When is the Best New Artist in music not new at all? At the Grammy Awards, of course.
On Sunday, at the 52nd Annual Grammmy Awards show, the big brains at the National Academy of Recordning Arts and Sciennces will crown their rookie of the year. And it might not be a rookie at all, because this is their criteria:
For a new artist who releases, during the Eligibility Year, the first recording which establishes the public identity of that artist.
U.S. & World
In other words, you don’t really have to be NEW to be eligible for this award. In reality, this award should be named the Best Artist We Finally Heard Of This Year Because We Don’t Read Pitchfork Award, or the Best Artist That Now Has A Viable Corporate Brand. To say they’re “new” just because they have a public identity is a bit goofy. Join us next year when John Cafferty and The Beaver Brown Band are nominated in this category. Now, off we go.
The Ting Tings
The Breakdown: I’ve never heard any actual songs by the Tings Tings. The only song I’ve ever heard them play is a cover version of Altered Image’s “Happy Birthday” on the children’s show “Yo Gabba Gabba.” I’ve heard this song roughly 70,000 times now, because my kid likes it. I literally can’t see or hear the word birthday without having this song pop into my head. You will pay for that, Ting Tings. You will pay dearly. VERDICT: Loser.
The Breakdown: Watch the “Time to Pretend” video and tell me it wasn’t directed by the same people who make all the videos for “Flight of the Conchords.” VERDICT: Loser
The Breakdown: Well, she’s certainly not unattractive. And she’s a solid singer. Oh, but those ties to Kanye will prove to be your undoing, my dear. VERDICT: Loser
The Breakdown: Again, not a new artist. Not even close to being a new artist. And they were just as well known as few years ago as they were this year. But that’s the fun thing about the “public identity” requirement. Since it doesn’t actually mean anything, you make it mean anything you like! Anyway, the Pickups will prove too mellow for voters. VERDICT: Loser
Zac Brown Band
The Breakdown: Not to be confused with the Zac Efron Band, which ends every concert with a series of dazzling and dramatic hair flips. The Zac Brown Band is a country music band. And hey, they seem nice enough, if country music is your sort of thing. If music quality were the deciding factor in this category, MGMT would be your winner. But since when has music quality EVER been a factor in deciding Grammys? The country boys take it with their hugely resistible Rascal Flatts sound. Verdict: WINNER!