Award Season is in full swing, so I’m getting a late start on this. Next year will be better. But I think the Grammys are as good a place as any to start a new feature. I’m going to tell you my picks for various awards. This should be fun, because I’m in no way an expert. Let the discussion begin!!
We’ll start, much like the tele-cast, at the bottom:
Long Form Music Video–Big Easy Express: Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, and Old Crow Medicine Show This sounds like a show I would pay through my nose to see, so I’m going to give them a Grammy instead.
Short Form Music Video–No Church In The Wild: Jay-Z & Kanye West Featuring Frank Ocean & The-dream I have NOT seen this video, but I have this album and it is amazing. Anything related to it must also be amazing.
Contemporary Classical Composition–Praulins, Ugis: The Nightingale This was a case of Eenie, meenie, miney, moe.
Classical Compendium–Une Fête Baroque-Emmanuelle Haïm I have a feeling it will win because I hate Baroque music. It’s so stiff and boring, a guaranteed winner!
Classical Vocal Solo–Debussy: Clair De Lune-Natalie Dessay This Debussy guy’s been a Grammy favorite since his debut a few years ago. I think it’s in the bag for him.
Classical Instrumental Solo-Holst: The Planets-Hansjörg Albrecht Have you ever heard The Planets? Do yourself a favor and set aside an hour and give it a listen. Albrecht would have to fuck it up royally to lose.
Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance–Profanes Et Sacrées-Boston Symphony Chamber Players Yeah! Bawston Rawks!!!
Best Choral Performance–Handel: Israel In Egypt- Julian Wachner, Conductor I like this Handel guy. Plus, I owe him a solid.
Best Opera Recording–Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen-James Levine & Fabio Luisi, Conductors I don’t know if this is part of the Ring Cycle (though something tells me it is, hmmm), that inspired Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, but I have to pay respect to that.
Best Orchestral Performance–Mahler: Symphony No. 1-Ivàn Fischer, Conductor Ivan, how badass a name is that. Shit, I don’t know anything about classical music. This is bad, but wait til we get to world music.
Producer of the Year, Classical–Tim Handley I reached into a hat, and Timmy won!!
Best Engineered Album, Classical– Beethoven: The Late String Quartets, Op. 127 & 131 What they said.
Best Surround Sound Album–Modern Cool-Jim Anderson, Surround Mix Engineer This is seriously a category. WTF.
Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical–Lie Down in Darkness (Photek Remix)-Photek, Remixer This was a Moby song originally. Can you remix a techno song? How would you even know?
Producer of the Year, Non-Classical–Dan Auerbach I went to high school with a Dan Auer. That’s seriously how I made this pick. This is why I don’t gamble.
Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical–Ashes & Fire-Glyn Johns, Engineer; Bob Ludwig, Mastering Ludwig, Mastering Engineer Glyn works his ASS OFF. It’s about time he got some recognition. Or so his mother tells me.
Best Historical Album–The Smile Sessions (Delux Box Set)- The Beach Boys I guess “Best Best of” would be awkward to say
Best Album Notes–First Recordings: 50th Anniversary Edition-Hans Olof Gottfridsson, Album Notes Writer As a writer, I appreciate this category. Also, it’s for a Beatles album, so it’s gotta win.
Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package–The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (soundtrack From The Motion Picture)-Rob Sheridan, Art Director I loved every aspect of this film, and the soundtrack, including the packaging. Hey! I actually knew one!
Best Recording Package–Swing Lo Magellan-David Longstreth, Art Director I didn’t know they gave awards for the artists with the best crotch, but there you go, Dirty Projectors.
Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)–Out There-Shelly Berg, Arranger So, like, the band?
Best Instrumental Arrangement–A Night In Tunisia (Actually An Entire Weekend!)-Wally Minko, Arranger You know me, I’m a sucker for parentheticals.
Best Instrumental Composition–Music of Ansel Adams: America-Chris Brubeck & Dave Brubeck, Composers First, I love Ansel Adams’ photos. Second, didn’t Dave Brubeck die this past year? Clincher!
Best Song Written For Visual Media–Learn Me Right (from Brave)-Mumford & Sons, Songwriters Mumford & Sons are great, and Brave was pretty good, so this is a winning team.
Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media–The Dark Knight Rises-Hans Zimmer, Composer One of the few parts of TDKR that wasn’t flawed was the score! So powerful, so amazing, still gives me chills!
Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media–The Muppets-Various Artists C’mon, it’s the fucking Muppets. They can’t lose.
