Tag Archives: Forrest Hartman

26th Annual Critics Choice Awards are Sunday

Longtime readers know that I have been a voting member of the Critics Choice Association for more than a decade. In fact, I usually attend the ceremony in person. This year, due to the pandemic, the show will be handled like most major events, with few people in attendance and most celebrities attending virtually. But don’t worry. I am confident that it will be as entertaining as ever. In fact, there will be something particularly memorable about a distanced awards show. Would it really seem like 2021 if things were handled normally? Taye Diggs is hosting, and the president of our association — Joey Berlin — pointed out in a note I received today that — unlike the Hollywood Foreign Press Association — our membership is remarkably diverse both in terms of geography and demographics. That means a really interesting slate of nominees. We also pride ourselves on strong artistic choices. So, tune in Sunday and give the show a watch. You may find that you like it better than the Golden Globes. Presenters include: Kevin Bacon, Angela Bassett, Mayim Bialik, Phoebe Dynevor, Morgan Freeman, Gal Gadot, Jim Gaffigan, Chris Hemsworth, Jameela Jamil, Eva Longoria, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jared Padalecki, Kyra Sedgwick, Yara Shahidi, Courtney B. Vance, John David Washington, and Catherine Zeta-Jones. The show airs Sunday, March 7, on the CW at 7 p.m. (6 central).

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

March 4 — Song of the Day

One of today’s top headlines is that Las Vegas Sands is selling the Venetian and the Sands Expo and Convention Center. Although these properties will remain (under new ownership), this basically means the end of major U.S. operations for the company. The sale comes about two months after the death of Sands founder Sheldon Adelson, a man who had outsized influence on Las Vegas culture. This major shakeup in Nevada business led me to choose “Waking Up In Vegas” by Katy Perry as the Song of the Day.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

March 3 – Song of the Day

Citing credible threats from political extremists, House leaders canceled tomorrow’s legislative session. Apparently, there is enough fear of events similar to the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection that the cancellation is viewed as prudent. Today, we turn to one of the best songs ever written about political extremism and the inherent susceptibility many have demonstrated when facing the rhetoric of charismatic political leaders. Here is “Cult of Personality” by Living Colour.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

March 2 – Song of the Day

Reggae legend Bunny Wailer has died at 73. Considering Wailer’s contributions to music, it seems fitting to pay tribute with his song “Reincarnated Souls.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

March 1 – Song of the Day

There is growing outrage surrounding allegations of sexual harrassment and unwanted physical advances by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Obviously, it’s important to let the investigations surrounding these incidents play out in fairness to all parties. That said, allegations of this sort are — unfortunately — commonplace. That sad fact left me thinking about Glenn Phillips, vocalist and guitarist with the alternative rock band Toad the Wet Sprocket. Phillips has long promoted the idea that men need to treat women with more respect, and he and the rest of the Toad boys offer a powerful meditation on sexual assault with the 1991 song “Hold Her Down.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Feb. 28 – Song of the Day

This is the last day of Black History Month and — obviously — black artists have made far too many contributions to American music to pick a single song that could fairly represent that fact. I briefly thought about using a song by Chuck Berry or Jimi Hendrix or Aretha Franklin or Whitney Houston … only to think about the countless other artists who created equally compelling music, changing the face of American culture along the way. So, choosing to celebrate the end of this important month with Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” is not meant to downplay the contributions of any other artist … nor is it meant to argue that Gaye’s contributions to American music are somehow superior to those of his musical peers. I chose this song because Gaye was a wonderful artist who unquestionably changed music … like so many other black artists, living and dead … and because this particular song demands a higher standard from all of us, regardless of race. Arguably, the only way the world will improve is if we all address injustices and inequities head on. So, as we listen to Marvin Gaye on the final day of Black History Month, let’s move beyond his soothing voice and the fantastic instrumental performances and think deeply about the lyrical poetry. “You know we’ve got to find a way to bring some lovin’ here today.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Feb. 27 – Song of the Day

Today, President Joe Biden is calling on the Senate to rapidly approve the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that was passed in the House. While Congress goes through the sometimes daunting approval process for such things, millions of Americans continue to struggle. Because of this, I can think of no better Song of the Day than the Beatles’ 1965 song “Help!” Here’s hoping relief makes it to those who need it in short order.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Feb. 26 — Song of the Day

When Rage Against the Machine wrote “Testify,” the band was pretty clearly thinking about the U.S. government’s willingness to sacrifice lives for political goals, including greater access to foreign oil. Although the circumstances of the song do not perfectly match details surrounding the horrifying death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the outrage seems more than appropriate. Today, declassified intelligence shows that the U.S. has long believed his assassination was ordered by the Saudi Crown Prince. Yet the U.S. government response was nil. “Testify.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Feb. 25 – Song of the Day

Today, the House passed the Equality Act, which if it clears the Senate, will prohibit discrimination based on sexual identiy. Although George Michael was yet to come out as gay when he released the 1990 hit “Freedom!” the lyrics hinted at the truth, and the song serves as a testament to the importance of being one’s self.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Feb. 24 — Song of the Day

The FDA says that Johnson & Johnson’s COVID vaccine appears to be safe and effective, paving the way toward availability of a third option. Considering all the bad news we’ve had in the last year, optimism seems appropriate, so I give you Howard Jones’ 1985 hit “Things Can Only Get Better.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized