Grammys 2013: The Live Blog

In Which Our Intrepid Reporter Attempts to Make the Grammys Entertaining...

by Jeff Clutterbuck

7:00: And off we go, the list of musicians and CBS stars goes on and on. Who would have thought Neil Patrick Harris and Wiz Khalifa would ever be on the same bill? And a promise of a performance from LL Cool J? I cannot wait!

7:01: A terrifying clown with a bicycle and flame torch delivers the intro for Taylor Swift and the rest of Cirque Du Soleil... if this is how all of her breakups go it’s no wonder they lead to memorable songs.

7:05: After not understanding what was going on for a couple minutes, making his way onto the stage is LL Cool J! He promises us the greatest show on earth, and gives praise to Taylor Swift. Oh wait, T-Swizzle (his words, not mine).

7:06: Quincy Jones is looking old. But let’s be honest, no one in 1984 would have thought he would outlive Michael Jackson.

7:08: This intro is going on a little too long for my tastes, although I’m sure we were all asking to get the story of LL Cool J’s own musical history.

7:10: This is one of those instances where not listening to the radio has its benefits: apparently this duet between Ed Sheeran and Elton John was on the radio constantly, but after hearing it for the first time it’s a lovely song and an appreciated, understated performance.

7:13: Justin Timberlake has the industry by the balls, his “return to music” gets to take place at the Grammys. I’m reminded of Charlie Sheen getting far too much air time during the Emmys in the aftermath of “tiger blood.”

7:19:  I promise I won’t comment on the fashion this evening, besides to say between Pitbull and J Lo, I wonder who is more desperate for attention...Pitbull, right?

7:20: I would be shocked if Carly Rae Jepsen doesn’t take the Grammy for best Pop Solo Performance. That song was everywhere.

7:21: And that’s why Jeff should never gamble.

7:24: I appreciate the enthusiasm and passion Fun. brings when they perform; they have won me over forever with the best song of 2012, “Some Nights.” Also, there are no men in bunny costumes, which is a plus...

7:25: If the Grammys took the title of Adele’s winning song literally right now, we would be watching a terrible, terrible thing...

7:31: Since when did John Mayer join the cast of Jersey Boys?

7:34: One of the perils of live performances: somebody needed to do a mic check for Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley. A little too much echo undermines a sincerely touching song.

7:38: It’s tough to beat the pure, homespun inoffensiveness that is modern country music. The first snoozer performance of the night comes from the second Lambert/Bentley song.

7:40: I need to get a job as the official hip-hop utterances advisor: “I think, sir, that right about here a ‘Yeah’ would be perfect. And then perhaps, an ‘Uh’ about 7 seconds later.”

7:44: America’s sweetheart Carrie Underwood takes home another Grammy: she’s Taylor Swift, but likable.

7:49: LL Cool J begging America for more followers on Twitter: #SorryLLIJustDontHaveTheTimeRightNow.

7:50: All these years, and someone still needs to explain to me how exactly these categories work. “Song Of The Year” is up right now, but that’s different from “Record Of The Year”....

7:51: The English version of the song from the Taco Bell commercial just won.

7:52: I think the Over/Under for years that Fun. had been together would have been around 4.5 before that thank-you speech...12 years!!!!

7:53: Johnny Depp delivering his killer Keith Richards impression to string together a couple of phrases and introduce Mumford & Sons.

7:55: These guys can play in the steerage section of the Titanic any time....

7:57: Taylor Swift has that sixth sense of knowing just exactly when the camera is pointed at her so she can pretend to have been singing along the whole time: while Sting asks his wife “Yeah, but did these guys write an entire album of Renaissance music?”

8:03: Ellen and Beyonce joining forces to present Justin Timberlake: Beyonce is going to have Ellen gunned down later for making her break during that introduction.

8:05: Oh my, a black and white filter? Somebody must use Instagram on their iPhones... wait this is CBS? In that case it was someone’s grandson who works at CBS who showed them how to use Instagram...

8:07: Jay Z delivering an MVP performance in taking a break from being married to Beyonce to rap a little with Timberlake.

8:09: You have to think that each member of N’Sync watching this right now has to be wondering “Why him and not me? Oh right...talent and stage presence.”

8:11: What exactly is Urban Contemporary music? Right now, sure seems like an excuse to have Chris Brown lose an award. Which I’m okay with, since he physically abused his girlfriend.

8:12: Channel Orange was one of the best albums of the year, any award it wins it deserves. Ocean is a talent who will be around for quite some time.

8:20: Producers are such an integral part of the business, and they get about 25 seconds of screen time. Shame.

8:21: The Black Keys? Get those nerds off the stage!! How dare they sully this telecast with the notion there is still amazing rock music?!? Bring back Devo!

8:23: The countdown to Adam Levine’s solo career starts now...although you could argue Overexposed was pretty much that already.

8:24: I think I saw K3sha do this exact bit on the AMA’s a few weeks ago...Alicia Keys you can do better!

8:28: KELLY CLARKSON!! That’s probably a legitimate upset, Fun., Maroon 5, Florence and the Machine and Pink get taken down by the original American Idol.

8:35: It’s not even worth making fun of the Grammys for trying to be hip by dropping as many Twitter-centric terms as they can.

