Wake up the kids, parents. The nominations for the 55th edition of the Grammy Awards are to be unveiled Wednesday night, and Pop & Hiss will be providing live coverage of the proceedings.
This year, the Recording Academy has gone country, staging its now annual "The Grammy Nominations Concert Live! -- Countdown to Music's Biggest Night" in Nashville. It will be televised in an hour-long show on CBS starting at 10 p.m. Eastern/Pacific time. LL Cool J is returning to host, but this time he is joined, as he was in 2008, by country royalty in Taylor Swift.
Swift's hit record "Red," by the way, won't be nominated tonight. Only albums released between Oct. 1, 2011, and Sept. 30, 2012, are in the running. Yet without Swift's "Red" in Grammy contention, and no 2012 album as successful as Adele's "21," which took home the album of the year prize in February, there is no obvious Grammy front-runner.
Could that clear the way for the ambitious, minimalist electro-R&B of Frank Ocean? Live coverage of tonight's concert and nominations will be posted here, then stay tuned to Pop & Hiss for post-nominations news and analysis.
"Honky-tonk, here I come," said the likable but awkward Grammy-host LL Cool J. And we're off. LL Cool J and Swift engaged in some award-show pitter-patter, all of it leading up to Swift, reprising her role as T-Swizzle, beat-boxing to her "Mean."
"I'm 100% sure we're not going to be nominated for that collaboration," said Swift.
Raise your hand if you don't immediately think of young'uns the Band Perry when someone says Johnny Cash? The Band Perry was joined by Dierks Bentley to pay tribute to Grammy past and Nashville history by tackling Cash's Grammy-winning song "Jackson."
And then we got to the reason we're here. Country up-and-comer Hunter Hayes sang the nominations for pop vocal album. No one won by that presentation, as Hayes gave quickie run-downs of each artist, as if was angling for a spot on "The Voice." But the nominations for pop vocal album are:
One-sentence analysis: The flamboyant Florence + the Machine is the most unique of this lot, although this likely foretells big things for Fun., which had a massive hit in “We Are Young."
Oh, Grammys, how Pop & Hiss has missed you.
Why, just the other night, I went to bed dreaming that some medleys would be in my future. Please, Grammy nomination concert, I said, give me some soft-pop reggae, like latter-day Sting, but with even more energy squeezed out of it. And if I'm really lucky, maybe you could toss in some disco? But don't make it dancey, make it more the kind of disco I'd hear while grocery shopping. Then, can you wash it down with just one verse of a really overwrought rock ballad, like the kind I'd hear on a bad soap opera during an extreme close-up of a tear on a face?
And voilà! You gave me Maroon 5's "One More Night" and followed it up with "Moves Like Jagger" and "Daylight."