Welcome to Stereogum’s sarcastic play-by-play of the 50th Annual Grammy Awards. We’re moments before showtime and Amy Winehouse has already won Best Pop Vocal Album, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, and a new set of teeth. Tonight promises an exciting look back at the last year in recorded pop music, including some interesting collaborations: Tina Turner & Beyoncé, Fergie & John Legend, Cher & Nelly Furtado, Rihanna & The Time, Bonnie Raitt & Soulja Boy. We only made up one of those! Also this year: the first-ever celebration of The Beatles. Join us…
And we’re off. Old black & blue eyes gives us a nice little explanation of the Grammys. What year is this?
Alicia Keys and Frank Sinatra duet! Frank’s image is rendered too big, Grammy tech team.
C’mon Frank. You’re mailing this performance in.
In case you’re wondering, Alicia’s wearing Armani. And not a lot of it around the boob area.
Carrie Underwood and her glitter legwarmers(?) perform “Before He Cheats.” Big band for the amount of music they’re making! Is that Cirque de Soleil in the background? Or the cast of Stomp?
Prince! Where’s his penis guitar? Morris Day must be shitting himself right now.
Alicia Keys takes home the Best Female R&B vocal performance. Her acceptance speech marks the first win for God on the night. If you’re keeping score so far, that’s: God 1, Barack 0.
Sorry guys, technical difficulty on the cable end had us drop out for a sec. We rejoin the broadcast to find Morris Day and the muthafuckin’ Time, Rihanna, and lots of her signature umbrellas. Oh-ee-oh-ee-oh … ay, ay ay.
That guy from Bosom Buddies recites a love letter to The Band. Taking a swipe at Canada, eh?
And now Tom Hanks’s on to the Beatles. It appears Yoko stole Slash’s hat.
OK, now it really is Cirque de Soleil. And, more umbrellas.
Amazingly the Cirque has managed to combine “A Day In The Life” and Young Einstein for what has gotta be the worst car commercial ever.
The VW bug just blew up. Herbieeee! Hope Lohan’s okay.
Mom’s dead. We’re smelling a medley. Which Beatles song is most appropriate for the death of an acrobat?
And the answer is “Let It Be.” Tay Zonday, finally getting his due.
This isn’t horrible, really. Just super confusing. Scenes from that Beatles movie nobody watched. We think.
Hey it’s Miley Cyrus and Sweeney Todd!
Amazingly the old folks home that is NARAS wasn’t scared away by Amy Winehouse’s crack headed ways. Best New Artist goes to her. And the “how many times can Feist get robbed” count is on! Who’s that not-Kevin-Drew guy sitting next to her?
Sad observation: The Grammy has crack pipe potential. We’ll find out when The Sun or the Daily Mirror inevitably posts the heartbreaking video.
Michael Bluth introduces the contest to help find “the Foos” a string accompanist in a My Grammys moment.
Text 4 to make it stop.
Kanye and the Daft Punk pyramid collaborate on “Stronger.” Pretty sure he can’t see out of those glasses.
We’ve been trying to make a Tron joke but Daft Punk seems to have beat us to it.
Kanye turns off his shirt in respect for his mom.
Duet: John Legend and Fergie. We can hide under her manbrella.
Fergie tries to convince people she actually can sing after this debacle.
Ringo has to keep his acceptance speech under 90 seconds or Kelly Ripa takes the Grammy back.
Cher introduces Beyoncé. There are 65 Henson puppeteers controlling her mouth.
Teach us about divas in Grammy history, B.
Tina Turner performs “What’s Love Got To Do With It.” It won Song of the Year back in ’85. See, more than one person can teach you about divas in Grammy history. Suck on that Beyoncé.
Guessing she’s not about to eulogize Ike.
B and Tina duet on “Proud Mary,” which Beyoncé performed with Jewel at DIVAS Live back in ’03. So, no excuse if this sucks.
More tech difficulties here. While we wait to get back live, we’ll answer your queries: Yes, Bright Eyes won a Grammy! For best packaging.
And we’re back. Foo Fighters, with the help of upstart John Paul Jones and his great scoring ways, give us “The Pretender.” Somebody should punch these guys in the mouth just before eating.
Art Brut joins of Monty in T-Mobile’s attempt to woo thine hipster heart. Don’t worry, Eddie; selling out isn’t possible.
This just in: George Lopez is still Mexican.
Some things you can do while the country music is playing:
a) Go to the bathroom
b) Play Rock Band
c) Put on your cowboy hat, pack a chaw, and admit this is your favorite music. In the comments.
Akon is resisting every urge in his body to hoist Chris Brown and chuck him into the audience.
