Monday, February 13, 2012

U.W. at the Grammys

First off, I'm still waiting for three people to tell me what four songs in UWA #66 have in common, which means either it was a tougher question than I thought, or that signed copies of two of my books wasn't enough of an enticement to get people to enter. This is just by way of letting the rest of you know it's not too late.

What? You haven't listened to the show yet? well, download/listen to it here, fer cryin out loud!

Sunday night was the Grammy Awards, and for the first time (I believe) ever, Red and I watched/listened to the whole thing. Five highlights for me:

1. Six guitarists in mortal combat trading leads in the classic Beatles finale "The End." I always believed that Abbey Road is almost flawless except perhaps that the full-tilt rocker at, err, the end was too short. Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison trading leads was great, just not long enough. Sunday night, twice as many guitarists going about six rounds each exchanging two-measure solos was priceless. Best moment in the best moment: Joe Walsh sneaking in a tease of the immortal "Funk 49."

2. The Civil Wars' one-minute contribution – joyful harmonies, fun banter. Wow, who are those two?

3. The Foo Fighters' passionate defense of making music with musical instruments, not computers, which was the only acceptance speech that seemed to be cut off. Interesting!

4. A stunned Taylor Swift taking in the rousing standing ovation for her crisp performance of "Mean," turning to the person next to her and mouthing, "Ow, wow!" It felt like Sally Field realizing we like her.

5. Best new act recipient Justin Vernon of Bon Iver also talked about the joy of making music and gave a shout-out to Eau Claire, Wis. Gotta love that!

There were some lowlights, too – I definitely had a few "I'll never get those four minutes back!" moments – but the times when the music won out came often enough that I was glad we took the time. As Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters put it so well, "Long live rock 'n' roll!"

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