Grammy 2010 Staff Picks & Predictions

January 31, 2010 // 7 Comments

Even in Grammy’s darkest hours, CU brings its picking powers!

– Superhero television show about our blog from the 50’s.

Share your own picks and predictions in the comments, and be sure to check back for our live blog! The awards telecast starts at 8 pm Eastern, and I imagine there will be some red carpet action in the hour prior.

Record of the Year


  • Beyonce, “Halo” – Kevin
  • Black Eyed Peas, “I Gotta Feeling”
  • Kings of Leon, “Use Somebody” – Tara
  • Lady GaGa, “Poker Face” – Dan
  • Taylor Swift, “You Belong with Me”


  • Beyonce, “Halo”
  • Black Eyed Peas, “I Gotta Feeling”
  • Kings of Leon, “Use Somebody” – Kevin, Dan, Tara
  • Lady GaGa, “Poker Face”
  • Taylor Swift, “You Belong with Me”

Kevin: Am I wrong for preferring Eric Cartman’s rendition of “Poker Face” over the original? This is a pretty lightweight slate of contenders. I really like “Halo”, but I suspect Kings of Leon will win, simply because it’s the only rock song in a lineup of pop hits.

Dan: “Poker Face” just feels very representative of popular music in 2009. I wouldn’t whine if it got passed over so that “Bad Romance” could take this award next year, though.

Tara: I would’ve pulled for “Single Ladies” in a heartbeat had it been submitted, but “Use Somebody” is just as deserving of this award. It’s a fantastic song even outside the context of its moment in pop culture, and it’s the kind of larger-than-life song that the voters have picked to win in the past.

My Grammy Wish List: 2010 Edition

January 28, 2010 // 24 Comments

Since this was a solo blog, doing a Grammy Wish List has been an annual tradition. I’m not too excited about this year’s Grammys, to be honest. 2009 was a weak year in my opinion, and the shortened 11-month eligibility period didn’t help matters. But a tradition is a tradition, so here are my picks in the eleven categories that I care about this year:

* denotes my personal wish:

Record of the Year

  • Beyoncé, “Halo” *
  • The Black Eyed Peas, “I Gotta Feeling”
  • Kings of Leon, “Use Somebody”
  • Lady Gaga, “Poker Face”
  • Taylor Swift, “You Belong With Me”

It’s always nice to see a country radio hit in there, but I honestly can’t stand “You Belong With Me.” I dig the Kings of Leon song, but the record that I enjoy the most here is “Halo.” Some pundits have suggested that Beyoncé threw her chances at this trophy by submitting “Halo” instead of “Single Ladies”, but I like that song even less than “You Belong With Me.” Love “Halo”, though.

Song of the Year

  • Lady Gaga & RedOne, “Poker Face”
  • Hod David & Musze, “Pretty Wings”
  • Thaddis Harrell, Beyoncé Knowles, Terius Nash & Christopher Stewart, “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)”
  • Caleb Followill, Jared Followill, Matthew Followill & Nathan Followill, “Use Somebody” *
  • Liz Rose & Taylor Swift, “You Belong With Me”

Great to see Liz Rose in there, too, but I still can’t stand the song. I think “Use Somebody” is a great composition that could easily be a hit in other formats if the right artist covered it. Are you listening, Sugarland?

2010 Grammy Nominees

December 2, 2009 // 39 Comments

Not too bad, given the slim pickings on the ballot this year. Taylor Swift is the top country nominee with eight noms. Keith Urban earned four, while Willie Nelson, George Strait, Lee Ann Womack, and Zac Brown Band earned three.

Country Categories

Best Country Album

  • Zac Brown Band, The Foundation
  • George Strait, Twang
  • Taylor Swift, Fearless
  • Keith Urban, Defying Gravity
  • Lee Ann Womack, Call Me Crazy

Best Female Country Vocal Performance

  • Miranda Lambert, “Dead Flowers”
  • Martina McBride, “I Just Call You Mine”
  • Taylor Swift, “White Horse”
  • Carrie Underwood, “Just a Dream”
  • Lee Ann Womack, “Solitary Thinkin’”

Grammy Wish List

September 1, 2009 // 14 Comments

brad-paisleyYesterday marked the end of the eligibility period for the 2010 Grammy Awards, which will be presented in January. To accommodate the earlier award ceremony, this year’s period lasted one month shy of a year: October 1, 2008 – August 31, 2009.

It’s been something of an underwhelming year musically from my perspective, but I have a few nominations that I’d like to see:

George Strait

  • Best Male Country Vocal Performance: “El Rey”
  • Best Country Album: Twang

Strait’s been on a roll since It Just Comes Natural, releasing his most consistent string of albums since the mid-nineties trifecta of Easy Come Easy Go, Lead On and Blue Clear Sky. It’s often been said that Strait could sing the phone book and make it sound great, and “El Rey” proved that he’d do just as well with la guía telefónica.

Todd Snider

  • Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album: The Excitement Plan

This category has been great at acknowledging artists who essentially make acoustic music that isn’t particularly commercial, with previous winners including Nickel Creek and Emmylou Harris. Snider put out one of his strongest albums this year, and he’s long overdue for some Grammy love.

Brad Paisley

  • Best Country Album: American Saturday Night
  • Best Male Country Vocal Performance: “Welcome to the Future”
  • Best Country Instrumental Performance: “Back to the Future”

Paisley has reaffirmed himself as a creative force to be reckoned with and deserves to be amply rewarded with multiple Grammy nominations this year. The rock edge to his token instrumental track is a refreshing new take on his guitar-playing virtuosity.

