Local man on award nominees: “I don’t think this is music.”
by Troy Brynelson
EUGENE, Ore. — Today’s field of popular music doesn’t hold sway over many of Eugene’s residents according to a recent informal survey. The survey, conducted downtown, polled residents on their opinions of the music industry’s most popular award ceremony, The Grammy Awards, and there were very few ringing endorsements for this year’s nominees.
Justin Jones, who grew up in Seattle while it became the alternative music mecca in the early 1990’s, couldn’t find much common ground with popular music today. “Cake is my favorite band, Weezer, Jane’s Addiction. All the guys who are dead from heroin addiction,” said Jones. “I grew up in Seattle when Nirvana was around, so we would hang out and listen to them.” Popular music has shifted drastically since, the 55th Annual Grammy Awards are headlined by the likes of Taylor Swift and Kanye West, as well as indie rock bands fun. and Mumford & Sons. “Most of the music they nominate, I don’t listen to,” said Jones. “It’s not part of my generation.”
Workers at Eugene Toy and Hobby were just as uninspired. “I agree that music’s important. I just don’t like this stuff,” said clerk Jeremy Lee. “They just say, ‘if people will buy this, great. Let’s just cookie-cutter out more stuff.'” Co-worker Andrew Agerter added, “There’s nothing out right now.” Agerter and Lee preached the importance of artistic integrity over iamge-driven, executive-forged pop music. This is perhaps best typified in this year’s dress code, a brand-new addition to the Grammy’s, whose free-spirited red carpet fashion usually provides days of talk show fodder. The list bars clothing exposing “bare fleshy under curves of the buttocks and buttock crack,” “sheer, see-through clothing that could expose female breast nipples,” and “commercial identification of brand-name products.”
“It’s a ratings thing,” said Jones. “So many kids are watching. They don’t want kids seeing anything indecent.” His brother, Parker, added “They’re trying to get women to actually wear clothes. They should be able to wear whatever the want. Preferably nothing!”
Those surveyed all agreed on one thing however: the nominations for The Black Keys and Jack White. Both talents have been staples in the music industry over the last decade, Jack White moreso as one-half of The White Stripes. Combined, the two acts have grabbed nine golden gramophones since 2004. “Jack White and The Black Keys, I got to see them both last year… Personally I’d go for El Camino myself,” said Agerter, picking The Black Keys’ album, which garnered five Grammy nods over White’s thrice-nominated Blunderbuss. Parker Jones agreed. “The Black Keys should win record and artist of the year,” he said. “They’re hard and freaky enough, but still have enough pop appeal.”