Live blogging from the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards
The 53rd Annual Grammy Awards are in the books. Pop music critic Chris Richards was reporting live at the ceremony in Los Angeles while Post staff writer David Malitz watched from the newsroom. Together, they pondered -- and answered -- some bigger questions about the ceremony while offering a running commentary on the evening's events. See how it all unfolded below...
11:39 p.m.: How did Arcade Fire react to its upset win for Album of the Year? "OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD. Thank you EVERYONE." the band tweeted. Leave it to Kanye West to say what most people were thinking: "#Arcade fire!!!!!!!!!! There is hope!!! I feel like we all won when something like this happens! [EXPLETIVE] AWESOME!"
Check back later for the full wrap up from L.A. Tomorrow on the blog we'll have a rundown on the best and worst performances of the night.
11:25 p.m.: WOW. It was a night of surprises. Indie wins. Arcade Fire takes home the award for Album of the Year. The coronation of Eminem is a complete non-event. Lady Antebellum can't complete the sweep. The World's Next Huge Rock Band is officially crowned. Arcade Fire plays out the show with "Ready to Start." In predictable Grammy fashion they cut the band off to thank a sponsor. The show ends with the best band winning.
11:18 p.m.: That performance will almost certainly earn Arcade Fire plenty of new fans. They were at their most U2/Springsteen overblown best on "Month of May," with a bit more fury than bombast, and it played especially well on TV. The evening was short on actual rock performances and that was clearly the best. In the extremely unlikely event they take home the night's top prize in a few minutes then they will have "done it the right way" by staying in an independent label and attaining their fame the old-fashioned way. And when they get beat out by Eminem or Lady Antebellum, it lets them keep some indie cred for losing out to the top Billboard star -- all while working to take the honor with their next album.
11:07 p.m.: It turns out members of the Recording Academy like Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" as much as our own Chris Richards. The song just won Record of the Year after taking Song of the Year earlier. Does this make the album of the same name the new favorite for Album of the Year?
11:02 p.m.: Yes, Rihanna is singing again. She does appear on roughly 23% of all songs on radio, so it does make sense. More fire, more hip-swiveling and this time she brought Drake along.
10:52 p.m.: No surprise as Eminem takes home the Grammy for best rap album. Also, if Nicki Minaj could present every award that would make the evening a lot more enjoyable.
10:40 p.m.: Say this for Mick Jagger -- few singers cover more ground when they sing. He skipped and sauntered over every bit of the Staples Center stage during his tribute to the late Solomon Burke. Afterwards, the singer from Train applauds and thinks, "He's like the good version of what I do."
10:25 p.m.: There is a MAJOR UPSET in the Best New Artist category as jazz newcomer Esperanza Spalding -- the category's longshot according to every bookmaker -- beat out Justin Bieber, Drake, Florence + the Machine and Mumford and Sons. This is a legit shocker. Good thing it was past bedtime for most of Bieber's fans so they didn't have to see that happen.
10:08 p.m.: The first major award of the evening goes to Lady Antebellum who win Song of the Year for "Need You Now." This is the songwriting award; Record of the Year is for performance. The country superstars co-wrote their award-winning hit. Before that we were subjected to a lifeless two-song performance by Katy Perry. She can't sing and she can't dance; when she doesn't have fireworks shooting from her chest, it turns out she's just not that interesting.
9:55 p.m.: On Twitter, The Post's J. Freedom du Lac says, "The brilliant Cee Lo Green answers the question of what would happen if the San Diego Chicken got with a Mardi Gras Indian." We get the "Forget You" version of his explicit hit and still don't quite understand why Gwyneth Paltrow was singing with him or why the Muppets were involved, but can't complain about that performance.
9:45 p.m.: Some things that just happened -- Lea Michele said the word "wimmers" and we furrowed our brow. Lady Antebellum performed a tribute to Teddy Pendergrass and we scratched our head. Lady Antebellum performed and we yawned. The country superstars then predictably took home the award for best country album and we nodded our head because so far, perform = win.
9:35 p.m.: His voice may have more in common with the Muppets performing later than any of the evening's other singers, but Bob Dylan is still Bob Dylan. He concludes a tribute to acoustic music with a croaky, hammed-up version of "Maggie's Farm," and it rules. The Avett Bros. turned in a solid performance as well; Mumford & Sons suffered from the same over-sincerity that usual plagues the group.
