You Sing I Write's Weekly Wrap Up

Boy bands seem to be making a comeback this year. With the hysteria that UK’s One Direction is currently bringing to America, I can’t help but to remember growing up in the era of Backstreet Boys, N’ Sync and 98 Degrees. Two weeks ago One Direction performed at Radio City Music Hall. Since I work across the street, I learned firsthand that this is not just another music fad as girls lined up hours before the show and I heard screams from 44 floors up throughout the day.

On Wednesday I interviewed the boys of One Direction and got a behind-the-scenes look at what life is like for the current music sensation. With back-to-back interviews lined up with little but a second break in between, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the guys. Just a glimpse into their daily life made me thankful I never became a rock star. Stay tuned for my interview with One Direction later this week.

The Wanted are another UK band currently heating up the charts. After the success of “Glad You Came,” the group revealed details behind their next single, “Gold Forever.” Meanwhile, the All-American Rejects released the title track off their upcoming album, Kids In the Street while Lady Gaga’s ex continues to promote his book, The Drunk Diet: How I Lost 40 Pounds…Wasted.

Rihanna finally broke her silence about her recent collaboration with Chris Brown. “I reached out to him about doing ‘Birthday Cake’ because that’s the only person that really made sense to do the record,” Rolling Stone reports. “I thought about rappers, and I’ve done that so many times, and the hottest R&B artist out right now is Chris Brown. So I wanted him on the track.”

While I’ve been covering pop music more closely as of late, I’m always happy to learn more about collaborations in the country world. For details behind Matt Nathanson and Sugarland’s latest hit, “Run” watch my video interview with him here.


You Sing I Write's Weekly Wrap Up

Last week I wrote of John Mayer’s album release date and scheduled tour. Unfortunately, on Friday morning Mayer wrote on his Tumblr that he would have to cancel live performance indefinitely as the granuloma on his throat grew back. For more, read my article here.

Taylor Swift and Kanye West were back in the news. As West debuted his women’s fall fashion line it came to be known that Swift will be be wearing his design in her April cover story in Australia’s Harper’s Bazaar. For my complete story, visit Fresh 102.7.

Kelly Clarkson will be a mentor on a new talent-based TV show this summer. Called Duets, Clarkson, Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles, Lionel Richie and Robin Thicke will scour the country in search of undiscovered talent to mentor. The show will put a spin on the talent competition as each mentor will choose two singers to be their duet partners for weekly performances.

Two weeks ago I interviewed singer-songwriter Matt Nathanson where he filled me in on his songwriting process and pranking Train on tour. You can read all about his songwriting process here and about life on tour here. Watch him discuss teaming up with Maroon 5 to prank Train below.

Features News

You Sing I Write’s Weekly Wrap Up

Just when I thought I was done hearing about Chris Brown and Rihanna, the rumors turned out to be true. On Monday night, Rihanna re-released “Birthday Cake” featuring Chris Brown and the music industry was abuzz. You can listen to the track here. What do you think about their collaboration?

This week, it was confirmed that former “American Idol” runner up Adam Lambert will be Queen’s frontman for a festival performance this summer. During an interview with New York radio station 92.3 NOW, one fan asked if he would channel Freddie Mercury. “I think it would be disrespectful to Freddie Mercury to try to copy him. I don’t think that’s the idea of any sort of tribute. I think the idea is to bring the songs to life with an energy that maybe he would be approving of,” he said.

Tuesday, I caught phenomenal sets by Mary Bragg and Nic Cowan at The Living Room and Rockwood Music Hall, two of my favorite venues in New York. What I love most about live shows is the power the singer has on the audience to connect. Cowan hushed the crowd at Rockwood after telling a story of meeting an artist pursuing his passion. After he told the tale, I had the song “Reno” stuck in my head for days. Listen to it here.

Matt Nathanson released the lyric video for his latest song “Run” featuring Sugarland. Being a country fan, I was surprised to learn of their collaboration. The beautiful track showcases his sensitive side and continues to expand his fan base.

