More of the same ol’
bullshit, only this time with an even smaller pool of nominees hogging the
whole goddam field.


By Fred Mills, Blurt Managing Editor


It’s either an indicator of the Grammys’ inexorable,
torturously slow decline into irrelevance or simply another sign that in the 21st century the query “If a celebrity falls in a forest, does he or she make a
noise if there’s not a camera crew to film the event?” is no longer merely a
rhetorical one.


Last night, as you’ve probably heard, judging by, as of this
writing, the approximately 1,800 Google citations listing “Grammy nominations,”
there was a special prime-time broadcast of the noms and the accompanying
concert, all held at Los Angeles’ Club Nokia. Performing were the Black Eyed
Peas, DJ Guetta, Maxwell, Nick Jonas & The Administration, Sugarland, and
LL Cool J, who hosted. There were celebrity presenters on hand too: Linkin
Park, George Lopez, Katy Perry, Smokey Robinson, Ringo Starr, T-Pain, and
Dwight Yoakam.


“The nominations this year truly reflect the talented
community of music makers who represent some of the highest levels of
excellence in their respective fields,” said Neil Portnow, President/CEO
of The Recording Academy, in a statement. “Once again, the Grammy Awards
process has yielded a well-rounded and diverse group of impressive nominees
across multiple genres. Coupled with the second year of our primetime
nominations special, which featured stellar performances by past Grammy winners
and nominees, the road to Music’s Biggest Night and the 52nd Annual Grammy
Awards in January is off to an exciting start.”


Right. As you might imagine, once again there were no real
surprises in the nominations, with all the usual suspects being named, as you
can read at the Associated Press report here or the official Grammys site here.
Beyonce and Taylor Swift landed 10 and 8 noms, respectively, while the Black
Eyed Peas, Maxwell and Kanye West all landed 6. Following close behind: David
Guetta, Jay-Z and Lady Gaga received five each; and Colbie Caillat, Michael
Giacchino, Kings Of Leon, John Newton, RedOne, Bruce Springsteen, T-Pain, and
Keith Urban each received four nominations.


See what I mean about “irrelevance”? Sure, if you look at
the full, unexpurgated list, there are tons more nominations, many of them
reasons to cheer – for example, Best Americana Album has Dylan, Levon Helm,
Willie Nelson, Wilco and Lucinda Williams all getting nominations (we’re not
sure if Wilco can be called “Americana” anymore, but we’ll take it for now).
But when you have folks basically hogging the field with four, five, six, eight
and ten noms apiece, the sheer level of white noise drowns out everyone else as
far as the public is concerned, and the media is overtly complicit in this
stuff, too.


The nominating “event” has always been pimped to a degree by
the industry – as I write, p.r. emails are trickling in to my inbox from labels
and publicity firms expressing their congratulations to their clients who
received nods –  but having a concert is
a relatively new twist clearly aimed at giving the Grammys a bit of preemptive
shelf-life boost as we lead up to the January 31 presentation ceremony in Los
Angeles. But does manufactured buzz equate with genuine “buzz”? Is everybody
glued to their Facebook pages and Twitter feeds, sucking all this shit down
like chocolate milkshake, or can people actually detect the stench? (Hint: you
actually have to get up and walk away from the computer or smartphone since no
one has created scent apps yet.)


It’s a further sign that public interest in the
Grammys is on the wane in an era when every time you turn on the television
there’s yet another peoples’-choice type ceremony or a ceremony involving a
musical niche or subgenre. Before the dust settles, I fully expect to be
viewing the National Kazoo Association Awards



Leave a Reply