Well, John Prine won his annual folk award, which brings up two points. First, calling Prine a "folk singer" is like calling the Beatles a "pop band." Perhaps technically accurate, but wholly inadequate. Second, it is likely that he was branded as folk music since no actual folk music is worth giving a Grammy to. And Alison Krauss won the country album award. She's a wonderful musician, but you never hear her, since you have to switch off the country station as soon as Big & Rich come on. (Roughly every 12 minutes.)
Speaking of folk, loved the lifetime award for those old folkies, the Weavers. Tom Hanks (apparently played by Kevin Nealon this year) couldn't even remember their names. But those nasty old anti-commie blacklists ruined their career, which, based on the clip we saw was largely built on making money off honkified Huddie Ledbetter tunes. Wanna bet that they made a little extra cake by listing themselves as co-composers or arrangers? And along the lines of theft, Springsteen really thinks he's Dylan now, eh? With the bed-head hair, looking like he slept in his clothes, and the idiotic anti-war shout-out, "Bring 'em home!" Okay, Bruce, we'll just all hold hands instead and try to figure out why they hate us. That worked well for the Europeans in the thirties, too, I hear. And there's nothing much more socially patronizing than the millionaire liberal dressing and grooming like a homeless man. Reminds me of the way white liberals have hijacked the civil rights movement and attempted a moral equivalency argument for lifestyle rights, like the right not to get AIDS from your own stupid behavior, or the right not to have to "choose between" groceries and prescriptions. I think I like that argument, actually. I mean why should I have to choose between groceries and hookers. Surely Uncle Sam could pick up the tab on some of this.
Sorry. Ranting off topic.
The White Stripes won for best "alternative" album. Alternative? Two things: 1) If the music industry is giving you a major award, you are not the alternative to anything. 2) If you create a widely played, critically slobbered-on single by ripping off a 40-year-old Otis Redding riff, you are not the alternative to anything.
Oh, and Sly showed up, shuffling on to stage like the burned-out husk of a genius that he is. Look, Stand! is one of my favorite albums ever, and Sly belongs in any Hall of Fame you've got, but he's clearly in Syd Barrett territory now.
And that was that. I'm unimpressed. When I peek through the list of awards, the first thing I want to listen to is "Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar" (which won for best Hawaiian recording, not a heavily contested category, I figure). After that maybe "Shake, Rattle and Polka!" (why are polka album titles exclamations?) by Jimmy Sturr and his Orchestra. Sad.