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I’m about two hours into the Grammys (off and on), and I find myself wondering, once again, why?  What the hell is wrong with me?  I KNOW it’s a commercial, and an ego stroke, and a lot of bullshit and all that…but I guess I also know that you’ve still gotta be pretty damned talented to sing like Adele. Artist or artiste?  Well…

I also want to think that not all the artistes tonight agreed with master of ceremonies LL Cool J that the Grammy itself is a worthy goal.  In this they would be siding with the original Greek MC Aristotle, who wasn’t at all against fame–just fame and glory as some sort of end in itself.  Anyway, I’m not sure that LL Cool J really meant what he said, although I couldn’t tell for sure.

But let’s face it: someone had enough virtue and good taste to feature Mavis Staples in a pretty damned good rendition of The Weight, a song that I’m pretty sure never won a Grammy.  If anyone embodies “authenticity” in music, she’s it, and that the tribute was for Levon Helm tells me that someone has a heart.

Here is the original, with Ms. Staples and The Band (p.s. we miss you Levon).

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