Posted in music on February 23, 2011

grammys

Maybe you heard about or saw record exec Steve Stoute's letter in the NY Times on Sunday. In it, he slams the Grammys for giving awards to bands nobody ever heard of and brought up the "coincidence" of Arcade Fire performing right before and after they won Album of the Year.

Arcade Fire's manager has responded, in the form of a letter to industry analyst Bob Lefsetz, and this is what he said:

Bob

Arcade 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.
For the Grammys international broadcast our main performance, along with that of Mumford and Sons and the Avett Brothers was completely cut from the show. Our end title performance was bastardised because they cut out ads/sponsor messages completely. It was a bit of a farce. You'd think we'd be given a little more after the fact.

Arcade Fire deserved the win this year. They made the best album. If the award was names "Album Sales Of The Year" award, there would be no discussion. Stoutes letter was 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.

I'm proud of this band and what they have achieved. We didn't lobby any organisation for this nor did the band play the game. We paid our own overhead to do the event, thus the lack of on stage gimmicks. No label picked up the tab.

Arcade Fire are now one of the biggest live acts in the world. It's not all about record sales. It's about making great records and it's about building a loyal fan base. Ther band make great albums, they're not a radio driven singles band. On top of that, they own their own masters and copyrights and are in complete control of their own destiny. Things couldn't be better.

Excuse any typos as I'm on my blackberry

Best regards
Scott Rodger

Steve Stoute's NY Times letter is below...

--

FROM STEVE STOUTE:

In this Sunday's New York Times, I have purchased a full-page ad as an open letter to Neil Portnow, NARAS and the Grammy Awards. Here's why.

Over the course of my 20-year history as an executive in the music business and as the owner of a firm that specializes in in-culture advertising, I have come to the conclusion that the Grammy Awards have clearly lost touch with contemporary popular culture. My being a music fan has left me with an even greater and deeper sense of dismay -- so much so that I feel compelled to write this letter. Where I think that the Grammys fail stems from two key sources: (1) over-zealousness to produce a popular show that is at odds with its own system of voting and (2) fundamental disrespect of cultural shifts as being viable and artistic.

As an institution that celebrates artistic works of musicians, singers, songwriters, producers and technical specialists, we have come to expect that the Grammys upholds all of the values that reflect the very best in music that is born from our culture. Unfortunately, the awards show has become a series of hypocrisies and contradictions, leaving me to question why any contemporary popular artist would even participate. How is it possible that in 2001 The Marshall Mathers LP -- an album by Eminem that ushered in the Bob Dylan of our time -- was beaten out by Steely Dan (no disrespect) for Album Of The Year? While we cannot solely utilize album sales as the barometer, this was certainly not the case. Not only is Eminem the best-selling artist of the last decade, but The Marshall Mathers LP was a critical and commercial success that sold over 10 million albums in the United States (19 million worldwide), while Steely Dan sold less than 10% of that amount and came and went as quietly as a church mouse. Or consider even that in 2008 at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards, after going into the night as the most-nominated artist, Kanye West's Graduation was beaten out for Album Of The Year by Herbie Hancock's River: The Joni Letters. (This was the first time in 43 years that a jazz album won this category.) While there is no doubt in my mind of the artistic talents of Steely Dan or Herbie Hancock, we must acknowledge the massive cultural impact of Eminem and Kanye West and how their music is shaping, influencing and defining the voice of a generation. It is this same cultural impact that acknowledged the commercial and critical success of Michael Jackson's Thriller in 1984.

Just so that I'm not showing partiality to hip-hop artists (although it would be an entirely different letter as to how hip-hop music has been totally diminished as an art form by this organization), how is it that Justin Bieber, an artist that defines what it means to be a modern artist, did not win Best New Artist? Again, his cultural impact and success are even more quantifiable if you factor in his YouTube and Vevo viewership -- the fact that he was a talent born entirely of the digital age whose story was crafted in the most humble method of being "discovered" purely for his singing ability (and it should be noted that Justin Bieber plays piano and guitar, as evidenced on his early viral videos).

