Your eyes are deceiving you. In the videos embedded below, rising UK band Blitz Kids perform a track and sit down for a chat for A-Sides in arguably the cleanest NYC subway car you've ever seen. They run free,...
Penguin Prison -- photo by ShootMePeter.com
Apologies to Bartholomew Cubbins (just Google it), Pengiun Prison may have you beat by the amount of hats he wears. Born Christopher Glover, the New York-based musician has done it from singing...
If there were a GPS that directed you to ultra-cool rockers based in New York City, you'd likely be directed immediately to Jeremy and the Harlequins. Obviously, I say that s assuming you've updated your satellites. Speaking of which, is that still a thing? I use my phone. Anyway, the...
It's hard to believe Zach Braff's outstanding coming-of-age flick Garden State is approaching its 11th anniversary. This A) makes me -- probably you -- feel old but B) makes me gleam from ear-to-ear because the film as well as its classic soundtrack still hold up and carries the same weight...
John Ondrasik of Five For Fighting has kindly fielded zany questions from "this guy" (I'm pointing to myself while simultaneously finishing this sentence) for a few months now as part A-Sides' 5 for Fighting with Five for Fighting, and it's been a...
It's almost an insult or simply dismissive to refer to someone's "other" band as a side project even if it is one. It's even worse to ask that same person if their arguable "main" band is calling it quits. When you talk to Jack...
Karen Pittman has stolen so many scenes, she should've been locked up years ago. I mean that figuratively, and man that opening line, which is still going on by the way, was pretty lame. Yet, it's true. The Broadway veteran and television actress...
The irony wasn't lost on me. Neither was the level of awesomeness. A few weeks ago, I was stuck in my car during a snowstorm awaiting a phone call from a legendary Beach Boy. As the phone rang - and with my frozen laptop fully charged, music legend
They say diamonds are a girl's best friend. Well, Marina And The Diamonds have long been your ears' BFFs - both of 'em. The band fronted by the beautifully talented Marina Diamandis, dropped her third album entitled FROOT last week, and it's almost certainly going to propel MTD...
AWOLNATION'S "Sail" had a boomerang effect on radio. It was released in early 2011, killed it on alt-rock charts months later, hit the mainstream Billboard charts by year's end, dropped off of the countdown some five months later, and stormed right back a year later en route to going six-times platinum. Not every song has that kind of whip appeal, and that's not a Babyface reference but "Sail" was that rare track. On a related note, this blogger (or whatever you want to call me) thinks it's one of the best songs to be released in the past 15 years.
Anyway, there's no question that song was the shizz but it's not going to define AWOL's Aaron Bruno or his band. Along with that massive hit, their album Megalithic Symphony went gold, and spawned alt-hits "Kill Your Heroes" and "Not Your Fault." It also triggered a highly successful two-year tour, and now Bruno/the band is/are back to prove there's plenty left in his/their arsenal.
AWOLNATION dropped the 14-track follow-up to Symphony today called Run, and the first single "Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)" is already getting some serious airplay. The album, which was written, performed and produced entirely by music master Bruno, gels better than Eriq LaSalle's hair in Coming to America and could very well replicate or exceed Symphony. In a phone interview earlier this month, A-Sides chatted with Bruno about Run, "Sail" and Symphony, his creative process, and hitting the road yet again.
Speaking of which, catch AWOLNATION on the road all spring and summer long -- headlining and playing a bunch of festivals including Bonnarro and Firefly. Oh, and if you're at SXSW, like right now, check them out this Thursday! Anyway, read on!
I realize you have a new album out and hit single, but I feel compelled to ask you about your cover of "I'm on Fire" off the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack. How'd that come about? It's such an iconic Bruce Springsteen song, and your take is just awesome.
Thanks. I met a woman affiliated with the film. It was a friend of a friend situation. She came by the studio while I was working on some stuff for Run, and she just told me what was on her plate and Fifty Shades was one of them, and gave me a hint that she wanted one of my songs. I hadn't read the book, but word on the street was all the songs would be cover versions. "I'm on Fire" is a perfect song - front to back. I messed around one day, never thinking it'd happen.
