2015 Grammys: Snoozefest until Kanye acted like Kanye

I look forward to The Grammys every single year because of my love my music. Even though The Grammys fail to recognize hundreds of talented and deserving artists, it is still the one night of the year that the industry brings all genres of music together under one roof. Music is a common thread among people of all races, cultures and beliefs and we all share the love for this creative outlet.

The evening was particularly boring, to say the least, until the last award. But let’s rewind to some of the show’s earlier performances. AC/DC started the evening, which was odd to me. Hi, how old are you? Their prime has long past. I was not into it. Madonna was Madonna and she did everything I thought she would. I really feel like I can’t criticize her because she basically created nearly every female pop artist after her. Ariana Grande had a super boring ballad. I cannot stand that girl. She does no annunciate her words when she sings. It’s like she sings with peanut butter on the roof of her mouth.

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Ed Sheeran was really great with John Mayer, but it was another slow song. I was hoping he was going to do “Don’t” or “Sing” and then John Mayer would have done some cool, funk riffs, but oh well, it was still great. Gwen Stefani showed us all that she should not sing anything except her own No Doubt or solo career songs. Paul McCartney with Kanye and Rihanna was so uncomfortable. It felt super fake and forced. You had the living Beatle legend looking classy with his guitar, yet his mic seemed to be off. Then Kanye is over on the other side grabbing himself, while Rihanna awkwardly flaps her arms around and bobs to the song. Sometimes genres really shouldn’t collide and this was a great example. Just thinking about that performance again makes me cringe.

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Annie Lennox and Hozier were spectacular. They were the perfect duo with their strong, powerful voices. “Put a Spell On You” was SUCH a good mix with the dark lyrics of “Take Me to Church.” That was probably my favorite performance of the night. Sia’s “Chandelier” was another one of my favorites. I love love LOVE this woman and her music. I understand her unique artistry and loved that Maddie was there again to perform with her. Kristen Wiig was definitely a shocker, but I kinda liked it. Lastly, from my list of memorable performances, was “Stay With Me.” When you put Mary J. Blige with Sam Smith you know that something beautiful is about to be created and it was UH-mazing.

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Back to the most interesting part of the evening: the Album of the Year Grammy. The gut-wrenching feeling of Kanye running up to steal Beck’s thunder like Taylor was felt across America. How rude, disrespectful, immature, low, and just all around ridiculous of Kanye to ALMOST do that again. I was not laughing, I was in shock. It was almost worse by not actually saying anything right then and there and just scurrying back to his seat. The attention went to him and that’s what he wanted, in my opinion.

I know a few Beck songs here and there from his past records. I did some more research on him and listened to the winning album, Morning Phase. I have nothing but mad love for that guy. People were comparing his win to Martin Scorsese finally getting Best Director with The Departed after so many years of great films. Beck has 12 studio albums and now 5 Grammys after last night’s 3 wins. He’s no stranger to the art of music, much like Kanye would like to believe. Some of the quotes I was reading from him were just plain ludicrous. “…I am here to fight for creativity,” “Beck needs to respect artistry and he should have given his award to Beyoncé, and at this point, we tired of it.” Let’s just applaud for a moment because my oh my, Kanye is a man of undeniable intellect, I mean after all, he did name is child North West. Beck played every instrument on Morning Phase. He is a master of mixing and creating new sounds to combine genres to create one uniquely his own. Let this be a Grammy celebrating his entire music career thus far. As much love as I have for Beyonce, Beck is truly a musician, not just a performer. John Legend commented on Kanye’s view of Beck’s win and I have to say I totally agree with him. “While his win may have been a surprise to many, it’s not because he’s not a great artist deserving of recognition. All of the other nominated artists, including Beyonce, are incredible in their own right, and arguments could be made for any of them deserving to win.”

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And my very last note on the evening: I really hope LL Cool J does not host again next year. I cannot name one thing that man does other than host the Grammys.

