Friday, January 29, 2010

John Mayer Storytellers

This week John Mayer was on VH1's Storytellers. He explains the stories behind his hit singles and tracks from his new album "Battle Studies." If you haven't purchased "Battle Studies" yet, do it right now. It's an amazing album filled with heartfelt lyrics, emotions, and the honesty for which Mayer is famous.

No Such Thing, Daughters

Heartbreak Warfare

Your Body is a Wonderland

Waiting on the World to Change

Half of My Heart

Unfortunately, the link to "Who Says" seems to be broken or unavailable right now. Check to see if it becomes available.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Hope for Haiti Now

On Friday night, network cable came together for an incredible cause. The two-hour Hope For Haiti Now telethon aired live from L.A., New York City, and Haiti featuring 20 performances from a wide variety of musicians, true life stories from Haitians, and news coverage of the earthquake.

As of yesterday, general public donations (not including large donations made by celebrities) reached $58 million. Hope For Haiti Now sponsored several different organizations including Oxfam America, Partners in Health, the Red Cross, UNICEF, United Nations World Food Programme, Yele Haiti Foundation, and the newly formed Clinton Bush Haiti Foundation; proceeds from the telethon are to be split among them.

You can purchase the album Hope For Haiti Now which features all of the performances from Friday night's telethon on iTunes for just $7.99. Once again, all proceeds will be split among the affiliated organizations.

The destruction in Haiti is absolutely heartbreaking. Please help in any way you can.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Must-See Tour of 2010

Relient K just tweeted, "Looks like we're touring with Paramore this year. We win."

Needless to say, I'm stoked. RK and Paramore are two of my favorite bands in the world. Between the two bands, I own 11 albums and over 200 songs. I'm pretty sure that makes this tour my #1 must-see tour of 2010.

No details have been announced yet, but Hayley Williams (of Paramore) is currently on a radio tour to promote and discuss all things Paramore

You can listen to Hayley on the Kid Kraddick Morning Show here or watch web cam interviews featuring listener questions here.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

GLEE News!

If you're not watching Glee on Fox Wednesdays, what are you waiting for? The show chronicles the journey of a Spanish teacher who takes on the high school show choir comprised of misfits. It's fantastic. There are 3-4 songs in each episode, making it much like a musical. I love the choral arrangements of pop songs. Glee has released two soundtracks already and Season 1 Volume 1: Road to Sectionals on DVD, so you can catch up! New episodes return April 13.

The rumors of a Glee tour have been confirmed, but details have not been released yet.

Glee is also searching for three new cast members. I vote Nick Pitera. Subscribe to his YouTube channel here.

Glee Creater Ryan Murphy dishes on all things Glee in this article.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Jason Castro "The Love Uncompromised EP"

Finally. It's been nearly two years since the world first heard of a unique young singer-songwriter named Jason Castro. Before American Idol, Jason had only performed as a solo act in front of an audience five times. I was lucky enough to see this shy and charming talent at a local club in Dallas before anyone knew who he was.

Jason Castro at The Door in Dallas (August 2007)
Photo by Stacie Cole

Jason was a breath of fresh air to American Idol. He was different--not your typical pop ballad rockstar type. He captured the heart of America with his rendition of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." After finishing in fourth place on Season 7 of Idol, Jason pursued his career further, taking his time to find the perfect label to produce his debut album.

In April 2009, Jason signed with Atlantic Records. This week, Jason Castro released "The Love Uncompromised EP." His debut album is set to release this spring.

"The Love Uncompromised" is a 5-track EP that portrays Jason Castro at his best. It is well worth the wait. Filled with acoustic melodies and heartfelt lyrics, "The Love Uncompromised" does not disappoint.

1. Let's Just Fall in Love Again (Acoustic)
Jason Castro's first single released in September, but the EP features a stripped acoustic version. I love this song. I can't help but smile when listening to it. The song is about falling in love over and over again with that special someone, making every day like those first exciting times when you talk on the phone for hours and get butterflies in your stomach when you hold hands.

2. Love Uncompromised
The title track is one of the first songs that Jason wrote. Videos of this song have been all over YouTube for years now. It's a beautiful song about love in its rawest form. The chorus says, "So kiss me with your heart, touch me with your eyes, love me with your soul. I'll never compromise." Jason sings his heart out in this song, with a genuine vulnerability pouring into every line.

3. You Can Always Come Home
Jason enlisted some help on this track. Serena Ryder, a fellow Atlantic Records artist, lends her vocal talent to the token sad song on this EP. Jason and Serena sound incredible together. Their voices complement one another perfectly, both in tone and emotion. This song is about a guy who's broken-hearted over the woman he lost, but is still clinging to the hope that someday she'll come back home to him. My favorite lines sum up this song perfectly. "I wrote a sad song about it, and I'm still pretty bitter. But I'm happy if you're happy he won. I still miss you in the night, and I want you to know...honey, you can always come home."

4. If I Were You
I love this song. "If I were you, I would fall for me." I'm going to use that line. This quirky track is more upbeat than the rest of the EP and features Jason on ukelele. It's the light-hearted track in between several heart-tugging ballads.

5. Sweet Medicine
"Sweet Medicine" is another Jason Castro classic that has been around YouTube for while. This song is about the addiction of loving someone. It's tender, sweet, and simple, with piano as the lead instrument instead of guitar.

To purchase "The Love Unpromised" click here.

Jason Castro kicks off his tour with Matt Hires next week. For tour dates and information click here.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Simon Leaves Idol

Rumors have been buzzing for weeks now, but today Simon Cowell made it official. This will be his last season on American Idol. He's bringing his UK show "X-Factor" to Fox next year and decided both shows would be impossible.

You can read the article here.

In my opinion, there is no American Idol without Simon Cowell. However, Idol is still one of the most watched shows in the United States. Fox won't turn away from that, but viewers (including me) just might.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

American Idol

Well, it's that time again! American Idol premieres this Tuesday, Jan. 12 with auditions from Boston, followed by Atlanta auditions on Wednesday.

I absolutely love American Idol. I love watching from the beginning, choosing my favorites, and watching how they improve throughout the season.

Last year I had a blog that was strictly about American Idol. Instead, this year I'll comment about the show here every week.

Speaking of Idol, also on Jan. 12, Jason Castro's long awaited EP "The Love Uncompromised" releases. Jason placed 4th on Season 7 of American Idol. His debut album was set to release back in November, but has been put off until April of this year. However, Atlantic Records is releasing a 6-track EP on Tuesday to please Jason's very impatient fans (including me).

Be sure to tune in to American Idol on Fox Tuesday and check out Jason Castro's EP available only on iTunes.

To watch the music video for Jason Castro's single "Let's Just Fall in Love Again," click here.

Watch Jason perform "Let's Just Fall in Love Again" live:

Watch Jason perform "Hallelujah" live:

Thursday, January 7, 2010

We The Kings: "Smile Kid"

I found this fantastic article in AP Magazine about We The Kings' new album, "Smile Kid." I'm a big fan of WTK. Their upbeat jams put me in a better mood every time they come on my ipod. It's definitely dance-around-your-room-while-singing-into-a-hairbrush music.

It's been two years since WTK's debut album, and "Smile Kid" definitely does not disappoint. This article is written by WTK frontman Travis Clark. He walks you through each song on the album. Enjoy! And go buy "Smile Kid" today!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Top Albums of 2009

Since we're ringing in a new year, I thought I'd take a look at the albums, bands, and concert tours from 2009 that I loved.

Top 3 Rock/Pop Albums
1. Paramore: "Brand New Eyes"
2. Kelly Clarkson: "All I Ever Wanted"
3. Kris Allen: "Kris Allen"

Top 3 Country Albums
1. Love and Theft: "World Wide Open"
2. Gloriana: "Gloriana"
3. Lady Antebellum: "Lady Antebellum"

Top 3 Christian Rock Albums
1. Relient K: "Forget and Not Slow Down"
2. Skillet: "Awake"
3. Hawk Nelson: "Live Life Loud"

Top 3 Bands You Should Know
1. The Script
2. Parachute
3. Kings of Leon

Top 3 Concert Tours
1. Taylor Swift's Fearless Tour
2. Jesse McCartney's Departure Tour
3. Kelly Clarkson's All I Ever Wanted Tour

2009 was a pretty great year for music. I found myself listening to country music more as well as the popular dance hits that I'd criticized in previous years. I have a wide variety of tastes, but my favorites stay the same. I'm excited to see what 2010 has to bring.

Most Anticipated Albums of 2010: Jason Castro and Secondhand Serenade

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


I've wanted to start a blog for some time now, but never actually did it. I couldn't think of a concept. I couldn't think of a catchy and creative title. I couldn't think of reasons why people would want to read what I have to say. But today it just all fell together. Why was I trying so hard? Why don't I just write what I know?

So here it is. This blog is going to be a collection of music reviews: albums, concerts, maybe even some pop culture. My dream is to work in the music industry someday. At school they teach us that social media is the key to networking, so I'm going to give blogging a try. If you like my posts, please pass this on. That's the point of blogs! Otherwise it's just another online diary that I don't need. Though knowing me, I'll also probably diary a bit about my life in this blog as well. You can always skip over that nonsense and get to the good stuff though. Enjoy!