OK, maybe that last one I would tune in for. As Steve Hyden over at Grantland points out, a win for Same Love would give Macklemore & Lewis an honor that nominated artists including M.C. Hammer, Coolio, Eminem, Kanye West, Jay-Z and Outkast were denied. Combined with a win in the Best Album category for their self-produced and self-distributed LP The Heist, it would also give Macklemore & Lewis some of the industry's most prestigious hardware for work produced largely without the industry's help.
That wouldn't bring the notoriously anachronistic Grammys up to date, but it would make it clear that the awards have become just about as relevant as the lurching fossil of a commercial recording industry that this broadcast is trying to prop up. Fans streaming their favorite music, buying vinyl and either getting to shows or streaming them into their homes know what they like, and they have myriad award shows including the American Music Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, BET Awards, Country Music Awards and countless "best of" lists if they're still looking for validation.
By repeatedly overlooking music's growth and progress in favor of middle-of-the-road and diminishing returns, the Grammys have willed themselves into irrelevance. No longer a lock to draw 30 million viewers a night for CBS as they did in the 1980s -- when Michael Jackson and Thriller had 51 million people watching in 1984 -- the Grammys continue to go as broad an inoffensive as possible while shrinking the window for young, exciting, innovative acts and growing genres.
If you hate music and love watching it die, tune in. If you love music, but don't recognize the form it takes on Grammy night, just do what people did when radio and music video became staid and formulaic: Tune out.
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-- Written by Jason Notte in Portland, Ore.
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