Boyz II Men and Bobby Brown bring hits to The Venue

Boyz II Men – 2014 Tour
The Venue @ Horseshoe Casino – Hammond, IN
3/28/2014

All photos by Dan DeSlover – Concert Capture

Boyz II Men - 2014 Tour

Boyz II Men and Bobby Brown brought an evening of classic R&B to The Venue at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Ind., on March 28. The multi-platinum artists had no problem pushing out the hits to the appreciative crowd.

Continue reading the rest of this review (and find more great photos) at The Examiner!

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In Photos: Eric Benet at Milwaukee’s Summerfest

Eric Benet
Summerfest
Milwaukee, WI
06/28/2012

Photos from Eric Benets set in Milwaukee, WI at Summerfest:

www.ericbenet.net
www.facebook.com/ericbenetmusic

Taste of Chicago 2012 Petrillo Music Shell Headliners Announced!

Taste of Chicago
Petrillo Music Shell
July 11-15 Headliners

Taste of Chicago 2012

The Taste of Chicago has lost money in its most recent years with the entire Taste being free.  As of this year the Taste will be charging for the headliners on the Petrillo Music Shell.  The announcement of the 2012 Petrillo Music Shell headliners notes the $25 extra Taste of Chicago patrons will have to ante up to see the Petrillo acts.  It really isn’t all that bad considering who the headliners are this year. For the $25 additional fee for each artist, Tasters get to see Jennifer Hudson, Death Cab for Cutie, Chaka Khan, and country artist Dierks Bentley. Note- As Mary May from the Department of Cultural Affairs has so kindly stated that the $25 charge is for the seating only. The lawn seats are still free to patrons of the Taste.

Wednesday, July 11
Jennifer Hudson
5:30 p.m.

Thursday, July 12
Death Cab for Cutie
5:30 p.m.

Friday, July 13
TBA

Saturday, July 14
Free Radio Disney Kids Show
11:30 a.m.

Saturday, July 14
Chaka Khan
opener: Raphael Saadiq
5:30 p.m.

Sunday, July 15
Dierks Bentley
opener: Lindi Ortega
3:30 p.m.

For more information, head over to http://www.explorechicago.org/city/en/supporting_narrative/events___special_events/events/mose/taste_of_chicago_-.html.

Monica, New Life, Same Sound.

Monica
New Life
RCA
April 10, 2012

I will give credit where it’s due. When I was in 8th grade Monica’s first singles “Don’t Take It Personal (Just One of Dem Days)” and “Before You Walk out of My Life” were my jams. Then when Monica did that duet with Brandy talking about “The Boy is Mine” by that point I was a junior in high school and we all thought we were bad ass playing that song on each other’s answering machine’s. (If you were really cool your pager had an answering machine.) Monica could sing, she was cute with her overalls, and we related to her music. We were teenagers. We grew up. Unfortunately, her music did not.

Monica released her seventh studio album today, also you can now purchase vanilla ice cream at your local grochery store. Doesn’t sound very exciting does it? Vanilla Ice Cream, that’s what Monica has become to me over the years. You see vanilla ice cream is fine, I mean who doesn’t like ice cream, it has all of the qualities there that should make it really good, hell it’s ice cream, and if you pair it with something like apple pie then it get’s better. Yet you would prefer something with Caramel running through it wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t you prefer to listen to Mary J. Blidge? Doesn’t Monica sound better when you pair her with Brandy? Do you want to listen to another album of Monica’s where it’s all just FINE.If the answer is no, then you just go ahead and skip this album too.

Thanks to her first album and those songs I loved as a kid, Monica’s net worth is around the total of $15 Million US dollars. Tell me why she can’t buy a good song? The album is wonderfully produced, with all the production stars in today’s game that you know, or should, since they make all of today’s hits. Rico Love, Polow da Don,Salaam Remi, even damn Missy Elliott can’t save Monica from making 12 more filler tracks that you can easily live without. What’s the issue? Monica can sing her ass off, she is gorgeous as ever, the beats are decent, the production is good, yet the lyrics fail almost immediately being completely expected, or embarssing (“Log off your facebook it all belongs to me”). Most of the Album’s topics have been exhausted in pop music in the last ten years, even by Monica herself. If you are going to rehash topics of self empowerment, love, and growth you really have to have something bold to back it all up. What we needed was a drastic new sound that recreated Monica in a fresh new way, something with today’s sound vs. 1995. It feels like she keeps painstakingly trying to recreate her first few big hits, even going so far as to have another duet with Brandy, trying to force the magic to happen again. Those overalls, the mid 90’s, being 14 with two top 10 singles: Magic. Being 31 and not having a big hit since, 5 albums later? Time to call in the heavy hitters dear.. New Life? Next time you need a new sound.

Lollapalooza 2012 Headliners Leaked?!

lollapalooza logoUPDATE: (4/9/2012) Another leak of the full line-up!! http://thedeadhub.com/2012/04/09/lollapalooza-line-up-leaked-again/

If you are on Twitter you may have noticed a battle between Perry Farrell (@perryfarrell) and Lolla Leaks (@lollaleaks).  Farrell has gone as far as comparing the Lollapalooza insider that is running Lolla Leaks on Twitter to a sex offender (see images below).

Just 9 hours ago Lolla Leaks posted the supposed 2012 Lollapalooza headliners including Metallica, Beyonce, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Killers, Beck, and Sonic Youth (Final Show).  A few of the artists actually make sense.  Metallica hit the East Coast and the West Coast with the Big 4 last year and have their festival this year that IS NOT in the Midwest. For Metallica to completely skip over the Midwest just seems too cruel.  The Red Hot Chili Peppers are also on tour and would fit the Lollapalooza bill.  The only artist that I would have reservations about is Beyonce, but this could be her big post baby show.  I personally hope there is some truth to it, because I wouldn’t mind seeing all the bands, but hot damn it would be insane!

