If you can’t play it live, I don’t want to hear it.

The Grammy Awards were on last week.  I didn’t watch.  When I was younger, the Grammy Awards were an event not to be missed. I would gather with several like-minded friends and tune in religiously. With no PVR in those days, we would actually wait until the commercials to get a drink or go to the bathroom. My sister would call me to talk about it, but again, only during the commercial breaks.

I was really a fan. It was primarily a chance to see Springsteen. Not even perform, I was excited just to see him sitting in the audience. (“He’s with his mother! Awww….”). There was also performances that would blow you away – Neil Diamond coming out and joining Streisand in singing “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wo8dCD-4S08 (you know it was a disc jockey who first put that together). Or Tina Turner walking down a loooong stairway in super high heels and a ridiculously short dress for “What’s Love Got to do with It?” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEQVSnzQPXc

The Grammy Awards fell into a lull a few years back – I am guessing it started about the time AutoTune made its debut. I have always felt that a musical act doesn’t really make it for me unless the person can perform it live. And unplugged. The totally synthesized  bands and commercially produced cookie cutter boy bands just didn’t break through into timeless classics. Go figure. The best example of this was, of course, Milli Vanilli in 1990. It’s one thing to lip synch. It’s quite another to not even come close to matching the words on the tape – which, by the way, is not even you singing! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILpAJHYwFqQ   they beat Indigo Girls for best new artist. No wonder the audience lost respect and the numbers dwindled lower and lower.

Now, if I watch,  I spend the bulk of the evening asking “Who’s that?” Nothing makes me feel older, or more white, than watching this show. I wasn’t a big rap fan, though I did love their acceptance speeches “and I’d like to thank Jesus for all the success of our big hit
Ho Bring That Thang On Up On Me.”

But something started changing a few years ago. In 2009 When Christina Aguilera did “This is a man’s world” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZltsUE_GhM she stunned the crowd. There is no doubt that this girl can sing. There was a great moment last year when Adele sang Rolling in the Deep – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmdcD22VrAU wow.

And this year, there were some incredible performances again. iTunes, downloads, the so called ‘death’ of the music industry. I don’t think so. And with Justin Timberlake bringing out a new album … well all signs for the future look good. Want to know how you can help? Here’s how:



One thought on “If you can’t play it live, I don’t want to hear it.

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