So while these very artists that the public acknowledges as being worthy of their money and fandom are snubbed year after year at the Grammys, the awards show has absolutely no qualms in inviting these same artists to perform. At first I thought that you were not paying attention to the fact that the mental complexion of the world is becoming tanned, that multiculturalism and poly-ethnicity are driving new meaning as to what is culturally relevant. Interesting that the Grammys understands cultural relevance when it comes to using Eminem's, Kanye West's or Justin Bieber's name in the billing to ensure viewership and to deliver the all-too-important ratings for its advertisers.

What truly inspired the writing of this letter was that this most recent show fed my suspicions. As the show was coming to a close and just prior to presenting the award for Album Of The Year, the band Arcade Fire performed "Month of May" -- only to... surprise... win the category and, in a moment of sheer coincidence, happened to be prepared to perform "Ready to Start."

Does the Grammys intentionally use artists for their celebrity, popularity and cultural appeal when they already know the winners and then program a show against this expectation? Meanwhile the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences hides behind the "peer" voting system to escape culpability for not even rethinking its approach.

And I imagine that next year there will be another televised super-close-up of an astonished front-runner as they come to the realization before a national audience... that he or she was used.

You are being called to task at this very moment, NARAS.

And to all of the artists that attend the Grammys: Stop accepting the invitation to be the upset of the year and demand that this body upholds its mission for advocacy and support of artistry as culture evolves.

Demand that they change this system and truly reflect and truly acknowledge your art.

---

      

Comments (137)

in before hummus jokes and how much people dont care but will still comment on how much they hate this band and how overrated they are and how much of a douche their manager is


Posted by Venom | February 23, 2011 3:18 PM

First!

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 3:19 PM

Who is Steve Stoute?

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 3:21 PM

steve stoute is an idiot.

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 3:21 PM

Metallica performed on the Grammys and still lost ... to Jethro Tull! So much for his theory.

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 3:22 PM

I think that "industry outsider" schtick is getting pretty absurd at this point.

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 3:22 PM

It scares me that people like Steve Stoute exist. It's people like him that have to make even the most anti-Arcade Fire BV commentator admit they'd rather Arcade Fire than a music world controlled by Steve Stoutes.

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 3:22 PM

now im ready to fart

Posted by Venom | February 23, 2011 3:23 PM

@3:22
This.

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 3:25 PM

They cut the Mumford/Avett performance from the int'l broadcast? I thought that was the best part of the entire show.

Two bands playing real instruments, and singing for real, without any pretention or the need for backup dancers or flashy lights and props to distract from the lack of talent. Those guys just got up there and played in front of a black curtain and killed it.

Posted by The Mighty KC | February 23, 2011 3:25 PM

Damn, what a blowhard. This is meaningless rubbish from someone who thinks he's important, but is probably suffering from small man's complex:

"mental complexion of the world is becoming tanned, that multiculturalism and poly-ethnicity are driving new meaning as to what is culturally relevant."

What does that even mean?

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 3:25 PM

dude's a doofus

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 3:26 PM

Did he really call Eminem the Bob Dylan of our time?

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 3:26 PM

Someone should go up to Steve Stoute's office and beat him with a champagne bottle.

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 3:27 PM

@The Mighty KC

Yes, they cut Mumford/Avett. For Arcade Fire, they cut all of Month of May, most of the acceptance speech - including, amusingly enough, Win's thanks to Scott Rodger - and then really bluntly chopped the entire middle section out of Ready To Start to avoid the Delta ad in the original broadcast.

Very frustrating.

Posted by Names | February 23, 2011 3:28 PM

The Black Eyed Peas & Puffy have Grammys. Who wouldn't want to be in such esteemed company?

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 3:31 PM

That letter is so chock full of such complete nonsense, that its literally impossible to parse its idiocy.
If I were Arcade Fire, I'd terminate this clown for this embarassment.

