In these hard times do Americans really want to watch such a perverse form of self-congratulation? Sure, it's the music industry's night to reward all the hard work that it takes to get an artist to the top of the charts. However, at the end of the day all that really matters is if we are any better for it. Is the music vital or was the consumer duped into spending $12.99 for another stinker? Isn't the artist's real reward in having fans who truly enjoy listening to their music? That's the secret to longevity in the music business. Not these shock campaigns that breed artists that rarely last more than one album cycle. And how many do we really need? We've got the Grammy's, American Music Awards, Country Music Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, Americana Music Awards, etc. With awards shows every week, it's no wonder that stars are forced to have a new suit or dress at every public appearance. They can't wear the same one they wore the last time because the red carpet pundits would be all up in that. It's this kind of glitz and glamour that seems so wrong to be flaunting (albeit on E!) and also contributes to the lameness of the performances. How can you rock to a crowd of men in penguin suits and women with opera glasses?
Duets! Are they ever good? I've never come across one that wasn't stale, forced or predictable. "Let's get two artists of different genre to duet on a hit song together! That'll be exciting, sell a ton of records for both artists and make us some money! Win, win, win! All we have to do is e-mail the lyrics over to... wait scratch that we have teleprompters and auto-tune with Ableton Live as a back-up!" On this year's CMA's I was drawn to the TV by the siren sound of a pedal steel. I was surprised to hear an actual artist on the Country Music Awards playing in a traditional style. That artist was Jamey Johnson. I started to give him a chance and then Kid Rock came out! What a buzz kill!
Can't we just stick with the Oscars and the Grammy's; one for music and one for film? Are the CMA's necessary anymore other than to bring attention to Nashville? If last night's Grammys was any indication they are not; country-pop was very well represented. There is something romantic about an Oscar or a Grammy. There is an aura of class and prestige that has been bestowed in these items over many years. With so many awards nowadays, they all lose a bit of their luster. Tradition is a marvelous thing, let's keep it.