Lollapalooza 2012 headliners Perry Farrell Twitter

Lollapalooza 2012 headliners Lolla Leaks Twitter

Lollapalooza 2012 headliners Lolla Leaks Twitter 2

Paul’s Twelve Musical Christmas Wishes

Twelve Musical Christmas Wishes

Paul's Christmas List12. I wish that someone would tell Justin Bieber that he is too young to have a “beard.”

11. I wish someone would string my guitar. (The last time I put new strings on Kurt Cobain was still alive).

10. I wish Beyonce/JLo would return my calls and have those court orders… ooops.

9. I wish Motown would rebuild the snakepit and start making relevant music again.

8. I wish Jessie J. would explain those two puppets in the intro to the “Price Tag” video.

7. I wish Pitbull and T-Pain would be my wingmen for a night.

6. I wish that every day I was shufflin’.

5. I wish Paul McCartney would get a facelift. The ex-Beatle looks like an old woman.

4. I wish Billy Corgan would get dropkicked by his fans in music and in pro wrestling.

3. I wish for two 2012 shows; Tim Minchin and The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.

2. I wish to sign a songwriter’s agreement – at least get some love for my lyrics.

1. I wish Elvis was still alive and all the impersonators were dead

Brandy: The Big Comeback?

BrandyRemember Brandy? She start her successful career with “Baby” back in 1995 as the song peaked at #4 on the Billboard Charts.  Yesterday it was announced that she is joining the cast of The Game on BET playing Chardonnay, a sassy bartender who unexpectedly becomes Jason’s (played by Coby Bell) new love interest.  The producers are saying that she is a “fun, strong woman who gives Jason a run for his money because she’s the first woman to turn him down and call him on his BS.”

She also has an album coming out in 2012 off RCA/Chameleon Records, a first for her.  It looks like it’ll be a good one since she is in the studio with the likes of Sean Garrett, Rico Love, Bangladesh, Timbaland, Frank Ocean, Jim Jonsin, Hit Boy, Ester Dean, Danja Hands and Chris Brown at the production helm.

Last but not least Brandy is slated to partake in Tyler Perry’s The Marriage Counselor. Does that movie sound familiar?  It generated some buzz when Tyler cast Kim Kardashian as a marriage counselor  in the movie and then Kim announced her divorce to Kris Humphrey’s.  Want to talk about bad timing?

Brandy is excited about 2012, “This is a dream come true,” says Brandy. “’With ‘The Game,’ I’ve joined the talented cast of a smart and entertaining TV show and I get to work with the amazing [show creator] Mara Brock. And I’m working on a film with Tyler Perry, who’s a genius and someone I’ve always wanted to work with, AND I’m back in the studio working on a new album! Talk about being blessed! I’m surrounded by inspired writers and producers who believe in me as an artist and who want to bless the world with timeless music. Music gives my life a purpose and I’m thankful it lives in me.”

The Game begins Tuesday, January 10, at 10pm ET/PT on BET.

Get Your Soul to the Dance Floor with this Little Ditty!

Lauriana Mae
Love Mae EP
Released: 12/6/2011
Atlantic Records

Lauriana Mae Love Mae EP cover

Atlantic Recording artist Lauriana Mae is inspired by the likes of Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Etta James and fuses those big soulful sounds with a modern pop/R&B twist.  There is so much talent on the EP and it’s just Lauriana Mae with the assistance of producer Kwame (Christina Aguilera, Mary J. Blige).  She doesn’t just belt out the punching pop tunes, she also penned all the tracks.

The EP kicks off with “Money Mae,” which is her moniker, and is something I dare you not to sing along to.  “Like a Drum (Beat It)” and “Love” are the other two tracks to make this EP’s cut.   “Like a Drum” stays with the same catchy beat as “Money Mae,” while “Love” is the smooth jazz ballad.  Even though Love Mae EP is only 3 tracks, it’s a well rounded introduction and there is no reason to not pick up this gem. This EP won’t touch your soul, it’ll grab it and toss it on the dance floor. Now we just have to wait for the full length album. You can pick it up on iTunes here for $2.99!

Lauriana Mae’s “Love Mae EP” Sampler music video:

http://laurianamaemusic.com/
http://twitter.com/laurianamae

Flashback Fridays: CeCe Peniston’s “Finally”

CeCe Peniston’s “Finally” Music Video

CeCe Peniston was signed to A&M Records back in 1990 and her debut, Finally, went Gold and sold over 3 million copies worldwide.  The song of the same name stayed on the Billboard charts for 33 weeks and peaked at #5 back in 1992. The song did hit #4 on The Radio Songs Charts and #26 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Chart.

It may seem like she is a one hit wonder, but CeCe hit the charts again with “We Got a Love Thang,” “In The Mood,” “I’m Not Over You,” and 4 other songs off Finally, Thought Ya Knew, and I’m Movin’ On. After her last release, I’m Movin’ On, she hit the theatrical stage as Glinda the Good Withc in The Wiz.  CeCe also hit the big screen with Don’t Touch if You Ain’t Prayed as well as Pastor Jones.

October 3rd she released “Finally” Remixes through Paul Oakenfold’s label Perfecto Records and 16 BARS Music.

CeCe Online:
Facebook
Twitter 
Official Site

Where Are You?

Kelly Rowland
Here I am
Released: July 22, 2011
Universal Motown

Kelly Rowland Here I Am Cover

The other girl in Destiny’s Child put out another album. Not the rich one, not the religious one, the other one. The one that makes all the singles that you know and love, but have no idea who sings them? That’s right her, Kelly Rowland. Kelly is good for a hot single now and again but I don’t think she ever needs to make a full album. She’s alright jumping on a Ne-Yo track and doing a hook or doing an intro to a new Kells single and we’ll know she ‘s still alive and this will suffice on paying her rent. Truly homegirl needn’t 10 opportunities to hit the target, because 8 will miss the mark. Kelly has a problem repeating herself, repeating herself, repeating herself on the cd – when she runs out of creative lyrics and it’s annoying annoying annoying. If you have heard the two biggest singles “Commander” and “Motivation” you needn’t hear anymore. Especially the opening track where Kelly blatantly impersonates B. Kelly bites B so often on the CD that really the only difference in Kelly’s music is that Kelly drops the N word in almost every single and she’s not afraid to get dirty, tell you how and where she wants it and in which rooms. All of which could have been contained inside two dance singles, or an EP. The extra tracks just remind us that Kelly isn’t a Beyonce, sadly, she may not even know who she is.

