Aside from making various blogs' year-end lists (which is probably more important to record sales—or at least illegal download numbers—than a GRAMMY at this point), a couple of Portland folks wound up being nominated for GRAMMY awards! And the nominees are (drumroll)...
Menomena's Friend and Foe for best Recording Package:
Yeah, that's kind of a no-brainer. The Craig Thompson (of Blankets
Fame) art on Friend and Foe
pretty much sets a new standard for album art, and the vinyl version is, arguably, even cooler.
The Shins' Wincing the Night Away for Best Alternative Music Album; The album's producer Joe Chiccarelli for Producer of the Year (non-classical):
That's a damn fine album. And extra kudos on the production nod. Damn it sounds good. Not that Mercer and company aren't a great place to start. Have you ever seen James Mercer sing, just hanging out and singing without a crowd or all that nice production? It's insane. He's incredible. I'll post a YouTube clip at the bottom of the page. But I digress. I had no idea the same producer that tackled the Shins, in the same year, in fact, produced jazz singer Kurt Elling's award-winning Nightmoves
album. Now that's multi-tasking. If that can't get you a win over Timbaland, nothing can.
I would be amiss not to mention that new Portlander Gerard Way (of My Chemical Romance) had been nominated for his work on the album art for that band's rock opera, The Black Parade
, as well. Way is a fine artist, and love or hate his band, the packaging for Black Parade is indeed pretty cool. Congratulations to him as well.
Looking through the other GRAMMY categories, I gotta say, I am far less disappointed in their selections than I have been in recent years. Could it be that American popular music has turned a corner?
Then again, Spoon isn't nominated for anything, despite the combination of critical acclaim and mainstream appeal. That's just wrong, dag-nabbit. Maybe it's time for Britt Daniel to pick up a nasty public heroin habit. Seemed to work for you-know-who...
50th Annual GRAMMYs
WW's review of Friend and Foe