Tomorrow night, the 50th annual Grammy Awards air on CBS at 8 p.m. (Global is simulcasting it in Canada.) There’s been much talk about what kind of ceremony we’re going to see. For many weeks, it looked like the show would not go on at all or at least, be a far different affair than past ceremonies. But with the devastating writer’s strike on the verge of completion, according to this Canadian Press report, it looks like this year’s festivities will feature its fair share of music superstars after all.
Besides the Oscars, this is the only other award show I look forward to watching every year. There’s usually a few live performances worth savouring and at least one of my favourites gets lucky by snagging a golden phonograph. It would be nice if the producers finally grew some balls and dropped that ridiculous seven second delay that prevents home viewers from enjoying those real moments the FCC and The Republican Party can’t handle. But that’s wishful thinking in the Bush era. Remember when Alanis Morissette was allowed to sing “fuck” during her performance of You Oughta Know and no fines were forthcoming? Seems like ancient history now.
Nonetheless, I have expectations for the awards, themselves. The Foo Fighters had a terrific 2007 and as a result, they were rewarded with several nominations. Their unstoppable single, The Pretender, really should take the prize for Record Of The Year. Despite being a very competitive category that’s hard to predict (look for either Rihanna or Amy Winehouse to take it), I hope the sole rock nominee wins.
Even though In Your Honour was a better album, it would also make my day if The Foos win the Album Of The Year category, as well. Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace, which is a lyric taken from the record’s sole stinker, Home, (too reminiscent of a slow-ass Billy Joel piano ballad), is a fine effort. Besides The Pretender, which will probably win Best Hard Rock Performance and Best Rock Song, follow-up single Long Road To Ruin and Erase/Replace are other notable standouts. That being said, this category’s a coin flip between whiny, grieving self-lover Kanye West (Graduation) and out-of-her-mind UK headcase, Amy Winehouse (Back To Black). The Foos will probably beat Bruce Springsteen’s Magic for Best Rock Album.
Speaking of the Best Hard Rock Performance category, I would really prefer it if Queens Of The Stone Age upset The Foos for their kick ass cut, Sick Sick Sick. Warren Kinsella loves the song so much, it’s his cell phone ringtone. Shockingly and distressingly, this is the only award Josh Homme and company are up for this year. How their brilliant, filler-free Era Vulgaris album got snubbed, we’ll never know. It was one of last year’s finest albums.
Even though they haven’t put out a proper studio release since 2004, U2, a perennial Grammy favourite, are nominated for two songs, Window In The Skies (which was recorded specifically for their 18 Singles compilation) and their cover of John Lennon’s Instant Karma (a contribution to a charity CD filled with remakes of the ex-Beatle’s solo numbers). Even though it should’ve been saved for their upcoming album, instead of being included as an annoyingly obligatory bonus track on their unnecessary third greatest hits collection, it would still be nice to see the irresistibly moving Window In The Skies win for Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals. Whatever keeps Daughtry and Bon Jovi off the podium is fine by me.
The Arcade Fire made a wonderful CD last year called Neon Bible. Try as he might, even Kinsella couldn’t resist it. It would be great for Canada to see this much celebrated Montreal group wrest The Best Alternative Music Album Grammy away from the likely winners, The White Stripes. Neon Bible is the kind of album that requires several listens before its full emotional power completely envelops you. Yep, patience is necessary with this one, although I did like it right away, I have to admit. My Body Is A Cage is the sole misstep. All the remaining tracks are exquisite and improve upon subsequent listening experiences. Comparisons to Bruce Springsteen are appropriate and complimentary. I would add The Velvet Underground and Echo & The Bunnymen to that list.
For the complete list of nominees, click here.
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Saturday, February 9, 2008
CORRECTION: It only took me four years but I finally corrected an embarrassing spelling mistake. It’s Rihanna, not Rhianna as I originally had it. My apologies for the error.
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Saturday, February 25, 2012