Saturday, May 31, 2014

Dipping a Toe Into the Water of Commercial Radio, Short Playlists and Commercial City, or Why Supporting WXPN is an incredible Bargain




SiriusXM Radio online was having problems this morning so we switched over to local FM broadcast. WXPN is doing fundraising and since I am a sustaining member, there was no need to listen to the pitch. So it was time to take a foray into Philly commercial radio, first stop Q102.

They play all the current hits but it would seem that their playlist is literally limited to the Billboard top ten. In less than three hours we heard their entire playlist twice and we were actually hearing several songs for the third time, so we switched.

Jersey 101.5 actually plays some really good music. In a little over an hour we heard 8 out of 8 good songs, including "Fire" by the Pointer Sisters (their excellent cover of the Bruce Springsteen song), and "Rikki Don't Lose That Number" by Steely Dan. The only problem was that Jersey 101.5 only plays about 8 records per hour, SO MANY COMMERCIALS.



I didn't start out to make a pitch for XPN, but dipping a toe into the water of commercial radio makes you really appreciate what they do on XPN, all the programming, the shows such as World Cafe, Sleepy Hollow, Echoes, The Many Moods of Ben Vaughn, Jerry Blavat, The Folk Show, The Free at Noon Concert, etc. etc. Considering all that music, with no commercials, $6 per month for a basic membership is a huge bargain.

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Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Nicest Surprise of New Release Tuesday is Jamie Lynn Spears - The Journey EP, This is a Must-Listen - It's Totally Not What You Think


Yes, it's Britney's younger sister. No, she is not a teenager anymore, she's twenty-three. Yes, she has spent way too much time in the tabloids and gossip columns. No, she has not been in the public eye for the last five years while she raised her daughter, Maddie.

Yes, she has a new career as a singer-songwriter. No, it sounds nothing like Britney, Miley, or Katy. Jamie Lynn Spears is a country singer and songwriter and quite good indeed. Listen to "How Could I Want More".






Jamie Lynn Spears -The Journey

"How Could I Want More" is the first single, released late last year. Jamie Lynn wrote it with Nashville songwriter Rivers Rutherford. Jamie Lynn, in her official bio says that "experiences with Rivers and other Nashville writers, including Chris Tompkins, Liz Rose, Lisa Carver and Luke Laird, made for a master class in songwriting. Jamie Lynn learned about how to bring her stories to life through music and became a part of a community that helped her figure out the kind of artist she wanted to be" (see the full bio below).

"How Could I Want More" is included in the five song EP, The Journey, due Tuesday. The EP starts off with "Shotgun Wedding", a rockin' little tune that would not sound out of place on a Dixie Chicks record. Considering Jamie Lynn's well publicized history which plays like a quintessential country song, this may be a case of art imitating life imitating art. In any case, Jamie Lynn is clearly having a great deal of fun, mining her own past for a great country song.

The other three songs are winners, too. Credit producer Corey Crowder for the simple arrangements and quality sound. The Journey is a solid first effort.



Jamie Lynn Spears' Official Bio:

At 23 years-old Jamie Lynn Spears is already a seasoned entertainment veteran. After five years focused on raising her daughter, Maddie, the Kentwood, LA native is back in the spotlight with a sound and style that truly captures her Southern roots.

Her official music debut comes in the form of country ballad “How Could I Want More.” The intensely personal lyrics mixed with a simple song production portrays Jamie Lynn as wise beyond her 23 years.

“How Could I Want More” was written by Spears along with Nashville songwriter Rivers Rutherford, who has also collaborated with Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, and Montgomery Gentry.

Jamie Lynn’s experiences with Rivers and other Nashville writers, including Chris Tompkins, Liz Rose, Lisa Carver and Luke Laird, made for a master class in songwriting. Jamie Lynn learned about how to bring her stories to life through music and became a part of a community that helped her figure out the kind of artist she wanted to be. The experiences paid off - Jamie Lynn now has over 100 songs in her catalog.

Her first single already has critical acclaim and cultural heat. It was named a Taste of Country Critic’s Pick and her journey has been covered by such outlets as E!, Entertainment Tonight, BuzzFeed, MTV, CMT and more!



A full album is imminent and Jamie Lynn credits her producer, Corey Crowder, for helping her define her sound. “He is a huge influence, and mainly responsible for making my music sound like “me”- he really just got me,” says Spears. “It took me years to figure out my sound, and to have confidence in knowing what I wanted.”

Choosing “How Could I Want More” as her first single was not an easy decision, but she feels that it is the right one because of the help and support of her team.

“Keeping it honest is something that will always fall on me. I need to make choices I believe in, so I don't lose that relationship with my fans - they are the ones I want to stay connected to through my music.” says Spears

Jamie Lynn began her entertainment career with a small part in Crossroads, portraying the fictionalized younger version of real-life sister Britney Spears’ character. Jamie Lynn then found a home in television; appearing on Nickelodeon’s All That and most notably starring as the title character of Zoey 101, for which she won the Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Award for “Best Actress” in 2006.


Photos courtesy of Jamie Lynn Spears

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