Watched the tube last night. First up was 60 Minutes, Katie Couric's long interview with the captain and crew of the plane that went into the Hudson. Sullenberger's professionalism and initial reluctance to wear the hero mantle has given way to the realization that he and his crew have become symbols of something bigger. People want the hope they inspired. Man did his job, got his crippled jet down, brought 'em back alive. When the times are dark, a candle is welcome.
The birds hit, and the pilots and crew didn't panic, they went about their business, and order was maintained. Sometimes, the good guys win. We need to hear that now and again.
Good job, folks.
Watched the Grammys after that. Now and then, I need to touch base with pop, since I usually don't keep track. The show was limited to the high-profile stuff, the big genres, so you don't see the cello players or classical guitarists or the spoken word folks get their awards. If you saw it, I won't belabor it, and if you didn't, you probably don't care.
Like a lot of awards shows -- most of them -- the award presenters's patters were lame, and some of the singers and groups were hey-we-are-rock-gods! way too full of themselves. And I'm always amazed at how people who make their living performing onstage seem to forget how to use a microphone when they get up to offer or receive an award. They don't remember there is a sound guy twirling dials to keep their voices level, and they lean over and eat the mike, or look offstage while talking. I bet sound guys hate awards shows. You need the reflexes of a cat.
Still, it had its moments. I'm not a rap fan, but there were some guys who got up and demonstrated skill and talent at it.
Allison Krauss, Robert Plant, and T-Bone Burnett won Best Album of the Year for Raising Sand, and Best Record for "Please Read the Letter." Surprised a lot of folks, I expect, but T-Bone is a pro's pro and everybody respects him. Krauss is a great singer, and Plant should win an award for still managing to stay alive.
L'il Wayne won something, Coldplay, John Mayer, Sugarland. I won't run the list.
Jennifer Hudson, who had half her family murdered last year, ended her song in tears. Neil Diamond got a great ovation, and deservedly so. Sir Paul did "I Saw Her Standing There," which was the first Beatle song I heard on the radio, back in 1964. Keith Urban, BB King, Buddy Guy -- his head shaved -- and John Mayer did a tribute to Bo Diddley. Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus are just too cute for their own good. Carrie Underwood's into-bondage-dress was hideous. (And my wife and I agree, a lot of the dresses seemed to be, um, unusually ugly this year. Wonder why that is?)
I didn't realize that our new Prez, Barack Obama, had won a couple Grammys for his spoken word books -- they used that to spark a music-matters campaign. And, of course, it does matter.
Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland (with Kristian Bush on guitar) stole the show, far as I was concerned; her "Stay" just about melted the lens with her intensity. They won Best Country Duo Vocals.
All in all, as one of the performers said, there are worse ways to spend a Sunday evening.