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.