Ten years ago, on the night of the 48th Annual Grammy Awards, I sat with two of my closest friends flipping through pages of Spin and throwing Hot Cheetos at the television screen when anyone who wasn’t The Gorillaz took the stage. We were non-driving, pop-punk-obsessed teenagers, and the award show held little for us save for Arcade Fire, Death Cab for Cutie, Franz Ferdinand and The White Stripes all being nominated for Best Alternative Album.
In 2006, music meant everything to my circle of friends, and although we might not have cared about bands like Linkin Park and Maroon 5, we damn well knew that the rest of the world was paying attention to them.
We had just spent the previous weekend moving my Labyrinth posters and Hot Topic tapestries from my second-floor bedroom down to the spare room in the basement, all because I opted for a “darker environment,” and that meant avoiding the giant bay window. A Little Caesar’s Hot-N-Ready pizza was lying on the Lovesac, and the three of us were talking about how with Fall Out Boy’s nomination for Best New Artist of the Year, they had already gone “mainstream.” Prior to the 2006 Grammys, we spent all of our time crying about My Chemical Romance showing up seemingly out of nowhere on TRL, leaving us to vent on Myspace about how we were “into” them when they released I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love, way before anybody else had even heard of the album.
In 2006, music meant everything to my circle of friends, and although we might not have cared about bands like Linkin Park and Maroon 5, we damn well knew that the rest of the world was paying attention to them. I thought of this as I tuned in to watch the 58th Annual Grammy Awards Monday night, not knowing the night’s lineup of performing bands or artists at all.
Bruno Mars surprised at seeing Pete Wentz in 2008.
Unlike in 2006, I only knew of a few artists up for an award, and hearing the names of certain bands barely registered with me. My eyes weren’t “glued” to the screen, instead I only glanced up in between stirring soup on the stove and measuring out tablespoons of wonton filling. I knew to listen for Tame Impala and Courtney Barnett, but beyond that I hadn’t done too much research on this year’s Grammys. Maybe it’s because my taste in music has changed, or because I no longer consume it in the same, pop culture-funneled fashion, or it may just be because I’ve gotten older and it’s become near impossible to block out time to watch something on TV.
I turned the oven off in time to sit on the couch and watch Lady Gaga’s tribute to David Bowie, which instantly brought me back to my teenage bedroom. Bowie’s face (and, let’s face it, his crotch, too) as Jareth the Goblin King used to be plastered above my bed and was securely fastened on my backpack next to Sugarcult and Senses Fail pins.
It was beneath David Bowie posters that my friends and I sat in 2006 as we closed our eyes and crossed our fingers for Green Day’s “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” to win Record of the Year at the Grammys. I snapped out of my stupor and rejoined 2016 reality as Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” was announced as this year’s winner for the same award.
It was beneath David Bowie posters that my friends and I sat in 2006 as we closed our eyes and crossed our fingers for Green Day’s Boulevard of Broken Dreams to win Record of the Year at the Grammys.
Without even thinking too much about it, I switched the television input back to Chromecast to resume Netflix, and started cleaning the kitchen. There was no spilling of two-liter sodas, and I did not jump on my bed singing, “Uptown Funk gonna give it to ya,” in the same fashion I did with “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”. Today, looking back at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards and its 2006 contrast, I ended my nostalgia binge with the following text to my friend: