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December 6, 2012 2:14 PM   Subscribe

Four of the five songs nominated for the 2013 Grammy for Best Dance Recording are international hits. The fifth is so obscure it has raised questions about how it got there. I Can't Live Without You by Al Walser is one of the five nominees for Best Dance Recording. Walser's lack of popularity on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube when the nominations were announced, along with his previously claims to be a voting member of the Recording Acedemy, has led to accusations of foul play or vote manipulation. The music press is now asking, "Who the hell is Al Walser?"
posted by thecjm (136 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
He's a Rothschild. Does that help?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 2:18 PM on December 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


Best music competition looks awful lot like best at social media competition.
posted by 2bucksplus at 2:23 PM on December 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


The bull looks angry; his anus is dilated.

No. Logo. No.
posted by srboisvert at 2:23 PM on December 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


So, we should always expect a direct relationship between quality and popularity? Duly noted.
posted by davejay at 2:25 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow. Just wow.
posted by infini at 2:25 PM on December 6, 2012


I don't know dance music, but I feel bad for anyone whose nomination makes people assume rigging. Maybe it's a good, but overlooked, song.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 2:25 PM on December 6, 2012


I think the strongest evidence for vote tampering is simply that his song is terrible.
posted by davejay at 2:26 PM on December 6, 2012 [32 favorites]


"Walser is a former member of Fun Factory"

Awesome.

My one-time German office-mate (still German, no longer an office-mate) tried to introduce me to the absolute best of the worst German music. His idea of the pinnacle of awfulness was Fun Factory, and I think it is hard to disagree. Check out their music video for Celebration. At numerous times, they extol you to wave your hands in the air (like you just don't care), but watching the video, it becomes obvious that they themselves have no idea how to wave their hands in the air. Fun Factory is the best.
posted by artichoke_enthusiast at 2:26 PM on December 6, 2012 [8 favorites]


He's only got a few tracks on beatport and no artist page. I call shenanigans.
posted by empath at 2:26 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you're thinking it's a good but overlooked song, or popularity =/= quality, please listen to the song for a minute. It's one step above Rebecca Black's Friday in quality.
posted by thecjm at 2:27 PM on December 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


And the song is shit. So I'd say, yeah. There is some shadiness here.
posted by empath at 2:27 PM on December 6, 2012


Oh, and from one of the linked articles:

As the dust from Wednesday night's Grammy nominations settled, fans of electronic dance music were left scratching their heads at the inclusion of an unknown performer in the Best Dance Recording category.

Al Walser's "I Can't Live Without You" is nominated alongside Avicii's "Levels," Calvin Harris and Ne-Yo's "Let's Go," Swedish House Mafia's "Don't You Worry Child" and Skrillex and Sirah's "Bangarang." While the rest in the category are easily in the top tier of producers and DJs, Walser is a mystery to even avid consumers of EDM.


All of these performers are completely unknown to me.

I'm old
posted by davejay at 2:28 PM on December 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


artichoke enthusiast - Walser wasn't even in that incarnation of Fun Factory. He was in the 2nd iteration of that band, with even worse songs.
posted by thecjm at 2:30 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


HAHAHAHAH this song is so terrible. Even by Grammy standards.
posted by naju at 2:31 PM on December 6, 2012


Oh, I just figured out how this happened: all of the voting members nominated one of the other four songs, and so it only took one vote -- Al Walser's -- to get his song into the fifth position. I hope. That would be hilarious.
posted by davejay at 2:32 PM on December 6, 2012 [14 favorites]


davejay: So, we should always expect a direct relationship between quality and popularity? Duly noted.
This argument would get lots of favorites, IF his song wasn't complete shit.
posted by IAmBroom at 2:34 PM on December 6, 2012


I hope 4chan is involved somehow.
posted by ymgve at 2:34 PM on December 6, 2012 [12 favorites]


I hope 4chan doesn't take the bait and stays out of it.
posted by Ennis Tennyone at 2:35 PM on December 6, 2012


Meanwhile, Mumford & Sons got nominated for six awards, so who knows if anything makes sense anymore. I throw up my hands at the whole thing.
posted by naju at 2:36 PM on December 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think the strongest evidence for vote tampering is simply that his song is terrible.

