Kimberly Caldwell reflects on American Idol and new song “On the Weekend”

Kimberly Caldwell is no stranger to the spotlight and has been performing since the very early age of 5. She appeared on the second season of Fox’s hit show “American Idol”, released her first solo album in the 2011 titled “Without Regret” before venturing in to the world of television hosting. Kimberly has recently returned to her singing roots with the release of a new song titled “On the Weekend”. Media Mikes spoke with Kimberly recently about the new release as well as about her time on “American Idol”.

Adam Lawton: What first sparked your interest in trying out for “American Idol”?
Kimberly Caldwell: I started out in beauty pageants when I was 5. When I was 11 I appeared on “Star Search” and ended up holding the record for most junior vocalist wins. I just loved that show and being on it was a dream come true. From there I ended up performing in Branson, MI in a production titled “Country Tonight”. I was kind of trained to be a singer. At about 15 I took some time off for high school and did all of that good stuff. By the time I was 20 I was still living with my Mom and we both decided I needed to be doing something. That’s when the idea to audition for the show came about.

AL: What was the audition process like for you?
KC: When I auditioned the show was still very new. Things were much different then as they are now. I slept on the side walk in Texas on a futon for about 2 days. My friends would bring me food and stuff to help pass the time but it was rough. There was a girl in line that did let me shower at their house while my cousin held my space. That was really nice of them. They had given tickets out to get in to the audition so my cousin was in charge of that while I went to shower. When I got back the ticket was gone. One of the show staff walked by and I explained to them that my ticket was gone. He ended up remembering me from being on the WB’s “Pop Stars” as he had worked on the show so he thankfully let me in. I was really very lucky. After that I had a couple auditions where there were some really good singers. I was chosen out of those groups after auditioning for Nigel. It was after that when you finally get interview by Ryan. I remember that day very well because I had the most awful outfit on that you could ever imagine. I seriously looked like a hooker. I went in and sang “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder and went on to Hollywood. I made it in to the top 24 and after the Wild Card Randy brought me back for the Top 10 where I finished 7th overall.

AL: What was it like transitioning from being a singer to being a television host?
KC: There have been some aspects of transition however I have always wanted to entertain people. Where someone will give me a microphone I will use that microphone. From the day I got booted from Idol I was talking to people with in the business. I ended up getting an offer to be a host on Fox Sports and have been working and living in Los Angeles ever since. My job at Fox helped me find my legs as a host. From there I went on to do some more tings with Idol and work with TV Guide. For over 7 years I had a number of my own shows where I did various hosting duties. During this time I did realize that my main dream was always to write and record an album. I stopped hosting and began focusing once again on music. Music is a huge part of me and it is something that I just have to do.

AL: Can you tell us about your new song “On the Weekend”?
KC: I had started doing shows again and my guitar player Andrew who was producing the music for the shows he and I started working together on new material.  We sort of just did it for fun and after awhile we had some really amazing songs. One of those was “On the Weekend”. I think this is such a great anthem for the 9-5 person. The song really represents who I am and was one I wrote just for me.

AL: Can you tell us about the video for the song?
KC: People have always been intrigued by hair for I can’t remember how long now. I am always being asked how I get it to look certain ways. Really all I do is go to the grocery store spend $8 on shampoo, wash it and then cut it with construction paper scissors to how I want it to look that day. (Laughs) It’s not difficult but people seem to like what I do.  I was getting a lot of attention in the hair and beauty world and got a column with Sophisticate hair Style guide. Out of that I got a sponsorship to do my video. We teamed up with Let’Em Have it Productions who did this video is just great. A bunch of my friends helped with it and it was just a lot of fun. I had all sort of people come out and play the different roles in it. Even my sister has a role in the video. Terry and Clint the owners of the company were so professional and relaxed. It couldn’t have been more fun. When I got to see the first cut of the video I loved it and that’s pretty much what we ended up releasing as the final video. For people who still haven’t seen it yet they can check it out at www.Kimberly-caldwell.com

AL: Have there been talks of doing a full length album?
KC: We did two other songs besides “On the Weekend”. These days not a lot of people are doing full-length albums. Ep’s seem to be the way to go as you only need a few songs for one of those. On my first album there were a lot of great songs that didn’t get a lot of notice because there were just so many songs on that record. I feel very strongly about packaging these three new songs together as an EP format as they all are just so good. All three of the songs are now available on ITunes.

