Here are some quick postings for today. Blogger is crawling and it's driving me crazy. It took me half an hour just to post a response to my friend Sam's comment.
The silly talk about Beyonce being overshadowed in "Dreamgirls" is just that: silly. Jennifer Hudson is supposed to shine in her star-making role. Beyonce is the best she's ever been in a movie, she'll get to perform "Listen" at the Oscars and wow us all and her day job is going pretty well, too. She's at #1 on the Billboard charts with "Irreplaceable."
"The Coast Of Utopia" -- that marathon three play extravaganza -- is extending its run at Lincoln Center through May and adding six Saturdays where the entire trilogy is performed in one day. That's definitely the best way to see it and tickets go on sale tomorrow.
Perry Como = Christmas. I thought it was Bing Crosby myself. But Como dominates the ringtone charts: he's at #1 with "Jingle Bells" and #3 with "We Wish You A Merry Christmas." Some kids are getting retro-hip or some parents are FINALLY learning how to use all the gadgets on their phones. I would have expected Boris Karloff and "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch" to do better: he's at #4.
Paul McCartney wants music copyrights in the UK to be extended from 50 years to the US standard of 95 years. People are right that performers should be treated the same as composers and copyright holders. But the solution isn't the absurd US standard of ever-increasing copyrights where certain properties are seemingly NEVER going to enter the public domain. It's to change all the rights to 50 years from date of inception. Copyright was not meant to be a barrier to keep creative content locked up forever. But that's how these laws are being abused; with Disney et al pushing governments to constantly rewrite them. Besides, with any country that has a different standard able to reach the world via the Internet, the copyright holders would be wise to stick to something reasonable that everyone can agree on.
Roger Friedman of FoxNews.com has a great analysis of the National Board of Review winners and what a joke that org has become. He points out that they chose five movies from Warner Bros. and four from 20th century Fox and makes clear this is not a coincidence.
And here is a complete list of the Grammy nominations. Mary J. Blige got the most nods, but was kept from the top category of Best Album. The only act to get Album, Song and Record of the Year nods is the Dixie Chicks. I'm delighted Corinne Bailey Rae got song and record of the year nods, along with Best New Artist, and really thrilled James Hunter got a nod for best traditional blues album. (I thought it was a soul record, but what do I know?) My favorite single of the year is "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley and it was a fave of the grammys too, since they got Record and Album nods (not not Song). As a recap: Record of the Year is for the Best Single. Song of the Year is for the actual composition. "Crazy" is a great record but you're not going to really be interested in hearing lots of different people deliver their own versions of it, any more than you'd want to hear lots of different versions of, say, Outkast's "Hey Ya." A Song of the Year is a hoped for standard, something you could imagine artists from different genres recording and putting their own spin on, like U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" or "Unforgettable" or Carrie Underwood's country tune "Jesus, Take The Wheel." Got it? Lots of lame choices in categories where the Grammys go on autopilot, such as solo rock vocal, which included Beck, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Neil Young and John Mayer for a cover of "Route 66" from the "Cars" soundtrack. Really? Those are the best rock vocals of the year? Dylan and Springsteen were stuck in minor categories. Justin Timberlake had a good day, though his support isn't as strong as I suspected. And Neil Diamond should have re-released his great "12 Songs" before the ballots got back. Despite the cool factor of Rick Rubin, he was ignored completely.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Dixie Chicks -- Taking The Long Way
Gnarls Barkley -- St. Elsewhere
John Mayer -- Continuum
Red Hot Chili Peppers -- Stadium Arcadium
Justin Timberlake -- FutureSex/LoveSounds
It's gonna be a big night for the triumphant Chicks, who will snag Album of the Year. It will be sweet vindication for a very good album that has flopped commercially.