Skip to comments.I Hear Music, Partisan Music ( How the Grammys Contribute to Plummeting Record Sales )
Posted on 02/13/2007 11:16:30 AM PST by SirLinksalot
I Hear Music, Partisan Music
Watching the Grammys.
By Raymond Arroyo
The whole point of music is to transcend politics, grievances, and the differences that divide to help us reconnect to those essential human emotions we all share: love, loss, anger, regret. Unless, that is, you work for the music industry.
Like its wicked stepsister, Hollywood, the music business has become increasingly divorced from its purpose, estranged from its audience, and maliciously partisan. Not that they seem to care. Case in point: the 49th Annual Grammy Awards held at the Los Angeles Staples Center on Sunday night. Watching the proceedings, who could be blamed for wanting to staple some mouths shut?
For the Dixie Chicks, who won a total of five Grammys, the evening was a triumph. No big surprise. Natalie Maines, the lead singer for the group, all but insured this outcome in 2003, when, during a concert in London she announced, Just so you know, were ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas. Back on the mainland, a huge chunk of their fan base in red-state America stop whistling Dixie Chicks; the comments would eventually lead to dwindling record sales and a banishment from many country-radio stations. The Chicks were unrepentant, and decided to court a more urbane crowd, shaking off the rednecks that had made them stars.
On Sunday, they communed with their new fan base: Grammy voters. For the tune Not Ready to Make Nice, the Chicks snagged Best Song and Best Record of the Year Grammys, despite the fact that it never broke the top 20 on any chart. And to prove the power of an offhanded comment against a beleaguered president, the trio took home an Album of the Year Grammy as well.
Accepting the award Natalie Maines droned, To quote the great Simpsons, Heh, heh. A lot of people have turned off their TV sets now. Thats assuming her performance earlier in the evening hadnt already had viewers rushing for their remotes for part of that live number, poor Natalie sounded flatter than her record sales. It was enough to tempt one to beg Laura Ingraham to retitle her book: Shut up, And Dont Sing Either.
For an institution approaching its 50th year, and an industry hemorrhaging financially, one would have imagined that the Grammy telecast would have at least tried to reach as wide an audience as possible. No such luck. Save for the American Idol champion, Carrie Underwood, who picked up a pair of Grammys for her Jesus Take the Wheel, there was little for Middle America to revel in.
The aging Police opened the show to prove that they could still stand on stage together and pull off a reasonably good version of Roxanne. The Latin diva Shakira popped her pelvis and undulated her way through her summer hit, Hips Dont Lie, wandering through a set that looked like a Bollywood strip club.
The rapper Ludacris, who won Best Rap Album honors for the masterpiece (his words) Release Therapy, gave a shout out to Oprah and Bill OReilly (both of whom have been critical of his lyrics). With a catalog that includes such hits as Hoes in My Room and Girls Gone Wild, how ludicrous that anyone would take umbrage at the Ludacris view of women in his music. The video for his latest work, broadcast in part at the Grammys, featured Ludacris surrounded by bikini-clad women writhing all over him. One clip featured he and his employees lying on a bed of cash. Oprah and OReilly seem to have this one right.
Finally, near the end of the of the torturous ceremony, as if the nerves could take any more, that musical giant Al Gore took the stage to announce the winner of the Best Rock Album. Why? I have no idea. But as evidence that global warming is wreaking some havoc, perhaps on what is left of good taste, Jimmy Carter won a spoken-word Grammy for his audio book, Our Endangered Values. If youre very quiet you can still hear the cries of jubilation rising in Gaza.
Insignificant musical talents like Bob Dylan, John Williams, the San Francisco Symphony, Randy Newman, and more than 90 others were not of sufficient caliber to be featured on the Grammy telecast, though they all took home prizes. The airtime had to be saved for the real talent out there: Shakira, the Chicks, and Ludacris, and their scintillating performances. Ludicrous.
Given this one nights collective assault on the ears, the eyes, and decency itself, is it any wonder that record sales have plummeted? If this is the best that the American recording industry has to offer the world, their future is very bleak indeed. While relatively cheap music downloads doubled last year, the industrys bread and butter, CDs sales, continued to slide. In the year 2000, N Sync sold more than nine million copies of their album, No Strings Attached. This years bestseller, High School Musical sold a paltry 3.7 million. Big retailers like Musicland and Tower Records have called it quits for good. People will download a tune here and there, but their devotion to individual artists is slipping; their willingness to plop down 18 bucks to hear slickly packaged, homogenized drek is gone. As one record exec told a Canadian newspaper this week, I think the fan is in control now they have the power. To quote those great Simpsons: Heh, heh.
Raymond Arroyo is editor of the forthcoming, Mother Angelicas Little Book of Life Lessons and Everyday Spirituality (Doubleday, March) and host of EWTNs The World Over Live.
Because the "music business" hates it customers.
