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Weekend: Boom! – Skrillex Grammys Special + A Small Shot Across the Bow at the “Underground.”

by Breakstone on February 17, 2012

The Grammys were here on Sunday night. Adele swept, Campbell crooned, and The Beach Boys reunited. The telecast was mostly filled with performances; there few stops in the action to present awards and accept trophies. The Grammys could have done themselves a favor if they kept Adele on stage, handed her six trophies, and gave her ten minutes for one acceptance speech. Alas, they did not. They didn’t seem to get many things right.

Miranda Lambert was pissed that Chris Brown performed twice. She’s been tweet feuding with the R&B singer all week. Philip Sherburne of Spin and Beatportal was disappointed that the dance acts that were included were so underwhelming. I was just happy they were involved. As I’ve written before, this past year’s awards shows have signalled the arrival of dance music as an accepted mainstream genre.

Skrillex won three awards, disappointing our own Yasi June, but likely elating his legions of fans. I like Sonny Moore. The kid’s got a unique sound, a love of his craft, and a style all his own. If it’s going to take this kid from L.A. to really plant the flag of dance music on the national scene, then so be it. I just want to plant my flag. Did that sound dirty?

Btw, speaking of SPIN, they had their 2011 list of favorite dance tracks. In one word: Shit. Absolute garbage of a list. Minus Avicii’s “Levels,” which was The Hot Six’s HOTTEST track of 2011, the list is terrible. I think the guys were trying to include a diverse mix of tracks from the entire umbrella of dance. But, seriously? This?

The problem is that dance music has a pseudo-intellectual side that purports to know, better than you, what is and isn’t quality music. It’s like the film buffs who wear black turtlenecks, berets, and German-looking wiry eyeglasses who sit in cafes and talk about the death of film noir, the ascent of neo-realism, and the myriad problems with cubist influences in 1930s French cinema. These same snobs act like they know what’s good cinema, and anything out of Hollywood is anathema to good cinema. It must be underground! It must stay underground! Underground or die!

The truth is that Hollywood, when it wants to, puts out great movies like Shawshank, The Departed, Dark Knight, Gladiator, GoodFellas, Braveheart, Forrest Gump, etc. Not every great movie has to be the arthouse indie flick from Lichtenstein or Panama. Some dance music snobs generally reject the commercial even if it’s good. It’s silly, foolish, counterproductive, and asinine. A four-hour minimalist techno set at some after-hours club from 6 am to 10 am in some back alley Berlin club does not, exclusively, make epic dance music. Gimme the tracks that sound amazing, have fantastic progressions, light up a crowd, and get the people….hmmmm….what’s it called? Dancing? Yes, you dumb, snobby motherfucker, DANCING!

Just because it has some commercial appeal, does not disqualify the track from being good. It’s underground because it’s bad. No one wants to listen to it.

The Grammys heard Skrillex and said he was good. Although winning a Grammy firmly takes you out of the underground, Skrillex doesn’t seem to lose much cred with each banging success. Although I myself would have chosen other winners in these categories, I don’t get the last word. Sonny won for “Best Dance Recording” for “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites,” “Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical” for Benny Benassi’s “Cinema (Skrillex Remix),” and “Best Dance Album” for Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites.

Here are the two Grammy-winning tracks, plus one of his latest releases “Bangarang,” the video of which was released yesterday:

Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites – Skrillex

Want to know where that “Oh my gosh” screaming came from? Check this out.

Cinema (Skrillex Remix) – Benny Benassi

Skrillex’s latest video release, “Bangarang

As always, let me know what you’re listening to.

Keep it hot, and keep dancin’!


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