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<p>Adele</p>
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Adele

Credit: Mark J. Terrill/AP

2012 Grammy Awards: Monday Morning Quarterbacking Chris Brown and Adele

Plus, what's a 'Bonny Bear?'

It’s the morning after the 54th Annual Grammy Award and after a few hours sleep, we have a little Monday Morning Quarterbacking  to do:

*To quote a Don Henley song title, “Everything Is Different Now”: Last night was a clear referendum on real music between Adele and the Foo Fighters’ sweeps. Of course, the Grammys are cyclical and the wins are very dependent upon the pool of albums released during the eligibility period but for those of us who hope to never hear another autotuned, scantily-clad cutie in our lives, it was a victory. Plus, Skrillex’s three wins showed that EDM is a full force to be reckoned with that must be recognized as its own musical art form. That is something that, sadly, the David Guetta/Deadmau5/Foo Fighters/Chris Brown/Lil Wayne performance may not have hammered home.

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<p>Bon Iver's Justin Vernon with his Grammys: too heavy or too light?</p>

Bon Iver's Justin Vernon with his Grammys: too heavy or too light?

Credit: AP Photo

Bon Iver expresses nervousness, discomfort, confusion on Grammy Award win

Was Justin Vernon's band asked to perform with the Beach Boys?

LOS ANGELES - Justin Vernon felt out of place at the Grammy Awards, and not just because of the brown, slightly oversized suit.

The Bon Iver frontman himself expressed different versions of discomfort, confusion and nervousness about the 54th annual ceremony, despite a very hospitable bounty of two top-tier wins, for Best New Artist and Best Alternative Album. His apprehension didn't emanate from the glut of industry heavy-hitters attending the show, but rather from those who were absent.

"When I started to make songs I did it for the inherant reward of making songs, so im a little bit uncomfortable up here. But with that discomfort I do have a sense of gratitude," he said during his acceptance speech for Best New Artist, a top-tier, telecasted honor. He indicated thanks to his fellow nominees and "all the non-nominees that have never been here and never will be here."

As Vernon held his two statues backstage at the ceremony, he mentioned similar notions. I had the chance to ask him if he was ever considered actually skipping the Grammys.

"I was like, 'I dont know if I can go.' I was pretty nervous, there was a lot of emotions, feeling like maybe i didnt deserve to go or i wasn't ready to be in front of y'all, in front of all those people or something," he replied. "It's also just a slice of the industry. It's such a big slice, it's the biggest night in music, but there's so much music out there that can't be represented in this one night. I had a lot of confusion going in, but im glad i came and i feel really honored and stuff."

Vernon also further explained the circumstances around the performance invite, hinting that the band's collaboration could have been with the newly reunited Beach Boys. "It turned out with the Beach Boys coming back, it's kind of a big deal," he said, purposefully understating. "I decided I wanted to do something with my band and play our song, but there wasn't really time for that tonight."

As previously reported, the Jagjaguwar artist revealed that Bon Iver had been offered to perform at the Grammys ceremony and declined on principle. They wanted to play one of their own compositions and, were they required to collaborate with other artists on the show as so many artists do, that they wanted collaborate with friends or artists of their choosing.

Despite his concerns, Vernon couldn't shake at least some positive feeling, telling attendees during his Best Alternative Album acceptance that it "feels pretty special."

And it is pretty unique for an independent label artist to even be nominated at the Grammys -- let alone win -- Vernon's uneasiness was in part a reflection of the slim chances other indie artists have at getting wide-scale recognition. As Jagjag label head Chris Swanson told me in January, Bon Iver's appeal naturally unfurled into the larger landscape.

"It was great to participate in a record as far-reaching as “Bon Iver.” It was a nice shock but it still feels like a really natural sequence of events. He’s reaching so many people."

Perhaps when you're is so deeply committed to songcraft, nothing feels natural.

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<p>Glenn Close in &quot;Albert Nobbs.&quot;</p>

Glenn Close in "Albert Nobbs."

Credit: Roadside Attractions

Oscar Guide 2011: Best Makeup

'Albert Nobbs,' 'Harry Potter' and 'The Iron Lady' square off

(The Oscar Guide will be your chaperone through the Academy's 24 categories awarding excellence in film. A new installment will hit every weekday in the run-up to the Oscars on February 26, with the Best Picture finale on Saturday, February 25.)

