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February 05, 2004 - Image 16

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-02-05

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4B - The Michigan Daily - Weekend Magazine - Thursday, February 5, 2004

Q uestion: Which of the following
received at least one Grammy nomi-
nation this year: Hillary Clinton, Al
Franke , Ruben Studdard, Sophia Loren, Bill
Clinton, Mikhail Gorbachev, Kenny G, Carl
Reiner, Eric Idle, Bill Maher, Don Cheadle,
Quentin Tarantino, Jack Black, Martin
Answer: All of the above.
It took me at least 20 minutes to browse
through the entire list of nominees to pluck out
those names that seemed painfully out of place
- a former president, a former first lady turned
United States senator, an American Idol runner-
up, a washed-up soprano saxophone player, a
former Soviet leader, a handful of comedians, a
few actors and a pair of legendary film direc-
tors. I was also able to locate at least five recent-
ly-deceased nominees: Johnny Cash and his
wife June Carter Cash, George Harrison,
Warren Zevon and Rosemary Clooney.
But I suppose you're bound to get a large,
diverse list of nominees when you have 105
award categories spread across 30 fields. For the
Grammys, "Best Album" isn't enough. The
musical landscape must be broken down by
genre, subgenre, sub-sub-subgenre and sub-sub-

subgenre with at least a dozen awards handed
out at each level. It was only by some fluke that
I wasn't nominated this year, but I'm not upset.
My mantle is overflowing with Grammy statues
as it is.
Thankfully only a few of the 105 awards will
be presented during this Sunday's ceremony, but
the mere existence of so many categories under-
mines the premise of the award show. The
Grammys should take a cue from the Academy
Awards and realize that less is more. The fewer
awards you give out, the more meaningful the
awards are.
Wouldn't it be easier to combine categories
such as "Best Musical Album for Children" and
"Best Spoken Word Album for Children" into
the more convenient and respectable "Best
Album for Children"? And why keep "Best
Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion
Picture, Television or Other Visual Media" and
"Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion
Picture, Television or Other Visual Media" sep-
arate? And what exactly is "Urban/Alternative"
music? Apparently it includes Erykah Badu,
Kelis, Les Nubians, Musiq and OutKast. Was 50
Cent left out because he's too urban and not
enough alternative, or is it the other way
Beyond the number of categories, it is neces-

sary to question the timeliness of the nominees.
According to the official Grammy Awards web-
site, this year's nominees were culled from
"recordings released during the Eligibility Year
October 1, 2002 through September 30, 2003,"
creating a four-month gap between the end of
the eligibility year and the actual ceremony. I
remember watching the Grammys in 2002 and
scratching my head when OutKast's Stankonia
won for Best Rap Album. I thought to myself,
"As one of the best rap albums in history, of
course it's deserving of the award, but didn't it
come out in the fall of 2000?" Yes it did, said the
All Music Guide. But that's just how the
Grammys work.
This year's Stankonia would have to be
Eminem's "Lose Yourself" (from the "8 Mile"
soundtrack), which was nominated in five cate-
gories. Because it was released on Oct. 29,
2002, it wasn't eligible for a Grammy until this
year. Never mind that the Academy Awards
already honored the song nearly a year ago or
that it's one of the defining songs of our gener-
ation, it still has to wait almost two years to
receive recognition from the music industry
Another oddity is the nomination that
Fountains of Wayne received in the "Best New
Artist" category. Apparently the fact that

Fountains of Wayne have been around for eight
years and have already released two successful,
major-label releases slipped past the Recording
Academy. Well, at least they're finally getting
some propers.
But year-in, year-out the most frustrating
aspect of the Grammys .is the regularity with
which the major awards (Best Album in particu-
lar) seem to go to the best-selling artists of the
year. (Last year was a bit of an exception with
Norah Jones, but she subsequently turned into a
multibillion-selling superstar and her music is
mild and inoffensive enough to not upset the
masses, so she doesn't really count.) My real
question is, couldn't the Academy, just once, go
out on a limb and select a little-known group
who didn't sell 10,000,000 copies like the
Libertines? Or maybe one who makes middle-
aged squares uncomfortable like 50 Cent?
Well, with album sales slumping miserably
and the record industry's image becoming
more tarnished every day, maybe the time for
them to take a chance at the Grammys isn't
too far off. It sure as hell couldn't make mat-
ters any worse for them.
- Joel is a 37-time Grammy winner who
has sold more than 180,000,000 albums world-
wide. Fan mail can be sent toj.ho@umich.edu.

