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More Like The Granny Awards! Am I Right, People?

Two of my favorite jokes of all time concern the illustrious Grammys, whose 2008 nominations were revealed this past week. The first of which is slight and non-music related and goes like this: 21 Grams (the great 2003 Alejandro Iñárritu melodrama starring Naomi Watts and Benicio Del Toro)? More like 21 Grammys--err, I mean, Oscars! The second joke unfortunately only works the best circa 2000, but I'll laugh at it with gusto no matter what the year. Take anything or anyone that gets more of something than they deserve and/or can handle, then say, "Man, that guy's getting more ____ than Santana got Grammys!" or similarly, "Man, she's giving it away like little gold statues to Santana on Grammy night!" You see, it's funny because Carlos Santana got a lot of Grammys for Supernatural that year. Like a lot a lot. You might say I like bad jokes. I'd say I like great ones. Great ones that are hilarious.

In short, I suppose I have a natural tendency to laugh at the Grammy awards way more than most things on this precious planet of ours. So I can't help but, while the commentary is a bit late, give a brief rundown on the once again, with a regret-at-a-strip-club level of reliability, inept Grammy nominations. Here are some things learned from glancing at this year's list of potential winners of awards that are supposed to mean "you are vital to not only the music industry but to the hearts of thousands who find comfort in melody in an otherwise chaotic and disgusting world" but really mean (almost across the board) either "hey you've been around long enough and people seem to still buy your records even though you've been declining in quality since your first breakthrough effort" or "hey you're newish and signed to a major, so I suppose that means you're good enough to be recognized by this nebulous organization":

1) You can be a mildly experimental rock band, but only if you're British and used to be/are currently on Capitol Records: I know I'm not saying anything new by pointing out the fact that the Grammys are narrow-minded, but it is in some regard amazing to see that still so many years of Grammy nominations have past and the only non-classic rock-leaning artists that are getting recognized in the major categories are Radiohead and Coldplay. I like both bands' records, but they both have a certain hollowness (in my humble opinion) that makes them more admirable than actually enjoyable. The days of Kid A have passed and Chris Martin and co., while they've constantly churned out competent glossy pop-rock on every album, just never really had anything unnerving or challenging going on with them to make them notable whatsoever. Brian Eno's production certainly made songs like "Lost!" a lot more engaging than they would have been otherwise, but I guarantee if Nigel Godrich or some other placeholder produced, Viva La Vida still would have gotten this spot. Also, I hate that In Rainbows got counted for both 2007 and 2008, depending on who you ask. The self-release date is when it got the fuss, so that's what should stick I say! Which leads to my next lesson...

2) The Billboard charts still maintain control over what gets nominated, regardless of release dates and quality (well, duh on the last one): Look, I know "Paper Planes" got popular and flooded the pop charts a full year and change after it was originally released. I can deal with that. Good for M.I.A. for finally making a breakthrough. But it's absolutely insane that just because the masses didn't catch onto it until 2008, it couldn't have been noticed by the Grammys nomination committee when it was actually released in 2007 (with a fair amount of hype back then, I may add) to be nominated then for "Record of the Year." How insane that Seth Rogen thinking it would make an awesome song to soundtrack the trailer for his buddy pot movie could eventually snowball into this. Oh well, at least it didn't happen to a bad song. Also, I'm sick of this Adele singer. At first, she was completely benign to me, a fly on the wall of ambling lite-pop for snoozers, but I believe I've heard "Chasing Pavements" so many times on late night talk shows, early morning talk shows, and in my car, and now seeing it stamped all over the Grammy nominations list that it makes my head want to explode. How can something so ignorable be so in your face? Billboard, middle America, and major label promotion whores. Three things that no matter how much I try to grow out of my indie music teenage rebellion phase, I have always and always will despise.

3) That said, there's some pretty great commercial pop music out there, but only some of it being recognized by Grammy's shortsightedness: I really like "Bleeding Love" by Leona Lewis, which is a pretty stale pop song if listened in the background but is quite rich with morose beats and careening synths if tuned into on headphones, and that's pretty prominent on the noms list. Also, Ne-Yo and Lil Wayne get much respect, and while only a couple songs by each are genuinely awards-worthy (if we were forced to reward commercial pop artists in this world, which we are) in my opinion, these two are better than Jesse McCartney or the overrated Timbaland (oh wait, he was heavily involved with the terrible "4 Minutes" which laughs in my face from Grammy.com). Unfortunately, my boy T.I. gets no love, and he not only has the best produced mainstream hip hop album of 2008, but he also has gone without giving into the seduction of the almighty Auto-tune/vocoder. Speaking of, T-Pain is nowhere to be found, which oddly enough simultaneously saddens and excites me. Who does though? Maroon 5, Kid Rock, Jason Mraz, and Sara Bareilles. Once again, SNOOZEFEST. Except for Maroon 5 - dude's voice will keep you up for WEEKS. I would much rather listen to T-Pain's robotic dance party croon than any of these sad sacks. Check the list here for more aggravations. And trust me, there's plenty more.

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  1. Blogger Sean | 12:42 PM |  

    how about coldplay getting sued by joe satriani? i heard the two and there's some similarity there.

    also, i've heard good things about the prospekt's march EP.

  2. Blogger P. Arty | 10:35 PM |  

    Hahaha! 21 Grammys! This is one of my proudest moments!

  3. Blogger chris | 10:39 PM |  

    I hate when artists sue other artists because they both came up with the same pop melody. AEGAC#G! I just wrote that at random but I guarantee it's already a chord progression in some song already written somewhere. It doesn't prove Coldplay stole anything, it only proves that both Satriani and Coldplay wrote melodies that aren't that unique, but were effective.

    Tarantino didn't sue every director that followed him with cameras placed in the trunks of cars looking up at 70s-looking guys wearing ties, did he?

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