The hardest part of recording or anything is the writing of the song and the lyrics. That's the hardest part. The rest you can make the song sound presentable and fill in the painting with all colors. With Bruce, "I'm on Fire" is probably one of my top three favorites with the exception of Nebraska. That whole album is worth mentioning, because it's meant so much to me. Anyway, I took a crack at it, and honestly, it just took a couple of hours to record. I wasn't trying to outdo the original or make it better. I just wanted to give it a darker, low-fi twist. The next day, I sent her a quick mix. I've been in other situations and two other bands before so I know things that are promised don't always happen. You have to keep your sanity in check so I always expect the worse and hope for the best but a year later, they said they were going to use it. I haven't seen the movie yet, but I'm kind of late with movies. I'm a random Tuesday mid-day moviegoer.
You took your time between your debut and Run was that a calculated move since "Sail" and the whole album stayed around so long?
I was consciously aware I had more time than most bands do. I was blessed in that way. I mean "Sail" hit second and third winds, and crossed into the pop world. I kind of had to let that be, and I did some European touring and festivals. But, I was just doing my best to make Run and that's really how long it just took. It's so funny it's called Run because it really sums up so much - running toward something or away from something. To be stagnant, for me, is the kiss of death. The album is to push yourself... to better myself as a songwriter, artist, man, family member, and friend. I just want to get better and better.
Keeping with that, going into this record versus your last must've been completely different. You had a gold record and mulch-platinum song under your belt. Did you feel any pressure? Did you apply any on yourself?
There's something to be said for taking a breath. I never had success before. I really wanted to take time to smell the roses. It's very easy to push yourself too far. I knew I only had one chance to come up with a sophomore effort. I've always felt the best artists push themselves artistically, and maybe shock people a little on their sophomore or third records. The first record is a birth of an idea, but you have to grow a little bit. I wasn't going to be done until I was going to be done. No one heard any of it except people who just happened to be in my car. For whatever reason, Symphony kind of let me in the door of a strange fantasy - a gigantic, weird world. I feel like I kind of snuck into some weird mansion where I'm not supposed to be, and I've had my own room for a couple of years, and started decorating the walls. Now, I'm onto another room.
Dialing into Run a little more. Creatively, how did you decide on these 14 tracks.
I wrote lot of songs for it. I read so many things from bands who are like 'yeah, we wrote 350 demos' and we picked from those. I feel like maybe if they'd written less songs and focused on a smaller number, there wouldn't be as much bulls--t on their record. At the end of the day, I had 30 songs done and picked 14. I'd say five songs were difficult to cut and some of the people I know with very trusted ears found it devastating. I'll save some for B-Sides or film placements. They're all my children - just some of them will find different homes.
What I loved about your last record was how delightfully all over the place it was, and how many different elements were happening simultaneously and meshed so well together. How does Run compare in that regard?
There's a lot of strange stuff on Run. There are some things weirder, some even poppier...
some have rather bombastic sonic moments. But, this record makes more sense, song to song, and tells a story. When you watch a movie if it was just action the whole time, you'd get annoyed. You'd be like 'enough with the fight scenes.' That's why I fell in love with OK Computer the first time I heard it. It's different storytelling. When all is said and done, the world really wants some passion right now. I want passion. I want music that makes me want to sweat, go to a show and release all of my pent-up energy. I think the world is ready for this record.
A-Sides "Delve Into Twelve" Countdown
Each week A-Sides unleashes its top 12 tracks of the week AKA the "Delve Into Twelve" based on the following contributing factors: songs I'm playing out that particular week no matter when they were released (think overlooked songs, unreleased tracks and old favorites), songs various publicists are trying to get me to listen to that I did and dug a bunch, posts and trends I've noticed on my friends' Facebook walls, and, most importantly: what my toddler is currently enjoying thoroughly.
