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Rush’s Malignant Narcissism Loses to Morricone, er, Springsteen

Geddy Lee and Steve Vai Heckle Springsteen: News at 11

As a followup to my post on Rush’s Grammy nomination for Malignant Narcissism, as I predicted on December 8th, Springsteen won for Best Rock Instrumental Performance: “Once Upon a Time in The West.” Congratulations to Bruce. There are certainly worse artists who could have won by performing the music of Morricone. Not in that particular category, mind you, but I’m talking over the entire possible Rock and Roll musical spectrum. However, I guess you don’t even need to perform your own music anymore to win a Grammy.

You see, predicting Grammy winners is easy. First, using the latest mathematical models, you quantify who has the most raw musical skill; then eliminate them. Next, you make a prediction based on artistic quality of the work, taking into account all possible musical parameters; then eliminate them too. If Metallica is one of the remaining artists, they automatically win unless Jethro Tull is also left, in which case Tull wins. If neither Metallica nor Jethro Tull are remaining, you make yet another prediction based on who under the age of 14 and over the age of 67 recognizes any song in their repertoire. If more than two artists still remain, you ask the nearest house pet, like a dog, fish, cat, or turtle, which remaining artist they vaguely perceive to be the winner (I’m told it is a lot like predicting earthquakes). Alternatively, you can just follow around everyone’s manager in the weeks prior to the ceremony and see who seems to be wearing kneepads more than usual.

My cat, Dr. Boo, told me about the Springsteen win back in December, so I should give credit where credit is due.

A Rush win would have been cool, but it isn’t a serious blow (except for some of the managers who were wearing kneepads). Like I recently posted on Isorski’s Musings: I view the Grammy’s like I view any awards ceremony. Most of it will be bogus, and some of it will be honest, but it is all subjective.

A very exciting win for me (which gives me some vague sensation the Grammy’s aren’t totally driven by oral fixations) was Herbie Hancock’s “River: The Joni Letters” for best album of the year. Glorious! He prevented someone I’ve never heard of (Boozeshack or Crackhouse or something?) from sweeping the major categories.

The most exciting win is the Grammy for Best Historical Album: “The Live Wire—Woody Guthrie in Performance 1949.” It involved the epic restoration of a Woody Guthrie bootleg made in 1949 with a wire recorder. Mathematician Kevin Short and sound engineer Jamie Howarth deserve a big cheer for transforming metal-against-something white noise into art Woody would be proud of. There is hope for the Grammy’s yet. Slashdot posted some coverage on that from a nice Science News article.

That said, who’s for a set of various “Best Prog Rock” Grammy categories in the future?

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