HitFix’s awesome and well-informed music team is covering the Grammy Awards from the red carpet and backstage.
That leaves me to cover the telecast itself, which is a challenge for three reasons:
1) I mostly know new music from who makes guest appearances on “American Idol” or “The X Factor.”
2) CBS sucks and doesn’t broadcast the Grammys live across the country, unlike the Oscars, Emmys, Golden Globes and even the SAG Awards.
3)The Grammys are *scheduled* for 3.5 hours. Oy.
So please join the conversation below, because if folks don’t stick with this recap, I’m gonna commit Boy Named Sue-icide.
Yup. That’s the kind of up-to-date commentary you can expect from this live-blog.
So read, or else I’ll have to commit suicIdes of March. This blog is your vehicle, baby! It’ll take you anywhere you wanna go. Click through…
7:58 p.m. ET. I’m using a Madonna picture with this live-blog, because I can identify her. I can also ID Taylor Swift and Katy Perry, but AP didn’t have those pictures up soon enough.
8:00 p.m. We’re going to get 20 performances. 20. Oh my.
8:01 p.m. I’m having a seizure already and we’re only two minutes in. Thanks, Beyonce! She’s in a spinning chair, which saves her a lot of time that she might have otherwise had to spend spinning herself. I believe it’s “Drunk In Love” that she’s singing. Every once in a while she stands up and dances for 10 seconds before sitting down again. Good work if you can get it. I’ve gotta say, that’s more booty than I normal see on CBS this early in primetime. Hey! It’s that sports agent who’s married to Beyonce. Oh and the lyric you apparently can’t say on CBS is “How the hell did this s*** happen.” I’m not sure if you can say “hell.” Awww. Jay-Z and Beyonce end the song in each other’s arms and the crowd is pleased.
8:07 p.m. Is L.L. Cool J just Grammy Host For Life?
8:08 p.m. Awww. Of all the cute couples in the audience, Daft Punk is the cutest. Do you figure that there are any mornings that one member of Daft Punk ever wakes up thinking “I’d rather just wear a baseball cap.”
8:09 p.m. Lame jokes from L.L. Cool J. And talk about how music means everything.
8:11 p.m. Pharrell and Anna Kendrick are presenting together. Kendrick begins by joking about the cover of “Drunk In Love” that they’re prepared together. I can’t find the right word to describe Pharrell’s hat. Is it hobo-meets-mountie-meets-ranger? Pharrell is an Oscar nominee this year. Kendrick’s advice? “Yeah. Don’t lose.” They’re presenting Best New Artist and the winner is… Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. I still don’t understand why the ceiling can’t hold them. They’re very excited. “Wow. We’re here on this stage right now,” Macklemore says. Nobody tell them about the Best New Artist curse! They made their album without a record lable, which is probably why the music starts playing. Can’t let the people hear about independent production. Maybe Ryan Lewis will get to talk next time?
8:15 p.m. It’s time for Lorde to perform. She’s been given a very restrained staging for “Royals.” It’s almost entirely the camera up in her face, which is a good choice. It’s intimate and intense and a big scary coming from a singer who’s younger than the t-shirt I’m wearing to write this live-blog.
8:24 p.m. “I want you all to listen to every word of this song,” Ladies Love Cool James says, introducing Hunter Hayes, the first performer of the night I’ve legitimately never heard of. I’m listening, L.L. I guess I’m inspired? Hunter’s accompanied by inspirational quotes on the screen. “Dare to be something more,” bleats Hunter Hayes. So much bleating. Oy.
8:29 p.m. Anna Faris and Juanes are presenting Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. The winner is… “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk, meaning our first on-stage robot appearance tonight. I don’t know what Daft Punk does for acceptance speeches. Oh. They let Pharrell accept. “On the behalf of the robots…” Pharrell says. “Of course, they want to thank their families,” he adds.
8:32 p.m. Steve Coogan? He says it’s an honor to be in a room with Paul and Ringo. “The Grammys had a choice between reuniting two of the Beatles or all of the Jonas Brothers,” he says. “That was a tough one.” He’s presenting Katy Perry and Oscar winner Juicy J. Perry is singing in one of the Rovers from “The Prisoner.” I think there’s a dark Disney Snow White thing happening here. It may, in fact, be promotion for “Maleficent.” I like the way everything on stage is black except for Perry’s bodice, almost as if she’s attempting to attract attention to her boobs.
8:41 p.m. Robin Thicke and Chicago? Together? Be still my drooping eyelids!
8:42 p.m. L.L. Cool kicks off the collaboration with a quick tribute to Phil Ramone. That’s nice. They’re dueting on “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is.” This is a profound and strange collaboration. The members of Chicago are pretty awesome. Why must they be forced to perform with Alan Thicke’s son? It takes a while before we get to “Blurred Lines.” For some reason, it has barely been rearranged. Surely there should be more brass to take advantage of his house band. In the end, we all assume Robin Thicke is just relieved that no member of Chicago twerked on him.
