Matchbox Twenty Announce 2013 Tour

I’ll admit it. I have a soft spot for Matchbox Twenty and Rob Thomas. They may have been surfing in and out of the radio waves since the mid-˜90s but that hasn’t stopped me from listening or them from pushing forward. After their brief hiatus’ a few years ago, they came back strong with the release of their latest album, North, this past September.

“There’s something that we can do when the four of us are together that we can’t do alone,” frontman Rob Thomas told “We’re proud of the things that we did when we were away from the band, but it wasn’t the same thing.”

Pre-sale tickets for members begins today, Nov. 13 through Nov. 15. Tickets will be available to the public on Nov. 16. Check out their tour dates after the jump. Will you be heading out to one of their shows? (more…)

'The Voice' Is Back: What's New For Season 3?

It’s hard to believe that The Voice is already back, but we’re not complaining.

The second season of the hit singing competition, which stars Christina Aguilera, Maroon 5‘s Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, and Cee-Lo Green as judges, only just wrapped in May. With the third season kicking off tonight, here are some exciting new twists you can look forward to.

  • Bigger teams: The teams have been increased from 12 up to 16 contestants, which is twice as many as were on the Season 1 teams. The result? Battle rounds AND “knockout rounds.” This is going to be intense.
  • Stealing: We’ve all seen this happen: Two amazing contestants go up against each other, their coach rambles on about how much s(he) loves both of them, and said coach eventually has to make the heartbreaking elimination. Now, the other three coaches will have the ability to steal the eliminated contestant and add them to their team. This is sure to cause some drama (and heightened competition between the coaches).
  • New mentors: The Voice is all about musical diversity. Last season, we had the opportunity to see contestants of all backgrounds get mentored by the likes of Alanis Morissette, Kelly Clarkson, Lionel Richie and Ne-Yo. This time around, they’ll be working with mentors from completely different genres than their coaches, which is sure to make for some great TV. Offering up their pearls of wisdom will be Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day (Team Christina), Mary J. Blige (Team Adam), Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20 (Team Cee-Lo), and Michael Bublé (Team Blake).
  • More familiar faces: Viewers of the first two seasons may have noticed some singers they already knew, including Dia Frampton of Meg & Dia, Juliet Simms of Automatic Loveletter, and singer-songwriter Charlotte Sometimes. This season, we’ll be seeing former Hey Monday vocalist Cassadee Pope…and maybe even an OurStage artist or two?
  • More singing from all contestants: In the past, we’ve gone too long without seeing certain contestants sing, depending on the competition schedule. This season, all current contestants will sing during live shows, so you won’t miss your favorites.
  • More Purrfect: We all know that the real breakout star of Season 2 was Purrfect, Cee-Lo’s snow-colored, sour-faced cat. She randomly showed up in his arms about halfway through the competition, and was soon immortalized on his clothing (and on Twitter). Judging from her most recent tweets, the famous feline will be back on Mr. Green’s lap for more vocal warefare this fall.

Season 3 begins with a three-night premiere starting tonight at 8PM EST. Check out a special preview of the blind auditions below!

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Matchbox Twenty Return With New Album 'North'

As the wave of 90s nostalgia seems to be reaching an all time high, Rob Thomas and Co. return with North, their first LP since 2002’s More Than You Think You Are.

While the band has not been completely dormant over the past decade, this will mark their first full length studio effort after releasing the 2007 compilation Exile on Mainstream (a collection of previous hits featuring six new songs).

“The title refers to us finding our way,” guitarist Paul Doucette tells Rolling Stone. “We went into this record with a lot of material. Many different songs that could have taken us in many different directions. It sort of overwhelmed us for a bit. But, at a certain point, we figured it out. We figured out where ‘North’ was.”

The album is due out September 4th, but fans can expect the first single in a few weeks.

Vocal Points: Justin Bieber Coached Through Puberty

Teen-pop superstar Justin Bieber started heating up on YouTube at the age of only 12. His sweet voice and adorable image made him so popular that Justin Timberlake and Usher were fighting over him. But since signing to Island Records and upping his status from YouTube sensation to worldwide teen heartthrob, he has undergone many changes. Some were easy, but others required a great deal of work.

Usher, voice coach Jan Smith, and Bieber

Justin Bieber‘s voice was incredibly high at the beginning of his career, typical for a young boy who has not yet reached puberty. Since then, the inevitable happened”his voice deepened. While every kid goes through puberty, few go through it while subjected to such intense scrutiny. Since he rose to fame, people have speculated that Bieber’s musical career would end when his voice dropped. And after his noticeable voice-crack during his performance of “Pray” at the American Music Awards in November, it seemed that they may have a point. Instead of letting that performance bring him down, Bieber used it as a learning experience and invested in a voice coach to help him strengthen his voice and ensure his continued success.

His weapon of choice: Jan Smith (dubbed ‘Mama Jan’ by Usher, who is also coached by her). Smith has coached stars like Ciara, Rob Thomas and Trey Songz, and her work with Bieber has helped him to learn the difference between singing for fun and singing as a profession. When Bieber was initially discovered, he sang because he loved doing it. But now he has been forced to learn discipline and the necessary steps required to sustain a career based on his voice. This is why a voice coach is so essential for Bieber. He needs someone with experience to guide him in learning vocal technique and to make him practice every day.










Michael Jackson is a great example of a child star who was well disciplined. His voice started out as male soprano and he was able to sustain it with great success as a high tenor after his voice changed. Jackson’s voice coach for most of his career was Seth Riggs, who rehearsed with him for at least two hours a day, six days a week. This kind of training strengthens the voice and allows singers to be at their best despite the fact that they are performing day after day, week after week.

Bieber’s voice has already grown significantly, but it is time for him to mature and take responsibility for keeping his voice strong. He can rely on Jan Smith for help, but it will be ultimately up to him and how seriously he takes his voice training.