Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the third annual Popblerd Grammy Awards preview. This almost didn’t happen…after the nominees were announced a month or so ago, I felt a strange burst of apathy. However, I’m a glutton for punishment. So although I think these might be the least predictable Grammys in history, I’ll be predicting (obviously) and I will most likely be watching, as well.
That show has a strange drawing power. It must be the same thing that compels people to watch the (boring-ass) Oscars year after year. I know the awards are (probably) rigged. I know it’s unlikely that these days I’ll see a performance that compels me to buy a record (since they generally don’t pick performers anymore who aren’t immensely popular so as to ensure solid ratings.) I will say that, at the very least, the Grammy voters have thrown in some pretty dramatic surprises in the last few years (Esperanza Spalding’s win over BieberDrake a couple of years ago chief among them,) so…well, I don’t know what my point is anymore. This happens far more than I care to admit.
In our End of 2013 podcast, we talked about how predictable the rock subset of categories is. For all the new rockers making noise these days, the nominees are weighted in favor of dinosaurs. Not only are they dinosaurs, but they’re artists who were being called dinosaurs THIRTY YEARS AGO. What does that make them now, fossils? Regardless of what you call them, the old guard is still very much in effect, and it leads to a very uninspired set of nominees, for whom I’ll make only slightly more inspired predictions.
Best Rock Performance-
“Always Alright”- Alabama Shakes
“The Stars (Are Out Tonight)”-David Bowie
“Kashmir (live)”- Led Zeppelin
“My God Is The Sun”-Queens Of The Stone Age
“I’m Shakin'”-Jack White
WILL WIN: Imagine Dragons
SHOULD WIN: Bowie
WINNER: Led Zeppelin
Generally, the way things go is this: if you’re nominated in one of the four major categories (Album, Record, Song of the Year or Best New Artist,) chances are you’ll sweep any of the sub-categories you find yourself in (although there are exceptions: such as when The Black Keys swept the rock categories and then lost Album Of The Year to Mumford & Sons last year.) Imagine Dragons had not only the best selling rock record of 2013, but find themselves nominated for Record Of The Year. I say they get this as a consolation prize. Bowie and Zeppelin (neither of whom has a competitive Grammy to their names) will split the geezer vote. I would watch out for Jack White, though, seeing as he got blanked last year (going 0 for 5) and he may get the india.arie “We Want To Make Up For Embarrassing You” prize.
Best Metal Performance-
“God Is Dead?”-Black Sabbath
“The Enemy Inside”-Dream Theater
“In Due Time”-Killswitch Engage
“Room 24”-Volbeat feat. King Diamond
WILL WIN: Black Sabbath
SHOULD WIN: I don’t have a horse in this particular race.
WINNER: Black Sabbath
It’s about time for Ozzy to get a damn Grammy. Actually, wouldn’t it be crazy if Ozzy, David Bowie and Led Zeppelin all won their first-ever Grammy Awards…in 2014? I mean, to be fair, these categories didn’t exist in the ’70s or ’80s (the Metal category was infamously introduced in 1988) so there wasn’t really a chance for any of these guys to win anything, but still. It’s 2014…and as of January 21st, neither David Bowie nor Led Zeppelin nor Ozzy Osbourne has a Grammy Award. How fucking nutty is that? BRITNEY SPEARS has a damn Grammy!
That was all just a smokescreen to cover up the fact that I don’t really know shit about metal. I’m familiar with Black Sabbath, and I’m vaguely familiar with Anthrax (musically speaking–I’m familiar with the existence of all the nominated bands) but I wouldn’t know a song by any of the others if you smacked me in the face with it. Sorry. I’m a failure. Anyhow. Black Sabbath is gonna win.
And I’ll even post a video as a borderline apology for how un-metal I am.
Best Rock Song-
“Ain’t Messin’ ‘Round”-Gary Clark Jr.
“Doom & Gloom”-Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
“God Is Dead?”-Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler & Tony Iommi
“Panic Station”-Matthew Bellamy
WILL WIN: Macca + Nirvana
SHOULD WIN: Who the hell thought up these nominees? Actually, I like Muse. So if we have to pick between these five, I’ll go with Muse.
WINNER: McCartney, etc.
The thought of honoring a Beatle with Grammy favorite Dave Grohl just seems like an unbeatable idea. Plus the surviving members of Nirvana get another Grammy in the same year they enter the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. I’d be stunned if anyone else won. That said, these nominees are a motley crew, to be nice about it. I’d have to imagine that the average age of a Grammy rock panelist would have to be 50, if not 60. “Gary Clark Jr? The kids like him, right? Plus, he’s black! Let’s nominate him to try and throw everyone else off the trail!”
Best Rock Album-
The Next Day-David Bowie
Mechanical Bull-Kings Of Leon
Celebration Day-Led Zeppelin
Like Clockwork-Queens Of The Stone Age
Psychedelic Pill–Neil Young & Crazy Horse
WILL WIN: Bowie
SHOULD WIN: Bowie
WINNER: Led Zeppelin
Because they’ve got to give him something. Right?
The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight…-Neko Case
Trouble Will Find Me-The National
Hesitation Marks-Nine Inch Nails
Modern Vampires Of The City-Vampire Weekend
WILL WIN: NIN or Vampire Weekend
SHOULD WIN: Vampire Weekend
WINNER: Vampire Weekend
Only two names here are well-known enough to win. Trent Reznor? Officially old-guard. Vampire Weekend? Not exactly new guard anymore (their debut album came out six years ago) but still buzzy/vibey/whatever you want to call it. They have a cool factor and are mainstream enough to be part of a subplot on the “Michael J. Fox Show.” This could go either way, and I’m not sure in which direction the winner will lean. I will say that most likely the other three nominees don’t have a chance.
And I’ll post a Vampire Weekend video because I fucking love Vampire Weekend.