Why should you care about the Grammy Awards? Very valid question. But let’s face it: as the Writer’s Strike threatens to shut down more and more red carpet events, the 50th Annual Grammies may be the only constant in this year’s lagging awards season. In that light, the following is the tenth installment in my three-week countdown to February 10. Read below for my picks and pans in one of 2008’s many Grammy categories.
The award: Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals
Past five winners: Red Hot Chili Peppers (“Dani California”); U2 (“Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own”); U2 (“Vertigo”); Warren Zevon & Springsteen (“Disorder in the House”); Coldplay (“In My Place”)
“It’s Not Over,” Daughtry
“Working Class Hero,” Green Day
“If Everyone Cared,” Nickelback
“Instant Karma,” U2
“Icky Thump,” The White Stripes
Who’s Missing: It’s interesting this year that Grammy voters caustically ignored one of 2007’s biggest rock bands: Fall Out Boy. Their Infinity on High is left out of every album category, and neither “This Ain’t a Scene” nor “Thnks fr th Mmrs” is up for Best Rock Performance by a Group. Particularly interesting is the snub of “Thnks,” which was produced by critical darling Babyface — he’s won 10 Grammies over the last 15 years.
Who Shouldn’t Be There: Green Day and U2. Last year, both groups were nominated together in this category for “The Saints Are Coming,” their touching tribute to Hurricane Katrina victims. This time around, they get individual noms for tracks they recorded in tribute to John Lennon (“Working Class Hero” and “Instant Karma” are Lennon covers.) If they didn’t win for the Katrina song, they certainly shouldn’t win for Lennon songs — so these nominations are more or less out of pity.
Who Should Win: The White Stripes. I already called their Icky Thump a flawed record, but its first single — also titled “Icky Thump — is a rib-rattling guitar ‘n bagpipe workout that deserves the Grammy for its title alone. It also features the follow lyrics, however, which may inspire more alienation than adoration from Grammy voters.
White Americans, what, nothing better to do?
Why don’t you kick yourself out, you’re an immigrant too.
Who’s using who, what should we do,
Well you can’t be a pimp and a prostitute too.
Who Will Win: Daughtry. Daughtry was the third best-selling album of 2007, and “It’s Not Over” was the fuel behind that fire. Good thing too, ‘cause the day that Nickelback wins a Grammy is the day that it is over.