Boogie’s Grammy Play-by-Play

Open with an Aretha Franklin video montage. LL Cool J intros Martina McBride, Yolanda Adams, Jennifer Hudson, Christina Aguilera and Florence Welch (Florence & The Machine) for the Queen of Soul tribute a.k.a. The Diva Belter Contest.

Well…X-tina seems to have redeemed herself after that horrend-X Super Bowl gaffe. McBride didn’t disappoint, either…and Welch? I swear Xtina is laughing at her – a mighty scoff at that. J-Hud has no probs doin’ Aretha proud.

This is war. Three of these divas are doing their own thing and two of these aren’t kinda the same. Wait ’til they get to the group joint…oh, there it goes…Sisters (Doin’ it For Themselves). Ray Charles could have telegraphed that. That last run they just pulled off was like, watching a race at Assiniboia Downs. And, a pre-taped appearance by the Queen herself!
Grade: B-

First ad break.

Diva Belter contestants run down Best Pop Duo/Group nominees: Paramore, the Glee cast, Sade, Maroon 5 and Train – whose (Hey) Soul Sister (Live) gets the W. Not a real surprise. You could hear this annoying drivel everywhere in the past year. Way to name drop Justin Bieber. Guy, I think the music means shut the fcuk up.

Ricky Martin intros Lady Gaga – and did he really want to say “Lay-dee…Ga-ga!” So, that’s the egg everyone was tweeting about. I kinda hate Lady Gaga, er, Madonna, Jr. Right down to her rendition of Express Yourself. Somewhere, Ms. Ciccone is barfing in her mouth because Gaga was actually born Stefani Germonatta. And, of course, she has to remind everyone that she can play piano – thanks to all that classical training/tranny-ing and all.
Grade: F-

Second ad break.

(Right about now, one wonders how many .secs John Legend and The Roots will get for their three non-televised wins)

Blake Shelton loves this next performer – “because she happens to be his fiancee. The lovely, the talented, the one and only…Miranda Lambert everybody.” Mhm. Doesn’t look like a country singer does she? I’d love to say something about Lambert…anything, really…but the video displays onstage are more captivating. Hey, that was Elvis Presley!
Grade: none

Lenny Kravitz has no hair! And, he intros Muse.
Cool! A double-neck guitar! Remember when Pete Townshend used to rock those? Now, he just rocks off to kiddie porn. Oh, yeah, Muse. This is actually a dope joint. Can’t front. Nice stage set, bad use of “dancers”.
Grade: B-

Ad break #3.

(shout to all the followers on Twitter and friends on Facebook that are logged on!)

Ryan Seacrest is out. His TelePrompter game is off. Bruno Mars, Janelle Monais and B.O.B.! Impressive that they included Janelle; other two are obvious. Nothin’ on You to start. Still not sure on Mars’ Don Ho chic. Bobby Ray is lookin’ pimp. Hmm…retro soul version of Grenade. Wonder if anyone is going to credit Raphael Saadiq for this current trend we’re just now seeing in pop music…oh, and Mars is losing his voice. Damn, shut up already and cue Janelle! Shiii…she kills both of em on the style tip. Nice. We get Cold War live. Mars on drums and B.O.B. on (air) guitar!
Grade: B-

(Two guys from) Zac Brown Band intros noms for Best Female Country Performance. Gretchen Wilson, Jewel, Miranda Lambert, LeeAnn Rimes and Carrie Underwood. The winner is…Blake Shelton’s fiancee! Love how she doesn’t return his props! 🙂

Set of ads.

(Trying to figure out how to fit in regular chronic breaks)

Eva Longoria comes out to Bill WithersLovely Day? Awww, Justin Bieber auditioning for Usher clip – now, I’m not going to go hard on Biebs and will be as objective as possible. Promise. Sh!t. They had to start with African drumming, didn’t they? Then, ninjas. Ninjas! Looks like puberty is starting to kick in with the Biebs. This was booty.
Grade: D

Paramore and NCIS chick. Best Rock Album nods: Jeff Beck, Muse, Pearl Jam, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Neil Young. Grammy goes to…Muse! I like, I like! Props to NARAS for not giving an auto-win to the oldest rockers in the building.


(quickie chronic break)

Come back to Gaga winning for Fame Monster. But, thankfully followed by The Late Show Top 10 Grammy Surprises. Personal fave? #10. Who the hell is this coked up bluegrass punk band fronted by Mario Lopez? Mumford & Sons, obviously. Next, The Avett Brothers! Hey, Russell Brand has a band? Bob Dylan comes out poorly mic-ed and all gravel-raspy! I swear his throat just started bleeding. Did Dylan just smile?!
Grade: D

More ads.