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Smartphones Cause Disconnections Between People

I literally feel like I am the only one on the planet without a smartphone. My phone was free with my plan. It slides open to a pretty sweet texting keyboard and makes calls. That’s really about it. It was the hottest thing in 2007. I understand it is 2014 now and I have a lot of catching up to do. I’m up to date in pretty much every other area of technology. I have a Kindle, MacBook Pro, Canon EOS Rebel, and a Smart TV. I have just not come to that point yet to pay the extra $30 or so per month for a smartphone. I would rather be spending that on food, gas, or a night out with my friends.

I am glad, however, that it is impossible for me to fall into the trap of being mesmerized by my phone screen when I am hanging out with people or trying to have a conversation with someone. There is nothing for me to look at on my phone. It doesn’t do anything. I am sure you have encountered at least a couple of these scenarios today already:

  • You are in the middle of a conversation with someone and they pull out their phone. They clearly stop paying attention to you, but they pretend like they are still are by nodding and saying the occasional ‘mhmm’ or ‘yeah I know.’
  • You are seeing your favorite band in concert and your view keeps getting blocked by the guy in front of you who has been recording the entire show.
  • It’s Friday night and you and are friends are out to eat. You just paid $10 to sit in silence with one another while everyone scrolled through the latest happenings on Twitter and Instgramed their dinner.
  • You invite friends over to hang out and play games, but the game is taking forever because everyone keeps playing Flappy Bird and not paying attention when it is their turn.
  • You are taking notes in class and really enjoying the lecture your professor is giving today. You look around and see people staring at the phones. You wonder why they even bother coming to class at all.

This video called “I Forgot My Phone” is amazing. It hits on everything that I see everyday with smartphones. It is so well done and so accurate to the lives we live.

The field I am going into is Communications. Communications must keep up to date with technology. Would I get great use out of an iPhone right now? Yes. So many of my classes suggest different apps that I cannot take part in. My bank has a great app for making transfers and even taking a picture of a check and depositing it. Many of the stores I shop at have mobile coupons that I have to waste paper to printing out. Keeping up to date with Twitter and other news has to wait until I have access to my laptop or tablet.

I am not against smartphones by any means. If they are used for a purpose other than playing games and using social media instead of communicating with people face to face right in front of you, then yes, I do have a problem with that.

Look around you. Put the phone down. Don’t charge it when it dies. There is a huge world out there waiting for you to live in it.

Innocence

Photo by Mollie Rittenhouse

Photo by Mollie Rittenhouse

Like every other college student, the red and white logo of Netflix has been permanently burned into my sight. After a long day of classes and work, Netflix is just a given when I sit down with my leftover pasta that I have been trying to finish for three days. Recently, I started watching the series “Freaks and Geeks” that aired back in 1999 to 2000. Not only does it have an awesome, comedic cast with names like James Franco and Seth Rogen, but IMDB gave it a 9.0 rating. The show follows two groups of teenagers (the freaks and the geeks, of course) in the 1980s, dealing with everything from first love to embarrassing parents and everything in between.

It is a highly relatable show regardless of if you grew up in the 80s. I am almost finished with the first season and nearly every episode has nostalgic qualities. Innocence is everywhere in the show, like a boy having a huge crush on his best friend’s older sister and awkward dancing between hormonal teens at Homecoming. The show constantly reminds me of high school. I cannot believe I am already halfway though college. It seems like yesterday morning I was freaking out because I forgot my P.E. clothes at home or got turned around as a Freshman in my high school’s extremely confusing hallway system. It is hard to believe that was over three years ago. Nothing makes me feel more old than saying “I have not seen you since high school!” to an old friend.

The innocence of high school is something to be cherished. In college you still have a little bit of innocence left, but you are so much more on your own than you were in high school. Decisions are forced down your throat every second about your future. What will you do with your degree? Where will you live? How will you pay off your loans? You ARE going to get your Master’s aren’t you? Classes fill up quickly and you realize you might not finish in four years. Even though you earn above average grades and work really hard, scholarships are hard to come by when you are an average white girl with two working parents who are happily married. The world is so much bigger and scarier than high school. The real world is fast approaching and it terrifies me. I just have a couple more years of my parents being my own personal bank, summer and Christmas break, and late night Taco Bell runs. Cheers to making the most of it while I still can. Innocence is bliss.