Saturday night my friend and I cooked chili (okay, he cooked chili) and decided to watch The Godfather. It all began with a desire to stay in and save money. I was looking through his DVD collection to see what we could watch for free while he slaved in the kitchen, and I said, "Hey, we should watch The Godfather"—which actually doesn't make any sense because he's missing the first DVD from his boxed set, and I had to walk over to the video store to rent the first video, anyway...which cost money. (Actually, someone else had already rented the store's only copy of The Godfather, so we ended up renting District 9 instead. All copies of Whip It were checked out.)
Where am I going with this?
Sofia Coppola is in The Godfather, Part III.
Sofia Coppola is dating the lead singer of Phoenix, Thomas Mars.
Phoenix just won the "Best Alternative Music Album" award at Sunday night's Grammys. ("Best Alternative Music Album"? Is it still 1995? Who won for "Best New Grunge Artist"?)
Yes, Sunday gave us another pointless Grammy awards show. Does anyone care about the Grammys? Why do we watch the Academy Awards but not the Grammys? Why is it that good movies are actually nominated for awards, but good music is generally shafted? Seriously, reading through the list of Grammy winners from Sunday night has me running groundhog-like for the safe burrow of my personal music collection. Enough with Beyonce and Taylor Swift already! Also, I didn't know Metallica, Megadeth, and Judas Priest were still making albums.
("Like, oh my god, I won Album of the Year?")
Not that Phoenix aren't fantastic. There were a few nominees who truly deserve recognition of some kind—Neko Case, David Byrne, Brian Eno, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs among them. But who cares about a Grammy? Does winning a Grammy mean anything when the whole awards show is so schlocktastic and full of questionable nominees?
(Ricky Martin "Livin' La Vida Loca" at Sunday's Grammys...nominated for "Record of the Year" in 2000.")
I suppose it's only fair to point out that the Academy Awards are pretty schmaltzy, too. They gave us Titanic as Best Picture in 1998 and will probably reward that film's ham-fisted director for his latest big-production smackdown, Avatar, at this year's awards show. Still, there are usually more deserving films recognized at the Academy Awards than deserving music at the Grammys.
Is it just easier to love a mainstream movie than a mainstream artist? I think so. I could watch Avatar and actually enjoy it but want to flog myself with an umbrella if I had to listen to Rihanna's nasal montone for more than five minutes. I'm much more likely to sit through a terrible movie than a terrible song. Maybe it's because the movie offers sound and vision and story, whereas music is just sound.
Regardless, the Grammys have consistently bestowed laurels on some truly wretched performers. A sampling...
The Black-Eyes Peas won a Grammy for "My Humps." ("Yesterday," the most covered Beatles' song in history, has never won a Grammy.)
...has a Grammy. Janis Joplin... never got one.
I have to mention Milli Vanilli.
(Blame it on the rain.)
Avril Lavigne versus Regina Spektor... Guess which one has the Grammy?
Celine Dion wins "Record of the Year" for reminding us that "My Heart Will Go On." Nick Drake and Elliott Smith do not have that option.
("I love you, Rose..." "I love you, Jack... er, Celine.")
To compare these wacky awards to the Oscars: it would be like The Tooth Fairy winning best picture over Crazy Heart.
If you're like me, you're glad when the Grammys are over so you can stop reading about artists you don't care about and what they're wearing when you scan the daily news headlines.
I'd rather read about groundhogs, especially if they're wearing natty threads.