BLURT Goes to the GRAMMY Noms Show!

 

 

Held Wed.,
Dec. 3 at the Nokia Theatre, Los
Angeles and BLURT was there!

 

BY
JOSE MARTINEZ

 

 

Award
shows usually make their official announcements at some God awful time early in
the morning (if you’re on the West Coast anyway) where bleary-eyed journalists
go to some sterile hotel banquet room half awake and slowly come to life on
free coffee and pastries. This year the GRAMMYs opted to announce the nominees
for the 51st annual GRAMMY Awards, to be held Sunday, February 8 at Staples Center
in Los Angeles,
on a weeknight during a live-on-television concert.

 

 

The
fact that the GRAMMY brain trust was able to sell thousands of seats at hundred
of dollars to the general public for an hour-long show (followed by an
hour-long solo set by John Mayer) was a stroke a genius. I guess there really
is a sucker born every second. The show also served as an opportunity to
constantly plug the brand new GRAMMY
Museum that opens this
Friday at the state-of-the-art LA LIVE entertainment complex. But to the
Academy’s credit, the first-ever GRAMMY Nomination Concert ran like clockwork.

 

 

Coming
up with a novel twist, all of the evening’s performers were former GRAMMY
winners doing their rendition of songs now in the GRAMMY Hall of Fame. Opening
the show was Mariah Carey singing “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).” Still
able to hit at least one of her trademark annoying high pitch squeals,
unfortunately for us U2 was neither available nor interested in appearing on
the broadcast.

 

 

Up
next, performing to an audience that also included the Jonas Brothers (sitting
in the front row), Smokey Robinson, Natalie Cole, and Lindsey Buckingham,
Celine Dion offered an uninspired take on Janis Ian’s “At Seventeen.” This
would have been the perfect time to run to the kitchen for a snack or to fix a
quick drink, or even an opportunity to do some channel surfing, but being stuck
in the makeshift pressroom in the bowels of the Nokia Theatre that was not an
option. (But at least there was some finger food to feast on.)

 

 

After
a commercial break the Foo Fighters took on Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain”
which made me wonder if this would have made Kurt Cobain cringe? Joined onstage
by a violinist that was drowned out by the roar of the band, the Foo’s take on
the ‘70s classic was sometimes rockin’ and sometimes just off base. After the
song, singer Dave Grohl announced the nominees for best Pop Collaboration with
Vocals, and had some fun at the expense of the Best Country Performance By A
Duo or Group with Vocals category.

 

 

Then
came a hockey moment between the evening’s hosts Taylor Swift and LL Cool J –
the former, of  course, is pretty far
removed from the rapper that broke onto the scene nearly 20 years ago. That was
followed by Swift’s version of Brenda Lee’s “I’m Sorry” along with a quick
rendition of her own song “White Horse.” I’m not sure if that was her way of
insinuating that she’s on par with Little Miss Dynamite or if she’s just
desperate to plug her own catalog. Either way, at least she looked hot and leggy.

 

 

The
broadcast’s final performance paired guitar legend B.B. King with John Mayer
who is better known these days for who he is or isn’t dating, as well as his
sometimes funny rants on TMZ, but it was good to see him get back to work.
Together they delivered a knockout performance of Louis Jordan’s 1946 hit “Let
The Good Times Roll.”

 

 

After
the show went off the air, and John Mayer performed a solo set for those that
decided to remain in their seats, many of the night’s nominees, among the
various 110 categories, stopped by the press area.

 

 

Ne-Yo,
nominated for six awards, including Album of the Year, said he prides himself
on his music’s diversity, noting, “I’m in great company,” adding he’s
“dumbfounded” at being nominated.       

 

 

Nominated
for Best New Artist, singer Jazmine Sullivan called her nomination “surreal”
and “unbelievable,” reflecting, “I’ve been in this industry for so long that’s
it’s great that it’s finally coming together.”

 

 

Polished
beyond their years, the Jonas Brothers, also void of any personality, made time
for a quick Q&A. “The GRAMMY nomination is the tip of the iceberg,” Kevin
Jonas stated. “We never forget where we come from so this is truly an honor.”

 

 

Brother
Nick Jonas said if he could pick any artist to collaborate on a GRAMMY
performance with it would be with Elvis Costello. (Meanwhile, over on the
Sundance Channel, EC was kibitzing with Elton John. Life is sweet, no?)

 

 

Comedian
Kathy Griffin, nominated for Best Comedy Album, was a breath of fresh air
backstage, even if she was surrounded by a whole team of handlers. “Britney
Spears is a train wreck!” she declared. Whether or not she was kidding is open
for interpretation. Wearing a “sweaty armband” courtesy of Foo Fighter Dave
Grohl, Griffin
confessed she, like the Jonas Brothers, is “carefully looking for the right
girl to lose [her] virginity to.”

 

 

Finally,
living legend B.B. King confessed that at age 83 he enjoys sitting down and
quickly sat for a quick chat. Noting he had a “great time” playing with John
Mayer, King, reflecting on the recent presidential election, admitted, “I never
thought I’d live long enough to see a black president elect. America has grown up, but not
enough, but I’m very happy and proud.”

 

 

And
now, let the flood of overblown, meaningless, self-congratulatory emails and
press releases from record labels and p.r. firms begin!

 

 

***

 

 

Nominations
of interest include:

 

 

Album of the
Year:

Coldplay
Viva La Vida

Lil
Wayne – Tha Carter III

Ne-Yo
Year of the Gentleman

Robert
Plant & Alison Krauss – Raising Sand

Radiohead
In Rainbows

 

 

Record of the
Year:

Adele
– “Chasing Pavements”

Coldplay
–  “Viva La Vida”

Leona
Lewis – “Bleeding Love

M.I.A.
– “Paper Planes”

Robert
Plant & Alison Krauss – “Please Read The Letter”

 

 

Best New
Artist:

Adele

Duffy

Jonas
Brothers

Lady
Antebellum

Jazmine
Sullivan

 

 

Song of the
Year:

“American
Boy” – Estelle featuring Kanye West

“Chasing
Pavements” – Adele

“I’m
Yours” – Jason Mraz

“Love
Song” – Sara Bareilles

“Viva
La Vida” – Coldplay

 

 

Best Pop
Performance By A Duo or Group with Vocals:

Coldplay
– “Viva La Vida”

Eagles
– “Waiting In The Weeds”

Gnarls
Barkley – “Going On”

Maroon
5 – “Won’t Go Home Without You”

OneRepublic
– “Apologize”

 

 

Best Pop Vocal
Album:

Sheryl
Crow – Detours

Duffy
Rockferry

Eagles
Long Road Out Of Eden

Leona
Lewis – Spirit

James
Taylor – Covers

 

 

Best Rock
Performance By A Duo Or Group with Vocals:

AC/DC
– “Rock ‘N Roll Train”

Coldplay
– “Violet Hill”

Eagles
– “Long Road Out Of Eden”

Kings
Of Leon
– “Sex On Fire”

Radiohead
– “House Of Cards”

 

 

Best Rock
Song:

“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

 

 

Best Rock
Album:

Coldplay
Viva La Vida

Kid
Rock – Rock N Roll Jesus

Kings
Of Leon
Only By The Night

Metallica
Death Magnetic

The
Raconteurs – Consolers Of The Lonely

 

 

 

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