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The 42.8 million viewers who tuned in to watch Barack Obama’s State of the Union address this week heard the U.S. President touch on some of the nation’s most pressing concerns. Principal among Obama’s topics was the need to keep America moving forward economically, as the nation has been since the recession of two years ago. An emphasis on education was the foremost way the President suggested that was possible, but Obama also had some interesting things to say about energy sources, subsidies, and tax cuts.

... in Environment

I still can’t get used to the fact that the number of Best Picture nominees has doubled, but it’s hard to quibble with any of this year’s Academy Award selections, which include the Coen brothers’ True Grit and Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan starring Natalie Portman. Of course, some of the year’s hottest movies were no-brainers to get nominated at the 83rd installment of the Oscars, namely The Social Network, Inception, and The King’s Speech. Do flicks like Winter's Bone, Toy Story 3, 127 Hours, or The Fighter have a shot at the big prize?

We’re all over the musical map at RosebudMag.com this week, moving from the soothing and melancholy sway of the Decemberists and onto the punishing power of The Warriors within days. After a steady output of releases in the mid-‘00s, it’s been four years since The Warriors’ Genuine Sense Of Outrage, their debut for Victory Records. Now the California crew are back with See How You Are, which finds the band in fine form, delivering full throttle ferocity on every track.

Portland’s multi-genre art-rock darlings, The Decemberists, have burst into 2011 with a new full-length, The King Is Dead. But unlike some of their more convoluted past outings, the new long-player gets down to songwriting basics. The album ends up sounding mostly like a great alt-country/folk-rock album with some incredible songs getting served up along the way.

It was one of the biggest nights in show biz as both the best in television and film were honoured at the 68th Golden Globes. But in spite of big name winners like The Social Network, Glee, and stars like Natalie Portman, Colin Firth, Al Pacino, and Steve Buscemi being honoured, it was the evening's host, British comedian Ricky Gervais, who stole the show and dominated headlines after the ceremony.

On his fourth studio full-length, Mission Bell, singer-songwriter Amos Lee comes through with an album of personal and passionate tunes. The record hints deftly at country, folk, and R&B influence without becoming incoherent in its fusion of genres. The work here is masterful, each movement crafted to articulate what is most essential in the song – Lee’s voice and lyrics. With contributions from some of the heaviest hitting alt-country artists past and present, including Lucinda Williams, Iron & Wine, Calexico, and Willie Nelson, it’s no wonder that this one comes off without a hitch.

In 2010, I found a ton of things to laugh at on TV thanks to old favorites and new shows alike. Some of those will be back in 2011, while others have wrapped up their run. Bored To Death, 30 Rock, The Onion, Peep Show, Community, Modern Family, and other shows on cable networks, big networks, foreign networks - we're in a golden age. Here’s my look at how 2011 will be different, for better and worse, when it comes to television comedy.

Heavy metal won’t die. There were more great metal releases in 2010 than almost any other year in recent memory, and bands like Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax, and Iron Maiden continued to be among the few in the rock world still able to pull off arena tours. In a music industry in a state of extreme flux, metal albums are still selling, in some cases charting higher than ever before. And the internet abounds with some of music’s most voracious fans. So without further ado, here are the 10 metal albums I enjoyed the most in 2010. I’ve drawn from a variety of genres (and even include a bonus discussion of the year’s best black metal at the end). Enjoy!

Joel and Ethan Coen have raised the bar sufficiently high, that whenever I step into the theatre to see their latest work, I expect to have my socks knocked off. I don’t know if that’s fair, but given that these are the filmmakers who delivered No Country For Old Men, The Big Lebowski, and Fargo, I’d say it’s understandable. So it was with some mixed feelings that I watched the credits roll at the end of True Grit, the latest movie from the Coens, starring Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, and Josh Brolin.

Like most people, I find myself in a reflective mood this final week of the year. As a lover of great music, it’s hard not to look back on the releases of 2010 and feel pretty damn satisfied. There was a raft of great new music from both old favorites and newcomers alike, and in almost any genre you can name. Gaslight Anthem, Cee Lo Green, Teenage Fanclub, Wu-Tang alumni, Janell Monae, Band of Horses, The National, Iron Maiden and Jamey Johnson are just a few of the artists who hit me hard this year. If it’s a sign of things to come for this second decade of the 21st century, then the future is bright. Without further ado, here are my highlights of what went down in 2010, from rap to country to punk to pop, in no particular order.

Like most people, I find myself in a reflective mood this final week of the year. As a lover of great music, it’s hard not to look back on the releases of 2010 and feel pretty damn satisfied. There was a raft of great new music from both old favorites and newcomers alike, and in almost any genre you can name. Gaslight Anthem, Glasser, Teenage Fanclub, Wu-Massacre, Against Me!, Janelle Monae, Band of Horses, The National, and Cee Lo Green are just a few of the artists who hit me hard this year. If it’s a sign of things to come for this second decade of the 21st century, then the future is bright. Without further ado, here are my highlights of what went down in 2010, from rap to country to punk to pop, in no particular order.

Like most people, I find myself in a reflective mood this final week of the year. As a lover of great music, it’s hard not to look back on the releases of 2010 and feel pretty damn satisfied. There was a raft of great new music from both old favorites and newcomers alike, and in almost any genre you can name. Gaslight Anthem, Glasser, Teenage Fanclub, Ghostface Killah, Against Me!, Janelle Monae, Band of Horses, The National, and Jamey Johnson are just a few of the artists who hit me hard this year. If it’s a sign of things to come for this second decade of the 21st century, then the future is bright. Without further ado, here are my highlights of what went down in 2010, from rap to country to punk to pop, in no particular order.

When the 53rd Grammy Awards are held in February, a handful of artists will receive lifetime achievement awards. Every singer, artist, or group being recognized has previously won a Grammy, except for one band – Ramones. The seminal punk band from Queens, New York, whose three founding members are all now deceased, will finally win a Grammy. Is this a case of better than late than never, or are Grammys irrelevant for a group like The Ramones?

The polar bear has been the poster child for the movement to cut greenhouse gas emissions for most of the 21st century. The ice in the arctic is disappearing because of global warming, and that presents a direct threat to the polar bear, the most popular and recognizable of the at-risk species in the area. A few years ago, studies from leading international universities suggested that the polar bear would be close to extinct by about 2050. Recent studies support that finding, but indicate that all hope is not yet lost.

... in Environment

Trent Reznor is the musician best known as the mastermind behind the best-selling industrial rock project Nine Inch Nails. His evolution as an artist over the past couple of decades has taken him from underground favorite to critical darling to commercial superstar. His latest work finds him composing film scores, which has led to a Golden Globe nomination for him and collaborator Atticus Ross for their work on the blockbuster Facebook movie – The Social Network. Could Reznor add another statue to go with his pair of Grammys?

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