As a lover of music, I'm always curious about the annual Grammy awards for no reason other than it gives a pulse to what is happening in current music. I was talking with a couple of students after school yesterday, and one them proposed the following interesting question: how do you teach someone to love music? I'm paraphrasing, but I was fascinated with the question. Looking at this year's Grammy nominees, perhaps, could be an excellent way to expose someone to music the industry itself is looking to as being excellent.
And then I saw the nominees.
For Album of the Year, generally considered the "biggie" of the night, our nominees are:
The Suburbs from Arcade Fire (obligatory alternative band)
Recovery from Eminem (Joetown's finest. Also, obligatory rap album)
Need You Now from Lady Antebellum (obligatory country album)
The Fame Monster from Lady Gaga (let's be fair- I love this album. The problem, though, is this album has all of eight songs on it)
Teenage Dream by Katy Perry
What? Katy Perry? Like... like really? I understand "California Girls" was catchy, and I'm certainly guilty of singing along to it in my car. But I have heard the rest of the album via youtube, and it's hardly worthy of best pop album, let alone album of the year. The song "Teenage Dream" itself is a ridiculous staccato-fest. I like to scream the chorus as folows:
And so on and so forth. Also, Katy Perry has a theme of having things shoot out of her breasts in her music videos. In "California Girls" (below) she has two whipped cream cannons as breasts.
In her latest video "Firework," she has (you guessed it) fireworks shooting out of her breasts:
Actually, "Firework" is the least offensive of her songs on the Teenage Dream album. I like it. The song "Peacock," however, makes me want to stab my own ears:
That's right, America, we've nominated an album with the above song on it for ALBUM OF THE YEAR.
So, aside from the Katy Perry album, the rest of the nominees aren't terribly offensive I guess. It's just predictable.
So the other big award for the night is Record of the Year, with nominees as follows:
"Nothin' On You" B.O.B. featuring Bruno Mars
"Love the Way You Lie" Eminem featuring Rihanna
"Fuck You" Cee-Lo
"Empire State of Mind" Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keys
"Need You Now" Lady Antebellum
There's nothing on this list that inherently bothers me, and I'm most certainly pulling for Cee-Lo to win. I'm a little curious about how many of these songs are collaborations not for any negative reasons. Just an observation. I've not heard the entire Lady Antebellum album, but "Need You Now" was alright.
The real story here, though, is Robyn is nominated for Best Dance Song for this epic awesomeness:
I love this song (and album), alright? When I saw Robyn in concert this summer with Erika in New York, I pretty much fell in love with the music and Robyn herself as a performer.
Well, anyway, here are the rest of the nominees. Read 'em and weep. Literally. Because a lot of the best music isn't noticed. It's there, but we have to dig a little. The Grammy's were must-see TV for me when I was younger, but as an adult I apparently no longer like music the music industry likes. I'm being a little dramatic, but whatever. I was happy to see Mumford & Sons got a few nominations.
In less rant-y music related news, it's December. I love Christmas music. Here are my favorite Christmas songs. What are yours?
(he has a recorded version of this I much prefer)
(anything Sufjan Stevens has done for Christmas music makes me happy)