music

  From playing on the streets of the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, California to performing on Dancing with the Stars, Andy Grammer has a lot to be optimistic about. The “Honey I’m Good” and  “Keep Your Head Up” crooner had our hearts in his pocket at first listen and even has Taylor Swift smiling! Andy gave ME the details on his music career and his take on where to find the perfect guy.
  
 
ME: When did you figure out you wanted to pursue music?

AG: I wasn’t exactly sure it was music, I just knew I wanted to create and affect people. From a very young age I was learning how to impress people— like by juggling or magic and learning how I can make someone smile. When I found the guitar I was like, “Whoa, I can make you smile!” Once I kind of latched on to that, that was my favorite mode of creating.

ME: So you would go out to the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica and play your music? Tell ME what that was like?
AG: With music and this rock star kind of ideology in how this works, you can get caught up in a bunch of other things besides, “Do people like me when I play music?” There are all of these other things like, “I have to look at shoes, I think that will help,” or, “If I had a video concept, that will make—” that’s all important too, but when you go out to the Promenade you can just point-blank say: “Alright, I play music. People either like it and they stop and give me 10 bucks for a CD, or they don’t.” It’s the most basic element of, “Do you like what I’m playing,” and you can really start to figure out where you stand with people’s ears. It’s a great, great way to develop if you go out in the street and just have people tell you whether they like you or not.

ME: That’s super scary! How did you get  the nerve to put yourself out there like that?
AG: You just gotta take a leap; take the leap in putting yourself out there. You have to be one of those people who is willing to take the burn of having someone come up to you say, “You need to turn down, dude, like we’re just trying to enjoy our food and you’re bothering us.”  Handle the lows and you can also get some highs which is like there’s 100 people around you all clapping to a song they didn’t even hear until today, and now they all want to buy a CD. There are highs and lows, and I think that’s the art industry for everybody. 
ME: People kind of do that through YouTube.

AG: Yeah, exactly YouTube does that too. That’s actually really interesting, and that wasn’t quite as big when I was really in my intense development stage. Now it seems like, oh my God, everyone is doing that!



ME: Speaking of YouTube, I was reading through the comments for your song “The Pocket,” and one guy said you rep the guys who don’t think with their, ummm, let’s say man-parts. Now that we know there are at least two of you out there, where do you think girls can meet more guys like you?
AG: It’s funny, to say I don’t think with my man-parts is like— that’s a little bold. I think you just want to find someone who is at least trying. We all have our demons and the things that aren’t the best about us. Hopefully you’re at least trying to work on them— that’s all I can say that I am. I wrote that song and I mean it, you know, but that’s a good day. What I will say is that I genuinely try to be a good guy, and I think there’s a lot of guys out there like that. I don’t think we’re in short supply.

ME: I believe that. You actually touch on not being the perfect guy all the time in your song “Ladies.
AG: Yeah I think there is no perfect guy, there is no perfect girl. I think you just want to be awake and at least try to be a better person, that’s the goal.

ME: “Keep Your Head Up” is a big hit for you! What’s the story behind it?  
AG: So I was out at the Promenade and I hadn’t sold enough CDs at all. I was paying my rent out there so it would get kind of tense near the end of the month when you have so many days left at the Promenade and you’re like, “I need to make this money.” So one day I didn’t sell any and I went home and wrote myself a little pick-me-up track.

ME: So it really ended up helping you out too!
AG: That’s so funny, the way the world works. Thank God I didn’t sell any CDs that day. If I sold CDs I wouldn’t have written that song that’s helping me get on tour with everybody right now.

ME: It’s a great song for everyone a bunch of situations whether they’re facing graduation or trying to figure out how to follow their dreams.
AG: Yeah that’s the thing: It’s always gonna be hard so you might as well just smile. it’s never going to be completely fine. I don’t think that’s why we’re here.

