2011 Grammy breakdown

53rd Annual Grammy Awards: nominees & videos…and winners

In anticipation of the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards tomorrow tonight, i.e. Sunday, February 13 (7:00c on CBS), I thought I’d present a snappy breakdown of the 2010 Nominees, along with videos to the music where appropriate.  I’ll skip the wordy gymnastics (that I generally so love to engage in), and just move along to the list** and respective links.
**Just as a note, I’m only including the awards that are typically broadcast or most popular – otherwise, you’d be swimming through 109 categories.  If you’re dead set on viewing the complete list of nominees, do so here.

Following last night’s ceremony, winners have now been italicized!

Record Of The Year
Nothin’ On You, B.o.B Feat. Bruno Mars
Love The Way You Lie, Eminem Feat. Rihanna
F*** You, Cee Lo Green
Empire State Of Mind, Jay-Z & Alicia Keys
Need You Now, Lady Antebellum

Album Of The Year
The Suburbs, Arcade Fire
-Recovery, Eminem
-Need You Now, Lady Antebellum
-The Fame Monster, Lady Gaga
-Teenage Dream, Katy Perry

Song Of The Year
Beg Steal Or Borrow, Ray LaMontagne And The Pariah Dogs
F*** You, Cee Lo Green
The House That Built Me, Miranda Lambert
Love The Way You Lie, Eminem Feat. Rihanna
Need You Now, Lady Antebellum

Best New Artist
-Justin Bieber
-Florence & The Machine
-Mumford & Sons
Esperanza Spalding

Best Female Pop Vocal Performance
King Of Anything, Sara Bareilles
Halo (Live), Beyonce
Chasing Pirates, Norah Jones
Bad Romance, Lady Gaga
Teenage Dream, Katy Perry

Best Male Pop Vocal Performance
Haven’t Met You Yet, Michael Buble
This Is It, Michael Jackson
Whataya Want From Me, Adam Lambert
Just The Way You Are, Bruno Mars
Half Of My Heart, John Mayer

Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals
Don’t Stop Believin’ (Regionals Version), Glee Cast
Misery, Maroon 5
The Only Exception, Paramore
Babyfather, Sade
Hey, Soul Sister (Live), Train

Best Pop Vocal Album
-My World 2.0, Justin Bieber
-I Dreamed A Dream, Susan Boyle
The Fame Monster, Lady Gaga
-Battle Studies, John Mayer
-Teenage Dream, Katy Perry

Best Dance Recording
Rocket, Goldfrapp
In For The Kill, La Roux
Dance In The Dark, Lady Gaga
Only Girl (In The World), Rihanna
Dancing On My Own, Robyn

Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance
Run Back To Your Side, Eric Clapton
Crossroads, John Mayer
Helter Skelter, Paul McCartney
Silver Rider, Robert Plant
Angry World, Neil Young

Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals
Ready To Start, Arcade Fire
I Put A Spell On You, Jeff Beck & Joss Stone
Tighten Up, The Black Keys
Radioactive, Kings Of Leon
Resistance, Muse

Best Rock Song
Angry World, Neil Young
Little Lion Man, Mumford & Sons
Radioactive, Kings Of Leon
Resistance, Muse
Tighten Up, The Black Keys

Best Rock Album
-Emotion & Commotion, Jeff Beck
The Resistance, Muse
-Backspacer, Pearl Jam
-Mojo, Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers
-Le Noise, Neil Young

Best Alternative Music Album
-The Suburbs, Arcade Fire
-Infinite Arms, Band Of Horses
Brothers, The Black Keys
-Broken Bells, Broken Bells
-Contra, Vampire Weekend

Best R&B Song
Bittersweet, Fantasia
Finding My Way Back, Jaheim
Second Chance, El DeBarge
Shine, John Legend & The Roots
Why Would You Stay, Kem

Best R&B Album
-The Love & War Masterpeace, Raheem DeVaughn
-Back To Me, Fantasia
-Another Round, Jaheim
Wake Up!, John Legend & The Roots
-Still Standing, Monica

Best Contemporary R&B Album
-Graffiti, Chris Brown
-Untitled, R. Kelly
-Transition, Ryan Leslie
-The ArchAndroid, Janelle Monae
Raymond V Raymond, Usher