AL: Can you tell us about some of your other projects?
KC: When I am in Los Angeles I am always on the go doing something. When I am in Vancouver with my Fiancé I have nothing going on. (Laughs) One day while I was there I just started wandering around the city looking for something to do. I have always wanted to make some sort of accessories line and my Fiancé said that if I did it I should call it “Stage Presents”. I thought that was great name. I just started collecting things and putting it all together on my living room floor. I bought my own sewing machine and started taking lessons. I started working with a leather company who taught me all sort of different skills on how to make various things out of leather. A lot of what I have learned has been through trial and error and watching YouTube videos. I think I have gotten pretty decent over the last few years. I now have an Etsy store at www.etsy.com/stagepresents . I am also in the final stages of completing a Stage Presents hair accessories line.

Volbeat’s Rob Caggiano talks about Grammy nominated song “Lonesome Rider”

Rob Caggiano is the former lead guitarist of the thrash metal band Anthrax and current guitarist for the Danish-metal group Volbeat. The group was recently nominated for a Grammy and also put out a new music video for the song “Lonesome Rider”. Media Mikes had the pleasure of speaking with Rob about the group’s nomination, how he came to join the band and what the group has planned for the rest of this year.

Adam Lawton: Can you walk us through your transition from leaving Anthrax, to producing Volbeat and subsequently joining the band?
Rob Caggiano: I first met Volbeat around 2010. They had taken my other band The Damned Things out on tour with them. We all became friends as we hit it off instantly. The first time I really heard the band was on this tour and was just blown away. During the tour they always asked me to come up and play on the Misfits song “Angel Fuck” which was just such a blast. In talking during that tour we all flirted with the idea of working together in the studio with me as a producer. They were fans of the Damned Things album as well as the Anthrax album “Worship Music” which I produced both. It seemed like a cool idea that I was into but it all seemed a bit far-fetched because of our scheduled and the fact that I am in the States and the rest of the band is in Denmark. A few years later when I decided I needed to move on from Anthrax my scheduled had opened up and it was perfect timing because Volbeat was set to go in to the studio. They heard of what was going on with me and Michael called me up to see if I would be interested in producing their album. Things happened all really quickly because a day or two after that phone call I was in Copenhagen and about two weeks after starting work on the album I was asked if I would join the band.

AL: Did you have any reservations about joining a band that you initial only signed on to produce?
RC: I am kind of used to that as I have done that a lot lately. (Laughs) It was similar with The Damned things and Anthrax. I did have to change how I looked at the project from a production stand point because now I was not only trying to get good performances out of the band but I was also trying to figure out how I was going to put my stamp on the music. What we ended up trying worked out perfectly for the record. We put my rhythm guitars on the left and Michaels on the right we put Anders bass in the middle and Jon is everywhere. You get the sound of the band running on all cylinders.

AL: Did you have to rework your sound at all in order to fit with the new band?
RC: My sound is my sound. Coincidentally it works perfect with Volbeat. (Laughs) I really didn’t change anything. There are certainly more stack of amps on the stage now and it’s a lot louder.

AL: What were your first thoughts when your first album with band both as a producer and as a member was nominated for a Grammy?
RC: It was an honor. I have been nominated a couple times before but never was able to go to the Grammy’s. This year I went and it was surreal. It was a very cool night. I think the Grammy’s is sort of misunderstood. For me it’s not a competition of whose better or worse it’s a celebration of the most successful artists of that year. Just to be able to be in that mix for me is a honor.

AL: Can you tell us about the new video for the song “Lonesome Rider”?
RC: I think this is the first Volbeat video not to feature the band. (Laughs) That was the main idea. Michael talked to our video guy and asked him to come up with something cool that didn’t feature the band. That’s exactly what they did. I think the video turned out great and totally compliments the song.

AL: You just returned from this year’s NAMM convention. Are there any new products being released that with have your signature on them?
RC: ESP is continuing with my signature line of guitars. There aren’t any changes to this year’s model as compared to last year’s however I have been thinking about some. I love the guitar the way that it is but I have just been thinking of some stuff. The newest thing I have coming out is a signature guitar pedal. It’s going to be put about by Haden which is part of ESP now. They are originally from the UK and put out boutique amps. They are just killer! I am excited about the pedal as it’s unlike anything that is currently on the market. You should start to see more about it in the coming months.

AL: What other plans do you and the band have planned for this year?
RC: Volbeat will be back touring the States in April. We are bringing Trivium out with us and hitting a lot of B market places this time around. Our last few time out we really only hit the major markets. From there we will be heading overseas for most of the spring and summer. I also have a few other things in the pipe but I can’t talk about those just yet.

