Saturday, October 30, 2010

Kelly Clarkson - National Anthem, 2010 World Series

Texas native Kelly Clarkson sang the national anthem at the first-ever World Series home game for the Texas Rangers. Kelly proved to be a good luck charm, as the Rangers won their first game in this series (as well as the first-ever by a Texas team) to tighten up the San Francisco Giants' lead to 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.

Kelly sounded incredible, as usual. I want her to re-record every song known to man so I can hear her sing everything. I am not joking. Kelly is releasing a new country duet next week with Jason Aldean called "Don't You Want To Stay", and it sounds fantastic. You can listen to it at Entertainment Weekly.

National anthem video below is from MJ's Big Blog.

Early Amazon Mp3 Specials

It appears as if some of November's Amazon $5 mp3 deals are up a little early. If you want to jump the gun and can't wait till Monday, here are couple of notable albums I found on the site for $5:

Bruno Mars - Doo-Wops & Hooligans
Maroon 5 - Hands All Over
Prince - The Very Best Of Prince
John Mayer - Room for Squares
Christina Aguilera - Keeps Gettin' Better: A Decade Of Hits
David Archuleta - Christmas From The Heart

There are also a few notables that have been on sale for $3.99 this week:
Taylor Swift - Speak Now
Florence + The Machine - Lungs

Additionally, you can get $3 off an mp3 download at Amazon with the discount code: STUDENT3, which I found at DealsPlus.

New American Idol Winners Promos

American Idol unveiled its new promos for the 10th season of Idol during Game 3 of the World Series. The promo spots feature the Idol winners. The 60-second commercial, set to the Five For Fighting song "Chances", spotlights all nine winners in order, starting with Kelly Clarkson, then Ruben Studdard, Fantasia, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks, David Cook, Kris Allen and Lee DeWyze, with current and Idol footage used.



The 30-second commercial features Kelly, Lee, Ruben, David and Carrie saying their names and hometowns. The song used is "Unstoppable" by Kerrie Roberts.



Lots of footage was taken during these shoots, and it sounds like there will be more coming up in the future. I will definitely be keeping an eye out during NFL games tomorrow just in case ...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Video Of The Day - Lady Antebellum National Anthem

Lady Antebellum sang an awesome rendition of the national anthem during Game 2 of the World Series in San Francisco. Their harmonies are gorgeous. Um, and so is Charles Kelly. Ahem. Listen to the crowd during the song too - they were loving it.



Video from YouTube user laurener1

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Video Of The Day - Norwegian Recycling - Miracles

The lovely @oatmealcookieee introduced me to this phenomenal mashup last night. It's called "Miracles" by Norwegian Recycling. The mashup is built around the piano line for Bruno Mars' Just the Way You Are and the "I believe in miracles" line in Michael Jackson's "Black and White".

I heard this mashup before even knowing there was video, so it's pretty awesome to see it all put together like this. Great editing on both the audio and visual end.



Songlist:
1. Bruno Mars - Just The Way You Are
2. B.O.B. feat. Bruno Mars - Nothing On You
3. Gnarls Barkley - Crazy
4. Britney Spears - Hit Me, Baby, One More Time
5. Jason Derulo - In My Head
6. Justin Timberlake - My Love
7. Lady Gaga - Just Dance
8. Leona Lewis - Bleeding Love
9. Ne-Yo - So Sick
10. Michael Jackson - Black Or White
11. Snoop Dogg - Sexual Eruption
12. Survivor - Eye Of The Tiger
13. Taylor Swift - Fifteen
14. Taylor Swift - Fearless
15. Savage Garden - The Animal Song
16. Snoop Dogg feat. Justin Timberlake - Signs

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Video Of The Day - Justin Timberlake Cry Me A River/Ain't No Sunshine/Over

Justin Timberlake took a break from his acting career to put on a benefit concert for the Shriners Hospitals for Children Saturday night in Las Vegas, along with a few friends (Christina Aguilera, Lady Antebellum, Elton John, Salt-N-Pepa, Diddy, Selena Gomez and T-Pain).

JT went solo acoustic on a few songs, including this one here, where he changed up Cry Me A River and added in some Ain't No Sunshine and Over to it.



(video by nikoleoncld9)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Kris Allen Sings Imagine At Right To Rock Benefit

Kris Allen was honored by the nonprofit music education organization Little Kids Rock on Thursday evening for both his music and charity work at the annual "Right To Rock" benefit in New York City. Kris treated the audience to a performance of "Imagine" with some music students and former New York Yankee star Bernie Williams, a classical guitarist and Grammy nominee. Williams was also honored by Little Kids Rock as their "Big Man of the Year."

Videos taken by Artistsupporter:



Kris being honored by the organization:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

NoBo Goes Reggae

Kris Allen has a knack for turning songs on its ear with his unique arrangements. No melody in that song, Kanye? BOOM. Now there is one. Now Kris has done the unthinkable - he's made his Idol coronation song "No Boundaries" sound ... good. Yeah. No Freakin' Boundaries. That of the stupid "weather a hurricane" line (LOL Kara Dioguardi. What were you on?). Kris put an acoustic reggae spin on the song in an exclusive Entertainment Weekly video with Michael Slezak.

Go click this link to watch!

Pretty awesome, huh? It's got a Jason Mraz "I'm Yours" feel to it. I kinda hope he sings this at a solo show soon haha.

Kris's reggae-fied song reminds me of Kelly Clarkson rocking up her "A Moment Like This" on her Breakaway Tour in 2005:



LOL that all the Idols either never sing their coronation songs again after tour, even if they were pretty big hits (hello, David Cook!) or they do something drastic to it. I THINK THIS IS A SIGN, Idol producers. PICK BETTER SONGS.

Kris Allen Sleepwalks Naked - And It's Alright With Me

Kris Allen visited with his pals at MTV and Entertainment Weekly on Monday afternoon after his NYC tour stop with Lifehouse and not only gave each an acoustic performance of his current single "Alright With Me" but divulged quite a story from the road. After receiving a tip from Kris's own mother, MTV's Jim Cantiello got Kris to share the story of the night he got locked out of his hotel room without his clothes on after sleepwalking. And how he walked up and down the hallways looking for a napkin from room service to help cover his "man parts".

Watch Kris tell this hilarious story here:

The 7-part video continues with more fun times with Krim, who talk about how great it is to have "dude fans" at the concerts, about Kris loving his set "right now" (I see you loving the fact that "The Truth" is not on the setlist right now, Kris Allen! I see you! CoughSetKillerCough), his buck t-shirt he is selling at the merch tables, Alright With Me, and Lee DeWyze's single, Sweet Serendipity.

Kris and his guitarist Cale Mills then performed a really nice acoustic version of Alright With Me:

Entertainment Weekly got its own version of Alright With Me from Kris and Cale and will have an interview plus another acoustic performance of "a certain 'controversial' ditty", as Michael Slezak teased. I'm thinking it's "The Truth", but kinda hoping it's something legit controversial, like "Darling Nikki" (LOL that will never happen)

Here's Alright With Me, EW style:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Maroon 5, OneRepublic, Bruno Mars Triple Bill

I hit the concert lottery on Saturday night with an awesome triple bill of Maroon 5 with openers OneRepublic and Bruno Mars in San Diego. All three acts could easily headline their own tours. Maroon 5 has had some A+ choices for their opening acts during this Hands All Over Tour (I'm conveniently ignoring the Owl City transgression). Two of their openers are my favorite new artists - Kris Allen and Bruno Mars. And OneRepublic really surprised me with how good they are live.

Bruno Mars is flat-out awesome. He's SO talented. He writes great songs, he has a killer voice - so silky smooth and effortless, he plays guitar well, and he's got charisma. I want to see a solo show of his so bad, but I'm not around for the one Southern California show he's doing this fall (Nov. 19 at UC San Diego ... see the rest of his tour dates here). I loved his set, and pretty much knew every song he did, which is unusual for the first opener, but, like I said, he is worthy of his own headlining set. The only quibble I had with Bruno's set is that he didn't do his current single "Grenade" and that of the six numbers he did, only 1.5 are on his album. He did half of "The Other Side" to open and closed with "Just The Way You Are". In between, he did "Top of the World", which is from lord knows where, his collaborations with Travie McCoy ("Billionaire") and B.O.B. (Nothin' On You), and a cover of "Billie Jean" (over "Smells Like Teen Spirit")/"Roxanne". As an opener who JUST released his album, I get why he did that particular set, but I was really surprised he didn't do his new single "Grenade". But whatever, everyone loved him and sang along to just about everything, and that's what you want, right?

OneRepublic was the second act, and I'm not exactly a big OneRepublic fan, and I've made my share of Ryan Tedder jokes. The times I've seen them perform on TV I have not come away impressed with his voice. But whoah. Maybe it's the studio setting that made them sound bad, or maybe they've just gotten better, but I was really impressed by them Saturday night. Tedder was hitting some seriously high notes. We're talking Adam Lambert territory. And the band is really talented. All of them were playing multiple instruments. Tedder played guitar, piano and tambourine. One guitarist played the xylophone. Another played the violin. The bass player played cello. I really adored the addition of strings to some of the songs. The cello on "Apologize" was amazing! It even made "All The Right Moves" tolerable (I HATE that song). Like everyone else, OneRepublic did a cover medley - "Stand By Me"/"Seven Nation Army"/"Sexyback". My favorite performances from them were "Secrets" and "Marchin On", the latter of which I had never heard before.

Maroon 5 played a good mix of songs from all 3 albums, including all of their hits (and wow, they really do have a lot), plus an awesome cover of Alicia Keys' "If I Ain't Got You" and a little bit of Prince's "Purple Rain" leading into a mashup of their own song "Secret" and Tina Turner's "What's Love Got To Do With It". From the new album, they opened with "Misery", busted out the disco ball on "Give A Little More", and got a little naughty on "Stutter". Adam Levine prances and preens and struts all over the onstage kind of like Mick Jagger. It's really entertaining to watch. Standouts for me were "Sunday Morning" at the end of the show, "Give A Little More", which was really fun, and the whole acoustic set, especially "If I Ain't Got You".

Videos after the cut

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Script Live At The Wiltern

The Script started off its first U.S. headlining tour this week in California, kicking off their tour in San Diego on Monday and then playing at the Wiltern in Los Angeles on Tuesday. I went to the LA show and came away thoroughly impressed by this group. They are charming, engaging, energetic and extremely humble.

They only have one album available in the U.S. and just released a second album in the U.K., and they seemed so overwhelmed and touched by the response they got to their music. After the crowd sang the entire song during "The Man Who Can't Be Moved" (which was released twice to radio in the U.S.), lead singer Danny O'Donoghue got a little choked up and started to tear up. He couldn't be more adorable.

Well, that's not entirely true. He can. His dancing! He cannot stand still during a song, even when he's behind the keyboards. He flails about the whole time (even nearly face-planting right into the audience while hopping off the stage to get onto a bench right in front of the barricade during "If You See Kay"). And when he's not on an instrument, he's dancing around in circles. You can see this on almost every video.

The Script sang songs from both albums, and you could tell there were some hard-core fans there because they were singing along to every single song, especially on "Breakeven". I normally don't like big sing-alongs because I want to hear the singer sing it, but the sound system at the Wiltern was so bad that I'm kinda glad everyone was singing along so you could actually hear the words.

The new songs are great, although they didn't play my favorite amongst the ones I've heard - Exit Wounds. Of the ones they played, I especially liked "Nothing", which has been in my head all day, and the current single, "For The First Time." Also memorable was "Science & Faith", which sounds remarkably like Kris Allen's "Red Guitar" (Listen to the opening guitar riffs. Holy cow. They all need to collaborate at some point. I think they could come up with something totally amazing together).

Here are the videos I took from Tuesday.

You Won't Feel A Thing (from new album):


Before The Worst:


The End Where I Begin:


I'm Yours:


Nothing (from the new album):


For The First Time (from the new album):


Opening act Hugo with a banjo-fied cover of Jay-Z's "99 Problems":

Video Of The Day: Antoine Dodson Performs Bed Intruder Song At BET Hip-Hop Awards

Who would have thought a home invasion can turn your life around in a positive way? One minute Antoine Dodson was being interviewed by his local news station about his sister being a victim of a burglary and and attempted rape, the next minute he becomes a viral sensation. Once his interview got on Auto-Tune the News, BOOM - instant celebrity. Last night, he performed his "Bed Intruder Song" at the BET Hip-Hop Awards.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Katharine McPhee Christmas Album Available

American Idol Season 5 runner-up Katharine McPhee has released her third album, a holiday album called Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You.

The CD includes the usual Christmas standards like "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas", "Jingle Bells", "O Holy Night", and "White Christmas", plus an original that McPhee wrote, "It's Not Christmas Without You".

Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You is available now in stores and on iTunes and Amazon.com. iTunes appears to have what's essentially a 2-for-1 deal - Katharine's second CD Unbroken, plus the Christmas CD with a bonus track for just $9.99 (iTunes Unbroken Deluxe Edition).

Lifehouse 101

Kris Allen goes out on tour with Lifehouse starting this weekend, so I thought I would offer up a little introductory post about Lifehouse's music for fans going to the shows who are not familiar with the band. I know I always find it more enjoyable going to concerts when I've at least heard a good chunk of the songs.

If you think you're not familiar with their music, think again. Chances are you're more familiar with them than you thought. Lifehouse, which consists of lead singer and guitarist Jason Wade, drummer Ricky Woolstenhulme Jr., bassist Bryce Soderburg and guitarist Ben Carey, has been around for 10 years and has five albums.

Their first single was "Hanging By A Moment" (Music Video | Live), which topped the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles chart in 2001 and was the most-played song on the radio that year.

Another one of their monster hits is from their self-titled third album, the ballad "You and Me" (music video) | Stripped Sessions). This song was probably played at every other wedding in 2005 and beyond and stayed on the Billboard Hot 100 for 62 weeks, the fifth-longest run in history. It is still being played regularly on AC radio five years later.

Lifehouse had three big hits from their fourth album, Who We Are: "First Time" (Music Video | Live); "Whatever It Takes" (Music Video | Live), which has Jason playing guitar while standing amidst a bunch of lamps while things explode in the music video (Sound familiar?!); and "Broken" (Music Video | Live), which was featured on quite a few TV shows, including Grey's Anatomy. It was also used in a Fox commercial last year that had a clip of Kris winning American Idol on it.

Since this is the Smoke & Mirrors tour, I expect Lifehouse to be playing a good chunk of songs from their Smoke & Mirrors album. The first two singles are "Halfway Gone" (Music Video) and "All In" (Music Video | Live). Those are givens, and I assume "Nerve Damage" (Live) and "Wrecking Ball" (Live), which features bassist Bryce Soderburg on vocals, are givens as well since they sang those at both their opening shows with Daughtry and at their headlining fair shows. They also sang "It Is What It Is" (Live) at both, but it seems to have disappeared from their set fairly recently. "Falling In" (Live) was played at both fair shows I went to, and I believe they kept playing it in Europe as well.

All of these songs, and I haven't even gotten to my favorites. One of the co-favorites is "Everything", which has one of my favorite lyrics of all-time: "How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?" It has been off their setlist for a few years now, but they've promised to bring it back for this tour, and they played it for their encore during their recent European tour.

