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 in.
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 2013 Grammys.
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.