Grammywhammys and more Awardzzz
Awards shows are less relevant to our mess age than giant cheap chocolate coins on ribbons being dropped on everyones broken souls from a smug, diamante covered helicopter.With so many scenes, and so many choices the idea of a definitive short list of Great Stuff is downright dumb. I've long since annoyed and bored many in a small talk situation when I'm asked what is my favourite record or book or painting or film of ALL TIME. This is like asking me to cut out almost all of my ears, fingers and eyes - just leaving one little bit to remember the world by as I wait to die. Again and again and again.More torture than conversation.Torture, small talk and small minds were once again in full effect at the Grammy's. Just like that other industry hype hop clusterwank the Oscars, this mass masturbation of the mainstream is more notable for missing everything relevant as it happens and afterwards - like a blind drunk driver crashing through the coolest bar in town, running over the ghost of Jack Daniels himself in a mad rush to get nowhere.My experience of this myopic mayhem was in the corporate popgum era of the late 80s. Schoolyard props and gossip were informed at least a bit by who won what, who was robbed and what flesh was on slight display. I recall the bizarre sight of Milli Vanilli, innocent men who deserved our more tolerant age, turning up in tiny top hats and shirts made of giant y-fronts to nervously collect a gong earned by the session vocalists they were the front for. They babbled something about the value of the "right image." Around the same time, a snow blown shadow of death called Rick James insisted on joining novelty trouser evangelist MC Hammer to pick up the silver for U Cant Touch This. Something about the original GENIUS Hamma abused somehow being important. Of course the Adult Me knows that MC Big Pants would not be worthy of being a human loo brush for Rick James - especially when semi-straight he played with the likes of Neil Young and could write and arrange and perform in to a such as standard it choked the late Motown system with Art. As Sinatra said, he was "Too Big for the room."Back then these awards were crucial for getting exposure and shitting product, much like the risible book awards today that seem obsessed with patronising ethnic tokenism and lazy, obvious historical fiction. Historical fiction is a bit like calling yourself Elvis and making watered down R and B in 2003 - Jumping Someone Else's Train in full effect.Even with less product to sell, and a commercial music world kept ticking over by sponsorship and product placement, the Grammy's remain an indicator of what's floating about in the foam of the mainstream. So what's the temperature in the middle of the road today?A strange mixed grill of pastiche more crudely cash grabbing and less interesting than the most plastic Kpop practitioners. Beige bilge folk rock got the highest acclaim, which shows that the industry and critics still have a bit of bizarre residual snobbery. They cannot smell what they are shovelling. The schizoid spectacle of Katy Perry's pneumatic norks and effortless straddling of snack sponsorship, worthy Christian tendencies and dumb dancefloor valium is far more reflectable of what excellence is today than some acoustic Mumford's Boyz.Of course the Hell of Adele was there. Much like an over boiled potato wrapped in a BHS "Country Kitchen" table cloth with a comedy 50s fancy dress wig stapled on. Rolling in the Sheep Sleep irrelevantly, burning and staining the false glory. An obscene tater tot somehow able to squawk fake feminism and gurn dead at rubber r n b diva diarrhea. A golden tuber faker for the common touch, like a chain pub barmaid drunk on visual starfucking - the representative specimen of the industry's ideal consumer present and correct at the commercial mind rape ritual.A happier ritual is the weekly one of Resistance to all that is unfunky. Which is what you do when you walk in Rat's door on a Saturday morning. And what a feast for heart and feet we have for you.Hip Hop 12"s from £2. NWA, Mos Def, Master Ace, Naughty by Nature, Marley Marl.OST LPs : Star Trek, Superman, Black Hole, Elephant Man, Logan's Run..Alt Guitar albums: Sonic Youth, Einsturzende Neubauten, Spacemen 3, Gun Club...Rock LPs: Kraftwerk, Zappa, Beatles, Ramones, Townes van Zandt, Grateful Dead, Black Sabbath. Funk, Jazz and Blues on Vinyl; Funkadelic, Miles Davis, Monk, Mingus, Bo Diddley...Superb Reggae on Vinyl : Pioneers, Dillinger, Maytals, Cables, Don Drummond...and as always much much more. Feel it there.