

Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals: “Blame It” – Jamie Foxx & T-Pain

Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance: “At Last” – Beyoncé

Best Rock Instrumental Performance: “A Day in the Life” – Jeff Beck

Best Urban/Alternative Performance: “Pearls” – India.Arie & Dobet Gnahore

Best R&B Song: “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” – Thaddis Harrell, Beyoncé Knowles, Terius Nash & Christopher Stewart, songwriters (Beyoncé)

Best Rap Solo Performance: “D.O.A. (Death Of Auto-Tune)” – Jay-Z

Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group: “Crack a Bottle” – Eminem, Dr. Dre & 50 Cent

Best Rap Song: “Run This Town” – Jeff Bhasker, Shawn Carter, Robyn Fenty, Kanye West & Ernest Wilson, songwriters (Athanasios Alatas, songwriter) (Jay-Z, Rihanna & Kanye West)

Best Rap Album: Relapse – Eminem

Best Male Pop Vocal Performance: “Make It Mine” – Jason Mraz

Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals: “Lucky” – Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat

Best Female Country Vocal Performance: “White Horse” – Taylor Swift

Best Male Country Vocal Performance: “Sweet Thing” – Keith Urban

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album – Michael Bublé Meets Madison Square Garden – Michael Bublé

Best Metal Performance: “Dissident Aggressor” – Judas Priest

Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals: “I Run to You” – Lady Antebellum

Best Country Collaboration With Vocals: “I Told You So” – Carrie Underwood & Randy Travis

Best Country Song: “White Horse” – Liz Rose & Taylor Swift, songwriters (Taylor Swift)

Best Americana Album: Electric Dirt – Levon Helm

Best Contemporary Blues Album: Already Free – The Derek Trucks Band

Best Compilation Soundtrack Album For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media: Slumdog Millionaire – Various Artists, A.R. Rahman, producer

Best Song Written For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media: “Jai Ho” (From Slumdog Millionaire) – Gulzar, A.R. Rahman & Tanvi Shah, songwriters (A.R. Rahman, Sukhvinder Singh, Tanvi Shah, Mahalaxmi Iyer & Vijay Prakash)

Best Recording Package: Everything That Happens Will Happen Today – Stefan Sagmeister, art director (David Byrne & Brian Eno)

Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package: Neil Young Archives Vol. I (1963-1972) – Gary Burden, Jenice Heo & Neil Young, art directors (Neil Young)

Best Short Form Music Video: “Boom Boom Pow” – The Black Eyed Peas

Best Long Form Music Video: “The Beatles Love – All Together Now” – (Various Artists)

Best Comedy Album: A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift Of All! – Stephen Colbert

Comments (94)
  1. h8 grammys yall.

  2. The Grammy award people might indeed be the worst. I do anticipate their PSA on “downloading” though.

  3. What you’ve missed: MGMT on the red carpet responding to human bobblehead Giuliana Rancic’s question about the success of the “Kids” fan video: “That’s probably more people than saw the actual video we made, the one where we tortured a baby.” ? “The baby is fine ? you should check it out, Joanna Newsom is in it. Monsters are in it.” Joanna Newsom’s name mentioned on E! = not quite the worlds been had colliding it would’ve been three years ago.

    I’m taking this Grammys watching seriously! (I am taking this getting drunk very seriously.) If you’re doing something else with your night (smart), we’ll update with video and a full list of statue recipients.

  4. achillbro  |   Posted on Jan 31st, 2010 0

    i really loved reading this post until i watched the video and now i’m angry, where is the warning disclaimer

  5. AHAB  |   Posted on Jan 31st, 2010 0

    Think I might liveblog Stereogum’s liveblog of the Grammys. You guys better be cleverer than I am cos I’m gonna hold back no punches.

  6. Stephen Colbert’s daughter is Amy Adams?

    • I TOTALLY thought that Colbet’s daughter was that supermegacreepstergirl from those nightmare-inducing Palm-Pre commercials. Also, I’m still bleeding out of every orifice of my body from Taylor Swift’s big win. Lady Gaga could have KILLED her with her laser-vision. I almost wish she would have…

  7. Snow Forrest   |   Posted on Jan 31st, 2010 0

    It an award show that has Celine Dion performing, enough said.

  8. I wish I knew if Keith Urban had a chest tattoo. #gross

  9. Shout out: My good friend Brandon Dailey of the Mudhoney Salon in NYC cut all the hair for this Green Day performance (and supplied that photo). Nice work, B!

  10. Emily  |   Posted on Jan 31st, 2010 0

    I would only watch the Grammy’s if MGMT was performing. but they’re not, so I won’t be watching. (I wish I knew exactly what point in the show they would be giving that award out too, I really want to see MGMT win, even if I’m pretty sure they won’t… how sad).

  11. Yea to Amrit drunk-blogging! Is it wrong that I’m tempted to watch this just for Maxwell?

  12. I care so much about the Grammys that I realized it was airing it today thanks to Twitter.

  13. illy  |   Posted on Jan 31st, 2010 0

    J-Lo’s dress is hilariously hideous.
    ‘Don’t be fooled by the rocks that i got…i found my stylist at Wet Seal’

  14. Info you might actually care about: Phoenix beat Byrne & Eno, Death Cab, Depeche Mode, and YYYs for Best Alternative Album. But let’s get back to talking about KE$HA.

  15. Here’s the clip of Colbert showing off his new iPad at the Grammys:

  16. quim  |   Posted on Jan 31st, 2010 0

    so…Pink is doing acrobatics hanging from the ceiling and dripping water…I’m confused; this is a show about music, right??

  17. Welcome back, Pink.

  18. jemima  |   Posted on Jan 31st, 2010 0

    this thread better pick up. i bet the actual awards are more entertaining than this.

    F5, pause. F5, pause. F5, pause. F5, pause

    • How ’bout that Best New Artist Award?! So timely and appropriate. All those artists that haven’t been around for years and JUST released albums THIS year! They’re doing it real big. Right?

  19. jemgina  |   Posted on Jan 31st, 2010 0

    i just learned how to refresh my browser with one key…thanks!

    p.s. the show is not more entertaining than this…it’s that bad.
    p.p.s. that jonas bro all the way to the right is defininitely gay…not that there’s anything wrong with that…well, unless you’re a god-fearing christian with a sqeaky clean disney-propelled image like him

  20. How many times did everyone vote for “Livin’ on a Prayer” on

    • Yes, my efforts were rewarded! I got a half-assed performance of a song I’ve never listened to sober (including tonight).

  21. st3ro hand job  |   Posted on Jan 31st, 2010 0

    sterogum also out of touch since buzz media buy you.

    no point of view you have. suck face out of touch u are.

    • horatio sandzdollar  |   Posted on Jan 31st, 2010 0

      1. Slash i love you…but what are you doing?!

      2. jamie fox’s sister is the bomb. like kabooom, shun!

      3. oh hey Ke$ha- don’t try so hard to make sassy faces while talking…you’re a twunt.

    • Actually, I’m pretty sure they do have a (very plainly stated…) point of view here. It starts with “Grammys” and ends in “suck.”

  22. Travis Twitt  |   Posted on Jan 31st, 2010 0

    is it me or does Myle Cyrus’ face look like i didnt slap my cock against it hard enough? maybe it’s just me…

  23. Kings of Leon, only slightly less annoying than RDJ’s crooked glasses.

  24. dontneedanything  |   Posted on Jan 31st, 2010 0

    hi im justi bieber and im kesha. and even if you know who we are, you wont by this time next year…

  25. Cassidy   |   Posted on Jan 31st, 2010 0

    true story:
    i once saw taylor swift eat. once.

  26. serious lee  |   Posted on Jan 31st, 2010 0

    wow…taylor swift has serious pitch issues…this duet with Stevie is embarrassing…i feel b ad for the kid

  27. Shame that Mos Def or Q-Tip didn’t win, but I bet they could care less. Someone wake me up when Herbie Hancock hits the stage

  28. Who else finds Lionel Richie to be the most hilarious person alive?

  29. steve  |   Posted on Jan 31st, 2010 0

    Who else thinks another Jackson should’ve accepted that award instead of his poor kids? there’s something wrong about it, considering he tried so hard to keep them out of the spotlight and BS…
    they were obviously uncomfortable

  30. have maxwell or lady gaga preformed yet? they’re the only ones i want to see…

  31. BG  |   Posted on Jan 31st, 2010 0

    you still there, amrit?

