By now, most people familiar with this year's Grammys are aware of Al Walser's nomination in the Best Dance Recording category for his song "I Can't Live Without You." The controversy surrounding Walser has to do with his unknown status as a dance act but, through a loophole in the Grammy voting process, legitimately, diligently and successfully lobbied online for votes. The results, some are saying, have embarrassed the Recording Academy but Grammy folk are stoically twisting the pickle to look like they encourage grassroots and a level playing field, which is riotous spin in its thinnest form.
If anything, it has shown that most voters, while attentively voting for the prestigious categories of Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year, pay little attention to, what is obviously seen as lesser categories like Best Dance Recording. The numbers speak for themselves -- Facebook and Youtube "likes" and "hits" are only in the few thousands for Walser compared to his fellow nominees like Skrillex and Swedish House Mafia which run up to the millions. So it's an easy argument when trying to prove his Grammy illegitimacy.
Naturally, his nomination ignited a shitstorm. From all sides, journalists, disgruntled dance acts and the general public voiced their disapproval. To his credit, Walser compared what he did to nothing more than what record labels already do during award season and stood his ground. As an outsider, nowhere near being Grammy-worthy, I think I can objectively state what hasn't been said enough through this whole debacle:
AL WALSER IS MY MOTHERF***ING HERO.
I will be honest, my knowledge on Electronic Dance Music is surface at best. I like a few acts but I am far from qualified to deem which one is better than the next. Upon first listen to Walser's "I Can't Live Without You" song, my skin started to wrinkle and my toes started to curl in agony.
I strongly believe that Walser's music will be the soundtrack Lucifer will be playing through Hell's sound system when I inevitably get sent down there on judgement day. It is music meant for dudes who think wearing shiny gold baseball hats sideways, Bill Cosby sweaters and acid wash jeans are cool, but Walser is still my hero.
All of us, especially the ones of us who make music for a living, would love to get nominated for a Grammy and go to the ceremony. And every year 99.999 per cent of us get shut out and left holding the bag (usually filled with potato chips on our couch) watching the beautiful people pose, hobnob and generally act entitled because they...well...kinda are since they're at The Grammys and the rest of us are not.
Only Walser had the cojones, and quite frankly the time since his career wasn't exactly taking off anywhere, to sit in front of his computer like Matthew Broderick in War Games, and crash the party. To me, it's the best prank on the industry since Shawn Fanning created Napster.
As far as I'm concerned, there's too much sunshine shone up celebrities asses on a daily basis. Al Walser is our pop culture leveler. What gets forgotten by most is that a 6th grade teacher teaching a class of kids to read is monumentally more important and beneficial to our society than whatever Beyoncé is currently doing or not doing.
Maybe Walser's nomination can remind the people who think their shit doesn't stink that it in fact does, only some, like Walser's, is more odorous.