In my last post I had my curmudgeon on as I cast a jaundiced eye on the Oscars and the news media. Today I’m feeling a lot more positive and hopeful for the future.

     Why? I watched The Grammys, which in my opinion is a much more entertaining show focusing on young people making interesting and exciting music. Not all of it do I like. But a lot of it is good. And it offers a fresh new look at the world for these tired old eyes and ears of mine.

     To be honest, I don’t follow the music world very closely . . . or essentially, not at all. So watching the Grammys is a way for me to discover new music that otherwise I would never hear of. (I typically listen to Classic Rock stations on Sirius XM in the car, or else an all-news station, occasionally classical music.)

     So while the Oscars give us lame and tasteless jokes, ponderous speeches and awards for obscure indie films, the Grammys feature live performances by top acts and new talent — and much less in the way of personal pet peeves or political posturing.

     The show, hosted by the affable late-night talk show host Trevor Noah, opened up with a performance by Olivia Rodrigo. Ever hear of her? I hadn’t. She’s young; she’s pretty. You might think her music is sappy, but I’m guessing your teenage grandchildren are likely big fans. She sang a adolescently angst number called Drivers License. It’s clearly aimed at the younger audience, not people like me. But hey, I remember those days, and I liked it anyway.

     Some other popular performers who were new to me:

     Jon Bastiste performed his hit “Freedom.”

     H.E.R. did a medley.

     BTS, a K-pop group, acted out a song called “Butter.”

     There was a number by a group called Silk Sonic. One of the guys looked familiar. Bruno Mars? Yes. I remembered him from a previous Grammy show, plus a Superbowl halftime show. Now, apparently he’s teamed up with a fellow named Anderson .Paak to form a kind of pop, R&B soul group. They’re pretty good! By the way, you can find all these songs on youtube if you’re interested.

     My favorite of the night was Billie Eilish. I’d heard of her. But I didn’t know any of her songs. This is her new one called “Happier Than Ever.” 

     Some of the acts were familiar names. My wife’s favorite country singer Chris Stapleton sang his hit “Cold.” Carrie Underwood performed her new song “Ghost Story.” Lady Gaga, Nas, Justin Bieber, John Legend all made appearances.

     There was more, plenty more. But to tell the truth, the show went on past my bedtime, so I didn’t see it all. But if you’re interested, the Billboard Music Awards are coming up on Sunday, May 15, broadcast by NBC TV. You’ll be able to watch a lot of the same acts — and enjoy some of the vibrant creativity going on in our country today, the creativity we sometimes forget about as we moan and groan about the state of our country, the state of the world, and how things aren’t as good as they used to be.


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