Predicting the makeup nominees is annually a total crapshoot; predicting the winner, on the hand, is almost always disproportionately simple. That speaks to the vast difference between the branch vote and that of the general Academy: while fellow makeup artists often surprise by leaving out seemingly grabby transformations, less informed voters inevitably gravitate toward the nominee with the most makeup.

This year’s nominee list was predictably unpredictable: any combination of three titles from the seven-film bakeoff in the category, far heavier this year on period than fantasy work, seemed plausible. Only one was unanimously picked by pundits – Meryl Streep’s elaborate, decades-spanning Maggie Thatcher makeover. Though the British biopic would appear to be the frontrunner for the win as well, one other nominee from the UK ensures this race feels moderately less cut-and-dried than usual.

The nominees are:

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<p>Matthias Schoenaerts in &quot;Bullhead.&quot;</p>

Matthias Schoenaerts in "Bullhead."

Credit: Drafthouse Films

Watch an exclusive clip from the Oscar-nominated 'Bullhead'

The challenging Belgian thriller goes into limited release on Friday

As a wrote in my Oscar Guide piece on the Best Foreign Language Film race a while back, the Academy has compiled a more commendably tough-minded selection of films in the category than usual, and no nominee is tougher than Belgium's entry, "Bullhead." A complex, muscular fusion of thriller and character study set in the corruption-riddled European cattle racket, but delving into far darker and more inscrutable psychological territory than the trade of steroid-pumped cows, it's probably my second-favorite of the nominees.

Michael R. Roskam's debut feature was an adventurous selection on the Belgians' part, particularly with the gentler charms and familiar auteur brand of Cannes critics' favorite "The Kid with a Bike" also in the running, and it was similarly gutsy of the Academy to take it this far in the race. There's speculation that the executive committee stumped for this challenging contender, though it's performed well enough at the AFI and Palm Springs festivals -- winning prizes for Roskam and his remarkable leading man, Matthias Schoenaerts -- to suggest art house audiences are willing to take it on.

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<p>Whitney Houston in 1992's &quot;The Bodyguard&quot;</p>

Whitney Houston in 1992's "The Bodyguard"

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Round-up: Goodbye, Whitney

Also: Hollywood's most successful female director and Joyce talks 'Flying Books'

We couldn't rightly lead off a round-up without noting the biggest entertainment news of the weekend: the sad death of singer Whitney Houston just prior to yesterday's Grammy Awards. Houston crossed paths with the movie industry for the first time in 1992's "The Bodyguard" opposite Kevin Costner (which was announced by Warner Bros. to be rebooted almost a exactly a year ago). She circled back a couple more times in the 1990s, in Forest Whitaker's "Waiting to Exhale" and Penny Marshall's "The Preacher's Wife." She will once again be seen on the big screen when Salim Akil's "Sparkle" releases in August, while her big screen debut will hit Blu-ray on April 10. It seems there's going to be a lot of Whitney this year, but she will nevertheless be missed. [HitFix]

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<p>Nicki Minaj performing at the 2012 Grammy Awards, looking as confused as we are</p>

Nicki Minaj performing at the 2012 Grammy Awards, looking as confused as we are

Credit: AP Photo

5 key cultural references in Nicki Minaj's looney 'Roman Holiday' Grammy show

Watch: Catholicism, 'The Exorcist,' 'West Side Story' and what Nicki did on her Christmas vacation

What the hell was that?

Nicki MInaj's Grammy Awards show performance of "Roman Holiday" was hell, in so many ways. Most notably, it was a theatrical interpretation of hell, though viewers were indiscriminately and unknowingly cast there within the first few notes.

The jumbled, faltering, brain-deleting insanity of the stage presentation wasn't made any more tolerable by Nicki's singing voice, bending around the tracked vocals in caterwauling notes and nonsense. Until there is a fully edited music video to accompany this song, it will be forever burned into memory as a vortex of blistering shame and confusion.

Nobody -- especially Minaj -- was ready for this. But there were some clues as to what she was going for, references to pop culture flotsam and bedlam that could one day parse into a central theme or idea.

