Sunday, February 10, 2013

2013 Grammy Awards

As promised I've come up with a few categories that are pertinent to EFYE that I feel comfortable enough with that I could talk a little about them as well as make picks for winners. Below will be links to videos; in bold, the chosen winner, and a brief explanation. Obviously these are my picks and opinions, by no means are these necessarily the thoughts of anyone else.

Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical

  • In My Mind (Axwell Remix)
    • Typical loopy vocal-ridden SHM style track, great for those who desire a simple, undemanding listening experience. Too standardized/cookie cutter/top 40 techNO for my liking.
  • Lie Down In Darkness (Photek Remix)
    • My pick for winner in this category. Amazingly haunting and deep soundscape created with the dissonant vocals, all while able to keep up a moving rhythm. Still have yet to find a situation where it might be inappropriate to have this song playing. This black-horse is emotive and expressive, great work from master Moby and intellect from Photek. He was nominated last year and I think this is his year.
  • Midnight City (Eric Prydz Private Remix)
    • Fun remix of an already excellent song from M83. Prydz converts this into a top of the line techno track, with all the bells and whistles generally associated with Prydz's productions. Because it stuck so closely to the already popular original, I had to reserve some respect.
  • Promises (Skrillex & Nero Remix)
    • One of the biggest songs in recent memory, from Nero with the original (and better version) appearing on their Welcome Reality album which got snubbed from the Best Dance/Electronica Album category. Great vocals, standard Skrillex additions, this remix leaves the original to be desired.
  • The Veldt (Tommy Trash Remix)
    • A show of respect towards Deadmau5 for being nominated, rightfully so for TT as he's had a big year. This track though, really? I really cannot justify this one as being picked. The only value is the name TT but from his remix/production standpoint, its far below standard. This and the first remix really exemplify the Name/Popularity/Business element of these award shows. Thus the most respect to those underdogs, namely the pick of Photek to win.
Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical
Brief note about this category: Although I don't know about really any of these producers, save Diplo, I feel this one might be the closest to a cake walk of any categories tonight, although clearly I could be wrong. I think deservedly Diplo ought to win this one, his role in so many different genres and levels of popularity, including Top 40, should speak for themselves, not to mention the sheer quantity. Diplo FTW.
  • Dan Auerbach
    • The Black Keys, Dr, John, Hacienda
  • Jeff Bhasker
    • Fun
  • Diplo
    • Usher, Major Lazer, Snoop Lion, Marina & The Diamonds, Santigold, No Doubt, Wale, Justin Beiber, Alex Clare
  • Markus Dravs
    • Mumford & Sons, Coldplay
  • Salaam Remi
    • Anthony Hamilton, Amy Winehouse, Alicia Keys, Nicki Minaj, Miguel, Nas, Usher
Best Comedy Album
Again, I don't know and haven't heard all of these but I'm willing to suggest the ones I know as quality and take a guess at which one might come out on top.
  • Blow Your Pants Off - Jimmy Fallon
    • I'd wager this is really funny, I really like the two Jimmys on late night probably Fallon is a more pure comedian, but it's tough to say. Worth checking out for sure.
  • Cho Dependent - Margaret Cho
    • Sticking with both not knowing but also the Late Night shows I saw Margaret on Craig Ferguson and was pleasantly surprised, she was quite funny and very quick on her feet, so to speak, I'd be interested to check this one out.
  • In God We Rust - Lewis Black
    • Lewis Black could make this his third Grammy if he wins, though I don't believe he will. Although his satirical black comedy rants that take him through the gambit of emotions and levels of sanity may have proven to be funny in the past, I think its about time he slowed down.
  • Kathy Griffin: Seaman 1st Class - Kathy Griffin
    • Not really my style of humour, never truly found her funny. Far too over the top and one of the most annoying voices to ever hear, aside from Chad Kroeger of course (the most offensive, physically revolting voice known to the human race).
  • Jim Gaffigan: Mr. Universe - Jim Gaffigan
    • So funny! Just an amazing achievement. I totally love the stories and seemless segues. Jim's understanding of logic is so entirely appealing, much like that of George on Seinfeld. His voices, faces and physical performance are spot on throughout. Not worth missing.
