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As the Feb. 10 55th annual Grammy Awards edge closer, we’re analyzing a category a day. Today, we look at Best Dance Recording.
Best Dance Recording nominees:
“Let’s Go,” Calvin Harris featuring Ne-Yo
“Don’t Your Worry Child,” Swedish House Mafia featuring John Martin
“I Can’t Live Without You,” Al Walser
WHO’S MISSING: Anything by David Guetta. The dance screening committee may now consider him too pop for inclusion in this category, which is pretty hard core, despite some of the songs having expanded beyond their initial dance home.
THE PLAYERS: You can be forgiven if you saw Al Walser’s name and went, “Huh?” Like last year when an unknown named Linda Chorney was nominated in the Americana category, Walser, an EDM producer from Liechtenstein, simply knew how to game the system by lobbying Grammy voters through Grammy’s in-house social network, Grammy365. Otherwise, this is a very solid slate.
THE ODDS: Swedish House Mafia has been at this longer than Avicii, Calvin Harris and Skrillex, but that may not count for anything in an industry that wants to reward the new innovators. Plus, “Don’t You Worry Child” probably became a pop hit a little too late in the voting process to affect dance dilettantes voting in this category. “Levels” was massive for Avicii from colleges to clubs to radio, but Skrillex seemed omnipresent this year and was the face of dubstep.
THE WINNER: “Bangarang,” Skrillex
Surprising no one, Jack White says that he's already knees deep into making a new solo album, the follow-up to 2012's "Blunderbuss."
Talking to BBC 6 Music, the Third Man Records founder and current Grammy nominee said “I’m writing a lot of songs for another record… I have over 20 tracks I’m working on right now.”
America will be hearing a bit more from White this coming weekend, as he hits the stage for the 2013 Grammy Awards in support of his three nods at this year's ceremony, including Album of the Year.
White also revealed in his interview this week that 25,000 blues tracks originally released on Document Records are going to be remastered and reissued on Third Man Records. That's a lot of tracks, maybe even more than he's produced in the last two years. BAH-ZING.
This is a long episode of the podcast. It sort of had to be.
Consider this: Scott Swan and I met when we were in high school. We moved to Los Angeles in 1990. For much of the time since then, we have worked together daily, sometimes for up to ten or twelve hours. It is safe to say that there is no other person who I have had more conversations with other than, perhaps, my parents, and even then, I think Scott may still be the winner in terms of sheer hours logged.
I'd wager that about 85% of that time spent talking to Scott had something to do with "Star Wars."
Even so, because of the way things work these days, when the news that JJ Abrams is directing "Star Wars" broke, I was on my way home from Sundance. I was at the airport. I wrote about it that night. I've written about it since then. But for one reason or another, I hadn't spoken to Scott about it. Not in e-mail. Not by text. Not on the phone. Not at all. And I realized that if we were going to talk about it, we should do it for the podcast.
Dave Grohl not only wielded his fame for good for doc "Sound City," but he has also been able to wrangle more music stars for his "Chelsea Lately" takeover this week, last night's guest Elton John included.
The "Rocket Man" singer sat down with the Foo Fighters frontman to confirm something nobody expected: that he would be featured on the forthcoming Queens of the Stoneage album.
"Recently Elton and I recorded something together, something people wouldn’t imagine the two of us doing together," Grohl started. Imagination... yes. That's what this takes.
Grohl, Trent Reznor, the Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears, Mark Lanegan and Brody Dalle (of the Distillers, and also Homme's wife) are lined up to guest on the new QOTSA set as well, with release and title TBA. Grohl had that rock band's frontman Josh Homme on hand for "Sound City," and the two collaborated with Trent Reznor for a new song "Mantra."
How funny. As I was writing my piece about "Identity Thief," looking at how a movie like that happens in the wake of a comedy breakthrough like the one Melissa McCarthy had on "Bridesmaids," machinery was in motion to set up a deal that is essential if McCarthy hopes to have any control over her fate.