Xenia Ghali talks about hit song “Out With a Bang” and plans for 2014

Xenia Ghali is a songwriter, producer and DJ that has broken through the dance and pop world in Europe and is ready to rock the dance floors in America, Xenia recently teamed up with former Pussycat Dolls member Jessica Sutta on a track titled “Out With a Bang” and Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Xenia recently about the collaboration and her plans for 2014.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us how you got started with songwriting and Djing?
Xenia Ghali: Those started at two separate times for me. I have been studying music since I was very little and am classically trained in piano and flute. When I was 15 I started teaching myself how to play other instruments like the guitar and drums. I joined an indie/alternative rock band and just started writing. We didn’t really do cover songs so that’s when I took my first shot at songwriting. I loved it. As for Djing, I grew up in Athens, Greece and in 2008 I moved to the UK to get my bachelors degree in music composition and technology. While I was studying for I had saved up some money and bought a set of second hand turn tables. I started teaching myself how to spin and mix using vinyl. From there one thing just sort of led to another and I was playing gigs and from there began producing and recording electronic music.

AL: Can you tell us about your new single “Out With a Bang” and what it was like working with Jessica Sutta?
XG: The song is a really fun dance/pop song. It’s one of those songs that just makes you happy and want to dance. It was really important to me when we were working on this song to keep it unrestricted. The song is very listenable and can be played in a club, at home or anywhere really. It’s an easy track to listen to while still being very energetic like Jessica and myself. Jessica and I had great chemistry and she loved the track when she first heard it. It was really great working with her.

AL: Can you tell us about the video for “Out With a Bang”?
XG: I love combining various art forms. Anything that has to do with visual arts I have always been very involved with. This video for me was easy to work on as it didn’t feel like a shoot. It was like we were all just having a good time. Jessica’s team and my team all worked together to come up with an idea for the video that would represent the song for exactly what it is. We wanted everything to be fun with vintage touches but still have it be in today’s style. We wanted the video to be great to look at and make people feel good.

AL: What has been the biggest obstacle for you since transitioning from the music scene in Europe to the one here in the United States?
XG: I think the biggest obstacle for me would have to be bridging the two styles. Music in the States is very different when compared to that in Europe. I come from a very European sounding background which involves a lot of dance and pop. In the states things tend to be more soulful leaning towards R & B and hip hop. Only within the last 5 years or so has there been an influx of European artists making their way to the States to collaborate with various artists. The recent change had made things a little easier for me as people are getting more used to the European dance sound.

AL: What other plans/projects do you have in the works for 2014?
XG: I am actually at a very exciting point in my career and this year is going to be really great. There is going to be quite a few surprises coming. As we speak I am getting ready to release a single which is really exciting. After that there’s going to be more music on the way along with live performances and more collaborations.

Media Mikes to Co-Sponsor Kansas City Sneak Peek at Upcoming Film “Swan Song”

Media Mikes has teamed up with CinemaKC and The Kansas City Film Critics Circle to present a special test screening of “Swan Song,” the newest film by Academy Award nominated filmmaker John D. Hancock.

Hancock, a Kansas City native, is best known for such films as “Bang the Drum Slowly,” “Let’s Scare Jessica to Death,” “Weeds” and “Prancer.”

The screening will take place on Thursday, January 30, beginning at 7:00 pm, with a Q&A with Hancock and screenwriter/co-star Dorothy Tristan afterwards.

Synopsis: Julie is a 13-year-old girl who comes to La Porte County, Indiana to live with her grandmother, Karen. Karen, a former star of stage and screen, wants desperately to connect with her granddaughter in a meaningful way and share her history. But the two of them—each stubborn in her own way—butt heads at every turn. Soon, Karen makes a remarkable discovery: Julie’s powerful, unique singing voice. Will the sudden discovery of Julie’s talent be enough to bring the two together and allow Karen to pass on her legacy?

SCREENLAND CROWN CENTER THEATRE,
Kansas City, Missouri

THURSDAY, JANUARY 30, 2014

PRE-SCREENING MIXER: 6PM

SCREENING: 7PM

ADMISSION: YOUR $10 DONATION SUPPORTS CINEMAKC

FOR TICKET INFORMATION CONTACT:
STEVEN FULLER 816-500-9498

Check out video for Texas in July’s latest song “Cry Wolf” and pre-order the upcoming album now!

Texas In July has just premiered a brand new track today, called “Cry Wolf” from their self-titled album that will be out on October 9. This is the very first song revealed off of the new album. Texas In July is the follow up to their Equal Vision Records debut, One Reality, which was released in April 2011 and debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard New Artist/Heatseekers Chart and also placed on the Billboard 200, Rock, Independent, and Hard Rock charts. The band has just returned from a tour in Australia, and will next headline a Canadian tour with support from labelmates Glass Cloud, before heading out on the full US Unshakeable Tour supporting For Today this fall. They will close out the year on a UK/European tour as direct support to Miss May I this winter. All upcoming tour dates can be seen here. Pre-orders for the new album also launched last week, with each bundle coming with an instant digital download of “Cry Wolf”.

