Grammy winners include many gay faves

The Grammy Awards broadcast doesn’t feature all that many handing-out of trophies (which is frustrating for those of us who care about, oh you know, the winners). I mean, they have time for two performances each by Bruno Mars and Adele (three for Adele, if you count her post-F-bomb do-over) and lame bits by overrated host James Corden, but can’t even do a scroll of winners? It’s why I hate the show in general… though having Laverne Cox as a presenter and Kayne leaving empty-handed almost made it worth it.

But in between musical performances — including a baby-bumped Beyonce that will surely be the most talked-about appearance of the night — they did reveal a number of recipients, many adored by (or part of) the LGBT community. (Since there are nearly 100 categories, I’ll limit myself to the biggest ones and those of the most interest.)

Early on, the late David Bowie proved a favorite with four wins for his final album, Blackstar, which dropped last year just days before his death. The androgynous legend won for best rock performance and rock song for the eponymous single, best alternative music album and best engineering. (The album also took best recording package.)

Adele took the three top prizes of the night, including album of the year (and pop vocal album for 25, as well as song of the year (awarded to the composers) and record of the year (to the performer and producer) for “Hello,” plus best pop solo performance. Best pop duo/group performance went to Twenty-One Pilots for “Stressed Out.”

Best music video was no surprise: Beyonce’s “Formation.” (Lemonade also took urban contemporary album, though in her acceptance speech, Adele all but gave it to her for album of the year.) But her sister Solange proved a winner, too, when “Cranes in the Sky” took best R&B performance.

Best new artist went to Chance the Rapper, who spent an inordinate amount of time thanking god for his win. He also won best rap performance for “No Problem” and rap album for his debut disc. Drake won best rap/sung collaboration for “Hotline Bling,” which also took best rap song.

Best country performance (duo or group) went to the pairing of Arlington natives Pentatonix (with gay members) with queer icon Dolly Parton for “Jolene.”

The best spoken word album went to Carol Burnett for In Such Good Company. Best comedy album went to Patton Oswalt for Talking for Clapping. (He bested, among others, Tig Notaro and Margaret Cho.) Best world music album went to cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble for Sing Me Home. Cast recording of a musical went to The Color Purple.

Best soundtrack for visual media (movie or TV) went to John Williams’ score to The Force Awakens. Best song written for visual media went to Justin Timberlake and company for “Cant Stop the Feeling!” from Trolls. It’s also nominated for an Oscar, but it bears noting, La La Land was not eligible this year.

Best traditional pop vocal album went to Texan Willie Nelson for Summertime: Willie Nelson Sing Gershwin. Best rock album went to Tell Me I’m Pretty from Cage The Elephant. Best dance recording went to The Chainsmokers for “Don’t Let Me Down.” Best dance/electronic album went to Flume’s Skin.

Best engineered album classical went to the recording of gay composer John Corigliano’s opera, The Ghosts of Versailles, which also took best opera recording.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

SOUND BITES: Reviews of Solange’s EP ‘True,’ ‘Girls Soundtrack’

This week is the Music Issue at the Voice, so to whet your appetite, we offer up some reviews by Chris Azzopardi — of the soundtrack to the hit HBO comedy Girls as well as the impressive follow-up by Beyonce’s sister Solange, True.

Girls Soundtrack, Volume 1 (various artists): Robyn’s sad-but-liberating “Dancing on My Own” already made life infinitely better, but then HBO’s groundbreaking series Girls, which just returned for its second season, did something awesome with it last year: They had the show’s star/creator — Lena Dunham’s every-girl Hannah — shake out her boy blues to the tune. Awesome how? Any Robyn fan can relate to the dorkiness of shadowing the Swede’s moves in their bedroom.

You have to hand it to the music supervisors of Girls: They have an ear for twenty-something “quarter-life crisis” music as much as they understand that girls, too, just wanna have fun. Icona Pop brings the Cyndi Lauper to the party with the unapologetic anthem “I Love It,” as does Santigold’s “Girls” theme — an addictive little joint looped with a merry-go-round of voice samples and a hard bass line.

In the woe-is-me department: Grouplove’s “Everyone’s Gonna Get High” fantastically captures growing up directionless through a surging indie-rock sound, and two tracks in particular — Michael Penn’s “On Your Way” and Harper Simon’s “Wishes and Stars” — are wistful gems. The new song from Tegan and Sara (the girls’ surprising take on The Rolling Stones’ “Fool to Cry,” a bonus track) is a faithful cover that’s characteristically harmonious and also resembles them in their pre-pop days. “Sight of the Sun” from fun. might also be the best song not on their auspicious debut. Now please let the music from Season 2 of Girls be this good. Three and a half stars

—  Arnold Wayne Jones