Even if you’re a music head, you’re not going to sit through every freakin’ minute of the multi-hour marathon of the Grammys tonight. It’s obvious why — the show has the same 10, 20 artists battling for the lil’ gold gramophone awards (how old-school), and you’ll see Beyonce, again, and you may or may not see camera-shy Sia. Yawn.
Sure, you got the artist mash-ups (i.e. Rihanna/Kanye/Macca, Beck/Coldplay) and for the acts themselves, they get the bragging rights to say that they’re Grammy winners. But instead tonight, you’ll watch new episodes of “Family Guy,” “Downton Abbey” (hand raised here), “Girls,” “Real Housewives,” “Shameless,” “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” or “The Walking Dead” (not to mention the premiere episode of “Breaking Bad” spin-off “Better Call Saul”) and then just scan the web later to see video/photo highlights of the show.
If you’re really compulsive and desperate to make the show interesting, you can even bet on the event, but do you know which acts are nominated for each category? We do know that if NARAS, the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences group that runs the Grammys, wanted to make the show watchable, they could lop off a few hours and try some better categories for the program, which we have for you here. You’re welcome, NARAS honcho Neil Portnow.
Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments if there’s any others you’d like to see.
BIGGEST TECH HATER
Garth Brooks thought he was still such a big deal to that he could avoid social media, and it turned out he was wrong, but the real hata that battles him for this title is Taylor “Pay Me or Don’t Stream Me” Swift and her snit with Spotify.
It’s it’s any consolation, though, we have another category that ol’ Garth would tie up rather nicely.
BEST RAP BATTLE
We miss the days of Jay-Z vs. Nas, Biggie vs. ‘Pac and such, but this time around, it’s hard to top Iggy Azalea vs. … every other rapper, even the ones who were sympathetic to her (Q-Tip yes, not so much Snoop).
BEST/WORST ALBUM MARKETING DEAL
This is a great, perplexing category here, but one band definitely nailed it. U2 managed to sell less copies of its latest album than a mid-level indie band, but still got to laugh all the way to the bank when Apple reportedly ponied up 10 million bucks just so all of us with iTunes account were forced to have that crappy record (which we purposely forget the title of, as we’re sure they’ve done, too). Quite a feat, but could we not have an encore?
BEST NON-TRADITIONAL POP ALBUM
Since there’s the lame “Best Traditional Pop Album” category, we thought it would be cool to have this unconventional, alternative category. St. Vincent would be the safe bet here, but we’ll go with something REALLY non-trad in the form of Tune-Yards‘ “Nikki Nack.”
BEST NON-TRADITIONAL R&B ALBUM
See above and thank you, D’Angelo and “Black Messiah.” End of story (sorry, FKA twigs).
OK, we know why NARAS doesn’t recognize something that labels don’t get any money from, but for artists, mixtapes are an important promo tool, and they’re all over the place now, so why ignore ’em? There’s lotsa good contenders like Young Thug & Bloody Jay, Beat King, Rich Gang, Gangsta Boo, Mac Miller and Migos, but we’d pick PC Music’s hilarious “PC Music x DISown Radio,” one hour of fun that mashes up pop, rap, satire, dubstep and house into a bizarro mix, courtesy of the evil geniuses at DIS Magazine.
WORST CATEGORY NAME
That’s a tough one as most of the Grammy groupings sound like an 80-year-old guy dreamed them up (which is what probably happened). How do you choose from such un-hip mind-boggling garbage like “Best Urban Contemporary Album,” “Best Rap/Sung Collaboration” and “Best Song Written for Visual Media?” WHO TALKS LIKE THAT?
BEST CATEGORY COMPETITION
No one’s gonna be betting or drooling over the Best Spoken Word Album competition, but try to top the folks they have going against each other for this prize: Joan Rivers vs. John Waters vs. Elizabeth Warren vs. Gloria Gaynor vs. Jimmy Carter vs. James Franco. We don’t know who we’d chose there either …
BEST COMMERCIAL TIE-IN
With album and download sales tanking and streaming music paying pennies per million, ads are the future of the music biz, right? So why not honor one of the few ways that still keeps the biz afloat? There are a lot to choose from here, including Bob Dylan shilling for Cadillac at Super Bowl XLIX and Ellen DeGeneres grooving to Black Sabbath and Brandy Clark, but we’ll go with a sentimental indie favorite, the Pixies’ “Gigantic” for Apple (especially as Frank and friends could use the money — and deserve it, too).
MOST INEXPLICABLE COLLABORATION
Another fun one to think about. Other than the bizarre Metallica/Lang Lang mash-up at last year’s Grammys, the obvious one that comes to mind is Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga but 1) That wasn’t a bad record, 2) She can sing ballads just fine. Our own entry would be the misguided, awful version of The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper” that Flaming Lips did with Miley Cyrus. Face it, she was much edgier as Hannah Montana.
You might not know Latin jazz leader Bobby Sanabria, but we guarantee that NARAS does. He won a bunch of Grammys himself, but he also sued them in 2011 for cutting out a bunch of categories, including his own. He lost the lawsuit, but NARAS relented and restored his category and a few others in 2012. We need more troublemakers like him.
Wouldn’t this be the most hilarious thing to happen after the nominee list comes out? You could have everyone, and they’d have a ball with it. There’s dozens of entries we could put here, but we’ll go for a not-so-obvious one. Jack White’s “Lazaretto” packaging was so amazing that unless the competing albums could give you a message and cook a pile of burritos, there should be no doubt about who should have at least been in the running for Best Boxed or Limited Edition Package. See the video below, and prepare to be wowed.