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February 15, 2011

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Ed Howard

Yeah, the reaction to that was quite a wakeup call. It makes me realize how peripheral my interests are to most of the rest of the world when even a band I consider pretty mainstream and popular winds up being obscure to the vast majority of the populace. They're a decent band with one great album and some real good songs, and I guess I'm glad they'll get a bit more attention now.

99

I had a whole Joan Didion/Nixon's election moment with it: Everyone I know knows Arcade Fire.

Ian Thal

Don't you think Ms. Spalding deserves a name? Glad she won in a category in which she was expected to be a longshot, but she should at least be referred to as "jazz bassist and vocalist, Esperanza Spalding, a chick with a 'fro." Maybe throw in that she's a music professor as well.

She's been known for years up in Boston (she's young, but she's paid her dues)-- which really goes to show my parochialism in that I've really paid little attention to new music unless it's local and preferably made by musicians whom I know socially (no, I don't know Ms. Spalding.) So I never heard of Arcade Fire either because they've never opened for Walter Sickert and the Army of Misfit Toys.

Chris_H

"But then again, what's underground depends on where you're standing."

This top-down view doesn't really seem how things are anymore, though. Yes, the money's still behind the artists able to pull down the audiences who spend (the young folk), but the actual size of the audiences? I'm not so sure they're as different as they once were, thanks to the internet and niche-y media.

Some audiences will still be mutually exclusive (like Bieber's and Spalding's), but it's not because there's one dominant culture forcing everyone else to the sidelines. If the future of award shows is to honor these little islands of sub-cultures, then that sounds good to me.

Eric

"Don't you think Ms. Spalding deserves a name? Glad she won in a category in which she was expected to be a longshot, but she should at least be referred to as 'jazz bassist and vocalist, Esperanza Spalding, a chick with a 'fro.' Maybe throw in that she's a music professor as well."

Except of course that those additions would have thrown off the rhythms of the line (and, arguably, its point). But it's entirely possible that you were being humorous in your objection and I missed YOUR point, in which case, preemptive apologies.

Meanwhile, I understand that the True Beliebers have been savagely sabotaging Spalding's Wikipedia entry. You don't mess with Bieber Fever, apparently.

Meanwhile, I'm one of the gajillion people who saw Arcade Fire at Madison Square Garden, so obviously I too am in a place where I'm all like, "There are people who don't know who they are?"

Ian Thal

I was being somewhat tongue-in-cheek, Eric. However, for somebody who does live in Boston, listens to jazz, and has friends who are professional jazz musicians, Esperanza Spalding has quite a reputation-- the youngest ever professor at Berklee College of Music. I certainly heard of her before I heard of either Justin Bieber (a few months ago) or Arcade Fire (Monday?) And quite frankly, I have no idea what either of them sound like (maybe they're great!)

I don't watch MTV or read Rolling Stone but if friends tell me that they're playing with this awesome band and I have the scratch in my pocket, I just might check it out.

Josh

So, what you're saying is that the band that made by far the best album last year actually got rewarded accordingly for it? This almost makes up for the time Norah 'effing Jones won over Springsteen's The Rising. Almost.

SashaNaomi

There were people who thought Katy Perry should have won. Jeez.

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