Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Grammys found a way to get worse

Usually I just write these awards off as a joke and make fun, but reading the Grammy nominations today actually gave me an upset stomach, my affinity for cynical snark and foul language immediately replaced by a feeling of sinking defeat — the shallow idiots win — the Black Eyed Peas were nominated for album and record of the year. The nominations below are, truly, bizarre.

The Grammys typically make a point to be "tasteful," painfully tasteful, and that usually means nominating tolerable yet incredibly boring and uninspiring artists like John Mayer for awards every year they release an album. Sometimes this means the Grammys pretend to look at music beyond sales figures and TV ratings and give the best album nod to an album no one is listening to by Herbie Hancock. This is not that kind of year. This is the kind of year where the lowest common denominator doesn't just take up half of the major category nominations, it takes nearly every single one. What is the lowest common denomiator? 13-year-olds are. When did popular culture become a machine solely for the benefit of 13-year-olds? Where are all the fucking adults? What kind of serious person listens to the Black Eyed Peas?

If the Grammys are trying to find a way to be more irrelevant, good job. Why give awards to groups listened to by people who don't actively engage, talk or write about music? Isn't this the kind of music passively used as white noise at bars, in the car or at home? (Or listened to intently by 13-year-olds) If you can find one adult who has seriously debated the merits of the Black Eyed Peas, I will hand you a gold-plated turd sandwich. Image

For recordings released during the Eligibility Year
October 1, 2008 through August 31, 2009
Note: More or less than 5 nominations in a category is the result of ties.

Category 1

Record (Song) Of The Year
(Award to the Artist and to the Producer(s), Recording Engineer(s) and/or Mixer(s), if other than the artist.)

  • Halo
  • I Gotta Feeling
    The Black Eyed Peas
  • Use Somebody
    Kings Of Leon
  • Poker Face
    Lady Gaga
  • You Belong With Me
    Taylor Swift

Album Of The Year

  • I Am... Sasha Fierce
  • The E.N.D.
    The Black Eyed Peas
  • The Fame
    Lady Gaga
  • Big Whiskey And The Groogrux King
    Dave Matthews Band
  • Fearless
    Taylor Swift
Now even as a snobby 24-year-old, DMB's first 2.5 albums hold up and I'm not ashamed to admit it, but every subsequent album has suffered from the law of diminishing returns, to the point where it's latest offering "...Groogrux King" is easily its worst output in its 15 year history. But here it is nominated for the biggest Grammy award. If the industry wants to get people excited about music, maybe it should push some exciting music. This was one of the best years for new and innovative tunes of the decade, and yet we have the some of the worst shit on the planet nominated for Grammys. Our culture is a fucking joke built on empty plastic platforms of cynical marketing, rampant ignorance and lazy consumerism.

Of Course, one of the more comical categories, year-after-year, is the so-called "Best New Artist" award.
This year includes MGMT, who must have barely fit into the eligibility dates, and the Silversun Pickups, whose best-known song, "Lazy Eye," was released on it's debut in 2006. THREE FUCKING YEARS AGO. Also, The Ting Tings, best known for an ipod commercial. These are the times we live in.

I wont rant about the pop vocal performance categories because they are exactly as advertised, although for some reason Hall & Oats are nominated in "Pop Performance by a Duo or Group" for a live version of "Sara Smile," originally a hit in 1977. Does this make any sense to anyone? If the Rolling Stones released a live version of "Gimme Shelter" next year wouldn't that have to win every fucking award? Nothing against Hall & Oats, but someone please explain this to me.

The Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance reads like a fucking AARP membership list. The five nominations are: Bob Dylan, John Fogerty, Prince, Bruce Spingsteen and Neil Young. Again, nothing against the old farts, but did Jann Wenner write this category? Did no one under the age of 50 release any music this year?

The "Best Alternative Music Album" category is respectable, except for the inclusion of Depeche Mode. Again, what's with the old timers? Also, if Phoenix doesn't win here, Hitler is not hiding in South America, he's running the Grammys.

This is all pointless. I quit.
Here's the full list:


The Juice Box said...

Ohmigod this is ridiculous! This is quite possibly the worst Grammys list I've ever seen. They truly have hit a new low.

Hall & Oates (note the "e") all the way! If they actually perform on the Grammys, I might watch. They're kind of like my other Journey as far as guilty pleasures go.

Heck, who am I kidding? You know I'll watch them anyway.

I'm going to be the first in line to get a sweet shot of Lady Gaga's newest headgear or whatever-the-hell-she's-not-pulling-off these days.

Anonymous said...

lord help us