12. "Lifted Up (1985)" (LW-11) - Passion Pit
11. "Life Underwater" (reentry) - Flagship
10. "Elastic Heart" (LW-8) - Sia
9. "Lampshades on Fire" (LW-5) - Modest Mouse
8. "Contagious" (LW-8) - Night Riots
7. "Electric Love" (LW-4) - B0RNS
6. "Black Soap" (LW-7) - Ex Cops
5. "Somebody New" (LW-3) - Joywave
4. "Prayer in C" (LW-2) - Lily Wood & the Prick, Robin Schulz
3. "No Cities to Love" (LW-6) - Sleater-Kinney
2. "What Kind of Man" (debut) - Florence = the Machine
1. "A Rush of Blood" (LW-1) - Coasts
About A-Sides With Jon Chattman:
Jon Chattman's music series features celebrities and artists (established or not) from all genres of music performing a track and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometime humorous) way. No bells, no whistles, just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and overmanufactured, Jon strives for a refreshing change. Artists have included fun., Charli XCX, Imagine Dragons, Alice Cooper, Joe Perry, Gary Clark Jr., American Authors, Echosmith,and many, many more!
Talk to reggae icon Shaggy for three minutes or less, and you'll realize three things: A) he never stopped making music despite terrestrial radio in the states cutting his airplay B) his charity work will always come first, and C) he doesn't care about "A." You'll also learn right off the bat he's the chillest guy on the planet.
In a phone interview from Kingston earlier this month, the musician, who has sold 30 million records worldwide, also chatted about his new single "I Need Your Love," a collaboration with producer Costi and featuring Afro-Pop star Mohombi and Australian singer Faydee. He also discussed a treasure trove of music he has and constantly tweaks. "I write a song each day man," he explained. Before we get right into the interview, let's take a look at the multi-platinum Grammy Award winner's staggering success he's had in the world of reggae and dancehall.
Pitbull may claim to be "Mr. Worldwide," but it's Shaggy who really holds that crown. He's achieved worldwide success with mega-hits like "Boombastic" and the #1 track "It Wasn't Me" as well as "Angel." A true road warrior, Shaggy's toured internationally for decades, and was recently awarded his sixth Grammy nomination for Best Reggae Album. The versatile stud also recently appeared on "Unforgettable", a track off R&B legend Charlie Wilson's latest album.
That barely scratches the surface, but you get it. Shaggy's world domination is obvious, and continuing as we speak. So, let's get to the interview where he chats about his fallout from a big label, his current smash, his noble charity work, and everything in-between. Irie.
What's up, man? Your single "I Need Your Love" is killing it - especially on YouTube. Some people will call it a comeback, but you never left, right?
I've been a busy boy. I just came from Chile, and we pulled 30,000 people. People just don't listen, man. I had this wonderful album with "Angel," "It Wasn't Me," and ""Luv Me, Luv Me," and it sold 50 million records then all of a sudden MCA shuts down and transferred it into a new company at Geffen. There were all new people...and I had to leave. It's not like there's a budget for the reggae format. I pretty much knew the odds were stacked against me. I never do albums. I just compile a bunch of s--t on my computer. That's how we found the single. It wasn't that I hadn't had a song in years. I always have something.
What I'm doing now is compiling some stuff that I already had, while at the same time, touching up s--t or freshening things up. I'm also writing new shit. I make records every day whether I have a record out or not.
So you have sort of a treasure trove you're keeping from us?
I wouldn't say that. I keep making music. I did a dancehall album, I was just nominated for another Grammy.... The thing with me is I've always experimented. This record ("I Need Your Love") is a feel good song with a Spanish element... even a Middle Eastern and Caribbean element. It felt like a global record. The video was just me on tour. That's it.
...And it got you attention again here in the states I'd imagine...
All these companies were trying to sign me back, but they all wanted to own me. I'm not into that game. RCA was trying to sign me. Mercury. Motown. That was before this Sony Red deal. They just wanted my music, and I was like 'OK, I can do that.' It's ironic after penning the deal with Sony Red, "I Need Your Love" was already out, and already was gaining 6 million views on YouTube.
What's the vibe been like in Jamaica? You still live there. I'm just curious - especially how we treat celebs in the states - are you treated like royalty there?
Jamaica is small - it's a bubble. We all know each other. Jimmy Cliff is a 15 minute walk from my house. It's like that. But the thing about Jamaicans is any superstar can walk by them and they'd just be like 'you, what's up?' They really don't give a s--t. I was born in Kingston and as much as I love New York City, I will always maintain a home here in Jamaica. My wife and children are here. My dad is here.