Below, I outline five of many influencers on Minaj's Roman trainwreck. If you relax your eyes long enough, you'll see a dolphin or perhaps a man with a funny hat emerging from this image:

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<p>Katy Perry at the 2012 Grammys</p>

Katy Perry at the 2012 Grammys

Credit: AP Photo

Listen: Katy Perry's 'Part of Me' officially debuts after tormented Grammy gig

Revised lyrics to new 'Teenage Dream' re-release single reflect on singer's divorce

Heartache is never convenient, but Katy Perry's emotional malady may work in her favor.

The pop star bowed "Part of Me" at the Grammy Awards last night (Feb. 12), psyching out the audience at first with opening strains of "E.T." She then unfurled into a wrenching, sour-faced bearer of bad news to a former lover, repeating her refrain "This is the part of me / That you're never gonna ever take away from me" as she aggressively weaved her way around her band and symbolically struggled with wrist straps inside a person-sized see-through box. And you can tell things are rough, y'know, because there's fire and her hair's crimped.

This performance came on the heels of a week highlighted by Perry's signed divorce papers -- legally dunzo with her husband Russell Brand -- on top of the announcement that her highly successful album "Teenage Dream" was getting the re-issue treatment. With the re-release comes the promise of three new songs, and "Part of Me" was selected to be the new single.

In the middle of 2011, Katy Perry tied Michael Jackson for the most No. 1 singles from the same album. I estimate by late winter of 2012, she will have set a new high-water mark.

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<p>Chris Brown accepting his win for Best R&amp;B&nbsp;Album (&quot;F.A.M.E.&quot;)</p>

Chris Brown accepting his win for Best R&B Album ("F.A.M.E.")

Credit: AP Photo

Why did Chris Brown perform at the Grammys? The Academy answers

Neil Portnow says NARAS members' focus is on music alone
LOS ANGELES – At this year’s Grammy Awards ceremony, Chris Brown earned his very first Grammy Award and performed twice. The truth of the matter is that in 2009, just prior to the 51st annual Grammy Awards, the entertainer violently assaulted then-girlfriend Rihanna, and some viewers and music fans this year may be dumbfounded by the Recording Academy’s embrace of the controversial singer.
 
Regardless of his impressive dance moves or impassioned performances overall, Brown couldn’t help but to serve as a very negative reminder of his famous crime in 2009, no matter how many times he’s apologized. It struck a public nerve, which could be exactly what organizers wanted out of Brown's two solo songs and a group performance with a dance act.
 
Or, according to Neil Portnow, his win and appearances were only natural extensions of the music community’s voice.
 
I had the opportunity to ask Portnow (president of National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and former VP of Jive Records’ West Coast division) about his and NARAS members’ approach to the show and Brown’s Best R&B Album-winning “F.A.M.E.” (coincidentally, released via Jive).
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<p>He can hear you: &quot;Rumour Has It&quot; that Ryan Tedder won a Grammy</p>

He can hear you: "Rumour Has It" that Ryan Tedder won a Grammy

Credit: AP Photo

Ryan Tedder: Beyonce is working on two projects in 2012

Award-winning songwriter and producer says conversation on diva’s next move ‘litererally just happened’

LOS ANGELES -- Much like Adele, said Ryan Tedder, Beyonce “steers the ship.” And the award-winning producer/songwriter has some idea of just where that ship is going.

Tedder was speaking with press at the 2012 Grammy Awards after picking up an honor for contributing to Adele’s Album of the Year, “21,” and his nomination for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical. Asked what his next projects were for 2012, he said that B.o.B.’s next single would be out this week, and he’s had his hands on music for K’Naan, Gavin Degraw and some “Beyonce stuff.”
 
He said it goes “without saying” that Bey’s work will have some reflection on her newborn child Blue Ivy, but that “the conversations about her next album literally just happened.”
 
“You feed her the best that you have. She’s just a phenomenal filter… she can identify what the next thing is,” Tedder said of the “Party” girl, noting that she has “two projects happening” this year. “You just let her go.”
 
Tedder went on to describe witnessing the moment when Adele’s vocal cords gave out during her Denver concert last year, and the gutted feeling he had when she was forced to cancel her remaining tour dates. He was very proud of the way the British singer bounced back for tonight’s performance, and felt that “one billion percent” of the reason that radio, the Grammys and just about everybody else has reacted to “21” the way they have is because of it’s “real music” appeal.
 
He explained his method of scanning the U.K. and U.S. hits charts once a week, taking note of how few artists are actually performing on instruments, or singing pop from a laptop.
 
“There’s not going to be a bunch of Adeles,” he warned, though labels may still try to push similar artists. “Any time the pendulum swings, it’s looking for one thing -- one artist, one song -- to swing it all the way to the other direction. I love Deadmau5 and Max Martin. [But] I like to see actual instrumentation, less laptop hits.”
 
The organic process behind his work with Adele sometimes started with just an instrument and a conversation. For “Rumour Has It,” Tedder said he was playing around with a Radiohead riff, and Adele was explaining some of her frustrations with tabloids and gossip, literally using the phrase, “’Rumor has it that Adele…’”
 
“When I handed the songs in, I said that this is the least radio stuff I’ve ever done,” he said, expressing his shock that radio took to his contributions “Rumour Has It” and “Turning Tables” so fervently. “This is my favorite stuff I’ve done.”

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<p>A scene from &quot;The Tree of Life&quot;</p>

A scene from "The Tree of Life"

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

ASC awards Emmanuel Lubezki and 'The Tree of Life' best cinematography of 2011

Lenser beats out fellow Oscar nominees 'The Artist,' 'Dragon Tattoo' and 'Hugo'

The American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) held its annual awards ceremony this evening, honoring achievement in feature film photography. After dominating the precursor circuit with win after win for his beautiful work on Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life," Emmanuel Lubezki walked away with the top prize from his peers.

Will he put a cherry on top of the season in two weeks with an Oscar win, though? I'm still not entirely convinced. And Lubezki is no stranger to having the carpet pulled out from underneath him when he looked like a no-brainer (losing in 2006 to "Pan's Labyrinth" when his work on "Children of Men" seemed like the one to beat).

Tuesday brings the first part of our fifth annual "Top 10 Shots of the Year" column, and in preparation for that, I've been talking to a lot of lensers lately. The vibe I got was that, surprisingly enough, Jeff Cronenweth's work on "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," not Robert Richardson's 3D photography on "Hugo" or Guillaume Schiffman's black-and-white lensing of Best Picture frontrunner "The Artist," was the one giving Lubezki a run for his money. Fascinating, that.

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"The Real Housewives of Atlanta"

 "The Real Housewives of Atlanta"

Credit: Bravo

Recap: 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta' - 'Make It Rain Down in Africa'

Marlo brings the crazy to the girls' adventures in South Africa

Part of me is thrilled that the ladies are on a trip that will take them on a safari, because I have my fingers crossed that Marlo will be run over by a wild rhino or maybe eaten by a rampaging lion. Really, I don't care how she expires, as I would just like Marlo to be silenced in a permanent way. Does that seem harsh? You'd only think that before you've seen this episode of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta." Afterwards, you might want to start a Kickstarter drive to hire an assassin. Maybe she's just playing up her hatefulness in the hopes it will get her a permanent gig on the show, but I think Sheree or maybe Cynthia might kill her before she can sign a contract. 

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<p>Tony Bennett at the Grammy Awards pre-show</p>

Tony Bennett at the Grammy Awards pre-show

Credit: AP Photo

Tony Bennett and Amy Winehouse's family reflect on loss at Grammys pre-show

Mitch Winehouse name-checks Whitney Houston and Etta James in rememberence

LOS ANGELES -- Tony Bennett's win was a reminder of loss for Mitch and Janis Winehouse.

The parents of late singer Amy Winehouse took to the stage with the legendary singer as he accepted his award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, earned for his performance with Winehouse on classic "Body and Soul." The presentation came during the 54th annual Grammy Awards pre-telecast show, for honors not given during the Staples Center ceremony.

Bennett -- a 16-time award winner -- graciously handed the mic over to Mitch and Janis for the majority of the allotted speech time. From here, Mitch kept it together in accepting the award on his daughter's behalf, with a little choke behind his voice.

"I can't tell you what it was like. It was like lift-off. Tony's collaboration meant so much to her," he said, speaking of "Body and Soul." "And she was so excited, because it was my favorite song. I said 'Do you know the words, darlin'?' She said 'You've been singing that song to me for 25 years, of course I know the words."

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