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."