I watched the Grammy Awards last night, and found myself wondering, beyond the breakthrough performance of Calgary’s own Feist, beyond the tactful standoffishness of Kanye West telling the show’s producers, “now would be an appropriate time,” to turn off the music so he could thank his dead mother, beyond the fantastic outdoor outrage of the Foo Fighters, where exactly Amy Winehouse was, after all the speculation that she’d been denied a visa and then, at the last minute granted one.
Why the hell do I care about Amy Winehouse? Until last night, I couldn’t even put a song to her credit. I had no idea who she was, except for her tabloid drug problems and her freakish skinniness. But the hype existed, and I was a victim of it. Turns out she never got her travel visa to the US, because of said abuse.
How is it that I find myself choking on the American taste for personal intrigue and social disorder? And what is with the prevalence of media to adhere to these stories? Personal problems have nothing to do with songs, singing or art forms. It detracts from the attention paid to music, which is contrary to the point of the Awards in the first place. It’s an amazing condition that some artists have, seeking the immense winds of popularity, without considering the strength it requires to remain standing (not to mention how little support exists for them most of the time), but the source of the tornado is an overwhelming thirst to humanize celebrities, to allow society to see them as equals.
Now we’re on to the Junos, which are Canada’s music awards, this year held in Calgary, April 4-6. I’m excited to say that, courtesy of my wife, I will be attending a number of events, including the broadcast show. Let’s hope there’s a little bit of Canadian sincerity, where we’re not focusing on the personal issues of an artist and concentrating on what it’s supposed to be about – the music.
On another note, I was very shocked to see what happened to Richard Zednik of the Florida Panthers last night. In case you missed it, he took a skate blade to the neck, which severed his carotid artery and he lost a lot of blood on the ice. Brilliantly, and perhaps instinctively, he managed to skate to his bench, where every medical person on standby in the arena, including his competitor’s doctors, rushed to his aid. He’s apparently stable in hospital, but still in ICU. Check out the Panthers website to send a get well message to Zednik.