Women Are Making the Best New Music –Period.

By Bruce Edwin

The Grammy’s were held this last Sunday night, with at least one reporter asking the head of the Grammy’s later during press interviews, why there were not more women nominated for awards.  Grammy CEO Neil Portnow, who I have had the pleasure to meet at a Grammy’s event, is a very down to Earth, nice guy. Neil reportedly stated something to the effect of there was nothing stopping women from being more involved,  and that they simply needed to step up and get more involved.  Neil later faced a backlash for this remark, according to the LA Times, and later stated his remarks were taken out of context, and regretted the words he used.

The fact is, it is not Neil’s fault, or in my view–anything necessarily against women.  The Grammy’s are an awards show for very mainstream, largely safe artists that fit a certain mold and genre, that are already at the top of their game.

Even though YouTube is what now dominates the music industry, and is the actually relevant barometer of the industry, the Grammy’s largely ignore that–the YouTube stars.  Before YouTube, it was the music blogs, and before the blogs, it was the fanzines, radio, and TV including MTV and VH1.

Grimes, below–is a major music star who has racked up millions of views, and sells out venues around the world.  She is also one of the greatest new artists working in music today.

One award at the Grammy’s is the so called New Artist Category, of which the majority of all said winners throughout the history of the Grammy’s further fall into the same predictable genre category, that don’t really shake up the system.

Sade and Amy Winehouse’s wins in this category back in the day are notable, however Amy was bringing back blues, and Sade was bringing back jazz to pop music–two already very established genres.  Culture Club‘s win in the same category was also good, yet considering the massive influence of New Wave and Punk, countless bands were still ignored for this or any other awards category from these genres. Evanescence were also a notable win in this category, yet here too, countless other bands in the so called gothic / metal crossover genre, or the metal / industrial crossover area were totally ignored.  Nine Inch Nails, for example, who were massive for years in the club circuit, did not get noticed by the Grammy’s until years later.

Does it matter? Not really.  The best music throughout time has often times been ignored by Rolling Stone, Billboard, and the Grammy’s.   I and others like me, were listening to bands including The Smiths, Depache Mode, The Cure, The Cult, Echo and the Bunnymen, Jesus and Mary Chain, Mazzy Star, The Cranberries, Jane’s Addiction,  Smashing Pumpkins, Ministry, Hole, Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sonic Youth, and countless more before they became ‘trendy’ enough to be noticed by the so called mainstream.

The Grammy’s are an important musical institution–sure, and they do a lot of good. But, ultimately, they are not the only barometer of greatness in music.  The Grammy’s are the mainstream of the mainstream.

Bands and artists including Skinny Puppy, Suicidal Tendencies, Diamanda Galas, Lydia Lunch, Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Death In June, and countless other greats, have been and continue to be simply ignored by The Grammy’s.  And, that’s OK.

U2 of course, are a great band, and put on a great performance Sunday night. Sting is a massive talent and naturally–never disappoints. Elton John is an amazing singer and songwriter, who did a great performance with Miley Cyrus. Miley–despite her haters, is a truly talented singer with a great vocal range, who really respects musical history and multiple genres, as seen by her duets with Metallica, Billy Idol, and others. Pink, though not my preferred style, also has an incredible vocal range and did great.  Kesha, who exploded online with her massive YouTube hit Tik Tok, is a truly great songwriter and singer, who performed a heartfelt, powerful set backed by Cyndi Lauper, among others, singing about a women getting enough courage to leave an abusive man. Having read Kesha’s biography, I am very happy for her that she achieved this herself, and is spreading her talent and love to the world.

Lady Gaga, who also respects multiple genres, having done songs with Tony Bennett, Elton John, and Marilyn Manson among others, is a truly great singer with an outstanding range and vocal control.  Aside from U2, these women were the most entertaining this Grammy night, performing the best songs.

Alessia Cara won the best new artist award, yet very sweetly mentioned how many other great artists were out there that don’t have the numbers to be considered for such awards shows, that deserve more recognition. This is of course–totally true.

Of the best new music being made across the past decade, the majority of it just happens to be made by women–and, it is largely ignored by the Grammy’s.

Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, Warpaint, Grimes, Tove Lo, Mo, Elliphant, Sunflower Bean, Pussy Riot, Niia, Starcrawler, and countless more new musical acts are women, or led by women, and most are very successful. Lana Del Rey was in the audience. She, and all of the artists above, should have not only been present, but nominated or performing, or both.

The problem is not totally with the Grammy’s not making room for women in the Grammy’s. The problem is with the Grammy’s not making room for better, more daring, and more original music–period.

But instead of waiting for the institution of the Grammy’s to change, or trying to change it, perhaps someone should instead Create a new awards show.  An alternative to The Grammy’s, that actually awards artist’s awards based on things such as creative uniqueness, soul, and original talent–not just on how well they get popular at following mainstream trends already established and laid out before them.   Some of those already established artists at the Grammy’s may even get a chance to compete in the new awards show too–after some of them get introduced to a greatly needed vocal coach and learn how to sing on key.

Artists deserve awards. They work hard, and everyone likes to feel appreciated.  We don’t need the Grammy’s to tell us women are important to music. Woman ARE music.   From Janis Joplin, Stevie Nicks, Joan Jett, Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Jewel, Sarah McLachlan, Tori Amos, Rudimanary Peni, Patti Smith, X-Ray Spex, We’ve got a Fuzzbox, Blondie, The Slits, PJ Harvey, Ella Fitzgerald, Lauryn Hill, Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, Toyah Wilcox, Bjork, Siouxsie Sioux, Hope Sandoval, Tina Turner, Billie Holiday,  Judy Garland,  Kim Gordon, Ivy, Veruca Salt, Courtney Love, The Breeders, Bikini Kill, Poe, Letters to Cleo, Garbage, The Cocteau Twins, Ute Lemper, and countless more;  Women comprise far over 50% of the best music of all time,  and of the past 10 years, over 95% percent of the best music being created is by WOMEN.

So on second thought, maybe the Grammy’s really ARE ignoring handing out more female awards on purpose. Because maybe if they started actually handing out the awards to the people that truly deserved it, the men would be OUTNUMBERED.   And if we are–that’s quite alright with me. I prefer the company of women anyway; especially the talented ones.

Check out our music page here at subnormal magazine at the Hollywood Sentinel LINK below, to see The REAL  best in music of 2017; all women.


This textual content is (c) 2018, Hollywood Sentinel, all rights reserved.

subnormal magazine’s Music’s Best of 2017

Aside from U2, Sting, and Elton John, women ruled the Grammy’s this year, with  Kesha, Pink, and Miley Cyrus being the best talent, along with Lady Gaga, who gave the best performance of the show. Cyndi Lauper was stuck to a barely audible background singing spot for YouTube sensation Kesha, who delivered a powerful song about leaving an abusive man.  A mic failed on at least one occasion, and the host–who seems like a nice guy, made jokes at his own expense concerning him being out of place for such a show–uh–yeah.

Alessia Cara won the best new artist award, yet very sweetly mentioned how many other great artists were out there that don’t have the numbers to be considered for such awards shows, that deserve more recognition. This is of course–totally true.

As such, we here at subnormal give you our own best of 2017, in no particular order, and of course, with our own rules and own awards… Enjoy…

Best Dancing by a Singer (general): FKA twigs

Best Love Song: Lana Del Rey, Love

Best Shoegaze / smooth jazz/trip hop song: Sevdaliza: Human

Best Female Jazz Singer: Niia,  Best Blues Singer: Jazmine Sulivan,  Best Blues song: Niia and Jazmine Sulivan, Sideline, Sexiest Music video, Hurt You First

Best New Song by an Alternative Rock Band: Sunflower Bean: I was a Fool

Best New Pop Punk Band: Hey Violet

Best Acting in a Video: Millie Bobby Brown from Stranger Things for Sigma, Find Me featuring Birdy

Best Foreign Dance Video: Aya Sato, YSMF

Best Female Vocalist who also Produces: Grimes

Best Female Rapper: Elliphant

Best Model who Sings,  Best New Pop Singer: Dua Lipa

Best New Singer / Songwriter: MO

Best New Punk Band, Best New LA Rock Band, Best New Female Punk Singer, Best New Guitarist, Best New Live Rock Performer: Starcrawler

