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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 12, 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 50
THE MUSIC LOUNGE
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
  next story
Oscars Best Original Song long list includes Patti Smith, Lorde, Coldplay, and Ethan Hawke

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

About this time last year, everyone was predicting an Oscar nomination for Lana Del Rey, the clear frontrunner for Best Original Song for 'Young and Beautiful' from The Great Gatsby. But she didn't even make the shortlist, thanks to the snobbish and often clueless members of the Academy's Songwriters Branch. 'Let It Go' (Frozen) eventually beat two worthier entries, 'Happy' (Despicable Me 2) and 'The Moon Song' (Her) for the award, though it further exemplified the flaws that have plagued this category, which regularly omits some of the best music used in films. The 2015 race again serves up an eclectic batch of possibilities, starting with a pair of compositions featuring actors who doubled as vocalists, Jennifer Lawrence and Ethan Hawke. The former sings 'The Hanging Tree' from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I, backed by James Newton Howard's dramatic orchestration, while the latter impressively croons 'Split the Difference' from Best Picture contender Boyhood. John Legend and Common have a chance to get in with 'Glory' from Selma, although its political lyrics could prove a bit much for stuffy voters, who might settle for Coldplay's 'Miracles' from the Angelina Jolie-helmed Unbroken, or Adam Levine's solo piece 'Lost Stars' from Begin Again. Legendary rocker Patti Smith's collaboration with the Kronos Quartet, 'Mercy Is' from Noah, should make the cut, as should Glen Campbell's stark ballad 'Not Gonna Miss You' from his own bio-doc, Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me; ditto for Lorde's electro-pop number 'Yellow Flicker Beat,' also from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I. 'Let Me In' by Grouplove, from The Fault in Our Stars, and Billy Boyd's 'The Last Goodbye' from The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies could sneak in, and heaven help us if the rather obnoxious 'Everything is Awesome' by Tegan and Sara (featuring The Lonely Island) from The Lego Movie makes the final five. The long list of entries will be trimmed to about ten songs in the coming days.

It's definitely that time of year. 2014 saw dozens of breakout artists, a few major comebacks, several career peaks, and even some total duds. Next week, it's our turn to wrap up the past twelve months of music and announce the best of what we listened to and what we saw, and there was plenty to pick from. Aside from revealing our year-end music choices, we'll feature a special interview with singer-songwriter and LGBT fan favorite Jason Mraz, who voluntarily communicated with Seattle Gay News via email and filled us in on personal holiday plans, his most memorable thing of 2014, and his reaction to a historical and eventful year for same-sex marriage. Be sure to grab a copy of our December 19 issue, when we celebrate the Best of Music 2014.

Rick Springfield followers take note: he's stripping down in March right here in Seattle. The actor-musician will perform an up close and intimate performance that follows his concert film, Stripped Down, that aired on PBS. His solo acoustic set is expected to touch on landmark hits, including 'Jessie's Girl' and 'Don't Talk to Strangers.' Springfield will appear March 18 at The Neptune with tickets, priced at $50, on sale now at www.Tickets.com.

Also headed to The Neptune is acclaimed Americana singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams, scheduled to perform February 10. RL Grimes has added a second date by popular demand at The Neptune, on January 20; tickets are scarce for the January 22 performance. And, reunited three-piece Sleater-Kinney will play The Showbox Market on May 29; this concert will likely sell out.

Finally, if you're looking to get out for a Sunday drive, 80s pop trio Wilson Phillips appears at Snoqualmie Casino on December 14. It's a 35-minute drive from downtown Seattle. For tickets and information, visit www.snocasino.com.

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