I’m gonna do this quickly because I am bone-tired and it’s quite late, and in general, the more time I spend trying to wrap my mind around the Academy’s often-baffling choices, the more intensely frustrated I become.




  • Beyonce I Am… Sasha Fierce
  • Black Eyed Peas The E.N.D.
  • Dave Matthews Band Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King
  • Lady GaGa The Fame
  • Taylor Swift Fearless


Unlike last year, when it was all but assured that the Plant/Krauss express was going to roll right on through unencumbered, there doesn’t seem to be a slam dunk in any of the major races this year, which could well make for a more dynamic viewing experience. My best guess here is that Beyonce, the Peas, and GaGa will split the pop vote cleanly amongst themselves, leaving Swift and Matthews to duke it out. Personally, I thought Big Whiskey was a terrific piece of music (and was the only one of these five that also appears in the Buzz’s year-end top ten), but as far back as I can remember, whenever the year’s best-selling album is in contention here, it almost always wins. (Even Jagged Little Pill — which probably scared the bejesus out of eighty percent of these old Academy coots — won it fifteen years ago!) Add to that the incredible string of industry awards that she has reaped in the past few months, and it looks like a coronation for Swift.


SHOULD WIN: Mat Kearney‘s heart-rending City of Black and White





  • Beyonce “Halo”
  • Black Eyed Peas “I Gotta Feeling”
  • Kings of Leon “Use Somebody”
  • Lady GaGa “Poker Face”
  • Taylor Swift “You Belong With Me”


I’m almost certain that I could have tossed darts at song titles on a wall and come up with a more interesting and appropriate list than the one above. Beyonce should be here for “Single Lades” instead of the slight, forgettable “Halo”; Lady GaGa should be here for “Just Dance” instead of the insipid “Poker Face”; Taylor Swift should be here for “Love Story” instead of that annoying trifle “You Belong With Me.” That leaves the year’s biggest hit (“I Gotta Feeling”) versus the year’s strongest single (“Use Somebody”), and since the Academy so rarely has the gumption to dole out nominations to songs that actually damn well deserve the recognition, I just refuse to believe — sorry, Will, but I gotta feeling indeed that tonight’s gonna be a good, good night for a quartet of Tennessee Kings.


SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Kings of Leon‘s infectiously electrifying “Use Somebody”



  • Beyonce “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)”
  • Maxwell “Pretty Wings”
  • Kings of Leon “Use Somebody”
  • Lady GaGa “Poker Face”
  • Taylor Swift “You Belong With Me”


Everything I said about the above category applies here as well, although Beyonce actually did have the good sense to submit “Single Ladies” in one of the top races, at least. Too bad it was the wrong one: if she had put this in contention for Record of the Year, she’d have won it in a walk. A tiny little piece of me thinks that the Academy will want to honor that song here, since this is their only major opportunity to do so — so if there’s a spoiler here, it’s almost certainly gonna be that — but I think Lady Gag-Me will absolutely back me up on this: in the Grammys, as in poker, nothing — at least for this year — beats four Kings.





  • Keri Hilson
  • MGMT
  • Silversun Pickups
  • The Ting Tings
  • Zac Brown Band


Not in nearly thirty years of Grammy watching have I ever seen a more fucked-up field of new artist contenders than this one right here, and that really is all I can say about this category without first having to go heave.


SHOULD WIN: Mat Kearney


SINCE HE WASN’T NOMINATED: honestly, who gives a flying fuck?


C’MON, BRANDON, TAKE A STAB: the three quote-unquote “hip” rock bands will cancel each other out (in what must qualify as a mercy killing), leaving poor Keri Hilson twisting in the wind and Zac Brown Band — a group whose claim to fame is a stupid singalong tune called “Chicken Fried” (I’m not making that up!) — alone at the podium. I’m getting angry again, so I’ll stop right there.


1 response to “the 2010 grammy awards:
a journey inside brandon’s buzz‘s crystal ball”

  1. the buzz from Blake Boldt:

    Nobody in their right mind has time to predict all 109 categories, although the Best Surround Sound Album race has me biting my nails.

    Should win: Dave Matthews.
    Will win: Taylor Swift.

    (None of these five albums would be at the top of my list. OK, maybe Dave Matthews. No U2 or Wilco or Mat Kearney or Neko Case or… THIS.IS.DEPRESSING.)


    Should win: “Use Somebody.”
    Will win: “Use Somebody.”

    (“Poker Face” is about my fifth- or sixth-favorite Gaga song. Black Eyed Peas is about my fifth- or sixth- least favorite act ever.)


    Should win: Uggh. “Use Somebody” or “You Belong with Me.”
    Will win: “You Belong with Me.”

    (Again, I prefer “Use Somebody” as a RECORD rather than a SONG. The same goes for both “Poker Face” and “Single Ladies.” Swift’s vocals are sometimes heartbreaking (in a bad way), but her song is pretty well-written.)

    Should win: Mat Kearney, Diane Birch, The Script, Owl City, Animal Collective, Neko Case (You don’t have to be “new” to win here.)
    Will win: Keri Hilson

    (This is the 10-year anniversary of my favorite win in this category. Shelby Lynne, on her SIXTH album and having spent a dozen years in the industry, won the trophy.)