Grammys are old-fashioned, but do they deserve a beating?

To the people out there who love complaining about the Grammys (and shooting arrows at the broad sides of barns, and shoving unhip kids into lockers), take a gander at some of the winners from last night’s ceremony: The Black Keys (pictured here, looking inspirationally dorky), Cee-Lo Green, Arcade Fire, Lady Gaga, Jay-Z, John Legend & The Roots, Jeff Beck, Eminem, Rihanna, Esperanza Spalding, Bruno Mars, La Roux, Neil Young, Them Crooked Vultures. If you wanted to make a list of quality mainstream artists in 2011, you could do a lot worse.

Admittedly, I’m not a big fan of the event. I didn’t watch last night’s broadcast. But after reading Trent Reznor’s recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, in which he continues his long-running attack on the Grammys by calling them [gasp] “out of touch,” I had to share my fed-up-itude with such misplaced snobbery. The Grammys have never been about being tuned in to the underground. It’s an industry event that tries to honor artists that are both artistically significant and financially viable – a major feat that’s only getting tougher. If you don’t like pop music, then you’re going to think it’s pointless. But seriously, you don’t like pop music at all?

Yes, it’s unsettling to learn that Train won for a live recording of the thoroughly terrible “Hey, Soul Sister,” especially when you realize that the original was released in 2009. But you’ve gotta face facts – millions of people love that f’n song. If you want to bitch about it, take it up with them.

Me? I’m going to crank up “Just the Way You Are” and sing along like an idiot. And it’s going to feel good.

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