Usually, fans of non-mainstream music could care less about what goes on during the Grammy Awards. The event has historically been a celebration of the bland, a gala for the dull middle that bombastically ignores the much more interesting fringe. While this year was no exception, there was a bit of good news coming from the 53rd Grammy Awards.
For instance, take who didn't win. The voters passed over Eminem, Lady Antebellum, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry for the Album of the Year Award, instead selecting Arcade Fire's much-deserving The Suburbs. Eminem's album was alright, but the two Ladies and Katy Perry shouldn't have even been in the running. Lady Antebellum makes bland, corporate alt-country, and Lady Gaga's dance music is only slightly more interesting than Katy Perry's. The Grammys have long received just criticism for valuing artists' popularity over quality, and had Katy Perry won... let's not even go there.
There are always some weird discrepancies, too. Look at how Arcade Fire won Album of the Year and yet lost in the Best Alternative Music category to the Black Keys. But there were some deserving snubs and awards handed out. Justin Bieber, nominated for two awards, came out with nothing; jazz musician Esperansa Spalding beat out Bieber and Drake, among others; Katy Perry won absolutely nothing; and Them Crooked Vultures' "New Fang" won for Best Rock Performance.
Back when Them Crooked Vultures (TCV) came to Denver in April, we called the supergroup's album "rock history in the making." The biggest question on our minds was, when are they going to make another one? Well, no time soon, it appears. In the press release announcing the Grammy win, the band announced, "Them Crooked Vultures is currently on hiatus as its principals are busy with various other endeavors." Oh well.
P.S.: Want another sign that the Grammys are fucked? The TCV win was only the second Grammy for John Paul Jones, one of the best rock bassists of all time who made some of rock's best and most legendary records with Led Zeppelin. That means that Lady Antebellum has won more Grammys than Led Zeppelin.