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The 55th Grammy Awards Nominations: The Good, the Bad, and the Interesting   2 comments

2012 nominees

The nominees for the 55th Grammy Awards were just announced hours ago, and as always, it has elicited a lot of wild reactions from music lovers. After all, the Grammy is probably every musician’s dream and is still regarded as the highest recognition one can get as a recording artist. Like what I did last year, I will divide it into three parts:

THE GOOD

* The whole Album of the Year line up. Holy moly. With the current surge of female pop artist who had a big year which automatically translates to an AOTY nom the past years (Beyonce, Katy Perry, Rihanna), it’s very refreshing to see a line up of really good albums here. Yes, one can still nitpick here, but come on! It’s not as if we got Bieber or Maroon 5 here.

* The love for Frank Ocean. Screw the genre category for ignoring him. At least he got 3/4 general nods, and he’s even the frontrunner in Best New Artist. This man deserves all the praise for his album, so I’m glad decided not to skip him.

* Speaking of skip, yay for the Bieber snub. Glad the Grammys weren’t so desperate for ratings this year by snubbing him. I’d argue though that the One Direction deserved a BNA nod at least.

* Kelly Clarkson resurgence! Woot woot. Record and Song of the Year! Who said it was the end for Kelly? HA-HA-HA. In your face!

* Anything The Black Keys, Florence + the Machine, and Mumford and Sons related since it’s better than a lot of what we hear on the radio.

* ED EFFIN SHEERAN. Who saw it coming? Nobody! But is her deserving for a SOTY nod? Absofuckinglutely!

* The nominations of Safe and Sound and Abraham’s Daughter in Original Soundtrack. Even if The Hunger Games was snubbed as a whole, these two songs are worthy of mentions and nominations.

* Adele still rocking it with a Pop Vocal Solo nomination for Set Fire to the Rain. I love you Kelly Clarkson, but that is Adele’s ninth Grammy.

* Miguel’s nods for Adorn. Sure I don’t like him as much as Frank Ocean, but I like Adorn, and it’s one of the best R&B songs of the year.

* The Short Form Music video is probably the strongest since its inception. There’s  a lot of interesting videos there, and even mainstream video like that of Rihanna’s We Found Love is deserving of a nomination.

* Probably my favorite category of the year, Alternative Album is full of hidden gems in it. You have Bjork, Fiona Apple, Gotye, and (my latest addiction) M83! Admittedly, I haven’t heard Tom Waits’ Bad As Me yet, but it is in good company, so I’ll give it a listen sometime.

THE BAD

* Pink only received one nod. I thought for sure this year will finally give her the best Grammy out pour in her career, yet they took her for granted again. Oh well, she can take pride at her three Grammys home.

* Again, no One Direction? Hahaha. Sorry, but they’re real guilty pleasure. If you can give Bieber and Jonas Brothers Best New Artist nods, why not these guys? Though I guess Hunter Hayes getting in was their “One Direction” spot already. After all, hes young, and he’s country, so that’s hitting two birds with one stone.

* Nicki Minaj snub all throughout. This girl think she can settle away with free passes pretending as a rap artist? Bish please. You’re a pop artist now, and glad to know you received nada.

* Call Me Maybe for Song of the Year? Really? Those lyrics!?!? I get that it’s a big song yada yada, but that’s where the Record of the Year is for.

* Why was Miranda Lambert’s Over You snubbed all throughout? Over You is gaining momentum the past few weeks, it’s a good written song, and she’s already a Grammy winner. I guess I must be happy with her Country Album nomination.

* It sucks to have a Pop Vocal Performance then three of the five nominees were Carly Rae Jepsen, Rihanna, and Katy Perry. Vocals eh?

* I still don’t see the purpose behind the Urban Contemporary Album especially it only had three nominees, and Chris Brown isn’t even deserving. They should have retired it altogether. Though it’s an easy win for Frank Ocean.

* They really should not combine Vocals category in some genres. Take for instance Pop Vocal. It had five female nominees. Pop is a female centered genre, but we have lots of deserving male vocals this year like Jason Mraz, Bruno Mars, John Mayer, and Philip Phillips, and I guess a filler spot for Bieber. Same goes for the Rock’s hard on for male singers and Country’s preference of male vocalists unless your name is Carrie Underwood. Wrong move at all.

THE INTERESTING

* This is the first time in a long time where no female album is nominated for the top award. It’s also two decades ago when the Best New Artist line up had no solo female artist in it.

* Fun, Jay Z, Kanye West, Frank Ocean, Mumford & Sons, and The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach tied for the most nominated act with six nominations each.

* The following people are nominated for a Grammy this year: Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton, Ellen Degeneres, Janis Ian, Kathy Griffin, Jimmy Fallon, Margaret Cho, Bernadette Peters, Audra McDonald, Matthew Broderick, and Elizabeth Mitchell.

* Ever since its inception 53 years ago, this is the only time that record of the Year had six nominees in it.

In case you want to see the complete list of nominees, you can check them here.

All in all, there are more things I like about the nominations this year than I had the past few years. With that said, we still have to wait come February for the winners to be revealed. My first post-nom predictions for the General Field winners are Somebody That I Used to Know (Record of the Year), We Are Young (Song of the Year), Mumford & Son’s Babel (Album of the Year), and Frank Ocean as the Best New Artist.