ME: So how do you keep your head up when times get tough?
AG: That’s a great question. I keep my head up by taking in inspiration from other people. So the band that I’m opening for, I’ll go and watch their sets and just really enjoy what they’ve put into it and how it’s working, or listen to other artists and see what they’re doing. When I’m home, I love to see comedy. I love to be inspired; it always helps me stay excited.

Tell ME: Which Andy Grammer song are you in love with?
-Ashlyee Hickman




Glee Season 4 cast

With hit TV show entering its senior year (season 4), Glee shows it hasn’t stopped believing in the formula that earned them success— a diverse cast, a few heartthrobs and those oh-so-wonderful mashups. In anticipation for Glee’s new season and time slot (Thursdays at 9p) FOX threw a great listening party to preview five songs from the season. These dance beats and earworms not only had us humming along, but also gave us a few clues as to what’s in store for the season.


“Dance Again/Americano”— Cassandra (Kate Hudson)
This high-energy mashup of Jennifer Lopez and Lady Gaga’s hits is totally dance worthy, and it shows off Kate Hudson’s impressive pipes (Take that, Gwyneth Paltrow)! Hudson gracefully switches between her mid and high registers throughout this groove. Look for this to debut on the premiere episode. Something tells us she’s be schooling Rachel (Lea Michele) on passion for the art of Broadway.

“It’s Time” — Blaine (Darren Criss)
Can’t get enough Blaine? You’re in luck. Darren Criss will have lots of screen time as he deals with his relationship with Kurt (Chris Colfer) and restocking the Glee Club with talent. Darren tackles the Imagine Dragons song with grace. But taking a deeper look into the lyrics it looks like there may be trouble in paradise:  “It’s time to begin, isn’t it?/ I get a little bit bigger, but then I’ll admit/ I’m just the same as I was/Now don’t you understand/That I’m never changing who I am” We can’t tell if this is Blaine reassuring Kurt as they embark on a (Mini Spoiler Alert!!!) long-distance relationship or if their relationship will show growing pains.

“Boys/Boyfriend” — Artie (Kevin McHale) and Blaine
This Artie/Blaine duet mashing up Britney Spears’ “Boys” and Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend” is their first duet ever. It sounds great (duh!), but we’re even more excited to see it on screen.
Kevin McHale and Darren Criss revealed the two had to deliver the the song in an über cheesy boy band type performance. Shouldn’t be a problem for Kevin since he was in a boy band (NLT), right? Kevin admitted Darren was the bigger cheese ball! That’s great to know because by the sound of it, we need a little more expression from Darren, hopefully we get more when we see him perform it in the “Britney 2.0” episode.

“Gimme More”— Brittany (Heather Morris)
It wouldn’t be a Britney episode without Brittany S. Pierce (Heather Morris) to rock out a Spears number. Chord Overstreet (Sam) revealed the Glee Club will back her up in the dance-heavy number. No doubt, Heather, a former dancer for Beyonce will outshine them all like she did last Britney episode!

“Call Me Maybe”— Glee Club
OK, Glee, if you did Rebecca Black’s “Friday,” we guess you had to do Carly Rae Jepson’s mega earworm of the summer. Luckily there was much to delight our ears despite hearing the song 12 billion times. A new voice opens the song— maybe it’s  Jacob Artist who will be playing Jake Puckerman, Puck’s (Mark Salling) younger brother. The Glee Club will battle it out to this song, perhaps to an assignment Mr. Schuester (Matthew Morrison) doles out. This is our first time hearing the new Glee club and we immediately notice there aren’t any powerhouse, “park and bark,” bring the house down voices that Mercedes (Amber Riley) and Rachel (Lea Michele) delivered every episode. Further in the song we found potential of one (another new cast member, we suspect is Alex Newell’s Unique) but, hate to be the bearer of bad new, she’s not as good as Mercedes. We’ll give it another chance, since “Call Me Maybe” isn’t the best vehicle to tout one’s vocal prowess.

Which song do you want the cast to sing this season?
—Ashlyee Hickman

Nate Ruess and members of Fun.

