Live From 5 Minutes Ago

Saturday, December 06, 2003

Some more Grammy thoughts and complaints.

1. Is it just me, or do the Grammys REALLY need to change their eligibility year, or somehow rework the schedule? It's impressive that unlike the Oscars, the Grammys actually tend to remember recordings from early in the eligibility year, but it generates a mess. Eminem is up for a slew of Grammys for "Lose Yourself." Yet, the song will have come out almost 18 months before the awards are handed out. Is there a way to resolve this? My thought would be to change to a calendar-year eligibility, and hand out the awards at the end of February. If the film industry can do it, why not the music industry?

2. Seems like the Grammys are alternating between a none-too-hip year (last year, when the Academy inexplicibly honored Norah Jones' "Come Away With Me" (perfectly nice, but unspectacular) rather than the Boss's "The Rising" or the Dixie Chicks' "Home," both of which are absolutely stellar examples in their field, to this year, when quasi-edgy critical favorites in hip-hop are dominating.

3. Another factor that may well help out Evanescence's bid for the multiple awards they're up for--they're actually broken up already, when guitarist/songwriter Ben Moody stormed off the European tour. One good to great album is something the Grammys love to honor.

4. I hadn't thought of this, but where's Jason Mraz on the list for male pop vocal and new artist. I'd bet almost every reader of this blog can hum the infectious choruses of "The Remedy" and "You and I Both." Can you hum a single song off Heather Headley's "This Is Who I Am?" Didn't think so. Yeah, Mraz has become something of a punchline (how low have you fallen when you're used as a joke on "Joan of Arcadia?"), but he should be there rather than Headley, or arguably, even Fountains of Wayne. I suppose we can be thankful we didn't get a best new artist nod for Hilary Duff and her juvenile kiss-off, "So Yesterday."

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Two other notes of interest on the Grammys:

Total nominations for Clay Aiken: 0
Total nominations for Ruben Studdard: 1 (Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, "Superstar")
Total nominations for Kelly Clarkson: 1 (Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, "Miss Independent")

People nominated include:

Eric Idle (Best children's spoken word, "Charlie & the Chocolate Factory")
Bill Clinton, Mikhail Gorbachev & Sophia Loren (Best children's spoken word, "Peter & the Wolf: Wolf Tracks")
Carl Reiner (Best children's spoken word, "Tell Me A Scary Story")
Don Cheadle (Best spoken word, "Fear Itself")
Al Franken (Best spoken word, "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them")
Hillary Rodham Clinton (Best spoken word, "Living History")
Bill Maher (Best spoken word, "When You Ride Alone You Ride With Bin Laden")
Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy, & Michael McKean (Best song from a film, "A Mighty Wind," from "A Mighty Wind")

Grammy nominations are out. Let's par-tay!

Record of the Year:
"Crazy in Love"--Beyonce w/ Jay-Z
"Where is the Love"--Black Eyed Peas w/ Justin Timberlake
"Lose Yourself"--Eminem
"Hey Ya!"--Outkast

4 hip-hop records. I think the academy is still old-fogey enough that they'll go with the one that isn't, giving the award to "Clocks," with the gorgeous guitar solo. But, a bunch of great pop records there--almost flawless. There's a chance the Academy could bite on "Where is the Love," with the political conciousness, etc., but I think "Clocks" is the safer bet.

Album of the Year:
"Under Construction," Missy Elliott
"Fallen," Evanescence
"Speakerboxx/The Love Below"--Outkast
"Justified"--Justin Timberlake
"Elephant"--The White Stripes

Ewww. "Justifed" is the most "mainstream" pick, but "Fallen" is probably song-for-song the best album without being too "edgy." Was "Rush of Blood to the Head" ineligible? And where's Avril Lavigne's "Let Go," a damn solid album, or Liz Phair's self-titled?

Song of the Year (Songwriter award):
"Beautiful," Christina Aguilera
"Dance with My Father," Luther Vandross
"I'm With You," Avril Lavigne
"Keep Me In Your Heart," Warren Zevon
"Lose Yourself," Eminem

Luther and Warren split the sympathy vote, I expect. "Beautiful," while Aguilera is annoying, is probably the strongest and most timeless of the other three, so give it to Linda Perry.

Best New Artist:
50 Cent
Fountains of Wayne
HEather Headley
Sean Paul

Almost a dead cinch for Evanescence, since they've got a "big category" nod for album of the year, and not even "In Da Club" or "Stacy's Mom" got in there.

Producer of the Year (Pop):

Nigel Goodrich (Radiohead)
Jimmy Jam/Terry Lewis (Various hip-hop, incl. Mya, Beyonce)
The Matrix (Avril Lavigne, Hilary Duff, Lillix, Liz Phair)
The Neptunes

If there's one thing that's defined the "sounds" of this year, it's the music of the Matrix. Period.

Best Music Video:

"Hurt"--Johnny Cash
"Hey Ya"--Outkast
"The Scientist"--Coldplay
"Die Another Day"--Madonna
"Concrete Angel"--Martina McBride

Mortal lock for Johnny Cash. Brilliant video, brilliant cover.

More later.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Gotta say, for raw entertainment, it's gonna be tough to beat Celebrity Poker Showdown. Yeah, it's not flawless--there's not nearly enough "table chatter" or trash talk, and the eliminated players need to say more to the screen, but the drama of David Schwimmer getting pissed off when his three aces get beat by a last-card flush flop, Emily Procter proving that she's either extraordinarily unlucky or an extraordinarily bad poker player (although she's quite pretty), and Ben Affleck becoming extraordinarily twitchy. Next week should be even better, as the players all know each other and the trash talk could get good.

Monday, December 01, 2003

OK, so you're making a play out of When Harry Met Sally. You need a Harry. So who do you cast? Why, the ONLY choice--LUKE PERRY. What's next? Will Sally be played by Gabrielle Cateris? Look here for more details.

Apologies to my faithful reader for the Turkey-related hiatus. I traveled to see family, and have created a new game--"Thanksgiving Bingo." Players are handed cards with phrases on them like "It's so HOT!," "We miss/love you SO MUCH!," and "Are you sure you don't want more (food item)? You love (food item)!" First person to get five in a row and work the word "bingo" into dinner-table conversation gets to leave the table and go watch football.

Also, is it creepy that I was somewhat reassured by the fact that my flight from Baltimore to Texas was filled with Naval Academy Midshipmen/Midshipwomen going home for the first time since starting school?

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