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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 10, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 06
Seattle, Northwest artists competing for Grammys
Arts & Entertainment
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Seattle, Northwest artists competing for Grammys

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

Seattle is no stranger to the Grammy Awards. In fact, artists from the Jet City have won so many coveted gramophones that NARAS (National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences) would have saved a fortune on shipping charges if they just held the annual ceremony here. This would have allowed Pearl Jam and Nirvana, 1995 recipients of Best Hard Rock Performance ('Spin the Black Circle') and Best Alternative Music Performance (MTV Unplugged in New York), respectively, the convenience of hopping on a taxi to accept the award.

Quincy Jones is the all-time local Grammy champ, earning 27 of them from 1963 to 2001. Soundgarden won two in the same year, 1994, for Best Metal Performance ('Spoonman') and Best Hard Rock Performance ('Black Hole Sun'). Peter Buck nabbed three in a single night when R.E.M. took home prizes in 1991 for Best Pop Performance By a Duo or Group with Vocal ('Losing My Religion'), Best Alternative Music Album (Out of Time) and Best Music Video - Short Form ('Losing My Religion'). And standout pianist-singer Diane Schuur won back-to-back Grammys for Best Jazz Vocal Performance Female in 1986 (Timeless) and 1987 (Diane Schuur and the Count Basie Orchestra).

Three area bands could join the club when this weekend's 54th installment of music's biggest night is played out in Los Angeles. Death Cab for Cutie, a multiple nominee with no wins yet, is up again for Best Alternative Music Album (Codes and Keys) - should they lose (and they're expected to fall to Bon Iver or Radiohead), they can find consolation in knowing that former Seattle Symphony Orchestra director Gerard Schwarz was never called to the podium, despite 13 nods. The Best Folk Album category features a head-to-head battle between two Seattle acts, Fleet Foxes (Helplessness Blues) and Eddie Vedder (Ukulele Songs).

Not from Seattle (but based in nearby Portland), The Decemberists are nominated for both Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song for their single 'Down by the Water.'

The Grammy Awards will be televised Sunday, February 12 (CBS). Most of the hardware will be handed out during a pre-televised event preceding the main ceremony. If you want to join other folks cheering for Seattle's nominees, Neumos (925 E. Pike St.) is hosting a free, informal Grammy viewing party on Sunday evening. Visit www.neumos.com or just drop by.

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