The Grammy Awards reward sales, not talent

by Kate Anderson

The Grammys: what a sad future for music. Although I didn’t have the patience to sit and watch the entire charade, it’s a rather predictable occasion with little surprise and even less diversity. The 45th Annual Grammy Awards had just short of 100 categories of awards. Yet only a select number of the top 40 and MTV categories were televised, leaving several non marketable musicians out of their due glory.

There was once a time when music was considered an art form and musicians were allowed to express their talent. Pop culture and Clear Channel Communications have successfully undermined these ideals for more lucrative processes of expression. Call home and ask your parents what real music used to be.

Music once had socio-political messages and instruments (which is vanishing in this highly digital age). Popular music today has a marketing message. Pop artists are nothing more than the droning slaves of their record companies. Labels virtually guide and control the expression of these “artists” who are sent out on radio waves in a hypnotic form, causing us to believe that we like their music and need to buy their CD. Puff Daddy has a nine-figure paycheck thanks to the idiot culture. The man would be broke as hell if we didn’t subscribe to his multi-faceted marketing. Why shouldn’t Puffy be so well paid? He opens our eyes to important world issues like drinking Corvoissie and becoming true critics of women’s bodies.

MTV was once the main culprit, until Clear Channel Communication thought up the bright idea to create a complete monopoly over the radio available to us. Every time we hear any one of the god-forsaken Avril Lavigne, Creed, or Eminem songs on KISS FM, listeners from San Antonio, TX, to Providence, RI, are hearing it, too. Wow, what a brilliant idea. Let’s create complete buying control, and pump the same top 40 crap into every radio station in every state simultaneously, brainwashing all of our potential buyers with the addictive sounds of Jimmy Eat World.It’s truly amazing how forums like the Grammys, MTV and the radio will drag a musician’s career into pop stardom faster than you can say “this sucks.” Our sweet Norah Jones, who created her own monopoly over the Grammy statues, is a perfect example. If I only had a Nelly poster for every time I’ve heard “Where did Norah Jones come from?” Norah Jones was an independent musician several years before she started dominating all the secretary radio stations playing the best mix of the 80s, 90s and today.

I saw Norah Jones in concert two years ago opening up for another little, independent band. She was at one time a jazz musician, the same way that Jack Johnson and John Mayer were independent folk musicians. Jack Johnson has openly stated his regrets for trading musical expression for money.

These three musicians should be representative of the reality that there is another world of music out there to find. Good music. Just because it’s not spoon fed to us doesn’t mean it’s not there.