I am excited about the nominees for this year's Grammy awards, but more than anything I think I am looking forward to the lineup of incredible performances. Most notably will be the trio of Bob Dylan, Mumford & Sons and The Avett Brothers sharing the stage in what is sure to be an unforgettable and entertaining show. There is a lot of buzz and hype around the nominees, as many of them fall out of the "typical" pop or rock category, and include alternative, folk, and indie artists - several of which I would like to see take home the award. While I admit that Lady Gaga is probably the favorite in her categories (specifically "The Fame Monster" for Album of the Year), I am going to stick with my personal picks for the top eight categories. (For a complete list of nominees, check out the Grammy website.) Who do you hope takes home an award tonight?
1. Record of the YearHands down, I have to go with Cee Lo Green's "F*** You". Not only does the catchy beat appeal to fans of various genres, I think it deserves to beat out the four other extremely overplayed records in the category ("Nothin on You," "Empire State of Mind," "Need You Now," and "Love the Way You Lie."
2. Album of the YearSince this is my dream lineup I am going to pick Arcade Fire's "The Suburbs" to win this category, although as it is not a pop album, and is up against Lady Gaga, I think there are several factors that contribute to their "underdog" status - but if they win it will be that much sweeter of a victory.
3. Song of the Year"Beg Steal or Borrow" by Ray LaMontagne is my number one pick. LaMontagne wrote and recorded the song which happens to be one of my favorites from his newly released album, God Willin' & the Creek Don't Rise.
4. Best New ArtistI'm torn between Florence & the Machine and Mumford & Sons on this one, as they are both two of my favorite artists from 2011. However, if my iTunes is any indication, I will have to go with Mumford & Sons on this one purely for the fact that I have more number of plays for their songs! (My personal favorites from the "Sigh No More" album are "Awake My Soul" and "White Blank Page.")
5. Best Female Pop Vocal PerformanceSara Bareilles "King of Anything" is my number one pick (although to be honest, I'd like to include my own personal favorite as a write-in for this category - Ingrid Michaelson's "Parachute.")
6. Best Male Pop Vocal PerformanceFor this category, I am pulling for John Mayer's "Half of My Heart" to take home the award. It has been a while since Mayer won a Grammy and I while I don't think "Battle Studies" was his best work yet, his tour was by far the best live performance of his that I have seen. I would have liked Taylor Swift to have had a bigger part in this song (rather than just a couple of words that she randomly half-sings in the background), but I still think it deserves to take home the Grammy.
7. Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With VocalsWho would have guessed Glee, Train and Paramore to ever be in the same category together?! This one is a complete toss up, to be honest I have no clue who the favored would be (although I can assume with all its hype, it would probably be Glee.) However, I have to say that my vote goes to Train for their live performance of "Hey Soul Sister." (Sorry Paramore, better luck next year. Oh wait, didn't they break up..?)
8. Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals
While I do love Elton John, I have to go with "Imagine" (from the Imagine Project) in this category. A collaboration between Herbie Hancock, Pink, India Arie, Seal, Konono No 1, Jeff Beck &; Oumou Sangare, you can't go wrong. (And usually anything related to Lennon has my attention right from the beginning.) If you haven't heard it yet, I highly recommend checking it out here.
Here's to hoping that Bob Dylan plays one of my two favorite songs ("I Shall be Released" or "The Times They Are A-Changin'") Until the show, check out some of my favorite cover versions of his work.
What is your favorite Dylan song?