Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Grammy Awards Show


Something has to change with the Grammy Awards Show. It's too slick, too TV, too Hollywood to be relevant in a way that's required of music today. 

Forget about the awards themselves and their voting for a second, the Grammy broadcast should be the music industry's best showcase; the show that keeps old fans coming back and brings in new ones. Yet each year the show grows more out of touch.

Yes, they try to be as hip as they can (and there are truly some the hippest industry people in the organization), but instead of the irreverence of the true artist we get the craftsman trying to play it safe, which ends up not pleasing anyone.

What to change?

1) Change the lighting for one. Go to any concert and what do you see? Lots of darkness, depth and shadows, that's what.  See any shadows or contrast on the Grammy show?  

2) Let's make it look like a concert, where the performers are bigger than life. Forget those wide shots and give me close ups from low angles.  Don't think TV, think performance. Go watch Woodstock for a template.

3) Can the inane banter. No jokes, no small talk, just get down to business and we'll all be more comfortable.  Some of the so-called jokes last night were enough to make you squirm.

4) Stop those contrived artist pairings. They all feel like they've been scotch-taped together. I'm all for it if there truly is a synergy between artists, but most of the time it just feels like they're thrown together in order to get as many names on the program as possible.

5) When award shows go wrong is when they're asked to be television events. They're not, so don't even try to make them so. The Grammy's is no exception. If you can't make it big enough to play to the viewers at home, then at least play to the people in the arena. At least play to someone, because right now it seems that no one is satisfied.

Maybe it's not possible to make the Grammy broadcast a true event.  Maybe it never was, even in the beginning. If that's the case, let's dumb it down and give it back its dignity. Or send it to cable where it can be itself without the network ratings expectations.

1 comment:

Larry Jones said...

Don't be such a grouch. The Grammys are not really about the "best" anything. They are awarded by peers in the business ( a pretty small group, compared to how many of us actually consume the "product"), and the voting is emotional, not objective, heavily influenced by sales and sentiment. Remember, these are the stiffs who took ten years to notice The Beatles, so how hip do you expect them to be today? I say let them have their TV show, and view it as a TV show. I watch it, but I look elsewhere for information about what's really happening in the creative community.

Still, I agree with you a little. I wanted to crawl under my couch as a loaded Whitney Houston repeatedly pulled open the waist-height slit in her gown and ad-libbed a major suckup to Clive Davis. Yikes! Is her contract coming up for review, or what?

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