Archive for February, 2013

Baauer’s ‘Harlem Shake’ Reach 400M YouTube Views

harlem-shakeYouTube is the go-to place for artists to promote their material and try desperately to attain that “viral” status that is now so coveted. And, just as the world is starting to let go of the chart-topping hit “Gagnum Style” and the dance that goes along with it, there’s a new craze in town. It’s called “Harlem Shake” by trap producer Baauer and thanks to YouTube, it’s now landed on Billboard’s Hot 100 list.

The song consists of very few lyrics, but a techno beat and tons of digital scratches that will quickly make it as big a club hit as it is a YouTube Sensation. Recently reaching over 400 million views on the video social network, it was this feat that caught the attention of Billboard. Just last week Billboard announced that they would now be including YouTube streaming data that’s based out of the U.S., on their charts. And the number of views he’s received equates to 262,000 video influenced sales on the charts.

It’s an incredible amount of attention for the producer, and to think that it’s for a song that he released last May. Now he’ll not only join the list of new YouTube sensations such as Psy but also Rihanna, who’s “Stay” is also currently on the charts; and Drake, who just reached the top 10 with his “Started from the Bottom.”

Now all that’s left to do is for even more fans to watch the YouTube video, and then join the millions already creating their own versions of the “Harlem Shake!”

Kacey Musgraves Tours with Kenny Chesney

kacey-musgravesKacey Musgraves grew up in Golden, Texas. It’s a small town about 80 miles east of Dallas. Golden is close enough to Big D, but “kind of in the middle of nowhere” as Musgraves would put it. She joins a long line of many other successful country music musicians to come out of East Texas, which includes Miranda Lambert from Lindale, Texas, just a short drive from Golden.

Musgraves released three albums herself before she participated in the competition Nashville Star in 2007. She placed seventh, but it introduced to her to Nashville and before long she left Austin for Nashville to pursue songwriting fulltime. It was here that she gained some early label interest and continued to write and pursue her own sound. She wrote the first single of her latest album Same Trailer Different Park “Merry Go ‘Round” with on a writer’s retreat in Strawn, Texas.

Musgraves spent 2012 touring with some of the top names in country music today. She opened for Willie Nelson and toured with Alison Kraus and then headed to Europe for a tour with Lady Antebellum. She returned in September for the release of “Merry Go ‘Round.”

2013 is looking good for Musgraves as well. She is appearing as a special guest on Little Big Town’s “The Tornado Tour” and also as an opener for Kenny Chesney’s “No Shoes Nation” tour through the spring and summer. Other bands on the “No Shoes Nation” tour includes the Eli Young Band, Zac Brown Band and Eric Church.

Tickets for the “No Shoes Nation” tour featuring Kacey Musgraves can be found now on Shows begin in March and will extend through August at locations all across the country.

Kacey Musgraves has also been nominated for New Female Vocalist of the Year for the 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards.

Fanilows Rejoice Barry Manilow’s Return to Broadway After 25 Years

barry-manilowAfter waiting a quarter of a century for Barry Manilow to return to the Broadway stage, Fanilows had to wait a little while longer after the show was postponed due to the singer suffering from bronchitis. The show was postponed only briefly though, and now dates have been added in March to make up for them. And for Fanilows lucky enough to attend, Barry says this is one of his most intimate settings ever.

“It’s a totally different feeling from the stage,” says Barry when talking about performing at the St. James Theatre which seats only 1,710, as opposed to big stadium tours. “I’m in their laps; they’re in my lap. It’s very, very intimate.”

The show, Manilow on Broadway, officially opened on January 29 after Barry had recovered from his illness and it will run until March 2. Fans can expect all of the greatest hits including “Could It Be Magic,” “Mandy,” “Copacabana,” and “Can’t Smile Without You.” But, Barry also promises that the songs have been revamped to make them still classic, but with a few new twists.

“Every few years, I go back into all the songs and I update them so that it never sounds like an oldies show. If you come to the shows, they’re full of muscle. ‘Copacabana’ sounds like it could have been released yesterday,” he says.

But Barry’s not going to stop when this Broadway run ends. He’ll still be traveling around performing shows on the weekends, and he’s got two new albums in the works as well. He’s also currently working on his own musical called Harmony, a show for which he’s writing the original songs.

“I’m old as the hills and you would think I’d be out to pasture someplace because I’ve done everything. But nothing has changed,” he recently said. “I’m still hungry. I’ve still got a million ideas. I’m still strong and ready to create.”

Country Star Mindy McCready Dead at 37 of Apparent Suicide

mindy-mccreadyJust a year ago, Mindy McCready posted a personal message of hope and determination, claiming that while she had had her struggles, they were behind her now and she was ready to move forward. To continue fighting. To still be here. But a lot can happen in a year, and last night the world learned it had become too much for Mindy. Tragically, she is no longer here after apparently committing suicide.

Last year Mindy’s message to her fans read, “I haven’t had a hit in almost a decade. I’ve spent my fortune, tarnished my public view and made myself the brunt of punch line after punch line. But I’m still here. I’ve been here before. I’m a fighter. I’m down, but I’ll never be out.”

But while McCready had seen her fair share of the battles over the past ten years, not even she could have predicted what was coming. After breaking onto the country music scene in 1996, she quickly fell into the downward spiral that so many stars do. Plagued with substance abuse problems, depression, and even spending time in jail, McCready was a star that people continued to root for, even though it seemed she was about to lose it all.

Then in the past few years, she truly did.

In 2011 she kidnapped her oldest son, after losing custody of him to her mother. That boy is the child of Billy McKnight, who went to prison for attempting to murder McCready back in 2004 — around the same time she was charged with trying to illegally obtaining OxyContin.

McCready also had a 10-month old son, who was the son of record producer David Wilson. Just last month, Wilson committed suicide on the porch of their Arkansas home. With the pain obviously being too much to bear, last night McCready sat on that same porch and apparently killed herself with a shotgun, just like Wilson. It was sadly her fourth suicide attempt since 2005.

Monty Python Hit ‘Spamalot’ Playing on Tour Right Now!

monty-pythonEveryone loves the story of King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table; and even more so when it’s “lovingly ripped off from the classic film comedy Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” That’s why the current tour of Monty Python’s Spamalot is one of the biggest hits to come to American theaters in a long time. And it might be coming to one near you!

The theater show, which depicts King Arthur and his knights, as well as the honor and loyalty that was the backbone of the Round Table, brings hilarity every step of the way. While the story itself is always a fun one to revisit, Monty Python’s take on it always delivers, and this includes a brilliant cast — not to mention some cows and killer rabbits along the way, as well.

Arthur Rowan and Abigail Raye return to their roles as King Arthur and Lady of the Lake, respectively; and Glenn Giron will also be resuming his role as Patsy, after being on hiatus for a year. Adam Grabau takes on many faces during the play including that of Sir Lancelot, The French Taunter, King Ni, and Tim the Enchanter. Kasidy Devlin will also be back to take up the roles of both Sir Robin and Brother Maynard.

The musical brings an entirely new score created by Eric Idle and John Du Prez; and the book was written by Eric Idle. The show is currently in Raleigh, North Carolina for the next week before heading off to Texas, New Mexico, and Illinois. You can find a full listing of shows here, and then get your tickets to one closest to you. This is one that you can’t miss!

The Beach Boys to go on Tour, Don’t Expect Big Names Though

beach-boysThe Beach Boys have always been known to bring some big drama to the stage, and so news of a new tour, starting in just over a week, shouldn’t be any different.

Last year the Beach Boys made huge news when they scheduled a 50th anniversary tour, and kicked it all off by performing at The Grammy’s together. But while things may have seemed quite chummy on-stage, it wasn’t too long before The Boys cancelled their 50th anniversary tour early. Long-held grievances between Brian Wilson and Mike Love, founding members of the band, were brought back up and, unbeknownst to the rest of the band, things were cut short.

Now, there’s a new tour planned, and it shouldn’t surprise you that the lineup will not include Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, or David Marks. Instead it will be just Mike Love and Bruce Johnston, as it’s Johnston that holds the rights to the name.