I want to shift gears for a moment, you have done so much charity work since you hit it big. You donated so much equipment to the the Bustamante Hospital for Children, and established the Shaggy Make a Difference Foundation. You're involved in many more as well. Talk to me about the obvious rewards of giving back
Charity is the first thing for me now. I don't get as much of a reward as the music. It's just an amazing feeling. We built homes in Haiti. We've done a lot for kids - bringing them medical equipment like ventilators. You just see people whose lives you're really changing. You can't beat that.
One day, I was driving and I was stuck in traffic, and there's this guy on a bicycle sweating. He's riding me down so I had to stop. I pull over, and he looks like a farmer or something, and he just goes, 'I just want to shake your hand. My daughter was sick and at the hospital hooked up to one of the machines you bought with Shaggy and Friends for over a month. She pulled through. Here is he is looking at me, and he wouldn't let my hang go and he's crying. You think a f--ckin' record could beat that? You think walking the red carpet could? No f--king way.
Getting back to the start, are you jaded at all with the music industry?
I'm excited we're creating this wave. When I look at what's going on with this record, people are coming back now who were like 'why would I play a Shaggy record?' A great song is a great song, man. If you go out there and have great songs and performances, you're going to win.
About A-Sides With Jon Chattman:
Jon Chattman's music series features celebs and musicians (established or not) from all genres of music performing a track and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometime humorous) way. No bells, no whistles, just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and overmanufactured, Jon strives for a refreshing change. Artists have included fun., Charli XCX, Imagine Dragons, Alice Cooper, Joe Perry, Gary Clark Jr., American Authors, Echosmith,and many, many...
Growing up an avid World Wrestling Federation (WWF then, WWE now) fan, I always loved the various entrance music each grappler would enter the ring to. Jake "The Snake" Roberts' theme had sort of a Miami Vice thing going on -- after all keyboards were king in the 1980s. Ricky...
Do you remember those old commercials where off-beat salesmen ramble on about their item that does it all or simply "slices and dices?" No? Well, watch this and you're welcome. Moving on, NYC-bred band of brothers AJR dropped their debut full-length album Living Room today, and...
I'm not about to go all Inception on you, but dreams, as we all know, can float all over the place. One minute, you might be dreaming about sand on the beach, and the next you could be at a bar doing jello shots with a zebra and Tom Hanks....
"She want neo-soul, this hip-hop is old
She don't want no rock'n'roll"
- The Roots, "The Seed 2.0."
The Jack Moves are a soul-pop group out of New Jersey that are too cool for school. I say that since, after all, I filmed their A-Sides...
Growing up a fat kid in Yonkers, NY (that'd be the title of my autobiography by the way), my number one way to escape the middle school jerks and the growing waistline was going to the movies. I would see two each weekend (it didn't matter which ones - usually one good, one painfully awful), and I gained a rep in school as "the movie guy." Heck, I used to take Variety's "For Your Consideration" ads and post them on my wall. So, why am I telling you this? Well, it's certainly not to make you think I'm cool. The reason is to simply paint a picture of a boy/young man who was obsessed with the screen and the stars to survive the school daze.
As I grew up, the obsession faded a bit but the infatuation continued. In 1999, when I was a local newspaper reporter in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY, I sought out local personalities (the village was rich in talent) to interview to balance the local news stories that always seemed to be on the same topic. Within a year or so, I landed my first celebrity interview in character actor J.K. Simmons. Oddly enough, I had only known him for his brief role in a personal favorite flick of mine - The Ref - and for his breakthrough role as neo-Nazi Vernon Schillinger on HBO's Oz. I was super psyched even though I never watched the prison drama. I landed the interview with the actor by simply calling him and asking if he'd discuss being cast as infamous blowhard J. Jonah Jameson in the then upcoming Spider-Man film adaptation.
After a lovely chat, Simmons came into our newspaper offices, unseated the editor, and put his feet up on his desk for my photographer who snapped away for the cover story. I still remember being so proud of myself that I scored the artist formerly known as Dr. Emil Skoda (fanboys of Law & Order will get that), was enamored by his down-to-earthness, and the story itself got picked up by aicn.com, which made me feel like a bad ass. After the story came out, I stayed in touch with Simmons and went onto write another piece surrounding the mixed emotions he had on Oz coming to an end. Actually, I interviewed him on the very last day of shooting the series in New Jersey overlooking the NYC skyline.
During the span of an hour in his trailer, Simmons talked up the show, his Spider senses, and his beloved Detroit Tigers. It was a memorable day capped off by him taking a photo with me behind bars.
After that day (this is a long story isn't it?), I continued to keep in touch and recall asking him career advice as he was at the airport. He was leaving Hastings behind, and heading to California for more opportunities. Boy, did this guy cash in: Every Jason Reitman film including Juno, which should've earned him an Oscar nod. The Closer on TNT. I could go on and on...so many projects, so many great performances. But why take THIS LONG to intro an interview with the Whiplash Oscar favorite for Best Supporting Actor. It's easy: He's still the same guy.
In a Feb. 6 phone interview, the actor, who mind you could totally be as pompous as the character he portrays in Whiplash, was humble, sweet, funny, and intelligent. He even said he remembered me. C'mon dude - you don't have to be that nice. Ironically chatting from the airport, Simmons fielded questions on Oscar Sunday, the ride he's had, and his involvement in a wacky benefit album entitled '2776. Read on, and thanks J.K. TTYL.
You've had such an amazing year with Whiplash, hosting Saturday Night Live,, and so much more. But, jumping back to SNL did you ever think you'd play Nas?
(Laughs) We all like to think we have a lot of range as an actor, but no. It's not something I remotely thought I'd do.
I can't believe I'm asking you about Nas when you just attended the Oscar luncheon. I'd imagine if it hadn't already, your Oscar nod sank in at that very moment.
Oh yes. Just to be in that room... The best part was finally shaking hands with (Robert) Duvall and chatting with him. I'm a career fan of his work for 50 years or whatever.
Everyone and their mother have praised your performance in Whiplash, did anyone come up to you at the luncheon to give you some love?
Honestly, Duvall again. I couldn't get a word in edgewise. It was one of the most gratifying responses. Bradley Cooper's a gigantic fan. Look, everyone's going to say nice things at events like this, but you can tell who really was effected by it. The response has been like that at every encounter.
Fletcher is such a bastard yet you managed to humanize him. How hard was it to strike a balance between man and monster? With a different actor or writer, this could've been more of a caricature than a character.
Honestly, it goes back to what Damian [Chazelle] put on the page. Miles Teller will tell you the same thing. We've been blowing his horn since [initial] screenings. As a cast, it was so clear cut on the page. As an actor, the hardest job is to make bad writing work. This is one of the best written pieces of fiction I've ever seen in my life.
You say the script was clear cut, but you threw out so many awesome/evil insults in the flick. Were any improvised?
He gave us very generous room to improv, but having said that, 98 percent of what you see in the movie was on the page including the vast majority of rants and screams.
No insults came directly from your mouth?
Well, at one point I called Miles "a self-righteous little prick.." The really long involved ones I'm pretty sure were verbatim.
While Whiplash is huge, some 15 years ago, you mentioned you're favorite was playing manager to Kevin Costner's aging ace in For Love of the Game. Am I correct in saying it still resonates with you since you're such a big Tigers fan?
There are many, many reasons it is - some obvious, some not. I was still very new to film. It was a year after I started Oz and Law & Order, and I had only a few movie parts so it was exciting. I was supposed to read for another part on the team - the trainer/medic, and I had two lines. I went into [the audition] with my Tigers cap and jersey like an idiot, and didn't know Sam [Raimi, the director] was from Detroit. We talked baseball, and after a few minutes, he was like "hey do you mind I'd like you to look at this other part." So, I went back and read for Frank Perry, who had originally been conceived as a Sparky Anderson kind of guy. I was 43. Sam was just so open to input, and bing, bang, boom, there I was shooting scenes.