  • Rize Of The Fenix - Tenacious D
    • Another one I haven't heard although I'd certainly be interested in is this third studio album from Tenacious D. My only concern with this is that these types of albums are very much so hit or miss. Without having heard this I cannot put anyone above Jim Gaffigan.
Best Dance/Electronica Album
  • Wonderland - Steve Aoki
    • Good effort for his first studio album, although one would have expected him to have done at least one prior. That being said it still underwhelms with only three, four at most, good tracks on the album. Again one would expect more from the veteran presence that is Steve Aoki founder of Dim Mak Records.
  • Don't Think - The Chemical Brothers
    • This live album/concert DVD features a lot of the amazing past of Chemical Brothers, a group around even before Steve Aoki. The tracks featured beat Aoki, Deadmau5 and Kaskade hands down. The only question is will the results favour new content over foundational older content, rerecorded? My thoughts are no, although in this category I think the past will have the most weight in terms of precedent.
  • > Album Title Goes Here < - Deadmau5
    • Enough with the non-title titles already. I'm really getting sick of this guy and his productions. Perhaps he's deserving of a nomination but there's no way a win could be validated or justified. Honestly cannot say that I like any of the tracks on this album, although I'm withholding judgment for Channel 42, specifically Nom De Strip's forthcoming remix.
  • Fire & Ice - Kaskade
    • I'm really at odds here with the nominations in this category. I can understand that Kaskade, Deadmau5 and Aoki are deserving on a mere name basis, but from a musical standpoint I'm thoroughly disappointed with the albums; even with The Chemical Brothers its essentially a show of respect to their foundational nature. Again on this album I can't say that I'm a fan of any of the tracks.
  • Bangarang - Skrillex
    • Of the seven tracks I like five and really like four. This is an amazing achievement, and truly cements Skrillex as one of the most important actors in the electronic dance music scene. His work with The Doors is an unparalleled achievement that has allowed for multiple great remixes and ecstasy worldwide. Not only does he mix the dubstep and electro perfectly he also worked Summit with Ellie Goulding into a masterpiece. Kudos to you Sonny, on another great year.
Best Dance Recording
  • Levels - Avicii
    • Clearly an important track but I cannot in good conscience say this one is deserving of an award of this prestige. I cannot get past the Top 40 atmosphere this track is soaked in.
  • Let's Go - Calvin Harris feat Ne-Yo
    • Makes me physically ill to think that this would get nominated and to see Calvin Harris nominated for two Grammys. Regardless I don't really see this one winning, but if you really want to listen to it the link is above.
  • Bangarang - Skrillex
    • I'm picking Skrillex to take home a few tonight, not necessarily because he is the best at everything but because this is his year, with the album and the track. I certainly have more respect for Sonny than I do for Adam Wiles and Tim Bergling combined. Despite Bangarang being on the outside of my favs for the album I cannot see anyone else taking it from him.
  • Don't Worry Child - SHM feat John Martin
    • I know many people hold this song in high esteem, and I do see the value in the lyrics but honestly how can these guys possibly be popular. It really says something about the vast majority of music consumers and their braindead listening habits. SHM is terrible, has been terrible and will forever be surrounded in a shroud of true defecation.
  • I Can't Live Without You - Al Walser
    • Who is Al Walser? That's right I'd never heard of him till now. Listening to the track, I experience distorted vocals, in the style of hip-hip/rap/r&b decent production skills but it sounds like I'm listening to a Much Dance CD from 2006 or 2007. It's got a bit of a rock guitar feel but I really don't see much value in this track, certainly compared to Skrilly.
As for the other big titular categories I'd take Frank Ocean for a big night winning both Best New Artist and Channel Orange taking Album Of The Year, Ed Sheeran's A-Team to take Song Of The Year, with Gotye rounding out the Record Of The Year Category with Somebody That I Used To Know.

Anyway I hope you've enjoyed my little Grammy preview and opinion piece please feel free to let me know how bad a job I did and how unbelievably wrong I am, as Pat Benatar said "Hit Me With Your Best Shot"

Oggie Out