Grammys Don't Get Alternative

A new category should recognize real indie music

By Amelia Atlas,  Newser User

Posted Feb 8, 2009 3:30 PM CST

(Newser) – Real alternative music acts have been shut-out at the Grammys in favor of their major-label siblings, observes James Reed in the Boston Globe. The Alternative Music category, which has been around since 1991, has never exactly been groundbreaking in its choices—an already well-known Sinead O'Connor took home the prize that year. At tonight's show, critical and consumer favorites like Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver are nowhere to be seen.

For an indie band to get noticed, jumping to a major label does the trick—Death Cab for Cutie finally got a nod this year after switching to Atlantic. What the Recording Academy needs, argues Reed, is a new category for indie, to recognize innovative bands and to prove that it's still in touch with listeners' tastes. As one radio director summed up this year's nominees: "These are not exactly edgy acts."

Thom Yorke, center, performs with Radiohead at Lollapalooza in Chicago's Grant Park on Friday, Aug.1, 2008.   (AP Photo/Russel A. Daniels)
The band Death Cab For Cutie, from left, Jason McGerr(drums), Chris Walla (guitar/keyboards), Nick Harmer (bass) and Ben Gibbbard(guitar and vocals), pose in New York's Central park.   (AP Photo/Jim Cooper)
Death Cab for Cutie lead singer Ben Gibbard performs at the Bonnaroo music festival in Manchester, Tenn., Sunday, June 15, 2008.   (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Robin Pecknold of the band Fleet Foxes performs on stage during day one of The Falls Music & Arts Festival on December 29, 2008 in Lorne, Australia.   (Getty Images)
Singer/guitarist Robin Pecknold (center) of Fleet Foxes performs onstage at the Pitchfork Music Festival at Union Park on July 19, 2008 in Chicago.   (Getty Images)
Radiohead band members, from left, Ed O'Brien, guitar, Jonny Greenwood, lead guitar, Colin Greenwood, bass guitar, Thom Yorke, lead vocalist, and drummer Phil Selwayan.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
« Prev« Prev | Next »Next » Slideshow
Official music video for "A Punk" by Vampire Weekend. The breakout act got passed over by the Grammys.   (xALiG21x)
Official music video for "The Sound of Settling" by Death Cab for Cutie. The band got a nomination after switching to a major label.   (DCFCtv)

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