Overnight Briefing & General Reality Check - Feb 9, 2015
February 9, 2015
Stalking the red carpet:
Who wore what on the Grammy awards red carpet, from The Hollywood Reporter:
--MADONNA walked the red carpet in what was basically her "Living for Love" music video costume --a sparkly bullfighter bodysuit by Givenchy. She paired the all-black look with fishnets and over-the-knee boots.
--GWEN STEFANI killed it on the red carpet in a black, strapless Atelier Versace jumpsuit with a sexy, classy cool fishnetty-wavy bodice design that Gwen herself described as "a work of art."
--ARIANA GRANDE hit the red carpet in her signature pony-tail and a white Versace gown with metal mesh, a key-hole neckline and a side slit. BIG SEAN was in an all-black Saint Laurent ensemble. (Bartha)
Grammy Awards with Vinny Marino:
SAM SMITH was the big winner at the Grammy Awards last night. He took home four statues, including Song and Record of the Year for "Stay With Me." PHARELL WILLIAMS and BEYONCE got three each. The biggest surprise of the evening had to be BECK winning Album of the Year for "Morning Phase." He had some stiff competition in that category, including Sam, Pharrell and Beyonce. KANYE WEST actually made his way to the stage to say something, like he did when TAYLOR SWIFT won Best Female Video at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2009, but he was just kidding. When Sam Smith accepted for Record of the Year, he thanked the man who broke his heart and inspired all the songs on the album. Actually, the biggest winners were string players and the music contractors who write up the charts they play. Just about every performer had some kind of string section backing them up. Oddly enough, the only type of live music we didn't have last night was Hip-Hop! But, as usual, the three-hour-and-40-minute show was really all about the live performances. There were 23 all together.
The Grammys opened with AC/DC, which was amazing because there has been very little actual rock music at the Grammys over the last few years. With drummer CHRIS SLADE back in the band, sitting in for PHIL RUDD who has some legal problems to deal with in New Zealand, and STEVIE YOUNG on rhythm guitar, standing in for his uncle, the ailing MALCOLM YOUNG, the band kicked ass with its latest single, "Rock or Bust," followed by the classic "Highway To Hell." That's right, real instruments and live vocals. Most of the celebs in the front row, including KATY PERRY, had plastic red horns on their head, and made the devil sign to the camera. There were a few sour faces, like record producer RICHARD PERRY, sitting next to JANE FONDA, and a very confused looking TONY BENNETT.
ARIANA GRANDE toned things way down with her ballad, "Just A Little Bit Of Your Heart." She wore a very classy blue dress and was backed up by a string section. Yes, the girl can sing.
The first of many great musical combinations of the night came from JESSIE J with TOM JONES. They saluted songwriters BARRY MANN and CYNTHIA WEILL with one of their greatest tunes, "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'." Jessie and Tom sounded great together, but the backing track must have come from a cheap karaoake set. Tom has still got it. The voice, that is.
MIRANDA LAMBERT rocked out her "Little Red Wagon." There was pyro and smoke machines, and she was wearing all black leather, but, just to remind you that she's a country artist, there was a guy playing a steel guitar. Miranda was also bleeped! Seems she forgot to censor herself on the lyric, "And I do all the s**t you wanna do." It's OK, the show was on a delay and they caught it.
KANYE WEST brought his auto-tune along to do his new single, "Only One." When it was introduced as being co-written by PAUL McCARTNEY, the camera went to him and Paul looked confused. Kanye was dressed all in velvet. It was George Costanza's dream come true.
MILEY CYRUS and NIKKI MINAJ introduced MADONNA, or as Miley said, "My bitch, Madonna." The Material Mom did her new single, "Living For Love," dressed like an S&M matador. Her male dancers had what looked like aluminum foil on their faces and wore bull's horns with the choir all dressed in red. More devil imagery! Madonna ended the song getting hoisted up and away by chains. Madonna is SO OVER!!!! It was pathetic and sad to watch.