8:36: Rihanna has two modes: M.I.A. and Mariah. Tonight, it’s Mariah mode.

8:37: Nothing screams classy like Greek columns as set design. DORIC FOREVER!!!!

8:40: So we have an entire category dedicated to songs that feature rapping and singing; are we counting Auto-Tuned vocals for this particular category? Mark my words, it’s going to be the Grammys’ PEDs in baseball moment!

8:43: Ravi Shankar’s name came up: drink!

8:50: Dr. John, The Black Keys, and a jazz band from New Orleans? I don’t even need to watch, best performance of the night coming right here!

8:53: Kelly Clarkson dedicating her performance to Pattie Page and Carole King; two ladies who definitely do not get the respect they deserve. Lot of artists out there would sell their soul to be able to write just a handful of songs like those on Tapestry.

8:55: Allow me a little time on the soapbox: Kelly Clarkson singing “You Make Me Feel (Like A Natural Woman)” with just a piano/guitar accompaniment is ten times as compelling than the theatrics and pomp of Taylor Swift’s opening performance.

8:58: Zac Brown Band takes home a Grammy for Best Country Album. That’s all I got.

9:00 One hour left to go in this 55th Grammy Award ceremony, and very little stands out. Here’s to hoping the final hour can pick things up a little bit, and give at least one memorable moment...

9:05: The tribute to Bob Marley begins with...a Bruno Mars hit single!! Not like Marley had an original song worth showcasing, right?

9:09: The tribute to Bob Marley continues with “Walking On The Moon,” another Bob classic...

9:10: Now that we have gotten to the Marley part of the Bob Marley tribute, we get some much-needed energy and excitement in the building. Some artists transcend genre, and this was a perfect example of that. The whole place was standing and singing along.

9:13:  Who knew that Pink and Justin Timberlake were indentured servants for Target?

9:18: So if you’re The Lumineers, do you try to mine the success of “Ho Hey” for as long as possible before trying something different, or proceed to write four singles just like it? Decisions, decisions...

9:21: I’m not sure anyone has said this before...but Jack White is extraordinarily pale. Not Edgar Winter levels, but certainly towards that end of the spectrum.

9:24: Jack White has reached that level where I am thankful that he is around, and has earned my respect, but the last time I listened to one of his albums was at least five years ago.

9:26: Katy Perry showing America that you don’t need a Grammy to be successful, by hocking her own eyelash line. She’s really living the teenage dream...

9:28: Right now, Nate Ruess and I have something in common.

9:34: You have to hand it to American Idol: the show has been on for 12 seasons and has turned out a handful of minor success stories, but delivered on two megawatt superstars in Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson. No other reality show has done that yet.

9:37: Carrie Underwood might be wearing the coolest dress in the history of mankind. Can I watch Breaking Bad on that?

9:39: Do yourself a favor the next time you watch any awards telecast: focus not on the person in the center of the shot but on the people in the background. It’s a show within a show...

9:41: First time Gotye’s name has been mentioned all night, and he takes home a Grammy for “Record of the Year.” Why this is different than “Song Of The Year?” Still don’t know, and feel the Grammys should explain it to me.

9:42: My new favorite pastime is watching Taylor Swift’s reactions when she loses a major award. Let’s just say that she really, really wants to win and is not good at hiding that fact.

9:49: And at 9:49, 83 percent of the viewers got up to use the bathroom, where most of them would think this sort of music would be playing.

9:50: The tribute to Dave Brubeck gets some polite applause, as the remaining 17 percent of viewers go to grab a snack.

9:52: I have to admit, while this is the obvious lull in the broadcast, making sure that music teachers around the country get recognized is a worthwhile endeavor.

9:58: One of the greatest songs of all time gets its proper due: RIP Levon.

10:02: I may be biased, but I think we had our moment right there...

10:10: This does seem a little out of place: I’m not exactly sure who this guy is and why he is singing “Your Song,” but what’s one more version of the Elton standard?

10:11: Close your eyes, listen to Frank Ocean, and you can hear a little bit of Stevie Wonder in there. Of course, whenever I imagine Stevie’s voice in my head it’s him saying “Forrest Gump.”

10:15: Adele comes out to announce the Album of the Year: if we are following any kind of trend Fun. is going to walk away with another Grammy...

10:16: Babel wins for Album Of The Year: I’m sure there are those who could find a complaint about that, but this is a talented group of men who deserve some of the spotlight. If you have not seen it, look.

10:18: And the award for 2014 Album Of The Year goes to....”Set Fire To The Cave” by Adele and Mumford and Sons!!

10:24: LL Cool J does hosting, acting, and rapping? What a triple threat!!

10:25 I completely understand just why this performance was scheduled, but we already saw Jay Z this evening, so going from Hova to LL is just a little drop off.

10:28: This show ran so long, that they had to cut off their own host and show ads for the Grammy Foundation, Delta Airlines, and a series of disclaimers. Have to say, can’t picture the Oscars doing that; of course if this was the Oscars we’d have a solid 2 hours left to go...

10:29: That’s a wrap folks! Three and a half hours after it started we have come to the end! I hope you enjoy this wrap up; it’s only 364 days until the 56th Grammy Ceremony...until then, take care!

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