By Team Backbeat
By Amber Taufen
By Jon Solomon
By Tom Murphy
By Jesse Livingston
By Alejandra Loera
By Stephanie March
By Tom Murphy
People often ask me, "Adam, what's the hardest part about being such a sophisticated gadabout with a head of hair that'd make a Beatle cry and the alcoholism of an Irish playwright?" A great question. The hardest part is having to put up with people who feel like they have the right to ask me such things just because they saw me compulsively checking my bangs in the mirror while sucking on a gin, no tonic. But another difficult aspect is keeping up with the events of the day in order to attract and eventually marry a wealthy woman, ideally from a horse-breeding family with great tracts of land in Louisiana, where I can spend my idle hours trying to videotape and conclusively prove the existence of the Ivory Billed Woodpecker — not like those Cornell hacks who used sound recordings to "prove" that shit in 2005.
My efforts at keeping relevant are tireless. One minute I'm all up in the New York Times's guts reading about the economic stimulus package, the next I'm at TheGuardian.com, straight getting my Hamas on. And yet, inevitably, there are things that slip past my radar. In a way, it's like I'm wearing rubber waders and standing in the middle of this roaring river chock-full of drowning orphan babies. I grab as many of the babies as I can, saving them and giving them full, healthy lives, but still thousands of them fly right past me, down toward the giant waterfall a mere one hundred yards beyond. And then those poor babies shoot off that waterfall and explode in great blasts of crimson on the rocks below. Of course, some survive, and those babies grow up and gather on a fortified island, where, as we speak, they're plotting my demise, the literal bastards.
The latest exploding baby skull to escape my notice? Music in 2008. Because according to the Grammy nominations this year, I simply wasn't listening to the right stuff — actually, I was only listening to "The Right Stuff," which may very well have been the problem.
Truth be told, I wouldn't have even known the Grammys were coming up were it not for my membership to a Katy Perry stalker site, I Fisted a Girl and I Liked It. The site had a notice up about "My Grammy Moment," where contestants are encouraged to film thirty- to sixty-second clips of themselves singing Perry's hit single, "I Kissed a Girl," with the most popular entries appearing on a screen behind the bi-curious hump cushion as she belts out the tune on Grammy night. I immediately filmed a clip of myself singing, crying and applying lipstick while holding a defiant fist in the air like some sort of Olympic sprinter. The process made me Grammy-curious. So I decided to do a little research to see which musicians were up this year for a self-congratulatory plaque from a committee more out of touch with the public than a pervert in solitary confinement.
And, boy, was I surprised. Check out the nominations for record of the year: "Chasing Pavements," by Adele, "Viva la Vida," by Coldplay, "Bleeding Love," by Leona Lewis, "Paper Planes," by M.I.A., "Please Read the Letter," by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. At the risk of sounding like an old man yelling at kids to get off my lawn — à la Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino — who the fuck are these people? Okay, I know Coldplay, and I'm pretty sure M.I.A. is the love interest from Slumdog Millionaire, and, yes, Robert Plant is Robert Plant, but I had no idea he made an album this year. Leona Lewis? Adele? They sound like women I've deleted from my iPhone.
The nominees for Best New Artist make me feel even more irrelevant: Adele (again), Duffy, the Jonas Brothers, Lady Antebellum and Jazmine Sullivan. I know the Jonas Brothers because they're bigger than Jesus, but unless Lady Antebellum is Harriet Tubman, I haven't heard of one of these musicians. Which prompts this question: Is there any award ceremony more disconnected from the opinions of the public? I understand that the Grammys are a peer-to-peer kind of thing, but some of these peers need to pull their heads out of their asses. Anytime you turn in your nomination form and where it says "Best Male Pop Vocal Performance" you have written the words "Kid Rock," there is clearly a problem.
But maybe I'm the problem. Maybe I'm just hopelessly out of touch with the jalapeño-popping throngs of this bloated nation; maybe my hipster jeans are so tight they're cutting off my appreciation for American Idol grads. Maybe I plucked the wrong babies out of the river and now I have to deal with the fact that everyone wishes I'd saved different babies. Well, I grabbed all the babies I could, America, but in the end, I just didn't have enough time.
Still, I'm going to watch the Grammys this weekend just like everyone else — because Kanye got nominated. Maybe he'll punch a cop or some shit.
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