Saturday, December 29, 2007
They weren't bothered by us being strangers at all, went right to climbing all over us. Andrew, the older one, was jabbering a mile a minute and running all over. They both have great smiles! Although Aidan only has 2 teeth that I can see. :-)
I can't wait until my neice, Maddie, gets here and I can see all of them playing together! Maddie is VERY short, and currently they are all 4 pounds apart... Maddie's 3, Andrew 2, Aidan 1 -- all November birthdays -- and Andrew outweighs Maddie. LOL
Good times! We are doing an Open House for them on Sunday. (Kind of like a baby shower, only the babies are already here, and they're not babies.) Thanks for the well wishes for safe travels!
Thursday, December 27, 2007
(Boy, that's a horrific example of grammar. Re-read the first 3 words of this post.)
However, I had to take the time to come and share THIS:
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
I got a call yesterday afternoon from Christian that Jennifer had went into the hospital around Noon, and they were doing everything they could to get the baby here on the 23rd. However - Santa had other plans!
Cebastian was born around 1am on December 24th, via C-section. After being in labor all day he just wasn't making his entrance, so they decided to do a c-section. Then they discovered the reason he wasn't coming out -- he was 9lbs, 1oz, 20 inches long. The doctor needed an extra hand just to get him out!
Christian says he's perfectly healthy, and absolutely beautiful, said he came out looking like he was "ready to run a marathon." He has a full head of hair.
Jen will be in the hospital until Wednesday, possibly Thursday. I'm going to go see them probably tomorrow, will bring back photos!
Thursday, December 20, 2007
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, and XM's country Christmas channel, "Music City Holiday" has a gift for you! Gather your family and join our celebrity storytellers at the top of each hour, beginning at 3pm Eastern on Christmas Eve, for a reading of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Start a new Christmas tradition with your family – and our special guests Bill Anderson, Trisha Yearwood, and Sugarland! All night long, Christmas Eve – on Music City Holiday - XM 105 / DirecTV channel 809 / AOLRadio.com
**Fans should note, readings begin within 2 minutes before or after the hour. Schedule runs 3pm ET (Noon Pacific) to 3am ET (Midnight Pacific)
ET / Artist
3pm – Sugarland
4pm – Trisha Yearwood
5pm – Bill Anderson
6pm – Sugarland
7pm – Trisha Yearwood
8pm – Bill Anderson
9pm – Sugarland
10pm – Trisha Yearwood
11pm – Bill Anderson
12am - Sugarland
1am – Trisha Yearwood
2am – Bill Anderson
3am – Sugarland
I have to tell you, the logs are all finished, and these sound amazing. All three readings are really something special. Each reading is followed up by that artist's song - with the exception of the 4pm ET, which goes directly into the Diamond Rio Artist Confidential.
If you have a favorite classic country artist Christmas song, let me know.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Tonight however, I got a little too close of an encounter to wildlife for my liking. I'm driving down the 2 lane back road, and I see something out of the corner of my eye, and something somewhere somehow tells me to slam on my brakes, which I did... and the car coming towards me in the other lane did... and in the 3 feet or so between us runs this big ass deer. Had I been 2 seconds later with the brakes, we'd have had venison for dinner. Not fun. Of course, the future zookeeper in the seat next to me thinks it's the coolest thing ever.
That wasn't our first deer encounter out here... but it definitely was the closest. A couple of mornings ago one ran across the road like that on the way to school, but it crossed 20 or so feet in front of us, which was beautiful. And safe.
Tomorrow is the last school day before Christmas vacation, which normally brings great joy. However, it's going to be a tragically sad day at our house... because it's the last day for Delaynie's best friend since kindergarten, who is changing schools over Christmas break. Ugh. I don't even know how to help her deal with this.
There's a headline at CMT.com that says Kenny Chesney is recovering from surgery. I saw him at Borders tonight and he looked fine to me. LOL. He was talking on the phone and trying real hard not to be noticed, but it didn't work. Not only did I know it was him, I'm pretty sure the college girl excitedly text messaging in the next aisle knew too.
My Christmas shopping is done (I think) but nothing is wrapped. I have several "homemade" gifts that I want to get finished, and some cooking I still need to do. I can't even believe that we're this close to Christmas. Wasn't it just a couple of weeks ago that I was packing to go to New Zealand?
Apparently it wasn't enough to release a TY Greatest Hits CD ahead of her Big Machine release, which, as we've discussed here, sold better than the BM release... At the first of the year they are putting out a Trisha Yearwood Love Songs compilation CD, but... apparently, it gets better.
I got into work ridiculously early today and went up and got the mail, which included the new Josh Turner single --
"Another Try" (Featuring Trisha Yearwood)
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
To take advantage of deep discounts on radios, in exchange for agreeing to sign up for a year of service, visit http://friends.xmradio.com and use my work email as the sponsor email address: joyce dot rizer at xmradio.com
There's a RoadyXT for $9.99 right now! Get 'em while they last.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Who, oddly enough, I don't think I've ever met in my 6 1/2 years at XM.
Trace of course was his usual outspoken funny self, which I expected. He did not disappoint. So... what did you think?
Sunday, December 16, 2007
If I play my cards right, I'm thinking that soon I'll be able to have her balancing the checkbook and doing our taxes.
Friday, December 14, 2007
At any rate, the show is a big deal, and suddenly, we're on a run of Country shows. The first week of October we had Marty Stuart. My regular readers know I got to help George Taylor Morris with research for the Faith Hill one that aired at the end of October. That was the first one I'd ever worked on, and it was very cool, he put my name in the credits and everything. Always good when the corporate bigwigs hear your name associated with something they hold in high regard.
Next week we air Trace Adkins, which was taped in New York City. One of the rock programming guys, Lou Brutus, hosted this one, which I think is going to make it really interesting. I did not get a chance to listen to this one in advance, so I'm going to have to tune in -- Monday all day long on XMX channel 2. It also airs twice on Highway 16... I think 3pm and 9pm, but don't quote me on that.
The following week we have Diamond Rio doing a Christmas version... and I got to work on this one too, writing the intro and a bunch of the questions. Jon Anthony hosted this one, he did this crazy marathon week the first week of November where we went out to see Garth on Monday, back to Nashville on Tuesday, CMA's on Wednesday, and he flew out Thursday to DC to host A/C and back to Nashville on Friday -- 4 days that week he was on a plane before 7am. It will air all day Christmas Eve on XMX as well as 8am and 4pm ET on Music City Holiday. I listened to this one in the studio today, it will definitely put you in the Christmas spirit!
New Year's Eve rocks out with Duran Duran, but the following week... January 7th, it's Trisha Yearwood. Bill Anderson hosted this episode, and any time we've talked to either Trisha or Bill since they've raved about the show. This will also air on Highway 16 in addition to XMX all day.
If you tune in to these shows and like them, let them know that you are glad they're shining the spotlight on the country stars! Programming at xmradio.com.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Big G Salsa is (usually) highly appreciated coast to coast... it's been at Garth functions, Christmas parties, family vacations and even my son's rehearsal dinner. However, in Kansas City, we found a way to make it better.
Peach Schnapps. I can't swear to it, but I think it was Sandi's idea. I'm going to blame her. And I gotta tell ya... it was pretty dang good. A shot of schnapps, a little salsa "juice"... just the thing to warm you up before heading out in the cold. Not much of a buzz, but definitely a kick!
The funny thing about y'all telling me that I needed something spicy to make me feel better is that I actually got just that today. Kyle Cantrell took pity on my pitiful self when he went out for lunch and surprised me with some sort of mexican chicken concoction in a bowl, from Qdoba.
It had a kick all right! It's still kickin' me, LOL. And now, in addition to a red raw burning throat... I have a burning esophogas too! I think tomorrow I'll just try some TheraFlu. Worst tasting stuff on the planet, but it usually works.