The Inaugural Kanrocksas is a Success

Kid Cudi Kanrocksas

Kid Cudi @ Kanrocksas 8/5/2011

Speedways have been successfully hosting concerts for years, Altamont’s 1969 tragedy not included..  Though Altamont had roughly ten times the crowd as Kanrocksas did this past weekend at Kansas Speedway, 300,000 versus roughly 30,000, but Altamont did not have close to the infrastructure that made the first ever Kanrocksas a success for the fans even it if might not have been profitable for the event.

Flaming Lips Kanrocksas

Flaming Lips @ Kanrocksas 8/5/2011

Kansas Speedway boasts a 1.5 mile triangular oval with enough space that it could comfortably host a professional baseball stadium and football stadium within its interior infield.  Chris Fritz has been managing and producing concerts since he was 16 years old and foresaw the scale that could be achieved in a venue such as this.  One of the most redeeming qualities of the Speedway was its pre-existing infrastructure that is already in place for a large number of fans:  plumbing and permanent toilets; physical, air-conditioned, structures within the infield that could house site management, media, and emergency personnel; grass surfaces for the fans and paved surfaces for temporary services; and a very large grandstand with permanent seating that not only gave a respite from standing but also provided necessary shade in the afternoon.  For those who didn’t mind sitting on a paved surface, the track itself has a natural incline and many fans chose this location during the headline sets of Eminem, Friday, and Muse, Saturday, to absorb the sights and sounds (and whatever else they might have gotten into the venue).

Three stages and a tented dance area shared the infield with a series of activities designed by Art Director John Bukaty.  Individual risers (think large crates) dotted the area for animated dancers and a large wall was constructed for master artists to create paintings inspired by the live music.  Tents of varied shapes provided shade and misting stations.  For those who wanted more than just mist, or an in-promptu shower for the campers, there was a designated rain tent.  Water filling stations flowed non-stop and could be found within the main grandstand and at the center of the infield.  Our personal favorite addition to the venue were the roughly one dozen local food trucks which provided tried-and-true food specialties that ranged from gourmet meatball sandwiches (Italian with shaved Parmesan and basil oil or spicy Thai with an Asian slaw) to vegetarian gyros (curried chickpeas and roasted vegetables with feta and tzatziki sauce on a pita) to fresh bakery food and gourmet coffee; and all at prices that were a reasonable $3-7.  The food trucks were in addition to the typical, and numerous, beer and food kiosks that one would expect.  Liquid refreshment was never more than a few feet away as individuals with coolers stocked with beer and water were everywhere.

The Black Keys Kanrocksas

The Black Keys @ Kanrocksas 8/6/2011

Josh Hunt of Mammoth Entertainment put together a stellar first year lineup that went well beyond Eminem and Muse with a diverse spread of talent.  The Black Keys impressed with their Akron-based, garage-produced, blues inspired rock.  Les Claypool of Primus gave yet another mind blowing display of bass-centric funk metal.

Cage the Elephant, Kid Cudi, A Perfect Circle, Flogging Molly, and Ween all had great sets.  Didn’t see Bassnectar but didn’t need to, he was impressive from across the venue.

Photos from the two days will be up today!

In Photos: FLAMING LIPS

In Photos: D12 & Kid Cudi

In Photos: Fitz and the Tantrums, Ween, & Primus

Bera Premieres Tour Diary Webisode

Pop sensation, Bera, who is celebrating the 100,000 fan milestone on Facebook, just premiered his first tour diary webisode. This webisode gives fans a glimpse of life on the road with Bera during his recent promo tour.

In the meantime, check out the lyric video for Bera’s latest single, “Don’t Worry” and pick up “Don’t Worry” and “Favorite Things” on iTunes.

The Ponderosa Stomp’s Clandestine Celluloid Film Series Announced Rare Fats Domino Concert Film, Arch Hall Jr Day & More

The Ponderosa Stomp’s Clandestine Celluloid Film Series Announced
Rare Fats Domino Concert Film, Arch Hall Jr Day & More

 

The 10th Anniversary of the Ponderosa Stomp takes place September 15-17th in New Orleans. Over the years the American music festival has expanded to include a music conference and films as well as an exhibit at Jackson Square’s Louisiana State Museum. On September 16-17th at the Renaissance Arts Hotel, Clandestine Celluloid film series will focus on cinematic guilty pleasures and live performance rarities.