"Tammy" is a film that will very much demonstrate what voice McCarthy hopes to have as a creator as well as an actor. She's set to co-direct the film with Ben Falcone, her husband and creative partner. It was a project that McCarthy helped set up with New Line last year, and she's set to star in it playing a character she created, and she and Falcone co-wrote the script. It's about a woman who is laid off from a job at Hardee's. When she learns that her husband is having an affair, she grabs her alcoholic foul-mouthed grandmother and hits the road with her for a comic road trip. Shirley MacLaine is evidently in talks to play the grandmother, and I think they can cut a pretty convincing trailer of the two of them trading full-tilt R-rated barbs. It's the sort of casting that goes a long way to getting something a greenlight.
Well the Oscar pundits have spoken again and - surprise - it appears a number of our peers are jumping on the "Argo" bandwagon.
It was a series of circumstances that led to Roman Coppola's working relationship with director Wes Anderson. Filmmaker Kit Carson first introduced the two after being involved with Anderson's short film (and soon-to-be feature) "Bottle Rocket." Coppola really liked the film but doesn't recall whether there was necessarily any spark of a future collaboration in there. It was just the beginnings of an aesthetic appreciation.
For professional pundits and armchair awards geeks alike, the short film categories can be the most fun to handicap -- since there's little basis on which to size up the race beyond the films themselves, and even then, it can hard to guess what Academy voters will see in them. For every year that the winner seems patently obvious, there's another in which the voters surprise with something out of left field. And getting a look at the nominees before the ceremony is no longer the rare advantage it once was: Magnolia Pictures and Shorts International released this year's live-action and animated short nominees on February 1.
Though last year's winner in the category, Irish writer-director Terry George, was an established name in feature film circles, this category is traditionally the domain of up-and-comers, with a number of past champions progressing to bigger things: Andrea Arnold ("Fish Tank"), Martin McDonagh ("In Bruges"), David Frankel ("The Devil Wears Prada") and current DGA president Taylor Hackford all made significant breakthroughs with a win here. Whether any of this year's finalists will progress to their ranks is, like everything about this category, anyone's guess.
The nominees are...
Sometimes I feel like it would be helpful for the International Film Music Critics Association to release its list of nominees prior to the Oscar nominations. There is no real "precursor" to help understand what the music branch might be thinking. Then again, as evidenced by this year's slate, maybe they wouldn't be that helpful at all. A critics group's choices are bound to differ from a group of composers' choices, and so it has this year.
Four films led the way with three nods each: "Cloud Atlas," "The Impossible," "Life of Pi" and "Lincoln." Only the last two, of course, managed Oscar nominations. But Alexandre Desplat also had a great showing, nominated for film composer of the year and receiving individual notices for work on "Moonrise Kingdom," "Rise of the Guardians" and "Zero Dark Thirty." He was Oscar-nominated for "Argo" and also cranked out music for "Rust and Bone." I imagine he'll be right back in the thick of it next year with "The Monuments Men."
Check out the full list of nominees below. Winners will be announced on February 21. And as always, you know, The Circuit.
We’ve really come a long way since Cole Porter wrote “a glimpse of stocking was looked on as something shocking” for “Anything Goes.”
Now we live in a world where CBS has to send out an official memo to any talent —presenters and performers— appearing on air during the 55th Annual Grammy Awards telecast on Feb. 10.
[More after the jump...]
Focus Features is very much in he LAIKA business now, and after the success of "Coraline" and "ParaNorman," the two are teaming up again on "The Boxtrolls."
The film, which began production today and is set for an October 17, 2014 release, will be another stop-motion/CG hybrid 3D endeavor directed by Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable. It's based on Alan Snow's best-selling fantasy adventure novel "Here Be Monsters" and will feature actors Ben Kingsley, Toni Collette, Elle Fanning and Isaac Hempstead-Wright on the voice cast, among others.