|March 23, 2009||More from Tupelo Elvis Presley Festival HQ||no comments|
|March 23, 2009||Johnny Cash Flower Pickin' Festival looks for poster entries||1 comments|
|March 23, 2009||What's Going On - Goody, Pumpkins, 'Ghostbusters'||no comments|
|March 20, 2009||In the Arena, 3/20||1 comments|
|March 19, 2009||Scene Picks - 3/19-3/25||no comments|
|March 19, 2009||Show & Tell - 3/19||no comments|
|March 19, 2009||What's Going On - Richardson, Jonas Brothers, 'Behind the Music'||no comments|
|March 18, 2009||"American Idol," 3/18||1 comments|
|March 18, 2009||What's Going On - McAnally, Tupelo Facebook app, Keith Urban||no comments|
|March 17, 2009||"American Idol," 3/17||no comments|
When I met with festival exec director Debbie Brangenberg and Megan Daniel, marketing program associate and event coordinator, last week, we talked about all aspects of the festival headliner.
Here's a little extra info I couldn't get into the story...
I talked with Brangenberg and Daniel about local musicians at the Tupelo EP Festival. Last year there were lots of local bands and singers, and Brangenberg hopes to have just as many this year. She said she hopes the festival will give any local artists a chance to be heard.
"We look at that as, how did Elvis get started? Somebody let him be heard," Brangenberg said.
I asked Daniel and Bragenberg what it's like backstage at the Tupelo Elvis Presley Festival, especially when the headliner is about to go on.
"It's not nearly as glamorous as people think it is," Brangenberg said. "(Festival goers) think you get to meet the artist, but nine times out of 10, you might see them as they pass by the stage...They might have maybe 30 minutes for photo ops, and it's bam, bam, bam, bam, bam...People think it's a big party, but it's not."
The backstage also depends on the artists' rider (a contract rider specifies everything from details about the stage to what kinds of foods are needed to feed the artist/crew). Sometimes an artist will say that only so many folks are allowed to see the show from the side stage, Brangenberg said, while other artists will specify that no one is allowed to watch from the side of the stage.
Sometimes the craziest info is in a rider – you've probably heard rumors that some stars request certain kinds foods (like only green M&Ms) or that they want all of their backstage furniture to be a certain color. Sometimes it's really important information – for example, it will explain food allergies – but other times it can be an insane lists of an artist's likes and dislikes. I asked Daniel and Brangenberg if they'd ever read anything crazy in a rider.
"Some are just funny," Daniel said. "One man asked for Coco Pebbles. What would a 30-year-old man want with Coco Pebbles?"
Some ask for things for their families, if they have their spouses and children on the road with them. "I've seen everything from a case of diapers to a dozen pairs of white tube socks," Brangenberg said. "Some specify that they want black towels."
If you're interesting in reading artists' riders, check out this page from The Smoking Gun which lists various artists' riders.
Deadline: Entries must be postmarked by June 12, 2009
The Johnny Cash Flower Pickin’ Festival “pardon committee” requests submissions for the 2009 poster design competition.
Designs will be judged by a panel of artists and professionals. The poster will be distributed locally and regionally to promote the festival, and may be used for the design for festival T-shirts.
Artwork should include the following:
* A reference to Johnny Cash and Starkville, Mississippi
* Festival dates: October 16-18, 2009
The artist of the winning design will receive $300 and three posters signed by the event’s headliners. All submissions become property of the Johnny Cash Flower Pickin’ Festival. Multiple submissions are allowed.
* Submit a hard copy of artwork sized proportional 16” x 20”. Artwork should be full-color and in any medium.
* Submit a PDF of the artwork on a CD marked with the applicant’s name.
* Include contact information including an e-mail address, mailing address and phone number.
* Entry fee: Student fee: $5 per entry (must include a photocopy of current student ID to be accepted). Professional fee: $20 per entry.
You can view previous winning entries at the festival shop located at pardonjohnnycash.com.
Submission packet contents should be properly packaged and shipped to:
Johnny Cash Flower Pickin’ Festival
PO Box 6284
Mississippi State, MS 39762
For more information:
How was your weekend? Mine was nice and relatively quiet – just what I needed, in other words.
On Friday I interviewed Ben from the Yonder Mountain String Band for this week's Scene section. We had such a great interview. He's definitely a talker and very funny. The only problem was, the band's publicist cut us off after only about 20 minutes, and I hadn't even asked half my questions yet! That's saying something, since most band interviews I do only take about 10-15 minutes, since that's usually all I'm given anyway (I interviewed a former "Idol" winner – who was not particularly chatty – in only 7 minutes). Interviewing musicians is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you're gonna get.
