I’ve phrased the title as a question; but I’m leaning towards making it a statement. Much of my ire stems from the pathetic treatment of Nickel Creek’s This Side album. The disc, which I reviewed a few weeks ago, was nominated for only two awards.
In my review, I mentioned that the entire album would be challenging for Bluegrass Traditionalists. Predictably, I guess, the Grammy nomination committees overlooked this album in the Best Bluegrass Album category. I can only assume they knew they were wrong, so they nominated the album for Best Contemporary Folk Album.
Contemporary Folk Album? Wha …?
Looking over the other nominees for this category, I can see two things:
- They’re in very good company along with Johnny Cash, The Chieftains, Steve Earle and **Patty Griffin.
- This category seems to be for artists whose music is too challenging for the ossified rules of their genre.
You mean to tell me that country music can’t accept Johnny Cash (The Man in Black for God’s sake!) anymore? And it never really embraced Steve Earle. Like Bluegrass Traditionalism’s rejection of Nickel Creek; these genres will become more irrelevant if they can’t learn to grow. Ironically, individual tracks from Cash’s album show up in the Best Country Collaboration With Vocals and Best Male Country Vocal Performance categories. So which is it, Contemporary Folk or Country?
As noted previously, The Smoothie Song is the only instrumental on This Side. As an instrumental, featuring the trio’s stellar fiddle, mandolin and guitar playing, it is comfortable for the Bluegrass genre. Hence, comes the album’s other nomination for Best Country Instrumental. I’m not sure why there’s no Bluegrass Instrumental category. It seems the County Instrumental category lumps both Bluegrass and Country together. So this seems the appropriate category, where it has respectable competition from Béla Fleck, The Chieftains with Earl Scruggs and The Dixie Chicks.
Bluegrass is not the only category with stupendous mistakes. Can someone explain to me how Queens of the Stone Age, while nominated for Best Hard Rock Performance, are not in the running for Best Rock Album, Best Rock Song (for No One Knows, First it Giveth, Hangin’ Tree or Another Love Song), Album of the Year or Record of the Year?
And now for some glaring stupidity:
Sk8er Boi is nominated for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. I don’t want to get into a general bashing of Avril Lavigne, which would be just too easy. But this has to be the most asinine, treacley piece of garbage inflicted on the public since Billy Don’t Be a Hero. I understand she has been lauded by critics and the public for bringing “punk” sensibilities to Pop. So the nominating committee wanted to recognize that “accomplishment” by giving her 5 Grammy nominations. But couldn’t they have at least picked one of the less annoying songs like I’m With You?
I could go on about the injustice of Kenny G being nominated for anything, but there are just too many of you who’d probably like to contribute with your own Grammy outrages. So I’ll cede the floor.