Grammys 2010: Out Of Touch, Out Of Time

For the first time since I became aware of them, I won’t be watching the Grammys. I made other plans weeks ago and forgot they were airing tonight. I’m fairly confident I won’t be missing anything. Last year Amrit, Brandon, and I enlisted Videogum for our annual Grammys liveblog and it did not make the seven hours go by any quicker. (The Grammys are seven hours long, right?) The MSM talking point this year is NARAS has turned a corner, determined to get relevant/populist/ratings by bestowing Beyoncé with ten nominations, Taylor Swift with eight, and Black Eyed Peas with six. That is six too many for Black Eyed Peas. Meanwhile, Taylor Swift’s and Beyoncé’s pop hits, while immune to overexposure, debuted in the fall of 2008. They might as well nominate Hall & Oates.

Oh, that’s right. They did. The 34-year-old ballad “Sara Smile” revisited the charts last year via Jimmy Wayne’s country cover. This is not the version that’s nominated! The record competing for Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals — against the Fray, Black Eyed Peas, Bon Jovi, and MGMT (“Kids” is the category’s deserving dark horse) — comes from Live At The Troubadour via the duo’s U-Watch Records’ audio license of a Shout! Factory concert DVD. How many people had to vote for “Sara Smile” to be nominated? Two? Three? Are any of them under 60?

Not that I don’t love Hall & Oates’ greatest hits. I just wanted to illustrate how this decades old institution remains hampered by cronyism and reparations (e.g., Clapton Unplugged beating Nirvana/U2/etc. in ’93, Herbie Hancock’s soporific Joni Mitchell tribute taking top honors in ’08).

Here’s a curious lede from Associated Press yesterday (“Music World Preps For Sunday’s Grammys”):

LOS ANGELES – The music world is celebrating all over town this weekend with tributes, rehearsals, parties and, of course, a gift suite or two in anticipation of the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday night at Staples Center

I am sure most of that is true. And gift suites are the best (gift suites are not the best), but when it comes to celebrating music, Stereogum and NARAS don’t live in the same “world.” This guy knows what I’m talking about.

So no, I won’t be watching live. But Amrit will (sorry Amrit!), so please feel free to shoot poison arrows along with him in the comments of this post.

These folks will be performing:

  • Jamie Foxx, T-Pain, Slash & Doug E. Fresh
  • Drake, Eminem, Lil Wayne & Travis Barker
  • Jeff Beck & Imelda May
  • Green Day & the Broadway cast of American Idiot
  • Roberta Flack & Elton John
  • Sugarland
  • Beyoncé
  • The Black Eyed Peas
  • Bon Jovi
  • Dave Matthews Band
  • Lady Antebellum
  • Lady Gaga
  • Maxwell
  • Pink
  • Taylor Swift
  • Zac Brown Band
  • Celine Dion, Jennifer Hudson, Smokey Robinson, Carrie Underwood & Usher in a 3D tribute to Michael Jackson
  • Mary J. Blige & Andrea Bocelli covering “Bridge Over Troubled Water”

Ladies Gaga and Antebellbum? Worlds been had colliding!

Nineteen million viewers watched the Grammys on TV last year. By comparison, 51.7 million people tuned in to see Thriller dominate in ’84. Sure, network television’s weakening reach is mostly to blame. But either way, we’re gonna need a bigger FREE 3-D GLASSES.

UPDATE: Your “winners”:

Song of the Year: “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)” – Thaddis Harrell, Beyoncé Knowles, Terius Nash & Christopher Stewart, songwriters (Beyoncé)

Best Solo Rock Performance: “Working on a Dream” – Bruce Springsteen

Record of the Year: “Use Somebody” – Kings of Leon

Best Country Album: Fearless – Taylor Swift

Best Rock Album: 21st Century Breakdown – Green Day

Best Hard Rock Performance: “War Machine” – AC/DC

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration: “Run This Town” – Jay-Z, Rihanna & Kanye West

Best Dance Recording: “Poker Face” – Lady Gaga

Best Female Pop Vocal Performance: “Halo” – Beyoncé

Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals: “Use Somebody” – Kings of Leon

Best New Artist: Zac Brown Band

Best Electronic/Dance Album: The Fame – Lady Gaga

Best Alternative Music Album: Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix – Phoenix

Best Contemporary R&B Album: I Am… Sasha Fierce – Beyoncé

Best Female R&B Vocal Performance: “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)” – Beyoncé

Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals: “I Gotta Feeling” – The Black Eyed Peas

Best Rock Song: “Use Somebody” – Caleb Followill, Jared Followill, Matthew Followill & Nathan Followill, songwriters (Kings Of Leon)

Best Pop Vocal Album: The E.N.D. – The Black Eyed Peas

Best Male R&B Vocal Performance: “Pretty Wings” – Maxwell

Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals: “Blame It” – Jamie Foxx & T-Pain

Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance: “At Last” – Beyoncé

Best Rock Instrumental Performance: “A Day in the Life” – Jeff Beck

Best Urban/Alternative Performance: “Pearls” – India.Arie & Dobet Gnahore

Best R&B Song: “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” – Thaddis Harrell, Beyoncé Knowles, Terius Nash & Christopher Stewart, songwriters (Beyoncé)

Best Rap Solo Performance: “D.O.A. (Death Of Auto-Tune)” – Jay-Z

Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group: “Crack a Bottle” – Eminem, Dr. Dre & 50 Cent

Best Rap Song: “Run This Town” – Jeff Bhasker, Shawn Carter, Robyn Fenty, Kanye West & Ernest Wilson, songwriters (Athanasios Alatas, songwriter) (Jay-Z, Rihanna & Kanye West)

Best Rap Album: Relapse – Eminem

Best Male Pop Vocal Performance: “Make It Mine” – Jason Mraz

Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals: “Lucky” – Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat

Best Female Country Vocal Performance: “White Horse” – Taylor Swift

Best Male Country Vocal Performance: “Sweet Thing” – Keith Urban

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album – Michael Bublé Meets Madison Square Garden – Michael Bublé

Best Metal Performance: “Dissident Aggressor” – Judas Priest

Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals: “I Run to You” – Lady Antebellum

Best Country Collaboration With Vocals: “I Told You So” – Carrie Underwood & Randy Travis

Best Country Song: “White Horse” – Liz Rose & Taylor Swift, songwriters (Taylor Swift)

Best Americana Album: Electric Dirt – Levon Helm

Best Contemporary Blues Album: Already Free – The Derek Trucks Band

Best Compilation Soundtrack Album For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media: Slumdog Millionaire – Various Artists, A.R. Rahman, producer

Best Song Written For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media: “Jai Ho” (From Slumdog Millionaire) – Gulzar, A.R. Rahman & Tanvi Shah, songwriters (A.R. Rahman, Sukhvinder Singh, Tanvi Shah, Mahalaxmi Iyer & Vijay Prakash)

Best Recording Package: Everything That Happens Will Happen Today – Stefan Sagmeister, art director (David Byrne & Brian Eno)

Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package: Neil Young Archives Vol. I (1963-1972) – Gary Burden, Jenice Heo & Neil Young, art directors (Neil Young)

Best Short Form Music Video: “Boom Boom Pow” – The Black Eyed Peas

Best Long Form Music Video: “The Beatles Love – All Together Now” – (Various Artists)

Best Comedy Album: A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift Of All! – Stephen Colbert