BY RYAN MARR
After years of bottomed-out ratings, slumping record sales, and losing the respect of everyone except for maybe Chris Martin, The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences have finally woken up from their self-induced coma of total musical irrelevance.
Well, sort of.
Despite once again showering the Grammy hardware onto major label acts like Robert Plant & Alison Krauss (who are actually good), Coldplay and Lil Wayne, the 2009 Grammys revealed some promising moments of surprising relevancy:
Kudos to the Grammys for finally acknowledging—albeit a decade too late—the existence of the greatest band in the world. Despite Gwyneth Paltrow’s cringe-worthy introduction, Thom Yorke’s seizure-inducing dance freak-out to the University of Southern California marching band showed soulless geezers everywhere what music actually sounds like.
2. Blink-182 Reunion:
In the most anti-climatic way possible—while introducing the Jonas Brothers—Tom Delonge and co. apparently announced their reunion intentions. I, for one, blinked and missed the whole thing. Nevertheless, Blink performing “What’s My Age Again?” is totally going to kick serious ass while simultaneously taking on a whole new meaning of relevancy.
3. Kid Rock:
Leave it to Kid Rock—essentially the spokesperson of relevancy—to lead the Grammys into the future. Just talking about Kid Rock ripping into “Sweet Home Alabama” with an American Flag draped over his back is plucking my tender American-as-apple-pie heartstrings with sweet patriotic fervor.
4. Pregnant Rappers:
Nine months into her pregnancy, M.I.A. still has nastier dance moves than you. It’s too bad she didn’t give birth on stage—the Grammys would have found the answer to their never-ending rating’s woes.
5. Genius Collaborations:
I can’t decide which performance was more relevant. The Jonas Brothers with Stevie Wonder or that totally insane hodgepodge of Al Green, Justin Timberlake, Keith Urban, and Boyz II Men. Either way, America won— or fainted. Thank you, Chris Brown.
6. Fashion Trend-setting:
Even with Kanye West’s mullet and Jennifer Hudson’s dinner- napkin-dress-thing crowding the nominees, Coldplay still managed to come out on top in this category too. If only dawning 18th century faux-Russian military costumes somehow translated into making album’s that weren’t mediocre.
7. Musically Relevant Speakers:
The Grammys really outdid themselves here. I mean, seriously. Notable speakers included: LL Cool J, Queen Latifah, Morgan Freeman, and Samuel L. Jackson. They even got the Rock to drop some musical knowledge. In fact, I challenge you to come up with a more relevant list of speakers for a musical awards show and then convince them to make half-hearted attempts at humor via “I Kissed a Girl” jokes. Genius.
8. Sir Paul:
As further proof that Ringo Starr is actually dead, Paul McCartney recruited Foo Fighter Dave Grohl to pound the camel-skins on his rendition of “I Saw Her Standing There.” If Ringo is still in fact alive, I’m sure he was okay with his replacement. He understands the Grammys quest towards relevancy. Now, if he would just pass that memo to Bono.
9. Jaw-Dropping Visuals:
Katy Perry descended to the stage in a giant banana. Three days later, my mouth is still catching flies.
10. Taylor and Miley:
Okay so now it’s official: Taylor Swift- 1, Miley Cyrus- 0.