Thursday, December 2, 2010

Grammy noms are out, I'm not impressed

Fresh on the heals of Paste's best of the year list are today's Grammy nominations, the official "best music" awards.

Seems like everyone was nominated, at least according to all the e-mails I've been getting today.

We'll get to the actual categories in a minute, but the most interesting tidbit to me is that of 542 total nominations in 109 categories, 273 went to artists on independent labels.

1) 542 nominations?! Holy cannoli... That's, um, a lot. If I put out a record next year, maybe I'll be nominated for a Grammy.

2) 273 for indies? That's more than half. Granted, the guys nominated for contemporary jazz album or best instrumental soloist performance (without orchestra) aren't putting records out on Sony. But that's still a lot.

Let's take a look at the big categories, shall we?

Record of the Year (This one goes to the performer and/or producer of the best song.)
"Nothin' On You" by B.o.B. feat. Bruno Mars
"Love The Way You Lie" by Eminem feat. Rihanna
"Fuck You" by Cee Lo Green
"Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys
"Need You Now" by Lady Antebellum

Um, could we think of a more mainstream list? I think it's cool that "Fuck You" is on there, but nearly every one of those artists had a better song on the album they released. Ugh. Moving on...

Album of the Year (Goes to the artist and/or producer of the best album.)
"The Suburbs" by Arcade Fire
"Recovery" by Eminem
"Need You Now" by Lady Antebellum
"The Fame Monster" by Lady Gaga
"Teenage Dream" by Katy Perry

I give props to Arcade Fire for scoring a huge nomination by one of the little guys. Awesome. Superb work. And congrats to Merge Records, too. But Katy Perry did not put out one of the five best albums of the year, let alone one in the top 25. Gross.

Song of the Year (Goes to the best songwriter, which is not necessarily the performer)
"Beg Steal or Borrow" by Ray LaMontagne
"Fuck You" by Cee-Lo Green, Philip Lawrence, Bruno Mars
"The House That Built Me" by Tom Douglas, Allen Shamblin (performed by Miranda Lambert)
"Love The Way You Lie" by Alexander Grant, Holly Hafferman, Marshall Mathers (Eminem & Rihanna)
"Need You Now" by Dave Haywood, Josh Kear, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott (Lady Antebellum)

Again, not feeling it here. Move on? Good idea.

Best New Artist
Justin Bieber
Florence & the Machine
Mumford & Sons
Esperanza Spalding

Bieber? Oh, come on. Drake I understand, but Florence & the Machine is only on there because of the MTV awards show they performed on. Mumford & Sons is a damn fine pick and a very surprising one to me, at that. I hope they win, but they won't. Who in the hell is Esperanza Spalding??? If she wins, I'll eat a raw egg. Then I'll upload the video here. Promise.

Best Rock Performance By A Duo or Group With Vocals
"Ready to Start" by Arcade Fire
"I Put A Spell On You" by Jeff Beck, Joss Stone
"Tighten Up" by the Black Keys
"Radioactive" by Kings of Leon
"Resistance" by Muse

I'm surprised by the amount of good stuff in this category, which is why I included it. It's actually a good mix of expected and unexpected for me. Kings of Leon feel like they're in here because of their last album, not their current one, but the inclusion of Muse, Black Keys and Arcade Fire is pretty stellar.

Best Alternative Music Album
"The Suburbs" by Arcade Fire
"Infinite Arms" by Band of Horses
"Brothers" by the Black Keys
"Broken Bells" by Broken Bells
"Contra" by Vampire Weekend

This is generally the category I care about most since it usually highlights an indie-ish band. Phoenix won last year. Arcade Fire is going to win this time around. I don't really doubt that considering they were nominated for best album. These are all good choices, though certainly not my top five. But it's a pretty good representation, I think.

So, that's the big ones (in my opinion). Close to the date, I'll list about 20 of the pop/rock/rap categories and list who I think should win and who I think actually will win. I went about 50/50 in my choices last year.

Overall, I think it's pretty lackluster, but that's usually my opinion of the Grammys in general. The awards almost never go to who deserves them and neither do the nominations. Where's the nom for Sleigh Bells or Blitzen Trapper? They both put out better records than Katy Perry.

Oh well. Just 73 days until the awards are given out. I'll bitch about it more then.


  1. I was surprised that Band of Horses got a nom. Good for them! And yes, while Arcade will take that category, Black Keys put out the best album of the year.

  2. Esperanza Spalding is pretty amazing. It's very cool that she made the list. Give her a listen.

  3. Theresa - That's why I always do a "will win" and "should win" when I do my Grammy predictions. It doesn't always pan out the way I think it should.

    Shlee - I was pretty intrigued by Spalding's nomination, so I'm going to have a look. I did some reading on her yesterday. I guess she just flew under my radar.


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