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 3:33 PM

Steve Spite is biting his lip so hard to not say Lady fucking Gaga won Album of the Year. "Just look at all her Vevo views!"

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 3:35 PM

steve stoute and arcade fire both just need to go away. boring. it's like dumb jocks vs smug dorks, I like neither. lame that these are the polarizing units. mehhhhh allll the wayyyy.

Posted by yawn | February 23, 2011 3:37 PM

would it kill you BV to link the fucking NYT article?

your linking in text is terribly unclear. no one ever knows which link goes where.

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 3:37 PM

Which letter, the one from Scott Rodger?

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 3:37 PM

@3:33 - I'm not a big Scott Rodger fan, but I fail to see the embarrassing nonsense in his response here. If you'd care to point it out for me, I'd be grateful.

Posted by Names | February 23, 2011 3:37 PM

This Stoute fellow is just another in a long line of industry higher-ups that can't get over the fact they can't jack up the price of a single song download like they could a flat piece of plastic in the good ol' days.

Remember $15.99 - $18.99 for 45 minutes of back catalogue work?

Good riddance. This guy's time has gone the way of the dodo.

Posted by i want my daddy's records | February 23, 2011 3:39 PM

bitchbitchbitch... complaincomplaincomplain.... over it

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 3:40 PM

we all agree though that bieber should have won Best New Artist right?

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 3:40 PM

Wait a minute, Stoute called Eminem the Dylan of this generation? What?!?!

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 3:41 PM

i dont think i can force myself to read past where he calls EMINEM the BOB DYLAN of our time. huh?

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 3:42 PM

I think 3:33 may have been tripped up by his own idiocy.

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 3:49 PM

total coincidence that mega concert promoter AEG live produced the grammys, and then arcade fire days later announced a tour playing AEG venues, right?

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 3:49 PM

yes i think that is a coincidence

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 3:52 PM

@ 3:42: KEEP READING BECAUSE HE CALLS KANYE WEST MICHAEL JACKSON !!

STEVE STOUTE WAS IN THE COCKPIT WHILE THE RECORD INDUSTRY CRASHED AND BURNED. HE'S GOT ABOUT AS MUCH CREDIBILITY AS JOHN EDWARDS OR TAWANA BRAWLEY. FAT LOSER NEVER BROKE A RECORD IN HIS LIFE, ACTING LIKE HE'S LA REID.

GO BACK TO WASHING CARS, YOU FAT PUSSY.

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 3:53 PM

Did Arcade Fire pay for the BMX bikers out of their own pocket?

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 3:56 PM

This guy can afford to purchase a full page in the ny times...why is he complaining again?

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 3:56 PM

I think the most important thing here is to not at all give a shit about who wins Grammy awards.

Posted by Truth Bader Ginsburg | February 23, 2011 3:56 PM

I don't understand the outrage. The Grammys have always been a meaningless indicator of talent.

Milli Vanilli and Vanilla Ice have Grammys.

Neil Young won his FIRST Grammy for music this year (he won 1 for artwork last year), while John Mayer has 7!!!

So let's not pretend there was any credibility to lose. Fuck you Steve Stoute.

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 3:57 PM

@3:56 -

I think Hoffman and friends were paying in a favour to Spike Jonze.

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 3:58 PM

"And to all of the artists that attend the Grammys: Stop accepting the invitation to be the upset of the year and demand that this body upholds its mission for advocacy and support of artistry as culture evolves."


Summary

Artists: Don't play unless they guarantee you'll win. B/C its not about playing music - its about winning awards.

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 3:59 PM

John Mayer earned every one of those awards.

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 4:00 PM

Seems like this was written by Jeremy Piven's character on Entourage.

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 4:01 PM

3:57-- stoute's point seems to be the opposite. he'd rather award mayer than neil.

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 4:01 PM

i'd love to have enough disposable income to take out a full page ad for the sole purpose of embarrassing myself.

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 4:02 PM

arcade fire has been meaningless since the third or fourth time i heard funeral. get over it. and eminem is definitely the dylan of our time.

