Photography by Janeen Lund
Every January, without fail, I seem to find myself wishing I were British. Yes, part of the allure is that my southern Wisconsin upbringing has rendered me entirely accent neutral but more than that it's the fact that whenever I compare the Grammy nominations to the Brit Award nominations, which were just announced, I realize how totally snoozy mainstream America's approach to and appreciation of music really is.
While we're obsessed with autotuned hip hop or middling power ballads from douchey alternative rock bands, the Brits regularly send eccentric, obscure, and/or unclassifiable acts like Bat for Lashes or Florence and the Machine (pictured above) to the top of the charts and honor them with Brit Award nominations. Florence, currently number 1 on the UK charts, will perform at the award show on February 16 and will battle for the title of best British female solo act against Bat for Lashes, Leona Lewis, Lily Allen and Pixie Lott. She's also up for British breakthrough act along with Friendly Fires, JLS, and La Roux.
In the British male artist category, Robbie Williams goes up against Dizzee Rascal, Mika, Paolo Nutini, and Calvin Harris. Lady Gaga is nominated for three awards including best international female artist, international breakthrough (going up against Animal Collective, Empire of the Sun, and Daniel Merriweather), and best international album.
Shockingly, Susan Boyle, who had the biggest-selling British album of 2009, was completely shut out. However, SuBo might still make an appearance as the gossip hounds are howling about a possible duet between the "I Dreamed A Dream" singer and Lady Gaga (who is confirmed to perform at the award show).
-- NOAH MICHELSON
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