Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Grammy 2016: Four Big Predictions

Yep, we get it.  There are worse jobs to have.  We get to sit and listen to music every day, all day long.  We are going to take that into account and not feign a "poor poor us" moment where we complain about the inconvenience of working all day in the medium that we love. However, as our spouses can attest, it could be argued that listening to “music” and listening to “one note” over and over again for 15 minutes might not be exactly the same thing. 

"I know exactly what you mean."
Not the most fun. And not everybody can do that. Some people can't take more than 5 minutes of the same note over and over again. This brings us to the Grammys-  the time of year when everyone’s finally done watching football and the band geeks get to shine for a week. 

What if I told you that marching band was a sport?
On Monday night this year (because apparently even the lovely Taylor Swift can’t compete with Valentine’s Day), we will be privy to a red carpet full of people who CAN (and do) listen to one note over and over again for 15 minutes. Well, they probably listen for 45 minutes or so. But hopefully in the end, they created some music.  

In our last entry, we asked you, our faithful followers, to vote for your favorite “non Taylor Swift” nominees in a handful of categories.  Here’s what came of the top four categories and who we are calling out for the big night at the Staples Center.

No, not you, Kobe.
The “Big Four”

Alabama Shakes, Sound & Color
Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp a Butterfly
Chris Stapleton, Traveller
Taylor Swift, 1989
The Weeknd, Beauty Behind the Madness

This is the big one.  The Top Prize.  The whole CAH Deck.  Will Kendrick Lamar or Taylor Swift win?  Wait – déjà vu:  Don’t we recall them both being up for the exact same award in 2014? Who won that last, very close race to the finish line?

Oh, yes, now I remember.
We know.  You don’t like rap and you switch stations when you hear country. Let's get over that right now: Taylor has obviously made herself a full-blown pop album while Kendrick is on the hipper side of hop.  Lamar’s album is definitely the underdog here, but certainly is the rooting favorite (especially after getting “Macklemore’d” in 2014).  Which obviously brings us to…

BBP Winner: Alabama Shakes, Sound & Color

Ok, that's who we WANT to win. But we'll actually predict this one goes to Taylor Swift, 1989

D’Angelo & The Vanguard, “Really Love”
Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars, “Uptown Funk”
Ed Sheeran, “Thinking Out Loud”
Taylor Swift, “Blank Space”
The Weeknd, “Can’t Feel My Face”

So, here’s a fun fact:  We’ve already covered that Max Martin and Shellback are on our fruit basket list for the rest of our lives.  If, and we do mean if, “Blank Space” and “Can’t Feel My Face” both end up duking this one out, our beloved producer pair will be competing with (drumroll) THEMSELVES. 

"I'll take Swedes in Pop Music for $100, Alex."
So, since the academy tends to spread the love around a bit, it is entirely possible that they will strip the dynamic duo of this prize in favor of the ear-bliss that is Bruno Mars and the 70’s-o-licious sounds of Mark Ronson.  However...

BBP Winner: Ed Sheeran, "Thinking Out Loud"

Sigh. Again, we wish.  It would be nice to throw a Grammy next to Ed Sheeran's name especially after, especially after the Great Snub of 2015. But as this is a production award, we really think it goes to: Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars, “Uptown Funk”

Kendrick Lamar, “Alright” (songwriters: Kendrick Lamar, Mark Anthony Spears and Pharrell Williams)
Taylor Swift, “Blank Space” (songwriters: Max Martin, Shellback and Taylor Swift)
Little Big Town, “Girl Crush” (songwriters: Hilary Lindsey, LorWeMcKenna and Liz Rose)
Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth, “See You Again” (songwriters: Andrew Cedar, Justin Franks, Charlie Puth and Wiz Khalifa, songwriters)
Ed Sheeran, “Thinking Out Loud” (songwriters: Ed Sheeran and Amy Wadge)

Ah, yes – Song.  This is the award for the 300 level.  Here’s a secret: The Staples Center isn’t a quiet room.  In fact, when you’re watching it on Monday, listen carefully after about the first 30 minutes.  Any time there’s a pause between presenters, you will be able to hear the “hum” of the room. That’s everyone talking to each other about who they saw at the pre-show, which artist just got robbed, or what dress Lady Gaga is wearing tonight.

...or not wearing
When this award (finally) comes up, listen again.  The room will be SILENT.  The cheap seats are finally on the edge of their composition book to see which “song” will win. Because, yes – it is all about the song. 

Kendrick – great job asking for help from Mr. Happy.  Little Big Town – a perfectly delivered, patient vocal hook.  But, let’s be real…

BBP Winner and Prediction: Taylor Swift, “Blank Space”

"I'll write your name."
Courtney Barnett
James Bay
Sam Hunt
Meghan Trainor

For those of you playing along at home, Trainor’s “All About That Bass” was up for record and song of the year last year, Meghan wasn’t eligible because the full album wasn’t released before the deadline.  Meghan, you took a good song and added a gutsy image to it (yourself). We can’t NOT like you for that.  Good showing, James, but... 


Hopefully she won't meet the same fate.

Now, if you’re my teenage daughter, the only question left is: “Father, do you believe that these nominees truly reflect the mastery and skill of all the works released from the last year in contemporary music?"  Yeah, not really...  Her real question is: "What about Adele?!?”  

So, I will answer the same way I answered last year when Taylor wasn’t up for more awards: The Grammy eligibility period covers commercial releases from October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015, so Adele’s eligible for next year.  I guess we’ll just have to go to L.A. again next winter. 

Poor, poor, us.
Stay tuned, our flight leaves Portland at no-o'clock Saturday morning. Antics to ensue. Next stop: The Red Carpet.

The BentBeat Team
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