February 11, 2008

A Fitting End to an Extraordinary Blogging Experience

Encased_grammy_2After a weekend of preparation and a summer of hopeful anticipation, the 2008 Grammys and with it, my mobile blogging experience, are officially in the books. Beyond hectic during pre-show, the excitement that was covering the Grammys during pre-show was not only a historic event, but something that I don’t think I ever would have thought I would have the opportunity to do.

So much of this day was about learning as you go. From wandering around for over an hour to try and check in, only to find that the check-in area no longer existed (which everyone found a little weird), to the red carpet turning into a near-free for all as soon as the biggest names started arriving, this was a day without instruction nor time-outs. Thankfully, I ended up finding some really nice journalists, cameramen, and photographers to hang out with on the red carpet, making all the confusion a little bit easier to handle collectively. As individuals, there was confusion. But as a whole, it was some frantic fun on a Sunday afternoon.

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February 10, 2008

Next Stop: Staples Center and the 2008 Grammy Awards

Leaving As expected, I got about three hours of sleep last night. While adrenaline and little kid Christmas-like excitement are things that I hope never get old, it does get a little old when you could really use a little some rest the night before an exciting day. I'm heading out to Staples Center to find my spot on the line and see just exactly what's going on out there.

While putting the finishing touches on my ensemble, I've come to realize that my neck has definitely gotten thicker since the last wedding I've attended. It must be the pilates. I got all geared out in my room to see how it would feel to have all my gadgets on me and I have to say that I end up looking like a robo-tourist. I'd have it no other way.

Next stop: Staples Center.

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Pre-Grammy sleep is not easy to come by...

Livingroom I just checked into my home for "Grammy season" and am getting settled for what I hope to be a decent night of sleep before a day/night of nonstop blogging and photos tomorrow. Just when I'm coming to terms with this whole weekend, something comes through and gets me going all over again, like this lovely living room I'm sitting in right now. Anyways, this area is going to act as my "war room," where I hope to regain some sanity tomorrow night and put together everything that I wasn't able to do from the street. Not that anyone was really envisioning where I was sitting, but I always find it interesting to see what someone's "office" looks like. For the weekend, this is my office!

*cue Cassidy f. R. Kelly - "Hotel"*

Before I curl up in my bed (which could fit about five of me in it, in any direction) with some Billboard magazines to read for good luck, I wanted to take a look at some of the categories that I'm most interested in for the Grammys tomorrow night. While this list is by no means all inclusive, it includes those that I'll be clapping for like a seal begging for fish and beach balls (I assume they enjoy that) tomorrow night. They're not predictions per se, because I don't know if I would want to be wrong to that many people at once, but they're the categories that happen to be the most interesting for me.

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February 09, 2008

'Twas the Night Before the Grammys...

Though I've had some time to think about it, it's still a little hard to believe that by this time tomorrow, I will have already seen the opening performance at the 2008 Grammy Awards.

Riding_around I have no doubt that I'll be sweatier than an advertisement for prescription strength deodorant (please, don't let me down tomorrow), begging to use a bathroom, and exhausted from a long day of photographing, running around, blogging, and adrenaline roller coasters galore, but really, what could be better?

If you're reading this and have never had the opportunity to attend an award show before, I wanted to give some "normal guy" insight into what it's like to get ready in the days leading up to the show.

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September 17, 2007

Pre-Emmy Celebration at Opera and Crimson in Hollywood, CA. September 15, 2007.

I believe Confucius once said, "If you're going to go out, go out big with an Emmy party." While I attribute much of what has been a pretty unbelievable summer to being a part of this dark corner (really, the colors are dark) of Billboard.com, LG has also been such a huge part of this whole experience as well. From providing the bloggers with phones and random LG goodies inside our stylish Billboard backpacks (which I take to the beach with me in hopes of attracting women while I deliberately walk backwards and make declarative, minor lies like, "I MAKE LOTS OF MONEY!!!") to giving us this opportunity to share our experiences with a tiny slice of the online world, I am beyond grateful to everyone I've interacted with at LG and at Billboard for inspiring me to make the most of this summer. While the Billboard name has helped me out tremendously this summer, it was LG that gave me the opportunity to hang out in the outdoor LG lounge while I rubbed elbows with some of my favorite Hollywood stars at a pre-Emmy party on Saturday night.


