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August 25, 2008

Music to McCain's ears


Never really pegged John McCain for a reggaeton fan. ABBA? Sure! But Daddy Yankee?

Why should the presumptive Republican candidate for president let something like personal taste get in the way of a good photo opp and a little targeted Hispanic outreach? During a campaign stop in Phoenix today, he graciously accepted the Latin Grammy-winning singer's endorsement and then busted out his white boy rendition of "Gasolina." (We made up that last part).

To be fair, McCain seems to be an eclectic guy, music-wise, telling Entertainment Weekly recently that he digs Roy Orbison, Neil Diamond, Frankie Valli and, wait for it...Usher! Rock on, old dude. And by that, we mean no disrespect.

Can't say the same for Madonna, who made her feelings known during her Sticky and Sweet concert tour kickoff this weekend in Wales where a video accompanying her song "Get Stupid" put McCain's mug with those of Adolph Hitler and Robert Mugabe. Subtle! And not even the tiniest bit a desperate cry for attention and ticket sales. Way to go, Madge!


But wait, more music news. Not to be outdone, there's the pop/rock/alt convergence, also known as the Democratic National Convention, this week in Denver where we haven't seen so many performers gathered in one place since Coachella, Lollapalooza, Ozzfest (back when it meant something), the Summer Jams of our youth, Bonnaroo and Bumbershoot combined.

Lots of heavily decorated artists, like multiple Grammy winners Rage Against the Machine, John Legend, Sheryl Crow and Kanye West (with or without the tantrums?) plan a mix of public and private shows. (But curiously, a Grammy Foundation fundraiser has no Grammy winners on the docket. Instead: Convention flip flopper Chris Daughtrey). Nelly's in town, and so is Death Cab for Cutie, Fall Out Boy and Moby.

If that's not enough to rock your vote, we don't know what is.


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Oscar Contenders

  • So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."

    Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)

    "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."

    Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.

    Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.

Picture this

  • Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)

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