Continued from Page 3B
program. "I like it a lot - glad I'm
here. I like the combination of the
engineering stuff and the music
stuff...to sort of take a mathemati-
cal approach to music."
Becca Gleckstein, a freshman
studying theatre, was unfazed by
the daylong interview/audition she
underwent during the admissions
process. This process involved two
monologues of contrasting nature in
front of a panel of professors and a
number of activities such as
improvisation exercises. "A lot of
other people said it was (difficult)
but the thing is, I sort of applied on

a whim, and I didn't really realize
what I was applying to until I got
here," says Gleckstein.
According to junior Karenanna
Creps, who is also a RC student, the
audition "was nerve-wracking, but
it was also really fun. When I left, I
felt really good about the whole
morning and afternoon," despite the
fact that she "really went in without
very much in terms of expectations
because, other than forensics and
two plays, I hadn't been formally
given any instruction. I knew I
wanted to do an academic, but I also
wanted the experience, so I applied.
It was a seriously a couple of
months before (applying) that I
thought, 'I wanna do this."'

Now that both are part of the pro-
gram, they feel that they made the
right decision. Gleckstein believes
her program is "really challenging a
lot of the time for me simply
because you come from high school,
you're used to being the top. Here,
everyone's good. It's a lot of fun."
Creps adds, "I feel like it's really
a program of self-discovery because
you have to know yourself before
you can go off and play other peo-
ple. It's really, really fun, and it's
more than I could hope for - it fits
me very well."
"It seems they're looking for
someone who's willing to play,
obviously has a vested interest in
the theater, is willing to take


instruction and go with it, and be
willing to walk on the edge of plan-
ning ahead and then just letting
impulse take over," says Creps.
"They're looking for the people
they want to work with, basically."
Philip Kerr, Claribel Baird
Halstead Professor of Theatre and
Drama, said, "I am especially inter-
ested in a student who is furthering
an interest in art training in the con-
text of a stimulating, diverse and
varied liberal education." It is this
flexibility that attracts many stu-
dents to the School of Music, for
"unlike a strict conservatory, there
is opportunity to take a variety of
classes, do a double major, have
your sensibilities possibly swayed
to other fields of endeavor, and be
stimulated by more than one's own
experience and area of interest." At
the same time, adds Theatre
Professor John Neville-Andrews the
program has a "very competitive,
demanding and rigorous curricu-
lum, one that embodies professional
technique, discipline and confi-
dence, all valuable characteristics
for a successful career in the world
of professional theatre. Therefore,
getting work is that much easier for
a student who studied with us."
Sarah Evans, a junior in the dance
program, cites the quality of the
School of Music in the University
as a whole as a main attraction for
her, as "I wasn't sure what I wanted
to do, so I wanted to have the option
to change or do two things, I just
wanted a large, liberal university
that would have a lot of different
Heather Vaughn-Soughard, a
graduate dance student, was attract-
ed by the collaborative opportuni-

ties within different departments in
the School of Music and the com-
munity, making it easy "to create
work and get work produced within
the community" and establish "pro-
fessional ties here and start produc-
ing work as a professional while
I'm a student." This includes
"Dances for St. Petersburg," a pro-
gram inspired by the St. Petersburg
semester theme that runs from
February 6 to 8. Evening shows are
at 8 p.m. and a matinee is at 2 p.m.
Delanghe notes, "It takes about 10
years to make a dancer. You can't do it
in four years, and that's part of the
competitiveness ... that you have to
have the chops, so to speak." She said
prospective students should not have a
serious injury or an either too-full or
too-skinny figure, and they should
display a reasonable amount of flexi-
bility, as "for dancers, you have to cul-
tivate your instrument because you
can't go buy it; you have to make it."
Indeed, all students in the School of
Music turn to their instruments - be
it their violins, piano, their ability to
empathize enough with a character to
assume their role in a play, or even
their bodies - to express their pas-
sion for their arts, and basically edu-
cation. As Fredricksen says, "I believe
it is not only possible, but today (it is)
essential to get good training and a
fine education. One can do that at the
University of Michigan and not
always so completely at many fine

, f

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