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February 9, 2009 |

By TK Burton | Music | February 9, 2009 |

Welcome to the real-time review of the 51st Annual Grammy Awards, the award show that’s slightly less craptastic than the American Music Awards. You bastards better appreciate this shit — we’ll see how long I can handle it. This will be a true test of will.

8:05 — I started it up late, but caught the last minute of U2’s tepid performance of “Get On Your Boots,” leading into a surprisingly not-cracked-out-looking Whitney Houston introducing Best R&B album. But not before recognizing Clive Davis, who looks distinctly not-Motown. In any event, Jennifer Hudson wins it, which is sort of the Grammys’ Heath Ledger moment. Yes, I’m aware how terrible that is to say. Prove me wrong, kids. Ms. Hudson keeps it together though, thankfully. I don’t know that I could handle a breakdown seven minutes in.

8:08 — The Rock. Continuing to ham up the screen. Seriously, Rock, much as I loved The Rundown, you need to knock it the fuck off. The camera cuts to the Jonas Brothers, and I still want to shave their heads and throw them down a well.

8:10 — Justin Timberlake, who I pray will sing “Dick In A Box,” but I’m ready for disappointment. Actually he appears to be introducing Al Green. His jokes are dying like N’Sync in a barfight though. But… Al Motherfuckin’ Green, who I adore, is performing “Let’s Stay Together.”

8:12 — Well, it’s been 12 minutes but so far the Grammys are batting .500 for live performances. Timberlake is actually a decent compliment to the Reverend, who despite being a bit… ah… heftier, is still not fucking around with his soul power — thank God he uses his powers for good. I could live without the Keith Urban (who I consistently mix up with the much more badass Karl Urban) guitar solo.


Hmm… Nope.

8:20 — Hey, look! Another commercial for a stupid looking Nic Cage movie. Die.

coldplay.jpg8:23 — H TO THE IZZO! Jay-Z shows up during Coldplay’s “Lost”, and shit officially got weird. Though I admit, I friggin’ love Jay-Z, and he is rocking it. And now he’s gone, and they’re playing that song that’s on the radio nonstop that I don’t know the name of. Somewhere, Joe Satriani is sitting in his living room fuming.

8:25 — Yeah, it’s official. I want to smack Chris Martin. Bring Hova back. Also, I’m now drinking. It didn’t take long.

8:27 — Christ, more Keith Urban. Introducing… CARRIE UNDERPANTS!!! Oooh, vaguely rock-ish music. I confess, I’ve never really given Ms. Underpants a shot.

8:28 — Mrs. TK: “Is she singing, ‘I don’t even know his last name’? What an excellent example for today’s youth.” She’s right. I’ve made my decision: Ms. Underpants is both a talentless harpy, and clearly a trollop and woman of loose morals. Pookie is likely tracking her address down as we speak.

8:32 — Good news: Sheryl Crow. Bad news: Leann Rhymes, presenting the award for best country performance. One of which is “God Must Be Busy” by Brooks and Dunn. God, pop country sucks balls. And not in the good way. The winner is… “Stay,” by Sugarland. Anyone? Anyone? Yeah, I got nothin’. They look like they might swoon on stage… or try to mount Paul McCartney.

8:37 — This Lincoln commercial with the cover of “Space Oddity” really, really makes me stabby.

8:40 — Duffy and Al Green are presenting. Seriously, who the fuck is Duffy? Al Green is kind of adorable though. They’re presenting Song of the Year. The winner is… Colplay for “Viva La Vida.” Whatever. “Battle Slut Drinking Song” by Destroy Destroy Destroy got fucking robbed.

8:43 — Oh, goodie. Kid Rock. American flags, chants of “Amen.” Mrs. TK: “Aww, shameless pandering.” And did he really just say “Guilty of being white”? But of course, it segues into that shitty “Sweet Home Alabama” song. Godtopus, please send Kid Rock ass herpes, I’m begging you.

8:49 — It’s time for more Scotch, and I’m switching to doubles. If I get out of hand, blame Dustin.

8:52 — A Hellmouth just opened in my house. Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus are performing.

