Talking to Common is like being sucked into a sexy, soulful vortex filled with sensitive, meaningful eye contact and Miles Davis shout outs. Really, this man is a creative god with out of this world good looks and a voice so deep it could hold all the creatures of the ocean inside it. Er, we’re not sure what that means either. It’s late. We hung out at the Grammy Nominations Concert all night. We talked to Common. Can you blame us for having a melty brain?
Gushing aside, Common’s an underground icon in the hip-hop community who performed “The Message” last night in a tribute to Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. We wanted to know which nominated artists got under his skin and into his iPod. He name checked some of our faves – calling his pal Kanye West a “genius” and confessing that he’d like to collaborate with British folk hipsters Mumford & Sons. They’re featured on his new AMC show Hell On Wheels and he’s now a big fan. Common’s got an album coming out later this year – maybe there’s still time to get them on board?
To Iron & Wine fans, “Flightless Bird, American Mouth” might be deemed a bit old for Sam Beam to be promoting (it’s two albums old), but for Twilight fans, it all makes perfect sense. The song, chosen specifically by Kristen Stewart herself (fan girl!) for the film, features in Twilight: Breaking Dawn (Part 1), as the “Wedding Version.” Beam played this version of the classic song last night on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and in true Iron & Wine style, the song was simply moving. With Beam’s mesmerising vocals, the soft lighting and live strings, the performance left our romantic hearts skipping a beat or two.
If our pants weren’t already charmed off by Bruno Mars they sure are now. We spoke with the crooner with the killer cheekbones (did we just write that?) at the Grammy Nominations Concert, and he serenaded us with Whitney Houston‘s “Greatest Love of All” when we asked how it felt to pocket six nominations. We understand his ecstatic and adorably ridiculous reaction – it’s not everyday an artist gets nod for Album Of The Year, Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year, Best Pop Solo Performance, Best Pop Vocal Album and Producer Of The Year (Non-Classical). The competition is obviously stiff — Kanye West is on top with seven nominations and Adele, the woman to beat, has six too. But check out Bruno’s song and plea to the Grammys and then try not root for him. It’ll be impossible, trust us.
The nominees for the 54th Annual Grammy Awards were announced in Los Angeles tonight during a live special that aired on CBS. The 2012 Grammys will be broadcast on CBS February 12th at 8/7c. Kanye West led all nominees with 7 nods, despite being royally snubbed in the Album of the Year category, closely followed by Adele, Foo Fighters and Bruno Mars (who each snagged six nominations).
However, big surprise of the evening was certainly the recognition bestowed upon Bon Iver, who scored nominations in three of the “Big 4″ categories (Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year, Best New Artist). He is a virtual unknown to most Americans, and not even presenter and fellow Best New Artist nominee Nicki Minaj knew how to pronounce his name (she probably should’ve watched this YouTube video with the correct pronunciation of Bon Iver before heading out on stage). However, music industry insiders clearly know of him, and his performance at the awards in February will likely be the most lovably awkward televised performed since Elliott Smith showed up at the Oscars in 1998.
Here’s a (mostly) complete list of the 2012 Grammy Nominations:
RECORD OF THE YEAR
Adele, “Rolling In The Deep” [WATCH]
Bon Iver, “Holocene” [WATCH]
Bruno Mars, “Grenade” [WATCH]
Mumford & Sons, “The Cave” [WATCH]
Katy Perry, “Firework” [WATCH]
SONG OF THE YEAR
Adele, “Rolling In The Deep”
Bon Iver, “Holocene”
Bruno Mars, “Grenade”
Kanye West, “All Of The Lights”
Mumford & Sons, “The Cave”
BEST NEW ARTIST
The Band Perry
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Bruno Mars, Doo-Wops & Hooligans
Foo Fighters, Wasting Light
Lady Gaga, Born This Way
Of all the Grammy Awards, the one that artists covet the most is the Album of the Year prize. The nominees for the 54th annual ceremony are being released live tonight at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS, and a number of artists, producers and record label executives are currently feeling a rush of butterflies go through their stomachs. Thanks to the confusing timeline in the Grammys universe, this year’s Album Of The Year nominees will be LPs that were released between October 1, 2010 and September 30, 2011. With that in mind, here are some of the frontrunners:
If there’s one shoo-in for this year’s Album Of The Year prize, it’s 21. Debuting at Number One on both the UK Albums Chart and the US Billboard 200 Chart, 21 took on the number one chart position in a total of 19 countries across the world, which was good enough for a spot in the Guinness Book Of World Records. With two Grammys already under her belt (taking the awards for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 2009 Grammys), Adele is a fan and industry favorite.
