“HOLY SH*TBALLS”, MICHAEL BUBLE

His words, not mine.

A mother ransacked the stage at a recent Michael Buble concert. Yep, seriously. The determined mama interrupted the singer to inform the crooner that her son Sam (who just turned 15), wanted to duet with Buble himself.

Reluctantly, the cutie pie singer agreed and told the kid to join him onstage. Within seconds the band to fired up Feeling Good. Buble took a swing at the opening line and then turned the mic over to Sam to sing the second.

Long friggin’ story short: Sam’s voice blew Buble to infinity and beyond!

This all went down at a concert in Birmingham, England, on Oct. 9th. However, the clip was just featured on the This Is Michael Buble TV special, which was broadcast Saturday night in Britain. And now the vid’s quickly going viral.

Sam spoke with the Birmingham Mail about his Buble experience : “It was incredible. I can’t believe I got to go on stage to sing with Michael Buble. For the last few days my mum kept asking what my favourite Buble song was, but I had no idea she was going to do that. As she started walking to the stage, I thought oh no, what is she doing?”

Sam’s proud mama, Paula, told the paper that she was unsure if she was going to go through with it but knew it was her son’s dream and thus she knew she had to at least try.

She stated: “I wasn’t sure whether I would do it, but I’d had a couple of glasses of wine and I just thought, go for it, and I just marched up to the stage and told him. Sam was amazing. I am so proud.”

Well, thank you, Paula for going through with it! The clip is a joy to watch.

Check it out!

THE SCOOP ON AUTOMATIC LOVELETTER

Automatic Loveletter may look like an emo-dance shopping spree, an alt. punk power fest, but what comes out of this Florida based band is totally unexpected. Their melodies tend to be defined by a rapt hostility, and the sensitivity that often lies behind such emotional violence. Yet their more gentle influences are what sketch their paradise. The acoustic incidents become inflamed with bleakness, teaching you what pain tastes like.

Like the emotions they envelope, they don’t try to be something they’re not. Instead, they allow themselves to be tugged and pulled by the weight of the music.

I’m not overly infatuated with Juliet Simms as the cursory poster girl for the band, and prefer the general shape their music takes. Her voice, though often having the right aim, doesn’t always hit the bullseye. But with her brother Tommy on lead guitar, and everyone else putting in their two cents, they get away with a brew I can agree with.

Yes, the tunes they offer are definitely brain-stickable. I’ll admit, sometimes it’s hard to listen to them without feeling tears creep in, but if a cleansing ritual is what you’re due for, they’ll be good for you. They are unpolished, and that makes them honest, and that makes them worth the time.

Crisp, finely chiselled descent from glitter to grit and grime. Punk edge wrapped up in acoustic. That’s the taste they’re baking up. Their push to new frontiers has been in stores for a while now, and I’m sure they’ve already snapped the heartstrings of many a fan.

Prepare to be broken.

KOOKY COVER: THE KOOKS TAKE ON ACE OF BASE’S ‘ALL THAT SHE WANTS’

One of my favorite groups, The Kooks, have covered one of the greatest pop acts of all time, Ace of Base, and all that they want, is for you to listen. It’s a fact everyone jams out to Ace of Base every once in awhile, right? Although The Kooks’ original music is always lasting and inventive, everyone likes a good cover.

This time around the band chose to smash up All That She Wants. Is it a seamless, letter-perfect rendition — an authentic execution of the original? No, but it exemplifies just how far you can twist a song from the original hit, while still maintaining the essence of Ace of Base. Perhaps you could say The Kooks put a distinctive personal stamp on it! The guitar riffs added in between the vocals make the song sound completely different, and well, a little kooky. A crisp rock twist to a quaint corny hit.

Check it!

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: TALIA COLES

Check out our chat with the lovely Talia Coles…

ROB BRAYL: Your father played with James Brown and Wilson Pickett. I assume you grew up submerged in some sweet music?

TALIA COLES: Yes, music was a staple in my house. I was blessed to be around such authentic expressions. Great musicians are not always honored for the genius they possess. I can’t begin to tell you what that was like, being so intimately connected at such a historic time.

RB: Can you explain ‘Nikki Wine’ to those who may not have heard the single? Is ‘Nikki Wine’ an alter ego label? A la Sasha Fierce?

TC: [Laughs] No…’Nikki Wine’ was inspired by an old reggae song by General B. called ‘Nikki’. When my producer played the track I just started singing those words in a different melody and it stuck. It was really catchy and everybody started singing it! Although I think Sasha Fierce is a phenomenal alter ego, I Love Beyonce — I guess it would’ve been great for the story but that’s not quite the case. ‘Nikki Wine’ is no alter ego just the name of the song.

RB: Speaking of labels, you are also passionate about clothes and have your own line. I would imagine your music helps to inspire ideas for your designs?

TC: Music and fashion go hand in hand as far as the value that I have when expressing ones individuality, but fashion is its own beast and I treat it as such. Music whispers in my ear but fashion screams in my face!

