Scene music gurus Catherine Halaby and Andrew Roach break down this year’s Grammy nominations for the musically illiterate:
Record of the Year:
Andrew — Considering the recent turn in the last six months toward all things honest and emotionally charged, U2 shouldn’t have any problem taking this one. Look for Bono (taking advantage of yet another opportunity to display his hipness and far-reaching cultural relevance) to dedicate the award to the baby mommas and the baby mommas’ mommas.
Catherine — Somehow, I can’t see Bono saying that, however, I, too, smell the year of U2, which both scares and comforts me. Alicia Keys — Overrated much? What’s with the period in India.Arie’s name? Train is Dawson’s Creek music, which means it has no affiliation with art.
Album of the Year:
Catherine — If U2 does not win this award, I will donate my left ass cheek to the September 11th Fund. My 11-year-old sister loves the “O Brother” stuff, is that telling in any way?
Andrew — Is it just me, or is Bob Dylan sounding more and more like Yoda? And how did “O Brother” sneak into this category? Sure, the album is amazing, and it’s about time that hillbilly jug bands get the musical recognition they deserve. But, alas, those sneaky Irish lads of U2 will triumph over both symbols of Americana, showing our entire nation how far behind we really are. Oh well, at least we kicked their ass in the Winter Olympics.
Song of the Year:
Andrew — In a blow to the color green and names beginning with “O'” everywhere, U2 will not sweep the three major awards. The Grammy voters will throw a bone to the new women of R&B and give the award to Alicia Keys. On a related (and slightly titillating) note, wouldn’t it be great to see Nelly Furtado and that girl from “Amelie” get into a really cute, playful catfight? Just a thought–
Catherine — Yeah, that would be so hot. Almost as hot as Bono and The Edge coming together in one pretentious, homoerotic, name-swapping, tortured Catholic love-fest. I think the recording academy might give the nod to the slightly more advanced musicality of India.Arie over Alicia Keys’ 2-chord piano stylings, however.
Best New Artist:
Andrew — In a category best known for ending careers before they really begin, India.Arie will take the first step into oblivion (I hope taking that pretentiously unnecessary punctuation with her). The angry white boys of Linkin Park, however, will channel the collective anger from their Grammy loss into a new album, which further cements their place as the crap stuck to the bottom of rock’s shoe.
Catherine — I agree with the likelihood of India.Arie taking this one. The battle between India and Alicia Keys, much like the white pop queen version of the Best New Artist showdown between Britney and Christina of yesteryear, will end up with Keys continuing to deliver hits and Arie becoming irrelevant (but hopefully not as trashy, midget-like, pseudo-Latina and obnoxious as Christina).
Rock Performance by a Duo or Group:
Catherine — I will forever be confused by the stipulations of Grammy categorization. How is it that groups whose albums are nominated in pop and alternative categories find themselves in the same category for rock song? Dave deserves the nod here, as his latest album is as Grammy-friendly as the man will (I hope) ever get. And could Aerosmith BE any more over the hill? Hello, it was called “Get a Grip,” which translates to “the last time they were cool.”
Andrew — Unfortunately, Steven Tyler will again find himself unable to step out of the shadow of his daughter Liv. Look for the Grammy voters to give a pity award to Train, who just aren’t able to win anything else. Maybe they can melt down the gold in the award and use it to buy themselves a personality.
Best Rap Album:
Andrew — Actually one of the more interesting categories, as Jay-Z and Outkast duke it out for the privilege to be called the rapper that old white guys are least afraid of. Look for Outkast to win by a hair (and a platinum blonde one, at that).
Catherine — I used to hate Jay-Z. The Blueprint is mad good, so I might give it the nod myself, but I doubt the old dudes will. “Bombs Over Baghdad” is the coolest thing to happen in rap in a long time. One thing I would like to know is where Grammy voters got the crack they were smoking when they nominated Ludacris, ’cause obviously it warps your capacity for reason, taste, or any perception of human reality.
Best R&B Song:
Catherine — Grammy loves Erykah Badu but I don’t think I have even heard that song. “Get Ur Freak On” is so hot and Missy deserves some recognition for being the brightest female star in the rap/hip-hop constellation. More important will be the Aaliyah tribute, in the form of Best R&B Album. Damn girl, we’ll miss you.
Andrew — OK, all these nominees are re-cock-ulously horrible. So I predict a win for Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror,” one of the most bad-ass songs in history. Although it would be interesting to see if a Grammy win creates a change of heart in Blu Cantrell, causing her to forgive her ex and give him back all the money she stole. Come on baby, he didn’t mean it. They was just playin’–
Catherine — Wait a second, “Man in the Mirror” wasn’t nominated. — I don’t get it. The contrast between Blu Cantrell’s version of female empowerment and India.Arie’s is fascinating in the context of Grammy nonsense, or maybe I am reading too much into what exactly it means when a man gets “buck wild.”
Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group:
Andrew — What?? No 98*? No O-Town? What ever happened to rewarding real talent? I guess we’ll have to give the Grammy to Five for Fighting, owners of one of the worst band names in history. On a positive note, all the bland, self-pitying white dudes of the world (myself included) have reason to believe that they too can be rock stars.
Catherine — This category make me want to cry. The Backstreet Boys need to check out of rehab and sign a collective surrender to the dominance of ‘NSYNC ’cause Timberlake and Crew made ’em say “uncle” long ago. Lance is so hot!!!
Best Alternative Music Album:
Andrew — Radiohead geeks, have no fear. Your boys’ latest collection of random bleeps and crashes will walk off with a Grammy. So, you can get back to the important things in life, like debating why the Stockholm 2001 performance of “Pyramid Song” is far superior to the Barcelona version of the year before.
Catherine — Actually, I prefer the Holland performance from back when “Pyramid Song” was still called “Egyptian Song.” Like, whoa. The year for Radiohead was last year, sadly, and I predict the more accessible Brit import, Coldplay, to take this category, and rightly so.