Echoes Winners at the Grammys

kanye-west-beck-grammys-2015-grammy-awards-ftr1Congratulations to 2015 Grammy winners from the Echoes side of the music stream.  Beck‘s Morning Phase was the number one Echoes CD in 2014.  We were as shocked as anybody, except Kanye West, who of course, had to be the MOST shocked, because he’s, you know, fucking YeezusHe bum rushed the stage during Beck’s acceptance and left as if it were a joke, playing on his 2009 MTV Video Music Awards assault on Taylor Swift. But judging from his appearance on the E! channel later, it wasn’t.  I was surprised to see Aphex Twin win the Best Dance/Electronic album, since it was easily the least danceable album on that list and was also coming from a label, Warp Records, that probably didn’t have as much pull as some of the others.  St. Vincent deservedly won in the Best Alternative Rock album, the first woman to do so since Sinead O’Connor won in 1991. It was great to see Ricky Kej and Wouter Kellerman win in New Age for their album, Winds of Samsara.  It was a tight field, but I think their album was the most ambitious of any there. It was fun for me, since I was in the midst of writing their Echoes feature for Tuesday.

Overall, the 2015 Grammy’s were a remarkable, middle of the road bore.  Outside of AC-DC playing in front of a faux-assault of Marshall amps, the performances were all overly contrived, overwrought and extremely sappy. LL Cool J said the night would only go up from there, referring to AC-DC’s “Highway to Hell” performance with the audience wearing lighted devils horns. While spiritually, he may have been right, aesthetically, he was mostly wrong. I was captivated however, by the performance of Sia’s “Chandelier” with Kristen Wiig doing an amazing pantomime dance with 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler that was powerful, albeit ripe for parody. Sia herself sang into a wall, back to the audience. I’m hoping that Sam Smith’s win as Best New Artist (among his four awards) will mean I won’t have to hear from him again, given that category’s Kiss-of-Death history.

140117-beck-morning-phase-cover-artAlbum of the Year
BeckMorning Phase

Best Rock Album
BeckMorning Phase

Best Alternative Rock Album
St. VincentSt. Vincent

ST-VincentBest Dance/Electronic Album
Aphex TwinSyro

Best New Age Album
Ricky Kej & Wouter KellermanWinds Of Samsara