So because of my BIL’s absence, “Grammy night” turned into “Grammy weekend” for me, starting with this charity event. Apparently, every year they nominate a person of the year, and that musician is honored by other musicians performing covers of his or her songs. (Last year was Neil Diamond. I was dying to go to that one, but my clever husband pointed out that I would have just cried through the whole thing, as ND was my mom’s favorite thing in the world. That and Sound of Music/Julie Andrews.) All the while, this is also an auction for the charity.

Jack Black was the MC. He helped out by auctioning off his shoes, then tie, then pants. (Click here for Rolling Stone’s coverage and USA Today’s. And may I add that the RS article is the first mention I’ve seen of how much sister’s company paid for me to be there. Wow! I always wanted to go to one of those fancy-pants charity dinners. Didn’t realize I HAD been!) I have never cared much about Neil Young, but I assumed that was because he is a bit before my time and that if I were to be properly educated about him, I would be more impressed. I am happy to say, I came away from MusiCares with exactly this. I never realized what a huge influence Neil Young has been, just how many great songs he’s written, just how long he’s been around putting out unique music.

I also enjoyed that the show was relatively intimate. From this I got a sense of musicians as a “family”. Instead of seeing them as celebrities, with the gloss of tv or other production between myself and them, I was struck by how talented the performers were. How much they really know about music. (Something about the casual manner in which Dave Matthews just walked out on stage, chatted a bit – perfectly comfortable – picked up a guitar and struck up his song…it was impressive.)  And I saw them as people making a living off of music as a complicated and technical craft, not images of people produced by hair stylists, studio synthesizers and Photoshop. That’s what I enjoyed most about MusiCares – totally new respect for many of the musicians out there.

My only performance gossip? Everyone blew me away – especially Norah Jones, Ben Harper, Keith Urban and Josh Groban (I read the USA Today’s critique of the performance, which I heartily disagree with.) – except one of the most anticipated: the Red Hot Chili Peppers. They were pretty bad.

That’s if for today. I will sort out photos tonight. (And by that I mean tonight – as I’ve promised my sister – not my common meaning of “sometime soon…ish”.)

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