Feb 152011
Authors: Matt Miller

In the following column I will attempt to construct an argument on my opinion of the 53rd Grammy Awards.

Unfortunately it will be rambling, it will be incoherent, it may be filled with poor sentence construction, bad grammar and quite possibly offensive material.
This is because Monday night was my 21st birthday.

I am currently writing on the Tuesday following my birthday celebrations, and even at four in the afternoon writing is somewhat of a struggle.

In a way Monday’s festivities acted in part as a form of self-medication for the three and a half hours of torture I experienced while watching the Grammys on Sunday.

After forgetting the words to our National Anthem during the Super Bowl, Christina Aguilera managed to once again grace millions of viewers with her talent by falling onstage after a sickening tribute to Aretha Franklin.

(Although I can’t pass judgment because I have been told that late Monday night I attempted to sing a karaoke version of Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl” at Sports eXchange moments before throwing up.

It was at this point, merely moments into the Grammys, that I knew it was going to be a rough night.

With Justin Bieber, Lady GaGa and Katy Perry represented in nearly every category, my expectations weren’t high in the first place.

As I sat through a series of uninspired, gimmicky performances I realized more than ever that there is not much in the Grammys actually about music –– they are more about popularity and shock value.

Lady GaGa arrived in an egg, Justin Bieber played with Jaden Smith and Cee Lo Green played with Gwyneth Paltrow and The Muppets. Not even Bob Dylan himself could save a performance by Mumford & Sons and The Avett Brothers that was as boring as it was cheesy.

This is an award show that awards album sales and billboard chart placement and not musical talent or innovation. If the Academy Awards operated in the same way the “Twilight” movies would need a semi to transport all the Oscars.

But at the end of a painful award show something amazing happened.

In a shocking twist of fate the Arcade Fire was given the Grammy for Album of the Year.

Could this mean that there may actually be some substance to the Grammys? Maybe they have turned over a new leaf.

Even Win Butler, lead singer of Arcade Fire, was shocked.

“What the hell?” he said as the band took the stage.

Since their debut album “Funeral” in 2004 the Arcade Fire have been making intelligent, critically acclaimed indie rock.

With the release of “The Suburbs” last year the band shot into the spotlight selling out Madison Square Garden and headlining major music festivals.
Although I am proud of this previously ignored genre getting recognition at the Grammys, I can’t help but feel that the Arcade Fire was only rewarded for their rise in popularity.

“Funeral”, which is by far the groups best, was unable take an award home in 2004 when they were all but unknown.

Other bands in the genre (Deerhunter, LCD Soundsystem, Beach House) produced albums as good if not better than the Arcade Fire yet were unfortunately left out at the Grammys.

After a night that was nothing more than a popularity contest it was refreshing to see talent justly rewarded. And I would like to think it wasn’t due to the Arcade Fire’s recent brush with fame.

After accepting their award Win Butler said, “We’re going to play another song because we love music.”

Well Win, at the Grammys you might have been the only ones. Congratulations for getting awarded for it.

Entertainment Editor Matt Miller is a junior journalism major. His column appears Wednesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to verve@collegian.com.

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Radiohead announced Monday that they will be releasing a new album, “The King of Limbs,” on Saturday. Pre-order the special edition now for $48. It will be worth every cent.

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