Watching the Grammys, one thought came to mind. And that is, seriously? Are these the MTV awards? Taylor Swift? Seriously?
She was sitting in a room full of professional musicians, a singer-songwriter barely out of her teens, who can barely play her instrument. The best word I can use to describe her would be inoffensive. Seriously. Taylor Swift is so bland, there’s no way you can’t like her. Meanwhile, Neko Case was in the audience. She walked away with no awards. Taylor Swift got to go onstage with Stevie Nicks, and you know what I learned? Taylor Swift can’t sing. At all. And someone thought it’d be a good idea to put Taylor Swift onstage with Stevie Nicks. Like Stevie Nicks could somehow magic her Fleetwood Mac mojo to Taylor Swift. Now, granted, she may have had an off-night, but she also couldn’t sing last year, and if you’re writing a bunch of inoffensive country songs with basic chord structures, if your album is going to be held as the pinnacle of music achievement for the year, I think you should at least be able to croak it out.
There are defining moments when you could tell the ratio of art versus commerce was getting way, way, WAYYYY out of hand. And every year, at the Grammys, you can watch a bunch of those moments. Where they’ll pair new stars with old stars, in an attempt to draw ratings. Where will Taylor Swift and the Jonas Brothers be in 30 years?
I guarantee you they won’t be performing with the next up and coming acts. So there’s a lesson here. If you sell the most albums (read: appeal to 13- and 14-year-olds), you can win an award for music excellence. Something is backwards.