Tuesday, February 10, 2009

In Grammy News...

Well, this wekeend was full of red carpets, award ceremonies, and fabulous parties... not to mention a few surprises! This years Grammy weekend started with the MusiCares Annual Silent Auction & Person of the Year Award Ceremony on Friday, February 6th. This years Person of the Year was Niel Diamond. The Silent Auction raised over $500,000.00, most notably including Neil Diamond's old T-Bird, which was purchased by the Chairman of the Grammy Academy for $75,000.00. The event was hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, and planned by none other than my fabulous aunt, Dana Tomarken, and was held at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

For the Award Ceremony, a plethora of headlining acts graced the stage by covering a song written or performed by Diamond, and gave their two cents on why Diamond was so worthy of this prestigious honor. Artists included Adele, Chris Cornell, Kid Rock, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, The Foo Fighters, Terrance Blanchard, and many more. The best performance of the night was, by far, Jennifer Hudson, who belted out a sultry rendition of "Holly Holy" and recieved a standing ovation that only matched Neil's! My other favorite performance was Coldplay's charming keytar version of "I'm a Believer". Backstage, I was fortunate enough to meet Chris Martin (pictured above), who might I add, is a total sweetheart. In addition to being humble and charming, he donated a significant amount of dough to the MusiCares Foundation by shelling out $50,000.00 for a Britney Spears concert package. I hope little Apple likes Brit Brit or else someone is getting a bomb birthday present!

Another charming group I was lucky enough to meet were the Jonas Brothers. The cute little trio, all dapper in their three piece suits, were polite, kind, and honorable while they performed "Forever in Blue Jeans", a song they probably had never heard prior to the sound check. In any case, I was impressed with the tweeny boppers, for not only their personalities, but their musical talent and on-stage charisma. The ceremony wound down with a three song set by the recipient himself, coming to a close on the karaoke favorite "Sweet Caroline". Other celebrities spotted at the event were Camilla Belle, DJ AM, Bob Forest of Celebrity Rehab, David Spade, Sarah Silverman, and Rick Ruben.

Another exciting night this weekend was Clive Davis' pre-Grammy bash at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Saturday night. Some of the artists in attendence were Kanye West, who gave an impromptu speech, Whitney Houston, who made a potential huge comeback, and Usher. As most of you heard, the drama didn't begin until after the party, when Chris Brown & Rhianna got in a physical altercation in Hancock Park, leaving a publicity nightmare and a broken Rhianna on the street. Poor Rhianna, who would have though Chris Brown could be capable of such menace!

Following Saturday nights events were the much anticipated Grammy Awards. Sunday evening's ceremony was filled with many memorable moments, both good and bad. Highlights included Blink 182's reunion, a very pregnant MIA killin it on-stage with Weezy, Jay Z, Kanye and T.I., the five Grammy's Allison Krauss and Robert Plant pulled off, and Jennifer Hudson's emotional performance. Low points included Katy Perry's morbid bi-curious performance, MIA's weird ladybug dress, and Kings of Leon getting robbed for Best Rock Album. And when Rhianna and Chris Brown didn't show up due to the incident from the night before, Justin Timberlake & Al Green turned it out with their collaboration on "Let's Stay Together". All in all, with all the drama, glamour, and hype, the show turned out to be a smashing success. My big shoutout goes to Dave Grohl, who backed the amazing Paul McCartney by returning to the drums after spending some time away from them since Nirvana's dispersion. Dave, you're musical talent never ceases to amaze me-- ROCK ON!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Festival Outlook 2009

Ever since Woodstock began in 1969, music festivals have been sprouting up in some of the most musically enriched cities in America. Austin, Tx. Miami, Fl. Los Angeles, CA. These mass migrations of hippies, hipsters, rich kids, and die hard groupies have turned out to be not only a collection of unforgettable performances, but serve as a catalyst for a widespread conciousness that is characteristic of our generation. This years festival lineups are jam packed with everything from Indie rock to Hip Hop, and everything in between. Check em out!

Indie Fest- San Diego, CA
March 1, 2009
MC Flow, Guava Belly, Bitter Sober, Audible Mainframe, Social Green, Juliette & the New Romantiques, The Burning of Rome, Saucy Monkey, Kyler England, Joe Rathburne, & more.

SXSW- Austin, TX
March 18-22, 2009
Bedouin Soundclash, Jay Nash, Andrew Bird, Head Automatica, Cursive, Iglu & Hartley, Lady Dottie & the Diamonds, Black Lips, CKY, John Cruz, Crystal Method, deadmau5, 8ball & MJG, Zion I, Grouch & Eligh, Justin Nozuka, 3oh!3 (hell ya Boulder!), & many many many more!

Winter Music Conference/Ultra- Miami, FL
March 24-28
The Prodigy, Paul Van Dyk, Armin Van Buuren, Tiesto, the Ting Tings, Bloc Party, Santogold, Simian Mobile Disco, David Guetta, ATB, Benny Benassi, Fedde Le Grand, Tiga, Boys Noize, Kaskade, Moby, & more.

Coachella- Indio, CA
April 17-19, 2009
Paul McCartney, The Killers, The Cure, Franz Ferdinand, Amy Winehouse, Morissey, Thievery Corporation, My Bloody Valentine, Conor Oberst, The Black Keys, Girltalk, MSTRKRFT, Fleet Foxes, TV on the Radio, Band of Horses, Lupe Fiasco, TRAV$/DJ AM & many more.

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival- New Orleans, LA
April 24-26, April 30- May 3, 2009
Wynton Marsalis, DMB, James Taylor, Earth Wind & Fire, Wilco, Spoon, Etta James, Better Than Ezra, Tab Benoit, Aretha Franklin, Sugarland, Ben Harper, Kings of Leon, Bonnie Rait, Emmylou Harris, Common, Los Lobos, Jakob Dylan, & more.

Bonnaroo- Manchester, TN
June 11-14, 2009
Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Phish, Beastie Boys, Nine Inch Nails, Elvis Costello, Snoop Dogg, Al Green, Erykah Badu, Paul Oakenfold, Ben Harper, The Mars Volta, Santogold, Citizen Cope, Belah Fleck & Toumani Diabate, MGMT, Portugal.the.man, & many more.

There are so many more music fests that have lineups yet to be announced (Lollapalooza, Electric Daisy Carnival) and touring compilation shows (Vans Warped Tour) to keep your eye out for. This is going to be a great year in music, so fill up your tanks, pack your car full of food, friends, and sleeping bags, and embark on a journey to where your heart and ears desire!