HITS Daily Double
Trakin: I thought Amy was a runaway as Best New Artist, but I'm feeling some late Feist heat.
Beer: Feist is brilliant. Taylor Swift is wonderful, Ledisi is talented, Paramore is fun. But Amy is the Best New Artist.


HITS’ Lenny Beer and Roy Trakin:
A Pair of Losers Pick the Winners
Welcome to Grammy Week! (And when are all these people getting out of town so I can go back to golfing?) For this edition, I’m joined by the esteemed pundit, radio personality and HITS Senior Editor Roy Trakin. For years, Roy and I have argued back and forth about our Grammy picks, so this year it makes sense to do it in this space. We're now officially going on record, so feel free to abuse Roy for being wrong, starting anytime you like. Send your disses to [email protected].

Trakin: Let’s get ready to ruminate. First of all, I don’t see this as being one of those nights where a single artist sweeps the awards, like Dixie Chicks, Norah Jones, Lauryn Hill, etc., you?
Beer: I think it is possible, and if possible, we're talking Amy Winehouse.
Trakin: I feel the momentum waning a bit on Amy... especially in light of her on-again, off-again troubles. Or all the coverage about whether she’d even be at the ceremony.
Beer: Let's break down the major categories, shall we?
Trakin: Let's start with Record of the Year, which is the performer category, as opposed to the songwriting category.
Beer: I’ll take “Rehab.”
Trakin: You could use it. I’m actually leaning toward Rihanna’s “Umbrella.” It was such a huge, runaway, ubiquitous hit.
Beer: I think “Umbrella has a good chance.
Trakin: How about Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable”? She did come to the fore when the Grammys needed performers to step up. That can’t be underestimated among the voters.
Beer: Except the voting has been completed for some time now… and I think they are voting for “bests.”
Trakin: The other nominees in this category are Foo Fighters and Justin Timberlake. Any shot for either of them?
Beer: I think “Rehab” is the fave with “Umbrella” and “Irreplaceable” as legit shots.
Trakin: Now to Album of the Year. I’m going with Kanye, mainly because of the sympathy vote for his mom. I really feel this is his category to lose.
Beer: It is clearly between Kanye and Amy, although Herbie Hancock's album is brilliant.
Trakin: Kanye’s album had the best first week in sales… Seems like it’s his time this year. Otherwise, they run the risk of another tantrum.
Beer: A victory by any of those three is well deserved.
Trakin: Agreed... Just wonder what the Winehouse backlash factor will be. I think all that tabloid nonsense hurts her in these kinds of votes.
Beer: Tantrum or not, I'm feeling Winehouse by a hair. Also “Rehab” for Song of the Year.
Trakin: Song of the Year is a songwriters' category, which would seem to eliminate “Umbrella,” which isn’t really written as much as produced. But I agree with you, “Rehab” gets Song of the Year.
Beer: “Umbrella” is a better record than song.
Trakin: I thought Amy was a runaway as Best New Artist, but I'm feeling some late Feist heat.
Beer: Feist is brilliant. Taylor Swift is wonderful, Ledisi is talented, Paramore is fun. But Amy is the Best New Artist.
Trakin: Taylor Swift is always a threat, what with that massive Nashville voting block that chose LeAnn Rimes a few years back.
Beer: Amy Winehouse.
Trakin: Amy’s a lock in Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, IMO.
Beer: I'm taking Amy in all six of her noms, I'll be right a minimum of four times.
Trakin: Unless Feist’s “1234” gets some support. Could be a dark horse...
Beer: Feist is awesome, but Amy’s my pick.
Trakin: Best Male Pop Vocal Performance... John Mayer? Just because they love him. He’s always doing stuff for NARAS. Also, Buble, McCartney, Seal, Justin Timberlake
Beer: I'll take Sir Paul; Mayer has to lose one of these days.
Trakin: Best Pop Performance by Duo or Group looks like Daughtry to me, though Plain White T’s could actually take this, seeing they’re up for Song of the Year, too.
Beer: I’ll take Bon Jovi and in Pop Collaboration, I love Tony Bennett with Christina Aguilera.
Trakin: Who doesn't love Tony Bennett? Robert Plant & Alison Krauss will have to wait until next year...
Beer: I love Alison. She has 397 Grammys, but I’m going with Tony.
Trakin: Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance... Is this where Springsteen gets his due? He’s up against some heavy company in McCartney, John Mellencamp and Lucinda Williams.
Beer: Absolutely; he shoulda been in Best Album, so they gotta give him this one.
Trakin: Tend to agree with you on that… How about Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals? I'm feeling Daughtry... as U2 and Green Day split the Save Darfur vote.
Beer: Hmm. That’s a toughie. I don’t like any of 'em really, but I’ll take Green Day. At least I like the song, “Instant Karma.”
Trakin: Perhaps Chad Kroeger will finally get props for selling rock records when no one else does. Foo Fighters a lock in Best Hard Rock Performance, no doubt.
Beer: Sure, give them a W.
: Let’s go to Best Rock Album. Foos or Springsteen?
Beer: Springsteen for me. I also like the Fogerty album, BTW.
Trakin: I’m picking Dave Grohl and company. I’m going by rule of thumb. Foos beat Bruce out for Album of the Year, so they win here. But I did love Magic.
Beer: Bruce is the real Album of the Year. Foos beat out Bruce because of the super-delegates… I think, in a straight-up battle, Bruce wins.
Trakin: Alternative is a real dog fight. Hard to pick a winner here. Love The Shins, Lily Allen, Arcade Fire and White Stripes.
Beer: I'm gonna pick Arcade Fire, but Lily is my fave and The Shins album is great.
Trakin: I've got it down to Lily Allen vs. The Shins... with the Shins by the hair of their chinny-chin-chin.
Trakin: I just think people believe Arcade is the one to vote for.
Beer: They are my favorite, but I dunno if now's their time... But they will get one sooner or later. Check out Spoken Word Album, where Bill Clinton goes up against Obama... Now there's a good 'un.
Beer: I'll stick with Barack, just feels like his year.
Trakin: Gotta believe he rides his momentum within the industry to a victory.
Beer: Wow, we actually agree on one.
Trakin: Don't believe Alan Alda, Maya Angelou or Jimmy Carter stand a chance here.
Beer: They stand as much chance as Dennis Kucinich.
Trakin: Producer of the Year: Mark Ronson or Timbaland? Man, Timbaland has the hits, but Ronson did the prestige acts... Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen...
Beer: I'll stick with the Winehouse ticket and pick Ronson.
Trakin: I'll lean Timbaland, but you're certainly bullish on Amy... Too bad she couldn't make it, but I wouldn't have risked a Britney Spears moment.
Beer: The Grammys should take a flier on a REMOTE for her. That's my final prediction.
Trakin: Whoa... did you let Ken Ehrlich in on that idea?
Beer: I’m no dummy. She’s gonna win too many times to be a total no-show.
Trakin: Any picks on who'll give the performance of the night? Beyonce and Tina Turner? John Fogerty, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis? John Legend and Fergie? Josh Groban and Andrea Bocelli?
Beer: Performance of the night, that's an easy one... My Great Neck South Senior High co-alum Mr. Neil Portnow. The man who saved the Grammys will get the largest ovation.
Trakin: Finally, Polka... Jimmy Sturr for the 1,876,465th consecutive time? I hear they may be discontinuing this category in the future.
Beer: Gotta be the Sturr-man.
Trakin: Don’t forget Walter Ostanek.
Beer: C'mon, it's un-American to vote against Jimmy.
Trakin: So true... Grab your squeezebox, dude.
Beer: Momma's got a squeezebox, Daddy can't sleep at night (I wish).
Trakin: With that excellent Who reference, we can end this stupidity.
Beer: And so it is written and so our reader can respond and criticize at [email protected]. We're on record; tell us what you think.



