The Grammy Awards made an effort to get younger, hipper and more relevant this year by nominating people like Lil Wayne, Radiohead, and M.I.A. in major categories. But, in the end, the same voters who always seem to go for what's old, respected, and safe triumphed by awarding Robert Plant and Alison Krauss' (admittedly not bad) duets project both Record of the Year and Album of the Year along with three other trophies, making them the night's biggest winners. Behind them was Wayne with four wins including Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song for "Lollipop". Coldplay took three golden gramophones home, including Song of the Year for "Viva La Vida" and Best Rock Album.
Other Pitchfork-friendly acts who accumulated some hardware last night: Radiohead won for Best Alternative Music Album and Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package for In Rainbows-- and anyone who owns the hardcover double-vinyl Rainbows set knows the award was well-deserved. (Though Trent Reznor, whose Ghosts set was up for the same award, disagreed.) Daft Punk were also two-time winners, taking Best Dance/Electronic Album for their live record Alive 2007, and Best Dance Recording for "Harder Better Faster Stronger" off the same album. (All that Kanye love couldn't have hurt).
Speaking of Mr. West, the sometime Grammy brat was involved in two award-winning tracks-- Estelle's "American Boy" (Best Rap/Sung Collaboration) and his collaboration with Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, and T.I., "Swagga Like Us" (Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group). Justice nabbed Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical for their reworking of MGMT's "Electric Feel", Weezer took Best Short Form Music Video for their viral-ready "Pork and Beans" clip, Bruce Springsteen made the Best Rock Song-- "Girls in Their Summer Clothes"-- according to the Recording Academy, and They Might Be Giants beat out all others to win Best Musical Album for Children.
Check out a list of all the nominations and winners here.
M.I.A. may have lost her Record of the Year bid, but the very pregnant pop rebel (she's due any minute now) did take part in the night's undoubted highlight, a black-tie take on "Swagga Like Us" along with Kanye, Wayne, Jay, and T.I. And it's not like she tried to hide her bump, either-- her polka-dot bikini/mesh outfit left little to the imagination. It was easily the most fearless performance of the entire night.
A few Pitchfork staffers kept tabs on the proceedings via the Pitchfork Twitter, while ?uestlove's and Diplo's takes from inside the belly of the beast are essential reading.
There were other highlights, too. Ladies and gentlemen, your Grammy Superlatives:
Best Pete Wentz Tribute: Bono and his guyliner
Best Smile: The Rock
Best Tinsel-Based Shoulder Adornment: Chris Martin
Most Likely to Be High on Three Too Many Painkillers: Whitney Houston (runner-up: Travis Barker)
Best Neil Diamond Impersonator: Neil Diamond
Best Mick Jagger-With-An-Itch Impression (Or Muppet impression): Thom Yorke
Best Nomination Cutaway: Faux-water-breaking M.I.A.
Most Likely to Be a Cyborg Who's Hiding Crucial Machinery Under His Hat: Kenny Chesney
Most Likely to Be a "Close Talker": Kevin Jonas
Most Likely to Be Watching the Grammys from Home in Two Years (Please?): Miley Cyrus
Best So-Called Bling: Joe Jonas
Most Likely to Be Checking Wikipedia to See If He Is Indeed Still Alive: Ringo Starr
Most Likely to Be Long-Lost Brothers: T-Pain and will.i.am
Best Guitar Solo: Carrie Underwood's badass blonde bombshell axe slinger (apologies to B.B. King and Buddy Guy)