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!

GREEN DAY’S MIKE DIRNT DESIGNS SNEAKERS FOR CHARITABLE CAUSE

Sweet! I want a pair!

Want some new kicks? Green Day’s Mike Dirt can deliver just what you need. Teaming up once again with Macbeth, for his second collaboration, Dirnt has designed a super cool B&W high-top. The design is 100% vegan, eco-friendly, and too cool for skool.

Says Dirnt: “I always love working with Macbeth. We have worked flawlessly since day one and I am excited to continue our collaborative efforts. Our first studio collaboration got great feedback and I am confident that everyone will appreciate my second design. I am extremely excited to get it out in stores and see the response.”

Earlier this year, the Green Day bassist donated the royalties from his first Studio Project collaboration, to the Soles4Souls Foundation. Since 2005, the organization has given away over 7 million pairs shoes to people in need in over 125 countries.

Amazing!

The Mike Dirnt Macbeth Studio Project will be available July 2010. Check out Dirnt discussing a previous design for Macbeth, below.

ENVY ON THE COAST DIVES HEAD FIRST

Alternative rockers from Long Island are indeed the Envy on the Coast. Their new album Lowcountry is out March 30th; full of dangerously edgy tunes that pulsate a raw urgency and grunge spirit. The boys have boundless ambitions, and make music for their growing swell of fans. Lead off single Head First in the River combines headbanging with butterflies, â€œMove, it’s what they say, sell them the bones that they love to hear break.”

I was lucky enough to preview this album, an album that is full of songs that I would love to call my favorite, if only I could pick one.

Envy on the Coast is a live act you don’t want to miss. Watching this group play solidifies how touring has influenced their mannerisms and music. Are they just another Warp Tour summer success? Hell no; an element of many styles is their muse, but they all have a common thread. There’s no denying that present day acts rip off one another, or whatever is poppin’ that week. They seem to understand the dynamic of letting bands influence them, and embrace the comparisons without catching a mean case of copy-cat syndrome. After all, where there is no comparison, there is no envy.

Catch the boys on tour this spring, and you won’t be disappointed. Contagious lyrics on top of intelligent guitars, heavy metal drums, and a splash of indie-pop, all combines to form a sea of memorable hooks that indeed make them…the envy.

A. POWNALL COVERS ‘SINGLE LADIES’

Contemporary pop is crowded with wannabes. In this sugar coated carnival, I find myself clinging to any artist who breaks through the manufactured wrapping, while having higher, creative dreams in mind.

Alan Pownall, 24, has the world at his feet, and yet he has reached this position in an almost unheard-of way. He is not one of those singer-songwriters who first picked up the guitar at birth, writing his first song in half an hour, and playing at a thousand open-mic shows before anyone had even heard of his name. In all honesty, he’s almost catapulted into stardom like a firecracker, once lit, unstoppable.

Alan had only performed a few times when he met Adele at the Troubadour. “I sheepishly said to her, you can check out a couple of my songs on MySpace. Within a couple of weeks, I was in her Top Friends. Two weeks after that, I was on holiday, and I got a message from her saying, Do you want to support me on my first UK tour?

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“I was excited at the prospect – and I had to do it, I wasn’t going to get the opportunity again – but at the back of my mind, I knew I wasn’t ready. I only really had four songs to my name, which included ‘Colourful Day,’ and three others which I don’t really do anymore. I was writing songs on the road. There were some gigs, where I was reading the lyrics off a piece of paper. It was so unprofessional.” He shudders. “I definitely remember coming off that tour feeling a little bit broken, but it was all part of getting there.”

And he’s officially arrived. Mercury Records has now signed the singer/songwriter who has already supported the likes of Adele, Florence & The Machine, Jack Penate, Noah & The Whale & Laura Marling (just to name a few).

Pownall’s debut is due out later in 2010, but in the meantime please check out his cover of Beyonce’s SINGLE LADIES, below.