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43rd Annual Grammy Awards
43rd Annual Grammy Awards


  Best Rap Album went to Mr. Controversy himself Eminem for his album Marshall Mathers LP. While not a huge fan of, nor did i vote for Eminem, i wholly agree with his right to musical freedom. Words can be harsh and offensive at times, yet we also must realize that popular music may also reflect modern society of the times. The president of the Recording Academy, Michael Greene, also gave a wonderful speech towards the end of the awards ceremony basically agreeing with musical freedom. Michael and i briefly discussed his speech after the show. While not specifically supporting Eminem's views, we both also agree that freedom of expression must be available to artists all around the world. This includes not just musicians and singers but also painters, sculptors and many others.


Faith Hill

Faith Hill gave a wonderful performance of "Breathe" as the large screen behind her changed as the digital painting evolved. Too bad the televised version looks so washed out compared to how it looked live on stage. During the live performance the background visuals were stunning! The colors and contrast was deeper and toned down to what i feel are a more proper luminance. Ok, enough with the artistic visual geek talk. Bottom line, a great song performed flawlessly! It is moments like this that make the long flight to Los Angeles and all the usual headaches to attend a show well worth it. My hat goes off to Faith Hill for her awe inspiring talent.


Christina Aguilera's Stage

Speaking of awards, my award for Best Entrance goes to none other than Christina Aguilera. After a commercial break the left stage lit up with star-like balls of subdued light. From the top left of the stage many feet high was Christina Aguilera as she began her performance.


The ball moved from the top of the hall downward until it reached an elevated circular platform (center of photo) where she got off to do her thing. In fact if there was any true talent in the singe girl pop performers it is none other than Christina herself. Being multilingual (English and Spanish) she can truly sing and dance exquisitely unlike, say, Britney Spears. Alas, Paul Simon's performance was also a bit lackluster. A shame as he is an amazing individual with many incredible songs within his repertoire. Speaking of truly talented individuals, as a percussionist/drummer myself i was really looking forward to the Blue Man Group.


Blue Man Group

The Blue Man Group performed with Mobi and Jill Scott. Too bad the television version only captured about 80% of the performance. If i may take a moment to talk about the sound system used within the Staples Center... Virtually all sound engineers know how difficult it is to get good sound within a large sporting arena, no matter how well it is designed. The company who installed the system for the 43rd Annual Grammy Awards should get an Olympic Gold Medal! While it always sounded impressive during the Awards ceremony, it became obvious how good it truly was during the Blue Man Group/Mobi/Jill Scott performance. When one of the Blue Man hit the large bass drum you could feel the virtually bottomless bass note punctuating the musical passage! In fact it sounded better live at the show than as i hear it here on my home high-end rig! There was incredible dynamics, impressive clarity and fully balanced sound through all frequencies. Sorry that millions of TV folks heard a lackluster sound, though it brings me joy to know i was there hearing it live. By the way, there were many cool black light effects from the musician's cloths that the TV audience only got small hints of as the two percussionists at the top of the stage danced and played their instruments during the music.

As for the whole Sir Elton John and Eminem "duet", on the stage it seemed that Sir Elton John nor Eminem never were closer than ten to fifteen feet during the song. In fact Eminen tried to have the audience join in to sing during the chorus. The audience never joined in and in fact many people around me, and myself included, was quite upset with the whole staged duet as to find it in bad taste. What a waste of a great performer... Sir Elton John that is. Regardless, i guess all the controversy made my Grammy experience that much more unique.

After the show was an exclusive VIP party at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. This was another invitation only party that was much more exclusive than the Grammy Award show itself! Of course i was there as the food and drinks flowed endlessly while musicians such as Edgar Winter, Keb' Mo', Taj Mahal, Awaya (Koto & Flute Duo), Tower of Power, Eddie Money and many others performed live in the over six venues within the hotel. While not wanting to get into details of who i hung out with and which musicians were my favorite at the VIP party, it was the "usual" Los Angeles extravaganza as only L.A. can do.

In the end i am truly humbled and honored to have had the privilege to attend the 43rd Annual Grammy Awards. While it saddens me that there were no other specialty audio writers at the show that i could see (and none of contacted me claiming to have attended), hopefully this report will wake up the audiophile community to supporting their local musicians, the Recording Academy and the MusiCares Foundation as we do here at Enjoy the Music.com™. Thank you one and all for reading my brief show report as there were simply too many wonderful experiences within one night to write about them all.


Click here to see a complete listing of the 43rd Annual
Grammy Award nominees (Adobe Acrobat PDF file, 148 kb Adobe Acrobat PDF)

Click here to see a complete list of the
43rd Annual Annual Grammy Award winners. 




Enjoy the Music (Paul Simon "Still Crazy After All These Years" on vinyl right now),

Steven R. Rochlin

"I met my old lover on the street last night
She seemed so glad to see me, I just smiled
And we talked about some old times
And we drank ourselves some beers
Still crazy after all these years
Still crazy after all these years

I'm not the kind of man who tends to socialize
I seem to lean on old familiar ways
And I aint no fool for love songs
That whisper in my ears
Still crazy after all these years
Still crazy after all these years

Four in the morning
Crapped out
Longing my life away
I'll never worry
Why should l?
Its all gonna fade

Now I sit by my window and I watch the cars
I fear I'll do some damage one fine day
But I would not be convicted
By a jury of my peers
Still crazy after all these years

Oh, still crazy
Still crazy
Still crazy after all these years"












































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