Wednesday, November 10, 2004

CMA wrap-up

Ok, since Rhonda Lu’s busy with last minute details for her Vacay to the Bahamas and Emmy Sue was in Chi-CAAA-go till today, I guess it’s my civic duty to provide readers with a brief wrap-up of the CMA awards, unplugged. If you want lists of full winners and losers, and non-biased reporting get on msn or yahoo and read to your heart’s desire. But here on this site, expect nothing but catty remarks and wholehearted opinions. (Ok, I’ll try to be nice)
I will also admit that my 100% attention was not devoted to the CMAs this year (not like last year, Rhonda Lu- it’s officially our one-year-of-hanging-out anniversary) (yes, I just wrote that- bring on the cheese). Anyways- I went back and forth from watching the show- anything that Rhonda deemed important and called me in to watch- and getting other things done around the apt after Kairos last night. So off the top of my head:

My major bone to pick is with country artists who are anything but country. Montgomery Gentry thought they were at a rock show the way they grabbed the mike stand and slung it around, all the while screaming this rockin’ song that, sorry Jeffery Steele, was not country. It’s not that I don’t like the song, but what is the deal with country music trying to be more rock and roll? Why not celebrate the difference of genres rather than blur the lines between them?

Along those same lines: Big & Rich? Please.

Brad Paisley & Allison Krauss: loved their performance, although we think Allison may have been a wee bit intoxicated when they went up to accept their award.

Dolly Partin had on so much eye makeup that you couldn’t see the whites of her eyes. And there’s no way those things were real. Her eyelashes I mean.

Poor Kenny Chesny's speech got cut off after he won entertainer of the year- stupid CBS- but the guy had a great year, and I’m happy for him. Rhonda isn’t convinced his album should have won, and I’m not convinced either, but I agree it’s good for what it is: a fun, beachy, youth-reminiscing album.

Rascal Flatts sounded great singing their new song. It was simple and right on, with piano, acoustic guitar, and the three of them singing vocals.

Brooks & Dunn I do not like for personal reasons. Bring back Vince as host.

Hooray for Tim McGraw for winning song of the year. If I could have held onto the Boy for a little longer I could have seen Tim perform in concert this summer in Nashville. Ah, summer love. But Tim looks spectacular in all black. Such a slimming choice.

Julie Roberts… puh-lease. This is a fine example of how money makes the world go ‘round in the Nashville music industry. She’s had, what, one song out? And already is doing Titans commercials, getting front page articles on the Tennessean, nominated for the Horizon award, and performing on the CMAs. This is due to the A&R people putting way too much money in promoting her, meanwhile leaving less of that money to go towards promoting other artists on the label. Sure, she’s pretty, but she can’t sing! Minor details, of course, for the studio wizardry. It’s much more difficult these days to make someone look good than sound good, and that’s the sad reality.

But… Sarah Evans looked beautiful and sounded good too. So the talent is there! It is possible to have both. But hers was one of the best-sounding performances. So yay Sarah.
I think that’s enough to round out the evening. I’ll leave other devoted country fans to comment on their faves or disappointments, and the rest of you to scratch your heads and listen to your pop/rock/alternative.


emilyb said...

I didn't watch them this year, but I just want to echo that Brad Paisley and Sara Evans ROCK MY WORLD. They're A - mazing!

Anonymous said...

my life is complete. thanx for the update. ~ari

Mark Kelly Hall said...

Thought I'd stop lurking for this one...

I was working the CMA's (I user at the Opry House) again this year, and got to see a good bit of the show (and hung around a little bit afterward to see what was hap'nin, to make the most of my pass!). I led one young lady to the VERY TOP row (32 X or something like that), and she had to squeeze past about 10 people to get to her seat...I would have felt bad for her, but she said she was on the 3rd row last year. It all evens out.

Like last year, one of the entertaining aspects for me was watching the women in high heels try to walk on that rough parquet floor. I suppose sometimes it IS hard to be a woman.

I didn't see Tim McGraw, but I did hear it--felt sorry for the audio people on that one, with the pyrotechnics that were SO LOUD!

The double revolving sets were cool, especially the autumn scene Martina McBride used. She is amazing in any setting. I did notice that when Shania Twain was in the revolving living room (or whatever), they rotated it so fast you could see the stuff around her swinging when it stopped. It was fun to watch the crew backstage wheel all the equipment setups in and out. Controlled chaos.

I agree that some of the acts defy the country category...but that's the way it's been since the music had a name, so don't expect that to change. You know they used to not allow drums on the Opry, right? Cuz it weren't country. Plus the industry is not about music it's about what sells, or what the gatekeepers think will sell, so blame the label heads and radio consultants, and the masses. I do look forward to when Big and Rich have used up their 15 minutes of fame, though.

I sort of understand them cutting out of the show for TV, but they actually cut off Kenny C. in the house as well. After a wave of disgust and disbelief swept through the crowd, Kenny stepped around the mic to the front of the stage and yelled a couple more thank you's, and everyone cheered.

Brad Paisley (fellow member of our church, Amanda, don'tcha know) seems more real than most; hopefully he'll resist the temptation to let that become his act, if you know what I mean. I'd hate to see him eat the words to "Celebrity."

Julie Roberts is a genuine talent, from the times I've seen/heard her live (assuming she doesn't use real-time pitch correction), but your skepticism is well-founded generally. I'm reading "Three Chords and the Truth"--kinda depressing. Seems like nearly every successful person in the music industry is a severely dysfunctional wretch in real life; if you think about what the process demands, it makes sense that only the neediest people (or strongest) would put up with it long enough to get anywhere...or that the process would MAKE you a dysfunctional person. Trying to encourage people to make an idol of you (or your client) seems to be a bad idea even if you're not familiar with the 10 Commandments.

Here's hoping you have a seat at the show next NYC!


RAAAGER said...

According to "Brad about you" (Amanda is beginning to sound like him ha) Dolly is the reason that Kenny didn't to finish his speech. Seems she decided to ad-lib for about 1 1/2 minutes on the CMA's move to NYC. Seesm to me that they would have given HER the "please wrap up" signal if they were running that tight.

I didn't see this year's show, guess I'll catch it during one of CMT's 7,000 replays (and you KNOW they will).

Mark Kelly Hall said...

Yes, Dolly didn't help matters; at least she was entertaining if not concise. In any case, I daresay Kenny won't be daring any more sound people to turn his microphone off; that's never a good idea!

Jenni said...

I only caught the last 45 minutes, but I can definitely say that Rascall Flatts sounded the best I've ever heard them. I loved that song, the setting, the simplicity of it. I cried. And yeah, Montgomery Gentry tried too hard to rock out. The last single they had was great live, this one was just stupid. And the bassist, please. Even my boyfriend Andy (who openly groaned and left the room when I turned the awards on) noticed that she couldn't play the bass very well around her big boobs. I love the CMA's, I will try to catch the replay on CMT to get my Nashville fix. GB-whaddya say we call Kenny and let him give the rest of his speech on your parents deck? We could have a little Thank-you party with just him. "The sun and the sand and a drink in my hand with no bottom..."