HOORAY! The third night of Hanukkah brought my family a Grammy nomination! Wilco was nominated yesterday for Best Rock Album! The band’s latest CD, “Sky Blue Sky” will be up against Bruce Springsteen’s “Magic” (Wow!), the Foo Fighters’ “Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace” (I’ve actually heard of them and they’ve already won twice in this category), John Fogerty’s “Revival” (Jeff interviewed this icon a few years ago in Interview magazine); and Daughtry’s self-titled debut album (Who? Oh, Chris Daughtry, who was once a finalist on “American Idol?” Gulp!).
The awards will be doled out just two miles from our house at the Staples Center on February 10, 2008. It looks like Jeff and my sister will be flying out for the event and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Kendall and I don’t have any chance of attending the actual awards show but when Jeff was nominated several years ago, we got to attend the after-party at Warner Brothers studios. It was the only time I ever had the experience of stepping out of a limo onto a red carpet and I cherish the memory of the paparazzi groaning in disappointment when they realized Kendall and I weren’t famous. The party was fun, even though we didn’t have a CLUE who anyone was. I do remember meeting the Dixie Chicks just before their big controversy (which hasn’t stopped them from winning 13 Grammy Awards since that time including 5 last year).
I better study up on what “the kids” are listening to before Grammy night. Amy Winehouse is up for several awards, despite her current problems. Should I try to befriend her at the party? She’s nominated for Record of the Year as are Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, and those Foo Fighters again. There are SO many artists nominated I’ve never heard of but there are also some very familiar names among the nominees. These include Barack Obama (who Jeff is playing for tonight at a Chicago benefit), Bill Clinton, Barbra Streisand, James Taylor, Bette Midler, Paul McCartney, Aretha Franklin, Levon Helm, Charlie Louvin (Jeff recently recorded a version of the Louvin Brothers’ classic “Great Atomic Power” with this amazing musician), Peter Himmelman (Bob Dylan’s orthodox son-in-law who used to play my sister’s bar, Lounge Ax, in Chicago, and daven in her basement), Meryl Streep (!), Maya Angelou, Jimmy Carter, and the casts of two of my favorite musicals, “Grey Gardens” and “Spring Awakening.” Fantastic group of people, even if scary Amy Winehouse is getting most of the attention!
When Jeff actually won two Grammy awards in 2005, he wasn’t here to accept them because he had a gig in Birmingham, Alabama, that night. I admired his decision not to blow off his fans for some stupid awards show, but I desperately want them to attend the February event. For one thing, Jeff’s previous nominations were in categories (including Best Alternative Album) that for some irritating reason were not televised. This is the first time Wilco is up for such a high profile category.
To be honest, I still find the concept of these shows troubling, but as I admitted years ago in yet another fawning, name-dropping, living vicariously through the accomplishments of my family members’ post, I am always ready to abandon my highly principled arguments against such awards the minute someone I know gets nominated for one. So even though I seriously question the legitimacy of the Recording Academy proclaiming anyone in the music industry “better” than anyone else, I’ll be rooting for Wilco and hoping that Jeff wipes the floor with those hacks Springsteen, Grohl, and Fogerty.
Amy, sweetheart, save the last dance for me.