The Return of Twee



Singer Adele presents the trophy for best album of the year to Mumford & Sons on stage at the Staples Center during the 55th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Feb. 10, 2013.
Singer Adele presents the trophy for best album of the year to Mumford & Sons on stage at the Staples Center during the 55th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Feb. 10, 2013. / FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Well, what do you make of all of this?
Mumford & Sons' "Babel" has won the Grammy Award for album of the year. 
"We figured we weren't going to win anything because The Black Keys have been sweeping up all day, and deservedly so," lead singer Marcus Mumford said in his acceptance speech. 
It was the foursome's second win on Sunday night. They also won best long form music video.
I can't help but laugh. In the late 1980s, Britain was full to brimming with "twee" bands that sang with old instruments and wore weird clothes and received tremendous indifference in most of the world. 

The new twee bands are evolved from emo and indie and whatever else is out there. But they are twee, through and through, and the commercial appeal of this genre is the surprise. Gone are the hysterics of rock and roll and we now live in the era of the sad song you can wash the dishes to or impress that girl in the coffee shop with. This is not party music. It's Starbucks music. It's serious and inoffensive all at once, and it is knowing and hip in a hipster's world, complete with obligatory gadgets and you old farts just don't understand.

The Grammy's, as I have said year in and year out, are the music industry's way of rewarding commercially successful artists with an award that has nothing to do with quality or artistry or music. This is not where anything approaching real rock music--real rebellion or genuine artistry--goes to say thanks to a grateful nation. When you win a Grammy, it means you are lame. It doesn't mean anything more than that, so I would like to see people fling them away or refuse them or act up.

Who has the balls to hurl their Grammy through the front end of a bass drum anymore? Who wants to have a laugh at the expense of the suits and let their freak flag fly? Not these crybaby romantics with their dulcimers and violins and steel guitars and their songs about pink little coffee shop girls. Ugh.

Rock and roll used to be about acting up. Now, it's about being boring, staid and commercially slick so as to capture that last remaining slice of the music industry that is still trying to sell a CD in a store for $18.99 to someone who isn't smart enough to get it any other way. Now it's about putting on nice clothes and letting Adele into the room. Is there anything less rock and roll than Adele?

Sorry to be mean, but, damn. When did things get this lame?