Because shit songs never win?
posted by chavenet at 2:36 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why was Gangnam Style not nominated?
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 2:37 PM on December 6, 2012 [18 favorites]


Yeah, I mean, "har har, pop music is all terrible, amirite?" But I listen to pop/dance music (even though at 40 I am arguably far too old for it). I'm familiar with the other 4 songs, almost to the point of nausea. (Seriously, I could go the whole rest of my life without hearing Bangarang again. OH OKAY JUST ONE MORE TIME.)

But not only have I never heard of this song or this artist; when I clicked through to watch the video, I assumed it was a prank. Like someone had made a bad video for fun, and was trying to prank the Grammys, or pretend like it was in the Grammys, or who knows what.

The song is bland, listless, and oddly tentative. The video is worse. I recognize those Photoshop brushes. Also, the female vocalist is dancing so awkwardly, I assumed maybe she was a neighbor or roommate who got roped into joining the prank.

But... it's not a prank? I guess? Or am I missing the joke? Someone please tell me, because sometimes the internet's sense of ironic tongue-in-cheek humor passes me by.
posted by ErikaB at 2:46 PM on December 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


I really hope the nomination turns out to be some kind of pretentious art installation wherein we are meant to question the nature of art and its relative value.

hisssss
posted by elizardbits at 2:47 PM on December 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


I think this fiasco is overlooking the true triumph of the Grammys this year, which is that Bieber was nominated for nothing.
posted by Lutoslawski at 2:48 PM on December 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Why was Gangnam Style not nominated?

Because Gangnam Style is pop, and not EDM. I'm sure someone's remixed it for use in a nightclub, it's got a very dancy beat.
posted by dobi at 2:48 PM on December 6, 2012


His website yields much wisdom. See How Become Famous, here:

Born into the smallest country of Liechtenstein, Al Walser has become an international entertainment expert and mogul who has produced,written and performed in front of millions around the globe before the age of 30. Some of the world's biggest stars became his friends.He is the ideal mentor for anyone tired of outdated, expensive and ineffective methods in the music industry. The strategies and techniques depicted in Al Walser's book are the very same that new pop phenomenons like Justin Bieber, Christina Perri and others were using to Make It Big. Al Walser's system is here to put you on the fast track to success -the old music industry was about the middleman, the age of the middleman has gone - Make It Big will teach you to become the Middle Machine! No more need of Record Labels, by the way, they hate this book!

It works!
posted by jokeefe at 2:50 PM on December 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


I read the thread before watching the video and was thinking, "it can't be that bad," and holy shit, it's way worse.
posted by something something at 2:52 PM on December 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


I just finished reading the HuffPo article and a few others, but I still don't quite believe it. The nomination makes a lot more sense as a comedy performance, along the lines of Je Shirt, whatever you would call that. "Borat-like" springs to mind, yes.
posted by ErikaB at 2:52 PM on December 6, 2012


Born into the smallest country of Liechtenstein

That's REALLY small
posted by chavenet at 2:52 PM on December 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


ultraviolet catastrophe: "Why was Gangnam Style not nominated?"

To add meme-insult to meme-injury, Call Me Maybe is up for Song of the Year.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:53 PM on December 6, 2012


Ow. I've been heavily involved dance music scenes since the 90s and actually do academic research on electronic dance music. The difference in quality levels between Walser's track and the others' is night and day. Having said that, I also can't stand any of the other tracks and want them to get off my lawn with their wobwobwob-SCREEE-dubstep or proggy-trancy-tech-house…but I can at least tell the difference between a good and an execrable pop-dance track.
posted by LMGM at 2:53 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Don't know much about dance recordings but are all the nominees that bad? Is it just a terrible genre?

I mean, it starts with like a cow noise.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:54 PM on December 6, 2012


He has a keytar! He might beat Skillrex.
Do we need to know anything more?