* EW takes a look at British reality star Jane Goody, who passed away this weekend.
* Jimmy Chamberlin has left the Smashing Pumpkins...and we all shed a tear.
* Here's news on the upcoming "Ghostbusters" game.
* WB is opening its vaults, so more than 5,000 movies can finally be released on DVD.
* Roseanne Barr hopes to return to primetime TV.
* Depeche Mode gives an update on its upcoming tour.
* Jeff Dunham, who performed in Tupelo not all that long ago, has scored a big deal with Comedy Central.
* Cool Dead Guy for March 23-27 is Steve McQueen. Who am I kidding? He's a Cool Dead Guy for all ages.
* "Knowing" grabs the No. 1 spot at the box office.
Thanks for your comments on last week’s Winter Jam idea. The reason I write this blog is to get different points of view than what those of us that work in the building have. We use the feedback to help us do a better job of scheduling our entertainment. So keep those comments coming!
I would also like to thank everyone who turned out for this past week’s Harlem Globetrotters event. Our attendance set a record for the Globetrotters in Tupelo! It’s nice to have good news to report in the midst of all of the doom and gloom of the economy.
This week we’re hosting the Mississippi Statewide Gymnastics meet Friday through Sunday. Don’t be surprised to see hundreds of gymnasts (along with their parents, grandparents, and siblings) around town this weekend. This event is open to the public with tickets available at the door.
Song of the week: “No No No” by Def Leppard. I would tell you to check it out on iTunes or Amazon, but for some reason (maybe greed?) their back catalog isn’t available. I’m sure Barb at Album Alley can sell you the cd. I’m going to date myself here, but I had it on 8-track back in the day. Thank goodness that format bit the dust. Nothing like having a song fade out in the middle while the tape switched from one track to another. And why was it called 8 track when there were only four sections? Did the left and right channels each count? Again, thank goodness for the demise of that awful format for music delivery.
Don’t forget Cats and Alan Jackson are both coming up next month. Ticket sales are brisk for both shows. Get yours today!
Until next time,
* Weston Smith returns to Northeast Mississippi with a gig at Boondocks Grill in Tupelo tonight.
* Listen to the sweet sounds of Scott Chism & the Better Half at Old Venice on Friday.
* The Persians have a gig at Dave's Dark Horse in Starkville Saturday night.
* Check out Andrew Bird at The Lyric Oxford on Monday. The Heartless Bastards open.
* Check out the zombie flick "Brain Dead," which will start showing at The Amp in Oxford this weekend.
* Wizard 106's Kelli Karlson and I weren't crazy about "The Last House on the Left," but check it out if you dare. It's in theaters now.
What pop culture-y goodness do you love this week?
Is there a TV show, comic book, song, commercial, album, movie, anything, that rocked your world this week?
Mine would be music.
I already wrote this week that I'm in love with Justin Townes Earle's new album, "Midnight at the Movies." That album is so good, y'all – I highly recommend you pick it up if you're a country music fan.
And if you love folk and bluegrass, check out this artist, Caitlin Rose. I received her "Dead Flowers" EP in the mail a few weeks ago and I love, love, love listening to it. Her songwriting is dead-on, her voice is unique yet familiar, and she's got a killer mix of old-school melodies with fresh, new vibes.
What are you into this week? Show and tell!
Let's jump right into news, shall we?
* No doubt that y'all have all heard about actress Natasha Richardson's tragic passing. Check out this obit for more info on the actress.
* VH1 is reviving its "Behind the Music" show (yay!).
* Kid Rock and Lynyrd Skynyrd are touring together this summer.
* The Jonas Brothers fourth album drops in June.
*Ben Folds is working on an a cappella CD.
* Justin Timberlake is launching his own brand of tequila.
* Northeast Mississippi native Mac McAnally has signed to Toby Keith's label.
* You've all no doubt heard the news about actress Natasha Richardson's tragic skiing accident yesterday. Here's the latest.
* Here's scoop on the new New York Dolls album.
* Music videos directed by Heath Ledger will be released.
* Keith Urban will release a song a day on iLike in advance of his new record.
* Phish has added more tour dates.
* Keira Knightly won't star in a fourth "Pirates" movie.
And, finally, have y'all seen this new Facebook app called "Made in Tupelo, Mississippi"? You can send things made in Tupelo to your friends. Thanks to April, aka popculturefairy, for sending me a Johnny's dough burger! Yum!
Michael Sarver was first, singing "Ain't Going Down til the Sun Comes Up." For some reason, Michael _looks_ like a country singer, but he just isn't one. Travis suggested he work on the words.
Randy (Jackson) said: It was a cool song choice but it didn't show off his voice.
Kara said: The song showed off his personality but not his vocals.
Paula said: The audience had fun watching him and county suits him.
Simon said: It should've been good but wasn't and it was clumsy and karaoke-ish.
Alison Iraheta sang Patti Loveless' "Blame It On Your Heart," which I liked, but honestly I can't remember much about it now.
Travis mentioned he'd never heard such a mature-sounding 16-year-old.
Kara said: "You could sing the alphabet." She made the song her own and continues to improve.
Paula said: "Another rock solid performance."
Simon said: It was good but a little tuneless in parts.
Randy said: "I though it was dope."
Kris Allen sang "To Make You Feel My Love," without his guitar. I thought it was really pretty. Travis told him he made it his own and he's a very strong ballad singer.
Paula said: She was pleasantly surprised and it was a "real, honest, pure and vulnerable" performance. It was kind of pitchy but a smart song choice.
Simon said: "Terrific." He said it was a very smart song choice and for the first time he thought Kris could do very well in the competition.
Randy said: He took a chance and it paid off.
Kara said: She didn't realize it was a country song - it was "very Kris Allen."
Lil Rounds wore a fabulous dress and sang an OK, slowed-down version of Martina McBride's "Independence Day."
Travis suggested she slow it down and said "she's got pipes."
Randy said: It was a very interesting song choice and it didn't feel comfortable.
Kara said: It wasn't her best performance.
Paula said: Her vocals were spot-on.
Simon said: It was like a wedding singer who had to sing a song she didn't really know or like. "It just wasn't you."
Adam Lambert made Travis speechless with his weird, moody, sitar-laden take on "Ring of Fire." No joke, Travis said: "I don't even know what to say about this boy." I respect him for changing the song into something he could sing, but it still just was insane. Somebody stop him, please?
Kara said: "Strange - I don't even know what to make of it...It was strange but I liked it."
Paula said: He's true to who he is as an artist.
Simon said: "What the hell was that?" Also said plenty of folks in Nashville would be throwing their TVs out the window. "Indulgent rubbish...horrific."
Randy said: It was like Nine Inch Nails doing country (um, has Randy ever heard NIN??). "Young, current, fresh, hot."
Scott MacIntyre sang Martina McBride's "Wild Angels" with his piano. Normally I wouldn't like this, but I thought it was pretty. Travis said Scott surprised him more than any other contestant.
Paula said: It was another impressive, lovely performance, but he should stop performing with the piano.
Simon said: Paula was wrong about the piano comment - but Scott needs to pick better songs.
Randy said: He's looking for hot vocals but instead gets "nice, good performances" from Scott.
Kara said: "Up your game a little bit," and he also brings class and poise to the stage.
Alexis Grace sang "Jolene," and it was OK - I can't say I was crazy about it.
Travis said she understands storytelling in song.
Randy said: It was pitchy and not that great.
Kara said: She lost her edge.
Paula said: She thought Alexis was effective because she showed her vulnerable side.
Simon said: It was OK, but very copycat and forgettable.
Danny Gokey sang "Jesus Take the Wheel." Ah, this is not one of my favorite songs, so I can't say I dug this very much.
Travis said Danny's performance was soulful.
Kara said: The chorus was better than the verse.
Paula said: "Carrie Underwood will not only approve; she would go out and buy this record."
Simon said: His only problem with Danny was Danny's outfit (he said it looked like he was going on a polar expedition).
Randy said: It was pitchy.
Anoop Desai surprised us all - he delivered a beautiful rendition of "Always on My Mind." Travis said it's Anoop's best performance.
Paula said: "Anoop is back!"
Simon said: "You went from zero to hero." Also said it was one of his favorite performances of the night.
Randy said: He really showed his vocal skills.
Kara said: The song is a classic, almost untouchable, but he was "amazing." Best performance of the night.
Megan Corkrey sang "Walking After Midnight," in a really cool, bluesy-jazzy way. I really liked it. Apparently the poor girl has the flu, too. Travis said she was totally unique.
Randy said: He was quite impressed and it really worked.
Kara said: It was a perfect song choice.
Paula said: Megan's been to the hospital this week and she's the consummate professional.
Simon said: "You should have the flu every week," because it was so much better than last week.
Matt "Sheena's Mama's Favorite" Giraud performed Carrie Underwood's "So Small." I loved it. Travis remaked on how Matt made the song his own.
Kara said: He's an artist and true talent; amazing.
Paula said: "You're piercing through so many people's hearts."
Simon said: They've never given him proper credit for his vocals, but he outsang the likes of Danny. One of the best performances and he reminds Simon of Michael Buble.
Randy said: It was his favorite performance of the night. "You got it, baby."
What say you, Scenesters? Who were your favorites?