BRUSHFIRE / UNIVERSAL
Hawaii export Jack Johnson is up for two Grammy Awards.
Soundtrack to add more flack for Jack
Hawaii's own intrepid national star, Jack Johnson, is lying low in the days before the Grammys -- never mind that his national profile will get a bump this week with the inclusion of his music on the feature "Curious George."
"Curious George" hits theaters this Friday and features the voices of Will Ferrell, Drew Barrymore, Eugene Levy, Joan Plowright and Dick Van Dyke. Johnson's family-friendly songs are meant to represent the voice of the mischievous li'l simian.
But first come the Grammy Awards, with Johnson in attendance. He is nominated in two categories: Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for "Sitting, Waiting, Wishing" and Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for "Gone Going" with the Black Eyed Peas.
Until then, his publicist says, Johnson is enjoying some press-free time in Los Angeles.
Johnson will have tough competition in the male pop category, as he goes against Seal (for "Walk on By"), Rob Thomas ("Lonely No More"), Stevie Wonder ("From the Bottom of My Heart") and especially Paul McCartney ("Fine Line").
The same could be said for the pop collaboration, as one of the top singles of 2005, "Feel Good Inc." (Gorillaz featuring De La Soul), is in the same category. Other entrants are "Virginia Moon" (Foo Fighters featuring Norah Jones), "A Song for You" (Herbie Hancock featuring Christina Aguilera) and "A Time to Love" (Stevie Wonder featuring India.Arie).
One curious note about the Johnson-Black Eyed Peas song: In an interview in the December/January issue of Interview, the BEP's Fergie and Will.I.Am said that Johnson's vocal was originally recorded in '01 for an earlier version of "Gone Going" that was supposed to have been part of the Peas' previous album, "Elephunk." Instead, a new version of the song was included on "Monkey Business" with Johnson's vocal track.
In "Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George," Johnson is joined by his regular backing band of Adam Topol, Merlo Podlewski and Zack Gill, and duets as well with his good friends Ben Harper, G. Love and Matt Costa.
Besides his own songs (including the lead-off single "Upside Down"), Johnson does his own take on the "Schoolhouse Rock" song "Three Is a Magic Number." His version is called "3 R's," for reduce, reuse and recycle, in keeping with his environmental concerns. He also does a cover of the White Stripes' "We're Going to Be Friends."