Best Rap Solo Performance
Over, Drake
Not Afraid, Eminem
How Low, Ludacris
I’m Back, T.I.
Power, Kanye West

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
Nothin’ On You, B.o.B & Bruno Mars
Deuces, Chris Brown, Tyga & Kevin McCall
Love The Way You Lie, Eminem & Rihanna
Empire State Of Mind, Jay-Z & Alicia Keys
Wake Up Everybody, John Legend, The Roots, Melanie Fiona & Common

Best Rap Song
Empire State Of Mind, Jay-Z & Alicia Keys
Love The Way You Lie, Eminem & Rihanna
Not Afraid, Eminem
Nothin’ On You, B.o.B & Bruno Mars
On To The Next One, Jay-Z & Swizz Beatz

Best Rap Album
-The Adventures Of Bobby Ray, B.o.B
-Thank Me Later, Drake
Recovery, Eminem
-The Blueprint 3, Jay-Z
-How I Got Over, The Roots

Best Country Song
The Breath You Take, George Strait
Free, Zac Brown Band
The House That Built Me, Miranda Lambert
I’d Love To Be Your Last, Gretchen Wilson
If I Die Young, The Band Perry
Need You Now, Lady Antebellum

Best Country Album
-Up On The Ridge, Dierks Bentley
-You Get What You Give, Zac Brown Band
-The Guitar Song, Jamey Johnson
Need You Now, Lady Antebellum
-Revolution, Miranda Lambert

Wild cards

Get to know the Murfie team, round 1

A product or service is only as cool as the people behind it.  What makes Murfie go?  Good ideas and hard work – both generated by (surprise, surprise!) people.  So who makes Murfie go?  A team of smart, lively, Midwestern (yes, they can all coexist) entrepreneurs and techies who happen to like music and the possibilities of combining community and digital media.

Now, let’s take out Murfie’s deck of cards (metaphor alert! cards=people) and learn a little bit more about who really helps make Murfie tick (i.e. Murfie’s executive team players):

Role at Murfie: The guy with the crazy ideas who’s crazy enough to chase after them and somehow convince really smart people to help out.
15-words-or-less professional bio: Serial entrepreneur, electrical engineer, software developer, beer tap inventor, patent holder, and startup community supporter.
Current location/hiding place of CD collection: Murfie, of course!
Favorite album(s): Sympathique by Pink Martini; Mozart Concertos 23 & 27 with Brendel on Piano; Black and White by The Bodeans.
Vinyl, disc, or digital: LOSSLESS digital.
What makes Madison great? We’re the city of friendly creatives. We work hard, play hard, and have the IQ without the attitude.
Complete the sentence: Murfie is…not just another online music experience. If you truly want to OWN your music, Murfie is the only way to go.

Role at Murfie: The world may never know. However, it seems to have something to do with figuring things out. Then tidying up the kitchen. Then figuring them out again. Then building a chair. Then figuring them out again. Then ordering some keys. Then figuring them out again. Then eating a…
15-words-or-less professional bio: Preston is one cool guy. He’s also some sort of Internet and social systems guru. (is the conjunction cheating?)
Current location/hiding place of CD collection: In the extremely dusty shoebox that originally held a very nice pair of men’s dress shoes that are still with us, on the shelf next to the box (from New Balance running shoes, lost to history) of toys I keep for cats and children to play with.
Favorite album(s): Play by Moby; Stop Making Sense by Talking Heads; No Angel by Dido; Falling Further In by October Project; Broken by Nine Inch Nails; Run Lola Run soundtrack by Tykwer; Johnny Klimek; Reinhold Heil.
Vinyl, disc, or digital: Live.
What makes Madison great? I do. You can too. There’s room for more than just us.
Complete the sentence: Murfie is…seriously kicking my ass right now, but I think I’ll get the upper hand soon and wrestle it to the ground. It’s also loads of fun to work on a music site. Music is awesome. I mean, really, what’s not to love about trading cool music???

Man of mystery/actual wild card…for now…

Sayonara, plastic CD packaging!

