Thursday, December 2, 2010

Grammy Nominations 2010

Swept Away!

The Grammy Nominations were announced today, and I am delighted to tell you that this year, everyone — me, you, all of us — will be awarded grammies. This is because there are enough categories, each with their multiple nominees, to include every person that ever lived. Except the year’s biggest moneymaker, Taylor Swift, of course, but that’s because she’s going to win them all next year. Sadly, despite the 109 category listings, there were no nominees this year for Best Regional Mexican Album, because there weren’t enough of them to be competitive. Wow, that sucks if your particular oeuvre is Oaxacan Jazz.

This is not why I am writing, of course. The big news is that America’s favorite white rapper, Eminem (he of Oscar fame) scored huge.

Actually, scratch that, that’s not news. That’s predictable. What is also wrist-slashingly predictable is that the vending machines I mean, voting members of NARAS, also chose to heap a million zillion nominations on Lady Antebellum’s album Need You Now, and the title song from it. This is because it is the most mainstream pop record Nashville has produced this year. I have long since stopped trying to fathom how or why NARAS makes its selections (or even devises its categories or determines eligibility in them, for that matter), but this appears clear evidence that they simply look at what everyone else is cheering for and go with that, as long as it’s wholesome. Every now and then, this produces a reflexive backlash, which one can see this year with Cee-Lo’s naughty little ditty, “Fuck You.”

Lady Antebellum’s record isn’t actually all that bad. I almost didn’t get it because the song “Need You Now” was so overplayed and is such godawful pap. The video has the three band members pretending to be broken-hearted and lonely slumped in hotel corridors and staring with dour melancholy into the camera. Wot shite.

Lady Antebellum only has two modes: upper and downer; this clearly falls into the latter category, as does their current single, “Hello World” which features a child nearly dying in a car wreck. “Our Kind of Love” is of the former variety, and provides you a good example of the slight creepiness that seems to have gripped this band’s videos: the playing up on film of some kind of sexual relationship between the two main singers, Charles and Hillary (who are not a couple in real life), and the awkward third-wheel inclusion of the other dude in the band. He’s the one with the floppy haircut who can’t dance. Young Charlie can’t dance either, but this doesn’t stop him from waving his arms about and posing in theatrical stances every chance he can get. He’s the one with too much hair product. Hillary Scott wears awesome shoes (Louboutins!), but watching her strut about on stage this summer it was clear she is not a natural with the 5” heels (hello Kellie Pickler and Lee Ann Womack). She’s the one using the camera as a mirror and doing that goofy arms-over-the-head shimmy most girls never debut outside the privacy of their bedrooms.

What should win Song of the Year instead of that is Miranda Lambert’s gem, “The House That Built Me,” from her already rewarded album, Revolution. She’s a real country gal and this is a beautifully understated and well-written song. This is her singing it live a couple of weeks ago. 

While we’re at it, what should win in another of the categories “Need You Now” is nominated in, Best Country Performance, is the Zac Brown Band’s wonderful paean to Liberty, Justice and the American Way, “Free.” Why? Because it is a country song, dammit. Zac Brown could walk away with Best Country Album too, but I’m plumming for that being taken by Jamey Johnson’s The Guitar Song, which has received a shitload of critical acclaim and is, shocker, a country album, dammit! And let’s add that Best Male Country Vocal should go to Mr. Johnson for the sublime “Macon” for which he is rightly nominated.

A fantastic song that features both Miranda Lambert and Jamey Johnson (and Dierks Bentley) is “Bad Angel,” up for Best Country Collaboration, but I suspect this will be eclipsed by the popular supernova of sexiness, (and Miranda’s fiancé, Blake Shelton, who was admitted into the Opry this year) for his duet with Trace Adkins, “Hillbilly Bone,” which is, appropriately, a country song. Well, it does feature the word “hillbilly” so that must count. And it is a song all about an erection. Which is awesome. 

Speaking of real country babes, Gretchen Wilson is laughing her denim-clad bum off because she had a song nominated that wasn’t even released as a single. WTF. The country press was quick to point out this year's notable omissions, which include Jason AldeanKenny ChesneyReba McEntireTim McGrawBrad PaisleyDarius RuckerSugarland and Taylor Swift. I second that. Please, someone explain to me how any of these folks could possibly have been overlooked? It can't just be about money, because according to Billboard, these guys sell the most actual CDs and rake in enormous revenues touring, which does not appear to be the case in other genres. Brad Paisley won Entertainer of the Year and played for the President. He's as American and wholesome as they get. What gives? 

Finally, I would just like to make a suggestion to all the lucky winners: when you get up to thank the academy, God, your endless list of industry flunkies, your parents, etc., etc., etc., please do NOT thank the “fans,” as the hapless Justin Bieber did today, upon finding out he was nominated for Best New Artist. The fans ain’t got nothing to do with this one, boyo. Unlike NARAS, you should give credit where credit is due: thank your sponsors, and leave before the band strikes up to sweep your ass from the stage. 


  1. Jethro Tull got a Grammy for Heavy Metal instead of Metallica. The Grammys suck.

  2. One of the great miscarriages of justice, indeed.


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