Friday, June 29, 2018

Grammy Nomination Expansion | Lefsetz Letter

This is bullshit.

The problem wasn’t that women and minorities weren’t being nominated, but that they weren’t WINNING! How in the hell is increasing the nominees in the top categories gonna solve this?

It isn’t.

It’s just tokenism. For an organization that is all about protecting the interests of marginal players at the expense of major ones. That’s right, if you can’t get nominated for a Grammy, you don’t make music. There are a zillion categories. And if you’ve got any name recognition at all, you’ll win, because the voters are clueless as to most nominees, as is the public. But the players just want to put “Grammy Nominee” on their resumes so they can book shows in bars until their dying days.

Make me puke.

And has expanding the nominees for Best Picture helped the Oscars?


Those mainstream nominees never win, and their fans keep tuning out.

If I were a woman or minority I’d boycott this sham of an organization and its awards show, it’s the only way to get back on track. Didn’t Drake refuse to submit his work for nomination? Maybe more of that is in order. This is just old white people maintaining the status quo, no different from Trump voters, afraid African-Americans and Latinos are gonna usurp their power. So we’ve got safe bet Bruno Mars winning Best Album instead of hard core music fans’ favorite Kendrick Lamar. But Kendrick didn’t play the Super Bowl, he didn’t homogenize himself for consumption, so he can’t win. It’s just like the NFL, where old white conservatives refuse to let their charges protest. This is unlike the NBA, where the players rule, which is why the NBA is burgeoning and the NFL is in free-fall. And ain’t it sad that we’re entertained by African-American athletes as they ruin their lives with head injuries, little different from deaths in the Roman Colosseum, but that’s the country we live in, where the status quo continues to rule and the rest of us feel oppressed.

And how does the math work here? With so many nominees? Is the winner truly a winner? Someone who could have less than 15% of the vote?

And then there’s the secret committee massaging the nominees.

And then there’s the fealty paid to CBS, which supports this organization.

If you know your Grammy history, and you probably don’t, it wasn’t until the reign of Mike Greene that the awards gained any meaning, any traction, he brought the organization into the present. Before that legends were excluded and pop stars won, oftentimes acts that were instantly forgotten. And in the MTV era we lived in a monoculture, where we all knew what was popular, whereas today we’ve got no idea.

And for a while there, live events were propping up network television.

But that crashed, because playing for everybody in a fragmented economy means you satisfy nobody, just like the Grammy Awards.

We need a leader, not a placater.

We need revolution.

We need thought.

So now many more people are gonna be able to say they were nominated for a big award. Whoop-de-woo! Furthermore, there’s no Grammy bounce anymore, because physical is dead and if your act has any traction you’ve already gotten tons of streams. As for those in the lesser categories, check their numbers on Spotify, utterly laughable, yet they go parading around saying they’ve won Grammys like it means something, when it doesn’t.

So this “step forward” isn’t gonna help anybody.

Let women perform on the show WITHOUT having to compromise their art in a duet. If these “Grammy moments” were so spectacular duets would rule Spotify and clips would dominate YouTube, but they don’t. They’re just train-wrecks. Used to be they were a novelty, when music was scarce, but now you can just fire up your computer or handset and see all matter of collaboration.

No, just let people sing their hits, solo.

And if you want to be really harsh, and you should be, someone MUST sing their nominated hit, not their new track. Believe me, they’ll appear anyway.

And you can’t sing a song unless you were nominated. Which will make appearance more exotic and more meaningful.

This isn’t hard to do. You’ve just got to think like Steve Jobs, be willing to axe the past to go into the future. Eliminate the old ports for the new. But the Grammys are like Windows machines, with VGA, HDMI, Ethernet, all this legacy crap that few need. And now Apple is the most valuable company in the world. Think about that.

And think about ignoring the Grammys until they get it right.

And to get my attention, this meaningless organization with its meaningless awards needs to forget the CD people, all those hanging on to the past, and jump into the future, push the envelope instead of being sealed in amber.


No comments: