No time for red carpets, so let's just go into the go-go, to quote Michael Scott, with a side thanks to the Office Ladies podcast for making me aware of said quote.
7:00 PM: HECK YEAH that is the way to start a show! Lizzo is her own bomb lighting.
7:04: OH MY GOD the ballerinas in their white and light-up tutus; incredible. How are all of these dancers able to move so well? You're telling me I didn't have to feel vague shame at recitals all those years I was the biggest or second biggest girl in my dance classes, and that if I had tried harder to memorize and sharply execute the choreography it wouldn't have mattered that I wasn't skinny like the rest of them? I guess representation does matter.
Anyway, I don't love this particular performance of Truth Hurts, seemed kind of shouty, but I did recently decide I like the song in its original form. The flute coming down from the ceiling was just fantastic. Her stage presence is so insanely good.
7:07: Oh wow I love Alicia Keys' silver 1-shoulder dress. What an excellent host.
7:09: I found out Kobe Bryant died thanks to Chris mentioning it after checking his phone while we were in Goodwill (me, massively confused: Are you serious?) but honestly, I've spent all day trying to remember why I know his name and even after reading Wikipedia, nothing stands out besides "wasn't he the basketball player who bought a ridiculously expensive diamond ring to apologize for cheating? butt of many a Jay Leno Tonight Show joke?" so you can see why I don't really understand how he warrants THIS much of an outpouring of grief. I feel much more sad about his daughter I didn't know existed before today.
7:12: I refuse to comment on the weird-ass pairing that is Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani, but WOW do I love her rose-covered white and gold vaguely bridal dress with the roses on her headband and everything. The embellishments are actually kind of tacky up close, but that just makes it more authentically country.
7:19: From now on I am only accepting hosts who will provide musical interludes, thank you.
7:21: Madam President Tea Leoni may not be real, but Alicia Keys is the Grammys host and I feel hope in this Chili's tonight.
7:25: I'm crying; I have never cared about her in my life but I love this and her so much. I want to get behind everything she says. "It's just too many lies, too much hate, too much spin / It's when good people do nothing that the bad guys win." This is how to unite a nation, probably.
7:27: No, I can't. I can't Jonas Brothers tonight. *mute*
7:31: WHY WILL THIS ENTIRE AUDITORIUMN NOT SHUT UP AND STOP CHEERING FOR ONE SECOND. Are they just so excited that someone's finally going to announce an award? Anyway...
Best Pop Solo Performance: I love that these are 100% female nominees. The award goes to Lizzo (Truth Hurts) over Taylor Swift (You Need to Calm Down) and honestly, that is exactly what I was hoping for. Beating Beyonce, Billie Eilish and Ariana Grande is just icing.
7:41: This sound is very annoying, Tyler The Noisemaker. The flashing lights are giving me a headache. I'd rather watch the JoBros.
7:44: *glances up from ONTD watch post comments* Oh. He multiplied. *goes back to reading*
7:49: oh dear Alicia that is so much worse. (baggy pink pantsuit but the pants are high waisted and the jacket is cropped and showing a bit of midriff and I just cannot state enough how bad this look is)
7:50: Shania Twain is...unrecognizable.
Best Country Duo/Group Performance: "Speechless" is the only one of these songs I know and I don't care for it.
7:54: Usher covering a medley of Prince hits is...oddly satisfying. Someone's gonna be busting out her Prince CD for nostalgia tonight, though. And oh wow, the crazy talented pole dancer; AMAZING. [eta: ONTD has informed me that is FKA Twigs. I still don't know why she's relevant enough to have a stage name, but from now on I will assume she is a famous pole dancer.]
8:07: Camila Cabello is like Ariana Grande but worse, somehow. I mean she's prettier and has better hair, but GOD is she overexposed. She does not have enough credit built up for me to care about her singing a ballad to/about her dad.
8:10: This is vaguely awkward, honestly. Does she have to stand right in front of him while wearing what reminds me of a dressing gown over a short dress that could arguably be lingerie?
8:11: IDK who these country ladies are, but the one singing (Tanya someone?) gives a very throwback feel to what has been a very modern Grammys so far. I dig it.
8:14: That was a weird transition to Best Comedy Album. (WHY IS THIS HERE. Unless Ellen's gonna win.)
8:15: Ugh, Dave Chappelle. Seriously, you pick like six awards to give out live over the course of the night, WHY IS THIS ONE OF THEM.
8:20: Ben Platt is wearing a sparkly black-and-white diamond pattern suit jacket with a black turtleneck underneath it and I am HERE FOR IT. So much more than I am here for Ariana, no matter how glamously classy the latter has decided to dress this year. Strapless black ball gown, no weird cutouts, appropriate space-filling pendant necklace, even opera gloves?! Though she is spoiling the effect a little by wearing a bra with straps, which is...not a thing I would expect her to need.
