Tag Archives: music

Winstock weekend

10 Jun

Summer season officially kicked off this weekend. Not in terms of the weather, however. BUT, the first country music festival near the Twin Cities – Winstock, happened, officially kicking off summer outdoor concerts.

This year was the first time in Winstock’s history that they completely sold out of tickets AND camping – VIP, reserved, general admission – everything. Lucky for me, I know someone who knows someone to get tickets to attend.  A few years prior, I was working at Winstock – and it was an unreal site seeing so many people (over 21,000!!) cram into a small, open field in the middle of Minnesota.

This was also the biggest ticket Winstock has ever had, in terms of their lineup. Dierks Bentley, Miranda Lambert headlined the festival on Friday night, with Kip Moore and Luke Bryan closing down the grounds on Saturday night. I didn’t get a chance to attend on Saturday night, but Friday night was well worth the two-hour trip. The thing I love most about festivals is there’s not really any down time between artists; once a main stage artist has finished their set, another artist starts their set at the back of the grounds at the emerging artists stage. The emerging artists stage is generally reserved for those with only one song on the radio or local bands trying to make it big.

We saw Charlie Worsham rock out for a 30-minute set shortly after we arrived – and got to see this guy working hard, giving a stage intro!

Pat at Winstock

 

Charlie currently has one single out on the radio right now called “Could It Be.” He took a chance during one of the choruses to put the mic in the audience’s direction to see if anyone would sing along with him; the crowd surprised him with a convincing rendition of his own song – so much so, he nearly forgot to sing the rest of the song! Talk about a cool moment to witness: an artist seeing the audience sing their own song back to them for the first time EVER.

Miranda Lambert performed in the lineup for the spot that should have been the Pistol Annies; the group, for whatever reason, backed out last minute. She honored the commitment she had made and came with her “normal” sassy-pants on. Another thing I love about festivals is since each artist has only about one hour to perform on stage, their set list is pretty much what would be on their greatest hits album – with very limited slow songs included. While Dierks Bentley is one of my favorites to see in concert, he was a little – shall we say – sloppy (?) for his set, you could tell that he was having a blast, and in turn, the crowd did too. I saw Dierks perform at Winstock a few years back when there was no more than 10,000 or 11,000 people; he kept commenting on how awesome it was to see a sea of people that large on the Winstock grounds. I couldn’t agree more.

Winstock

I’d say this weekend was a success; a perfect kick off to summer concert season. Good company, accompanying good music on a cool summer night? Couldn’t have been better.

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20/20 The Experience

20 Mar

After what seems like a decade hiatus from the music industry, Justin Timberlake is back with his much anticipated album, “20/20 The Experience.” I have four words for you: GO BUY IT NOW!

Justin Timberlake CD

Coolest CD label ever. Or at least since Jason Aldean’s ‘My Kinda Party’ JA album.

Seriously, this album on been on repeat since we opened the casing. Now, technically I bought it as a gift for the hubs because he is by far a bigger Justin Timberlake fan than I am. However, it wouldn’t be fair of him to deprive me of such quality music, right? At least that’s the argument I’m going with.

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Life in Radio

3 Jan

Old radio

Once upon a time, I worked in radio. It was the best job of my life. The people were great, the job was exciting and even though it was considered only a part-time position, the perks weren’t half bad either. Summer festival after summer festival, concert after concert. And I met Jason Aldean – TWICE. For a music lover, it’s a dream. Then realization set in: local radio is an endangered breed and the outlook on life in radio was bleak, particularly for a paid promotions staffer. The brightest shining light? I met my husband while I was working there. I saw him from across the studio – completely ignored his presence (at least according to him), he stole my pens and the rest is history.

While I sit back and painstakingly watch radio slowly take hit after hit because of poorly managed finances, shrinking advertising revenue (or hard to find sales talent) and “lack of interest” – I can’t help but want to scream from the mountaintops that LOCAL radio is a necessity and it aches me to see it disappearing. Who wants to listen to syndicated radio show after syndicated radio show? The corporations of the world are taking away what radio was created for – local personalities introducing the latest and greatest music, connecting with the people of their community.

There certainly is not a lack of talent; I met some incredibly talented people – both on and off air staff – while I worked in radio, many of which were talented beyond their radio gig. From standup comedic to country band superstar to hockey writer, their talent doesn’t end when the microphone is turned off. And while there is a perception to many that radio is as easy as pushing a ‘play’ button, it is actually quite the opposite. Time and energy goes in to prepping for each show, segmenting your talk breaks, year in-advance promotions planning – and believe it or not, there is rhyme and reason to which songs are played when. Radio is more than just playing popular songs for you to hear; it introduces up and coming artists, new music, old/”classic” music and there are community events which might not get exposure if it weren’t for radio, concerts, events, sales appearances, radiothons and so many more activities that goes on behind the scenes.

Since my husband is one of these hard working fools who is dedicated until some other force chooses otherwise, I still get to reap one of the benefits: live music galore. I’ve been able to accompany him on more concerts than I could have ever dreamed of (and I couldn’t be more thankful to spend a few extra minutes with him as he hurriedly runs around at events). But I feel as though the ‘benefits’ of radio are slipping away as budgets are cut or jeopardized, the staff becomes smaller and the expectations rise to ridiculous levels – they have no time to be able to enjoy the perks of the job because they’re so busy picking up slack from others who have been fired or let go. Yet, they continue to invest more time and energy than ever before because they love what they do THAT much – and their dedication is admirable.

I admire people who do what they love no matter the toll it takes on them, their family, their friends or their finances – especially those in radio. The demands of working in radio are excruciating – between the odd, long hours to the time required working on/around the holidays to the number of jobs you’re expected to do because they keep letting staff go but the work is expected to get done. I thank you, radio employees, for the hard work, dedication and sacrifices you make to do what you love, keeping radio how it should be: local and connecting.

I know iPods, mp3 players, XM satellite radio and the Pandora’s of the world are the next big thing, but I ask you: while you still can, call your local radio station to tell them thank you. Thank them for their hard work and keep your fingers crossed you are still able to call them up on the radio in a few years.

Follow Friday

27 Jul

To keep up to date with the Olympics, be sure to check out the official London 2012 guide. Otherwise you can always stream live on NBC’s Olympics-devoted website.

Rocket Club is a local band filled with talent that has no boundaries – enjoy their summer anthem for those in the North Country (and for those that just like a good rock-out jam):

My current obsession is watching HGTV – and thinking about all of the possibilities we could do to improve and add value to our house, daydreaming about all the possibilities of one day building our dream home, and coming to the realization that we would never want to purchase an old home to remodel. While we both love small home projects, remodeling would better off be saved for those with time, money and sanity.

I love nothing more than a good caprese salad – and it might be a thousand times better when you add pasta to the mix!

Oh, and I suppose I could mention, happy 11 months of wedded bliss to my one and only – my knight in shining armor (said armor may or may not be a pair of over-worn Minnesota Wild shorts – but I love him even more for his ‘simple’ taste). 🙂

Happy Friday!