The reason for their decline to perform was the Grammy show's current policy for musical mashups. While on the surface this may seem an exciting idea, in reality it always seems a bit insincere. It's cool when acts collaborate when they truly dig each other, but when they're forced for the sake of a television show, it dilutes the impact of all the acts involved. Most of us would rather see the acts perform their own material, for better or worse.
Bon Iver's lead singer Justin Vernon told Billboard, "We wanted to play our music, but were told that we couldn't play [it]. We had to do a collaboration with someone else, and we just felt like it was such a large stage, we're getting nominated for this record that we made, .... and all of a sudden we were asked to play music that had nothing to do with that."
There are a lot of things wrong with the Grammy's (don't get me started), and this is one of them. The entire organization now revolves around the show and its ratings, instead of the science and art of making better music. It would be totally refreshing if the organization returned to that mission, but I'm not expecting it in my lifetime.
More on the Grammys in days to come.
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