The Grammys, postponed as the Omicron wave crested in late January, are on this Sunday, and Seattle is well-represented. Brandi Carlile is up for the Big One (not to be confused with the Big One), i.e., Record of the Year, as well as Song of the Year and, controversially, Best Solo Pop Performance. Indie folk darlings Fleet Foxes are nominated for Best Alternative Album, and Chris Cornell of Soundgarden, who passed away in 2017, is up for a posthumous nomination against the Foo Fighters in the Best Rock Album category. The latter were slated to perform on Sunday, alongside Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo, and Carlile, among others, but have canceled their performance following the unexpected death of their drummer, Taylor Hawkins.
Hawkins made a name for himself in the '90s touring with Alanis Morissette, she of the raven locks and alt-rock angst, and joined the Foo Fighters in 1997 at frontman (and former Nirvana drummer) Dave Grohl’s behest. He died a week ago in Bogota, with a cause of death as of yet undetermined.
It’s hard to overstate the Foo Fighters’ significance; they defined the post-grunge Seattle sound in the '90s and early 2000s, and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year, practically the very moment they became eligible. Their most recent album, Medicine at Midnight, is the one nominated for Best Rock Album, with track “Waiting on a War” up for Best Rock Song. “Making a Fire,” also from Medicine at Midnight, is nominated in the Best Performance category. The band has canceled all of its upcoming tour dates, along with the Grammys performance, but the awards show will feature a tribute of some kind to the late percussionist.
In other primetime news, American Song Contest, the stateside answer to Eurovision, debuted this month on NBC. Contestants represent all 50 states in a tournament-style competition. Silky-voiced and charmingly disheveled, R&B crooner Allen Stone is our state’s champion.
Who will be the Ireland (the nation that, with seven wins, has netted the most Eurovision victories) in this American iteration of the sixty-six-year-old song contest? We are the Evergreen State (even if it’s not official). Emerald Isle, Evergreen State…just sayin’. Of course, that’s only if the format of the show doesn’t prove too confusing to the American public for it to get a second season.