February 1998
s m u g
ear candy
by Matt Sager

Grammy Fever
(yeah, right)

Weíll be right back, after this special moment in douche-chill Grammy History. Did you know that the Beatlesí "White Album" never won a Grammy? It was nominated, but lost out to "The Girl from Ipanema". We now return to our program.

I know, no-one cares. We throw Oscar parties, not Grammy parties. We place odds on Oscar nominees long before the ceremony - nobody even knows what the Grammy categories are, let alone who the nominees are. But Iím a music dork and itís Grammy time, so hereís my picks. This article should still be up after the awards, so depending on the outcome feel free to let me know how on the money I was, orhow stupid. If you, uh, watch the show. Now let the handicapping begin...

Record of the Year
Not to be confused with Album of the Year, this award goes to a song. Also not to be confused with Song of the Year. The Nominees:

Paula Cole - Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?
Shawn Colvin - Sunny Came Home
Sheryl Crow - Every Day Is A Winding Road
Hanson - MMMBop
R. Kelly - I Believe I Can Fly

Who Should Win: Hanson, for the amazing production value. Yes, we all wish them a painful death, but in a year of depressing old-man rock, these kids werenít afraid to be happy and sell LOTS of records.

Who Will Win: Paula Cole; Sheís got a decent voice, and letís face it, that record is just the kind of sound that aging Grammy voters go for. Plus, sheís worked with Peter Gabriel. Shoo-in.

Long Shot: Shawn Colvin. When youíre over 40 and wear a suit, this is your version of indie cred.

Album of the Year

I donít need to explain this category, do I? OK, then letís move on to the nominees:

Babyface - The Day
Paula Cole - This Fire
Bob Dylan - Time Out of Mind

Paul McCartney - Flaming Pie
Radiohead - OK Computer

Who Should Win: Even though Dylanís album is his best in about 20 years, this award should go to Radiohead. It is the coolest, creepiest record, with unbelievable production value to boot. The fact that these media-unfriendly, ugly young foreigners even got a nomination speaks for the universal appeal of OK Computer.

Who Will Win: Dylan. Duh. Come on, heíd have a good shot even if the album sucked. And Time Out of Mind is a classic - old great artists so rarely put out anything new worth a damn, itís a real event for listeners of that generation when they do. Plus itís fun to hear an acceptance speech from a guy with ripped vocal cords.

Long Shot: Paul McCartney, you know, the cute one. Even though the committee ignored him when he was relevant, these days they seem to get off on rewarding Paul for existing.

And now, another moment in douche-chill Grammy history. When the Grammys finally acknowledged Heavy Metal for the first time, in the late Ď80s, Mettallica lost out to Jethro Tull. Who didnít have a record out at the time. Presenter Lita Ford apologized that "Jethro isnít here tonight" and held onto the award for "him". And now, back to our program.

Best Female Rock Performance
Girls kick ass: The nominees:

Fiona Apple - Criminal
Meredith Brooks - Bitch
Abra Moore - Four Leaf Clover
Patti Smith - 1959

Who Should Win: Patti Smith. Come on, sheís only like the coolest chick to ever pick up a guitar. This may not be her best album ever, but sheís still head and shoulders above the other nominees.

Who Will Win: Fiona Apple. Thereís no escaping this angry, hungry girl. Industry types really buy into her angst-ridden, post-feminist, whatever the fuck she does.

Long Shot: Patti Smith - if there is a god.

Best Male Rock Performance.
Like, uh, guys who sing. Not to complicated.

David Bowie - Dead Man Walking
Bob Dylan - Cold Irons Bound
John Fogerty - Blueboy
John Mellencamp - Just Another Day
Bruce Springsteen - Thunder Road (Live From MTV Unplugged)

Who Should Win: Bob Dylan. His entry is the only song that doesnít make my ears bleed.

Who Will Win: Bob Dylan. Itís probably the only album out of all the nominees that the voters actually listened to. Who the hell was crying out for a John Fogerty comeback?

Long Shot: Springsteen. Thunder Road is an old favorite, and voters may still be feeling guilty for passing over the original release for Abba or something equally scary.

Best Hard Rock Performance
Metal man, fuckiní metal: Hereís the lineup:

Bush - Swallowed Foo Fighters - Monkey Wrench Rage Against The Machine - People of the Sun Smashing Pumpkins - The End Is The Beginning Is The End

Who Should Win: Who cares? Itís all the same song. You know, the one that repeats itself all day on bad rock radio.

Who Will Win: Smashing Pumpkins. Theyíre the most familiar name, and the song has a fraction of rhythm, whereas the others have none. Besides, something good should come out of the millions of dollars poured into the making of that awful Batman movie. May as well reward the soundtrack.

Long Shot: Rage. Angry Ethnic Cred. Besides, all the voters with children under 18 probably know all their songs by heart.

Thereís your Grammy line-up, by something less than popular demand. Ten bucks says it was twice as exciting as the actual awards will be. For a complete list of categories and nominees, go to http://www.cbs.com/grammys/. That is, if you really care about the greatest accordion solo on a klezmer tune. There are 92 categories, and it wouldnít surprise me in the least if Jethro Tull popped up in at least on of them.

*


matt@smug.com

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