Web Toolbar by Wibiya Bears and Bullets: 2010-01-31

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thursday Bears: New Strange Boys Video - Be Brave

Austin, Texas garage blues-punk revivalists the Strange Boys debuted the eponymous single of their full-length debut album Be Brave earlier today. The fuzzy, often sepia-toned video stands out like an indie-tuned summer-time get-together (so many hyphens), with little splashes of cheap sincerity and lame and therefore not so lame video effects.

Be Brave is set for release February 2 via In the Red-Rough Trade Records.

The Strange Boys - Be Brave

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

More Grammy Reflection

My take on the Grammy's yesterday gave a little transparency to where I sit on the subject; if it's not too clear just read for yourself.

Thanks to the Newsy Community Team, you can get a little more insight on whether or not the award show is still relevant.

Tuesday Bears: 2010 Oscar Nominees

Two days after the Grammy's shamed the idea of award shows yet again, the Academy Awards released their list of nominees for the year's best in film. James Cameron's super-mega blockbuster Avatar, as expected, led the way with nine total nominations, including Best Picture among the newly expanded ten nominees.

Katheryn Bigelow's Iraq War drama The Hurt Locker, with nine nominations as well, is the early-front runner for Best Picture, claiming space on many end of 2009 lists as the year's best movie. Other nominees include Quentin Tarantino's Nazi remake Inglorious Basterds, Neil Blomkamp's low-budget alien epic District 9, and Pixar's Up, the first animated feature to be nominated for the award in 18 years (Beauty and the Beast), and only the second time in history.

Best Picture Nominees:
  • Avatar
  • The Hurt Locker
  • Precious
  • Up in The Air
  • Inglorious Basterds
  • Up
  • District 9
  • An Education
  • A Serious Man
  • The Blind Side
The Blind Side, an unexpected box-office success, was the only real wild-card of the ten films. Despite it's high grossing numbers and career role for actress Sandra Bullock, the film is a little light on critical appeal, compared to the other nine films (70% on Rotten Tomatoes, compared to The Hurt Locker's 97%). Still, the expansion to ten nominees was brought back to get those fan-favorites a little light.

Check out the full list of Academy Award nominees here ...

The 82 annual Academy Awards will be held March 7, at 8 p.m., on ABC.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Monday Bears: A Small Grammy Reflection

Last night the 52 annual Grammy Awards saw some of the biggest names in the music industry come together to reflect and perform some of the best music of the past year. Beyonce and Taylor Swift were the night's biggest winners, with Ms. Knowles taking home six awards, a record for any female recording artist. Swift, winner of four awards, took the night's highest honor, winning coveted album of the year for her sophomore release Fearless.

It's hard. It's hard being an honest and fair music critic, although I don't have an official title to say so, and take The Grammy Awards with not only a grain of salt, but just a flat out acceptance of it. As far as award shows go (and we're talking serious awards -- no Kid's (z) Choice Awards, or MTV Movie Awards or anything like that), The Grammy's must be so low on the latter of credibility that it's a comparable joke next to the Oscars and Emmy's.

Trent Reznor explained it better last night with more profound clarity:

"The Grammy's = the old guard/old media propping up their puppets trying to convince the outside world (and each other) that they're still relevant."

Much like Rolling Stone, the Grammy's always seem to try to connect with the younger demographic but inevitably falters and hands out their honors to the "old guard." Herbie Hancock winning album of the year in 2008, covering Joni Mitchell's Blue? Allison Krauss and Robert Plant beating out Radiohead for album of year in 2009? Certainly.

It's an unfortunate psycho-analytical response towards giving who what people feel they deserve. More often than not, the awards go towards those whose careers stand taller than others, regardless of whether or not their work that year was superior. And I say that year in italics because the limit of what can actually be nominated is beyond me.

So, congratulations to Swift and Knowles for their achievements, however they come to claim them. 2011 will likely spin the same results we've seen in the past several years (a'hem, decades). Here's to predictability and static constancy.