8:49 p.m. “American Idol” judge Keith Urban and Gary Clark Jr. are performing now. I appreciate the simplicity of this performance. It’s just two musicians playing a song well. I have nothing to make fun of here.
8:52 p.m. Pauley Perrette and Taylor Swift are tweeting together. It’s not as dirty as it sounds.
8:54 p.m. Do Madonna, Gary Clark Jr. and Pharrell go to the same haberdashery for their hats?
8:58 p.m. Oooh. “Extant” commercial. CBS has six months to convince America that “Extant” is a word.
8:58 p.m. It’s my college classmate John Legend. He’s more successful than I am. I’d be bitter, but he’s also more talented than I am, so it’s probably fair.
9:01 p.m. Kevin Hart is with R&B legend Charlie Wilson. Kevin Hart is short. “This award is about songs that rocked our world,” Wilson says. They’re presenting Best Rock Songs. They make rock songs still? Kinda, apparently. They’re just made by bands from 20 or 40 years ago. The winner is… “Cut Me Some Slack,” with Paul McCartney and folks from Nirvana. Dave Grohl says they recorded the song in two hours. Usually in two hours, all I can produce is an “American Idol” recap.
9:05 p.m. How has Taylor Swift only won seven Grammys? She’s performing “All Too Well.” Lots of people like to make fun of Taylor Swift. I don’t see the point. I think she’s reasonably good at what she does. But, um… what do I know? I also think that she’s getting better. Her award show performances used to be awkward and used to accentuate her vocal limitations. That isn’t the case anymore.
9:09 p.m. Hmmm… And now she’s having sex with her piano. Or that’s what I assume the hair-flipping is about.
9:16 p.m. Oh. “Nate Roofs of Fun” isn’t the oddes rap name ever. It’s Nate Ruess. Of fun. That’s ironically less fun. He’s performing with Pink. She’s doing that thing with the ropes and the spinning again. It’s a really awesome trick and it remains both hot and impressive, but doesn’t she feel the need to try other Cirque du Soleil moves every once in a while? Like… this is cool, but do you really expect me to believe that she’s singing live at all? It becomes a “So You Think You Can Dance” performance at a certain point, which is a good time to transition to Nate Roofs of Fun. He has a mustache, but he’s just a distraction for Pink to have time to out on pants. I really can’t tell if they’re pitchy or if they’re trying to sing out of tune. That’s the magic of Nate Roofs of Fun.
9:23 p.m. Miguel and Ariana Grandy are presenting Best Pop Solo Performance. The winner is… Lorde for “Royals.” “Well hello. This is the one thing that I did not expect most about tonight,” Lorde says. She credits her competition rivals, lets out a shiver and disapparates. She’s magic, that Lorde.
9:30 p.m. Black Sabbath! Introducing Ringo Starr! Old people in the crowd are very excited. Also, Robin Thicke.
9:35 p.m. Jamie Foxx yells, “Give it up for Ringo Starr!”
9:36 p.m. Jamie’s presenting an award, but he has to interrupt the nominees to talk about how hot Beyonce is. Jay-Z and Beyonce aren’t hugely amused. “All the pregnant women are like, ‘Man, what do I have to do to look like that?'” Jamie continues. Eventually Jay-Z ends up a winner for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for “Holy Grail.” Jay-Z thanks God for Beyonce. He ends by saying to Blue Ivy, “Look, Daddy got a gold sippy cup for you.” Yeah. Whatever. Like Blue Ivy doesn’t already have 50 gold sippy cups.
9:44 p.m. L.L. Cool J celebrates the 30th anniversary of Def Jam.
9:45 p.m. Together for the first time on-stage *anywhere* it’s Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons. This is the first of the night’s oddball collaborations that I find pretty cool and not just because Taylor Swift is dancing along. Somewhere in the audience there’s somebody sitting behind Taylor just wishing she’d sit the heck down. Apparently that “shiver/disappearance” thing Lorde did in her acceptance speech is also the way she dances.
9:51 p.m. Ha. That was awesome and now Kacey Musgraves has try keeping up the energy in what I assume is a recorded performance?
9:58 p.m. Lots of stuff coming up in the next hour. “Really, we’ve only just begun,” L.L. Cool J says hatefully.
10:00 p.m. Julia Roberts introduces Sir Paul McCarney with Ringo Starr. There’s no point in making jokes about Sir Paul and Ringo. But Ringo hasn’t been knighted. How is that even possible? What is the Queen waiting for? The audience is very pleased with this moment. But the show isn’t pleased enough to go to commercial on their standing ovation.
