The Grammy Awards air tonight on CBS at 8PM ET/PT and will feature live performances by Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson, Bob Dylan, Avett Brothers, Mumford & Sons, Lady Antebellum, Lady Gaga, Miranda Lambert, Katy Perry, Arcade Fire, B.o.B, Bruno Mars, Drake, Rihanna and many more.
For complete coverage, be sure to follow me on Twitter as I’ll be live tweeting the show. Over the past few years, I’ve been lucky enough to interview numerous Grammy winners, so be sure to click on my Q&As with past winners below and stay tuned for new interviews in the upcoming weeks!
I’ve been incredibly lucky to have interviewed some of my all-time favorite bands this year. As 2010 comes to a close, I can only imagine what 2011 will bring… (perhaps an interview with John Mayer?!). Instead of compiling my top 10 albums, songs, etc. of the year I decided to break up my Top 10 list with my five most memorable interviews and concerts of 2010. Be sure to let me know some of your favorites in the comments!
You Sing I Write’s Top 5 Interviews of 2010
My younger self is still in disbelief. HANSON. I remember the years my best friend in middle school was CONVINCED she would marry Taylor Hanson. Little did I know I’d interview him a decade later. Extremely detailed, Taylor Hanson went on to thoroughly and thoughtfully answer every question I asked. Sorry Jacqueline, he’s married. Read my complete interview on Lemondrop here.
4. Colbie Caillat
Though I interviewed Colbie Caillat back in 2008 for my blog, I had yet to meet her in person and was thrilled to catch her in Hoboken and film my interview with her for VH1 Save the Music. You can read the complete interview on Hoboken Patch and watch a video excerpt below.
3. Pat Benatar
I still can’t believe I chatted with Pat Benatar on the phone this year! We bonded over living in Brooklyn and she gave me so much great advice that I shared with Lemondrop readers. And, your No. 1 question was answered. Yes, Pat Benatar still believes love is a battlefield. Read my complete Q&A on Lemondrop here.
2. Lady Antebellum
I still remember the first time I saw Lady Antebellum perform on an awards show and thought to myself, “I REALLY want to interview this band!” I had a hunch they’d explode and in 2010 they sure did. Out of all my interviews this year, I was most nervous for my in-person with them as I listened to Need You Now continuously, it easily being my most played album of the year. Nerves aside, the interview went well and I even stumped Lady A on a few questions. Read my interview with Lady Antebellum on The Boot.
1. Keith Urban
Never in a million years would I have dreamed I’d spend the day with Keith Urban! I remember the first time I heard a Keith Urban song. It was “Somebody Like You” back in high school in the movie, “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” and I downloaded it and played it obsessively for months. He was the first country artist I really listened to and I was happy to discover my college roommate Celine liked him as well. We’d play his album on repeat and admire his gorgeous locks, often wondering how they’re kept so perfect. I came to learn it’s thanks to his personal hair stylist as she was fixing his hair before my chat with him.
Happy to report my interview went swimmingly (see the video below) and Keith was one of the nicest artists I’ve ever met. For the complete writeup, visit The Boot.
You Sing I Write’s Top 5 Concerts of 2010
5. Pat Benatar, Nokia Theater
I was more than excited to get a pair of tickets to Pat Benatar’s show a week after my phoner with her. Many life realizations came to mind while I was standing near the stage during the entirety of her set. As Benatar’s husband Neil Geraldo provided climatic guitar riffs to accompany her soaring vocals, I couldn’t help but smile at the chorus of “Shadows of the Night.”
We’re running with the Shadows of the Night
So baby take my hand, you’ll be all right
Surrender all you dreams to me tonight
They’ll come true in the end
In 2010, so many of my dreams have come true. Some that I never even realized were possible a few years ago. Read more on Busted Halo.
4. CMT on Tour with Miranda Lambert and Eric Church, Terminal 5
For those who doubt country fans exist in New York, you obviously weren’t at Terminal 5 for the CMT on Tour kickoff. I have never witnessed a crowd so energized. Raising their beer cups and cowboy hats high in the air throughout Eric and Miranda’s sets, watching the crowd was just as captivating as the artists onstage. Read my review on The Boot.
3. The Gaslight Anthem, The Stone Pony
Seeing my favorite Jersey boys on their home turf was a concert experience like none other. My friends and I scrambled to find tickets to their sold-out show at the last minute. And, boy we’re glad we did! The outside stage setup within walking distance of the Jersey Shore and all their friends, family and Gaslight Anthem diehards in the crowd made for a unique evening. I had so much fun, a friend and I even crowd surfed up to the stage where we enjoyed most of the show from the front row.
2. Taylor Swift, Prudential Center
For being 21 and on her first headlining tour, Taylor Swift’s live show is impressive. Every moment of her set is thought out with precise detail and perfected on a nightly basis. Whether she was walking through the first level at the Prudential Center giving hugs to everyone who stopped her, or the arena erupting in heart shaped confetti at the show’s end, Taylor Swift is living proof that fairy tales do come true. Witnessing her live just proved this point even more.
1. NEEDTOBREATHE, Irving Plaza
I heard their show was good, but I never expected to be blown away the way I was. There is definitely a reason Taylor Swift tapped the band as her tour opener next year. From the moment NEEDTOBREATHE took the stage at Irving Plaza it was evident that this wasn’t just any concert. The South Carolina natives have been honing their live show for the past 10 years and the audience could tell. Their impressive instrumental interludes combined with frontman Bear Rinehart’s energy captivated. One can only imagine what 2011 will bring for NEEDTOBREATHE. Read my complete show review here and watch the band perform “Valley of Tomorrow” acoustic below.
Earlier this summer, I wrote a post titled “A Day In the Life with Annie Reuter” after my friend Monica said she wanted to read more about my music adventures. Since then, I received an overwhelming response from readers requesting weekly updates. While my daily life isn’t THAT exciting, I’ve been trying my best to provide monthly recaps. If there is anything specific you’d like to know, be sure to let me know in the comments!
August saw major life changes as I took the leap and moved to Brooklyn with two friends. When it used to take me more than an hour to commute to NYC for a show, I now have five concert venues within walking distance! As luck would have it, since the move my freelance work has picked up. I’ll try my best to update the blog on a daily basis, but if I slack off please forgive me!
You can keep up with my apartment life on Busted Halo where my roommates and I blog for “Girls Meet God.” Each week we reveal what it’s like for three girls with different backgrounds and faiths to live together. Being the token Catholic girl, I’ve already learned so much about the Jewish faith and what it means to keep Kosher. Read all about it here.
In addition to exploring religion, I’ve continued writing for Lemondrop where I post articles that explore my dating life (eeek!) and find out love advice from other women. Most recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Pat Benatar! A few days later, I attended her concert at Nokia Theater and was truly blown away. The way she interacted with the crowd was incredibly enjoyable and it was easy to see the love between her and guitarist husband of 29 years, Neil Giraldo. Whether it was Giraldo telling the audience the story behind “I Don’t Want to Be Your Friend, I Just Want to Be Your Lover” (Benatar had a dream he cheated on her), or Benatar confessing her least favorite song to perform, (“Hit Me With Your Best Shot”), they had everyone’s undivided attention.
Witnessing Benatar live was a concert experience like no other. A rock icon and inspiration to women everywhere, I never dreamed I’d interview and watch such a phenomenal artist live. It’s moments like these that deepen my passion and determination to continue a career as a music journalist. I can’t wait to share with you my future adventures!
Earlier this week, I interviewed the infamous Pat Benatar. Thanks for all your questions, I was able to squeeze most of them in! We chatted about life, work and dating — including whether she still believes love is a battlefield. A true inspiration, Benatar gave me advice about living out your dreams and things she wish she knew in her 20s. You can read an excerpt below and for the complete interview visit Lemondrop. You talk a lot about trusting your gut. You write, in your memoir, “Rock and roll is really about following your passion with no apologies. Following that sound in your head that only you can hear.” What’s your advice to 20-somethings trying to find that passion and pursue their dreams? You have to be smart, of course. You can’t just go running off to Kuala Lumpur throwing everything away. You don’t want to wreck your life in the pursuit of your dream. I have two girls — my youngest is 16 and my oldest is 25. I’m right in the thick of this with them. They struggle, they’re afraid to take a chance, of what people think. You’ve got to give it up. You have to stop worrying about this. You have to sit down and really examine what it is in your heart that you really want, what makes you happy. And don’t hurt anyone else in the process. Don’t trample others to have the dream that you want.
