Tag Archives: Grammys

Philosophy and The Recording Academy

The Recording Academy—which, if you think about it, is a rather unusual name for the organization in that Merriam-Webster has it that academy, when used in a capitalized manner as it is here, is “(a) the school for advanced education founded by Plato; (b) the philosophical doctrines associated with Plato’s Academy,” and near as I can tell, there is not a whole lot of philosophizing going on during the annual GRAMMY Awards®; the third definition has it as “a society of learned persons organized to advance art, science, or literature” and the fourth “a body of established opinion widely accepted as authoritative in a particular field,” so while it is clear that there’s nothing Platonic about it, we have to wonder whether the Recording Academy Voting Members are “a society of learned persons” or if they somehow are the keepers of “opinion widely accepted as authoritative,” which doesn’t seem to be the case due to controversies associated with some awardees each and every year—has come out with a set of rules and guidelines for the 65th GRAMMY Awards.

The first round of voting for the awards, which will be presented on February 5, 2023, opens on October 13 and closes 10 days later. Nominations are announced three weeks later (November 15), then a month after that the final round of voting begins. What are the voters during that month doing? Wouldn’t one assume that they’ve already heard the music of the nominees? After all, they have voted to put those musicians in that category of finalists. But there is one thing that is somewhat curious vis-à-vis the presumed learned or authoritative Academy: two weeks after the nominees have been announced is the “Deadline for errors and omissions to the nominations.” So does this mean that somehow there has been a GRAMMY-level individual or group that has somehow slipped by the voting members of the Academy? If that’s the case, what has been going on since October 13?

The final round of voting begins on December 14, which means, that there is roughly two weeks for those who were overlooked (overheard?) to have been put on the ballot so they can be considered. The voting ends January 4, 2023.

One of the criticisms of the awards is that of relevance. So the organizers have come up with some new categories or names for previously existing categories. There is now “Alternative Music Performance” and “Score Soundtrack for Video Games and Other Interactive Media.” They recognized that for the 64th award there was “No performance Category to acknowledge the popularity of Americana music” so for the 65th there is the new category, “Americana Performance.”

Note the word popularity there. A question of whether the GRAMMY Awards are presented to the best or the most popular seems to be answered with the use of that term by the learned individuals.

Continue reading Philosophy and The Recording Academy

COVID on the Beach

“Despite ambitious protocols, the Omicron variant with its unexpectedly high transmissibility rates is pushing the limits of health safety, travel and other infrastructures. Thus, Sundance Festival’s 2022 in-person Utah elements will be moving online.”—the Sundance Institute

The event timing: January 20 to January 30
The decision to go virtual: January 5


“After careful consideration and analysis with city and state officials, health and safety experts, the artist community and our many partners, the Recording Academy and CBS have postponed the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards Show. The health and safety of those in our music community, the live audience, and the hundreds of people who work tirelessly to produce our show remains our top priority. Given the uncertainty surrounding the Omicron variant, holding the show on January 31st simply contains too many risks.”—the Recording Academy and CBS

The event timing: January 31
The decision to postpone the event: January 5


“With much sadness and after great consideration of every possible scenario, the @PlayTheSand shows in Riviera Cancun on January 7-10 and January 13-16 have now been canceled by @CID_Presents due to the spiking COVID-19 cases…Dead & Company and @CID_Presents tried everything possible to bring normalcy and to deliver a great experience and amazing music, but with each day it became increasingly clear that canceling is the correct thing to do for the fans and for our crew… Please refer to the Playing in the Sand email that will be sent shortly with all details about refunds. See you soon, hug your loved ones, stay safe and be kind.”—Dead & Company

The event timing: January 7, 9, 10, 13, 15, 16
The decision to cancel: January 6

Continue reading COVID on the Beach

Grammy, 2022

When I first told Henry Melrose that I was writing for a site named “Glorious Noise,” he looked at me with the proverbial—and in his case, actual—raised eyebrow.

“I didn’t take you as being ostensibly religious,” he said.


And he quickly rattled off:

“Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the LORD with shouting, and with sound of the cornet, and with trumpets, and with cymbals, making a noise with psalteries and harps.”– Chronicles-1 15:28

And he said, [It is] not the voice of [them that] shout for mastery, neither [is it] the voice of [them that] cry for being overcome: [but] the noise of [them that] sing do I hear.”– Exodus 32:18

Sing unto him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise.”– Psalms 33:3

To the chief Musician, A Song [or] Psalm. Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands”– Psalms 66:1

And several more.

“Glorious,” he remarked. “From the old French, glorie, as in ‘splendor of God or Christ, praise offered to God.’”

Evidently sitting in that Audi A5 all day on stakeouts gives him a lot of time for reading.

“Hey, listen to this,” he said, and increased the volume of the 755-W Bang & Olufsen sound system. “’A Beautiful Noise,’” he yelled over the pianos. “Alicia Keys and Brandi Carlile. It is nominated for the 2022 Grammy Song of the Year.”

I started thinking about the Grammys.

Continue reading Grammy, 2022

Trophy in a Morgue or on the Mantlepiece: Roll the Dice

“The deteriorating COVID situation in Los Angeles, with hospital services being overwhelmed, ICUs having reached capacity, and new guidance from state and local governments have all led us to conclude that postponing our show was the right thing to do. Nothing is more important than the health and safety of those in our music community and the hundreds of people who work tirelessly on producing the show.”