“I want you to go up to someone you never met before and dance with them,” Nate screams at the crowd bursting out the seams of The Glass House in Pomona, CA. Fans eagerly carry out the the command. Fun. is making their way across the nation to support their sophomore album, “Some Nights.”

The indie pop-rock band that claims Nate Ruess (lead vocals), Jack Antonoff (guitar/vocals) and Andrew Dost (keyboard/vocals) as members reached a brand new audience when they lent their hit song—“We are Young” featuring Janelle Monáe— to the worthy songbirds from “Glee.” Even so, the loyal fans are the ones who pack the venue. When Nate croons the words of “The Gambler,” chronicling his parents’ gorgeous love story, fans sway, sing and even sob!

The chemistry between the three is undeniable as they play off of each others’ words, recount the last time they ruined a sweet 16 birthday party and intimate family stories. Fun. played an amazing cross-section of their recent album and their first, “Aim and Ignite.” Nate’s vocal range awes and inspires; performing the set— including “Some Nights,” “One Foot,” “Be Calm” and “Take Your Time (Coming Home)”— with such energy you can’t help but scream the lyrics at the top of your lungs.

Their performance of “We are Young” was thundering, rousing and at times ethereal. An awesome rollercoaster of sorts, the show truly lives up to the band’s name, period.
—Ashlyee Hickman

READ NEXT: Fun. Fashion: What to Wear to the Concert


Pining to hear Fun. live, but couldn’t get your hands on tickets? Watch their iHeartRadio live performance for kicks.

Girls' Generation a.k.a SNSD

It’s always tempting to check out a foreign artist that breaks into the American music scene (like Shakira), so let ME introduce one of the Korean Pop groups that is leading the Korean wave (Hallyu) across America, Girls’ Generation (SNSD). The group consists of Tiffany, Sunny, HyoYeon, TaeYeon, Jessica, Yuri, SooYoung, Yoona, and Seohyun (say that 5 times fast).
 
Due to the level of fame they have in Korea, Girls’ Generation has a tendency to make it into the public’s eye for things like their chart-topping songs to wearing shorts too short. However, through everything the girls go through, it rarely shakes their determination and ability to perform. They are committed to bringing the world the best performance Girls’ Generation has ever done. Without further a due, let ME show you seven Girls’ Generation videos to watch. 

1. The Boys (English Version)  
The girls really showed their interest in breaking into the U.S. music scene by deciding to make a video and song especially for their international fans. This song is a complete stray from what most people assume girl groups in K-pop reflect, which is being cute. Girls’ Generation made sure their comeback song reflected their confidence, attitude and maturity. This song was produced by famous American producer Teddy Riley, who has worked with artists like Snoop Dogg and Lady Gaga!


  
 
2. Gee
“Gee” shows the utter joy and worries of having a crush on someone but being too shy to tell them. How can you not get up and dance to this fun and catchy tune? On a side note, it’s not hard to imagine that a group like SNSD sets trends, but what if you found out “Gee” caused several stores to sell out of colorful skinny jeans? It goes to show the power of funky tune. 
 

3. Tell Me Your Wish (Genie)
Contrary to their previous song, “Gee,” “Tell Me Your Wish (Genie)” became the more mature and sexy song that defined the girls. With the cute outfits and seductive voices that the girls taken on, it’s really no wonder they are causing a sensation all over the world. Every song and video that SNSD makes shows that they can adapt their singing and image to the music.
 

 
4. Oh!
Although most of the more successful songs talk about love, (whether it’s about losing it or finding it) “Oh!” manages to send a similar message, but with a twist. “Oh!” focuses on the minor details like confessing to someone who only sees you as a sister, friend, or worse, not taking you seriously! By mixing a cute-meets-sexy theme for the video and high-pitched young voices, “Oh!” becomes a super catchy hit!



