It’s the return of the most talked-about Grammy Awards live blog–a collection of quips, blips, and arguably insightful observations that dares to match the actual Grammy telecast in terms of pure spectacle and Justin Bieber mentions. Please join our hosts Tom Breihan and Ryan Dombal below, and keep refreshing. UPDATE: Relive the magic with video highlights, fun facts, and the secret history of Tony Hawk’s Boom Boom Huck Jam after the jump:
Aretha Franklin Tribute w/ Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson, Florence Welch, Yolanda Adams, and Martina McBride [8:03 p.m.]
RD: Aretha Franklin will be missed.
TB: True story: I had to get her obit ready at work a few months ago.
RD: Too soon, Tom.
TB: Wait, did she die for real?
RD: I don’t think so. But the Grammys are always full of surprises.
[LL Cool J tells us Aretha Franklin is alive.]
TB: You think Xtina’s gonna remember the lyrics? That should just become her gimmick now: Forgetting lyrics at important occasions. She could be like a wrestling heel.
RD: Xtina is trying way to hard here.
TB: She’s never not trying too hard.
RD: Pretty wild that Florence is Grammy Opening material already.
TB: True. She is just not going to win this yell-off. Or damn, maybe she is.
RD: Remember when Jennifer Hudson was acting and shit.
TB: IMDB says she’s about to play Winnie Mandela. Can’t wait to hear her fake a South African accent for two hours.
RD: Didn’t know Winnie sang.
TB: Don’t they usually save this kind of thing for the last hour? This has been going on a while.
RD: Yeah, straight old-people bait. Anything is young when Andy “fucking” Rooney is yr lead in.
State Farm Commercial [8:18 p.m.]
TB: State Farm commercials can eat a dick.
Train Wins Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group [8:20 p.m.]
RD: Kinda like that Train song. Also: Train dude wins First Bieber Joke of the Night award.
TB: It’s pretty fucked up he didn’t thank the actual soul sister.
Lady Gaga Performs “Born This Way” [8:24 p.m.]
TB: Ricky Martin introducing Gaga is a little on-the-nose, huh?
RD: She’s not subtle.
TB: Gotta say, this song is dope as fuck. More songs should blatantly bite “Express Yourself”.
RD: Agreed. It’s like “Xpress” (Justice Remix). Not mad.
TB: Bridget reports that the side-ponytail was Madonna’s hair when she did “Express Yourself”, so hair homage.
RD: Good catch. People who say this song is just a rip-off don’t really deserve Gaga.
TB: Voguing back-up dancers!
RD: Phantom of the Gaga FTW. Blown Madonna guest shot opportunity though.
Miranda Lambert Performs a Slow Song [8:33 p.m.]
TB: Blake Shelton exactly as amped as he should be about being engaged to Miranda Lambert.
RD: How do you think Blake reacted to the “yes.”
TB: I think he texted Trace Adkins and informed him he wouldn’t be needed for any more video cameos, ever. Miranda didn’t have a kettle-drum player when I saw her open for Toby Keith. Really disappointed she doesn’t have the gigantic mohawked bass player anymore.
RD: I heard this song is about Andy Rooney.
Muse Performs a Lame Muse Song [8:40 p.m.]
RD: They still just hope Radiohead fans can’t tell the difference between Muse and Radiohead.
TB: So can you really be a glam-prog superstar if you have a baseball player goatee? Also, he does not need all those guitar picks stuck in that mic stand.
RD: You think dude was like, “I said glow-in-the-dark guitar picks god dammit!” At least four British hooligans died for those picks.
TB: All these interpretive-dancer rioters do not equal one Soy Bomb.
RD: Never thought I’d say this: Rock is dead
TB: I’ve never missed the White Stripes more than I do right now.
Ryan Seacrest Introduces Bruno Mars, B.o.B., and Janelle Monae, Who Do a Medley Together [8:52 p.m.]
RD:Why isn’t Seacrest hosting again.
TB: That is a great question.
RD: Motherfucking B.o.B. has a monocle!
TB: Monocle is the opposite of swag.
RD: No! Dude stepped it up here. Co-signing the monocle! Brought out some pure joy from my withered soul.
TB: It’s like only half of Lupe’s glasses. Kinda sums up major-label B.o.B. Look, he already got embarrassed and lost it.
