The Grammy Awards will happen this Sunday night and I decided to write a little pre/cap prediction thing on this here blog. As the tagline says, you are all entitled to my opinion. I'm sure many of the stalwarts out there in rock circles banging on rocks don't give a rat dropping about the Grammy's. The committee is reaching for a hearing aid and completely out of touch..the live songs are parodies of real music chock full of redundant dance moves and glittered booty.The speeches are preachy pablum where God always gets a shout out and the winners are already seated in the front row.
It is usually the most angry night of the year for me. But this year we have Radiohead and Robert Plant and Allison Krauss nominated in the Album of the year category. We also have 3 other nominees which have nothing to do with greatness or art and have everything to do with album sales and product placement. Lil Wayne(whom I bring the hate for here daily), Coldplay(its almost as if everything this putrid derivative band does is deemed award worthy)and Ne Yo(who should go home empty handed, and demanding a name change more suited for anyone who doesn't have a pacifier in his/her mouth).
My smart money is on Plant/Krauss for Raising Sand. It was an album I wanted to dislike, but ended up loving. Quite simply, 2 of the greatest singers in history singing timeless,yet redefined songs for those who love both rock and bluegrass, with a contemporary gleam and a transcendent delivery. Superb production by T-Bone Burnett, who can do no wrong these days.
Who do I want to win album of the year? Radiohead...In Rainbows was an album first overshadowed by the hype of the bands brilliant idea to give it away online. But repeated it became grafted to my sonic psyche. It is a story of a band reaching higher or deeper into their songcraft cauldron to create songs that are perplexing, challenging, timeless AND MELODIC.
Best Rock Album
Viva La Vida-Coldplay
Rock and Roll Jesus-Kid Rock
Only By the Night-Kings of Leon
Consolers of The Lonely-The Raconteurs
I'm going to give this one to Metallica. Its a great rock album with something for every Metallica fan on it. Hetfield is in top form and the songs are tinnitus worthy.
Many say Kings of Leon will win. I'm a fan of the Followills, but I wish they would stop listening to New Order and U2 in between backstage bangs, turn down the reverb and rock again. The album fell way short of a power chord for me.
Kid Rock is the poster boy for fly over rock and his songs make me want to take refuge in a trailer right before a tornado touches down. Average at best, Bud Light drinkin' music.
Coldplay--induce vomiting here. So derivitive, they got Eno to produce. It didn't help. Neither did the colored gaff tape cum Sgt. Pepper uniforms.
The Raconteurs put out an album that made many forget about Meg White's cans, which is bittersweet, but these great songs only show me that it's time for Jack to stay where he is..soaring above an adequate back beat. But they still won't win.
Best Alternative Album
Narrow Stairs- Death Cab For Cutie
Evil Urges-My Morning Jacket
The Odd Couple- Gnarls Barkley
I will again pick Radiohead. I think they will take this instead of Album of the Year. The industry (who they gladly turned away from)has finally taken notice, but I'm sure there are some members of the academy tied to Capitol Records in some way who do not want them to win a thing. Either way, Thom Yorke couldn't care less.
Death Cab For Cutie-Ben Gibbard's bi-focal rock is picking up steam with the critique- if- you- can't- do set, but it won't be enough this year. Quiet is the new loud but empty will be their new arms.
Modern Guilt was a fascinating mix of new wave,space folk,disco beats and production by Danger Mouse.Beck still came up short in the SONG dept. here, however. I've had trouble loving anything since Sea Change.
The Odd Couple-never heard it, so I have no opinion.
Evil Urges was an album that was the epitome of a critic or devout fan love/hate response this year. The title track is a cringe worthy falsetto flub This is a bad that tried to pack a little too much into an already expanding genre repertoire.
The last category I want to discuss is Best Rock Song. Nominees include:
Girls In Their Summer Clothes-Bruce Springsteen
House of Cards-Radiohead
I Will Possess Your Heart-Death Cab For Cutie
Sex On Fire- Kings Of Leon
Violet Hill- Coldplay
I am, on a daily basis, refining/demolishing/redesigning my definition of "Rock". Five years ago, House of Cards would not even be on my radar as a "rock" song. This year, in my opinion, it is not only the best rock song of the year. It is the best song of the year. My romance with Radiohead could very well have reached AD NAUSEUM heights here at Circle of Fits, but I have truly been possessed by this song. I liken it to an alien visitation, where Mr. E.T. fills the part of my brain that controls, relaxation,perspective and gooseflesh(by way of an intrusive sonic probe)with this song as background or means for subliminal control.
As for live performances...The show is actually worth turning in for these this year with appearances by Paul McCartney, Radiohead, U2 and Plant/Krauss. I'll be watching, even if you won't, and you can listen to me complain on Monday, right here at Circle of Fits.