ED SHEERAN had an all star band backing him up with JOHN MAYER on guitar, QUESTLOVE on drums, bassist ADAM BLACKSTONE and the legendary HERBIE HANCOCK on piano who was clearly slumming it. Ed sang "Thinking Out Loud," which is a great single.
There was more rock and roll as JEFF LYNNE took the stage with a new lineup of E.L.O. The only other original member was keyboard player RICHARD TANDY. They did "Evil Woman," and then Ed Sheeran came back out to play and sing along on the E.L.O. classic, "Mr. Blue Sky." Sir Paul was diggin' it in the audience. The HAIM sisters knew all the words. TAYLOR SWIFT was dancing to it, but probably never heard the song before. There is talk that Jeff and this new lineup of E.L.O. will record a new album and tour. They tried that in 2001, but ticket sales were so awful that the entire tour was canceled.
The next "great" combination was MAROON 5's ADAM LEVINE with GWEN STEFANI. They did the Maroon 5 tune, "My Heart Is Open." Snore!
HOZIER did his mega-hit, "Take Me To Church." Looks like he visited CHRIS CORNELL's barber. The Hoz-meister was VERY off-key. But, the great ANNIE LENNOX was there to save his soul, and performance. She then proved what a singer is supposed to sound like with a roof-raising version of the SCREAMIN' JAY HAWKINS' classic, "I Put A Spell On You." THAT's how it's done!
PHARRELL WILLIAMS left his Smokey The Bear hat home and out on a black bell hop uniform with yellow shoes...for some reason. He did what sounded like a James Bond theme version of "Happy," with classical pianist LANG LANG (why?) and film composer HANS ZIMMER who looked like former Miami Dolphins place kicker, GARO YEPREMIAN. There were dancing ninjas, a choir dressed in white and yellow violins.
PRESIDENT OBAMA showed up, on video, to talk about rape and domestinc abuse. Thanks for the buzzkill, Mr. President! Then, an abused woman made a speech. No idea who she was. But that led into KATY PERRY singing her ballad, "By The Grace Of God," which is about abuse. She was all in white with her hair pulled back. Behind Katy were silhouettes of three dancers. Kinda looked like Mumenschantz. But, Katy proved that she really can sing.
TONY BENNETT and LADY GAGA did their "Cheek To Cheek" thing. It's getting old, you two. Cut it out.
USHER did a wonderful salute to STEVIE WONDER. He sang, "If It's Magic," from Stevie's "Songs In The Key of Life" album, backed up by a harpist. Stevie joined in at the end with his harmonica.
ERIC CHURCH introduced a new category of music: Off-Key Country. He tried to sing, "Give Me Back My Hometown," but was nowhere near the actual tune. It was painful. Oh, and does playing the banjo become cool if you're wearing sunglasses? I think not!
BRANDY CLARK is a real up and coming country talent. She sang her tune, "Hold My Hand" with vocal and guitar support from DWIGHT YOAKAM.
Without any introduction, RIHANNA, KANYE WEST and PAUL McCARTNEY did Rihanna's new single, "Four Five Seconds," co-written by all three. You can hear Paul's contribution in the pure pop melody, and Kanye actually sings on it. Paul was singing, but you couldn't hear him over Rihanna and Kanye. Hidden away in the corner on lead guitar was NUNO BETTANCOURT of EXTREME.
We finally got to hear SAM SMITH sing. He did "Stay With Me," with yet another string section and choir. MARY J. BLIGE joined in and it was heaven. But, the set looked like the wood paneling in the lobby of an old big city hotel, or a bank.
The obligatory "world music" performance was next. This time, it was Colombian pop star, JUANES. The song was called "Juntos," and it rocked. He'll probably sell a lot of MP3 over the next few days.
PRINCE showed up to give out the Album of the Year Grammy. He said, "Albums still matter, like books and black lives." Serious stuff, but he was dressed in what looked like an orange Fruit Roll-Up and a cane.