(Well, he's pointed out what a pox the Grammys are.)
posted by Mezentian at 2:54 PM on December 6, 2012


If you're thinking it's a good but overlooked song, or popularity =/= quality, please listen to the song for a minute. It's one step above Rebecca Black's Friday in quality.

In what way is it a step above?
posted by bongo_x at 2:57 PM on December 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Here's what I think. I think the producers of the first four songs paid the proper under-the-table payola. And because no one else coughed up, the committee decided to loft a giant fifth finger to every other producer by including this out-of-nowhere piece of garbage. The message of the Grammys is clearer now than it ever has been: pay up, or you get nothing.
posted by seanmpuckett at 2:57 PM on December 6, 2012 [8 favorites]


Well look at it this way. If not for Al Walser's improbable nomination, nobody would give a shit about any of this year's Grammy nominations for Best Dance Recording.

Come for the shenanigans, stay for the envelope reading.
posted by notyou at 2:58 PM on December 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


In what way is it a step above?

It's still Thursday?
posted by davidjmcgee at 2:59 PM on December 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


For the curious, here are videos for the other 4 nominated songs:

Avicii: Levels

Calvin Harris Feat. Ne-Yo: Let's Go

Skrillex: Bangarang

Swedish House Mafia: Don't You Worry Child
posted by ErikaB at 2:59 PM on December 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


So, how do we influence Grammy voters to vote for it as a protest of something-or-other?
posted by Mad_Carew at 3:00 PM on December 6, 2012


Damn, I think the second to last link is broked.
posted by Lutoslawski at 3:01 PM on December 6, 2012


So, we should always expect a direct relationship between quality and popularity? Duly noted.

The song is not popular.

We should expect at least some relationship between Grammy nominations and either quality or popularity. That the song in question is neither popular nor good is extremely suspicious. Combine that with the fact that the guy has, as far as I can tell, zero presence in the electronic music world, and I stand with those who call shenanigans and offer my own distinct call of shenanigans, made only more powerful by a healthy dose of sidechain compression.
posted by The World Famous at 3:01 PM on December 6, 2012 [10 favorites]


Al Walser's nomination is a diabolical plot to get Liechtenstein into next year's Eurovision...or to get Liechtenstein known for something else other than stamps, tax evasion, and dentures. You decide.
posted by stannate at 3:03 PM on December 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Oh my god, stannate! Here I was thinking I was the only person outside of the country who knew that Liechtenstein's biggest export is false teeth.
posted by Lutoslawski at 3:05 PM on December 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


So this is like the Jersey Shore category? I think perhaps the voters voted at random.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:07 PM on December 6, 2012


Oh my god, stannate! Here I was thinking I was the only person outside of the country who knew that Liechtenstein's biggest export is false teeth.

Frontier Psychiatry finally makes sense
posted by 2bucksplus at 3:07 PM on December 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also, for the curious, here are the typical crowds you get for the 5 artists:

Avicii
Calvin Harris
Skrillex
SHM

and
Al Walser (I have DJ'd for bigger crowds than that).
posted by empath at 3:08 PM on December 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


I do hope someone will post a follow-up when shenanigans are brought to light. Meanwhile, I'm enjoying my popcorn.gif.
posted by gusandrews at 3:10 PM on December 6, 2012


This is nothing new.

Anyone remember Toto?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 3:12 PM on December 6, 2012


Oh wait! they nominated Farming Simulator Mad Skill | No Plow | 360 Crop Rotation. I hope it wins.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:15 PM on December 6, 2012 [14 favorites]


His duet with Olivia Newton-John is awesome.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:15 PM on December 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


His Obama "connection" demands more popcorn than might be present in all of Metafilter:

With the phenomenal success of presidential hopeful Barack Obama, the tiny alpine country of Liechtenstein has sent their first biracial ambassador of goodwill to America. Al Walser has met with Obama to discuss how the two men's biracial background has been received in several different American states and in other countries. Walser shared his own experiences as a biracial music and dance celebrity, and explained how ignorance can lead to false presumptions. Walser detailed how his own country of Liechtenstein is unfairly seen as a tax haven used for money laundering by Americans who do not want to pay taxes or who obtain money through illegal means.
posted by jokeefe at 3:21 PM on December 6, 2012


Metafilter: Middle Machine
posted by furtive at 3:24 PM on December 6, 2012


Remember that Mathnet episode (the one with the Weird Al cameo!) where Detectives Pat Tuesday and George Frankly go undercover to investigate a discrepancy between reccord sales and popularity and they discover that a crooked industry executive has reprogrammed the computers to inflate the sales of certain records?