Friday, Sept. 16th Clandestine Celluloid opens at 11am with a rarely screened 1962 concert film of the Fats Domino Orchestra, live in France, featuring Fats, Dave Bartholomew, Herb Hardesty, and others courtesy of Joe Lauro’s Historic Films Archive.  Lauro (currently working on a documentary about Dave and Fats) and Stomp founder Dr. Ike will lead a post-screening discussion/Q & A with Bartholomew. Clandestine Celluloid’s lunch time treat features the return of Lauro’s performance compilation Heroes of the Stomp, showcasing clips from selected artists performing at this year’s concert. At 1pm another rarity, the documentary The Original Soul Men: Sam & Davefeatures interviews with Al Bell, Duck Dunn, Sam Moore, Paul Schaefer and Dan Aykroyd. Never broadcast in the U.S., this is a not-to-be-missed opportunity!
Saturday, Sept. 17th marks Clandestine Celluloid’s Arch Hall Jr. Day. This special tribute to the movie exploits of actor/musician/pilot/writer Arch Hall Jr. (who will perform Sat. night at the Ponderosa Stomp) screens three of his most beloved 60’s cult classics produced by his father, the maverick film producer Arch Hall Sr. under the Fairway International Pictures banner.
At 11am Wild Guitar (1962) will roll. It was directed by drive-in B-movie King Ray Dennis Steckler and features Arch as Bud Eagle, rolling into Hollywood on his motorcycle with only a cheap guitar, a suitcase and a whole lot of moxie. At 1pm, audiences will be treated to what’s been called an “avant-garde existential classic”, the wild and wooly desert pic Eegah! (1962) directed by Arch Sr. and featuring Arch Jr. as a baby faced rocker. Following Eegah! at 3pm is the suspense, fear and sudden shock of The Sadist (1963), starring Arch as a sneering and leering psychotic punk who terrorizes three innocent bystanders at a roadside gas station.
Between the films (which will be introduced by Arch) there will be in-depth discussions with Mondo movie man/musician Johnny Legend and Clandestine Celluloid producer Madeleine Molyneaux. Visiting special guests from the Fairway studio days, include The Archers keyboardist Alan O ‘Day, who assisted his high school friend in his film endeavors (as musical director on Wild Guitar, production assistant and sound recordist on The Sadist and all around “field expedient” guy) and The Archers bassist Joel Christie who worked as carpenter, painter, grip, gaffer, et al on many of the films.
For more information on Clandestine Celluloid, click here: http://www.ponderosastomp.com/clandestine_celluloid_film_series_2011.php
Through hell and high water, the Ponderosa Stomp has spent the last decade bringing icons of American music back to the stage, shining a spotlight on the architects of songbooks that are part of our collective musical DNA.  2011 marks the 10th anniversary of the Stomp, which has expanded over the years from a 2-day concert to include a film festival, music conference, record hop and a DJ dance party. On September 16th and 17th, the Ponderosa Stomp takes over a new venue, the Howlin’ Wolf while moving the music conference, film festival and record hop into a central locale, the Renaissance Arts Hotel. This milestone year will be hailed  with tributes to the essential New Orleans music man Cosimo Matassa, Stax Records, Excello Records and Southern music with Allen Toussaint, William Bell, Big Jay McNeely, Eddie Floyd, Lady Bo, Sir Mack Rice, Lazy Lester, Dave Bartholomew, The Bo-Keys w/ Skip Pitts and Howard Grimes, Carol Fran, Classie Ballou, Warren Storm, The Relatives and more. For details on the line up click here:http://www.ponderosastomp.com/ponderosa_stomp_10_concert.php

Jennifer Hudson brings “Music, Love, Spirit, and Faith” to Ravinia

Jennifer Hudson
Ravinia Festival
Highland Park, IL

“Music, Love, Spirit, Faith”

Those are the words that Jennifer Hudson left imprinted in the minds of her fans who attended her sold out show at Ravinia. They can be used to accurately describe her heartfelt performance and latest album I Remember Me.

Jennifer Hudson has been through a lot emotionally in the past few years and it definitely reflects in her voice. She sings from within; staying true to every lyric, melody, and every song she sings.

She commanded the stage the minute she stepped out, singing “Feeling Good.” The reaction of the audience was one of amazement. I could overhear so many fans commenting on how amazing she looked. Yet aside from her looks, Jennifer has always been known for her belting voice.  From singing “No one Gonna Love You” to “Where you at” she made it look so effortless. She also sang few singles from her debut album and from Dreamgirls. As well as a duet to Michael Jackson’s “I’ll Be There” accompanied by her friend and formal idol singer George Huff.

There were many moments throughout her performance where you could feel her spirit and emotion. They were evidently apparent during her performance of “I Remember Me.” It was one of her strongest moments of the show and she even received a standing ovation from the audience as she gracefully shed a few tears after getting very emotional. Her album and single “I remember Me” reflect the hardships she’s been through in her past but stays on a positive note reminding us that we can get through anything.

Throughout her performance I was secretly wishing to hear “And I am Telling You I’m Not Going.” I felt slight disappointment as she ended her set with  “Spotlight.” Yet, as the audience was slowly exiting the venue; those of us who chanted for an encore got our wish. An amazing show ended memorably with a dynamic performance of “And I am Telling you I’m Not Going.”

From Idol, to Dreamgirls, to a successful solo career. Jennifer Hudson knows to stay true to her roots by always remembering who she is.

 

Setlist:

Feeling Good

Don’t Look Down

If this Isn’t Love

No one Gonna Love You

Where You At

Angel

I Remember Me

I’ll Be there

(Michael Jackson cover, with George Huff)

Hallelujah

(Leoanard Cohen cover)

One Night Only

Love You I Do

I Got This

Spotlight

 

Encore:

And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going

 

Click on thumbnails to enlarge photos:

Destiny’s Child is all Grown Up

Beyonce
4
Columbia Records
www.beyonceonline.com

Beyonce has surely spent untold amounts of energy carving out a niche all her own. The obvious comparisons to Diana Ross may have been enough for some artists to hang their hat on. Beyonce – to her credit – has proven she is more musical and more inventive than Ross ever was.

Then there is the (acrimonious?) exodus from Destiny’s Child. Without disrespecting DC, Beyonce is just too much to confine into that safe pop formula. She is bringing a lot of power and a lot of energy and she is willing to take chances (on the album cuts) that most artists are simply afraid of.

She does vocal acrobatics on “1+1” that most signers would be afraid to even try. I am not saying that every risk she takes pays off. What I am saying is that she is taking risks and – with luck – other pop artists will follow that lead and bring unpredictability back to pop music.

She has not abandoned her pop roots; she is just reaching beyond them. Obviously “Run the World” is a lame pop paean to girl power complete with faux-Ebonics. That is the radio hit to get people to buy the album.

“Rather Die Young” is a sweet and soulful nugget highlighting Beyonce’s soaring vocals more than anything I have heard before. There is a retro-soul vibe supporting her voice. This is the kind of song that deserves airplay.

“The Best Thing I Never Had” contains my two favorite lyric lines of the year, “You showed your ass and I saw the real you!” and “I bet it sucks to be you right now!”  These are the harshest break-up lines ever. (Take a note Cee-Lo.)

Andre 3000 does a guest bit on “Party’ and is – without a doubt – the most inventive and irreverent bit of spoken word on a mainstream album.

There are moments of brilliance – and there are moments of curiosity. Mostly, if this is the future of pop music, I’ll sleep better at night.

Stand Out Tracks
The Best Thing I Never Had
Party
Rather Die Young

Jennifer Hudson Will Perform Two Nights at Ravinia

Jennifer Hudson Takes the Ravinia Stage for 2 Nights 7/16 & 17

Jennifer Hudson has had one heck of a year and life.  She was the Weight Watchers spokesman with all the weight she lost, performed at the Oscars, was nominated for a BET award for “Best R&B Female Artist”, and released her sophomore album, I Remember Me off Artista Records I Remember Me isn’t about Jennifer pouring out lyrics of sadness over her tragic loss of her brother, nephew, and mother at every corner.  The album is more of an inspiration for her fans.  Expect her inspirational vocal pipes on the album translate into a soulful live performance.

July 16th will be the first time Jennifer Hudson has performed on the Ravinia stage.  She will be there for two nights with Miguel opening for her.

 

Jennifer Hudson
Openers: Miguel
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday July 16 & 17/Gates open at 5 p.m.
Where: Ravinia Pavilion
Tickets: $33 Lawn; $80 Reserved
To Purchase Online:

July 16th
Reserved Seating
Lawn Tickets
Picnic in the Park

July 17th
Reserved Seats
Lawn Tickets

 

 

Lollapalooza’s 20th Birthday Is Coming!!!!

Oh how Lollapalooza has grown! It’s amazing how a farewell show for Jane’s Addiction could manifest into a growing mass of 115+ acres of multiple stages showcasing 130-something artists, festival grounds filled with farmers markets, hosting local gourmet fair, and enough arts and crafts to make your head spin! [Read more…]

In Photos: Lupe Fiasco at Fantabuloso Dos

Lupe Fiasco
Fantabulosos Dos
Allstate Arena – Rosemont, IL
4/18/2011

All Photos by Jessica Emmerich

Again, another too short performance from fellow Chicagoan Lupe Fiasco. His newly released album Lasers debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200. His performance was brief starting off with a short version of “Words I never Said”. It transitioned into ” I don’t wanna care right now” during which he splashed a full water bottle onto his fans. He also played a short version of “Out of my Head” which merged into “Kick Push” his first single from his debut album. His fun performance was closed by another hit, “Superstar.”

Find out more of what happened at Fantabuloso here.

Click on thumbnails to enlarge photos:

 

In Photos: Taio Cruz at Fantabuloso

Taio Cruz
Fantabuloso Dos
Allstate Arena – Rosemont, IL
4/18/2011

All Photos by Jessica Emmerich

Taio Cruz was part of the massive bill at 103.5 KISS FM’s Fantabuloso Dos.  More British talent on the stage; Taio Cruz has defintely made a name for himself in the U.S. All with 2 albums, and his forthcoming album  Black and Leather on it’s way. He was very well recieved as he performed his top hits “Break Your Heart”, “Higher”, “Dirty Picture”, and “Dynamite.” Taio has a coolness to him that drove all the ladies crazy.

Find out more of what happened at Fantabuloso here.

Click on thumbnails to enlarge photos:

Mindless Behavior to Headline BET’s “No ID Tour”

Teens will be joined by Tyga, Lil Twist, Trevante & Jawan Harris on 16 Date North American Trek

Los Angeles, CA (May 17, 2011)- Teen phenoms Mindless Behavior made a surprise appearance on BET’s “106 & Park” yesterday to announce that they will headline the first ever “No ID Tour.”  The tour, which will showcase young talent, will also include Tyga, Lil Twist, Trevante & Jawan Harris.  The 16 city trek will kick off July 7th in Los Angeles at the House of Blues and will conclude August 6th in Atlanta (full routing below).  Tickets go on sale this Friday, May 20. More information can be found at http://www.MindlessBehavior.com. Mindless Behavior recently released their first ever EP, which is available on iTunes, Amazon.com and wherever music is sold.  The EP features their hit song “My Girl,” the remix featuring Ciara, Tyga & Lil Twist and their second single “Mrs. Right.” The video for the “My Girl” remix reached the top spot on BET’s “106 & Park” countdown and “My Girl” continues to gain spins on Radio Disney, Urban and Rhythmic radio.

Known for their dynamic live performances, Mindless Behavior recently played the prestigious White House Easter Egg Roll and completed a dozen dates on Janet Jackson’s sold out NUMBER ONES tour. The teens opened for Justin Bieber on an 8-city North American run in late 2009 as well as their own educational tour; “The Mindless Behavior Get Schooled Tour” kicked off in Chicago last November and made stops at major shopping malls and schools all across North America with the goal of teaching kids about the importance of education & staying in school.

Mindless Behavior is a dynamic group comprised of four spirited 13 year old boys – Prodigy, Roc Royal, Ray Ray and Princeton – who boast an insane, sleek and futuristic fashion style, epic dance moves, and global-ready pop songs. They are rapidly gaining popularity with over ten million views on YouTube/VEVO of their videos for “My Girl” and the “My Girl” remix. The group’s hotline has also registered over 200,000 members, with fans making an average of 13,000 calls/text to the line each day! Mindless Behavior is currently working on their debut album, due out this Summer on Conjunction/Streamline/Interscope. For more information visit: http://www.mindlessbehavior.com/

Tour Dates:

Thu, July 7                   Los Angeles, CA                      House of Blues

Sat, July 9                    San Francisco, CA                    The Fillmore

Sun, July 10                 Anaheim, CA                           House of Blues

Fri, July 15 Dallas, TX                                House of Blues

Sat, July 16                  Houston, TX                             House of Blues

Sun, July 17 New Orleans, LA                     House of Blues

Fri, July 22                   Detroit, MI                               St. Andrew’s

Sat, July 23                  Chicago, IL                              House of Blues

Sun, July 24                 Cleveland, OH                         House of Blues

Wed, July 27                Baltimore, MD                         Rams Head

Thu, July 28                 New York, NY                          Irving Plaza

Fri, July 29                   Boston, MA                             House of Blues

Sat, July 30                  Philadelphia, PA                      TLA

Sun, July 31                 Washington, DC                      Cramton Aud.