Below is an e-mail I sent you in December, and you're STILL shying away from the country categories. What gives? Not "major" enough for you and Trakin?

How about a congratulatory nod for Dierks Bentley whose four Grammy nominations ties him with Tim McGraw to lead all country artists. Kudos to the artist who relies on hard work, creative songwriting and non-stop touring... comparative to the pitch-addled
latter, who relies on song-pluggers, his wife, and Pro Tools.


Hey, what about Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats" for Song of the Year!? Have you guys been under a rock? Also, as far as Taylor Swift winning Best New Artist, don't think so. By the way, Carrie Underwood won BNA last year. LeAnne Rimes is ancient history. What's your beef with Carrie?


Wow, you're REALLY feeling Amy Winehouse, huh? I know she's up for six, but I don't think she'll take home four like you predicted. I say three at most, although I agree she just might steal Album of the Year, even though my vote would be for Kanye.

J. eMCee


Didn't you already do a Grammy handicap column? What a cheap way to knock-off another column...revisit old content.

Didn't the show already air?

Now onto more important questions: Is Britney really out of the psych-ward? Will Amy Winehouse ever really let all that hair down? How long will Lindsay Lohan stay sober? Will Paris be there?

Never mind the show. It's a drag. Make sure you go to the parties. That's where the action is. You do get invited to the parties, don't you?

Steve Meyer
SMART Marketing