Thursday, June 28, 2007
Anyway... if I were to start a rumor today... it would be about an artist that I know a lot of my readers are a fan of. An artist who previously said they wouldn't be releasing any new music until next year.
But you know... sometimes... Christmas comes in July. Because sometimes... when an artist is really excited about something... and when their record label is really excited about something... and when the artist at the... what was it? Front of the line? Things move quicker than they're used to. Singles... albums.... you know. Things.
Now I don't want to say too much... because I'm sure that just ANY day now this artist's Official website will be telling you all about it.
But just in case they don't... I know that YOU know... that the hottest new music is ALWAYS heard first on XM's Highway 16.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
But he still feels that he hasn't been given the respect he deserves on Music Row, especially by Country Music Association awards voters. He's been nominated 27 times but has taken home only two awards: top male vocalist in 2001 and top music video in 2005.
"The very same two years I swept through the ACMs and had entertainer of the year twice, I was sitting on the front of the CMAs getting zero," he said.
He said he doesn't know why. "You tell me," he said. Is it because he's not liked? "I don't care; it never mattered.
"The hardest people to answer to was your fans," he said. "It just makes you question the integrity of a system where the person who has the biggest year and is most nominated and has outperformed and been the No. 1 ticket seller, which I was in that time, to walk out 0 for 16."
Because of these experiences, Keith said, he won't attend any future CMA awards shows. "I'm done with it, but I tried to keep that quiet. I don't want this to be sour grapes," said Keith, adding that he doesn't want his decision to hurt the other artists on his label. "It never worked for me; I gave it a full shot.
Nah, no sour grapes there....I hope that means everyone at his label won't be working to get him nominated this year. Because there ARE people who believe that being singled out as one of the five best male vocalists in country music IS an honor - and I'm quite certain that someone like Dierks Bentley or Trace Akdins or Craig Morgan would be HAPPY to have his spot on the ballot.
Monday, June 25, 2007
You put your full name in here and it gives you an anagram. Now, once you do this, you MUST come back here and post your results. It's the rule.
Me: Crazier, mere joey
Hubby: Grr! Rely in zany
Delaynie: Sexy, linear idealizer
And a couple just for fun:
XM Satellite Radio: O Dear Me! Still taxi.
Troyal Garth Brooks: OK star bog harlotry
And in the "I couldn't make this up if I tried" category:
George Walker Bush: Blush, war geek ogre
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Because honestly, I had a few moments watching "CMT Crossroads" tonight where I thought "wait... who IS that?"
I adore Reba, and as some of you know, I had the great privilege of sitting down with her one afternoon for an XM series I produced called "The Reba Story." Granted, I now realize that she told me the exact same stories the same way she tells them in every interview - I heard some of them again tonight in Crossroads. But to hear her tell them in person was really special.
I had two "favorite" moments that day, both of which happened after the interview was over. One was a conversation about Shelby driving - she was taking him to get his learner's permit as soon as we were through. And the other was after I asked her if we could take a picture together for my mom, and she picked up a CD she'd sent her assistant for during the interview (she couldn't remember who'd produced it) and asked if she could sign it for my mom.
At any rate, Kelly and Reba were too cute together, although it would have been nice to hear Kelly offer up more than "yeah" in conversation. Seeing her bounce up and down on stage mouthing the lyrics when Reba was singing was worth the price of admission. Kelly has a really strong voice, and added almost a bluesy touch, I thought, to Reba's songs. Reba blew her away though when it came to stage presence and facial expressions. It was cracking me up to watch her theatrics for "Does He Love You?" (which I remember LOVING when Kelly did it with Martina on CMT Giants.) I couldn't help but think though, as I was watching them do that song - just once, I would like to hear Reba sing the OTHER part.
I only caught the last 40 minutes or so of the show - if you saw any of it make sure to share what you thought!
Friday, June 22, 2007
See how I've set myself up to be the cool one on the team?
