The 2021 Grammy Awards

By Claire Buran

April 7th, 2021

The 63 Annual Grammy Awards were held on Sunday, March 14th. The event was hosted by comedian Trevor Noah in the Los Angeles Convention Center, across the street from its normal home at the Staples Center. Because of the pandemic, there was no live audience except for the performers and nominees.

The list of performers includes Cardi B and Megan thee Stallion performing “WAP”, Billie Eilish sang her song “Everything I Wanted”, Taylor Swift sang multiple songs from her recent albums “Folklore” and “Evermore”, and many more performances from artists including Post Malone, Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Bad Bunny, Miranda Lambert, Dua Lipa, and DaBaby.

Here’s the full list of the Grammy Winners:

Record of the Year: “Everything I Wanted” – Billie Eilish 

Album of the Year: “Folklore” – Taylor Swift

Song of the Year: “I Can’t Breathe” – H.E.R

Best New Artist: Megan Thee Stallion

Best Pop Solo Performance: “Watermelon Sugar” – Harry Swift

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: “Rain on Me” – Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album: “American Standard” – James Taylor

Best Pop Vocal Album: “Future Nostalgia” – Dua Lipa

Best Dance Recording: “10%” – Kaytranada featuring Kali Uchis

Best Dance/Electronic Album: “Bubba” – Kaytranada

Best Contemporary Instrumental Album: “Live at the Royal Albert Hall” – Snarky Puppy

Best Rock Performance: “Shameika” – Fiona Apple

Best Metal Performance: Bum-Rush” – Body Count

Best Rock Song: “Stay High” – Brittany Howard

Best Rock Album: “The New Abnormal” – The Strokes

Best Alternative Music Album: “Fetch the Bolt Cutters” – Fiona Apple

Best R&B Performance: “Black Parade” – Beyonce

Best Traditional R&B Performance: “Anything for You” – Ledisi

Best R&B Song: “Better Than I Imagined” – Robert Glasper featuring H.E.R. & Meshell Ndegeocello

Best Progressive R&B Album: “It Is What It Is” – Thundercat

Best R&B Album: “Bigger Love” – John Legend 

Best Rap Performance: “Savage” – Megan thee Stallion ft. Beyonce

Best Melodic Rap Performance: “Lockdown” – Anderson .Paak

Best Rap Song: “Savage” – Megan thee Stallion ft. Beyonce

Best Rap Album: “King’s Disease” – Nas

Best Country Solo Performance: “When My Amy Prays” – Vince Gill

Best Country Duo/Group Performance: “10,000 Hours” – Dan+Shay and Justin Bieber

Best Country Song: “Crowded Table” – The High women

Best Country Album: “Wildcard” – Miranda Lambert

Best New Age Album: “More Guitar Stories” – Jim “Kimo” West

Best Improvised Jazz Album Solo: “All Blues” – Chick Corea, soloist

Best Jazz Vocal Album: “Secrets are the Best Stories” – Kurt Elling ft. Danilo Perez

Best Jazz Instrumental Album: “Trilogy 2” – Chick Corea, Christian McBride & Brian Blade

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album: “Data Lords” – Maria Schneider Orchestra

Best Latin Jazz Album: “Four Questions” – Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra

Best Gospel Performance/Song: “Movin’ On” – Jonathan McReynolds & Mali Music

Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song: “There Was Jesus” – Zach William & Dolly Parton

Best Gospel Album: “Gospel According to PJ” – PJ Morton

Best Contemporary Christian Music Album: “Jesus is King” – Kayne West

Best Roots Gospel Album: “Celebrating Fisk!” – Fisk Jubilee Singers

Best Latin Pop Album or Urban Album: “YHLQMDLG” – Bad Bunny

Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album:  “La Conquista del Espacio” – Fito Paez

Best Regional Mexican Music Album: “Un Canto por Mexico, Vol. 1” – Natalia Lafourcade

Best Tropical Latin Album: “40” – Grupo Niche

Best American Roots Performance: “I Remember Everything” – John Prine

Best American Roots Song: “I Remember Everything” – John Prine

Best Americana Album: “World on the Ground” – Sarah Jarosz

Best Bluegrass Album: “Home” – Billy Strings

Best Traditional Blues Album: “Rawer then Raw” – Bobby Rush

Best Contemporary Blues Album: “Have You Lost Your Mind Yet” – Fantastic Negrito 

Best Folk Album: “All the Good Times” – Gillan Welch & David Rawlings

Best Regional Roots Music Album: “Atmosphere” – New Orleans Nightcrawlers

Best Reggae Album: “Got to Be Tough” – Toots & The Maytals

Best Global Music Album: “Twice as Tall” – Burna Boy

Best Children’s Album: “All The Ladies” – Joanie Leeds

Best Spoken Word Album: “Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth” — Rachel Maddow

