The 2013 Grammy Nominees List: An Eclectic Range of Raw Talent

February 10, 2013 may seem like an ordinary date for most, unless you’re amongst the ranks of talented musicians nominated for the 55th annual Grammy Awards. For some lucky artists, two months into the new year promises an accolade of musical achievement in the famed form of a gilded, gramophone trophy. In the list below, you can find your favorite nominee(s) for the upcoming Grammy extravaganza:

Album of the Year
The Black Keys – El Camino
Fun. – Some Nights
Mumford & Sons – Babel
Frank Ocean – Channel Orange
Jack White – Blunderbuss

Record of the Year
The Black Keys – “Lonely Boy”
Fun. feat. Janelle Monae – “We Are Young”
Kelly Clarkson – “Stronger”
Gotye feat. Kimbra – “Somebody That I Used to Know”
Frank Ocean – “Thinkin Bout You”
Taylor Swift – “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”

Best New Artist
The Alabama Shakes
Fun.
Hunter Hayes
The Lumineers
Frank Ocean

Best Pop Vocal Album
Kelly Clarkson – Stronger
Florence and the Machine – Ceremonials
Fun. – Some Nights
Maroon 5 – Overexposed
Pink – The Truth About Love

Song of the Year
Ed Sheeran – “The A Team”
Miguel – “Adorn”
Carly Rae Jepsen – “Call Me Maybe”
Kelly Clarkson – “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”
Fun. – “We Are Young”

Best Pop Solo Performance
Adele – “Set Fire to the Rain (Live)”
Kelly Clarkson – “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”
Carly Rae Jepsen – “Call Me Maybe”
Katy Perry – “Wide Awake”
Rihanna – “Where Have You Been”

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
Florence and the Machine – “Shake It Out”
Fun. – “We Are Young”
Gotye feat. Kimbra – “Somebody That I Used to Know”
LMFAO – “Sexy and I Know It”
Maroon 5 – “Payphone”

Best Dance Recording
Avicii – “Levels”
Calvin Harris feat. Ne-Yo – “Let’s Go”
Skrillex feat. Sirah – “Bangarang”
Swedish House Mafia feat. John Martin – “Don’t You Worry Child”
Al Walser – “I Can’t Live Without You”

Best Dance/Electronic Album
Steve Aoki – Wonderland
The Chemical Brothers Don’t Think
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Kaskade Fire & Ice
Skrillex Bangarang

Best Rock Performance
Alabama Shakes – “Hold On”
The Black Keys – “Lonely Boy”
Coldplay – “Charlie Brown”
Mumford & Sons – “I Will Wait”
Bruce Springsteen – “We Take Care of Our Own”

Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance
Anthrax – “I’m Alive”
Halestorm – “Love Bites (So Do I)”
Iron Maiden – “Blood Brothers”
Lamb of God – “Ghost Walking”
Marilyn Manson – “No Reflection”
Megadeth – “Whose Life (Is It Anyways?)”

Best Rock Song
Jack White – “Freedom at 21″
Mumford & Sons – “I Will Wait”
The Black Keys – “Lonely Boy”
Muse – “Madness”
Bruce Springsteen – “We Take Care of Our Own”

Best Rock Album
The Black Keys, El Camino
Muse, The 2nd Law
Coldplay, Mylo Xyloto
Bruce Springsteen, Wrecking Ball
Jack White, Blunderbuss

Best Alternative Music Album
Fiona Apple, The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do
Bjork, Biophilia
Gotye, Making Mirrors
M83, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
Tom Waits, Bad As Me

Best R&B Performance
Estelle – “Thank You”
Robert Glasper Experiment feat. Ledisi – “Gonna Be Alright (F.T.B.)
Luke James – “I Want You”
Miguel – “Adorn”
Usher – “Climax”

Best Traditional R&B Performance
Anita Baker – “Lately”
Beyonce – “Love on Top”
Melanie Fiona – “Wrong Side of a Love Song”
Gregory Porter – “Real Good Hands”
SWV – “If Only You Knew”

Best Urban Contemporary Album
Chris Brown, Fortune
Miguel, Kaleidoscope Dream
Frank Ocean, Channel Orange

Best R&B Album
Robert Glasper Experiment, Black Radio
Anthony Hamilton, Back To Love
R. Kelly, Write Me Back
Tamia, Beautiful Surprise
Tyrese, Open Invitation