So anyway, we get to this little restaurant called Radius 10 which I've never heard of. It was awesome - for a restaurant. Not so condusive to a party, because there's a big curved bar in the middle of it. So most of us had to look through the liquor bottles to see Billy. Gave his hit "Walk a Little Straighter" a whole new twist. And because everyone was gathered around the bar trying to see the star, I never could get even so much as a diet coke.
It was a small crowd, maybe 125-150 people. Storme Warren was in the house, and Larry Holden, from Country Weekly, and Jason got to meet a bunch of my media buddies from CMT.com and CMT Radio. What I didn't tell him that my friend Lindsey, from CMT Radio, is also a Tennessee Titans Cheerleader. Due to the bar being in the way, we didn't get a chance to talk to Billy, so I couldn't dazzle Jason there.
The perk the interns always like about the schmooze fests is the free food. Judging from the looks of Radius 10, I figured the food would be pretty good. There were miniature handburgers on sticks, polish sausage on buns, and some other identified meat. No veggies, no chips, just a meat buffet.
And Jason's a vegetarian.
Ok, so I apparently didn't turn out looking as cool as I thought I would. It was a short party, so we were soon back on the road - and headed for fast food. Better luck next schmooze fest.
How cute are they?
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
I did have a REALLY wierd moment though. I was listening to RiverCountry (which I used to know as Fire 97) out of Peoria as I was leaving town this morning, and I heard their morning news girl do a Bucky Covington news story that was taken word for word from my XM Backstage Buzz blog. I was like - woah! that sounds familiar!
.. I read this in the trades today:
The Illinois Broadcasters Assoc. Silver Dome awards were handed out June 14. WFYR/Peoria's Lisa Franks won the Medium Market Best Newscast award.
Of course she did! She has excellent sources! LOL
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
I left mid-April to travel half way around the world to see the country my mother was born and raised in and meet the other half of my family.
I came back early May and spent the next 10 days unsuccessfully trying to adjust to life 17 hours opposite what I'd spent the previous 2 weeks living.
Completely gave up on that when I went to Las Vegas to cover the ACM Awards. So it came in handy not sleeping at night.
Was home for a grand total of 33 hours before I gathered my daughter and husband and got on a plane for Kansas City. My oldest son and daughter-in-law graduated from college, and we had a WONDERFUL weekend with them.
Came back to Nashville and prepared for HELL WEEK (aka Fan Fair.) Worked 7 days in a row during which I saw my husband for all of about 3 hours awake.
SOMEWHERE during all of that insanity, I completely lost mine. And I put the house we've lived in for the past 9 1/2 years on the market, and signed a contract to buy this one:
And let me tell you - selling a house is consuming every bit of energy I don't have. I absolutely LOVE the house we're buying - it is perfect for our family. However, I only have until July 31st to sell mine. Which shouldn't have been a problem - we had 2 offers within the first week it was on the market, and have had lots of traffic. However, interest rated spiked and the housing market now stinks.
Deep dark confession of stupidity: I did the unthinkable and signed a contract to buy a house without a contingency to sell mine. So I may very well have wasted my earnest money and the cost of a home inspection as I'm on the verge of loosing every bit of pride in me if I can't make this work.
Which is why I'm telling you what's consumed my life lately. I can use every prayer and good thought y'all can spare. The things that lead us to even be LOOKING for a house, which we thought we wouldn't be doing for another year - at the same time THIS house - the only one in it's model in a subdivision we love came on the market, is too much coincidence. I'm convinced we're meant to be there. Now I just need to find the family that needs mine like we needed it 10 years ago.
Monday, June 18, 2007
Brutal. Completely brutal. I got a rental car for my trip home, and it, despite being a Pontiac, did not have an XM radio that I could even get so much as the Preview channel on. It had been a LONG time since I'd listened to that much local radio. And let me tell you, it will be an even LONGER time until I do again.
One bright spot, I did find a couple of really good classic country channels in Western Kentucky. Although one of them lost points when they played Tim McGraw's "I Like It, I Love It." I felt old.
The not-so-bright spots:
Loosing your signal every time a good song came on. Thankfully the car had radio controls in the steering wheel because I was CONSTANTLY flipping.
Lack of choices. One country channel, one soft rock channel, and a whole lot of farm reports. That pretty much describes my journey through Southern Illinois.
Commercials. REALLY - why does EVERY channel have to go to commercial break at the same time? Apparently the big thing now is to tell you how long the commercial breaks are. "You're just 5 minutes away from the latest from Sugarland." Guess what? In 5 minutes I'll have lost your lousy signal.
Redundancy. Do all channels have to share the same 10 power recurrents? If I heard "Fast Cars and Freedom" one more time I was going to drive off the road.
Pitching songs. Some stations - including apparently, the Springfield, IL country station - speed up songs so they can fit an extra commercial in each hour. I heard Billy Currington giving directions sounding like a girl... Faith Hill completely screeching her way through "This Kiss" and Kenny raising his beer in Mexico to the point my ears hurt. How can they mutilate the music that way? And let's say you hear something you LIKE, and then go out and buy the CD - and it doesn't sound anything like what you hear on the radio! Brutal.
And the thing that truly intrigued me for hours on end - voicetracked stations with DJ's who weren't in that city.
Now obviously, being in Nashville, we have DJ's who are really in Nashville. But a lot of smaller markets use a voice tracked midday show where the jock is somewhere else - in fact one of the Nashville midday guys voice tracks other cities from here. But what I heard on two different stations today was horribly bad radio.
If your DJ never gives the time... or mentions the call letters...or anything local... or someone else comes on and does the weather... and there are big empty pauses between the sweepers and the songs... you are probably listening to bad voicetracking.
Cardinal Country in Southern Illinois was like a train wreck I couldn't stop listening to. They had a great big voiced guy doing their imaging, and there'd be a sweeper of some sort that said "Cardinal Country - 90something point whatever" and then this weak voiced older guy came on and backsold the last three songs he'd played and said "Here's Reba". Or Kenny. Or Brooks & Dunn. WHAT was the point of that? There was absolutely nothing interesting or entertaining about his show - and I listened for a couple hours. I don't know where he's based out of, but I've googled him and he's on the air middays in Georgia and Arizona too. Why do listeners put up with that kind of crap?
Ok, so that's my local radio rant. I guess sometimes you have to be without something to truly appreciate what you have.
I did have a REALLY wierd moment though. I was listening to RiverCountry (which I used to know as Fire 97) out of Peoria as I was leaving town this morning, and I heard their morning news girl do a Bucky Covington news story that was taken word for word from my XM Backstage Buzz blog. I was like - woah! that sounds familiar! That's even cooler than when my hometown paper swiped something I'd written for PlanetGarth.
I was also a little mortified to learn that WXCL is now "The Wolf." My first foray into country music programming was directing "WXCL Hot Country Videos" for WEEK-TV. It was a horrid show - and completely proved that people in radio shouldn't try to do television.
Then again, I'm sure there are those who think tv people like me shouldn't try to do radio. ;-)
For my Carrie Underwood fan Blog Readers (all 476 of you!) you'll want to be tuned in at 8am and 10pm Eastern.
As a reminder - Highway 16 is heard on XM 16, DirecTV channel 814, and free on the internet via XM Radio Online (if you haven't had a free 3 day trial) or www.AOLRadio.com - even if you're not an AOL subscriber.
Saturday, June 16, 2007
When I get back I will fill you in on what's been consuming my life lately.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Now just out of curiosity... what do y'all think Kenny's signature song is? Because quite honestly, I'm going to be amazed if any of you name this one.
Monday, June 11, 2007
Jo Dee Messina is engaged. If you were at her Fan Club party you saw her fiancee. You just didn't know you saw him. Her new single is "Biker Chick."
After hearing Jo Dee go on and on about her former fiancee, our production guys (none of whom are from Nashville) all came back convinced she ain't over him yet.
