I watched a little bit of the Grammys show tonight, before switching over to the fading Downton Abbey. But fading is way better than faded.
The show opened with Beyonce singing the drunk song about surfing, and it all felt a little like Liza Minelli in Cabaret, except Beyonce is noticeably more curvaceous. And it is only by outrageous analogy that maybe we all become Nazi officers watching her.
Jay Z appeared and it was nice to see them work together and even be a little affectionate, though they live such mediated lives it’s hard to tell what’s real and what’s putting on the show. In any case, I suspect if Turbonegro was watching they got no erection. This was pure entertainment.
Speaking of that. Before the show started there was a commercial for a casino that used a Macklemore and Ryan song, that really inspirational one in which you hold your hands higher, to advertise their $50 free play. WTF? These guys are selling their songs for commercials?
And then, 20 minutes later, they were winning Best New Artist and hyping how they made their elpee independently. No label support at all. That sounds good, but not if you’re selling your hits for cheesy commercials for dubious products. Sure, endorse the Neutral Milk Hotel Mangum condoms. That’s hip. Offer a $50 rebate for casino gambling? Eat bad buffet.
The music I saw was all terrible. The best was a Keith Urban-Gary Clark Jr. collaboration on an insipid song that must have been Urban’s. Clark is an excellent rock guitarist and he got gritty on Urban and smoked him a little in their solo part, but it was more dispiriting because the better songwriter was pushed aside for the more popular country dude.
Which led to the Best Rock Song category. The nominees were an embarrassment of old. The Stones were nominated! Ozzy and his crew, too. The winner was this song, written by Sir Paul McCartney and Nirvana’s Dave Grohl, Krist Novacelic and Pat Smear. In this clip Sir Paul isn’t really sure about their names, other than Grohl’s, which is fair. My grandfather used to have the same problem with my girl friends.
So, the live clip lets you see how Sir Paul interacts with his youngers (guys pushing 50, right?). But the sound sucks. They didn’t win for that. They won for this:
Like everything Grohl is involved with, this works just fine as rock. It sounds like a Wings when they were most rockish, mixed with the breast-pounding vocal of How Do You Sleep and other Lennon tirades. And it’s good to see Sir Paul pounding it a bit.
Obviously, the selection of this tune as Best Rock Song of the year has no bearing on what the actual best rock song of the year was, but what was the best rock song of 2013?