Fri, August 5                Orlando, FL                              House of Blues

Sat, August 6               Atlanta, GA                              The Masquerade

Jennifer Hudson postponed at the Pearl

The Jennifer Hudson show at

the Pearl on June 24 has been postponed

LAS VEGAS The Jennifer Hudson show planned for Friday, June 24, 2011 at the Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort has been postponed to a later date.

Refunds will be available at the original point of purchase. Those who purchased tickets will be sent a password for a special pre-sale that will take place once the new date is announced.

About the Pearl:

The Pearl is Las Vegas’ premier concert theater boasting accommodations for up to 2,500 ticket holders. Featuring a stage just four feet from the floor and the farthest seating area being a mere 120 feet from the stage, the Pearl offers the utmost in intimate viewing of your favorite acts. Private and semi-private skyboxes are located on each side of the venue offering private bars, lounges and restrooms. The Pearl is a marvel of modern technology using only top quality sound and video equipment throughout. Hard wired to Studio at the Palms, the Pearl allows artists to create a cost-effective live album with efficiency and without additional venue set-up. For more information, please visit www.palms.com.

Jennifer Hudson to perform at the Pearl at the Palms

JENNIFER HUDSON

TO PERFORM AT THE PEARL AT THE PALMS

Friday, June 24, 2011, 8 p.m.

Tickets On-Sale –Saturday, April 30 at noon

Tickets are $55, $75, $100 & $125, plus any additional service fees

To purchase tickets, please visit the Pearl Box Office, call 702-944-3200, visit any Ticketmaster location, call 1-800-745-3000 or visit www.ticketmaster.com


LAS VEGAS – April 11, 2011 – Grammy award winning Jennifer Hudson will return to the Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort on Friday, June 24, 2011, at 8 p.m. with special guest Miguel as part of the I Remember Me tour.

Hudson’s new record, I Remember Me, is a remarkable step forward for one of the biggest and most talked-about stars to emerge in recent years. The album is the follow-up to 2008’s Grammy-winning, gold-certified self-titled release from an artist who had already conquered the worlds of television with her success on American Idol and movies though her triumphant, Academy Award-winning performance in Dreamgirls.

Songs from the new release were written and produced by an all-star line-up of the biggest talents in music today, including R. Kelly, who is behind the album’s first hit single “Where You At,” which is already charting on The Billboard Hot 100. Other known names who worked on the album include Alicia Keys, Ne-Yo, Diane Warren and Salaam Remi, among others.

Last year, Hudson performed at the farewell concert by superstar country duo Brooks and Dunn. They asked her to sing a 2005 hit of theirs titled “Believe.” Though she wasn’t initially sure why they made this selection, she says that she “fell in love with the song that night—I had to have it on the album.” Produced by Harvey Mason, “Believe” ends the album on a soaring, emotional peak.

Described as “intense and intimate, joyous and danceable,” I Remember Me demonstrates the range and growth of Hudson as an artist. It’s a testament to music’s power to heal and to the continuing maturity of a singer who is practically a household name, but still in the early stages of her career.

Los Angeles native, performer and songwriter Miguel not only has amazing vocals Billboard magazine described as “offers both the sweetness of Babyface and the passion of R. Kelly,” but fans will know Miguel’s songwriting as well, having penned Asher Roth’s “His Dream,” Mary J. Blige and Musiq’s “If U Leave” and co-writing on Usher’s Raymond V Raymond album,

Doors will open at 7 p.m. and show time is 8 p.m. The Pearl Box Office is open Sunday from noon – 7:00 p.m., Monday from noon – 10:30 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday from noon – 7:00 p.m., Thursday, Friday and Saturday from noon – 9:30 p.m.. The Pearl is sponsored by Citi; for more information on upcoming concerts, please call 702-942-6888. The Pearl is now on Twitter; please follow @PearlatPalms for concert announcements and event information.

UPCOMING EVENTS AT THE PEARL:

May 7 – Ke$ha; $39.50 (inclusive of all fees)

May 13 – Elvis Costello; $61, $81 & $96

May 22 – System of a Down; $59

June 4 – UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter Finale headlined with Anthony Pettis vs. Clay Guida; $150, $250 & $375

June 16 – Bruno Mars & Janelle Monáe with Mayer Hawthorne & The County; $35 & $55

June 24 – Jennifer Hudson with guest Miguel; $55, $75, $100 & $125

July 3 – The Anti-Social Network featuring Dave Attell, Jim Breuer, Bill Burr & Jim Norton; $65, $75 & $85

 

About the Pearl:

The Pearl is Las Vegas’ premier concert theater boasting accommodations for up to 2,500 ticket holders. Featuring a stage just four feet from the floor and the farthest seating area being a mere 120 feet from the stage, the Pearl offers the utmost in intimate viewing of your favorite acts. Private and semi-private skyboxes are located on each side of the venue offering private bars, lounges and restrooms. The Pearl is a marvel of modern technology using only top quality sound and video equipment throughout. Hard wired to Studio at the Palms, the Pearl allows artists to create a cost-effective live album with efficiency and without additional venue set-up. For more information, please visit www.palms.com.

 

JHud Rises Above

Jennifer Hudson I remember meJennifer Hudson
I Remember Me
Arista Records
Released: 3/22/2011

Jennifer Hudson’s name has become synonymous with the word tragedy, unlike most celebs and musicians today this sadly has been through no fault of her own. As she releases her sophmore album many expect to hear and will even seek out the song for her mother, then the song for her brother, and the heart wrenching song for her nephew, but will find themselves empty handed; as there is a limited amount of weakness or grovelling here.

Everyone in America seems to love a tragedy. Shocking stories of celebrities’ heart ache and and their health issues grip us as if they are our own struggles. Events like what happened to JHud make us tuck our children in a little tighter at night. It’s a startling event that makes us turn to our fighting partner and apologize and say I love you instead of the previously planned hateful words. We lived Jennifer’s pain as they searched for her nephew and broke the news about her mother and brother. Now as we listen to her new album it’s nearly impossible to separate those events and solidify the artist and the music from what she had to live through. Yet she handles the fallout of her life with such grace and overcoming strength that for just a moment you lose yourself in song, which one might suspect Jennifer did in recording the album.