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 4:03 PM

@4:01

I get that, and that's why he sucks.

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 4:04 PM

If peeing in your pants is cool, consider me Miles Davis

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 4:05 PM

Scott Rodger's letter is as full of shit as Steve Stoute's is of nonsense. Arcade Fire knew that they were going to win. Even if they weren't told definitely, they were 95% sure because of the way the broadcast was set up. That kind of bullshit is common for People's Choice Awards, but it should not happen at the Grammy's. Not that Grammy's go to deserving artists, but at least they used to be more serious and secretive than other meaningless award ceremonies.

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 4:05 PM

yeah, i'm afraid the moment he mentioned eminem being the dylan of this generation . . . he lost any ounce of credibility. seriously, dude? you really want to make an uneducated comment like that in public? go for it. best of luck backing that up.

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 4:05 PM

Steve Stoute thought Justin Bieber deserved a Grammy. Did he know these are the Grammy awards and not the MTV Music Awards?

Posted by C | February 23, 2011 4:06 PM

why... does... he... CARE?!?!?!

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 4:06 PM

Pretty sure Bob Dylan's still alive...

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 4:07 PM

@3:59 - Spot on.

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 4:09 PM

@4:05 - Rodger's letter actually lays out a pretty credible scenario. Did you, uh, read it?

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 4:11 PM

Steve Stoute lost me when he decried the loss of Justin Beiber. Justin Beiber is not an artist - he is a product. An artist creates art, a singer records pop songs. Steve Stoute's letter complaining about the Grammys not toeing the line of album sales enough (I think they do it far too much) would be like complaining that the Oscars didn't give Nicholas Cage enough awards or that it ignored "Dude, Where's My Car" in favor of some indie film that nobody's ever heard of. The same ignorance that pervades right wing America is present in mainstream music fans - they assume that anything they haven't heard on their local top 40 or hard rock station is lousy, weird or otherwise not worth listening to.

Posted by the shoegazer | February 23, 2011 4:11 PM

I find this funny.

"Over the course of my 20-year history as an executive in the music business and as the owner of a firm that specializes in in-culture advertising, I have come to the conclusion that the Grammy Awards have clearly lost touch with contemporary popular culture."

Serious? When has the Grammy's EVER been in touch with popular culture?

This one time they award an artist that deserves it(albeit on the 3rd album) and some over the hill producer screams bloody murder.

Posted by flippershores | February 23, 2011 4:12 PM

look, it's all bullshit...but the dude makes a point.

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 4:13 PM

A nice bowl of hummus will cheer everybody up... Here ya go...
*hands everybody a pita triangle*

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 4:14 PM

Wavves are the Peter, Paul and Mary of our time.

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 4:19 PM

Everyone shut the fuck up already. We all know LCD was screwed over.

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 4:19 PM

i'm kinda of shocked Scott Rodger made no mention of the fart in the pit at MSG back in August

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 4:20 PM

so whaaaat. who cares about this now?

Posted by Jordan | February 23, 2011 4:21 PM

GOD DAMMIT THIS IS SO FRUSTRATING ... oh .. hmmm ..well... Thanks 4:14. You are right... I feel much better already! (hugs)

Posted by Burg | February 23, 2011 4:21 PM

thank the gods for this thread... work is sooooo boring lately

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 4:22 PM

Who is this fool who thinks Lady Gaga is worthy of anything?
She can't even perform a song live. She needs to lip sinc to a pre-recorded track with no band even PRETENDING to be playing the song.

To me the Grammy are guilty of this - WHen they went to commercials and teased the upcoming Gaga "performance" the announcer said "And next, the performance everyone will be talking about tomorrow!"

I thought it was odd to say that about a performance that hadnt happened yet. Turns out they were very wrong. It was an immediately forgetable performance and what are we STILL talking about> That's right- Arcade fire.


Mr. Stoute, as the Marshall Mathers of my generation says:
"don't criticize
What you can't understand"

Your old road is
Rapidly agin'.
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.