Best Comedy Album: “Black Mitzvah” – Tiffany Haddish 

Best Musical Theater Album: “Jagged Little Pill”

Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media: “Jojo Rabbit” – Various Artists 

Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media: “Joker” – Hildur Guðnadóttir, composer

Best Song Written For Visual Media: “No Time to Die” (from No Time to Die) — Billie Eilish

Best Instrumental Composition: “Sputnik” – Maria Schneider

Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella: “Donna Lee” – John Beasley

Best Recording Package: “Vols. 11 & 12” — Doug Cunningham & Jason Noto, art directors (Desert Sessions)

Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package: “Ode to Joy” — Lawrence Azerrad & Jeff Tweedy, art directors (Wilco)

Best Album Notes: “Dead Man’s Pop” — Bob Mehr, album notes writer (The Replacements)

Best Historical Album: “It’s Such A Good Feeling: The Best Of Mister Rogers” — Mister Rogers

Best Engineered Album: “Hyperspace” — Drew Brown, Andrew Coleman, Shawn Everett, Serban Ghenea, David Greenbaum, Jaycen Joshua, Beck Hansen & Mike Larson, engineers; Randy Merrill, mastering engineer (Beck)

Producer of the Year: Andrew Watt

Best Remixed Recording: “Roses (Imanbek Remix)” — Imanbek Zeikenov, remixer (SAINt JHN)

Best Engineered Album, Classical: “Shostakovich: Symphony No. 13, ‘Babi Yar’” — David Frost & Charlie Post, engineers; Silas Brown, mastering engineer (Riccardo Muti & Chicago Symphony Orchestra)

Producer of the Year, Classical: David Frost

Best Orchestral Performance: “Ives: Complete Symphonies” — Gustavo Dudamel, conductor (Los Angeles Philharmonic)

Best Opera Performance: “Gershwin: Porgy and Bess” — David Robertson, conductor; Angel Blue & Eric Owens; David Frost, producer (The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; The Metropolitan Opera Chorus)

Best Choral Performance: “Danielpour: The Passion of Yeshua” — JoAnn Falletta, conductor; James K. Bass & Adam Luebke, chorus masters (James K. Bass, J’Nai Bridges, Timothy Fallon, Kenneth Overton, Hila Plitmann & Matthew Worth; Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra; Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus & UCLA Chamber Singers)

Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance: “Contemporary Voices” — Pacifica Quartet

Best Classical Instrumental Solo: “Theofanidis: Concerto for Viola and Chamber Orchestra” — Richard O’Neill; David Alan Miller, conductor (Albany Symphony)

Best Classical Solo Vocal Album: “Smyth: The Prison” — Sarah Brailey & Dashon Burton; James Blachly, conductor (Experiential Chorus; Experiential Orchestra)

Best Classical Compendium: “Thomas, M.T.: From the Diary of Anne Frank & Meditations on Rilke” — Isabel Leonard; Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor; Jack Vad, producer

Best Contemporary Classical Composition: “Rouse: Symphony No. 5” — Christopher Rouse, composer (Giancarlo Guerrero & Nashville Symphony)

Best Music Video: “Brown Skin Girl” – Beyoncé, Saint Jhn & Wizkid Featuring Blue Ivy Carter

Best Music Film: “Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice” — Linda Ronstadt

Malibu Farmer’s Market

By Sophia Pilot

April 7th, 2021

Every Sunday between 9 am and 2 pm, the Malibu Farmers Market can be counted on to feature fresh fruits, vegetables, and prepared food. 

The Malibu Farmers Market was founded in 1998 as a fundraiser for the Cornucopia Foundation, a hands-on environmental education program for schools. Many students have visited the Cornucopia gardens near the Malibu High School tennis courts for onsite ecological instruction. Manager and Co-President of the Cornucopia Foundation, Debra Bianco, has always had a passion for food and bringing people together. She admires the community drive behind the market, which ultimately keeps her going through the challenges.

The Market has not only faced the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, but also the construction of the Santa Monica College Malibu extension campus behind the Farmers Market location. The new campus will include the construction of a 27,500 square foot educational facility, projected to be completed in 2022.

