Grammy Recap

Did you watch the Grammys? Yeah me neither, but following the live blogs is just as entertaining, if not more so. The big story was Adele’s sweep, winning Album of the Year with her transcendent breakup album 21, and Record of the Year and Song of the Year with 2011 staple “Rolling In the Deep.” Kudos to the Grammys for getting something right, but they’re known to make some pretty laughable choices, and not even so much relating to what they pick as to how they pick them. Let’s go over some of the notable winners–ridiculous, deserving, and otherwise.

BEST NEW ARTIST: Bon Iver

Are you kidding me? Bon Iver made the big time last year with the self-titled Bon Iver, his sophomore album. Key word though: sophomore. Bon Iver’s debut record For Emma, Forever Ago was incredible, one of the best of the last decade. Oh, did I say “last decade?” Yeah, it was self-released in 2007 (before making a wider release the year after). I love the audacity they have to not just nominate him but choose him as the best new artist simply because those fossils finally recognized him. I know I’m belaboring an obvious point, but humor me for a second–take the Shins, for example. They made their last album in 2007, the same year as For Emma. The Shins are finally coming out with a new disc this year and we’re lauding them for “[taking] back their throne”, after “a long hiatus. If the time between 2007 and now is “a long hiatus,” then I’m baffled as to how Bon Iver, around since 2007, is a new artist. (Btw in my opinion, the award should have gone to Nicki Minaj).

BEST RAP ALBUM: Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Say what you will about Kanye’s persona (Insert “I’mma let you finish” dig here), but the man is a genius. MBDTF rightfully won as the best rap album, but it’s insane that it wasn’t nominated for Album of the Year. Bruno Mars was nominated. Yeah, Bruno Mars. Badly done, Grammys. Badly done.

BEST POP DUO/GROUP PERFORMANCE NOMINATION: The Black Keys – “Dearest”

So actually the winner in this category was a collaboration between the late Amy Winehouse and Tony Bennett, which I haven’t heard and don’t feel like checking out at the moment (no disrespect, I dig me some Amy Winehouse). Actually it’s pretty crazy that it won considering it was going up against “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People, “Paradise” by Coldplay, and “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5. Anyway, I just want to direct your attention to the other nominee, The Black Keys’ “Dearest.” It appeared on a tribute album to Buddy Holly called Rave On, featuring covers of Buddy Holly songs from Paul McCartney, Julian Casablancas, Florence + the Machine, Cee-Lo Green, and others, including the Black Keys. I’m surprised and impressed that the Grammys dug this track out of relative obscurity to nominate it because it’s a gem. Check it out below:

OK I’m bored. I was thinking of writing more, but the Grammys are useless anyway. If you’re feeling in the mood to reminisce on the best of this year’s show though, just crack out the Adele, Bon Iver, Kanye, and Foo Fighters and have at it.

What’s Good Right Now?

There are tons of new albums and tracks floating around so far in 2012, so never fear. Do you trust me? If so, let’s check it out.

Gotye feat. Kimbra – “Somebody That I Used To Know”
Award: The Song Getting Played On Every Radio Station (And That Came Out of Nowhere)

So Gotye is a Belgian dude who lives in Australia, made an album that got huge Down Under last year, and finally took over the states this year. It’s great stuff–the xylophone opening, the flutes during the girl’s verse, and the passionate lead vocals and harmonies. Also, I swear he sounds like Ozzy Osbourne (a la “Crazy Train”) in the chorus. Anyone agree?

Jack White – “Love Interruption”
Award: The Song That Showed the Veteran Has Still Got It

Last week, the legend released the first single from his upcoming album Blunderbuss. It’s a laid-back affair compared to the average White Stripes track, and as a result, a little underwhelming on first listen. But after letting the expectations subside, “Love Interruption” stands as a solid song with a good melody.
Hear the track here

Frankie Rose – “Know Me”
Award: Indie Pop Gem

Rose just recently came on my radar. She’s played the drums for various bands, including Crystal Stilts and Dum Dum Girls, and is making her solo debut with Interstellar, out February 24. “Know Me” has all the right elements. The reverb and shoegaze-y feel coat a brilliant melody that you can’t shake from your head.

 

KEEP IT IN THE ROTATION


Sharon Van Etten – Tramp
Van Etten has a voice up there with Feist and Cat Power. She was in a relationship with an extremely repressive boyfriend from Tennessee who told her that her music was no good. The pain from that time still crops up in her music. She stated that making the album was “therapy” for her. The album is powerful and will probably grow to be even more appealing with time. Below is “Serpents.”

 


Dr. Dog – Be the Void
Dr. Dog have provided reliable and catchy, if a tad unoriginal, psych rock for over 10 years. Be the Void doesn’t provide anything you haven’t heard before, but it’s satisfying when you’re craving some loose, confident, raw rock and roll. Hear “That Old Black Hole” (the first one) and “Lonesome” (the second one, which sounds like the Rolling Stones channeling Robert Johnson) below.


GIVE IT A SPIN OR TWO


Air – Le Voyage Dans La Lune
Le Voyage Dans La Lune, by the French duo Air, is meant to be a soundtrack to the 1902 silent film of the same name. It’s mostly pleasant background music, nothing more or less, but the second track “Seven Stars” is sick. Listen below