Grammy Night 2011: Predictions and the Like…

Pop Culture, SnapTrakks, Soundtrek

So.. it’s Grammy night – again. Thus…

inanutshell: I’m excited for a surprise this year. While I haven’t been keeping as up-to-speed with all things Grammy-related this year, apparently GaGa is doing something, and if that’s not enough something, she’s doing something in a coffin (incubator… death/birth… monster/madam… #kanyeshrug) so… that’s something – and if nothing else it’s a heads up that yes: something is going to get kilt like a Scotsman. Moving forward… Eminem has many-a-nods this year, as does Katy Perry, the Wayward Baby, Bruno Mars, Mr. Sean, and Lady Antebellum. I mean… it’s the Grammys; so – you already know. No pretense this year – let’s get to predictin’!

Album of the Year

Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
Eminem – Recovery
Lady Antebellum – Need You Now
Lady Gaga – The Fame Monster
Katy Perry – Teenage Dream

BlinkkIt: Eminem released his most authentic album to date since The Marshall Mathers LP, but from a place of noted maturity. He had a massive year with two key Super Bowl spots highlighting the soul and scene of America – Brisk as the creative claymation “this is why I don’t do commercials!” commercial, and Chrysler for the theatric homage to the lost Motor City of Motown. Lady Antebellum brings the down-home mainstream twang that is not to be overlooked in Grammy-town Nashville. The Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs captures the Pitchfork-friendly sonic aesthetic; which, historically, is triumphant in its place as a nominee – not as a victor. Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream … still not settled with this nomination by technical standards, or any standards outside of radio play really… but it’s nice to have that aspirational everygirl Pop presence within the category. Inevitably: Lady GaGa for the win, for the cause – and if nothing else, for the paws. #up

Record of the Year

B.o.B (featuring Bruno Mars) – “Nothin’ on You”
Eminem (featuring Rihanna) – “Love the Way You Lie”
Cee Lo Green – “F*** You”
Jay-Z and Alicia Keys – “Empire State of Mind”
Lady Antebellum – “Need You Now”

BlinkkIt: Lady Antebellum got Best New Artist last year; so this could be a way to debunk the oft-hushed Best New Artist curse – and with a Nashville-native artist #iseeyougrammycommittee “Nothin’ on You” was a mellow current along the airwaves this year, but B.o.B and Bruno Mars are the Arcade Fire in this category – Williamsburg-approved mainstream with the win resting in the nomination. Cee Lo’s track was an undeniable force this year, bringing back the sounds of Motown, and reminding us that the concept of Doo-Wop in the Top 40 is not over-the-hill. Jay-Z and Alicia Keys, similarly, were an undeniable force this year – last year… and the year before with their anthemic “Empire State of Mind” #isthenationalanthemnominatedtoo, bringing back the city sounds of Gotham, and reminding us that the concept of a three-year-old song being nominated for the current year’s best is not misunderstood. Eminem and Rihanna’s collaboration was a smash last year – literally #hikidsdoyoulikeviolence and the video was a literal arcade fire #whensmokeymetthesuburbs. Considering the country’s affinity towards infidelity and dishonesty in all matters interpersonal… this could be a sleeper one to watch #butnotreally

Best New Artist

Justin Bieber
Drake
Florence & the Machine
Mumford & Sons
Esperanza Spalding

BlinkkIt: Justin Bieber has a hit song called “Baby“… he’s the official spokeschild for Similac… he is the Colonel Sanders of junior drumsticks… he’s the only person to proactively fight zits years before sixth grade science class explains what puberty is… The only thing he has a better chance of winning is Best Newborn. Drake is neck and neck with Biebs #totesbffls … good chances, after all: it is the Grammys and hype counts for a lot – odds aren’t terrible for Mister “Far from Over… rated” Mumford & Sons and Florence & The Machine‘s odds are not great, considering they’re actually qualified – this is America: qualifications = disqualificationEsperanza Spalding‘s got a very fresh soulful sound, fun, Brazilian, jazzy – double bass #win. That said… odds are decent, considering her name means “hope” … and that’s change you can belieb in #ohwait; well, there’s always Spalding… and when it comes to holding court, they’re ace #notverypunny #igotnothingonthisone… She went to Berklee School of Music: inevitably – (see FloMach and MumSons). It’s Best New Artist… read: the Grammy you’d just rather not #curseyoumillivanili