That's obviously what's going on here because even though the names were made up, the problems are real.

Duh, duh dun dun.

Duh, duh dun dun duuuuuuun.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 3:33 PM on December 6, 2012 [18 favorites]


WHERES THE DROP?!?!?!?!
posted by klangklangston at 3:35 PM on December 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm certainly surprised. Usually the "Who the hell is that‽" stuff doesn't happen until after the awards.

I think he deserves it, just for the keytar.
posted by ckape at 3:39 PM on December 6, 2012



The Grammy's ?

The "gave best Heavy Metal to Jethro Tull over Metallica" Grammy's ?

They're rigged you say ?

Nah.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 3:41 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


All of these performers are completely unknown to me.

Hey, I've at least heard of Skrillex. But only on Metafilter.

I'm not totally convinced that people here didn't just make him up to fuck with us oldsters
posted by octothorpe at 3:45 PM on December 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Could someone please reassure me that the "music the young folks listen to today just sounds like noise to me" comments on this thread have been made in a spirit of ironic self-mockery or something, and are not a statement anyone born after 1920 would make seriously in the expectation that they would receive nods of agreement rather, than say, peals of laughter and shouts of YOU HAVE BECOME YOUR GRANDPARENTS?
posted by kyrademon at 3:49 PM on December 6, 2012 [8 favorites]


"I Can't Live Without You" was released on September 21, 2012. The cutoff date for the 2013 Grammy nominations was September 30.

9 days. Yeah, shenanigans.
posted by drwicked at 3:52 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm earnest in my "music the young folks listen to today just sounds like rubbish to me" comments. I listen to noise.
This stuff is not noise. In our day people hit bits of metal together, and we liked it.

I know music has moved on, but I have a hard time believing that Al Walser is real or popular. I can't talk about any of the other winners: I've not heard any of the stuff, but I think objectively we can say that song does not pass muster. And everyone makes fun of Skillrex -- except Korn.
posted by Mezentian at 3:57 PM on December 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wow, just Nthing everyone else, I thought there was no way the song could be so manifestly ludicrous and bad. But it was.
posted by smoke at 4:00 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Could someone please reassure me that the "music the young folks listen to today just sounds like noise to me" comments on this thread have been made in a spirit of ironic self-mockery or something, and are not a statement anyone born after 1920 would make seriously in the expectation that they would receive nods of agreement rather, than say, peals of laughter and shouts of YOU HAVE BECOME YOUR GRANDPARENTS

Well, my grandparents would think it sucks, too.


(There must be an 'elderly person listens to skrillex' supercut out there by now...)
posted by madajb at 4:03 PM on December 6, 2012


This is nothing new.

Anyone remember Toto?


Toto who were nominated for a Best New Artist Grammy in 1978 after their first single, "Hold The Line" hit #5 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100?

Yeah, I just searched for Al Walser on Billboard and it came up with zero results.
posted by The World Famous at 4:04 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bob Porter: Looks like you've been missing a lot of dance music lately.
Peter Gibbons: I wouldn't say I've been *missing* it, Bob.
posted by tommasz at 4:05 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


His website url is www.internetsuperstar.info. This has got to be some kind of ingenious hoax.
posted by something something at 4:06 PM on December 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


peals of laughter and shouts of YOU HAVE BECOME YOUR GRANDPARENTS

To be fair, our grandparents were right about the Nazis.

