Tag Archives: Grammy

Some Thoughts About the Grammy Nominees

Grammy“Record of the Year.” What are they going to do if Cee Lo Green gets it? Will they have Bono make the presentation given that he’s comfortable dropping the F-bomb on broadcast television? Will CBS be able to afford another dustup with the FCC? And why is it that three out of the five nominees need to leverage themselves with another performer (B.o.B featuring Bruno Mars; Eminem featuring Rihanna; Jay-Z and Alicia Keys)? Shouldn’t Cee Lo and Lady Antebellum get some sort of single-combat advantage?

“Album of the Year.” This is clearly a carefully calculated blend, one that may have been concocted to help move discs with those little “Grammy” stickers that can be affixed to the packaging of nominees. Arcade Fire from Alternative; Eminem from Rap; Lady Antebellum from Country; and Lady Gaga and Katy Perry from Pop. Sell, sell, sell.

“Song of the Year.” Again, the Cee Lo issue.

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Sales: Grammy Bump 2010

GrammyChuck D said it best: Who gives a fuck about a goddamn Grammy? (“Terminator X To The Edge Of Panic”). Well, apparently a bunch of American album buyers care, because every year sales get a bump from the tired award show telecast. And more people watched this year than they have in a while: “The Grammy Awards hit a high note in the Nielsen ratings, with 25.8 million viewers — the most for the show since 2004 and up 35% compared to last year’s broadcast.” Bread and circuses…

GLONO Grammy coverage: 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2001.

Grammy Stars Shine On Billboard 200:

1. Lady Antebellum – “Need You Now” – 209,000 (down 57%)

2. Lil Wayne – “Rebirth” – 176,000 (debut)

3. Nick Jonas & the Administration – “Who I Am” – 82,000 (debut)

4. Lady Gaga – “The Fame” – 79,000 (up 17%)

5. “2010 Grammy Nominees” – 71,000 (up 55%)

6. Black Eyed Peas – “The E.N.D.” – 70,000 (up 76%)

7. Taylor Swift – “Fearless” – 53,000 (up 58%)

8. Rob Zombie – “Hellbilly Deluxe 2” – 49,000

9. Susan Boyle – “I Dreamed a Dream” – 46,000 (down 21%)

10. Zac Brown Band – “The Foundation” – 40,000 (up 82%)

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Bad Amy Makes Good

Amy Winehouse She was denied a visa to enter the US, presumably after being arrested and fined in Norway for cannabis possession (or the even more recent video of apparent pipe huffing), and she had to be sprung from rehab to perform in London, but the 50th Annual Grammies were all Amy’s. The girl who gives Pete Doherty a run for his drug money gave Kanye West a slight beating and topped all honors with 5 Grammies out of the six for which she was nominated. So, can we all agree she’s legit?

I can understand why people might be sick of the drama. It seems every other week has another popstar stumbling out of a club and into rehab only to emerge weeks later with a renewed spirit and ultimately short-lived sobriety. It’s hypocritical and it’s childish and it’s self serving…yes. But these are entertainers we’re talking about here and since when did pop and rock fans become so fucking self righteous, and even worse, puritanical!?

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The 49th Annual Grammy Awards

Justin Timberlake at the 2007 GrammysA stream of conscious report of the recording industry’s biggest night with much love going to Jesus and Mary J. Blige. But why did Prince hold out on us?

Not being a massive Police fan but more of a Greatest Hits listener, I wasn’t especially excited to see them reunited, but as a music and culture watcher I was interested to see what was maybe the most powerful band of the 80s back on stage. Instead of the capable but unexciting walk through I’d expected, Sting, Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers came together to justify the euphoria rumors of their reunion sparked a couple months ago. Today’s current crop of rock-reggae fusion steppers should take note.

Oddly, that excitement was immediately subdued with the awarding of the Best Pop Duo to Tony Bennett and Stevie Wonder who stumbled to the stage and then were unceremoniously played off while they tried to thank their families.

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Where’s Mulder When You Need Him?

Gee, I wonder how this happens? Let’s see. . .CBS is broadcasting the Grammy Awards (Notice: “Grammy” is a registered trademark, so if you have a propensity to refer to an aged maternal relative with that term, beware, you may invoke the wrath of a SWAT team of lawyers) Sunday February 11, and on the preceding Friday, on the CBS “Hit Drama” (ipse dixit) “Ghost Whisperer” (admit it: You watch it for Jennifer Love Hewitt with the sound off), Mary J. Blige, who is nominated for a slew of Grammys (or is that “Grammies”?), is appearing (as “the coach of a high-ranked high school cheerleading team whose members are being disabled, one by one, by seemingly freak accidents in the days preceding their big cheerleading competition”). Funny how that works out, eh? On a hit CBS show one night and then a CBS Grammy presentation a couple later. Almost spooky. Of course, who is going to ponder that when there are Jennifer and high school cheerleaders and freakish accidents. . .?

Grammys 2005: Sing it loud.