Big up for The Ramones‘ Lifetime Achievement Award! What a great booking: Lady Antebellum covering Teddy Pendergrass! If You Don’t Know Me By Now? I like it. Not so much the next joint. Heeey…didn’t the chick from Glee and the guy from the Packers say a tribute to Teddy?
Grade: D

Miley Cyrus and Kings Of Leon to announce Best Country Album – because they’re both from Tennessee and that gosh-darn-it gives ’em cred to do it! Lady Antebellum for the win. Get in there, Paul Worthy! That woman’s got some weird triple chin action goin’ on. Jamie Foxx out to intro – cheesily – Gwyneth Paltrow, The Muppets and Cee-Lo Green with their rendition of F*** You, er, Forget You. Nothing ground-breaking here. LadyKilla doin’ his best George Clinton. Not. Too. Sure. What. Paltrow. Is. Doing.
Grade: F

Yet more ads.

(to be honest, I thought Gwyeth’s shoes were dope)

Neil Patrick Harris brings out a world-class pop star. Katy Perry‘s out. Ouch. Whoa, to that whole “whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa-oa” thing. Mr. Perry really shouldn’t let the Missus out if she’s going to sing falsetto. I’m sure everyone’s appreciating the “wedding footage” from India. “This one goes out to all the Valentine lovers!” Teenage Dream. Adult nightmare.

John Mayer, Norah Jones and Keith Urban cover Dolly Parton‘s Jolene. I ain’t mad. Obvious nod to her Lifetime Achievement Award win. Next are Song of The Year nominees: Forget You, Beg, Steal or Borrow, The House that Built Me, Love the Way You Lie, Need You Now. Winner: Lady Antebellum’s Need You Now.


(contemplating hunger)

The Green Hornet/Seth Rogan comes out to Like a G6 and disses Miley before his intro of Eminem, Dr. Dre, Rihanna and Skylar Grey. They do Love the Way You Lie and new Dre single, I Need a Doctor. Dang, the crowd erupted when Dre came onstage. Crowd didn’t let up, either. He’s going to be a problem when Detox drops.
Grade: B

John Legend and Jewel with Best New Artist noms: Florence & The Machine, Mumford & Sons, Justin Bieber, Esperanza Spalding(!) and Drake. Oh, snap!!! It goes to Esperanza Spalding!!! That’s called a come-from-behind win. You know she’s one of the artists on Prince’s Welcome 2 America tour, right? 😉

Hey! Ads!

Another Glee cast member out followed by NARAS president Neil Fortnow. Self-congratulatory moment and condescending stab at illegal downloading.

Nod to influential artists who passed in 2011. No mention of Keith “Guru” Elam. Mick Jagger out to give props to Solomon Burke. Fitting considering the Stones owe their success to black music – and have acknowledged that fact. Guy doesn’t sound that bad. Looks like he’s in decent shape, too.
Grade: B

Adzzz. Zzz.

(kinda hungry – gotta wait ’til next ad break)

Kris Kristofferson survived the Blade franchise! Lady Babs out to do Evergreen! Ummm, I really wasn’t trying to dig into Barbra Streisand but uh, the opening run was pitchy. Just saying, is all. Kinda reminds me of an elementary grade teacher moonlighting at the local karaoke bar. Sorry.
Grade: D-

“Please welcome…Elsa Lanchester…and Bobby Brown” announcing the Best Rap Album nominees? Crowd yelling for The Roots but really no surprise that Eminem takes this one for Recovery. Tough category, still. All the noms deserved this one.

Set of advertisements.

(quickie chronic break trumps food)

Tune back into performance in progress. Arcade Fire, to be exact. Canajun music lovers stand up! Is their stage show always this flashy and strobe-y?

Capitalist propaganda.

(now, Chinese takeout and Perrier Lime)

Wow, that’s huge. Arcade Fire‘s The Suburbs for the Record Of The Year win AND closing performance. I’ll say it again. Canajun music lovers stand up! Uh, think I missed the Drake/Rihanna performance…tell you what…why don’t you give me your review of their Grammy appearance. Seriously. Send em to and I’ll post them here on!

That, folks, was the 53rd annual Grammy Awards. Out.

– Boogz


Notable winners at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards:

  • Best New Artist
  • Esperanza Spalding

  • Best Urban/Alternative Performance
  • F*** You, Cee-Lo Green

  • Best Rap Album
  • Recovery, Eminem

  • Best Rap Song
  • Empire State of Mind, Shawn Carter, Angela Hunt, Burt Keyes, Alicia Keys, Jane’t “Jnay” Sewell-Ulepic, Alexander Shuckberg

  • Best Rap Solo Performance
  • Not Afraid, Eminem

  • Best Rap Performance By A Duo/Group
  • On to the Next One, Jay-Z & Swizz Beatz

  • Best Contemporary R&B Album
  • Raymond V Raymond, Usher

  • Best R&B Album
  • Wake Up! – The Roots & John Legend

  • Best R&B Song
  • Shine, John Stephens

  • Best Female R&B Vocal Performance
  • Bittersweet, Fantasia

  • Best Male R&B Vocal Performance
  • There Goes My Baby, Usher

  • Best R&B Performance By A Duo/Group
  • Soldier of Love, Sade

  • Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album
  • Still, BeBe & CeCe Winans

  • Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance
  • Hang on in There, The Roots & John Legend

  • Best Reggae Album
  • Before the Dawn, Buju Banton

  • Best Dance Recording
  • Only Girl (in the World), Rihanna


    Grammy play-by-play coverage

    And so we begin.


