While Hurricane Sandy’s destructive path through the East Coast delayed or cancelled almost all live music events in the Mid-Atlantic tri-state area, there is one show that will still go on. This Friday, Jersey boys Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi will play a massive televised benefit concert to benefit those affected by the record-breaking storm. Billy Joel, Sting, and Christina Aguilera will reportedly join the Garden State natives at the show, which will broadcast live on at 8 p.m. EST on NBC and NBC.com, as well as network affiliates USA Network, MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo, E!, Style Network, and G4. All proceeds from the telethon will go to the American Red Cross, which has been assisting victims in the aftermath of its devastating landfall this past Monday. Last night, at a concert in upstate New York, Springsteen dedicated “My City of Ruins” from his album The Rising to the storm-battered Asbury Park, the seaside New Jersey town where he and his band gigged regularly at the beginning of their career. To quote another appropriate song from The Boss, the Jersey faithful always seem to take care of their own.
If you dig Springsteen, check out OurStage artist Blake Guthrie!
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According to Rolling Stone, the first week of Coachella 2012 didn’t just break an attendance record – it broke an arrest record, too. The Indio, California police department has estimated that 80,000 to 85,000 people attended each day of the three-day festival. This is up 10,000 people last year, the previous all-time high. The police department claims that there has already been 130 arrests at the festival, as well. This is a big increase compared to last year’s 40 arrests. Due to the tremendous increase in attendance, most of the arrests are alcohol-related. Despite the seemingly large number, Benjamin Guitron of the Indio Police Department told NBC that this number was small “compared to other events-sometimes there are 200 arrests at football games.”
The second weekend of the Coachella Festival will begin tomorrow. According to Rolling Stone, the line up is essentially identical to last week’s. From what we can tell, some big names include Swedish House Mafia, Radiohead, Bon Iver, and of course Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and the now-famous Hologram Tupac for Sunday.
Click here to check out Coachella 2012’s full lineup.
Last year, the premiere of NBC’s The Voice brought new life to the tired format of reality singing competitions. Unlike American Idol and The X-Factor, contestants on The Voice audition for the show by performing for four judges, all of whom have their backs turned. If the judges like what they hear, they press a red button to turn their chair around, thereby claiming the contestant for their team. If more than one judge turns their chair around, they’ll have to fight for the contestant, who then has the opportunity to pick which coach they’d like to work with. Oh yeah, and instead of industry execs and Simon Cowell, the coaches of The Voice are four of the biggest names in music: pop superstar Christina Aguilera, Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, country crooner Blake Shelton and the “Crazy” and colorful Cee-Lo Green. The show has been applauded not only for having a unique format, but also for being extremely accepting of performers from all walks of life, styles and levels of experience.
Last night, The Voice returned for its second season and viewers were not disappointed. Even the contestants who weren’t chosen by any coaches, like twenty-year-old Daniel Rosa (who performed “Animal” by Neon Trees), were extremely talented. At the end of the night, however, only five performers were selected to compete. Of the group, there is a country singer, an R&B singer, a rock singer, an opera singer and a soul singer, which instantly gets this competition started on a unique note.
Of the five contestants chosen on last night’s episode, two performers truly stood out as early contenders for the win. Jesse Campbell, a formerly homeless single father from Illinois, had all four judges turn their chairs around before he even reached the first chorus of his song. All of them were taken by his flawlessly smooth voice, which is reminiscent to that of season one winner, Javier Colon. When the performance was over, Adam spoke for everyone when he said, “the whole room was on fire.” Though Jesse is an R&B singer, he decided to join Team Christina. We’re sure those two are bound to make a dynamic pair!
The second contestant to watch is twenty-five-year-old rocker Juliet Simms from Clearwater, Florida. Juliet has been a staple in the modern alternative rock scene, performing under the name Automatic Loveletter for several years. Her rendition of The Beatles’ “Oh! Darling” had Adam Levine singing at the top of his lungs, and although Blake didn’t turn his chair around, the other three coaches spent plenty of time fighting over her. In the end, she chose Cee-Lo as her mentor”a surprising move that is sure to have awesome results.
It’s clear that the level of talent is already higher than season one, so the pressure is definitely on. Tune in tonight for another episode of The Voice, starting at 8pm on NBC!
Missed the show? Check out Juliet Simms’ performance of “Oh! Darling” below:
Mica Parris is something special. This rising Portland songstress has a sound rooted in old school soul, with touches of modern R&B and the drive of Top 40 pop-rock. Did we mention she’s got a set of killer pipes? Her blend is unique-yet-familiar, and is perhaps the reason her track “Wings” caught the attention of Monica. The R&B legend hand selected Parris as the Grand Prize Winner of the Artists on the Rise Competition”presented by NBC’s The Voice”landing her a mentoring session with Miss Thang herself. Pretty sweet, right? Congrats girl! Check back to the OurStage blog for our exclusive follow-up with Parris later in the month.
You may know Donald Glover from NBC’s comedy Community, where the Georgia native plays college student Troy Barnes. Last week Live Wired got to experience this actor’s musical side. Glover is currently on tour with his rap side project Childish Gambino in anticipation of his full-length album Camp, which comes out on November 15th. The writer, actor, comedian and rapper has been all over the place in the past year: from hosting the MTVU Woodie Awards to playing at Bonnaroo. This time around, he’s touring the country and selling out venues like House of Blues.
The crowd went wild from the second Donald Glover came on the stage and everyone was at full energy for the rest of the show even though the performance was simple. There was a live band and a small movie screen for graphics, but there was nothing extravagant. Honestly, not much else was needed because his stage presence is so big that he brings enough intensity to his performances. Having seen Glover do stand-up comedy in the past, it was fascinating to see the difference in he acts on stage when it comes music. There’s no doubt that, as hilarious as he is, he’s in the process of getting huge with his music.
He chose to perform one of his most popular songs towards the beginning of the set: “Freaks and Geeks”. The track, from an EP he released earlier this year, has a memorable beat and witty lyrics that gave the audience the chance to rap along with him. The crowd also got a kick out of Childish Gambino sampling John Legend’s cover of Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep”, as it turned into a giant sing-along followed by Glover rapping his own verse. We were also treated to some new Childish Gambino material which was exciting for fans who have been anticipating the new album. “You See Me” is incredibly catchy”the always-clever lyrics were displayed on the screen on stage so everyone could join in by the end. On the other hand, most of the crowd already knew “Bonfire”, the first single from the album and the best performance of the night.
Wanna see what you missed? Check out Glover’s free-styling talents over Meek Mill’s ‘Ima Boss” after the jump!
Maybe the “Glamberts” are as good as it gets? If so, American Idol‘s days of blasting supernovas into the pop stratosphere certainly ended with a big bang. Adam Lambert, the object of the “Glamberts'” obsession, may not be Idol’s best-selling star”internationally, that would be first-season champ Kelly Clarkson, who has sold nearly 25 million albums worldwide, with Carrie Underwood taking the lead in the US with sales of some 12 million”but he might well be its biggest. His “Glamberts” dance at the altar of their pop idol with a passion unmatched even by Lady Gaga‘s disciples, who at least make do with Rihanna and Katy Perry when she’s not around.
Interestingly, since Lambert’s second-place finish in 2009’s most-shocking Idol-finale twist to date, it’s been nowhere but way down for other Idol contestants on the charts. Although Kris Allen, the guy who shoved Lambert into the eighth season’s runner-up spot, scored a trio of Top 20 singles”one of which, “Live Like We’re Dying,” went platinum”his self-titled post-Idol album sold just a fraction of what Lambert’s For Your Entertainment did in the US (765,000 vs. 322,000), and was the first by an Idol winner not to go gold.
This past season’s Top 2 might do even worse: Last month, Lee DeWyze’s Live It Up earned the distinction of having the lowest first-week sales (39,000) of any Idol winner’s debut to date, and plummeted down the Billboard 200 album chart faster than you can say, “Taylor Hicks.” (Remember him?) Runner-up Crystal Bowersox’s debut, Farmer’s Daughter, came out on December 14 and isn’t expected to do much better.
Though the Fox network’s Idol still has an edge in the Nielsen ratings (we’ll see when its 10th season premieres on January 19, how it fares with Simon Cowell gone to launch the US version of The X Factor in September of 2011, also on Fox), but emerging competition is endangering its supremacy in the pop marketplace. As TV-produced pop stars go, the Glee cast has eclipsed just about everyone, with a string of hit albums and EPs and more than 100 singles charted on Billboard’s Hot 100. Meanwhile, Lambert aside, the two top-selling stars to emerge from TV talent search’s in the past two years”Susan Boyle and Jackie Evancho”came not from Idol but from Britain’s Got Talent and America’s Got Talent, respectively.
And more competition is on the way. In addition to Cowell’s US X Factor, NBC will debut the Mark Burnett (Survivor)-produced The Voice of America, based on Holland’s top TV star search, in the spring of 2011. But the success of Boyle and Evancho, neither of whom won their respective contests, suggests that it might not be whether you win or lose, or even which show you appear on, but the strength of your publicity hook. Boyle was the underdog forty-something spinster from the Scottish boondocks, Evancho the 10-year-old opera-singing prodigy.
As for Idol’s upcoming hopefuls, if any act associated with the show is likely to benefit from the exposure next season, my money’s on new judge Jennifer Lopez. She hasn’t had a pop hit in years, but 19 Management should take over her recording career pronto, release the long-delayed Love? and watch it outsell Allen, Bowersox and DeWyze. She might never again have a “Glambert”-type following to call her own, win an Oscar like third-season also-ran Jennifer Hudson, or even secure her very own episode of Glee, but she very well could provide Idol with new bragging rights as an even greater resurrector of fading celebrities than Dancing with the Stars.
Jeremy Helligar is a former staff writer for People, Teen People, Us Weekly and Entertainment Weekly, who now writes about celebrities and pop culture from his couch in Buenos Aires.
This week’s Needle in the Haystack winner writes music that begs to be licensed. It’s easy to hear the emotion behind each song and this clearly speaks to both the general listeners and music licensors. Hannah Miller joined OurStage in 2008 and has been tearing up the OurStage charts ever since. Miller has four independent releases under her belt, the last of which was produced by Ian Fitchuk and Justin Loucks. She quietly seeks inspiration for her music from her husband, her dogs and the interesting people she meets on a day-to-day basis. In addition to being asked to open for Land Pigg, Patrick Davis, Katie Herzig and Langhorne Slim, Miller was a finalist in the International Song Writing Competition thanks to her track The City and Salt. Her song Keep it Simple was featured on NBC’s hit show, Mercy. Naturally, it’s an honor to have her as this week’s Needle in the Haystack winner.
We have plenty more Hannah Miller in store for you as the week goes on. For now, take a listen to her free download Way About Ya” below.