General vibe on The Grammys is that they’re kind of divorced from the whole music thing, meaning the people that actually participate and care may actually be more into THE INDUSTRY than THE MUSIC. And yeah, it is super boring to watch the lead up to the thing, and then you start to flag midway through because the whole thing is kind of a rudderless explosion into pop-country waters and imagine Lady Antebellum practicing in a garage with big dreams of making it. They are so excited to be where they are. We heard that song that they have every couple minutes last night, to the point that we were sure they were going to win the coveted (is it still coveted if no one is actually buying albums? Or are the same people that buy albums the same ones that put the most stock in winning a Grammy—SO MANY QUESTIONS) album of the year award. That went to Arcade Fire, by the way. Last thing we ever thought could happen. We thought it was included as kind of a token nod, a recognition that the last people spending money on physical albums are also probably Arcade Fire fans. But they won—and The Suburbs is a great record. Probably too long, definitely too dense, but a great record nonetheless. There are sequences that still shine, even today, so far removed from the initial excitement around the release: “The Suburbs” into “Ready to Start” into “Modern Man” into “Rococo”—there’s something there and it is worth exploring and now a whole lot more people are going to explore it. This wasn’t some great win for indie music. Arcade Fire are one of the biggest bands in the country, they just happen to not be on a major label. So did we feel pride? Some people on the internet who had no connection to the band or Merge, their label, felt pride. We didn’t. A good record won a big industry award and maybe that’s something—except all that other stuff, however much the idea or concept might be despised, also had a lot of work going into it. Are Lady Antebellum less deserving? A lot of people love them. We can’t say we’d be stoked on that win, but we wouldn’t fault you if you were.
ANYWAY! The performance. Arcade Fire played twice: “Month of May” was an awkward, epileptic opener and “Ready to Start” the geeked closer, the band barely able to hold back their smiles. It wasn’t the best performance of the song we’ve seen, but if we just won an award we’d probably be a little distracted too. Also we’d be distracted by the BMX dudes riding around for no reason. Was that a signifier of the suburbs—kids riding bikes off dirt jumps in parks before hitting the cul de sac for some Sunny D and Hot Pockets—or some elaborate video project to be seen later? Only time will tell, just like only time will tell if this win altered the stuffy Old World Music Scene we’re not even a part of, or if it just means that the people at Merge are going to be diving into huge piles of Grammy Money until the end of time. Either one seems pretty cool. PS, Lady Gaga was in an egg for awhile. MUSIC!