Sunday, January 31, 2010


11:25 p.m. Album of the Year, at last: My prediction, just below... SURPRISE!!! It's Taylor Swift, after losing everything to Beyonce tonight. I'm actually pleased, even though Gaga should have won, just to see that Beyonce finally lost... THE BIG ONE.

11:15 p.m, during 10 minutes of commericals. Okay, leading up to Album of the Year... Taylor Swift lost Song and Record, so it's looking like Beyonce is clear to ruin the year in music, with a win. I wanted Gaga, I predicted Swift, but now it seems clear that the Grammy voters (not including meese) were seduced by Beyonce's 10 noms, believing that nods merit "yes."

11:11 p.m. Why is Quentin Tarantino talking like he's a man of color? And when did he get fat?

11 p.m. The dead people, finally! Mentioned to Liz D. that her buddy Les Paul must be featured... and he's getting full-on treatment. Uh, where was Patrick Swayze?

10:59 p.m. Maxwell is fine, but this performance is bland. Roberta Flack just amped it way up, co-singing her "Where Is the Love." So, so nice.

10:46 p.m. Ricky Martin... still hot in that closet of his. My favorite award, Best Female Pop Vocal. I so wanted Pink to take this one home. Beyonce's win is a(nother) low point, for a popular entertainer who is not a talented vocalist. Thought Swift would win, for sure. One big zero.

10:42 p.m. Dave Matthews is performing. "I love him," Liz D. says. "I can't bear his voice," I respond. "I like him a lot," Liz says. "Well, you're wrong," I say. Leonard contributes, "He sounds like Paul Simon." Meese: "Well, there you go. I can't stand Paul Simon's voice, either." Caroline simply tells me to stop smoking. I used to be such a nice boy.

10:36 p.m. Neil Portnow announces the Clive Davis Theater... I just knew we'd never get through this telecast without mention of his name, since he wasn't able to rally a nod for Whitney Houston's flop comeback.

10:26 p.m. Andrea Bocelli and Mary J. Blige are singing "Bridge Over Troubled Water." I'm not convinced this is a good idea. She sounds wondrous. He's a slight bit absurd. Man, is Mary J. selling it. The whole "U.S. saves Haiti, cause we are the world" theme is getting on my nerves. I was in Turkey when the earthquake occurred—but it was only when I returned to the States that I was bombarded with America's posturing about being the savior of mankind. We are one nation among hundreds that are lending assistance. 'Nuf said.

10:18 p.m. Best Rap something. Jay-Z won. How could he not? Nom'd for three of the five. Anyone but Justin Timberlake & T.I.

10:14 p.m. Bon Jovi... with Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland... fabulous. I predicted to the room that the fan fave had to be "Livin' On a Prayer." Sure 'nuf. This is fun.9:52 p.m. Lionel Richie, intro'ing Michael Jackson tribute... my Celine Dion, Jennifer Hudson, Usher, Carrie Underwood, Smokey Robinson... and MJ... "Earth Song." That was fucking spellbinding... along with Gaga and Elton opening the show, I feel redeemed at devoting these three hours of my life.

9:45 p.m. Wow, that commercial break lasted a good 20 minutes. And yet the Ameriprise ad was five times more watchable than Peas or that goddamn mess with Jamie Foxx... Taylor Swift is going to attempt to sing live again... oh my Lord, even with this quiet song, where she doesn't have to project, she is ghastly... even flatter in tone than her chest... Stevie Nicks looks good, huh? I've nothing against Swift as a hitmaker/songwriter, but my heavens, at her age, isn't it all downhill from here?

9:33 p.m. Rock Album: Green Day. No contest. Well done. Chris O'Donnell looks absolutely beautiful. Zzzzac Brown is performing. Why is the big guy screaming? I might have to pee in my gin and drink it... that'd be less punishing. Leonard remarks that Leon Russell looks like Rip Van Winkle. Caroline is cutting our desert fruit tart. Won't have drink my own urine, after all.