The new Jacko and his ladyfriendThe 47th Grammy Awards emphasized performers over presenters. Music, of course, more effectively justifies a three hour-plus runtime than the common award show litany of envelopes and air kisses. And set pieces of spouting fire and arcing candlepower are nothing new to the annual event, which suffered as usual from certain inevitables like sluggish pacing, stale banter, cartoonish staging, and John Norris. But this year’s show nevertheless emphasized the dedication to craft that singing or playing an instrument on a professional level requires. Notably absent: Ashlee Simpson, Ryan Cabrera, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, or the glut of heaving alt.metal dweebs that have replaced Limp Bizkit – in other words, celebrity tinfoil biters that derive buzz/revenue from top of mind spark and little else. These types are feted and fawned over at baseless MTV extravaganzas, but they’re absent when it’s time to bring anything worthwhile past the red carpet. They also too often represent US music and pop culture, when the real currents of taste run equally through brash punk redux, songs about the southland, and – most powerfully this year – through the wire.

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Grammys 2004: What a Fool Believes

Andre 3000's left and right nipplesIt was nice of CBS to hire the sound crew from Santa Monica High School’s winter production of “L’il Abner” for its live broadcast of the 46th annual Grammy Awards. It was music’s biggest night – or whatever – but pops, clicks, buzzes and feedback plagued both performer and presenter alike, causing even the coldest hearted French-Canadian dragon lady a few moments of very real frustrated bluster. The vocational school audio enthusiasts out in the sound truck unwittingly helped bust up the veneer that usually separates us from things like the fancy shmancy Staples Center Grammys.

The event was live – or at least live after a five-minute signal reroute meant to give CBS’ newly-installed naked boob-lancing SDI war machines time to power up and scorch the sky, the better to prevent the tainting of innocent cherubs. But this live-ish broadcast was fraught with clunky pacing issues and awkward teenage camera cue blues, making us wonder just how far forty years of televised music and media have really brought the medium.

This year’s Grammys became an unraveling ball of elaborate performance setpieces, distended award receptions, and unfinished strings of confused reaction shots and glittering, empty platforms – shards of a shattering mirrorball of an industry that no longer has the upper hand of cushioned celebrity detachment with which to burnish its often marginal product. Thanks, SMHS sound geeks. Your ineptitude demystified the illusion once and for all, unmasked Mr. Johnson. He might’ve gotten away with it, were it not for you pesky kids.

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Don’t Know Why – The 2003 Grammys

The Glorious Noise compound was alive with laughter after the 45th Annual Grammy Awards concluded last Sunday night. Sure, this year’s show featured numerous artists who made the big decision to actually sing, which is a real milestone, since it happens so rarely anymore. And performances from Eminem, Kid Rock, Sheryl Crow, James Taylor, and Yo Yo Ma were entertaining for different reasons. But in the end, it was just another howler of an award show, and it deserves to be eviscerated. Yes, of course it’s an easy target. But so is MTV’s John Norris. And you don’t see Glorious Noise making fun of that corpse-like fancypants, do you?

What follows then is a quick rundown of this year’s show. Fred Durst is in aggreeance with Glorious Noise that it sucked, and Peace is cool, or something.

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While there is what seems to be an excess of attention to the feats of Alicia Keys and U2 vis-à-vis the upcoming Grammy Awards®, what is perhaps of more interest is that there are other performers who have been nominated for various awards who have gotten little if any run, probably because many people are completely unaware that these performers are doing anything nowadays.

For example:

*Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight.” James Taylor. Think about that for a minute. I mean, didn’t he do that song about 20 years ago?

*Best Dance Recording. “Angel.” Lionel Richie. Well, he did sing once about dancin’ on the ceiling.

*Best Pop Instrumental Album. “Voice.” Neal Schon. No, Steve Perry doesn’t seem to be nominated for anything. But don’t stop believin’.

*Best Metal Performance. “The Wizard.” Black Sabbath. Ozzy must be Iron Man. You’d think he’d have succumbed to rabies or something by now.

*Best Rock Instrumental Performance. “High Falls.” The Allman Brothers Band. Consider this: back when the band was popular (post-Duane), Gregg was going out with Cher.

There are a few other curiosities, as well. Take the category “Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album.” Who do you think would be in that category? I’m guessing that you didn’t think Rosemary Clooney, who is up for “Sentimental Journey—The Girl Singer and Her New Big Band.” Anything but the girl.

While I am not familiar with the work of Brave Combo, I suspect that they might be a good group, judging by the name of the album that’s up for the best album in its category: “Kick-Ass Polkas.” I can just picture some of my relatives whooping it up at a VFW hall.

Clearly, the best name of any work that’s up for an award this year comes from one Bill Kirchen, who is in the Best Country Instrumental Performance category: “Poultry in Motion.” There are a lot of groups who try to come up with clever titles. They don’t have a clue.

The most disturbing nominee this year is in the Best Spoken World Album for Children. Let me repeat that: “Children.” The name of the recording in question is “Timeless Tales & Music of Our Time.” Sound innocuous enough, right? Well, then consider the person doing the speaking: Dr. Ruth Westheimer. “Timeless Tales…” hmm, maybe she spins a story about the oldest profession.