the obligatory grammy post 2010
    • TUESDAY, DECEMBER 08, 2009

    • Posted by:

    I apologize in advance for discussing any national televised broadcast that would allow Stevie Wonder to perform with The Jonas Brothers a**clowns.

    It's that time of year. The illustrious void between Thanksgiving and Christmas brings shopping, insufferable commercials, TV specials, It's A Wonderful Life, and lots of drinking. I'm always thankful for the slowdown of emails, the end-of-year relaxed environment that coats the music biz and allows publicists, labels and artists to totally check out/drink at their desks (so I'm told). But before they can make mojitos instead of answering their phones, The Grammy nominations are announced, and they must pay attention! We all must(kind of)! The so-called most irrelevant night in music (by me, and most of my friends) continues to show its ignorance this year, and leaves me wondering where the future of music recognition is going in ten years or so. Its too bad the CIA invented dinosaurs to discourage time travel, because I'd LOVE to fast-forward to when our iBrains play every song ever created and Lady GaGa's head performs "Bad Romance" to a crowd of millions on Planet Live Nation and no one cares anymore.

    Only in America!

    The announcement was made December 4th. Some of the nominees, via Prefix Mag:

    Album of the Year:
    Beyonce - I Am Sasha Fierce
    Black Eyed Peas - The E.N.D.
    Lady GaGa - The Fame
    Dave Matthews Band - Big Whiskey & The Groogrux King
    Taylor Swift Fearless

    Record of the Year:
    Beyonce - "Halo"
    Black Eyed Peas - "I Gotta Feeling"
    Kings Of Leon - "Use Somebody"
    Lady GaGa - "Poker Face"
    Taylor Swift - "You Belong With Me"

    Song Of The Year
    Lady GaGa - "Poker Face"
    Maxwell - "Pretty Wings"
    Beyonce - "Single Ladies"
    Kings Of Leon - "Use Somebody"
    Taylor Swift - "You Belong With Me"

    Best New Artist
    Zac Brown Band
    Keri Hilson
    Silversun Pickups
    The Ting Tings

    Best Alternative Album
    David Byrne & Brian Eno - Everything That Happens Will Happen Today
    Death Cab For Cutie - The Open Door
    Depeche Mode - Sounds Of The Universe
    Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
    Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!

    No big surprise, Beyonce and other mainstreamers clean up the big dog awards. Good puppy! Now go away. Let's save that bone for another day of picking it (huh?).

    The blogs and whatever all had their lofty opinions of the who-shoulds and why-thems, but really the biggest question for me is always relevance. Does it matter if you win a Grammy anymore? I mean its still considered a high honor and blah-blah looks good for selling more of whatever, snore. But some of these categories have, like, real potential! And they still suck! Like Best New Artist for example. There is a true category with the potential to honor some talented emerging artists, perhaps the ones hitting the festival circuit like CMJ and SXSW? No? Notice anything weird about these bands? Yeah, two I've never heard of, and the other three aren't new at all. WHAT UP WITH THAT?

    Seriously. A closer look:

    Silversun Pickups: "The band released their debut EP, Pikul, in July 2005, and their debut full-length album, Carnavas, on July 26, 2006."

    MGMT: "They graduated in 2005 and toured extensively in support of the Time to Pretend EP, opening for indie rock band of Montreal."

    Ting Tings: "The band's debut album, We Started Nothing, was released on 19 May 2008."

    SPOILER: The other two, after further research, both started their careers around 2001.

    I think the only thing all the BNA nominees have in common is a successful commercial run with a song or two.

    Note: this was added and presumably aired in '07.

    Just kidding! That last one was for giggles.

    My point is, if there is going to be a Best New Artist category, it shouldn't be based on commercial success or mainstream radio play, major label distribution, or any of the criteria it currently uses. They might as well call it "Best Artist To Suddenly Become A Household Name or Equivalent."

    As for Best Alt Album? I'm actually thrilled to see Phoenix and Yeah Yeah Yeahs get nods, even if its only because they also were prominently featured in commercials in the last six months.

    The Hills?

    "The Cadillac with crossovers." Ha. Like crossover artist? Like Phoenix? GET IT?

    But if Death Cab For Cutie wins a grammy for what is possibly their most watered down nonsense I've ever heard, I'll be quiting my life. Without saving.

    OK, I'm done! See you next year for the obligatory winners rant!* -joe puglisi

    *Probably not.

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