SO OF COURSE I FORGOT TO ASK FOR THIS WEEKEND OFF WORK, IT PROCEEDED TO CRUSH ME INTO OBLIVION AND NAP-REQUIRING EXHAUSTION, AND I SLEPT THROUGH THE FIRST FIFTEEN MINUTES.
Now that you're here, you should read my liveblog notes as they unfold. But if you're lazy....
[my top 10 highlights, in brief bullet points]
Top 10 Highlights, in order of awesomeness:
1. Taylor Swift's incredible opening performance - one of the best Grammy numbers ever
2. Carrie Underwood's magical dress
3. "Somebody That I Used To Know" winning!
4. Kelly Clarkson winning!
5. Ed Sheeran/Elton John
6. "The Weight" tribute performance (or as I know it, "Take a Load Off, Annie")
7. Hearing Frank Ocean for the first time and finding him to be the most unflinchingly polite gentleman
8. No gross performances?? That clothing memo must have had a ripple effect.
9. "Girl On Fire" (sadly abbreviated but now it's my favorite song of the month)
10. Rihanna both looking and acting classy for the first time ever
[sidebar: OK, I'm just going to have to accept that I missed the whole beginning of this show, but thanks to the power of the internet I did get to see the Taylor Swift performance, and that was AMAZING. Not only is it the best she's ever sounded live (is it even live, or lip-syncing? don't care; best sound quality wins), but I want to give out all the awards for the choreography and costumes on her elaborate Alice in Wonderland circus.
Her ringmaster dress, the white rabbit, the random dude riding around on a flamethrower bicycle, the crazy clowns, the ballerina!, and with the "I'm sorry, I'm busy opening up the Grammys" change to the spoken lyrics I just loved everything about it. I've watched it six times, even though I only have hideous quality vids, and it just keeps getting better. I didn't even especially love this song before* - it's nice, but the spoken part really annoys me - but it's growing on me quickly.
[*I still haven't opened the CD I got for Christmas. What is wrong with me? I'm literally too excited to listen to it, as scared of loving it as not loving it. Right now it's still just an enchanting promise of something wonderful to come, and even though I know the anticipation will probably be replaced by a bunch of wonderful new songs to love, I'm reluctant to give up this excited feeling. I'm still not done loving "Speak Now."]
[sidebar #2: whoa hey hold up I didn't know I missed Ed Sheeran too. Damn it! I can only find a 30-second clip, which cannot possibly be all there was, because I love this song and I didn't see how it could work as a duet, but it sounds great.]
7:20: Best Pop Solo Performance: I LOVE EVERYONE IN THIS BAR. [Adele! Carley Rae Jespen! Kelly Clarkson!] Except for Rihanna and Katy Perry - although I do super love how it is 100% ladies despite lack of gender accommodations, as it should be for this category - so WOOHOO, ADELE! I think this is actually my top choice for this category, because while I haven't listened to it enough to fall in love, the chorus for "Set Fire to the Rain" sounds amazing whenever I hear it playing and I might get there eventually.
7:22: We will not be listening to fun. They look stupid and their sound quality is inferior to Glee's covers of their work. You genuinely cannot imagine the passion with which I love those covers, or how crushing it is to hear the the right words with the hideously wrong (and not nearly sufficiently female-inclusive) voices.
7:23: Just did a quick check-in and turns out I don't recognize what they're singing, but oh my god, HIS FACE. Not like how Tumblr says that phrase, but how he looks like a kid from One Direction whose face got smashed in a door.
7:24: I'm sorry. I may have some pent-up rage at myself from failing to set my alarm properly before my nap and it's all coming out here. Be done soon.
7:25: Why is it raining on stage? Being wet does not make you more attractive. It is doing wonders for making you resemble a drowned rat, though.
OR: Can we set fire to this rain?
7:32: "Bonnie Raitt just won her 10th Grammy, but lol if we're going to show it!"
