I’m not sure why I even waste my time watching the Grammys, but as soon as the Foo Fighters beat out Wilco AND Bruce for Best Rock Album, I had to change the channel and never come back. As any good music fan knows, the Grammys are not the place to celebrate all of the best artists of the year, so I’m not sure why I was surprised. Although there are definitely many talented artists represented, the field is amok with mediocrity, and mediocrity wins, too. Case in point, The Foo Fighters.
Here are some of the good highlights:
Herbie Hancock won album of the year for The Joni Letters.
Joni Mitchell won for best pop instrumental performance for her One Week Last Summer tune, from the album Shine.
Beastie Boys won best pop instrumental album for The Mix-up.
Bruce won for best solo rock vocal performance for his song Radio Nowhere off the Magic album (Lucinda Williams was also a contender for Come On off of her album West). Bruce also won a bunch of other stuff for Magic.
Icky Thump provided Meg and Jack another award.
Alicia Keys and Prince won for best female and male R&B artists, respectively. I don’t keep up much in this category, but it’s what I was raised on and these two artists are super talented. Also, Chaka Khan and Mary J. Blige won for best R&B performance for a duo. These ladies ROCK THA HOUSE!
Common won, and although I have fallen off the Hip-Hop train because most of it is wiggety-whack and it takes too much time to find good Hip-Hop, I haven’t closely followed Common’s recent work. I am a fan from the days of Resurrection.
Levon Helm, famous for his membership in The Band, took home a Grammy for best traditional folk album.
Steve Earle picked up a statue for best contemporary/folk/americana album with his Washington Square Serenade.
Barack Obama won a Grammy – seriously – in the best spoken word album category.
Cassadega won the Bright Eyes’ art director, Zachary Nipper, an award for best recording package. Perhaps if he has some newfound pull, he can convince the prolific band to NOT RESIZE THEIR SITE when launched. An interwebs taboo, for sure. This album, BTW, is fantastic.
Best historical album went to the Woody Guthrie clan for The Live Wire album.
***And finally, in the best compilation soundtrack album (Film, TV, etc) there were so many fantastic options:
Across the Universe, a collection of Beatles’ tunes redone by the actors and Bono, to name but a few
The Dreamgirls soundtrack, which is SWEET
Hairspray, adapted from John Waters’ famous film, for 2007
Once, the masterful, beautiful and original love story with an equally heartfelt soundtrack, which really, the film was built around. God, these songs are so very pretty
But even though the competition was fierce, the music accompanying the Cirque Du Soleil production called Love, featuring Beatles songs, won the category. George Harrison (perhaps my favorite Beatle…it’s so hard to pick – him or John) began the projects discussion before his death, so I guess it’s nice that Paul, Ringo, and friends won, but these other soundtracks were all phenomenal.
And in case you hadn’t heard, Amy Winehouse won a ton of crap. I say this with a scowl, not because her album, Back to Black, isn’t great. It is. Although she borrows HEAVILY from Motown, she still brings her own talent to the table. Still, were there not tons of other artists that should have been celebrated instead? Last year at SXSW, Winehouse started 20 minutes late and sounded like crap. I am not impressed. Part of the longevity and soul of an artist is reflected in the way they relate with their craft; their professionalism, if you will. And while I love a bunch of wasted drunk and high artists, I never quite like them as much as I did before their demise and disrespect for themselves and their fans.
The President (Whooops! Did I speak a few months/or not a moment too soon?) wins a grammy.
A talented Lad, ain’t he?
BTW, Thanks for the run-down. I just picked up Joni’s Letters on iTunes- how gorgeous.
I think Allison Krause and Robert Plant should have won best duo. Have you heard their album? It is…..refreshingly…timeless. I don’t know if that’s the best way to describe it but it’s great. There that’s much easier. Anyway if you don’t have it I’ll burn you a copy when you come to visit.
Mag Leahy says
I hear you re. Amy Winehouse but I wonder if her life wasn’t in the shitter, if she would have any material to write about?