Saturday, February 23, 2008

Isn't It De-Lovely

Torchwood's John Barrowman talks to Now Magazine about accidentally pooping his pants onstage.

Lucky bastard.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Hills Are Alive with the sound of suck

Heidi Montag told Us that she cried herself to sleep after YouTubers suffered emotional spasms and mild dementia while watching her grade-Z ripoff of Madonna's "Cherish" video.

My favorite part of the song? The high-hattin' cheapcore Casio keyboard with the Three 6 Mafia elevator-crunk riffs. Ms. Montag ripped me a new asshole.

But don't be too hard, guys. After all, she's "just a girl from Kansas...following her dreams."

An Open Letter to Maureen Dowd

Dear Maureen,

Have I told you lately that I love you?

To wit:

Instead of carving out a separate identity for herself, Hillary has become more entwined with Bill. She is running bolstered by his record and his muscle. She touts her experience as first lady, even though her judgment during those years on issue after issue was poor. She says she’s learned from her mistakes, but that’s not a compelling pitch.

As a senator, she was not a leading voice on important issues, and her Iraq vote was about her political viability.

She told New York magazine’s John Heilemann that before Iowa taught her that she had to show her soft side, “I really believed I had to prove in this race from the very beginning that a woman could be president and a woman could be commander in chief. I thought that was my primary mission.”

If Hillary fails, it will be her failure, not ours.


A Flawed Feminist Test

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Deconstructing Grammy

The Grammys at 50 are showing their age," crows the latest headline from Newsday. Have the Grammys ever showed anything but? It takes years for them to even deign career artists buzzworthy enough for the Best New Artist trophy. (The most glaring example? Alt country siren Shelby Lynne taking home Best New Artist prize 13 years into her career.)

Yes, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences is about as hip as sitting through an Al Gore earth documentary on Current.

For a better gauge of 2007, bless sweet Robert Christgau's still-kicking "Pazz and Jop" poll. The Pazz and Jop poll is decided by a slag of chain-smoking copy monkeys at alternative weeklies and magazine biggies across the states. Published by Christgau's former employer, The Village Voice, the Pazz and Jop poll is the music journo's version of the anti-Grammys.

Prize perennials such as The National's Boxer and Panda Bear's Person Pitch will never be totally at home in the National Recording Academy of Arts and Sciences' annual commercial unit penis measuring contest. Hmpfh.

But 2007 was the year of indie crossover, and the Grammys reflect this nugget. Sort of.

Leslie Feist's Technicolor iPod commercial with her song, "1234" was damn near inescapable. It was an indie-rock mini-musical filled with cascading horns and colorful getups too saucy for The Polyphonic Spree. In fact, right now, a waifish hipster in Williamsburg is blasting Feist's wispy voice through his earbuds on his way to American Apparel. I kid you not.

But Feist represents a middle ground for Grammy voters. Nominated for four Grammys for her modern classic, The Reminder, Feist has almost wriggled the cusp of the soccer mom votes. She's still hip, but she hasn't reached complete Starbucks overkill yet. But give her time. (She won the Shortlist Music Prize this week, an award for artistic achievement by artists who sell less than 500,000 copies.)

The biggest snub? Radiohead's screw you to Hillary Rosen, In Rainbows, was decidedly left off Grammys' radar. That's a shame. Not only did "In Rainbows" stir the dander of industry gatekeepers, it represented Radiohead's most solid work in more than a decade.

While OK! Magazine fixture Amy Winehouse racked up nods for her mind-numbingly good R&B revival, Back to Black, her sterling producer Mark Ronson was only represented in the Producer category. But Ronson would rather have a BRIT award on his trophy rack. "I think the Grammys are a bit like the international industry standard for achievement," Ronson told reporters. "But there is something about the BRITs. There is more of a camaraderie - it's like people are saying this artist is one of our own. It is very special."

Ronson's genre-spanning Version was its own tour-de-force, and it's unlikely that he will perform a medley a la The MTV Video Music Awards. But as the Grammys cross over into Matlock-watching territory and earlybird specials in Ormond Beach, will the award show be able to give the music fans what they want? It's a question on everyone's mind.

"People don't need to see more Beyoncé. Everyone is done with Beyoncé. Sirius Radio's Rich McLaughlin told Newsday. "Been there, done that. People want to see someone newer."