An opinion on the current validity of the Grammy Awards
MCKNOTES ON THE BIG COVERUP
I’m talking about the recent Grammy Awards Show. Apparently, participants were told to avoid showing too much skin. Really? Do they actually need to be told that there’s such a thing as too much skin when you’re on a stage in front of millions of people? It’s just common sense. Of course, many of the celebrities spend a good part of their time with personal trainers and in gyms to make sure that they keep fit. I guess that’s part of the assignment to hold one’s status as a celebrity.
Let me say that I have great respect for performance artists. It is not an easy life. They work very hard and must keep relatively fit in order to maintain the strength to keep up with what can be grueling schedules. I can even understand that looking good is a part of being a celebrity. The disconnect comes with showing skin.
There’s a saying that less is more. How do we apply that to clothing? Does it mean that less clothing is more, or does it mean less skin is more? I’m not sure. Many non-celebrities take on the characteristics of the people they see in the spotlight. When I’m walking down the street and see a woman with too much cleavage, I don’t really find it alluring. Often, much of this over-exposure is dismissed as a nod to what is fashionable. Some of the most attractive women in the world have never exposed themselves in order to hold on to their audience.
I know it’s a subjective thing, but a gift that is wrapped in beautiful paper with attractive ribbons is more intriguing than a present with only a bow at one corner of the box that describes what’s inside. Why bother?
I used to watch the Grammys. The talent of some of the artists is just phenomenal. But with the advent of rap music and digitally enhanced singing, some so-called artists simply cannot perform without various aids to make them sound much better than they ever could be on their own.
I don’t consider rap a music genre, but rather a poetic form that uses music as a vehicle, and at best provides a forum for social comment in some cases. Some rap performers display a range of only three to five notes. There’s a world of difference between someone who can sing a Verdi aria and one who can keep a rhythm and make social comment using distasteful language. While opera may not appeal to everyone, it’s difficult to deny the brilliance required to perform an aria with only a piano accompaniment. Current pop-artists get lost in a miasma of pyrotechnics, digital accompaniments and exhaustive dance moves that offer little to help clarify the music.
The more recent performances at Grammy Awards Ceremonies are long on loud, spectacular effects and short when it comes to a display of actual musical performance skills. I’m not suggesting that there’s no place for rap, although much of it would leave me hard pressed to justify it’s place on the same stage with some of the great musicians of days gone by and even present artists. It must be really frustrating for well trained musicians to watch less capable performers receive awards.
Maybe there’s more to cover up than skin.