Bidding a proper farewell to jewel cases

Here at Murfie HQ, we try to do the right, and cool, thing.  In the Murfieland context, that means providing an awesome service for buying, selling, and trading music, AND recycling plastic CD packaging.  Murfie isn’t into this whole plastics recycling thing because we are all (light/dark/bright) green-eyed, bleeding-heart liberal monsters…we recycle because it’s the right thing to do for your music experience as well as U.S. municipal solid waste (MSW) management.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, over half of MSW (54.3%) is discarded into landfills, and 11.9% is burned at combustion facilities.  No matter the shade of your environmental eyes, that’s pretty icky for our planet.  What sort of trash are we disposing in landfills or burning?…well, along with paper, metals, yard trimmings, and glass (etc.), plastics make up 12.3% of total municipal solid waste generation.

And guess what?  Only 7 percent of that plastic waste is recovered for recycling.

A 7% recycling rate is pretty darn low.  Too low, actually.  The only right thing to do is up that rate.  That’s why Murfie makes it our business to always separate out and recycle the plastics that comprise CD packaging.  This ends up being a pretty big job, as we accumulate tons and tons of boxes chock full of jewel cases.  But because Murfie can make anything awesome, we had a bit of fun and put together a time-lapse video depicting what an epic chore unloading plastic CD stuff can be.  Check it out!

P.S. If you want to know more about that whole plastics recycling thing (and much, much more!), the EPA has put out a great facts and figures report on MSW generation, recycling, and disposal.

Staff Picks: Underground Hip Hop

This week we like…Underground Hip Hop

Introducing a new weekly (let’s hope!) section. While working in the Murfie ingest room, we sometimes come across CDs our customers have sent in that we know and love – and think you should know too.  So we’ve decided to begin posting some of our favorites, to help get the word out about what we’re up to here and to give those of you who already know first crack at some of the best music to come through the Murfie vault.  This week has brought in a lot of excellent underground hip hop, and I’ve chosen four of my personal favorites.

The Gravediggaz: “Six Feet Deep”

Gravediggaz Six Feet DeepAfter the huge success of Wu-Tang Clan’s debut, “Enter the 36 Chambers,” producer/MC RZA teamed up with Prince Paul and brought us Gravediggaz, a grimy, goofy album of horror-movie themed hip hop.

Sway & King Tech Present: “The Wake-Up Show Freestyles Vol. 7”

Wake Up Show FreestylesThe Wake-Up Show is a nationally syndicated hip hop radio show hosted by Sway & King Tech, perhaps best known for being the vehicle which brought a young Eminem to the attention of Dr. Dre.  This volume of Wake-Up Show Freestyles includes drops from Common, Raekwon, Dead Prez, and Chicago freestyle phenomenon Juice.

Okayplayer: “Truenotes Vol. 1”

OkayPlayerRoots drummer Amir “Questlove” Thompson founded Okayplayer in 1987 as an informal musical community, and it has since evolved into a tastemaking online platform for some of the best underground hip-hop artists both here and internationally.  This Okayplayer sponsored mixtape includes exclusive tracks from Little Brother, The Roots, Jean Grae, Rjd2, and Blackalicious, many of which are not available elsewhere.

Various Artists: “High School High Soundtrack”

High School HighThis may seem like a strange choice, but the soundtrack to this 1996 Jon Lovitz vehicle is full of standout tracks from the Wu-Tang Clan, Scarface, Grand Puba, and Lil’ Kim.  My personal favorite, however, is a bizarrely awesome R&B cover of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” by a little-known group called The Braids.

Murfie’s origin story

Why Murfie is Murfie

Q: What’s up with your name?!  Does Murfie mean anything?
That’s a good question.  And the answer is actually quite relevant to our business model and vision.  Murfie comes from the acronym MRF, which stands for materials recycling facility and is pronounced “murf” – so it wasn’t rocket science to add those last two letters to MRF and make it sound awesome.