Posted by nathan | February 23, 2011 4:25 PM

"and what are we STILL talking about> That's right- Arcade fire."

i like the Arcade Fire, but man, that right there just gave me serious douche chills.

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 4:26 PM

HEY STEVE THEY WERE READY TO PLAY A SECOND SONG BECAUSE THEY ARE A REAL BAND AND CAN PLAY ALL OF THEIR MUSIC WITHOUT CHOREOGRAPHED DANCES AND BACKING TRACKS.

even eminem had a backing track doubling his voice...

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 4:26 PM

The mindblowing thing about these Arcade Fire complaints is that not only did they play SNL, but they debuted at number one on billboard! Now, I don't really care whether this quite good (but not amazing) record deserved a grammy, but it is ludicrous to think that if these people really had their ears to the fucking ground, that they could have been completely unaware of this record.

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 4:27 PM

they should have done a beiber arcade fire duet

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 4:28 PM

baby baby baby OHHHH

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 4:31 PM

YOU'RE TEARING ME APART STEVE!

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 4:32 PM

justin bieber is the future

im not joking he is going to be amazing in a few years production for kanye? that has to be a sign of something great to come look out for bieber im telling you

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 4:34 PM

starting a tumblr blog called "Who The F%@k Is Steve Stoute?"

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 4:54 PM

I just stopped by to give props to the guy who namechecked Tawana Brawley earlier in the comment chain.

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 4:59 PM

from the bob dylan of our time: ' stab you in the head whether you're a fag or lez'

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 5:04 PM

grammys are usually a waste of time. this year only 95% of it was a waste of time.

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 5:08 PM

i don't know who this steve character is but he is obviously a misinformed prick and he obviously doesn't work in the music biz

Posted by bobby the rookie | February 23, 2011 5:17 PM

To anyone who actually cares, AF were told they were playing out (with advertisements mixed in, mind you) the ceremony whether they won Album of the Year or not:

Post-Grammys interview:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aG2llbRRx88

Might be good time to point out that the Black Keys beat them in two other categories just so y'all remember.

"Wavves are the Peter, Paul and Mary of our time.
Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 4:19 PM"

This deserves memeficiation.

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 5:22 PM

Steve Brule > Steve Stoute

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 5:28 PM

Sooo...............

Steely Dan should never have won in 2001 because their album sold ten percent of Eminem's? And they came and went like a mouse?

Here's the scoop. Steely Dan has been around from the 1970s, producing some of the most enduring jazz-rock albums of the era, with unanimous criical approval. Bet you didn,t know that?

Now, Arcade Fire. Unknown?

You ARE aware that their first album, Funerals, was nominated for a Grammy in TWO categories in 2005?

That their follow-up, Neon Bible, was nominated for Best Alternative album in 2008?

And you discovered them at the tail end of this year,s Grammy when they get the nod for their third album?

I think YOU, sir, are out of touch!

Eat crowe!

Posted by Roberto Vitae | February 23, 2011 5:35 PM

^^^ crow.

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 5:40 PM

^^^ no, he meant Russell Crowe

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 5:46 PM

3:57--Milli Vanilli had to return their Grammy following the lipsynching scandal.

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 6:02 PM

6:02 - Great, but they never should have won in the first place for that insipid dreck.

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 6:05 PM

is the AF record platinum yet?

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 6:16 PM

MJ gone?

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 6:21 PM

nathan/4:25: gaga does sing live and usually has a band. stfu.

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 6:22 PM

Maybe it's just due to the fact that I live in NYC and am constantly bombarded with the latest "indie" rock band but I would hardly qualify a band that has sold out Madison Square Garden two nights, debuted at #1 on the Billboard albums charts, graced the cover of several magazines, etc. to be "unknown".

That being said, I didn't get a "dude, Arcade Fire shouldn't have won because no one knows who they are" vibe from his letter. It sounded more like he felt the Grammy's pander to whoever is willing to show up to it (minus Jethro Tull of course).

