The Grammy Awards are dropping 31 categories from their rosters, going from 109 to 78 different awards. To do this they’re going unisex– no more Best Male or Female anything in pop, rock, R&B, country, etc. For solo performances, men and women will be pitted against each other. Also dropped are the confusing group awards. Now instead of pop or rock performance duo or group etc it’s just Best Rock Performance by a Group, or Pop Performance by a Group and it can be vocal or instrumental, with two, three, eight performers. We’ll see how this all works. It does mean that Bruce Springsteen and Sheryl Crow will wind up vying for the same singing awards. same for Justin Bieber and Britney Spears. It also means that the afternoon cattle call before the televised awards on Grammy day will be about an hour shorter. Gone are Best Hawaiian, Zydeco, and Native American recordings–they’re now all in one award, Best Regional Music. I don’t know what happened to Best Polka Album. Now if only whoever pares down Album of the Year would include those by veteran artists, we’d be ok. Paul Simon’s “So Beautiful or So What” is so far above anything else this year, it would be a shame if it gets relegated to some side category. This past year that’s what happened to Eminem, whose “Recovery” was far more important than Lady Antebellum’s soft sounds– and lost anyway.