Monday, February 11, 2013
The Grammy Awards are always the best award shows of the year just because of all the great performances even if it is an off year for music. But a funny thing happened at this year’s Grammy, it was almost as if I programmed it. I loved almost all the performances (who invited Justin Timberlake, I hate when people who are not nominated get to perform unless they are a legacy artist; plus I do not see Suit and Tie getting nominated for anything next year) and it is almost as if I did the nominating. Sure I could nitpick that Call Me Maybe was nominated for a songwriting award or how Norah Jones was shut out despite releases her best single of her career, Happy Pills. But for the first time I actually endorse every nominee in the most prestigious category, each made my list of The Best Albums of 2012 (or 2011 thanks to the Grammy’s wonky eligibility rule). Usually one (or four) stinkers sneak in, somehow Lady GaGa was that past three years. Since it seemed like this year’s Grammys were geared specially towards me, I have a feeling the ratings will be way down and they will be back to nominating unworthy artists next year (maybe Suit and Tie will get a nod... or five), but I definitely enjoyed this year. Here are some thoughts on last night’s festivities.
Taylor Swift, her performer, the carnival meets Wonderland meets Marionettes meets Marie Antoinette was way too much. Hopefully Red is her Pop and she will go back to basics with her next album like U2 did with All That You Can't Leave Behind.
- Of course ADELE won the first award, after the great ratings of last year, the show want to continue that even if a live performance off a DVD is a bit cheap way to get nominated. But then again it was not like there was much competition in that category.
- When Fun. performed at the nomination special I figured they would not get invited to the big show because they already burned off their best song. But they did get to perform and we were stuck listening to the fifth best song off their album (same goes for Maroon 5).
- I think the suits Miguel and Wiz Khalifa were wearing broke my HD. And of course they went on to announce the Best Country Solo Performance.
- A couple weeks ago someone pointed out to me that We Are Young is a song about domestic abuse ("My seat's been taken by some sunglasses asking 'bout a scar, I know I gave it to you months ago") I it is weird listening to it ever since. Even weirder is a song that may be about domestic abuse won a songwriting award.
- It was jarring seeing Mumford & Sons perform with an electric bass instead of their trademark stand-up bass. And what was with three of them being clean shaven?
- Alicia Keys playing the drums = awesome.
- Should I know who Micky Echo is?
- Best acceptance speech of the night, maybe ever: "I would like to thank the swap meet for his hat." - Jay-Z.
- I really like the aesthetic of the two The Black Keys, but I would like them to make a full band album at some point, preferably with Danger Mouse producing.
The Police, of course Bruno Mars had to bring in Sting for his performance. But I wish the Bob Marley part was much longer.
- I am not sure if there is such a thing as male groupies, but if there are, I am thinking about becoming one for the chick from the The Lumineers.
- Do someone slip me some acid or was Carrie Underwood's dress changing shapes and colors?
- How do you invite Prince to an award show and not get him to perform? This may have been the best awards in recent memory, but not getting Prince to sing was an epic fail.
- I guess it should go down as a successful Grammy awards because Chris Brown made it through an entire night without punching anyone.
Friday, January 04, 2013
Thirteen is supposed to be an unlucky number, but there are a few things worth looking forward to the thirteenth year of this decade.
13. Detox – Dr. Dre: It is becoming an annual tradition to start off this list by saying this may be the year Dr. Dre finally releases Detox, but considering he was not able to get it out before the Mayan apocalypse, I think it is a safe bet to take the over on the release of Detox compared to any other event, be it the Cubs winning the World Series, a Veronica Mars movie, or Hayden Panettiere winning an acting award. It does not help that last year 50 Cent said that Dr. Dre is no longer interested in Detox (much like the general public) and it may just be released as an EP at some point.
12. The Mayans Were Wrong (Probably): Sure we are in the unlucky thirteen year, but hey, we are still here. Unless of course you did not think the world was going to explode in mid-December and instead the world would die slowly and we were too busy looking for some big apocalypse we missed the small catalyst that will being on the end of the world as we know it. Since you are still alive, make sure you go out and enjoy life this year. I would say that you only live once, but I do not want to get sued by Drake. Plus Nancy Sinatra is significantly better than Drake and she said you only live twice.