    Pre-telecast tidbits:
    *Rihanna pulls a no-show,
    *Heavy D performance,
    *Lil Wayne cops Best Rap Solo Performance (A Milli), Best Rap Song (Lollipop),
    *Chris Brown turns himself in under suspicion of domestic violence. [UPDATE: according to the LA Times’ music blog, Brown was “booked tonight on suspicion of making felony criminal threats in connection with an incident involving his girlfriend, pop singer Rihanna”.] Read that here with further updates here and here.

    U2 opens the show with their new joint, Get on Your Boots. Bono gives the post-performance introduction to… Whitney! Who comes out looking a little worse for post-martini wear! A little dap to Clive (Davis) for his Industry Icon Award before announcing the noms and winner of the Best R&B Album, which goes to J-Hud. Having a little trouble getting the winner’s name out, Whit-Whit? Clive’s post-Whitney project giving Whitney the “I’ll pray for you, girl” hug. Think everyone wants to see her take this, considering how the past few months have gone for her.

    The Rock! Guess the wrestling ring didn’t prep you for presenting at the Grammys. He’s bothering me. Beatle Fighters, Rock? Really? Hope the “incredible night” consists of less Rock. Introduces JT.

    Justin drops science on how Al Green taught him soul then attempts a boob of a joke about “The General Store”. Introduces Boyz II Men, Keith Urban and the good Reverend to join him for the requisite tribute. How predictable. Let’s Stay Together? You guessed right? Did these guys do soundcheck together? Timing’s a little left of the accurate margin. But did you hear the good Rev sustain that key? Urban freaks a respectable guitar solo to make his appearance worthwhile. Boyz II Men get no leads – strictly background. Kinda like their career right now. [this segment had been thrown together at the last minute to fill this segment because Rihanna cancelled her appearance…check the official word here] [02/10/09 UPDATE: this is the final update because there’s nothing more to be said about Chrianna-gate!]

    Simon Baker? The prop to introduce one of tonight’s heavyweights, Coldplay. Chris & crew bust out and (predictably) Jay-Z joins them to drop a new verse for Lost. Never saw THIS coming. Really. And, of course, Viva La Vida to finish.

    Carrie Underwood performance. Don’t know that I’ll give this much commentary. Nope. Not gonna.

    Sheryl “I Didn’t Put Any Thought Into This Dress” Crow and Lee Ann Rimes give props to some ole country gal before going into the Best Country Duo/Group noms and winner. Bathroom break. Oh, Sugarland apparently won. Weren’t they a Cdn blues-rock band from AB? Or was that an album by Honeymoon Suite?

    Duffy and Rev Green singsong into the noms and winner for Song of the Year. They should never work together. Ever. Wonder how she feels announcing Adele and Estelle as nominees…*whew*…dodged the bullet of having to hand one of them the award. Coldplay takes this one.

    Kid Rock hits the stage. Yes, he was mentored by D-Nice. Don’t know who I was dissing there. Pulls this bluesy rock off a lot better than the CN Tower hightop fade he used to sport.

    The much-ballyhooed Miley/Taylor Fifteen (minutes of fame) duet. Oops, mic pop, Mr. Producer. Across North America tweens are swaying in unison. Swift looks Vulcan. Best friend, Miley? Somewhere, Casey is weeping. On to the Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. Robert Plant and Allison Krauss win proves 40+ years in the biz = Grammy. Lacklustre acceptance, yo.

    Oh, snap. J-Hud centre stage. Not a dry eye around. Can’t front – You Pulled Me Through performance is moving. Was2162505

    Le, sigh. Stevie onstage with The Jonas Brothers. Typical Grammy flub. Someone please shoot les Jonas for BUTCHERING Superstition. This is making my bones ache. I hate the producer.

    Hey, it’s Travis Barker and those guys from the All the Small Things video. Present Best Rock Album to…Coldplay. They’re kinda owning this.

    Wow, did the writers drop the ball for Craig Ferguson. Those one-liners bricked. He segues into Katy Perry – who drops her big kissing song.

