This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

The Grammys Aren't Totally Worthless -- Really

Stocks in this article: CBS

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The Grandmas. The Grimmys. The Grammysaurus.

All are terms you might hear to describe the 56th Grammy Awards, which will be handed out this Sunday, Jan. 26. And yes, they are named for a gramophone.

The awards ceremony is a perennial punching bag for all people who care about music -- including TheStreet's own Jason Notte. On Friday, Notte penned a piece called "A Music Fan Should Never Watch the Grammys."

Notte calls the Grammys "notoriously anachronistic" and "just about as relevant as the lurching fossil of a commercial recording industry that this broadcast is trying to prop up." People who watch it "hate music and love watching it die." Ouch.

I can't say I disagree with him altogether. The ceremony is chock-full of yesterday's stars, still ready for their close-ups years after their big days are behind them.

Plus, the broadcast is rife with gratuitous back-patting and self-congratulating done by a music industry that has literally shrunk in half over the last decade in terms of sales. (Business Insider once did a fantastic series of charts on the music industry's decline.)

In truth, when I picture the Grammy ceremony, I see a Day-of-the-Dead style spectacle full of cavorting 70-year-olds with nice taut skin and big white teeth kicking their replaced knees all over the stage. I also picture a few 30-something side players and maybe two teenaged performers shuffling in the shadows of the stage in sad attempt to draw in younger viewers.

Even the younger acts are playing into the nostalgia. Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines, which may well win for the best song of the year, not only straight-up jacks Marvin Gaye's Got to Give It UpIt's been legally judged to be a rip-off. And Rolling Stone dubbed it "The Worst Song of This or Any Other Year." More importantly, Got to Give It Up was recorded in 1976. That's 37 years ago. That's what passes for original with the people who hand out Grammys.

Oh, and the Grammys still segregate Latinos. There is a separate (and equal! They swear!) ceremony for Latin Grammys. Let's not even get into it.

Then there's the anniversary concert to commemorate the Beatles' arrival in America 50 years ago. That show, "The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles," will be filmed live on Monday, Jan. 27, and be broadcast on CBS (CBS) on Feb. 9 at 8 p.m. It's about as scripted a take on a youthquake as it is possible to construct. The tribute is rumored to include performances by Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr -- the surviving ex-Beatles -- as well as the Eurythmics, Maroon 5, Keith Urban, John Mayer, Alicia Keys and John Legend.

USA Today notes, disturbingly, that the last three on that list all have won more Grammys than the Beatles ever did. (TheStreet's Carlton Wilkinson will be keeping an eye on the show in a series of upcoming articles.)

The "star-studded tribute" is also misguided. As if the Beatles couldn't draw viewers unassisted.

It's all a strange spectacle.

But even though the Grammys showcase more sagging rockers and more tired music than is seemly, and even if they reward the mediocre, they still aren't totally worthless.

How else would we know what CDs to buy for our parents?

Aw, hey now, I'm joking -- at least a little.

The real virtue of the Grammys, in my mind, is that they get us talking about music -- and better yet, listening to it. Alongside the weird performances and bad award choices and the reek of desperate music executives trying to gin up the numbers, there is the music.

We also get to hear irate music fans complaining about the real best records of the year. So let's pay some attention to the new releases of 2013, and hear some new songs from other years too.

Maybe you don't like the Grammy winners. Maybe you don't like who is nominated. But music isn't, nor will it ever be, about winners or contests or ratings. In the words of Sister Sledge (or, really, Nile Rodgers, who will be performing at the Grammys), it's about getting lost in music. It's about listening to Kraftwerk's Computer World again. And because of the Grammys, maybe we'll find some new music to get lost in. That's the point.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,461.32 -153.49 -0.92%
S&P 500 1,927.11 -14.17 -0.73%
NASDAQ 4,382.8470 -36.6310 -0.83%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs