Seeing as how I’m obviously reading my news feed fairly religiously today, here’s another one for you. Truth be told, this is really much ado about nothing: hardly anyone outside the recording industry cares at all about the dozens of non-televised Grammys. Nor, for that matter, do very many people care about the televised ones: most viewers are more interested in the Soy Bomb-style train wrecks or whatever Lady GaGa might be wearing. Which is actually as it should be: dopey though they may be, those things are actually entertainment, which is more than can be said for the stilted hosting and over-rehearsed musical performances that dominate the telecast.
The Grammy Awards are silly by their very nature: there is no way to actually delineate what makes a recording great. Only the technical awards (engineering, production, etc.) make any sort of quantifiable sense at all. More so than perhaps any other media, music is personal; the claim that there can really be a sort of overall “album of the year” is mind-blowingly preposterous given more than a few seconds thought. Think about your favorite albums and what makes them so indispensible to you. The reasons are all intangible and, as a result, immeasurable. Your bond with that music has everything to do with where you were in your life at the time of your first exposure: what job you were working, where you were living, who you were hanging out with, and so on. Now tell me: how do you judge that objectively? You can’t, of course.
The music industry needs an evening of grand pomp and circumstance in order to promote itself, and that’s all well and good. Winning a Grammy might even give an album or two a shot in the sales arm for a week or two afterwards. That’s all well and good, too. Just like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, though, there’s no reason to let anyone else tell you what’s great in your world. That’s your job, and you’re more than capable.
All this commentating has gotten me in a music mood. Scratch that, a metal mood. Where’d I put that Jethro Tull disc?