The 2009 Grammys, Part 2

Special thanks to the mucky-mucks at Pajiba for giving me third place in the Best Alternative Zombie Titles contest; I guess I'll have to buy my own copy of The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue, aka Let Sleeping Corpses Lie. Here was the bizarre entry:

3. Oklahoma Outbreak! by Robert From the twisted minds that brought you Carousel - a musical of spousal abuse and pedophilia - and South Pacific - the greatest racist war musical ever created, comes the next iteration of terror: Oklahoma Outbreak! In a sunny farm town, on a sunny farm day, where the corn grows as high as an elephant’s eye, a simple way of life is about to die. The long standing feud between the farmers and the cowhands has reached a tentative peace over a basket lunch gone terrible. A deranged cowhand named Curly thought he could eliminate the farmers from the Oklahoma territory by poisoning the water system. What he didn’t count on was the ancient In’jun burial ground down by the old swimmin’ hole. Now Judd, cowboy Curly, and Laurey - the lady torn between them - must band together to fight off the vengeful wave of In’jun savages bent on scalping heads and scooping brains. Featuring unforgettable hits like “Surrey with a Scope On Top,” “(I’m Just a’ In’jun who) Cain’t Say No to Brains,” and “Out of the Grave/Head Shot Ballet,” Oklahoma Outbreak! is good ol’ fashioned fun for all ages.

The 2009 Grammys, Part 2 Today, I will be discussing that phenomenon that happens almost every year. That puzzling circumstance that can make heads spins and record labels cry. To put it plainly: one best new artist nominee, showered in loads of nominations, goes home completely empty handed. This year, that nominee was Jazmine Sullivan. So what happened? A cynic would just say she clearly wasn't the best in any nominated category. A realist would say she didn't receive enough votes. It really is one of the stranger cases in recent memory. Take, for example, India.Arie. She lost most of her categories to Alicia Keyes. Fine. Two artists with a strong R&B aesthetic battled it out and one was named clearly superior. Cool. That was direct competition. But with Jazmine Sullivan, she didn't have internal competition from other Best New Artist nominees. She rarely hit the same competition going from category to category. For those who don't know, Sullivan was nominated for Best New Artist (lost to Adele), best Contemporary R&B Album (lost to Mary J Blige), Best Traditional R&B Performance (lost to Al Green/Anthony Hamilton), and Best R&B Song (lost to Ne-Yo et. al). And for those who don't even know who Jazmine Sullivan is, here is her lead-off single (I'd say debut, but this is her second go at the industry, and thank goodness persistence paid off), Bust Your Windows (scroll to about 0:45 for the song) Very nice voice, interesting interpretation style, and demonstrates a strong knowlede of and appreciation for music throughout the album. So what went wrong? With Jazmine Sullivan, for once, the artist was just nominated in tough categories. With the exception of Best New Artist, she was only nominated in categories with a ton of heavy hitters. Best Contemporary R&B album put her up against an Album of the Year nominee and a previous winner. Best R&B Song tends to go to the biggest R&B single of the eligibility period, and that was not Sullivan's Bust Your Windows. What this particular set of nominations indicates is a strong respect from the R&B branch of NARAS. Being nominated in both traditional and contemporary categories acknowledges the diversity and strength of her style, while sneaking in categories loaded with industry veterans shows the potential for a very strong career. Jazmine Sullivan is one to watch out for. This may not have been the most surprising series of losses throughout the night, but it was unexpected for me. Saturday ends the Grammy Round-Up with a look at some of the stranger categories voted on by NARAS>

Labels: best new artist, bust your windows, grammys, jazmine sullivan