ALTERNATE DIMENSION GRAMMY AWARDS

1/26/18
Alternate Dimension Grammy Awards

The 60th Annual Grammy Awards are this weekend, and we here at We Are: The Guard would like to officially hedge our bets on who is going to win this year.

AND THE WINNER IS ….

who gives a shiz

Why waste your time and ours in throwing around odds and considerations on an awards show that issues out solid gold gramophones based on label politics rather than meritocracy? Seriously, the Grammys might just be the most bullshit award show this side of the People’s Choice Awards. Hell, at least that one is supposed to be “for the people, by the people” (or is that the American Government, I can’t remember? Real talk, they’re both fucked.) Seriously though in this day-and age an MTV Music Video Award probably means even more than a Grammy. WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT SAY ABOUT THE STATE OF AFFAIRS? “My Chrome Moon Man means more to me than my Gold Gramophone even though the metal is much less precious.” At least MTV wouldn’t dare to nominate Chance the Rapper for Best New Artist FOUR YEARS after he broke through to the rest of us with his Acid Rap mixtape.

Get with the program Grammys, before we have to slap some sense into you.

Something has to be done about this right?

Maybe we need to brainwash The Recording Academy to listen to better music?
Or infiltrate their ranks and follow standard protocol for bringing them down from the inside?
Or hell maybe we need to all climb into a Rick and Morty style interdimensional portal that brings us to a version of Earth with taste in class?

Hmmm…. that one doesn’t sound so bad. Let’s go with that one.

We Are: The Guard are proud to present an Alternate Dimension Grammys— one where artists win because they factually are the best in their category not because somebody’s nephew told them that’s what’s hip this year. Woah, bold. If the Grammys aren’t going to do it, it looks like its a job for us.

[I literally don’t care if there is overlap between our suggestions and the actual winners. The Grammys can’t be wrong 100% of the time, can they?]

[[I’ve also changed and edited the award categories at my whim because I’m in power here and these categories are pretty senseless.]]

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

THUNDERCAT - DRUNK

Thundercat - Drunk

Cover art for Drunk by the artist Thundercat.

This Neo Funk Psych Jazz Weirdness IS the album of the year and that is entirely undeniable so let’s not even pretend like you don’t agree. Go back and listen and let the sweet acid funk wash over your soul like a river of grain alcohol soaking in your inhibitions and reminding you what real, beautiful, challenging, grammay-winning music sounds like just for a second.

SONG OF THE YEAR

CHILDISH GAMBINO - REDBONE

You know, normally I’m not the type to praise the songs that are absolutely inescapable. But I was on this tip first. Like literally weeks before the radio. Childish Gambino’s foray into neo-soul is the most ubiquitous song since Uptown Funk and somehow it’s still amazing and listenable. Plus, it’s featured in Get Out, which is also coincidentally the best film of the year. This song is nominated for Record of the Year but not Song of the Year. Since I can barely tell the difference between those two, I choose to nominate it here. Also, let’s give Donald Glover the EGOT.

RECORD OF THE YEAR

[Same Thing]

BEST NEW ARTIST

SOPHIE

Sophie isn’t exactly new, but it’s not like it matters. Sure, she’s been around for years, but isn’t this what the Grammys do? So how about we just pretend she’s new because both you and I know she deserves a little more recognition and what better than WATG’s fake Grammys to help out with some internet buzz.

BEST POP PERFORMANCE

[Okay, I get it. I get why there is different categories for song and album. It’s because not every album is worth your time but sometimes pop and dance and R&B singles are so goddamn good that they deserve even more recognition than they already have, shoving more money into the pockets of the already-rich. But PERFORMANCE? How’s that different than song? Especially since it’s not “J.Lo - I’m Real (Live at the Acropolis). So we’re going to cut that from our theoretical award show. Performance, you’re cut— across the board]

BEST POP SONG DUO

BEST POP SONG SOLO

[The Best Pop Song categories are broken up into solo and group performance but I say that’s bull-hockey. Pop gets plenty of recognition around the globe, let’s minimize these to one category. You wanna have the best pop song? Cool, then have the best pop song. Who cares how many people are on said track?]

BEST POP SONG

CIGARETTES AFTER SEX - NOTHING'S GONNA HURT YOU BABY

Who ever said that good music is dead is way wrong because C.A.S. is taking home the gold for their magical piece from 2012. They may have gotten shafted 5 years ago, but this  is their year to shine and nothing’s gonna stop us because this is absolutely not questionable because even though our opinion is the only one that matters others can agree on the greatness of this track.

BEST POP ALBUM

POP ISN’T AN ALBUM MEDIUM, LET’S STOP GIVING AWARDS FOR IT.

I know many people will disagree, that’s why we’re going to keep it a category and make a big deal out of announcing “…and the winner is NOBODY.”

“But what about Lorde or Charli XCX or Ed Sheeran or Harry Styles? They all had amazing ALBUMS this year” the audience shouts back at me.

“Did they?” I respond.

*Silence*

BEST POP ARTIST

GRIMES!

Grimes at SxSW 2012 by Andrew Mager CC BY-SA 2.0

Unexpected Win! She didn’t even release any music in 2017 outside of a music video for “Venus Fly,” but that mean’s she’s active during the year so she can win my made up award for Best Pop Artist! It’s much deserved and I can only hope her acceptance speech is as cute and quirky as she is.

BEST DANCE RECORDING (SONG)

FOUR TET - PLANET

How dare the real Grammys nominate Odesza, Camelphat, GORILLAZ(???), LCD Soundsystem and Bonobo when there’s a NEW FOUR TET RECORD OUT. Four Ten is the best thing in dance music. Period. Full Stop. Give him the Nobel Peace Prize or some shit cause a fake We Are: The Guard Grammy just ain’t gonna cut it. This is the most beautiful song released this century.

BEST REMIX

BJORK - ANCHOR SONG (JUSTIN MARTIN REMIX)

Justin Martin has said he will never release this song because he won’t be able to get the clearances, but that won’t stop me from awarding him Best Remix because this song is absolutely stunning and needs to be heard by the whole world. And for good measure there’s a Four Set sample in there as well.

BEST ELECTRONIC ALBUM

ONEOHTRIX POINT NEVER - GOOD TIME ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK

Album cover for Good Time soundtrack via Warp Records

One of the most aggressive, gorgeous, haunting, challenging pieces of music AND its the soundtrack to an incredible film? After the year ends this is the only electronic album I find myself playing over and over again. It’s inspiring in a way that traditional songwriting is not. Sure, it’s a score but who cares? It’s amazing.

BEST DANCE ARTIST

CLAUDE VONSTROKE / BARCLAY CRENSHAW

Claude VonStroke in Miami - 2015 by Blaynebot CC BY-SA 4.0

Claude VonStroke is the official G of House Music. Running Dirtybird, Mixmag’s Label of the Decade (2007-2017), should be a full time job but Mr. VonStroke also manages to tour constantly and bring artists like Justin Martin, Kill Frenzy, Shiba San and Eats Everything to the forefront of the industry. We owe more to this man than a miniature gold gramophone can ever express. With the release of his Barclay Crenshaw experiment into bass music in 2017 he proves that he’s as versatile as he is legendary and just getting started.

BEST ROCK SONG

WHEN SONG BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN PLAYS BORN TO RUN AT YOUR SPECIFIC SHOW ON HIS BROADWAY RUN
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN - BORN TO RUN (LIVE ON BROADWAY)

I mean come on. When’s the last opportunity you had to see Bruce play for under a thousand people? 1972? I WASN’T EVEN BORN THEN. But here you are, mere yards away from the Boss and he’s playing Born to Run. You can see his lips moving and it’s not on a screen the size of your apartment.

