Thursday, February 28, 2002

DO YOU THINK I GIVE A DAMN ABOUT THE GRAMMYS?: Well, for a start I do wonder why the plural isn't Grammies. And why are they 'Grammys" at all? Why not the Grams? Anyway, let's look at what won:
Record Of The Year: Walk On - U2
Hmmm. Well, I'm sure my opinion on Bono doesn't need to be repeated here. Oh, fuck it, I can't help myself - he's a twat, and this is an obvious mistake. As in, it's a mistake to laud U2, but the reasons for doing so are obvious - it allows the US industry to pretend that they're still a radical bunch of outsiders, even although they've gone for the equivalent of an Independent leader column.
Album Of The Year: O Brother, Where Art Thou? - Soundtrack
Curious choice, and suggests something of a cultural-field cringe. Let's take soundtracks seriously - we might make some money from them. Crossover potential. Bridget Jones Diary 2 has to be a favourite for next year.
Song Of The Year: Fallin' - Alicia Keys, songwriter (Alicia Keys)
What can you say? It's a nice enough song, although if this was the best song written in 2001, it suggests that Anita Baker was the emperor queen of the twentieth century...
Best New Artist - Alicia Keys
She writes all her own songs, too. At least you can see what the Grammys are getting at here - unless she overpacks her plane or suddenly starts to smash up her house, it's like Ms Keys has a long career ahead of her. So, while there mayn't be much novelty about her, and she may be a "oh, yeah, her" type of act, she's got potential to still be around in 2022. Mind you, they probably though that about Mariah until she bought the first bikini top.
Best Female Pop Vocal Performance: I'm Like A Bird - Nelly Furtado
Smelly Fartdildo gets her first award. This is an interesting category - less about being able to sing, more given for showing off, and Nelly is an apt winner. Her "vocal performance" was the aural equivalent of Anya's floor-hogging grandstanding dancing in Once More With Feeling
Best Male Pop Vocal Performance : Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight - James Taylor
Haven't heard this, but I do feel like I have. There really are no mass-appeal solo male artists worth the oxygen, are there?
Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal: Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of - U2
A second trip to the rostrum for U2. Craftsmanship rewarded. All right with the world. Dull as a shit, but right with the world.
Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals: Lady Marmalade - Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mya & Pink
Do they always have this award, or has it been invented purely to give a prize to this bunch? If it has, good work the Grammy people. Other category titles you could have considered would have been "Idea that looks bad on paper makes ace monster prize" or "Award for persuading Christina to dress like the little whore she undoutably is"
Best Pop Instrumental Performance: Reptile - Eric Clapton
I have never heard this, but then I have only got an estimated forty more years on earth, and that's not enough time to waste on the pocket Enoch and his noodling. Hey - noodling. U2 noodle too, don't they? This must be what the Grammys are set up to award. Nelly Furtardo is a noodler - like Queen of the Singing Noodling, Whitney. It's starting to make sense.
Best Dance Recording: All For You - Janet Jackson
There have been, approximately, sixty five thousand dance tracks released in the last twelve months. This isn't the best of them. Its not even the best Janet Jackson release of the last twelve months. And you can't even swing your booty to it. Its not often I'm prepared to suggest that Fatboy Slim was robbed, but...
Best Pop Instrumental Album: No Substitutions – Live In Osaka - Larry Carlton & Steve Lukather
Best Pop Vocal Album : Lovers Rock - Sade
"Sade's back"
"Quick, hide the smack..."
"No, she's clean. She's made a new record. She sounds exactly like she used to."
"Oh. Wasn't that meant to be incredible?"
"Yes. Blimey, she must still be the best pop vocalist around, then, mustn't she?"
Traditional Pop
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album: Songs I Heard - Harry Connick, Jr.
What is this category all about? Is it some sort of joke at Frank Sinatra's expense. Interestingly, Songs I heard echoes the title of Waste's album, Songs you've never heard. Maybe they should do some sort of swap-cover-tribute deal?
Best Female Rock Vocal Performance: Get Right With God - Lucinda Williams
Excellent. Someone we love wholeheartedly gets an award. Go, Lucinda.
Best Male Rock Vocal Performance: Dig In - Lenny Kravitz
Normal service resumed quickly. Lenny Kravitz is another one of those people, like Sade, who exist solely to win awards, don't you think? Have you ever met anyone who actually likes him? Thought not. If it wasn't for the secret ballot, he wouldn't exist. Imagine that world for a moment.
Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal: Elevation - U2
Is this the third award so far for a film tie-in? Look, maybe we could co-hire a hall with the Oscars next year, couldn't we...?
Best Hard Rock Performance: Crawling - Linkin Park
Actually, I must admit of all this sort of band, I have the least-hard spot for Linkin Park. Whereas Durst and the boys come across as chancers who are filling a gap in the market, at least the Park sound like they'd be doing this even if it wasn't for the naked fourteen year old sub-breasts they get to sign. This is probably why Crawling does sound like a hard rock performance, rather than an impression of a rock band. Plus, I like the idea of Durst sitting there going "It must be me... must be..."
Best Metal Performance: Schism - Tool
A strange sub-category that honours both Lucinda Williams and Tool, don't you think?
Best Rock Instrumental Performance: Dirty Mind - Jeff Beck
Blimey, are you still going?
Best Rock Song: Drops Of Jupiter
A song by Train, apparently. The band took their name in umbrage when the Bunnymen suggested there was nothing romantic left in America - apparently they thought the train was. Long, lumbering, stuck to a predetermined route, dirty but not in a good way? Strangely apt, isn't it?
Best Rock Album: All That You Can't Leave Behind - U2
No, no it wasn't. Did the form have "U2, or other on it?
Alternative Music
Best Alternative Music Album: Parachutes - Coldplay
Surely the Americans can see that there is nothing alternative about Coldplay? Except, perhaps, in the unlikely sense the award is given to "an acceptable alternative to Travis." I know a British victory should be something to make me smile, and that the fact that had it not been for an incredible amount of patience and rebuilding on the part of the team at Parr Street, the album would have been unlistenable, but for the only alternative prize to go to something so flat, so mainstream, so devoid of ambition or experimentation irks. It's like going to a zoo to see the dangerous cats, and being shown three tabbies climbing bookcases that haven't quite been fixed to the wall.
R&BBest Female R&B Vocal Performance: Fallin' - Alicia Keys
Still, I hope the musical purists have got over the re-assignment of the term "R&B" over the past few years...
Best Male R&B Vocal Performance: U Remind Me - Usher
Oh, Jesus. If I cast my mind back to when this was on the radio every bloody two minutes, I spose I could be honest and say it was well performed. Maybe "Biggest waste of a voice on a piece of paper-light nothingness" instead?
Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal: Survivor - Destiny's Child
Again, while its only right that the Child win some sort of award, its curious that this is the one that they've given Beyonce the bunce for. Maybe that Charlies Angels track fell outside the time frame in the US. Maybe the only other option would have been the Christmas album.
Best R&B Song: Fallin' - Alicia Keys, songwriter (Alicia Keys)
all her own songs, you know. Every one. Like Oleta Adams. Okay, bad example. Let's try Tracy Chapman... opps...
Best R&B Album: Songs In A Minor- Alicia Keys
Tanita Tickaram? I know, how about Sade?
Best Traditional R&B Vocal Album: At Last - Gladys Knight
Probably what Gladys said by the time they got to her award, too...
Best Rap Solo Performance: Get Ur Freak On- Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott
Quiet... shut your mouth... Okay, she's no Roxanne Shante, but she's still impressive as hell.
Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group: Ms. Jackson - Outkast
I'm not sure I'd have called this rap - wasn't most of it sung? Certainly the hook was. The rappy bit ("forever ever ever ever") was ill-conceived and lightweight. A good pop song, but giving it this award is like praising Mr Kipling for his presentation.
