Monday, November 30, 2009

My 2010 Grammy Predictions:

Well, it's that time of year where NARAS decides to self-congratulate itself for supposedly producing good music. Never mind the fact that album sales are down and dismal. NARAS has yet to realise that music as we've known it is about to change drastically. This decade may be closing but it's been the most defining for independent music ever. The rise of music blogs and zines like Pitchformedia and innovations like YouTube and Bandstocks now mean that big label distribution isno longer the only way for recorded music to get out there. The Grammys still function as a mainstream event but the indie shadow is closing in. Even that other behemoth of recorded music, Billboard, is now considering downloads as a means pf tracking sing popularity. NARAS continues to pigeon-hole critically acclaimed acts into the one category (best alternative album) as a means of alienating them from everything else. I've long berated the nomination process for Grammys but there must be additional categories as well for balance.

As for the nomins themselves, Beyonce, Taylor Swift and U2 are set to grab the most nominations, especially in the major fields. I have done some analysis as well so check back after December 2nd prime time nomination show to see how I did and, as always, feel free to comment.


Record of the Year: usually awarded to the biggest selling, most visible songs on Billboard so there can be no doubt here. Animal Collective’s My Girls has been touted but not even the millions of hits it got on youtube can compare to the full mainstream onslaught on show here.

Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)—Beyonce
Poker Face—Lady Gaga
Boom Boom Pow—Black Eyed Peas
Love Story—Taylor Swift
Get On Your Boots—U2

Album of the Year: fairly straight-forward to predict as U2 will always get nominated. Beyonce and Swift had huge selling albums. Toussaint has the older vote locked given the nature of his jazz ensemble. Greenday have become respected members of NARAS and I expect they will edge out Kanye West (808s & Heartbreak) though it could break either way. Kanye has been nominated in this category for his previous albums but given his tirades recently this will be a gauge of his popularity. One can’t discount Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan but I’ve noticed a recent reluctance by NARAS to shower them in major categories of late. I’m not sure if Lady Gaga will supplant anyone here especially as she can be honored in minor categories. Of course, if year-end lists were influential then recent work by Phoenix, Grizzly Bear, Yeah Yeah Yeah and Animal Collective would be here.

No Line on the Horizon—U2
21st Century Breakdown—Greenday
I am…Sasha Fierce—Beyonce
Fearless—Taylor Swift
The Bright Mississippi—Allen Toussaint

Song of the Year: pretty solid picks as this usually goes hand in hand with ‘record of the year’. As powerful as Patrick Wolf’s The Bachelor was though I can’t see him getting a nod. Kelly Clarkson is a possibility as well.

Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)—Beyonce
Love Story—Taylor Swift
Get On Your Boots—U2
Pretty Wings—Maxwell
Like You’ll never See me Again—Alicia Keys

Best New Artist: the hip/hop artist Drake has been floated around but that’s only if he was on the first ballot sheet which, by my count, he wasn’t. I could be wrong so his name gets included. Lady Gaga is not eligible and I’m not sure if Keri Hilson is either. This category is always tricky to predict because it also takes into consideration artists who are not necessarily new. Visibility in the mainstream helps which, alas, doesn’t help a few names like FrYars and Mica Levi (Micachu) even though they are deserving acts.

David Cook
Zach Brown Band
Kid Cudi

Best Alternative Album of the Year: while we wait for NARAS to just create a set of categories dedicated to indie music, this remains the coolest one because it does reward critics’ favorites. Radiohead won last year so you get my point.

Dear Science,--TV on the Radio
It’s Blitz—Yeah Yeah Yeah
Merriweather Post Pavillion—Animal Collective
Bitte Orca—Dirty Projectors
Veckatimest—Grizzly Bear