Grammy Awards 101

If you follow the music scene, you probably already know that the Grammy Awards will be handed out on Sunday night, January 26. And that Paul McCartney, Sara Bareilles, Carole King, Taylor Swift, Stevie Wonder, and Kris Kristofferson are among the performers. But for those who don’t keep close tabs on these things, it might be helpful to know a few introductory things about the Grammys.

1. Performances at the Grammy ceremony often range from insipid to inspired. Sometimes new acts miss the mark while lifelong entertainers remind us why they’ve lasted so long; sometimes the opposite occurs. And the organizers love to give people something to talk about, so they make sure to include artists who enjoy creating scandal.

2. Fashion choices do not so much aspire to elegance or good taste as they do to shock value and lots of, well, exposure.

3. Acceptance speeches tend to go a little off the rails, occasionally becoming full-blown train wrecks.

4. In spite of the above, there will be some great performances.

Some of the nominated albums have already been considered by Banner reviewers, and in one instance, a reader who sent in her thoughts on rapper Macklemore. Here are some nominees and the links to our reviews.

The Civil Wars by The Civil Wars (nominated for Best Country Duo/Group Performance)

The Heist by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis (nominated for Best Album, Song of the Year, Best Rap Performance, Best Rap Song, and Best Rap Album)

Hurricane by Natalie Grant (nominated for Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance and Best Contemporary Christian Music Song)

Modern Vampires of the City by Vampire Weekend (nominated for Best Alternative Music Album)

Recess by Justin Roberts (nominated for Best Children’s Album)

Trouble Will Find Me by The National (nominated for Best Alternative Music Album)

The 20/20 Experience by Justin Timberlake (nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance, Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, and Best Pop Vocal Album)

If you’d like to see our reviewers’ top picks for 2013, check out the lists at “Best Books, Movies, and Music of 2013.”

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