RB: As a songwriter you’ve worked with some pretty heavy names (LL Cool J, Musiq Soulchild, Teddy Riley, Slim from 112, among others). But I’m most curious how it was like to work with Tyler Perry. What’s the story there?

TC: I worked with Tyler indirectly, I spent most of the time with Kevin Liles, Joel C High (Music Director) and Jojo Brim who oversaw the soundtrack. So when Tyler got the music it was pretty much stamped. He liked it so that made it even better.

RB: Where is Talia Coles headed? And for those just now jumping on the crazy ride with you, what can we expect?

TC: Talia is expressing her truth and living her dream. I’m coming from a place of contribution and looking to push the culture forward!

 

SNAPSHOT INTERVIEW: JAMIE BENDELL

Check out a snapshot interview I conducted with the beautiful Jamie Bendell (a singer/songwriter based here in New York) after the jump!

ROB BRAYL: If you could create a storyboard of all the things that inspire you musically, what would we see tacked onto the board?

JAMIE BENDELL: Images of myself looking pensive and quite probably, worried; I don’t mean it in a depressing, sad way, but anxiety plays a huge hand in inspiring my lyrics. I think constantly and I worry constantly and a lot of my inspiration comes from situations in which I feel that someone took advantage of me or acted out of line, or if someone wrongs someone else. There would also be images of me at a regular open mic I attend at Caffe Vivaldi. There would probably be a couple of book covers tacked up, including Cradle to Cradle (by McDonough and Braungart), and a plot summary of the movie He’s Just Not That Into You.

RB: I understand the track ‘Chocolate Milk’ was created after a bad clubbing experience?

JB: ‘Chocolate Milk’ came about after spending a night out at a club with my friends. We were pretty close to my apartment and I was trying to make the best out of the situation, but I just couldn’t handle it. I like talking and listening, and although dancing is definitely fun once in a while, I just get so tired of what I perceive as a “let’s just drink and get wasted, don’t care to hear myself think or anyone else speak” mentality. I was actually standing by the bar, trying to put down a couple of lyrics in my phone to express the way I was feeling, but it wasn’t coming out. I left by myself to walk home, and stopped in CVS on the way. I picked up a bottle of chocolate milk, and when I got home and sat down at my computer, the song just came out.

RB: What’s your goal/vision for your music?

JB: I hope people find my music easy to relate to. I want them to hear my songs, and attribute their own meanings to the words. I’m always happy to share my inspirations for the music, but I don’t want people to lose sight of what the words mean to them. If the words even do evoke meaning. That would be a huge achievement; to make listeners feel something or relate to an idea that I put out as a song. I’m sure many artists say the same thing, but as a songwriter, I especially hope that happens.

RB: You have a super sweet innocence about your image and music. Has this always been the case? In terms of writing about the notion of love, etc?

JB: I think it’s fair to say that the innocent image and musical style has been present for most of my life. I never really had nicknames but the only one that I could say stuck somewhat was the nickname “Pure”. My best girl friends called and sometimes still call me that. I don’t even know why, and I don’t even know if they know why.

I don’t think I’ve ever been in love and I’m almost positive that my music and lyrics reflect that. I think there’s a naivete to what I write, and sometimes I get embarrassed that my writing doesn’t have all of the emotion of someone who has been through heartbreak, but I don’t want to rush anything.

RB: What’s the most repeated song right now on your iPod?

JB: I’ve been having trouble sleeping, so probably ‘You Can Close Your Eyes’ by James Taylor, the One Man Band version. It’s on repeat when I can’t sleep. That, or ‘King of Anything’ off Sara Bareilles’ new album ‘Kaleidoscope Heart’. I think it’s a tie.

Learn more about Jamie Bendell by clicking here.

Listen to an acoustic number by Bendell below.

White Light — Jamie Bendell (Acoustic Version)

‘CRIMINAL INTENT’: ROBYN’S BOOTY SHAKIN’ ELECTRONICA LEAVES A SCAR

When Robyn first dropped the news of her idea of releasing three albums in one year, I thought the peroxide Swedish fish had gone bananas! But now that Body Talk Pt. 2 has been released in the states and we are mid-way through our journey of a 3-disc platter of pop, I think the idea clearly has been a successful one.

The highly infectious first single, Dancing on My Own, captured listeners with it’s punch-to-the-face beats fused with the emotional attachment of being in love with someone who could care less about said feelings. The video, as with all of Robyn’s videos, was a visual treat, taking the song to a fresh place mentally. The same can be said in the simple documentary stylized video for Hang with Me, the lead single off Body Talk Pt. 2 — a sweet and vulnerable record, even if it is possibly, most likely about a friends with benefits type of relationship.

What I love the most about Robyn is how her music, even the most electronic, dancefloor declarations that make you want to shake your ass and stomp your feet — even those songs show complete intelligence and thought and often a vulnerable yearning-for-love heart.

In the end, do not let Robyn’s ferocious beats take away from noticing the emotionally charged ballad versions of her addictive songs, for those records/performances leave the ultimate scar (see the related post link below).