Then again, who really gives a shit anyways. When is this band coming back to this area?

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 6:50 PM

To avid Arcade Fire fans ... they deserve respect from the music community. Wake Up ... Ready To Start and We Used To Wait and so many more masterpieces ... have structured this group of brilliant musicians into what may become one of the world's greatest bands!

Posted by MACDONALDBANK | February 23, 2011 7:00 PM

Arcade Fire taught kids in the suburbs to respect hummus.

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 7:39 PM

Dear,

Steve, go fuck yourself and lick the tip of Beiber. Move to Jersey afterwards.

Sincerely,
Your Mother...fucker

Posted by ANO-minus | February 23, 2011 7:53 PM

why didnt they have PUNCHES open the grammys? i wouldve gotten really pumped up!!!!!

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 7:53 PM

Wait, who the fuck cares about the Grammys?

Posted by PhatMat | February 23, 2011 7:57 PM

Check out Steve Stoute on wiki. His entry is without reference meaning either he or a PR person wrote it. What matters to
him is mainstream artists ultimately winning awards as there (how surprising) is a commercial end to it for him when he leverages these in his brand direction activities he masterminds. So, Steve is this sort of depth something I can aspire to when I am culturally dead and in turn deluded that culture to me = music without substance? Use those millions for counseling perhaps or ask your buddy Nas what he REALLY thinks.

Posted by Dan | February 23, 2011 7:57 PM

Bob Dylan > Steely Dan > Jethro Tull > The Arcade Fire > Kanye West > Eminem > Justin Bieber > Vevo > The Grammys [sic] > Steve Stoute

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 8:26 PM

The fame clock is at about 14 minutes and 30 seconds for this band.

They are laughing at the simpletons who buy their stuff, and will buy their next album (before they "disband" to pursue other interests).

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 8:28 PM

Crystal Stilts are the Doors of our generation.

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 8:29 PM

Arcade Fire deserved to win......at least in that batch of albums. Eminem's record was terrible, Perry's pop fluff, and Gaga is style over substance. None of these groups deserved to be in the running for this record. Where was Blueprint 3, or Plastic Beach, or even Drake's record. All of these sold well and were infinitely better than most of these releases nominated. It isn't about record sales, it's still about music. Arcade Fire's win sent a message that you don't need major label backing, you don't need marketing gimmicks, but if your album is good then it will get noticed. Standing up against the criteria how could you not give this record to anyone else.

Posted by Paul | February 23, 2011 9:52 PM

Stoute is an idiotic self promoter and sore loser. He really should shut up because he makes no sense at all.

Posted by Mort Adella | February 23, 2011 10:21 PM

You guts prefer Aqualung or Thick as a Brick? Personally, I have a special spot in my heart for Stand Up. I think we can all agree all three are better than the Grammy-Winning Crest of a Knave.

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 10:32 PM

what's forgotten in this debate is that arcade fire sucks, the grammy's are an embarrassment, and who cares about any of these bloated music industry whores?

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 10:37 PM

fuck this band and their fucking viola

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 10:38 PM

This is an important discussion to be having. All of these points are really strong. Very very important time we're living in, and this band captures all of that importance. Important.

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 10:50 PM

the have always been a joke. real music fans do not watch the grammys. your mom - yes.

Posted by future rocking society | February 23, 2011 10:59 PM

Odd Future is the Frank Sinatra of this generation

Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011 11:28 PM

Beach Fossils is Phil Collins of our time

Posted by Anonymous | February 24, 2011 1:11 AM

Steely Dan gargles my balls.

Posted by Anonymous | February 24, 2011 1:12 AM

Jack Johnson is the Joni Mitchell of our time.

Posted by Anonymous | February 24, 2011 2:18 AM

Fucked Up is the Hall & Oates of our time

Posted by Anonymous | February 24, 2011 9:35 AM

1:12am wins

Posted by Anonymous | February 24, 2011 9:53 AM

^ 1:12 loses for writting at 1:12 AM!!!!