Best new Psychedelic Rock Band and Band Name: Goat Girl

Best New Alternative Rock Band: Phantogram

Best new Rock Album: Yeah Yeahs, Fever to Tell, Best Live Performance, Best Singer, Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Best Dance Artist, Best Dance / Pop Songwriter, Best Dance Song (Disco T-ts): Tove Lo

Best Female Vocalist in Most Genres including Pop, Blues, Jazz, Alternative, Rap, etc: Kimbra

Best Modern Retro  Feminist Band: US Girls


More to be announced later this week…

subnormal magazine


Oscar Nominess 2018


Performance by an actor in a leading role
Daniel Day-Lewis in “Phantom Thread” (Focus Features)
Daniel Kaluuya in “Get Out” (Universal)
Gary Oldman in “Darkest Hour” (Focus Features)  Hollywood Sentinel’s pick
Denzel Washington in “Roman J. Israel, Esq.” (Sony Pictures Releasing)

Performance by an actor in a supporting role
Willem Dafoe in “The Florida Project” (A24)
Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri” (Fox Searchlight)  Hollywood Sentinel pick
Richard Jenkins in “The Shape of Water” (Fox Searchlight)
Christopher Plummer in “All the Money in the World” (Sony Pictures Releasing)
Sam Rockwell in “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri” (Fox Searchlight)

Performance by an actress in a leading role
Sally Hawkins in “The Shape of Water” (Fox Searchlight)
Frances McDormand in “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri” (Fox Searchlight)
Margot Robbie in “I, Tonya” (Neon/30 West)
Saoirse Ronan in “Lady Bird” (A24) Hollywood Sentinel Pick 
Meryl Streep in “The Post” (20th Century Fox)

Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Mary J. Blige in “Mudbound” (Netflix)
Allison Janney in “I, Tonya” (Neon/30 West)
Lesley Manville in “Phantom Thread” (Focus Features)
Laurie Metcalf in “Lady Bird” (A24)  Hollywood Sentinel Pick
Octavia Spencer in “The Shape of Water” (Fox Searchlight)

Best animated feature film of the year
“The Boss Baby” (20th Century Fox) Tom McGrath and Ramsey Naito
“The Breadwinner” (GKIDS) Nora Twomey and Anthony Leo
“Coco” (Walt Disney) Lee Unkrich and Darla K. Anderson
“Ferdinand” (20th Century Fox) Carlos Saldanha
“Loving Vincent” (Good Deed Entertainment) Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman and Ivan Mactaggart   Hollywood Sentinel pick 

Achievement in cinematography
“Blade Runner 2049” (Warner Bros.) Roger A. Deakins
“Darkest Hour” (Focus Features) Bruno Delbonnel
“Dunkirk” (Warner Bros.) Hoyte van Hoytema
“Mudbound” (Netflix) Rachel Morrison
“The Shape of Water” (Fox Searchlight) Dan Laustsen  Hollywood Sentinel pick 

Achievement in costume design
“Beauty and the Beast” (Walt Disney) Jacqueline Durran
“Darkest Hour” (Focus Features) Jacqueline Durran
“Phantom Thread” (Focus Features) Mark Bridges
“The Shape of Water” (Fox Searchlight) Luis Sequeira  Hollywood Sentinel Pick 
“Victoria & Abdul” (Focus Features) Consolata Boyle

Achievement in directing
“Dunkirk” (Warner Bros.) Christopher Nolan
“Get Out” (Universal) Jordan Peele
“Lady Bird” (A24) Greta Gerwig
“Phantom Thread” (Focus Features) Paul Thomas Anderson
“The Shape of Water” (Fox Searchlight) Guillermo del Toro Hollywood Sentinel pick 

