Watching the Oscars and the Grammys

movies and music

oscars and the grammysBecause of scheduling dictated in part by COVID, the Oscars and the Grammys were on successive weekends. I watched them both in 30-minute chunks while riding the stationary bicycle. So not in real time; I’m too busy for that.

There was a point in the mid-nineties when I would listen to the radio at 8:37 a.m./5:37 a.m. Pacific Time, to hear the announcement of the Oscar nominations in the major categories. I’d then scribble them down frantically and quite illegibly. Of course, in a few years, I discovered I could find them on the Internet by 9 a.m. But it was exhilarating at the time.

Last century, I usually DID watch the Oscars live to the very end, or until I got too tired. I would record the program on my DVD or DVR, get up in the morning, and view it, making sure not to see/hear the news. If I don’t know the outcome, it’s new to me!

After I got to The Slap, about which everyone has an opinion, the show rolled on until Will Smith’s acceptance speech for Best Actor. And it took me two days to actually watch it. To my surprise, I was REALLY angry about this rambling half-apology – no playing-off music there.

Yay, CODA,  3 for 3!


I’ve decided to watch the Grammys the last two years, in part as an archeological dig. Hey, I’ve at least I’ve HEARD OF the nominees for Record, Album, and Song of the Year. OK, I don’t know Daniel Caesar or Giveon, who were featured on Justin Bieber’s track Peaches, the live performance of which was the most bleeped of the show.

I know who Anderson Paak is because he appeared as a performer on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah in December 2018; yes, I looked it up. He’s now part of Silk Sonic with Bruno Mars. Mars’ song with Mick Ronson, Uptown Funk, was so ubiquitous in 2015 that even I had heard it quite often.

H.E.R. I know because she was on that Grammy tribute to Prince in 2020, and she’s a fine guitarist.

I actually own THREE of the Album of the Year nominees. The winner, We Are, is the second album by Jon Batiste that I own. The TV special of Tony Bennett’s 95th birthday concert with lady Gaga I found touching, so I got it . The other – don’t laugh – is Sour by Olivia Rodrigo, which I pretty much blame on my daughter playing it incessantly.

For Best New Artist, Olivia Rodrigo was the winner. I didn’t know Arooj Aftab, Jimmie Allen, Baby Keem, Arlo Parks, or Saweetie. FINNEAS is Billie Eilish’s brother and sometimes collaborator. Hasn’t Glass Animals been around for half a decade or more?

As for Japanese Breakfast, I actually heard of the book Crying in H Mart: A Memoir by Michelle Zauner on The Daily Show and CBS Sunday Morning. Oh, she has a band too?

Every year, Arthur links to these end-of-year video compilations. I asked him, which one is The Kid LAROI? So he wrote a post about him.

There are other artists I did recognize in some categories, such as The Black Pumas (saw on Sam Bee’s show). But most of the nominees I knew were relative dinosaurs like Foo Fighters and Paul McCartney. 


My, I HATED both of In Memorium segments because I couldn’t always read the names, as the cameras panned out to show the performers. It was particularly egregious at the Oscars. I liked the Sondheim medley at the Grammys, though.

WRGB, Channel 6 in Schenectady, the CBS affiliate, inserted a package of local commercials during the Grammy broadcast. Carrie Underwood was already singing. This is not the first time WRGB has muffed things like this.

I find myself more drawn to music than the movies these days. In no small part, it’s because movies, when I see them on TV or a computer, don’t seem… theatrical.

By contrast, what Batiste said in his acceptance speech is true. “It’s like a song or an album is made and it’s almost like it has a radar to find the person when they need it the most.”

I got that vibe as the Brothers Osborne closed out the Grammys with Dead Man’s Curve, as members of the audience, regardless of their musical genre were clearly grooving to the tune.

Freedom  – Jon Batiste
Leave The Door Open – Silk Sonic
I Get A Kick Out Of You – Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga

I may try this again next year.

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