Grammy Shmammy – Maybe, Maybe Not

The Grammy nominations were announced this week with lots of fanfare – in fact, the show, televised on CBS, resembled the actual awards ceremony, with a list of nominees for the nominations and a celebrity announcing the “winners” of the nominations. So for some poor artists (sorry Muse, Sugarland), adding insult to injury, they were mentioned as possible nominees but didn’t make it. Er, “It’s just an honor to be considered to be nominated?”

I braced myself for lots of eye-rolling at the list, and with Eminem, Justin Bieber and the Alan Parsons Project-plagiarizing Lady Antebellum leading the pack in the major categories, there was plenty to groan at. But there were some positive developments that may actually keep me tuned in to the awards show in February:

  • Cee Lo’s “F— You” (Record, Song of the Year). This should be a slam dunk of a winner. Cee Lo was born from hip-hop, but he actually sings now. Maybe there’s therapy for that. Thumbs up.
  • Arcade Fire (Album of the Year). While I’m still in the throes of a long evaluation of their music, learning to like them, I was pleased to see an indie/alternative group break into this category again.
  • Bruno Mars. He and Cee Lo show that there is hope for R&B to retain its roots.
  • While some of her lyrics and videos are racy, Katy Perry does have a knack for melody. I just need to find a cleaned up version of “California Gurls” so my daughter can sing along.
  • Lesser-known categories. All this time I’ve been focused on the big awards, but if you scroll down far enough you’ll find Sade (Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals), Laurie Anderson (Best Pop Instrumental Performance), Goldfrapp (Best Dance Recording), and of course, Sir Paul McCartney (Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance).

Perhaps the most satisfying – and awkward – moment of the night came when LL Cool J tried to interview Justin Bieber, who was nominated for Best New Artist. LL tried to strike up a conversation, but Bieber, appearing via satellite from London, had no clue what to say. “I’d like to thank my fans…and…everybody,” he finally stammered. When asked how it felt to be a superstar, he seemed stumped by the question, chewing on his lip for several seconds before replying, “It feels…good?”

Okay, he’s only 16. But he’s been through countless interviews. Kinda strange to see him totally blank out.