Regardless of what time I go to bed, I have to leave my house by 7:15am to take my daughter to school. And I have discovered, that this is a beautiful thing. Even if I stop for a cup of coffee, I'm at the studio by 8:20, which gives me 45 minutes to an hour of solitude before anyone else comes in if I'm on the Row... and about 2 1/2 hours if I'm at the HOF. It's my most productive time of the day.
But my productivity this morning started long before I got to the studio. Laynie's school is 2 minutes from a WalMart. And Walmart, at 7:30 in the morning, is the best WalMart ever is.
So this morning after taking her to school, I went to WM and bought the new Harry Potter movie for Christmas gifts. (And vitimin C stuff.) Then I went to the Post Office and mailed a bunch of packages. There was no one else there, I zipped through the Automated Postal Center, and walked out and thought to myself... "No lines, front door parking -- I love this time of day."
What. The. Hell?
Did I just say I LOVED this time of day? I'm so NOT an early Rizer. I'm married to one. But I'm not one. I'm the night owl. I hate mornings. I do.
And I'm not sick either.
One down side to being wellness challenged is that I skipped a Media Appreciation breakfast... I figured breathing germs over every media person in town wasn't what they had in mind for spreading holiday cheer.
So I missed free food at one of the best restaurants in town.
Ok. Maybe I am sick.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Sunday, December 09, 2007
"Workin' For A Livin'" video goes into GAC's "Turbo Track Rotation" (I assume that's the equivalent of a CMT Hot Shot?) on 12/17, which is also its' impact date. However, if you have XM, your radio station is already playing it.
My nephews are doing GREAT -- thanks for all the nice notes. They've settled right into their new home, sleep through the night, love their kitty, and my neice Maddie is very proud of her new cousins. Delaynie is very anxious to meet them. Me too!
Friday, December 07, 2007
- Van Zant
My family got the most amazing Christmas blessing today, seemingly out of the blue. But I truly believe this was the Master plan all along. A whole lot of things that made us angry and sad and frustrated along the way... suddenly make sense. And I do mean "suddenly!"
Today is my parent's 39th wedding anniversary. And this afternoon, they doubled their grandchildren. Two little boys, aged 2 and 1 joined our family today -- my new nephews!
I can't WAIT to meet them. Merry Christmas to us!
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Eagles #1 Country / #2 Pop - 312,875 (I just truly can't believe how well this is selling, it's Double Platinum and growing)
Garth #2 Country / #5 Pop - 112,492 -- 859,973 total sold
Carrie #3 Country / #9 Pop - 89,313 -- 1,162,350 total sold
Trisha -- 10, 617 / 59,407 total sold
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
There were two other things I wanted to talk about after the show. One of which was the crowd singing along. Keith seemed to be tickled by them singing back to him. He'd say things like "You sound good Nashville."
To be honest, I could hardly hear them. He needs to go to a Garth show and hear a crowd sing. I mean really.... to compare the two, there was no comparison.
Second thing was ticket prices. Now, I just spent $50 on Garth tickets and got two shows. $25 a show got me 2 multi-platinum artists, about 2 1/2 hours of music, and a ridiculously long set change.
Keith's ticket, which I thankfully did not have to pay for, but was in a similar, lower bowl seat to what I had Opening Night in KC, was $60. Again two acts, one set change, not nearly as long. Gary played a little longer than Trisha, and Keith gave us quite possibly the longest concert I've ever been to with one artist. He had invested in his staging, including the big video screen, which meant less people in the arena (no rear view seats) but those of us who were there could see much better. Two of the 3 nights I was in KC I couldn't see the jumbotron up in the rafters. He also brought out a surprise guest, in the form of Martina McBride.
Did the staging make it a better show? I don't think staging ever does that on it's own. You have to have the music, and the musicianship, and the stage presence. Keith definitely had all of that Did I get a show worth $60? Absolutely. Could I afford to do that on a regular basis? Absolutely not.
A couple of months ago I was at Kenny Chesney at Madison Square Garden. If memory serves, tickets were $70 there. I didn't get to see the full show, but there were 2 opening acts (Pat Green, and Sugarland.) Kenny had the mega monitor wall and a massive stage. Again with a great band, awesome set list, and thanks to all the cameras, an upclose view of everything going on on stage. Suprise guests in the form of MLB players. Was that a show worth $70? Yeah, it probably was. Could he sell out 9 nights in a row at those prices? I doubt it.
So my point is really that as spoiled as we are by Garth's ridiculously cheap ticket prices, it's definitely not the industry standard. And as long as people are willing to pay the prices and feel like they got their money's worth, that's the way it's going to be.
As one more comparison, we made the annual Borchetta-Rizer girls night out to see the Radio City Rockettes Holiday Show last weekend. Those tickets were $65, for a 90 minute show. The staging was beautiful, the show was full of hits, and it's hard to top Santa as a special guest. Was it worth $65? I'm sure all the girls would say yes. In fact, it was worth it for us to see their little faces light up.
The problem that I see is that people only have so many entertainment dollars to go around. Not the superfans, who will go wherever and pay whatever for their favorite artist. But for the average consumer, who can't afford to take their pre-teenage daughter to Hannah Montana, go on a date to see Keith Urban with their husband, and take the whole family to see the Rockettes all within the same month, let alone have their hubby go with the guys to catch the Titans or Predators in action.
So what do they do? They stay home.
Sunday, December 02, 2007
We were there as guests of Capitol records, who had a very nice VIP guest room down in the lower level of the arena. Beer, wine, lots of munchies. Since I'd worked right up until show time, Capitol provided me a very nice dinner of pinwheels, chips and salsa and diet coke. (It was peach salsa, which reminds me... someone still owes me pictures!) However, from there, you couldn't see the show. Good marks on food, bad marks on the view.
We made it into our seats just before show time, and from our seats, we were practically backstage, lol. But we were nice and close to Gary Allan, and fortunately Amy shares my umm... fondness... for looking at him.
The last time I saw Gary was at a PACKED club in Nashville during Country Radio Seminar. It was an awesome show, completely rockin'. It's hard being an opening act, I think. You can't crank the sound up as loud, you have a limited set. I think Gary's one of those acts who's better in the small club setting. But I could be way wrong. I'd like to hear from people who have seen him other places to find out what they thought of the show.
Our next stop in Suite Hopping adventure was in the UMG Suite - home to Gary's record label. If I told you how we got in there, I'd probably have to shoot you. Munchies there was popcorn and pretzels, and the view was EXACTLY across the arena from where our seats were, which was pretty funny. Average marks on food and view.
From there we headed to the SonyBMG suite, which was also amusing, because they didn't have an artist on this show. But Amy is well connected there. The view rocked from there, and our own personal garcon (told ya she was well connected!) made a run to the concession stand and delivered Diet Pepsi's. (Such wild partying Mamas we are.. a night out without the kids, and we're drinkin' soda.) We parked it here for Kieth's full show. Sara Johns was there, and I had a nice conversation with her about opening up the George Strait tour. I hadn't realized it, but the tour opens in Austin, TX. Talk about sink or swim -- opening for King George in Texas, wow! She also said she gets lots of comments about her episode of Driver's Ed. We laughed about the thing she had to redo in order to keep it a family friendly show. ;-)
I think I've seen more Keith Urban shows than I've seen any other artist perform full shows. Going back to the world's longest road trip when I was working at CountryCool.com in 2000, when we took a bus load of winners to Florida. This was in the height of Keith's addiction problems, and let's just say, it was not a pleasant trip. Took me a long time to forgive him for that. I'm pretty sure he doesn't remember any of it.
The last time I saw Keith was also during CRS, at a club, and it was an awesome show, I believe I blogged about it. But Friday night quite possibly topped that. I'm sure there are plenty of reviews online, but I have to tell you, as good as the show itself was, the encore, which went on forever, was my favorite part.
