Monday, February 9, 2015
Obligatory Grammy Post
So last night was the ceremony for the Grammy Awards.
I had totally forgotten that they were a thing. Not knowing what was up for nomination this year, I decided to check out the list of who's who. Unsurprisingly, I didn't know who half the people on the list were. Hozier? Lecrae? Childish Gambino? I probably heard songs by them at some point on the radio during the summer. I just shrugged with each unknown name and kept on scrolling...
... but then I came to the metal category. Oh boy.
The nominees were as follows for Best Metal Performance:
Anthrax for "Neon Nights"
Mastodon for "High Road"
Motörhead for "Heartbreaker"
Slipknot for "The Negative One"
and finally Tenacious D for "The Last in Line"
At first I was taken aback, but that was only for a brief second before I remembered something... It's the goddamn Grammys!
For those of you thinking "I don't understand the problem here," let me break it down for you. The Grammys have always been absolutely abysmal when it comes to metal. Hell, we don't even get more than one category. Just "best metal performance." Can someone please tell me what the difference between "best song" and "best performance" is? I look at the contenders for other genres and they're the same candidates! Why not give us a "best metal album" slot?
Look at the artists and you'll find two categories: the icons who paved the way for the genre and new money-makers. Now I love Motörhead, but Lemmy and the gang have been churning out the same thing since 1975. There's nothing special about that song. It's simply Motörhead. The same can be said for the Slipknot track. Mastodon's getting more fame nowadays, but I wouldn't say they have nearly as much popularity as Slipknot, but that song "High Road" is most definitely a recording made for the radio; it was able to peak at number one in the Hot Singles Sales last year. Then the other two are cover songs off of the Ronnie James Dio tribute album that dropped last year; one is performed by Big Four thrashers Anthrax and the other by comedic duo Tenacious D.
It seems like you get only get recognition if you're old, raking in the big bucks, or both. Look at the nominees over the past twenty-five years and you'll see very few acts that can be regarded as underground. But it's these bands who are making the best quality work nowadays. As much as I love bands like Motörhead, Megadeth, and Judas Priest, their recent material has been disappointing. You want to go "come on guys! You're better than that" but then you second-guess yourself. Are they? Or is their best work behind them now?
What's wrong with giving the young blood their share of the spotlight? As much as people like to bash these new bands, they're the ones who keep the genre alive. If you're definition of metal is solely based on bands from thirty-plus years ago, you're a dinosaur. Sure, they laid the foundation, but that isn't to say they were the best. Now it's up to the next generation to continue building it up. I'll admit nostalgia does tear at my heartstrings when have to be a critic, but it's true. The genre can't allow itself to be perceived as archaic; in reality it's just the opposite.
Metal is a thriving beast. Rock 'n' roll never died--I'm looking at you, Gene Simmons-- it adapted.
There are so many talented artists that it's not even funny. I'd write up a list, but then I don't know where to begin. That, and it'd be too long. Metal isn't just fast and loud. There's more to it than that.
Sadly, the underground will never be accepted by the hacks who do the voting. Let's face it: it's all about the money for them. It's a sad but true reality that cash trumps artistry in this scenario. At least the Oscars reward film makers for making truly great art. If they were anything like the Grammys, I guarantee you that at least one Transformers movie would have gotten Best Picture.
The Grammys need a makeover. Metal isn't the only one suffering. I'm sure the hip hop community has a beef with Eminem, Jay Z, and Kanye West getting nearly half of all the rap awards ever presented for the genre. There's gotta be a better system.
Oh, and in case anyone wants to know who won the award...
Yeah, a spoof band won for playing a cover.
That really goes to show that metal is a joke to the higher-ups of the music industry. That it's something for grungy ragamuffins and delinquents who were born too late and will never amount to anything in this society. Guess what, Grammys? If it rewards the mediocre and stomps out those who dedicate themselves to their work, then we reject your society.