Best documentary feature
“Abacus: Small Enough to Jail” (PBS Distribution) A Mitten Media/Motto Pictures/Kartemquin Educational Films/WGBH/FRONTLINE Production
Steve James, Mark Mitten and Julie Goldman
“Faces Places” (Cohen Media Group) A Ciné Tamaris Production
Agnès Varda, JR and Rosalie Varda
“Icarus” (Netflix) A Netflix Documentary in association with Impact Partners, Diamond Docs, Chicago Media Project and Alex Production
Bryan Fogel and Dan Cogan
“Last Men in Aleppo” (Grasshopper Film) A Larm Film and Aleppo Media Center Production
Feras Fayyad, Kareem Abeed and Søren Steen Jespersen
“Strong Island” (Netflix) A Yanceville Films and Louverture Films Production
Yance Ford and Joslyn Barnes

Best documentary short subject
“Edith+Eddie” (Kartemquin Films) A Heart is Red/Kartemquin Films Production
Laura Checkoway and Thomas Lee Wright
“Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405” A Stiefel & Co. Production
Frank Stiefel
“Heroin(e)” (Netflix) A Netflix Original Documentary in association with The Center for Investigative Reporting/Requisite Media Production
Elaine McMillion Sheldon and Kerrin Sheldon
“Knife Skills” A TFL Films Production
Thomas Lennon
“Traffic Stop” (HBO Documentary Films) A Q-Ball Production
Kate Davis and David Heilbroner

Achievement in film editing
“Baby Driver” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Paul Machliss and Jonathan Amos
“Dunkirk” (Warner Bros.) Lee Smith
“I, Tonya” (Neon/30 West) Tatiana S. Riegel
“The Shape of Water” (Fox Searchlight) Sidney Wolinsky
“Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri” (Fox Searchlight)
Jon Gregory

Best foreign language film of the year
“A Fantastic Woman” A Fabula Production
“The Insult” A Douri Film Production
“Loveless” A Non-Stop Production
“On Body and Soul” An Inforg-M&M Film Production
“The Square” A Plattform Production

Achievement in makeup and hairstyling
“Darkest Hour” (Focus Features) Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski and Lucy Sibbick “Victoria & Abdul” (Focus Features) Daniel Phillips and Lou Sheppard
“Wonder” (Lionsgate) Arjen Tuiten

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
“Dunkirk” (Warner Bros.) Hans Zimmer
“Phantom Thread” (Focus Features) Jonny Greenwood
“The Shape of Water” (Fox Searchlight) Alexandre Desplat (Hollywood Sentinel’s pick)
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (Walt Disney) John Williams
“Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri” (Fox Searchlight)
Carter Burwell

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
“Mighty River” from “Mudbound” (Netflix)
Music and Lyric by Mary J. Blige, Raphael Saadiq and Taura Stinson
Music and Lyric by Sufjan Stevens
“Remember Me” from “Coco” (Walt Disney)
Music and Lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
“Stand Up For Something” from “Marshall” (Open Road Films)
Music by Diane Warren Lyric by Lonnie R. Lynn and Diane Warren
“This Is Me” from “The Greatest Showman” (20th Century Fox)
Music and Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

Best motion picture of the year
Peter Spears, Luca Guadagnino, Emilie Georges and Marco Morabito, Producers  (Hollywood Sentinel boycotts this film for promoting pedophilia and the statutory rape of children)
“Darkest Hour” (Focus Features) A Working Title Films Production
Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce, Anthony McCarten and Douglas Urbanski, Producers
“Dunkirk” (Warner Bros.) A Syncopy Pictures Production
Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers
“Get Out” (Universal) A Blumhouse Productions/QC Entertainment/Monkeypaw Production
Sean McKittrick, Jason Blum, Edward H. Hamm Jr. and Jordan Peele, Producers
“Lady Bird” (A24) A Mission Films Production (Hollywood Sentinel’s pick)
Scott Rudin, Eli Bush and Evelyn O’Neill, Producers
“Phantom Thread” (Focus Features) An Annapurna Pictures Production
JoAnne Sellar, Paul Thomas Anderson, Megan Ellison and Daniel Lupi, Producers
“The Post” (20th Century Fox) A 20th Century Fox/DreamWorks Pictures Production
Amy Pascal, Steven Spielberg and Kristie Macosko Krieger, Producers
“The Shape of Water” (Fox Searchlight) A Double Dare You Production
Guillermo del Toro and J. Miles Dale, Producers
“Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri” (Fox Searchlight) A Blueprint Pictures Production
Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin and Martin McDonagh, Producers