My favorite story from this week was about a New Jersey teen asking Taylor Swift to his prom. Battling cancer for the second time, Kevin McGuire told his sister that no one would want to attend prom with him when he loses his hair. When she suggested Taylor Swift, his eyes lit up for the first time since being diagnosed. Fast forward to Friday night, Taylor couldn’t attend McGuire’s prom but instead invited him to be her date at the ACM Awards.

What music stories did you enjoy reading most from this week?

Artist of the Week

Artist of the Week: Matt Nathanson

I’ve seen Matt Nathanson a few times in concert, most recently opening up for Lifehouse last spring. I completely forgot how much I love his music until it came on Pandora today. Sure, he may sound like your typical singer-songwriter but there’s something different. His vocals are so relaxing and I can easily listen to his MySpace page all day without getting bored.

“Come On Get Higher” is such a classic. With lyrics like, “So come on, get higher, loosen my lips/Faith and desire and the swing of your hips/Just pull me down hard/And drown me in love/I miss the pull of your heart/I taste the sparks on your tongue/I see angels and devils and God, when you come on” you can’t but help to continue and listen. In fact, all his songs have those impeccable catchy choruses. Instead of boring you with my take on Nathanson, watch some of his videos below and let me know what you think! If that’s not enough be sure to check out his MySpace with a hilarious song titled “Philadelphia” — you guessed it correctly, dedicated to the city of the same name.

“Come On Get Higher”


“Car Crash”


One more song for you live from Matt’s home. Listen to “All We Are” acoustic below.


What do you think? For more on Matt Nathanson be sure to visit his Web site or listen to him on MySpace.

Concert Reviews

Lifehouse Have Sold-Out NYC Crowd ‘Hanging’ On Every Word

Shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday night Roseland Ballroom went dark and the crowd grew silent for mere seconds before screams erupted throughout the venue. The screams only grew louder as Lifehouse took the stage, playing the first chord of “Make Me Over.” As frontman Jason Wade leaned closer into the audience you could see his energy leap into the crowd as hands were thrown in the air and fans sang along to every word of the song.

Lifehouse’s 75-minute, 15-song set was full of nonstop energy. While most of the set included songs from their latest album, Who We Are, they also played some of their earlier work and radio hits, such as crowd favorite “Hanging by a Moment.”

The night featured solid guitar and drum features that accented Wade’s vocals well while each song blended right into the next, leaving no awkward pauses throughout their set. “Make Me Over” quickly transitioned right into “Spin,” which had a strong instrumental part towards the end of the song. After “Spin” the stage went dark before Wade came out, screaming “New York City!” then telling the crowd, “We’re gonna play some new songs and some old songs for you tonight” as a spotlight shown on him.

Next up was “Simon,” from their first album, No Name Face. “Simon” slowed down the night for a bit, but was an obvious old crowd favorite and screams were heard when Wade started singing the first verse. No matter how many times Lifehouse must have played “Hanging by a Moment” over the past few years, it still gets the most screams of any song played during their set. Literally every person around me was singing along, and I’m pretty sure that included at least 95% of the venue as well.

Wade started off “Storm” alone on vocals, as his voice echoed throughout the venue singing, “If I could just see you/Everything would be all right/If I’d see you/This darkness would turn to light/And I will walk on water/And you will catch me if I fall/And I will get lost into your eyes/I know everything will be alright/I know everything is alright” before he began playing acoustic guitar. Definitely a vocally driven song, his rendition of “Storm” live surpassed listening to it on their album.

The remainder of their set included the radio hit “You and Me” as well as “Disarray” and an encore performance of “The First Time” and high-energy closer “Broken.” Four albums and many tours later, Lifehouse proved to the crowd they still have the same energy as when they first began.

Matt Nathanson and HoneyHoney opened the night. HoneyHoney are a bit folk-sounding, with violin accompaniment. Their vocals were strong and they definitely had a solid collection of songs.

Matt Nathanson had a crowd-pleasing and comical set, with many in attendance singing along to his songs as well as Rick Springfield and Journey covers. First song of the night “Car Crash” seemed to be a crowd favorite, along with another song of his, of which he told the audience, “I like to think it’s a sequel to ‘Jessie’s Girl’ ” — a song that he soon after covered quite well. The prelude to his last song of the evening was Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” (with a dead-on guitar riff) to get the audience energized and singing along to his closer, “Answering Machine.”