Well there was also Mary J. Bleige saying the "J-word" several times. That had to make many in the audience really uncomfortable. Also most of them dressed classier. There weren't a bunch of see-thru blouses or the usual mega-clevage dresses just waiting for a wardrobe malfunction.
Every show like that I deem a threat to my sanity. The popular songs from the summer, in my mind, have outlived their useful lives and it's time for something new (but not fresh or original) to take their places.
Did anybody watch to make sure Shakira's lips were perfectly synched with the voice?
I still buy CDs, mostly "oldies" compilations, real country music stars like Toby Keith and classical music.
Hey, Natalie, "HA ha!"
Is the Dixie Chicks new music played on ANY Country music stations? I listen to country music all day in work and have yet to hear anything from their post "Insult Bush" era.
Just in case there was any doubt left that the Grammys have jumped the shark...
Geez...sounds like i didn't miss much.As far as Natalie"airhead"Maines is concerned,she's cute as a button unless she's in a "bulking up" phase.Any pics?
Was that the Grammys or the DNC Convention? I couldn't tell.
25. Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio, and TV.
America is like a healthy body and its resistance is threefold: its patriotism, its morality, and its spiritual life. If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within. --Josef Stalin
Buy only what floats your boat. http://allofmp3.com
I gave up listening to "Country" radio a couple of years ago, primarily because FM stations no longer play what I would consider to be Country Music (and that includes the Ditsy Twits). Sorry, but when 90% of the playlist seems to be composed of Rascal Flatts, Lonestar, Keith Urban or Faith Hill, interspersed with 22 minutes of commercials per hour, I ain't listenin'.
Get a load of this :
THE 5 WORST RECORDS OF 2006... COUNTDOWN
On Sunday evening, the Grammys celebrated what was supposedly the best in music over the past five years. Now, it is time to celebrate the worst. Here are the five worst records of 2006:
5. Beyonce (ft. Jay Z) - "Déjà Vu"
What the hell was Daddy Knowles thinking by letting this become the first single from Beyonces other decent collection of songs on the Bday album. Everything from Jay Zs rap to Beyonces screeching vocal performance make this song sound like a b-side to a Britney Spears single. You have to give Beyonce credit though: this song would have killed any other artists career. For Beyonce, who has spent the last ten weeks at number 1 with Irreplaceable, it was barely a blip on the meter.
4. Justin Timberlake "Sexy Back"
The mega success of this single has shown just how low the music world has gone. Everybodys fake ghetto Michael Jackson pre-molestation wannabe tells us how he wants to bring sexy back. But the song is just about as sexy as the thought of Laura Bush in a bikini. Justin Timberlake has apparently found a huge audience by appealing to the lowest denominator of music listeners.
3. Shakira Featuring Wyclef Jean - "Hips Don't Lie"
If you want to hear a goat cry, you can easily go to the zoo. But it became easier in 2006 because all you had to do was turn on the radio. Even Wyclef Jean, who was obviously paraded by music moguls, sounds like he doesnt want to be on this record. Shakira has had other great singles. After many flops, however, Shakira and her record company apparently decided that she had to lower and degrade herself into singing this mess in order to score a hit single.
2. Janet Jackson - "Call on Me"
Apparently, nobody decided to call on Ms. Jackson, who made a desperate comeback attempt with this lame and ultra pathetic single. While the uproar over her "wardrobe malfunction" might have been hypocritical, she did herself no favors by singing this typical R & B fluff produced by her no-talent boy toy, Jermaine Dupri. Nelly does the song no favors with his robotic vocal performance either.
1. Mariah Carey - "Fly Like a Bird"
2006 certainly wasnt a good year for everybody's favorite overweight human dog whistle: she was a sore loser at the Grammy awards; several of her concerts were cancelled due to poor ticket sales, and she released two singles that completely bombed: Say Something, and this absolute mess, where Mariah sounds like an alley cat being beheaded. The chorus at the end sounds produced by a choir from the gates of Hell. Mariah further punishes the listeners with her high pitched signature pig squeal at the end of the song. It used to be that Mariah could disguise her flops as hits by severely deep discounting them to 49 cents. Unfortunately, singles dont sell like they used to and Mariah has to face a fact: a flop is a flop! Now, Mariah, either go to the gym or stop wearing those tight sleazebag outfits that you barely fit into!
Goes to show that the best music is often not on the radio or "popular". It was patenly obvious about the DC's win. Shame that they get credit for "performing" songs written by other, far more talented people.
Hmm... I was told the record business is in dire straits because of the billions of illegal music downloaders out there. Could that be misleading?
Although the Chicks did have me grabbing the remote, I watched nearly all of the show. I wouldn't be too quick to write off the whole show.
As stated, Carrie Underwood REALLY kicked ass, and was wonderful. The trio of John Mayer, Corrine Bailey Rae, and the other guy (sorry, can't remember his name, not intentional) put together quite a nice medley. And say what you will, but you had to be impressed with Christine Aguillera and her singing abilities. Awesome.
Beyonce is quite striking and talented, as well.
