Monday, February 19, 2007

COLUMN: Grammy

Bush is a big ol' doodiehead. Don't worry -- I'll explain that later. Put it aside for now, because this story begins not with a bang or a shockingly controversial statement, but instead with a simple revelation:

There are People... and then there are People Like Me.

Let's take the last two weeks for instance. You're probably a normal person, right? And as a normal person, odds are pretty good that you may have had some dough riding on the Super Bowl. And by "dough," of course, in no way, shape, or form am I referring to or condoning unlicensed, off-track cash wagering, as that would be illegal, naughty, and most inappropriate within the confines of a family newspaper. I'm instead referring to, umm, baked goods.

And hey, there's nothing wrong with a little good-natured cookie trading among friends, I say. And if you happen to be the sort of person who likes to sportingly swap cookies with your fellow fan, there's a good chance that the Bears made you toss your cookies somewhere around the 2nd quarter.

I, on the other hand, lost no cookies to the Bears. Or the Colts. Because I am not a normal person. I had no baked goods riding on the Super Bowl -- yet I just lost pretty much the entire Keebler Forest to Justin Timberlake.

Some people bet on the Super Bowl. I bet on the Grammy Awards. As I see it, that makes me pretty weird.

Every year, my friend Kerry hosts a Grammy party. The invite list is small and about as nerd-centric as you can get. Record store owners and employees, a few musicians, and some area journalists. We sit, we eat chili, we make crass jokes about Shakira and Lionel Richie. We laugh at the pitiful decisions of the Academy, and invariably each of us makes at least one ill-timed speech about "who shoulda won if the world had a clue." For a tried and true music geek like myself, it is nothing shy of Nerd-vana.

And of course, there is the friendly transfer of the aforementioned dough. Each of us fills out a ballot with every category, ponies up some dough, and whoever correctly picks the most winners beforehand gets the whole cookie pot. Many a Grammy party have I attended; never a pot have I taken home. But this was to be MY year.

Actually, no -- it was Justin Timberlake's year. I picked Justin to win nearly every category. Not because I like his music, which I don't. I picked Justin because you couldn't turn on a TV or radio this year without hearing the dude. Plus he DID bring sexy back, and that's gotta mean something, right? Right?

Wrong. No, my hopes and dreams for cookie pot domination were thwarted this year... by the Dixie Chicks. Grrr. That stupid band seemed to win every stupid award of the night. And why? Because of their talent? Their fantastic, critically acclaimed new album? Umm, folks, I didn't even know that the Dixie Chicks RELEASED an album this year. No, there was but one reason for the Dixie Chicks to win a truckload of Grammies:

REDEMPTION. Surely you know the story. The Dixie Chicks were country's hottest ticket, until the eve of the Iraqi conflict, when chief Chick Natalie Maines opened her mouth and spouted off against the war and President Bush. Faster than you can say "Yee-Haw," the red states mobilized. Songs were banned, records were burned, tours were re-routed. It was all but career suicide.

Lesser bands might have split under the pressure; the Dixie Chicks persevered with a new record, newfound respect, and now a boatload of Grammys for their trouble. But, in the humble opinion of THIS amateur musicologist, they were Grammys earned NOT by talent, but by their ability to stare adversity in the face and overcome it.

That's when it hit me. If the Dixie Chicks can stir up controversy and take home a pocketful of Grammys, I should be able to do the same thing and score at least a Pulitzer, eh? Hence my doodiehead comment above. It's a smart and calculated attempt to shock, awe, and become a Very Respected Journalist Dude. Any minute now. It's coming. Wait for it.

Hmm. Nothing so far. There must be a problem. The Dixie Chicks spoke out against the war at a controversial time. Now that it's been going on for a spell, and now that polls show a countrywide frustration with the lack of progress, going anti-war just isn't shocking enough. I'll leave politics to the more qualified. I guess I take it back: Bush isn't a big doodiehead. He's just, like, a medium one.

But I'm not giving up on my theory of making a shocking comment and taking it to the bank. I mean, those awards could fetch a pretty penny on eBay, no? I just have to find something more shocking to say than a left-wing take on Iraq. Hmm... hmmm...

Oh! Got it. Ready? Sitting down? Helloooo, Pulitzer:

Rex Grossman is an American hero, a fine quarterback, and one of the most cherished players in the game. Now please don't hit me. Send the awards to the usual address. Send the hate mail to Justin Timberlake.


Socialist Christian Hippie said...

Lionel Richie jokes? You make Lionel Richie jokes? Do you talk about Michael Jackson's hair catching fire too?

Now Nipsy Russel. There's a barrel of laughs that'll never run dry.

BTW, I find it ironic that the words "Grammy" and "Talent" were ever put in the same phrase. Unless it were "I can't believe those no-talent jerks just won a f'n grammy!"

Bob Dylan..."Modern Times", hello? Best FOLK album? Name me ONE folk song off that album? It is pop through and through. Great pop! Excellent pop, but not folk. Better than Dixie or Justin or...jeez anyone else out there.

Anyway, I'll end with a "Bloom County" quote as we peruse the 80s.

'Man that Middle of the road/Sure does stank/Let's run over Lionel Ritchie/With a Tank'

thescoundrel said...

I do not have much use for many of the modern artists or their self-indulging awards to make them feel important. When Syriana and Clooney received all the accolades it further proved to me that award nominations and trophies are nothing more than butt kissing and finger in the eye contests. Syriana was a terrible movie and Cloney’s part was not even needed after the start of the movie. I still find it hard to believe that after picking an easy target like big oil and spy games that they could have screwed that movie up as bad as they did. The dixie chick awards were more of the same. I am a country music fan and they did commit career suicide in country music. I remember when the last album came out it rightfully struggled on the country charts. I do believe they found an audience for it, but it did not include much of their original fan base. I do not care if a person like or dislikes a President. Liking or disliking a political person is the prerogative of every person in this country. Expressing their opinion is also the right of people in this country. But going overseas and publicly attacking the setting President in a time of war is wrong. What they did was similar to an Hanoi Jane action and as far as I am concerned they will never me an album.

The GUCC said...

First - the Dixie Slits suck. Second, if you wanted to win more grammys than the Dixie Slits, then you would have had to name your album "I hate George Bush AND America"

The only cool thing about the Dixie Slits is the fact that their producer is a legend.

I think it would have been outstanding if Flea would have smashed his bass guitar over the head of the lead singer for the Dixie Slits. That would have made for good tv - and a memory to last forever.

On a completely unrelated topic - is VH1 ever going to bring back the show "Reuniting the Band", or whatever it was called?

Emilene said...

One: Bush is a doodiehead. I completely agree

Two: Hey, cheer up! Maybe you could get yourself a few cookies on Oscar Night!

-shane- said...

Gucc -

E-mail me sometime, I'd love to catch up!!

-shane- said...

p.s. nice Bloom County reference, SCH! 2nd best comic strip EVER! Not that anybody cares, but I'm a HUGE comic strip fan. Here's my all-time favorites:
1 - Pearls Before Swine
2 - Bloom County
3 - Dilbert
4 - Foxtrot
5 - Jim's Journal