Peter and The Awards Season

The entertainment awards season is in full swing a). The editor has already run his hat pin through the balloon of the Grammys, and he did his typical excellent job!

To add to what he wrote, the fact is that songs that win at the Grammys aren’t necessarily “classic” songs, in fact they aren’t necessarily even “good” songs. In an era when, for example, electronic devices can be programmed to “auto dial for downloads”, success, ( or the lack thereof ), at the Grammys does not equate with any actual artistic achievement. In fact much of the “main stream” music out there is pap, frankly.

As an example. I often stay over at Lois’, and she watches the “Today” Show. My dad used to watch the “Today” show before going to work. In those days, it was primarily a news and information show, hosted by the likes of Hugh Downs and Barbara Walters. IIRC, it was where I first heard that Nikita Khrushchev had been deposed. I remember my 9 year old brain trying to figure out how a leader could be kicked out of office that easily b).

“Free Disneyland, or else …Shoe!”

That was then, but this is now. While there is still minimal news /weather at the beginning of the show, the core is composed of breathless pop culture dreck, such as “trends” in fashion and thinly disguised advertorials which show the viewer a number of items and tell interested parties how and where to order them. There are also “quizzes” c) , audience participation segments and roundtable discussions, the results of which sometimes seem to hinge on whoever can talk the loudest. The hosts, by the way, all seem to have graduated summa cum laude from the “‘Kermit The Frog’ School Of Broadcasting”.

And music. Did I mention there was music? Once in a (very rare) while they will feature a musician/band I have heard of before. More frequently they will not d), and I am often appalled at the calibre of these groups, compared to what I hear when I go out “on the town”. Sometimes the wrong people get the breaks.

Of course, just because I have heard of a musician, that is not always a good thing either. Last year they had a rather dreadful family featured on the show for several days running. One day one of the daughters “sang”, and her mother and younger sister, who were also in attendance, both said that they were interested in going into the studio and making music.

For his part, the “paterfamilias” was marking the 25th anniversary of his biggest hit e) and said that he was going to be working on some new arrangements of it in celebration of the occasion f). Be still my heart!

The point is that people earn a very good living composing and putting out media messages along the lines of “Our multinational conglomerate wants you to live a happy, free life, albeit it one in which you have little real say and are heavily financially indentured. P.S. if you want to get laid, buy our yogurt!”

The Grammys are just part of an intertwined, incestuous marketing machine where “any publicity is good publicity” and product placement is paramount, because they want you to spend your money, honey!

Nil desperandum, however, my loyal reader. You possess the means and the ability to determine which music you hear. You cover it every day when you put on a tuque. Don’t let the lemmings or the “mass marketers” dictate what you hear. Hear what you want to hear. Get out to indie shows and festivals, check out “You-tube”, “Spotify” and other music sources. Use the internet to expand your musical horizons, and don’t be afraid to go outside your comfort zone.

Now Sunday night marks the Academy Awards. There’s always some controversy. Will there be a host? will there be no host? Show is too long/short. As an aside, Lois always watches it with her neighbour. ( I can no longer watch it with her because I made fun of the red carpet. ” Sally Breathless, what are you wearing?” “Ooh! I’m wearing Zellers and my shoes are P.F. Flyers! Ooh!” So it was suggested that I spend Oscar night with my Cat. He asked what He HAD done to deserve that 😉!)

Some closing thoughts for you all. There are two musical biopics vying for “Best Picture”, one a work of fiction and one “based on a true story”. (It has been my experience that when a movie is “based on a true story”, they take the subject’s name and “pop rivet” a random assortment of people and events to it.) It will be interesting to see which movie wins, as there are some excellent movies in contention. It is also nice to see Sam Elliott get some recognition.

Of course, for my money, the best movie musical biopic has to be “The Glenn Miller Story”. Filmed in 1954 this movie starred James Stewart and June Allyson, two great actors in an era of great actors. The supporting cast is great, as is the script and there is that grand big band music in the soundtrack. One of the nicest touches in this movie for me was in a scene which was set in a hangar in England. By 1954, the B-17 Flying Fortress was in limited service with the U.S. Air Force as a transport in natural metal finish. The producers obtained one, painted it green and stuck it into a shot. Lovely, just lovely! Of course, this movie isn’t nominated this year, worse luck for that. Anyway, enjoy the show if you watch it, and try not to trip on the “red carpet”, like I did 😉!

“Gee Peter, there’s no good contemporary music!” Sure there is, but don’t  take my word for it, check out “Human” by Twin Flames. This indigenous couple use their talents both musical and linguistic  across a range of instruments, to tell us things that we should know, or maybe have just forgotten. Keep an eye out for them. I was listening to this song as I finished my column, and You-tube went on to auto play several more of their tunes.

The Footnotes

  1. a) Note the two baseball references 😉. Come on, spring!!
  2. b) As mentioned, I was 9.
  3. c) One question in a recent quiz asked which “faux” celebrity’s kid had just had their first haircut. Seriously. Who cares??
  4. d) I am also aware, loyal reader, that just because I haven’t heard of a band, it doesn’t mean that they are not very good. Some are. 😉
  5. e) Which a friend of mine said was “…a great song, the first hundred times one heard it…”. In much the same way I rapidly came to detest that Eagles song that seemed to be on every radio station every 15 minutes for far too long. Of course, in the ‘flogging a dead horse department’, I remember reading that when Samantha Sang did so in Toronto, she sang “Emotion” three times as an encore. Sorry for the earworm.
  6. f) Not going to identify them any further, but I think you can “connect the dots”.

See you soon


4 Responses to “Peter and The Awards Season”

  1. Nancy Bradd Says:

    Very entertaining, Peter 🙂 I like them all, have never responded before!!!

  2. Hey Pete..

    I would see you bouncing about listening to these indie bands and then after our chat to now reading your write up. You are one talented writer. You have a mighty pen 😉 I appreciate your mention about our New Single “Human”. The back story to that is we were Commisioned by Folk Alliance International and in partnership with UNESCO on the year of Indigenous Languages to do this song. We were just apart of Folk Alliance International which was in Montreal this year. It’s been a mainstay at Kansas City for the last year and next year it will be in Louisiana. Anyhoo. Thanks again. Our website Is also and one can navigate on the web bullets 😉

    Darryl Hurs wanted to hangout for a minute so we had a good chat about Indie and going forward.. (Head of Indie Week)

    Also we will share this

    • Peter Montreuil Says:

      Wow! High praise indeed. Thank you, Jaaji. Your obvious passion for Life and what is really important shine through in your music. I wish you all the success possible. Thanks as well for the backstory on “Human”.

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