7:33: This Miranda Lambert song [Over You?] is actually kind of nice? Plus, you know, her dress is all beaded-sparkly and...I don't know how to say this non-offensively, but she's curvier than I remember her being and subsequently looks fantastic.
7:36: It's gotten less enjoyable the more this dude sings.
7:39: "Khalifa" would be such a cool name for an Arabian horse.
7:40: I did not think I could get more bored than Dierks Bentley, but there it is.
7:41: Did you really think the rapping would make it better?
7:42: Best Country Solo Performance: I do not recognize any of these songs and the only artist I care about is Carrie Underwood. (Woohoo!)
7:43: By the by, she looks AMAZING. Finally, someone figured out how to pair a strapless dress with a necklace that sufficiently fills in your exposed chest area for a balanced look. Aw, and she just thanked her "amazing husband" and gave "glory to God." So wholesome, so adorable.
7:45: Because this will be relevant soon and I finally looked it up: Despite both the Record of the Year award and Song of the Year being awarded for a single or for one track from an album, Song of the Year goes only to the composer(s) of the song whereas the Record of the Year award goes to the performer and production team of the song. Song of the Year is given to the songwriter(s) of a song that "must contain melody and lyrics and must be either a new song or a song first achieving prominence during the eligibility year. Songs containing prominent samples or interpolations are not eligible."
tl;dr: Song of the Year is basically for good lyrics; Record is about how the whole package sounds.
7:49: Enough with your Twitter whoring, LL. The only #Grammys tag I'm following is on Tumblr, because I'm a rebel.
7:50: Song of the Year: Judging by the definition of this category..."THE A TEAM" IS NOMINATED. EVERYBODY ELSE CAN GO HOME, GAME OVER. I love this song to such a ridiculous degree. I still can't grasp how widely known it is because I will forever cherish it as a song that the little indie radio station played while the Top 40's were ignoring it, and how the first time I heard the lyrics singing about a girl "stuck in her daydream" and "been this way since 18," I knew I had a treasure to hunt down.
(in other news, "Call Me Maybe" is super fun but not good enough to win, "Stronger" is also good but still the weakest part of her album, WTF is this Miguel person, and fun.-the-band should just shut up)
7:51: SHUT UP, FUN. (okay, it does have decent lyrics; that's why Glee was able to do such a good job with it. Better than Unknown Component Miguel, at least. But...The A Team.)
7:52: OH SWEET GOD WHAT KIND OF LEPROUS SKIN INFECTION DOES LENA DUNHAM -- oh, it's just a giant arm tattoo that makes her look even more like a guy (Marine Corps member, specifically). Carry on.
7:52: "If this is in HD, everyone can see our faces, and we are not very young" lmao.
Voice: New idea, why don't you shut up?
7:53: Oh man are they playing them off?? I didn't know that still happened.
7:54: The Mumford Mumbletyjoes are here. Forever bearing a grudge against these hillbillies for not having a clean version of "Little Lion Man" because I love this picture with its supporting lyrics so much. (there are "cleaned" versions in existence, but they're poorly done and the glaring holes almost make it worse)
8:01: These moments where you zoom in on upcoming performers getting ready during commercial breaks just seem rude. Give them some space.
8:02: In other news, I've decided my greatest dream is to one day see Darren Criss performing on this show.
8:03: Beyonce has apparently already won a Grammy today. I'm guessing she had no good competition in that category and she certainly isn't nominated for anything I care about, so win/win.
8:04: Ellen, my favorite! With Portia
8:05: That was some entirely unnecessary buildup for someone as basic as J. T-Lake.
8:05: Why is my broadcast suddenly in black and white. Are you kidding me? Do you actually think you can pull this off?
8:06: I don't know what sort of weird image makeover you're going for, but Jay-Z just ruined whatever semblance of class you were pretending to have.
8:07: T-Lake, your falsetto is a pain in the eardrum. I don't know how you're managing to get more annoying by the second; I'm usually fine just ignoring your existence, but today you're working my last nerve. Hence why I've dubbed you T-Lake.
8:11: So far, "Urban Contemporary" sounds like it is code for "hip hop artists singing songs that have a melody." And Frank Ocean just ruined that, so I don't know what is happening but I still really hope he wins and Chris Brown doesn't. ... Sweet!
8:12: "I hear the way you disarm an audience is by imagining them naked, but I don't want to do that. I want to look at you all as kids in tuxedos, being fancy and stuff like that." Aww! I literally have never heard your voice and didn't care about your existence before but now you seem kinda precious.
8:20: "Dan Auerbach" looks so excited by his non-televised win.
8:20: Best Rock Performance: I've literally never heard of "Lonely Boy" or The Black Keys, but eh, I had no horses in this race.
8:22: Dan Auerbach still looks super excited.
8:23: Ooh! This is timely; I still haven't decided if I'm going to let Alicia Keys keep "Girl on Fire" or if Naya Rivera has already stolen it away, but the lyrics to this song really made me sit up and take notice on Glee this week because song that tells a story about a girl!!! It's just - I don't have words for how beautiful this is. I'm gonna obnoxiously quote block lyrics at you like it's Xanga circa 2005.
She's just a girl, and she's on fire
Hotter than a fantasy, longer like a highway
She's living in a world, and it's on fire
Feeling the catastrophe, but she knows she can fly away
Oh, she got both feet on the ground
And she's burning it down
Oh, she got her head in the clouds
And she's not backing down
Looks like a girl, but she's a flame
So bright, she can burn your eyes
Better look the other way
You can try but you'll never forget her name
Everybody stands, as she goes by
Cause they can see the flame that's in her eyes
Watch her when she's lighting up the night
Nobody knows that she's a lonely girl
And it's a lonely world
8:26: Still haven't made a decision. When in doubt, I go with the Glee covers by default, but both versions sound really similar. Glee's only edge is context. And yes, I did just ignore anything Maroon 5 had to do with this segment.
8:28: Best Pop Vocal Album: HOLY CATS WHAT IS THIS EXPLOSION OF WORTHY NOMINATIONS.
1. Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger" is legitimately amazing from start to finish and it should win all the things.
2. Pink's, since I was able to hear the clean version, also had a number of really good ones.
3. Florence + The Machine is just generally impressive, even though I haven't heard the album, so that's comin' in third.
4. Maroon 5 can shut it, but I will allow that I am still obsessed with "One More Night"
5. My anti-fun. stance remains
8:29: =O ???? [Kelly won]
LEGITIMATELY ONE OF THE ONLY ALBUMS IN EXISTENCE I HAVE LISTENED TO IN FULL AND 100% LOVED PRIOR TO ITS NOMINATION!!!!
ALL THE GIANT TEXT!
8:30: KELLY CLARKSON ALSO LOVES EVERYONE IN THIS BAR. "Sorry, I got stuck to Miranda Lambert - there's a story and a song. For later.
After alcohol. I'm just kidding, children! I get nervous speaking in front of people." She is so cute! I want to hug her and giggle and do kicky feet everywhere; this is my favorite acceptance speech yet. Haaaa, and now she's rambling about her fiance "who is sexy tonight, y'all. I did not think I was gonna win, thank you!"
8:36: Crap sorry I went to post that on Tumblr and turns out my dash is busy flooding with Klaine spoilers for the next episode (I DON'T KNOW HOW TO FEEL STOP TELLING ME DETAILS) and I dont have time for Rihanna or commas today, (DEEP BREATH), but who is this woman with beautiful hair?! That is not Rihanna as I have always known her. IDEK if it's a wig/extensions. Please wear it always.
