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By Johnny Angel

Grammie Hammies
Just what did you expect--the real thing?

The Grammies came and went as per annual, but according to the mainstream media this was the year that the hoary award shows finally got it. No more Julio Iglesias or Singing Nuns as best artists or Jethro Tull as metalloid gurus. This time around, the Academy had its bony digits right on the pulse of young America, giving the nod to such hot commodities as Alanis and Hootie and the late K. Cobain.

As far as the two former acts, the only reason they walked away laden with statuettes was that they occupied the upper chart reaches all last year, which is as accurate a barometer as exists, especially for the bean-counters and bread-heads that are the bulk of the bizness.

Nirvana's disc is two years old, thus defying time constraints, but you won't hear any complaints out of me.

If you think this is a prelude to a "no justice in the music world today" rant, how wrong you are. I would never expect more than a token nod to the truly current and vital, as was the case with P.J. Harvey's nominations, nor would I imagine a scenario where the Looniz or Lordz of Brooklyn or the Muffsgot anything.

After all, the Grammies are a schlock-fest. It's a night where the business gets to pat itself on the back and feel like they are truly special. And given the kind of person who toils in the business (best described by former Cars leader Ric Ocasek as "the kind of guy you beat up in high school"), why wouldn't it be dweeb city?

But given the endless battering by us in our cool-dude ivory towers, you'd think that it was time for an apology. That's right, a goddamn apology--1996 is a lost cause, but they've had plenty of time to consider amends for every past transgression, every slight, every flummox and evil oversight.

I can see it right now. Picture Michael Greene (president of the Academy) ascending to the podium, clearing his throat and cutting loose with the following:

"Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Grammies. Before I commence the routine mega-anus-lick that is our three-hour contribution to the downfall of Western civilization, let me say I'm sorry. [Crowd falls into hushed silence.] We've screwed up, okay? Since we started this self-congratulatory circle jerk, we've overlooked the really happening shit. We had to. I mean, if we'd actually acknowledged the Beatles at the time that they were overwhelming the universe or the Velvets when they were pushing the envelope, we might be paying lip service to how music can actually wrench the gut instead of sedate the cerebellum. That would be no good. We are in the pabulum business and that's where we remain, albeit under this new, MTV-approved aegis of 'cooldom.' But I've had it. I can provide twit soundtracks no more. Little Richard, I'm sorry. Ray Davies, I'm sorry. Joe Zawinul, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry!"

At this point, Greene: 1) pulls out a chain from behind his back and commences to self-flagellate like a Khomeini acolyte; 2) undoes his red AIDS ribbon and hangs himself; or 3) pours gasoline over his head and self-immolates, Saigon-style, circa 1966. You pick it!

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From the March 7-13, 1996 issue of Metro Santa Cruz

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