Pre-order link – http://texasinjuly.merchnow.com/

 

DVD Review “Heidi’s Song”

Directed by: Robert Taylor
Starring: Lorne Greene, Margery Gray, Sammy Davis, Jr.
Distributed by: Warner Archive
MPAA Rating: G
Running Time: 93 minutes

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

When it comes to classic Hanna-Barbera animated films, I immediately become interested.  “Heidi’s Song” has never been released to DVD in the past, so thanks to Warner Archive for finally releasing this film.  Released originally back in 1982, this is time perfectly for the 30th Anniversary of this film. It is based on Johanna Spyri’s children’s classic, “Heidi” and has been translated into a full-length animated musical motion picture. It includes sixteen original songs written by lyricist Sammy Cahn and composer Burton Lane. The songs are fun but very 80’s.

This DVD released features the film newly remastered.  Though as much as I say that it looks good, the film really shows its age.  The film is very colorful but some of the shades come off still as a bit dull and faded.  But since this is the first time it has ever hit DVD, it is better than nothing and obviously VHS quality as well.  The audio includes a great stereo track, which works with the film’s songs.  There are no special features either like most releases from Warner Archive.  This title might not be the most popular but if you are a fan of retro Hanna-Barbera, it will be cool just to see this film getting a little love and restored on DVD.

Synopsis: Johanna Spyri’s best-loved children’s classic, Heidi, is affectionately retold in this colorful, full-length animated musical motion picture. The famed story has been supplemented with three new, unforgettable sequences: a musical review, The Nightmare Ballet, in which Heidi meets the mountain creatures of the Wunderhorn; a dream fantasy in which Clara, Heidi’s wheelchair confined friend, meets her Prince Charming at a fantastic ball; and Ode to a Rat, in which a band of evil but clownish rats, led by King Rat, are roused into attacking Heidi in a dark cellar. Voices are provided by Lorne Greene as Grandfather, Margery Gray as Heidi and Sammy Davis, Jr. as King Rat. Sixteen original songs were written by lyricist Sammy Cahn and composer Burton Lane. Heidi’s Song has all the elements to make a thoroughly enjoyable film that children will cherish a lifetime.

Engelbert Humperdinck talks about new song and the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest

Engelbert Humperdinck is an internationally loved and respected singer, who has been in the business for over 45 years.  He was recently chosen to represent the UK in the final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 with his new song “Love Will Set You Free”.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Engelbert again about Eurovision, love songs and his constant touring.

Mike Gencarelli: Let’s talk about how you came to represent the UK in the final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2012?
Engelbert Humperdinck: Actually, it all came down to the BBC in the UK. The big bosses came together and picked me out of a hat. They figured I’ve been in the business a while and I am a great embassador for the country. I was very honoured to be chosen to represent my country.

MG: Tell us about the origin of “Love Will Set You Free”?
EH: The two guys that wrote the song are very well known. Sacha Skarbek is an Ivor Novello Awards winner and Martin Terefe is the number one producer in England at the moment. Martin plays guitar…and bass on the song. I also just made an album with him about four months ago. He is so laid back and unbelieveable to work with. What happened with the song is that BBC setup everything. They found the writers and the song. They heard it, loved it and passed it on to me and I loved it. I have had a trendous success with waltzes. This is a Viennese Waltz. “The Last Waltz” was a big hit for me and I am thrilled about it.

MG: What do you think makes a great love song?
EH: A great experience I suppose. The writers must have had a great experience. It resonates to the listeners who also can relate to an experience. Good lyrics. Good melody. Good message. That is what it is that makes up a great song. Waltzes last a life time. Maybe one day they will be dancing to this song on “Dancing with the Stars”.

MG: I watched your concert at Northern Quest Resort & Casino last month presented by Front and Center, how do you feel that you are now streaming your shows to the internet?
EH: It is a whole new market. It is a great way to get the masses. Once it catches on, it will be great. Of course there is nothing like a live concert. If they watch it online they will get a chance to see what it would be like live. We have had a wonderful reaction to this concert, especially with the ability to chat with other fans via Facebook comments.

MG: Do you plan to do more concerts like this in the future?
EH: I am sure in the future we will be doing this again soon!

MG: You are always touring all over the world, how can you feel that touring internationally differs from the U.S.?
EH: I am touring more world concerts now. I just finished in Dubai, Sinapore…I am everywhere. It was great to go countries like Russia that do not even speak the language but they are still singing along. How do they do this I do not know? But it is just amazing.

