2012 Grammys Postscript

by justindburton on February 13, 2012

The Grammys, like many big-budget award shows, has its problems: nominees and winners chosen whimsically or simply because they sell big, a good deal of self-congratulatory tributes over the course of the night, and uneven pacing that leads to almost impossibly long broadcasts.

But the Grammys is also one of the biggest nights of the year in popular music, and whatever else the production may suffer from, it smartly places performances at the center of the show, with the actual awards becoming something of an afterthought.

Last night featured performances from legends like the Beach Boys, Paul McCartney, and Glen Campbell, as well as newer acts like Bruno Mars, Adele, and Deadmau5. Adele won all six awards for which she was nominated, including Song, Record, and Album of the Year, and, perhaps more meaningfully, she seemed to be unreservedly adored by everyone in attendance. The rest of the night was fairly unpredictable: the Foo Fighters dominated the rock categories, Kanye West’s name was listed somewhere in nearly every rap award, and Bon Iver was the darling new alternative to the mainstream.

The Grammys is pop music displaying all of its best and worst parts on a massive stage, and IASPM-US is a pop music organization dedicated to deeply engaging the many genres that make up “pop.” So here’s some space: what did you think of the show? Any performances stick out as particularly great or…disappointing? Any winners or losers that seem unjust?

{ 1 comment }

Nick Braae February 15, 2012 at 9:19 pm

I think you are right regarding the self-congratulatory nature of the Grammys. I don’t think artists should be held in any higher esteem because they won a Grammy. After all, the Foos or Adele aren’t exactly breaking any new ground are they? I’m not well-versed in pop music advertising, but it seems interesting that you rarely hear “Buy Adele’s [for e.g.] album, winner of 6 Grammys” on TV or the radio; this could be compared to film advertising in which the Oscar/G.G/Bafta awards and even nominations are a crucial component. In that sense, the Grammys seem fairly irrelevant, but harmless all the same.

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