The strangest and therefore most intersting performance of the night came from SIA. The stage re-created the look of the video for "Chandelier," with Sia serving a time-out in the corner, facing the wall, wearing her trademark platinum wig. Now, if you thought the dancing "mother" looked like KRISTIN WIIG, that's because it WAS her! The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that the former "Saturday Night Live" cast member danced with the little girl from the video, MADDIE ZIEGLER of "Dance Moms." If you were shaking your head, asking yourself, "What the heck was that?" Think of it like MARTHA GRAHAM but without the wit. Interpretive dance can be a tough nut to crack. Some people think the dance is about child abuse or that both dancers represent the same person, young and old. Who knows?
DAVE GROHL saluted "The Late Show With David Letterman" for giving musicians national TV exposure. Since Dave is retiring in May, this was a nice tribute.
BECK, who shocked everyone by winning Album of the Year, did "Heart Is A Drum" from the "Morning Phase" album, with some vocal help from COLDPLAY's CHRIS MARTIN. It had a DAVID CROSBY/GRAHAM NASH feeling to it.
Recording Academy President NEIL PORTNOW gave a speech about the death of music, followed by the "In Memorium" segment. OK....
The evening ended with two gospel-inspired performances...to balance out all the devil stuff earlier. BEYONCE sang the gospel standard, "Take My Hand Precious Lord." She was dressed all in white. Good to know she actually owns at least one whole dress! And, of course, she was backed up my a male choir, dressed all in black, and strings. It was moving.
JOHN LEGEND and COMMON drew things to a close with their Oscar-nominated song, "Glory," from the film, "Selma." Choir, strings, goodnight. (Marino)
Grammy winners list:
--Record of the Year: "Stay With Me," Sam Smith
--Album of the Year: "Morning Phase," Beck
--Song of the Year: "Stay With Me," Sam Smith (James Napier, William Phillips & Sam Smith, songwriters)
--Best New Artist: Sam Smith
--Best Pop Solo Performance: "Happy," Pharrell Williams
--Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: "Say Something," A Great Big World with Christina Aguilera
--Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album: "Cheek To Cheek," Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga
--Best Pop Vocal Album: "In The Lonely Hour," Sam Smith
--Best Rock Performance: "Lazaretto," Jack White
--Best Metal Performance: "The Last In Line," Tenacious D
--Best Rock Song: "Ain't It Fun," Paramore
--Best Rock Album: "Morning Phase," Beck
--Best Alternative Music Album: "St. Vincent," St. Vincent
--Best R&B Performance: "Drunk In Love," Beyoncé, featuring Jay-Z
--Best Traditional R&B Performance: "Jesus Children," Robert Glasper Experiment
--Best R&B Song: "Drunk In Love," Beyoncé, featuring Jay-Z
--Best Urban Contemporary Album: "Girl," Pharrell Williams
--Best R&B Album: "Love, Marriage & Divorce," Toni Braxton & Babyface
--Best Rap Performance: "I," Kendrick Lamar
--Best Rap/Sung Collaboration: "The Monster," Eminem, featuring Rihanna
--Best Rap Song: "I," Kendrick Lamar
--Best Rap Album: "The Marshal Mathers LP 2," Eminem
--Best Country Solo Performance: "Something In The Water," Carrie Underwood
--Best Country Duo/Group Performance: "Gentle On My Mind," The Band Perry
--Best Country Song: "I'm Not Gonna Miss You," Glen Campbell
--Best Country Album: "Platinum," Miranda Lambert
--Best Blues Album: "Step Back," J ohnny Winter
--Best Reggae Album: "Fly Rasta," Ziggy Marley
--Best Spoken Word Album: "Diary Of A Mad Diva," Joan Rivers
--Best Comedy Album: "Mandatory Fun," Weird Al Yankovic
--Best Musical Theater Album: "Beautiful - The Carole King Musical"
--Best Compilation Soundtrack: "Frozen"
--Best Song Written For Visual Media: "Let It Go," from "Frozen"
--Best Music Video: "Happy," Pharrell Williams
--Best Music Film: "Feet From Stardom"
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