Phantom of the Oscars

I have written about Oscar night elsewhere and will link to that piece ASAP.  In the meantime, three cheers for the Uruguayan songwriter Jorge Drexler, winner for Best Original Song, for insisting on delivering a few bars of it himself during the 20 seconds most winners have to thank everyone they ever knew, plus the heavenly host and all the powers under the earth.

Drexler was defying the Academy's refusal to let him perform the song himself.  Instead, "Al Otro Lado del Rio" ("The Other Side of the River"), from "The Motorcycle Diaries," a film about the youthful Che Guevara, was Rolfed by the Spanish pop star Antonio Bandera, accompanied by American rock idol Carlos Santana (born in Mexico). Back in Montevideo, Drexler is being hailed as both a winner and a rebel - which is entirely appropriate, given that Che was the first fully commodified socialist revolutionary.

It is, of course, customary to have Big Stars perform the nominated songs, rather than the obscure nobodies who actually wrote them. On occasion this has added emotion and excitement to the proceedings, but not this time.

Beyonce (sorry, my software doesn't have a fake accent aigu) is a very beautiful young woman with great pipes. But somebody - her managers? her fans? herself? - is working overtime to waste both beauty and talent. Even ghastlier than her costumes were the songs she sang. And ghastliest of all was "Learn to be Lonely" from "The Phantom of the Opera." Here the Academy allowed the songwriter onstage, since he is, after all, Andrew Lloyd "Clobber 'Em Again" Webber.

I only have ten seconds left, so I'd like to thank Counting Crows for their energetic and unpretentious performance of "Accidentally in Love," from "Shrek 2." They get my nomination for Best Imitation of Van Morrison and also (hands down) Best Hair.

March 3, 2005 9:30 AM |



PRC Pop 

The Chinese pop music scene is like no other ...

Remembering Elvis 

The best part of him will never leave the building ...

Beyond Country 

Like all chart categories, "country" is an arbitrary heading under which one finds the ridiculous, the sublime, and everything in between. On the sublime end, a track that I have been listening to over and over for the last six months: Wynnona Judd's version of "She Is His Only Need." The way she sings it, irony is not a color or even a set of contrasting colors; it is iridescence.

Miles the Rock Star? 

Does Miles Davis belong in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame? Here's my take on his career ...

Essay Contest 

Attention, high school jazz listeners ...

more trax

Me Elsewhere

Edward Hopper 

Painter of light (and darkness) ...

Dissed in Translation 

Here's my best shot at taking Scorcese down a few pegs ...

Henri Rousseau Revisited 

"Henri Rousseau: Jungles in Paris" appeared at the National Gallery of Art in Washington this fall ...

Paul Klee's Art 

Paul Klee was not childish, despite frequent comparisons between his art and that of children...

Our Art Belongs to Dada 

Rent my "Dadioguide" tour of the Dada show (before it moves to MoMA) ...

more picks


About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Chris Mackie, Principal, Covelly Strategies published on March 3, 2005 9:30 AM.

Aims, Shoots & Leaves? was the previous entry in this blog.

Mixed Message is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.