The Hodgepodge: Beck Deserved to Win & Kanye West Doesn’t Understand Artistry

The 57th Grammy Awards took place this past Sunday and as always there’s a lot to talk about afterwards. As the show came to an end, myself along with many others thought the biggest story coming out of it would be Sam Smith’s dominant night, racking up several Grammy wins. The biggest story though would be just after the show. Kanye West, who appeared to be drunk, gave an interview with E! News. West was asked about his thoughts on Beck’s Morning Phase winning the Grammy for Album of the Year and him almost interrupting the rock artist. For those who didn’t see the show, right when Beck was beginning to give his speech after being handed the award, West acted like he going to interrupt him, the same thing he did to Taylor Swift at VMA show a few years ago. Instead West smiled and ran off the stage, in what many people took as a joke.

Except Kanye wasn’t joking. He nearly did it again. Here’s what he told E! News in his interview after the show:

“Beck needs to respect artistry and he should have given his award to Beyoncé,” West said in an interview with E! after the ceremony. “At this point we tired of it because what happens is when you keep on diminishing art and not respecting the craft and smacking people in the face after they deliver monumental feats in music, you’re disrespectful to inspiration.

We aren’t playing with them anymore. And by the way, I got my wife, my daughter, and I got my clothing line, so I’m not going to do nothing that would put my daughter at risk, but I am here to fight for creativity. That’s the reason why I didn’t say anything tonight, but you all knew what it meant when ’Ye stepped on that stage.”

This is absolute and complete bullshit of course. Kanye if you remember interrupted Swift because the award Swift won wasn’t given to Beyoncé either. There’s a video going around of Beyoncé and her husband Jay-Z in the crowd watching in horror as Kanye nearly did it again. So before I level a rant against Kanye keep in mind they didn’t condone his actions and deserve no blame.

So let’s break down the diarrhea that spewed from Kanye’s mouth. First he says “Beck needs to respect artistry.” Hahahaha! Beck is one of the last people who needs to respect artistry, as anyone who listened to Morning Phase will tell you it was one of the deepest, most complex albums of 2014. As someone who has listened to Morning Phase, I assure you it will take several listens to full grasp it. There’s a reason many music critics, as well as fans put it on their best of albums list for 2014. I didn’t see Beyoncé’s album on too many lists and the ones I did were mainstream outlets that clearly don’t base their list on objectivity. What do they base it on? I’m $ure you can figure it out. This is also coming from an artist that uses so much auto-tune on his songs that it makes T-Pain blush.

Then Kanye says, “…he should have given his award to Beyoncé.” Oh really. Beyoncé, the international superstar, who everyone knows and hears about on major publications everyday should have gotten the award. Like she doesn’t get enough accolades and spotlights. She’s also married to Jay-Z, another international superstar. They have millions of dollars. She is one of the last people in the world who deserves more attention and another award. I’m sure, as much as she wanted to win a Grammy, would agree. I don’t think she’s crying any tears or losing any sleep over it in her mansion.

Meanwhile Beck is by no means a mainstream artist. There’s a reason “Who is Beck” was trending on Twitter, as most mainstream music fans can’t be bothered to expand their horizons beyond bubblegum pop and artificial bullshit. They of course parrot Kanye on social media because they’re ignorant. Beck had been nominated twice before for Album of the Year, so he was pretty ecstatic to win the biggest award of his career. In other words, this award will help him gain more exposure and fans.

The most ridiculous part of Kanye’s statement is next when he goes on this big rant about art being diminished. Well Mr. West if you want to know why the art of music has been diminished, go take a look in the mirror. You’re part of the problem. Your two latest, auto-tuned singles do nothing to enhance the art of music. By the way, how disappointing is it to see the great Sir Paul McCartney lower himself to collaborate with such a buffoon like Kanye? Kanye and his fans though believe that his auto-tune bullshit is true art, hence why he’s called a genius. I don’t think they know what genius means.

