Memories of Metallica losing to Jethro Tull some years back still haunts the GRAMMYS. Staying relevant in a hyper-speed pop culture is getting more difficult for award shows overall, but staying fresh and fly in the music biz is almost impossible.
With that in mind, nominations were announced Tuesday, Nov. 15 for the 65th GRAMMY Awards, to be held on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles. The awards celebration airs live on CBS TV and streams live and on-demand on Paramount+.
Here is a rundown of the artists mxdwn loves most and the awards that they have been nominated for.
Talk about burying old memories, the contenders for Best Metal Performance are all legit metal bands. “Call Me Little Sunshine” from mega-metal band Ghost slugs it out with “Kill Or Be Killed” from Muse and Megadeth’s “We’ll Be Back.” Veteran bandmates Ozzy and Tony Iommi jump into the fray with “Degradation Rules” and Turnstile comes to with “Blackout.”
Up for the Best Alternative Music Performance award are more of our favorite acts. Vying for the first award in a new category are Arctic Monkeys “There’d Better Be A Mirrorball”, Florence + The Machine’s “King” and Wet Leg’s “Chaise Longue”. “Spitting Off The Edge of The World”, Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ collaboration with Perfume Genius, makes this a can’t lose category for mxdwn.
New mxdwn favorite and breakout act Wet Leg is up for a slew of awards. Best New Artist, Best Alternative Music Performance for “Chaise Longue” and Best Alternative Music Album – Wet Leg. Going up against Wet Leg in that last one are alt-favs of mxdwn, Arcade Fire with WE, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Cool It Down.
Wet Leg gets a nod for technical prowess because of mastering engineer Matt Colton and his team of engineers Jon McMullen, Joshua Mobaraki, Alan Moulder & Alexis Smith, in the Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical category.
Kendrick Lamar continues validating the love mxdwn has for his product. He is nominated for eight awards which makes him the most nominated rapper this go round. Lamar comes second overall only to Queen Bee’s nine. For the Record of the Year sweeps, Lamar’s “The Heart Part 5” is going up against some veteran artists and big names: “You and Me on the Rock” by Brandi Carlile featuring Lucius, Lizzo’s “About Damn Time” and Doja Cat is in the hunt with “Woman.”
Lamar’s nominations exhibit his genius and dexterity across the hip-hop spectrum and deserve a paragraph unto its own. He is up for Record Of The Year with “The Heart Part 5”, Album Of The Year for Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, Song of the Year with “The Heart Part 5”, Best Rap Performance with “The Heart Part 5”, Best Melodic Rap Performance for “Die Hard” Featuring Blxst & Amanda Reifer, Best Rap Song for “The Heart Part 5”, Best Rap Album with Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, along with Best Music Video for “The Heart Part 5.”
Industry veteran and fan favorite Brandi Carlile busts out this year with seven nominations that are all over the musical rainbow. Carlile is up for Record Of The Year with “You And Me On The Rock” featuring Lucius, Album Of The Year for In These Silent Days featuring Lucius, Best Rock Performance for “Broken Horses”, Best Rock Song for “Broken Horses”, Best Americana Performance for “You And Me On The Rock”, Best American Roots Song for “You And Me On The Rock” and Best Americana Album for In These Silent Days.
mxdwn has a soft spot for hard rock and we are happy to report that a bunch of our all-time favorites are up for recognition across the rock categories. Just rattling off the list is impressive: Beck- Best Rock Performance for “Old Man”; The Black Keys – Best Rock Album for Dropout Boogie; IDLES – Best Rock Album for Crawler.
Turnstile turns in a solid effort and is up for multiple awards which include Best Rock Performance for “Holiday”, Best Metal Performance for “Blackout” and Best Rock Song for “Blackout.” OG metalheads Ozzy Osbourne and Tony Iommi team up on “Degradation Rules” for Best Metal Performance. Ozzy racked up four nominations and just keeps rocking with “Patient Number 9”, up for Best Rock Performance – (feat Beck), Best Rock Song, and Best Rock Album.
More rockers we like are going for gold in the Best Rock Song category, like Red Hot Chili Peppers for “Black Summer” and The War on Drugs with “Harmonia’s Dream”. Spoon serves up Lucifer On The Sofa in the Best Rock Album contest.
Future shows up in the present in the Best Rap Performance battle, collaborating with Young Thug on “pushin P” and Best Rap Album with I Never Liked You.
In the Best Country Duo/Group Performance rodeo, rock icon Robert Plant goes country with Alison Krauss on “Going Where The Lonely Go” and Brandi Carlile partners with Lucius for the Best Americana Performance with “You And Me On The Rock.”
Best American Roots Song is awarded to the songwriter(s) and finds Robert Plant up against Brandi Carlile again. Plant and T Bone Burnett on “High and Lonesome” with Alison Krauss joining in for the duet, and Carlile, Phil Hanseroth & Tim Hanseroth with “You And Me On The Rock.”
Keeping it close to home, the Best Americana Album competition pits In These Silent Days by Brandi Carlile, Things Happen That Way by Dr. John, and Robert Plant & Alison Krauss’ Raise The Roof against each other. There are no losers in this Roots Rock genre.
Big Thief is poised to swipe the Best Alternative Music Performance with “Certainty” and Best Alternative Music Album with Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You. Norah Jones stays relevant with a feel-good holiday record up for the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album – I Dream Of Christmas (Extended).
mxdwn busts a move now and then, and our go-to dance crew is poised to walk away with a lot of gold. Bonobo, Diplo (with Miguel), and Kaytranada go after each other in the Best Dance/Electronic Recording, with “Rosewood”, “Don’t Forget My Love” and “Intimidated (featuring H.E.R.)”
In the Best Dance/Electronic Music Album category Bonobo and Diplo take on Odesza, by offering Fragments, Diplo and The Last Goodbye. Both are solid works that should earn one of them gold and justify our love.
mxdwn Girl Bosses Doja Cat and Lizzo go after each other for two major awards with the same song going for a twofer – Record of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance – “Woman” vs. “About Damn Time.”
Lizzo is on a roll in the other major categories: Song of the Year – “About Damn Time”; Album of the Year – Special; and Best Pop Vocal Album – Special. Doja Cat is looking to score some gold with a duo with Post Malone, the best rap, and for her video work, Best Pop Duo/Group Performance – “I Like You (A Happier Song)”, Best Rap Performance – “Vegas” and Best Music Video – “Woman.”
On paper, the 65th GRAMMY Awards looks like a blockbuster and a barnburner, all in one. The glory days of 26 million viewers, just six years ago (is that 18 in Covid years?), are firmly in the past. CBS and the Recording Academy, desperately needy and feverishly praying the awards show attract more than the paltry 9 million viewers in 2022, are likely never to reach those 2017 heights again due to streaming services.
We now have the nominations, and eagerly await news of the host, the presenters, and for the health of the industry, the performing acts. One way or another, this year’s show will burn down the house.
Photo Credit: Ekaterina Gorbacheva