Achievement in production design
“Beauty and the Beast” (Walt Disney) Production Design: Set Decoration:
Sarah Greenwood Katie Spencer
“Blade Runner 2049” (Warner Bros.) Production Design: Set Decoration:
Dennis Gassner Alessandra Querzola (Hollywood Sentinel pick)
“Darkest Hour” (Focus Features) Production Design: Set Decoration:
Sarah Greenwood Katie Spencer
“Dunkirk” (Warner Bros.) Production Design: Set Decoration:
Nathan Crowley Gary Fettis
“The Shape of Water” (Fox Searchlight) Production Design: Set Decoration:
Paul Denham Austerberry Shane Vieau and Jeff Melvin

Best animated short film
“Dear Basketball” (Verizon go90) A Glen Keane Production
Glen Keane and Kobe Bryant
“Garden Party” A MOPA Production
Victor Caire and Gabriel Grapperon
“Lou” (Walt Disney) A Pixar Animation Studios Production
Dave Mullins and Dana Murray
“Negative Space” An Ikki Films Production
Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata
“Revolting Rhymes” A Magic Light Pictures Production
Jakob Schuh and Jan Lachauer

Best live action short film
“DeKalb Elementary” A UCLA Production
Reed Van Dyk
“The Eleven O’Clock” A FINCH Production
Derin Seale and Josh Lawson
“My Nephew Emmett” A New York University Production
Kevin Wilson, Jr.
“The Silent Child” A Slick Films Production
Chris Overton and Rachel Shenton
“Watu Wote/All of Us” A Hamburg Media School Production
Katja Benrath and Tobias Rosen

Achievement in sound editing
“Baby Driver” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Julian Slater
“Blade Runner 2049” (Warner Bros.) Mark Mangini and Theo Green
“Dunkirk” (Warner Bros.) Richard King and Alex Gibson
“The Shape of Water” (Fox Searchlight) Nathan Robitaille and Nelson Ferreira
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (Walt Disney) Matthew Wood and Ren Klyce

Achievement in sound mixing
“Baby Driver” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Julian Slater, Tim Cavagin and Mary H. Ellis
“Blade Runner 2049” (Warner Bros.) Ron Bartlett, Doug Hemphill and Mac Ruth
“Dunkirk” (Warner Bros.) Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker and Gary A. Rizzo “The Shape of Water” (Fox Searchlight) Christian Cooke, Brad Zoern and Glen Gauthier
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (Walt Disney) David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Stuart Wilson

Achievement in visual effects
“Blade Runner 2049” (Warner Bros.) John Nelson, Gerd Nefzer, Paul Lambert and Richard R. Hoover (Hollywood Sentinel Pick)

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”  (Walt Disney) Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Jonathan Fawkner and Dan Sudick “Kong: Skull Island” (Warner Bros.) Stephen Rosenbaum, Jeff White, Scott Benza and Mike Meinardus “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (Walt Disney) Ben Morris, Mike Mulholland, Neal Scanlan and Chris Corbould “War for the Planet of the Apes” (20th Century Fox) Joe Letteri, Daniel Barrett, Dan Lemmon and Joel Whist

Adapted screenplay
“The Disaster Artist” (A24) Screenplay by Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber “Logan” (20th Century Fox) Screenplay by Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green Story by James Mangold  “Molly’s Game” (STXfilms) Written for the screen by Aaron Sorkin
“Mudbound” (Netflix) Screenplay by Virgil Williams and Dee Rees

Original screenplay
“The Big Sick” (Amazon Studios) Written by Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani
“Get Out” (Universal) Written by Jordan Peele
“Lady Bird” (A24) Written by Greta Gerwig (Hollywood Sentinel Pick)
“The Shape of Water” (Fox Searchlight) Screenplay by Guillermo del Toro & Vanessa Taylor Story by Guillermo del Toro “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri” (Fox Searchlight) Written by Martin McDonagh

This content is (c). 2018, AMPAS, with additional textual content by Hollywood Sentinel, all rights reserved.