Grammys Diary, Part 1

J. Freedom's in L.A. but I'm sitting here in front of a TV and computer on Grammy night, so why not make myself useful? Some assorted, chronological thoughts on the 50th Grammy Awards.

8:01: Alicia Keys and Frank Sinatra duet to kick things off. Sinatra sounds surprisingly sprightly for a guy who's been dead nearly a decade. Prince makes a similar joke three minutes later. Everyone watching on his or her couch does the same. J. Freedom has already been tracking three and a half hours worth of awards at the pre-televised ceremony. He almost walked out when Miranda Lambert lost to Carrie Underwood, but his faith is restored when the White Stripes trump Nickelback.

8:03: Alicia Keys goes with the always popular "center cleavage" dress.

8:07: Carrie Underwood is being backed by ... White Man Group? It's only seven minutes in and already I have no idea what's going on.

8:10: Alicia Keys could set some records for Grammy wins if she keeps up her current pace. She's into double digits now. She could also set some Google search records if her dress gets a little looser as the evening goes on.

8:17: The Time is back! A few young girls near the front of the stage look like they want to get excited but just have no idea who these people are. Kevin Smith is surely much more pumped.

8:20: Rihanna and a small army of disturbingly agile dancers run through a medley that includes "Umbrella," of course.

8:24: The Band's Lifetime Achievement Award consists of a cutaway to Robbie Robertson and a nod by Tom Hanks. Gotta save time for Fergie, after all.

8:29: The Cirque du Soleil portion of the Beatles tribute is even more confounding than the Rihanna and Carrie Underwood performances combined. "You need serious acid to understand this whole thing," says Editor Rich. "Rhianna's "Umbrella" was at least better than this tribute trapeze-act goth dream. Why is there a VW bug onstage?"

8:32: This gospel version of "Let It Be" just reminds me of that Patti LaBelle transcript where she walked in on someone in the restroom and couldn't hear anything.

8:34: Ha, Jeff Tweedy, I see you! Amy Winehouse beats out Feist for Best New Artist. Not literally, of course. That's part of the reason why they didn't let her in the country.

8:36: So CBS's attempt at "cool" consists of Jason Bateman and Foo Fighters. OK, if it's not in the ballpark it's at least in the VIP parking section.

8:45: Kanye's glasses are pretty wicked. Daft Punk's stage set-up - known as one of the most extravagant and over-the-top in the alternative music universe - looks positively quaint compared to everything that's come before. Ooh, a pyramid, robot costumes and smoke! Call us when you've got acrobats, disturbing fake mustaches and random VW bugs.

8:52: "Three-time Grammy winner Fergie" ... that's like saying "three-time Oscar winner Jessica Alba."

8:57: I dare anyone on this planet to dislike Ringo Starr. "Love" beats "Across the Universe" in the Best Repackaging of Beatles Songs category.

8:58: Those clips they keep showing of Amy Winehouse in the "Rehab" video ... compared to what she looks like these days, it's sort of the reverse of Barry Bonds on the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1987 and then on the San Francisco Giants in 2005.

9:04: Beyonce is the first very obvious lip-syncher of the night. Like I'm going to hold that against her in the slightest. As for Tina Turner, I'm not sure if that's actually her or Maya Rudolph doing an impression of her. "Did they have to solder Tina into that silver surfer suit?" wonders Editor Rich.

9:08: Two Beyonce outfits for the price of one. Hour two is off to a much better start. If only she wasn't such a robotic cash machine and just had a little bit Tina's grit and soul, she'd really be something special.

9:12: Nelly Furtado, Roselyn Sanchez and Andy Williams ... that would be an interesting one for "Marry, [Deleted-sorry, ed.], Kill." Amy Winehouse wins again, this time topping Freedom Rock faves Plain White Ts. "Yes, yes, yes, yes" says J. Freedom. He's pretty clever.

9:21: The My Grammy Moment winner, Ann Marie Calhoun, is a local product. She went to Lake Braddock High. I haven't felt so much regional pride since the Wizards ... damn. I guess I haven't really felt much regional pride in my life.

9:23: There was a time in my life when I really loved the Foo Fighters. That time was very long ago. It is nice to see Pat Smear back in the fold, though, still making faces like he just had to lick a bunch of envelopes in quick succession.

9:27: Amy Winehouse better bite the head off a live chicken the way they are hyping this performance. I'm laying 5:1 odds on that happening.

By David Malitz |  February 10, 2008; 9:47 PM ET Grammys
Previous: Vampire Weekend = Lily Allen (I Mean That as a Compliment) | Next: Grammys Diary, Part 2


Please email us to report offensive comments.

Why in the world did The Band not get more of a tribute? I just do not understand.

Posted by: tps | February 10, 2008 10:25 PM

I got a woody when Rihanna appeared.

Posted by: fred | February 10, 2008 11:09 PM

Frank looked good. they should have given him a solo.

Posted by: T.D. | February 12, 2008 7:49 AM

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