Grammy Complaining, Part 1

Not that anybody cares, really, but the Grammys are coming up on Sunday.  Pretty much every musician born after 1873 is performing and/or presenting (Miley Cyrus! One of the Four Tops! Paul McCartney and Dave Grohl, together as one!) and with 100 awards to slog through, just about everybody you can name is nominated as well.

With the record industry is tanking, expect an aura of desperation around this year’s ceremony, which as usual will honor the music that sixty-year old record executives think is hip.  Since the awards are chosen by a bunch of industry dudes in suits, the nominees don’t necessarily reflect anybody’s idea of “the best” of anything.  But since the industry wants to seem artistically credible, they’re also not just going to automatically hanf out trophies to the best-selling songs and albums.  And trying to strike a balance between the art and commerce, they often fail miserably.

This year they’re trying to generate more interest; the nomination process was preceded by a televised concert, and last night Katie Couric interviewed Justin Timberlake and Katy Perry and Taylor Swift and Lil’ Wayne for a special that was oddly compelling (but not quite as compelling as my new favorite show, Close-Ups Of Tim Roth Looking Dreamy And Not Much Else.)

One of my favorite Grammy categories is Best Short-Form Music Video, because they can never decide whether to honor clever videos that get people talking (OK Go in 2007 or Fatboy Slim in 2002), things that seem arty for art’s sake (Losing My Religion in ’91, say) or videos trying to prove that old and/or dead people can still be hip (ie. Johnny Cash winning two awards posthumously.)

With MTV devoting approximately 0% of its airtime to music videos these days, the Grammy people have decided to nominate videos that generated a lot of internet hype: Erykah Badu’s unexciting tribute to old-school album covers, Radiohead’s tech-y cameraless video, a Gnarls Barkley clip (see above) that’s actually pretty okay, and Weezer’s cynical homage to all the wacky internet phenomena of last year. They also nominated the video for Another Way To Die, in which Alicia Keys acts drunk in a desert setting whose background goes white in a way that reminds me of hairspray commercials.  It’s seriously one of the stupidest videos ever, and I’m not just saying that because the song makes me want to shove railroad ties in my eyes.

Five awesome videos that should have been nominated instead:

Utah Saints, Something Good ’08

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I normally disapprove of any songs that end in a year (except Freedom ’90, which is the awesomest) but this newly-remixed version of the Saints’ Kate Bush-sampling hit from ’92 is still really funny.  Also, the Welsh!

Solange, T.O.N.Y.

Technically this couldn’t be nominated until next year, since the Grammy year runs from October 1 through September 30 for some reason. But still, I’ll make up any reason to watch this video again.

The Kills, Last Day of Magic

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I’ve posted this video like eighty-three times already, so I won’t go into details.

Kanye West, Flashing Lights

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about taking my clothes off in the desert and then bludgeoning Kanye West with a shovel.  This video is like a dream come true!

Rihanna, Disturbia

Because nothing faux-creepy says 80s-inspired electro-pop like a video that harkens back to the glory days of director Samuel Bayer.  No, really.

3 thoughts on “Grammy Complaining, Part 1”

  1. LOVE THIS SONG! I can\’t get enough of it! I just love how it\’s about the girl being unfaithful not the guy. Going against the sterotypes!

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