John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton
jheaton

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More on the Grammys

I finally had the time to look over the complete list of Grammy nominees, so as promised several days ago, here are some random thoughts that occurred to me as I read through the list.

  • I'm no expert, but I like to think of myself as being fairly well informed when it comes to music. I'm a little weak on R&B, hip-hop, and country, but when it comes to pop and rock I think I know more than most people. So it was a little disconcerting to find an unfamiliar name among the Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group nominees. Bowling For Soup? The hell? Luckily, the nominated song can be heard on the Bowling For Soup web site. And it's pretty good! I have no idea why it was nominated as a pop song though. Sounds like rock to me.


  • And for that matter, why is "Sk8er Boi" nominated as a rock song? In fact, why is it nominated at all?


  • I wonder if "Days Go By" by Dirty Vegas would have been nominated in the Best Dance Recording category had it not appeared in that Mitsubishi commercial?


  • There are a whopping seven nominees in the Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal category. And most of them are no good! In one of those "only in the Grammys" oddities, one of the nominees is "Walk On," which won Song of the Year last year.


  • The Foo Fighters were nominated in the Best Hard Rock Performance category. The Foo Fighters play hard rock? News to me.


  • Yikes, another band I've never heard of in a rock category! This time it's Stone Sour, nominated for Best Metal Performance. Interestingly, two of the members of Stone Sour are also members of Slipknot, which was also nominated in this category.The nominated song sucks, by the way.


  • Chad Kroger was nominated in Best Rock Song for writing "Hero." (How do they decide what category these songs should go into anyway? He's almost certainly going to lose (he's up against Bruce Springsteen's "The Rising") but I'm going to root for him, not because I like the song, because I don't particularly, but because his publishing company is called Arm Your Dillo Publishing.


  • Eartha (who?) was nominated for best Female R&B Vocal Performance, but the album on which the nominated track appears was nominated for Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album. That strikes me as an unusual crossover, but on closer inspection I see there are no performance awards in the Gospel field, just album awards.


  • Kenny G was nominated in the Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal category (for a duet with Brian McKnight). Heh.


  • In the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration category, Ashanti was the featured vocalist on two of the five nominees. Also, four of the five nominees are for rap songs with a featured vocalist; only Justin Timberlake's "Like I Love You" is a vocal song with a featured rapper.


  • Ralph Stanley recorded two of the five nominees in the Best Bluegrass album category, and his son recorded one of the others.


  • Bernie Taupin, Elton John's long-time lyricist, is nominated this year for Best Country Song for a song he wrote for Willie Nelson. Interesting. I hope he wins! Actually, I just hope Alan Jackson doesn't win.


  • The is a field devoted to Latin music, but the Best Latin Jazz Album is part of the Jazz field. Strange. Even stranger is that they have a Latin field at all. Don't they have a whole award ceremony devoted to nothing but Latin music? So why are there still six Latin categories as part of the main Grammys? If you're going to divide the awards, there should be a total division. Primetime shows aren't eligible for the Daytime Emmys, so Latin music shouldn't be eligible for the non-Latin Grammys (except maybe in the general category).


  • The Jamie Lee Curtis Audio Collection is nominated for Best Spoken Word Album for Children. Who knew Jamie Lee Curtis had enough spoken word audio recordings for children to justify a collection?


  • Of the nominees in the Best Musical Show Album category, only one of the nominees -- Hairspray -- features new music written for a new show. Two are new recordings of old shows (Guys and Dolls and Into the Woods), one is a new show that uses music from an old movie musical (Thoroughly Modern Millie), and the fifth is a revue of songs from various old shows (Elaine Stritch: At Liberty). More evidence that creativity is dead on Broadway.


  • I looked at the track listing for Like, Omigod! The '80s Pop Culture Box (Totally), nominated in the Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package category, and found that many of the songs in this set bite the wax tadpole. That's to be expected in any collection of music from the 80s, but let me quote from the All-Music Guide album review of the set, which sums up the problem with it better than I could:

    "Forget the complaints that there's nothing from critical favorites and heavy-hitters like Elvis Costello, Hüsker Dü, Joy Division, R.E.M., U2, Prince, Madonna, Springsteen, etc.; the real crime is that there are numerous great, definitive one-hit wonders and fluke breakthroughs by cult favorites missing. Dan Hartman's "I Can Dream About You," as good as any single released in the '80s, isn't here; there's nothing from Adam & the Ants, XTC, the B-52's, the Violent Femmes, or the Cars; "Warm Leatherette" isn't here, nor is M's "Pop Muzik," "88 Lines about 44 Women," or "I Don't Like Mondays"; there's not a single from Squeeze, Split Enz, or the Jam; no "Someday, Someway," no "Mexican Radio," no "The Future's So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades"; no "I Know What Boys Like" or "I Melt With You"; Peter Wolf's "Lights Out," never present on any '80s hits collection, isn't here; "The Safety Dance" is missing; no Flock of Seagulls or Baltimora. It's hard not to miss any of the above, once you realize they're not here, especially since apart from Joey Scarbury's "Theme From 'Greatest American Hero'" and a host of novelties that it would be better off leaving behind (Bob and Doug McKenzie, Billy Crystal's "You Look Mahvelous," Don Johnson's "Heartbeat" - it's a wonder Eddie Murphy's "Party All the Time" isn't here), there's nothing unexpected here.</cite>

    In the interest of accuracy, I should point out the the review is incorrect in one regard: there is a B-52s, "Roam."


  • Of the five nominees in the Producer of the Year (Non-Classical) category, only one was nominated for a single album: Arif Mardin, who produced Norah Jones's Come Away With Me. That must have been a really well-produced album.


  • There were two albums featuring a chorus nominated for best Classical album: Pärt: Orient and Occident, featuring the Swedish Radio Chorus; and Vaughn Williams: A Sea Symphony, featuring the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus. But only the Vaughn Williams was nominated for Best Choral Performance. Odd.


    • Whew! Damn, there are a lot of Grammys.
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