Congratulations to The Woodlands, that emotionally icy burb up I-45, for helping Arcade Fire win this year's Album of the Year Grammy at Sunday night's awards show for their sprawling The Suburbs LP. The band, led by former Woodlands residents Win and William Butler, won over a highly-touted Eminem comeback album, Lady Antebellum, and the tag-team punch of pop idols Lady Gaga and Katy Perry.
The win by the thunderous indie band was a ray of hope in a night that saw Gaga come out inside an egg to perform her Madonna-biting "Born This Way", amongst other pop oddities, like Katy Perry being Katy Perry and Eminem and a returning Dr. Dre grabbing their nuts like it was 1999 again with Rihanna in tow.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Mumford & Sons, The Avett Brothers, and Bob Dylan teamed together for a medley of cuts, with the newest batch of folkies shining brightly behind the croaking bard. Mick Jagger and garage-funker Raphael Saadiq paid tribute to the late Solomon Burke with a medley of his lost hits.
The biggest upset of the night seemed to be newcomer Esperanza Spalding defeating Justin Bieber for the Best New Artist trophy. Understandably, the Beeb's underage contingent on Twitter and other social media didn't take the news too well.
The awards for Song and Record Of The Year went to Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now", a pop-country track that will be oozing out of the speakers of lovelorn people for next to forever. The track was a meaty cut of pop that is at once cheesy, but also seemed to strike a chord in Grammy voters and crossover radio listeners.
Best Rock Album went to Muse's Resistance, beating Pearl Jam, Jeff Beck, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, and Neil Young's crunchy Le Noise. The Black Keys' Brothers took the Best Alternative Music Album award, further cementing their burgeoning mainstream status.
Once again, congrats to Arcade Fire, who have yet again proved that the suburbs, and the malaise that it can produce, can birth some astounding art that can garner massive mainstream applause. Even though the band was formed in Canada, The Suburbs was built on memories of growing up in the Woodlands.
Arcade Fire's closest competition in the Album Of The Year category would have been Eminem's Recovery, which saw the artist not only return to his early career fighting form, but also carrying a newfound sense of purpose after years of drug addiction. As a consolation, Recovery did end up winning Best Rap Album, though.
A win (pardon the pun) like this has most people scratching their heads in wonder that maybe, just maybe, decent music can prevail in our current musical climate. No telling we will be hearing plenty of copycats coming out of the subdivisions to tell their sordid, sheltered tales.
A complete list of the winners is available here.
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