The last Grammys?

Here's a stirring editorial on the psychic fallout from the Grammys, which nobody watched, and which awarded all of its major hero-biscuits to the soundtrack from "O Brother," which sold on word of mouth, was "profoundly anti-pop" and is "either a statement of the abiding values that got them into this business, or a gesture of self-loathing."

The generally dismal quality of America's mass-marketed pop music is an esthetic national emergency. And last week's Masque of the Red Death extravaganza at the Staples Center couldn't disguise the dire portents. Teen-pop cash cow Britney Spears, apparently ineligible for any 2001 nominations, showed up to present an award and to remind arty types what actually pays the bills. Insiders from Nashville's hard-hit labels watched in silent disbelief as hunk du jour Tim McGraw got skunked for male country vocal. The winner? Again, the white-haired Stanley, for "O Death," his a cappella plea to the grim reaper to "spare me over till another year." (A few VPs and A&R honchos must've had the same thought.) But the worst portent was simply that so many people decided not to bother watching the Grammys at all. The telecast got its lowest ratings in six years, and its 21 percent drop from last year reflects all too clearly the drop in record sales.



(Thanks, Pat!)