9:15 p.m.: Muse defeats Neil Young for best rock album. And people wonder why we struggle to take the Grammys seriously year after year.
9:05 p.m.: Janelle Monae, predictably, turns in the first breakout performance of the evening with "Cold War," earning a standing ovation from the Staples Center crowd. She can be opening, headlining, in a club, in a concert hall, in an arena on national TV -- she will kill it every time. Bruno Mars wasn't bad with a bit of old-school soul Sam Cooke throwback. B.o.B. didn't have a pompadour like the other two, but he did have a monocle.
8:45 p.m.: To answer another one of our questions below ... Miranda Lambert burst onto the country scene breathing fire but has slowly embraced her middle-of-the-roadness as she's ascended the country stardom ladder. That performance won't be one that people talk too much about tomorrow. Muse delivered it's usual empty blast of bombastic special-effects rock. We remain unimpressed.
8:30 p.m.: LadyGaga LadyGaga LadyGaga LadyGaga... With her new single landing online on Friday and a "60 Minutes" interview with Anderson Cooper airing before the Grammy telecast, will we be tired of Lady Gaga before the Grammys even start?
We may have hit the Lady Gaga oversaturation point tonight. That red carpet arrival in the giant egg turned out to be a bigger spectacle moment than anything during her performance, which seemed oddly perfunctory for her. And it reminded us that "Born This Way" sure is a blatant rip-off of Madonna's "Express Yourself." We'll see if she can carry momentum up to her album release.
8:20 p.m.: Celebritology runs down the opening tribute to Aretha Franklin.
7:35 p.m.: The Grammys are about ready to kick off but there is already plenty to report. More then 90% of the awards -- that's about 100 -- have already been handed out in a pre-telecast event. It was a lot of bad news for the locals. Godfather of Go-Go Chuck Brown couldn't pull off the upset in best R&B performance by a duo or group with vocals, losing out to Sade. Raheem DeVaughn also came up short, losing to the Roots & John Legend. And newcomer Carolyn Malachi will also go home empty handed, losing to Cee-Lo Green. The only quasi-local winner was Chad Franscoviak, who won for his production work on John Mayer's "Battle Studies."
Some other notable winners from the early portion: A humbled and honored Mavis Staples took home the award for best Americana album for the Jeff Tweedy-produced "You Are Not Alone." Arcade Fire's "The Suburbs" was good enough to be nominated for Album of the Year but not good enough to win Best Alternative Album. That award went to the Black Keys for "Brothers." The Black Keys made it two-for-two over Arcade Fire by besting them in best rock performance by a duo or group. Grammys logic at its finest. Neil Young won his first ever Grammy for music, taking home the award for best rock song. (He previous won for packaging.) Young lost out to Paul McCartney in the best rock solo vocal performance, though. Jay-Z and John Legend each scored three early trophies. Here's a rundown of the early winners.
And in what is clearly the most important pre-show news, Lady Gaga showed up inside a giant egg being carried by shirtless man servants. Of course she did.
1. JustinBieber JustinBieber JustinBieber... With his new 3-D concert film in theaters this week, has America reached Bieberian overload? If he takes home the Grammy for best new artist, will we officially be fed up with him?
2. LadyGagaLadyGagaLadyGagaLadyGaga... With her new single landing online on Friday and a "60 Minutes" interview with Anderson Cooper airing before the Grammy telecast, will we be tired of Lady Gaga before the Grammys even start?
3. Taylor Swift's "Fearless" took home album of the year at last year's Grammys -- a huge win for country music. But at last year's Grammy ceremony, the country music performances were drowned out by bells, whistles and a Black Eyed Peas' laser show. Will tonight's performances by Miranda Lambert and Lady Antebellum make a mark?
4. Up against the likes of Eminem and Lady Gaga, Arcade Fire's "The Suburbs" is a long shot for 2011's album of the year. But despite the group's massive mainstream success, the Canadian troupe is still viewed as an indie rock underdog. Could a Grammy loss actually be better for the band's career than a Grammy win?
5. With ten nominations, Eminem hopes to add to the eleven statuettes already sitting on his mantle. But as he approaches 40, is Eminem the old guard now? Will a big night for Mr. Mathers feel like 2001, when Steely Dan won album of the year?
| February 13, 2011; 7:35 PM ET
Categories: Grammys | Tags: Arcade Fire, Eminem, Grammys, Justin Bieber, Lady Antebellum, Lady Gaga
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