In frustration, I decided to go to the next closest one, but same story. Normally I would respond to that kind of insanity by just going home and coming back around 6-7 PM when it always thins out, but oh guess what, can't today, because the Grammys are only once a year and there are no other award shows I can stand; if I miss this I'll probably regret it. OR WILL I, because they were so dreadful last year that I am going into this with a most extreme chip on my shoulder and a plan to preemptively mute anything that looks even slightly obnoxious.
"I'm cranky and judgmental and desperate for joy!" /adapted Chandler voice
7:00: OH CRAP IT'S TIME TO START. *quickly turns on TV* And...never mind, no rush. As I may have previously alluded to, Taylor Swift has been excommunicated from my musical realm, so we're just gonna continue waiting for the show to start.
7:05: This was going to be the year I resigned myself to the fact that LL Cool J will host this show forever, and resolved to stop complaining about him, but does he have a crystal-monogrammed tuxedo lapel.
7:07: A heads-up on my first planned mute of the night: Tumblr loves Hamilton far too much for me to consider allowing myself to ever hear it. Everyone who listens to the soundtrack quickly starts to sound like they're in a cult with the way they gush about it, and I have no plans to join that cult.
7:09: I want to make a joke about the 5 giant rings that young dude (Ice Cube's son?) is wearing, but I feel like he's doing it for me by holding his hand up to show them off.
7:12: Why have I heard Kendrick Lamar's name? I don't recognize him so I thought maybe he was famous for dating a Kardashian, but that does not appear to be the case, so I'm at a loss.
7:13: This football dude has a delightfully sparkly silver suit. It's reflecting the light in millions of rainbows. I LOVE IT. So much more than anything else I've heard or seen so far.
7:16: I guess I don't hate this Carrie Underwood + Some Dark Haired Dude duet.
7:23: I thought Ariana Grande was originally an actress by trade. How is she not selling this introduction?
7:24: My boyfriend's opinion of The Weeknd is "one of those bands I just don't get the appeal of," and since the first line of this song ("And I know she'll be the death of me") triggered a "CHANGE STATIONS" memory of how I skip this song every time it comes up on the radio, I have concluded I concur and we will mute this performance.
7:31: Janelle Monae's Pepsi commercial, which I have seen before, is officially my favorite thing that has happened so far.
7:34: I don't know who the non-Ellie Goulding person is, but she looks kind of like Rihanna mixed with...who is a woman known for looking like an opera singer, in part due to wearing large amounts of oversize costume jewelry, including at least 4 rings on one hand, and a furry robe? (it's bugging me. The part of her white dress that you can see peeking out looks so sleek and elegant. I just want to shave off the mangy outside and reveal the smooth layer beneath, like when you trim a raggedy Cocker Spaniel for summer)
On a more important note, this is my favorite performance so far and I don't even know what the song is.
7:36: Oh, this one I know! I have not liked a lot of Ellie Goulding's radio singles, but this live performance/duet of "Love Me Like You Do" is much prettier than the radio version.
7:40: The "Best Country Album" nominees sound like country is going back down a dark road of boredom. But I like that winner's comment, "I'd like to thank Taylor Swift for glitter bombing me before I got up here."
7:44: Oil of Olay, which I'm never going to let get away with its pretentious name-change decision, is currently telling me how it has over 800 skin care awards globally. Here's my question: how are there over 800 skin care awards to give out in the first place? Who is holding these competitions?
7:48: I have literally no idea what music Lionel Ritchie is famous for except "Hello," which I know only because Glee covered it, and I gotta say this performance is not illuminating it.
7:49: On another note, ladies, wearing a blazer with nothing under it is not a look. How many times do we have to fail at this. A large, sparkly necklace helps but does not complete the outfit. I actually blocked out Demi Lovato's singing for a bit there because the annoyance in my head was so loud. Which is a shame, because when my hearing came back it turned out she sounded really good -- like, better than Glee, and Glee was Rachel & Jesse.
7:52: Oh no. Even if she's not singing her own stuff, Meghan Trainor's songs + voice have pissed me off to near Amy Schumer levels, so mute to that.
7:53: What? Ritchie is responsible for Brick House? That doesn't sound right. [eta: wait, is he not just famous for being a singer? I'm confused.]
7;54: Final conclusion: that was actually a pretty cool/awesome tribute, especially when Ritchie himself joined.
7:59: "Little Big Town sings Girl Crush - next!" Yeah, no, we're not gonna stay for that 'cause that's a gross song/deliberately misunderstands the concept of "girl crush," and is the reason I'm happy they didn't win Country Album of the Year. ...although apparently it did win Best Country Song, which just makes me all kinds of grouchy, on top of the fact that it's still nominated for Song of the Year.
8:08: And now, here to soothe my soul at least a little, Pentatonix. They are made of magic and can make anything sound fun. Even with Stevie Wonder trying hard to ruin it.
8:10: Song of the Year nominees: I am so affronted by these choices in one of the most important categories that Taylor Swift's "Blank Space" is the only inoffensive nomination. I will also accept Ed Sheeran, despite being the King of Boring ever since his one hit in "The A Team."
8:11: STEVIE WONDER JUST RAZZED US ALL FOR NOT BEING ABLE TO READ BRAILLE, and it is so delightful that I'm going to forgive him for dragging out this announcement as long as possible while preaching about something something accessibility.
8:11: And it is in fact a Sheeran win! I am satisfied. Let's see how long it takes Tumblr to get mad about a white man winning against diverse competition.
8:12: T-Swift's genuine delight for her friend's win is pretty cute, also. It reminds me of before she was insufferable.
8:13: At this point, I am so exhausted by everything that this "Take it Easy" performance by Some Old Dudes I Don't Recognize (apparently they are The Eagles, whom I know solely by name, and do not know what music they are famous for) is kind of a relief.
8:17: "Next...experience Lady Gaga paying tribute to her groundbreaking hero, David Bowie." Well, that sounds just awful in every way.
8:18: OH MY GOD THERE IS A TIM BURTON ALICE IN WONDERLAND SEQUEL; I COULD NOT BE HAPPIER ABOUT THIS. That first movie was so great and I regretted not seeing it in theaters so much. SECOND CHANCE TIME!
8:23: I love Anna Kendrick so much I will listen to all the boring things she has to say.
8:24: *squints @ pair of Best New Artist nominees* I don't know these names [James Bay/Tori Kelly], so I at least don't hate them. I see they have guitars and are on the small stage, so I am willing to hear them out.
8:25: Verdict: Guy looks kinda greasy so I'll write him off, but she has a nice voice. I deem her likable.
8:28: They just said it was time to switch over to Broadway, and NOPE. Mute is not strong enough; I'm going all the way to another station and watching Friends for 5 solid minutes. 60% of which will actually be commercials.
8:39: OK I actually am intrigued to learn why Kendrick Lamar, whoever he is, has 5 wins/11 nominations. I'm willing to watch this next one.
8:40: Oh, prison jumpsuits. That looks promising. -.-
8:44: Here is a list of thoughts I had during this performance:
-"your plan is to terminate my culture" Oh lord, deliver us from Evie.
-OK, the glow paint's kinda fun, now that I can't understand what he's saying.
-I definitely do not yet understand why he has won 5 awards tonight.
-Do people actually listen to him shouting in their ear like this...like, on purpose? For fun?
-I mean I'm not bored during this performance exactly...or even annoyed by anything other than the spitting/volume...I'm mostly perplexed. It's really wild and intense and sort of crazed. But theatrical, which I tend to like? Is he the Madonna act of 2016?
-Why is the camera trying to induce seizures/frantically jump-cutting to a different shot of his face every second.
-...this was so weird yet also might have been one of the most interesting and therefore somehow best performances of the night.
8:46: Hamilton won Best Musical soundtrack. I had no horses in this race, but I expect Tumblr will more insufferable than ever now. And yet, if it hadn't won, Tumblr would be insufferably talking about why racism was the cause. I know your game, Tumblr.
8:50: See how cute Gwen Stefani is in this music video commercial? That's the kind of thing I miss having in ample supply at my Grammys. And we just devoted the entire commercial break to playing the entire video! :D
Update: She did not snatch it. But that's OK, because while I've never heard of Alabama Shakes, I really like how calmly happy and humble this woman is about it.
8:59: I feel like I have given Adele so many chances to win my heart, but her singing style consistently underwhelms me. Deeply. Is she the most boring woman in music? I would nominate her for that award. [edit: she is literally so boring I didn't even notice that there were apparently sound issues]
9:06: BEST ANTI-SMOKING AD EVER: a note about how secondhand smoke may cause cat cancer, followed by an array of cat video clips and then the dramatic warning that no cats = no cat videos = SO DON'T SMOKE, YOU GROSS WEIRDOS. I love it!
9:10: Oh, hayle no. Is The Church of Scientology actually airing a commerical for itself? Right here on my television screen? Oh no no no no no.
9:11: I heard a Justin Bieber song on the radio today -- What Do You Mean -- and I kind of didn't hate it, so I was actually considering listening to his gross ass tonight...but promoting the addition of "Skrillex and Diplo" sounds like it's just asking for trouble, so Imma elect my way out of this. Sadly not before hearing that Justin just won his first Grammy. ARE YOU NOT AWARE OF WHAT A LITTLE *** HE IS. Gross humans should be blacklisted from awards regardless of their talent or ability to utilize studio magic to create catchy tunes. You should just know this. In your soul.
9:13: *glances over* Oh lord. Between the neck tattoos and the weird blonde hair and the awkward attempt at chin hair + the skinny jeans and leopard-print jacket, my skin is crawling something fierce. Has anyone so young ever looked so sleazy. Oh god now the jacket's off and the sleeve tattoos are on full display. I didn't realize it was possible for him to get grosser.
