by John Stoehr
So not only were the Grammys watched by the second lowest number of viewers in ratings history, but being the second lowest record holder was still enough to rank among the Top 5 shows of the week.
People need to get it straight: experiencing mass culture via a single controlled conduit of information (i.e., the TV) is quickly coming apart. A new generation of media consumers has arisen and they want to be in control of the media they consume, not force fed with a side of mind-numbing commercials.
More people under the age of 30 likely experienced the Grammy via MySpace and FaceBook and on their iPods and cellphones than actually watched it on TV.
Why be tied down to a TV? That's so 20th century.
At the same time, you still read stories like this one: Canada's CBC Records is planning to drop classical music from its roster in order to attract more "younger people." The thinking is that "younger people" don't like classical music. They want to hear that rip-snortin' pop music, like what you see on the Grammys.
Oh, wait a minute. They're not watching that either.
What they are watching is art (including pop music) done in interesting ways.
Case in point is the army of people playing violins, cellos, trumpets, what have you to the tune of "Pretender" by the Foo Fighters. This video of violinist Emily Palen has been watched by more than 1 million people. There are others, too, with hundreds of thousands of viewers each. It's some kind of contest. I suppose to see who can play the best Foo on their classical ax. I don't know. What I do know is that "younger people" are interested in this art. CBC Records and the rest of the media monster should give them some credit.
Or else be ignored.