Let’s be very, very clear about what the Grammys are.
- First and foremost, they’re a prime time network TV show designed to grab as many eyeballs as possible. It’s about TV ratings first, music second.
- Who gets nominated and who gets to appear on the show is insanely political. The whole process is filled with lobbying and arm-twisting.
Grammysnever been credible. The Beatles won Album of the Year just once (in 1968 for Sgt. Pepper). Christopher Cross’ sappy debut record was deemed better than Pink Floyd’s The Wall (1980). And the Grammys will never live down giving Jethro Tull winning Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Performance in 1989, beating out Metallica, Iggy Pop, Jane’s Addiction and AC/DC. The Grammys have never, ever really understood hard rock.
- For the music industry, the goal is to squeeze a final bit of promotion out of last year’s releases and to plug anything new, including singles, albums, and tours.
- The Grammy people still think it’s 1989. They believe that an old-school TV show will be of interest to today’s young music fans. They get their music online and many have cut the cord. They watch network TV–or any regular TV. Yet the Grammy people keep programming to that audience–an audience that largely isn’t there and doesn’t care. Yes, there will be a live stream, but we’ll see how many people that attracts.
- Rankings will suck again this year. The music is for young fans. The viewers will inevitably be older fans who aren’t that interested in much of today’s music. See the disconnect?
- Hint: If they perform or appear, chances are they’re gonna get an award. Otherwise, how do producers get people to show up?
- The Grammy people can be insanely arrogant. Just look at the fight they picked Ariana Grande which resulted in her refusing to appear. She’s one of the hottest singers in the world right now and just released a highly-anticipated album on Friday. Do the Grammys honestly think that she needs them more than they need her? Seriously?
- The Grammys don’t care about rock. The only rock performers on the broadcast will be the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
- If you win and you thank God, does that mean God hates the other people in the category?
- In other words:
*Sigh* Still, I have to watch. It’s my job. Here are my predictions for the rock categories. Note that some winners were announced Sunday afternoon, long before the TV show. I’ll update everything as info becomes available.
Best Alternative Music Album, Vocal or Instrumental.
- TRANQUILITY BASE HOTEL + CASINO, Arctic Monkey
- COLORS, Beck
- UTOPIA, Björk
- AMERICAN UTOPIA, David Byrne
- MASSEDUCTION, St. Vincent
Should win: St. Vincent
Will win: David Byrne
Did win: Beck
Best Rock Performance
For new vocal or instrumental solo, duo/group or collaborative rock recordings.
- FOUR OUT OF FIVE, Arctic Monkeys
- WHEN BAD DOES GOOD, Chris Cornell
ANAMERICA, THE FEVER 333
- HIGHWAY TUNE, Greta Van Fleet
- UNCOMFORTABLE, Halestorm
Should win: Greta Fan Fleet
Will win: Chris Cornell (sentimental vote)
Did win: Chris Cornell
Best Metal Performance
For new vocal or instrumental solo, duo/group or collaborative metal recordings.
- CONDEMNED TO THE GALLOWS, Between The Buried And Me
- HONEYCOMB, Deafheaven
- ELECTRIC MESSIAH, High On Fire
- BETRAYER, Trivium
- ON MY TEETH, Underoath
Should win: Underoath
Will win: The Grammys don’t understand metal. Voters will just guess.
Did win: ELECTRIC MESSIAH, High on Fire
Best Rock Song
A Songwriter(s) Award. Includes Rock, Hard Rock
- BLACK SMOKE RISING, Jacob Thomas Kiszka, Joshua Michael Kiszka, Samuel Francis Kiszka & Daniel Robert Wagner, songwriters (Greta Van Fleet)
- JUMPSUIT, Tyler Joseph, songwriter (Twenty One Pilots)
- MANTRA, Jordan Fish, Matthew Kean, Lee Malia, Matthew Nicholls & Oliver Sykes, songwriters (Bring Me The Horizon)
MASSEDUCTION, Jack Antonoff & Annie Clark, songwriters (St. Vincent)
- RATS, Tom Dalgety & A Ghoul Writer, songwriters (Ghost)
Should win: Greta Van Fleet
Will Win: Greta Van Fleet, although Twenty One Pilots could sneak past.
Did win: MASSEDUCTION. Colour me shocked.
Best Rock Album
For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new rock, hard rock or metal recordings.
- RAINIER FOG, Alice In Chains
- M A N I A, Fall Out Boy
- FROM THE FIRES, Greta Van Fleet
- PACIFIC DAYDREAM, Weezer
Should win: Ghost
Will win: Greta Van Fleet.
Did win: Greta Van Fleet.
If you want to see who’s nominated on all the categories, go here.