RD: A damn shame.
TB: Aw fuck, my TV broke.
TB: It’s black and white now.
RD: You had me going.
TB: Why isn’t Cee-Lo a part of this medley, exactly? How is there room for two segments of retro-soul silliness?
RD: They’re saving him for Gwyneth.
TB: Well, THAT makes sense.
RD: Bruno Mars is like the Justin Bieber of drummers.
TB: Janelle is bodying this and she hasn’t started dancing yet. Is there a term for staged stage dives?
RD: Staged Dives.
TB: Well fuck, this is spectacular.
Miranda Lambert Wins Best Female Country Vocal [8:59 p.m.]
TB: Love how Jewel is in the country category but Taylor isn’t. Miranda has finally stopped losing awards to Carrie Underwood. I support this.
RD: Carrie is killing so many puppies right now.
TB: Miranda’s not even faking surprise. That makes her the anti-Taylor.
RD: Taylor is writing a song about how she didn’t win an award she wasn’t nominated for.
YouTube Video of Usher “Discovering” Justin Bieber Is Played Before Biebs Performs With Jaden Smith and Usher [9:07 p.m.]
RD: Can Biebs and Usher just make out already.
TB: #based #rare Bieber video. Gaga is now wishing she’d thought to get some ninja drummers up there.
RD: Pretty sure this is an outtake from the Mortal Kombat movie. Sub Zero all up in it. Bieber as Johnny Cage obvs.
TB: Props to Bieber for recreating the Foot Clan hangout onstage. Karate Kid swag. Ralph Macchio never got to wear leopard-print pants.
RD: Jaden Smith is the least intimidating Smith.
TB: Bieber’s a sucker for cornrows and manicured toes. (I don’t even know what I meant by that.)
RD: Me neither. Watching Usher, I can’t help but miss Michael Jackson.
TB: “OMG” is less welcome when it’s not interrupting the Black Eyed Peas.
RD: Nicole Kidman, standing ovation.
TB: Keith Urban, very impressed.
Paramore Presents Muse With Best Rock Album Grammy [9:14 p.m.]
TB: Somebody fucked up when they let Hayley watch Burlesque. I would pay good money for an angry Neil Young reaction shot right about now.
RD: Would also pay for Muse dude to take off the leopard vest. He could use a monocle.
TB: You’re not going to let the monocle thing go, are you?
RD: Absolutely not.
Gaga Wins Best Pop Vocal Album [9:22 p.m.]
TB: Gaga needed to win that one.
RD: Now wearing state-of-the-art Butt-Tech rubber outfit.
TB: I’m pretty sure I had that G.I. Joe.
RD: Whitney, secret inspiration for “Born This Way”! Kind of a “fuck you” to Madonna there.
TB: That was cold.
Mumford & Sons, Avett Brothers, and Bob Dylan Perform [9:25 p.m.]
RD: Mumford trucker hat fail.
TB: Is it weird that I want to buy a pickup truck right now? So wait, are these Avetts or Mumfords?
RD: They are Mumfords. I think.
TB: We should really know these things.
RD: Hey, those fun facts don’t make themselves! Conor Oberst just spit up his Dr. Pepper.
TB: A Mumford & Sons song was featured on an episode of Stargate Universe, Wikipedia says. There’s a fun fact.
RD: Not fun enough! WTF is Stargate Universe.
TB: No idea! That’s why it’s fun!
RD: Feel like this Avett keyboardist is gonna strangle someone. Maybe Bob Dylan.
TB: Dylan sounds more like Tom Waits than Tom Waits does right now.
RD: What is he holding? Looks like a pipe.
TB: It’s a lazer tag gun, pretty sure.
RD: Would make sense.
TB: Someone needs to raise a barn on this stage right now, or churn some butter.
RD: Can’t tell if Dylan’s smile is condescending.
TB: If you can’t tell, then it probably is.
Lady Antebellum Do Their Thing [9:40 p.m.]
RD: As a country expert, what’s the deal with Lady Antebellum? How real is their twang?
TB: They’re Little Big Town but less fun. It’s at least as real as Mumford’s twang.
RD: Yeah, but how many songs have they had on Glee? That’s all that matters.
TB: Man don’t ask me things you know I don’t know. Is this the country-est Grammys ever?
RD: Seems very country. Especially considering the Jewel factor.
Jamie Foxx Introduces Cee-Lo and Gwyneth Paltrow and Random Muppets Doing “Forget You” [9:47 p.m.]
RD: Jamie Foxx–making lame cool since 1995.
TB: He’s always having more fun than anyone else; it’s inspirational.
RD: Cee-Lo out-Gaga-ing Gaga.
TB: He’s such a turkey. Not impressed by these off-brand Muppets though. You think Cee-Lo is actually playing that piano?
TB: What do you think the drummer from Coldplay is thinking right now?
RD: He doesn’t think. He just does.
TB: Gwyneth’s singing is Country Weak right now.
RD: She didn’t get the styling memo.
TB: “When I won that Oscar, I promised myself I wasn’t going to dress like a fluorescent animatronic poultry, and I’m sure not breaking that promise right now!”
RD: [golf clap]
Katy Perry Performs “Not Like the Movies” and “Teenage Dream” [10:02 p.m.]
RD: Finally, a Katy Perry ballad! She’s a well-rounded artist, Tom.
TB: Something on that stage is well-rounded. OHHH!
RD: Wow. You have a fucking kid.
TB: She’s asleep now.
RD: I’ll take your word for it. And now Katy’s letting us inside her life by projecting her wedding onto the TV. It’s like I was there!
TB: Yeah, that was kinda nice.
RD: Props to old girl for still dancing poorly in 2011.
TB: The dancers actually put their hands on her on the “put your hands on me” part.
RD: Kidman knows the words for real!
TB: I wonder if teenagers ever have dreams that involve Nicole Kidman.
RD: Maybe not anymore. Shout out to To Die For though.
Lady Antelbellum Win Song of the Year [10:06 p.m.]
RD: What just happened.
TB: Man, their high-fiving isn’t getting any better.
RD: Feel an Antebellum sweep brewing.
TB: I’m not too mad at that
RD: But that song sounds shitty.
TB: Well, it’s not a domestic-abuser anthem or a prestige novelty song, so it’s got that going for it.
RD: Prestige novelty is the new “it gets better” anthem.
Seth Rogen Introduces Eminem, Rihanna, and Dr. Dre Medley [10:19 p.m.]
RD: Seth Rogen: “Here is the most dangerous man in hip-hop history joined by Adam Levine…” Yucks.
TB: Crowd actually seemed to gasp at uber-mild Miley dig?
RD: People at award shows need to lighten up. Seriously, have these people seen the Internet?
TB: So I never get on my high horse about this kind of thing, but it’s a travesty that people are acting like “Love the Way You Lie” is an OK thing. Em is not joking in that line about tying you to the bed and setting it on fire. And casting this song as a he-said/she-said normalizes actual abusive behavior and makes it OK. Hard to give this song the lashing it deserves in live-blogging form, but seriously, fuck this noise.
RD: Scary to think Rihanna’s saga was the catalyst behind Em’s comeback. Further proof that he did not deserve to come back.
TB: Also, this other song is a seriously sad follow-up to “Forgot About Dre”.
RD: Feel like Steven Tyler should come in to do “Dream On” right about now. Em’s arena-hop is ripping off Aerosmith pretty hard.
TB: He needs a cough drop or something
Esperanza Spalding (sp?) Nominated for Best New Artist [10:19 p.m.]
TB: COME ON ESPERANZA SPALDING!
Esperanza Spalding (sp?) Wins Best New Artist (!) [10:19 p.m.]
TB: Whoa, what? I was joking!
RD: OH SHIT!
TB: I have no idea who this person even is!
RD: TAKE THAT BIEBER!
TB: Janelle Monae’s hair is so mad right now.
RD: Spalding Ball?! Grammy–still crazy after all these commercials.
Grammy President/Most Boring Man Alive Says Something W/ Esperanza Spalding Playing Bass Behind Him [10:30 p.m.]
RD: Portnow in the motherfucking house.
TB: I see this guy once a year, and that’s too often. Still terrible at reading teleprompters after all these years.
RD: He’s dead inside. And mostly outside, too. Real talk, anyone that bad on TV who insists on being on TV is an asshole.
TB: Also an asshole: Anyone who names their kid Esperanza.