Gretchen Wilson is going to be the coolest mom in America because they are going to write her into an episode of Hannah Montana. And that is exactly why she wants to do the show. Grace is going to be an extra.
I got a few "cool" points myself for hanging with Hannah Montana's dad. Who really needed to iron his shirt.
Billy Ray's Goal: A world tour in 2008
When I asked Josh Turner how the baby was doing he said "he's about as tall as you now." I'm 5'8" for the record. I'm pretty sure I have more hair and more teeth. (Hampton has 4)
Angela Hacker sounded VERY uncertain about this duo record she was supposedly going to do with her brother. The label has been doing some image work on her, and honestly, I liked her Nashville Star look better.
Jason Aldean's next single is probably going to be "Laugh Until We Cried" but the final decision hasn't been made yet.
Lots of artists don't know what their next single is going to be, including Bucky Covington and Rodney Atkins.
LeAnn Rimes remembers Taylor Swift coming to her concerts and being one of the girls in the front row trying to reach up and touch her.
Taylor Swift thought it was incredibly cool that LeAnn remembers her. Two years ago she volunteered as an artist escort at Fan Fair. Last year she played the Riverfront and handed out business cards with her name and upcoming single on it. This year she played the big stage and was presented with a platinum plaque.
Miranda Lambert doesn't have her ACM award yet. She said they walk off stage and the trophy girl said she didn't get to keep it and she was NOT happy.
On winning the bet with Blake (he lost, so he has to take her on vacation): "How could you really loose?"
Miranda also came to Fan Fair as a fan, back when she was in love with Bryan White.
Billy Currington has been getting tons of gifts for his new dog Poco. (sp?)
For all of you (and me too) who wondered if the ACM's were REALLY the first time Taylor and Tim met - it was, AND Tim had no idea that was going to happen. Taylor was most nervous about that flight of stairs, said she practiced going down them with her eyes closed.
I met Taylor's dad last week too. Very cool guy.
You know how her current single "Teardrops On My Guitar" is a true story about a guy named Drew she used to sit by in high school? She's gotten 5 voicemails from him, but isn't going to call him back. "Can you imagine how awkward that conversation would be?"
Little Big Town has written everything so far for their upcoming album, but it's not done yet. Expect a new single in the fall.
Professional wrestler Kurt Angle was at Fan Fair, and I have no idea why. He claims to be a Garth Brooks fan - because Garth went to a "wrestling college" and roomed with a friend of his, who was a 3 time National Wrestling Champion.
I didn't pay a lot of attention to what Kurt was saying. But I did write down the quote "We know the winner before you do, obviously, but it's NOT fake."
Brad Paisley's next single is going to be "Online." ON the bus the previous night he and the band came up with the slogan "Be all that you can't be." Seinfeld's Jason Alexander directed the video, in which he also stars.
Cowboy Troy is a new dad, which I knew was coming, having seen his very pregnant wife out at Nashville Star. When asked about fatherhood he just said it was great and moved on. Didn't mention whether he'd had a girl or a boy or give any details. It wasn't until after he left the room that I found out they'd had triplet boys!
I'm not a fan of women who wear spaghetti strap tank tops and choose to show the world their bra straps. They make those things strapless, you know. Especially annoying when the colors and strap lines don't match. All black is one thing. Every other color combination is another!
During CBT's press conference a blonde woman came in and sat right in front of me, dead center in the press room. I wouldn't have paid her any attention except that she had a bright green sundress on, the kind with the elastic scrunched top and I got a full view of the back of her bright pink bra, which was much higher than the line of her dress. She left, and came back for Big & Rich's press conference. At which point John Rich referenced who she was.
It was Jewel.
Got to see Big & Rich's new book. It's stunning. Full color, hard backed, tons of photos. Excellent quality. When asked "why now?" Big Kenny said "we might be dead 10 years from now."
"Lost in This Moment" is at #8 on the charts - their highest charting song yet.
Bachelor Bob was hanging out in the back hallway of the Titans stadium doing interviews. I never did get around to asking who for. In fact, I walked right by him and didn't realize it was him until someone pointed it out.
Kellie Pickler had us completely crying as she told a story that I could never do justice to retelling. Imagine Kelly on the floor, with one red high heel high in the air above her head. You fill in the rest. But the real story is still funnier.
Will try to get to pictures tomorrow.
Anyway - I just had a brilliant idea of how to do something useful with a very cool thing I found.
As you may or may not know... I volunteer as the webmistress for the YWCA of Nashville and Middle Tennessee, which operates a domestic violence shelter in Davidson County. The YW is the benefactor of Martina McBride's celebrity auction which happens during CMA Music Fest. As you may know, Martina's involvement with the issue of domestic violence stems back to the release of her career song 'Independence Day.'
Now check out how cool this all ties in together. I am going to hold a little blogger auction, to give someone the chance to make a donation to our YW. Bids will be accepted until 10pm Central Time on Thursday 6/16. At that time, the high bidder will get to send in a check or money order made out to The YWCA. Upon receipt of the winning bidder's donation, I shall send them my personal copy of Carrie Underwood's debut promo release, featuring "Inside Your Heaven" and "Independence Day" as a thank you.
Let the bidding begin!
The higest bid in the Comments section of THIS post timestamped by 10pm Central on Thursday wins. Donation must be received by 6/23 or opportunity goes to next highest bidder.
Next year we **have** to have a meeting of my blog readers, so if you're planning to come back to fan fair, don't plan on leaving town until Monday afternoon, so we can get together Monday morning and share stories. I got to meet Sharon, saw Sally and Doug, Dave, Paula and her entourage, and wound up stopping traffic on 2nd Ave. to hug Pammy in the middle of the street. I don't know how I missed Leelee - I was at the entrance to Keith Anderson's fan club party handing out XM tote bags and specifically searched the crowd for her. SURELY she was there, right?
Lots of stories and photos still to come, but right now I must go catch up on my music logs for US Country.
Saturday, June 09, 2007
Friday, June 08, 2007
No one asked her about Tony. I think someone would have, because we had plenty of time with her, but there was a reporter from Oklahoma City that seemed to think she could ask lots of questions and not let others get a word in edgewise. What WAS covered in our 13 minutes included:
Fan Fair this year (her third) and how much more comfortable she was versus last year, when she was scared to death. You know, somewhere I must have audio from her first Fan Fair, when she was just giddy over the country stars she was getting to meet. I remember it very well, because we were all wondering why on earth they were pairing the American Idol winner with Phil Vassar.
Getting tackled at the softball game. She said she told some football players to take note, that that was how it was done - and then she quickly made sure to say that they were Tennessee Titans players. ;-)
She doesn't have any pre-show rituals, but does gather together with the band to hang before they go onstage and they say a little prayer.
There was a question about the Pretenders that I was lost what was being asked. (Pretty sure it came from the OK chick.) The answer was that no she hadn't heard from them.
She described recording the duet with Brad as being "pretty nervewracking." She said when they asked her to do it she agreed without even knowing - or caring - what the song was. It doesn't sound like they tracked together, but Brad was there when she did her part.
When asked if her sophomore album was going to be country or would be more cross over she said "Country is where my heart is - and it seems to be working out ok so far!" It's looking like 3-5 co-writes on the project.
Single late summer - no specific timeline for the single or the album because it isn't done yet.
She talked about fitness and diet and said she'd been slacking lately because she'd been home. Oddly, she said she was good when she was on the road. Personally, I blame all the traveling I've been doing for the extra 10lbs I'm carrying around with me. I think we need to road trip together so she can show me how it's done.
She is NOT going to be touring in the fall - not until 2008 when she has new music. I asked her that, and later someone else asked her if she would be headlining and she said it hasn't been decided yet. She also described that idea as "nervewracking" asking "what if no one comes?" My favorite quote of the night was "I will ride the opener wave as far as I can take it." She did mention that a co-headlining tour might be good - but didn't offer who she thought she'd make a good co-headliner for.