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September 15, 2007

Marie' Digby's Residency Kickoff at The Hotel Cafe' in Hollywood, CA. September 11, 2007

Depending on who you talk to, the drama that was last week for Marie' Digby came at either the best or worst possible time. While most would love to be on the front page of the Wall Street Journal like Digby was last week, the rising star was portrayed in an unfavorable light in the nationwide publication. On her end, Marie had only her MySpace page, live shows, and fans to defend herself from an article that filled the blogosphere (and even took over the comment section of my previous post as of late) this past week. The article made its way onto breakfast tables the week before the YouTube star was about to kickoff a month long residency at the famed SoCal music hot spot, The Hotel Cafe'. Coinciding with the release of Digby's new four-song EP to iTunes, for the first time in a while, there was some question as to whether Digby's positive momentum would continue after the article cast a shadow on her recent success. As I walked up to the venue an hour before the doors opened and saw a line already forming against the wall. It was clear that Digby's fans were still coming out to support her and they would continue to come out in a very big way. Perhaps surprisingly, Marie' was not about to shy away from addressing the events of the past week. But not surprisingly, Marie' continued to impress with her original music and stage presence, and ultimately left everyone excited about what the future holds for the up and coming star.


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September 11, 2007

Hall & Oates: The Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood, CA 9.8.07

So, this is it.  This is the culmination of what will be a memorable summer.  I am immensely grateful for this opportunity and want to thank Billboard for this chance.  I especially want to thank them for making this show possible for me to attend.


This was my first time at the historic Hollywood Bowl, the largest open-air amphitheatre I’ve ever visited.  Seated in a comfy terrace box seat with removable tables, I was surrounded by similar booths with couples and groups having an outdoor picnic under a cool Los Angeles night sky.  I look around and it’s just thousands upon thousands of people, all there for one reason, Hall and Oates.

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September 10, 2007

Goo Goo Dolls: The Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, CA 9.6.07

It was a crisp and cool night and the Greek Theatre was filled once again for another great show.  I cannot get over the fact at what a great venue it is.  You’ve got the open air, a cool night, and great music to enjoy.  Coming into this show familiar mostly with the Goo Goo Dolls’ singles, I was curious what their stage show would have in store.


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Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Kings of Leon, San Diego Sept. 8, 2007

On Saturday, I drove down from LA to the hot blonde-filled SDSU campus to take in two popular rock bands that I was unfamiliar with, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Kings of Leon. Honestly, rock music is probably the genre that I'm least familiar with out of all the radio friendly genres. Rock music has just really never been my thing, despite the fact that I grew up in the Pacific Northwest during the peak of the Nirvana/Pearl Jam grunge rock days (I think I was too busy listening to Sir Mixalot's "Baby Got Back" in my parents' Ford Taurus and waving my hands wildly while I sang "Emotions" by Mariah Carey). Some of my friends had seen this duo perform the night before in LA and told me that I was in for a great show, so after a morning of surfing (AKA Dave Chung falling repeatedly in the water in front of hot women) I was excited to take in some real rock music - not punk rock or pop rock - just rock. As the enthusiastic audience that spawned the first mosh pit I've seen this summer would tell you, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Kings of Leon turned it out on Saturday night with performances that halted all academic activity on the college campus and invited everyone to come down to the Open Air Arena and rock out with the bands.


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September 02, 2007

Marie’ Digby at Hotel Café in Hollywood, CA. August 31, 2007

“Can I squeeze by?” a mysterious voice kindly asked me as it weaved through the crowd inside The Hotel Café on Friday night. Moments later, I realized that this voice belonged to Marie’ Digby, the “YouTube Phenom” (thanks, Carson Daly) whose popularity has exploded since her cover of Rihanna’s “Umbrella” has been played on the radio and on the MTV’s Season 3 Premiere of “The Hills” (coincidentally, my favorite TV show). In today’s world of user-generated videos and downloadable tunes that flood an already crowded music scene, it is rare to discover an artist who has separated herself from the crowd through these mediums. Digby, whose videos are approaching 2.5 million views combined on YouTube (and is currently the #26 “Most Subscribed Artist (All Time)”), proved through performances of her original material on Friday night that she is much more than a “cover artist.” Now signed to Hollywood Records, Marie’ packed The Hotel Café to capacity and performed in front of an appreciative audience that collectively appreciated being a part of her continued ascent in the music industry.


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