Posted by Anonymous | February 24, 2011 10:07 AM

Owl City is the Syd Barrett of our time.

Posted by Anonymous | February 24, 2011 10:14 AM

EMinem the Bob Dylan of our time?! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA....
Eminem is the MC Hammer of our time...

Posted by Anonymous | February 24, 2011 11:44 AM

give me a break...all these award shows are rigged by the ones running it - they always have the acts that are going to win perform right before the winner is announced - i knew in 2009 that In Rainbows wasn't going to win because Thom and Jonny played in the middle of the show

Posted by Anonymous | February 24, 2011 12:46 PM

Hahaa, that's the mainstream music business for ya. Take it and like it byatch.

Posted by Anonymous | February 24, 2011 1:20 PM

4pm you are a comic genius.

Posted by Anonymous | February 24, 2011 2:09 PM

seriously though what are the grammies?

Posted by Anonymous | February 24, 2011 2:12 PM

eat russell crowe

Posted by Anonymous | February 24, 2011 2:17 PM

eminem is obviously the bob dylan of our time. he has done so much for all of us. what a guy he is.

Posted by Anonymous | February 24, 2011 2:19 PM

MJ go byebye?

Posted by Anonymous | February 24, 2011 2:20 PM

L'ingMAO at 4:05#1 & 10:38.

Posted by Anonymous | February 24, 2011 2:24 PM

i think its safe to say that sufji stevens is definitely the michael bolton of our time

Posted by Anonymous | February 24, 2011 2:26 PM

why in the world do people try to claim "first" on BV. take it to HRO you losers

Posted by Anonymous | February 24, 2011 2:33 PM

Darwin Deez is the Glenn Gould of our generation.

Posted by Anonymous | February 24, 2011 5:46 PM

The irony displayed in Steve Stous letter is both delicious and entertaining.

Calling Bieber, in effect a front tool for the traditional model of the music industry, in that he is a moderate talent who legitamately gained a moment of fame which was immediately capitalized on by the "machine" aspect of the industry; "an artist that defines what it means to be a modern artist"

vs

a band that (personally, although a fan of the genre I don't particularly like) has adapated to the post-napster model of the industry economy by having their live shows as their feature aspect rather than their albums and singles

Frankly just shows how complete out of touch he is and most likely a good bellweather of the industry in general. Sad, but thats what happens when a predatory industry is undone by the simple fact that its not as profitable when democratic.

One allusion people have is that downloads have made the industry as a whole less profitable, the truth is that is far from true. Instead, a much larger piece of the pie is going to artists that ca generate massive live audience. I'd use bands like Phish or Dave Matthews as a perfect example. If anything, their business models has thrived due to the internet and file sharing rather than be harmed by it. People like Steve Stouts have to realize that the past is the past and either find your place in the new economic model or find another line of work....

Posted by ThePerfectIrony | February 24, 2011 11:00 PM

if eminem is the bob dylan of our time i hope i die soon

Posted by Anonymous | February 24, 2011 11:07 PM

RK fire obviously knew they were going to win. That acceptance speech was so damn poslished.

Posted by Anonymous | February 24, 2011 11:10 PM

This Steve guy is exactly why the music industry is in the gutter! What a bunch of nonsense he wrote. It's laughable at best (Eminem the Bob Dylan of our time?!). How about the Grammy's being about artist who actually write and compose their own music? Cultural impact? Last time I checked The Arcade Fire is headlining Coachella, Bonarroo and sold out Madison Square Garden.

Steve hop in your Bentley and leave your commentary to your fellow Bentley owners, because the real music fans don't give a shit.

Congratulations to The Arcade Fire! About time a real band won.

Posted by Josh | February 24, 2011 11:51 PM

A FEW THINGS OF WHICH I AM CERTAIN:

• One of the coolest things about humans is their diversity and one of the coolest things about music is its infinite sources to appeal to all the diversity of humans.

• No ONE generation or age group has an innate right in or greater claim to the appreciation of music over any other generation or age group.

