Monthly Archives: January 2023

The Grammys 2023: Best Song Written for Visual Media


Once again, all the songs in this category were unknown to me until yesterday. I also haven’t seen any of these movies, which kind of puts me at a disadvantage in judging the category.

“Be Alive,” from King Richard. Beyoncé and Darius Scott Dixson, songwriters; performed by Beyoncé:

“Carolina,” from Where the Crawdads Sing. Taylor Swift, songwriter; performed by Taylor Swift:

“Hold My Hand,” from Top Gun: Maverick. Bloodpop® and Stefani Germanotta, songwriters; performed by Lady Gaga (whose real name is Stefani Germanotta):

“Keep Rising,” from The Woman King. Angelique Kidjo, Jeremy Lutito and Jessy Wilson, songwriters; performed by Jessy Wilson featuring Angelique Kidjo:

“Nobody Like U,” from Turning Red. Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell, songwriters; performed by 4*Town, Jordan Fisher, Finneas O’Connell, Josh Levi, Topher Ngo, and Grayson Villanueva:

“We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” from Encanto. Lin-Manuel Miranda, songwriter; performed by Gaitán—La Gaita, Mauro Castillo, Adassa, Rhenzy Feliz, Diane Guerrero, Stephanie Beatriz, and Encanto cast:

I have to say this is my favorite category yet. I absolutely love the first five songs. And all these videos are wonderful. I think it’s fair to say that the songs work very well in their movies (even though I haven’t seen them).

One stands out to me, though. I could not take my eyes off the video for “Nobody Like U.” I am guessing that the melding of story + song is perfect. I know that if I were still teaching, my elementary school students would all be singing this song. I hope it wins the Grammy. (My second choice would be “Carolina”–that song will haunt my dreams for sure. My third choice would be “Keep Rising.” What a great song! Fourth would be “Be Alive.” It fits Serena and Venus so well.)

Now it’s your turn. Which song do you think should win the Grammy, and why? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Monday Morning Wisdom #398

Monday Morning Wisdom #398

“I think that you have to believe in your destiny; that you will succeed, you will meet a lot of rejection and it is not always a straight path, there will be detours—so enjoy the view.”
—Michael York

From the Creator’s Heart #387


Teach me your way, Lord,
    that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
    that I may fear your name (Psalm 86:11 NIV).

The Grammys 2023: Best Global Music Performance


Again, I never heard any of the songs in this category before this week. I’ve only heard of two of these performers before.

“Udhero Na,” Arooj Aftab and Anoushka Shankar. Shankar is the daughter of sitar royalty Ravi Shankar and a virtuoso in her own right. Arooj Aftab won the Grammy for Best Global Music Performance last year for “Mohabbat”:

“Gimme Love,” Matt B and Eddy Kenzo:

“Last Last,” Matt B and Eddy Kenzo:

“Neva Bow Down,” Rocky Dawuni featuring Blvk H3ro:

“Bayethe,” Wouter Kellerman (flautist), Zakes Bantwini (keyboardist), and Nomcebo Zikode (vocalist):

The musicianship in “Udhero Na” is phenomenal, but the intro is two minutes long, and keeps us waiting for Arooj Aftab’s voice. Despite the lovely rhythms in “Gimme Love,” the lyrics and melody are annoyingly monotonous. I love the syncopated rhythms in “Last Last.” I like the reggae vibe in “Neva Bow Down” and I like the message (but I find the video very intimidating).

In my opinion, “Bayethe” has it all–a polished performance, beautiful blend of instruments, great rhythm, and nothing that detracts from all that. I think “Bayethe” deserves the Grammy.

Now it’s your turn. Which song do you think should win the Grammy for Best Global Music Performance, and why? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Creative Juice #328

Creative Juice #328

Interesting stuff to read. Artistic stuff to love.

Video of the Week: Beneath the Paintings of Modigliani


Wordless Wednesday: Pines


The Grammys 2023: Best American Roots Song


Once again, I hadn’t heard any of the songs in this category before yesterday.

“Bright Star,” performed by Anaïs Mitchell; Anaïs Mitchell, songwriter:

“Forever,” performed by Sheryl Crow; Sheryl Crow and Jeff Trott, songwriters:

“High and Lonesome,” performed by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss; T Bone Burnett and Robert Plant, songwriters:

“Just Like That,” performed by Bonnie Raitt; Bonnie Raitt, songwriter:

“Prodigal Daughter,” performed by Aoife O’Donovan and Allison Russell; Tim O’Brien and Aoife O’Donovan, songwriters:

“You and Me on the Rock,” performed by Brandi Carlile (featuring Lucius); Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth and Time Hanseroth, songwriters:

Wow. Is it just me, or is it tough picking a favorite in this category? “Forever” is a good song. “Just Like That” just about undid me. What a powerful message. And “You and Me on the Rock” is adorable.

But “Prodigal Daughter” delighted me. O’Donovan’s gentle guitar picking is such a perfect accompaniment.

I first became aware of Aoife O’Donovan a decade ago, through this song from the Goat Rodeo Sessions (which also launched my obsession with Chris Thile, if you want to go down that rabbit hole, and yes, that is Yo Yo Ma rocking out on the cello):

Now it’s your turn. Which song gets your vote for Best American Roots song, and why? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Monday Morning Wisdom #397

Monday Morning Wisdom #397

“I tell writers to keep reading, reading, reading. Read widely and deeply. And I tell them not to give up even after getting rejection letters. And only write what you love.”
~Anita Diamant

From the Creator’s Heart #386


Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4 NIV).