8:55 — Mrs. TK: “Miley looks like she’s taking a poop.” Me: “She sounds like she’s taking a poop.” Mrs. TK: “Or as Lil Pajiba calls it, Number 19.” This is the kind of scintillating commentary you can expect from us, folks. Also, Taylor Swift is spectacularly, criminally bland, and Cyrus just appears to rhyme loudly rather than singing. They proceed to announce Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals. The winner is… Robert Plant and Allison Krauss! Holy fuck, there just might be justice in this universe. Plant thanks T-Bone Burnett, who I fucking love, so I’m pleased.

8:59 — Jennifer Hudson is singing. I’m just gonna zip it for this one.

9:09 — Jason Mraz aka John Mayer aka Jack Johnson… whatever, I’m convinced they’re all the same person. He’s introducing the JoBros… and STEVIE FUCKING WONDER?


[grinds teeth]

steviejobros.jpg9:11 — Ah, more whiskey. Maybe that’ll fix things. What’s that? They’re playing “Very Superstitious?” Oh, fuck me. I didn’t think it would be this bad, but… the Jonas Brothers are actually far worse than I expected them to be. Mrs. TK, despite my begging, refuses to drive a knitting needle into my eardrums. I am dead inside. I just received this email from Caspar:

“Wow. I don’t mean this in a bad way, because I grew up with Stevie Wonder, own all his albums and idolise him — but the man has no dignity. He re-released “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” over here as a duet with a boyband called Blue, in about 2004, which at the time made me very close to tears. This new Jonas Brothers debacle is a new low.” I’d say that sums it up nicely.

9:15 — Blink 182 is announcing Best Rock Album. I’d be psyched if Kings of Leon or the Raconteurs win — that would restore my faith in a kind and loving God. And of course, it’s fucking Coldplay. DIE CHRIS MARTIN DIE. You’re not even a fucking rock band, you limey ponces (sorry, Caspar).

9:21 — Mrs. TK is baking cookies to try to dull the pain. Scotch and cookies. Not a bad mix. And Craig Ferguson doesn’t hurt, either. He just made the night’s first funny joke, about stabbing and vomiting and sex tapes. You kinda had to be there.

Aw, balls, he’s introducing Katy Perry. She’s cute, but this song makes me yearn for Liz Phair for some reason. Ah, fuck it. Why not:

— Ahhh, I needed that.

9:26 — Oh, shit. Kanye West (who despite being a colossal douche, I really like) is performing with… I have no idea who that is. I preferred the performance with Daft Punk at last year’s show.

9:29 — Best New Artist goes to… Adele! WA HOO! CONGRATS TO ADELE! FUCK YEAH!!

… who the shit is Adele? All I know is she has a near-impenetrable accent.

9:36 — Morgan Freeman. Introducing Kenny Chesney. Somewhere, Peyton Manning just popped one. You know it’s true, Dustin.

9:38 — I don’t know how much more of this I can take. My only prayer is that Maynard James Keenan runs out and starts shooting or something. What? I can dream.

9:39 — No dice. Still Chesney. Kill me. Sean Combs, Natalie Cole announce the noms for Record of the Year. I’m prepared for the inevitable win from Coldplay, even though I’d love for MIA to get it.

9:41 — Allison Krauss and Robert Plant win. It’s nice to be wrong occasionally. Also, T-Bone Burnett is like 8 feet tall.

9:48 — Queen Latifah talking about Dean Martin. That is too weird to comprehend. She then segues into introducing MIA, who is insanely pregnant… along with Kanye West, TI, Jay-Z and Lil Wayne. And you know what? This is actually kind of badass.

9:54 — Kate Beckinsale? What the hell? If she’s not dressed in black vinyl and shooting werewolves, I’m not fucking interested. But she’s introducing Paul McCartney.

9:55 — YAY, COOKIES! Oh, and Sir Paul is playing “I Saw Her Standing There.”

10:04 — Jack Black and Charlie Haden (who is Black’s father in law?). introduce Best Male Pop Vocal. And the winner is… John fucking Mayer. Fantastic. Another win for trite, lame, sissy-pop. He neglects to thank Jennifer Aniston.

10:06 — Jay Mohr and LL Cool J. Who picks these pairings? A dart board? They introduce Sugarland and Adele (bitch, you ain’t Prince. Get a last name), and I refuse to watch this.