Well, some of our grandparents, anyway.
posted by Atom Eyes at 4:07 PM on December 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


I am very excited to discover that outsider and amateur artists are finally eligible for the grammys, because this means my shockingly obscure Captain Beefheart-pastiche, "Replica Mask Trout," is a shoo in for album of the year, 2013.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:08 PM on December 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


And with that one video, Barack Obama said "Liechtenstein" more than any of his 42* predecessors in the presidency.

*Counting Cleveland as one individual, despite having two discrete presidencies.
posted by dhens at 4:10 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


To be fair, our grandparents were right about the Nazis.

Nazi music?
Had a good beat and you could really march to it.
posted by madajb at 4:10 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


In our day people hit bits of metal together, and we liked it.

Test Department! Fuck yeah!

Lawn, get off, etc.
posted by jokeefe at 4:20 PM on December 6, 2012


It's reach a point for me where the only award category I'm even mildly curious about is album packaging.
posted by davebush at 4:23 PM on December 6, 2012


From his Facebook page:

He can either be hard or HARDER. He is a DJ/Artist who takes the dance floor by the balls and grips it there until the crowd begs for submission.
Yikes

Elsewhere in his bio:
Just as most citizens from his native country the " Principality Of Liechtenstein " , Al was born in Switzerland,
makes sense, as Liechtenstein is not very big, and Switzerland is right next door
in the city of Lausanne
... which is on the opposite side of Switzerland from the little principality
- the same day the first Mac Computer was sold on july 16th .
wat
posted by dhens at 4:25 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


>>> Anyone remember Toto?

You mean the band (mostly) on Michael Jackson's Thriller?
posted by grabbingsand at 4:25 PM on December 6, 2012


I'm completely fascinated by this. He's either hacked the vote, or somehow persuaded a number of industry professionals to vote for him over much more successful and higher-quality songs. Not blackmail, surely?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:27 PM on December 6, 2012


Payola? In this day and age, is a Grammy nomination honestly going to result in a big enough (or any, for that matter) boost in sales to justify a bribe? I would be honestly surprised if the answer was yes...but on the other hand, here we are talking about this dude.

> Anyone remember Toto?

hey dont knock toto Rosanna rules
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:28 PM on December 6, 2012


Based on the prominant keytar, Chang must be involved.
posted by jb at 4:28 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Frontier Psychiatry finally makes sense

what does that mean
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:29 PM on December 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


Maybe NARAS is engaging in some kind of bizarre self-criticism/parody?
posted by dhens at 4:31 PM on December 6, 2012


While I don't think bribes are involved, this is somebody who dropped enough money at a fundraiser to get some one on one time with President Obama. Since he's a voter, he could be horse-trading, calling in years worth of favours, or simply taking advantage of a bunch of voters who are totally out of the loop after building up personal connections with them.
posted by thecjm at 4:33 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


It is a lie. Nothing can make Frontier Psychiatry make sense.
posted by ckape at 4:34 PM on December 6, 2012


The Avalanches made Frontier Psychiatry make sense. Or sound awesome, at least.
posted by grabbingsand at 4:36 PM on December 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


From Wikipedia: The resulting list is circulated to all NARAS members, each of whom may vote to nominate in the general field (Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist) and in no more than nine out of 30 other fields on their ballots.

Let's say this guy is really, really good at socializing. He becomes friends with a bunch of NARAS voters who know nothing about dance music. They're in country or Latin or something. He asks them to make Dance one of their nine additional voting categories, and nominate his song. They say sure, for you man, why not?

In other words, this could be a legitimate nomination under a very dubious nomination system.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:39 PM on December 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


I think East Manitoba has a point. I know a fellow who is a voting member of NARAS, has no real concept of music beyond the classical that is his forte, and yet he has the whole ballot in front of him. If you were him, staring at category 49 and blinking, might you also just select the name that looked most familiar?
posted by grabbingsand at 4:41 PM on December 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


The young lass is "German teeny pop sensation Joelina Drews", and he had a song with her on 90210.

Apparently "The hit song " Kids In America " from Touche was one of the chart songs that featured Al Walser."

And here he is from the 1990s "Party With Fun Factory" which "became Japans most played Dance song for the late 90's also topping Japan's ZIP 100 charts".

