Monday, February 13, 2012
ANYBODY ALIVE OUT THERE?
Amen! Awards shows generally suck but once in a while they throw together some talented musicians who transcend the dull format and play some real music. Real music, not the canned, overproduced, radio-friendly stuff (Yes, okay, Adele is great, but I'm sooooo tired of her) but music that lights up the room with real electricity. We used to call it rock and roll, and it was rebellious and loud and unruly, unlike the mounds of auto-tuned, computerized, drum-machined, easy-listening product oozing from your speakers like Velveeta. Real music, played by real people, and not for the queasy or timid or weak of heart. It's rare these days. At the Grammys last night, in an endless, otherwise lackluster evening, that happened just a few times. Newcomer (new to me, anyway) Bruno Mars knocked 'em out with a solid a retro tune and some old school dance moves. He looked like Little Richard and danced like an old Doo-Wop singer. That was a nice surprise. Old friend Bruce Springsteen kicked out a 2012 Depression set with the energy of a tent show revival crossed with Occupy Wall Street testifyin.' And another old friend, Paul McCartney (remember Paul, from Wings? Ah, forget it...) sang a sweet tune from his new record of standards. My Valentine.
But things went crazy from the White Album (look it up) with a little help from his friends, including Bruce, Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters (and Nirvana) and ex-Eagle, ex-James Gang-member Joe Walsh, and played--respectfully--the side two medley of Abbey Road, something you've probably had scrimshawed on the inside walls of your skull for decades. Sure, some were puzzled. I guess some people don't know who the Beatles are anymore, or they confuse those advertainments and pop confections on the TV dessert tray for rock and roll, but Paul has traveled down some long and winding roads and he still brings it. Maybe his voice doesn't quite reach the way it did in his twenties, but whose does? It was a great few moments before the powers of mediocrity wrestled the controls from the lads and returned us to our normal programming, but one thing is safe to say: Turns out the Beatles weren't a fluke or a fad, after all. As for rock, well, Danny and the Juniors said it best: Rock and roll is here to stay. Now get out of here.