10:18 — Gwynneth Paltrow. Where’s your baby? Pomegranate, or whatever its name is. Introducing Radiohead… with the USC Marching Band. What. The. Fuck. Whatever, it’s Radiohead. My homicidal urges are momentarily abated.

10:22 — Actually, that was kind of… unremarkable. Or as Mrs. TK said, “eh.” You said it, babe.

10:29 — Sam The Man Jackson™ introduces TI and Justin Timberlake. I’m completely and utterly underwhelmed by this. That garnered another “eh.”

tops.jpg10:34 — Neil Pornow, the president of the Recording Academy, waxing about Obama’s spoken word Grammys. Which I confess, is kind of cool. He eventually gets around to introducing Smokey Robinson, who honors The Four Tops. He then goes on to perform an “I’ll Be There/Standing In The Shadows Of Love/Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch” medley with Jamie Foxx, his brother Leon, and the last remaining Top, and it’s not bad. Not bad at all.

10:47 — Josh Groban, the natural heir to Neil Diamond, introduces Neil Diamond, who performs “Sweet Caroline.” Red Sox fans across Massachusetts prepare to do the “BUM BUM BUMMMMM!” part. Also, Neil Diamond apparently just speaks his lyrics these days. He should duet with Miley Cyrus.

10:51 — Time for the “folks who died” segment. Reast in Peace, Miriam Makeba, Bo Diddley.

10:56 — 35 more minutes. 35 more minutes. 35 more minutes.

11:02 — Gary Sinise? Really? Oh, Lord. He begins his New Orleans retrospective with, “this musical garden of Eden still needs our tending.” Guh. And then we’re treated to Robin Thicke and Lil Wayne. I confess, I like Lil Wayne for his sheer batshitty crazypants. I mean, have you heard “Prom Queen”?

11:06 — OK, Allan Toussaint and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. That’s pretty damn cool. Unfortunately, at a venue like this, much of the soul is inevitably lost.

11:09 — Will.i.Am and T-Pain. I hate both of these people. As an added bonus, they’re both dressed like ghetto Dr. Seuss characters as they announce Best Rap album. If it’s not Lupe Fiasco… FUCK. It’s not. Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter III. Which isn’t a bad album, but come on. The Cool is one of the best hip hop albums of the last 5 years, no question. If Atmosphere can’t get nominated, throw me a bone and give it t Lupe.

I hate your stupid bitch face, Grammys.

11:12 — Mrs. TK has abandoned ship. I am alone, half drunk, with nothing but my own rage to keep me company.

11:18 — Zooey Deschanel, looking relatively normal, introduces Allison Krauss and Robert Plant with T-Bone Burnett.

11:23 — Green Day announces Rick Rubin as the Producer of the Year, and here we go, the final award for Album Of The Year. I already know it’s gonna be Coldplay, despite Radiohead probably deserving it.

Actually, I’m totally wrong. It’s Raising Sand, by Plant and Krauss. You know what? I can dig that. So this thing wasn’t a total shitshow. And they’re already playing music over Robert Plant and T-Bone Burnett, which is really fucking aggravating.

As Stevie Wonder closes it out, all I can say is… that was three and a half hours (!) that could have been better spent. It wasn’t as horrific as it could have been… in fact, if anything the 51st Grammys greatest sin was that it was pretty goddamn boring. In no small part due to the complete absence of a rock and roll presence. Other than Kid Rock’s horrific performance, there was no real rock influence on the ceremony. All of the rock and metal categories weren’t a part of the ceremony, which not only alienates a large portion of the musical spectrum, but also makes the ceremony itself pretty goddamn dull. In any event, Death Magnetic won Best Metal Album (terrible choice), The Mars Volta won Best Rock Performance (sweet!) and “Sex On Fire” won best Rock Performance, for those who were curious.

Ah well. Expecting fun and interesting from the Grammys is probably a waste of my time. Regardless, hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my suffering. Bastards.

TK can often be found staggering around his back yard, wishing for a zombie attack and shouting at leaves. He studies the dark arts of cheeseburger-making and cultivating the Merciless Pepper of Quetzlzacatenango. He wastes valuable time at Uncooked Meat.

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A Real-Time Review Of The Grammys / TK

Music | February 9, 2009 |

TK Burton is the Editorial Director. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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