Bon Iver provides only surprise of Grammy Awards
The closest thing to a surprise at The 54th Grammy Awards came when Bon Iver's Justin Vernon graciously accepted the Best New Artist statue with a charmingly self-effacing speech that thanked "all the non-nominees who will never be here." (And how weird was it to hear indie mainstay Jagjaguwar Records get namechecked from the stage of Los Angeles' Staples Center?)
Bon Iver -- whose first album For Emma, Forever Ago came out in 2007, but whatever -- took Best New Artist honors over expected winner Nicki Minaj, nearly as big an upset as last year when jazz bassist/singer Esperanza Spalding suddenly felt the wrath of millions of enraged Justin Bieber fans on Twitter. Incidentally, Critical Mob senior editor Paul Parreira dubbed Minaj's multimedia performance of her new single "Roman Holiday," "One of the worst things I've ever seen. Ever." If nothing else, it dropped Lady Gaga to a distant second place in the "Most completely insane Grammy performance" sweepstakes.
Bon Iver also won Best Alternative Album, a deserved win over a weak slate of albums by Radiohead, Death Cab For Cutie, My Morning Jacket and future one-hit wonders Foster The People, who completely embarrassed themselves with a petrified, off-key rendition of The Beach Boys' "Wouldn't It Be Nice" just before the reunited surviving Beach Boys did their legacy no favors with a performance of "Good Vibrations" that for some reason featured Mike Love channeling Bill Hader's Clint Eastwood impression from this weekend's Saturday Night Live.
Oh, and Adele won everything and her performance of "Rolling in the Deep" sounded great, so apparently that throat surgery was a success.