A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Ever-Expanding Grammy Universe

Is it my imagination or do the Grammy awards get bigger year after year? I couldn’t help noticing that each year brings new categories to the ceremony. It’s as if they dream up new awards to include as many artists as possible. There’s nothing wrong with inclusion, but this is isn’t some local Little League situation where someone will get their feelings hurt if they don’t get their turn at bat. This is the big time and those that excel will be honored and those that don’t can drown their self-pity at the awards banquet.

This was very obvious some years ago when a number of new categories were invented to honor Hispanic music. This was a noble move to recognize a growing segment of foreign language music that was gaining popularity and influence in American culture. No problem here, but it seemed like it happened overnight, as if the Academy members were thinking, “Oh, yeah, we should’ve acknowledged this decades ago, but we were too immersed in our own culture to care about yours. We hope this makes up for all that neglect.”

This year, one category caught my attention that seemed to be superfluous: Best Collaboration of Duo or Group. When I saw this, I wondered what’s the difference between this category and an older category, Best Performance by Duo or Group. I’m sure the Academy has a full written statement justifying this category’s existence, but it still seemed redundant to me.

While we’re on the subject, let’s suggest these categories to make sure everyone gets a chance to come up on stage and get an award. How about the “Best Male Rock Vocal by an Artist who Released an Album called Born To Run in 1975?” Or maybe “Best Female Spanish Language Vocal by a 1970s Sexpot?” Let’s not forget rap music in a category called “Best Rock and Roll Riff Ripped-Off for a Rap Music Anthem”. Or what about the polka category, hereafter known as “The Jimmy Sturr Award”, given annually to Jimmy Sturr, who apparently is the only artist left in the free world performing polkas?

I hope you’ll forgive my general crankiness towards the Grammies. I have every right to be cranky! Years ago (approximately twenty) my favorite group lost the “Best New Artist” to a couple of frauds that called themselves Milli Vanilli. Now if there had been a “Best New Group of Artists Who Are Collectively Older Than the United States” category, then I’d bet The Traveling Wilburys would have won! Hell, they were the only group to qualify for this category, if we don’t count The Rolling Stones.

I think I get it now. The Grammy Awards are a melodic equivalent to the universe. Always expanding, ever changing in shape and in form, until one day it all implodes upon itself. When that day comes, you can bet they’ll have a category for that too.


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