Noise FM // William Card
I gotta say, working in the press has given me a different interpretation of this annual music spectacle.
To me, the Grammys used to be an exhilarating evening of watching many of my favorite artists perform high-caliber and over-the-top televised renditions of their latest hits. Which, by my standards, couldn’t have gotten any better. In 2008, it was damn hard at times to find quality content that accurately reflected the artist and wasn’t recorded on a shaky Motorola Razer.
In 2008, hawt off the heels of Graduation, Kanye West brought an absolutely crushing execution of “Stronger” to the Staples Center. Amber and azure flame jetted behind West as his douchey, but appropriately swagged out sunglasses lit up to the pumping sampled beats of Daft Punk’s “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.” For an eight grade, plump, and rosy-cheeked South Dakota boy, experiencing that kind of entertainment was a rarity, and something to cherish. That performance shook mainstream America into realizing this Chicago-based MC wasn’t a joke. Or at least not yet, by 2016 standards.
This year’s Grammys rendered me a different experience. Writing about music on a weekly basis drives me to the ends of my own sanity as I think of new and creative ways to talk about music. Yet, I couldn’t help but feel that these moments felt spoon-fed. Yes, Bruno Mars soloing at the end of his Prince tribute shot goosebumps up and down my spine. No, seeing dozens of social sites armed and ready to share a solo I had just experienced doesn’t feel the same.
Music is meant to be experienced in its purist form. The Grammys still do a bang-up job gathering world-class performances—Beyoncé’s chair effortlessly floating in the air—but in the midst of so much talent doing so many things right, I feel that the press and the Grammys needs to take a step back and think: What are we trying to share—a cool photo? Or a magical musical moment that we’ll never get back?