Don’t Know Why – The 2003 Grammys

The Glorious Noise compound was alive with laughter after the 45th Annual Grammy Awards concluded last Sunday night. Sure, this year’s show featured numerous artists who made the big decision to actually sing, which is a real milestone, since it happens so rarely anymore. And performances from Eminem, Kid Rock, Sheryl Crow, James Taylor, and Yo Yo Ma were entertaining for different reasons. But in the end, it was just another howler of an award show, and it deserves to be eviscerated. Yes, of course it’s an easy target. But so is MTV’s John Norris. And you don’t see Glorious Noise making fun of that corpse-like fancypants, do you?

What follows then is a quick rundown of this year’s show. Fred Durst is in aggreeance with Glorious Noise that it sucked, and Peace is cool, or something.

• Norah Jones tore the shit up, I think she won in each category she was nominated in, including Record and Album of the Year (I think; I get confused as to which is which). Her performance of “Don’t Know Why” was pleasant, and she seems very nice, but I still don’t understand why this girl is the bees knees.

• Avril Lavigne came off like the spoiled, precocious Canadian teenager that she is, both before the show on MTV and during it, when her peformance of “Sk8tr Boi” was worthless and weak. She’s not even that hot.

• Faith Hill sang out of her range and beat her chest in a creepy, Celine-like quest for legitimacy outside of Nashville.

• Nelly’s performance of “Hot in Herre” was boring, and it featured that guy with the mask in his crew, the same guy from the AMAs, and I STILL haven’t heard an explanation about that.

• When Eminem accepted his first award, he arrived on stage with, like, 65 black dudes in track suits. Then, in lieu of a thank you list, he thanked all the MCs who’ve ever influenced him. Kind of classy, but with all those black guys around him, was he trying just a bit too hard to BE black? He doesn’t need to, as his talent is great as is, no matter what color he is. His performance of “Lose Yourself” – still 2002’s best single – with the Roots was totally awesome.

• John Mayer played “Wonderland” on his guitar; somewhere Dave Matthews dropped his drink and swore “They’ve replaced me!”

• Pop pap pianist and Stephan Jenkins-dater Vanessa Carlton came off like a spoiled little bitch. “I’m at the Grammys, na na na boo boo.” Go back to

Julliard, and stop trying to turn pop music into a high school talent show.

• Instead of placing enormous stereo equipment outside Saddam’s mansion, as we did during the ouster of Noriega in Panama, we should send Robin Williams to Iraq with one mic and a PA. His incessant yapping and inane impersonations will no doubt drive Saddam Hussein to strap himself to a giant ‘ACME’ rocket and light the fuse.

• For some reason the guys in Godsmack kept getting the reaction shot camera put on them out in the audience.

• Springsteen’s “Rising” performance was good, but he still has too many people in that band, and there’s no need for he, Patty Scialfa, and Little Steven to all sing into the same microphone when there are good ones for each of them. Stop pretending it’s 1973 and you’re trying to fit 15 people onto a tiny stage with one mic at a club somewhere in the swamps of Jersey..

• Erykha Badu’s afro was so huge, that it actually looked fake. Don’t get me wrong – I’m a fan of afros. But hers was so huge, and so symmetrical, that it lookedlike an afro wig. Which is a problem, because afro wigs have become such a gag for sports fans and white trash and The Afros, that when you actually HAVE an afro that big, it just ends up being funny.

• I’m not sure about Coldplay. They have a sold-out American tour, everyone loves their boring second album, they won Best Band at the 2003 Brit Awards, at the Grammys they performed with New York’s Philharmonic orchestra. It looked to me like Chris Martin was only playing two notes the whole time, but his hands were obstructed by his Geoffrey Rush-like spasms during the song’s crescendo. Philharmonic? Paltrow? Be careful, boys.

• Dave Grohl, Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen, Little Steven, and Tony Kanal did a blaze-up version of “London Calling” during a tribute to Joe Strummer. It was better than you might think. Grohl sang lead, and each guy got to handle one of those “Engines stop running” couplets. But what was weird was the multi-media display behind them, which was showing military stuff, Union Jacks, American Flags, and London itself. And I swear Bruce said something about Saddam during his time on the mic. I hope they didn’t try to change what would have been a nice tribute to Strummer (and a great way to sell a bunch of Clash albums to Avril Levigne fans) into some kind of statement on the coming Apocalypse.

• N Sync did a spectacular a capella medley of Bee Gees hits. They’re still gay.


A complete list of winners can be found at You can buy these albums from Amazon if you’re so inclined.

23 thoughts on “Don’t Know Why – The 2003 Grammys”

  1. The guy in the mask is the St. Lunatic’s “Hype Man.” It’s a pretty standard thing for big biz hip hop. He don’t gotta say nothin’, just get the crowd a’bumpin’. All us here in the Lou can’t get enough of the ‘cuddle-thug’, Nelly. Booyah.


  2. In-f*ckin’-credible, Mr. Loftus, you have the stamina of an ox to sit through the entire damn show just to give us a dutiful report on the degree of how abominable and skull-numbing this supposed celebration of the music industry really was. Your play-by-play on how excruciating this must have been makes me count my blessings that for once, watching Maternity Ward on TLC because it’s what my wife wanted was the BETTER alternative.

    I only watch it to play spot-the-music-industry-executive, and chortling at their pained, strained expressions at having to be there dressed to the nines. See, we the viewer have the opportunity to change the channel and get up to feed the cat; they’re imprisoned in their cushioned movie theater seats praying for it all to end so they can get the f*ck to the after-party, make an appearance, and home again for some shut-eye.

    The president of the NARAS made an empty-headed statement to the effect that “despite what the doomsayers say, the music industry is not dead!!” Fair enough, but they sure throw a f*ckin’ lousy party.

    For more illuminating conversation, stroll over to the GloNo board and see the topic The Grammy’s Irrelevance.



  3. Johnny, you must have some sort of natural antibodies that protect you from the sickening misery of award shows. I don’t know how you do it! Well done, sirrah.

  4. I was determined to watch as much of this crap-fest as possible to see Simon and Garfunkel reunite. Lucky for me, they opened the show.

    What I’ll never understand is how there can possibly be any drama to the show when the acts that perform then win an award. There’s no suspense.

    Oh, and John Mayer needs to go away quickly.

  5. Eminem and the Strummer tribute were fantastic. Norah Jones seems like a very nice person. ‘N Sync can actually sing. Everything else sucked donkey, except Foo Fighters, who didn’t suck at all.

    I thought Coldplay was awful. That song didn’t do a fucking thing, it just kind of lumbered through my ears. Coldplay, Travis, Train, Guster, Dave Matthews Band… is there no end to this parade of mid-tempo, acoustic-guitarry, boring-as-shit bands? It almost makes me wish G.G. Allin was still alive just to hear somebody rant and rave and have a psychotic episode, as opposed to some pretentious dork emote his way through a song as dull as an econ class.

  6. N’Sync is So not gay! Justin addressed that topic in issue #4413 of Tiger Beat Magazine and he said, “No way! Girls are groovy!”, so You, Johnny Loftus, are a Liar!

  7. The positive thing about Norah Jones is that she actually sings songs, instead of shrieking them. All these pop divas who seem to have just one dynamic level (full volume, face twisted into a tormented expression, one plastic-clawed hand ostentatiously fluttering in time with each little vocal curlicue) have just been shown that it is possible, just possible, to portray passion WITHOUT SCREAMING. And give Norah credit for something else: being true to her muse. She was playing this stuff when NOBODY was listening, in open-mic bars, and when the Grand Poobahs Of The Recording Industry wouldn’t give her the time of day. Be nice to her. She didn’t ask for this incredible success, and if she’d been actively trying for mass acceptance, smoky trio jazz would be WAY down on most people’s lists of “Good Things To Try”.

  8. Has anyone else heard similarities between Norah Jones and Carole King (simply in terms of the musical genre they mine and their performance styles)? That’s what I heard from the few songs I heard off Ms. Jones’ CD. AND… didn’t Tapestry win a slew of Grammys, too?

    Bear in mind, in this frustrated wannabe rockcrit’s mind, that’s not a bad thing at all– I proudly own Tapestry on vinyl and CD. I just thought that it made for an interesting parallel. Now if only Norah could write like Carole, she’d have the stuff that lifetime careers are made of.

  9. i dont know what youre talking about, avril lavigne is completely outragously hot and i think she did an awesome job at the song. i doubt shes a spoiled teen, im sure she was just feeling a bit bad considering norah jones beat her EVERYTIME and she isnt nearly as good of a singer as avril.

  10. I stand by my comments regarding Avril Levigne. I only hope that the Levigne fans I make angry will be better looking than the Moldy Peaches, Andrew WK, or G n’ R fans I’ve angered in the past.


  11. -Avril Lavigne is not hot, she is annoying, her commentary was similar to Fiona Apples “fame is such a bitch” bullshit. Hey man, car payments are a bitch, so fuck you.

    -Coldplay doesn’t suck when you put them in context. Why don’t you compare Coldplay to Nickleback, Limp Bizkit, Kid Rock, all the “rock” that made me listen to rap. Yeah Coldplays lyrics are cheesy, but thinking about “bah-wit-da-bah” makes me cringe.

    -For the love of god, can I stop hearing critics pat Bruce on the back? Tell me about boring. Does anyone listen to this shit? When was the last time you were hanging out with your friends, listening to “the rising”. Havin’ a few beers listening to “the streets of Philidelphia” (nuh nuh na nuh nuh). He is one of those guys who gets an automatic 5 star rating…from everybody, like dylan and mick jagger. Everyone knows they haven’t made anything to listen to in oh, say, 25 years. How can anyone watch him, an NOT sarcasticly roll their eyes and make the jerking motion with their hand?