Not only was it the first movie with Sam of five in a row, but our son was born during that shoot while we were on location at Yankee Stadium. I remember I got the call that my wife's water broke. There ended up being some problems and everybody on that movie from Kevin to Sam to [the crew] were very generous working around my schedule. I had been sleeping on the floor of the hospital for five days hoping things would turn out OK. Everything turned out fine. For that reason alone, it's been an important film for me.
The Oscars are fast approaching, and you're the frontrunner. My question is this - will you work in a Tigers reference in your speech?
It's funny at the luncheon the producers got up there, acting like stern principals at a junior high school telling us the clock starts right away and we have 45 seconds. That's not anywhere near enough time to express my gratitude to anyone. If I should be so fortunate, I would continue to do what I've been doing [at other award shows] and have an idea of what I'm going to say but not script it.
Lastly, let's jump to 2776. You have a cameo in one of the videos for this comedy/music benefit album. It's actually quite insane the amount of talent that's on this from Reggie Watts to Mike Mills to Will Arnett to k.d. lang. And sales of go toward OneKid OneWorld . How'd you get involved - I mean your cameo has you actually taking on the Marymount High School multi-championship-winning varsity girls' volleyball team.
It's wonderful how they brought everyone together. The connection to me was (creator) Rob Kutner, who I had brush paths with, and in 2007, did a hilarious parody of Juno called Jewno. It was basically the family but very Jewish new yawkers with all these Yiddish flavors. This 2776 looked funny and the charity itself was obviously a good thing.
OK, real last question. You're in the new Terminator film. What can you tell me about it. I can't believe I almost forgot to ask you this.
We just finished the reshoots. It's a very small part, but in talking with the writers, they said my part will grow in the sequels.
Spider-Man just joined the Marvel film universe. Are you returning as J. Jonah? Hey listen, I have no idea what's going on or how far along they are. But, sure I'd be interested.
The 2000 version of me sure hopes so.
About A-Sides with Jon Chattman:
Jon Chattman's series features celebrities and artists (established or not) from all genres of music performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometime humorous) way. No bells, no whistles -- just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, Jon strives for a refreshing change. Artists have included fun., Charli XCX, Imagine Dragons, Alice Cooper, Joe Perry, Gary Clark Jr., American Authors, Echosmith,and many, many more!
It's so transparent that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has a race/diversity issue that I'm not going to even go there. It's been well documented and spot-on that voters for the 87th Annual Academy Awards dropped the ball. No David Oyelowo. No Ava DuVernay. No Chadwick Boseman. That list goes on. Having said that, there were a ton of others left off like Nightcrawler's Jake Gyllenhaal? American Sniper's Clint Eastwood? The Grand Budapest Hotel's Ralph Fiennes? Which brings me to my point - 2014 was just an incredible year for acting and directing - we were bound to be letdown come Oscar morning when the bottomless snubs came. I still can't believe the Academy snubbed Babs for The Prince of Tides again. Discussing diversity at this point would be just about as fruitful as reading a story about Jack White's supposed guacamole rider, which by the way, is horse dung.
But let's move on... the telecast is this Sunday, host Neil Patrick Harris is going to kill it, and the top two prizes are still up for grabs. Here's my attempt at picking the winners in each category. I hear other writers may be doing the same... and here I thought my piece about predicting the Oscars was original. My bad...
Best Motion Picture
The toughest to call. I'm going to say "Boyhood" although "Birdman" may very well win or even "American Sniper" could slide in there. But... here's what I think...
Will win: "Boyhood"
Should win: "The Grand Budapest Hotel" or "Whiplash"
Could upset (but it's not quite an upset): "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)"
Holy crap this is a tough category to call. It's a three-man race in my opinion:
Bradley Cooper in "American Sniper," Michael Keaton in "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)", and Eddie Redmayne in "The Theory of Everything." The race has been between Keaton and Redmayne for so long but the Sniper momentum is something to keep your eye out for. And what if they all split the vote? Will we get some Cumberbatchin' love?
Will win: Redmayne
Should win: Keaton
Could Upset: Cooper
Will and Should Win (and there will be no upset): Julianne Moore in "Still Alice"
Best Supporting Actor
Will and Should Win: J.K. Simmons in "Whiplash"
Could Upset: It's doubtful since Simmons has had this wrapped up for months but the superb Foxcatcher's Mark Ruffalo or Birdman's Ed Norton could slide in. Doubtful.
Best Supporting Actress
Will Win: Patricia Arquette in "Boyhood"
Should Win: Emma Stone in "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)"
Could Upset: No one. This is all Arquette. Stone's "huge" scene is epic but she'll be nominated again.
This is the second toughest race to call but my gut tells me Linklater pulls it out even though Iñárritu won the Director's Guild Award .
Will and Should Win: "Boyhood" - Richard Linklater
Could Upset (but not really an upset): Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Will Win: "How to Train Your Dragon 2"
Could Upset (But It's Not Really an Upset): "Big Hero 6"
Will Win: "The Imitation Game" - Graham Moore
Should Win and Could Upset: "Whiplash" -Damien Chazelle
Will and Should Win: "The Grand Budapest Hotel" - Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness
Could Upset: "Birdman" but doubtful
Will Win: "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)"
Will Win: "The Grand Budapest Hotel"
Will Win: "CitizenFour"
Documentary Short Subject
Will Win: "Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1" (Unfair educated guess)
Will Win: "Boyhood"
Foreign Language Film
Will Win: "Ida"
Makeup and Hairstyling
Will Win: "The Grand Budapest Hotel"
Will Win: "The Theory of Everything" - Jóhann Jóhannsson
Will Win: "Glory" from "Selma"
Will Win: "The Grand Budapest Hotel"
Animated Short Film
Will Win: "Feast"
Live Action Short Film
Will Win: "Aya" (Unfair educated guess)
Will Win: "American Sniper"
Will Win: "Whiplash"
Will Win: "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes"
About A-Sides with Jon Chattman:
Jon Chattman's music/entertainment series usually features celebrities and artists (established or not) from all genres of music performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometime humorous) way. No bells, no whistles -- just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, Jon strives for a refreshing change. Artists have included fun., Charli XCX, Imagine Dragons, Alice Cooper, Joe Perry, Gary Clark Jr., American Authors, Echosmith,and many, many more!
The following is taken from the soon-to-be published (hopefully anyway) humor book Ho Ho Hoax! written by Jon Chattman and Rich Tarantino.
It all started in mid-1800s Great Britain and it hasn't let up since: the flowers, the bottomless chocolates, and the diamonds (or cubic zirconia depending on your budget.) It's a "holiday" for cheesy cards that either say what you want to say but can't or say what you think your significant other wants to hear, jacked-up restaurant prices, and excruciating movie marathons that usually star Kate Hudson. Oh, and don't get me started on that star-studded turd of a movie directed by Garry Marshall. Yep, it's Valentine's Day, a fake holiday arguably created for saps to make their spouses feel guilty. Sans a Victoria's Secret purchase or two, it's hell for most men. But it doesn't have to be. I've crunched the numbers (whatever that means), and it is actually quite possible for both genders to enjoy the pink, red, candy-soaked day. Think of the following as an example of holiday counter programming (hey, it works in Hollywood).
Dudes, send your arm candy to see 50 Shades of Grey with their gal pals, and stay home running miles on the WWE Network or YouTube. That's right, you're about to celebrate the man-cave equivalent of the Hallmark holiday by staying home watching endless clips of a true original with a mullet from the Gods and a bod from the booze. Yep, today is the inaugural Greg "The Hammer" Valentine's Day. (I should note this holiday isn't simply for the heteros - it can be enjoyed by any gender who simply want a breather from the real V-Day.)
The 1980s were peppered with dynamic grapplers who could win our hearts with a simple leg drop or a "cheap pop" on the mic but one star, in particular, got our mojo rising. GV was the epitome of cool and looked like one of us. He didn't care so much about his hair (well, not until he partnered later with The Honky Tonk Man), his body (his potbelly was a thing of beauty), and simply just seemed like a cool dude to take on a bar crawl. While the WWE Hall of Famer never reached World Wrestling Federation ice cream bar status, the Seattle native held more gold than Mr. T's neck including the coveted WWF Intercontinental Championship and the NWA United States Heavyweight Championship. So let's celebrate his accomplishments today...