BEST ROCK ALBUM

KURT VILE & COURTNEY BARNETT - LOTTA SEA LICE

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotta_Sea_Lice#/media/File:Courtney_Barnett_and_Kurt_Vile_-_Lotta_Sea_Lice.jpg

BUT? This is hardly Rock & Roll! Rock & Roll is supposed to make you headband. I literally could care less. Name a good rock album, I’ll wait. As far as I’m concerned this rip. Plus Alternative is Rock, so we’re folding it in here.

BEST ROCK ARTIST

PHISH, FROM VERMONT

Fishman's mating dance by Haleakal Ari CC BY-SA 4.0

Rock and Roll as you once knew it was dead. Thank God for the touring antics of the world’s finest guitar band, Phish. Sure they only did a three day run in Mexico and a thirteen night one in New York City but this award comes after years of relentless touring. If it weren’t for these four dudes real instruments might very well have gone the way of the dinosaur.

BEST METAL SONG

[Metal song? Come on. Metal ain’t pop, yo. This is an album field and you know it. Cut the shit.]

BEST METAL ALBUM

BEST METAL ARTIST

BEST METAL SOMETHING

[Let’s just combine Metal into one category, huh? If you really care about metal enough to be offended by this maybe you’re on the wrong blog.]

[[It’s 2018 and there’s still a category for Metal… but not Punk Rock? That’s absolutely fucked. We’re adding in BEST PUNK ANYTHING because this should have been a category as far back as The Clash’s London Calling. I’m calling bullshit.]]

THE RETURN OF GWAR

Album cover for GWAR's album The Blood of God

The band that was always a bit of a punchline, with costumes and blood seemingly more important than the music itself returns in 2017 after the passing of Oderus Urungus. But what’s more metal than continuing on without your frontman? Nothing. That’s what. After a brief hiatus the band returns this year with The Blood of Gods to rightfully claim back their throne to Metal’s most absurd act. Metal fans will hate me for this, but again you’re on the wrong website. What was I supposed to say? Mastodon? Come on— do you think I’m boring or something?

BEST PUNK ANYTHING

THE HARD TIMES

http://thehardtimes.net/

It turns out the winner of this new category isn’t music at all! It’s a parodical love-letter to the genre in the form of news website! Headlines like “13-1/2-Year-Old Punk Has Midlife Crisis” and “Old Guy Looking Out of Place at Show Apparently Local Legend” have done more for punk rock than any band could.

BEST ALTERNATIVE ALBUM

[For a category that was created basically for Nirvana, this one has stuck around a lot longer than it should. We’re officially killing this one and folding Alternative into Rock. Good Alternative IS Rock. Butt Rock doesn’t exist anymore, or at least shouldn’t be awarded. I mean how many fucking Grammys does Daughtry have to get nominated for before we realize something is amiss?]

BEST R&B SONG

DRAKE - PASSIONFRUIT

Drake performing with OVO in Toronto. CC BY 2.0

Drake might be the softest rapper in the game, but put him in a different bucket and he ain’t so soft is he? Passionfruit is a straight up groover of an R&B tune with a Moodymann sample to boot. Aubrey barely flows on this track, it’s like 100% hook and stands up as one of his greatest tunes.

BEST R&B ALBUM

SZA - CTRL

cover art for the album Ctrl by the artist SZA.

Sure this one is all over the Grammy’s radar, but that’s because it’s they ain’t deaf. AND NEITHER AM I. I am not going to just throw exclusively reactionary suggestions, I’m going to embrace the best shit out there.

BEST R&B ARTIST

KHALID OR KEHLANI, SHIT I DONT KNOW

Khalid Facebook image

Yeah sure Khalid is probably the voice of his generation and Kehlani has the literal voice of an angel. Who am I to deny these talents even if I hadn’t listened to either of them before right now. Maybe this is harder than it looks and we shouldn’t judge The Recording Academy for jumping on (or completing missing) bandwagons. I don’t want to be made the fool so I’m gonna just give the award to both and let it come out in the wash. Plus they’ve worked together so it’s like we’re just giving it to the Location Remix with Lil Wayne. Yeah, that works.

