August 22, 2007

Hot In Hollywood Charity Benefit Event with all your favorite TV stars, 8/18/07

A few weeks ago I got bored at work and started to lurk the Internet for any events coming up that my friends and I could perhaps attend. I ran across a website for "Hot In Hollywood," a party at the Henry Fonda Theater in Hollywood benefiting Aids research. It looked like a fun time and all the proceeds from the tickets and whatnot would go to the Aids Healthcare Foundation (AHF) and Alegria, a Salvation Army Aids/HIV housing facility. After seeing the list of celebrity performers, I knew I needed to attend. So I bought tickets for myself and two of my friends and was completely excited in anticipation about it.

Then it hit me…. I could only say I'm Frances from Billboard for like another month! I should at least try and organize myself a press pass so that I could perhaps cover the party for the blog. So I shot a few emails around before finally getting in touch with a lady who could get me press access. She asked me to call her and I did, we spoke and I explained what I did and whatnot when she popped the question "So, why did you want to come to this event anyways?" There was a pause; I had a real reason but it was kind of… well, not professional. I didn't want to lie though, so I figured I may as well tell her the truth. "Okay… truthfully… I just really want to meet Zachary Quinto and the rest of the cast of Heroes that's going to be there." I went on and fangirled like I was 12 years old over my favorite TV show and when I eventually shut up, I was pretty sure the answer was going to be a resounding "NO." But it wasn't. She was laughing; "You're funny! I like you!" and not only was I put on the list, but my two friends were too. See guys, honesty really IS the best policy.


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August 02, 2007

Rooney, Everybody Else, Big City Rock @ The Glasshouse 7/29, Pomona, CA

The day after Projekt Revolution, I was beat… but that didn't stop me from seeing my boys in Rooney perform at the Glasshouse in Pomona! It did however stop me from going to work the day after that, because you know… I like sleeping. Anyways, the boys in Rooney brought along two other native Los Angeles bands Big City Rock and Everybody Else along for the ride and thanks to some of my show buddies who saved me a spot in line, I was right up front for all the action.


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August 01, 2007

Projekt Revolution @ Hyundai Pavilion 7/28, Devore, CA

Projekt Revolution… the one show I totally wanted to go to this Summer but totally couldn’t afford. Thankfully, it helps when Billboard is on your side. We got to the Hyundai Pavilion just in time for Placebo, but due to a mix up at the box office not having my press pass and just a ticket, I had to wait outside to see if it would get sorted out. The second that I heard HIM’s cover of “Wicked Game” though, I bolted into the venue so I wouldn’t miss their set. Sure, I didn’t have a press pass but who cares! I was there! Just pretend you can see all the bands in the photos ;)


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July 25, 2007

Interview with American Idols! Jordin Sparks, Melinda Doolittle, Phil Stacey, Sanjaya Malakar and Chris Sligh

On Sunday, before attending the American Idols Live! show (which you could read my review for here, in case you missed it), the kind people at Billboard were able to get me into the press hour where I'd be able to interview some of the contestants from season six. Me being absolutely freaked out was an understatement. Sure, I had interviewed people before... but that was mainly for the high school newspaper back in the day. I also interviewed a band once, but they were local and it was via email. Really, the Idol Press Hour was going to be my first official big press thing and I was so scared. It didn't help that the day had started out bad - I woke up late, my hair refused to not frizz, I spilled a drink on my favorite jeans and even when I eventually got to the Honda Center (mind you I sped there because I thought I was late) I had a massive freak out thinking I had lost my voice recorder (I even called my mom almost in tears!).

I was under the assumption that this is how press hour worked: a ton of journalists crammed in a room where they unleashed all 10 idols on us at which point we'd have to fight to the death for interviews. Boy, was I wrong. We got five pre-selected Idols one-on-one for about five minutes each. Oh, and there was only three of us. Wait, what? You mean I'm actually going to have to sit across from them and TALK to them? I'm sorry, but they're IDOLS and I'm just a kid who won a contest and gets to run around and do awesome things for Billboard.

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July 24, 2007

American Idols Live! @ The Honda Center, Anaheim, CA 7/22/07

American Idol – taking over people’s lives since 2002. Yes, as many of my friends know, I am a die-hard American Idol fan. I’ve gone to studio tapings, dress rehearsals, season five’s finale and every tour except season two’s (I was bitter about Clay Aiken coming in second). After the craziness that was season five of American Idol, I vowed to myself that when season six rolled around that I would not allow myself to get as sucked in as I did that year (Elliott Yamin, aka: the best American Idol contestant EVER, got voted off on my 19th birthday and I cried… no really, I did). So when season six finally rolled around in the beginning of the year, I sat back and didn’t allow myself to get too attached to any of the contestants. What I found was I was able to judge them on a level of non-biasedness rather than “You did good, but you’re not my favorite, so I hate you and I hope you get voted off.” Sure, I still had favorites, but I didn’t get attached so it wasn’t as heart wrenching to see them go as it had been in the past. So when I covered the show, for the first time I wasn’t there for just one contestant, I was there for all of them.

By the way, before the jump cut, I just wanted to say I got a chance to sit down and chat with five of the season six Idols: Jordin Sparks, Melinda Doolittle, Sanjaya Malakar, Phil Stacey and Chris Sligh. I’ll be transcribing the recordings tomorrow and have the interviews up in another blog no later than tomorrow night. So watch out for them Idol fans!


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July 18, 2007

Rooney's CD Release Show feat. Coconut Records & Hello Stranger @ The Roxy 7/16/07

This blog will not only serve as a review of last night's Rooney CD release show, but also of a story of a 14 year old girl trapped inside a 20 year old's body who had the absolute time of her life last night. So apologies in advance if this seems like a journal entry intertwined with a show review. See, let me put this into perspective before I begin the review. I still remember the day I picked up Rooney's self titled CD at a little music store somewhere in Silverlake back in 2003. Scanning the used CD section (yes, I'm a cheap-o), I came upon Rooney's self titled album and my first thought was "I think this is Jason Schwartzman's little brother's band...." and before I go on, it's crucial for me to say this but I have had the biggest most disgusting school girl crush on Jason Schwartzman since I was 14 and he drummed in Phantom Planet and starred in various movies. Upon further inspection of the Rooney CD is was quite clear, it was Michael Moscovitz's band. And yes, I did just call Robert Schwartzman by the name Michael Moscotvitz, because you can ask most any girl my age to scan their tween years and Robert's character in the Princess Diaries movie was pretty much our dream boy for a long while. Yes, I realize by calling Robert that I am forever damned to Rooney hell. Moving on...

So when it was announced that Coconut Records (aka: Jason Schwartzman's music project) was opening for Rooney, I just about had the biggest freak out of all time and I knew that this would probably be the one show of the whole year that I would NOT want to miss in order to make that fangirl inside of me happy.


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July 07, 2007

Rocco DeLuca & The Burden @ The Henry Fonda Theater 7/6/07

Rocco DeLuca & the Burden are embarking on their very first headlining tour this Summer after opening up for John Mayer's "Continuum" tour. The hometown boys played their hearts out last night, making the crowd swoon and dance like a 1960s Woodstock show. Rocco DeLuca & the Burden's fans were in full force, from young kids their with their parents, teenage couples and older women who wouldn't stop screaming "Smile Dave!" at bassist Dave Beste, giving the show a real homely yet still rocking feel.


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July 03, 2007

Honda Civic Tour 7/1/07 @ Coors Amph., San Diego

As someone who has seen the Honda Civic Tour three times now, I often get asked "Are you sick of it yet?" and the answer is most definitely "No, I'm not." The thing about the current Honda Civic Tour is that no matter how many times you see these bands, it still feels like the very first. I never once got the impression that these bands are bored or even tired as the tour comes to an end, and that is a sign of great musicianship.


The stop in San Diego was the tour's second to last show. Cobra Starship had the shows first slot and the party begun. The thing about Cobra Starship is that you don't have to know their music at all - they still make you want to jump around and dance. Lead singer Gabe Saporta has mass sex appeal that made the girls squeal and scream every time he moved his hips to the beat and don't worry boys - Vicky-T, who recently did a hot photo shoot for Maxim, gave the boys some eye candy as she danced and played her key-tar on stage. If you had to describe Cobra Starship in one word it would most definitely have to be "energy." If there was a way to get a membership to Gabe Saporta's school of rocking out, I'd so be the first in line to learn from that pro.

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July 02, 2007

All American Rejects @ Del Mar Fairgrounds 6/28/07

Let me be completely honest, this show was quite odd. Not because of the band, that definitely was not the problem. The problem was that because this show was held at the San Diego County Fair, the majority of the audience was under the age of 10 and the stage was elevated about 8 to 10 feet so that if you were in the front up against the barricade, you would not be able to see drummer Chris Gaylor at all pretty much. Though not being able to see the whole band and being pushed around by 8 year olds every time they'd go crazy when guitarist Nick Wheeler threw a guitar pick into the crowd, the performance by the band itself was quite amazing.


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June 29, 2007

Fall Out Boy: The Pearl, Las Vegas NV 6.24.07

First and foremost, the Fall Out Boy show in Vegas will probably go down as the best show on the current Civic tour, although there's still a week left before the last stop. Though I was running on no sleep and got there 10 minutes before Fall Out Boy came on, the Pearl serves as such an intimate venue that I still found myself in the front five rows of the pit and eventually being able to push myself up to the second. The Pearl is the smallest venue on the tour and unlike other stops on the Fall Out Boy tour it did not have
all the glitz and pyro special effects - if you were lucky enough to catch them in Las Vegas you got the raw deal of four musicians simply putting on a kick ass rock show.


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