Oscars 2014: So who won?

Posted in Movies on March 3rd, 2014 by Nick

Lupita-Nyongo-Academy-AwardsIt was really generous of Gravity to let some other films win a few shiny gold men. The Alfonso Cuarón-directed film took home honors for Cuarón (Best Director), Best Original Score, Best Film Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects.

Despite winning the most Oscars, 12 Years a Slave won the top prize and also saw Lupita Nyong’o win for Best Supporting Actress with an emotional, powerful, grateful-newbie acceptance speech. Her gratitude was heartwarming and welcomed.

Host and Master General Ellen DeGeneres did her ‘Ellen DeGeneres’ thing, sans dancing, but plus pizza, so you know, bonus! Though a safe option for host, DeGeneres is always supremely likable, so it’s hard to chug any haterade in her face.

Everyone. Talked. For so. Long. From Jared Leto (thanking his mom, your mom, the rest of moms everywhere) to Cate Blanchett, everyone seemed to be taking their sweet ass time up on that podium. Though Blanchett made a powerful point: Women are in movies, women can be strong characters, and women can make a shitload of money at the box office. And she said it while holding her statue. Perfect.

Kevin Spacey showed up and made a House of Cards quip and this means everything because House of Cards.

I would’ve loved to see Karen O win an Oscar. Because she is Karen-fucking-O. But her performance of “The Moon Song” was simple, yet haunting – beautifully delicate and meaningful. I’m just glad the world got to see another side of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman.

Also, never forget: Matthew McConaughey’s hero: Matthew McConaughey.

Alright, enough yappin’. The full winners list is below:

Best Picture
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street

Best Actor
Christian Bale, American Hustle
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club — WINNER

Best Actress
Amy Adams, American Hustle
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine – WINNER
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

Best Supporting Actor
Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club – WINNER

Best Supporting Actress
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave – WINNER
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
June Squibb, Nebraska

Best Director
David O. Russell, American Hustle
Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity – WINNER
Alexander Payne, Nebraska
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street

Best Original Screenplay
Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell, American Hustle
Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine
Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack, Dallas Buyers Club
Spike Jonze, Her – WINNER
Bob Nelson, Nebraska

Best Adapted Screenplay
Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Before Midnight
Billy Ray, Captain Phillips
Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope, Philomena
John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave – WINNER
Terence Winter, The Wolf of Wall Street

Best Animated Feature
The Croods
Despicable Me 2
Ernest & Celestine
Frozen – WINNER
The Wind Rises

Best Original Song
“Happy,” Despicable Me 2; music and lyrics by Pharrell Williams
“Let It Go,” Frozen; music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez — WINNER
“The Moon Song,” Her; music by Karen O., lyrics by Karen O. and Spike Jonze
“Ordinary Love,” Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom; music by Paul Hewson, Dan Evans, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen, a.k.a. U2; lyrics by Paul Hewson, a.k.a. Bono

Best Original Score
John Williams, The Book Thief
Steven Price, Gravity – WINNER
William Butler and Owen Pallett, Her
Alexandre Desplat, Philomena
Thomas Newman, Saving Mr. Banks

Best Production Design
Judy Becker (Production Design); Heather Loeffler (Set Decoration), American Hustle
Andy Nicholson (Production Design); Rosie Goodwin and Joanne Woollard (Set Decoration), Gravity
Catherine Martin (Production Design); Beverley Dunn (Set Decoration), The Great Gatsby – WINNER
K.K. Barrett (Production Design); Gene Serdena (Set Decoration), Her
Adam Stockhausen (Production Design); Alice Baker (Set Decoration), 12 Years a Slave

Best Film Editing
Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers and Alan Baumgarten, American Hustle
Christopher Rouse, Captain Phillips
John Mac McMurphy and Martin Pensa, Dallas Buyers Club
Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger, Gravity – WINNER
Joe Walker, 12 Years a Slave