Musical Theater Album– Once: A New Musical-Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova, Composers/Lyricists My fiance and I discovered Once as an indie film years ago and instantly fell in love with it and the soundtrack. Still have yet to catch it on Broadway, but I’m sure it’s still amazing.
Best Comedy Album–Mr. Universe-Jim Gaffigan Stiff competition this year, but Gaffigan is at the top of his game right now.
Best Spoken Word Album–Seriously…I’m Kidding-Ellen Degeneres I’m biased because I’ve had a crush on her since I was young. Yes, I know she’s not interested in men, but she’s beautiful, funny, kind and smart, what’s not to love and respect. And to see her beat Michelle Obama and Bill Clinton would be Amazing.
Best Children’s Album–Radio Jungle-The Pop Ups I had to pick at random, since Raffi wasn’t in the mix. Sad face.
Best World Music Album–The Living Room Sessions Part I-Ravi Shankar For some reason I always thought this guy was a fictional character.
Best Reggae Album–Rebirth-Jimmy Cliff I don’t know much about Reggae, but I know Cliff is a legend.
Best Regional Roots Music Album–The Band Courtbouillon-Wayne Toups, Steve Riley, and Wilson Savoy Sounds crazy, but I’ve always had a soft spot for Cajun-Zydeco music.
Best Folk Album–Election Special-Ry Cooder Hahahahahahahahahaha…Cooder?!
Best Blues Album–Bring It On Home-Joan Osborne I thought she died in 1999, So I was just pleased to see her doing well. Well, not that well, she’s recording a blues album.
Best Bluegrass Album–Nobody Knows You-Steep Canyon Rangers Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers premiered in America during my youth, so they’ve always had a special place in my heart.
Best Americana Album–The Carpenter-The Avett Brothers I love Mumford & Sons, but The Avett Brothers do it better, and as a bonus, they’re actually American.
Best Tropical Latin Album–Formula Vol. 1-Romeo Santos Something about the title screams prog-rock, which means it gets my vote!
Best Regional Mexican Music Album–Pecados Y Milagros-Lila Downs Downs, now there’s a Mexican name if ever there was one.
Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album– Electro-jarocho-Sistema Bomb I think they’re like the Latin System of a Down, which is awesome. Of course I’m basing this on absolutely zero evidence.
Best Latin Pop Album–Illusión-Fonseca The song’s name means: The whale’s vagina. It’s quite beautiful.
Best Contemporary Christian Music Album–Into The Light-Matthew West They’re all going to hell for making money anyway, so it doesn’t really matter who wins, does it?
Best Gospel Album–Identity-James Fortune & Fiya Get it? Fiya? Say it out loud. Say it like you’re rocking out! It’s FIIIIIRRREEEEE!!!!
Best Contemporary Christian Music Song–Jesus, Friend Of Sinners-Mark Hall & Matthew West, Songwriters I bet it’s a real catchy tune, too.
Best Gospel Song–Released-Donald Lawrence, songwriter I like gospel music, it’s got real energy. I just don’t have the patience for the lyrics.
Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance–Jesus, Friend Of Sinners-Casting Crowns Like I said, catchy (like Rubella).
Best Latin Jazz Album–¡ritmo!-The Clare Fischer Latin Jazz Big Band I just wanted to type the upside down !
Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album–Dear Diz (Every Day I Think Of You)-Arturo Sandoval I picked this one because I misread it at first.
Best Jazz Instrumental Album–Unity Band-Pat Methany Unity Band It’s good to see someone on meth doing something positive. That is what happening here, right?
Best Jazz Vocal Album–The Book of Chet-Luciana Souza The great-grand daughter of John Phillip Souza (maybe?), show some love.
Best Improvised Jazz Solo–Alice In Wonderland-Chick Corea, soloist I think he (she?) will win to make peace with his(her?) brother North Corea.
Best New Age Album–Live Ananda-Krishna Das Whoever wins, we lose.
Best Country Album–Uncaged-Zac Brown Band I’ve heard a lot of talk about this Zac Brown character. Apparently, he’s going places.
Best Country Song–Even If It Breaks My Heart-Will Hoge & Eric Paslay, songwriters Honestly, I picked these guys because I was hungry and that guys name sounds like hoagie.
Best Country Duo/Group Performance–Safe & Sound-Taylor Swift & The Civil Wars I just want to see if she’ll still act surprised. As if she didn’t even realize she’d recorded a song.
Best Country Solo Performance–Blown Away-Carrie Underwood I always forget who this is, but then again I don’t know who anyone else in this category is, either.
