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THE GRAMMY NOMINATIONS / TRIVIAL PURSUITS

Good even when not singing

December 07, 2007|Elena Howe

Bruce Springsteen and Joni Mitchell, whose stirring lyrics have made them two of the rock era's most celebrated songwriters, got Grammy nominations -- in instrumental performance categories. He for "Once Upon a Time in the West," from the album "We All Love Ennio Morricone"; she for "One Week Last Summer" from her latest album, "Shine."

Democratic smackdown: While Barack Obama is fighting Hillary Rodham Clinton in the presidential race with one hand, he'll have to fend off her hubby, Bill, with the other -- in the spoken word Grammy race. Obama was nominated for "The Audacity of Hope," Bill Clinton for "Giving." Guess he'll have to use his feet to beat back Democratic elder statesman Jimmy Carter, who got a nod for "Sunday Morning in Plains."

Grunge to glitz: Grunge masters Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam and Chris Cornell of Soundgarden are perhaps the unlikeliest of musicians to go Hollywood. But each was nominated for his song work in a motion picture: Vedder for "Into the Wild's" "Guaranteed" and Cornell for "Casino Royale's" "You Know My Name."

Roll over Beethoven: A hipper hepcat than rockabilly swingster Brian Setzer there never was. So what is he doing popping up in the best classical crossover album category? We're sure it's the rockin'est riff on classical music out there.

'Idol' nation: Win or lose, some former "American Idol" contestants are getting high scores with the Grammy folks. Chris Daughtry pulled in four nominations, Carrie Underwood three, Fantasia two and Kelly Clarkson scored one for her country pairing with Reba McEntire.

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Elena Howe

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