Best Cinematography
Philippe Le Sourd, The Grandmaster
Emmanuel Lubezki, Gravity – WINNER
Bruno Delbonnel, Inside Llewyn Davis
Phedon Papamichael, Nebraska
Roger A. Deakins, Prisoners

Best Sound Editing
Steve Boeddeker and Richard Hymns, All Is Lost
Oliver Tarney, Captain Phillips
Glenn Freemantle, Gravity – WINNER
Brent Burge, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Wylie Stateman, Lone Survivor

Best Sound Mixing
Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith and Chris Munro, Captain Phillips
Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro, Gravity – WINNER
Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick and Tony Johnson, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland, Inside Llewyn Davis
Andy Koyama, Beau Borders and David Brownlow, Lone Survivor

Best Foreign Language Film
The Broken Circle Breakdown, Belgium
The Great Beauty, Italy — WINNER
The Hunt, Denmark
The Missing Picture, Cambodia
Omar, Palestine

Best Documentary — Feature
The Act of Killing
Cutie and the Boxer
Dirty Wars
The Square
20 Feet from Stardom – WINNER

Best Documentary — Short
Facing Fear
Karama Has No Walls
The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life – WINNER
Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall

Best Live Action Short
Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me)
Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just Before Losing Everything)
Helium – WINNER
Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)
The Voorman Problem

Best Visual Effects
Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbould, Gravity – WINNER
Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and Eric Reynolds, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash and Dan Sudick, Iron Man 3
Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams and John Frazier, The Lone Ranger
Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann and Burt Dalton, Star Trek Into Darkness

Best Animated Short
Get a Horse!
Mr. Hublot – WINNER
Room on the Broom

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews, Dallas Buyers Club – WINNER
Stephen Prouty, Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua-Casny, The Lone Ranger

Best Costume Design
Michael Wilkinson, American Hustle
William Chang Suk Ping, The Grandmaster
Catherine Martin, The Great Gatsby – WINNER
Michael O’Connor, The Invisible Woman
Patricia Norris, 12 Years a Slave

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Karen O’s Oscar Nominated ‘The Moon Song’

Posted in Movies, Music on January 17th, 2014 by Nick

121212-karen-o-academy-awards-shortlistKaren O is an Oscar nominee. That is badass.

Her track for Spike Jonze’s Her, entitled “The Moon Song,” is up for Best Original Song at this year’s Oscars. Karen O wrote the music, while Jonze contributed some of the lyrics. Though I haven’t seen the film yet, the song sounds pretty magical. It’s a simple ballad, beautifully sung alongside acoustic guitar, and from what I hear, it’s the perfect companion for the Joaquin Phoenix/Scarlett Johannson film about a man who develops a relationship with an intelligent computer operating system.

Check out her song below:

They’re up against Pharrell’s “Happy” (from Despicable Me 2), U2′s “Ordinary Love” (from Mandela), Bruce Broughton and Dennis Spiegel’s “Alone Yet Not Alone” (from Alone Yet Not Alone), and Kristen Anderson-Lopez/Robert Lopez’ “Let it Go” (from Frozen).

The 86th Academy Awards ceremony takes place March 2nd at 7pm on ABC.

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The Yeah Yeah Yeahs Are So F*cking Awesome They Shoot Videos on Top of the Empire State Building

Posted in Music on June 28th, 2013 by Nick

That was the longest headline ever, but it’s TRUE. Karen O, Brian Chase and Nick Zinner have transcended the ground us mere mortals traverse on, so they needed to do something that’s never been done before in a music video ever. Hellooooo, New York.

The track is for their new single off of this year’s Mosquito – “Despair”. The video follows the band through a melancholy evening on the top of one of New York’s largest building. As night turns into day, singer Karen O comes to terms with her despair and starts to view life and the world around her in a new light, hopping and skipping and clapping-it-up all around her. The video is artsy without being pretentious, and really does add to the song’s message, as a good video should.

Or at least that’s my interpretation of it.

Check this shit out. YYY or die.

We caught the Yeah Yeah Yeahs live at Dover, Delaware’s Firefly Festival last weekend, and that full recap is coming soon!

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Music Monday: Yeah Yeah Yeahs Stream New Album ‘Mosquito’ in Full

Posted in Music on April 8th, 2013 by Nick

Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ new album Mosquito hits stores (and Spotify) next week, but you can stream it today for free! The band’s fourth full-length is mellower than expected, but it’s still kooky as hell. It’s got a gospel choir on the lead single “Sacrilege,” sounds of a subway car thundering down a track on “Subway”, and a song produced by Mr. LCD Soundsystem himself, James Murphy, that also features Dr. Octagon.

In this video, Karen O, Brian Chase and Nick Zinner provide commentary for each song off the new record. Here are the time stamps for each track so you can skip ahead to your faves (which will clearly be “Mosquito,” “Area 52″ and “Buried Alive”):

1. Sacrilege (2:06)
2. Subway (6:44)
3. Mosquito (12:44)
4. Under the Earth (16:24)
5. Slave (21:34)
6. These Paths (26:43)
7. Area 52 (32:37)
8. Buried Alive (36:20)
9. Always (42:17)
10. Despair (47:04)
11. Wedding Song (52:33)


A new YYY album. Life is good.

The band played Webster Hall in NYC last night. Here’s the setlist. You can check out photos over at Brooklyn Vegan.


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Music Monday: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – ‘Sacrilege’

Posted in Music on March 11th, 2013 by Nick

This week’s Music Monday is from a band whose upcoming album is one of my most anticipated releases of the year: Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Info about the band’s fourth full-length Mosquito has been trickling in since the beginning of the year (you can read more here), and this single was released a few weeks back, but I can’t get the track out of my head. I wasn’t too impressed upon the first few spins, but it’s sticking with me – buzzing around my head and cementing itself in my brain with its sexy, subtle chorus-driven guitar riff and booming chorus explosion toward the end. This is a band that goes for broke every single time and is never scared of adapting and changing from album to album. Respect, YYY.

Mosquito comes out April 16, but lets abuse the shit out of “Sacrilege” now.


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Yeah Yeah Yeahs Reveal Batshit New Album Art and Release Date

Posted in Music on January 15th, 2013 by Nick

Talk about a cover, man.


Yeah Yeah Yeahs fourth album, entitled Mosquito, is finito and set for release on April 16th through Interscope. The album was produced by Dave Sitek of TV on the Radio and Nick Launay, and also features a song produced by James Murphy. Hell to the YES.

“The album is extremely lo-fi. We had a shitty drum machine, a shitty sampled keyboard, tons of delay on the vocals. There’s a real tone, character, and style to it,” Karen O tells SPIN. (Check out the rest of their interview here)

The band has already started previewing some of the new tracks live and more tour dates are forthcoming:

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Me likey the new Yeah Yeah Yeahs: 'It's Blitz!' is bliss

Posted in Music on April 2nd, 2009 by Nick

The new Yeah Yeah Yeahs album “It’s Blitz” has been released, and The Littlest Winslow gives it two very enthusiastic thumbs up.

If you’re not into YYY by now, I’m not sure if you ever will be. Karen O’s screeching, in your face approach, backed with Nick Zinner’s sometimes grungey/sometimes industrial guitar playing makes for quirky and acquired listening. If you get it, you get it. If not, these are a few reasons that might stop listeners at the door. But I assure you – “It’s Blitz!” is golden.

Three albums deep by now, the YYY definitely change their colors with each release. “Fever To Tell” was very upbeat and A.D.D., while “Show Your Bones” slowed the music down a bit, but kept the YYY edge. With “It’s Blitz!” the band touches upon many 80′s sounds and New Wave, and adds in piano, a cello, and a sax to round out the tunes. Definitely different territory for the band. (Note: Greg Kurstin of Geggy Tah and The Bird and the Bee appears on “Runaway” playing the piano!)

I admit – I don’t understand everything that this band does (“Dragon Queen” has me thrown) but everything they do is so interesting and so intriguing.

Check out my faves. Hear for yourself.


Heads Will Roll

Dull Life

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