Year in and year out, people watching the Grammy Awards find themselves asking the same question: What is the difference between Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year? What makes this especially confusing is that different songs are usually nominated in each category; in the past five years, only 10 out of the 50 total songs nominated in each of these categories have made both categories (three of those, however, have ended up winning both prizes: “Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum, “Rehab” by Amy Winehouse and “Not Ready To Make Nice” by Dixie Chicks).
To answer the question we posed above, the Grammy for Record Of The Year is awarded to the artist and production team responsible for how the song sounds, while the Grammy for Song Of The Year is given to the songwriters responsible for the composition of the song (meaning: lyrics and melodic structure). With that in mind, here are a few likely candidates to be nominated in these two categories when the 2012 Grammy nominations are announced live on CBS at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
Adele, “Rolling In The Deep”
The smoky-voiced siren is the favorite to sweep this year’s major awards, and “Rolling In The Deep” has proven to be MASSIVE in terms of its sound and its popularity; it’s been sitting in the Billboard Hot 100 for 46 weeks and counting.
Bruno Mars, “Grenade”
Bruno was incredibly well-respected as a songwriter in music industry circles long before he became a solo performer; in the Grammys game, respect from one’s peers is equally important as commercial success.
The Best New Artist prize is one of the more divisive categories at the annual Grammy Awards. The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (NARAS) has been famously hit or miss with their selections, which include a healthy dose of monster talents (Adele, Alicia Keys, Sade) as well as a startling number of embarrassing, wholly forgettable choices (Milli Vanilli, Arrested Development, Starland Vocal Band).
Well, while it’s still a few hours until we learn who the 2012 Grammy nominees for Best New Artist are going to be—we’ll have the nominees for you tonight at 10 p.m. ET/PT—we thought we’d pull together a few of the most likely contenders for you. This year, they include:
It’s been Nicki Minaj‘s year to shine, as the young star has been party to high profile collaborations with superstars like Jay-Z, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Birdman, Drake and Britney Spears. Not only does she got that boom-ba-doo-doom, boom-ba-doo-doom super bass, this melding of Lady Gaga, Lil Kim and an anime princess is the most exciting thing to happen to hip hop this year.
Remember when Hanson used to be all cute and innocent? Well, we’ve got news for you buddy, THEY’RE NOT ANY MORE! The boys are back on the radar and this time they’re not releasing a new song, but their very own beer brand. THAT’S RIGHT, THOSE LITTLE CUTIES YOU REMEMBER ARE HOPHEADS! GASP! They probably even drink the stuff, too!
All kidding aside, their new Indian pale ale, which will be available early next year is called — wait for it — “Mmmhop.” If you were too young or too old or too cool to care about Hanson in the 90s, the beer is named after their career defining hit, “Mmmbop.” This makes us think the brothers haven’t lost their boyish charms after all, the pun being so obvious it’s painfully perfect. As they say, you can take the boy out of Tulsa…
Hanson To Launch “Mmmhop” Beer Brand [NME]
[Photos: Getty Images]
VH1 You Oughta Know alum Dawes got into the festive mood recently, covering “Christmas Time Is Here” for The A.V Club. And when we say festive mood, the boys went all out, complete with Santa hats, tinsel and stars. Dawes’ rendition of the Christmas classic hold true to Vince Guaraldi‘s original, with only hints of the L.A sunset folk sound Dawes are known for peeking at the edges. We loved Dawes’ version, and the chilled out, melodic tune matched their vibe perfectly — but wouldn’t have been upset if the boys infused it with some more laid back, surfer beach vibes either.
Dawes Cover “Christmas Time Is Here” [The A.V Club]
This holiday season it’s snowing Bublé, as Michael Bublé‘s album Christmas scrapes into the number 1 spot this week on the Billboard 200 chart. Ousting Nickelback‘s Here And Now by a freckle, Bublé’s Christmas reached the top spot by selling 227,000 copies, a mere 0.18% more than Nickelback (which is the closest race since 2007). While we’re huge supporters of both artists, as November ends and the festive season is well and truly upon us, we can’t stop humming Bublé’s “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town,” so we think it’s pertinent that the Christmas themed album should inch ahead. “Christmas” is Bublé’s third number 1 album and marks his best sales week ever — Merry Christmas to you, Sir Bublé!
Meanwhile, Rihanna’s Talk That Talk shifted 197,000 units, good for third place. This debut is a smidge off her first week sales of Loud last year, which sold 207,000 units, but with “We Found Love” firmly entrenched at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and “You Da One” steamrolling its way towards the Top 10—it’s sitting at #14 this week—RiRi’s camp is sitting pretty for an extended chart run.
Bublé Bests Nickelback, Rihanna On Billboard 200 [Billboard]
[Photo: Getty Images]