Sunday, February 1, 2009

ladies and germs.... the grammys

i think the last time i noticed the grammys, i was happy to see soul asylum getting the respect they deserved (they were a much better new artist than SWV). obviously, a lot's changed since then. silverchair couldn't find the staying power that we were promised, the internet stopped being called "the information superhighway", and kurt cobain never rose from the dead. the grammys, though, are forever.

looking through this year's nominations , what catches my eye first is that snoop dogg's "sexual eruption" is nominated for best rap song, which is fantastic.

did you know that beck and radiohead, two of the biggest white names in music the world over, are still making "alternative" albums. that's right. beck, the scientologist, and radiohead, captains of the penthouse underground. other nominees in the best alternative album category are: death cab for cutie, gnarles barkley, and my morning jacket. so "alternative", a word they only invented because some asshole didn't want to call pearl jam "a rock band", is now completely devoid of meaning, or even recognizable traits. i mean, gnarles barkley and my morning jacket ARE IN THE SAME CATEGORY!!!

best electronic/dance album: moby, robyn, kylie minogue, cyndi lauper, brazilian girls, and daft punk (nominated for their live album with no new material). that, reader, is as stale a list as you will ever find. extraordinary that this group of mccain voters (most of these artist reached fame before lebron james hit a growth spurt) are representing the most overcrowded genre this side of rap.

some fun tidbits: judas priest gets a not for best metal song. hope somebody from the industry's buying the plane tickets. boyz II men aparently put out an album last year, and it was good enough to get a nomination. danger mouse, nigel goodrich, and will.i.am go head to head to head for "producer of the year".

what's important to understand is that the record industry was going broke BEFORE the economy contracted 40%. itunes has kept the labels afloat for the last couple years, and the explosion of "20th aniversary" releases and record label retrospectives has kept a older demographic in the fold (the one that has memories of buying records frequently). but the RIAA's gala-throwing days are numbered. this is reflected in the desperate attempt to draw attention to coldplay and lil wayne.

the big labels used to produce dozens of "viva la vida"s every year. rap music still sells pretty well ("the carter III" was a good old fashioned success, selling one million copies in its first week). but the industry has already past its very own "hubbert's peak"; it's tough to imagine a future in which record sales would trend upward. when the distribution mechanism implodes, the industry fails. simple as that.

did james taylor give the best pop performance of the year, or was it the eagles? neil young, eddie vedder, bruce springsteen, paul mccartney, and john mayer should probably be thrown into some sort of battle royale, but instead they're all nominated for "best solo rock vocal performance". are the voters so astoundingly tasteless that they'd actually reward kid rock for his crap-epic "rock and roll jesus"? what size sunglasses will kanye west wear?

hard to think of anyone who cares. the world has bigger fish to fry at the moment. fish such as: edgerin james is the fucking key. if he can average more than 4 per carry, pitsburgh's secondary will open up just enough for kurt warner to CHRIST his way to the hall of fame.