You can thank me later.

So, basically, he's been around forever (allegedly) and is big in Japan.
And Germany.

And by big I mean.. someone must know who he is.
posted by Mezentian at 4:44 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anyone else getting King Of Comedy vibes? Has Justin Bieber been kidnapped and held hostage or something?
posted by Jakeimo at 4:46 PM on December 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Al Walser sounds like a name of a guy who'd own a Ford dealership.
posted by davebush at 4:52 PM on December 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Justin Bieber been kidnapped and held hostage or something

Well the big Grammy news is that Bieber got snubbed. 0 nominations. So this guy is one up in Bieber.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:52 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Something similar came up in the comics industry a few years ago. The Harvey awards were based on industry nominations, but as fewer people in the industry paid attention or bothered sending in nominations, it culminated in a year where a NASCAR comic was nominated for best single issue, amongst other irregularities.

When nobody really pays attention, it's a lot easier to gain the system if you're hustling. See also college sports polls where the coaches "vote" when actually it's usually some intern filling out the ballot. Every year there's a controversy and every year the system stays exactly the same.
posted by thecjm at 4:57 PM on December 6, 2012


I think East Manitoba has a point. I know a fellow who is a voting member of NARAS, has no real concept of music beyond the classical that is his forte, and yet he has the whole ballot in front of him. If you were him, staring at category 49 and blinking, might you also just select the name that looked most familiar?

I’ve known people like that as well. They vote for their friends, friends of friends, or names that sound familiar or people they think might be cool.

For instance, this is how Skrillex wins Grammys (just an example, not to just pick on him). He’s got the name recognition and will get the vote of those people; the ones who don’t really know anything about the music, or that there’s a backlash, and think they’re making the hip choice. There’s a lot more "guessing what’s supposed to be hip" than there is knowledgable voting.
posted by bongo_x at 5:01 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think East Manitoba, grabbingsand, and bongo_x may be talking about the finally voting process, not the initial nomination process. The nomination process seems much more insular and contained within each particular discipline or genre.
posted by thecjm at 5:04 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


There is absolutely no way that that song, and that video, are a legitimate artistic effort that is being legitimately recognized as such. I disbelieve.
posted by KathrynT at 5:05 PM on December 6, 2012


Here is the official page for the nomination process. It says "members are directed to vote only in their areas of expertise" - it's unclear how or if that is enforced.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:09 PM on December 6, 2012


Sounds like generic dance music to me. As to why it's disparaged in this context, well, the nuances might be subtle..

Frontier Psychiatry finally makes sense

The Avalanches never got a Grammy nomination, but they deserved a Nobel prize. Wayne and Shuster got a special Gemini Award.
posted by ovvl at 5:11 PM on December 6, 2012


i'm 55 and i like skrillex - the other songs were ok - except the al walser one

i can't figure it out - he's got money, he's got pro tools and he can't figure out how to get a woman who doesn't phrase the vocals behind the beat, badly?

he couldn't even fucking edit her into better time?

she fell out of the pocket onto the sidewalk and he can't hear that?

man ...
posted by pyramid termite at 5:13 PM on December 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Her vocals in the chorus remind me of this, which I would rather vote for although that is not, for a variety of reasons, a possibility.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:20 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


The yodeler?

Oh wait, that was Don Walser, the Pavarotti of the Plains.

Check him out, way better than anything on the Grammys.
posted by spitbull at 5:21 PM on December 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Someone's getting gamed here. I'm an outsider. Is the quality of the Grammys always this bad?
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 5:24 PM on December 6, 2012


Gamprin Style, man.

I just learned that Liechtenstein has more corporations than people. Maybe Mitt Romney should get a summer place there to hang with his friends who are people too.
posted by spitbull at 5:35 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


the old music industry was about the middleman, the age of the middleman has gone - Make It Big will teach you to become the Middle Machine! No more need of Record Labels

The funny thing is, without the extra Teutonic capitals, this could easily have been posted in any thread about the music industry on MetaFilter.
posted by escabeche at 5:42 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Middle Machine! Music
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:48 PM on December 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


I just learned that Liechtenstein has more corporations than people. Maybe Mitt Romney should get a summer place there to hang with his friends who are people too.