Best Rap Album–Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album, Pt. 1-Lupe Fiasco After his stunt before the inauguration, I’d like to see him rewarded. I mean, Chris Brown severely beat a woman and they keep showering him with awards, so why not?
Best Rap Song–N***** In Paris-Shawn Carter, Mike Dean, Chauncey Hollis & Kanye West, Songwriters Seriously, this entire album was amazing.
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration–No Church In The Wild- Jay-Z & Kanye West featuring Frank Ocean & The-dream I really do think they deserve every award they’re up for. Fantastic work, and I personally HATE Kanye West, but the mother fucker is talented.
Best Rap Performance–N***** In Paris- Jay-Z & Kanye West OOOh, shocker!
Best R&B Album–Write Me Back-R. Kelly Kelly is an artist that over steps boundaries. It doesn’t always work, but I respect it anyway.
Best Urban Contemporary Album–Channel Orange-Frank Ocean I feel like this category is a little racist. Am I alone? Either way, Frank Ocean has a powerful voice, and Chris Brown is a piece of shit.
Best R&B Song–Heart Attack-Benjamin Levin, Rico Love, & Tremaine Neverson, songwriters I honestly don’t know any of the choices this year, but I like Green Day, so there you go.
Best Traditional R&B Performance–Love On Top-Beyoncé She can love me on whatever side she chooses.
Best R&B Performance–Adorn-Miguel I don’t know this guy, I thought I was voting for Adele.
Best Alternative Music Album–Making Mirrors-Gotye Say what you will about the song, but this guy can do music, eh?
Best Rock Album–El Camino-The Black Keys I couldn’t believe Coldplay was nominated in this category? Have they ever listened to Coldplay? Anyway, El Camino is a badass album.
Best Rock Song–I Will Wait-Ted Dwane, Ben Lovett, Winston Marshall & Marcus Mumford, songwriters C’mon, this song is anthemic, beautiful, emotional, and it rocks, too!
Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance–No Reflection-Marilyn Manson Manson will always be #2 in my my heart for industrial music, and since Nine Inch Nails weren’t nominated…
Best Rock Performance–I Will Wait-Mumford & Sons I believe I already covered this, weren’t you paying attention?
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album–Christmas-Michael Bublé I’m as straight as the come,but that Bublé is a snuggly bastard, isn’t he? And a Christmas album? I can just see him in his Christmas sweater in front of a fire, waiting to hold me in his arms and let me know everything’s going to be okay…Moving on.
Best Dance/Electronica Album–Don’t Think-The Chemical Brothers I am a child of the 90s, so The Chemical Brothers are still pretty cool to me.
Best Dance Recording–Bangarang-Skrillex Featuring Sirah I want Mr. Skrillex to win, walk up to the podium, reach for his award, and right before he touches it, I want the presenter to release the bottom of it, letting it fall to floor. Then they’ll turn to the camera and say in deadpan “Sorry, it was time to drop the base.”
Best Pop Vocal Album–Ceremonials-Florence & The Machine I have listened to this album over and over, and this doesn’t make sense. It’s not a pop album. It’s a mid-90s alternative rock album. It’s brilliant and Florence Welch & Co deserve better recognition than as a pop group.
Best Pop Instrumental Album– Impressions-Chris Botti At first I thought Chris Botti was a kid I went to High School with. Then it turned out it wasn’t. Cool story, huh?
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance–Shake It Out-Florence & The Machine This song! So good, so catchy, it made me want to get up and dance. And I. Do. Not. Dance.
Best Pop Solo Performance–Set Fire To The Rain[Live]-Adele The Grammys love Adele so much they’ll nominate songs that are years old. So it’s a sure bet to win.
Best New Artist–Frank Ocean Weird fingers aside, this mother fucker has some chops and will be around for another couple of years, I think.
Song of the Year–We Are Young-Jack Antonoff, Jeff Bhasker, Andrew Dost & Nate Ruess, songwriters A great pop tune, lots of fun. It gets the job done, and then some.
Album of the Year–Babel-Mumford & Sons This was tough because apparently, a lot of artists put out albums this year! Did you know this? Anyway, I suppose this one is the best?
Record of the Year–Somebody That I Used To Know-Gotye Featuring Kimbra Yes, this is The song I was referring to. It got a lot of hate, but it got A LOT of everything. It was everywhere and it was, I thought, a brilliantly written tune. I loved it, and I couldn’t get enough of it…at first.
So there you have it. These are just my opinions, I’m not saying you have to agree, but it would be wise of you to. But seriously, there’s a comment section for a reason, so let’s talk about this, who do you like? Who do you hate? Why? Blueberries?