Most vendors travel from all over Southern California to attend the Market each Sunday. There have been vendors who have remained for several years, and others who have come and gone. One favorite that disappeared was the Thai Street Food vendor, GaiGan. The reason for the turnover is unknown, but from speaking with the vendors, it could be the long drives, limited sales, or issues with the management.

Arrive at the Market early to ensure that you can get the best selection of foods and parking spots. On one end of the Market, you will find prepared food, ready to take to the beach. The prepared food vendors are always changing, but you can count on freshly cracked coconuts from Mingle’s Coconuts, A&J sweet and savory crepes, and pita chips and hummus from Aliki’s Greek Taverna. 

The colorful sign will draw you to Viva Mexico Foods, where you will taste the best spicy guacamole ever. Across from the salsas, you will find Livia’s, a family-owned gluten-free, vegan cookie business. The most popular cookie is the peanut butter chocolate chip, and it sells out quickly so make sure you’re in the line early. Other favorites include fresh pasta, fresh squeezed juices, olive oils, and baked goods. 

Denny’s Organic Farms, Alcantar Organics, Gourmet Specialties, and Etheridge Organics Farms make up a majority of the Market’s fresh fruits and vegetables. Pick up the delicious Sumo, Cara Cara, and blood oranges from Etheridge Organic Farms before they go out of season in a few weeks. 

At the other end of the Market, you will find art and clothing boutiques selling masks, jewelry, and clothes. The unique, handmade-goods are a great gift to buy to bring a piece of the Market home with you.  

The Market is doing well but most vendors are anxious for the summer season for the tourist sales, but for now, the locals are enjoying the community aspect of the Market. 

The Top Three Most Expensive NFTs

By Ian Klane

April 7th, 2021

A non-fungible token or NFT for short is a unit of data on a digital ledger called a blockchain. On these blockchains, each NFT can represent a unique digital item such as a piece of art, audio recording, photograph, or other types of creative work. NFTs are not interchangeable, so while one could easily screenshot and duplicate the item, the NFT helps track the original item and provide proof of ownership. This is the reason some of these NFTs are selling for millions of dollars and I simply do not understand.

3.  Kevin Abosch, Forever Rose

     The NFT that was dropped by artist Kevin Abosch on Valentine’s day, 2018, was purchased by a collective of investors for cryptocurrencies for one million dollars. This was not the first time Kevin Abosch had made headlines as he had previously made a sale of one million dollars for a photograph of a dirty potato.    

2. Beeple, Crossroads

     The digital image sold in February of 2021 has two sides. One marking the victory of Donald Trump in the election, and the other marking his defeat. The image was ultimately designed in order to change based on the outcome of the Presidential election. The item ended up selling for $6.6 million, revealing the rotting, bloated, and graffitied naked corpse of Donald Trump face down on the ground.

1. Beeple, Everydays—The First 5000 Days

    On February 16, Christie’s, one of the first major auction houses to sell NFTs, announced that it would offer its first-ever purely digital blockchain artwork. The First 5000 days is a mosaic consisting of every single image that artist Mike Winkelmann, who goes by the name Beeple, has created since 2013. Bids began at $100 but only began to skyrocket higher and higher before reaching a whopping $69 million making Beeple’s creation one of the most expensive NFT artworks of all time.

   The amount of money purchased for all of these digital items is simply unfathomable to me. Especially in regards to the Abosch piece as not only could one just easily take a screenshot of these two photos and drop them into, for example, a simple article. But somebody could as well just as easily go out and pick a rose or buy a dirty potato. In regards to the other two items on this list, I’ve noticed that one of the reasons that they are so expensive is because people just want bragging rights, just like with all art. They want to have the original piece so they can say that they own it, however, it still doesnt explain the insane prices. I find the whole NFT craze mind-boggling and truly can not begin to understand why somebody would spend so much money on something that seems as simple as a dirty potato.  

Stockton’s Basic Income Experiment

By Lola Weber

April 7th, 2021

At the fringe of the Bay Area’s tech economy, Stockton, CA, has made momentous strides in welfare provision. 

In a new experiment/demonstration program, payments of $500 a month were made out to 125 randomly selected residents whose average annual incomes fell under $46,000 (The city’s median). These stipends were no-strings-attached, allowing for recipients to spend their money under their own discretion, without drug tests or work requirements. 