Take your partisan snark to the megathread*, friend.
We're talking about gamed voting here**.


(* Alas poor megathread.
** Oh wait, it is just like the election. Never mind.)
posted by Mezentian at 6:01 PM on December 6, 2012


John Cage? Is that you?
posted by MattMangels at 6:06 PM on December 6, 2012


davebush: Al Walser sounds like a name of a guy who'd own a Ford dealership.

Tell me you are from Minnesota and are making a joke about Walser Buick GMC.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:13 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just learned that Liechtenstein has more corporations than people.

They have serious power tools: Hilti Aktiengesellschaft.
posted by ovvl at 6:16 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Gawker via Daniel Weisman appears to have the answer:

The Grammys have their own social networking site called Grammy365 ... about 13,000 total members ... Walser's Grammy365 page shows over 4,000 contacts


mmhm
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:21 PM on December 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


I feel like I need to mention that I made my first comment in this thread before listening to the song, and so all the chastisement regarding that comment not really working here is duly accepted, because my god, that's a crap song. Not "crap but I can see how the plebes like it" crap, just plain 'ol crap.
posted by davejay at 7:14 PM on December 6, 2012


Wow, there's really nothing there at all, is there? It's not even laughably bad, it just...exists. Like musical Lorem Ipsum text...vaguely resembling a song in structure, but existing only to occupy the space where an actual song will go later on.
posted by Lazlo at 7:52 PM on December 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


is a Grammy nomination honestly going to result in a big enough (or any, for that matter) boost in sales to justify a bribe?

Hmm...what percentage of actual sales these days is parents/grandparents buying something for a gift? I bet a 'Grammy award winning!' sticker would improve your chances with them?
posted by jacalata at 7:52 PM on December 6, 2012


(Although I think actually East Manitoba is probably right)
posted by jacalata at 7:53 PM on December 6, 2012


Wow, after all that hype I just listened to the Walser song, and it was ... not as bad as I thought? I was expecting something that didn't sound like professional musicians made it, but this song wouldn't strike me as out of place on Magic 98, I don't think.
posted by escabeche at 8:01 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anyone remember Toto?

I remember Toto every day. Usually after coffee. And my output has better production values than this Al Walser video.
posted by fzx101 at 8:04 PM on December 6, 2012


Oh, oh. I'm stunned, stunned I tell you, to find out that the music industry is a filthy snakepit.

Go back 50+ years and find out which two -consecutive- record label owners were "co-writers" of music by Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers. And have a look at who wrote Pat Boone's hits.
posted by Twang at 8:23 PM on December 6, 2012


I couldn't get past the yellow jeep in the video. That right there, in 2012 at least, was a sign it was going to be terrible.
posted by maryr at 9:17 PM on December 6, 2012


He's not unknown! He did a tribute song with Jermaine Jackson & The MJ All-Stars.

You must watch all the songs.
posted by Mezentian at 9:37 PM on December 6, 2012


The saddest thing about this whole story is that out of those five tracks Skrillex really is the standout. *sigh*

Reading this thread was worth it for the Avalanches though. I'm always pleasantly surprised when they pop up.
posted by carsonb at 10:28 PM on December 6, 2012


Al Walser just did an interview with the EDM network. I just skimmed it, but dude sounds like a platitude machine. Around 22:40 he talks about using the "tools at his disposal, that are legal, to make things happen" (paraphrased).
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 12:38 AM on December 7, 2012


Meanwhile, Mumford & Sons got nominated for six awards so who knows if anything makes sense anymore. I throw up my hands at the whole thing.
posted by naju at 5:36 PM on December 6 [2 favorites +] [!]



ftfy.
posted by SPUTNIK at 6:10 AM on December 7, 2012


Better to tell me the command of how to add strikethrough on selected text than to fix it for me. Fishing rod etc Please?
posted by infini at 7:01 AM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was expecting something that didn't sound like professional musicians made it,