Speaking of art in music, let’s just take a look at the making of Beck’s Morning Phase and Beyoncé’s self-titled 2013 album (the two albums nominated for Album of the Year). Beck’s album had one producer, which was himself. Beck also wrote and composed each of the songs on the album. Beyoncé’s album had a total of 16 producers, including Beyoncé herself. Beyoncé has a total of 15 writers for the entire album, with Knowles having a co-writing credit on each song. So let me get this straight. Beck did his entire album himself. Beyoncé’s album took a total of 25 different writers and producers.

For those who operate within logic, it’s pretty clear who does and does not respect artistry. Beck clearly respects artistry. Kanye West simply does not respect artistry.

Upcoming/Recent Country Music Releases 

  • Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires caught everyone off guard on Tuesday when Isbell announced via social media that they’re releasing a duo of songs titled Sea Songs:

  • Jana Kramer just released a new single titled “I Got The Boy.” It’s exclusively available through Spotify, which is a curious decision. I’ve listened to it and I’ll say this: I was surprised. Derek is going to have a review on it soon.
  • The Mavericks’ new album Mono comes out next Tuesday. Right now you can stream it on NPR. I’ve already streamed it several times and I’m just going to say it now. It’s great and you need to check it out, just as I expected. How great? You’ll find out in my review next week.
  • Aaron Watson’s The Underdog comes out next Tuesday too. This is highly anticipated release in the Texas country scene, as Watson is a well-known name in Texas. I’ve also noticed that in the last few weeks a new song has been released on iTunes each week off the album and each time it goes to the top of the iTunes country chart. I’m curious to listen to it and see if it lives up to the hype.
  • Steve Earle and the Dukes are also releasing a new album next week titled Terraplane. I can’t keep up with all of these releases! Slow down so I can consume everything, country music.
  • Gary Allan will be releasing a new single called “Hangover Tonight.” Deb Bose of Windmills Country says Country Aircheck confirms this. It will be available for radio add on March 2. Windmills also says the writers for the song are Allan, Cary Barlowe, Jess Frasure and Chris Stapleton.

Throwback Thursday Song

 

Merle Haggard – “Mama Tried.” You can never go wrong with the Hag. To me this is a song every country music fan should know. If you don’t, you need to change this.

My Non-Country Song of the Week

 

HAIM – “If I Could Change Your Mind.” While covering the Grammys isn’t the most fun thing in the world, it did give me a change to broaden my music listening horizon. One new band I discovered for the first time was the pop trio of HAIM. And I’m damn glad I did. They’re unlike any other band I’ve ever came across. I cannot think of another group like this one. They’re truly unique. This is the best song, in my opinion, off their debut album Days Are Gone. Really I recommend the whole album. I’m anxious to hear their next album now.

Tweet of the Week

Remember a few weeks ago when I said Isbell would be showing up here a lot? Well he’s back again, as it was impossible for me to not make it the tweet of the week. Maybe I should just dedicate a section to Isbell’s tweets in The Hodgepodge.

I’m trying to picture Sturgill acting like Kanye and it just makes me laugh. If you’re not following Isbell on Twitter, you need to go do this now.

An iTunes Review That Will Make You Face Palm

Sam Hunt Rant Review

Another Sam Hunt fan has taken to iTunes to convince us he’s country. WRITING IN CAPS ALWAYS WORKS! Thank you Hunt fans for providing a weekly dose of laughs.

That’s it for the Hodgepodge this week! Be sure to sound off in the comments! 

2015 Grammy Awards – Live Results & Analysis

grammy-2015

The biggest music awards show of the year is here. The 57th Grammy Awards hits the air live on CBS at 8 pm ET tonight. If you’re a chord cutter or don’t have CBS, no worries. For the first time ever, you can stream the Grammys legally online while it’s happening live. For more information on this, click here. The host of the show will be LL Cool J, yes the same one who collaborated with Brad Paisley on the embarrassing song “Accidental Racist.” There will be several performers on the show. The country acts performing are Miranda Lambert, Eric Church and a duet featuring Brandy Clark and Dwight Yoakam. To see the full list of performers, click here.