11. Sequels That Won’t Suck (Hopefully): The Last Exorcism 2 (March 1), Kick-(Expletive Deleted) 2 (June 28), Grown Ups 2 (July 12), RED 2 (August 2), Percy Jackson Sea of Monsters (August 16), Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (October 4), and Thor: The Dark World (November 8) all had entertaining to great original films and statistically speaking a couple of the seven will probably have a good serial. Okay I do not have high hopes for the second The Last Exorcism because, well, it is an oxymoron but hopefully the other live up to the first movies or at the very least half of them do.
10. S.H.E.I.L.D. the TV Series: Joss Whedon back doing television would be awesome enough, but continuing his work in the Marvel universe makes this doubly awesome. The only way it could have been more awesome is if Lizzy Caplain, who starred in the Item 47 short film, would have continued her character on the new show (she is otherwise busy, but more on her later). No superheroes on the television show (unless you count the reanimated corpse of Phil Coulson) and a cast of unknowns but I have full faith in Whedon. Hopefully the show will be ready by the fall and does not flutter out like the Wonder Woman reboot that never ended up making it to air.
9. No National Elections: I am sure most of those that live in the United States do care either way, but for those of us living in swing states, no political ads or robocalls are very welcome in this off election year. Unfortunately it looks like 2016 will be worse than last year because Sheldon Adelson, who may have been the biggest loser after backing numerous losing candidates with what is believed to be over $100 million (almost a dollar for every vote cast), plans to double down in the future.
8. Man of Steel: I am still cautiously optimistic about the latest Superman reboot. Zack Snyder’s last movie was so poorly received that there was a groundswell to kick him off the movie. I love Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies, but as executive producer of the movie I fear he may make Superman more serious than he should be. But on the flipside, it cannot possible be worse than the Krypton in the Atlantic Ocean plot from Superman Returns. Can it? We will find out June 28.
7. A New U2 Album: Ever since U2 released No Line on the Horizon in 2009, the group has been teasing that the session had enough songs for another new album which they even dubbed Songs of Accent. That album has yet to materialize but the group, but their record company announced that they would be releasing a new album this year. No word on if the album will be Songs of Ascent, work they have done with Danger Mouse, or a dance album they have also supposedly been working on.
6. Warm Bodies: After Zombieland I declared the 10’s (the tens? The teens? What exactly are we calling this decade?) the decade of zombies. Since then there has been numerous movies, even the kids in The Cabin In The Woods ended up summoning zombies, The Walking Dead is crushing cable ratings records, and thanks to the bath salt epidemic that created actual living zombies. Of course there would eventually be someone who would come along and bastardize zombies with a crappy Twilight with zombies type movie. At least that is what I thought Warm Bodies was going to be until I saw the trailer and, surprise, not only did it not look painfully bad, it actually looked like it will be good. Warm Bodies, coming February 1, is not the only major zombie movie making its way to theaters this year as the oft delayed Brad Pitt World War Z is set to premiere this summer.
5. The Evil Dead: Does the world need a reboot of The Evil Dead? No. Even if Sam Raimi is involved? Not really. Does it need one where Ash is a chick? Goodness no. Even if it is the chick from Suburgatory? Probably not. Will I get excited if this movie leads to Tessa Altman vs. The Army of Darkness? Frack yes!
4. More From The Black Keys: The duo just released El Camino thirteen months ago but it does not sound like we will have to wait very much longer for the next album as the band expects it to be done by the end of Spring. It seems like only Rihanna releases as much music (seven in eight years), but where a Rihanna album is lucky to have one to three catchy songs, The Black Keys always release great albums. No word yet if the album will again be produced by Danger Mouse, who did two of the band’s last three albums.
3. Gangster Squad: After watching Crazy, Stupid, Love, I decreed that every movie should star Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. Apparently someone was listening because the duo will be playing opposite each other in the period piece set to hit theaters next week. I am sure the duo could even make an Innerspace reboot awesome (McLovin of course would then play Martin Short, make this happen Hollywood).
