It’s Grammy weekend, and as usual, I won’t be going. In fact I’ve never gone, because my band, Sloan, has never been nominated for a Grammy. We’ve been nominated, won and performed on the Canadian version of the Grammys, the Junos, several times over the last 22 years. But aside from attending a few post-Grammy parties one year in New York, (where I spied Joey Ramone, and stood in a coat check line behind Big Daddy Kane) we’ve been a Grammy no-show.
I’m actually not a big fan of awards shows in general. Sure, it’s fun to try to guess who will win what category, but I always can’t help but think about all those artists out there who should be in the running, but never came close to being considered. Like Sloan.
To think that the artists nominated for the various categories are the best of the best is ridiculous. There will be 81 awards given out this weekend, including newly added Best Classical Compendium, Best Latin Jazz Album and Best Urban Contemporary Album. But there are glaring omissions.
When the nominations were announced late last year, Justin Bieber wasn’t on the list, despite the fact that his Believe album debuted at number 1 on the Billboard charts and has sold almost 1.5 million copies. It was an obvious snub, one that Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, went to the press to complain about. And I agreed. I’m not a Bieber fan, but how was he completely omitted from the nominations, yet the horrible Mumford and Sons got six?
And don’t even get me started about how the The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences ignored Psy‘s smash, cross-cultural hit ‘Gangnam Style.’ Again, not a fan, but the song was everywhere last year, with the video eventually amassing over a billion views. How could a song with that much impact be completely ignored by the Grammys?
To me, it calls into question the validity of the whole event. How can such successful acts be completely ignored? Is it sour grapes? You would think that, whether the individual members of the Recording Academy actually like an artist or not, the decisions as to who they nominate should be based on criteria such as sales and public acceptance. Otherwise it’s just a popularity contest with little actual fact or reason backing their choices.
There will be lots of activity in and around the Staples Centre in Los Angeles this weekend. I’m sure I’ll tune in to see who wins what, but I must say, I have very little interest in any of the acts involved, save for host LL Cool J, who will be performing with Public Enemy’s Chuck D, Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker, Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, and DJ Z-Trip.
Other artists performing will be Justin Timberlake, fun., Taylor Swift, Jack White, the Black Keys, Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, Carrie Underwood, Rihanna, Sting, Bruno Mars, Miguel, Wiz Khalifa, Kelly Clarkson, Frank Ocean, Elton John, Maroon 5, and Alicia Keys, to name a few.
That’s a lot of yawning for me, but hopefully I’ll be surprised, especially if Frank Ocean and Chris Brown, both up for Best Urban Contemporary Album, get into an all out fist fight on stage. And then Kanye West jumps up and interrupts the fight to claim that Beyonce had the fight of the year…That would turn the whole thing around for me and make for some must-see TV.