9:18: Like I have had literally zero genuine positive investment in any of these nominees so far tonight and then THERE'S ONE LADY I LOVE and somehow she loses to one of my sworn nemeses.
9:25: So here's a thing about David Bowie: I don't actually know any of his music off the top of my head, but based on what I've put together he was the Lady Gaga of the 70s and 80s, so the only thing that seems as bad as having him here to perform is Lady Gaga covering his work. 100% no; I'm even changing the channel because I tried just muting it but when I glanced over, for some reason she had a projection of a huge spider crawling all over her face. wtf is wrong with you, everyone involved in this. (remember last year when Lady Gaga was trying to be classy? I see that's over)
9:51: True story: I wasn't going to give the Alabama Shakes performance a chance, but because of that nice acceptance speech I'm goi -- aaaaand she literally opened her mouth and started off with A LONG SCREAM and won herself an instant mute button with no possibility of parole.
9:55: "Hollywood Vampires" is an incredibly accurate band name for this group of ghoulish-looking aged rockers. Like this is just embarrassing, Alice Cooper. (Johnny Depp gets a pass because he's just always ridiculously OTT at everything and this is like an average Monday at work for him, I imagine)
10:06: Handsome Older Grammys Man and Common Man look hilarious standing next to each other.
10:08: Oh tiny piano-playing child. You're better than Kendrick but still not fun.
10:14: Damn. A lot of really infuential people in the music business died in the past year.
10:16: "YouTube Red" is aware of RedTube's existence, right? Because this is just an awkward-sounding commercial that's making me think suspicious thoughts about the content of their "original movies."
10:20: Album of the Year time. I don't particularly like any of them -- I think I want Alabama Shakes to win based on Quality of Person credit.
10:21: "And the Grammy goes to...Taylor Swift." Of course it does. Even though this album and the deliberate appearance & Sudden Feminism Spokesperson changes that went along with making it made me turn on a woman who had previously been getting better every year and unable to do anything even slightly wrong in my eyes.
10:23: A Lifetime Achievement Award for Jefferson Airplane, awww! (even though the only thing of theirs I know is White Rabbit) And also Linda Rondstadt, even though the only thing I know of hers is a really gorgeous lullaby cover of "We Will Rock You." I've been in love with it for over half my life thanks to a beautiful lyrical ballet performance at my dance studio's annual recital.
10:24: Record of the Year: PLZ GIVE IT TO UPTOWN FUNK. That is such a masterpiece it made me lift my lifelong Bruno Mars grudge entirely for this one song.
10:25: OH MAN IT'S THE FIRST THING THAT'S SPECIFICALLY GONE IN MY FAVOR ALL NIGHT. Let us all take a minute and remember a Classic Tumblr post that is most of the reason I started enjoying this song:
10:26: Hey orchestra, no one here wants to hear Pit Bull more than they wanna hear Tiny Bruno Mars speak. Enough playing people off. It's been like 30 seconds.
10:27: ...oh wow. Can Sofia Vergara please quit acting and just be a dancer full time? She's good at shaking her T&A and she doesn't make me angry in the process. I'm actually feeling a strange urge to throw dollar bills at her.
10:45: Oh god how I wish I could just go to bed now instead of feeling compelled to torture myself by trying to make a head start on my work for the next 2 hours because it looks like it could possibly take me 5 hours and I'm not getting up by 8:30 even if I take to bed now. Stupid Monday Grammys.
11:12 PM: Almost ready to finish polishing & post. I didn't pick up any new music tonight, so I guess tonight's playlist is going to be the Courtney Barnett CD, Glee's improved covers of Adele's songs, "Little Dreams" (Ellie version), "Anything Could Happen" (Glee version), and Linda's "We Will Rock You." And maybe the Eclipse soundtrack because now I've got Florence on the brain and my current favorite of hers is "Heavy in Your Arms," which will make me want to hear all its soundtrack siblings.
P.S. In case you feel like this show presents fewer awards live every year, let me confirm: "75 of the 83 awards were presented pre-show." I assume looking up what any of those are will just annoy me, though, based on the fact that Taylor won "Best Pop Album."
Am I happy that I skipped the Goodwill sale and watched this? Not sure yet. I'll get back to you.
CHEAT SHEET: Click here if you get bored of my rambling and just want to see me list my top 6 things that happened.
[or here if you don't wanna go to Tumblr]
1. Stevie Wonder razzing us all (or almost all) for not being able to read Braille.
2. Bruno Mars winning Record of the Year
3. Lionel Ritchie tribute medley, particularly Demi Lovato’s part
4. The “Take it Easy” performance (I think that’s what it was called)
5. Kendrick Lamar’s performance, just for the theatrics
6. The Alabama Shakes lady’s acceptance speech