This past Wednesday, the GRAMMYs held an extravagant announcement party for the 2011 nominations. Performances from [lastfm]Lady Gaga[/lastfm], [lastfm]Usher[/lastfm], [lastfm]Ludacris[/lastfm] and more wowed audiences nationwide, but no one could overtake the spotlight on the nominee announcements. As the night unfurled, everyone at Street Date grew less surprised by the nominees. We had already invited a number of the nominees to our studio over the past year (and before that, too!), considerably convinced of their talents already.
Therefore, we think it is fair to assume the GRAMMY judges are follow our site with Glee levels of devotion, and for that, we send our humblest gratitude. We’ve gathered a few of our favorite sessions and interviews with the 2011 nominees that we’re sure played a part in the judges’ decisions. Click through to live vicariously through the eyes of a GRAMMY judge:
Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance
Veteran rockers [lastfm]Mastodon[/lastfm] received a well-deserved nod for their latest shape-shifting rock opus, The Hunter, by way of the song “Curl of the Burl.” Peep the video for the single below, then click through to read excerpts from our chat with [lastfm]Mastodon[/lastfm] axe-slinger [lastfm]Brent Hinds[/lastfm]:
Best Latin Pop, Rock, or Urban Album
Even though this category is rather all-inclusive and symptomatic of how short-sighted the GRAMMYs can be, we cannot argue with the nominees. [lastfm]La Vida Boheme[/lastfm] and [lastfm]Los Amigos Invisibles[/lastfm], two of the nominees, are Street Date favorites who stopped by our studio this year to perform killer live sets.
Los Amigos Invisibles – G-String
La Vida Boheme – Radio Capital
Best Blues Album
Good on the GRAMMYs for looking past the Top 40 and digging into less mainstream genres. Even better, good on them for nominating some of our favorite blues musicians that continue to perform and record new music. Watch exclusive performances and interviews with two of the nominees, [lastfm]Warren Haynes[/lastfm] and [lastfm]Keb Mo[/lastfm], below, then click through to watch the full sessions:
Warren Haynes – River’s Gonna Rise
Keb Mo – We Don’t Need It
Best Reggae Album
While it will be hard to out-cred two Marleys (both Ziggy and Stephen are nominated), our vote goes out to none other than [lastfm]Shaggy[/lastfm]. It’s hard to forget his first smash hits, “It Wasn’t Me” and “Angel,” but his latest album Summer In Kingston returned to his Jamaican sound-system roots without sacrificing his pop sensibilities. Watch him perform this summer’s most addictive hit below, then click through to watch equally great performances of both new and classic material:
Shaggy – Sugarcane
Producer of the Year, Non-Classical
A personal favorite, Brian Burton aka [lastfm]Danger Mouse[/lastfm] is nominated for Producer of the Year for the second year in a row. Will he take home the golden gramophone again? It’s hard to bet against him with the elaborate project Rome, [lastfm]Broken Bells[/lastfm]’ Meyrin Fields EP, and the new [lastfm]Black Keys[/lastfm] LP on the way were all created under his watch. Stream the first part of an exclusive interview between DM & Danielle Luppi when they visited Street Date mid-year in support of Rome:
Interview with Danger Mouse & Danielle Luppi:
Best New Artist
Sometimes the GRAMMYs start to show their age when it comes to the “Best New Artist” category. Each of the artists nominated have been making the rounds for a few years now, including country music newbies [lastfm]The Band Perry[/lastfm] who filmed a performance in our studios back in 2010. Sorry, GRAMMYs – we’re one step ahead of you this time. Watch the band perform “Hip To My Heart” below, then click through for more songs and an interview.
The Band Perry – “Hip To My Heart”