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Grammys 2012: Bon Iver wins Grammy for best new artist

Margaret Wappler
Bon Iver with his awards at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, on Sunday, February 12, 2012. (Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times/MCT)
Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — Wisconsin-bred band Bon Iver, the indie folk project founded by singer-songwriter Justin Vernon, was named best new artist at the 54th Grammy Awards, besting crowd favorite Nicki Minaj as well as a diverse set of performers from electronica, rap and country music.

Vernon first gained attention for his 2007 debut, “For Emma, Forever Ago,” recorded in isolation in rural Wisconsin and filled with soaring vocal harmonies. Between his debut and his self-titled second album released last year, Vernon collaborated with Kanye West, a move that introduced his name to a much wider audience. The Chicago hip-hop artist uses Vernon’s voice on the first track of “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” and closes the album with a song based on Bon Iver’s “Woods.”

Bon Iver’s second record, with each song based on a real or imaginary place, opened up his sound to soft-rock influences, as well as synths, horns and other instrumentation that veered away from his folk roots. It was also nominated, and won, for best alternative music album, counting as one of Vernon’s four Grammy nods this year.

This year’s crop for best new artist is heavier on hip-hop than it has been in the last few years, and was also notable for the inclusion of up-and-coming dance titan Skrillex. Past notable winners of the best new artist award in the last decade include Amy Winehouse, Adele, Carrie Underwood and John Legend.

If space is time—and space is literally time in the comics form—the world of the novel is a temporal cage. Manuele Fior pushes at the formal qualities of that cage to tell his story.

Manuele Fior's 5,000 Km Per Second was originally published in 2009 and, after winning the Angouléme and Lucca comics festivals awards in 2010 and 2011, was translated and published in English for the first time in 2016. As suggested by its title, the graphic novel explores the effects of distance across continents and decades. Its love triangle begins when the teenaged Piero and his best friend Nicola ogle Lucia as she moves into an apartment across the street and concludes 20 estranged years later on that same street. The intervening years include multiple heartbreaks and the one second phone delay Lucia in Norway and Piero in Egypt experience as they speak while 5,000 kilometers apart.

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TV

Inane Political Discourse, or, Alan Partridge's Parody Politics

Publicity photo of Steve Coogan courtesy of Sky Consumer Comms

That the political class now finds itself relegated to accidental Alan Partridge territory along the with rest of the twits and twats that comprise English popular culture is meaningful, to say the least.

"I evolve, I don't…revolve."
-- Alan Partridge

Alan Partridge began as a gleeful media parody in the early '90s but thanks to Brexit he has evolved into a political one. In print and online, the hopelessly awkward radio DJ from Norwich, England, is used as an emblem for incompetent leadership and code word for inane political discourse.

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The show is called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend largely because it spends time dismantling the structure that finds it easier to write women off as "crazy" than to offer them help or understanding.

In the latest episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the CW networks' highly acclaimed musical drama, the shows protagonist, Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom), is at an all time low. Within the course of five episodes she has been left at the altar, cruelly lashed out at her friends, abandoned a promising new relationship, walked out of her job, had her murky mental health history exposed, slept with her ex boyfriend's ill father, and been forced to retreat to her notoriously prickly mother's (Tovah Feldshuh) uncaring guardianship. It's to the show's credit that none of this feels remotely ridiculous or emotionally manipulative.

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To be a migrant worker in America is to relearn the basic skills of living. Imagine doing that in your 60s and 70s, when you thought you'd be retired.


Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Publisher: W. W. Norton
Author: Jessica Bruder
Publication date: 2017-09
Amazon

There's been much hand-wringing over the state of the American economy in recent years. After the 2008 financial crisis upended middle-class families, we now live with regular media reports of recovery and growth -- as well as rising inequality and decreased social mobility. We ponder what kind of future we're creating for our children, while generally failing to consider who has already fallen between the gaps.

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Gallagher's work often suffers unfairly beside famous husband's Raymond Carver. The Man from Kinvara should permanently remedy this.

Many years ago—it had to be 1989—my sister and I attended a poetry reading given by Tess Gallagher at California State University, Northridge's Little Playhouse. We were students, new to California and poetry. My sister had a paperback copy of Raymond Carver's Cathedral, which we'd both read with youthful admiration. We knew vaguely that he'd died, but didn't really understand the full force of his fame or talent until we unwittingly went to see his widow read.

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