Wednesday, February 16, 2011

World's Thinnest Argument

     I don't watch the Grammy's because I think it's a ridiculous awards show.  I used to watch, when I was a kid, and I thought the Grammy's meant something like the Oscars did.  I understood that the Oscars were giving awards to films that were a cut above the rest, and I thought that's what the Grammy's were doing too.  And then I started paying attention.  I was broadening my musical tastes, letting more diverse sounds into my repertoire, and really appreciating all that the music industry had to offer.
     As more alt bands started to fill my shelves and iPod, the more disconnected I became from the Grammy's.  I remember watching a Grammy's in the mid-nineties when country was all the rage.  I had a few country albums, and I knew the nominees.  That year's Grammy's were a repeat of that years Country Music Awards and/or American Country Awards or the American Music Awards- they have a lot of awards shows.  Then Eminem got really popular and the Grammy's were a showcase for thugs and a few left over country acts.  I remember the last Grammy awards I watched- I made a vow after it was over to never watch it again.
     It was clear the award was just about that very moment.  It was the equivalent of calling my mom's meatloaf the best meat-based loaf of that evenings dinner.  It was nice to hear, but it didn't mean anything in the long run.  I resented the Grammy's for not recognizing the artists I listened to.  And even though Lucinda Williams did win a few Grammy's, it wasn't on the televised portion, because apparently nobody wants to see that.  I used to think she should get all the Grammy's, maybe share a few with Ryan Adams, and give a couple to Death Cab for Cutie.  Then I realized they were too good for the Grammy's.  Best meat-based loaf of the evening was not good enough for these awesome musicians.
     The one bit that made me regret not tuning in this year was the Bob Dylan/Mumford&Sons/Avett Brothers performance.  I would have loved to see that- I really enjoy all three of those.  I attempted to watch a highlight reel from one of those vapid Hollywood shows, but they didn't even mention it.  They spent several minutes talking about Justin Beiber, but had no time for Bob fucking Dylan.  Which brings me to the title of the post.
     Just because you've never heard of something doesn't mean it's not a valid thing.  It is, in fact, the world's thinnest argument.  "Are they any good?"  "Well, I've never heard of them."  Ah yes, well then.  This argument used to happen a lot in my TV Comedy class also, where I had at least 5 - 7 years on every student, and any reference made to the 80's garnered a "Well, I've never heard of them, so they must not be culturally significant."
     I first fell in love with Arcade Fire the summer of 2007.  I thought I was behind because I had to catch up with their second album.  It was fantastic- mind blowing actually.  They are the band that I go too when I'm not quite thinking clearly, and my creative juices aren't flowing properly.  I put on a little Neon Bible or Funeral really loud, and slam my feet on the ground to the beat, and somehow I am enlightened.  The release of The Suburbs was a great day for me.  I had it on my calendar- I listened over and over and went to see them live two weekends later.  I couldn't tell enough people about it.  In my world, they were huge, and everyone knew who these guys were.
     My disdain for the Grammy's started to soften when I heard 1. about that Dylan/Mumford&Sons/Avett Brothers thing, and 2. when Arcade Fire won for Album of the Year.  It seemed as thought they finally got something right.  And then the backlash.
     I shouldn't care about the backlash because I'm a grown-ass woman and others opinions don't mean that much to me.  And it's true, they don't, but I care in a completely different way.  I care because it makes me weep a bit for society.  The general sentiment was that most people hadn't heard of Arcade Fire and that other artists, like Eminem and Lady Gaga had been robbed.  The outrage very much stated "how could these guys win?  I've never heard of them."  It's the one thing I think he Grammy's have gotten right in the past 15 years, and it's the bit so many people are outraged by.
     I barely have a point here.  I wonder if winning the Grammy will actually hurt Arcade Fire, because they were awesome to people like me who generally turn a blind eye to anything the Grammy's award.  The idiots who drool over the Lady Gagas and Rhiannas at the Grammy's are not the same people who validate Arcade Fire as quality music.  If anything, it speaks to Arcade Fire's integrity and just-damn-goodness that you haven't heard of them.  So please, tell me what else you haven't heard of it so I can put it at the top of my list.
     You're vapid, and I hate you.  Arcade Fire rules.

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