i think it's easy to dismiss the grammys, but i dunno, they are fun. they're not life changing.
i agree with rob harvilla:
The Grammys are deeply lame, profoundly bizarre, and often laughably out of touch, but they still matter. They still tap into a universe too many rock critics know next to nothing about: music-lovers who aren't rock critics, i.e. 99.5 percent of the world. And last night a band that was only a glint in Pitchfork's eye seven years ago played two songs (can you imagine how awful that strobe-light thing must've been in person? Diddy probably hates them now) at the show's climax, like 15 minutes apart, and picked up the Album of the Year statue in between. The genuine, non-ironic smile on Win Butler's face at the end of the night is hard for me to shake. We are all to some degree playing it cool this morning, casting it off as irony, building our "Who Is Arcade Fire?" Tumblrs to mock the sizable chunk of the population that remains totally bewildered by this. But I think that Twitter torrent of OH SHITs from our ordinarily cynical brethren was genuine, yes. The WE MADE IT stuff is trickier, satirizing the Slate piece everyone assumes will arise out of this in advance, but that's at least partly defensive sarcasm. Let's neither overplay nor underplay this. Barbra Streisand presented a Grammy to Arcade Fire last night. Allow yourself to acknowledge that that's pretty incredible.
I agree with you (and everyone else) that this is the mainstream music industry sinking rather than the underground rising -- the Decemberists are still your 2011 one-week sales leaders, after all, and maybe we'll be wringing our hands about them a year from now. But the real WE MADE IT metric is very, very simple: The Suburbs sales bump next week. If it hits #1 or anywhere close, you have the crossover we're all now pretending is a big joke. But if nothing happens, then it's just a joke, a dog whistle that only "we" could hear, that the rest of the country ignored. There are advantages to both, advantages, advantages.
Re: the show itself, I'll say this: I prefer the Grammys out-of-touchness, their jarring clashes between pandering to old people and pandering to teenagers (was that 20-minute Aretha nod at the onset specifically designed to drive away anyone under 25?), their profound racial discomfort (Guru's snub is disappointing but not very shocking, the Lady Antebellum/Teddy Pendergrass thing is more of both), their awards-granting schizophrenia, to the MTV Music Awards' empty nihilism and thirst for "controversy." I feel ridiculous watching the Grammys, but I don't feel disgusting, and I savor that difference. I enjoyed the hell out of the show itself, all three and a half hours, the good-good and bad-good stuff alike (Mick Jagger the former, Katy Perry the latter), and though the real-time Twitter backlash is a crucial part of that experience for me, I'm on board with it, I'm a fan, I will be back, and so will you, because now you think Anything Can Happen. I'm giddy this morning less because I'm flattered they're finally acknowledging the indie-centric universe I mostly live in, and more because I'm profoundly amused at how awkward they look doing it, and how awkward we look acknowledging that they did it.