The big one I'm watching is the Best Alternative Music Album category, because the Yeah Yeah Yeahs album It's Blitz! is up. Korean American Karen O is the lead singer for the trio, most of whom met in the late 90s at Oberlin College in Ohio and are influenced by the Ohio Avant-Punk scene. I can appreciate that. They've been compared favorably with Blondie and Siouxsie and the Banshees.
The fun bit is they're going up against David Byrne with Brian Eno, Death Cab For Cutie, Depeche Mode and Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, most of whom I also enjoy. Who will come out on top? Oooh, excitement. :)
Also worth noting is Hiroshima's Legacy is up for Best Pop Instrumental, Kitaro is back again to contend for Best New Age, Museop Kim is up for Best Opera Recording and Yuja Wang is going for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (without an Orchestra). Yo Yo Ma & Friends are trying out for Best Classical Crossover.
I was surprised to spot Tia Carrere & Daniel Ho up for Best Hawaiian Music Album, and Sandra Oh is one of the various artists who narrated The Maltese Falcon: Dashiell Hammett which is nominated in the Best Spoken Word Album. That one kind of raises eyebrows, but hey.