American Idol 11 Profile Spotlight: Colton Dixon

Name: Colton Dixon
Age: 19
Hometown: Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Music: Rock, Acoustic, Pop
Trivia: Auditioned in Season 10, made it to Hollywood, all the way to “Green Mile” where they cut to Top 24. In Season 11, was in the audition to support her sister, Schyler but judges (staged) ‘forced’ him to try out and got a ticket to Hollywood!
Audition song: ‘Permanent’ by David Cook

Making it to Top 24

“Sing for your Life”

Road to Hollywood Interview

Concert Review: Gin Blossoms Bring Tempe-rature Up In Barnstable; Inundates Audience with Nostalgia (Photos/Videos)

Gin Blossoms Live in East Falmouth, MA |
July 16, 2011Robin Wilson

We rarely review concerts, despite attending many, but we have decided to start after positive feedback on our review of the Counting Crows disaster at the Cape Cod Melody Tent last season. We had paid $70 a pop to see this band destroy their concert in a drunken flurry of forgotten lyrics and faulty delivery.

We were delighted to get an opportunity to see another classic band, the Gin Blossoms, perform on the stage in East Falmouth, MA. The cost was a modest $10 admission to the Barnstable County Fair. And unlike the lead singer Adam Duritz and the Counting Crows’ disappointing performance, the Gin Blossoms delivered a concert that was worth vastly more than the small amount charged.

Relevance is fleeting in the world of music. An absence from the scene or a single album that fails to make the charts can, for most, decimate all chances of ever having another successful music release.

Of course, we have all heard of the one hit wonders, those bands or individual artists that seem to possess the ability to hit the radio with one, and only one, hit song. Many later know the hit, but cannot remember the band from whence it came.

The Gin Blossoms from Tempe, Arizona are no one hit wonder. Their first album was monstrous and generated hit after hit for the band going platinum four times over. The album had an array of memorable and captivating songs like “Hey Jealousy”, “Found Out About You” and “Allison Road”. The mix and flow of the album promised these would be absolute superstars.

Behind the scenes, circumstances were not as bright. The co-founder and guitarist that had written the two biggest hits on the album had been forcefully terminated from the band by A&M Records. In 1993, shortly after the release of this phenomenal work, Doug Hopkins committed suicide.

As often happens when a great first album is released, the sophomore album determines the fate of the band. A moderate success is not enough. It is almost expected that the second album be as good as or better than the first. Fatefully and unfortunately, this was not the case for Gin Blossoms without Doug Hopkins. Their second album, “Congratulations, I’m Sorry” went platinum, but it was baron of hits except for “Follow You Down” and did not have the impact of the first. The smash hit song “Until I Hear It From You”, was released before the album for the “Empire Records” soundtrack. Had the song been on this album, it may have spelled the difference between a huge success and the mixed reviews it instead received at the time.

In 1997, one year after the release of “Congratulations, I’m Sorry”, the group disbanded, and it appeared, sadly, that what started as a powerhouse addition to the music scene was to be just a memory.

In 2001, after 4 years, the band reunited to tour the nation. We had a chance to see them perform in Barnstable. And we are here to tell you all, if you are a fan, you will be hooked and thrilled with their performance. If you are not, you will likely be a fan after you watch them perform. They still possess their captivating sound and grab your attention from the outset.

As the concert progressed, we watched around us as young and old alike danced and screamed with joy to song after song. The lead singer, Robin Wilson, immediately got the audience to move forward and stand, and the audience never returned to a sitting position. This is something so few bands possess, the ability to maintain an audience’s attention throughout a performance, over the gravity that draws their derrieres to their seats.

Yet, despite getting the audience excited and enthused, Robin remained totally personable. He exchanged tambourines with some audience members and commented on their musical prowess. When he requested an audience member throw him back the tambourine, however, another fan was beaned on the noggin. He gracefully ensured she was well and gifted her the tambourine adding his personal autograph. (Video 5, during “Learning the Hard Way” song.)


Videos from the concert. Complete set

The play list is below and was a fantastic mix of old and new. At first, the band somehow seemed lethargic on the first oldie song – “Follow You Down”. Scott Johnson, one of the two lead guitarists, skipped over the famous guitar lick we have come to love in the song and that is a signature of its greatness. Robin’s signature vocal was left to carry the song and made it seem like a solo performance. Great still, but not quite enough to get the audience pumped up just yet.

This changed dramatically as the concert progressed and the band captured the audience’s hearts. As the audience gained enthusiasm, so did the band, and the lead guitars began to belt out the riffs we have come to love. And the bassist, Bill Leen, added that background sound we all recognize. Bill’s stage presence is muted by Robin, but his intensity is obvious and makes a major impact on their performance. He playfully fiddled with Scott’s guitar right before the encore, leaving Scott to quickly get his Gibson retuned.

Jesse Valenzuela
, also with the band from nearly the beginning, seemed rather subdued. He appeared happy to hide behind the lights and just play music. Jesse was the original lead singer of the band and has written many of their songs. including Mrs. Rita and their more recent single, “Learning The Hard Way”. Jesse appeared to be more enthusiastic when belting out recent tracks than the older classics.

The band’s signature sound was maintained throughout and is still as engaging as ever. In a later conversation with Scott, he was quick to agree that it is this signature sound that identifies any band and makes them successful. Sometimes it is just the voice of the lead singer. And with Gin Blossoms, there is no question that Robin has a unique and distinctively familiar voice. But this band has a sound well beyond Robin’s vocal ability, and that sound is not only their own; they only make it as a band of five. So we were ecstatic when, by the third song, the band was playing as a tight unit, and the concert really took hold over the audience.

By the end of the concert and the finale, the audience was screaming for more. The band obliged. For the encore, they first performed a classic Eddie Money song, “Think I’m In Love,” in which Robin proved he still has great range with his vocals. Then they finished with “Hey Jealousy” and left an audience dazed with satisfaction at having come to see this classic band live.

The band has had two major studio album releases since reuniting. There were released singles, like “Learning the Hard Way” and “Miss Disarray”, but neither has been hugely successful. The songs they performed from those albums, however, are strikingly Gin Blossoms in their sound and quality. Any one could be a top of the charts hit song and each had the audience bobbing with glee. But promotion appears to be what is lacking. And perhaps the band’s relevance is doubted by a fickle industry inundated with fleeting talent. Our only comments on the more recent singles is they do not capture Robin’s familiar vocal sound in the same fashion as the earlier hits and they seem to miss the clever lyrics like “If you don’t expect too much from me, you might not be let down”.

This concert is not one to miss. The opportunity to see this classic band perform with almost all the members of the band that participated in the “New Miserable Experience” is just too good to pass up. It is not an opportunity missed by the band’s earlier break up because their performance is still stellar. And the cost is modest in a world of unaffordable musical extravaganzas that tend to never live up to the hype.

Gin Blossoms performed as a tight unit and delivered a solid performance that will rekindle the love of their music by every fan, and that will likely make fans out of those that do not know how great they are. We want more.

Gin Blossoms

Gin Blossoms Set list :: Falmouth, MA

“Follow You Down”
“Allison Road”
“Somewhere Tonight”
“Miss Disarray”
“Found Out About You”
“Until I Fall Away”
“Goin To California”
“I’m Ready”
“29”
“Long Time Gone
“Don’t Change for Me”
“Wave Bye Bye”
“‘Til I Hear it From You”
“Learning The Hard Way”
“Think I’m in Love”
“Hey Jealousy”

2011 So You Think You Can Dance Season 8 Top 20 revealed, Interviews (VIDEOS)

Fox Press release:

After thousands of auditions by some of the strongest dancers ever, the judges of So You Think You Can Dance tonight announced the 20 finalists who will compete to be named America’s Favorite Dancer.

This season’s Top 20 are Jordan Casanova, Alexander Fost, Tadd Gadduang, Marko Germar, Ricky Jaime, Wadi Jones, Mitchell Kelly, Chris Koehl, Caitlynn Lawson, Jess LeProtto, Iveta Lukosiute, Miranda Maleski, Sasha Mallory, Melanie Moore, Missy Morelli, Clarice Ordaz, Ryan Ramirez, Ashley Rich, Robert Taylor Jr. and Nick Young.



SYTYCD – Top 20 Contestant Photo Shoot Season 8!

So You Think You Can Dance | Myspace Video

On Wednesday, June 15 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed), the Top 20 dance for the judges and America on the season’s first two-hour live performance show. The Top 20 will be paired into 10 couples who will each work with a world-renowned choreographer to compose a dance routine representing their assigned genre. After each Wednesday performance show, the phone lines and online voting window will open and the fate of these 20 finalists – one of whom will be the named America’s Favorite Dancer – will be left up to the voting fans.

Then, on Thursday, June 16 (8:00-9:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed), America’s vote is revealed during the first live results show. The six contestants comprising the bottom three couples will be given a chance to perform solo routines in the hopes of convincing the judges to keep them in the competition. The judges will then decide which dancers stay and which two will be eliminated. Also that evening, catch British pop star Jessie J performing her latest single, “Who You Are,” from the So You Think You Can Dance stage.


From MTV’s The Seven:

From Hollywood junket:

Top 10 girls perform:

Top 10 guys perform:

Various Performances:



A new “Voice” in reality television premieres April 26th, it isn’t Idol or the X-Factor (Videos)

NBC promises that the new singing competition, “The Voice” will be like no other.

It isn’t American Idol or the X-Factor where too often, contestants are picked or NOT picked for a number of reasons other than their singing talent. The idea: they’re looking for a ‘true vocal talent” – judging the talents based ‘purely’ on their voices hence the ‘blind audition.’

Blake Shelton, Grammy Award winners Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green and Adam Levine (Maroon 5) make up the coaches/judges who will help shape America’s next top singing star. Carson Daly hosts the series, which premieres April 26th.

NBC has teamed up with hit-making reality show pioneers John de Mol, Mark Burnett and Warner Horizon Television to bring Holland’s top-rated vocal talent discovery show “The Voice of Holland” to America. The grand prize winner of this new competition will receive $100,000 and a record deal with a major label!

Auditions promo: “Casting Calls”

Meet the cast:

Blake Shelton (Blake Tollison Shelton: born June 18, 1976, in Ada, Oklahoma) is an American country music artist. In 2001, he made his debut with the single “Austin”. Released as the lead-off single from his self-titled debut album, “Austin” went on to spend five weeks at Number One on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts. (Wiki page)

Cee Lo Green or simply Cee Lo (Thomas DeCarlo Callaway: born May 30, 1974), is an American singer-songwriter, rapper and record producer. He originally came to prominence as a member of the southern hip-hop group Goodie Mob, later launching a critically acclaimed solo career. (WIKI page) His latest hit is the song “Forget You” or “F*** You.”

Christina Aguilera (Christina María Aguilera: born December 18, 1980) is an American recording artist and actress. Aguilera first appeared on national television in 1990 as a contestant on the Star Search program, and went on to star in Disney Channel’s television series The Mickey Mouse Club from 1993–1994. Rolling Stone ranked her number fifty-eight on their list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time, ranking as the youngest and only artist on the list under the age of thirty. She was ranked the 20th Artist of the 2000–09 decade by Billboard and is the second top selling single artist of the 2000s behind Madonna. Aguilera has sold nearly 50 million albums worldwide making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time. (Wiki page)

Adam Levine (Adam Noah Levine: born March 18, 1979) is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. He is the frontman for the alternative, pop-rock band Maroon 5.

Carson Daly, (Carson Jones Daly: born June 22, 1973) is an American television host. He is the host of NBC’s Last Call with Carson Daly, a late-night talk show that began airing on January 7, 2002. (Wiki page)

“The Difference is the Voice” promo ad

“Best in the Business” promo ad

“You Had Me at Hello” promo Ad

Profile Spotlight on Karen Rodriguez American idol 10

Name: Karen Rodriguez
Age: 21
Hometown: New York, N.Y.
Audition City: Los Angeles, CA (via MySpace)
AudiTION SONG: “You give good love”

Audition:

Road to Hollywood interview:

“No Me Queda Mas” (Making it to Top 24)

“Can’t buy me love” duet with Pia Toscano. Las Vegas, Beatles Night

X Factor Coming to America on September 2011 (Promo Videos)

The X Factor is Simon Cowell’s brand new singing competition and they’re on a mission to find America’s next undiscovered superstar.

The X Factor debuts on FOX this fall and they’re giving away the biggest television pot prize to date– a $5 million recording contract with Sony Music.

What’s great about The X Factor is that it is open to anyone – vocal groups and solo singers, over the age of 12 – and there’s absolutely no upper age limit. (So it could be you!)

Over the coming months, auditions are coming to these US cities: New York, Miami, Dallas, Chicago, LA and Seattle.

Lady Gaga has it. The Beiber has it. Madonna and Katy Perry both have it. Have you got it?



Simon Cowell on Extra, talks about possible judges?