Welcome to Idolator’s live-blogging of the inaugural Grammy Nominations Concert, which apparently kicks off the countdown to “music’s biggest night.” (Wait, I thought music’s biggest night was going to be the Presidential inauguration next year?) Anyway, join me, the Foo Fighters, Celine Dion, Taylor Swift, and John Mayer and B.B. King (oh boy that is going to bring out the crankypantses) after the jump.
8:57 p.m. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer is just finishing up. This is an odd night of programming for CBS: Prototype Claymation, then this Grammy thing, then Heidi Klum’s boobies via the Victoria’s Secret “Fashion” Show. What sort of person would watch all three? A horny 15-year-old with a secret Taylor Swift fetish?
9:00 p.m. Ooh, a perfume ad with Gisele wearing no clothes! I guess if nothing else will keep people tuned in…
9:01 p.m. I am following The Grammys’ Twitter feed as well, in hopes that it inadvertently breaks a story.
9:9:01 p.m. Mariah Carey opens with “a holiday classic”… but it’s not “All I Want For Christmas Is You”?!?! Perhaps “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” will segue out of it?
9:02 p.m. A shot of the audience reveals… a lot of confused people. Also, why are all the backup dancers wearing fur-trimmed shopping bags?
9:03 p.m. Oh, poor Mariah’s voice is all blown out. I guess after, what, 18 years of octave jumping, something had to give. HOW DID THEY NOT DO “ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU” THOUGH. I MEAN SERIOUSLY. Sorry, that song is too good to be ignored.
9:04 p.m. Ah, here come the sponsor shout-outs! Staples! Nokia! That Grammy museum! When you hear the word “Grammy,” you expect great music!
9:05 p.m Taylor and LL are tripping over the TelePrompTer a bit. Uh oh, tonight’s apparently going to feature a lot of “classics” being performed.
9:05 p.m. BEST NEW ARTIST! Ne-Yo looks suave as always. The nominees:
9:06 p.m. Wait, what? The Beatles? Oh, OK—it’s an intro to the category. Sure. The Grammys would like you to know that they are very pro-Internet! Look, there’s even a lingering shot of MySpace Music’s “Buy” Button!
OK—BEST NEW ARTIST NOMINEES
The Jonas Brothers
No Katy Perry nomination! Ne-Yo brings the good news!
9:08 p.m. So, I was two-for-five on the Best New Artist nominees. No Leona Lewis nod seems kind of odd, doesn’t it?
9:09 p.m. Ha ha, A-Rod. I’m calling the odds that Madonna’s name is mentioned during the next 51 minutes at 10-1.
9:10 p.m. Oh man, here comes LL Cool J interviewing the Jonas Brothers. I guess having Taylor Swift chat them up would have been too awkward….
9:11 p.m. LL Cool J on the Jonases’ nomination: “Always glad to see some brothers make it.” Uh…
9:12 p.m. Celine Dion sings Janis Ian. Seriously, Grammys?
9:12 p.m. Celine has apparently tried to curb her multi-octave tendencies by sticking multiple marbles in her mouth.
9:13 p.m. When she is done singing, Celine is going to ask everyone in the audience to tip their waiters. In French.
9:14 p.m. Seriously, Grammy committee, putting people to sleep was probably not the way to go. Couldn’t you have at least had Celine sing some Jethro Tull or something?
9:15 p.m. I’m now imagining the discussions that brought us to this performance. “Well, we really don’t want to alienate the NCIS demographic.” Is it really a Celine performance if it stays within an eight-note range?
9:16 p.m. Oh, now she’s announcing the Album Of The Year nominees!
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Alison Krauss & Robert Plant, Raising Sand
Coldplay, Viva La Vida
Ne-Yo, Year Of The Gentleman
Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III
Radiohead, In Rainbows
9:18 p.m. Lots of surprises tonight already! No Katy? No Leona? No Eagles? I’ll sit through Celine for any of that.
9:21 p.m. We’re back! And so are the Foo Fighters, who are “updating a ’70s classic.” That classic is “You’re So Vain.” How inspired by Faster Pussycat will this version be?
9:22 p.m. Those of you who don’t have to listen to this performance for professional reasons should take in this previously referenced, way superior version:
9:24 p.m. OK, so this song is unimpeachable, but this version is odd. Also oddly mixed. Again with the problem of mixing music for television. The guitars sound like they’re being amped toward my living room’s opposite wall. Why? Shouldn’t we be past these sorts of problems?
9:26 p.m. Cut to the Jonas Brothers wondering, in sync, “who are the old guys?”
9:26 p.m. So the whole “performance leading into nominee announcement” thing is a bit awkward, although I guess that’s what is making up for the lack of acceptance speechers. It’s time for the nominees for Pop Collaboration With Vocals, with a special cameo by that Elton John/Eminem performance of “Stan” and that weird bit where Natalie Cole sang with her dead dad via transdimensional satellite!
POP COLLABORATION WITH VOCALS
Alicia Keys and John Mayer, “Lessons Learned”
Madonna, Justin Timberlake, and Timbaland, “4 Minutes”
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, “Rich Woman”
Rihanna and Maroon 5, “If I Never See Your Face Again”
(Grohl just shook his head. Yeah, that song was kind of a stinker, no?)
Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown, “No Air”
But wait, there’s more! Dave Grohl is hunching into the mic and looking kind of embarrassed!
COUNTRY PERFORMANCE BY A DUO OR GROUP
Brooks & Dunn, “God Must Be Busy”
(Grohl’s putting on a twang here.)
Lady Antebellum, “Love Don’t Love Here”
Rascal Flatts, “Every Day”
The Steel Drivers, “Blue Side Of The Mountain”
(The twang’s getting more pronounced.)
And now he’s saying it’s an honor to just be nominated. Yeah, tell it to the guy on Top Chef you sent home last week, Dave.
9:30 p.m. OK, so here comes Christina Aguilera singing “(I Love You) Porgy.” Again, a bit of a mellow choice. Why am I not drinking a martini?
9:33 p.m. Then again, it’s nice to hear her not blowing out her voice to next week for once. She has really great phrasing.
9:34 p.m. Taylor Swift is announcing the Best Rap Duo Or Group performance… after the break!
9:38 p.m. “My co-host wasn’t released for another 30 years,” LL Cool J says of Taylor Swift.
9:38 p.m. Taylor Swift is singing about collect calls! And giving her ex-Jonas a lot of LOOKS, it seems like.
9:40 p.m. And here comes the segue into her new single! She’s the only one who’s been able to do this so far, I should point out. The host’s prerogative?
9:41 p.m. Last week, she sang this song in a throne; this week, it’s on a very well-upholstered stool. And she is singing right into the front row, still. Think a seat-filler’s sitting in the seat she is aiming at right now?
9:42 p.m. Oh, this super-white announcer guy just said “the poetry of the street.” And now the package has Ashanti in it. Sigh.
9:42 p.m. They “continue to keep it real,” like Kanye West and his marching band.
BEST RAP PERFORMANCE BY A DUO OR GROUP
Big Boi feat. Raekwon & Andre 3000, “Royal Flush”
(Taylor couldn’t pronounce “Raekwon” quite right. Aw.)
T.I. feat. Kanye West & Lil Wayne, “Swagger Like Us”
Lil Wayne feat. Jay-Z, “Mr Carter”
Ludacris feat. T.I., “Wish You Would”
Young Jeezy feat. Kanye West, “Put On”
9:46 p.m. Aw, poor Usher, relegated to the much higher rated show with the boobs.
9:47 p.m. Not to quibble with my local cable company ad, but I think those transparent phones with the brightly colored innards were more of a late-’80s phenomenon.
9:48 p.m. Taylor Swift: Much taller than Neil Portnow. Will he go off on illegal downloading? No, he’s letting you know that all 110 categories are able for perusal at Grammy.com in 12 minutes! Taylor Swift, ever the pro, says she’s going to look at the Web site right after the show. On her BlackBerry, no doubt.
9:49 p.m. B.B. King and John Mayer are now letting the good times roll. Can you guess what song they are collaborating on?
9:50 p.m. The Jonas Brothers are authentic blues fans, I bet.
9:52 p.m. Some fierce guitar face going on here.
9:53 p.m. Standing ovation. Of course. And now, the Record Of The Year nominees. Like “Smooth”! Remember that, you guys?
RECORD OF THE YEAR
Adele, “Chasing Pavements”
Coldplay, “Viva La Vida”
Leona Lewis, “Bleeding Love”
M.I.A., “Paper Planes”
Robert Plant and Alison Kraus, “Please Read The Letter”
9:55 p.m. Not that it’s ever going to happen, but if “Paper Planes” wins Record Of The Fucking Year, I swear I will never make fun of the Grammys again.
9:59 p.m. Wait, that’s it? Only six categories and lots of John Mayer? I’m still sad about there being no “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” but oh well. Time to go look at all the nominees!
BEST ELECTRONIC/DANCE ALBUM
Brazilian Girls, New York City
Daft Punk, Alive 2007
Cyndi Lauper, Bring Ya To The Brink
Kylie Minogue, X
Moby, Last Night