Of course, having just seen Garth, and Kenny not long before that, I couldn't help comparing and contrasting a little. The big bonus Keith had was the big video screen -- not as big as Kenny's but definitely something that Garth was lacking. He had all kinds of energy, some unexpected moments (including pulling a girl onstage, and a VERY cool run into the lower bowl to play a song) and an encore where he just winged it. I'd put it up there in my Top 5 concerts ever.
I think the big difference between Keith's show and Kenny's when it comes to what makes an Entertainer of the Year is just the sheer number of people Kenny plays for. But I gotta tell you, I'd much rather see any of them in a small arena like that than an NFL stadium.
Following the show Capitol hosted a post-party. The food here was to die for. Amy and I completely resisted the (very strong) urges to just park ourselves by the dessert bar. I did have some awesome grilled pizza and hot chocolate. Yummy!
There's no way to graciously name drop the people who were at the post-show party, but I always think it's interesting when folks come out to check out other artist's shows. So I'm just gonna drop names. Martina and John McBride were there (Martina came out during the encore) with their 2 oldest daughters. Delaney is only a couple of inches shorter than her mom. I totally live in that world too. ;-) Jeff Hannah (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) and Matraca Berg were there, as was Jon Randall and his new bride, Jessie Alexander. Saw Lorianne Crook and we commiserated over our ears ringing. LOL. Lots of media types, including CMT.com, who didn't have a review up last time I checked, but probably will soon.
And of course, the world famous Amy Paige was there, who I'm hoping to butter up enough that she's gonna give me her blessing to share the adorably cute photo I took of her and Keith together.
It was after 1am by the time we left the party, and that wild woman was headed to the Wildhorse to check out the other Keith in town that night. I was headed home to bed. Although in retrospect, I'm not sure I made the right decision. I've been told I could sleep in December, and we were only an hour into December at that point.
Press Release #1:
Foxboro, MA: It's getting to be a tradition: not Kenny Chesney playing to the euphoric sold-out crowds in the Patriots' Stadium, more the way his annual Foxboro, Massachusetts sells out in record time. This year, it took a mere 15 minutes for the triple and current Country Music Association and three consecutive and reining Academy of Country Music Entertainer of the Year to sell out his July 26th Poets & Pirates concert at Boston's home of NFL football.
“You know it's just surreal, but WHAT a WAY to START out our year and our tour,” marvels the man from Luttrell, Tennessee who moved to Nashville in a beat-up pick-up truck with a dream, a few songs and a lot of determination. “I was home for Thanksgiving, thinking about how far we've come and the people who've been a part of it, like the fans that have come out and rocked with us in Boston for years. Boston, Massachusetts? A kid from outside Knoxville like me? It's kinda crazy.
“But it's amazing how people everywhere like to get together, have a party, forget about what's bothering them,” Chesney continues. “I try to make these shows be the kinda thing people can build a summer around - all the memories, the friends, the good times. Boston, when you guys buy all these tickets so fast, you make me feel like we're connecting just the way we hope we can.”
Joining Chesney for this year's show - brought to you by Corona Beer -- is a line-up that is as diverse as the man himself. CMA Entertainer of the Year and multi-platinum superstar Keith Urban anchors the line-up, which also contains blistering rocker Sammy Hagar, Grammy-winning tour mate LeAnn Rimes and eternally hip West Coaster Gary Allen.
“It's gonna be a big day of all kinds of music,” enthuses the man who wrote his 3 week #1 “Beer In Mexico” at Hagar's pool in Cabo San Lucas Mexico. “I am a fan of every one of these acts - and they each bring something a bit different to the mix. Whether it's Sammy's hardcore rocking or Gary Allen's West Coast cool, LeAnn Rime's freshness and just everything about what my good friend Keith Urban does, this will be a day where you're gonna be engaged from the moment you get there.”
Chesney's not kidding. Indeed, his parking lots have long been the location of some very serious tail-gating - especially at his stadium shows. Fans arrive with their own palm trees, hammocks, grass skirts, ice chests, blenders, beach chairs and mirror the headliners own chilled out lifestyle to get “in the vibe” for the show.
“There isn't a kind of show I don't like playing,” Chesney admits. “But there's something about the stadium shows, an intensity to them, and last year, an odd kind of intimacy. There is no rush like it - and the fans, especially ones at far back, they are so in the music, we can feel them from the stage. Right now, I gotta tell you: I'm starting to get psyched about getting back to rehearsals and getting out there.”
With over almost 7.5 million fans played to over the past 6 years, Chesney knows how to connect. With varying line-ups for this summer's stadium shows, as well as his l arena and amphitheatre dates with special guest LeAnn Rimes, it's already starting to feel a whole lot more like summer.
Still awake? Here's Press Release #2:
*Garth Brooks, the number 1 selling solo artist in U.S. history, continues to rewrite the record books selling out 5 concerts at STAPLES Center in 59 minutes – the first time any performer sold out that many shows in the Los Angeles arena in one day. Organizers, Brooks and AEG had announced that the concerts would raise money for the recent fire victims and for the future of fire fighting in the state of California. “It’s a beautiful thing when everyone pulls together,” Brooks said. “California just raised a ton of money for their own. I’m so proud to be part of this.” As part of his unprecedented appearance, the legendary performer will play five full concerts in two days – a feat believed to have never before been attempted by any artist – when he appears on Friday, January 25, 2008 at 6:00 PM and 10:00 PM and then on Saturday, January 26 at 1:00, 5:00 and 9:00 PM, the first-ever triple header in a U.S. arena. All proceeds from the five concerts sponsored by American Express and official media sponsor the Los Angeles Times will be donated to the “Southern California 2008 Fire Relief Campaign,” a campaign of the McCormick Tribune Foundation. With over 85,000 tickets sold in less than one hour, Brooks becomes the only artist in STAPLES Center history to sell-out five concerts in one day, the only artist to play five concerts in two days and is believed to be the only performer to appear in three full concerts in one day and five full concerts in two days at any U.S. venue.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Now she's done dozens of field trips by this point in her 5th grade existance. I've gone on probably around half of them. But I'm not on this one. And it's freaking me out a little.
Today, she's in Chattanooga. Which, if you're not fluent in Tennessee geography, is at the other end of the state.
She's about 3 hours away. Undoubtably having the time of her life. With no parent in sight.
Parents were welcome to follow the (charter) busses. Gary took the day off work so we could go. However, his wife couldn't get the day off. So I'm at work, he's at the movies, and our daughter is on top of Lookout Mountain.
I'm consoling myself by spending a couple of hours staring at Gary Allan and Keith Urban tonight. Amy Paige is going with me... no telling what kind of trouble we may get into...
Thursday, November 29, 2007
And apparently, Garth is a nominee. Go here to vote, but please, don't ask me where they got that photo of him. I didn't know this was happening. Obviously.
Speaking of his Garthness, I completely forgot to remind y'all that his episode of ShortCuts re-aired Thanksgiving weekend. However, I'm redeeming myself by telling you that Saturday is Garth Day on XMX - channel 2. Nothing but the 3 episodes of "The Ultimate Hits Relived" over and over again.
It's a slight tweak on the 3 separate shows that originally played. For instance, we don't do the credits 3 times. LOL. And I took out the segment about Leno being his good luck charm and how they rearranged the taping for him.
I also cut 3 segments to air at the conclusion of the series going into the next airing where I ramble about his Garthness a little. Producer J. rambling about Garth. That's gotta be compelling radio, LOL. They're short, but it was kind of fun. It was scripted rambling. ;-)
Another press release came out today about the LA Benefit Concert. Staples Center is donating the building, they've got corporate sponsorship, and 100% of the ticket prices (of the tickets themselves, Ticketmaster is apparently keeping their share) are going to the cause. Very Garth like.
I'm spending my evening tomorrow with a couple of country music's hottest men. Details soon.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Country Soundscan has Garth #1 (191,648 - puts him #4 on the Top 200), Eagles #2, Carrie Underwood #3, Keith Urban's Greatest Hits (first week out) at #4.
Trisha is #17 Country, with 15, 645 sold this week.
Larry the Cable Guy is selling better than she is.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
I remember having a conversation with someone at Big Machine during GRS when they announced Garth's street date. "He's sneaking in and putting his album out the week BEFORE hers?" I asked. "What does that do to marital harmony if he's still #1 the week hers comes out and she comes in second?" I was really only half joking, but thinking how cool it would be to have Mr. and Mrs. Brooks at the top of the chart.
After all, Jasper County debuted #1. 117,000 copies sold the first week. With the power of the Big Machine behind it, no reason to think the new album wouldn't do those kind of numbers.
I've never been a die hard Trisha fan. Never been a die hard fan of any female, really. There are songs of hers that I just love. "The Song Remembers When" is probably one of my Top 10 Favorite Country Songs EVER. I think she's got an amazing voice. She rocks as a person. But I don't think I've ever went out and bought an album.
However, this new album, Heaven, Heartache & The Power of Love, is freakin' AWESOME. Really great material. She's been all over the place promoting it... TV... Radio.... online. She crossed the picket lines to co-host on The View. Promote, promote, promote!
So when last week's sales numbers came out, I was befuddled. Stunned, really. Mr. Brooks was #1 all right. But Mrs. Brooks... #10? And barely that, just 350 copies ahead of Josh Turner. What. The. Hell.
ll the radio specials she did on the CD... those kind of sales on that kind of exposure makes you think people didn't like it. Kind of the way you can look at the Post-CMA sales numbers and correlate bad performances with sales drops and good performances with sales increases. How could people NOT like this album? Are my tastes that wacked?
I've seen some wrong sales totals posted, by the way. (Although not quite as bad as the people who tried to say they had GB album sales numbers a day early that were TOTALLY offbase.) Official Soundscan tally for the week was 33,113. That's 16k behind album #9 - the Alison Krauss / Robert Plant project that's getting no airplay or promotion, in it's 4th week on the chart.
Just for a little mind blowing comparison... Trisha's Greatest Hits Cd, which MCA released earlier this year that wasn't promoted at ALL... sold 22k the first week. It's over 62k scanned to date, without any effort.
I haven't blogged about this sooner because I keep expecting that any minute we'd get a press release and find out that like... Walmart forgot to report their numbers. Best Buy credited Trisha's numbers to Garth. Semis worth of albums were stuck in the Rockies and didn't make it to store shelves. SOMETHING.
But yet. Nothing.
Another thing that baffles me is how a certain website can bombard people with a zillion emails about buying the album in the days leading up to the release, and then prohibit the members from posting anything about how many albums were actually sold. So if the numbers shock you, by all means you are welcome to post here.
And while I'm being baffled and befuddled (I really need to rename this post) let's talk Greatest Hits projects, shall we? There's a plethora of them all of a sudden.
Sara Evans... Keith Urban... Faith... Garth... Trisha... and oh yeah. King George.
Now I know he's the King. But all of ya'll who give Garth a rash and a crap about releasing another GH project 13 years after his last one... let's look at this new CD 22 More Hits. Shall we?
Something about the title 22 "More" Hits lead me to think it was hits that had come along since his last Greatest Hits project, which was that 50 #1's a couple years back. Wasn't sure how he'd had 22 of them in that time span, but sometimes people get creative. He's had some duets and things from other albums. Then... I saw the track listing.
"Amarillo By Morning" -- didn't that come out in 1983? Drinkin' Champagne? And how does his 22 song CD compare in price to a 34 song 2 cd and 33 track DVD for $11.88? At Walmart, you get George's 12 less songs and 34 less videos for $2 less than Garth. Really... Garth fans need to quit yer whinin'. Think of how the Strait fans feel. Poor guys can't even get new album art.
And yet... 80, 186 copies of 22 More Hits were scanned the first week.
One more late night rambling... I don't know when the next Garth single is officially going to be released, but Highway 16 is going to start playing it in the next couple of days. I haven't heard that it's been announced anywhere, so feel free to make a prediction on which one you think it will be. (Unless you roomed with me in Kansas City, in which case you are disqualified.) It's gone largely unnoticed, but MTAM has been #1 on the Music Row chart (smaller, secondary markets) for the past FIVE weeks.
Meanwhile, "Heaven, Heartache & The Power of Love" is the #1 song on Highway 16 this week.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
And then, there was John Wilson.
John was one of the good guys. He looked a little like Santa Claus, and was just as jolly. He was a sports photographer, and he was well loved throughout the competitive world of media people across middle TN. He always had time for a kind word and a smile - even years later when we were no longer co-workers.
John was killed last weekend in a house fire while he was sleeping. As a testament to his character, I learned about it by watching a competing news station to the one we worked at together, who gave a very nice tribute to his life.
John was 65 years old, and he lived a full life doing what he loved. May we all be so lucky. And be remembered so well.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
An Electrifying Performance From The Most Explosive Force In American Music History!
Garth Brooks announced today a concert to raise money for the victims of the recent California fires and for the future of fire fighting in the State of CA. The concert will take place on Saturday, January 26, 2008 at Los Angeles’ Staples Center. All ticketing information and show time will be released MONDAY, NOVEMBER 26th, 12 NOON PT.
According to Brooks’ spokesperson, California elected officials have come to Garth to ask his help in raising money for those affected by the recent fires.
“I’m flattered they’ve asked and I’m honored to accept. This is going to take a team effort like nothing I have ever been a part of before,” said Garth Brooks.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Now I know a bunch of you have known her longer than I have, from her days as a superstar DJ in the Big Apple. And I know a bunch more of you enjoy her on Highway 16 every day.
But let me just tell ya... as a person... she ROCKS. She is the kind of person who always has a sunny outlook and can find the silver lining in every cloud she listens to me whine about. I want to be her when I grow up. Without the NY accent.
I can't begin to tell you the trouble I've had with this Christmas channel (which, as I look at the clock, I realize, went on the air 7 minutes ago. Here comes more hate mail.) Most of my headaces originate with the scheduling software, which is doing something that completely baffled me. The guy who's supposed to help me up in D.C. completely ignored my pleas for help. Kyle Cantrell spent some time with me on Friday trying to help me out, and it baffled him too. Although he did show me a trick I didn't know about, which at least speeds up the process of fixing everything that goes wrong in the course of scheduling a day. The last 3 hours I've spent working on it would have taken me 4 1/2 - 5 easily before.
Those problems aside, however, I was not feeling good about the imaging pieces I was getting back for the channel. When I turned it in I asked for a warm, fuzzy, "drinking hot chocolate in front of the fireplace" feel.
What I got, was more like a "drinking-beer-out-in-the-barn" feel. In your overalls. For some reason, I have a real problem getting female voices that I like in my production pieces. Trinity, from our Jazz neighborhood, is awesome. But I use her on EVERYTHING.
So bless her heart, Amy Paige to the rescue. She cut voice overs for me... at home, on her own time. They were warm. Fuzzy. Inviting. Not just hot chocolate. Hot chocolate with a shot of brandy in it to go down extra smooth. Drank in front of a crackling fire, wrapped up in a blanket. Everything a Christmas channel is supposed to sound like.
Of course, as I say that, "Grandma Got Runover By A Reindeer" came on the channel. I've thrown "warm and fuzzy" out the window in the first 15 minutes of the channel's existance.
I started building the production myself, and am excited to tackle some more of it tomorrow. The 8 or so pieces I got done Friday already sound light years better than the redneck mumbo jumbo that I thankfully, am not going to have to put on the air.
So as I count my blessings this Thansgiving I'm thankful for co-workers that help you out even when they don't have to, and beautiful people with beautiful voices.
Three Cheers for Amy!
Friday, November 16, 2007
First of all, you could have asked.
Second of all, it's stupid to post a photo of merchandise you don't have, especially when you supposedly do have a couple of sweatshirts to sell. Post a decent picture of them for God's sake, that blurry thing you have up there is ridiculous.
And finally, think about your audience. The people who are gonna bid on a Garth shirt are the same people that came here day after day during this run for Garth scoop. The ones who were here after my trip to KC when I shared the picture and said don't swipe it.
You should have known one of my readers would bust you. And they did. And I bet none of them are gonna bid on your blurry sweatshirt now.
Really, I'd think if you were gonna swipe a cool photo, you'd steal the one of my Garth hug. But if you have a good explanation for your cute little story about waiting in line 45 minutes to get my merchandise (which, for the record, I didn't wait in line at all for, it was a gift) I'm listening. 'Cuz I'd think if you really had all that stuff, you'd take your own picture. On your own couch. ;-)
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Monday we launched "Music City Holiday" online in place of U.S. Country. Right now I'm scheduling both channels, but Monday, US Country goes away on radios too. Music City Holiday is all Country Christmas music... from now until the day after Christmas. I've already listened to more Christmas music than a human should in the month of November.
Let me tell ya... you don't know what you have until it's gone. We're being flooded with emails about how I'm ruining people's work day because they can no longer listen to US Country online. I have a cute little response I send back about Santa and his elves and Christmas Spirit. So far I've gotten 3 "Bah Humbug!" responses to that little bit of holiday cheer.
At the suggestion of Kyle Cantrell, the last song to play on US Country is George Strait "This is Where the Cowboy Rides Away." Haven't picked a first song for Music City Holiday yet... last year it was Faith Hill "Where Are You Christmas."
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
1. Jaz-Z / American Gangster 424,959
2. Eagles / Long Road Out of Eden 359,261
3. Garth Brooks / The Ultimate Hits 351,793
So Garth was #2 Country. The great irony here is that when The Lost Sessions came out, Walmart wouldn't release the actual numbers to Soundscan. They provided the numbers for the Eagles, and for the first time since -- forever? -- Garth didn't debut #1 Country.
I thought it was wierd that he didn't promote the CD during his concert... no pre-show commercials, or even album covers on the jumbotron. I never heard him mention it on stage any of the shows I saw. I talked to so many people just while waiting in lines, that had no idea he had a new album.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
However... my three different shows turned out to be three very different experiences. And I'm curious to hear from all of you how your multi-show experiences was -- and which show was a favorite.
Opening night was special, obviously. The excitement and anticipation of everyone not knowing just what the guy was going to do couldn't be duplicated. This was also the night I had the best seats - in section 107. I like to be several rows up on the lower bowl so I can see what's going on. For instance... my friends on the floor that night had no idea there was a big "g" on stage until they saw my photo of it. From my seat I also felt the impact of the arena singing, because everyone was aiming down at the stage. It probably wasn't the loudest crowd of the week, but to my ears it sounded like it was. I'm sure the fact that I was still riding high from my pre-show Garth hug didn't hurt. But actually, Monday was my second favorite show.
Saturday night I was up in the rafters, section 206 -- back corner of the arena. Whew -- the rows of seats were as steep as the escalator I had to take to get up. From up there, it was an even different view of the stage. This night I was surprised to learn that there was a "g" on the piano too. I hadn't seen the jumbotron from my lower bowl seat on Monday, so Saturday night I learned that the video of Chris LeDeux played during "Good Ride Cowboy." Garth had definitely loosened up a LOT from when I saw him Monday. It was a completely different feel to the performance -- he seemed to be having a lot more fun. Up in the rafters I didn't really "feel" the show itself though - most notably the sing-a-longs weren't nearly as impressive to my ears in the nosebleeds. Loved that he came out in a Chiefs jersey. Loved that I got to share the night with my son and DIL. But I was really glad that this wasn't my only Garth show.
Sunday night was far and away my favorite. (Which is cool, because I had no idea about the dated posters at the prior shows and was kicking myself for not getting one from Opening Night. But I wound up with one (thank you roomie!) from my favorite show.) Prior to the show, I was invited to go out and upgrade people to the front two rows - including an adorable couple in the section I'd sat in the night before. That was a trip. Lots of screams, a few hugs, and plenty of Garthbumps. My seats were near the top of 122 -- dead center at the other end of the arena from the stage. There was some dangling cable of some sort I had to look through all night, and my view of the jumbotron -- which would have helped immensely with the distance -- was completely obstructed by the spotlight platform. But from straight on you really felt the impact of all the stage lighting that I hadn't gotten on either of the other 2 nights. And the setlist... especially the encore... it was amazing. This was also the only night I saw Trisha come back out, and I really enjoyed seeing them interact together, even though I'd read about that whole routine about her t-shirts not having "Brooks" on them on the internet from a previous show. Even though Garth's voice was weaker Saturday and Sunday, he seemed to be getting so much joy from just being able to play for us. It was a great way to end my run.
Loved staying at the Hilton... it really made you feel like you were in the center of the Garth universe, when you walked in and saw cowboy hats and Garth gear everywhere... radio and tv stations doing interviews or broadcasting... and running into old friends in the hallway. More on my nutty roommates and our new use for salsa in another post... I'm awaiting photographic evidence of the stories I may or may not tell...
I'm also really grateful to everyone who took a few minutes to find me at the other end of a text message, holler at me across the concorse, or meet up with me somewhere, even if only for a couple of minutes. It was a good reminder of what a small world it really is. It was hard to miss the NY gals in those awesome "Walkers & Wheelchairs Tour 2015" shirts, those were freakin' awesome! Please please please someone send me a picture! Friends from the UK were literally staying across the hall from me, I met Rachel from Oz and Jona from Norway for the first time, and bless my kiwi friend Debbie's heart, the woman carried four bags of castor sugar across both the equator and the international date line for me! Friends in low places indeed!
So... my conclusion is that I still don't think I'd be good at seeing most artists over and over again... but for this event -- 3 nights was a perfect balance of everything. One night less and I'd have been disappointed. One night more and my husband would have divorced me. ;-)
Now your turn -- how many nights did you see, which was your favorite, and why?
Monday, November 12, 2007
It happened Sunday afternoon.
Saturday was good... flew in to KC with a plane about half full of people going to the show. Great flight crew... even announced when we were making our decent into "Garth Country."
Nice dinner with my son and daughter-in-law out in Overland Park, at the KC Masterpiece restaurant. (For you non-Americans, KC Masterpiece is a brand of BBQ sauce they sell in the grocery stores.) Potato salad to die for.
Headed back into KC, went to the show. (We'll talk show experiences in another post.) Got to introduce my kids to some of my friends, which makes me happy. It was my DIL's first arena show, and of course, the first Garth show for either of them. I'd sent them the Entertainer DVD, so they had been jamming to Garth for a week. We were up in the rafters, but it was all good.
Drove south to the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night, and then took a left and kept going, eventually wound up in the speck of dust beside the dot beside the mapdot that is their current residence. Met my new grandpuppy, Bruiser. Here you go -- you can meet him too.
Fast forward to Sunday afternoon. Had a GREAT morning... my son is a minister at a tiny church... my third visit there, so I know quite a few people there now. After services, they had their Thanksgiving potluck dinner -- so bonus, a road trip with good home cookin!
So mid afternoon... it's a beautiful fall day in Missouri... the leaves are just gorgeous... I'd spent some great quality time with my kids... I was thinking about the great day I had... I was thinking about the mall I was headed to, so I could pick something up for my KC Chief / KU Jayhawk loving husband... I was thinking about my afternoon plans with a friend I hadn't seen in 2 years... All was right with the world, the radio was cranked up, the adrenaline was flowing, I was flying high.
And ... fast.
Like... 17 miles over the speed limit fast.
