Saturday, February 24, 2007
Reading the tea leaves
Should win: Babel
Will win: The Departed
Should win: Forest Whitaker, The Last King Of Scotland
Will win: Forest Whitaker, The Last King Of Scotland
Should win: Helen Mirren, The Queen
Will win: Helen Mirren, The Queen
Best Supporting Actor:
Should win: Eddie Murphy, Dreamgirls
Will win: Eddie Murphy, Dreamgirls
Best Supporting Actress:
Should win: Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls
Will win: Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls
Should win: Clint Eastwood, Letters From Iwo Jima
Will win: Martin Scorsese, The Departed
Best Original Screenplay:
Should win: Babel
Will win: Little Miss Sunshine
Best Adapted Screenplay:
Should win: Borat
Will win: The Departed
Best Animated Feature:
Should win: Happy Feet
Will win: Happy Feet
Best Documentary Feature:
Should win: An Inconvenient Truth
Will win: An Inconvenient Truth
Foreign Language Film:
Should win: Pan's Labyrinth
Will win: The Lives Of Others
Best Costume Design:
Should win: The Devil Wears Prada
Will win: Marie Antoinette
Best Original Song:
Should win: I Need To Wake Up from An Inconvenient Truth
Will win: Listen from Dreamgirls
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
What's love got to do with it?
"When you're married, you wanna kill your spouse. When you're single, you wanna kill yourself." - Chris RockThis all-out obsession with pink hearts and red roses on February 14th doesn't make me ponder suicidal thoughts, but it just makes reaching for the Pepto-Bismol to make it all go away a necessity. The upside is I can nurture my nausea in cold comfort since I'm not the only one seeking solace in cynicism. Everyone else isn't exactly doe-eyed with hearts aflutter on this cruelly manufactured "holiday."
And there are a million songs in the naked city that will deepen the depression. So if you're still flying solo, newly single or checking up on your local stalking laws, take Sade off repeat and tune in to these 10 tracks to help you return fire at that fat toddler with all the arrows:
- Kelis - Caught Out There (With a hook of "I hate you so much right now...," this is battle cry fodder tailor made for the anti-romantics.)
- Lily Allen - Smile (The prettiest kiss-off song in years.)
- Soft Cell - Tainted Love (The synthpop makeover only makes a forgotten soul gem even darker the second time around.)
- Christina Aguilera - Get Mine, Get Yours (A panting thumbs up to mercy fucking your way to the 15th)
- Ani DiFranco - Untouchable Face
- Lauryn Hill - Ex-Factor (Crystallizing the insanity of loving and hating someone so much at the same time never sounded so sweet.)
- Portishead - Sour Times (Take equal parts moody soundscape and the tortured vocals of Beth Gibbons and you've got a Molotov cocktail of despair in under 4 minutes flat.)
- No Doubt - Don't Speak (Before Gwen got sidetracked with pimping out Asian kewpie dolls, she was one helluva songwriter. This classic is exhibit A.)
- Heather Headley - I Wish I Wasn't (I've lived the lyrics of this joint in a dysfunctional "relationship" for the past 5 years. Damn you, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis!)
- Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart
Monday, February 12, 2007
Whistling to the tune of Dixie
The show has actually tried to enter the 21st century with the rest of us as it's finally acknowledged the existence of Black musicians under the age of AARP membership. But for every small step made (Van Hunt picking up his first statuette), there's always a quantum leap backwards to bestow goldies to the oldies. Yes, Stevie Wonderful...I'm talking to you.
The audience filled with jaded Angelenos seemed to muster just enough enthusiasm for "music's biggest night" as a State of the Union address. And if you watched, you probably weren't content to be wasting your time with them either. No matter what the cause, the 49th annual Grammy Awards was even more constricted than usual. The red carpet ensembles were subdued, the performances promoted channel surfing and the acceptance speeches would've bored Ben Stein to tears. A retrospective of the snoozefest that was is as follows...
Don't Get Mad, Get Even: What a difference four years can make. In March 2003, the Dixie Chicks were dead women walking. After lead singer Natalie Maines expressed her shame in sharing a hometown with President Bush during a performance in London on the eve of the Iraq war, the toasts of Nashville flipped from red state darlings to personas non grata faster than a johnny cake. Things change, and thankfully so do opinions as the industry was clearly ready to make nice. Echoing Mimi's '06 derailing in spite of pulling off a career best resurgence, the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul was upstaged as Saddam's little helpers got the last laugh in the winner's circle. How you spell vindication? S-w-e-e-p... x 5. Let this be the best case study to future rebels without a pause on how to handle controversy properly: face it dead on. Address it in your music. But don't act as though it never happened. (Get your pen & paper out, Miss Jackson.)
