Friday, April 17, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
At one point the video projected the illusion that Alison Krauss was on stage live singing the duet. Fooled me for a minute. I even cried for a couple of the songs. Brad seriously knows how to play. He could've been in a rock band with riffs like that.
And can I just mention...Brad's backup guitarist...OMG! So cool. The only person I've ever seen who could pull off a skullet and a Mighty Mighty Bosstones shirt. Obsessed with him. Obsessed.
Well, my senses have kicked in, and my Wahlberg radar is going off. NKOTB tonight.
Are You READY?!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Sunday, March 8, 2009
If you are unaware of what CRS is, it's basically an Expo for Country Radio, where vendors, stations, labels, and talent meet up to promote themselves, schmooze, and educate themselves on new breakthroughs in the industry. A big focus was put on technology: music monitoring and research, audience research via the Portable People Meter (PPM), and the importance of using free marketing tools on the internet like blogging, Facebook and Twitter. Check out the streaming video of the new media ideas panel on www.crb.org. Very interesting.
Anyways, on to my bragging...Tuesday evening we went to a function promoting Reba McEntire's new album to radio stations. It was a listening party to get feedback on the 4 songs fighting for the first released single spot. After a brief interview with Reba, we were broken down into groups and taken into the plush studio where Reba recorded the album.
"Strange" was my favorite out of the selection, and it was the first played. It had a nice modern rock feel to it that could be attractive to a younger generation of Country fans, and maybe some crossover listeners as well. Now is the time to get a song like that out there, while CHR fans are finally giving Country a chance thanks to one Taylor Swift! The lyrics were great too. Definitely something that could be enjoyed by the whole family.
The last song they played had a cool Classic Rock hook that I loved, but it didn't switch up as much as "Strange," and the other songs were good - but didn't stick out. The other songs were geared toward the classic Reba fans, which works. Typical Reba is still some of the best Country music out there. Gotta keep it real - and she does.
We got to meet Reba briefly, and I'm dying to get my hands on the picture we took with her!
The next night, we saw some Tim McGraw. The show opened with some mediocre acts (Lance Miller, Halfway To Hazard, Lori McKenna, and Catherine Raney) that I have never heard of before, and then a little Randy Owen from Alabama. Faith Hill introduced Randy, which was the highlight of the show up until that point.
Tim McGraw sang all new songs. So new, in fact, he had a music stand set up with the lyrics-just in case. He may not do much on the stage performance-wise, but he gets those lyrics across and makes killer eye contact with the audience. He's very personable, and isn't afraid to laugh at himself. At one point he realized that all of the songs he had sung involved death. It was pretty dang-dere funny! (Use of "Dang-Dere" credited to the host of last night's comedy show at Zanie's)
All of the songs were great. Good Girls and Southern Voice (I think it was) were my favorite. Good Girls tells the tale of two best friends that go out to party. They go to a corn field where one of the girls confronts the other about sleeping with her boyfriend. The song ends with both girls dead - a train hit their car which was parked on the tracks. If she can't have him, no one can. Good song.
Southern Voice is that feel-good American country song that just makes you want to clap and dance like a moron with a beer held high in the air.
I'm really looking forward to the new album, and am so grateful that my first time seeing Tim was in such an inTIMate setting. I will certainly go see him again. That stud!
Oh goodness! Thursday night's Sony dinner cruise was the BEST function I've ever been to. The show opened with Kenny Chesney singing a song off his new album called something to the effect of "We Went Out Last Night." Chesney and his songwriting companion took the stage with an acoustic, lyrics in hand, and no idea of what was going to happen - as they had barely practiced the song. There were a couple flub ups, but it was cool to see that happen, and I'm sure the song will get a ton of spins from the stations that attended the event. They'll have a story to accompany song.
The rest of the night was just superstar followed by superstar. Gretchen Wilson, Martina McBride, Carrie Underwood (with her rhinestone mic), and Brad Paisley to name a few, and all did songs never heard before. Paisley did a song that Paul Williams of Sony labeled "the wedding song of 2009." We were told to feel privileged because the song is going to huge, and we were the first ones to ever here it played live. It was a beautiful song about meeting someone for the first time and thinking you could never feel better, but being with that person keeps on delivering precious moments that are even more amazing. I want to say the song is "Look at Us Now."
I was really surprised by Jason Michael Caroll. I had never heard of him, but I loved every second of his low voice and boyband style.
Special guests: John Kay from Steppenwolf played a few songs with Montgomery Gentry, including Born To Be Wild. Then, Peter Frampton came out as the surprise headliner, and the boat full of top industry people could barely stay cool. Carrie Underwood and Martina McBride came out for a three-some version of "Baby, I Love Your Way."
Unfortunately, I didn't get to catch the Keith Urban show at The Rutledge after the boat - but I think I would rather sacrafice my Urban virginity on a night, when he doesn't have such a hard act to follow.