You can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

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2012 Independent Spirit Awards Nominees   Leave a comment

Here we go. Oscar season is definitely in the air, and as always, the first to announce (but the second to the last to reward) their nominees is the Independent Spirit Awards. There’s  a lot of surprises among the nominees, but as a reference, here are those who got a nod:

Best Feature

“Beasts of the Southern Wild”
“Bernie”
“Keep the Lights On”
“Moonrise Kingdom”
“Silver Linings Playbook”

Best Screenplay

Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola (“Moonrise Kingdom”)
Zoe Kazan (“Ruby Sparks”)
Martin McDonagh (“7 Psychopaths”)
David O. Russell (“Silver Linings Playbook”)
Ira Sachs (“Keep the Lights On”)

Best Director

Wes Anderson (“Moonrise Kingdom”)
Julia Loktev (“The Loneliest Planet”)
David O. Russell (“Silver Linings Playbook”)
Ira Sachs (“Keep the Lights On”)
Benh Zeitlin (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”).

Best Female Lead

Linda Cardellini (“Return”)
Emayatzy Corinealdi (“Middle of Nowhere”)
Jennifer Lawrence (“Silver Linings Playbook”)
Quvenzhane Wallis (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”)
Mary Elizabeth Winstead (“Smashed”)

Best Male Lead

Jack Black (“Bernie”)
Bradley Cooper (“Silver Linings Playbook”)
John Hawkes (“The Sessions”)
Thure Lindhardt (“Keep the Lights On”)
Matthew McConaughey (“Killer Joe”)
Wendell Pierce (“Four”)

Best Supporting Female

Rosemarie DeWitt (“Your Sister’s Sister”)
Ann Dowd (“Compliance”)
Helen Hunt (“The Sessions”)
Brit Marling (“Sound of My Voice”)
Lorraine Toussaint (“Middle of Nowhere”)

Best Supporting Male

Matthew McConaughey (“Magic Mike”)
David Oyelowo (“Middle of Nowhere”)
Michael Pena (“End of Watch”)
Sam Rockwell (“7 Psychopaths”)
Bruce Willis (“Moonrise Kingdom”)

Best Documentary

“How to Survive a Plague”
“Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present”
“The Central Park Five”
“The Invisible War”
“The Waiting Room”

Best International Film

“Amour” (France)
“Once Upon a Time in Anatolia” (Turkey)
“Rust and Bone” (France)
“Sister” (Switzerland)
“War Witch” (DR Congo)

Best First Feature

“Fill the Void”
“Gimme the Loot”
“The Perks of Being a Wallflower”
“Safety Not Guaranteed”
“Sound of My Voice”

Best First Screenplay

Rama Burshtein (“Fill the Void”)
Rashida Jones and Will McCormack (“Celeste and Jesse Forever”)
Jonathan Lisecki (“Gayby”)
Derek Connolly (“Safety Not Guaranteed”)
Christopher Ford (“Robot & Frank”)

Anyway, the biggest buzz so far comes from the eligibility of The Silver Linings Playbook which was supposed to be ineligible due to its post 20 million budget (which is the only rule for your film to qualify as indie). However, inside talks say much of the credit goes to Harvey Weinstein who did his magic tricks in order for the film to make it here. It has been said that he is also the one responsible for The Artist being eligible in all categories here last year when it should have contended in the Foreign Language Film category. Oh well. If there’s one lesson you must learn, it’s that you should never underestimate the powers of Harvey Weinstein.

Here are other reactions:

* Surprising to see the outpour of love for Matt McCounaghey. Does this mean he’ll go all the way to an Oscar nod? Not sure yet, but this increases his buzz. On the other hand, the Dwight Henry snub is perplexing. He badly needs this especially since he is ineligible for the SAG and definitely miss the Globes. He’s already near DOA territory.

* Aside from Dwight Henry, some notable snubs include Jake Gyllenhaal (End of Watch), Greta Gerwig (Frances Ha), Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon (Arbitrage), Logan Lerman and Ezra Miller (Perks of Being a Wallflower), Robert de Niro (The Silver Linings Playbook), and Nicole Kidman (The Paperboy).

* It’s gonna be an easy feat for Jennifer Lawrence to sweep all the way to the Oscars. I was really pushing for at least one Quvenzhane Wallis speech. Damn you, Harvey.

* Yay for the nods of Michael Pena, Rosemarie Dewitt, Ann Dowd, Bruce Willis, Perks of Being a Wallflower, Rust and Bone, and Once Upon a Time in Anatolia! Yayyy. All well deserved. Moonrise Kingdom also gets a good showing here. I wonder if it’s enough to keep momentum all the way to the Oscars. A Screenplay nod is almost assured though.

* Linda Cardellini’s self campaign paid off. Though we’ll see if she gets to cross over at the SAG voters. Usually, it’s the end for too good performances in too little indie films, so enjoy the moment Ann Dowd and Mary Elizabeth Winstead.

*Lastly, for the wins, I’d say Silver Linings Playbook, David Russell, John Hawkes, Jennifer Lawrence, Matthew McConaughey, and Helen Hunt will easily take the trophies a day before the Oscars.