Both in response to charges that the Grammys have become exceedingly irrelevant and as a way to better focus on mass tastes, the Recording Academy last week announced the dismissal of 31 categories for next year's awards — only to, hilariously, piss off a whole new group of people. Now angered: all the musicians and labels that traffic in the lesser-known genres that the academy was, one presumes, actually doing a good job of representing. Academy president Neil R. Portnow met with aggrieved academy members in New York on Monday, and they let him have it about depriving them of categories in which they had eligibility. The response from Jochen Becker, of jazz and blues label Zoho, is representative: "[The academy] fixed a problem that none of us here in this room really saw ... We have gone the wrong way on this.” Portnow seemed spooked: "As we said, this is a fluid process. We may have done some things we want to rethink in a year.” Ah, Neil, now you're just going to have more people yelling at you. [NYT]
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