5.  Modest Mouse — Even though they seem to
have sold their souls to the horror that is minivan commercials,
this band’s mix of lulling melodies and often calming vocals
interspersed with the lead singer’s randomly placed, piercing
lyrics remains one of the most unique sounds to join the mainstream
record industry in recent years.

4.  “Lost in Translation” — Bravo
to the Academy for recognizing one of the most visually astounding,
well-written and well-acted works of the year. Although “The
Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” will inevitably
steal its crowning glory, the nomination honors a level of
creativity that seemed to be overlooked in recent Oscar
history.

3.  Ben Folds Five — While Ben Folds heads to
Hill Auditorium, the music buzz on campus surrounds his wavering
solo career. Unfortunately, his floundering attempts to gain
popularity on his own tarnish the beauty that was Ben Folds Five.
Songs such as “Magic” and “Stephen’s Last
Night in Town” perfectly mesh upbeat tempos, fun lyrics and
poetic verse into one kick-ass musical package.

2.  Dave Chappelle — As a white girl from the
rural Midwest, I realize that I am the butt of many Dave Chappelle
jokes. Even still, I am in awe of any man who can create a video
like the R. Kelly spoof “I want to pee on you” and
convey humor rather than disgust. Dave, you’re my hero.

1.  “Monk” — I don’t think I
have ever seen a Tony Shalhoub performance I didn’t like. The
man is a genius portraying quirky characters. With the bevy of
crime dramas on television of late, “Monk” provides
viewers with a much-needed reprieve from the typical rape/murder
prototype that is “Law & Order.” Besides, any show
that can entice John Turturro to guest star has already won my
affection.

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