Jesus Loves Me, Yes We ALL Know: Mary J. Blige thanked everyone from J. Dilla to John McClain and then got played off while reading the phone book in her purse. But let's get to some hateration in this dancery... is it really necessary to hear the 12 step affirmations about how her life used to be filled with such drama and pain and self-hate and now she loves her self so much and her man is so wonderful to her? I mean, EVERY opening of a song, EVERY award speech, EVERY interview. It's reached flogging Barbaro proportions already. She's clinging so hard to Kendu to keep her on the straight & narrow that a pull on the crack pipe of co-dependency seems almost inevitable. But then again, could you imagine the masterpiece we'd get out of it?
The Silver Lining In A Dark Cloud: Remember when Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears used to be mentioned in the same sentence? Me neither. Who cares if that random shriek roused every canine from slumber on a block near you, when has a former Mouseketeer turned pop star gone for the gusto like that? Crouched onstage, clutching the mic stand like a woman possessed, Xtina skipped a naked Sunday with the hubby to reach into her gut, imbuing It's A Man's Man's World with fiery passion — a stark contrast to the emotionless caterwauling she's known for. The Godfather's surely smacking a bitch up in approval.
Most Premature Center of Attention Grab: The glitter. The sparkles. The magnolias which were a bit more brain tumor than Billie Holiday. Anything to bedazzle your overexposed ass back in the spotlight. Alas, impersonating Mariah Carey on a number that belongs in a regional pageant's talent competition and has to performed again on the Gay Super Bowl a mere two weeks away is a Rex Grossman-esque fumble.
The Blair Bitch Project: Everybody's favorite counterfeit Michael Jackson pre-molestation wannabe tried to aim high on the credibility meter with his piano-man rendition of "What Goes Around" — and then he blew it with that pointless TimberCam bullshit, up-close and creepy. Who does he think he is, LonelyBoy15? Take your dick out the box and put your head in it.
Best Non-Medicinal Cure for Insomnia: Pairing the establishment's preferred brand of fresh faced talent may have seemed like a good idea in theory, but the triumvirate of John Legend, Corinne Bailey Rae & John Mayer foregoing the uptempo songs which netted their collective nominations for acoustic balladry added up to a Starbucks unplugged without the caffeine.
Cardio Fixation, Volume 2: Not only do Shakira's hips not lie, they should be hooked up to a smoothie making machine. I'm hopeful that this will mark the final time that this song is performed. Backflips and Solid Gold dancers are still bona fide crowd pleasers, but it feels like this song has been around for 10 years. If this isn't stopped now, Charo 2.0 will be turbo shimmying until she's 70. Enough is enough.
Edge Of Seventeen: Not even old enough to indulge in manly hazing tactics like eating a donut off someone's dick, yet he's stomping the yard in a Skeletor mask with krumping preschoolers, vocals curiously inconspicuous. Putting him behind Smokey and Lionel Richie just drives home how overproduced, badly written and piss-poor commercial R&B is right now. Ay dios mio.
Most Unnecessary Ode To American Idol: My Grammy Moment," they called it. My bathroom break, I decided was more apropos.
America's Next Trimspa Spokeswoman: All hail the Queen.
Thursday, February 01, 2007
Heaven must be like this
But I'm not a tea sippin'-kinda broad.
So I fall into "grab-whatever's-closest-in-the-fridge" mode rather than attempting to decipher the difference between green, black or chamomile, much to the chagrin of Mommie Dearest. But it's been colder than a witch's tit lately and I've fallen prey to a sweet treat specifically marketed to chase the arctic chill away.
Although they rival only Duane Reade for pavement supremacy and location convenience, I have to admit that Dunkin' Donuts never really did it for me. Sure, those fruity coolattas are a quick fix during the dog days of summer, but who's checking for that now? On average, I find their coffee mediocre and their donuts staler than the produce section at C-Town. But their white hot chocolate is on some next level shit. For those old enough to reminisce with me, remember Nestle's Alpine White bars? After becoming an endangered species (and I was left to hum the "sweet dreams you can't resist" hook when watching Dirty Dancing on VHS in memoriam), I was always on the hunt for an alternative. It only took almost 20 years, but be still my saccharine addicted heart. The taste of DD's winter picker-upper perfectly captures the taste of yesteryear melted into a Styrofoam cup. So rich, so creamy, so calorie-laden, so affordable, so addictive. Cheating on Starbucks never felt so good.