Best Rap Performance
Drake feat. Lil’ Wayne – “HYFR (Hell Ya F—ing Right)”
Jay-Z & Kanye West – “N—as In Paris”
Nas – “Daughters”
Kanye West feat. Big Sean, Pusha T & 2 Chainz – “Mercy”
Young Jeezy feat. Jay-Z & Andre 3000 – “I Do”

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
Flo Rida feat. Sia – “Wild Ones”
Jay-Z & Kanye West feat. Frank Ocean & The Dream – “No Church in the Wild”
John Legend feat. Ludacris – “Tonight (Best You Ever Had)”
Nas feat. Amy Winehouse – “Cherry Wine”
Rihanna feat. Jay-Z – “Talk That Talk”

Best Rap Song
Nas – “Daughters”
Wale feat. Miguel – “Lotus Flower Bomb”
Kanye West Featuring Big Sean, Pusha T & 2 Chainz – “Mercy”
Drake feat. Lil’ Wayne – “The Motto”
Jay-Z & Kanye West – “N—as In Paris”
Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa Featuring Bruno Mars – “Young, Wild & Free”

Best Rap Album
Drake, Take Care
Lupe Fiasco, Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album, Pt. 1
The Roots, Undun
Nas, Life Is Good
Rick Ross, God Forgives, I Don’t
2 Chainz, Based on a T.R.U. Story

Best Country Song
Carrie Underwood – “Blown Away”
Ronnie Dunn -”Cost of Livin’ ”
Alan Jackson – “So You Don’t Have to Love Me Anymore”
Eli Young Band – “Even If It Breaks Your Heart”
Eric Church – “Springsteen”

Best Country Solo Performance
Dierks Bentley – “Home”
Eric Church – “Springsteen”
Ronnie Dunn – “Cost of Livin’ ”
Hunter Hayes – “Wanted”
Blake Shelton – “Over”
Carrie Underwood – “Blown Away”

Best Americana Album
The Avett Brothers, The Carpenter
John Fullbright, From the Ground Up
The Lumineers, The Lumineers
Mumford & Sons, Babel
Bonnie Raitt, Slipstream

Best Blues Album
Shemekia Copeland, 33 1/3
Dr. John, Locked Down
Ruthie Foster, Let It Burn
Heritage Blues Orchestra, And I Still Rise
Joan Osborne, Bring It on Home

An eclectic range of artists battle for lead nominee, spanning from the indie-rock and folk genres of Fun., The Black Keys and Mumford & Sons to the hip-hop contenders of Frank Ocean, Jay-Z and Kanye West.

Regardless of the end result, the 2013 Grammys guarantee a myriad of categorical diversity, showcasing a bevy of talented performers truly deserving of such musical recognition.

>> Make sure to tune into CBS on February 10, 2013 at 8/7 c to follow the winning results of your favorite artists! <<

New video from Kanye West and Jay-Z

Here’s the new video for “No Church in the Wild.”

2011 – The year in music

Here’s one from Jay-Z and Kanye West. Check out other 2011 favorites from the Grantland staff.

Bullz-Eye’s Favorite Albums of 2010: Staff Writer Ted Asregadoo’s picks

The days of getting lost in an album have passed me by. This year, I really tried to rekindle that lost listening art of playing entire albums – instead of compiling playlists in iTunes. It hasn’t been easy. I think the ease of digitally downloading albums has dried up the sense of anticipation that used to come with a purchase of a physical copy of an album at a record store. Now, the record store is just part of the millions and billions of distractions that await you on the Internet – much of it for free.

Now, I don’t mean to go on a diatribe against the devaluation of music because of the Internet, but one thing that has occurred because of the sheer plethora of music available with one click of your mouse is a kind of ADD when it comes to listening to music. My colleague both here and at Popdose (that would be Jeff Giles) has written about it more eloquently than I can, but the sentiment is very much the same: because of the volume of music that is available in downloadable form, it’s difficult for me to form a deep connection with an entire album. If we could flash back 20 years, it would have been a different story to feature 10 albums. Nowadays, it’s rare that an entire album can hold my attention.

But, never say never, right?

