Lil Nas and the Magic of Now #grammys
As a 55 year old, I am not the target demo for pop music. I'm OK with that. I'm sure my parents were somewhat baffled by the music I listened to growing up (Abba, ELO, Bee Gees, etc) much in the way the Mister and I were sort of scratching our heads last night at various songs/artists who seemed to spew/shout incoherent lyrics to choppy tunes. Although to be fair to my parents, our household was home to a wide variety of music - the Beatles, Mamas and Papas, Broadway musicals, comedy albums, classical, big band, etc.
But while most of last night's Grammys didn't reflect my musical tastes, some of the performances (like Lil Nas) were inspired. I don't have any idea what he was singing, but man, that performance was a visual masterpiece on a master class level. 12 hours later, I am still thinking about it, and that's what Art should do - stay with the viewer. Drenched in pop culture iconography and very complicated choreography, this is definitely something that will be referenced in the future; I'm very glad to have seen it live.
It seems, for many people my age, the night was incomprehensible (if my Facebook feed is any indication) but pop music isn't for us, it's for the Now and rather than being all 'get off my lawn' about it, I am choosing to find value even if that value is only to see what is considered popular right now. I like that I can appreciate the magic of now no matter what age I am.
The other thing that gives me comfort in this is this: when you take away the flash and pizzazz, all of these performers are doing exactly the same thing that legends like Frank Sinatra did - they entertain their peers in a way that reflects the culture. The proliferation of 'crazy/shouty' music last night is sort of disconcerting to me in that context, but, at the end of the day, music is a product and this is what sells. Right now. Ten years from now? Who knows. We could be back to the big band era and crooners wearing suits. Can you imagine?