Live blogging is now over. Enjoy the dialog below.
11:28 Scott: Country really is king right now, isn't it? I'd like to thank you, SHB, for providing great insights tonight, and keeping me blogging way past my bedtime!
11:27 SHB: Wow. I bet Lady Gaga wants to hit her over the head with her hairpiece. She needs to stop talking.
11:25 Scott: Yay to Santana. And here goes the final award, just before I fade for the night. And I actually own one of the albums nominated!
11:20 Scott: Okay, that censoring really ruined the rhythm of that performance for me. Why bother if it is going to ruin the song to stick to broadcast standards?
11:16 Scott: Yes, that was a super skinny bass. That was a lot of blank space in this rap song [Eminem and Lil Wayne]. I think the censors are being a little paranoid.
11:06 SHB: What was that yellow instrument? Like a super skinny bass?
11:04 Scott: Cool! And now some very justifiable love for Les Paul. It would've been so cool if Jeff Beck had played on one of Paul's original Logs.
11:02 SHB: I love David Darling. Eight String Religion is excellent for yoga.
10:58 Scott: Including Indiana's own Chris Botti and Alison Krauss. Plus the Best New Age Album went to David Darling's Prayer for Compassion. David Darling is the improv teacher/mentor/friend of my colleague Eric Edberg.
10:57 SHB: I own that album!
10:53 Scott: Best Classical Crossover Album went to Yo Yo Ma and Friends for Songs of Joy. and Peace. Lots of friends: Odair Assad, Sergio Assad, Chris Botti, Dave Brubeck, Matt Brubeck, John Clayton, Paquito d'Rivera, Renée Fleming, Diana Krall, Alison Krauss, Natalie McMaster, Edgar Meyer, Cristina Pato, Joshua Redman, Jake Shimabukuro, Silk Road Ensemble, James Taylor, Chris Thile, Wu Tong, Alon Yavnai & Amelia Zirin-Brown.
10:50 Scott: Best Classical Contemporary Composition (composed within the last 25 years), to Jennifer Higdon's Percussion Concerto, performed by Colin Currie with the London Philharmonic.
10:49 SHB: During this commercial break I would like to comment on all the smokin' black leather jackets that some of the men have worn. Ricky's was slick and I liked Jon Bon Jovi's leather anorak.
10:48 SHB: Can her earrings be any bigger? Wow.
10:47 SHB: Halo!
10:45 Scott: I want to hear more of the horn line. I know I'm biased, though. I was always frustrated when I played in a funk band and they kept us horn players low in the mix.
10:43 SHB: See how he [Dave Matthews] knocks his heels together? Every live song he does that - usually barefoot.
10:36 Scott: Ravel's Bolero to introduce the Academy President!
10:33 Scott: Best Classical Vocal Performance went to Renée Fleming for Verismo Arias.
10:31 Scott: Best Small Ensemble Performance went to David Lang's Pulitzer Prize-winning The Little Match Girl Passion performed by Ars Nova Copenhagen & Theatre Of Voices. This is the first winner that I already own.
10:30 Scott: Yes, that was a nice combination. Quite often the classical/popular voice styles don't mix, but that worked well, and a nice arrangement.
10:29 SHB: So can Mary J...best performance of the night so far.
10:27 Scott: Bridge over Troubled Waters in Italian, pretty cool. Andrea Boccelli can sing.
10:21 Scott: Oh, you know you are just waiting for Dave Matthews!
10:20 SHB: He is a collaborator that's for sure. I guess he is not there. The Mary J and Boccelli thing should be interesting.
10:18 Scott: Why don't they just call that award [Rap/Sung] the Kanye West award? 3 out of the 5 nominees, please!
10:16 SHB: That song was released as a country single last year. I cannot believe he just mispronounced Placido Domingo's name.
10:13 Scott: That was more like Country Rock. I didn't think Nettles' voice and Bon Jovi's voice blended very well. Hers is very strident and clear, whereas his is husky.
10:10 SHB: Jennifer Nettles is SO good. She is one part of the duo Sugarland.
10:09 Scott: Hair Rock is back!
10:05 Scott: Best Chamber Music Performance went to the Emerson Quartet for Intimate Letters, with String Quartets No. 1 and 2 by Leos Janacek and Three Madrigals by Bohulav Martinu.
9:57 Scott: MJ really could wail, much more than any of the live singers, though Carrie Underwood is pretty close.
9:55 Scott: Well, the visual doesn't seem that interesting anyway.
9:54 SHB: Oops no 3D glasses.
9:52 SHB: Finally the MJ tribute.
9:50 SHB: Thank God you agree. I can't carry a tune in a bucket but it kind of sounds horrible.
9:48 Scott: ooh, Taylor is not singing in tune with Stevie Nicks. She is very flat.
9:46 Scott: Was Taylor Swift the one that was interrupted by Kanye West?
9:43 SHB: I am getting pumped up for the MJ tribute. Shout out to Cincy!
9:41 Scott: I'm using the commercial breaks to announce the classical winners, since they don't get their own screen time. Best Instrumental Soloist with Orchestra went to Evgeny Kissin with the Philharmonia Orchestra for Prokofiev's Piano Concertos No. 2 and 3.
9:39 Scott: Wow, nice allusion to bluegrass by the Zac Brown Band at the end of that song.
9:34 SHB: Chris O'Donnell is just one tall drink of cold water. But regarding your question, I feel like Green Day has been around about as long as DMB. AC/DC makes them all seem old. DMB should have won.
9:33 Scott: Is it just me, or was Green Day quite different generationally from all the other nominees for best rock album?
9:30 Scott: Best Choral Performance also went to the Mahler recording by the San Francisco Symphony, with the Pacific Boychoir, San Francisco Symphony Chorus & San Francisco Girls Chorus.
9:28 Scott: Best Instrumental Composition went to Michael Giacchino's "Married Life" from the movie Up.
9:26 SHB: The Slash move was OTT. Over the top.
9:25 Scott: Slash from GnR, that should make you happy, SHB!
9:21 Scott: Hey, that's not nice making fun of opera! Especially with so much AutoTune, Jamie! AutoTune is a means of fixing pitch problems. It can be subtle, or make the voice sound like a synthesizer.
9:21 SHB: Jamie Fox is cool but I think he must use something to enhance his voice??
9:19 SHB: Nice win for Kings of Leon.
9:11 Scott: I actually knew all of the nominees in the comedy album category.
9:08 Scott: I really liked that, especially the way they used the country yodel in a very contemporary and lyrical way.
9:05 SHB: What does the Dr. think about Lady Antebellum?
9:01 Scott: Boston Symphony Orchestra. Best Opera Recording went to a London production of Billy Budd, with Ian Bostridge, Neal Davies, Nathan Gunn, Jonathan Lemalu, Matthew Rose & Gidon Saks. Fellow blogger Anne-Carolyn Bird was nominated with the Wolf Trap Opera company for their recording of Volpone by John Musto.
9:00 SHB: For us less educated, BSO stands for Ball State Orchestra?
8:57 Scott: Okay, he is really singing. Helped by AutoTune, but it doesn't help his breathe control problems that are slowing him down a bit.
8:54 Scott: While listening to the Black Eyed Peas, the best Orchestra Performance went to James Levine and the BSO performing Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé.
8:48 Scott: So is this a signal that country is the growing trend, with them winning best new artist?
8:47 SHB: I love the Zac Brown Band. They have a song that has a line, "I've got my toes in the water, ass in the sand." It doesn't get more country than that.
8:44 Scott: I don't like the combination of piano and blues guitar in this instance. This is a very elaborate production. I don't believe she is really singing, while doing all that spinning.
8:42 SHB: I feel like she just tagged the cover on the end but let's not argue. I like the glitter falling all over Pink. Wow. She just stripped and now she is dripping wet.
8:37 Scott: I didn't notice the trumpeter. I know what a cover song is, but she inserted in the middle of "If I Were a Boy", not a usual practice for a cover.
8:36 SHB: Did you notice the female trumpet player in her band? Do you know her?
8:34 SHB: That's what we call a cover song. I don't think it was very good.
8:33 Scott: Does her song usually have the quote from Alanis Morrissette in there?
8:31 Scott: Okay, it looks like there are semi-regular fans in the audience, the way they are reacting. Though the guy she lifts up out of the audience was clearly a plant.
8:27 SHB: Beyonce can rock it. I wish I had a subway grate thing like that in my room that could blow my hair around and make me look cool.
8:26 Scott: Well, now my kids know who Taylor Swift is. Wow, she wrote all the songs herself, that is impressive.
8:16 Scott: So another musical based on a rock album, like Mamma Mia and the Billy Joel one. The cast singers are good, I'm not crazy about the Green Day lead singer's voice. I do like the song though, especially the orchestrated version.
8:12 SHB: He is annoying. Go Beyonce. Her red carpet outfit was just okay so I am sure she will bring it in her performance. Okay. Musical cast and Green Day together. Let's watch.
8:11 Scott: Ooh, iPad!
8:06 Scott: It works for me. I could do without the smudge marks on the face, but their voices blend nicely and she keeps up musically with him.
8:05 SHB My Dad just called her Lady ZaGa. HA!
8:03 SHB: Okay Scott, can she hang with Elton?
8:02 Scott: She still scares me, but Lady Gaga does have an interesting voice. Lots of different colors.
7:56 Scott: Another classical award, Best Instrumental Soloist Performance without Orchestra went to "Journey to the New World" performed by Joan Baez and Mark O'Connor. So a performance by a folk singer and a fiddler, hmm.
7:51 Scott: Some of the comments at the Fashion Cam are really catty. But I like it that they identify the people for ignoramuses like me.
7:46 Scott: Lady Gaga scares me a little.
7:41 SHB: E! has live coverage now too. Lady Gaga is too much. Love her.
7:38 SHB: For anyone interested, the Fashion Cam on tvguide.com is priceless.
7:34 Scott: Probably very few. We aren't as pretty as the pop/rock people.
7:32 SHB: Does that mean none of the classical people will be on the red carpet? Because I need you to ID all the people I can't.
7:12 Scott: Of course the classical awards are given out off-camera. The Best Engineered Classical Album went to MTT and the San Francisco Symphony's recording of Mahler: Symphony No. 8 in E-Flat Major - Adagio from Symphony No. 10.
5:51 SHB: Got it. Coverage starts in 9 minutes on TV Guide Channel. Woot!
5:46 Scott: This is the preliminary post of our liveblog.