Does Beyoncé really need to start her Grammy's performance with a hundred man military police escort? Back-up dancers dressed up in black-camoflauge soldier costumes with guns and bullet-proof vests is somewhat of a cliché in pop stage performances nowadays. The effect is to make us comfortable with the promised police state of 1984, or it is a reflection of the militant culture we live in already. Whether chicken or egg, the music industry is too often a tool of the darkening culture of wartime. As Jay-Z says in the lyrics to the so awarded Best Song of the Year, (Who's Gonna) Run This Town
This is Roc Nation
Pledge your allegiance
Get your fatigues on
All black everything
The Roc(fella) Nation that Jay Z refers to, and the industry of music itself is all about the Benjamins, and so the sentiment of a lot of the crap that gets awards and recognition by the agents of commoditization is a waste of time. Who wants music that brings you into a militant feeling of uniformity, murder and war? Who wants to value music by sales and sales-potential except these conquering entities like those propping up Beyoncé and Jay Z like chosen minions who also of course posess exceptional talent. You can watch Beyoncé's marching drill aka Grammy performance below. But also watch the other video.
The video below is a clip of Liz Carroll and John Doyle at the Saint Patrick's Day dinner for Barack Obama where the president famously said "is féidir linn" or "yes, we can" in Irish. Liz Carroll and John Doyle were nominated in the Best World Traditional Album of the Year category, which pits Irish fiddle and guitar incongruously against Mali kora. The magnificent Douga Mansa rightly brought home the Grammy for Mamadou Diabate, though Carroll and Doyle could have just as righty, which is how it goes with award shows with impossible categories.
Ironically the greatest concentration of diversity is in this tiny world music category. Below is a picture of the album cover that won Mamadou Diabate the “Best Traditional World Music Album, Vocal or Instrumental” award. And with that picture, the list of other World Music nominees who offer so much richer a musical experience than that which serves the militant, violent and de-humanizing cause of pop culture right now.
Best Traditional World Music Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)
Rahim Alhaj And Amjad Ali Khan
•La Guerra No
John Santos Y El Coro Folklórico Kindembo
•Drum Music Land
Ten Drum Art Percussion Group