Thursday, December 3, 2009


I’m going on OutQ again tomorrow on The Morning Jolt with Larry Flick to discuss tonight’s Grammy nominations. Last year, I really liked the way the Grammys panned out, with Robert Plant & Alison Krauss winning five for their classic album Raising Sand. I loved that album, and felt it deserved all the recognition it got. It was a victory for art. Sorry Lil Wayne. I don’t feel as enthused this year: Beyonce leads with ten nominations and Taylor Swift has eight. I enjoy songs by both ladies, but I’m not passionate about either. I was, however, glad to see Maxwell with six for his BLACKsummer’snight album. Some people didn’t even know he was back! His album came out in July and debuted at #1, but that doesn’t mean what it used to, and anyway, it didn’t seem to make an impact on the culture at all, and it disappeared pretty quickly. So, I’m glad that this will help him out. The Black Eyed Peas and Kanye West both got six also: I enjoy both artists, but I don’t like either of their new albums. Lady Gaga got five. I don’t object to her, but I’m not passionate about her music either. In fact, I don’t feel very opinionated about any of the “big four” categories. I was hoping that Willie Nelson would get more nods than he did: he got just three. I thought he would do better than that, given that he released two very different and very good albums, Willie & The Wheel and American Classic. My favorite album of the year, Bob Dylan’s Together Through Life, got two nods.

I don’t have huge opinions about the Pop field, and I probably won’t vote in Dance. I usually skip Traditional Pop, but I may vote there this year, since Willie has a nomination there.

Rock has some good stuff: Best Solo Rock performance pits Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, Prince and John Fogerty against each other. (I will vote for Dylan). Other rock nods went to Green Day, AC/DC, Alice In Chains, Metallica, Pearl Jam (glad to see “The Fixer” get props), U2 and overrated band of the year Kings Of Leon. The thing is, I have to admit I was ultimately not blown away by Bruce, U2 and Green Day’s albums. They were all solid, but not as good as their prior albums. I will probably skip the alternative field, which features David Byrne & Brian Eno (zzzzz…), Death Cab For Cutie, Depeche Mode, Phoenix (who I can’t stand) and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

R&B will require me to buy a lot of new music, there’s a lot of not-well-known-by-the-mainstream artists in the field, including Melanie Fiona, Lalah Hathaway, Ledisi, Jazmine Sullivan, Anthony Hamilton, Musiq Soulchild, Robert Randolph, as well as Beyonce and Maxwell.

Rap is pretty good this year. It surprises me to hear myself say that, because I’m not a huge fan of contemporary hip-hop. But I really actually like Jay-Z’s songs, “Death of Autotune” and “Run This Town” (with Kanye West and Rihanna). I also really like nominated songs by The Beastie Boys with Nas, Kid Cudi with Kanye and Common, T.I. with Justin Timberlake, and Mos Def. And Lonely Island featuring T-Pain. I was really glad to see Q-Tip’s super-underrated The Renaissance getting a nod as well.

I don’t have a huge opinion on this year’s country artists, but I was glad to see nods go to Miranda Lambert, Jamey Johnson and Patty Griffin (!).

My favorite category overall is Best Americana Album. Three of my favorite albums of the year are nominated: Dylan’s Together Through Life, Willie’s Willie & The Wheel and Levon Helm’s Electric Dirt, along with Wilco’s Wilco (The Album) and Lucinda WilliamsLittle Honey. I’ll vote for Dylan.

While I’m not a huge fan of Bruce’s Working On A Dream album, “The Wrestler” was probably my favorite song of last year, and I’m glad it is up for Best Song from a Movie. But that will probably go to A.R. Rahman’s “Jai Ho” from Slumdog Millionaire.

I guess there are some things I'll be "rooting" for: Pearl Jam's "The Fixer," Bruce's "The Wrestler," Q-Tip and Willie, but there's no way I'll be as into it as I was last year. I do hope Jay-Z, Rihanna and Kanye peform "Run This Town." It would be great to see Rihanna have a triumphant return to the Grammys after last year's horrible mess.

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