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration: Let Me Blow Ya Mind - Eve Featuring Gwen Stefani
Curoously, the Grammys panel seem to be on safer ground when they're awarding prizes in what they clearly think of as the 'black' music categories. Either that, or my tastes are as painfully white and co-optive as the awards teams...
Best Rap Album: Stankonia - Outkast
Probably just pipped pink to the post, don't you think?
Best Female Country Vocal Performance: Shine - Dolly Parton
Best Male Country Vocal Performance: O Death - Ralph Stanley
Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal: The Lucky One - Alison Krauss + Union Station
Best Country Collaboration With Vocals: I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow- Dan Tyminski, Harley Allen & Pat Enright (The Soggy Bottom Boys)
Best Country Instrumental Performance:Foggy Mountain Breakdown - Earl Scruggs, Glen Duncan, Randy Scruggs, Steve Martin, Vince Gill, Marty Stuart, Gary Scruggs, Albert Lee, Paul Shaffer, Jerry Douglas & Leon Russell
Best Country Song: The Lucky One - Robert Lee Castleman, songwriter (Alison Krauss + Union Station)
Best Country Album: Timeless – Hank Williams Tribute
Best Bluegrass Album: New Favorite - Alison Krauss + Union Station
Hmmm... you wouldn't exactly know we were in the midst of the biggest country paradigm shift since New Country, would you? The sort of list of prize winners which wouldn't have looked out of place in 1973, on the whole...
New Age
Best New Age Album: A Day Without Rain - Enya
Much as I dislike Enya, I have to feel sorry for her being poked away in the New Age category - and also for all those Pan Pipe versions of Eminem tunes which would have been in with a shout here otherwise

Best Musical Album For Children :Elmo And The Orchestra - Sesame Street Characters) Ed Mitchell, producer
Apparently Big Bird has just recorded a cover version of I Still Havent Found What I'm Looking For. This is not a joke, either.
Best Spoken Word Album: Q: The Autobiography Of Quincy Jones (Quincy Jones)
Unlcear if this contains the story of him kicking the shit out of Michael Jackson to stop him going "wooo" during the recording of Billie Jean
mposer & lyricist (Original Broadway Cast With Nathan Lane & Matthew Broderick)
Best Compilation Soundtrack Album For A Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media : O Brother, Where Art Thou?- (Various Artists)
Probably a safe bet, as it had been peppering the other categories, and it was, of course, a fine OST. In fact, there have been so many delicious soundtracks recently, there should be a proper awards ceremony for movie music. There probably already is, but, you know, it should be on TV.
Best Score Soundtrack Album For A Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media : Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon- Tan Dun, composer
Joss, get OMWF out soon; if you can't crack the Emmys, there's always the Grammys...
Best Song Written For A Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media :Boss Of Me (From Malcolm In The Middle)- John Flansburgh & John Linnell, songwriters (They Might Be Giants)
... and if this is the level they're expecting, you should waltz away with this category in 03, too...
Best Recording Package : Amnesiac (Special Limited Edition)- Stanley Donwood & Tchocky, art directors (Radiohead)
Wake up, England... the nice library book style box wins a prize. So, at the Brats, Radiohead get a video award, and at the Grammys, it's the CD box prize. Doesn't say much for the quality of the music that they win prizes for everything but...
Best Historical Album: Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday On Columbia 1933-1944
"historical" here is a euphemism for repackaging/re-releasing. You can't quibble with Billie Holiday getting a prize, of course, even if you dislike the euphemism...
Best Short Form Music Video : Weapon Of Choice - Fatboy Slim Featuring Bootsy Collins
Dancing Christopher Walken, of course. While it's a good video, it's a bit of a slight idea to award some sort of prize to, don't you think?
If you want to see the full list of winners, including the ones we couldn't hope to have commented on, check out the official site

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