This donor-funded demonstration, officially titled the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration, was initiated by Stockton’s previous mayor, Michael Tubbs, in 2019. By the end of the study period, in February 2020, there was a rise in full-time employment among stipend recipients, with improvements in physical, financial, and emotional health. 

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Tennessee collected and analyzed data from Stockton’s experiment. The most prominent findings included the increase in overall income volatility, leading to fluctuations of 46 percent, rather than the control group’s 68 percent. The vast majority of stipend spending was on necessities such as gas, utilities, and food. 

It was found that many families were able to pay off debts, with the added cash doubling their ability to pay for unexpected expenses. This financial stability seeped into the community itself, allowing for recipients to provide greater help to their own friends and families. 

One recipient told The Atlantic that, “It helped me to be able to take care of my groceries without having to run to the food bank three times a month. That was very helpful.”. That same recipient faced a period of homelessness due to a fire in her apartment complex, a period which was quickly dismissed by her added income which secured a new downpayment. 

What might be the most imperative aspect of this demonstration is its case against welfare stigma. Researchers found that Stockton’s basic income did not dissuade working, even going so far as to aid people in finding work through providing stability and resources. Recipients experienced a 12 point increase in employment, a much larger increase to that of the control group’s five point increase. 

These findings shouldn’t be inherently shocking, as the desire for stability and basic necessities is relatively obvious to anyone. It’s more so the idea of people ‘abusing’ welfare and becoming dependent on it which we have so strongly internalized. 

As seen in this demonstration, the only way to provide greater opportunity to those in poverty is to provide them with adequate resources. There is no reason as to why people shouldn’t be provided with greater stability, sufficient food, and less destitution. 

The politics of welfare is seeing its height at this very moment, with pandemic legislation displaying just how impactful cash stimulus is. Poverty ultimately finds itself to be the greatest threat to opportunity and potential on all scales, something that should be eliminated, and Stockton just reinforces this. 

Varsity Blues and Disillusionment

By Diana Kerbeck

April 7th, 2021

  I recently finished the documentary ‘Operation Varsity Blues’ on Netflix. While I had read about the scandal when it happened, I had forgotten how truly disgusting it was. Wealthy parents all across this country were paying large sums of money to bribe a proctor to raise the score of their child’s SAT/ACT or creating a fake profile as a student-athlete to boost admissions chances to top universities. 

   The most famous example was actress Lori Loughlin. She paid over $500,000 to get her two daughters, including Youtuber Olivia Jade, into USC as part of the crew team despite neither of them being athletes or even wanting to attend college. The sentences the convicted parents served were shockingly short. The documentary makes obvious the two systems of justice in this country: the one for the wealthy and white, and the one for everyone else. Felicity Huffman had to serve only 14 days for bribing her child into university. This was compared to a case of a black homeless mother, Tanya McDowell, who had to serve five years for using someone else’s address so her child could attend a better public school. It’s so angering to see how many wealthy parents decided to cheat the system that already has so many legal advantages for them, such as access to expensive test prep, private college counselors, and donations to top universities. 

  As a senior who is currently receiving decisions from universities, the documentary really reminded me how deeply unfair the American higher education system is. So many of us go through such lengths to try to get into a top college. We fill our schedules with the hardest AP classes, spend our free time on as many extracurriculars as possible, and study for countless hours to better our standardized test scores. It makes me mad that I wasted so much of my pre-Covid high school experience doing all these things so that some greedy and corrupt institution would deem me worthy of giving them over $200,000. It doesn’t have to be like this; while I was looking to be an international student, I was shocked to find out how different other developed nations handle university.

   In the United Kingdom, the most prestigious schools are public universities, meaning they can offer low tuition because the government subsidizes it. Unlike most US schools, UK universities don’t prioritize accepting international students over domestic students. 

  Additionally, the UK version of the common app only allows you to apply to just five schools. All of this allows students to have a quicker and more straightforward admission process, a much better chance at getting into top universities, and low or nonexistent student debt upon graduation. In the end, despite all of these benefits, I chose to apply to school in the US. I wasn’t ready for the huge jump that was involved with attending a school in a foreign country, and I am privileged enough to afford US universities. However, I would urge any juniors, sophomores, or freshmen that are disillusioned with the college application process, to look into international schools. 

