The 49th annual Grammy Awards will be conferred this coming Sunday evening. Yea sure, the Grammies suck. The music is lame. They always go for the most conservative act. They're out of touch. The show is too long. The acceptance speeches are too long. The humor is forced. Right, we've heard all of this before.
Still, the awards ceremony can be fun because there is that live element. People can say and do stupid things. Entertainment can happen.
The big news so far is that The Police have agreed to open the show. Maybe even bigger news is that they'll do some touring afterwards.
There are a few pretty interesting categories to watch.
Record of the year is a good one because it pits some fairly disparate songs with the Dixie Chicks/Rick Rubin "Not Ready To Make Nice" at one end and Gnarls Barkley/Danger Mouse with "Crazy." My money is on "Crazy," though the Chicks song would be fun because it'd piss off the Chicks haters. If James Blunt wins I will throw up in my mouth.
Best Alternative Album is chock full of fun with Thom Yorke, The Flaming Lips, Arctic Monkeys, Gnarls Barkley, and Yeah Yeah Yeah's. I'd vote for Yorke's Eraser but Jethro Tull will probably win.
I can't really argue against any of the Traditional Folk nominees. Springsteen's ridiculously great Seeger Sessions gets my nod. It'd be cool if Dylan took the Modern Folk award but Rosanne Cash is my sentimental favorite.
But...for an instrumental music nerd like me, the mere fact that Sex Mob was nominated is the shock of this awards season. Never heard of them? Lead by slide trumpeter Steven Bernstein, Sex Mob likes to take a normal tune and squeeze, pull, warp, and twist until it only vaguely resembles the original. No academics here, as this band likes to have fun too. That's why Sexotica is so great. With the exotica of Martin Denny as inspiration, Sex Mob takes exotica, in all of its 1950's easy listening "Hi-Fi" glory, and slams it up against "serious" jazz. The result is something like what Esquivel would have done after going on a bender of Anthony Braxton, Tower of Power, and DJ Spooky records.
Will Sex Mob take home the Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Album? The competition includes Bela Fleck (The Hidden Land), Groove Collective (People People Music Music), Mike Stern's Who Let The Cats Out?, and Christian Scott with Rewind That. I wouldn't be unhappy with any of those artists being chosen. Let me put it this way, at least when the award is presented, I won't throw up in my mouth.