At the time the anniversary tour was cancelled, Love issued a statement indicating that he had plans to tour with Johnston alone. “As we move on, Bruce and I look forward to performing live for Beach Boys fans everywhere,” it said.

But apparently, some promoters didn’t get the message. Several had booked the Beach Boys for this upcoming tour, but then cancelled after finding out it was just Johnston and Love.

Just to make things even more confusing, Love will be performing one confirmed solo date (with more possibly coming,) and he’ll be inviting Al Jardine and David Marks to perform with him.

For a full list of current confirmed dates for the Beach Boys concerts, visit

Aging According to Jim

jim-belushiJim Belushi is a consummate comedian. He can joke around about anything. His recent comment in the Chicago Sun-Times is just a sampling. He proudly admitted to being a pill-popper. For an entertainer, that is probably not an unusual admonition. Being in his 50s, you’d probably assume that the entertainer had done more than his fair share of pills. Then he went on to explain the comment with his laundry list of medical complaints that required daily medications.

Not funny? That’s what makes Jim Belushi’s special brand of comedy so wonderful. He can take the things that make most of us wince and bring humor to them. He makes us smile at his and our own difficulties and short comings.

Born in 1958, the 58 year old Belushi is a native of the Chicago area. Born and raised in the near suburb of Wheaton, he went to high school there and then went on to the College of DuPage and finally Southern Illinois University at Carbondale graduating with a degree in speech and theater. He cut his comedy teeth at the famous Second City comedy club from 1977 to 1980. Jim wasn’t alone in his quest for success in the entertainment field. Big brother John Belushi paved the way for the young Jim, also starting out as a comedian at Second City and making a huge splash as one of the sunglass wearing Blues Brothers. However, Jim had to find his own path after his big brother met an untimely death at the very young 33 from a hard life of real pills and a variety of other drugs and alcohol. Jim did indeed go on to make his own stamp on the business and find a way to make his goals a reality

For years Mr. Belushi has covered every area of entertainment from movies and sit-coms to his marvelous stand up shows. He’s been a fairly regular on the iconic Saturday Night Live and has been in movies such as Trading Places, K-9 and Curly Sue. Even though he’s numerous movies have made him a formidable force as an actor, he has also enjoyed long standing popularity for his TV series, “According to Jim.” You can check out Jim Belushi’s Chicago great comedy style at a Chicago area performance at the beautiful Rialto Square Theater right here.

Watch the Story of the Jersey Boys Live on Stage

Come see the Jersey Boys, an award winning musical about one of the biggest musical groups of the 1960s, live in 2013! The Jersey Boys is a musical, done documentary style, about the 1960s musical sensation The Four Seasons.

The show opened in 2005, and has toured America, Europe, Australia, Singapore, and Africa. The Singapore production of Jersey Boys features an all South African cast, and these shows will start in Johannesburg, South Africa in the spring of 2013.
The Broadway production of Jersey Boys has run for more than 22oo performances, the 25th longest running show appearing in the history of Broadway. The first national tour for the production began on December 10th of 2006. After performing in San Francisco and Los Angeles, a second company of actors debuted and performed until September of 2007, before starting a run of performances in Chicago.

December of 2010 was the 4th anniversary of the award winning show, and they kicked off another run of shows in San Francisco’s Curran Theatre. The show has broken box office records in Philadelphia, and has played to crowds of enthusiastic fans in Boston.

The show is frequently performed in Las Vegas, in the recently constructed Jersey Boys Theater at the Palazzo Hotel. The London debut, held in the Prince Edward Theatre, happened in 2008, and this production won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical.

The show was also produced and performed in Australia, and their production has received a lot of praise from audiences there. Shows began in 2009 at the Princess Theatre of Melbourne, and then closed in 2010. That September, they began performances in Sydney, which closed in 2011. From there they went to Auckland, and that production lasted until June of 2012.

The story is that of the Four Seasons musical group and chronicles their formation, rise to stardom, and eventual break up. As such, the show is presented in chapters, called “seasons”, with each being represented by a different member of the group’s point of view. If you would like to see an award winning show, with great music and a compelling story, then go see this one. Tickets are on sale now, and you won’t be disappointed.

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