I’m sure there will be many embarrassing moments throughout the show that will make you face palm and laugh. Hopefully there are some good moments too. So let’s experience it all together! I’ll be posting live results, with some possible analysis here. And not just country, but all of the important categories too. As for my live commentary and full analysis of the show, I’ll be live tweeting on Twitter. You can follow me at @realcountryview or twitter.com/realcountryview. For those not on Twitter you can simply go to the Twitter link I just listed and hit refresh throughout the night.

To see my predictions for the country categories, as well as the American Roots album category, click here. Don’t expect my predictions to be perfect! I’m usually terrible as these awards shows’ predictions. They’re a giant crapshoot and I have no idea how much politicking is taking place behind-the-scenes. Be sure to throw in your own predictions and thoughts too!

So without further ado let’s watch The Grammys together! And be sure to keep hitting refresh.

Live Results

Overall

Record of the Year – Sam Smith’s Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)

Album of the Year – Beck’s Morning Phase

Song of the Year – “Stay With Me” – Sam Smith

Best New Artist – Sam Smith 

American Roots

Best American Roots Song – Rosanne Cash’s “A Feather’s Not A Bird”

Best Americana Album – Rosanne Cash – The River & The Thread

(Sturgill didn’t win…)

Best Bluegrass Album – The Earls of Leichester – The Earls of Leichester

Best Folk Album – Old Crow Medicine Show – Remedy 

Country 

Best Country Solo Performance – Carrie Underwood’s “Something In The Water”

(The Grammys nailed it on this one. Most deserving of all nominations.)

Best Country Duo/Group Performance – The Band Perry’s “Gentle on My Mind”

(Pleasantly surprised to see this win. I thought for sure “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s” would win.)

Best Country Song – Glenn Campbell’s “I’m Not Gonna Miss You”

(I predicted the sentimental vote would help Campbell win and I was right. But hey it’s deserved!)

Best Country Album – Miranda Lambert’s Platinum

(As I predicted, Miranda wins. I knew she wouldn’t lose this award for a third straight time. There were better candidates than this, but oh well.)

Pop

Best Pop Solo Performance – Pharrell Williams’ “Happy”

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance – “Say Something” – A Great Big World with Christina Aguilera

Best Pop Vocal Album – Sam Smith’s In The Lonely Hour

Best Comedy Album – Weird Al Yankovic’s Mandatory Fun

(As you saw on the site previously, one of my favorite non-country albums of 2014. Congrats to Weird Al on a well deserved win!)

Rap

Best Rap Performance – Kendrick Lamar’s “I”

Best Rap Collaboration – “The Monster” – Eminem feat. Rihanna

Best Rap Song – Kendrick Lamar’s “I”

Best Rap Album – Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP2

(Yes! One of my favorite recent rap albums. It beat out some stiff competition too.)

Rock 

Best Rock Performance – Jack White’s “Lazaretto”

Best Metal Performance – Tenacious D’s “The Last in Line”

Best Rock Song – Paramore’s “Ain’t It Fun”

Best Rock Album – Beck – Morning Phase

To see nominations for every single category and every single genre, click here.

Predictions for Country & American Roots Categories at the 57th Grammy Awards

 

Grammy

The biggest music awards show of the year is almost here. The 57th Grammy Awards airs tomorrow night at 8 pm ET on CBS. While I don’t put a lot of weight behind awards validating artists, being recognized by the Grammys for your music is considered one of the highest honors an artist can receive. Unlike country awards shows, the Grammys actually feel like a serious affair instead of just bro country tool bags dancing around and doing hilariously bad sketches. The nominations for the country and American roots categories this year is certainly interesting. These aren’t the worst nominations possible, but they certainly aren’t the best either. Regardless there are some talented artists nominated that are certainly deserving of winning. But will they win? Let’s take a look at the nominations and I’ll let you know who I think will win each. Keep in mind my predictions will probably be more off than on. Predicting these aren’t as easy as the country awards shows.

Country

Best Country Solo Performance 

  • “Give Me Back My Hometown” – Eric Church
  • “Invisible” – Hunter Hayes
  • “Automatic” – Miranda Lambert
  • “Something in the Water” – Carrie Underwood
  • “Cop Car” – Keith Urban

 

Who I Think Wins: “Something in the Water” because the Grammys seem to like Carrie and this song has been on fire as of late. This song is also most deserving and the Grammys usually award the most deserving of the nominations.