• I don’t want the Academy doling out Oscars based upon box office receipts; I don’t want the Nobel Prize Committee giving awards based upon popularity; and I don’t want NARAS handing out Grammies based upon who Generation Z is spending their parents’ money on.

• I get why thirteen year old girls love Justin Bieber, but I don’t get why the rest of us should.

• Arcade Fire is a great band who has written and performed some enduring anthems; they interact with their fans instead of just feigning their appreciation; they’re fun on stage; and they’ve filled more seats than many ever will. Besides, how many other bands feature an Accordion in their music?

• Steve Stoute is a whiny fucking ass hole!


In the 60’s and 70’s, we had to rely upon radio station program directors to determine what we liked and what we would listen to, and mostly on AM stations. In the 80’s, alternative stations were born and started giving us more options and many more bands greater exposure. Today, and thanks to the internet, we get to discover music and pick bands for ourselves. I get the feeling that Steve Kaddafi Stoute would “fight to the last bullet” to still be picking our music for us. Sorry Steve, but your Regime has been overthrown now -- GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE COUNTRY.

Posted by AnIndependentMind | February 25, 2011 3:15 AM

In the 60’s and 70’s, we had to rely upon radio

Posted by شات صوتي | February 25, 2011 4:22 AM

I'm so confused by Steve's Stoute's open letter in which he says that the Grammys have lost touch. I felt the exact opposite this year when both the album and best new artist awards went to less commercial artists. It showed that peoples votes were based on merit and not popularity. I'm amazed this dude was serious when he equated popularity with artistry. That's called The People's Choice awards. And of course the Grammys are going to try their hardest to increase viewership by publicizing the big acts, just like the Academy Awards does. This guy has the chutzpah to say that these big stars are being taken advantage of by appearing on the show and not winning any awards. And all this time I thought it was a good career move when a singer gets to appear live in front of millions of people. I'm such an idiot!

Posted by David | February 25, 2011 4:17 PM

Sorry but Arcade Fire are way overrated. Good, but not Emmy material.

Posted by Keith | February 25, 2011 5:18 PM

Was this Steve Stout's first Grammy Award? The "performers-to-winners" ratio has been suspiciously high for 10 years. It is uncanny how often a performance is followed by said performer taking the podium to receive the Grammy.

Tool.

Posted by Michael | February 27, 2011 7:46 PM

This guy is an idiot. The fact that arcade fire won shows that somebody is doing something right.

Posted by Nick | March 1, 2011 1:42 AM

Wavves is the Van Halen of our time

Posted by Anonymous | March 1, 2011 2:09 PM

Wavves are the beatles of our time

Posted by Anonymous | March 1, 2011 2:33 PM

Both of them actually have points to make. Scot has had some good points, but he also had some irrational ones. I'm glad Steve cleared it up.

Posted by Brawley Storage Units | March 7, 2011 6:43 AM

Steve Stoute is complete is the ultimate "do boy" of the music industry. A corporate cheer leader, selling the Mc Music of this century - hip hop. He has the ethics and taste epitomized by the "I'm Gonna Get Mines" attitude that pervades Hip Hop. So hopped up and slithering in materialistic diarrhea, he can only equate merit with quantity, crap over quality. Hitler, too, was the best selling act once and in Soute's qualifier, he had "massive cultural impact". So did the Pet Rock.

I like my pop but Eminem stayed in a safe place singing his "my so called life". Just a whiny misanthrope, while talented has climbed any creative mountains as of late. Justin Bieber, is plain ole bubblegum cheese boy. I guarantee Stoute and company don't see boy singing unforgettable hooks, but instead a dancing cash register.

Posted by T Nails | April 8, 2011 1:26 AM

Wavves are the Peter, Paul and Mary of our time.

Really?

Posted by Fangoria | February 17, 2012 2:44 AM

Are you white people always going to be hateful of rap/hip-hop no matter how good or great it is?

Posted by Fantomex | April 18, 2013 3:05 PM

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