I see "Everything" as Lifehouse's version of "I Need To Know" - a much revered and rarely played live album track with lyrics that are often interpreted as being about one's faith/spirituality. Both were even played on CW dramas - "Everything" on the pilot of Smallville and "I Need To Know" on The Vampire Diaries last week. I'm also expecting some dancer or choreographer to pick up "I Need To Know" for a routine on So You Think You Can Dance at some point. "Everything" has been used on the show - check out Shauna Noland's ridiculous solo to this (those spins!).

Here's Everything, performed in Cologne, Germany last week:


"Blind" (Music Video) was the follow-up single to "You And Me" but did not have nearly the success as that song did. I actually had never heard it until I saw a YouTube video of them performing it with Chris Daughtry. Now it's my co-favorite, especially live. I like the changes they made to the tempo and the notes. I kind of want to marry the live version of this song.

Here's Blind from San Diego in July:


The fact that they didn't do "Blind" by itself in Europe troubles me. Hopefully that was just a European thing (DO YOU HEAR MY CONCERN, LIFEHOUSE?!).

What they did do in Europe, though, was really cool. The band has five albums out. Obviously they can't sing every song. But Jason did an acoustic medley of songs by request. I hope this is something they continue this fall. "Blind" was included a few times, as was another favorite of mine, "Storm" (Snippet), which is another popular contemporary dance song (One of the few SYTYCD Season 1 episodes I saw was one of the audition rounds, and winner Nick Lazzarini auditioned to this song. I bought it on iTunes on the spot.).

On this video, recorded in London, they sang "Take Me Away", "Breathing", "Blind", "Sick Cycle Carousel", "From Where You Are" and "The End Has Only Begun":



So that should pretty much cover most of the songs they might possibly sing on tour. But I saw them four times this year, and each one has been a little different, so you just never know. What I do know is that they will deliver a good show, so stick around to watch their set. I'm hoping Kris eventually joins them for a song once they have time to rehearse (No really, guys, please rehearse if you do this. Kris has ~history with lyric fails. "And you won American Idol?!"). Lifehouse and Chris Daughtry ended up doing a couple of different songs together on their tour - Blind, Broken, Had Enough, and Home/You And Me.

Lifehouse and Kris hit the road starting this Friday. The tour opens at the MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods in Mashantucket, CT. For tour dates, visit Lifehousemusic.com or KrisAllenOfficial.com.

Video Of The Day: Smell Like A Monster

The geniuses at Sesame Street have created a parody of the Old Spice commercials, featuring Grover. CLASSIC. "I'm on a horse ... (moo) ... Cow."

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Video Of The Day - Anoop Desai Just The Way You Are Cover

Anoop Desai covered Bruno Mars' #1 hit "Just The Way You Are" on Friday night at his headlining concert at Cat's Cradle in North Carolina. I adore this song, and Anoop does a nice job on the cover.



(video by lovealwaysliana, who also has more videos from Anoop's show on her channel)

But not as nice as the man himself, who performed "Just The Way You Are" and "Nothin' On You (Remix)/Grenade" on Saturday Night Live last night. He KILLED IT. Bruno is amazing and so talented. I'm so excited that he'll be opening for Maroon 5 when I see them on Saturday. I'll bring back videos from that for sure!

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Video Of The Day - Fiona Apple Across The Universe

Today would have been the late John Lennon's 70th birthday. One of my favorite songs of his was "Across The Universe", which he did with The Beatles. This cover by Fiona Apple is my favorite cover of any of his songs:



I actually wanted to use this acoustic John Lennon performance of "Imagine" as the video of the day, but embedding was disallowed, so I'm just going to add a link here: Imagine (acoustic)

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Lee DeWyze Album Information Released

Some details on American Idol Season 9 champion Lee DeWyze's upcoming album were announced today. The CD, which will be released on Nov. 16, will be titled Live It Up, which is also the name of the first single. The single will debut on Ryan Seacrest's radio show on Oct. 13.

USA Today got more information on the CD. Elysa Gardner described the lead single as "being in a Jack Johnson/Jason Mraz vein". It was co-written by Lee, Toby Gad and Lindy Robbins. Other song titles Gardner revealed are "Me & My Jealousy", co-written by Lee, John Shanks and Zac Maloy, and "Beautiful Like You", co-written by Thomas "Tawgs" Salter and Mark Stochansky.

The press release issued on Lee's CD quoted him as saying, "Putting out an album on a major label is truly a dream come true. I'm excited for all the people who supported me throughout Idol to hear what I can do with my own songs. The album shows a whole different side of me and I’m so proud of it."

Lee also said, "To see my name listed in the credits on each song was really important to me because I’m a songwriter. I also loved working with such talented writers. They all brought so much to the table and really helped me flesh out my sound."

Kris Allen's I Need To Know Featured On The Vampire Diaries

The TV show The Vampire Diaries, on the CW, used Kris Allen's emotionally-charged "I Need To Know" in tonight's episode, featuring the song prominently in a scene at the end of the show.

If you missed it, here's video, from altrus01:



I've always thought this song or "Bring It Back" would end up on some TV show. I was thinking more Grey's Anatomy/One Tree Hill rather than blood-sucking, but whatever, I'll take it!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Kris Allen's Single Is Alright With Me

Kris Allen announced via twitter that his third single from his self-titled debut album would be fan favorite "Alright With Me", which Kris co-wrote with The Fray's Joe King. King also co-produced the song with Mike Flynn.

Kris tweeted, "I'm so excited to tell you that there is a 3rd single coming out. The 3rd single will be.......(drum roll)" (5 minutes later) "The next single will be "Alright With Me". Thanks to everyone that has already believed in this song. This fall is gonna be a lot of fun."

Kris and Joe King got together last summer for a writing session in Virginia Beach after Kris sent Joe an email asking to collaborate. They recorded the demo in Timbaland's studio, and Joe told MTV later that Timbaland's brother heard what they were doing and "said if Timbaland was upstairs and he heard this melody, he'd walk in the studio and say, 'That's a melody.'"

"Alright With Me" has been a constant in Kris's set list since the Jingle Ball shows last December. He first performed it at the Jingle Ball in Sacramento for 107.9 The End. And, as you can see from the video, people really took to the song live. It's a fun crowd participation song, whether you're singing the yeahs, clapping along, or dancing on stage (hi, friends!).



This one here is one of my favorite performances of this song, done at a radio show in Connecticut. While standing on a stool. OK, bad-ass.



And, of course, the song was featured in Kris's Ford commercials, which ran throughout Season 9 of American Idol.

This song is catchy as hell, and SO fun to listen to. I think it has hit potential written all over it. Hopefully Jive will be sending Kris out to all the radio stations to do promo for the song while he's out on the road with Lifehouse this fall. Their fall tour starts Oct. 15 in Mashantucket, CT.

Monday, October 04, 2010

David Archuleta's The Other Side Of Down Available Now

David Archuleta's third studio album, The Other Side Of Down, is now available on iTunes, Amazon and stores. Archuleta co-wrote 10 of the 12 tracks on the CD, including the current single, "Elevator." He talks about the writing process and embracing his "inner dork" in this interview with USA Today.

Buy The Other Side Of Down now:
iTunes - Regular Version | Deluxe Version
Amazon.com - Regular Version | Deluxe Version

The CD is also being streamed on AOL Music's Listening Party.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Video Of The Day - Wayne Brady, Mike Tyson Every Little Step Parody

Funny or Die strikes again with Wayne Brady and Mike Tyson parody of Bobby Brown's "Every Little Step" music video. Bobby Brown makes a cameo in the video as well. It's funny stuff. The fashion from the late 80's is so lulzy. And Mike Tyson? He's a TERRRRRRIBLE dancer! So don't be getting any ideas, Dancing with the Stars.