Film and TV

Grammys Wrap Nominations, Performances Into Live Show Tonight

In this week's edition of "no one cares so do whatever you want," the Grammy's will be announcing nominations tonight for their annual awards presented in February. Normally, a simple press conference would suffice, but NARAS (National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences) thinks it would be a good idea to have a nomination show complete with performances from artists. It's tantamount to having the major league baseball draft during the home run derby.

But, in a continued bid to prove to us that we should totally buy music at the prices they want, "The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!! -- Countdown To Music's Biggest Night" (yes, that's the "official" title) will air tonight on CBS at 9 p.m. Fortunately, the made the decision that an hour was more than enough time to bore us to tears.

Some of the scintillating performances scheduled include Jason Aldean, Lady Gaga, Ludacris, Lupe Fiasco, Rihanna, Sugarland and the Band Perry along with a musical tribute to songwriters featuring Valerie Simpson of Ashford and Simpson, Mike Stoller of songwriting team Lieber and Stoller with Usher. The whole ball of wax is hosted by LL Cool J, who actually took a leave of absence from NCIS Los Angeles for his Grammy duties.

We bag on these things a lot around here, but let's be honest, they deserve it. The Grammy's are nearly always behind the curve when it comes to popular music. There is always this overtone of classic Hollywood glamor to a show that is built to honor pop stars because they draw the eyeballs needed for ratings. It is often an awkward combination of distinguished old fogies and young thugs building their rep.

This year has added controversy because 31 categories were cut or combined including merging male and female awards into gender neutral nominations. While the Grammy's may be doing what they think they can to keep up with the times, the truth is that music is just not as popular as it once was and there is little consolidation at the top thanks to the disintegration of the major labels. They can keep trotting people out and some people will keep watching, but it doesn't make it any less painful to watch.

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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke