It’s really hard to accept this award, there’s a lot of talent on this stage and there’s a lot of talent that also isn’t here. It’s also hard to accept because when I start doing this I did it for the inherent joy of making music … So I’m a little bit uncomfortable up here, but with that discomfort I do have a sense of gratitude. I want to say thank you to all the nominees and all the non-nominees who aren’t here and will never be here … I also want to say thanks to all the voters, sweet hookup.Bon Iver wins for Best New Artist at the Grammys, and Justin Vernon thanks all the folks who will never get the opportunity he got tonight. Love it.
Really, our issue is more that the Grammys appear to be off the grid entirely. They seem to reward things that sort of fit their mold of what popular music should be, and while there’s some overlap between popular music and what the Grammys feel is popular music, quite often things which NOBODY has talked about – not even tastemakers or critics – get nominated and then win. While I’m sure Esperanza Spalding is a great musician who deserves to be heard, the fact of the matter is that she lacks tangible buzz to justify the attention. Nobody in the media was like, “Wow, this Herbie Hancock album is amazing!” before it won Album of the Year back in 2008. It had very little press coverage. The problem is that NARAS presents these awards as the definitive music awards of the year, and they’re so far off the pulse sometimes (because it’s picked by people who are of a stuffy old guard of the music industry) that it calls their opinion into question. I don’t think Bieber should have won, but I think this is a bad introduction to Esperanza Spalding. You want a better, more accurate barometer of pop music? Try Pazz and Jop. What do you think?