Kanye wins Best Rap Album. Guess it’s time to retire those “Kanye crashes the stage” jokes. Outlasting the music, props to Ronson, turning on his jacket in respect for his mom.
Aretha Franklin comes out with a massive Justice logo hanging over her head. She’s so fucking hip!
For those wondering, that was in fact Daft Punk, and not faux robots. That was their first ever TV performance, and that was an “original version of ‘Stronger’ that they created specifically for the event.” Here’s the official LEDtastic photograph, from earlier tonight backstage:
A performance from “a great new artist, Feist.” Hey music-heads, doesn’t that “1234” sound transposed down a key or two?
Yes we too are frantically scouring the backing band’s faces to see who’s from an indie rock band. Looks like Grizzly Bear, the National, New Pornos et al didn’t get the Grammy invite. Also, re: Indie Hottie, Feist “can’t believe she beat Jenny Lewis!” Also she can’t believe she’s got something in her eye on national television.
Keely Smith and Kid Rock. Kid Rock has Gogootz?
We think KR’s gonna get some tonight if he wants it.
Best Rock Album goes to Foo Fighters’ Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace.
Stevie Wonder hits the stage to celebrate Berry Gordy. Either he’s wearing a sweater, or he put his jacket on backwards.
Did Alicia Keys’s hair grow like four inches since the beginning of the show?
Hey a keyboard on the runway! Who left that there?
John Mayer! Our spy on the ground reports Johnny’s been backstage soloing the entire night, just hoping he’d get called onstage.
Ringo Starr and Dave Stewart. How embarrassing — they wore the same head.
Vince Gill wins Best Country Album. We last saw him at the Brian Wilson tribute.
Kanye just put Vince Gill on his list. His list of people to kill.
Ooh! Did you hear there was a performance from Amy Winehouse coming up?
A tribute to Itzhak Pe
arlman and Max Roach, by Fat Tony. (Yeah we Google’d Itzhak.)
And still managed to misspell his last name! Ha, sorry, Perlman.
Guarantee you Kid Rock is taking a bath with Keely right now.
“Rhapsody In Blue.” Since the time this song started Amy Winehouse has been in and out of rehab.
Since the time this song started the backlash to the backlash to Vampire Weekend already happened. And is over.
Since the time this song started Vince Gill has been punched in the face six times by Kanye’s bodyguards.
Since the time this song started we caught up on this season of LOST.
Since the time this song started Kid has shown Keely Smith his Googootz. Thee times.
Since the time this song started Aretha Franklin ate her entire backup band.
Since the time this song started the writer’s strike ended, and a new strike started.
Hey did anybody notice that was a long song?
Jay-Z helps Rihanna accept the Best Rap Song Collab award. Thinking Jigga may bust a verse in that speech there.
Ah Cuba Gooding, Jr. At last, some class.
Imagine being in a club at 3AM in London, waiting for Amy Winehouse to come on … and Cuba Gooding Jr. was your host.
So this is a big night for Amy! Can you see her new teeth?
As for her performance … she’s not smoking crack! So that’s a start.
The guys at rehab have gotta love that song. Was there an audible sigh of relief in the theater?
Tony Bennett and Natalie Cole. The Grammy tech crew has its size thing screwed up again.
Amy Winehouse wins Record Of The Year! Amy looks, confused:
Glad Ray Ray got a shout out at least.
Great speech, Amy! It’s about time somebody gave London some props for being a music mecca.
is this one of those Bill Gates retiring videos?
Michael Gross from Family Ties lectures us on the meaning of music, recording, and radio compensation. And he introduces … Eldar! Eldar apparently is NARAS’s shining example of why the next 50 years of music is “right here.” Sit Ubu, sit.
Groban and Andrea Bocelli. Oprah is creaming her pantsuit.
A performance featuring John Fogerty, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Little Richard, all of whom are still alive.
Did she just say “Professor” will.i.am? He must’ve got his PhD in ruinin’ shit.
Our heads are spinning at all the subpar musical references!
will.i.ain’t. Plug our ears? Yes We Can.
Album of the Year goes to … River: The Joni Letters! What. Even Herbie Hancock didn’t know that album came out this year and he made it!
Herbie’s award winning fingers in action:
Two And A Half Men promo? It’s officially time for us to turn off CBS. Some parting thoughts: Upset about Album Of The Year going to Herbie Hancock? Our theory: NARAS just called everybody’s bluff on nobody giving a shit about the Grammys. This was the night of rehab averse crooners, lame duets, and Mama hair fades. Thanks for joining us tonight. Hope it made it less painful!