I don’t usually buy a ticket to the Grammys. I get my social orgasms the week before at all the industry pre-Grammy gatherings. Plus, the times (other than the year I was nominated), I’ve actually attended the event my seat was so far back I couldn’t see any of the performers sweat. That's my barometer. If I can’t see the beads on Sir Paul’s brow, I’d rather watch it on TV. So I do.
Pretty much every year, a small posse of seasoned colleagues and I gather in my TV room and we let it rip. They know special when they hear it and they know when they don’t and we’re not afraid to share. Loudly.
I’m usually shuffling back and forth between the TV room and the kitchen, putting plates and glasses in the sink, making sure there’s another bottle of white chilling, enough toilet paper in the bathroom and (last night) texting my daughter to see if she got back to campus after 2 canceled flights. Unnerving.
I was doing one of these things when I heard the raucous: Adele was singing. I couldn’t hear exactly what everyone was up in arms about because of all those flying opinions. What we could agree on it that there was some random guitar in the mix and we were trying to assess where it was coming from. Minutes after her curious performance her tweet was out: a piano mic had fallen onto the strings. Umm, perhaps. But my seasoned colleagues swore that what they heard was a whole other guitar part from somewhere else on or back stage. Coincidentally, Justin Bieber was up next—with a guitar sans a band. And we couldn’t help but wonder (how could we not) if maybe that mysterious guitar was actually Justin practicing in the wings—not the fallen piano mic at all. Juss sayin. If my seasoned colleagues were correct, how effing gracious of Adele to blame the fallen mic. (Either way, there’s one less sound man in the world today and a job opening for another).
I caught pieces of Gaga. Literally. As soon as I got clarity on the start of one song, she was on to the next. I’m sorry, my brain can’t function that fast and I felt it was a disservice to Bowie. I would have preferred one thorough, heartfelt, ironic rendition of“Changes.”
Hamilton—I’ve heard all about it. Now I get it. And I want to go.
James Bay and Tori? Teresa La Barbera Whites leaned in as soon as they started playing “Let It Go” and said, “There it is.” Funny, I knew exactly what the “it” was. And she knew I knew. It’s that thing…that magic-ness that’s either there or it’s not—the moment someone puts their hands on a piano or their fingers on a fret. You know you’re in for a treat. And she was right.
Things that the whole room agreed on:
Winner of the largest mouth? A tie between Brittney Howard (Alabama Shakes) and Demi Lovato.
Winner of longest performance of a song that never ends? Carrie Underwood and Sam Hunt. Actually they sang two songs. Maybe that’s why it felt like it went on forever.
Best song written by less than 6 people: “Can’t Feel My Face.” (5 people).
Taylor. So happy for. I even voted for your album. Nobody could take it away. No Kanye in sight. You remind us that we are women hear us roar! But Taylor, how about the 10 male producers standing behind you? Where was the vagina? The Linda Perry? The Eve Nelson? Why all the testosterone?
The highlight for me? Bonnie Raitt. Does she sound like she’s 20? No! 30? No! 40? No. Who cares? No theatrics. No spectacle. Just a worn in blanket that only gets better with age. And, man her legs look great.
Maybe I’m one of those alta kachers of which Lefsetz speaks. That’s Ok. I am what I am. I’m not going back. In fact I’m thrilled that this year the show started at 5PM on the lest coast. Which means I would be in bed by 10. An hour past my bed time. Perfect. See you next year. With my posse. In my TV room.