5. Hoot

“Hoot” is mix of a modern take on a 60s Bond girl and cowgirls (featuring hottie Siwon Choi from the also popular K-pop group, Super Junior). But wait: Where does the cowgirl theme fit in? Well, in Korean “훗” or “Hoot” looks like a cowboy. Pretty clever huh? Lucky for us, the chorus is pretty repetitive with a few English words which let us sing along to the mellow tune.

6. Run Devil Run
“Run Devil Run” is one of Girls’ Generations surprise songs and videos because it shows a completely different side to the K-Pop sensation. This song focuses on a girl getting over a playboy who took her for granted, but she’s fed up. The girls’ voices adjust amazingly to the theme and video, making you experience the dark tone of the song.

7. Mr. Taxi
Girls’ Generation bring their catchy dances and smooth vocals to Japan. After becoming a big name in South Korea, the girls expanded to Japan. A taxi-inspired outfit has never looked so good!

Tell ME: What’s your favorite Girls’ Generation video?
—Gabriela Castelan

500 Dates of Summer

Disneyland Resort

Been a while since you’ve ventured out to The Happiest Place on Earth? With new rides, like
The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, and makeovers to the classics, like Star Tours, there’s no time like the present to visit the Disneyland Resort! Get your friends together for an early morning huddle to plan your ride agenda for the day, and strategically choose which rides you’ll need a FASTPASS. In between rides, go on a character scavenger hunt/photo shoot and snap fun and crazy pics with your favorite Disney characters! C’mon, who doesn’t want to snag a kiss with Aladdin and post it as her Facebook profile pic?
 
Before you line up to ride Indiana Jones™ Adventure, stop by the Tiki Juice Bar for an ice-cold Dol
e Pineapple Whip. It’s tangy, pineapple-y awesomeness in your mouth that is sure to beat the inevitable heat of SoCal.
 
Details:
Address: 1313 S. Harbor Blvd., Anaheim, CA 92802
Hours: As early as 8 a.m. to as late as midnight. Check the Disneyland calendar for exact times  
Price: $76 each (Psst, check to see if your university or parents’ companies have any deals on tickets. You might save enough to cover lunch!)


 

Beyonce is back and shaking her way up the charts with this hit, “Run the World (Girls).” It’s the perfect taste of what is to come from her fourth studio album, “4.” We dare you to stay still during this video!

Andy GrammerWe caught Andy Grammer at the inaugural session of the Homegrown series at The Grammy Museum to get the scoop on what he’s been up to these days. Here are 10 awesoME things about the singer/songwriter.

 
1. Andy gets a lot of influence from Piano Rock, Acoustic Guitar and Hip Hop. He said “Sublime” and “Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,” were two of his favorite, most influential albums.

2. He has an amazing band. Let ME introduce you: Will Gramling rocks the keys, Zach Rudulph on the bass, Mike Lindsay on the drums and Jacob Fatoorechi on the guitar. With their powers combined, they can’t help but put on an awesoME show.

3. His album,
“Andy Grammer,” is dedicated to his mom, who passed away. When he closed down the show with “Ladies,” he said there was no way he would have written a song like it if it weren’t for his mom. He said she comes out through the entire record.

4. He sings, plays the piano, guitar and he can beatbox. We wonder what else he’s hiding up his musical sleeves?

5. He keeps his friends close and “enemies” closer. When you’re battling out between acrobats, a singing three-year-old and hot break dancers on Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade, it’s survival of the coolest. Andy made friends with all of the performers (or buskers, they’re also known as), and even invited the break dancers, like Candyman, to perform at his shows.

6. He’s a great salesman. Andy had to get creative to get himself heard. He told a story of a gig in a college in Iowa. Nobody showed up. Andy grabbed his guitar, went to the cafeteria and screamed, “Hey, I’m going to play you a song!” He  played in the middle of the caf and invited everyone to go to his show.

7. Andy graduated from Cal State Northridge and majored in music business, because it was the closest major that dealt with what he wanted to do be a musician.

8. He knows how to write for the ladies. If the amazing songs “Ladies,” and “The Pocket” are any indication, Andy Grammyerm, we mean Grammer not only has talent, but a big heart for romance. Listen to see if he’s talking about you in his equally swoon-worthy song “Build Me a Girl.”

