The Grammy Whammy
What to look for at this year’s Grammy awards
The music industry’s finest are getting ready to gather at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, at the 57th annual Grammy awards. Set to take place on Feb. 8, the ceremony will reward the best artists from the past year for their efforts to make us dance, jam and rock out to their best songs. Whether you’re a big music buff or plan to watch the show for Pharrell’s potential hat choice, here’s everything you know before the big show.
Big names, same game
The ego of Pharrell Williams must be as inflated as his ridiculous hat, because the hit music maker, and potential vampire, has been nominated for a whopping six Grammy awards. Out of these six include, Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Music Video for his song “Happy.” As if things couldn’t get any better for the “honcho of headgear,” Pharrell has been nominated for Album of the Year THREE TIMES, one for his own and two for his contributions to both Ed Sheeran’s album X and Beyonce’s self-titled LP.
Speaking of Queen B, the supreme leader of the Church of Bey and the Knowelites (yes, this is an actual thing), garnered six nominations for herself as well. Her song “Drunk in Love” got the nod for Best R&B song and Best R&B performance. Her self-titled album is nominated for Album of the Year, as well as Best Urban Contemporary Album and Best Surround Sound Album (yes, this is a real category. You can’t make this stuff up.)
British boys Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran are also a few artist receiving lots of love from the selection committee, garnering six and three nominations respectively. Both will be competing for Best Pop Vocal Album and Album of the year. Smith’s “Stay with Me” is nominated for Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best Pop Solo Performance, while Sheeran’s Album X has been nominated for Best Album and Best Pop Vocal Album. His song “I See Fire” is nominated for Best Song Written for Visual Media (How do they come up with these categories?)
Other notable names receiving nominations include Iggy Azalea (four),Taylor Swift (three), and Meghan Trainor (two).
The great white north is very well represented at this year’s Grammy awards. Toronto rapper and protector of feelings, Drake, leads the way with an impressive four nominations, including two for his song “0 to 100/The Catch Up.” Wheelchair Jimmy is also nominated for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration with the song “Tuesday” and for his efforts on Beyonce’s album, mentioned earlier.
Montreal’s Arcade Fire scored two Grammy nominations. One for Best Music Video for the song “We Exist” and Best Alternative Music Album for Reflektor. This is the band’s first set of nominations since 2010, when they won Album of the Year for their LP The Suburbs.
Niagara Falls’ own Deadmau5 scored a nomination for Best Dance/Electronic Album for his project While (1<2). Known for his ridiculous mouse head, this is the first Grammy nomination ever for Deadmau5. Hopefully now people will say his name right (it’s pronounced “Deadmouse” and not “Dead-Mao-Five.” C’mon people). Pembroke, Ontario native Joshua Bartholomew is nominated for Best Song Written For Visual Media for his part in producing the song “Everything is Awesome,” as made famous by The Lego Movie. The song is sung by Calgary-born singing duo and twin sisters Tegan and Sara, who also appear in the nomination for the song. At least they’re not Darwin awards
While most will be watching to see who wins Album of the Year or Best New Artist, there are a handful of categories you probably didn’t know about unless you’ve done deep and extensive research into the depths of the music industry. Here are a few weird Grammy categories that you should keep an eye out for.
Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package
One of the key principles in the world of business is how you present your product. It doesn’t matter how bad it is, all that matters is that you make it look really cool to other people so they think it’s cool (i.e. 3D TV’s, anything deep fried at the Calgary Stampede, Ranchman’s, etc). Apparently, that’s one of the things that artists are being rewarded for. From creased posters to three or four extra discs with hours of bonus content, artists are being rewarded for who can throw in the most free stuff that ends up in your “I don’t want to throw this away because it’s kind of cool but I’ll never use it anyways” pile.
Best Album Notes
Wait, people read those? The inside flaps of the album cover that you would check song lyrics before the Internet became popular apparently has other stuff too. From the exciting details of the copyright information to the album’s thanks and dedications, I bet nobody has even noticed that album notes exist, let alone win awards. That being said, I may have found a new contender for “best thing to read on the toilet when I accidentally leave my phone in the other room.” Good luck to the lotion bottles and three-year old magazines everywhere.
Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical
If you’ve ever listened to the radio past midnight or follow the YouTube suggested videos trail too far, then I’m sure you’re familiar with the weird techno and dance remixes of popular songs. While some of them may be rather catchy and head-bob worthy, most make you wonder why some producers insist on turning already not so good songs and making not so good remixes of them. Don’t get me wrong, some of the remixes nominated are pretty solid (Audien’s Remix of Bastille’s “Pompeii” is probably my favorite from the list), it must be somewhat strange having a remix of your song receiving more recognition than that which you made yourself.
And there you have it! Everything you’ll need to keep up with all the Grammy small talk that’s bound to happen over the next few weeks! For more, visit The Reflector’s website to read up on the latest music news and reviews on our favorite CD reviews every week.