THE L.A. TIMES MUSIC BLOG
Grammy Awards: Arcade Fire shocks Streisand, the universe, with Grammy win
February 13, 2011 | 8:45 pm
Wow. I think it's fair to say "wow." Here I was, all ready with the bile, ready to rip on the Grammys for giving the trophy to Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" or a Lady Gaga EP.
Yet no...the Arcade Fire's "The Suburbs" was named album of the year. Repeat. The Arcade Fire's "The Suburbs" was named album of the year.
We're going to say that one more time: THE ARCADE FIRE'S "THE SUBURBS" WAS NAMED ALUBM OF THE YEAR.
The Grammys got a lot of things wrong tonight, and this was a total shock, considering the band lost the alternative album field. Even Barbra Streisand seemed to struggle in saying "The Suburbs."
Yet the act with the most complex, thoughtful and adventurous album actually won the Grammy for album of the year. When was the last time that happened? Maybe 2004, when OutKast won for "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below."
But this shows a few things: One, that the Grammy Awards is finally recognizing independent music in its top categories. Two, a band that has sold 484,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, can actually compete with performers whose albums have all sold more than 1 million copies.
Performance-wise, the show was the usual Grammy mess, but for the first time in years, I can say the Grammys got the top prize and best new artist right. It's a step forward.
A shame, however, that they cut Arcade Fire off on the band's second song.
-- Todd Martens
Photo credit: Los Angeles Times
Arcade Fire Rock.Can't wait to see them! It's about time. This was, with the exception of The Suburbs, a mediocre field and any other result would have been a travesty. This was a brilliant record. I just hope that all the ignorant eminem fans will take this as an opportunity to open their ears and listen to the music. So glad they won!!! They had a horrible selection as usual this year but I'm so glad that they won!! They are such a gem! It's not THE Arcade Fire- just Arcade Fire!!!!!!!!! It's amazing seeing all the Twitter comments from people wondering who Arcade Fire are. Arcade Fire. They are complex and finally a game changer in music.Step away drone music,step away.
Total surprise...much deserved. Arcade Fire will probably experience a bump in sales - both downloads and CD's - but I would hazard a guess that there are a dozen or so Indie/Cult bands who could have won this award on "artistic merit", which in the case of music is a very personal opinion at best. There was something strange about the actual Awards part of the Grammys. The Show was actually pretty good, starting with the Aretha tribute at the start and I thought Mick Jagger was terrific. There is still life in some of the old guys yet! But Arcade Fire? Best Album? Will they now be a huge hit, reach a large audience AND be a powerful influence on future bands and individual artists? I don't think so. The Grammys were always political, but this Award smells of the "I don't like ANY of the nominees, so I'm going to vote for the least likely to win" or the "You didn't vote for my label, so I won't vote for yours" approach to voting. The Grammy Awards have taken another step towards total irrelevance. More and more I'm thinking that the FANS, the end users, the listeners should be the voters and nominators with some percentage input from the industry. Why Arcade Fire over the other nominees? Or for that matter - why was probably the biggest commercial album of 2010 not even considered? That would be "Animal" by Ke$ha. I can't say I'm a fan, but leaving what seems to be a truly contemporary pop artist (I'm not sure Ke$ha, or a lot of others in the "popular music" genre fit the industry definition of "artist") out entirely shows a basic disrespect for the largest part of the industry's audience. Call the choice of Arcade Fire's "Suburbs" elitist, political or just plain stupid, it is another example of an industry whose time may have passed trying to seem like they are above the crass commercialism that pays their bills. I was bitching and moaning early on the show because of too much Gaga, Bieber, and Lady A. But the show redeemed it for me when they awarded deserving acts like the Arcade Fire and Esperanza the top prizes. I couldn't be more happy. Maybe, just maybe, music is finally heading in the right direction. Justice for all: Arcade Fire won best album of the year. Justin Bieber won nothing.
Still, why a famewhore and T&A act like Kim Karshadian is allowed to show up at award shows where talent is rewarded, and she has none? It's an insult to the singers, producers, actors, directors, who work hard to produce quality entertainment.
Arcade Fire is coming to Coachella. I am so there! Arcade Fire wins? The Grammy voters get real for a millisecond. Then Back to Eminem, Bieber, etc. P.S. Why is Lady Gaga recycling Madonna such a big deal? Arcade Fire. What can I say other than overrated. Their album is awful, a hodgepodge of sound in a misguided attempt to be "indie". Normally, I don't care when terrible bands win awards or sell albums, that's life. My problem is with the arrogance of Arcade Fire. Saying "We're going to play one more song because we love music"? What an insult to every other artist in the room. How huge is your ego that you believe music is more important to you than to all the other professional artists in the room that have dedicated their lives to music. Here's to a tour bus accident! Arcade Fire WOW THIS IS GREAT - they deserve it after 3 superb albums its is time we recognize them. Few bands since The clash or U 2 came with something different it is so refreshing, a true band.
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