INSTANTLY FORGETTABLE MADONNA'S 'LIVING FOR LOVE'
THE GLORIOUS CORNER
Story By: G. H. HARDING
HATERS GOT TO HATE --- I think this was a pretty good Grammy event (though somewhat more somber than usual), but just what the heck was Madonna shooting for with a performance that had its moments but looked like something we’ve seen from her too many times before.
“Living For Love” was the new song, which, quite frankly, is no “Vogue.” Instantly forgettable. It was a weird frustrating moment as I kept waiting for the song to bust wide open …. and, it just never did. She looked pretty good, adorned in some sort of matador-inspired outfit, but, she’s done it before and used to do I so much better than anyone.
For me, the highlight was seeing rock-god Jeff Lynne with his newly re-fitted ELO-outfit (he played two concerts in Hyde Park last year, apparently re-igniting his interest in ELO) and, he was superb.
"Evil Woman,” and “Mr. Blue Sky” were performed (with Ed Sheeran) and spot-on excellent. Note to the kids: This is what real music is all about.
Interestingly enough, Meghan Trainor, whose “All About That Bass” was much talked about earlier this year, went home not winning, as did Hozier, aka Andrew Hozier-Byrne. Wonder-boy Sam Smith went home with 4 awards; although I am truly getting a bit tired of hearing “Stay With Me.”
Of course, no Grammy show would be complete without some sort of mention about Kanye West. Here, as Beck received album of the year, which was a complete surprise to this writer and most of the crowd, Kanye attempted to take the stage, but once he almost reached it, turned around.
What an idiot. I don’t get Kanye. I never have and hope I never do. His wife look shocked as the camera turned right to her. But, no doubt, the moment will be chronicled on Kim’s reality show, but really, what an embarrassing moment, which, I guess he’s used to by now.
Annie Lennox also killed with Hozier singing his “Take Me to Church.” Annie is the quintessential female vocalist; why she has never been a bigger star is amazing to me.
Also, two other well deserved awards: Best Country Song: "I'm Not Gonna Miss You" - written by Glen Campbell & Julian Raymond; and, 20 Feet from Stardom, Best Music Film.
I don’t know if it was one of the best ever Grammy-shows – one seems to watch them and forget about them the very next day - but, I enjoyed it.
ROSIE’S VIEW DOWN --- So, Rosie O’Donnell is a goner again from The View. This time’s she owing her decision to doctor’s orders. Also, head-producer Brian Balthazar, who shepherded the Kathie Lee & Hoda opus on NBC to a success, is also out. And, Whoopi’s contract is almost up.
Whatever, the show’s a mess. Rumors abounded last Friday that Joy Behar would return, but I fear the show’s a goner too. The one wild card, I believe, is Barbara Walters. Her return could spur a whole new audience,.
One think I've learned about Ms. Walters is never, ever count her out.
SHINE ON FRANK --- We attended a very special rehearsal last week for singer Frank Shiner; who’ll be appearing at Steve Walter’s Cutting Room on Saturday, March 21. Frank and his band ran through the 12 tracks on his debut album, The Real Me.
A total delight, Frank’s latest single, the title of the album, has been the top AC radio add for the past three weeks. Produced by the extraordinary Gary Katz (Steely Dan), it’s a sonic joy from start to finish.
Frank’s take on Tom Waits’ “Temptation” and Paul Simon’s “Nobody” are joyous. Check him out at the Cutting Room:
CLOSING NOTES --- One of the best ideas we've heard in far too long is the pending decision to bring back, in a limited run, NBC’s Law & Order. In fact, we've already learned from our exclusive sources that Chris Noth and Sam Waterson have already been approached. I think this is a brilliant idea as I'm still watching, along with millions of others, the repeats on the myriad of stations they show is on. Face it, L&O was a blast from start to finish. Dick Wolff is not known for being an amiable fellow, but even this news must bring bluster to his already very-rich ears. I'm not a fan of his Chicago Fire-series, but what the hell, I am a L&O devotee …
Finally caught The Imitation Game over the weekend and adored it. Benedict Cumberbatch is totally captivating; even at times reminding me of his BBC-Sherlock character. Terrific story (and, true) and the acting is off the charts. Everything I've heard it was true. Loved it ...
Who would have believed that the first true-blue media catastrophe of 2015 would have been Brian Williams? I watch him as often as I can and even had a really good conversation with him at a Monkees-concert, of all places, back at The Beacon Theatre. The only thing that bothered me a bit even then, was the fact that he seemed to have liked the sound of his voice a bit too much. As a friend said to me over the weekend: He had to be the hero. Sad story all around.