Now, what’s so significant about a materials recycling facility?  And is Murfie anything like a MRF?  Well, you can in fact think of Murfie as a specialized plant that receives, separates, and processes recyclable materials, which in our case is your collection of discs.  Like a MRF, Murfie does indeed receive materials (CDs!) that can be sorted and prepared for end-users (murfie.com customers!).  Our treatment goes a bit like this:
1) We capture the value of physical CDs by taking your discs and turning them into digital music upon request,
2) while shedding the unwanted plastic packaging (and of course, recycling those materials)
3) and then we create and deliver value by providing an online selling, trading, and buying community that is both fun and hassle-free.

As you can see, Murfie’s mission is to contribute to the dematerialization movement – reduce the total material that’s required to serve a function.  So is less more?  Well, by freeing your home of physical clutter and turning those CDs into digital media, as well as recycling all other unnecessary materials, murfie.com certainly does more with less.

Taking out our art supplies

Why should you go Murfie?

Every successful startup has a great answer to the big WHY question.  Why is your company launching?  Why is your product or service cool?  Why is it desirable or useful or better than the rest in your market?

Murfie has a pretty solid but simple answer to this.  Fact is, murfie.com is awesome.  That’s what our website header says, and that’s how our team feels about our new way to buy, sell, and trade music.  Now that may seem slightly presumptuous of us to claim (although give us some credit – a disclaimer is included admitting lack of scientific proof), but allow me to elaborate.  If I may, I’d like to present some evidence to back up our assertion of awesomeness.   A rigorous scientific study is still pending, but sometimes a framework that is a bit more, shall we say, elementary gets the point across more effectively and proves your point quicker too.

I’m going to go a little old-school here.  Remember when in grade school your teacher assigned you the feel-good project of spelling out your name vertically with complimentary or self-congratulatory (depending on how modest you felt that day) descriptors for each letter?  If you missed out on the (intended to be) exploratory and enlightening exercise, no problem!  I took the liberty of devising one for Murfie, in order to corroborate our claim of awesomeness.  So without further ado, here is our version.

MORE.  Murfie is a more convenient and accessible way to buy, sell, and trade more music, which makes finding or sharing used music more fun.
SERS.  Murfie is user friendly, and we do our best to make our buying, selling, and trading service easy to use for everyone.
ESPECTFUL.  Murfie respects the rights of artists and creators, and we respect your property too.  Give Murfie a try, but if you don’t love selling or trading on Murfie, we’ll ship your discs back to you at no cost.
FRIENDLY.  Murfie is a team of friendly people working to make your experience user-friendly and our business environmentally friendly.  Murfie limits waste by recycling plastic CD packaging: free up space in your home and prevent improper recycling of sleeves and jewel cases by letting Murfie turn your CDs into digital music!
NDIVIDUAL.  Murfie is what YOU make it.  Go Murfie and make the experience your own by searching, trading, buying, OR selling old music.
ASY.  Check out this video to see how easy it is to get your CDs onto our site and sell them for cash or have fun trading.

Bottom line, Murfie is an online selling, trading, and buying community for music lovers.  Check out murfie.com to see if you agree with my grade-school project…perhaps a few reasons are left to be discovered.

Disc Drive for Charity at Madison Holiday Happy Hour

Got Discs? Sell & trade them on Murfie and help Goodman Community Center!

Box of compact discsIf you have music on compact discs you don’t play anymore Murfie will donate $1 to the center for every 10 music CDs you bring to the event for us to list on murfie.com. We’re donating to charity on your behalf, but your discs still belong to you, we just load them into a new murfie.com account for you to sell and trade for cash and new music. We offer a variety of delivery formats for new music you buy or trade for on Murfie.

We’ll collect an email address along with your discs and contact you after we list them. Murfie is currently in private beta so we’ll send you an invite after the event – but you can watch this video or read more about how murfie.com works today. Key point is that it is risk free, if you don’t love selling or trading on Murfie, we’ll ship your discs back to you on request free of charge.

Murfie Disc Drive DropoffSo turn music collecting dust into cash & music you love while helping the Goodman Center. Bring that box or caselogic folder full of discs from the attic, closet, or shelf where they’re hiding and come enjoy a drink at imby.info‘s Holiday Happy Hour fundraiser. It’s on Wednesday, Dec 15, between 5 and 7:30*

Update: you can also drop discs off earlier that day at our offices in downtown Madison: 1 South Pinckney St, Suite 818 in the US Bank building