There are 110 statues in play for 2008. 2008, by Grammy definition, runs from the first of October 2007 to the last day of September 2008. Every year, I look at the big list and think about doing some predictions, but then I get all caught up in the need to support each educated guess with informed commentary. Since I know nothing about Polka and have little desire to learn, that’s a whole Grammy category forfeited.
But you know … I’ve given a glance at the top nominations for 2008 and it looks like The Recording Academy really could care less about actual quality, so why should I worry? I can hold my own with some 2008 music trivia. And anything I don’t know, I can just guess. The ceremony isn’t until February and I’m in no hurry, so let’s do this.
Starting with the very bottom field of the noms list: Music Video.
Category 109: Best Short Form Music Video
The Keys & White collaboration is barely a Bond song, much less a compelling video (“Let’s have ’em sing in the desert!”). Radiohead’s inventive contribution will be ignored and nobody in the Academy will understand why “Honey” is awesome, so Cee-Lo’s disembodied lips will win.
Also, I hate Weezer.
Category 110: Best Long Form Music Video
- Where The Light Is â€” Live In Los Angeles – John Mayer
- Runnin’ Down A Dream – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
- Good Girl Gone Bad Live – Rihanna
- Respect Yourself â€” The Stax Records Story – (Various Artists)
- Amazing Journey: The Story Of The Who – The Who
While Rihanna has done wonders to advance the rights of vocal robots everywhere, I’m pretty sure this will go to the Stax documentary. Grammy loves itself some genre veterans.
That’s it for Music Video.
Next up: Classical. Brace yourself, ’cause we’re about to go on a rollercoaster of flagrant guesswork. I’m not even going to worry about listing all the nominees here. For one thing, it is a waste of typing and time. For another, I’d hate to pollute someone’s earnest Google search for the latest work by renowned floutist Marc-AndrÃ© Dalbavie or even Ã˜yvind Gimse, the equally talented conductor.
I know neither.
Category 98: Best Classical Album
Maria – Cecilia Bartoli
I own one Cecilia Bartoli CD. It’s pretty great, actually.
Category 99: Best Orchestral Performance
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 4 – Bernard Haitink, conductor (Chicago Symphony Orchestra)
Shostakovich is a fun name to say, isn’t it?
Category 100: Best Opera Recording
Weill: Rise And Fall Of The City Of Mahagonny – James Conlon, conductor; Anthony Dean Griffey, Patti LuPone & Audra McDonald
Saw Audra McDonald in concert at the Rialto a few years ago. She was awesome.
Category 101: Best Choral Performance
Symphony Of Psalms – Sir Simon Rattle, conductor
I’ll be honest. I just closed my eyes and pointed on this one.
Category 102: Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (with Orchestra)
Schoenberg/Sibelius: Violin Concertos – Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor; Hilary Hahn
People create fan-art for Hilary Hahn. That must count for something.
Category 103: Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (without Orchestra)
Red Cliff Capriccio – Wei Li
Sounds like an Italian/Tex-Mex fusion dish.
Category 104: Best Chamber Music Performance
Right Through The Bone â€” Julius RÃ¶ntgen Chamber Music – ARC Ensemble
“Right Through The Bone” sounds incredibly metal for chamber music.
Category 105: Best Small Ensemble Performance
Divertimenti – Ã˜yvind Gimse, conductor
Give it up for my man, Ã˜yvind!
Category 106: Best Classical Vocal Performance
Maria – Cecilia Bartoli
See Category 98.
Category 107: Best Classical Contemporary Composition
Mr. Tambourine Man: Seven Poems Of Bob Dylan – John Corigliano
Bob Dylan is Grammy bait. Always.
Category 108: Best Classical Crossover Album
Simple Gifts – The King’s Singers
I own a couple of The King’s Singers albums. I don’t listen to them, but I do own them.
Now we move from Classical to … Classical Production. Hey, that sounds like double-dipping to me. There are only two awards offered in this category, so the guessing here ought to be quick and painless.
Category 96: Best Engineered Album, Classical
Traditions And Transformations: Sounds Of Silk Road Chicago – David Frost, Tom Lazarus & Christopher Willis, engineers
This is a Yo-Yo Ma CD, basically. Who doesn’t love Yo-Yo Ma?
Category 97: Producer Of The Year, Classical
Okay, so for this one, the producer is considered based on five examples of their work from the year. David Frost already has my pick for Best Engineered, and it turns out that he was behind the aforementioned heavy metal classic, Right Through The Bone. Yngwie would be pleased.
Let’s hit one more category for good luck … and that is Surround Sound. Surround Sound? Really? Thankfully, there is only a single award under this heading.
Best Surround Sound Album
Divertimenti – Ã˜yvind Gimse
One more time for old Ã˜yvind, even though he’s up against a surround sound offering from Ringo Starr.
That’s that for now. I’ll continue on up the list when the notion strikes me. Like I said before, we’ve got until February.