THE BLOG

2009 Grammy Review by Two People in Their 20s

03/12/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Ken Levine Emmy-Winning Writer/Director/Producer, MLB Announcer

This is not from me. It was written by my daughter, Annie Levine and her writing partner, Brock Wilbur. They're both in their twenties and they actually watched the Grammys. So think "me" but hipper and in some cases funnier.

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Here's a short run-down of observations from the Grammy Awards last night. It would be longer, but in the four hours of broadcast, there wasn't much worth of commentary. Hell, the red carpet was almost entirely film actors because no one has anything to say about music this year.

A few quick bits from the red carpet pre-show:

-Joey Fatone asked Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson why he's trying to abandon "The Rock" and just be Dwayne Johnson. This question coming from "The Fat Guy in N'Sync". The co-host asked The Rock how it feels to be a huge movie star. He reminded the audience that his new film, "Race to Witch Mountain", opens soon.

-Rapper T.I. just arrived. He's going to jail for a year, so this is his last public performance. It's a lot like The Blues Brothers movie, except they were in trouble with the cops because they were on a mission from God to save an orphanage. T.I. situation is surprisingly similar: Busted by cops in a sting operation, where he was trying to purchase machine guns and silencers.

-Snoop Dogg says that now his "Father Hood" reality show is on the air, people approach him every day to ask for parenting advice. There's no joke for this one. If you've seen him busted by his wife for going against her wishes and taking David Beckham out for Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles, then teaching his son a life lesson by letting him direct his own music video... There's no joke for this one.

-Herbie Hancock says he was stunned by his win last year because "conventional wisdom said it was going to be Amy Winehouse or--" (Interrupted) The interviewer says "Yeah, it's that same magic that let Obama become the new President!" Am I wrong, or did the guy just say that Herbie Hancock is to Barack Obama as Amy Winehouse is to John McCain? Hopefully, the first of many Winehouse/McCain comparisons.

NOW FOR THE SHOW:

-We open with U2 premiering a new song. Since we don't know the words, they put them on a big video screen behind them so the audience could sing along. Don't worry, it's easier than it sounds, since the new song has the same melody as R.E.M.'s "It's The End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)". Except this song is way better, cause it has lines like "I got gasoline / You got a submarine / I don't want to talk about wars between nations". He's lying, he totally does. Also, when Bono began to move we were concerned that he had been in an accident. Turns out that's just how Bono dances now.

-It's worth noting that tonight the writers packed everyone full of set-killing jokes than brought everything to grinding halt. Dwayne Johnson (not The Rock) makes a joke in an opening monologue about how Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters is going to be drumming for Paul McCartney tonight, and how he cannot wait to see "The Beatle Fighters". You know it's bad when you sigh in relief during the ad breaks, watching previews for this week's "The New Adventures of Old Christine", where her foot gets stuck in a toilet! Now that's comedy.

-We thought it couldn't get quieter than that, but just afterwards Justin Timberlake introduces Al Green. He doesn't just introduce him; he tells some stories about their hometown and how they shared a general store, which "was really general. I mean it. Just, random... you know... bait and tackle and gas... general store. Get it?" It was awkward for the crickets. He proceeded to duet with Al Green, who showed his appreciation by making several decent attempts with his hand gestures at knocking Timberlake off-stage.

-Carrie Underwood opted not wear a dress, because she apparently found a discount on drapes. Luckily, her Bedazzler pimped microphone distracted everyone from what she was wearing.

-Kid Rock's "Rock n Roll Jesus" opens with a line about how sad it is that children are starving and soldiers are dying. Then the video screen behind him shows American flags juxtaposed with Kid Rock's mug shot from his Oct 2007 arrest stemming from a disturbance at a Waffle House. He proceeded to sing "Amen" a lot. I.... what image is he trying to.... Once again, stunned. But it was good to see Kid Rock is still alive. I hadn't heard a peep since his last music video where he wiped his ass with toilet paper that had the word "Radiohead" printed on every ply, thereby establishing himself as the dominant artist. Or a Jesus of Rock n Roll. Or whatever, who cares?

-Taylor Swift and Miley Cirus duet about how when you're fifteen and a boy says he loves you, sometimes you believe him and give him everything. Taylor performs like a human being. Miley performs like Liza Minnelli, giving burst of unmotivated emotion and focusing her attention on random points in the room. It's distracting, to say the least.

-John Mayer is sitting next to Ice Cube. I want to write a buddy cop movie for them sooooo badly.

-The Four Tops perform with guests Jamie Foxx, Smokey Robinson, and Ne-Yo. Okay, so the only Top left is Abdul (Duke) Fakir. It's really good and Levi Stubbs will be missed, especially in future "Little Shop of Horrors" revivals.

-Stevie Wonder performs with the Jonas Brothers. I cannot imagine how frightening it must have been for Stevie, because those three brothers took turns sneaking up behind him and getting really close before shouting or almost hitting him with an instrument or inappropriately dancing on him. It just seemed wrong. And uncomfortable. And wrong.

-Blink 182 walked out and said that the reunion of Stevie Wonder and the Jonas Brothers inspired them to reunite Blink 182, and they'd be going on tour soon. There are, conceivably, audiences somewhere in the world who would've found this exciting. They were not in attendance at the Grammy Awards tonight. No applause.

-Coldplay won two awards. They wore stupid knock-off costumes from Sgt. Peppers. At their first award they used their speech to thank Paul McCartney for letting them rip off Sgt. Peppers. At their second award, they said they were thrilled to have so many awards, but they obviously didn't have as many as Paul McCartney. I don't know if Coldplay is aware, but Paul McCartney is not going to sleep with them.

-Coldplay performed two songs, which managed to stir almost no emotional reaction from the crowd. Maybe selecting the song where no one in the band plays an instrument while a pre-recorded orchestra performs wasn't a great choice. Maybe Chris Martin shouldn't have tried to compensate by dancing around stage like he was channeling a combination of Bozo the Clown and Bono the Guy Who Dances Like He's Injured.

-Shortly after, Radiohead performed. Chris Martin's wife Gwyneth Paltrow introduced them as the most influential band in the world. She's not a musician, she doesn't have a movie coming out... Someone decided the funniest thing they could do was force Gwyneth to awkwardly introduce her husband's biggest rivals and compliment them in a way that belittles her husband. I was shocked they didn't make her throw in something about how Thom Yorke of Radiohead was "the greatest lay in the U.K.", but there's always next year. Anyway, only 2/5 of Radiohead actually performed, along with the USC marching band. They performed "15 Step" and it was hauntingly good, demolishing all other performances that night.

-Except of course, for M.I.A., who performed on stage with a coalition of big name rap stars. This was notable, because M.I.A. is pregnant and was scheduled to deliver her child today. So to watch her rap and then dance back and forth across the stage, knowing that at any moment the bass frequency from the subwoofers might cause her water to break... ya, it was super punk-rawk.

-Robert Plant and Alison Krauss won album of the year. Yawn. Whatever.

BEST PART OF THE NIGHT:

-Dave Grohl plays drums for Paul McCartney on "I Saw Her Standing There". We sat with baited breath, waiting to see if Grohl could live up to Ringo's high standard. Lo and behold, he did. Victory!

SPECIAL SIDE NOTE:

-Singer Chris Brown and girlfriend Rihanna were both scheduled to perform. Neither made it to the ceremony, since earlier Brown attacked Rihanna, leaving her with visible facial bruising and bite marks (?) on her arms. He was arrested, then released on $50k bail at 9pm tonight. Can the two of them live up to Amy Winehouse's high standard? Victory!