8:23: Oh, j/k lol j/k. She's wearing a bra so she can pull the gown off and run around in a Playboy Bunny outfit. Well, that went gross; also, wtf @ the dude among her backup dancers.
8:24: I have never heard 7 Rings beyond its chorus before and I am Very Disgusted that "My Favorite Things" got mixed up in this. (that said I kind of love its hypnotic chorus. I see it, I like it, I want it, I got it is my motto when at thrfit stores/estate sales. It makes me feel rich and powerful.)
8:33: Oh, we got a boob-baring dress from Alicia now. I stand corrected; that is worse than the hot pink suit! B
8:34: I need to know why we as a society are allowing Billie Eilish to be a thing, because she makes me genuinely uncomfortable. It doesn't seem like she really enjoys any aspect of being a celebrity, so I am unclear why isn't just using her voice to be a wedding singer or maybe earning extra cash as a songwriter. I can't even evaluate whether I like this song or not because seeing her makes my shoulders creep to my ears. This whole situation feels Wrong.
8:39: Time for Yon Oldschool Performance: your casual reminder that Steven Tyler is still alive and kicking. AT LEAST IT'S FINALLY NOT A BALLAD, so idk, I'm kind of not hating this "Living On the Edge"?
8:42: This performance of Walk This Way is wild and weird but I don't hate this either.
8:46: lmao who are these random girls he pulled up on stage to dance. Was this scripted? Are they celebrities or just random members of the public? They look like random members of the public, but I'm getting old, so.
8:52: "Best Rap Album" is still pointless because they are all equally boring. Except also, that Noise Monster from earlier should not have been rewarded for this.
8:53: Oh wow. Until this very moment I have legit been asuming Tyler the Creator was just Tyler Perry's stage name and I am very confused by this being a different person.
8:56: Oops, guess I've been saying Lil Nas's name wrong. "Lil Nozz"? No thanks. It's clearly Lil Nazz, with an "a" like "at." But also YEEHAW, TIME FOR MY OTHER MOST ANTICIPATED PERFORMANCE.
8:57: People keep insisting that BTS is a BIG HUGE THING, and yelling racism every time a U.S. media outlet doesn't recognize this, and I still don't see it. I will not believe K-Pop is a thing outside of Korea at all, no matter how many people devote their LJs or Tumblrs to it. It just seems so homogenous and boring, in the way that young blonde female popstars in the early 2000s were all the same. Anyway, this is the first time I've ever seen or heard them and my only question is why some of their faces seem terrifyingly white, like clownishly white, almost as if caked in pancake makeup.
8:58: Who asked for a random child? That said, this billion remixes medley is quite hilarious. (point of fact: I have not gotten tired of this song yet. IT'S 2 EXCELLENT)
9:01: I would prefer the child to this nightmare rap.
9:08: I always hate when the Grammys try to get Super Emotional and I'm too tired to try and feel bad for Demi Lovato tonight. I get that's she's Been Through It, but I would prefer she solve that problem by leaving show business forever and using her money to retire to upstate New York or something.
9:21: I understand even less about why we are mourning a dude named Nipsey Hussle than Kobe Bryant. Wikipedia tells me there is no earthly reason I should know his name except that he was the guy who made the cameo in The Sexy Getting Ready Song, which I am frankly certain is more iconic than any of his own music, so I will not be paying attention to this tribute.
9:32: Alicia's moderately improved to a white cropped T-shirt and high waisted skinny jeans (that sparkle!!).
9:33: I've never heard of Rosalia before tongiht, but her outfit is...far more terrible than what she was wearing in the commercials about her, unflatteringly skintight and full of white fringe for some reason. Her song is also more boring. WHY IS EVERYTHING BALLADS TONIGHT. (Also, girl, you know you're standing in front of a mirror, right? Because I can't focus on anything except the fact that you seem to be wearing an assless body leotard.)
9:34: Oh hey, that's better. Get some energy in this joint. Still won't remember it by tomorrow, though.
9:37: *glances up* Wait, what's happening? What is this a cappella group? I recognize Smokey Robinson, whom they should really stop letting leave the crypt, but no one else. Anyway, Song of the Year nominees: WOW there are a lot of them. I'm rooting for Lizzo's Truth Hurts again because I've never heard any of the others except the awful Lewis Capaldi song. That said I would accept a Taylor Swift (Lover), Lana del Rey or Brandi Carlile win, in that order, on principle.
(Side note: lmao @ "Norman Freaking Rockwell." I wish! But also, this feels like an appropriate place to just put in a silence censor)
9:40 PM: GDI why. I don't want to see the awkward teenager in her awkward baggy clothes. I almost want Taylor Swift to go back to being the darling of these shows. Lover qualifies her for redemption.
9:42: "We used to make music in our bedroom" sounds so...wrong.
9:46: Ooh Alicia's thrown on a sparkly jean jacket to match the pants. And...FINALLY, A SONG I INSTANTLY CLICK WITH!!! "Underdog." Acoustic guitar + storytelling lyrics and good music to go with it. Welcome to The Music List.