9. His dad is Grammy-nominated children’s singer and songwriter, Red Grammer. Andy said he encouraged him in his music and taught him he should be nice to everyone.

10. Andy LOVES his fans. Andy signed hundreds of copies of his EP so his fans could take home a special gift from him. He also stayed after his performance to take pictures and sign autographs for everyone.

Need more? Click here for his interview with MyEveryzine! Tell ME: Which Andy Grammer song are you obsessed with?
-Ashlyee Hickman

500 Dates of Summer

The Grammy Museum

Couldn’t get the tickets to the must-see summer concert? Here’s the next best thing. Grab a bite to eat at L.A. Live and go to The Grammy Museum. Yeah, you heard ME right, a museum. This one isn’t your typical stroll down ancient memory lane. The Grammy Museum is a fun, interactive venue full of the kind of history you can can dance to! While you explore, don’t miss the third floor’s all-access pass to everything that has to do with the Grammys. Take a gander at the Grammy trophies and then drool over some of the most memorable Grammy outfits, including dresses worn by Taylor Swift and Jennifer Lopez. Catch a performance, like Andy Grammer’s Homegrown appearance, in the Clive Davis Theater. It’s a super intimate, 200-seat theater that really gives you access to artists in a unique, memorable way.
 
Other highlights, the John Lennon, Songwriter exhibit lets you mix your own version of classics like “Give Peace a Chance.” You can get your Glee on and lay down your own vocal tracks! Speaking of Glee, check out the exhibit dedicated to Rachel Berry’s (Lea Michele) idol, Barbra Streisand.
 
Psst, after a day of fun and music, see if you can catch your fave performer at the back of the Staples Center or at the tour bus area. Don’t forget your Sharpie!
 
Details:
Address: 800 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, California 
Regular Hours: Monday – Friday 11:30am – 7:30pm, Saturday – Sunday 10:00am – 7:30pm
Price: 10.95-$12.95 (bring your school ID for the student rate)


 

 

 2011 Amercan Idol, Scotty McCreeryScotty McCreery joins the likes of Jordin Sparks, Carrie Underwood, David Cook and Kris Allen as an American Idol. With a velvety-smooth voice that could send Garth Brooks up the creek, the North Carolina native has ME feeling a little bit country, and loving it! Is it too early to request a duet with Taylor Swift? Here are 10 things you need to know about this year’s American Idol.
 
1. Scotty is from Garner, NC, a town of 26 thousand people— that’s less than .07% of the population of Los Angeles!
 
2. His first audition was in Milwaukee and he sang Josh Turner’s “Young Man.”
 
3. He won BIG. The final showdown between Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina garnered 122 million votes, more than any season in the 10-year-old series!
 
4. Along with the title of “American Idol,” Scotty earned a record deal with 19 Recordings. His debut single and swoon-worthy ballad, “I Love You This Big” is out now.
 
5. His favorite quote is Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” He always wore the same necklace with a black cross. Look for it next time you see him!

6. Scotty is down-to-earth. His southern charm and grounded demeanor even comes across in his tweets: “Thank yall [sic] so much for keeping me around.”

7. Scotty was protected by the government! Because Scotty and Lauren are minors, they were subject to child labor laws. The Department of Labor has restrictions on the number of hours minors can work in a day.

8. He’s close to his mom.  He admitted to tearing up when Lauren sang “Like My Mother Does,” during part one of the finale. Both of their mothers stayed with them throughout the competition.

9. The American Idol will hit the road with the remaining 10 contestants for the American Idols LIVE! 2011 Tour, starting on July 6, in West Valley City, UT.

10. He wants to go to college, “College is important to me,
he said. He also has his heart set on Nashville. Dear University of Tennessee: That should be music to your ears!
-Ashlyee Hickman

Photo Credit: Frank MIcelotta / FOX

Tell ME: Who did you want to win American Idol?

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