Sunday, February 12, 2012

Where to Be Merry: Music @ The GRAMMY Museum

The Merriment: Four floors of an in-depth look into the music industry, recording technology and The GRAMMYs 

The Vibes: Interactive, hands-on, visually and mentally stimulating

Good for: Anyone who loves, appreciates or is curious about music, recording artists and the recording industry! 

When-to-Go: Open 7 days a week, until 7:30pm unless otherwise noted 

With-Whom-to-Go: Alone, on a date, with friends, with kids, with fellow music aficionados…also a great museum to take your out-of-town visitors 

The $ Factor: Decent (FREE-$12.95); discounts for students, seniors, youth, military and groups 

The 4-1-1: I’ve seen discounted tickets on websites and social media apps like FourSquare, so look around first before purchasing tickets – you might be able to find a good deal 

I’ll Be Back…: To check out the Trouble in Paradise: Music and Los Angeles, 1945-1975 exhibit, which showcases 30 years of pop music in LA, and will be in the museum from February 22nd until June 3rd 

On my first trip to The GRAMMY Museum, I had expected to spend 1 to 2 hours there
while killing some time in downtown Los Angeles. 

Well, I ended up staying for 5 hours. 

And I don’t think I even saw half of what was in the museum. 

And, it looks like I wasn’t alone. I’ve talked with people of varying ages, genders, professions – die hard music fans and those who like a few songs here and there – and they’ve all confessed that their visits unexpectedly lasted for 3, 4, 5 hours at a time. 

There’s just something about this place that sucks you in and keeps you there, awestruck to the point where it feels as though time stands still once you're inside.

In the simplest of terms, The GRAMMY Museum is 4 floors that focus on the history of the recording industry and the legendary GRAMMY awards show. It’s a comprehensive, reverential homage to the artistry, the science, the technology and creativity behind music. It justly showcases all genres, from the most obscure to the widely popular hits that most of us can probably sing in our sleep. To give you an example of how diversified the coverage is, there have been temporary exhibits for John Lennon, Bob Marley and Andrea Bocelli, to name a few. 

In more complex terms, the museum is one of the most unique and highly specialized museum experiences – dare I say – in the world. 

It begins with how you experience it, starting on the 4th floor and then working your way down to the 3rd, 2nd and finally the 1st floor. It continues with the vast array of walls upon walls upon walls of information displayed, and then even how it’s is displayed. There’s not just text to be read or photos to gaze at; there are personal items to ogle over, like Roy Orbison’s infamous black Ray-Ban sunglasses; costumes used during performances by Michael Jackson, Cee-Lo and Rihanna to check out; and there's even lyrics to read – such as those of John Lennon – written on anything from sheet paper to napkins. There are videos to watch; interactive multimedia stations that give a taste of what it’s like to be in a recording studio; and plenty of instruments to tinkle on and to try to play pop songs like Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable.” 

Choose to read all of the captions, or to simply sit and watch past GRAMMY Awards performances. Or, spend your entire time at one of my favorite interactive stations, the Crossroads table (pictured to the right), where you can explore and see how 160 different genres are connected to one another. The point is, however you like your museum experience to be – passive, interactive or a little bit of both – you have it here. 

I also appreciate that it isn’t solely about The GRAMMYs. The museum does a great job of going so much farther beyond the awards show to truly bring transparency, accessibility and understanding about the entire music-making to the average person. 

With all of that said, I’ve been to a lot of museums in my lifetime, and I’d confidently consider The GRAMMY Museum to be one of the best that I’ve ever visited. Of course, it’s a completely different feel than strolling through the Louvre in Paris, or wandering throughout the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, but in its own right, The GRAMMY Museum is a special, unique place. I can’t wait to go back and see everything I haven’t seen yet, which is a lot. Perhaps I’ll see you there soon, too! 

For More Information:

Since taking photos is prohibited within the space, I couldn't take any of my own photos to post, so all photos are taken from The GRAMMY museum website


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