Segarini – The 2016 Grammys Part Two – Blame Radio

Bob Cool

I’ve been listening to the radio since the late ‘40s, and the one thing I’ve learned over the years is that radio’s longevity had more to do with its connectivity to the community it serves, than the content it shared.

Before radio, if you wanted entertainment in your home, the only choice you had was this…

 …and as you can see, it was more practical to have a boatload of kids and force them to learn how to play musical instruments, put on plays, and comb the neighborhood for gossip and news, then make the little hiccups share the wealth, or they wouldn’t get dessert, or in extreme circumstances, dinner.

Radio changed all of that. With the turning of a knob or the push of a button, entertainment and information of all stripes spilled out onto the living room rug in abundance. You would never be alone again. No matter how cloistered away or hermit-like you were, you were never more than an on/off switch away from companionship or company, music, drama, comedy, or news.

old-radio

Hard to imagine now, but think of the impact this miracle of science must have felt like after a lifetime of static newspapers, monthly magazines, and having to head out into the night to hear music, see a play, or hear a friendly voice other than your family’s. Suddenly, complete strangers became personal, trusted friends, news became almost immediate, and the changing face of contemporary culture was not only spread to the hinterlands and the general population with lightening-like speed, radio even helped change that culture by exposing more and more choices to more and more people. When the public embraced anything that radio put in the spotlight, well…pop culture, political viewpoints, and every other facet of our daily lives were impacted, and radio, initially sparking the latest trends or interests, would shift gears and follow the public down whatever path they had set them on. A symbiotic relationship more powerful than any that had existed up to that time. Television and movies would have a similar impact, but until the Internet came along, radio was alone in its immediacy and ability to be wherever the public wanted it to be. We listened and radio followed. Radio listened and we followed. A perpetual motion machine whose intricacies and borders became blurred over the years until you couldn’t tell who was influencing who.                      Bob Segarini February 20th, 2012

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For over two decades, radio has denied their role in the community and has instead become a marketing tool for an ever narrowing perception of what it considers to be the epitome of contemporary music.

stopthatnoise

They seem to have led us into a blind alley of mediocrity and conformity…the two places great music challenges at every turn.

This is what happens when you follow the money instead of the music, and listen to the money changers instead of the musicians….

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twilight_fans

Of course, it isn’t just radio at fault here. Some of the blame rests squarely on the shoulders of the Great Mainstream Audience, which seems to be part selfie-taking Tween, Teen, and Twenty-Somethings, Soccer Moms, Bottle Service Club Goers and American Idol Fans on one hand, and Stuck in the ’70’s, I’ve Seen/Heard All the Great Bands, Rock is Dead, Zep Heads, Beatle/Stones Fanatics, and Those Who Quit Caring, on the other.

16603233209_e2cdf9119c_o

At least 25 years of great music we never got to hear on the radio because no one wanted to hear it.

…at least no one like you and me…you and I and others like us wanted to hear everything…and we still do.

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The Grammys Part Two – The Azoff Awakens

You can find Part One Here

DISCLAIMER: We can no longer remember who or what won anything that isn’t mentioned in these pages…so don’t yell at me if you didn’t Google the results yourself.

LL and James Corden

So just how many “Late” shows are on the tube now? LL brings out a British (Aussie?) guy I have never heard of who chairs one of them, and they introduce the Man With the Longest Face in Music, and a tribute to him in honour of his being named MusicCares Person of the Year

Tribute to Lionel Ritchie….

John Legend

Somewhere, a piano bar in a Holiday Inn lobby is missing this guy and a tip jar.

Demi Lovato

demi-lovato-lead-singingNice to know that if you ever need a woman to scream “I love you” at the top of her lungs in your ear while she is wearing the facial expression of a man giving birth through the hole in the tip of his penis, Demi can provide such a service.

Luke Bryan

Like the others in this tribute, I’m not sure what Mr. Bryan’s connection is to Lionel. Pool Boy? Favourite Pizza delivery guy? Bought multiple copies of ‘3 Times a Lady’? There has to be something….

Meghan Trainor

I LIKE Ms. Trainor. She seems happy. She loves what she does. She appears human and real in this sea of artifice and obligation. If you are not familiar with her, think Adele with a successful relationship that didn’t blow up in her face and about 90% less weepy.

Tyrese

When artists name themselves, I always wonder what their real names are and why they are ashamed of them. Such is not the case with this gentleman.

From Wikipedia: Tyrese Darnell Gibson (born December 30, 1978), also known mononymously as Tyrese, is an American Grammy-nominated R&B singer, songwriter, actor, author, television producer, former fashion model and MTV VJ. He is best known for his roles as Joseph “Jody” Summers in Baby Boy and as Roman Pearce in the The Fast and the Furious series. After releasing several albums, he transitioned into films, with lead roles in several major Hollywood releases.

Relieved to discover his real name isn’t Buttfart Aluminum Dickenpoop or Nvidia Intel…although, every time I hear his name I hear “…a yellow ribbon ’round the old oak tree”. Fuck you, Tony Orlando.

…and then…

Lionel sings a bit of All Night Long

Which I loved. The song. Great song and a video that totally captures the ’80s obsession with bright pastel colours, electric boogaloo . and perms.

Still…didn’t Madonna and Richard Marx sing backup on this? They should have been here…of course, so should have the Commodores (is there bad blood there?), or any number of artists that Lionel influenced over the years, but, nah…that would have made too much sense.

Ryan Seacrest!

ed6520b03328cad3c63be55d62075ab1The evening would not have been complete without the blinding lightshow provided by Mr. Seacrest’s teeth, and his flawless, beautifully enunciated announcement of something about something that must have been important but escapes me because I was blinded by the whiteness of his many teeth and rendered deaf by his complete lack of credibility. If I could afford it, I’m sure I could get him to say wonderful things about me, too.

Little Big Town – Girl Crush

Love this song…but country? mebbe yes…mebbe no, but a terrific song regardless. Anybody else find this highly sensuous, and is it getting warm in here or is it just me?

Stevie Wonder and Pentatonix for Maurice White

WTF? Really? From a nice reading of a good song to a Grammy Moment best suited for inclusion on THE GRAMMYS WORST TRIBUTES EVER VOLUME 58 DVD.

At least Stevie found the melody a couple of times and didn’t phone it in as he has the last few times I’ve seen him, but Pentatonix? Shut the Door!

Let’s see…if you’re going to pay tribute to the man for creating a kick ass soulful R&B band with a killer horn section and some of the best musicians and singers available with an A cappella group, why, in the name of Jeebus the Christ didn’t you use THESE guys? Doesn’t anybody on the Grammy committee listen to music?

…or could NO ONE connect the dots and call Tower of Power, or  Booker T and the MGs along with the Memphis horns, and lure McCartney out of the audience with a pass to Tyga’s after party, and present a version of “Got to Get You Into My Life” that would have blown the dick out of Kanye’s mouth in the lobby men’s room? Or “September” with Bruno Mars backed by the same band?

And I’m still relishing the cute little blond hiccup from Up With Peopl…I mean Pentatonix…for explaining that they had just sung with one of the best singers in ever of history. I guess they had no idea who Stevie was until somebody told them.

Sheehan and Amy get song of the year

According to this win, cute, golly-gosh, and British, and Hit are the new things to look for in a great SONG.

The only actual SONG I heard from the nominees was “Girl Crush“… which must be why it sounded so strange to the voters.

Glenn Frey Tribute

God Bless the Eagles for showing up and doing what must have been a difficult and sad tribute to their fallen comrade. Jackson Browne was a nice addition (he co-wrote the tune they used), but I would have loved to have seen JD Souther up there as well, as well as Linda Ronstadt, even if she could only have shaken a tambourine. …and I wish they could have played Tequila Sunrise or Desperado as well. The band wasn’t really up to their high standard, but it is easy to understand why. You’ll understand when the Stones lose Keef or Mick, and the rest of them pay tribute.

Anna Kendrick

I have no idea who this woman is, and damned if I’m going to look her up on Wikipedia, because I didn’t like the way she read the teleprompter, so how much better is anything else she does going to be?

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 21: Executive Chairman of Live Nation Entertainment, Inc., and Chairman and CEO of Front Line Management Group Irving Azoff testifies during a hearing before the Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights Subcommittee of Senate Judiciary Committee June 21, 2012 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The hearing was to focus on the merger of Universal Music Group and EMI Merger and the future of music online. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

She wakes Irving Azoff up out of a well deserved nap to let us know he won or was awarded something the previous Saturday at a really, really, really, exclusive Grammy party not everyone got to go to, and then introduced two youngsters who made their bones on the Intertoobz before being welcomed into the indentured slavery world of the Music Moguls, whose paid house-hipsters noticed the kids had huge numbers of views on The Tube of You, and had already done the work and got an audience, so this is going to be like free money to the Moguls and their Mogul Minions

Tori Kelly and James Bay

Okay…these kids are good. The song is good for a song written at this age, the lyrics are cringe worthy, but the voices are as good as all the ‘good voiced’ folks out there (and there are MILLIONS of people who have good voices…but very few who have everything else you need to be truly ‘great’) they were charming and unpretentious…and there is a possibility the boy will tire of the Fawning Business and grow into something worthy, but the cutie-pie blonde abandoned the melody in favour of Diva note yodeling toward the end, and may fall prey to the attraction of celebrity, a house in Malibu, and a string of boyfriends her girlfriends have heard of. Time will tell.

Stephen Colbert

“Well, what the hell, credibility doesn’t pay the bills, and I know I’m smart and funny…and…and…Oh God, WHAT AM I DOING?!”

stephencolbertcolbertreportWell, Steve, you’re in the mainstream, baby! Lauding a Broadway Musical, (which, like almost every Broadway Musical since the ’70s, is chock-a-block full of music for people who don’t like music) Yes. this choreographed period piece set to beats IS ground-breaking in the same way “Bye Bye Birdie” was (although ‘Birdie’ had some fine songs mixed in with the poop), and “Hair“, and “Rent“, but not as cloyingly bad and repetitious as everything Andrew Dice Webber has done based on “Memories” from Cats, or The Phantom, or wherever it sprung into maudlin, everlasting, life.

That said, even R.A.P. has been successful on the stage before, but it wasn’t called that, and it actually had a bit more musicality to it, but the words were rapid fire and the delivery wasn’t slowed down for the theatre goers like they are in this Hamilton show, because the writers didn’t over-think the audience. Nice, though, that Hamilton will homogenize hip hop so it will play in Kansas and Iowa without the kids listening to it being disowned and shamed. Good on ’em for that.

Here’s the RAP I mentioned that preceded Hamilton by well more than a century or so…1879 in fact…only RAP was known as a “Patter Song” then.

Hamilton

Thanks to Colbert, we now have pretty good seats to this show. which has all of Broadway agog…at least, that’s what I have been told over and over again since the Grammy event started what seems to be about 6 hours ago.

Judge for yourself. Not exactly MC Gilbert and Snoop Doggie Sullivan, but hey….!

Word.

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Alright, I’ll be honest with you…there is a PART THREE to this, but I’m already in almost 4000 words with part one and part two, and my GF is here (who I only get to see when the planets align in certain ways, nothing is in Retrograde, and her shaman/guru/nutritionists tell her no damage will be done to her aura or energy receptors and there’s a space on her dance card), not to mention that writing about stuff like this is the most courageous and brave thing I do, and comes with the strain of climbing 1000 stairs and dancing like no one is watching.

so…

If you want Part Three I will post it along with my next column this coming Friday, and if you don’t want it, let me know.

The easiest way to let me know is to leave a reply at the bottom of this column where it says “Leave a Reply”, or on Robert Segarini’s FB Timeline in the comments section under the post for this column.

Or just wait till Friday and see what I decide if nobody cares. There is some pretty funny stuff, though, so…you know…you might like it.

As for me…I’m gonna pour a drink, slip out of this chair, and see if the GF has any frisky in her tonight.

…and it is NOT my fault it took the Grammys so long to say so little this year. Really.

In Part Three, If You Decide You Want IT…

Don Cheadle

Kendrick Lamar (again)

Seth MacFarland

Hamilton wins Grammy

…and MORE! …a LOT MORE.

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Segarini’s column appears whenever birds suddenly appear

Contact us at dbawis@rogers.com

dbawis-button7Bob “The Iceman” Segarini was in the bands The Family Tree, Roxy, The Wackers, The Dudes, and The Segarini Band and nominated for a Tilda January 2015Juno for production in 1978. He also hosted “Late Great Movies” on CITY TV, was a producer of Much Music, and an on-air personality on CHUM FM, Q107, SIRIUS Sat/Rad’s Iceberg 95, (now 85), and now publishes, edits, and writes for DBAWIS, continues to write music, make music, and record

2 Responses to “Segarini – The 2016 Grammys Part Two – Blame Radio”

  1. well geez bob, where to begin? first of all i always thot you was a toronto new waver back in the day. took decades for me to straighten that out. now i’m a big bob fan, wackers, Dudes, segarini, gotta git me a copy of miss butters tho. so i love your blog, and some of the other writers too. roxanne especially. so i been catching up on all things segarini. hey i’m 54 so i got no excuse! better late.. etc. you write a bit like i did when i was a busy rock writ (my term for rock crit. spanky, hey?) ok bottom line, go ahead do part 3. i hardly know about any of the folks you mention cuz modern pop is distasteful but it’s still funny as a seal in french to read!

  2. Mike Bacon Says:

    Bob, never been a big fan of musical theater. However, I’ve seen Hamilton and I have to say that it’s really a magnificent piece of work. As they used to say “you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll cheer out loud.” 🙂 No kidding, Anyway, just my two cents.

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