You must not hang around professional musicians. Even on a technical level that song sounds like someone's high school project.
posted by spitbull at 8:32 AM on December 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


There's nothing in that song that's as bad as the monotone nasal that dominates Rebecca Black's Friday, though Walser's vocals approach that territory -- but they're not nearly as prominent in this song. Not a fair comparison!
posted by Anything at 9:45 AM on December 7, 2012


That song is pure amateur garbage. The poor production value alone should have squelched any legitimate consideration. I mean that woman can't even start her verse in time.
posted by SounderCoo at 9:50 AM on December 7, 2012


Is there a lyric in that song about how the couple has been together for "thirty years and eleven days"?
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:04 AM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


use strike for strikethrough (like you'd use 'i' for italics)
posted by jacalata at 10:12 AM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Huffpo has a theory
posted by empath at 10:46 AM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm mildly surprised that no one in the thread has compared the video to 'Zlad''s Elektronik Supersonik, and frankly, I have to wonder if the similarity isn't intentional.
posted by Anything at 10:55 AM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


jacalata
posted by infini at 12:02 PM on December 7, 2012


I have a theory
that it's a demon.
posted by maryr at 1:12 PM on December 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Mezentian: "became Japans most played Dance song for the late 90's also topping Japan's ZIP 100 charts".

You can thank me later.

So, basically, he's been around forever (allegedly) and is big in Japan.
"

I went clubbing in Tokyo every single weekend in the late 90's. I have never heard this song. Also, "ZIP charts"? The only charts I've heard of here are Oricon and Yusen. So I checked: the ZIP charts are the charts of airplay by ZIP FM, which is some radio station in Nagoya.

So, no, not big in Japan. Always be suspicious of the expression "big in Japan". It is generally used by musicians when they want to claim they're big in a big, developed country, but need to pick one where few folks can fact-check them, or is used by non-musicians to make fun of Japan for having bad musical taste. The only band I can remember hearing described as "big in Japan" that actually was big in Japan was Mr. Big.
posted by Bugbread at 3:19 PM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Not into this stuff at all, but many high school efforts are more professional. I then listened to "Avicii: Levels", started out very professional and plastic then I realized that was the ad... the music video turned out to be quite clever and not at all unpleasant to listen to, not something I'd be drawn to but I'd certainly dance to it, given the right circumstances... why aren't there more MeFi dance party meetups?
posted by sammyo at 4:47 PM on December 7, 2012


Thanks Bugbread.
I did wonder at the claims on his website as that Fun Factory song was suitably awful in picking up every '90s rap-party cliche that it made Vanilla Ice's Ice Ice Baby seem original.

But, Japan is a strange place at times, so who knows? I mean... Mr Big?
posted by Mezentian at 5:08 PM on December 7, 2012


"tools at his disposal, that are legal, to make things happen"

HILTI tools.
posted by ovvl at 8:51 PM on December 7, 2012


I'm going to go with the name recognition explanation, too, if only because much as I like Swedish House Mafia "Don't Worry Child" is not a good song by them.

It's doubly insulting to see this category be the gamed one because "EDM" is pop music right now. It's the most popular genre of popular music.
posted by subdee at 9:01 PM on December 7, 2012


I don't know how the nominations process works, but if everyone has to nominate, say, five songs, I can see a bunch of people just throwing Al on at the end to fill out their list. Without having listened to his song, obviously.
posted by subdee at 9:03 PM on December 7, 2012


That's just it. EDM as a whole is music by non musicians pushing damn buttons and thinking they have a groove.

I hate EDM.
posted by spitbull at 4:28 AM on December 8, 2012


Oh, that was because I finally checked out the othe "legit" Grammy EDM nominees.

They all sound like amateur crap. Walser's success is much more explicable. Who can tell?
posted by spitbull at 4:31 AM on December 8, 2012


non musicians pushing damn buttons

You mean... accordionists?
posted by Wolfdog at 6:15 AM on December 8, 2012 [7 favorites]


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