All in all it is just a good solid album with JHud’s stellar pipes present at all times. The title track is easily the most standout of any song on the album. The track is based on a poem Jennifer wrote and is one of the few songs that addresses her struggle with overcoming loss. It blantantly stares in the face of her stages of grief and extendes a middle finger to sadness as she finds her way, again. It’s an inspirational track to anyone who has ever lost someone and marks Jennifer’s first writer’s credit. I Remember Me will be released as a single on May 1st, 2011 and should lift to the top of the charts where it belongs. In the face of it all JHud has created a feel good album, personifying Per Aspera Ad Astra. Bravo Girl.

Introducing Jessie J

Jessie J is a fashion savy, British Pop/HipHop/R&B  artist.  She grew up the youngest of three and her mother was a nursey school teacher and her father a social worker. Jessie notes, “My family is very creative, but no one in my family sings…I was the only one who put my life to a melody…”

Jessie also writes her own songs which is just a plus nowadays.  Her songs are driven by life experiences and not all good ones.  Such as “Big White Room” that she wrote at the tender age of 17 while sharing a room in a hospital with a boy who lost his life.  The YouTube version of the song garnered over 300,000 views and inspired 50 covers of the song.

Jessie J isn’t a newbie to the live show setting either.  She’s toured with artists including Macy Gray, Sugarbabes, Girls Aloud, Chris Brown, Jools Holland, Cyndi Lauper and Taio Cruz. Jessie J notes, “I never had a band.  It was me, my CD, my heels and a huge stage to fill. I loved that I had no one and nothing to hide behind…”  This young veteran also penned songs for the likes of Miley Cyrus and Chris Brown.

The title track to her  album, Who You Are, is being released in what seems to be perfect timing as the economy is slumping, job loss near an all time high, and people’s energy is at an all-time low. Who You Are is about a point in Jessie’s career where the singer’s aspirations were hanging on a thread. “The most important thing in life is to be happy, but everything had become too ‘business’ and sterile. I really thought I was going to quit—not music, but the music industry…it wasn’t easy,” Jessie states. “I was really down, but when I’m down, I write a song about it.” Needless to say many can relate to the songs she is writing and not only relate but really  feel the songs.

Who You Are is dropping in the UK on February 28th and in the US on April 12th on Universal Republic Records. Currently Jessie J is enjoying the success of her latest single, “Price Tag.”  It’s sitting pretty at the #88 spot on Billboard’s Top 100.  “Price Tag” also hit the #1 in the UK, her hometown, and since it is hot commodity, the album’s release date was bumped up from March 28th to the new February date in the UK. To purchase Jessie J’s phenomenal single Price Tag featuring B.o.B. on iTunes go here.

This Jessie also released her third single, “Casualty of Love,” this week.

Jessie J also did a great acoustic redition of “Price Tag” on Jools Holland that you must check out here:

For more on Jessie J go to:
Jessie J’s Official Site
Facebook
Twitter
MySpace

JESSIE J PREMIERES BRAND NEW VIDEO FOR PRICE TAG ON VEVO TODAY! PRICE TAG OUT FEBRUARY 1, 2011 IN THE U.S.

PRICE TAG OUT FEBRUARY 1, 2011 IN THE U.S.

Jessie J is continuing her way into becoming a household name in America with her latest single Price Tag. The brand new video premiering TODAY on VEVO features Jessie with larger than life objects and settings and a nice little appearance from B.o.B.


Jessie J’s single Price Tag will be available to purchase TOMORROW (February 1, 2011) on iTunes! The debut album, Who You Are will be coming out in spring 2011 via Universal/Republic Records featuring Price Tag and Do It Like A Dude

For more on Jessie J go to:
Jessie J’s Official Site
Facebook
Twitter
MySpace

JESSIE J REVEALS COVER ARTWORK FOR HER SINGLE PRICE TAG!

VIDEO SET TO PREMIERE JANUARY 31ST EXCLUSIVELY ON VEVO!


Jessie J has taken the UK by storm in the last few months and from the way things are going, the U.S. is next! About to drop her single Price Tag, produced by Dr. Luke (Britney Spears, Ke$ha) and featuring superstar B.o.B, Jessie is gearing up to premiere her video for the track on January 31st exclusively on VEVO!

Check out a sneak peak of the video with commentary from Jessie as well as the director Emil Nava here:


For more information on Jessie J go to:

Jessie J Official Site
Facebook
Twitter
MySpace

Keyshia Cole Performs “Take Me Away” on Conan

R&B songstress Keyshia Cole stopped by Conan last night to perform her single “Take Me Away.”  The song appears on her recently released album Calling All Hearts which is available on iTunes now.  Visit Keyshia’s official website for more information.

JENNIFER HUDSON SET TO RELEASE SOPHOMORE ALBUM I REMEMBER ME ON MARCH 22

GRAMMY AND ACADEMY AWARD WINNER JENNIFER HUDSON
SET TO RELEASE SOPHOMORE ALBUM I REMEMBER ME ON MARCH 22

FIRST SINGLE “WHERE YOU AT,” PRODUCED BY R. KELLY,
SERVICE TO RADIO JANUARY 24

I REMEMBER ME AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER ATWWW.JENNIFERHUDSON.COM ON JANUARY 24


New York, NY – January 20, 2011 – Grammy and Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson will release her highly anticipated sophomore album I Remember Me onMarch 22 on Arista Records.  The album’s first single, “Where You At,” written and produced by R. Kelly, will be serviced to radio on January 24 (a 30-second snippet can be heard now at www.jenniferhudson.com).   The album is available for pre-order starting today on Jennifer’s website and purchasers will receive an exclusive early download of the debut single “Where You At” the week of January 24th.

The album title, I Remember Me, is based on a poem written by Jennifer and composed into a beautiful song co-written by Ryan Tedder that will be featured on the album. Additional writers and producers on the album include multi-award winners Alicia Keys, Swizz Beatz, Rich Harrison, Ne-Yo and Stargate.

“I’m excited about this album because it’s almost like a renewal for me, reflected through the chapters of my life,” comments Jennifer.  “I’ve called it ‘I Remember Me’ because of the journey I’ve been on.  I’ve learned that life constantly surprises you, no matter your plans.  My fans have been so loyal, I feel like they have been on this journey with me and I can’t wait for them to hear the new album.”

Clive Davis, Chief Creative Officer, Sony Music Entertainment states: “Jennifer is thevoice of the new generation and she literally soars on her second album ‘I Remember Me.’  Jennifer fulfills all of her promise and all of the prophesies that she will be on that short list of great vocalists of our time.”

I Remember Me is the follow up to Jennifer’s 2008 eponymous debut album, which featured the hit singles “Spotlight” and “If This Isn’t Love.”  Jennifer Hudson debuted at #2 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums and R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts and won a Grammy in 2009 for Best R&B Album.

Be sure to check out www.jenniferhudson.com on a regular basis for the latest news, photos and more.

Joel “Hits” Audience With New Disc

Billy Joel
The Hits
Columbia/Legacy
www.billyjoel.com


This year marks the 40th anniversary of “Cold Spring Harbor.” Not a lot of pop/rock music lovers even know that it was that album by a very young Billy Joel that would pave the way for millions of records sold and countless sold-out shows and (more recently) hours of entertainment on TMZ.

“Cold Spring Harbor” (an incredible album by the way) was followed by “Piano Man’ and from there the doors flew up for a guy who once played on a Shangri La’s demo of “Leader of the Pack” and “Remember (Walking in the Sand)” as an unknown session guy in 1964. He was 15-years old. [Read more…]

Sullivan Loves You Back

Jazmine Sullivan
Love You Back
J Records
www.jazminesullivanmusic.com

On “Love You Back” – the latest from singer/songwriter Jazmine Sullivan – the too-young-to-feel-this-old songbird warbles a piece she co-wrote called “Famous.” A well blended orchestral pop nugget with one of the coolest guitar bits buried in the melancholy conclusion, the song fairly warns of what is to come for Philly native who stretches musical borders to their breaking point. [Read more…]

Rod Stewart to Release THE BEST OF…THE GREAT AMERICAN SONGBOOK in Stores February 1st, 2011

ROD STEWART TO RELEASE THE BEST OF…THE GREAT AMERICAN SONGBOOK
IN STORES FEBRUARY 1ST, 2011
FEATURES THE VERY BEST FROM THE GRAMMY AWARD-WINNING “SONGBOOK” SERIES AND 1 BRAND NEW, NEVER BEFORE RELEASED SONG “YOU’LL NEVER KNOW”
STEWART’S LATEST FLY ME TO THE MOON…THE GREAT AMERICAN SONGBOOK, VOLUME V NOMINATED FOR A GRAMMY FOR BEST TRADITIONAL POP VOCAL ALBUM


(New York – January 3, 2011) On the heels of the Grammy nomination for Rod Stewart’s FLY ME TO THE MOON…THE GREAT AMERICAN SONGBOOK, VOLUME V for “Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album,” which has sold over one million albums worldwide already, and just in time for Valentine’s Day, Rod Stewart is set to release THE BEST OF…THE GREAT AMERICAN SONGBOOK available in stores February 1st, 2011 (J Records). [Read more…]

VIDEO: Last Tweet and Testament from Celebrities in Coffins for World AIDS Day

Today is Worlds AIDS Day. A group of celebrities are raising awareness for the AIDS epidemic by taking pictures in coffins thanks to Alicia Keys. The goal is to raise $1 million for Alicia Key’s foundation A Keep a Child Alive that she started with Leigh Blake. None of the celebrities involved in the campaign will log into their  online social media accounts until the $1 million goal is reached.

The Only Way to Bring Celebrities Back to Life on Twitter and Facebook is to Donate Online at www.buylife.com or by Texting 90999

Here are the “Last Tweet & video Testaments” from BRONSON PELLETIER, ELIJAH WOOD, JANELLE MONAE, JAY SEAN, JENNIFER HUDSON, JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE, KHLOE KARDASHIAN, KIM KARDASHIAN, KIMBERLY COLE, RYAN SEACREST, SERENA WILLIAMS, SWIZZ BEATZ, THE BURIED LIFE, and USHER.

Videos of last Tweet and Testament after the jump…
[Read more…]

Celebrities in coffins to Raise Money and Awareness for World AIDS Day

ALICIAKEYS

It’s a bit morbid but Alicia Keys knows how to strike a chord with people. She gathered a plethora of celebrities to help raise awareness and money for World AIDS Day on Wednesday, December 1st. Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian, Ryan Seacrest, Justin Timberlake, P. Diddy, Usher, Jennifer Hudson, Khloe Karshasian, Jay Sean, Swizz Beatz, Serena Williams, The Buried Life, Elijah Wood, Janelle Monae, Kimberly Cole, David LaChapelle, Daphne Guinness and Bronson Pelletier will end their digital lives and sign off from all social networking platforms including Twitter and Facebook in solidarity for those in Africa & India affected by HIV/AIDS. None of the participating celebrities will log back onto any of the online social lives until $1 million has been collectively raised for Keep a Child Alive (KCA), which was co-founded by Alicia Keys and Leigh Blake.

The Only Way to Bring Celebrities Back to Life on Twitter and Facebook is to Donate Online at www.buylife.com* or by Texting 90999

*website to go live TONIGHT (Tuesday, November30th) at 10pm EST

Check out the new creepy photos of your favorite celebrities taking part on World AIDS Day:

More photos after the jump… [Read more…]

FREE DOWNLOAD: Keri Hilson’s “Pretty Girl Rock”

Keri Hilson’s single Pretty Girl Rock” is free on iTunes this week. The song is from her sophomore album No Boys Allowed.

Keri Hilson’s “Pretty Girl Rock”

Free iTunes Single of The Week

DOWNLOAD LINK