9:17 p.m. Norah Jones cleans up good for a frumpy housewife. Record of the Year: I'm paralyzed... Kings of Leon. Thank god. I wanted Gaga, but anyone other than Peas. That would have been the ultimate blemish for the year in music... oh, wait, I spoke too soon. Jamie Foxx and T.I. and a bunch of grotesque figures are threatening to short out the TV set. I'd laugh if I weren't crying so hard.

9:09 p.m. Some lady just said that the Comedy album category "doesn't require musical talent." Ha, ha, ha, neither do the music categories... wait, that's not funny. Is the millennium over yet?

9:05 p.m. Why does Joe Jonas look like "Where's Waldo?" Let's face it, without his looks, what do we have here? Lady Antebellum performing. I'm gonna try to pee, even though I don't really have to.

8:54 p.m. Miley Cyrus proves she never got past the sixth grade by saying "y'all" twice in five seconds... Now the Black Eyed Peas are "performing." Thank heavens I refreshed my gin while Zzzzac Brown was accepting BNA (below)... I'm explaining to Leonard that this noise is now considered "pop music." He's looking at me as if I'm suffering from dementia. Granny rapping from Fergie is amusing in its sheer audacious awfulness, but my ears are beginning to tremble... uh, oh, I think my inner tubes are collapsing. Keith Urban is applauding, but looks like he's thinking, "One-way ticket to Nashville. Stat!"

8:46 p.m. Best New Artist... empty category that I used to care so much about. Sheena Easton/1982. Zac Brown wins, as expected. The room here—Liz D., Caroline, Leonard, me—say nothing. In fact, I assume the world just either went to pee or to refresh cocktails. Zzzzzzzac Brown...

8:30 p.m. Seal. Love him... Pink performing "Glitter in the Air," the song that Perry Payne dedicated to Carlton in her performance at Metropolitan Room last year... mesmerized... Who ever thought she would become a class act? 30. Gorgeous. Liz D. just said, "That was quite the performance, young lady." Among the most credible acts of the last decade.8:27 p.m. Beyonce takes the stage. I actually like "If I Were a Boy." It has a melody. Good shoes, girl. Now she's singing Alanis, "You Oughta Know"... oh, honey, uh, uh. I'll say it again: Fine entertainer, but let's not confuse dat with LeAnn Rimes, Christina Aguilera, Celine... singers.

8:25 p.m. Best Country Album: I'll just type in now, before they say it out loud. Taylor Swift... Okay, sorry, after winning 347819375 awards in 2009, her breathy humility is not exactly convincing. (P.S. Never wear your hair up again, honey. Your face resembles a moon pie.)

8:14 p.m. Jennifer Lopez has never looked more beautiful... wow-sa... Green Day with some people that I've never heard of, singing "21 Guns" as if it were a Broadway anthem for the gays. Oops.

8:11 p.m. Song of the Year... Gaga, Maxwell, Beyonce, Kings of Leon, Taylor Swift... Beyonce begins her takeover of what is now going on-record for being a year in music as bad as it sounded on radio... Her total win already: five awards out of 10 noms. NYC is worried about a terrorist trial, while Beyonce, the shrill shill, is now voted as the year's top singer. Lord have mercy on the free world.

8 p.m.! Akon intros Gaga! I'm elated. Conjuring Freddie Mercury as she goes into "Poker Face." Spent much of 2009 dissing her... now I'm a believer... except, do we always have to see the kootycat?... It's Elton! Singing a duet on "Speechless," which so needs to be her next hit... into "Your Song." This is fucking fabulous... an event. iTunes, please... will be looking for it tomorrow.7:57 p.m. Ryan Seacrest... you know, I don't know that he's so much a closet queen as wholly asexual. I'm not convinced that he has ever had an erection... Rihanna looks like a pre-plucked chicken.

7:44 p.m. Lady Gaga reveals her first outfit of the evening. Fabulous and outrageous as ever... and thankfully, it hides her cucumber-sized nose.

7:41 p.m. Watching the E! pre-Grammy show... Kesha was just interviewed by Giuliana Rancic, whose head is oddly larger than the Times Square New Year's ball... the trailer-trashy 22-year-old singer of "Tik Tok," is the new-generation whore. Fergie can finally surrender the crown.

