News

Eric Church Leads 48th Academy of Country Music Nominations

Randy Lewis
Los Angeles Times (MCT)

LOS ANGELES — Lionize your rock and country heroes in songs and good things will follow — it worked for Taylor Swift, who launched her career six years ago with her single “Tim McGraw,” and it worked for Eric Church, who leads the 48th Academy of Country Music Awards nominations with seven, including his single saluting the Boss, “Springsteen.”

The hit track, which recently scored Church a pair of Grammy nominations, earned Church ACM nods both as the single record and song of the year. He’s also vying for album of the year with “Chief,” which contains that single, as well as male vocalist, video and vocal event of the year.

Close on the Granite Falls, N.C., singer and songwriter’s heels is fast-rising Louisiana-bred musician Hunter Hayes, who collected six nominations including song and single for his ballad “Wanted” and new male vocalist.

Miranda Lambert and Swift each got five nominations, pitting them against one another in the top category of entertainer of the year, a distinction Swift has taken home three times, including the last two years in a row. Also up for the entertainer trophy are Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton.

Bryan, Little Big Town and first-time ACM nominee Kacey Musgraves collected four nods apiece, Musgraves making it into the always-heated competition for female vocalist of the year with Lambert, Swift, Martina McBride and Carrie Underwood.

Other album of the year nominees are Carrie Underwood’s “Blown Away,” Swift’s “Red,” Bryan’s “Tailgates & Tanlines” and Little Big Town’s “Tornado.”

In addition to the Church and Hayes entries in the single record competition are the Eli Young Band’s “Even If It Breaks Your Heart,” Lambert’s “Over You” and Little Big Town’s “Pontoon,” the latter having just earned the group a Grammy Award for country duo or group performance.

The ACM Awards will be announced April 7 in a ceremony to be held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and broadcast on CBS-TV. The show is scheduled to be hosted by Shelton and Bryan.

In Americana music the present is female. Two-thirds of our year-end list is comprised of albums by women. Here, then, are the women (and a few men) who represented the best in Americana in 2017.

If a single moment best illustrates the current divide between Americana music and mainstream country music, it was Sturgill Simpson busking in the street outside the CMA Awards in Nashville. While Simpson played his guitar and sang in a sort of renegade-outsider protest, Garth Brooks was onstage lip-syncindg his way to Entertainer of the Year. Americana music is, of course, a sprawling range of roots genres that incorporates traditional aspects of country, blues, soul, bluegrass, etc., but often represents an amalgamation or reconstitution of those styles. But one common aspect of the music that Simpson appeared to be championing during his bit of street theater is the independence, artistic purity, and authenticity at the heart of Americana music. Clearly, that spirit is alive and well in the hundreds of releases each year that could be filed under Americana's vast umbrella.

Keep reading... Show less

From genre-busting electronic music to new highs in the ever-evolving R&B scene, from hip-hop and Americana to rock and pop, 2017's music scenes bestowed an embarrassment of riches upon us.


60. White Hills - Stop Mute Defeat (Thrill Jockey)

White Hills epic '80s callback Stop Mute Defeat is a determined march against encroaching imperial darkness; their eyes boring into the shadows for danger but they're aware that blinding lights can kill and distort truth. From "Overlord's" dark stomp casting nets for totalitarian warnings to "Attack Mode", which roars in with the tribal certainty that we can survive the madness if we keep our wits, the record is a true and timely win for Dave W. and Ego Sensation. Martin Bisi and the poster band's mysterious but relevant cool make a great team and deliver one of their least psych yet most mind destroying records to date. Much like the first time you heard Joy Division or early Pigface, for example, you'll experience being startled at first before becoming addicted to the band's unique microcosm of dystopia that is simultaneously corrupting and seducing your ears. - Morgan Y. Evans

Keep reading... Show less

This week on our games podcast, Nick and Eric talk about the joy and frustration of killing Nazis in Wolfenstein: The New Order.

This week, Nick and Eric talk about the joy and frustration of killing Nazis in Wolfenstein: The New Order.

Keep reading... Show less

Which is the draw, the art or the artist? Critic Rachel Corbett examines the intertwined lives of two artists of two different generations and nationalities who worked in two starkly different media.

Artist biographies written for a popular audience necessarily involve compromise. On the one hand, we are only interested in the lives of artists because we are intrigued, engaged, and moved by their work. The confrontation with a work of art is an uncanny experience. We are drawn to, enraptured and entranced by, absorbed in the contemplation of an object. Even the performative arts (music, theater, dance) have an objective quality to them. In watching a play, we are not simply watching people do things; we are attending to the play as a thing that is more than the collection of actions performed. The play seems to have an existence beyond the human endeavor that instantiates it. It is simultaneously more and less than human: more because it's superordinate to human action and less because it's a mere object, lacking the evident subjectivity we prize in the human being.

Keep reading... Show less
3

Gabin's Maigret lets everyone else emote, sometimes hysterically, until he vents his own anger in the final revelations.

France's most celebrated home-grown detective character is Georges Simenon's Inspector Jules Maigret, an aging Paris homicide detective who, phlegmatically and unflappably, tracks down murderers to their lairs at the center of the human heart. He's invariably icon-ified as a shadowy figure smoking an eternal pipe, less fancy than Sherlock Holmes' curvy calabash but getting the job done in its laconic, unpretentious, middle-class manner.

Keep reading... Show less
5
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image