Grammy Awards Change Eligibility Period

March 14, 2009 // 2 Comments

The Grammy Awards have made a few changes for 2010’s ceremony. First, the awards show will move to the last week of January, a full week earlier than it has aired in previous years. Second, the eligibility period has changed: Releases must street by August 31 of the previous year to be nominated, a full month earlier than the previous September 30 cut-off. Thankfully, the eligibility period for the 2010 ceremony will begin on October 1, 2008, so there won’t be the embarrassment of work from September 2008 being nominated again. The CMA moved up their eligibility period by a full month in 1995, but allowed June 1994 releases to compete for a second time. The end result was two consecutive nominations for Album of the Year for Alan Jackson’s Who I Am. An interview with NARAS head Neil Portnow is quite illuminating, revealing all of the moving parts of Read More

Grammy Musings From the West Coast

February 9, 2009 // 39 Comments

As soon as tonight’s awesome Country Universe Live Blog finished, I had the opportunity to watch the Grammy Awards (which were recorded on my DVR – the best and only way to really watch an awards show) out here on the West Coast. Since I couldn’t comment on the country performances earlier, here are a few random musings: Carrie Underwood (“Last Name”): Thanks to the song and the outfit, I’ve read it a lot in the last few hours: What happened to little miss “Jesus Take The Wheel?” The answer to that question is front and center in the primer on how to turn an American Idol into a country music star, so I’ll just leave you with a tip: If you’ve ever wondered what the Underwood concert experience is like, take her ’09 Grammy Awards performance, multiply it by 14 (or however many songs she sings, minus the first verse Read More

Grammy Live Blog

February 8, 2009 // 408 Comments

11:28 Kevin: Goodnight all. See ya at the ACM Live Blog! 11:26 Dan: You know what is a surprise? Krauss and Plant both giving completely lucid-sounding speeches. Love ’em both, but those are two of the loopiest public speakers I’ve ever heard. 11:25 Kevin: So Alison Krauss now has 26 Grammy awards, and has been thanked by Robert Plant for teaching him how to sing better. Wow. 11:24 Album of the Year: Raising Sand, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss. Woah, no way. 11:23 Kevin: I want the new Green Day album more than anything else in 2009. 11:21 Kevin: Fun Fact – Robert Plant turned down millions of dollars to do a Led Zeppelin reunion tour because he wanted to tour with Alison instead.  I wonder if Zed Heads have taken to calling her Yoko? 11:22 Dan: Ah yes, the hand-clap section of the song. 11:20 Kevin: Hey, T-Bone. How Read More

Grammy Pre-Show Live Blog

February 8, 2009 // 51 Comments

The following categories are being announced on the Grammy pre-show.  Winners will be posted as they are announced. Best Southern, Country, or Bluegrass Gospel Album: Gaither Vocal Band, Lovin’ Life Best Traditional Folk Album: Pete Seeger, At 89 Best Contemporary Folk Album: Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Raising Sand Best Female Country Vocal Performance: Carrie Underwood, “Last Name” Best Male Country Vocal Performance: Brad Paisley, “Letter to Me” Best Country Collaboration with Vocals: Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, “Killing the Blues” Best Country Instrumental Performance: Brad Paisley, Vince Gill, Steve Wariner, etc. “Cluster Pluck” Best Bluegrass Album: Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Honoring the Fathers of Bluegrass Best Country Song: Jennifer Nettles, “Stay” Best Country Album: George Strait, Troubadour

2009 Grammy Wish List

February 7, 2009 // 7 Comments

For the third year in a row, I’m sharing my personal Grammy Wish List. 2007 was a good year, with my preferences winning in 15 of the 22 categories  I cared about – a 68% success rate. 2008 was less pleasing.  There were only 14 races that interested me last year, and my favorites triumphed in just 4 of them – a 29% success rate. This year, my wish list features 17 categories.  I’ve voiced opinions on many races in other threads, but these are the ones that I truly care about this year.  I’ll keep a running tally in our annual live blog on Sunday night. Check out the full list of nominees and add your own wish list in the comments! Record of the Year: M.I.A., “Paper Planes” I’ve been waiting a long time for this type of sound to break through into mainstream pop music. My first Read More

The 51st Annual Grammy Awards: The Big Four (Staff Favorites)

February 7, 2009 // 1 Comment

The fourth and final installment in our Grammy series, staff favorites for the Big Four categories. Check back for our live blog of the Grammy Awards tomorrow! Record Of The Year “Chasing Pavements,” Adele “Viva La Vida,” Coldplay  (Blake, Lynn) “Bleeding Love,” Leona Lewis “Paper Planes,” M.I.A.  (Dan, Kevin) “Please Read The Letter,” Robert Plant & Alison Krauss Blake: Coldplay’s anthemic rock ballad just feels like the most important record of the year.  A pure atmospheric wonder, “Viva” is a string-laden symphony that ponders the fear of power, paranoia and eternal purgatory. Here, Chris Martin sings about being king, one with a self-doubting streak. For four intensely brilliant (but confusing) minutes,  he wears the crown well. Dan: I think these are all pretty exemplary records – even “Bleeding Love” is a cut above a lot of radio pop, and it’s easily the weakest thing here. I’m really tempted to pick Adele’s big inner-conflict number; Read More

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