10:06 p.m. Marc Anthony and Gloria Estefan are presenting Best Pop Vocal Album. The winner is… Bruno Mars for “Unorthodox Jukebox.” Taylor Swift swoops in for a screentime hug.
10:13 p.m. CBS asked every single cast member from “American Hustle” to drop by. They got Jeremy Renner.
10:16 p.m. Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson take the stage to do “Highway Man.” He’s joined by Whistler from “Blade,” one of the judges from “The Voice” and Merle Haggard. The crowd is loving it, including Taylor Swift, who has to be featured on camera every five minutes or CBS loses its FCC license.
10:22 p.m. Zac Brown and Martina McBride are presenting Best Country Album. The winner is… Kacey Musgraves. That’s a huge win for the “Nashville Star” veteran. Taylor Swift smiles and claps politely. “I can’t even, but…” she says.
10:25 p.m. This is only the second TV performance by Daft Punk. It’s being introduced by Neil Patrick Harris and also features Stevie Wonder and a new hat for Pharrell. This performance is weird, but would I call it good? No. No I would not. But Katy Perry is very excited. And Sir Paul and Ringo are pleased. And Yoko is just dancing to everything tonight. But what does Taylor Swift think?
10:31 p.m. I feel like warning Ringo that Daft Punk will probably get knighted before he does.
10:36 p.m. Cyndi Lauper isn’t exactly sure what she’s doing here. She’s presenting a performance by Carole King and Sara Bareilles. Yup. This is a duo that makes a lot of sense. You won’t get cutaways to Beyonce dancing in the crowd on a pairing like this, you just get two women being musically talented.
10:40 p.m. I love how psyched Sara Bareilles is to be on stage with Carole King. They’re presenting a big one… Song of the Year. The winner is… “Royals,” specifically Joel Little and Lorde. She says that the whole thing has been “mental.”
10:49 p.m. Soon-To-Be Oscar Winner Jared Leto honors Lou Reed and himself by reciting lyrics to “Walk on the Wild Side.” I like the way he leans.
10:50 p.m. Performing “One” are Metallica and pianist Lang Lang. It’s mighty cool.
10:55 p.m. Taylor Swift is all, “Lang Lang is cool, but that’s totally not how you have an orgasm on the piano.”
10:56 p.m. MOMMY! Make the scary things on the screen go away.
10:57 p.m. Former “American Idol” judge and former “American Idol” guest judge Steven Tyler and Smokey Robinson pay tribute to each other. They’re presenting another big one… Record of the Year. The winner… “Get Lucky.” How will the robots handle this speech? Oh right. They have Pharrell Williams again. “You just won everything, didn’t you?” Smokey tells Pharrell. “Well, I suppose the robots would like to thank…” Pharrell says, before suggesting that France is really proud. He thanks God. And people. Throw in the robots and Pharrell is just covering his bases.
11:04 p.m. Anybody remember when we last saw Taylor Swift? I’m getting worried.
11:06 p.m. Queen Latifah is here to help us celebrate love, specifically Ryan Lewis and Macklemore and Mary Lambert’s “Same Love.” Also? Trombone Shorty.
11:10 p.m. Nice. 33 couples are exchanging rings in the aisle and with The Queen is officiating. There are many tears from the couples. I wish we were spending more time on them and less on Madonna. Now Mary Lambert is showing Madonna how singing’s done. The whole crowd is emotional and I feel like this great, great moment is being mis-directed. I want to see the people in the audience crying and smiling, because that’s freaking awesome.
11:20 p.m. It’s my college classmate John Legend again. He’s presenting a Music Educator Award with Ryan Seacrest. It was actually given out last night to Kent Knappenberger, who has a prodigious beard.
11:22 p.m. Wow! Lang Lang is back. He’s honoring Van Cliburn to start the Necrology.
11:23 p.m. Now the rest of the necrology. Lots of musical snippets and lots of strained efforts to categorize the dead by genre. Cory Monteith made the cut, as did Jonathan Winters.
11:27 p.m. Miranda Lambert and Billy Joe Armstrong close the Necrology dueting on “When Will I Be Loved” in honor of Phil Everly.
11:28 p.m. In other news, the Grammys are never going to end.
11:35 p.m. Alicia Keys, Olivia Harrison and Yoko Ono are presenting Album of the Year. The winner is… Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories.” The robots are, once again, very happy with themselves. This is pretty much our Skynet moment. I hope you’re satisfied. This time, it isn’t Pharrell speaking for the robots. But the robots wanted the producers to celebrate the “Same Love” marriages.
11:38 p.m. L.L. Cool J indicates that things aren’t quite over yet. We’re closing with Dave Grohl, Lindsey Buckingham, NIN and Queens of Stone Age.
11:40 p.m. I think I’m gonna watch tonight’s episode of “Shameless.”
What’d you think of tonight’s Grammys? Which performances stood out? Which winners stood out?