Monday, January 19, 2015

22 Days to the Grammys: Respecting the Little Guy

Hey all, Hobbit here. So here we are, 22 days left til the Grammys. Our lives are so full of work and kids and day to day activities that we rarely think about that fact.  After all, it’s so far away that such a little event is just a tiny niggling detail that hangs out in the back of our minds. Occasionally we remember that it’s coming up and get a little excited about how fun it will be, but really we sort of forget about it most of the time. 
And that, is a big, fat, not-even-close-to-the-truth lie.

Yeah, it’s pretty much all we’re thinking about right now. Well, that’s not entirely true. There’s also a couple projects getting recorded and mixed, the “Musicians Don’t Have Free Time During the Holidays” belated company Christmas party to plan, a couple conferences to attend and teach at, and the list goes on.  But if we’re being perfectly honest, here we should admit that we blew off a scheduled session of at least one of the above projects to Google “best places to eat in LA” and plan a shopping trip for just the right pair of casual-rocker sunglasses to wear on Manhattan Beach. So, um, yeah, we’re getting jazzed. 
What do you mean 'these don't have any UV protection?'

And we should! This event really is one of the biggest nights of the year in our industry. The Grammys are often called “Music’s Biggest Night” and with good reason. Musicians from around the world gather together to catch up on the year’s worth of music, honor each other’s work, and create landmark performances.
Where else can you see Gaga together with Bennett?  Oh, nevermind.

The industry’s finest (attempts to) put aside their differences and examine the categories from an objective standpoint, and in so doing the year’s finest rises to the top and gets a shiny stamp of approval from their peers. Since we’re members of The Recording Academy, we get to take part. 
As in, "I'd like to thank the academy."

When the news of our membership came to me in 2012, I was super excited. When the invitation to the Grammys came, I was excited times two. When the tickets to the Grammys actually showed up, well…there’s not really a word for how excited I got. And again, I should be! If you’ll indulge me:
Considering what we had to indulge last year...

The Grammys is the night that all the super-cool musicians of the world get together and stand up and remind the world how awesome they are. Yay you, Angus Young, you’re a living legend and you changed the course of rock history. That’s neat and all, but here’s a secret you don’t know when you’re watching the telecast from home: All those big fancy famous pretty people in the audience? Yes yes, they’re really there, but those thousand-or-so people that the lights allow the camera to see are a mere fraction of the audience members in that big fancy pretty arena. The other seventeen-thousand-or-so likely aren't as fancy or famous or pretty, but they are also the best of the best. They are the hard-working people of the music industry that you don’t get to see all shined up for the stage. 
Just ask Mr. and Mrs. Z

They’re the ones who equalized the background vocal on track seven of Arcade Fire’s Funeral, found just the right shade of cerulean to paint the jewel case window for Miley Cyrus, or arranged the track order for Raffi’s Children’s Christmas Album. They’re the ones you've probably never heard of.  Nevertheless, they are making a living in the recording industry, and they are doing it well. They are doing it well enough to be invited to this nifty little toot-your-own-horn party, and that’s something that only about, say, eighteen thousand people on earth get to do. Considering the billions that live on the planet and the millions that are hacking away at this fairly difficult career path, I’d say that’s a pretty elite percentage to belong to. 
Representing about how many people it took to make this duet possible

And that, my friends, if you’ll allow me a moment of not-so-Mennonite-pride-in-my-work, is something that’s pretty exciting to be a part of.

Side note: this “BentBeat FeelGood Session” brought to you by a blatant and not-even-subtle avoidance of the topic of whether or not I feel good about how I look in my dress. Perhaps we’ll revisit that topic next time. Perhaps not. After all, since the camera doesn’t show us Not So Fancies up in the back row, there’s really no shame in wearing an appropriately-printed muumuu. Or maybe just a bag over my head.

The BentBeat Team


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