8:38: Wait, I just realized that she's not being skanky at all. Did CBS's memo extend to banning gross performances as well as clothing? Because either way, good work. I have not been offended once tonight. (insert Max Black "I LOVE IT".gif)
[8:41 sidebar: DAMN IT, TUMBLR, I JUST MISSED AN ENTIRE CATEGORY. STOP TELLING ME THINGS. I DON'T HAVE THE WILLPOWER TO BLACKLIST SPOILERS.
8:42: LMAO I don't know who this is but he just super-politely referred to Kanye as "Mr. West." That is adorable. Wait! Is that Frank Ocean again? Oh my god what are you, where did you come from, don't even tell me what your music sounds like because I want to pretend it's classy and suitable for grandmothers.
8:43: Lifetime Acheivement Awards: I have literally never heard of any of these people except Ravi Shankar, and that's only because his greatest acheivement is fathering Norah Jones.
8:48: In other news, I am hoping I find out who 2 Chainz is by the end of this show. 2 Broke Girls, you can't just act like random people are big name guest stars.
p.s. KAT DENNINGS IS SO STUNNING. And I love her sun-shaped necklace.
8:49: Seriously, though, I have never heard of The Black Ke...I'm sorry, there appears to be some sort of frontiersman trapper decked in furs/Native American garb from the 19th century cross-painted with a Mardi Gras mask at the piano, cannot focus.
8:50: Katy Perry/John Mayer is like the perfect coupling of sleaze and skankitude (well, actually, her marriage was...but this is a close second). I hope they stay together forever and spare the normals.
8:54: K-Clarks is here to sing! She sounds lovely on "You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman."
8:57: Best Country Album: once again, I don't know what is going on and Miranda Lambert is the only person I recognize so can she win? ... No. Eh, that's okay.
9:02: CBS is bragging about being the #1 most watched everything, and yep, I love this network. It keeps canceling my favorite shows and failing to provide me with better alternatives, yet it still crushes all the other networks by a margin of like 3:1 in terms of "number of shows I will watch."
9:05: All of the people except Sting in the Bob Marley tribute band are abhorrent to me, so I'm going to go listen to Glee's cover of "One Love/People Get Ready" and mute this instead.
9:24: This guy with the peacock pattern coat [Jack White?] has been wigging out for a really long time.
9:26: Katy Perry, what are your boobs doing and why don't I hate it?
9:27: Frank Ocean should probably win for being the nicest new artist.
(ugh, it goes to fun. They just told me how they've been doing this for 12 years. If it took you that long to make it you should be ignored. #also Lana del Rey is the One True Best New Artist #I would have even accepted One Direction #yes really)
[9:30 sidebar: OH MY GOD CAN'T STOP READING THE GLEE SPOILERS I DON'T THINK YOU UNDERSTAND I MAY ACTUALLY DIE AFTER THE NEXT EPISODE. link to all the super detailed ones answering questions]
9:34: Turns out this Hunter Hayes fellow they've been showing all night actually has quite a nice voice. No! Keep playing! That rock freak got to go on and on and you barely sang a verse?
9:35: Carrie Underwood's up. Appears this is that "Blown Away" song that won earlier. Cool, it seems like a good one.
9:36: Oh my god this effect is awesome. Her dress tonight appears to have been delivered straight from Hogwarts and I am obsessed with it. Her dress is lighting up like fireworks and glowing confetti; what is happening; my jaw is actually hanging open and I'm pretty sure I can't even hear her singing anymore (did I just hear "Two Black Cadillacs"?). Now it's roses! NOW IT'S MONARCH BUTTERFLY WINGS. THIS IS THE BEST PART OF THE ENTIRE BROADCAST SO FAR. I am on the verge of crying at the sheer beauty; my hands are so very grabby right now. I demand that everyone wear magical dresses from now on.
9:40 pm: "The artist forever known as Prince" lol
9:40 pm: Record of the Year. Fact: Somebody That I Used To Know is the best damn thing that your ears have ever seen. (yes, I did just spin off into a deeply inferior Avril Lavigne melody for a second) It even trumps Taylor Swift here, without question.
9:41:YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BEST GRAMMYS EVER.
9:42: I don't know what Kimbra is wearing, with all this floofy skirt material, but the bodice is magically sparkly and it almost distracted me from hearing the main singer praise Prince as the big reason he was inspired to make music. I cannot hold any more happiness in my heart; my heart is at capacity.
9:49: Jazz saxophone, eh? It's been so long since I've heard it I actually like the sound.
9:50: Embarassing things I should not admit: the person who speaks every year about the Grammy Foundation is really quite handsome for an old guy. He...honestly looks better than J-Tims or Seacrest standing next to him.
'Scuse me while I weep in admiration and cross-stitch that into a hanging frame. My life motto. I LOVE TEACHERS.
9:52: MUSIC EDUCATOR AWARD NEXT YEAR?? These really are the best Grammys ever! Do you know how much I loved every music educator in my life? I had the most amazing string of band directors, a great flute teacher, and all the choir teachers in my various schools seemed like great people too. There's also the reason I fell for Glee in the first place, and basically alsjflkasjdlfkajsdf;aslkdfj shine ALL the spotlights on music educators!
9:54: Seems like a higher percentage of vocalists died this year than usual. I actually know most of these names.
9:55: Ohhh, I didn't know Ravi Shankar had died.
9:58: "Take a load off, Annie" - oh gosh! I have no idea what this song is called* but it's one I've known forever, and I adore it. Acceptable uses for the Zac Brown Band/Mumford & Sons, I have found them. *nods along* This is a really great tribute. Definitely one of the evening's highlights; it's so catchy.
[*edit: apparently "The Weight" by "The Band," and this was in tribute to someone named Levon Helm from said band. None of these words make sense to me.]
10:00: Just realizing that the show is almost over and I have yet to see anything resembling the gross Rihanna/Katy Perry/Nicki Minaj antics of yesteryear. Seriously, how magical was that "stay classy" dress code memo?
10:11: Time to see if my illusions about Frank Ocean are shattered as he gets ready to sing.
10:13: NOT YET! Just looked up lyrics to "Forrest Gump" and I LOVE IT! Apparently it's sung from the perspective of Jenny but also carries a metaphorical dual meaning**. It is kind of weird to hear this way, though, so I bet it would be awesome covered properly by a lady.
(**WOULDN'T IT BE FUN IF BLAINE SANG THIS IN A METAPHOR WAY. *sends wish up the Glee pipeline*)
10:13: Also I literally just got what they're doing with him in a yellow suit and the screen playing part of the movie (I think?). I'm slow. I haven't seen it in a while.
[edit: that's two live blog articles I've read talking about how Frank Ocean probably didn't win over any new fans tonight. Excuse you. He came out of total obscurity and won MY heart.]
10:15: I am laughing way harder than I should be at Adele talking about how Album of the Year winners often go on to do great, famous, world-tour-y type things... "or get knocked up like last year's winner."
10:16: Album of the Year: Mumford & Sons, w/ev. All the options pretty much sucked; the real nominees for this category were up under "Best Pop Vocal Album" and its obvious winner wasn't nominated for anything tonight. #Born to Die
(I have literally never been angry about a snub before, but this deserved not only recognition, but a win)
10:17: DID YOU TWITS JUST SAY SOMETHING THAT HAD TO BE CENSORED? DISHONOR! DISHONOR ON YOU, DISHONOR ON YOUR AWARD...
10:22: "Still to come: I take the stage." Hah, it's almost like he's been announcing these all night just so he could say that with a flourish. But since I'm not here for rap music, we're gettin' out early tonight. B-Y-E.
(by which I mean i need to spend the next 3 hours editing this post into shape and listening to my glorious new musical riches)
And no, I do not want to discuss the Glee spoilers despite how obnoxious I was about them. I'm trying to purge them, good or bad, because I still haven't dealt with 4x12. I just wanted to remember how they metaphorically photo-bombed my night.