Live-Blogging The 2012 Grammys: Tributes, Tribulations, Skrillex, And The Return Of Adele

via Cats Who Look Like Skrillex
Will this cat win Best New Artist?
Welcome to Sound of the City's liveblog of the 54th Annual Grammys, coming to you live from a couch in Astoria. There are quite a few questions lurking around tonight's ceremony. Will Adele sweep the three major categories in which she's nominated, thus putting a cap on the megaselling, incredibly popular 21—and how will she sound in her live return? Will Skrillex (above, sorta) put a wub-wub-wub on the Best New Artist category? Will Bon Iver pout his way to the podium if he upsets Adele in Record or Song of the Year? Will Adam Levine upstage the Beach Boys when they share the stage? Will LL Cool J make at least 10 cross-promotional references to other CBS shows? Will Kanye West show up? Will the Whitney Houston tribute be okay? Tune in belooowwww!

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Whitney Houston, R.I.P.

Whitney Houston, the big-voiced belter who dominated radio in the 1980s and '90s and whose cover of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You" spent 14 weeks at the top of the Hot 100, passed away tonight at the Beverly Hilton, where Clive Davis's annual pre-Grammy party was about to take place. (Her cause of death has not been declared yet.) Houston's catalog is spangled with chart-topping hits (seven of her singles went to No. 1 in a row) and awards that included six Grammys; her commanding presence on the pop landscape was attributable not just to her voice, with its roots in the gospel world and undeniable ability to hit high, glorious notes while also conveying emotion with a single beat, but to her songs' melding of pop's glossy aesthetics with R&B, soul, gospel, and disco elements.

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100 & Single: Lady Gaga Gets Ready To Join The Million-Weeker Club

The phrase "the calm before the storm" appears in virtually every chart-related story this week. That's because the latest edition of the Billboard 200, which covers sales from the week ending May 22, is topped by Adele's 21. That album is No. 1 for the ninth and (presumably) final week before Lady Gaga's monster Born This Way makes its foregone chart-crushing debut.

But, come on now... "calm"? For chart-watchers, industryites and Gaga fans, I'd say the storm is already happening.

A meta-discussion has been raging all week around just how many copies Gaga's album will sell in week one, and whether all of the downloads she's racking up should count. Amazon's jaw-dropping decision to sell Born This Way for the unprecedented full-album price of 99 cents has not only engendered controversy—so much that Billboard's editor felt compelled to respond to some angry Britney Spears fans—it's rocket-fueled Gaga's sales.

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In Praise Of The Whitney Houston Oprah-Interview Soundboard

Rich Juzwiak's FourFour blog is required reading for any number of reasons: his absolute command of subjects ranging from horror movies, The-Dream, or America's Next Top Model chief among them. But mostly it's the animated GIFs. Nobody on earth is doing better work in this regard. We have already noted his essential MTV Video Music Awards wrapup; now comes his recap of Whitney Houston's gala Oprah interview, featuring plenty of GIFs, of course, but also a soundboard of Rich's favorite audio clips of Whitney saying shit like "because I'm a soulja girl," "We could look at each other and just sweat," "rock cocaine," and "get off, get off me." There are also multiple hysterical laughs. It's a very enjoyable echo of this. Looking forward to the Asteroids version.

Photos: Whitney's Biennial, a 37-Artist Exhibition, Took Place in Greenpoint, In Honor of Whitney Houston's "Comeback Album." And There Were Free Limo Rides!

all photos by Shannon McGee
Free limo rides. More photos from the show here.

Whitney Houston's I Look To You--hailed by her handlers as her post-crack-allegations, post-Bobby, post-reality-TV "comeback album"--hits the world this Tuesday, September 1. Because you're terribly excited about hearing this masterpiece, SOTC's here to inform you that it's currently streaming at her official QVC-sponsored, angelically glowing web site.

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