Completely editorial remark from me: Another female artist struck out on a headlining tour on her 2nd album, and really didn't have enough material to fill a full set. Give it time.
Someone asked her about the classic songs she's sung on the Opry and she said that was just due to the theme nights she's been invited to participate in.
She credited Dolly, Tammy and Loretta for doing what they'd done that allows her to do what she does. She also said she would like to see more successful women in country music today.
I asked her about singing "Alone" at her fan club party. She explained that it was a thing the fans voted for online out of cover songs she'd previously done, but didn't have anything to comment about it being accoustic. Acknowledging that it went over well she said "We may have to add it." (in reference to the set list, not the album)
She hasn't listened to any new music in a couple of months, but says in her CD player there's everything from country to rock.
She was surprised to hear she was in the running for the World's Sexiest Vegetarian ("Again? Really?") She says she doesn't preach to people about what they eat and doesn't want them to preach to her, but that she has several lines of food that she really enjoys and that she loves Whole Foods and Wild Oats.
After they took her away her record label PR guy told us that Joe Galante was going to make a special presentation to her on stage during the show. Soundscan has her at 5,578,325 units sold, so I'm guessing it's a 6 million plaque (she's singlehandedly keeping the Nashville framers in business!) but I didn't stay to watch the show tonight, so someone is going to have to fill me in.
Stadium show must be over - I can hear the fireworks, and my dogs are going crazy.
Now, my little Carrie Fans - who's your favorite blogger?
You are welcome to share links to my site with other country music fans the world-wide-web over, but please don't copy and paste my info or photos elsewhere. Thanks!
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Throughout the day I'm constantly making mental notes to come home and write about. I've done that for years in my various writing gigs around the internet. Mental blogging. And I try whenever possible to take photos to go with my mental ramblings, because, quite honestly, I think it just makes my blogs look better.
So tonight, at the Chely Wright Reading Writing and Rhythm Benefit Concert, my goal was to get as many photos of the XM Logo as possible. Both to send to our corporate folks as well as to spice up our two blogs. I shot the lines that curled down the block waiting to get in holding XM tote bags, I shot people using XM totebags as rain hats, I got every artist I could from assorted angles on stage that included an XM logo. I got 5 of us in our XM t-shirts with Chely backstage, I got banners all over the Wildhorse Saloon, and I got a whole lot of pictures of Keith Anderson, even when he wasn't anywhere near an XM logo, because I really needed the photography practice.
And then, I lost my camera. Somewhere in the Wildhorse Saloon, after the show was over. And somehow, it isn't nearly as fun to blog about Taylor Swift wearing her ACM performance dress or Kelly Pickler's standing ovation or Tanya Tucker needing a teleprompter to sing her biggest hits, when you don't have the photos to go with them.
You know the saying about having "one of those days" ?? I'm having one of those weeks.
And it's only Tuesday.
Monday, June 04, 2007
It could have been the 2,500 XM tote bags sitting there waiting to be handed out.
Or it could have been the 6 extra staffers on hand for the week's festivities. (L-R is Jon Anthony, Jason, Megan, Jim, Dave, Daryl, and Adam.) I had to stand on a chair to get them all in.
Actually, that should be 7 extra staffers - Jay Thomas is also in town, he just wasn't in yet when I took the photo. Jason is my new intern, who spent his first day on the job stuffing XM brochures into tote bags, then handing them out to everyone who walked into the Ryman Auditorium. Change the venue, and that's pretty much how he's going to get to spend his week.
More pictures from the day at the the official XM Music Fest Blog.
Sunday, June 03, 2007
First up on my week's adventures - meeting my new intern. What a week to start, eh? Unlike my past interns, XM Corporate recruited this one for me, so I've not even met him. Poor guy doesn't know what he's gotten in to...
Tomorrow night is the IFCO show from the Ryman Auditorium - first time it's been broadcast on the radio - EVER! I don't think I get to go, but I can't wait to hear it on my XM Radio! Remember -- the full schedule can be found on XMRadio.com.