MG: You are very involved with your fans, any words of wisdom to share with them?
EH: Not wisdom but gratitude. Thank you for supporting me for the last 45 years. They have been nothing but terrific.

MG: With Eurovision and constant touring, has this delayed the progress on your new album?
EH: It should be released right after Eurovision and it is a collabaration album. I can’t say who I will be collaberating with yet since you know how record labels like to keep things in the bag waiting for a suprise [laugh].

“A Cinderella Story: Once Upon A Song” DVD Giveaway [ENDED]

THANK YOU FOR ENTERING, THE CONTEST HAS ENDED. WINNERS HAVE BEEN CHOSEN AND NOTIFIED VIA EMAIL. PLEASE CHECK BACK EVERY WEEK FOR NEW GIVEAWAYS!

To celebrate the release of “A Cinderella Story: Once Upon A Song”, Media Mikes would like to giveaway ONE DVD of the film. If you would like to win this great prize, please leave us a comment below or send us an email and let us know your favorite fairy tale movie. This giveaway will be open until Sunday September 4th at Noon, Eastern Time and is only open to residents of the United States. Only one entry per person, per household; all other entries will be considered invalid. Once the giveaway ends, Movie Mikes will randomly pick out winners and alert the winners via email.

The classic Cinderella story gets a modern musical twist when Warner Premiere’s fairytale A Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song arrives on DVD and digital download September 6th from Warner Home Entertainment Group.

This new music filled take on the classic Cinderella story, A Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song tells the story of Katie and her ups and downs of finding true love and embracing her musical talent.  Lucy Hale (Pretty Little Liars, Scream 4) stars as downtrodden teen Katie, Freddie Stroma (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) as Luke, the new transfer student from Europe, Megan Park (TV’s The Secret Life of the American Teenager) as Katie’s wicked stepsister, Titus Makin, Jr. (TV’s Glee) as Mickey, Luke’s entrepreneurial front man, and Missi Pyle (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) as Katie’s cruel stepmother and school headmaster. A Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song is directed by Damon Santostefano (Another Cinderella Story, Bring it on Again, Three to Tango) from a script by Erik Patterson & Jessica Scott (Another Cinderella Story) and is produced by Dylan Sellers (A Cinderella Story, Another Cinderella Story, Agent Cody Banks).  Clifford Werber, Ilyssa Goodman and Michelle Johnston serve as executive producers.

Check out this really cool widget below for more information about the film:

Watch the Stars Interact! Check out Lucy Hale take a relationship quiz and Freddie Stroma, Megan Park and Titus Makin Jr. lip sync along to the song “Run This Town”!

Write Your Own Cinderella Story! Take our interactive quiz and make your own musical fairytale come true!

Lip Sync Music Video Contest! Film a short YouTube video to the sounds of Lucy Hale’s song “Run This Town.” Dress up! Be creative!

Achieve Your Dreams PDF! Download “Top 10 Ways to Stand Bright” and write your own goals sponsored by the Confidence Coalition!

A Cinderella Story: Once Upon A Song! Sneak a peek at the Cinderella Story: Once Upon A Song Trailer!

 

Music Video for OK Go and The Muppets: Muppet Show Theme Song

Check out the newly released video for “Muppet Show Theme Song” by OK Go and The Muppets from Muppets: The Green Album below:

A full track listing for Muppets: The Green Album is available for preview & purchase here:http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/muppets-the-green-album/id452905746

“Like” THE MUPPETS on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/Muppets

Follow THE MUPPETS on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/MuppetsStudio

Muppets: The Green Album – Available now

THE MUPPETS – In Theaters November 23, 2011

“A Cinderella Story: Once Upon A Song” – Freddie Stroma’s Song

Check out Luke (Freddie Stroma) singing “Knockin” in the all new movie “A Cinderella Story: Once Upon A Song”. Catch this song and more on the upcoming “A Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song” soundtrack.

“A Cinderella Story: Once Upon A Song”, starring Lucy Hale (TV’s “Pretty Little Liars”) and Freddie Stroma (the Harry Potter franchise), comes to DVD and For Download on September 6, 2011 from Warner Home Entertainment Group.

To see the FULL Opening scene of the all new movie “A Cinderella Story: Once Upon A Song” go to the A Cinderella Story Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/acinderellastory

“A Cinderella Story: Once Upon A Song”, starring Lucy Hale (TV’s “Pretty Little Liars”) and Freddie Stroma (the Harry Potter franchise), comes to DVD and For Download on September 6, 2011 from Warner Home Entertainment Group.