Missouri Highway Patrol doesn't seem to care for tourists in rental cars going 17 miles over the speed limit fast, no matter how great of a day they were having prior to the flashing lights.
And that, friends, is how I came home from my Garth road trip with a one of a kind, personalized, $138 souvenir from the state of Missouri.
Friday, November 09, 2007
Thursday, November 08, 2007
I'm really thinking my trip to KC this weekend is not meant to be.
I originally planned the trip as a cool way to hang out with my family, living under some crazy pipe dream that I might be able to get my kids and my siblings in the same place at the same time. Some day I'll learn the boundry between J's Perfect World and Reality. So I wound up getting nosebleed seats to Saturday's show to be able to take my kids, and felt lucky to just get in the building. But the closer it gets, the more I think I'm better just staying home.
For starters, I'm still drowning at work, failing miserably on launching a Christmas channel that goes online Monday and on the bird the following Monday. I really need to spend the weekend creating production for the channel, so I can do pesky things like... logs. My programming philosophy is that radio sounds better with sound coming through the speakers...
My husband, I recently learned, has a district training seminar on Saturday. He has these probably 3 times a year, and I swear, I've never yet been in town for one. In the meantime, my daughter has a major school project due next week that she hasn't even started because mommy hasn't been around to assist. And let's not even discuss how long it's been since I've vacuumed my carpet.
Did I mention I have a houseful of people for Thanksgiving? When am I gonna clean? If I was going for just one night, it would be one thing. But to be gone for two?
I think the best thing to do is probably take Monday off like I've already scheduled, but stay home and clean, pay the overdue bills, and schedule the appointments I haven't had time to make (like Delaynie's eye doctor, and all my pets' vet appointments.)
*sigh* Gotta decide by tomorrow, so I can FedEx tickets to my kids.
You know... as long as I'm being all weepy and sappy here (blame the lack of sleep) I gotta tell you... every single time I hear Trisha talk about Taylor, August and Allie, it about sends me to tears. I read the cut by cut of her new album and read the words "having three daughters" and I just lost it. I love hearing her talk about being a stepmother. And I love her for being the complete opposite of the wicked stepmother image that Disney forces us to combat.
Someday, when I'm less weepy, I'll tell you about Delaynie and the Wicked Stepmother story.
In my world... when you love someone... you love the people they love too. It's a pretty simple theory, really. It shouldn't matter whether someone comes into the family because they married into it, they were born into it, adopted into it, or their parent married into it.
Blood is thicker than water
Oh but love is thicker than blood
I don't think anyone grows up hoping to some day fall in love with someone who had children with someone else. But thankfully - some of us do.
Don't forget Highway 16 ShortCuts with Trisha Yearwood - Friday at 6pm ET on Highway 16.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
The way these things work, we have nothing to do the first 2 hours of the show... and then get slammed the last 15 minutes.
I have a show rundown... Rascal Flatts opening AND closing the night. And the light bulb just went off in my head... Rascal Flatts... Lyric Street... CMA's on ABC... it's one big Disney family.
Carrie Underwood fans (are you still out there?) -- be tuned in at the top of the 8pm (central) hour and again around 8:45 after Keith Urban sings.
Kimberly Williams Paisley does NOT get to introduce her husband. Brad has special guests -- in addition to the Brentwood High School marching band. Watch for it around 7:30.
Jay Thomas is live on Highway 16 with the play by play, and my backstage audio. I have a webcam, I just haven't figured out how to use it.
Right now I'm watching red carpet arrivals via closed circuit. The women look awesome - Taylor Swift... LeAnn Rimes. Just saw Kid Rock & Gretchen Wilson arrive.
I hope to get enough work done this morning to have time to watch the new videos before I head in to the CMA's this afternoon!
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
So I'm over at our Music Row location today, and I walk up front to the reception area to check on something I've booked, and there's this mass entourage of people everywhere. Media people, record label people, and people I've never seen before.
It was crazy confusing - first off because of the sheer number of people, and secondly because the people I knew didn't go together. The publicist for Carrie / Tim / Rascal Flatts... my buddy Katie who works at a record label none of them are on... my head about exploded.
So I go up there and take care of my business, and I walk back, and at the coffee pot is this guy who looks crazily familiar. And literally... this is the thought process that goes through my head:
Is that Collin Rae? No, that's what Collin will look like in 20 years. Where have I seen this guy before? He was in the Trisha Yearwood video. With the cool house. No, no no... that was Don Henley. Who is this guy? Probably just some label exec that I've seen at schmooze fests. But why was Jessie here? It's CMA week... not Tim... maybe Flatts?
Do take into consideration I was running on about 4 1/2 hours of very bad sleep, because I had a fear that A) my roommate would get lost on her way home from Walmart and B) the hotel would blow off my wakeup call. A did not happen, but B did.
So anyway, I grab my coat and purse, and head to the elevator. And riding down the elevator with me is Carrie Underwood and a small entourage. Ok, so that explains the publicist I know. But what about Mr. Coffee Pot man? He was not in the elevator entourage. So there was clearly 2 different things going on in the studios.
So at the ground level, I see another media person I know.
Me: "Hey, what brings you to the neighborhood?"
Her: "I'm headed up to interview The Eagles!"
Before I do that, I have to tell you how AWESOME it was to get to meet Jona, Allison, and Tracey... and see Jen looking like she was going to deliver that baby any second. I waved at Bob & Renee across the arena. Did not meet up with Rachel, but I talked to her on the phone. I couldn't get to her section from where I was sitting.
Downtown KC we found to be very much lacking in good convenient places to eat. There's a place called Willies across the street from the Arena that seemed to be the hot spot - it was packed. We wound up at some fast food style Italian place at Walnut and 12th. Salad was good, no wait to get in. And funny enough, we wound up with the table flag for our order being 77.
We were surprised that there wasn't a big Garthapalooza taking over the downtown the way big events tend to do. Nothing on the outside of the Sprint Center except for the LED above the box office -- lots of sports banners and such, but nothing Garth. No real marquis for the building.
Doors to the arena are supposed to open at 6. They were about 20 minutes late last night, there was some opening night things to work out. Lines wrapped around the block are crazy... go up to the middle section of the Main Entrance and you'll get in much quicker. Honestly, with reserved seats, there's no need to get there at 6... mosey in around 6:45 and save yourself waiting in the cold. And it WAS cold!
The show itself started about 15 minutes late... Trisha performed just under 30 minutes... and then Garth went on right around 9. Of course, had to be done by 11, and he neatly finished up just a few minutes till. Main part of the show was an hour and a half. Will be interesting to see what that big long break in between their sets translates into in the movie theatres.
Everything he played in the main part of the show, not surprisingly, was from The Ultimate Hits. There were several songs he did NOT play, which leads me to believe he's going to change the setlist up every night. Or maybe he just ran out of time.
Trisha flew to Nashville last night after her performance, she had media obligations here in town this morning. So I'm hoping her not coming out to perform something with her hubby will not necessarily be the norm every night.
There were no special guests last night, but do understand... tonight's show is Media Night. Last night was the "knock the rust off' night, with tomorrow being the night most of the press is getting to come in and see the show. So I will be curious to hear how the show is different tonight.
We were very blessed to be well taken care of last night, and being allowed to do the on site reporting that Jon did was, I think, extra cool for the XM Nation. Hope some of you heard it. Garth summoned us backstage prior to the show, and we got to spend some time hanging out in his dressing room, just Jon, me, Mandy, and GB. The first thing he said was "how come YOU guys don't look nervous?" and then apologized that he wasn't going to remember anything we talked about because HE was so nervous. The downside to Leno getting cancelled was he had a lot of extra time that day to get more nervous, he told us. I told him the upside was that those of us who came across the country for Opening Night were really relieved that he was going to show up. ;-) That made him laugh.
