(Artwork care of Karen Ramsay (www.karenramsay.com), profile photo care of brianlackeyphotography.com)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Music news - Relevant rewards

Ignoring the biggest news of the week, I'm going to resist the urge to comment on Whitney Houston.

Grammy award photo
Photo credit: Ya'akov via Flickr/Wikipedia Commons

Instead, I'll focus on the Grammys, 54 years of "peer-presented" recognition of artistic and technical achievement. True confession time: I've never been that interested in the Grammys or any other awards shows. They've never struck me as particularly relevant. For that matter, the music industry itself doesn't seem all that relevant these days either. Record companies, through the RIAA, continue to wage war on their customers and the music scene keeps fragmenting, providing indie and DIY musical acts niches to achieve some commercial success.

Sure, the Recording Academy, the Grammy Foundation, and MusiCares support the arts and do more than merely provide an annual show with a few awards. These good works should be appreciated. Additionally, the Grammys' peer recognition should represent something more than pure money.

Still, because these peers are all tightly tied to the Music Industry (in caps), it still amounts to a popularity and record sales contest. That's probably not a big deal, though. The people who faithfully watch the Grammys every year are most interested in seeing their fan love be rewarded. I don't begrudge anyone their enjoyment of the Grammys.

But personally, I'm more interested in the micro level of fan validation: introducing my friends to my favorite music and seeing them fall in love, too, or sharing my joy with fellow fans at a show. I'm sure that Eric McFadden, Earl Greyhound, and Dengue Fever would love to win a Grammy, but they're all close enough to their fans to appreciate that practical connection.

Because it's all about the music.

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