Grammy Pre-Roll is a pitiful representation of its own event... hasn't updated the site since noon? As the pre-telecast awards are announced, the LA Times blog is reporting, minute by minute...

Southampton... A Little Different Than July

Liz D. and I ventured into Southampton this afternoon to a beautiful expansive lake that during the summer, we watched swans gliding across. What a diff. Today, at 19 degrees, it was skaters at play. The lake was a frozen slab of glass. I even ventured out onto the "water," as did Jasmine and Coco... Then it was down to Little Plains for a quick glimpse at the beach. Brrr!

Celine: Pre-Grammy Moment

Plowing through E!'s pre-Grammy coverage... Just watched a segment with Celine Dion—winner of the 1997 Album of the Year Grammy for "Falling Into You"—talking about her involvement in tonight's Michael Jackson tribute. No matter how gruesome this evening turns out, at least I'll have dat.And JUST announced... Celine is participating in the new "We Are the World" recording!!!!!! (!!!)

Forget State of the Union... It's Miss America!

My home state of Virginia clenched the Miss America crown Saturday, as 22-year-old Caressa Cameron became the 89th victor in the annual pageant. Even the gays didn't know it was on, despite yummy Mario Lopez hosting. It was broadcast live on TLC... the Learning Channel. I'm not sure what the great lesson to be "learned" was.

Judges included radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh (huh?!), actress Vivica Fox, out musician Dave Koz, Miss America 2002 Katie Harman, gymnast Shawn Johnson and former "AI" finalist Brooke White. Yawn, this post is already longer than it deserves to be.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Moon Pie

Tonight's full moon is said to be the biggest and brightest of the year, and it even has a cool name: the "wolf moon," which has something to do with Native American culture and hungry wolves howling on cold winter nights.

Driving into the Hamptons for the weekend today, the moon was low and seemingly dancing along as we drove. My pictures tonight, after full darkness, however, might as well be of a damn street lamp. Oh, well, at least it looks dramatic in real life...

Cold winter night, though. Alleged temp is 20 degrees. Feels more like 20 below. Just brutal.

Grammy Dust Bowl

As a voting member of NARAS, once again, voting for the 2010 Grammy Awards was a painful dilemma—based more on voting against absurdly nominated artists than for songs and acts of merit. Oh, for the days when melodies and singers ruled the roost. Today... loops and gimmicks. For example:

BEST NEW ARTIST: Keri Hilson; MGMT; Silversun Pickups; The Ting Tings; Zac Brown Band

If this were a multiple choice test, I would choose "none of the above." None among these acts are mass-appeal with the mojo to ring up hits two or three years from now. A true sign of the slim pickings that was the year in the music.

SONG OF THE YEAR: Beyonce, “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)”; Kings Of Leon, “Use Somebody”; Lady Gaga, “Poker Face”; Maxwell, “Pretty Wings”; Taylor Swift, “You Belong With Me”
Should win: Gaga, the best melodic act of 2009; Likely to win: Swift, who is an unstoppable media darling. If Beyonce—the most-nominated act of the night—wins with her obnoxious sing-song whine "Single Ladies," I may toss my cocktail at the TV. No, really. Enough, already, of her popularity as an entertainer being confused with talent. Alicia Keys she is not.

RECORD OF THE YEAR: Beyonce, “Halo”; The Black Eyed Peas, “I Gotta Feeling”; Kings Of Leon, “Use Somebody”; Lady Gaga, “Poker Face”; Taylor Swift, “You Belong With Me”

Should win: I'd like Gaga, I'll take Leon. Likely to win: Black Eyed Peas, based on the enormity of this hit—which I deem the worst commercial single of the year. When they win, I will be licking that spilled gin off the TV screen to save my sanity.

ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Beyonce, I Am… Sasha Fierce; The Black Eyed Peas, The E.N.D.; Lady Gaga, The Fame; Dave Matthews Band, Big Whiskey And The GrooGrux King; Taylor Swift, Fearless
A particularly painful category... Beyonce's album is full of shrill nursery rhymes, Swift cannot sing live, Black Eyed Peas are nothing more than "Sesame Street" with a whore at the mic, instead of muppets. Dave Matthews? Relevant in 2009? At least this year there are no dead people in the running, a la Ray Charles. Lady Gaga should win. I think she will, unless Swift pulls a fast one (ha, ha, am I funny?).