I think everyone should go for what they really, really love. You may only get to do this one time. Don’t be worried. Don’t think that you can’t have most of it. I’m of the belief that you cannot have it all. You can try. I think that you always have to make a sacrifice somewhere. I grew up during the women’s movement, and they told us we can have everything. It was a lie. You definitely cannot have everything, not 100 percent. You can have it all, but some part of it at different times in your life will have to take a backseat. If you choose to raise your children, your career will take a backseat for a little while. If you choose to pursue your career at a stronger pace, your kids will take a backseat. It’s just the ebb and flow of how life is. Don’t make yourself crazy thinking you have to be a superwoman. It’s not even possible. Think about what you want personally. Don’t let other things, don’t let the media, don’t let anybody tell you what you’re supposed to be, because only you know.
For more on Pat Benatar, visit her MySpace to hear some of her timeless classics.
Earlier this summer I filled you in on Pat Benatar’s memoir, “Between a Heart and a Rock Place.” A compelling read, Benatar is completely honest about what it was like dealing with record label, Chrysalis, and the obstacles she faced as a female artist throughout her career. Having paved the road for numerous female acts today, it is uncertain where women would be without Benatar’s contributions.
“Rock and roll is really about following your passion with no apologies. Following that sound in your head that only you can hear,” says Benatar.
Tomorrow I’ll be interviewing Pat Benatar for Lemondrop. What have you always wanted to know? Be sure to send me your questions and I’ll try to get them all in during our interview!
I think most of us agree that summer is the best time of year. Outdoor music festivals, beach time and vacations, who wouldn’t love it? I’ve been reading some great music memoirs and on the road novels that I think every music enthusiast would enjoy. Read below for my complete list. If I left any books out that you think I should pick up, definitely let me know in the comments!
Between a Heart and a Rock Place
A few weeks ago I wrote a post about Pat Benatar’s new memoir, “Between a Heart and a Rock Place.” A compelling read, Benatar is completely honest about what it was like dealing with record label, Chrysalis, the obstacles she faced as a female and how she overcame each to become the well-respected artist she is today.
My favorite quote: “Rock and roll is really about following your passion with no apologies. Following that sound in your head that only you can hear.”
But Enough About Me…A Jersey Girl’s Unlikely Adventures Among the Absurdly Famous
This is my absolute favorite book in the world. Written by fellow Jersey girl and former Rolling Stone writer, Jancee Dunn, her memoir takes you behind the scenes of working at one of the most respected music magazines and what it’s like to interview A-list musicians and celebrities. Each chapter begins with tips Dunn has learned along the way, whether it’s what questions to ask to warm up the interview subject or one of my favorite titles, “How to Approach an R&B; Artist When You’re the Whitest Person in the Western World.”
My favorite quote: “The second I stepped through the doors of Rolling Stone as a real employee, I wanted to shake off my old personality like the rigid husk of a cicada. But how could I cultivate a new, hip persona when I lived with my parents in a New Jersey suburb and wore black leggings as pants?”
Cassette From My Ex
Last year, I covered the New York launch party of “Cassette From My Ex.” A collection of 60 essays about relationships and mixtapes from musicians, magazine editors, VJs and more, the book is packed with comical and poignant tales of first love, friendship and heartbreak. The stories are relatable and at many times, bittersweet.
My favorite quote: “We made each other tapes because we believed that music articulated what we could not otherwise express.”
A few weeks ago, I attended a book reading by Kate Rockland. For those of you who have always wondered what it’s like to date a rock star, Rockland fills us in through her main character, Harper Rostov, who falls for Nick Cavallaro, a punk rocker from New Jersey. The novel, set in the East Village and New Jersey, is a colorful and humorous account of Harper and her whirlwind affair with the rock star every girl dreams about. [Cough: John Mayer?]