9:50: "Invisible Man" looks fantastic; I want to see that.
9:57: Not sure which is worse, the rap nominees or the Osbournes.
9:58: JK it's the rap; Sharon's awkward old-white-lady dance moves are so bad they're great! Also I vaguely hoped Lil Nas X would win, but even I can see he was probably not qualified among this crowd.
9:59: DJ Khaled gets a pass on being part of a win for being the first to thank God. He da best!
10:01: I want to appreciate this lady (H.E.R.?) but this is the boring kind of R&B that is, in fact, a lot like why Alicia Keys and I have had such trouble connecting.
10:11: I also want to care about Bonnie Raitt but I don't.
10:13: Hold up. Who is this guy and what genre is he; I can't figure it out yet but it's not hip-hop or r&b and there's a guitar (albeit electric) and my ears are pricking with interest. I can tell it's an angry political song, but in a way where I think I respect it?? Also the song is "This Land" - Gary Clark Jr.
10:14: Oh no, the sound just censor-silenced. Better check these lyrics and -- ahhhh heck. The song is full of swears AND slurs; if I can't sing along then I can't respect it. Take it back where it came from.
10:19: The In Memoriam list started out rough but there are a lot of people who do in fact seem to be a loss for music. No one I super-recognize, but I can see the impact in a way I'm sure I couldn't for people of similar age who died when I was 18-19.
10:22: I listened to a performance in Preservation Hall on my high school band trip. #FunFactsAboutMe
10:24: Best new artist: This seems like the only category where I could find Billie Eilish to be an acceptable win, but I still want it to be Lil Nas X or Lizzo (even if she is definitely not new).
10:25: AND OF COURSE IT'S 100% THAT...TEEN. The white one. NOT AGAINNNNNNN. This child should be doing her homework for high school tomorrow. If you can't give a speech without cussing then your award should be revoked. TIME AND PLACE. Professionals know what that means.
10:29: Ooh, we got an orchestra on stage...and wait, why is Camila back on stage? What did we do to deserve this?
10:30: oh hey Cyndi Lauper who has psoriasis! Anyway, this is actually turning out to be a very cool tribute. Joshua Bell? Ben Platt? I love these fast facts popping up on screen under each one. Misty Copeland's is "first Grammy performance" -- is she a SYTYCD dancer? [edit: oh, no, she's the one famous for being the black ballerina on a much grander scale. More awesome!]
10:32: Shut up, Common(er).
10:35: OH HEY SAM/TODD/LL COOL J. So fun to finally see you on this show when I know you from a better context.
10:35: Album of the Year: first of all I love that these are mostly women; second of all, I don't have a strong horse in this race but in order of how much I want them to win -- based only on what I know of them as musicians in general, because I have only heard between 0 and 1 song from each, except on the first one where I've heard 2 -- the list goes:
“Norman F#*(& Rockwell!” — Lana Del Rey
“Cuz I Love You (Deluxe)” — Lizzo
“i,i ”— Bon Iver
“thank u, next” — Ariana Grande
“7″ — Lil Nas X
“When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” — Billie Eilish
“I Used To Know Her” — H.E.R.
“Father Of The Bride” — Vampire Weekend
10:36: And the winner is...FRIGGIN' BILLIE ELISH. Are you effing kidding me. NOPE.
That said, LMAO @ "Shh. Please sit down. I think Ariana deserves this." LMAO # 2 at her brother being like, "okay, well, I am gonna waste some time." "We stand up here being confused and grateful" is an admittedly good quote, though.
10:37: ARE YOU FREAKS CHANTING HER NAME. What kind of cult.
10:38: Record of the Year: I have only heard 3 of these, so I would ONCE AGAIN prefer it to be Lizzo or Lil Nas but would possibly accept Ariana for "7 Rings." If they bring Billie straight back up there I will throw hands.
10:39: *throws (up) hands* (Who deserves this one, Billie??) LMAO okay that was good, just another "Thank you" and then running away.
10:40: Why am I being forced to hear this dumb Billie song I've never heard before (I think this is the fabled Bad Guy?) and was frankly hoping to escape without hearing tonight. The only Billie I want to know about in music is Piper, please and thank you. GOOD NIGHT
One last note on Eilish, though: I know I put "Ocean Eyes" on The Music List, but I always did so very tentatively -- it was just catchy enough to keep on the computer, but I almost never listen to it anymore -- and that was before I'd really heard her on the radio or seen her talked about online. Now I feel like I just can't get myself to give her music a chance because I'm so uncomfortable with her self projection. I think the odds are actually decently high that her music would click with me, but she doesn't have the same, IDK, confidence? Enthusiasm? that other breakout stars her age in the past have had and it's off-putting. So I avoid her radio music with a dedication previously devoted only to Taylor Swift post-Red, and just kind of groan whenever I see her, and hope that someday soon she goes away.