2. Grand Theft Auto V: After all the massacres, people wondered if the upcoming Grand Theft Auto will be the last of its kind. It is doubtful as long as there is money to be made. And it is always cheap to blame entertainment for society’s ills when it is the parents that should be accountable for letting their kids to watch or play such violent games. I have played all four GTA games released on the two Playstation games and remain fiercely anti-gun. Plus the games are not all bad, you can also steal ambulances and cop cars and do good through the city. GTA V takes the game out west to San Andreas for the first time in modern times and the first modern game to take place outside of Liberty City. Little else is known about the game except it is supposed to be even bigger than the fourth installment and it is expected to be released sometime this spring.
1. Masters of Sex – Seriously, Lizzy Caplan is starring in something entitled Masters of Sex. The show cannot premiere soon enough (but will probably hit Showtime no sooner than April).
Sunday, December 30, 2012
1. Happy Pills - Norah Jones
2. Don't Leave Me (Ne me quitte pas) - Regina Spektor
3. Ho Hey - The Lumineers
4. Little Black Submarines - The Black Keys
5. Somebody That I Used to Know - Gotye featuring Kimbra
6. "45" - The Gaslight Anthem
7. Thinkin Bout You - Frank Ocean
8. Little Talks - Of Monsters And Men
9. Stars - Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
10. Safe & Sound - Taylor Swift and The Civil Wars
11. Everybody Talks - Neon Trees
12. No Church in the Wild - Jay-Z & Kanye West featuring Frank Ocean
13. Warrior – Kimbra, A-Trak, and Mark Foster
14. Stubborn Love - The Lumineers
15. I Will Wait - Mumford and Sons
16. Bottom of the River - Delta Rae
17. Tongue Tied - Grouplove
18. We Are Young - Fun. featuring Janelle Monáe
19. The Baddest Man Alive - The Black Keys featuring RZA
20. Mercy.1 - Kanye West, Big Sean, Pusha T, 2 Chainz
21. Ain't Messin 'Round - Gary Clark Jr.
22. Get Burned - Sleeper Agent
23. If Only - Dave Matthews Band
24. The Devil Takes Care of His Own - Band Of Skulls
25. Live and Die - The Avett Brothers
26. Adorn - Miguel
27. Leave the Lights On - Meiko
28. Roll Me Up - Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg, Kris Kristofferson and Jamey Johnson
29. Emmylou - First Aid Kit
30. Hold On - Alabama Shakes
31. The Don - Nas
32. Begin Again - Taylor Swift
33. Oh Love - Green Day
34. Brendan's Death Song - Red Hot Chili Peppers
35. Brand New Me - Alicia Keys
36. The Bright Side - Meiko
37. Sweet Life - Frank Ocean
38. Sense - Amanda Mair
39. Duquesne Whistle - Bob Dylan
40. Princess of China - Coldplay and Rihanna
41. Every Single Night - Fiona Apple
42. Man On Fire - Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
43. Settle Down - Kimbra
44. The Day You Die - Lindi Ortega
45. Pyramids - Frank Ocean
46. Handwritten - The Gaslight Anthem
47. Gold On the Ceiling - The Black Keys
48. Modern Love - Matt Nathanson
49. Some Nights - Fun.
50. Heaven - Emeli Sandé
51. Walk Away - Dia Frampton
52. Girl On Fire - Alicia Keys
53. Runaways - The Killers
54. How - Regina Spektor
55. Even If It Breaks Your Heart - Eli Young Band
56. Gimme a Kiss - Madi Diaz
57. Never Go Back - Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