BEST URBAN CONTEMPORARY

[WTF is Urban Contemporary? Sounds… questionable. Let’s send this category back to the seventies (even though it only started in 2013… maybe my thinking is wrong here, but I’ll never admit it).]

BEST RAP SONG

LIL PUMP - TUCCI GANG (featuring. Sam Rockwell) (SNL Parody)

Lil Pump’s Gucci Gang might be your personal nightmare as an adult with taste and class. That’s why Saturday Night Live’s Parody Tucci Gang is so pitch perfect that it jumps out of parody category and straight into the hearts and minds of America.

Just Kidding

KENDRICK LAMAR - HUMBLE

I mean, real talk. This song is really good,

BEST RAP ALBUM

Cover art for the album Damn by the artist Kendrick Lamar source Apple music

KENDRICK LAMAR - DAMN.

I mean, this is going to win the real Grammy too but come on.

BEST RAP ARTIST

LIL PEEP

Hellboy Cover Image by Miller Rodríguez CC BY-SA 3.0

Controversial Pick? We don’t think so. The outpouring of love for Lil Peep after his untimely death this year certainly made a bigger mark on hip-hop than Lil Yachty or some other mumble rap backpack whack-ass shit. With Come Over When You’re Sober dropping this year we think the rapper deserves a fake gold gramophone awarded by the We Are: The Guard staff. RIP Peep.

BEST COUNTRY SONG DUO

BEST COUNTRY SONG PERFORMANCE

[Country is also grouped into solo and group performance. I say save it for the CMT awards.]

BEST COUNTRY SONG

FATHER JOHN MISTY - LEAVING LA

As far as I’m concerned folk is country and I’m not about to give an award to Brooks & Dunn or some shit. So we’re giving it to the indie-country miser Father John Misty. Plus giving a Grammy to a 13 minute song of pure sardonic detest is really funny to me. “When I sand ‘These LA phonies and their bullshit bands’ I didn’t think I’d win a Grammy for it. So uh… sorry.”

BEST COUNTRY ALBUM

BEST COUNTRY ALBUM

[On second thought I know absolutely nothing about country music. I’m going to tap out now.]

WORST SONG OF THE YEAR

PITBULL - BAD MAN (FEATURING ROBIN THICKE, JOE PERRY AND TRAVIS BARKER)

No one comes out of this unscathed.

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

ARIEL PINK

Ariel Pink is a legend. We are proud to be honoring Mr. Pink for his authentic contributions as an artist and tunesmith. His inspiring passion and creative flair are helping to create a timeless sound in the world of music.

Songs co written by Ariel Pink

[The rest of the awards are Classical, New Age, Jazz, Gospel, Latin, American Roots, Reggae, World Music, Childrens, Spoken Word, Comedy, Musical Theatre and Technical Awards— to which we know nothing about. We’re gonna leave these to other niche blogs more suited to make these judgments so as to not step out of our lane.]

[[And what about awards for best Noise, Downtempo, Dubstep, Folk, Funk, Horrorcore, Ambient, Drum&Bass and SKA???? I don’t want to live in a world this unfair.]

*****

I hope you enjoyed our incredibly accurate, realistic and better Grammy Awards. If anyone at The Recording Academy would like to invite us into the voting process we’re extremely willing to drop our moral high ground and take some of that real power. Contact us at friends@wearetheguard.com.

The real awards are Sunday January 28th on CBS. I guess you should watch and pretend like their universe of music doesn’t matters more than ours. Or just plug your ears when they announce the winners and call out the names here. That’s what we’re going to do.

From deep within the murky depths of the Los Angeles River emerged a creature: 50% raver, 50% comedian, 10% Robotcop. Kurt Kroeber doesn’t own a dog, operates Soundbleed (the world’s only dance party comedy talk show rave), and is down to party with you. Come up some time and say “Hey dude!” But definitely make sure to casually drop the secret Illuminati password.