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PCR #202. (Vol. 5, No. 6) This edition is for the week of February 2--8, 2004.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello, gang! The Grammy aftermath and George Lucas continues to piss the fans off. Shall we begin?

Book Review: The Houses of Key West
 by Will Moriaty
 by Mike Smith
VH1's Bands Re-United, Part 3: Kajagoogoo
 by Andy Lalino
Vampire The Masquerade
 by Nick King
30 Bands That Made The '80s NOT Suck
 by Terence Nuzum
Hurry Back!...And The Grammy Goes To....Award Watch....Damn It! No Ewok Song....Happy Anniversary....Meet The Beatles, Part 4
 by Mike Smith
Archives of Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Archives 2004
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Regarding Will's situation of possibly having to miss "La Floridiana" installments: I don't have to remind anyone what Will Moriaty brings to the PCR! He is the writer we all strive to emulate, though we rarely hit the mark. And without the weekly "Couch "Potato, I have no idea what I'm missing, television-wise. Here's hoping that Will's recuperation is fast and Vinnie Blesi can return to these pages soon!

Well, what can I say about this year's recording awards? I was pleased at the variety of winners. Glad to see that, like the Academy Award music branch, the Grammy voters are getting more with the time. Of course, it will be years before they live down Milli Vanilli, not to mention giving Jethro Tull the best HEAVY METAL trophy. Here are the highlights, and lowlights, of this years' show:

Kudos to Justin Timberlake, who took advantage of his win to once again apologize for the entire Superbowl fiasco. Wish the academy had given Janet Jackson that opportunity. Very classless to un-invite her, especially when she was taking part in a very moving tribute to Luther Vandross. Credit to Jackson for not playing the game the Grammy's wanted to play. After publicly saying she wouldn't be appearing, they changed their mind late Saturday night. Let me say it here again..........it was a breast! Get over it. Also, the tribute to Warren Zevon was great. Never a commercial hit, Zevon was well respected by his peers and it showed in the tribute. Also, very moved by the speeches delivered by Olivia Harrison and Yoko Ono while accepting the President's award for their late husbands. I admit that on occasion I don't agree with some of the things Ono has done in regard to John Lennon and his work, but I did find her speech genuine. If ever a musical voice has been missed this past 20 years it has been Lennon's. Like Ono said, if we just remember to GIVE PEACE A CHANCE and that LOVE IS ALL WE NEED, the world would be a much better place.

Boos to whoever thought that having Dave Matthews, Sting, Pharell and VINCE GILL do a tribute to the fab four! Poor Sting looked embarrassed and I think I could have played the lead solo on "I Saw Her Standing There" better then Gill, and I haven't played a guitar for more then 30 minutes at a time for YEARS. And boo to the five minute delay CBS employed, which caused several technical glitches, including constant interruption of Martina McBride's performance. Give the good sport award to Richard Marx and Celine Dion, who started, no less then three times, the song they were scheduled to perform due to Dion's microphone and monitor not working. Also, another boo to whoever let the award winners out of the bag early. I was surfing AOL during the show and was shocked that, with almost an hour left in the show, that many of the awards that had yet to be announced on air had their winners posted. As for proof that the cat was out of the bag, look at presenter Keith Urban, who, before he announced the nominees, said that it was his pleasure to present an award to one of the greatest female vocalists in country music history. And the winner was: June Carter Cash. Wow! What a surprise..........NOT! My favorite speech was Timberlake's, who called the Grammy the "greatest moment of his life." Uh, Justin, let me speak for most of the men in this world when I say that, considering that you admitted that you went down on Britney Spears, at the most, that Grammy is the SECOND greatest moment of your life!

Congratulations to director Peter Jackson, who won the Director's Guild of America award for his work on "Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King." The DGA award is usually a front runner for the Best Directing Oscar. Only six times in history has the DGA winner not won the Academy Award. Of course, four of those times have occurred in the past 30 years.

George Lucas has announced that he will release ONLY the special editions of the original "Star Wars" trilogy (Episodes 4-6) on DVD. The set will be available beginning Sept 21st. The four disc set (the three films and a full length documentary on the fourth disc) will include commentaries from Lucas and cast members. Maybe George will be able to explain why it took 20 years for Greedo to shoot first in the Cantina!

On February 11, 1972, Paul and Linda McCartney teamed up with guitarist Denny Laine to form the group Wings. Now let's take a look at McCartney's OTHER band.

February 9, 1964 - Sunday night in America meant sitting in front of the television set and watching Ed Sullivan's variety show. Tonight, more than 73 million people will tune in to see a band from Liverpool, England perform. It is rumored that NOT ONE CRIME was reported in New York City while the Beatles were on. The band played five songs that night. Ironically, also making his American television debut that night, as the Artful Dodger in the Broadway cast of "Oliver!" was future Monkee Davy Jones.

Well, that's it for now. Have a great week. See ya!

"Mike's Rant" is ©2004 by Michael A. Smith. Webpage design and all graphics herein are creations of Nolan B. Canova. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova.