Tuesday, February 15, 2011

2011 Grammys: Beyond Gaga's Egg & Cee Lo's Chicken Suit - the Awards You Didn't See on TV

Muse (shown here at Newark's Prudential Center last October) won the Best Rock Album Grammy for "Resistance."

Here at Podcast Party, we're more interested in the pre-telecast awards given out at the Grammys than the glitzy, televised show (which only hands out about a dozen awards in three-and-a-half hours). Fortunately, the magic of the Internet means that you can now watch the nearly one-hundred pre-telecast awards being handed out in the live webcast (which may be archived for later viewing).

I didn't manage to see the entire pre-telecast Grammy show, but here are what I found to be some of the more notable awards that would be of interest to the readers of this blog (see the complete list of 2011 Grammy winners and nominees for more details):

* Best Pop Instrumental Performance - "Nessun Dorma" by Jeff Beck (beating out Laurie Anderson, Brian Setzer Orchestra, Stanley Clarke, and Gorillaz)

* Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance - "Helter Skelter" (live) by Paul McCartney (winning over songs by Eric Clapton, John Mayer, Robert Plant, and Neil Young)

* Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals - "Tighten Up" by The Black Keys (winning over Arcade Fire, Jeff Beck and Joss Stone, Kings Of Leon, and Muse

* Best Rock Instrumental Performance - "Hammerhead" by Jeff Beck (other nominees: The Black Keys, Los Lobos, Dweezil Zappa, and Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds

* Best Rock Song - "Angry World" by Neil Young (winning over songs by Mumford and Sons, Kings of Leon, Muse, and The Black Keys)

* (televised) Best Rock Album - "Resistance" by Muse (over albums by Jeff Beck, Pearl Jam, Neil Young, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

* Best Alternative Music Album - "Brothers" by The Black Keys (other nominees: Arcade Fire, Band of Horses, Broken Bells, and Vampire Weekend)

* Best Americana Album - "You Are Not Alone" by Mavis Staples (over albums by Rosanne Cash, Los Lobos, Willie Nelson, and Robert Plant)

* Best Contemporary Folk Album - "God Willin' & The Creek Don't Rise" by Ray LaMontagne and The Pariah Dogs (over albums by Jackson Browne and David Lindley, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Guy Clark, and Richard Thompson)

Best Hard Rock Performance - "Fang" by Them Crooked Vultures (over Alice in Chains, Ozzy Osbourne, Soundgarden, and Stone Temple Pilots)

Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals - "Imagine" by Herbie Hancock, Pink, India.Arie, Seal, Konono No 1, Jeff Beck & Oumou Sangare. This was a surprise, considering who Hancock & Co. were up against: Katy Perry and Snoop Dogg; B.o.B, Eminem, and Hayley Williams; Elton John and Leon Russell; and Lady Gaga & Beyoncé. It's not the first time Hancock has pulled a Grammy upset; his collaborative interpretation of Joni Mitchell tunes won Album of the Year a couple of years back.

And on a final note, the soundtrack from Green Day's Broadway show "American Idiot" won Best Musical Show Album over cast albums from "Promises, Promises," "Fela!," "A Little Night Music," and "Sondheim On Sondheim."

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