I am not by any stretch of the imagination considered "cool."
The only time I have ever watched the Grammy Awards was when a
certain one-gloved Jackson collected a record eight awards in one
night. That was almost 30 years ago.
Crap I'm old.
I also am not a fan of the current music scene. I find it too
formulaic. Too heavy on the pop. Too light on talent. Too many
Disney Channel pop tarts with bad hair extensions. While some of my
favorite bands never achieved the status of "Rock Gods" or "Indie
Darlings," they could still sing, play instruments and write their
own music. There was Journey, REO Speedwagon, and Bon Jovi.
Like I said, I'm very old.
I stopped listening to new music years ago. A few exceptions did
sneak in: Adele, Maroon 5, and Green Day to name a few. But for the
most part, a band had to exist prior to 1990 to be worthy.
Yet having my kids come of musical age this past year has
changed everything. As I flip through the stations on the car
radio, the boys now express strong opinions on the subject:
"Stop! Stop! Don't turn that off, Mommy!"
"Oooh, this is a GOOD one!"
"Go back, go back…for the love of God, Mommy, GO BACK!"
My response is consistent:
"You people can pick the songs when you buy your own minivan.
YOUR OWN MINIVAN. Until then, we like Donny Osmond and Neil
Diamond. End of story."
Still, the little buggers did manage to expose me to their
favorite songs without my noticing. And before I could put a stop
to it, some of their favorites became MY favorites. One of our new
picks is the band fun. I'd better point out to my editor here that
fun. is never capitalized and is always supposed to have a period
after it. As someone who once worked in communications, I consider
the band's name a marketing nightmare, but I'm trying to go with
the flow now that I'm a cool hipster.
Anyway, fun. is a supergroup formed from the ashes of several
indie bands. With hits like "We Are Young," "Carry On," and "Some
Nights," there is a quality very reminiscent of Queen in their
songs. For a band to sound anything like Queen in today's highly
stylized and manufactured music world is impressive. I was all
Then I found out fun. was nominated for a slew of Grammys. And
for the first time in almost 30 years, I tuned in and watched.
At first, I thought maybe the network was airing highlights from
past Grammys when I saw LL Cool J on stage. I started to ponder
whatever had become of him when I realized he was there HOSTING the
As the show progressed, I found myself loving the performances.
The duo by Adam Levine and Alicia Keys was amazing. Mumford &
Suns and The Lumineers made an instant fan of me as well.
This whole post-1990 rock world deserved a second look.
It's funny how things come around. A lot of people of my
generation grew up with hair bands and hard rock. We resented
manufactured pop. We preferred organic bands comprised of high
school buddies who rehearsed in their parents' garage for 10 years
before ever seeing the inside of a club or studio. But things are
finally back on course. I witnessed a Grammy show Sunday night
filled with real musicians who were far less concerned about the
spectacle of the stage than the quality of the music.
The 2013 Grammys had the second largest audience in Grammy
history, second only to that 1984 Michael Jackson "Thriller year."
I am not surprised.
Music is back.
And so am I.
Marianne is mother of three sons and the wife of a southside Irish fireman. She has learned that sometimes you're just too dumb to know what makes you happy. She blogs regularly at We Band of Mothers (webandofmothers.com) and curses with even greater frequency. Her material is written for the imperfect, the imprudent, and the impatient mothers who know that all this stuff is really very funny if you just give it a minute.
See more of Marianne's stories here.
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