Who I Would Pick to Win: “Something in the Water”

Best Country Duo/Group Performance

  • “Gentle On My Mind” – The Band Perry
  • “Somethin’ Bad” – Carrie Underwood & Miranda Lambert
  • “Day Drinking” – Little Big Town
  • “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s” – Tim McGraw with Faith Hill
  • “Raise ‘Em Up” – Keith Urban with Eric Church

Who I Think Wins: “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s” because I’m not sure. I have no idea who wins this one really and I’m just taking a guess. I don’t see Little Big Town or The Band Perry winning. But the other three could all win.

Who I Would Pick to Win: “Gentle On My Mind” because it’s fantastic and so much better than the rest. This is without a doubt my favorite performance ever from The Band Perry. They proved to me on this song that they can make great country music. It’s doubtful to win, but I highly recommend getting this song if you haven’t got it yet.

Best Country Song

  • “American Kids” – Kenny Chesney
  • “Automatic” – Miranda Lambert
  • “Give Me Back My Hometown” – Eric Church
  • “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” – Glen Campbell
  • “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s” – Tim McGraw with Faith Hill

Who I Think Wins: “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” because this is not only the clear best of the bunch, but it also has the sentimental vote. Campbell is 100% deserving of the award and the Grammys I’m sure will recognize this.

Who I Would Pick to Win: “I’m Not Gonna Miss You”

Best Country Album

  • Riser – Dierks Bentley
  • The Outsiders – Eric Church
  • 12 Stories – Brandy Clark
  • Platinum – Miranda Lambert
  • The Way I’m Livin’ – Lee Ann Womack

Who I Think Wins: Miranda Lambert’s Platinum because this is the third time she has been nominated for this award and she lost the previous two times to Lady Antebellum and Zac Brown Band. I just don’t see her losing for a third time. The critics have praised this album profusely, it’s had good sales and I’ll be shocked if it doesn’t win.

Who I Would Pick to Win: Lee Ann Womack’s The Way I’m Livin’ because it’s clearly the best album amongst the five. It was one of the top albums across country music in 2014. It was an amazing comeback for an artist that hadn’t made a new record in several years. If there’s one category in country I’m cheering the hardest for an upset, it would be this one.

American Roots

Normally I wouldn’t cover this genre because I’m not familiar enough with it to give a fair prediction and analysis. However if you’re a country music fan that follows the industry closely, you know I exactly why I’m covering the category below. I’m of course referring to Sturgill Simpson being nominated for Best Americana Album when his album was clearly country. Yet last year Jason Isbell should have won this award for Southeastern and he wasn’t even nominated. I digress.

Best Americana Album

  • The River & The Thread – Rosanne Cash
  • Terms of My Surrender – John Hiatt
  • Bluesamericana – Keb’ Mo’
  • A Dotted Line – Nickel Creek
  • Metamodern Sounds in Country Music – Sturgill Simpson

Does Sturgill Simpson Win? 

Well he’s going against a tough field of Americana artists. These are some of the best in that genre and are definitely not slouches. Conventional wisdom says Rosanne Cash wins this award because of the universal praise it has received and the stature of her name. But she’s nominated in other categories and I could easily see her winning those awards (Best American Roots Performance and Best American Roots Song). So I don’t think Cash would win this one too if she wins any of those other awards. Nickel Creek is one of the biggest names in Americana and folk, so they’re another favorite. A Dotted Line however wasn’t as well received from critics as previous albums.

Sturgill Simpson up to this point has defied the odds. Nobody ever dreamed Simpson would make it this far, including Simpson himself. He thought Metamodern Sounds in Country Music had a better chance of bombing than succeeding! Yet the album not only sits in the top ten of the iTunes chart currently (after being released in May 2014), it has also reached top ten status on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart ahead of several marquee names. Simpson has had numerous upsets already, so why not another upset? We’re almost trained now to expect the upset. I think he has a much better chance than we all think. I’m going to say he does the unthinkable again and wins his first Grammy.

Who do you think comes away with gold on Sunday? Be sure to give your predictions below!