radioheadWas 2008 a mediocre year for rock music? Judging from the nominees in Grammy’s rock categories, it’s pretty easy to think so. Almost no new artists are represented here. Even the alternative category is filled with veterans. Also, what’s up with the continued absence of a Female Rock vocal category. There are still quite a few rockin’ chicks out there. I’m surprised women’s groups haven’t protested this oversight!

Anyway, here are the categories…

Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance: “Gravity” (John Mayer), “I Saw Her Standing There” (Paul McCartney), “Girls in Their Summer Clothes” (Bruce Springsteen), “Rise” (Eddie Vedder),”Hidden Path” (Neil Young)

Will Win: Springsteen

Should Win: Can’t argue with The Boss

Mayer and McCartney are pretty much spaceholders-nominated for live performances of old songs. While it would be nice to see Eddie Vedder pick up a Grammy for his haunting “Into the Wild” soundtrack, this one goes to Springsteen, whose profile is higher than it’s been in years.

Best Rock Performance, Duo or Group: “Rock ‘n Roll Train” (AC/DC), “Violet Hill” (Coldplay), “Long Road Out of Eden” (The Eagles), “Sex on Fire” (Kings of Leon), “House of Cards” (Radiohead)

Will Win: Coldplay

Should Win: Kings of Leon

I feel a Coldplay sweep coming on. The Eagles’ appearance in this category is laughable, and while it’s cool to see AC/DC nominated for a Grammy (for the FIRST time), they probably won’t win (now watch them turn around and give the award to AC/DC). I say this award (and most of the others in this category) goes on Chris Martin’s mantelpiece, although “Sex on Fire” is one of the best songs of the year, regardless of genre.

Best Hard Rock Performance: “Inside the Fire” (Disturbed), “Visions” (Judas Priest), “Wax Simulacra” (Mars Volta), “Saints of Los Angeles” (Motley Crue), “Lords of Salem” (Rob Zombie)

Will Win: Disturbed

Should Win: ???

Rob Zombie’s automatically excluded, because his entry is a live performance. Every once in a while, the Grammy folks like to prove that they’re cool, which means that they’ll bypass old-school faves Judas Priest and Motley Crue and give the award to relative newcomers Disturbed.

Best Metal Performance: “Heroes of Our Time” (Dragonforce), “Nostradamus” (Judas Priest), “My Apocalypse” (Metallica), “Under My Thumb” (Ministry), “Psychosocial” (Slipknot)

Will Win: Metallica

Should Win: Dragonforce

Oh, come on. Any metal Grammy category that includes Metallica has already been decided. The four-headed behemoth will trounce the competition. However, Dragonforce deserves some props for delivering metal that takes it all the way back to 1983, albeit with superior instrumental prowess.

Best Rock Song: “Girls in Their Summer Clothes” (Bruce Springsteen), “House of Cards” (Radiohead), “I Will Possess Your Heart” (Death Cab for Cutie), “Sex on Fire” (Kings of Leon), “Violet Hill” (Coldplay)

Will Win: Coldplay

Should Win: Death Cab for Cutie or Kings of Leon

Remember I said something about a Coldplay sweep? It will continue in this category. The Springsteen track is too old, Radiohead will win the alternative category (see below), and KOL and Death Cab are still relatively new artists. However, DC4C’s Ben Gibbard deserves this award just for writing the creepiest stalker song of the year.

Best Rock Album: “Viva La Vida or Death & All His Friends” (Coldplay), “Rock ‘n Roll Jesus” (Kid Rock), “Only by the Night” (Kings of Leon), “Death Magnetic” (Metallica), “Consolers of the Lonely” (The Raconteurs)

Will Win: Coldplay

Should Win: Kings of Leon

In this category, the biggest seller usually wins, but in this case, the biggest seller is Kid Rock. Ain’t nobody givin’ Kid Rock a Grammy award. Metallica has an outside chance, but Coldplay’s picking up steam and will most likely snatch this one up too. How’d The Raconteurs end up here? Does anyone even remember that they released an album last year?

Best Alternative Performance: “Modern Guilt” (Beck), “Narrow Stairs” (Death Cab for Cutie), “The Odd Couple” (Gnarls Barkley), “Evil Urges” (My Morning Jacket), “In Rainbows” (Radiohead)

Will Win: Radiohead

Should Win: Any of these is worthy.

Five nominees, five excellent albums, all of which are Grammy worthy. However, Radiohead’s got the nomination in the major category (Album of the Year), so they’ll take the prize, and thank goodness that Coldplay wasn’t nominated here!!