BEST FEMALE POP VOCAL PERFORMANCE: Adele, “Hometown Glory”; Beyonce, “Halo”; Katy Perry, “Hot N Cold”; Pink, “Sober”; Taylor Swift, “You Belong With Me”
My favorite category, but this year, it leaves me limp. Adele is done, Katy Perry is last year's big news, I believe my opinion of Beyonce is fairly clear now... Pink delivered another tour de force performance with "Sober," so she should win. But I don't think there's a chance in hell that Swift will not take this one home.

BEST MALE POP VOCAL PERFORMANCE: John Legend, “This Time”; Maxwell, “Love You”; Jason Mraz, “Make It Mine”; Seal, “If You Don’t Know Me By Now”; Stevie Wonder, “All About The Love Again”
Well, I really ashobt... oops, terribly sorry, I nodded off there for a minute. Seal should win. Stevie Wonder should not. The Grammys love their old dudes. At least Springsteen, Sting and James Taylor were blessedly spared from cluttering up this category, for once.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY POP DUO OR GROUP: The Black Eyed Peas, “I Gotta Feeling”; Bon Jovi, “We Weren’t Born To Follow”; The Fray, “Never Say Never”; Daryl Hall & John Oates, “Sara Smile”; MGMT, “Kids”
Hall & Oates? Tee hee, I love those guys, but even I admit that that one's pretty absurd. Black Eyed Peas are going to win, and there's nothing I can do about it. Awfully weak category.

BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM: The Black Eyed Peas, The E.N.D.; Colbie Caillat, Breakthrough; Kelly Clarkson, All I Ever Wanted; The Fray, The Fray; Pink, Funhouse
Ouch! Painfully thin. I wouldn't mind seeing a win for Pink, but I'm afraid we're in for more Peas soup.

BEST DANCE RECORDING: The Black Eyed Peas, “Boom Boom Pow”; David Guetta, & Kelly Rowland, “When Love Takes Over”; Lady Gaga, “Poker Face”; Madonna, “Celebration”; Britney Spears, “Womanizer”
Jesus, can we please have one category sans Black Eyed Peas? I'm giving this one to Brit Brit, though Gaga would make me giggle, with a win.

BEST ROCK SONG: Pearl Jam, “The Fixer”; U2, “I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight”; Green Day, “21 Guns”; Kings Of Leon, “Use Somebody”; Bruce Springsteen, “Working On A Dream”
Green Day should. Kings could. Springsteen likely will, because when he belches, the Grammys come calling. Snore.

BEST FEMALE R&B VOCAL PERFORMANCE: Beyonce, “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)”; Melanie Fiona, “It Kills Me”; Lalah Hathaway, “That Was Then”; Ledisi, “Goin’ Thru Changes”; Jazmine Sullivan, “Lions, Tigers & Bears”

Ha ha ha, I assume Beyonce has already cleared a space on her shelf for this one.

BEST COUNTRY ALBUM: Zac Brown Band, The Foundation; George Strait, Twang; Taylor Swift, Fearless; Keith Urban, Defying Gravity; Lee Ann Womack, Call Me Crazy
Interesting to see if country Grammy voters have had enough of Swift's pop crossover success, and give it to Strait.

BEST FEMALE COUNTRY VOCAL PERFORMANCE: Miranda Lambert, “Dead Flowers”; Martina McBride, “I Just Call You Mine”; Taylor Swift, “White Horse”; Carrie Underwood, “Just A Dream”; Lee Ann Womack, “Solitary Thinkin’”
Strong field here. Miranda Lambert is white hot, Carrie Underwood had a stellar year (though "Cowboy Casanova" was a better bid) and McBride and Womack are beloved, if a bit weathered. I honestly think Swift will lose this one, unless country voters are more seduced by mainstream attention than I think.

See you Sunday, cool cats!

Kristina: Movin' Out

Spent Thursday night with my darling Kristina, helping her pack for her upcoming move to Los Angeles. Great time, despite my breaking heart... sigh. Here we be on the bus this morning, heading for the Path train from Jersey to Manhattan.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

2C Studios: Grand Piano

On Wednesday, master pianist Wade Preston—who played the role of the "piano man" in Broadway's "Movin' Out" some 1,400 times—was in the house to record a beautiful keyboard track for "Marquee," the title song for Karine Hannah's upcoming third album, working with Ayhan Sahin and Dennis Delgaudio.

I have quite a personal interest in the number, since I penned the original lyric. It's a dark, sparse tome about loss of hope—and ultimate redemption—that will likely serve as the closing track on Karine's project. Live cello parts will also be recorded, along with her ever-emotive vocal. I'm frothing to hear the final result.

Republican Aaron Schock

Just watched frosh Illinois Republican Congressman Aaron Schock on "Larry King Live." Why is my gaydar ringing like the Liberty Bell? Wonder how many years it'll be before the anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage politician is caught in bed with another dude? Sniff, sniff, boy do I smell gay.And in stupid gay news: Ted Haggard's wife is standing by her man, no matter how many men he slept with—because he's cured now. Hurrah! Gayle Haggard appeared on "Today" Wednesday to hawk her book, "Why I Stayed: The Choices I Made In My Darkest Hour" (zzzz) and proudly chirped about her Evangelical superstar husband: "Our sexuality is conditioned. Ted was dealing with certain compulsions that were unwanted."

But therapy made it all go away. How easy! And now Gail gets to keep spending his money. What a relief for everybody.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Obama Discusses DADT... Finally

I'm honest to god astonished that President Obama mentioned gays in his State of the Union address Wednesday. To bring attention to a campaign promise that he has thus far failed to act on was noble and admirable...

He said, "We find unity in our incredible diversity, drawing on the promise enshrined in our Constitution: the notion that we are all created equal, that no matter who you are or what you look like, if you abide by the law you should be protected by it. We must continually renew this promise. We finally strengthened our laws to protect against crimes driven by hate. This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are."

Since DADT passed into law in 1992, more than 10,500 service members have been discharged under the law... And thank the lord that John McCain isn't our president. He said on Larry King later, "DADT has been a very effective policy and one that has worked." Worked how? Worked for whom?!!

Otherwise, fine, powerful presidential speech. Obama sounded confident and undeterred. The job talk was all well and good, but I'll believe anything when I see it... How horribly shameful to see the whole lot of Republican senators sitting, scowling, arms folded, refusing to react, like a roomful of spoiled babies. If ever there was evidence for term limits, take a look at those abysmal lifetime politicians.But the best part of the evening was the hilarious Republican response after Obama's speech, giving us a glimpse of Va. Gov. Bob McDonnell, the Republican's new white hope. I adored his "perfectly assembled America," with a Latin veteran, a black, an Asian and a white woman behind him, beaming like Stepford wives. Speaking of, the poor gov was so wooden that I was actually looking for strings attached to his arms as he gestured ("High on the hill was a lonely goatherd!"). He was so over-rehearsed and deliberate, it was painful.

State Of The Union

Granted, President Obama's State of the Union speech at 9 p.m. tonight is at the same time as a "Biography" on Andy Griffith and a rerun of "Touched By An Angel," but I'm interested to see if the big guy offers any semblance of hope to his crumbling country.

At this point, I don't give a damn about the public healthcare initiative—time to realize that's not going to be his great legacy, now that Republicans have regained their stronghold—and if he even mentions "green" efforts, I'm going to burst into flames.

I want to hear about jobs, baby. How he intends to deal with 2009's 4.1 million job losses—the highest on record. Explain to me how a $787 billion stimulus package failed to move the needle on 10% unemployment in this country. Thank you, Mr. President, for extending my unemployment benefits for 14 weeks, truly, but why the fuck are they taxed (again)? I'd rather being working, sir.

And I won't even mention the broken promises about "Don't Ask Don't Tell," and how he was all good and gay-friendly as long as we were contributing to his campaign and signing up voters—but now he hasn't a word to say as state after state condemns civil rights...

Talk to me, Mr. President. At this point, I have more faith in Andy Griffith.