    Whoa, right into Kanye who drops his first verse, adlibs, second verse and more adlibs off American Boy. Oh, Estelle is performing, too. Love that girl. I meant Estelle.

    That was the intro to the Best New Artist category. Wow, Jazzmine Sullivan got a nom! No, really! Ooh, Adele knocks out all the other UK-based soul-pop sang-ers. Take a shot for every expletive that’s coming out of Amy Winehouse‘s mouth right now.

    The distinguished Morgan Freeman stumbled on the word ‘pirate’. And proclaimed his bromance with Kenny Chesney. Anyone need a drink?

    Puffy, Herbie Hancock and Natalie Cole just strolled out to announce the Record of the Year winner. WHOO! MIA nom! Plant & Krauss again. What are Herbie and Puffy laughing at?

    Khadijah…sorry, Latifah is out to introduce the big Swagga Like Us collab (Best Rap Song, Best Rap Performance) with prego-licious and lyric-mouthing MIA, the Weezy and Yeezy man dem, the Hova-nator and soon-to-be-Akon-ed T.I.

    “That was brilliant,” exclaimed Coldplay frontman Chris Martin.


    A very capable Sir Paul McCartney breezes through I Saw Her Standing There backed by Dave Grohl, a stuffed dog and the rest of the band. I envy Grohl. He’s backing a Beatle. Rippin’ it, too.

    Jack Black and Charlie Haden onstage so Jack can jock Charlie. Best Male Pop Vocal Performance goes to Jennifer Aniston‘s former boytoy John “Borat Thong Boy” Mayer.

    Bad chemistry introduction by Uncle L and his groupie for Sugarland and Adele in what can only be another Jonas/Stevie-like conundrum. Sugarland done come a long way from Medicine Hat! Collective sigh let out when it was clear they were performing separately. Hey, what’s Ricki Lake doing onstage?!?

    Ladies and gentlemen, Gwyneth Paltrow. Next up – after Apple’s moms finishes her mythologizing – Radiohead with the USC marching band! Is Thom Yorke epileptic or channelling Axel? Still, a strong performance all ’round. ‘kay, I’m getting goosebumps. Maybe I need to check these guys live…


    Oh, yeah, baby, it’s Jedi Master Mace Windu! Proclaiming HIS bromance with JT (who knew all these folks would out themselves at an award show)! Timberlake on keys to set off his Dead and Gone performance with TI. Really, though…rapping over your lyrics on the Grammys, dawg? They’ve turned this into a rock opera. I like Clifford Harris, Jr and I’m glad Warner had the sense to release this as a single but did he have go out like Meatloaf?

    Grammy prez Neil Portnow gives love to Barack Obama‘s Grammy wins. Shameless self-love, sir. Here comes Smokey to give the Lifetime Achievement Award to The Four To…err, last surviving Top Duke Fakir who’s joined onstage by Ne-Yo and Jamie Foxx (who’s comin’ harder, better, faster, stronger on vocals) for a rip-roarin’ medley that gets everyone off they feetsies. smokeyneyoduke

    Josh Groban comes out to intro Neil Diamond. Hey, remember when he starred in Saving Silverman with Steve Zahn , Black and Jason Biggs? Yeah, that was more entertaining than this Atlantic City-style schmaltzfest of a performance for Sweet Caroline. Yuck.

    Montage of many greats who have passed on. Hate this part.

    Big guitar jamboree onstage with B.B. King, John Mayer, Buddy Guy and Keith Urban for a Bo Diddley love-in. Enjoying this.

    Nice. Robin Thicke and Lil’ Wayne kickin’ it soulful-like with Tie My Hands. And, Weezy’s giving it to us really good – even if you can hear that annoying backing track. And now joined by Allen Toussaint on keys and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band! They smilin’ down in N’awlins. What?! Terence Blanchard, too! This was rollicking! thickeweezy and T-Pain are out. They look like siblings. Will looks like Taboo, too. Noms for Best Rap Album with the award goin’ out to…FYI: all of the noms deserve this…The Carter III! Take another shot if you called the ubiquitous white tee for the acceptance speech.

    “And now for our hastily scheduled chronic break.”

    Anyone could have seen they would bring out Krauss, Plant and T-Bone Burnett to play material (Rich Woman, Gone, Gone, Gone) that got them Grammy lurve this year. Wasn’t bad.

    Green Day on the mic to announce the winners of Producer of the Year (Rick Rubin) and Album of the Year (Krauss and Plant’s Raising Sand). The upper decks seem so enthused. Is that heckling from the upper decks? Cue polite applause.

    Surprised that the closing number is All About the Love Again from Stevie. Not a bad thing. But then why wouldn’t NARAS remind you that Obama and the Grammys are one.

    There, ladies and gentlemen, are your 51st annual Grammy Awards! Afterparty time! Don’t hesitate to let the feedback flow forth.