The Golden Globes: 2021 Edition

By Elle Baker

March 16, 2021

The closures of movie theaters over the past year from the seemingly never ending COVID-19 pandemic has led to the creation of ‘home theaters’ – more or less our bedrooms – causing the difference between watching a movie or a tv show to become nonexistent. This was hilariously noted by bi-costal Golden Globes hosts Tina Fey in New York City and Amy Poehler in Los Angeles, where jokes were attempted to make up for the lack of the usual glam and vibrancy the infamous award show brings. 

     Because it was forced to be held virtually, there were bound to be glitches and awkward moments throughout the award show. Fortunately, being the comedians that they are , Tina and Amy kept the ‘show’ moving as well as they were able. The Golden Globes are normally associated with stunning red carpet attire, all of Hollywood’s most famous actors and actresses in attendance, and a phenomenal display of the year’s cinematic performances, it was nothing short of disappointment when watching this year’s attempt at the coveted award show. 

 Since many Americans treat the Golden Globes as a celebratory day, viewings are often through the roof. It is a stark contrast to the ratings of years past, as results came in at a whopping 6.9 million viewers in comparison to the 18.3 million views of last year’s ceremony. Even though most viewers were home anyway, they decided not to watch the 2021 show. This year, there seemed to be a lack of advertisement for the award show, which may have contributed to the drastic dip in viewers. As many people have gravitated towards streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, and Hulu instead of cable TV, which generally lack the regular ads and commercials that give  reminders of events such as the Golden Globes, it may be reason to believe that these events need to find a way to reach those without cable commercials. Another reason for the lack of viewership may be that there was not enough excitement from 2020’s cinematic releases to convince viewers to sit through the virtual version of the Golden Globes. This was a version so subpar to what is expected and, frankly, demanded of the ceremony to give in commemoration of the actors and actresses receiving a Golden Globe and the people who watched the movies and tv shows that essentially gave them those awards. 

     In retrospect, the winners of the coveted award were well deserving. “Nomadland” won the award for best drama film and “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” won best comedy film, both of which were not entirely well-known prior to the ceremony, given movie theaters were unable to advertise and show them. Andra Day won best actress in a drama for “The United States vs. Billie Holiday” and Chadwick Boseman posthumously received the award for best actor in a drama for what became his final movie role in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” Chloé Zhao, who directed “Nomadland,” became the second woman ever to win best director. Jane Fonda received the Cecil B. DeMille Award and Norman Lear became the third ever recipient of the Carol Burnett Award.

     Netflix led with a whopping 42 nominations. “Mank,” the streaming service’s movie about “Citizen Kane” screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz, received the most nominations of any film this year. Even with six nominations, it failed to win any awards. “The Crown” also received six nominations, the most for any television series this year. The historical drama took home awards for best drama, best actress, best actor and best supporting actress.

     In regards to the racial diversity of awards given, out of the 25 possible awards, only five winners were African American and two were of Asian descent. The diversity in the election panel was even less apparent with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association having no African American members. This issue was brought up, in a cynical manner, by the bicoastal hostesses, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. The two wove in a variety of jokes and poked fun at everything from indoor dining to the Netflix show “Emily in Paris” to whether this all could have been an email. The most notable was during their opening monologue when they said, “The HFPA is made up of around 90 international (no Black) journalists, who travel to movie junkets each year in search of a better life. We say around 90, because a couple of them might be ghosts.” They go on to joke about the award winning animated film “Soul” that it is, “ a beautiful Pixar animated movie where a middle-aged Black man’s soul accidentally gets knocked out of his body and into a cat,” says Fey. “The HFPA really responded to this movie, because they do have five cast members.” The two concluded their opening speech with a plea to the Hollywood Foreign Press to address their lack of diversity. “This is probably something we should have told you guys earlier; everybody is understandably upset at the HFPA and their choices,” Poehler says. “Look, a lot of flashy garbage got nominated, but that happens. That’s, like, their thing. But a number of Black actors and Black-lead projects were overlooked.”

    The one positive note in regards to racial inclusion was that instead of having the nominated celebrities with their cast and crew fill the round tables of the Beverly Hilton, mainly African American first responders were asked to attend in their place. Numerous news outlets and websites reported on the HFPA’s failure to meet the pressing need for racial inclusion that was thrown into the spotlight last summer and was carried throughout the award show by the co-hosts and production team via this once in a lifetime audience. 

  In the end of it all, the Oscars and Emmys have a huge expectation to meet in the wake of this disappointment of a Golden Globe award show. With the time left until their respective ceremony dates, the nation has our fingers crossed that there will be an improvement from Sunday’s display.