One of the things I was able to tell him was the great reaction we'd gotten to our ShortCuts episode, and that we were getting hit by people wanting to know how they could see the new "We Shall Be Free" video. He said they're working on trying to find a home for it that will be as big as that song is. I told him that I just wanted to make sure he knew that the fans were asking for it.
I was very kindly sent home with a generous bag of merchandise -- and wound up wearing my hoodie home because I hadn't planned on room to pack this stuff. Will get a photo of it all later tonight so you can see some for yourself. A correction to an earlier post, it wasn't the 1 artist / decade / 1hundred million on the shirt... it was the 1 artist / 1 city / 9 times slogan (paraphrasing!). When we talked to him about the merch he seemed particularly tickled by the "Cat in the Hat" shirt.
One of the things we wondered going into the show was how well his voice - and his body - would hold up. If you remember the LA Forum show during the C2C specials, he was pretty winded pretty quick. There was none of that last night, his voice held perfectly throughout, and he sounded great. Physically, he's in amazing shape.
The crowd was completely nuts... and he took his time soaking it all in. Before the show even they were loud, the whole arena was doing the wave... they were chanting "We Want Garth" -- it was crazy. During the show it was just non stop thunderous applause after each song. My favorite line of the night was when he grinned and said, almost to himself, "You guys aren't going anywhere, are you?" And man, they were loud singers -- even on "More Than A Memory" they knew all the words. There were times the crowd was louder than he was.
I don't want to use the term "low key" to describe the show, but it was definitely a performance all about the music, not a bunch of flashy tricks, pyro, and videos. There's a Jumbotron screen in the arena that functioned as a closer view, but no video elements. Surprisingly, there weren't commercials for the album - in fact, I don't think Garth even mentioned that it was going to be in stores in a matter of hours. The biggest thing I observed was that he had a comfort level... comfortable on stage, definitely - but more so, comfortable in his own skin.
If you have other questions about the show, feel free to ask.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Powered by Jott
Talked to Rachel and Jona both on the phone... Jen texted me that she's here... and we interviewed some very Nutty fans from Ireland. ;-)
I'm surprised by the lack of GarthNutts running around downtown... I expected to be tripping over people in cowboy hats. Not so much.
The Sprint Center looks like a gigantic glass spaceship. Sandi took this photo of the Sprint Center from the Hotel. Which is very nice for all of you coming in. Although the beds are small. If there are four of you in a room, I really hope you like your bed partner.
Jona, I'm looking for you, but I don't know your last name. I'm going to try emailing you my cell phone number. Rachael, your cell phone apparently isn't working yet. I'm apparently just going to have to stop every woman I see on the street and listen to see if they have an accent....
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Not taking my laptop, but I'm sure Jon will have his. We will be reporting in during Jay Thomas's live show tomorrow on Highway 16, beginning at 6pm ET. Hopefully. We're testing out a system we hope to use for the CMA's. If it works, we plan to talk to any fans we can run into and put them on the radio.
Look for that XM Microphone -- and me!
Friday, November 02, 2007
One of my favorite things in ShortCuts is always when I write something in the script that tickles the artist in some way... makes them laugh or giggle, or makes them really think. There are some big ol' GB laughs in this show... when you hear them, know that they made me smile in the midst of all the chaos.
An hour and 18 minutes until ShortCuts airs... I shall await your comments.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
The insanity of my life means I did not get to do a couple of things I wanted to do today. One was go to Porter's funeral service. Kyle Cantell went, so XM was definitely represented. Tomorrow I plan to go up and pay my respects at his plaque in the Hall of Fame.
Last Tuesday they were re-airing the Bill Anderson show with Porter on XMX, and in between they ran excerpts from Porter's interview with Bob Edwards, of XM Public Radio. I'd forgotten, until I heard it, that I'd run the board for that session from Nashville. And I was reminded re-listening to it how sharp he was, even at his age, with dates and memories.
Another thing I did not get to do was the Americana Honors and Awards. I had a ticket to the show, and am credentialed for the Conference. But I haven't made it over there yet. Tomorrow.
On the bright spot though, I had a surprise visit in the studio today from Jerrod Niemann. Y'all know how completely brain dead I am lately, I'm sure he thought I was a complete idiot. I literally sat there for a few minutes while we were chatting about stuff thinking "I know I had something I wanted to tell him... Jerrod... Jerrod... Garth... Jerrod..." I went through the whole "More than a Memory, no that wasn't his song, what did I want to say..." And we're chatting about KC, and he listened to me whine about being buried in Garth lately... and finally as he was getting ready to leave, it hit me.
He co-wrote my favorite new Garth tune! So I got to tell him, as I've told all of you a zillion times now, how I love "Midnight Sun." He told me some very cool stuff about the writing of that song, and told me all about the video! He and Richie and Chuck and Rodeo were all in the video shoot, and it sounds like a blast. I can't wait to see it! I won't spoil the surprise for you, but just be thinking "cowboys... quantam leap."
The stuff he told me about writing the song was nothing I'd heard Garth talk about yet... we're definitely going to have to have Jerrod into the studio and on the record to share some of these awesome stories!
Which leads me to the next confession. He brought us a copy of the new album, which I put in and listened to a little later in the afternoon. Really, it's a shame the boy isn't a little more country.... ha! No, seriously, you know how I love the hard core honky tonk stuff... this album is full of it.
So again... after everything I've been working on the past couple of weeks... Brain.Completely.Fried. And I'm listening, and we get to "Whiskey Kind of Way" and I'm singing along... I think about it being a Zona Jones song (which is how I first heard it)... and then I'm like... wait a minute... didn't this album come out already?
I was totally stumped... I was sure not only that the CD had come out, but that we'd had him in for an episode of Driver's Ed. Which we normally don't play until Street Week. And I started Googling, and couldn't for the life of me figure out if the album had come out. But I knew some of these songs. But the track listing didn't match up to the music listed somewhere on the internet. Amazon.com didn't have the album listed at all. My brain exploded.
So, I picked up the phone - Jay Thomas to the rescue. Jerrod has not (yet!) done Driver's Ed... because his album hasn't come out yet... They're getting ready to release the 2nd single...he did come see us in Vegas... and I probably had an advance copy of the album before, possibly with a slightly different track listing.
As soon as I find out when the album is coming out, I'll let you know.
Before I let you go, I have to just tell you how ridiculously horrible Garth's interview on Fox and Friends was this morning. Yuck. Whoever wrote that anchor's script should be fired. They were all over the place, and didn't seem to know what the heck they were talking about.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Had every intention of coming home and carving pumpkins tonight. I'd bought 3 big fat round pumpkins weeks ago. Managed to leave the studio just after 4 even, I was quite excited, Delaynie couldn't believe it. She shouldn't have.
I got stuck in the traffic from hell. And it was after 5 before I got home. 7 before I got dinner on the table. And my jack-o-lanterns are still pumpkins.
As if I don't have enough insanity in my life... my husband is changing jobs next week. Same company, new account. For those of you familiar with Nashville, the food is about to get a lot better at the Batman building. ;-)
I did manage to get one thing accomplished today - show #7.
Highway 16's CMA Celebration
Co-Hosted by Highway 16's Jon Anthony
- and -
Triple CMA Nominee Carrie Underwood
Friday 2pm Eastern
on XM's Highway 16
(numerous encores leading up to the CMA Awards on Wednesday)
I just this second realized that I sent in a US Country log that I got scheduled, and completely forgot to mix it. Ok, perhaps I'm not dog paddling after all...
Yesterday I went back to school - had a booth at the Belmont University Internship Fair. I've totally missed having an intern this semester, but in all honesty, I can't imagine when and where I'd schedule one as crazy and hectic as our studio situation has been lately. It's both a blessing and a curse to be internless, I think. Probably more of a blessing. Had a few possibilities for Spring, so hopefully something will come through.
