Wednesday, February 6, 2008

No surprise-Grammys not that Indie

With the Grammys coming up this Sunday, an LA Times blog piece "Can the Grammys get indie?" just bubbled back up to the surface, pointing out that the Grammys are missing an opportunity to showcase independent artists. The music biz awards show continues to emphasize major label fare, whereas film awards do actually pay attention to the independents. Todd Martens writes, "...the Grammys will only look like a relic from another era if they continue to deny that independent artists are making a bigger impact on the marketplace." He continues, "The Grammys... are still sticking to conservative (top-selling) choices. But as today's superstar artists sell less and less, Grammy omissions will only become more glaring."

A few indie notes: The Shins (on Sub Pop) are nominated for best alternative album (and are probably the only band in that category on an indie label, albeit one with a relationship with the major Warner) and Grammy-nominated Feist (including Best New Artist) just won the 2007 Shortlist Music Prize honoring lesser known artists (whose albums haven't gone "gold" as of the nomination date), even though they are on major label Interscope's "emerging artists" sub-label of Cherry Tree Records. It's always fascinating to unpeel the layers of who's new, who's indie, and how that gets categorized by the industry and music fans.

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