December 6, 2010 by DJ Elroy
Well, last week the *yawn* Grammy nominee list was released:
Ratings have been down, and I think each year the Grammy’s become less relevant. Kinda of like the DJ Mag Top 100 poll, it’s all about bragging rights, padding the resume, and asking for more money. It’s a musical dick-measuring contest for the artists; will you be lucky enough to secure a nomination? It’s all about popularity, not necessarily talent or skill or music. Even the nominees in the niche categories are probably the most commercially viable of their respective class…
But of course the music and acts are nominated by the industry and the NARAS, so mass-appeal trumps all.
The big players you’d expect are here: Gaga. Eminem. Katy Perry. Pop all the way.
Good to see Brian Setzer get some recognition, but what has he done lately that he hasn’t done before, and better? And Cee-Lo’s “F**k You” was dangerously catchy, but if it hadn’t gone viral would it be here? The metal category has some good acts (Lamb of God, Slayer, Megadeth) but all of the songs chosen are weak. And some of the other “oldsters” that came up? Almost seems like a pity vote, a mandatory nod for payin’ the dues…
No, I’m not pooh-poohing the Grammys. Well, maybe a little. Even the artists I like aren’t getting nods for their best work, but maybe for their safest work. Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan has said “I think the Grammys are nothing more than some gigantic promotional machine for the music industry. They cater to a low intellect and they feed the masses. They don’t honor the arts or the artist for what he created. It’s the music business celebrating itself. That’s basically what it’s all about.” Seems about right.
And here’s what’s being represented for electronic dance music this year:
Best Dance Recording
For solo, duo, group or collaborative performances. Vocal or Instrumental. Singles or tracks only.
Alison Goldfrapp & Will Gregory, producers; Mark ‘Spike’ Stent, mixer
Track from: Head First
In For The Kill
Elly Jackson & Ben Langmaid, producers; Serban Ghenea & John Hanes, mixers
Track from: La Roux
Dance In The Dark
Fernando Garibay & Lady Gaga, producers; Robert Orton, mixer
Track from: The Fame Monster
Only Girl (In The World)
[Island Def Jam]
Dancing On My Own
Patrik Berger & Robyn, producers; Niklas Flyckt, mixer
Track from: Body Talk Pt. 1
Best Electronic/Dance Album
For vocal or instrumental albums. Albums only.
These Hopeful Machines
The Chemical Brothers
Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical
Fantasy (Morgan Page Remix)
Morgan Page, remixer (Nadia Ali) [Smile In Bed]
Funk Nasty (Wolfgang Gartner Remix Edit)
Wolfgang Gartner, remixer (Andy Caldwell Featuring Gram’ma Funk) [Uno Recordings]
Orpheus (Quiet Carnival) (Funk Generation Mix)
Mike Rizzo, remixer (Sergio Mendes) [Concord]
Revolver (David Guetta’s One Love Club Remix)
David Guetta, remixer (Madonna) [Warner Bros.]
Sweet Disposition (Axwell & Dirty South Remix)
Axel Hedfors & Dragan Roganovic, remixers (The Temper Trap) [Glassnote/Columbia Records]
I’ll be the first to acknowledge that no really “underground” electronic music will ever get a Grammy nod. Like most of the other niche nominations, this music isn’t the best representation of the genre… But it is a step forward that electronic is recognized at all.
So props to the nominees! Being chosen for an award is great; winning is even better. Just don’t forget what a Grammy means. And what it doesn’t.