If, at some point today, you feel one side of your body go numb, have trouble walking, and/or are overcome with the desire to hear [artist id="150144"]Herbie Hancock[/artist] covering Joni Mitchell songs, well, chances are you've just got a severe case of Grammy Fever. Either that, or you are having a stroke.
If it's the former, you are not alone. On Wednesday night (December 3), in much-hyped live concert on CBS, the nominees for the 51st Annual Grammy Awards will be announced, and the excitement is palpable. There is electricity in the air — seriously, reach out and touch it! — and a buzz in the streets. People are overcome with joy and crippling paralysis. At the same time. Cars are driving off the road. Dogs are walking themselves. It's bedlam, I tell you ... bedlam!
Actually, I'm exaggerating. Not many people really care about the Grammy Awards anymore, except music-industry suits, people who are afraid to buy anything online and anyone who still listens to Herbie Hancock records (though, often, these are all the same people). This is largely because the Grammys are out-of-touch with reality, don't make much sense and are voted on by a shadowy cabal of "industry professionals" who have, over the years, never seen it fit to bestow an award on [artist id="993"]Led Zeppelin[/artist], [artist id="1026"]Neil Young[/artist], [artist id="2557"]the Beach Boys[/artist] or Diana Ross, but have given [artist id="980"]Sheryl Crow[/artist] nine of them.
Combine that, uh, "track record" with the rather byzantine scope and state of the voting process — for this year's awards, Recording Academy members may nominate only albums and songs released between October 1, 2007 and September 30, 2008, and those nominees are spread out across 31 fields (pop, gospel, etc.) and 110 categories within those fields — and you're faced with one resounding fact: attempting to predict just who is going to be nominated for a Grammy is near impossible.
Still, that doesn't mean I'm not going to try. After all, I did the same thing earlier this year before the Video Music Awards (a.k.a. "the only awards show that makes less sense than the Grammys"), and I ended up picking the winners in three of the eight categories — a smashing success, indeed.
So, to prevent you from having to even tune in to the Grammy nominee concert bonanza jamboree (because, really, how many times do you need to see [artist id="2389485"]Taylor Swift[/artist] perform at a televised event?), I'm presenting my fearless (and more than likely incorrect) Grammy Nominee Predictions. I didn't pick noms in all 110 categories, because that would take about a year (and there are w-a-a-y too many choices for "Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package"), but I've taken a run at a few of the biggies. Remember, I am not a professional prognosticator, so wager accordingly.
Record of the Year
This is the award given to the song of the year (in olden tymes, songs used to be called "records"). [artist id="1742872"]Amy Winehouse's[/artist] "Rehab" won last year, beating out the likes of [artist id="1940303"]Rihanna's[/artist] "Umbrella," [artist id="1231683"]Justin Timberlake's[/artist] "What Goes Around ... Comes Around" and the [artist id="986"]Foo Fighters'[/artist] "The Pretender" (seriously). Given that every year, this category consists of four solid, massive radio hits and one decidedly WTF track, I'm thinking the 2008 nominees will look something like this:
» [artist id="1111141"]Coldplay's[/artist] "Viva la Vida"
» [artist id="10551"]Kid Rock's[/artist] "All Summer Long"
» [artist id="2490602"]Leona Lewis'[/artist] "Bleeding Love"
» Something from Al Green's Lay It Down or Robert Plant and Alison Krauss' Raising Sand (a.k.a. the token "rewarding the aging legend selection")
» Taylor Swift's "Teardrops on My Guitar"
If Swift's "Teardrops" is ineligible (and, to be honest, there is a very good chance it is, given the in-and-out game it played on country and adult-contemporary radio), look for [artist id="976"]Mariah Carey's[/artist] "Touch My Body" or [artist id="1270"]Usher's[/artist] "Love in This Club" to sneak in instead. Or perhaps [artist id="710231"]Pink's[/artist] "So What?" Sadly, I think my choice, [artist id="1244759"]the Hold Steady's[/artist] "Sequestered in Memphis," is a long shot to snag a nom.
Album of the Year
Given to the actual album of the year. Last year, Herbie Hancock took this one home for his River: The Joni Letters album, besting [artist id="1230523"]Kanye's[/artist] Graduation, the Foos' Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace and Vince Gill's These Days, among others. Given the perplexing release-date requirements, there's a pretty good chance an album competing for a Grammy at this year's awards was actually released sometime in 2007 ... also, sadly, efforts by West and [artist id="1236911"]Beyoncé[/artist] missed the cut for inclusion, since they were released after September 30 of this year. I know, confusing indeed. Anyway, the nominees for the 2008 Album of the Year are:
» [artist id="503203"]Alicia Keys'[/artist] As I Am
» Coldplay' Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends
» [artist id="510062"]Lil Wayne's[/artist] Tha Carter III
» [artist id="995"]Metallica's[/artist] Death Magnetic
» Robert Plant and Alison Krauss' Raising Sand
Keys' album was released after the cutoff date for last year's Grammys, so look for her to land a nod this year (Academy voters lover her). Same goes for Plant and Krauss' Sand. Coldplay are safe and generic and massively successful. Wayne sold a million copies in a week and should be rewarded here. Metallica's Death Magnetic is the long shot here, though it did sell well, garner positive reviews and have the benefit of having Rick Rubin's hands all over it. If not them, then perhaps Mariah or Leona Lewis take their spot.
Song of the Year
Given to the writers and composers of a song. Aside from that, confused as to how this differs from Record of the Year? Me too. So let's just press on. Oh, Winehouse's "Rehab" won this last year too.
» [artist id="2998905"]Duffy's[/artist] "Mercy"
» Sarah Bareilles' "Love Song"
» Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love"
» [artist id="1220799"]John Mayer's[/artist] "Say"
» Sugarland's "Stay"
My thought process for this category was basically this: Think of a bunch of songs soccer moms listen to on the radio, and go with them. John Mayer is also performing during the Grammy nominations concert, which means he's bound to grab a big nod somewhere. This might be the spot. Also, I have never heard a Sugarland song in my entire live. BTW, I will probably go five-for-five in this category, given how little thought I put into it.
Probably the most interesting award of the year, especially because, in the past, Academy voters have decided to give it to artists who are not exactly new ([artist id="1230385"]Maroon Five[/artist]!) or are completely unknown by 95 percent of the general public (Ledisi!). Oh, also, there is an outside chance either
[artist id="2408193"]Miley Cyrus[/artist] or the
[artist id="2088128"]Jonas Brothers[/artist] get nominated in this category. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!
[artist id="1962774"]Katy Perry[/artist]
» Leona Lewis
» Miley Cyrus
[artist id="2584573"]Vampire Weekend[/artist]
Sorry, tweens. I think Miley gets the nod, the JBs don't (and are
[artist id="2034673"]Tokio Hotel[/artist] even eligible? If so, maybe they get it instead). In their place, I'm putting Vampire Weekend, just because I wanna see as many boat shoes as possible at the awards ceremony. Duffy and Lewis are mortal-fricking-locks here. I also think that this is the only one of the "big four" categories Perry gets a nomination in, despite having one of the year's biggest songs. Academy voters have a long-standing policy against kissing girls and liking it.
Best Polka Album
The biggest of the big. Seriously. And not just previous winning albums have names like Polkasonic and Let's Polka 'Round.
» Brave Combo's Polka's Revenge
» Bubba Hernandez and Alex Meixner's Polka Freak Out
» Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra's Come Share the Wine
» John Gora & Gorale's Bulletproof Polkas
» Walter Ostanek and Brian Sklar's Dueling Polkas
Actually, these are just the nominees from last year's Grammy Awards. Could you tell the difference?
Questions? Predictions of your own? Hit me up at BTTS@MTVStaff.com.