Song of the Week 4/30/13

Hello readers it’s time for another Song of the Week. This week I picked a newly released song from a band that has released a lot of good news lately and who is gearing up for a summer tour. This week’s winner goes to “Like Nobody’s Around” by Nickelodeon boy band Big Time Rush.

Big Time Rush is comprised of Logan Henderson (23), James Maslow (22), Carlos Pena Jr (23) and Kendall Schmidt (22). They are stars of the show of the same name that first premiered in 2009 on Nickelodeon. The show will start its fourth season on May 2.

This song gives the old advice of doing what you love to do without worry about what others may think about it or you. It’s a great message in general but and even better message to the younger audience that is targeted for Big Time Rush’s TV show. Don’t let their boyish looks get to you those this quartet can really sing.

The music video below, which is from their show, features only part of the song but showcases a lot of history…boy band history that is. Take a look at it and see how many boy bands you can name.

So push play and listen as Big Time Rush encourages you to do what makes you happy no matter what anybody else thinks about it and takes you through the long history of the boy band. Enjoy!

Big Time Rush have announced their Summer Break Tour with Victoria Justice, which kicks off on June 21. The band released the track list for their upcoming third album, entitled “24/seven,” which will be released on June 11. You can pre-order and purchase “Like Nobody’s Around” now on iTunes.

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JLS Timeline: Celebrating the Boy Band

As promised, Push Play & Listen presents a JLS Timeline, celebrating the band and all it’s successes. So without further ado, here we go.

First up, as most band stories start, we have the audition. JLS, a band composed of London friends Aston Merrygold, Marvin Humes, