[You have two options for learning my responses: this spoiler text for quick list of highlights and lowlights, OR, you can read the full liveblog as intended below.]
SHORTHAND SPOILERY VERSION --
1. Taylor Swift singing "All Too Well." Beautiful song (brings the tears), beautiful dress, and by far the best she's ever sounded live.
2. Katy Perry's dark magic/possibly devil-summoning performance (minus the rapper). The actual performance and staging, not the song or the singing or anything. But for the first time ever, she legitimately impressed me and I could not stop thinking "this is the greatest thing that has ever happened."
3. Pink's jaw-dropping aerial/acrobatic performance of "Try."
4. "Royals" winning multiple things
5. The Pharell/Daft Punk/Stevie Wonder performance. Dance party time!
6. Blurred Lines not winning anything
7. Kacey Musgrave's fabulously gaudy 4-H/county fair outfit
8. Yoko Ono gettin' her groove on
9. Sara Bareilles singing with Carole King. Sara sounded beautiful, and they both just seemed so happy to be performing together. The only thing better than one classy/musically wholesome lady singing on stage at the Grammys is two!
10. Everything the two people formerly known as Beatles did. What fun performances, even if they weren't the kind that will stick with me.
In no particular order:
-Robin Thicke performing "Blurred Lines," which is just gross in principle. 100% skipped it.
-Beyonce's grimy-looking mating dance of a performance. I skipped it live but did a quick skip-through of it on YouTube after seeing .gifs/hearing everyone praise it to kingdom come, and yeah, there is a very good reason I did not subject myself to that in real time.
-The screaming "Radioactive" performance; serious headache trigger
-Whatever nonsense Macklemore's 10 minutes were devoted to; I'm moving on without comment.
-Lorde performing "Royals." Its awfulness was mesmerizing. Between the terrible arrangement, her weak voice, her corpse-like appearance and her spastic, jerking not-quite-dance movements in place, I am hard pressed to decide what the worst factor was.
-Taylor Swift, Lana del Rey, and Sara Bareilles losing out everywhere. >:(
//END SPOILERY PREVIEW SECTION
Snack check: Diet Pepsi, veggie chips, and dessert-flavored Skittles? Good to go. ♫Let's get it started, hah!♫
7:05: How many times do I have to tell this show that adding Jay-Z does not make things better?
7:06: Also, I dream of the day LL Cool J does not host this show.
7:10: WTH is going on w/ that hat? And Anna Kendrick's terribly scripted and painfully unfunny line reading?
[EDIT: As it turns out, we will be talking 5000% more about the hat and 0% about Anna Kendrick. The winning theories of the night are "the Arby's logo" and The Man In The Yellow Hat.]
7:12: Best New Artist. Based on this quick sound bite, Kacey Musgraves sounds like a person I should invsetigate. As for the winner, I'm mostly just sad that Tumblr is going to erupt in rage and anger, SIGH. If not that girl, it reeeeally should have been Quality Songwriter Ed Sheeran.
7:13: Oh wow, but I am liking the color of his (velvet??) tux. It actually distracts from his gross hair.
7:15: YESSSSS, ROYALS PERFORMANCE! Show the world who really deserves the title of Queen B.
7:16: ...OK, this a capella/way stripped down version and the seizure-like "swaying" is not going to cut it. Especially as her excessively black makeup combined with the jerking movements makes her look like a zombie. Check it out, her fingertips are literally black. Not just her nails, the whole top of the digit is black like it's dead and about to fall off.
7:18: Also there is what appears to be a Weeping Angel on the screen behind her. DON'T BLINK.
7:20: OH HEY I am hearing a new Shakira song on this commercial! That's something to look forward to.
7:25: Holy crap, Hunter Hayes has the same eyes as the kid who plays King Joffrey. But Cool J is right, these lyrics ("Invisible") sound like they're worth looking up on a CD track that (hopefully) takes care of the weird warble going on with his voice right now. Dangerously close to muppet territory, kid. Which is weird, 'cause 2013 Me was all about how nice his voice sounded live.
7:28: Best Pop Duo/Performance. Ohhhh, THAT'S what those weird space helmets they keep showing mean (Daft Punk). Yeah, these choices are largely horrible so I'm gonna need Pink to win this one, and if not her, I would not object to the "Get Lucky" people.
7:30: Get Lucky is seriously acceptable given the hideouseness of those other nominees. I have had a soft spot for it ever since they did that awesome dance montage at the Emmys.
7:31: HAHAHA! "On the behalf of the robots..."
7:32: OK, this British guy's speech is entertaining me. "Juicy J, who taught us all how it's hard out there for a pimp..."
7:33: I assume that this song, like all of Katy Perry's songs, is terrible. But damned if I am not super-mega-ultra delighted by this awe-inspiring haunted woods set going on. WOW. Oh my god, this is so cool. I can't tell if she's wearing a skirt or just a pair of really floofy pants, but I want it and would wear it in public, along with those boots. Even her hair/wig looks particularly awesome in this scenario. Where do I sign up to join Katy Perry's coven? Plus the acrobats! She has amazing circus acrobats doing amazingly bendy things with their bodies AND NOW THERE IS SOME SORT OF STAGE-PUPPETEERED SLEEPY-HOLLOW-ESQUE HORSE, A/K/A DEMONIC CIRCUS PONY, OH MY GOD THIS IS THE COOLEST THING KATY PERRY HAS EVER DONE AND I AM NOT SORRY. I even love the way it breaks apart; it looked so solid but apparently it's just people holding up shield-like pieces. Must rewind 853 times.
7:35: And then a rapper showed up and literally ruined the whole song in one instant. I hate so much about the things you choose to be. Why are you the way that you are?
7:36: P.S. I take it back briefly because he shut up at the end and also, FIRE. Neat.
7:43: Welp, I'm thoroughly grossed out and sad for the members of whatever "Chicago" is that they have to share a stage with "Blurred Lines," so I'll be extending my commercial break. No matter how many times CBS forced me to hear that hook in their promos, I did not fall under its ~super catchy spell~, but all the same I'd rather not take a chance on hearing the whole thing.
7:49: Aw, not that this was big on my agenda, but I missed the beginning of Keith Urban. Thanks, Robin Dicke.
7:52: I love how Pauley Perrette is backstage working a backup dream job, yet hate how they get so intrusive backstage, and yet love how Taylor looks all flustered by these social media demands, like I AM TRYING TO PSCYH MYSELF UP FOR AN IN-TUNE PERFORMANCE, I DON'T HAVE TIME TO FOOL WITH NEWFANGLED TWEETING TECHNOLOGY. This unevnly layered hair is not a great look for her, but I will try to be grateful it isn't 100% short.
7:57: Is it me, or does "Friends With Better Lives" seem like the worst show ever? Like it would fail anywhere, but using it as HIMYM's replacement just seems designed as cannon fodder. I don't think Van Der Beek's face can save it.
7:58: I will allow that this John Legend song has some real nice piano work, but his voice is so boring. It's on pitch, he apparently has a good voice and is by far the most talented live performance so far tonight, but something about him just screams "sleepy time."
8:01: "The Grammys are a family show," spoken by someone who obviously did not just watch American Horror Story: Katy Perry. (tm Tumblr user policymic). Or Beyonce, apparently.
8:02: Best Rock Song -- consisting of music I've never heard of, but I really need to know why Paul McCartney is screaming on a CD. And for real, how did anything he was involved in manage to beat out Officially Rock Music Personified duo of Mick Jagger/Keith Richards?
8:03: PAUL'S EXAGGERATED "SHOCK" FACE IS THE BEST FACE; also, Dave Grohl continues to be a bizarrely attractive man.
8:04: And now for my beautiful star, singing "All Too Well," a song that I think at least made the top half of my favorites on her album. I am loving her spangly/open back dress and the fact that she's playing her own piano, and wow! She actually sounds really good. I braced myself for pain, but this is by far the best she's ever sounded live. "You told me 'bout your past/thinking you future was me."
8:07: Aaaaand this song just brought me to tears. I mean the hair-whipping now is super-unnecessary, but I seem to be having a cloudburst over my face as I remember why this song, despite its unassuming nature, is the best of the slow numbers. It hurts because you never really get a sense of why this couple broke up. I love the setup of growing up together (or at least high school sweethearts, yes?) and the girl in the song obviously didn't end it, but she seems to be describing a pretty decent guy until the abrupt "this thing was a masterpiece / til you tore it all up." And then it goes back all "you keep my old scarf from that very first week / 'cause it reminds you of innocence, and it smells like me" and that line about innocence just kills me. I have a lot of feelings! This performance was very sad and brought them all up!
8:13: Hold up. I thought I recognized that smashed face. Nate Russo is the guy from fun.? I am now 85% less interested in "Just Give Me A Reason" being performed.
8:16: PINK IS TWIRLING IN THE AIR AGAIN. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. PINK IS MAKING GRAMMY MAGIC FOR THE SECOND TIME IN FIVE YEARS. Oh my god. The amount of strength that takes is amazing. I have forgotten Katy Perry and am literally just staring open-mouthed at the screen in awe. And then she keeps going with the amazing moves even on the ground? I just...I am pretty sure Pink just defied gravity, maybe some laws of physics. And to top it all off, she's doing it while singing my favorite song from that album, "Try."
8:20: Sadly, we have just been forced to trade the god-like gymnast dancer for Nate Russo, who looks like a gross used car salesman (what is that 'stache? what is that cheap-looking suit?). And he sounds horrible. Mister, Pink just spun herself through the air Cirque du Soleil style for five minutes and she still has better vocal control than you. Slap yourself very hard in the face, then leave.
8:23: Pop Solo. Why in hell are we watching terrible covers instead of the actual awesome artists?? Anyway, these are 60% terrible even in original version, so I'm going to have to DEMAND that either Brave or Royals takes it, though I would very much prefer it to be Brave.
8:25: Lorde!!!!!!!!! I am not accustomed to having things go even slightly my way, so that is great. I am not really sure what's going on with the all-black apparent homage to Morticia Addams, but OK, sure. I'll cut her some slack on being nervous to give that speech, and I love her accent. Every time I hear "Royals" I inevitably conjure up images of Great Britain; I forget where she's really from.
8:28: According to the next Target commercial, The Band Perry has stuff going on I should check out too.
8:30: I'm sorry, did you actually try to get Ozzy to read/recite a scripted line? In what universe was that going to end well, by which I mean successfully?
8:31: Music time travel time! Ringo looks a lot better for his age than Paul, I tell you what. (I've been staying up later than usual lately, which means I've found the King of the Hill reruns) Might sound better, too.
8:36: Jay Z does not look amused by Jamie Foxx's attempt to perv on Beyonce, which I feel might be funnier if there wasn't also so much background music competing for attention that I have literally no idea what is happening or what category or performance he's trying to announce. R&B? Hip-hop?
8:39: HOLY WOW, this amazing trailer is almost as satisfying as watchin a whole movie. As soon as I find out what movie it is, I'm gonna put it down on my must-see list. "Maleficient"! And Disney! Oh, I am definitely there. Lana del Rey providing the soundtrack to this trailer is just icing on the cake!
8:45: *whips head around* I've been ignoring them so far, but a sudden spike in eardrum stabbing/headache pains has me asking what kind of MADNESS happening on Imagine Dragons' stage right now? Oh, this is the part where they invited a rapper, isn't it? ZIP YOUR FACE. And oh my god, Taylor Swift, sit your ass down before anyone sees you. That's it, I'm out. *punches mute button*
8:51: "If you don't save yourself for marriage you're a whore*." Charming opening, Kacey. Also, I heard this song when it wasn't country, had less vulgarity, and was sung by Kelly Clarkson and called "You Can't Win." Also she has a nose piercing, so I'm going to go ahead and write her off my list of possible new musician loves, even though her brightly sequined country outfit is really and truly adorable.
*According to the internet it's technically "HORR.......ible person!" but that is not going to cut it, son. Not when your song is way too far on the "don't judge anyone for anything, even if their choices are stupid and terrible" side of the "love and believe in yourself" spectrum.
8:54: On the bright side, I have come to the conclusion that Grammy commercials are almost as cool as Super Bowl commercials. I've been enjoying a lot of new and unique ones tonight.
8:59: I just did an actual cartoon double take at Julia Roberts' legs. The glaringly open top of her dress is an unflattering style, but my word, her legs. Also, I love her face and every single word of everything she is saying right now, including but not limited too "Paul McCartney, with a little help from his friend, Ringo Starr." Wordplay. Love it.
9:01: This song is actually catchy! Very Beatles-approved. Though I have to say, "Queenie Eye, Queenie Eye, who's got the ball" sounds like something written while playing with your dog.
9:04: CHECK OUT YOKO TRYIN' TO GET DOWN. My night has been made.
9:05: I LOVE Gloria Estefan's dress. Best thing I've seen tonight, very Valentine's Day appropriate, and complete with matching earrings even though the cut of the dress doesn't require them. A+
9:06: No way. Crazy Hat got a producing Grammy? No one who made the decision to leave their house in a hat like that could possibly be together enough in the critical thinking department to do something that requires applied skill.
9:06: Best Pop Vocal Album. I AIN'T PLAYIN', SON. You either give it to "Paradise" so Lana del Rey can get her long-overdue due SOMEWHERE, or you let "Pure Heroine" have it because it seemed like a pretty decent CD when I heard it and also she's adorable and these other people are Undesirables.
9:07: Fine, don't listen to me. Even though he's not a terrible person (ROBIN THICKE), everything about Bruno Mars irritates me. Worst face, worst voice, worst music.
9:10: Ooh, "Endless Love" looks like it might be anoth I'M SORRY DID YOU JUST SAY BRIEF FRONTAL NUDITY IN THAT WARNING BOX? No. Dealbreaker.
9:16: Old Timey Country Dude Time. Not grabbing my ears or my attention.
9:22: Best Country Album. RED IS 90% GOOD SONGS. ALSO IT'S TAYLOR SWIFT. TAYLOR SWIFT DESERVES TO WIN ALL OF THE THINGS. Well, maybe not Best Country, on account of how it's not country, but the other options are just so...
9:23: Actually, Kacey looks like she really wanted it, so that's cute. Plus, we get to see more of her delightful outfit! That SO looks like something you'd wear to perform at a county fair. Or maybe something you'd craft to enter at a county fair, or 4-H competition. Aside from the ridiculously unnecessary low cut in front, it looks so handmade, in the best possible way. Also, A+ for "I can't even, I can't even."
9:24: Awards shows are never complete until Neil Patrick Harris shows up. Especially if he says things like "I am going to le freak out." Also, they keep telling me that Daft Punk's performance is ~super rare~ and we're privileged to get to see one, to which all I can say is, "OK, but am I supposed to know who they are or what they really look like or why else they're famous?"
9:25: Wow, Pharell really wants to be a cowboy, huh? Also, he has a face of innocence like Frank Ocean, but his song belies a different nature. I don't know how to feel.
9:26: Yeah, I'll allow that "Get Lucky" is a pretty good dance track*. That said, I feel like Stevie Wonder should be above this.
9:30: *Correction: I literally just had to get up and dance around the room for five minutes, that's how fun this is.
9:36: Brave went poorly at the PCAs. Let's see if Carole King helps or hurts.
9:37: Strong start. Lovin' the piano partnering. And now for the real test...AMAZEBALLS! This song needs pep to live. The thing is, I can't decide if I like the harmonies or not. They sound sort of OK, but Sara is SO crystal clear and beautiful tonight that I feel like Carole just overpowers her and sound kinda harsh and mannish by comparison. My ears are straining to hear Sara alone.
9:39: Awww, she's so cute while squealing about getting to sing with King, and King in turn seems like a really nice person who genuinely means what she says about the future of music, in a way I feel might sound less genuine if she were, IDK, paired up with Katy Perry.
9:40: Song of the Year: I will accept anyone but Bruno Mars.
9:41: ROYALS, UNEXPECTEDLY CLEANIN' UP!
9:51: I'm confused. This is Metallica, and yet the music is very soothing and pretty neat and does not at all make my ears want to bleed?
9:54: The guy at the piano is seriously a national Grammys treasure.
9:55: ...and I spoke too soon, because the electric guitars just kicked in full force, and now the surprisingly old guy is singing like a demon and yeah, that's more like what I think of when I think of "Metallica." Ugh.
9:56: Nothing will ever be more terrifying than Smokey Robinson's face, but Steven Tyler is a pretty significant runner-up in the "gross distortions of nature" category. I can see why you put them together. It's like a tiny little freak show in the middle of performance night.
9:57: Record of the Year. So listen, Imma need Royals to continue dominating this stuff, mostly because I am saying hell to the no when it comes to Blurred Lines or Bruno Mars, and I'm adding "Radioactive" to that category after the monstrosity that assaulted my ears tonight.
9:58: "And the winner is..." *winces* "Daft Punk." Well, all right. I can live with that as the runner-up choice. But I really would like people to stop congratulating Weird Hat Man.
10:02: Speaking of great commercials, Janelle Monae's "Q.U.E.E..N." is a great song off a great album, and I am almost as upset about her snubbing as Lana's, mostly because Janelle would have been competing in categories I traditionally don't care about, and it's always nice to have a horse in extra races.
10:03: From Tumblr: "A warning to all my followers, prepare yourselves for the backlash that’s going to happen with Macklemore’s performance. They’re literally going to marry couples during the song with Queen Latifah officiating. It’s so tacky and I’m going to hate it but more so Tumblr is probably going to explode, so just be prepared." What?? Yeah, I'm on break.
10:07: It's on mute because the only thing Macklemore should ever sing about is thrift shops, but Mary Lambert's red dress is REALLY sparkly. It's like a light show. Also, teach me how to rock cleavage like that.
10:11: Still on mute, but just glanced over because what the actual eff is Madonna doing/wearing.
10:19: Ahhh, the Attractive Elder of Yore has come to remind us that "those of you watching last year may remember" how they were going to create a new Music Educator Award, and sure enough, it is everything I dreamed it would be. My heart warmed twenty-seven degrees watching this footage.
10:26: I was waiting for the inevitable punch to the heart during this montage, and there it is. Our last public recognition of Cory Monteith's death.
10:34: We are literally JUST NOW getting to Album of the Year. I am DESPERATE for either "Red" (Swift) or "Blessed Unrest" (Bareilles) to take it, because while I love Red and mostly want it to win, I found about half a dozen tracks on the other album that I fell in absolutely love with, and though I will talk about them later, I strongly urge you to sample "Chasing the Sun" right now. It's a lyrically complicated album, full of deep thoughts, and I would very much like someone to recognize "Brave" already. Unfortuantely, I feel like I'm about to get angry.
10:36: I am angry. And also done. (effing Get Lucky, you were an OK filler substitute, but you are NOT welcome in this race)
3:05 AM: Good news, I am almost done editing this post! I didn't find nearly as much new music as last year, but it did accidentally prompt me to fall in love with Lorde's "Team," so that's cool.
And now, off to bed because our record-cold temperatures just keep getting colder, closing most of the schools (including colleges) in the state for the third or fourth time this month. I mean, I'm still sufficiently warm because we have fires going in the fireplace, my room is on the south side and I have one frillion blankets and layers to wear plus no requirement to leave the house. But it sucks for people with actual commutes to work.