Dead People Montage [10:32 p.m.]
TB: Who do you think comes last in the montage? Ain’t gonna be Chilton.
RD: Um, Aretha Franklin?
TB: You’re going straight to hell. Did I miss Guru, or was he just not in there?
RD: I believe he was skipped.
TB: Man, that actually makes me angry.
RD: Kanye sez: “R.I.P to GURU!!!”
Mick Jagger and Raphael Saadiq Do Solomon Burke Tribute [10:39 p.m.]
RD: Actually feeling this even though Mick is basically doing Fallon’s impression of Mick.
TB: Too busy fuming to make Jagger jokes. But yeah, this is a good song, being performed well. Music!
RD: Raphael Sadiq, really well dressed. Pretty sick Prince moves too.
TB: Yeah, that was a nice guitar spin. I’m pretty sure we just caught a split second of Drake doing the white man’s overbite.
RD: Pleasant surprise here.
Kanye Tweet Check [10:45 p.m.]
“Damn… I can’t find the words to explain how I feel about the best new artist award… Don’t wanna say the wrong thing”
Kris Kristofferson Introducers Barbra Streisand Performance [10:47 p.m.]
TB: Whistler from Blade!
RD: Free Wesley. Free Blade. Free life. Babs time, hide the kids.
TB: Streisand and Kristofferson, co-stars in A Star Is Born. I just looked that up. I don’t understand why she’s here or what is happening. She was in Little Fockers, right?
RD: She played a dude in a Jewish movie once. Probably. Let me call my great-grandma for the fact-check assist.
TB: The end of Walking Tall is on TNT right now. I am seriously tempted.
Eminem Wins Best Rap Album [10:52 p.m.]
TB: Explain to me how Teflon Don wasn’t nominated.
RD: Em is such a charisma black hole. Do drugs! Be a person!
TB: “I been dope, suspenseful with a pencil ever since Prince turned himself into a symbol.” I miss that guy.
Diddy Introduces Drake and Rihanna Performing “What’s My Name” [11:00 p.m.]
TB: I’M STRONG, BITCH! I OWN SHIT! GAVE MYSELF A 10-DIGIT BONUS!
RD: This show could use some 1997 Diddy. Rihanna’s not really wearing much there is she. She-Ra swag.
TB: Grammy producers really should’ve had the blatant Rihanna ass shot BEFORE the Streisand thing
RD: Have you come around to Drake yet? B/c he’s the man, basically.
TB: I wake up everyday wishing Curren$y was still in his spot
RD: Curren$y would straight pass out that close to Rihanna. I’m sorry
Lady Antebellum Wins Record of the Year [11:04 p.m.]
TB: Team Lady Antebellum. WOOP WOOP. All those other songs annoy me, and this one is just kinda there.
RD: This doesn’t bode well for Obama in 2012.
Jason Segel Introduces Arcade Fire Playing Music [11:16 p.m.]
TB: How I Met Your Mother cast getting serious burn tonight.
RD: Charlie Sheen was unavailable.
TB: WHY ARE THESE PEOPLE YELLING AT ME
RD: They mean it. Rock is not dead!
TB: This is suddenly turning into Tony Hawk’s Boom Boom Huck Jam.
RD: Helmet cam yo.
TB: Grammy producers: “These Arcade Fires just aren’t EXTREME enough for these kids!”
RD: “Let’s get some kid to do an ollie on Nicole Kidman!”
TB: All I’m saying is when Radiohead was on, the stage didn’t turn into a Surge commercial.
Arcade Fire Win Best Album [11:24 p.m.]
RD: Yeah, wow.
TB: Streisand having trouble pronouncing the word Suburbs.
RD: “This must be wrong.”
TB: Seriously, pretty surprising. I think they bleeped them because they were speaking French.
RD: Win’s like, “We’re gonna play another song because we like music.” Burn?
TB: I feel like a proud dad even though I have no connection to this band. It’s a good album!
RD: Agree. My 16-year-old self would be flipping out right now.
TB: Mac from Superchunk is like: “I’M STRONG, BITCH! I OWN SHIT! GAVE MYSELF A 10-DIGIT BONUS!”
RD: They’re gonna sell, like, 10,000 copies next week. Arcade Fire saved music.