Best Dance Recording

Goldfrapp – “Rocket”
La Roux – “In For The Kill”
Lady Gaga – “Dance in the Dark”
Rihanna – “Only Girl (In the World)”
Robyn – “Dancing on My Own”

BlinkkIt: Goldfrapp, La Roux, Lady GaGa, Rihanna, and Robyn… amidst the Age of Ophiuchus… just before the break of dawn… just beneath the disco ball… feet gallivanting just so above the dancefloor… voices calling out ever so viscerally, reaching over and beyond the electronic loop… five neo-disco beatknocked ballerinas found freedom in the music… dancing beyond sanity to a tune only they could hear… recreating the sense of inclusion through isolation… So, for the second year in a row Best Dance Recording stands as the strongest category in the pack #nwo My pick: #freedominthemusic #cherrycherryboomboom

Best Pop Vocal Album

Justin Bieber – My World. 2.0
Susan Boyle – I Dreamed A Dream
Lady GaGa – The Fame Monster
John Mayer – Battle Studies
Katy Perry – Teenage Dream

BlinkkIt: This year’s nominees for Best Pop Vocal Album are a nice cross-section of the general populous… we’ve got androgynous sixteen-year-old Canadians, Middle-Aged British women, guitar-plucking playboys, fruity pin-up California gurls, and a monster whose own greatest demon is disinterest. So many dreams, so many catchy songs infiltrating the mainstream psyche, so many pop messages… #INCEPTION

That said Bieber did things this year – big ones from what I hear – what exactly said things are, I’m sure I don’t know. Susan Boyle dreamed a dream – within a dream tour #notreally #wouldyouholditagainstmeifitdid John Mayer released an album absolving his name from the hall of douchebaggery by crediting his womanizing ways to the study of militaristic influences on relational matters – because #loveisabattlefield #educationisthemotivation Katy Perry teenage dreamed… lots of dreams here… #happyfebruary #ihaveadreamtoo Meanwhile, while the flock was counting sheep – the frontrunner was the shepherding culture and doing anything but sleeping to dream.

If nothing else, Pop is the tale of the dreamers… the eternal experiment testing if lies can be made truths, if the masses can be made to believe so much in the mirage that they manifest it into being… the collective mind striving towards a Utopian world, because even in the midst of cynicism miracles are clear and present, and the intangible aspiration does matter. This year’s nominees weave a story of Post-Apocalyptic Battle Studies… past music left in ruins – but paramount nonetheless in their foundation for the future. Universes unite from across the Pop scape… Justin Bieber dreaming a next-level teen scheme on one end, and Lady GaGa battling  her own infernal demons on the other… the rampage and the subsequent reign… the Pop conquest in all of its modern fantastical marvel…

Best Rap Solo Performance

“Over” – Drake
“Not Afraid” – Eminem
“How Low” – Ludacris
“I’m Back” – T.I.
“Power” – Kanye West

Drake… Drake, Drake – Drake… oh Jimmy. “Not Afraid”  was a solid battle cry hearkening in the second coming of Marshall’s Law. Mr. Bridges “How Low” was a tantamount tandem; captstoning the original track’s Nicki Minaj feature with Eve, Diamond, and Trina on the remix. T.I. returned to the free world with “I’m Back,” his first post-prison single; while it’s a strong cut, in the midst of formidable company, it likely won’t grant Harris his first post-prison Grammy. West produced the only thing this side of heaven that rings more beautifully than haters’ screams… Kanye for the Power play. Rap 2011: because it doesn’t matter how low you go, as long as you’re not afraid to come back and claim the throne… defenestration is a beautiful death… the legendary leap into night fall… goodnight cruel world, see you in the mourning… this is far from over #musicislifeismusic

As Reynolds said to Rev Run… that’s a wrap!

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