So, Joe Frazier beat Muhammad Ali. The Grammys did their job. Order has been maintained. What happens next? Here are my predictions: Babel will return to the top of the albums chart next week. Jay Pharoah’s inevitable yellow suit-and-headband Frank Ocean parody will be relegated to “Weekend Update,” rather than get its own stand-alone sketch, on SNL. The guy from Fun. will regret wearing capris. A jingle that sounds like The Black Keys will appear in a Radio Shack commercial. Jack White will record a new 45 with three of the models from Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” video. And nothing that happened Sunday night will matter when it comes to how our culture ultimately judges the value (or lack thereof) of these artists, or the many other artists who made notable music that had no chance of being nominated.
Say you want to care about the Grammys. Say you love music, and also television, and also the packaging of live music entertainment on television. But say that, for whatever reason — the Grammys' undying inability to fulfill their mission statement of accurately reflecting a harmonious blend of the critically acclaimed and the mass approved usually causes the telecast to devolve into an aggressively disjointed mess, perhaps? Or maybe just a childhood trauma-derived flat affect? — you can't muster any enthusiasm. Be easy, glass-half-empty person: Grantland's here to help. We've broken down the performers roster, we've analyzed the nominees, we've scoured the innuendo, and now we've got story lines to keep you scintillated and piqued and feeling, maybe for the first time ever, truly alive. Read now, and avoid falling asleep into your Cheesy Poofs on Sunday night.
Every year, hordes of overly spirited musicians try to capture Christmas cheer in the studio. While there are some artists who can, in fact, create a respectable modern-day holiday tune, it’s safe to say that they’re few and far between.
Many holiday enthusiasts fail in attempts to cover songs from the Christmas canon, performing lackluster versions of songs such as the Vince Guaraldi Trio’s “Christmastime Is Here” or “The Little Drummer Boy” for the millionth time. For the most part, these have nothing new to offer.
Others, knowing they can’t top Burl Ives or Brenda Lee, try to create their own original holiday songs. A select few of these brave souls actually do it right. Run-D.M.C.’s “Christmas in Hollis” and more recently some of Sufjan Stevens’s prolific holiday tidings provide two contemporary examples. Everyone else? Their efforts fall somewhere between getting coal in your stocking and Santa blowing out your eardrums.
Being the holiday sadists that we are, we decided to seek out the worst of the worst contemporary holiday originals. To do so, we used the following criteria:
Lindsay Lohan Banned From Chateau Marmont: What did it take to get the infamous party girl finally blacklisted from her favorite haunt, a place famous for putting up with partying? A ridiculous unpaid bill for $46,350 from a "47-day stay in June and July (she racked up $686 on cigarettes alone!)" during the filming of Liz & Dick. Lohan claims that she "thought her movie's producers were paying." Of course she did.
The band called fun. spells its name with a lowercase f and a period, and if they weren’t currently selling a boatload of records on account of a Glee appearance and a Chevy commercial, their questionable use of punctuation would probably be the thing you dislike about them most.
But if Glee has taught us anything, it’s that prejudging is totally uncool, we all deserve to be ourselves (as long as we’re not a King of Leon), and if we write good songs in a forest and nobody hears them, it makes perfect sense to have the country’s first and foremost rainbow coalition of sportos, motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wasteoids, dweebies, and dickheads belt one of them out in front of 10 million true believers.