That is part of a joint statement from Harvey Mason, Jr., chair and interim president/CEO of the Recording Academy; Jack Sussman, executive vice president, Specials, Music, Live Events and Alternative Programming [there’s a lot to unpack with that list], CBS [no there isn’t]; and Ben Winston, GRAMMY Awards® executive producer, Fulwell 73 Productions.

The three were announcing that the presentation would be postponed from January 31 to March 14. They made their statement on January 5.

This is being written on January 16. According to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, Los Angeles County leads the nation in confirmed COVID-19 cases: 990,632. Cook County is in second place, at 429,270, or about 57% of LA. Deaths? LA County is number one with a bullet, at 13,504 deaths. Cook is at 8,939.

This is not to make light of those numbers. Not at all.

But it is to draw attention to the fact that things are not good in LA County—to understate things.
According to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) of the University of Washington, today (January 16) there are 391,609 deaths in the U.S. from COVID-19.

March 14? The projection is that that number will increase to 540,433. Deaths.

Continue reading Trophy in a Morgue or on the Mantlepiece: Roll the Dice

Days of the Past in the Future

The gramophone was invented in the late 19th century.

Does it seem at all odd that it is the object mounted on a pedestal for the Grammy Award?

Yes, there is certainly something to be said for tradition, but arguably that would be akin to Motor Trend giving the winner of its Car of the Year Award a hand-crank trophy.

The Recording Academy, which puts on the Grammy Awards, consists of musicians, songwriters, producers, engineers, recording professionals, and quite possibly historians.

And the Academy is doing its damnedest to maintain relevance for the Grammy Awards, and doing what it can to extend the franchise.

As in holding “The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!!—Countdown to Music’s Biggest Night” [imagine that this page is literally littered with those little R-in-a-circle registered marks.]

The Concert Live!! will feature Maroon 5 and Luke Bryan. It will follow the one-hour live TV show (on CBS) during which the nominations will be announced. Two-time Grammy winner (and star of the CBS show “NCIS: Los Angeles”) LL Cool J and six-time Grammy winner Taylor Swift (a cover headline about Swift on the current Delta Airlines in-flight magazine: “Building the Brand of the Sweetest Girl in the Whole Wide World”) will be the hosts of the show. Of course.

According to the Academy, the nominations show is given credit for increased ratings for the 54th annual Grammy Awards, the largest audience since 1984. I wonder how many viewers were actually in search of “The Big Bang Theory.”

Award shows are all about moving product. Whether it is the Oscars or the Grammys, it is about acknowledgment of difference, of distinction. Those who didn’t buy tickets to see that movie or didn’t download that album may be likely to do so as a result of the award. “Oh, it won the Whatitz Award last night—I’d better get on it!!” (The dual exclamation point is sort of engaging, isn’t it?)

But it is that last thing that brings us back to the gramophone. It once was that gold stickers were proudly attached to the shrink-wrapped packaging of the 33 rpm LP or to the jewel case CD. But now that those are vastly reduced in number, where’s the sticker go? What is the upside for the recording artists several weeks after the event, when “Grammy Award Winner” is no longer used in the on-line descriptor of the music. (It is highly unlikely that people would buy music from an un- or barely-familiar performer/band if it is described in a general sense as a winner: there must be something specific that that victory is attached to.)

Perhaps this is the real reason behind the nomination show, the post-nomination concert (yes, Ticketmaster is handling it), and the televised event (February 10, 2013, 8 pm ET/PT, CBS): it helps with the ad revenue. I wonder how much the recording artists make on any of that?

Well, at least there is the opportunity to get a historic artifact.

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.

Continue reading Some Thoughts About the Grammy Nominees

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%)

Continue reading Sales: Grammy Bump 2010

Twitter Roundup #9

Tweet tweetBelow are the things we’ve posted to Twitter recently. In reverse chronological order, just like Twitter… We’re reposting 196 tweets this time with a total of 109 links to stuff that (mostly) didn’t end up on GLONO.

Also included in this round are Phil’s comments on shows in Portland including the Maldives, Black Whales, the Jay Farrar/Ben Gibbard show he later reviewed, and the Motels! And my comments on “American Idol” and Conan O’Brien’s final “Tonight Show” that featured Neil Young and a group cover of “Freebird.” Oh, and lots of bitchy re-tweets from people who actually bothered to watch the Grammys.

# Do it! RT @slicingeyeballs: Book publisher to #morrissey: Please, please, please let me get what I want: your memoirs. http://ow.ly/12JHF about 11 hours ago

# Only as amazing as the songs and performances. RT @adamficek: How amazing would it be to record the next babyshambles album In Russia? about 11 hours ago

# Hey @rustyrockets word of advice, don’t wear boots with tapered pants. There’s a reason we have a “boot cut” option: http://ow.ly/12LWa about 13 hours ago

# Interesting. RT @iancr: Subscriptions are the New BLACK. (why Facebook, Google, & Apple will own your wallet by 2015): http://awe.sm/50MBA about 15 hours ago

Lots more after the jump, and you might consider following us on Twitter if you want to keep up with this stuff as it happens…

Continue reading Twitter Roundup #9

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!?

Continue reading Bad Amy Makes Good

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.

Continue reading The 49th Annual Grammy Awards