Friday night, was the last night of the conference and it closed with the New Faces dinner and concert. After nights at the Bridge Bar and various meals at the Renaissance's restaurant - the conference goers were a bit beat, but the performers at New Faces brought it. This event showcases new talent every year. The artists put together a little video prior to their performance promoting themselves.
I guess all artists have the task of trying to "beat" Blake Shelton's video which spoofed the "masturbation incident" that occurred the previous year at CRS. I guess somebody was up in their room "pleasuring himself," but didn't realize that his positioning was just right to project his image on the mirrored ceiling of the Bridge Bar. The bar was obviously jam-packed of industry people, and has since been the ongoing joke of the conference. Blake's video made it like he was the culprit. Hilarious!
So, anyways, The Zac Brown Band, Chuck Wicks, Lady Antebellum, James Otto, and Kellie Pickler were featured at this year's event. I have to say, The Zac Brown Band was my favorite, as they are that hippie, jam band-esque country. More twang than Dave Matthews, but no over-the-top descriptive lyrics.
Kellie Pickler was cute, but she had the same microphone as Carrie Underwood, which was definitely noticeable. She should have switched up the rhinestone color or something. My favorite song from her was "Throwing Rocks Instead of Rice," about crashing a wedding of some guy she loves.
Lady Antebellum had a little bit of hipster flair and reminded me of Fleetwood Mac in a way. They were pretty good, but I think The Zac Brown Band should have headlined the show.
Well, that's CRS for you. If you have anything to do with Country Music. I suggest you get your ass to the next one, or at least hang out at the Bridge Bar and network. You won't be disappointed with the folks you meet. Besides being helpful to your career, they are great people with good hearts who love music and like to have fun.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating about the weight gain (Thank God!), but honestly, I feel like I'm constantly eating. Nashville has some of the BEST food I've ever had, and nobody looks at you like "You're gonna eat THAT! Tsk, Tsk." However, I do feel like I need a couple dozen stick thin models flaunting themselves around me, because they are good for committing to a diet.
Some of my fav spots so far are:
The Sunday Brunch at the Daily Dish. http://dailydishfranklin.com/index.html
Best Salad Bar in the World: Jason's Deli
Club Cabana: http://www.clubcabananashville.com/home - More expensive , but has that LA Vibe - Cabana style tables with iPod hookups and televisions
Nashville is a beautiful city. The houses are gorgeous, and the weather has been a nice mix of winter snowfalls and island-like Spring air. No smog!
All of the hot spots are close to each other, and drinks prices are decent. If you live in Nashville proper, a cab ride won't cost you more that 15 bucks. I'm not a fan of the cover charges at bars. Milking the tourists for all they have. It doesn't matter if you are a hot chick or not - you are not getting in unless you pay up. But, also unlike LA - the door guys don't pull the list bull crap and turn you away. You wait in line, and you'll get into the club when you reach the front of the line. (unless you pay a VIP skip the line charge) The clubs I have seen aren't that pretty, and don't come close to those in Los Angeles.
Most of the clubs are live music (The Mercy Lounge is mint!), so I'm on a hunt for a good dance club. Graham Central Station is kind of cool; multiple floors with bars ranging from Coyote Ugly-ish, Karaoke, Dance, and live rooftop music. I just feel that there is too much going on - young crowd meets older crowd- all different genres of people. It's a fun night - but a slight fluster cluck. Not something you can do all the time, and a rowdy crowd. http://www.grahamcentralstationnashville.com/
A 2 bedroom/2 bathroom apartment with a washer and dryer in the unit, and amenities like a pool and rec room would run about 1,200 a month. There are some gorgeous lofts Downtown, but those are about 1,300 for a 1 bedroom, and 1 parking spot. The location might be worth it normally, but not in this economy.
PET PEEVE: Beer has to be sold at a different location than Wine and Alcohol, and Wine and Alcohol are not sold on Sundays - which I can live with. It just sucks when you have to run to a bunch of different stores. Trader's for cheap and delicious cheese (NO TWO BUCK CHUCK!), Kroger's for groceries and beer, and then the liquor store for a bottle of wine (which is a bit more expensive here in Nashville).
Speaking of wine: Country StarKix Brooks has an amazing vineyard a little outside of Nashville. Guy and I went for Valentine's Day.
So, that sums up my time here in Nashville so far. I had a great time at the Country Music Seminar this weekend, but I'll wait until tomorrow for that post!
Off to Kyle Cease at Zanies tonight. S.O in the hizzzzouse!
- Ms. Hee-Hawllywood
- Nashville, CA, United States
- Ten random things you may not know about me:
1. I broke my arm at an Elton John concert.
2. I once stole a dozen eggs from Herbie's in Worcester, MA.
3. I'm a vegetarian.
4. I graduated with a degree in Theatre (side studies: Music and Journalism...for those of you that think a Theatre degree is a waste of time and money.)
5. I took a year off of college to travel the country and Canada with a children's theatre production.
6. I met NKOTB.
7. I drive a Scion XA.
8. I know the McDonald's Menu Song by heart.
9. I want to open a Bed and Breakfast someday.
10. I have crooked fingers :)