The final disc of the Body Talk series will be dropping this December.

[Related Post: Robyn Melts Hearts]

Pre-VMA Interview

BEAUTIFULLY BROKEN: SECONDHAND SERENADE’S ‘SOMETHING MORE’ VID

A lil’ bit depressing yet full of hope…

Secondhand Serenade’s Something More, the first single from the upcoming third album, Hear Me Now, is one beautifully broken track. The song, which dives into the realm of torn meandering lives delivers a message of hope even when heartbroken and hopeless.

Secondhand Serenade is the product of singer/songwriter John Vesely, who worked with producer Aaaron Johnson (from The Fray), to create intimate, pensive, somber pop rock full of meaning.

The music video, directed by Declan Whitebloom, fits the track’s somber sound.

Billboard’s review of the track said it best: “As Vesely sings of the internal strife that a breakup can cause, he powerfully conveys the very human message that everyone makes mistakes. A no-brainer for top 40 and hot AC radio formats, “Something More” is sure to saturate the summer airwaves.” –Alex Vitoulis

Check out the music video below. Hear Me Now is due out in August.

MACY’S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE GONE WILD FEAT. KYLIE MINOGUE

What do marshmallows, giant inflatable elephants, and whitey tighties have in common?

All of these random delights are seen in Kylie Minogue’s new video for All the Lovers. It’s a beautifully shot video, that even in its sexiness is actually about love. It’s seriously like a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade gone wild, delivered in a classy way that only Minogue could pull off.

All The Lovers is the first single off Minogue’s eleventh studio album, Aphrodite, which is set to release on July 6th. After more than 68 million records sold the 42-year-old looks better than ever, still full of light.

Says Kylie (regarding the song): “The single was one of the last tracks to be written for the album. As I was recording it I knew that ‘All the Lovers’ had to be the first single; it sums up the euphoria of the album perfectly. It gives me goose-bumps, so I’m really excited to hear what everyone thinks of it.”

Check out the Joseph Kahn-directed video, below.

GOOD FOR YOU, EMINEM

Nothing but mad love for this song/video!

Eminem is back and stronger than ever. The controversial rapper who struggled for years with an addiction to painkillers and anti-depressants is now clean and spitting rhymes fused with an edge of deep rooted empowerment. Eminem, who nearly lost his life after an accidental methadone overdose, admitted to popping as many as 20 pills a day at the height of his problems.

A perhaps unlikely source, Sir Elton John, helped Eminem throughout his battle with coming clean. John battled drugs and alcohol addictions early on in his career but has been sober since the 1980s. The odd pairing first caused controversy when John made a surprise appearance with Eminem at the 2001 Grammy Awards. Many protested the collaboration citing Eminem’s lyrics at the time as being filled with hatred and homophobia. But that all seems to be a thing of the past, as Eminem’s new single Not Afraid is heightened with a true sense of maturity and a person who has risen from the ash of a dark journey in the theme of the song.

It’s undoubtedly an anthem for anyone who has ever felt afraid to face the demons in their own life.

In an interview with BBC Radio in January, John said: “I’ve been helping Eminem over the last 18 months and he’s doing brilliantly.”

Watch the incredible video (directed by Rich Lee) below.

CORY MONTEITH, WAL*MART GREETER (AND OTHER CELEBRITIES WHO HAD CRAP JOBS BEFORE LANDING A BREAK)

Stuck in a shitty job you hate? Read below for inspiration.

Madonna once worked at Dunkin Donuts, before exploding as, well, Madonna. Gwen Stefani mopped floors at Dairy Queen. Kanye West worked at The Gap. Pink, Macy Gray, and Shania Twain all worked at McDonalds. And Corey Monteith, before landing the role of a lifetime on the extremely popular Glee, worked as a Walmart Greeter.

Monteith, who recently appeared in ads for the chain, worked at the jumbo-sized retailer in Nanaimo, British Columbia. When he wasn’t handing out smiles to people on the hunt for a deal, Monteith spent his downtime playing the drums. During the auditioning process for Glee, Monteith made a video playing drums on everyday objects, which landed him a callback for the second phase of auditions. For the next round, he was told he would have to sing. According to Monteith, he had never sung before and went out and bought old Billy Joel records for inspiration. He decided to sing Honesty for the audition.

At about 4:00 p.m. the audition ended. And at 4:35 p.m. he received a call saying that that he had landed the part of high school jock Finn Hudson.

Bashed or embraced, no one can deny the goldmine of the series. According to Nielsen Soundscan, since Glee The Music: Volume 1, more than 7.4 million Glee songs have been downloaded in digital format.

Although his vocals are not mind-blowing, I love Monteith’s voice. It’s a great recording voice, one that spawned my favorite number from this past season of Glee, when Finn Hudson brewed a cup of steam over the classic Jessie’s Girl.

Listen to the track in its entirety, below (again and again and again). I can’t seem to stop playing this damn song!