The 25th anniversary of the Australian music industry's night of nights is... tonight! Kicking off at 7:30pm on Go! the 2011 ARIA Awards promises to be a return to form after last year's horrible, horrible ceremony. Unlike the last couple of years, it actually seems like anyone could walk away with some of the top honours making it quite hard to predict what's going to happen. But predict I shall, nay... I must! For what else will I do with my Sunday? Who will win, who should win and who should have been nominated; it's all here in our 2011 ARIA Awards preview. Let's get to it!
Birds of Tokyo vs Boy and Bear vs Eskimo Joe vs Grinderman vs The Living End
And they say rock is dead. Five bands that encompass indie, alternative and plain 'ole fashioned rock and/or roll are up for one of the biggest awards of the night. With Powderfinger and Silverchair out of the game (for now), The Living End stand as one of the last rock institutions in the Australian music scene. Will ARIA give them the 'thanks for sticking around' nod? I don't think so. Birds of Tokyo don't deserve to win on the strength of a single alone and let's be honest, Eskimo Joe are just there to make up the numbers. That leaves Grinderman against Boy and Bear, two deserving acts that released critically acclaimed albums within the eligible year. The real crime here is the lack of incredible GROUPS that released music this year like Seeker Lover Keeper. If you want the award to be best band, just call it that.
Who will win: Boy and Bear
Who should win: Grinderman... or Boy and Bear. Whatever.
Who should be nominated: Seeker Lover Keeper, The Grates, Architecture in Helsinki
BEST FEMALE ARTIST:
Adalita vs Clare Bowditch vs Kasey Chambers vs Kimbra vs Washington
Five very deserving nominees. Three former winners, including 2010 Best Female Artist, Megan Washington. Don't expect her to pick up back-to-back gongs. Adalita and Kimbra are both first-time nominees and I would scream at the TV in joy if either lady has her name announced as the winner. Kasey Chambers and Clare Bowditch are both ARIA favourites, but I'd say the voting panel will go with...
Who will win: Clare Bowditch
Who should win: Kimbra
Who should have been nominated: No complaints. Go ARIA!
BEST MALE ARTIST:
Drapht vs Gareth Liddiard vs Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu vs Gotye vs Josh Pyke
Your first assumption is this is between Gotye and Gurrumul. Then you remember that Drapht is tied with Gotye for most nominations for the evening (7). Then you remember that Josh Pyke is well overdue for a Best Male Artist win. Then you try to remember the name of the band that Gareth Liddiard is from. Then you remember that it's called The Drones. Then you decide he's not going to win. Then you have no idea who's going to win... so you guess!
Who will win: Drapht
Who should win: Gotye
Who should be nominated: Are there any other male artists in Australia? Matt Walters could have been nominated. He could have even won... go get his album, Farewell Youth, now!
SINGLE OF THE YEAR:
Birds of Tokyo - Wild at Heart
Boy and Bear - Feeding Line
Drapht - Rapunzel
Gotye ft. Kimbra - Somebody That I Used to Know
Guy Sebastian ft. Eve - Who's That Girl
The Jezabels - Dark Storm
Who will win: Gotye ft. Kimbra - Somebody That I Used to Know
Who should win: Gotye ft. Kimbra - Somebody That I Used to Know
Who should be nominated: How much time do I have here? Kimbra - Cameo Lover, Seeker Lover Keeper - Even Though I'm a Woman, Pnau - The Truth, Emma Louise - Jungle, Washington - Holy Moses, Architecture in Helsinki - Contact High. All of those are better than 'Who's That Girl.'
ALBUM OF THE YEAR:
Boy and Bear - Moonfire
Cut Copy - Zonoscope
Eskimo Joe - Ghosts of the Past
Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu - Rrakala
Grinderman - 2
Um.... right. Let's eliminate Eskimo Joe. Cut Copy can go too, but they should be very happy just to be nominated. Now let's see why the other acts could win. ARIA has a history of delivering a ton of praise on the 'it' band of the year. Since The Jezabels' debut was ineligible to compete, that leaves us with Boy and Bear. Gurrumul was a strong contender in 2008 for album of the year, but lost to The Presets. Rrakala was critically acclaimed and bestowing it with the title of Album of the Year would go a long way in restoring some credibility the awards may have lost recently. Grinderman? Nick Cave's in it. He's kind of a big deal.
Who will win: Boy and Bear - Moonfire
Who should win: Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu - Rrakala
Who should be nominated: Seeker Lover Keeper - Seeker Lover Keeper. Not only should they have been nominated, they should be winning! It's like one step forward and two steps back with you ARIA.
Well, that's it kids. Sure there are other categories... but some of them have Altiyan Childs and Damien Leith in them, so the less said the better. Remember, the ARIA are tomorrow night at 7:30 on Go! and the ceremony features performances from;
*Gotye and Kimbra
*Gurrumul and Missy Higgins (MIGGINS!)
*Art vs Science
*Boy and Bear
Plus, Kylie Minogue and The Wiggles join the Hall of Fame. Prime Minister, Julia Gillard will be inducting Kylie. Nice one!
There's only one question left to ask... who do you want to win?!