Music's biggest night? How about calling the last seven days Music's biggest week?
Between the spine-tingling and/or yawn-inducing excitement of the Grammy Awards, the much-publicized alleged tangle between singers Chris Brown
, and a proposed merger of music biz behemoths TicketMaster and Live Nation that some contend will raise concert ticket prices a billion-fold, the Music World as we know it seems to be coming to a head. And a severely stuffed
one at that!
It's old news by now who the night's big winners were: Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
took to their respective homes five Grammys, including the coveted Album Of The Year award; Coldplay
won three awards, wore funny clothes, and avoided the unpleasantries of an onstage teleportation by guitarist Joe Satriani
with legal papers in hand; hot Brit newcomer Adele
took honors as Best New Artist, and deservedly so by our count; and lovable Lil Wayne
, who'd garnered the night's most nominations, came on strong with four big awards as well as winning Rap Album of the Year for his sales blockbuster, Tha Carter III.
As for the show itself: It was watched by many and took a laudable 10 percent leap in viewership compared to last year's telecast. One supposes that might have happened because most viewers were stunned by what they were seeing: Performance pairings of artists clearly devised by grinning sadists. Stevie Wonder
& the Jonas Brothers
? B.B King
, Buddy Guy
, John Mayer
& Keith Urban
? Paul McCartney
& Dave Grohl
? Miley Cyrus
& Taylor Swift
? Justin Timberlake
.? While the logic may have played out on paper--it's all one big beautiful world of music, so let's get everyone up there onstage playing "Kumbaya"--the overall effect was that no single human could enjoy 100 percent of any given performance
. Wise humans TIVO'd the show, fed it to their computers, then created two separate shows boasting absolutely fantastic
half-songs! Oh well, let's hand it to the Grammy peeps for trying!
But what didn't
happen at the Grammys ended up being the biggest story of all. And that would be the non-appearance of singers Chris Brown and Rihanna, both up for awards and scheduled to perform, and both no-shows due to a well-publicized scuffle following an industry party the previous night. While it's difficult to discuss here, as the incident is still under investigation, the ramifications have been grim and swift, especially for singer Brown. Upon turning himself in to the police and being arrested and charged with "making criminal threats" to an unnamed person, he was then released and soon watched his fairly spotless career began to systematically evaporate: Within two days, lucrative deals with Wrigley's Chewing Gum and the "Got Milk" people appeared to unravel, and planned appearances at the upcoming NBA All-Star game and elsewhere seemed extremely doubtful.
And while Rihanna still retains her CoverGirl cosmetics affiliation, a planned performance in Malaysia later in the week was yanked, as were her 21st birthday festivities, scheduled to take place in New York on Feb. 20. People everywhere are horrified, frankly.
On a happier note--especially if you're billionaire music enthusiast with serious financial holdings in TicketMaster and Live Nation--news that the monster companies are aiming to merge just for kicks came through earlier this week and caused many a music fan's jaw to drop. Why? Well, why do you think?
In the words of Bruce Springsteen
--himself enmeshed in a recent struggle with TicketMaster--as posted on his website: "The one thing that would make the current ticket situation even worse for the fan than it is now would be Ticketmaster and Live Nation coming up with a single system, thereby returning us to a near-monopoly situation in music ticketing."
Word soon came that Justice Department plans to investigate whether the proposed merger Springsteen refers to will in fact constitute a monopoly; if their investigation requires any documentation on Ticketmaster's part, one hopes the Justice Department's printers are loaded with ink and some of that "bailout money" everyone's talking about can cover the service charges.
These are all heavy topics, though, aren't they? So let's move on to some of the week's more enjoyable news! If we're talking romance, you can't beat the announced engagement of singer/actress Mandy Moore
and colorful musician Ryan Adams
, whose talent for top-notch songwriting is only matched by his ability to issue a brand new recording anytime one of the world's fruitflies tragically perishes--which reportedly is quite often. We like them both, wish them the best of luck, and hope they will record each and every conversation they have and eventually offer them all to consumers as paid downloads!
Let's not forget that the Grammy stage was where the three members of Blink-182
--Tom Delonge, Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker--announced their intention to kiss and make-up and join forces again. As they have noted on their website: "Hi. We're Blink-182. This past week there've been a lot of questions about the current status of the band, and we wanted you to hear it straight from us. To put it simply, we're back. We mean, really back." Say what you will about their music--some love it, some hate it, some weren't even born when they made it--but they are among the wittiest humans playing music today. Many of us here at Yahoo! Music look back with fondness on the day they came to our video studio for an interview and proceeded to "pants" each other on camera! Who said
there are no good role models anymore?
Finally, speaking of overall moral standards, one must scratch one's head at the news that a 48-year-old man in Clearwater, Florida recently convinced a woman that he was the drummer from classic rock band Foreigner
--and thereafter stole her 2002 Chevrolet Corvette and eventually crashed it. Word is that the police actually used a dog
to track him down! Really, one has to ask: If you're going to claim to be someone famous, is "the drummer from Foreigner" really where you'd want to go? Scoff at her for being fooled if you will, but it could have been worse. What if she actually knew
what the drummer from Foreigner looked like?
THIS WEEK'S TOP 10 STORIES
1) Plant & Krauss, Coldplay, Lil Wayne Big Grammy Winners - "Grammy" not slang for Grandmother in this instance!
2) Chris Brown Investigation Deepens - Scandal shocks the music world!
3) Sponsors Say Yes To Rihanna, No To Chris Brown - Endorsement deals take unexpected turn!
4) Justice Department Probing Proposed Ticketmaster Deal - Are they using Monopoly money?
5) Britney, K-Fed & The Kids Hitting The Road - It's a family affair! Sort of!
6) Usher's Wife In Coma After Liposuction Incident - Circumstances less than pleasant!
7) Blink-182 Announce Reunion Plans - They plan to attend and hope to meet former classmates!
8) Mandy Moore and Ryan Adams Engaged - Not the sort of thing one hears every day, newshounds contend!
9) Ian Dury's Former Blockheads Reunite For "Rhythm Stick" Anniversary - Fabulous band to be fabulous once more!
10) Man Claims To Be Foreigner Drummer, Steals Car - Man bites dog update!
- Arts & Entertainment