This blog post is your warning. Four-minute warning.
Sunday 8 February 2009 marks the 51st Grammy Awards. It also marks the third time Radiohead has been nominated for Album of the Year.
If they don’t win the award this year for In Rainbows, look for me on the news. Because I will walk to Los Angeles, personally steal the award from Robert Plant & Allison Krauss, scratch the name out with a penny, and write “Radiohead” on it with a Sharpie.
I understand that awards shows are meaningless (who can ever forget when the perversely preachy, obnoxious, subtle-as-a-chimpanzee Crash beat out movies like Munich and Good Night and Good Luck that were actually good?). But I will officially fly off the deep end of sanity if Radiohead gets jobbed yet again, especially if it’s by another artist who should have retired 20 years ago.
In 2001, when Radiohead was nominated for Kid A they were beaten by Steely Dan. Steely Fucking Dan. The same Steely Fucking Dan who brought such life-changing songs as “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number.” Fucking Rikki Don’t Fucking Lose That Fucking Number. Look, I’m willing to be rational. Kid A isn’t the most approachable music Radiohead ever put out. I will readily admit it’s my least favorite of their albums (excepting Pablo Honey and The Bends, which were before they developed their mature sound). But the least they could have done was have it lose to an actual great album, like The Marshall Mathers LP. That shit was good. Even so, my insane-o-meter doesn’t really blip all that much over this.
Where I begin to shoot into the red is back in 1998. When an already well-aged Bob Dylan gave us Time Out Of Mind. I’ve heard it. It’s good. Dylan can really write. But how in the sweet, innocent name of Baby Jesus Puppies could anything have bested OK Computer? Forget 1998. How could anything have bested OK Computer in the entire 1990s? Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em comes in there, but it’s still not close. OK Computer is one of the great albums in the history of any of the genres you’d care to classify it in. I’m happy to debate this with anyone who cares to read this, but first you have to listen to OK Computer and Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em, then get back at me.
It is with this track record of injustice in mind that I issue my warning to the Grammy Awards. Don’t do it again. Robert Plant sings like an elephant being raped by a polar bear, which I have heard, and remember commenting to my friend that they sounded like Robert Plant singing. Lil Wayne is good, but only because Eminem and Jay-Z hung it up and Kanye West is crazy (maybe he thinks Radiohead keeps getting screwed, too). Coldplay is like one dimension of Radiohead, only not as good as Radiohead is at that one dimension. And who the fuck is Ne-Yo? Just kidding…but he was in Save The Last Dance 2. Not even the first one. The sequel. Jesus.
So tonight I ask everyone to pray to whichever God they believe in, or whichever one likes Radiohead, or both. Because a prayer for Radiohead is a prayer for me not blowing a gasket and ending up in an Orange County jail.