The morning after the Grammy nominations are announced is usually a pretty harrowing moment for many music fans as we struggle to come to terms with what the rest of America is listening to. And not even in a snobby way; just in an ignorant way. By not listening to pop radio when we're driving (or exercising, or writing, or, well, any time), it takes work to keep up or even care about the majority's taste. But the nominations, for better or for worse, reveal important information about Americans and their preferences (don't they?), or at least about the mysterious group of industry insiders who do the nominating.
We could peruse and prognosticate here, could wonder and gripe and complain, but that won't do much good — and besides, we're in a good mood this morning, and want to keep the vibe alive.
The biggest news for LA music fans: No Age and Brian Roettinger get a nomination for the great package for Nouns.
Other big news: Two of the five nominees for “Record of the Year,” Adele and M.I.A., were released by the great XL Recordings out of England, which is pretty insane to think about when you see their current roster: Tapes 'n Tapes, Raconteurs, Monkey, Vampire Weekend, Dizzie Rascal, RJD2, Friendly Fires, Titus Andronicus, Beck, Basement Jaxx, Be Your Own Pet. (Notable absence: Devendra Banhardt, whose Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon was put out by XL, and never to be heard from again.) Fluke or portent. Probably fluke, but congrats to them.
UPDATE: It's less clear how the Smell kidz will react when the band is introduced as “Grammy-nominated Smell act No Age.” Will keep you posted.
Pleasant surprise #1: Steve Cropper, perhaps America's greatest
under-appreciated guitarist (who recorded with Otis Redding, Booker T
and the MGs and pretty much every other Stax record released in the
1960s and 1970s), gets nominated in the “Best Pop Instrumental”
category for “Nudge It Up a Notch,” his collaboration with Felix
Left-Field “Wha?” Moment: LA-based Sam Sparrow nabs nomination in the Best Dance Recording category for “Black and Gold.”
Hard rock surprise: Mars Volta's Wax Simulacra sank like a stone on the charts — and received Best Hard Rock Performance nod.
A Zappa surprise: Dweezil gets a shoutout in Best Rock Instrumental Performance for his work with Zappa Plays Zappa.
surprise here, perhaps, considering that Best Alternative Music Album
category is always a decade behind the rest of the world, but all but
one of the nominees (Beck, Radiohead, Death Cab, My Morning Jacket)
have been around for at least a ten years. And Gnarls Barclay's
exception is, well, not too exciting. Why not Vampire Weekend?
leaving the rap categories alone — so predictable, so safe — other
than to say that Lupe Fiasco's nominations won't help him sell records,
Nortec Collective's Bostich & Fussible get a vote in Best Latin Rock Or Alternative Album category for their Tijuana Sound Machine album.
“Scratch” Perry and Narnack Records get a nod in the Best Reggae Album
category, where they'll compete against, among others, Heavy D.
Shalhoub and Gweneth Paltrow will be going head to head in the Best
Spoken Word Album for Children Category. The tension! The anticipation!
Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead gets nomination for the There Will Be Blood
score in the Best Score Soundtrack Album For Motion Picture, Television
Or Other Visual Media category. It will, however, get trounced by James
Newton Howard's soundtrack for The Dark Knight.