Friday, November 30, 2007

Big Girls

My daughter is on a field trip today.

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

Vote for Garth!

So... apparently... unbeknownst to me... voting is taking place now for the XM Nation Awards.

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

Garth #1 Again

This week's Soundscan just released --

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.

Still baffled.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Random Music Row Ramblings

Sometimes, things befuddle me. Last week's country soundscan chart completely befuddles me.

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

One of the Good Guys

In TV news you run into a wide range of characters. There's the prima donna anchors, the married reporter who flaunts his affair with the intern, the weekend anchor who can't get to the set in time for the show to hit air, the sports guys who don't know how to script what they want but expect you to read their minds and give it to them anyway, and don't EVEN get me started on the weather girl.

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


Our new home and everyone in it.

The entire family being together for the holiday,
on the holiday.

Kids that want to hang out with their parents
And bring their friends along.

Great food, and lots of it.

Good health.

Bad movies.

Board Games.

Having the Christmas tree up the day after Thanksgiving.

Guitar players
Choir singers.


Safe travels.
Our best Thanksgiving ever.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

My New Curtains

Breaking Garth News


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

Hit from all directions

My 10 year old daughter just walked in to the room, where I have Music City Holiday playing on the XM Boombox.

"Mommy, you're listening to Christmas music when it's not EVEN Thanksgiving yet? Come ON!"


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Amy Paige Fan Club Meeting

Once again, Amy Paige has saved my sanity.

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

I TOLD you I'd know my couch

To the idiot who swiped the picture off my blog and used it to misrepresent yourself as being cool.

You're not.

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

Hate Mail

'Tis the season... to be a scrooge. LOL

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."

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Blame Leno?

Soundscan Numbers are out -- Top 200:

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

3 Nights with Garth

I've never been to more than one concert by the same artist on the same tour. Quite honestly... I've really never quite "gotten" how people can follow an artist around from city to city seeing the same show over and over again. Especially some of those artists that just stand there and sing, and tell the same jokes between the same songs. So I really wasn't quite sure what I was getting into seeing Garth three times over. Four if you count tomorrow's movie theater show (which I'm horribly afraid I'm going to forget, because I'm having trouble keeping track of what day of the week it currently is.)

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?

Happy Belated Veterans Day

Going through some of the email that came in while I was gone... my dad sent this to me, his Navy buddy Bruce, sent it to him on Sunday. Dad is on the left, Bruce on the right.
This was apparently taken in Jamaica.

Monday, November 12, 2007

My Road Trip Souvenir

I am back in Music City... with a very interesting souvenir of my journey.

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

Got Chips?

It is now officially, a Garth event. However... Big G salsa has been renamed, effective with this batch.

It is now to be known as Big G little d Salsa.

Now how the hell am I gonna get this on an airplane?

Who said that?

I read this quote in an email today.

"Everywhere I go, from Iraq to Japan and to the 50 states here, people know I am a face of Oklahoma"

Go ahead... take a guess. Who do you consider "the face of Oklahoma"

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Sappy late night ramblings

You know how something just feel like they're meant to be... and some things... not so much?

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
Garth had a really interesting quote in our interview with him, where he talked about Sandy and Trisha and the girls. He said "it's pretty interesting what family turns out to be."

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

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Got crazy back here for a while. I'm finally caught up.

Hell has frozen over -- King George came back to the press room.

Pre-Show Awards

Musician of the Year -- Jerry Douglas
Music Video -- "Online" Brad Paisley/ directed by Jason Alexander
Musical Event - "Find Out Who Your Friends Are" Tracy Lawrence / Tim McGraw / Kenny Chesney

Red Carpet Gossip

Nicole is here with Keith -- looking beautiful.

Wreckers walked the red carpet -- separately.

Backstage at the CMA's

Greetings from the press room.

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.

Engulfed by Garth

That's the headline that Radio and Records ran in their daily e-blast today with this photo. LOL

Limited Edition CD's are Here!

Made a WalMart Run after taking Delaynie to school this morning... they had 5 copies of the Limited Edition, so I grabbed them. One is for you Lish -- one for me, that leaves me with 3. First dibs go to my regular blog participants, they're $13 (plus shipping if I'm not going to see you in KC this weekend.)

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

Coffee Talk

I almost completely forgot this happened to me today. Brain still exhausted, despite an unexpected midday nap.

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!"


Please don't swipe the picture and post it anywhere else. I'll know my couch, LOL Here's a look at some of the goodies for sale.

Back in Nashville - With Answers to Your Questions

I presume by now the obvious things have been passed around the internet, although I haven't had a chance to do much reading. However, there are a few things I wanted to share that might not be "out there" as much.

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.

The Stage

Monday, November 05, 2007

Audio Blog from Section 107

I'm audio blogging from section 107, the seats are awesome, the arena is much smaller than I expected it to be. The stage is very opened, no matter where your seat is I thing you going to have good view even if you are behind the stage as long as you are in the lower bowl, especially it's going to be great. I've got to meet lots of people, I'll be back later to blog all about it. The merchandise is awesome, its all out now and I've got a much better look at it. listen

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Reporting from the Sprint Center

I have been inside... the merchandise is cool. Tons of GB t-shirts... black... brown... olive green... white. Some with the new publicity photo... some with that photo from the cover of The Entertainer... some with the One Man One Decade One Hundred Million slogan...

Good Stuff.

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.

Hello from KC!

Greetings from Windy Kansas City... where we arrived safe and sound. Jon and I were chauffeured to the Hilton Presidential, where he was interviewed for the local NBC affiliate about the concert. Tee hee hee.

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

Next Stop on the Producer J. World Tour: Opening Night in KC!

Ready or not, I'm getting on a plane at 6:45 tomorrow morning. I'm sure that seemed like a good idea at the time we booked it.

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


All four Garth shows are now safely mixed into their logs and ready to go on the air. There are moments in these shows that definitely gave me "garthbumps." I hope you get them too.

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

2 Hours, 18 Minutes

That's how long it took me to get from the studio to home this afternoon. Unfreakin' believable. My ship has been sunk.

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. 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.