On GHV-Day, men are allowed to lounge around on their couch with a foam finger of their choosing (Valentine never had one), and essentially take the afternoon off before they share the real V-Day later that night with their loved one and said pricey restaurant. So take a load off, fellas. Watch some killer footage, impersonate your favorite wrestler from back in the day and hey, maybe cut your hair a la former Valentine tag-team mate Brutus Beefcake. Pamper yourself with Slim Jims like Randy Savage used to whore out back in the day, and make this afternoon all about you and the squared circle. And hey, who knows maybe all the respective alone time will ignite fireworks for you and your loved ones come nighttime. Does absence make the heart grow fonder? Did Greg Valentine drop the perfect elbow? Yes and yes.
And who knows, with the afternoon off from each other, maybe Cupid will strike each of you all night long after a romantic evening of lovey-dovey festivities. Or, at the very least, introducing the figure-four leg lock in the bedroom tonight will at least have some context. Hugs, kisses, and hammer time! xoxo
About A-Sides with Jon Chattman:
Jon Chattman's pop and music series features celebrities and artists (established or not) from all genres of music performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometime humorous) way. No bells, no whistles -- just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, Jon strives for a refreshing change. Artists have included fun., Charli XCX, Imagine Dragons, Alice Cooper, Joe Perry, Gary Clark Jr., American Authors, Echosmith,and many, many more!
Toddlers and runny noses. Beck and artistry. Taylor Swift and awkward award-show courtside dancing. Yep, some things just effortlessly go together. Take the Franco-Finnish duo The Dø who are about to have their "damn right" moment and I'm saying that in my best Isaac Hayes impression (probably someone's worst). The tandem of Dan Levy and Olivia Merilahti are about to reach their tipping point with Shake Shook Shaken, their third album which dropped in the states yesterday. The LP (proverbial anyway)is a delicious dose of electro-pop and synth gems that will have your pants and ears simultaneously dancing together. I caught up with Merilahti recently and asked her about Shake, the success it's already had overseas, and more. Read on and read more.
Shake Shook Shaken" has been out for some time already - it's actually already a smash abroad, but just came out here. How does it feel to go full throttle promoting an album when it's not new to you? >
It still feels like the beginning, and we're used to having our albums out at different moments. It's great to share with new audiences. The good thing is that we know better what this album is about, it's not like this weird thing that just cracked the egg open.
Word. Your song titles are often blunt or perhaps better said - to the point. Is that something you're conscious of?
The purpose of this album was to be to the point, direct, frontal. A good title is crucial.
And you nailed it... Was there a theme in terms of the writing and musicality throughout the album process? Is there a theme for each album you do?
There was a sense of heroism that we wanted to achieve in the music. I also wrote a lot about chaos, loosing landmarks after breakups, and the courage it takes to stand up again. We don't really think of themes beforehand, it would make the process too brainy. The analytic part comes always second.
Who were you more inspired by collectively - musicians from France, Finland, or the States?>
We both grew up with American and English music in our ear: The Beatles, Queen, the '90s grunge and R&B scene for me and Dan grew up to Coltrane, Wynton Marsalis...Frank Zappa.
That's an eclectic mix to say the least. You're touring near and far... what's one thing you miss about home, and one thing you're thankful to be away from?
We're thankful to be away from routine and from a day-to-day reality, but we miss our loved ones a lot.
Lastly, how do you know you've made it big? Pick one A) You're an answer on Jeopardy! B) Nicki Minaj namedrops you in a song. or C) I interview you. D) Please say it's "C" E) Lifetime makes a tele-film about your lives and gets it totally wrong.
It has to be C as it's tattooed on my wrist! I promise.
Excuse me while I give myself a self-high five.
About A-Sides with Jon Chattman:
Jon Chattman's music series features celebrities and artists (established or not) from all genres of music performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometime humorous) way. No bells, no whistles -- just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, Jon strives for a refreshing change. Artists have included fun., Charli XCX, Imagine Dragons, Alice Cooper, Joe Perry, Gary Clark Jr., American Authors, Echosmith,and many, many more!