Monday, August 25, 2008

The Stars Came Out for Eddie Vedder

On Friday August 22nd, I got to see Liam Finn open up for Eddie Vedder.

Liam Finn, son of Neil Finn who was in the band Crowded House, put on a crazy show. Liam used his looping pedals to record himself on the drums, the microphone, the guitar, and whatever other instrument he could find on stage. His energy and ability to put together a whole band sound was incredibly impressive!

Then came Vedder. Before Eddie played, Chris Chellios arrived with the Stanley Cup. Next to Chris was John Cusack and next to Cusack was Sean Penn. The stars were out for Vedder!

Eddie's set was fantastic. He played his music. Pearl Jam music. He covered Bruce Springsteen, The Who, and even covered the B-52s. He ended the night by playing Hard Sun with Liam Finn, EJ, and Sean Penn on stage. It wrapped up a great tour.

I went backstage that night hoping to meet Eddie. As I walked back there, I ran into Cusack, Chellios, Liam Finn, Kerry Wood, Mark DeRose, Jason Marquis, and several other big names, but no Eddie. It turned out Eddie wanted to party at his Chicago hangout; Stanleys. Oh well!

Check out a few pictures!
-Front of playbill for show
-Insert of playbill
-Back of playbill
-VIP pass
-Show ticket

Kate Voegele Stops By The Office!

On Thursday August 21, MySpace Records artist Kate Voegele came into my office to do an acoustic performance and interview session. I had the chance to ask Kate about her University of Phoenix Back 2 School tour, her role as Mia on One Tree Hill, and her inspirations for writing the song Lift Me Up which was used in the 2008 Olympics.

Kate is an adorable 21 year old with an amazing voice! Her songwriting skills have earned her several accolades. She is truly a great artist. Check her out at!

A few pictures are above.
- Kate warming up
-Kate signing wall
-Kate signing my guitar
-Kate listening to my question
-Kate with Barry and me

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Dave Matthews Band Member Dies

I had the unfortunate task of breaking some sad DMB news to Dow.

For those of you who have not heard yet, LeRoi Moore, the saxophonist and founding member of the Dave Matthews Band, died yesterday afternoon of complications from an accident in June.

Moore, born in 1961, died unexpectedly at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles. Moore was in an accident involving an all terrain vehicle at his farm near Charlottesville, Virginia, and was living in his Los Angeles home to begin a physical rehabilitation program.

Dave Matthews paid tribute to Moore on August 19, 2008 at the Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA after the band's first song of the performance. "We all had some bad news today," Matthews told the sell-out crowd. "Our good friend LeRoi Moore passed on and gave his ghost up today and we will miss him forever."

Moore was temporarily replaced by Bela Fleck and The Flecktones saxophonist Jeff Coffin.

Moore's sound and writing skills ("Too Much" and "Stay") will be greatly missed!

"Celebrate we will, cause life is short and sweet for certain."

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sad news, but FUN news!

For those of you who I turned on to The Format, I have some sad news. Through years of touring, being cramped on their tour bus, and going through the motions of being a band, they have grown apart and called it quits.

However, when one door closes, another door opens!

Ladies and Gentleman, I give you...FUN!

FUN consists of Nate Ruess (The Format), Andrew Dost (Anathallo), and Jack Antonoff. They have already put together a pretty good first single called "Benson Hedges" and are expecting to release their debut album in February of 2009!

Check them out

I promise. They are fun!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Paramore Rocked The Congress!

Last night, I had the privilege to meet and see Paramore in Chicago at The Congress. After meandering my way through the crowd of trendy teenagers, passed security guards, up a flight of stairs, I was finally in the Paramore dressing room. Upon entry, all the band members jumped to their feet and extended their hands to greet the group! There was kind of an awkward silence as the other people in the room just stood their nervously, so I jumped in and asked a few questions.

Me: What do you guys like about Chicago?

Paramore: We had some pizza with the sauce on top of it. That was great. Oh, and there is that big bean...what do you call it?

Me: I think just the bean.

Paramore: Yeah. That's pretty cool. We would love to see that today!

Me: So do you guys get along and hang out with fellow Nashville bands?

Paramore: Totally! Nashville is becoming the hot spot for alt rock bands. Barely any country comes out of there these days it seems.

Me: So this is the last stop on the Riot tour. What is next?

Paramore: We are headed back home to work on the next album!

Me: Have you guys played crushcrushcrush in the game Rock Band?

Paramore: Yeah! We are actually going to be in the new Rock Band 2!

Me: Okay...I am going to be that guy now! Will you sign my CD?

Paramore: Totally!

After the interview, I got a quick photo with the band and then headed down to the show.

The show was packed with bands.

The night opened with Paper Route, a band with good energy and a sound similar to that of Motion City Soundtrack.

Then came Phantom Planet. If you every watched The OC, then you have heard their music. They are the ones who sing "California" the opening song to the hit show! They were fantastic playing songs from their new album and ending on their famous hit.

After them came Jack's Mannequin. Now I have been following Andrew McMahon and all of his projects from when he was with Something Corporate to his Tommy Lee work to his work with former Format leader Nate Reuss, so I was ready for his JM project! Per usual, he lit up his piano and rocked the show! Look out for their new album coming out in the next few months!

Then came the headliner...PARAMORE! We were quick to notice that this was not going to be any normal show. They had a full stage, with huge lights, and even lighting on the ceiling spelling out RIOT! Tonight was the night they were taping their DVD and they were going to bring it. Bring it they sure did! They rocked for an hour and a half playing their old hits and music off their Riot! CD; the CD that got them a Grammy nomination. Even though the lead singer is only 4 foot nothing, she sure packs a punch and does it while looking so cute! They were truly incredible. There was so much energy that I even threw my body up and down in the sea of 15 year olds! It was great.

After watching their performance, I truly feel they should have won Grammy for Best New Artist...not Amy Crackhouse!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Summer Olympics- My Inspiration

So like the other 70 million viewers in the world, I too am glued to my television set (can we even call it that anymore? they aren't really sets these days) watching the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Already we have seen some amazing competitions! The men's 400 freestyle relay was incredible. Jason Lezak swam the fastest leg in history putting the Americans at the top of the podium. The Chinese men demonstrated their freakish flexibility and strength as they won gold in the men's gymnastics. Oh and that Phelps kid is pretty good too! It has been great!

But what has impressed me most is just how ripped these athletes are. The word "olympian" refers to someone resembling, characteristic of, or suitable to the gods of Olympus. These athletes sure are that! Every single one of the athletes has the 8 pack abs of steel, the bulging biceps, and monstrous legs. They are fitness gods!

As I sit, usually on my butt, watching these phenoms, I can't help but get motivated to work out and try to achieve a mental image of me as a ripped warrior. Last night, while seeing the swimmers flaunt their perfect 10 bodies, I got off my ass and lifted my 25 pound dumbbells and crunched my abs away! It felt great!

Thank you Olympics! You are my new motivator. One day, maybe, just maybe, you will all see the image above on your television as the local field reporter does a piece on non-Olympians swimming in the neighbors pool! That would be golden to me!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

He's Leavin' On A J-E-T-S Plane...and we never want him back again!

It officially happend...Brett Favre has left the Packers for the Jets.

Later man. You should have learned from a former Jet who tried to go to another team after he was the best on one team. Yeah remember Joe Namath. Had a killer career with the Jets, then he went to the Rams for a final try at greatness and failed.

Brett you should have stayed a Packer. You could have retired for a full year and then came back, but instead you couldn't make your up mind and now your legacy as a Packer is tarnised.

I will end with one final thing...only true, loyal, and best football players deserve to wear GOLD on their jerseys!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Sun Times Fun Times

I was recently asked to write my thoughts and opinions on the Katy Perry smash hit "I Kissed A Girl" for an article in the Sun Times. They basically wanted to know our thoughts on why its a hit this summer.

I took a stab at it and low and behold, I was quoted in the article.

Check it out below!

Girls go wild for 'I Kissed a Girl'

MUSIC: 'I Kissed a Girl' sets tongues wagging as theme for a summer when mild girls are going a little bit wild

July 23, 2008

When the first drumbeats of the song play at late-night destination Deja Vu, girls scream, bounce, rush to the dance floor, sing along -- and yes, sometimes they kiss.

"But they do that anyway," says John Snyder, general manager of the Lincoln Park bar.

The No. 1 Billboard hit "I Kissed a Girl" by Katy Perry capitalizes on the casual kissing epidemic sweeping a generation, and it's become a staple of Chicago DJs. The chorus: I kissed a girl and I liked it/The taste of her cherry Chapstick/I kissed a girl just to try it/I hope my boyfriend don't mind it.

"It really gets the crowd going," says Snyder. "The 22- and 23-year-old girls all know it, and it's a big sing-along."

The guys like it, too. "Your typical male fantasizes about girls kissing, and this song plays into that fantasy," says Kevin Saghy, 23, a fan who lives in Lake View.

The G-rated girl-on-girl action seems to be less about sexuality and more about getting attention. "I think it goes along with the Facebook phenomenon of showing or saying too much to be a mild girl gone wild," says Rachel C. Weingarten, a pop culture and trends expert.

"In an age of tattoos and piercings gone mainstream, it's almost the next shocking non-shocker. Your friends might giggle, but your friends' parents might become a bit queasy."

Erik Bradley, music director of WBBM-FM (96.3), received only a complaint or two about the song. "It certainly seems to be the song of the summer," he says. "I think it's just a fluffy, light novelty pop song that has a slightly edgy lyric."

The title, though, is familiar. Indie singer Jill Sobule had a minor hit called "I Kissed a Girl" in 1995. The stories are the same: She was drinking; she kissed a girl; she felt a little guilty, but not enough to stop dancing.

"Even though the lyrics are very similar, the reactions were very different," says Michael Pallen, manager of media licensing for VerveLife, a digital media agency. "Jill's version caused controversy. Katy's version rose straight to the top of the charts."

Not everyone is impressed. Julianne Shepherd, editor of music magazine the Fader, doesn't consider it a classic.

"It is a novelty track in the oeuvre of Aqua's 'Barbie Girl.' Therefore it will never die, but it will live on over your gym's PA system and on really terrible radio," Shepherd says. "The song's appeal is that it is vaguely salacious, but still clean enough so people don't feel too much like heathens for listening to it. People in clubs like to dance to vaguely nasty songs that they don't have to think very much about, and this is it."

Clubgoers may not be thinking much about the song, but it hasn't entirely escaped the notice of concerned adults. Debra Gano is the author of the Heartlight Girls series, which teaches self-esteem.

"While in some cases the trend of heterosexual 'girl kissing' may be just simply attributed to youthful curiosity, it is primarily a symptom of low self-worth in young women," Gano says. "Generally it is a plea for attention and affirmation, to fill a void missing within.

"This generation has grown up highly stimulated by technology and the media, often looking to what's 'next' for a higher form of stimulation, and suddenly kissing 'just' a boy is not enough, so girls are taking it a step further. The question is, what's next?"

The beat goes on. "Ain't no big deal," Perry sings. "It's innocent."

Caught in the Men's Room

Recently we did a company photo shoot for our new website. We had to think of a creative way to display who we are. Since I am in the music department, I thought what better way to show my interest in music than be caught reading the Rolling Stone in the bathroom!

Check out some pics from the shoot!

Giving Up on My God

As hard as this is to say, I am giving up on my God.

For 16 years I have worshiped the man with the golden arm. I put up with his first few years in Green Bay when he threw the ball to the rafters of the Pontiac Superdome where no Packer would be. My heart dropped game after game as he scrambled left, then right, and then left again and then launched the pigskin 70 yards down the field to be miraculously caught by Robert Brooks. I cried like a little school girl when he gave me the best birthday present; a Superbowl victory. Those 16 years were the greatest gift any football fan could ever want.

But now I am giving up on my God. For the past few season, Brett Favre (for pronunciation please see Websters Southern Dictionary) has toyed with the idea of retirement. I remember stopping my New Years Eve party, gathered the party around the tube, and watched Brett tear up as if it was his last game. Not the case. A few weeks later, Brett declared he was not done and said he felt the best he ever did. So the Packers passed on Brady Quinn (star of the Fighting Irish) and embraced a long future with Favre. Then last season. Brett breaks records. He marches the Pack into the playoffs. He gets them one interception from the Superbowl. He plays the best football of his life. AND then he decides to retire. Packers this time lock Mr. Rogers (not that one) in as their starter, draft 2 more rookie qbs, and head into the new frontier-post Favre.

And now...he got an itch. He should have just scratched it, but instead this itch has turned into the biggest drama ever. Mom and Dad now hate each other. This is a messy divorce. Brett wants to play. The Pack doesnt want him to. Now Brett wants to cheat on his team with their bitchy neighbors (The Vikings or The Bears). It is messy.

So I am giving up on my God. Brett Favre, you have ruined your image in my eyes. I am at the point where I hope put on a Vikqueens jersey, open the season in Green Bay against the Pack, and KGB comes off the corner untouched, and plants you in the Frozen Tundra so hard that you will have to be retired FOREVER. We will scratch that itch for you.

So bye bye Mr. Favre. There is no room for you in Mr. Roger's neighborhood.