    • Sorry, the comment liveblogging was sort of impromptu decision and then true to my word I wound up taking getting drunk very seriously. Pretty sure everything I would’ve postedfor the final two hours would’ve been more wordy spellings of the word “fail.”

  32. Adam Sandler KILLED it with the DMB jokes.

  33. dave matthews is such a great dancer.

    can’t wait for maxwell to kill it…

  34.  |   Posted on Jan 31st, 2010 0

    who the eff does ricky martin think he is?

  35. Next year Vampire Weekend and Christina Aguilara are going to duet Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al” Hopefully Chevy Chase is on stage with them.

    • Plausible. Considering that Vampire Weekend will be up for Best New Artist next year!

      • Vampire Weeekend will probably get nominated for best alternative album too. Or in other words “Solange’s favorite five albums of 2010 catagory”

        Im not counting out Vampire Weekend and Miley getting together for next year.

  36. asdf  |   Posted on Jan 31st, 2010 0

    Who the fuck is Lady Antebellum?

  37. My grandpa and I were watching the Pro Bowl on TV tonight. It was kind of boring so we switched over to this for a second. He yells out “These shows are such a joke!” Not sure which one he was talking about, but I think it applies to both. Perhaps they can change their name t the “Grampy Awards.”

  38. dontneedanything  |   Posted on Jan 31st, 2010 0

    damn right maxwell. show em how its done.

  39. dontneedanything  |   Posted on Jan 31st, 2010 0

    hmmm. i wouldnt have picked jeff becks performance to be the most blatant use of backing tracks of the night.

  40. This sucks… Dave Matthews fanbase is becoming more and more Vampire Weekend’s fanbase. They are truely becoming the most hated band

  41. I didn’t even watch this. Growing up, I never felt the need to watch any of the Grammys, either. It just did not interest me. But the Phoenix news is pretty good. It’s the only Grammy-related thing I almost ever cared about. Oh, and that time Cassadaga won a Grammy award for Best Recording Package. That was kinda interesting because I adored all the “hidden” messages and stuff on it. Perhaps that’s too obscure a category…
    Hah, I babbled on and on about some program I don’t even watch.

  42. anon  |   Posted on Feb 1st, 2010 0

    I can’t explain it, but I feel embarrassed, as in personally embarrassed, when people in the audience bob their heads and get all into the music. The whole thing is just such bullshit.

    At the Grammys, the jammys, the Grammy jammy jammys, vote for Obama, I like Denny’s Grand Slammys, strangers in the night …

  43. Nigel  |   Posted on Feb 1st, 2010 0

    Celine Dion, Jennifer Hudson, Smokey Robinson, Carrie Underwood & Usher in a 3D tribute to Michael Jackson

    that about sums it up.

    Good luck, America.

  44. Ryan  |   Posted on Feb 1st, 2010 0

    Airing a five minute Lil Wayne medley, with two minutes of sound edited out for profanity, is a great way to follow a tribute to Les Paul, probably the most important figure in ALL of western music?

    You stay classy, Grammy Awards.

  45. Scott  |   Posted on Feb 1st, 2010 0

    I haven’t watched the Grammys for years. I’m currently suffering through the broadcast. 99% of it is pure crap. Too many horrible medleys and all-star jams. Imelda May and Adam Sandler have been the only things worth watching so far. Where is the rock music? My tastes are out of sync with what’s popular and I like it that way.

  46. I can’t believe GaGa didn’t win anything major here. I mean Taylor Swift? Okay Fame Monster was essentially a re-release. But really how many wins do Beyonce and Taylor Swift need? The major award shows neglect to notice the impact this woman is having on music right now, and that she actually knows the craft, rather than many pop stars out there.
    Ah well. She did win two.

  47. Mr.Quick  |   Posted on Feb 1st, 2010 0

    MGMT should have won… last year

  48. Of course they had to pair Lady Gaga with Elton John! He’s the only one who could compete head to head in diva-ness.

    Also, Beyonce did a bit of Alanis Morissette. Huh?

    (I just watched a neat 2m recap.)

  49. Toto  |   Posted on Feb 1st, 2010 0

    We were in touch with you back in ’83, where did it all go wrong?

  50. Kevin  |   Posted on Feb 1st, 2010 0

    The Simpsons taught me everything I need to know about The Grammys

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