Would that Eminem even had someone
in his organization as thoughtful and articulate,
we took a look at music industry douchebag, er, veteran Steve Stoute’s recent
open letter to the Grammys and how, among other things, he floated some vague
notion of a conspiracy theory surrounding Arcade Fire’s Best Album win (at the
expense of Eminem, of course, who clearly “deserved” to win). Stoute clearly stirred up some shit, as it was
juicy watercooler talk for several days, and among the commentators who weighed
in was industry watchdog Bob Lefsetz (of “The Lefsetz Letter”), who seemed to
echo Stoute’s suspicions when he wrote, in part:
“Obviously NARAS knew Arcade Fire was gonna win.
Otherwise, why would they close the show? And they got two numbers.
If there was gonna be extra time couldn’t there have been another performer, or
one of those legendary Grammy love-ins featuring Stevie Wonder and a whole host
of legends, maybe playing a classic with Arcade Fire?”
This apparently caught the attention of the Arcade Fire
camp, for today Lefsetz (who is nothing if not fair about allowing both those
who agree AND disagree with him have their say) published a letter from the
band’s manager, Scott Rodger, who very firmly insists that there was “no big
plot” whatsoever, and that in particular the fact that the band played a second
song, at the end and as credits began to roll, was merely because there was
enough time for it.
Rodger’s letter read, in part:
Fire had the final slot on the Grammys as the ratings are low at the end of the
broadcast. It really is that simple. We were one of the least known acts on the
bill for a network audience. Don’t you think I wanted a better slot for the
band? The reason we got a second song was also simple. No big plot. We had no
guarantee of air time, but it was simply to play out the end credits of the
show, if we’re even had that much. The show never runs like clockwork to an
exact time so the end is always loose. As it happened, the broadcast was
covered by sponsors messages and the end credits.”
added that the international broadcast of the show not only cut the band’s main
performance earlier in the evening, the end-title performance was “bastardised.”
Continuing, Rodger noted, “Arcade Fire deserved the win this year. They made
the best album. If the award was named “Album Sales Of The Year” award, there
would be no discussion. Stoute’s letter was a nice piece of self publicity. Did
he see Kanye’s tweets when we won and the praise he gave us?? He needs to tune
in. Eminem made a big selling album but it was far from being his best work.
Katy Perry made a big pop record that simply didn’t have weight or credibility.
Gaga’s repackage, great album but it was a repackage of the main release. I
think everyone felt it was going to be Lady Antebellum’s moment having won 5
out of 6 awards to that point. We all felt that way too.”
pointed out that the band “didn’t lobby any organisation for [the Grammy win]
and that they had to pay their “own overhead to do the event, thus the lack of
onstage gimmicks. No label picked up the tab.”
much for the conspiracy theory. Once again, hats off to Arcade Fire. You can
read all about this and more at the Lefsetz Letter.