Personnally, I don't think conservatives have to give up on the entire event, even though there are insufferable moments. Maybe putting together a Christian Music Award show would be nice. There are some REALLY good artists in this field these days.
Lee Ann Womack, Rex Hobart, Mike Ireland, Hayes Carll, Slaid Cleaves...I think of artists such as these being "real country"
Sad thing is that Timberlake was nominated for album of the year.....wow. And the Pussy Cat Dolls also received a nimination for something. Just shows that the Grammy's are not at all about artistic merit.
At least Dylan won a couple for Modern Times. That's how you write songs. 99.9% of the stuff on "popular" is pure crap. That included pop country. Pure crap. Same crap that makes American Idol coronation songs...;-)
There already is one: Dove Awards
The Grammys, Oscars, et al have become vehicles for the promotion of the Left's political agenda. I avoid them.
I don't know how you feel about Vince Gill, who was also nominated for a Grammy but lost to the ditsy chicks. He has a new 4 cd set that has a wide range of musical styles. If you like bluegrass and Del McCurry this cd is great.
"And say what you will, but you had to be impressed with Christine Aguillera and her singing abilities. Awesome."
She sang the daylights out of that song. Unreal talent.
Sorry - I don't buy this line. I have never been a Dylan fan - but many conservatives don't like him because they think he was some kind of "anti-war" icon in the '60s.
If you check the facts, Bob Dylan was NEVER against the war in Vietnam.
The media and the left-wing music industry tried to paint him as anti-war, but if you read his comments he always supported the troops and their mission.
John Williams, who wrote the music for Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Superman, Harry Potter, Jaws, Close Encounters, E.T., Schindler's List, Jurassic Park, Midway, Paper Chase, Poseidon Adventure, Towering Inferno, Diamond Head and many, many movies from the 60s and 70s (watch for his name on the credits of many films from back then - his earlier movies he is listed as "Johhny Williams") - I would not consider his talent as "insignificant".
I don't know...they picked up a new customer here for Christina Aguilara. I knew she could sing, but I had no idea how she COULD SING! Man, she blew me away!
I absolutely agree (Hayes Carll and Slaid Cleaves in particular being very under-appreciated). But then again, you won't hear much of Robert Earl Keen, Jason Boland, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Townes Van Zandt, or Fred Eaglesmith on FM "Country" radio, either.
Also, why Guy Clark is not recognized as a major talent is a mystery.
The "other" guy's name is John Legend and he's terrific. Christina Aguillerra was incredible...absolutely breathtakingly incredible. I think I'm going to go buy her CD. Unfortunately, she's forever grouped into that Britney Spears, Mandy Moore group, which is the furthest thing from what she is. She's a powerhouse singer.
I use Limewire.
I have not bought a CD since 1997, not counting a few I picked up at garage sales.
I have NEVER downloaded something I would have bought.
I still like to listen to my vinyl a lot.
I also dumpe tv in '97. This article makes the reason quite apparent.
The awards shows have also become too long and boring. About 2/3 of the Grammys was singing. They should simply read the names and give the awards.
The grammys have too many catagories. About 10 years ago, they had awards for best single, best album, best group, and best solo act. Now they have awards for best rap album, best country album, and best hip hop album. They probably increased the number of awards because people complained because they didn't get anything. It's a kind of affirmative action.
LOL! Good observation.
And so, the reputation & respect
for the Grammys crumbles into the
crack house gutter....form a crust
on the diseased sludge coming out
of the pipe and unning in the alley
from Da House's toilet pipe.
Nobody in their right mind would describe Dylan or Williams this way.
- Pat Green, Songs About Texas
Mrs. LC gave me two tickets to see Slaid Cleaves along with Guy Clark, in April.
I've been listening to "Brokedown" non-stop these past couple of weeks! Mabe you can answer this for me? Did anyone record that song besides Slaid?
There's a huge acoustic scene here in Brooklyn, NY! The only problem is that I have to play guitar alongside a bunch of leftwing moonbats. They'll sing an old gospel tune, and then make fun of the "Right Wing Christians"...
Has this author heard 'Fergalicious' yet?
"Oh the South coast of Texas
Is a thin slice of life
It's sharp as a nail
And hard as a knife..."
The writer was joking - being sarcastic. He likes Dylan and Williams.
While I have just about worn out my copy of Wishbones I haven't listended to Brokedown as much. That song first appeared on a Rod Picott CD...I think he cowrote it with Cleaves.
HIDH SCHOOL MUSICAL was the year's best seller? Wow. I guess 11 year olds haven't figured how to steal music off the web yet.
I guess I just saw the word insignificant and jumped to conclusions.
As I wrote yesterday: Ya know,,, You can train a monkey to dance a jig in front of an organ grinder. And to collect money from passersby. Does that make the monkey a professional entertainer? No, the monkey's just a trained animal, like so many of today's stars.
They have transformed the award into the SHAMMIES. I honestly wasn't aware it was on until the next day when I read of the results...glad I missed it.
Your comments, please?