By Ben Holcomb
The Grammy Award Nominations were released yesterday to predictable fanfare. Many were excited about a few things1, and outraged by even more2. But the most perplexing and disorienting nugget of information that arose from an otherwise meaningless and unimportant PR stunt was that some random guy just might have”conned” his way towards a run at a Grammy.
This guy’s name is DJ Al Walser, and he’s up against world famous Skrillex, Avicii, Calvin Harris and the Swedish House Mafia in the Best Dance Recording category. Good for him, right? After all, many of the Grammy Award Nominations have names on them that we can only nod and act like we’ve heard the song before so our hipster friends don’t alienate us from their free range chicken barbeques. But this guy is actually a nobody, in that hardly anyone has ever heard of him. That can’t be right though…can it?
DJ Al Walser, a shortened version of Alexander Walser-Rothschild3, is a singer-songwriter from Liechtenstein, which is a beautiful country just above (gibberish) and adjacent to (more gibberish). He’s also owner of a company called “Cut the Bull Records”, which kind of has a reputation for being a Saul Goodman-esque operation in the music industry by selling consultancy and pushing “break into the music biz” secrets as if they were nuclear launch codes that anyone could possess, if only they knew where to look. Usually things like that are a scam, and I say usually because everything changes when the guy peddling it ENDS UP WITH A GRAMMY NOMINATION.
Many people cried hoax, or rig, or some form of that word. Al Walser and his lawyers aren’t having that, though, because they’re headhunting like Ray Lewis for anyone spreading libel against him4 and his awesome5 musical career. What else does this guy have on his resume? Well his site says he hosts the #1 syndicated dance talk radio countdown show, and he’s, and I quote “analroundinternational entertainment mogul”…so yeah, he seems legit.
So how did he get his song, “I Can’t Live Without You”, onto the Official Grammy’s Nomination List? A song that looks like the love child of Rebecca Black’s Friday and an acid trip?
Common opinion is that he just gamed his way in with all of the Grammy voters and somehow bastardized an otherwise thoughtful and careful process into a complete and utter circus. He’s a voter himself, but that’s not completely out of the ordinary. What seems unique is the major public opinion that, somehow, some way, he convinced the other people casting ballots that, hey, just maybe write my name in for that category?? Idk, lolz!
And now we’re left to clean up a mess that the Grammy’s failed to handle when they had the chance. Will he win when the actual awards night comes around? Almost surely not, as Avicii’slevelssong is the odds on favorite. But the point is he’s in the mix, with a song that has the musical production of a ten year old fooling around on garage band. And that’s a terrifying thing to wash around your head. The less likely conspiracy theory is that no one in the Grammy field really has an understanding of the dance, house music phenomenon yet and so they’re wildly out of touch with the actual scene and what true fans find to be good or bad music. If that’s the case, the problems spread into much larger, and non-correctable issues.
Whether he’s snagging photos with Hilary Clinton, Barack Obama, or doing something else that seems sketchy and jarring, Al Walser deserves credit for somehow, by the grace of God, managing to get his name on the Grammy ballot. Especially when you consider how badly his song sucks. One thing is undoubtedly sure, and that is that the music industry’s demise is nigh.
God have mercy on us all.
- Mumford! Coldplay! FUN! ↩
- NO BIEBER??? Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. Also, Carly Rae Jepsen!??? Nooooooooooo. ↩
- Which I’m presuming he abbreviated so that when emcees announce him they don’t have to have someone rush them electrolyte shots lest they collapse in a state of exhaustion. ↩
- Meeeeeee? ↩
- Oh, did I not say he sucks? ↩