The Thursday Crunch: GRAMMY Nominations Announced Today

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The 2009 GRAMMY Award nominations were announced this morning and the list is full of surprises. In a good way! The usually he stuffy GRAMMY Academy got some of the categories and nominees totally right this year, showing that they are keeping up with the times. I'm mostly excited about worthy nominations for Janelle Monae, Sam Sparro, Robyn, Cyndi Lauper, Rufus Wainwright, Kenna and Kylie Minogue. This year might also be a break-through year for Adele who is up for multiple nominations, including Song of the Year.

Adele, Leona Lewis, Coldplay and Sara Bareilles are the stand out artists with each over three nominations in the pop categories. Coldplay also a multiple nominations in the rock categories totaling 7 nominations. Lil' Wayne might be the big winner with 8 potential awards. I'm surprised Keane is not appearing in any of the categories.

Lady GaGa and Sam Sparro (!) are both up for Best Dance Song Award together with Hot Chip, Madonna, Rihanna and Daft Punk.

Competing in the Best Album category are Lil' Wayne, Ne-Yo, Coldplay, Radiohead and Robert Plant with Allison Kraus. This one is Coldplay's to loose.

Finally the GRAMMY folks got with the times. Cyndi Lauper, Robyn and Kylie Minogue are competing in the Best Dance Album category. I don't have an immediate favorite, but I'm leaning towards Cyndi Lauper just because that record was so fresh and unexpected.

Rufus Wainwright is nominated for Traditional Pop Vocal Album for the recording of his Judy Garland show at Radio City Music Hall. I'm sure he's thrilled right now.

Beyonce, J-Hud and Alicia Keyes are competing in the Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. All very worthy competitors. Beyonce really took her act to a whole new level and should be recognized for that.

HOORAY! ArjanWrites.com fave Janelle Monae is up for a Best Urban Performance Award for "Many Moons." Not sure if the categy fits her as this as much a pop record as it is an "urban" record. But I guess if you break the mold, people have a hard time fitting you in categories.

This is so awesome: Kenna's "Say Goodbye To Love" is up for Best Urban Performance as well.

Jazmine Sullivan is most definitely the R&B break out artist with nods in almost all R&B/urban categories.

Crooner Lila Downs gets a deserving nod in the World Music category.

Rick Rubin, will.i.am and Danger Mouse compete in the Producer of the Year category. Surprisingly, Timbaland and Pharrell are not included.

My fellow Dutchman JunkieXL is up in the Best Remix Category for Madonna's "4 Minutes." Gefeliceerd!. One of my favorites remixes of the year, the Deadmau5's remix of Morgan Page's "The Longest Road," is up as well. I'm bummed Paul Oakenfold's remix of Madonna's "Give It To Me" was ignored. That was hands-down one of the best of the year as well.

Get the entire list of nominations.

December 4, 2008 in Cyndi Lauper, Duffy, Janelle Monae, Katy Perry, Kenna, Kylie Minogue, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Morgan Page, Robyn, Rufus Wainwright, Sam Sparro | Permalink | Comments (5)

Duffy Takes On New York City

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Special ArjanWrites.com correspondent Brian Burgess was one of the lucky few to attend a special Duffy showcase at the Maritime Hotel in New York City last night. Following on the heels of her successful gigs at SXSW in Austin last week, Duffy took her refreshing brand of soul pop to an adoring crowd in the Big Apple. Read on for Brian's full report.

Duffy, the Welsh singer-songwriter with the voice of a '60s soul diva, performed for an intimate crowd of 200 at the Maritime Hotel’s Hiro Ballroom in New York City on Monday evening. Before I get into a few details about the show, let me just note that there was some serious diva worship going on in the venue. Lots of industry people, but handfuls of adoring gays who kept getting in trouble for taking photos and videos. It was great!

The smitten-with-New York Duffy showcased most of the material on her debut CD, "Rockferry," currently #1 for the second week on the U.K. albums chart. She opened her set with the album's title track that was followed by her bluesy next single, "Warwick Avenue." 

Standouts in the set were the defiant "Stepping Stone" (she confided with the audience, "I fell in love once, but never told him so I wrote this song") and "Syrup & Honey," an acoustic song that only featured the singer's vocals together with guitar work from John Greene that was totally brilliant. It beautifully exposed the intricate nuance of her soulful voice as well as her sweet, natural charm. She finished the song with a big, dimpled smile singing, "baby, baby, baby, spend your time on me." Then, a wink.

I thought it was interesting to see how diverse her band was too. They looked like some were rock band members, others jazz, others R&B. Interesting reflection on her style, I think.

The show closed with her current #1 U.K. smash single four weeks running, "Mercy." After begging them for mercy, she left the impressed audience beggin’ for more, and she didn’t disappoint. She returned for one encore, "Distant Dreamer." Duffy is one to watch. Her talent only outshines her beauty.

Look for Duffy’s debut album to release in the U.S. on May 13 on New Mercury Records. In the meantime, download her smash single, "Mercy," on iTunes, which you can also stream below.

Full set list:

1. Rockferry
2. Warwick Avenue
3. I Know It's Wrong
4. Serious
5. Breaking My Own Heart [Free MP3]
6. Syrup & Honey
7. Stepping Stone
8. Delayed Devotion
9. Tomorrow
10. Mercy
11. Distant Dreamer

(A big thanks to Brian Burgess for the write up and sassy Ms. Sagert for making things happen.)

March 18, 2008 in Concert Review, Duffy, Guest Blogger, MP3 | Permalink | Comments (3)