Bon Iver scores four Grammy nominations

Mike Paulus

All Iver, all the time. (Bon Iver on The Colbert Report)
All Iver, all the time. (Bon Iver on The Colbert Report, 2011)

The folks over in the Bon Iver camp got some big news late last night – the band and its new album got four Grammy nominations. They’re up for Record of the Year (Holocene), Song of the Year (Holocene), Best New Artist, and Best Alternative Music Album. Here’s a list of all of this year’s Grammy contenders, including those up against Bon Iver. (Adele, Mumford and Sons, Radiohead, Katy Perry ...)

We all kind of figured there’d some sort of Grammy action for Justin Vernon and company, but four nominations in some major categories is pretty huge. You know ... if you care about that sort of thing. No matter what you think about the Grammys, you have to admit this is one hell of a notch on Bon Iver’s ol’ critical acclaim bedpost. It's mentioned time and time again, but Eau Claire can be pretty proud to have a local guy receiving astronomical accolades from the international independent music scene to the recording industry’s mainstream to all points in between.

But let’s take the “local boy done good” angle off the table. Have you actually listened to Bon Iver? The music on the newest album (and the last) is anything but mainstream. The idea of such non-traditional music achieving so much critical acclaim on national Billboard and Grammy-style charts is simply remarkable. No matter where the guy’s from.

That said, On Wisconsin.

Talking with Justin Vernon ...

Photo by Frank H. Robinson
Photo by Frank H. Robinson. More.

In advance of Bon Iver’s duo of upcoming shows at Zorn Arena, Volume One will be printing an interview with Justin Vernon we did just on Tuesday. You can expect some teasing about who will be sharing the stage with Bon Iver (“a mentor”), as well as some concrete news about multiple locally focused side projects – from Non Iver bands to blasts from Eau Claire’s recording past. That’ll be out on Wednesday. Teaser:

“I’m kind of in a new place, and it fells kind of primordial or like a zygote or something. What I have right now for Bon Iver ideas I couldn’t really even call ideas yet. They’re kind of sonic ideas, like ...”

As for Justin Vernon’s immediate reaction to the Grammy news, Pitchfork posted a little rundown of Vernon’s Twitter action during the nomination announcements ...

Just minutes after the Record of the Year nomination, Justin Vernon Tweeted, "watching the badgers game with @danhuiting. super a lot better than last time we hung out. #notpenisfest" He later added, "whats the difference between song and record?! ahhH! super weird butterflies! thank's y'all. the badgers are playing UNC. don't forget!!" and "Aldean is INDIE! I love Jason Aldean. F***ing real country music! Also, Ludacris has never pissed me off. Cool! #backtobadgers"

– Pitchfork, 11-30-11

Dude loves his Badgers.

Lest we forget, these aren’t the first grammy nominations to come from the Eau Claire area – eleven in all. Local Native American flute master Peter Phippen has received multiple nominations – the latest was just last year. Former Eau Claire native and über jazz pianist Geoff Keezer had been nominated a bunch of times, with two from last year. And even UWEC’s Jazz I ensemble has received a couple of nods from Mr. Grammy.

So, let’s hear it for the Chippewa Valley music scene, y’all.