–*Whitney Houston’s premature death casts a pall over the proceedings, and reminds us not only that a huge hunk of talent has left us, but that large amorphous, clumping chunks of mediocrity have not.
–*Pink, Kanye West, Jay-Z and Betty White are conspicuous by their absence.
–*Cross-genre power duets are kind of like the All Star Game. Why would we want to watch talented people perform badly just to titillate 13-year-olds?
–*Oh, yeah. This is the Grammys.
–*Suze Orman says variable annuities are a scam. Sorry, I changed the channel there.
–*Chris Brown makes mediocrity his bitch, slaps that mediocrity and rides it like the mediocre whore she is. You could say he rules the mediocrity.
–*Adele wins for best pop vocal for “Someone Like You.” You might remember that as the song that was great 10,000 listenings ago.
–*L.L. Cool J says a prayer for Whitney Houston and tries to turn the Grammys from a sad event into a celebration of music. Bruno Mars turns it back into a sad occasion.
–*How in the hell does Steve Van Zandt zip around the world to tour with the E. Street Band, shoot the show “Lilyhammer,” and still have time to serve humanitarian causes? I guess you really do have a lot of time on your hands if you refuse to play “Sun City.”
–*Student loan debt cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, says Suze Orman. … Sorry, I really wasn’t into that Kelly Clarkson duet with what’s his name.
–*L.L. Cool J is so cool he can ably and confidently lead us through this emotionally confusing moment, when celebration meets loss, in a way that merits comparison with the modernist verse of a William Butler Yeats or the comforting, avuncular, telegenic presence of James Garner on “Eight Simple Rules …”
–*The ceremony of innocence is drowned. If we are lucky, it will drown out that Maroon 5 song about Mick Jagger.
–*Never underwrite anything, says Suze.
–*The Grammys has become expansive enough to include new categories including “Best Grunge,” “Best Gansta Rap,” “Best New Artist Who Is Likely To Die in a Drug Related Incident” and “The Best Bad Music.”
–*We can feel comfortable that even though Bruce Springsteen’s songs are starting to sound the same, at least his energetic performances are still giving him good cardio burn.
–*It’s probably good that Jay-Z is not here, since his bodyguards tend to keep people away from places it’s appropriate for them to be, whether it’s parents trying to get into the Lenox Hill neonatal care unit or Adele trying to get to her Grammy.
–*The Beach Boys’ reunion happens under a cloud–Whitney Houston’s death and Maroon 5′s continued existence.
–*You can’t argue with Adele’s outrageous success. And yet it keeps arguing with you, even after it has made its point, feeling the need to follow you into every grocery store, every Starbucks, every bank and even into your home and onto your television. This sore winner will not stop trying to win the argument.
–*”Beach Boys’ Marooned.” “Maroon 5 Beached.” The possibilities are endless.
–*This just in: Brian Wilson and Keith Richards still alive.
–*Katy Perry and Lady Gaga, with their odd costumes, bizarre technical difficulties and strange agitprop, remind people of Madonna, but increasingly ought to remind people of Andy Kaufman.
–*We all seem to forget that Amy Winehouse died this year, too. Thanks, Whitney, for upstaging Amy when it was her time to shine as the prematurely dead substance abuser of the moment. Does Winehouse get no respect even in death?
–*Taylor Swift is so elegant she belongs in a perfume ad. No, really. She belongs only in a perfume ad.
–*Justin Vernon of Bon Iver thanks everybody who has won a Grammy and people who will never win a Grammy, his agents, his mom and dad and the people his have worked with … . Barbers who shave themselves, barbers who do not shave themselves. Musicians who have never won and who will never be considered for winning. … You know if he just thanked everybody who drew breath, he’d probably cut down on this acceptance speech … but no, according to Godel’s incompleteness theorem, there are still people he will likely not have thanked… did he mention he didn’t think he deserved to be there?
–*The best thing about the Grammys, as we listen to a variety of rap, country, rock, soul and jazz, is that we can all get together in a relaxed atmosphere and agree that we hate each other’s music.
–*Who will win “Artist of the Year”? If you really love music, you could easily turn off the TV before hearing the answer to this misleading, irrelevant question.
–*On an extended version of the Beatles’ Abbey Road suite, Paul McCartney leads a star-studded jam session, including Bruce Springsteen, Joe Walsh, Dave Grohl, and others of a small handful of people the music industry hasn’t been awful to.