  12. Oh, and one more thing. Nelly is the modern day MC Hammer. The Neptunes are too good, they can make anybody great, someone should cut off their hands.

  13. Good point, DJMurphy, regarding the parallels between Carole King and Norah Jones! I hadn’t picked up on that before – now you’ve made me want to go home and listen to Carole King tonight!

  14. I have to agree with Jaime. The Strummer tribute and the pairing of Eminem and the Roots were the highlights for me as well. The Nelly and Kelly Rowland songs didn’t do much for me.

    So much of the mid-tempo stuff like Norah Jones, Coldplay and John Mayer just doesn’t do a thing for me. The best thing I can say is that it was pleasant background noise while I did the crossword.

  15. pleasant background noise is right. norah jones, coldplay, and john mayer aren’t traditional superstar material.

    but am i the only one here who’s sick and fucking tired of superstar material? these three artists haven’t done anything wrong except make very inoffensive, soulful music. there’s something too vulnerable about each one of them for any to make good stars. that being said, i won’t listen to any of these three albums, unless i’m stuck on an island with them, and then i’d be very thankful, because it could be so so so much worse.

    ps. while yes, bruce springsteen is boring, he was always kind of boring. meanwhile, although i couldn’t agree more with him about coldplay, chris galla is a moron and probably couldn’t name a single album by bob dylan in the last 25 years, let alone rate them.


  16. Two points to make in reply to Chris Galla’s comments, and I realize this is long after the fact and nobody will read this, but here goes anyway:

    First of all, if I compare Coldplay to Nickelback, Limp Bizkit and Kid Rock I’d simply be comparing one lame artist to a bunch of other lame artists. Okay, Nickelback, the Bizkit and K.R. aggressively suck, and Coldplay is merely boring, but that still doesn’t cut it in my book. In fact, it may be an even worse sin. At least those three artistes elicit and strong reaction. Coldplay mostly elicits a yawn.

    Secondly, Bruce isn’t boring at all. I think his reach sometimes exceeds his grasp in the “big issues” department, but I think his music is emotional and an interesting tour of many of rocks earlier sub-genres. I like Bruce.

    Thanks for listening.

  17. I’m listening Jamie, and I agree with you on both of your points. While I still think ‘Parachutes’ is a great debut, Coldpay follwed up with a yawner that has somehow busted their popularity wide open. It doesn’t make any sense to me, but what do I know? I’ve never dated Gwyneth Paltrow.

    The Bruce point is harder to sum up in a brief statement. But suffice it to say that the relevance of Springsteen is a constant topic of debate around the Glorious Noise breakroom table. One thing everyone seems to agree on: Bruce’s early work suffered from too much instrumental ambition, or perhaps too many guys in the band. You have to have something for everyone to do, so howabout a Broadway sound on this next number?


  18. Thanks for the honest answer Jaime, seriously, at least you didn’t call me a “fucking moron”, and saying that I couldn’t name a recent Bob Dylan song…like the other anonymous… I guess if I had to call that person a name, I would chose “douchebag”. I love how people like that are all toughguys and name callers underneath the “anonymous” shield. There, now, what I was saying was that Bob Dylans “Time Out of Mind” for example, won a shitload of grammy’s about three years ago, and that is not a good album by any means, and I own it. Its not Blonde on Blonde, or even John Wesley Harding. I wasn’t trying to “rate the albums”. Similar to Mick Jaggers recent solo release, I believe Rolling Stone gave that 5 stars as well. That was a terrible piece of shit. There are certain people who are automatically ushered the five star rating, Red White and Blue Bruce was assured the high marks, the awards, etc. Now, if you don’t think that Rock and Roll (even Radio Rock) is better off today than it was a year ago, I guess I just disagree. I heard the White Stripes and Wilco on the radio today on the way home. Anyway, thank you for listening and being bigger than that other anonymous. Anonymous is all “Gimme Somethin’ to Break” when it comes to emails, but in person, Anonymous is mostly “Body is a wonderland”…

  19. Yuk, yuk on the “Body Is a Playground” jab. I understand your point on Bruce, but from my own perspective, Bruce has released exatly 1 and three quarters bad albums. The rest, while I would argue that some are definitely better than others, are pretty uniformly swell to my ears. I don’t mind the BIG PRODUCTION quality and busy arrangements (“Nebraska” and “Ghost…” notwithstanding) but I can also see how it would irritate some sensibilities.

    I do disagree on “Time Out of Mind” though. I thought it was Dylan’s best work since “Blood on the Tracks,” but since that lengthy stretch contains a truckload of shit, maybe that’s not saying too much. Oh, I know there are some good things contained in all those releases, but it was a pretty underwhelming stretch.

    As for automatic critical adulation, stay away from Rolling Stone. They are hell-bent on staying in the good graces of the dinosaurs and most big-selling contemporary artists. It’s hard not to read their reviews and think you’re being had.

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