the female side, my pick is Kat Dennings. Her sultry presence stole scene after scene away from Michael Cera in "Nick & Nora's Infinite Playlist." Musically I'll go out on a limb and say Tulsa-based hard rock band Crooked X will make big noise when their debut album releases on EMI Records in January. They've already opened for KISS and Ted Nugent and appeared on CBS' "Early Show" -- and they're only 14 years old.”
Everything is so transitory, it's hard to tell -- I thought Evan Rachel Wood would be the next Nicole Kidman, but then Kristen Stewart became the next Evan Rachel Wood while Evan Rachel Wood was becoming the next Dita Von Teese. But enough of that. As female actors go, I think Kat Dennings from "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist" has a great future. And I think that after "Watchmen," Jeffrey Dean Morgan is going to be huge, and not in that "couldn't afford Robert Downey Jr" kind of way that he is now.
“He may have already "broken out," but I certainly enjoy the work of Michael Cera, and am looking forward to seeing him in "Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life," based on the graphic novel by Bryan Lee O'Malley and directed by Edgar Wright.”
3. Coldplay has come and gone. Is there still a dream concert you'd like to see at the Ford Center?
I think the only real answer is U2. If U2 plays the Ford in '09, then the arena has done everything it was designed to do.
“After sitting in awe of Page and Plant back in 1998 at the Cox Convention Center, all I want to see at the Ford Center is Led Zeppelin in concert. Is that too much to ask?”
“Neil Young, with Wilco and Son Volt opening. Of course, that'll never happen since former Uncle Tupelo partners Jeff Tweedy and Jay Farrar haven't spoken to one another in years. But you said "dream.’”
“It's too bad The Police didn't make it here on their reunion tour. As far as more current superstars, how about My Chemical Romance?”
4. My wife forced me to watch the CMAs, which made me wonder about your thoughts on award shows. Are any of the hundreds that are out there worth watching? If so, which ones?
“Anyone who read my live-blog on the CMA Awards, or any past awards shows, knows that I'm not big on the scripted banter, the cheesy video montages, the blustery acceptance speeches of awards shows. Awards shows do have their place, but there are too many of them these days.
“As far as music awards shows, the best ones are the ones with lots of performances, particularly those debuting new songs. That really seems to be the purpose of many of them, along with creating a place for fashion designers to show off their latest creations on almost frighteningly thin celebrities.”
“The Oscars and Golden Globes are the only award shows that hold interest for me, but only if one or more of my favorites are up for trophies. Music award shows leave me cold because they're more about sales than merit.”
“Oh, I think it entirely depends what you like. Many of them have a few great moments spread over a too-long running time. They're probably best to TiVo or DVR or whatever your preferred record-and-fast-forward strategy is.”
“How can you not love spending four and a half hours watching the interminable lionizing of other people's work -- it's scintillating! And no award show is complete without the "bring out yer dead" portion of the evening. I despise awards shows, but in this business they are a necessary evil. Eeeeevillll.”