The Austin Chronicle

After a Fashion

By Stephen MacMillan Moser, February 13, 2004, Columns

NOTES ON GRAMMY You know heads were rolling backstage after the Celine Dion fiasco, but the skinny-lipped diva persevered admirably throughout embarrassing audio problems... Beyoncé was beyond beautiful, though some of her looks fared better than others. And those legs! Who knew?... And Gwen Stefani – whatever, Gwen, your outfit was stupid, and I hate that you're playing Jean Harlow in the movie about Howard Hughes... Kelly Osbourne looked like a movie star – thank God she let someone get a hold of her and reveal her potential... Luther Vandross won four Grammys (becoming deathly ill when you have a big hit is such a time-honored tradition for winning awards) ... Carole King and Gerry Goffin – what a slam to "honor" them and give only a brief camera shot of them in the audience. Hell, if Beyoncé got a standing ovation, there should have been a parade for Carole King who had the bestselling album for decades... Justin Timberlake: I do not get Justin Timberlake. His ultra-white-bread "soul" is so utterly soulless, and to make matters worse, his hair and beard looked like they came out of a can. The clock is ticking, Justin – tick, tick, tick... And then there's Christina Aguilera. Christina, I think you're a reasonably seriously talented young woman. You certainly put your competition to shame vocally, and you may even be around awhile, but we have to work on your look. Her bosom-baring dress was as tacky as Lil' Kim's, but I found something oddly appealing in her pre-bob 1920s hair – it's an unusual approach – although it looked so greasy and unkempt it made me want to wash my hands... Another embarrassing display involved Martina McBraStrap ... I mean, Martina McBride and her shifting bra straps under a dress that wanted an undergarment without straps (or at least the little clear ones you can buy). All during her heart-rending song about abused children or whatever, I kept thinking, "Just do it, Martina! Just reach up and slip your straps into place!" But no. Martina was not receiving my telepathic messages... Andre 3000 and Big Boi of OutKast seem to hold the future in their hands. Creative, energetic, and with a deep sense of fun, they are a refreshing alternative to all the performers up there who take themselves sooo seriously.

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