Nobody cares about the Grammy Awards, right? Or Tonys, or Ocsars, or Peabodys even? I’m sure these sort of media awards mean something to someone. My true love is music, though, and the Grammys are usually the worst of them all in terms of artistic merit being a factor; yes, Eminiem has an Oscar, but that’s more an exception and not a rule. Not so much for the near farcical Grammys. I’ve given my own awards to some of this year’s nominees.
The Missed My Turn Onto I-64 And Ended Up In East St. Louis On My Way To Kentucky Award
Winner: “Need You Now”, by Lady Antebellum, nominated for Record of the Year. . . along with B.O.B, Eminem, Cee-Lo, and Jay-Z. They couldn’t have a weirder mix, like adding some Dutch National Army Choir recording their national anthem or something? How ’bout Weird Al reading a kid’s book? Again, this is the big award, and I’m sure it will matter to someone. But could you imagine getting this ballot in the mail?
Related: Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now”, in ceremonies held earlier, won the Your Parallel Development Argument Is Falling On The Deaf Ears Of The Alan Parsons Project Award.
The So Much Like Black Sabbath We Would Like To Win A Grammy Just Like They Did Award
Winner: “Black Rain”, by Soundgarden, nominated for Best Hard Rock Performance.
Soundgarden is not a stranger to to the controversies caused by the ridiculous nominations and voting that the Grammys produce; in 1994 they won a Grammy in the Best Hard Rock Performance category for “Black Hole Sun”, and a Grammy for Best Metal Performance for. . . “Spoonman”. I’m sure the voters chose that song as the winner because spoons are, obviously, made of metal.
Regardless, seeing as how Black Sabbath got their only Grammy in 1999 for a song, “Iron Man”, that they wrote in 1970, it is only fitting that Soundgarden should get one for an unrecorded track they wrote twenty years ago. The song does make a fist the size, and the temperature, of the center of the earth and pummels your face with it, which is the scientific defination of Hard Rock.
They would have some sexy competition from “New Fang”, by Them Crooked Vultures, but the voters have no fucking idea what they’re doing(please supply your own “Crest of a Knave” joke).
The If You Put Your Ear Against The Speaker You Can Hear The Ocean Because The Ocean Is Filled With The Shit And Piss Of Billions Of Sea Creatures Award
Winner: Justin Beiber, nominated for Best New Artist
They put Esperanza Spalding in a category that involves artists. I get that. They put Mumford & Sons and Florence & The Machine in this category, too; fine bands, and those ampersands really class up the place. They added Drake, which wouldn’t be my choice, but it’s nice to have a hip-hopper involved.
I’ll give you ten seconds to tell me why Justin Bieber belongs with them. I’ll be using those ten seconds to get a running start for my Drago-esque sternum punch I will deliver when you’re done, so take a deep breath.
The Most Awkwardly Awesome Cross-Country Winnebago Trip Across America Award
Winner: The nominees for Best Pop Instrumental Performance Award: Laurie Anderson, Jeff Beck, Stanley Clarke, Gorillaz, and Brian Setzer.
Nothing to add here, except for Lou Reed tagging along is a dealbreaker.
The There’s Public Image Limited on American Bandstand And Then There’s Everyone Else Award
Winner: Carrie Underwood, nominated for Best Female Country Vocal Performance
Did you watch that Esperanza Spalding Trio video? Did you hate it? I totally respect your right to do so. But she is undeniably talented. For me, Carrie Underwood is in the same camp. I really don’t like any of her music. But she can really sing. The acid test is seeing someone on The Grand Old Opry, where people really show their oops-I-used-Pro-Tools colors; Carrie Underwood, on her Opry debut, was the best singer I had heard in a month of performances.
Also nominated in this category? Jewel, who, in ceremonies held earlier, won the Christopher McNatt Memorial “Her Teeth Piss Me Off” Award.
The “Mom, Dad’s Hogging The Ouija Board Again!” Award
Winners: Iron Maiden, Slayer, and Megadeth, nominated for Best Metal Performance.
Lamb Of God and Korn(really?) round out the nominations. This is probably Megadeth’s turn to win. This award has only been offered since 1990(in 1989, hard rock and metal were catagorized together), and the majority of awards have been given to Metallica, Slayer, and. . .um. . . Nine Inch Nails. But, groups like the afore-mentioned Black Sabbath and Judas Priest usually win out over upstarts(Shadows Fall, Mastadon, the giggle-worthy but still metal DragonForce) because the voters have, rest assured, never heard any of the actual songs. They at least recognize the name Megadeth, even if their spell checkers do not.
The Too Weird To Be X, Where “X” Equals “Any Sort Of Music Black People Make” Award
Winners: Bilal, Cee-Lo, Carolyn Malachai, Janelle Monae, and Eric Roberson: The Best Urban/Alternative Performance nominees.
Surely you believe me when I say that I know weird when I hear it. This entire catagory is for musicians who make “urban” music that is too creative for the audiences that they are marketed to my the music business machines; N.E.R.D., Outkast, Kenna, Sade, and the like. Check out the song, “Still”, from Eric Roberson–
A five-minute song that is four minutes of somewhat ambient buildup, just to completely do something different in the last minute, connected by the lyrical context. It’s the R&B version of Sigur Ros, which is awesome. But too weird to go up against “straight” R&B in a competition. Every song in this category is great, and every song should win against their counterparts, were they nominated in the correct group. This is why the Grammy’s suck.
The Too Weird To Be X, Where “X” Equals “Any Sort Of Music Non-Black People Make” Award
Winners: Rosanne Cash, Los Lobos, Willie Nelson, Robert Plant, and Mavis Staples: nominees of Best Americana Album catagory
The Put All One-Hundred-And-Nine Grammys In A Big Box And Give Them To This Guy Award
Winner: Roky Erickson, whose album, True Love Cast Out All Evil, is nominated for Best Album Notes.
I will be expository about this album in an upcoming post, but it should be said that it’s probably the best album out of the 300 or so, and it was only nominated for it’s album notes(full disclosure: I only have a digital copy, so I’m not sure what the contents are). I was wrong earlier: this is the reason the Grammys suck.