The Grammy nominations are out, and they are an odd lot.
For one thing, they totally snub Whitney Houston, Alicia Keys, and Rob Thomas. Grammy pet John Mayer is nowhere to be heard.
Substance is out, style ‘ or fad ‘ is in. It’s a Lady GaGa Grammys, with flashes of the trivial spread around her. Ten nominations for Beyonce? Are we kidding? And on January 1st, will anyone care about these nominees?
Whitney Houston’s lovely comeback, which could have been a Grammy story, is ignored. Entirely. How could her song, “Million Dollar Bill,” written by Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz, not make it? Mariah Carey’s “Obsessed”’ deleted. Rob Thomas’s excellent pop album,”Cradlesong” ‘ not happening.
Instead, we’ve got more Taylor Swift, and an entry from 1973: Daryl Hall and John Oates got a nomination for a live performance of “Sara Smile.” Hello? This is completely inane. They’re competing with new stuff from Bon Jovi, The Fray, MGMT, and the ostensible winner, Black Eyed Peas. Whoever pulled off that coup deserves some kind of prize. I’m sure one is coming.
My prediction: Black Eyed Peas will rule the show the way Outkast did a few years ago. “I Gotta Feeling” is this year’s “Hey Ya.” My only worry is that Outkast was never heard from again.
Basically, without real artists to support in the under 30 age group, the Grammys have disintegrated into a Tiger Beat mentality. The so called actual artists can be found in Category 15, Best Rock Solo Performance ( I love the names of the categories) ‘ with Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, John Fogerty, Neil Young, and Prince. It’s hilarious that none of the Best Song nominations came from those albums, but instead from crappy “teams” who put together “productions.” Really.
And over in the dreaded New Artist group: Zac Brown, MGMT, Keri Hilson, Silversun Pickups, and Ting Tings. This is a cursed category. We will not ever hear of these people again. Ever.
One bright spot: a nomination for Stevie Wonder and his “All About the Love Again.” It’s a throwaway, but maybe someone read my November 2nd column. Also: two noms for unknown R&B singer Calvin Richardson, on the very small Shanachie Records.’Considering all the main nominees, Ken Ehrlich would be well served to feature this guy. He’s the real deal.
Anyway, between the MusiCares dinner for Neil Young, and Clive Davis’s dinner the following night, I suspect the Grammys are going to be a desultory affair. And with beloved talent coordinator Tisha Fein summarily dismissed a few weeks ago after three decades, many of the real artists who were relegated to minor nominations may not be persuaded to show up at all.
Pierre Cossette, we do miss you!