Archive | February, 2008

In the Arena, 2/29

28 Feb

BY TODD HUNT

At long last, I have found the time to blog about my trip to L.A. earlier this month. I’m sure the details will be boring to the majority of you, but this was a work trip after all. Again, I apologize for the delay but we have been slightly busy around here…

L.A. DAY ONE:
Really this is day 1.5. I arrived at the hotel around 11 p.m. Monday night after catching a late afternoon flight out of Tupelo and went straight to bed. Tuesday morning was spent in meetings with the Venue Coalition, a group of 34 venues scattered across North America. I got the chance to visit with several promoters whom I had been in negotiations for several shows for the Arena. Phone calls and emails are nice, but face to face meetings are what really drive the concert business and lead to increased activity.

Tuesday afternoon I attended the conference keynote address which was delivered by Harvey Goldsmith. Mr. Goldsmith’s most recent claim to fame is as the promoter behind the Led Zeppelin reunion concert in London last December. Alas, he did not bring any of the band members with him, nor did he announce a world tour by the greatest rock band of all time. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens there.

Another hot topic at the conference was the emergence of the ticket reselling (or scalping) market. This was a lively discussion between building managers, artist managers, ticketing companies and ticket scalpers, but unfortunately there are no easy answers to this thorny problem. The only thing I can add to this is to always make sure you are buying tickets from an authorized ticket outlet or the venue itself. Web sites can be made to look pretty, but they can still be a scam if it’s not directly affiliated with the venue.

L.A. DAY TWO:
I spent Wednesday picking up event marketing tips from a P.R. guru from Phoenix and meeting with other building managers, promoters, and agents in an informal setting. Based on my meetings the previous day, I was able to add a couple of concert holds to the building for fall 2008.

I also learned that it’s hard to go anywhere in L.A. unless you have a car. Taxis are quite expensive and aren’t easy to find in the sprawl of southern California. Next time I’m definitely renting a car…

L.A. DAY THREE
While there was a full slate of activities for conference attendees on Thursday, it was time for me to catch a plane back to Tupelo. With Charity Ball scheduled for Friday, Gaither Homecoming on Saturday and Winter Jam on Sunday, I felt that I needed to get back to the office. I used the time on the plane to work on a couple of projects for the arena instead of writing this blog as I originally intended before the trip began. That’s the way life goes sometimes…

So that’s a quick look at how I spent my sixty hours in Los Angeles. Hopefully it will pay off with a show or two in the Arena later this year. And speaking of Arena events, we have the Metro Ford Monster Jam in the house this weekend. So if you’re into big trucks that make a lot of noise, come see me this weekend!

Until next week,

Todd

“American Idol,” Feb. 28

28 Feb

So long, Alaina Whitaker, Robbie Carrico, Alexandrea Lushington and Jason Yeager.

Those were the four kicked off tonight on “Idol.”

It’s sad to see Alexandrea go, since there were so many other girls who could’ve easily taken her place, but all’s fair in “Idol,” I suppose.

I didn’t see much else of the show, so the only other things I can report on are Ryan Seacrest’s update on the rest of the season.

He said “Idol”‘s Top 12 will finally get to sing songs from the Lennon/McCartney catalog (*sigh* are we sure we want to do that?), and with that Top 12 episode will be new opening graphics (can’t come soon enough), an exit song by Ruben Studdard and a new stage.

Also, “Idol Gives Back” will happen April 9.

R.I.P, Mike Smith

28 Feb

Mike Smith, lead singer of the Dave Clark Five, has died.
The band will be inducted in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame later this year.

Dave Clark Five has become one of my favorite bands in the last couple of years.

If I listen to music on the radio at all, it’s usually on an oldies station. That’s how I became familiar with the band, and DC5’s biggest hits like “Bits and Pieces,” “Glad All Over” and “Catch Us If You Can” were some of my favorites.

I’ve only been able to find the Dave Clark Five on vinyl, and thanks to my vinyl archiver, I’ve been listening to DC5 quite a lot lately. No matter what, their music always puts a smile on my face.

Thanks for your music, Mike!

*sigh* My computer won’t let me post this, but click here to see a video of my favorite Dave Clark Five song, “Because.”

What’s Going On – New CDs, movies

28 Feb

Happy Thursday…it’s my Friday and duuude I can’t wait for the weekend. Not for any particular reason other than I’m looking forward to another “Angel” packed weekend. 🙂

Items of interest…

  • Disney has a new video game, “Ultimate Band,” that will compete against games like “Rock Band” or “Guitar Hero.”
  • Coldplay has a new record coming out and Rolling Stone is all over it.

Scene Picks

28 Feb

Weekend happenings!

  • Sister Hazel will be at Rick’s tonight (Thursday). Read all about it in Scene.
  • Fairlane will rock the Shannon Sports Bar & Grill Saturday at 8 p.m. Cover charge is $5.
  • The Spunk Monkees are performing at Festival of Hope Friday. The event starts at 6 p.m. and it’s at the Wesley Hall.
  • Monster Trucks are roaring into the BancorpSouth Arena this weekend. Check out Scene or the Arena’s Web site for more.
  • The Link Centre is hosting an independent movie night tonight (Thursday) with “Brick by Brick: A Civil Rights Story.” It starts at 6:30.

Finally, in this week’s Scene, we ran a story on Ryan Bingham, who will perform at Thacker Mountain and Proud Larry’s tonight in Oxford. Don’t forget – if you can’t get to see Thacker, you can hear it live on Rebel Radio 92.1 or hear it after “A Prairie Home Companion” on MPB.

Forget most of the “country” music you hear on the radio or on TV – this guy is the real deal. He grew up with a ranching family and has rode many a bull in rodeos. Read more about him in Scene this week. For now, here’s his latest video, “Southside of Heaven.”

“American Idol,” Feb. 27

27 Feb

Since the beginning of “American Idol”‘s seventh season, Ryan Seacrest has promised us the best talent the show has ever found.

Friends, we’ve been fooled. Ryan Seacrest has lied to us all. It is a sad day in America, indeed.

*sigh* Bear with me as I recount the worst show in “Idol” history.

The top 10 girls tonight were pretty bad, for the most part. It was a strange night — each of the judges told nearly all the girls that “they’re the one to beat” or that they’re a great vocalist but they chose a terrible song.

I’m not sure what was worse — the performances or “Idol”‘s stylist. Everyone looked terrible, and I think Amanda Overmeyer was as afraid of her hair as everyone else was.

Miss Idol Controversy Carly Smithson started the night off with “Crazy On You.” It’s good, but she still hasn’t won me over. I’m glad her hair has some volume this week, though!
Randy said: It was good towards the end; it was alright.
Paula said: Happy to hear Carly’s healthy (she was sick last week) — she’s an amazing singer.
Simon said: Much better than last week but she still hasn’t chosen the perfect song. No other girl can touch her vocally, and she’s the one to beat.

Syesha Mercado tackled “Me and Mr. Jones.” I actually really really liked this…looks like I’m the only one.
Randy said: It wasn’t a good song choice and she seemed uninterested in parts.
Paula said: She liked Syesha’s interpretation of the song.
Simon said: It was indulgent and silly.

Brooke White sang “You’re So Vain” and played her guitar. That’s right, folks, the first three performances were really the best (maybe only the first and third if you believe the judges) — it gets way worse than this. Anyway, Brooke was awesome.
Randy said: Great song choice but she didn’t bring anything new to it.
Paula said: Perfect song choice and it totally suited her.
Simon said: He LOVED it. And yes, he thought the song was about him.

Ramiele Malubay sang “Don’t Leave Me This Way.” Not very good.
Randy said: It was rough.
Paula said: She’s the one to beat, but she didn’t “get to perform her magic” on this song.
Simon said: She was much better last week, but she’s one of the top 3 vocalists in the competition.

Kristy Lee Cook — let me be quite frank here — she has GOT to stop standing/crouching with her legs open like that. Looks like she wishes she were singing while riding a horse. She sang “You’re No Good.”
Randy said: 100 percent improvement over last week but no breakout moments.
Paula said: Good song choice.
Simon said: Huge improvement but she needs to make a statement.

Amanda Overmeyer sang “Carry On My Wayward Son.” It’s far from her best.
Randy said: It’s not a singer’s song.
Paula said: She doesn’t need to worry about sounding too much like Janis Joplin, etc., nad just do what feels right.
Simon said: Indulgent song choice and he didn’t really get it.

Alaina Whitaker sang “Hopelessly Devoted to You.” Anyone else get the feeling she was a little stalker-ish on this?
Randy said: Really pitchy and not the right song.
Paula said: She did a good job.
Simon said: It was old-fashioned and it looked like her grandma helped her prepare (from her scary blue dress and the way she sang it). But, he says she might be the dark horse to win the competition.

Alexandrea Lushington sang “If You Leave Me Now.” There’s nothing special about it.
Randy said: It was a safe song choice. She has mad vocal skills but it was safe and boring.
Paula said: She made it her own.
Simon said: It was boring.

Kady Malloy shows us that she can be an opera singer too. Anyone else think she’s just really good at imitating everything? Anyway, she sang “Magic Man.”
Randy said: It didn’t work.
Paula said: The power in her voice is great but her low notes are bad.
Simon said: It didn’t go anywhere.

Asiah’ Epperson sang “All By Myself.” It was pretty good.
Randy said: She sang the most difficult song of the entire show, so he gave her kudos on that.
Paula said: She has problems with her low notes.
Simon said: That’s one of the biggest diva songs ever and s he’s not a diva — in fact, she’s “not that good of a singer.”

Wow. After tonight, I think about any girl — EXCEPT Carly, Brooke and Asia’h, maybe even Amanda — could go home.

For the guys, I’d love to see Robbie go, but I think all of the Nickleback/Hinder kind of fans in the world will keep him in another week. I’m going with Luke and Jason.

Sorry, by the way, if this post looks weird — I’m writing it from home and my computer has decided to hate WordPress.

Music videos

27 Feb

Here are some local bands’ music videos…enjoy. 🙂

OXFORD: “Mattresses Underwater,” Colour Revolt

TUPELO: “A Long Way from Tupelo,” Paul Thorn

TUPELO: “Crosstown Train,” 69 Model