The post-CMA party invitations are rolling in. I had an epiphany this afternoon in our weekly conference call where I realized - "&hit! The CMA's are NEXT week." CMA's in my world = late nights, logs that have to be done in advance, and picking out something to wear. Dear God, I'm gonna have to find time to color my hair before then. Maybe THAT's what I'll do Monday night instead of going to see Garth. The grey is completely out of control. Can't imagine why...
I keep thinking "next week I'm gonna take a day off." I've been thinking that for weeks. (I actually have taken vacation days - I just wound up working through them - and a couple more Saturdays.) Next week turned into last week into this week into next week and in reality, it's going to be December, I think. Right now I'd be grateful to have a few hours one afternoon to take a nap. Or carve a pumpkin.
Or build a raft.
Check it out. To quote the promo "It will change the way you listen to the music."
Monday, October 29, 2007
Y'all will recall I warned you that his Garthness was concerned that people would be recording and file swapping radio shows. Told ya nicely not to post around the internet if you were planning to do such a thing.
I hate to say I told ya so, but by golly, I tried to tell you so. And unfortunately, I was proven right.
Today we were told - along with everyone else that has album programming set to launch this weekend - that no one is getting the 3 new songs until the cd hits stores. No one. Not AM. Not FM. Not XM. Not Sirius. Not syndication. He's changed his mind - 2 weeks after cutting all this programming. There's a continent full of album premiere specials being advertised that are going to have nothing but old music. Believe me, had we not had promos on the air and our newsletter gone out to 8 million subscribers, I'd have flip flopped his show with his wife's.
Our one saving grace is that our content outside of the new music, completely rocks. You're still going to hear him talk about the videos - and yes the reports out of Germany are true - the KC shows, his songwriting, his kids, his wife, George Jones, Steve Wariner, etc. etc. etc. You'll even hear him talk in depth about these new songs. I stand behind our content completely KICKING ASS.
However, on this weekend's run, you're only going to hear snippets of the new songs. We haven't quite figured out how to explain that since the show has already been cut. Fortunately - another benefit to XM over FM - we'll re-run the show Thanksgiving weekend - and undoubtably beyond - with the complete songs. Poor FM guys don't get a second chance.
I don't have a clue about how this is going to affect our 3 part series, which is not completed yet, because 3 songs out of an hour long show is a big huge chunk. And the dominoes continue to fall -- Jon and I were supposed to go to KC on the 5th for Opening Night and be reporting live from the Sprint Center - we have plane tickets and hotel reservations.
However, that means I'd on a plane coming home Tuesday at the time the CD would allegedly be arriving at the studio, and even under the best of circumstances, it would be a tight turnaround to get it on the air. I think I'll stalk the WalMarts here and make sure they didn't mistakenly put it out early. If y'all see one in the states, do let me know, ok?
I'm trying not to stress about all this. (My husband meeting me at the door with a mixed drink tonight helped...) Gotta BELIEVE. It's gotten me this far.
Did you hear the Faith Artist Confidential? There were a couple of things that tickled me. One of which was hearing my name in the credits, a first for me on AC. The other was hearing our very own Paula get a question asked via email during the show -- she sent one in response to my blog posting. Yay Paula! That led to a really good bit of info!
Tomorrow, after dealing with the Garth mess, my mission is to finish that mysterious Carrie Underwood Show #7. And then I'll come tell y'all about it. Probably with another drink in hand.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
What are you NOT going to see on the DVD that everyone thinks they will?
Which version of the "In Another's Eyes" video will be on the DVD?
What you don't know - yet - is the follow up question to both of those -- which is "And why?"
Hear it from the horse's mouth this Friday on XM's Highway 16 ShortCuts! 6pm Eastern on XM's Highway 16, DirecTV channel 814 or the Highway 16 Feed at AOLRadio.com.
Y'all are just gonna love, Love, LOVE this show. Don't miss it!
Saturday, October 27, 2007
I'm in the big studio at the Hall of Fame -- with the big picture window, that we (lovingly) refer to as "The Fishbowl." In front of the window, Opry stars Mel McDaniel and Jan Howard are signing autographs. Which means there's a few dozen people standing around taking photos that are going to have me - in my ISU Sweatshirt and no makeup - in the background. In the small studio next to me, a guy with a ridiculously deep voice is doing shows for Deep Tracks. For the past couple of hours I've been listening to Garth talk about himself in 3rd person as I edit our XM World Premiere, and on the TV above me, Keith Urban is on GAC.
So. What's your fishbowl look like? And can I send some tourists over to take pictures of it?
Friday, October 26, 2007
Had a good productive day at the studio today, thanks to Amy Paige saving my ass. I think I'm now dog paddlin'!
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Our Girl Slumber Parties always have some sort of theme... about a zillion of them have been around one or more Disney Princesses. Fortunately we've outgrown that. We've done Lion King... assorted colors (think pink!), wolves, and of course, Hannah Montana etc. etc. etc.
When we were in Illinois a couple of weeks ago, my mom gave me a bunch of my old school yearbooks. Delaynie, who loves looking through her own yearbooks, got a complete kick out of them, and tried asking me a ton of questions about photos as I was driving down the interstate.
So, to make up for being the absentee mother lately, and relieving some of the guilt over working last Saturday and this one, I told her we'd Girl Slumber Party on Friday night. Our theme: Totally 80's.
So. Help me out. How can I help a 10 year old re-live a decade she never lived through to begin with?
Music is easy... we've got an 80's channel on XM.
TV / Movies gets a little trickier (remember, she's only 10, so no Brat Pack movies) but she has several seasons of Full House on DVD, so I think we'll be ok.
For food I want to do microwavable food -- one of my biggest cooking memories was when we got our microwave in 1979. Not sure what exactly that would be. (popcorn gets stuck in her braces.) I also have fond childhood memories of Banquet fried chicken. LOL Any distinctive drinks from the 80's?
I think we definitely need some big hair going on. I wonder if we can make our own legwarmers out of Gary's socks or something. What else?
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
This happens to me every year about this time... 4th quarter album releases, CMA's, holidays. Not enough hours in the day. We taped 8 shows in the 7 days since I came back from Illinois. Add a dumb-ass wisdom tooth and redneck neighbors with guns to the mix, and I've been sinking fast.
(Thanks for the good thoughts, by the way. I'm told the eviction process has begun.)
After we got the last show taped Monday, I got a bit of a breather. Big weight off my shoulders. No immediate writing deadline to cram for. Then I got to work on Tuesday and realized those shows needed to now be edited. Some of them needed production created. One of them still needs the other half to eventually be written. We won't even talk about the Christmas channel I'm supposed to be working on. I was taking in water at a rapid rate.
We have two locations here in Nashville... the "Fast" studio -- 2 work spaces -- and the "Slow" studio -- 3 work spaces -- that get rotated amongst a total of 7 bodies. I'm supposed to be at the "Fast" studio 3 days a week, but with all these tapings at remote locations, I've not been there in days. And my productivity shows it.
In one of my more panicked moments I was frantically searching for cheap fares to D.C. It would be worth it to me to fly up for the day and get these long form shows built at the super fast Mother Ship so that I could reclaim a little bit of my home life, which has been completely non-existant (as my daughter frequently reminds me). I didn't find anything in my budget... but I haven't given up yet.
But glory hallelujah -- Today, I got an entire day at the Fast studio! I got more done in 7 1/2 hours than I'd gotten done in the past 7 days. On my 13 item to do list, I got 11 of them done. Trisha is completely edited, Garth is loaded in, LBT is partially edited (file had gotten corrupted at the other studio, or it would be done too), I got logs scheduled, sweepers produced, promos extracted and lots of stuff activated. I even did research for a tourist that just had to know about a song she heard sung on the Grand Ole Opry the previous night.
So anyway, I'm very VERY excited about the progress I made today -- and about all this AMAZING programming that's coming down the pike for you.
Woo hoo -- I'm treading water! By Monday, I just might be swimming!