Beer and Trakin Flap Their Lips, Drool,
Blow Smoke
You wanna know who’ll win big at Sunday night’s Grammy Awards, don’t you, Binky? Of course you do. Who do you think we are, Mistress Cleo? But don't worry—our lack of prescience and brain cells has never stopped certain HITS blowhards from foisting their opinions on our reader. Not that said opinions will have anything to do with Sunday night's proceedings, but what do you want for nothing? Take it away, pinheads.

Lenny Beer: I want to deal with this whole issue of Norah Jones and whether there will be a sweep. Everyone’s claiming that Bruce Springsteen will win Album of the Year. I’m a giant Springsteen fan, but if I had to take five Springsteen albums to a desert island, this wouldn’t be one of them. I can see lifetime achievement victories, but not in a year when Norah Jones is so strong. Steely Dan and Bob Dylan both won for albums that were clearly not their best. In those years, there wasn’t a real dominant record, though, like Norah, who has captured the zeitgeist this year.

Roy Trakin: Well, no one’s talking about Bruce sweeping. Norah certainly appears the front-runner for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best New Artist, Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. The only reason I say Springsteen has a shot at Album and possibly Song is because the show’s in New York City and the album deals so much with the aftermath of 9/11.

Beer: But the voters aren’t all in New York City. There will be a lot of votes from Nashville for the Dixie Chicks and a lot from St. Louis for Nelly and probably a few from Detroit for Eminem. I also wouldn’t be surprised if there were a lot of votes from Nashville for Norah as well. My point is, Springsteen is the favorite for Album of the Year, but I don’t see him winning it. He does win Male Rock Vocal Performance and Rock Album of the Year, though.

Trakin: So you’re feeling a Norah Jones sweep is on the boards, like Alicia Keys last year.

Beer: Yes, although I’m still angry Alicia wasn’t nominated for Album of the Year last year.

Trakin: So Norah wins both Record of the Year and Song of the Year?

Beer: Yep.

Trakin: You don’t feel “The Rising” itself has a shot as Song of the Year?

Beer: Norah.

Trakin: I guess we don’t have to discuss Best New Artist?

Beer: Norah. In Best Female Pop Vocal, you have Norah Jones against the almost-unbeatable Grammy perennial Sheryl Crow. If Norah doesn’t win this category, then Mike Greene may still somehow be involved with the voting.

Trakin: Pop Performance by Duo or Group. Do you feel Bowling for Soup has a shot here?

Beer: I don’t care who wins in that category.

Trakin: Jon Bon Jovi won’t like hearing that.

Beer: Pop Collaboration with Vocals? Hard to vote against Sheryl Crow here, though where’s “It’s So Easy” from?

Trakin: Can Avril Lavigne avoid a shutout?

Beer: Best Female Rock Vocal could be the one category where Avril wins for “Sk8ter Boi,” but she will have to beat Crow, even if it is for a song, “Steve McQueen,” that no one’s heard—especially Steve. How about Male Pop Vocal Performance? You have Elton John, Sting, John Mayer, James Taylor and Craig David.

Trakin: Well, you have three Academy favorites in Elton, Sting and Taylor. Maybe they split the geezer vote and Mayer gets in, as Paul Grein predicted. But I have to say Taylor feels like the favorite in this category.

Beer: I’ll take Sting. How ’bout Rock Performance for a Duo or Group?

Trakin: Grein thought the Spider-Man track has the best shot here, although Coldplay has been steadily building good momentum in the marketplace.

Beer: I’m going with Coldplay.

Trakin: Yeah, I like them in the Alternative Music Album category, too, over Beck, Elvis Costello, Clinic and Soundtrack of Our Lives. OK, so let’s recap. Norah Jones wins Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best New Artist, Best Pop Vocal Album, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. In other words, all six of the categories she’s nominated in. And I take it Producer of the Year has to be Arif Mardin, then.

Beer: The battle here is an interesting one against Dr. Dre, but I’m going with Arif. We haven’t done R&B and Country. Are you a f***ing racist? What about Contemporary Blues Album? One of my Top Five albums of the year is in this category, Solomon Burke.

Trakin: That should be a shoo-in… Can’t wait to see Solomon make his way to the stage to accept it. What’s your pick for Country Album? Dixie Chicks or Alan Jackson?

Beer: I’ll go with Dixie Chicks. What about R&B Album of the Year?

Trakin: Grein thinks the Academy will make up for its shutout of India.Arie last year.

Beer: Her performance on American Dreams as Nina Simone was superb. I think India.Arie will win, but I feel both Raphael Saadiq and Remy Shand made better albums.

Trakin: Rap album should be a romp for Eminem, even if he doesn’t win in any of the major categories.

Beer: You really think he’s going to beat Petey Pablo? I want to vote for the Jazz album first. I’ll take Natalie Cole over Patti Austin, Etta Jones and Luciano Souza. I’m also picking Johnny Cash for Contemporary Folk Album.

Trakin: How about Best Polka album?

Beer: I always think Jimmy Sturr is tough in this category.

Trakin: What about my man Eddie Blazonczyk and his incredible Versatones?

Beer: He may not win, but he’d be tough in the ACC.

Trakin: He might have a shot if he bought a vowel.

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