My favorite quote: “Being punk isn’t about wearing a black armband with a skull on it or listening to certain bands. It’s about being revolutionary inside your soul. Being different from everyone else and not giving a shit.”
Read my take on the night of her book reading here.
Off the Bus and On the Record
If you were curious as to what exactly happens during an interview, this is the book for you. Complete with 22 candid interviews by teen journalists, the encounters remind me of how I got my start. Not exactly the interviews you’d read in Rolling Stone, the rock stars open up completely to the teens. You also see firsthand how awkward some interviews can be when the reporter accidentally says the wrong title of the album or how to deal with bands who ramble and don’t answer the question asked of them.
My favorite quote: Pete Wentz talking to the interviewer, Zac: “You got, like, a VJ-esque quality. You could be a VJ. Honestly, I’m putting it in that if I ever have to write a recommendation for you or anything, call me up for a reference.”
Zac: “Ok, I’ll put, ‘Pete, Fall Out Boy, recommends me for a VJ position.'”
Pete: “By then I’ll probably be a garbage man and you can’t even put Fall Out Boy. They call me up and I’ll be like, “I remember when I was in a band! It was awesome!”
What books are you reading this summer? If I left any out that you’ve enjoyed, let me know!
This past Tuesday, Pat Benatar released her memoir, “Between a Heart and a Rock Place.” You can read my thoughts on it here as well as peruse an excerpt of the book here.
One lucky reader can win a copy of it this week! Just add You Sing I Write on Facebook or Twitter and tell me why you want to receive “Between a Heart and a Rock Place.” I’ll pick a winner next week. Good luck!
For more on “Between a Heart and a Rock Place” watch a synopsis below as well as Benatar performing “Hit Me with Your Best Shot.” What’s your favorite Pat Benatar song?
Earlier this week, Grammy-winning singer Pat Benatar released a memoir, titled “Between a Heart and a Rock Place.” Well known for hits including “Heartbreaker,” “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” and “Love Is a Battlefield,” the book takes the reader on the road and behind the scenes throughout Benatar’s 30+ year career.
A compelling read, Benatar is completely honest about what it was like dealing with record label, Chrysalis, and the obstacles she faced as a female artist throughout her career. Having paved the road for numerous female acts today, it is uncertain where women would be without Benatar’s contributions.
“Between a Heart and a Rock Place” begins in Benatar’s childhood and the reader is introduced to the start of her career and classical voice training. We learn the history behind every album she and her band made and the meanings behind many of the songs. From an encounter with Frank Sinatra to taking the stage when she won her first of four consecutive Grammys for best female rock performance, the reader is in Benatar’s head witnessing each accomplishment with her.
Additionally, Benatar takes us on the set of her first music video for MTV in 1981. “You Better Run” was the second video to be played on the network, (right after the Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star”), making Benatar the first woman to appear on MTV. This marked the start of a new outlet for musicians and Benatar takes the reader along for the ride. She talks of how the early VJ’s were music lovers.
“They weren’t the pretentious music journalists you sometimes see today; they were music fans who happened to be journalists. It was all very good-natured, no probing for deep dark secrets, no expose about your personal life. It was all about music,” she wrote.
Watch the video below for Pat Benatar’s description of “Between a Heart and a Rock Place.”
As her memoir ends, Pat Benatar forms an independent label and is finally able to call the shots. While she continues to perform today and her musical legacy is far from over, “Between a Heart and a Rock Place,” offers fans and music lovers a behind-the-scenes look at what exactly goes on in the life of a rock star. Throughout the memoir, she gives beneficial advice for up-and-coming artists and stresses the importance of girls to stand up for themselves.
“Rock and roll is really about following your passion with no apologies. Following that sound in your head that only you can hear,” she writes.
You can read an excerpt from the book below. Stay tuned for my upcoming contest to win a copy of Pat Benatar’s “Between a Heart and a Rock Place.”
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day I decided to feature Pat Benatar’s 1983 hit, “Love Is a Battlefield.” I heard it on the radio just the other day and couldn’t think of a more perfect tune for this week. Turns out, Benatar won a Grammy from it in 1984 for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. Watch the music video for it below and enjoy the dance segment mid-song. Gotta love the 80s! What’s your favorite 80s track?