What you will find here are mostly my favorite songs of 2010, but occasionally you’ll find entire albums. I know, after all that “downloadable music is ruining my attention span” crap, I say that there were some albums that really captured my attention. But like I said, I’ve tried to rekindle the art of listening to entire albums, and while I feel I’m losing that battle, I haven’t entirely lost the war. So, here we go with my top 10 of 2010!

10. Paper or Plastic, “The Honest Man”
Every now and then a link arrives in my inbox that lives up to the hype. Case in point is the New York group, Paper or Plastic, who has a kind of Ben Folds thing going on with “The Honest Man.” The song is an example of some very lovely power pop, and you’ll find yourself humming the chorus after a few listens. The band is giving away their EP Ron Save the King on their website. Get it, if only for “The Honest Man.”

9. Somebody’s Darling, “Lonely”
In my review of this album, I was upfront about my allergy to country music – even if it’s alt-country. But Somebody’s Darling has enough rock-n-roll in them to make the musical waters safe for a guy with my particular affliction. “Lonely” is by far my favorite track on the album, and it’s not difficult to hear why. The song is just one big fireball of energy with a great driving beat and some wailing guitars. But it’s the full-throated vocals from Amber Ferris that takes this song from good to great.


Read the rest after the jump...

Bullz-Eye’s Favorite Albums of 2010: Staff Writer Mike Heyliger’s picks

I seriously can’t remember the last time I’ve had to struggle with a list of my favorite music in a particular year. Actually, I can, so I should clarify: I seriously can’t remember the last time I’ve had so much good music to choose from when paring down my list of favorites for the year. Upon looking at my CD collection (yes, I’m one of those guys), I still see another 10 or 20 albums that could make the list if I listen more carefully. But without the benefit of the free time it would take to check those CDs out, here’s a list of the 20 best albums I’ve heard in 2010.

1. Kanye West: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
As much as Kanye’s childish tirades infuriate me, I’ll be damned if his music doesn’t always win me over. Fantasy is amazing from just about every facet: musically, lyrically, thematically. I’ll forgive ‘Ye for a million idiotic public statements if he keeps making music like this.

2. Gil Scott-Heron: I’m New Here
One of two albums in my Top 20 recorded by artists re-emerging after a 14-year absence, I’m New Here is a haunting listen. The ravages of time have wreaked havoc on Scott-Heron’s voice, but much like Bob Dylan’s most recent work, age has given the artist’s voice additional resonance.

3. The Black Keys: Brothers
Sometimes the album that breaks a band through to a mainstream audience is indeed their best work. That’s definitely the case with the Black Keys’ Brothers. Bluesy garage-rock with enough hooks to keep guys like me interested, I feel like this is the album Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney were aiming for with their Danger Mouse-helmed Attack & Release album. As it turned out, they didn’t (really) need Danger Mouse, anyway, just their bad selves and the ghosts of Muscle Schoals, Alabama.

4. The Roots: How I Got Over
Can someone give these guys a medal for the most consistently awesome act not only in hip-hop, but in music period? I feel like the Roots are incapable of making a bad album even if they tried to. Although I suppose if they replaced Black Thought with Jimmy Fallon…

5. Cee Lo Green: The Lady Killer
“Fuck You” (or “Forget You,” if you’re easily offended) was a gimmick single, sure. However, even gimmick singles can be genius, and what’s more is that the Goodie Mob/Gnarls Barkley frontman was able to back the promise of that song up with an incredible album. I wish he rapped more, but when you can outsing just about every artist in contemporary pop and R&B, I guess you can be excused.


Read the rest after the jump...

Nicki Minaj: Pink Friday


RIYL: Rihanna, Missy Elliott, Lil’ Kim

Kick off your first album with a track titled “I’m the Best,” and you’re making a hell of an announcement — either you’re more gifted than your peers, or you’ve just got the biggest balls. With Pink Friday, Nicki Minaj displays a bit of both: though it’s admittedly an uneven affair, this album contains some of the best hip-hop/R&B you’re likely to hear in 2010, and while it doesn’t play to Minaj’s otherworldly rapping talent as often as many fans would no doubt prefer, it still makes for an intoxicating, eclectic debut.

minaj

Of course, unlike most new artists, Minaj has the advantage of being a known quantity before her album even reaches shelves; she’s been all over the charts as a guest artist for months, popping up on songs by Lil Wayne, Trey Songz, M.I.A., Drake, Usher, and others – including Kanye West, whose “Monster” features an incendiary Minaj verse that outclasses everyone else on the song, including Jay-Z and Rick Ross. Nothing on Pink Friday comes close to “Monster” – not even “Roman’s Revenge,” her profane, rapid-fire showdown with Eminem – but that isn’t really the point. Minaj has a lot of weapons in her arsenal, and this album is meant to display them all, while aiming directly at Top 40 radio.

What’s somewhat surprising, given her aggressive/aggressively weird image, is just how savvy Minaj’s pop instincts are – and how successfully Pink Friday makes room for them while incorporating plenty of singularly Nicki moments. This is an album that makes heavy use of Buggles and Annie Lennox samples, and features will.i.am, Rihanna, and Natasha Bedingfield cameos – but it takes the fetid roar of “Roman’s Revenge” and “Did It On ‘Em” to tell the whole story, and she brings both halves together in the stunning “Right Thru Me,” which takes breathless verses about reckless love and leads them into a chorus that brilliantly, nakedly asks: “You see right through me / How do you do that shit?”

That kind of duality is hard to distill in a pop song, and with Pink Friday, Nicki Minaj doesn’t always succeed. But her punches connect more often than they miss – and if that’s mostly because she never stops throwing them, well, that only makes it that much harder to stop listening. Her peers had better lock in those guest spots now – a few more albums like this one, and the words “feat. Nicki Minaj” will be a lot more expensive than they are now. (Universal/Cash Money 2010)

Nicki Minaj MySpace page

Kanye West: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy


RIYL: Jay-Z, Kid Cudi, Lupe Fiasco

In these days of PR flacks and image groomers, the era of the divisive, unpredictable pop star is almost a distant memory – now that we’re living in a world of infinite niche audiences, conventional wisdom says the only safe bet is to try and be all things to all people. But then there’s Kanye West, a guy whose propensity for water cooler-worthy gaffes seems to grow along with his sales; one of the few true stars left in the music industry, he’s also one of the least “managed” celebrities around, and while his actions have a tendency to alienate and offend, there’s something undeniably refreshing about a guy who blurts out whatever’s on his mind.

As an artist, West has always been just as messy – and just as captivating. It’s a shame that some people will never listen to his albums simply because of the things he’s said and done outside the recording studio, but part of his music’s appeal is how unfiltered it feels – the dude just can’t shut his mouth. In fact, for most of his fifth studio outing, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, he sounds so blanketed in creative impulses that he can barely breathe – this is a record that careens from one emotional extreme to the next with dazzling urgency, so stuffed with ideas that it takes an army of guest stars and a series of wildly inflated running times to get them all out. On paper, it’s an ungodly, unwieldy mess, and further proof that West desperately needs an editor.

But through the speakers – where it counts – Fantasy lives up to each of the words in its title in equal measure: it’s a startlingly rich artistic outburst from a guy who’s made a career out of exceeding expectations, no matter how high they get. An about-face from 2008′s cold, insular 808s & Heartbreak, it signals a return to the anthemic, eclectic form he displayed on 2007′s Graduation, but it isn’t a retreat; rather, it’s a deepening and an extension of West’s playfully broad aesthetic. An album that incorporates a King Crimson sample, Bon Iver cameos, and a Chris Rock skit before closing with a dose of Gil Scott-Heron shouldn’t work; a song featuring Rihanna on the hook, Elton John playing piano, and Fergie rapping should collapse under the weight of its own ridiculous ambition. Fantasy contains all these things and many more, and defies the laws of pop physics as it goes – it’s the kind of record that keeps the ideas coming so quickly you don’t even notice the songs routinely stretch out past the five-minute mark. (In fact, four songs clock in over six minutes, with “Runaway” leading them all at 9:08.)

If there’s any real negative to draw from Fantasy, it’s the overriding sense that West is frantically pouring out ideas as quickly as they come; he’s too captivated by his muse to slow down – or to consider the consequences of failure. He won’t be able to maintain this pace forever, and when he finally does take a breath, it might be hard to resist the urge to think before he speaks. That’s just nervous nitpicking, though – and there’s no reason to waste your time with it when one of the best albums of the year is waiting to swagger its way into your brain. God only knows how West will top this one; here’s hoping it isn’t long before we get to hear him try. (Roc-a-Fella 2010)

Kanye West MySpace page

N.A.S.A.: The Big Bang


RIYL: Gorillaz, Afrika Bambaataa, The Neptunes

N.A.S.A.’s 2009 debut, The Spirit of Apollo, was one of the freshest, most creative hip-hop records to come out in years, a high-proof blend of booty-shaking beats (courtesy of partners DJ Zegon and Sam Spiegel), dizzying rhymes (from an astounding list of guest MCs that included Kanye West, Chuck D, Chali 2na, Gift of Gab, and Del tha Funkee Homosapien), and sharp pop hooks (with help from guests like David Byrne, Tom Waits, Lykke Li, Karen O, Santigold, M.I.A., and George Clinton). Those are some stuffed parentheses, but they only touch the surface of what Apollo has to offer; in the post-mashup era, it illuminates the fertile possibilities of cross-pollination and a healthy disregard for genre boundaries.

It’s therefore unsurprising – though still disappointing – that N.A.S.A.’s follow-up represents such a substantial comedown. The Big Bang is a remix project, and as such, it presented all kinds of strong possibilities; after all, we’re talking about a subgenre whose best-selling titles include Bobby Brown’s Dance!…Ya Know It! and Paula Abdul’s Shut Up and Dance, so the bar is set pretty low. Unfortunately, although The Big Bang is every bit as danceable as anyone could hope, it’s crippled by a narrow focus: Rather than remixing all (or even most) of Apollo, Bang‘s 17 tracks include four versions of “Gifted” and three of “Whachadoin?” – and it completely skips some of Apollo‘s strongest songs, like the David Byrne/Chali 2na/Gift of Gab collision “The People Tree.”

Still, it’s worth noting that all the songs being remixed here are solid; if you’re going to chew up most of an album with different versions of the same stuff, it’s definitely better to start with strong raw material. And of the two new tracks, the Maximum Hedrum/Barbie Hatch collaboration “I Wanna Be Your Lover,” with its breathy vocals and Tom Tom Club synths, is nearly worth the price of admission by itself. During the lead-up to The Big Bang‘s release, Squeak E. Clean has been in Ethiopia, recording traditional music for the next N.A.S.A. project, which suggests that even if this curious piece of between-album project represents a creative lull, they haven’t run out of barriers to ignore. (Spectrophonic Sound 2010)

N.A.S.A. MySpace page

Fuse presents Kanye West: Live from the Chicago Theatre

His blimp-sized ego gets at least as much attention as his music, but underneath all his huffing and puffing, Kanye West ain’t such a bad guy; matter of fact, he’s used some of that superstar cash (and cachet) to spearhead the unsurprisingly named Kanye West Foundation, which works to help reduce the dropout rate. (And if that isn’t enough to raise your opinion of the guy, how about knowing that the West Foundation’s mission was undertaken to help fulfill a dream of the star’s dearly departed mom? Yeah, we thought so.)

To help support the foundation — and entertain your ass in the bargain — Kanye hosted the second annual “Stay in School” benefit concert at the Chicago Theatre a few weeks ago, and the event has been turned into an hourlong special by the Fuse Network that will be airing tomorrow night (that’s August 25) at 8 PM EST/7 CST. Want more details? Here you go:

The show marked the first major event for the Kanye West Foundation since the 2007 passing of its founder Dr. Donda West, and is the first concert Kanye has performed in the city of Chicago in over a year. The Kanye West Foundation (KWF) was established to help combat the severe dropout problem plaguing America’s communities. Approximately 3,000 students from the Chicago area who demonstrated marked academic improvements attended a special pre-show sound check before the evening concert where Kanye performed and talked about the importance of education.

Check your local listings to find Fuse on your TV dial!

The Fray covers Kanye, hits a home run

The Fray

The other day I heard the Fray’s cover of Kanye West’s “Heartless” on the radio. It’s amazing. Not only is there a completely different rock element to the song, but Issac’s voice is brilliant. With the new, piano-driven arrangement, there’s much more depth, especially when listening to the lyrics.

The track was originally recorded as par of The Fray Live, which is available on iTunes, and was released to radio April 21. While the Fray may have committed a cardinal sin and covered a song that’s currently on the charts, they’ve managed to do so magnificently. There’s not another band I can think of who could have attempted the switch without faltering. It just goes to show that the Fray aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Make sure to check out the new single on iTunes, or you can listen to the song for free on YouTube.

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