And the winner is ... wrong
by Baby Huey

Allow me to paint you a picture. Right now, it's 8pm Wednesday night. About an hour ago, Michele IMs me. Turns out we're one article short for today's FTTW. Baby Huey to the rescue. I mention I've got a rant in mind about the Grammies and I could probably squeeze a post's worth of blood out of that turnip. I sit down to write it, and just like that. Writer's block. Ain't that a bitch? I pour myself a big ol' glass of scotch, and the juices -- and words -- start flowing. This post works well with just a little drunken rage, so I'll use that to my advantage.

I'm on the radio. Most of you know this. A slightly lesser-known fact is that I don't like listening to the radio. The real gems are college radio, but most of it just isn't my cup of tea. Don't get me wrong, I love that we, in college radio land, promote local bands and artists that'll never see the inside of a Virgin megastore. It's usually music I just can't get behind, but god help me, I respect it. This is not true for most everything right of 92 on the dial. It's slick, mass-produced pap full of so much mindless banter that it makes me want to stab someone in the face all the time forever.

This lowest-common-denominator bullshit spills over into the rest of the industry, and ultimately, its awards as well. The Grammies were this Sunday, and I didn't even know because I don't pay attention to that shit. However, a friend sent me the list of best Heavy Metal Performance nominees as well as the winner. And surprise, surprise. They fucked it up. Again.

The nominees for best Heavy Metal Performance are:

Stone Sour
"30/30 - 150"

Look. I'm not even gonna talk about this. One of the guys from Slipknot put together another shitty band. It sucked. Shouldn't have even been nominated.

"Lies, Lies, LIes"

I'm on a mission to dig up the truth
You think we're stupid and there's no proof
Well let me tell you that the time has come
To pull the trigger on the smoking gun

Ministry is finally back. In 2004, they put out Houses of the Mole, which was their best work, in my opinion, since Psalm 69. Then back in May, they put out Rio Grande Blood and got even better. "Lies, Lies, Lies" is a smart, dark, vaguely tin-foil political song. I really enjoyed it and I wouldn't have been disappointed if it won.

PS. This nominee holds the distinct honor of being the only song nominated that is actually the best song on the record.

Lamb of God

So goddamned easy to write this,
you make it spill off the page.
So drunk on your self, self-righteous.
The laughing stock of your own fucking stage.

The first single from Sacrament, this nominee holds the dubious distinction of being the funniest video of last year. Check the YouTube video up there for it. This song is the slickest on the album, for sure, and I think there are better songs on the album. That being said, "Redneck" was definitely Lamb of God's coming out party. Ashes of the Wake certainly cemented them in the heavy metal aristocracy, but Sacrament was the album that stormed the mainstream and made it cool to be metal again. If the Grammy were solely my choice, this is the song that would have won.

"Colony of Birchmen"

Run with death
Run with death
Gone away
My heart's gone away
Taking everything
My heart's gone away
Take it now

If I'm being completely honest with myself, this song should probably have won. The album is brilliant, but is rather inaccessible. Not that that bothers Mastodon. From the NPR article:

Brann Daillor, the band's drummer, says his genre has grown into something that fosters innovation.

"There's this preconceived notion that if you want to be successful and be on the radio, you have to dumb it down," Daillor says "Just give them a four/four, the song has to be three and a half minutes long, verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge, and that's it. Besides jazz, there's the possibility with heavy music to be really technical and really push yourself as a musician."

Mastodon, which came together in Atlanta during metal's commercially lean years, unapologetically embrace the genre's grandiose beginnings. Each of their albums tells an epic story — Leviathan, from 2004, is a retelling of Moby Dick; last year's Blood Mountain is about a quest to climb a mountain made of blood to capture a crystal skull.

"Imagery and storytelling and the art of the whole thing is interesting to us to write about that stuff and have the artwork on the cover. [It's] the mystique of it all," says Bill Kelliher, one of Mastodon's guitarists.

"For us it has to be epic and it has to be a giant something or other," adds Daillor. "A mountain. Something monolithic. A giant squid, a giant whale. It makes for really bad-ass T-shirts, too."

- from Feb 11th's All things Considered

That's better than I can say it.

"Eyes of the Insane"

Got to make it stop
Can't take it any more!
Death's face keeps haunting me
And just keeps coming back for more!

It is a travesty that this song won. This song isn't even the best song of this ALBUM, let alone this YEAR. Christ Illusion wasn't Slayer's weakest album, but it was definitely in the bottom 3. They're shells of their former selves. This is akin to Jethro Tull winning in 1991. That is not to say that Slayer isn't metal -- Slayer is metal defined. However, this is yet another case of a band winning on name and name alone. I think that Slayer should have won in the past. Seasons in the Abyss? THAT should have won in 1991. Divine Intervention? Probably could have won in 1995. Christ Illusion? Not so much.

I'm drunk, I'm tired. I've said all I can, and I can't says no more.

Baby Huey doesn't care that much, he just wanted yet another excuse to rant drunkenly


I don't know shit about heavy metal music, but I'm going to believe that the Grammys fucked it up, because that's pretty much all they can do. It's an incredibly worthless awards program.

Mastodon sounds cool. Not sure if I'd like their music or not, but I sure like their approach to it. Maybe I'll check them out.


I'm going to believe that the Grammys fucked it up, because that's pretty much all they can do.

Pretty safe bet.


They never know what to do when Metallica doesn't come out with an album. I guess Slayer was second in line.


Could be worse -- I think Korn put a record out last year.


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