58. Home Again - Michael Kiwanuka
59. Let Yourself Go - Green Day
60. Run Away - Sarah Jarosz
61. Too Close - Alex Clare
62. Queen of California - John Mayer
63. Ships in the Night - Mat Kearney
64. Mercy - Dave Matthews Band
65. Let's Go - Madi Diaz
66. Simple Song - The Shins
67. Shadow Days - John Mayer
68. Favorite Song - Colbie Caillat featuring Common
69. When I Was Young - Nada Surf
70. Payphone - Maroon 5 featuring Wiz Khalifa
71. Hurts Like Heaven - Coldplay
72. All the Rowboats - Regina Spektor
73. Ruin - Cat Power
74. Free - Graffiti6
75. Lover of the Light - Mumford and Sons
76. The House That Heaven Built - Japandroids
77. Concrete Wall - Zee Avi
78. Good Intent - Kimbra
79. Burn It Down - Linkin Park
80. The Lion's Roar - First Aid Kit
81. Eyes Open - Taylor Swift
82. Nothing's Real But Love - Rebecca Ferguson
83. Blue - First Aid Kit
84. Stay - Sara Bareilles
85. Anna Sun - Walk the Moon
86. The a Team - Ed Sheeran
87. Runaway - Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
88. Heartbeat - JJAMZ
89. No Light, No Light - Florence + the Machine
90. Locked Out of Heaven - Bruno Mars
91. Goodbye In Her Eyes - Zac Brown Band
92. Good Girl - Carrie Underwood
93. Sweeter - Gavin DeGraw
94. House - Amanda Mair
95. Here Comes My Man - The Gaslight Anthem
96. Charlie Brown - Coldplay
97. Chains of Love - Ryan Adams
98. Cherokee - Cat Power
99. Ray Charles - Chiddy Bang
100. Hurry Hurry - Jessie Baylin
Friday, December 28, 2012
1. Monica Potter
2. Timothy Olyphant
3. Emma Stone
4. Mandy Patinkin
5. Joss Whedon
6. The Black Keys
7. Connie Britton
8. Regina Spektor
9. Alex Morgan
10. R. Kelly
11. Christopher Nolan
12. Carly Chaikin
13. Frank Ocean
14. Mumford & Sons
15. Kaley Cuoco
16. Aubrey Plaza
17. Emily Van Camp
18. Fiona Apple
19. Jennifer Lawrence
20. The Avett Brothers
21. Jim Parsons
22. Kat Dennings
23. Daryl Hall
24. Claire Daines
25. Clint Eastwood
26. Dave Matthews Band
27. Eliza Coupe
28. Kristen Bell
29. Keira Knightley
30. Lauren Cohan
31. Alison Brie
32. Cee Lo Green
33. Charlize Theron
34. Alicia Keys
35. Dreama Walker
36. Taylor Swift
37. The Lumineers
38. The Gaslight Anthem
39. Abraham Lincoln
42. Adam Baldwin
43. Peter Krause
44. Lana Parrilla
45. Norah Jones
46. Norman Reedus
47. Bob Dylan
48. Jane Levy
49. Jared Harris
51. Robert Carlyle
52. Amanda Brown
53. Ariel Winter
54. Andre Braugher
56. Lindsey Pavao
57. Walton Goggins
58. Bill Simmons
59. Emmy Rossum
60. Ginnifer Goodwin
61. Casey Wilson
62. John Hamm
63. Jonah Hill
64. Hayden Panettiere
65. Jack White
66. Jessica Pare
67. Leonardo DiCaprio
68. Johnny Depp
69. Larry Hagman
70. Cassadee Pope
71. Andrew Lincoln
72. Lauren Graham
73. Justin Kirk
74. Anne Hathaway
75. Elisabeth Moss
76. Donald Glover
77. Gary Clark Jr.
78. Nicholas David
79. Mykelti Williamson
80. Lionel Richie
81. Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
82. Charlie Hunnam
83. Taylor Kitsch
84. Tom Hardy
85. Johnny Galecki
86. John Slattery
87. Adam Palley
88. Alexandra Chando
89. John Mayer
90. Liam Neeson
92. Tony Kornheiser, Michael Wilbon, Statboy
93. Yvonne Strahovski
94. William H. Macy
95. Michael B. Jordan
96. Allie Grant
97. Don Cheadle
98. Madeleine Stowe
99. Mae Whitman
100. Kat Edorsson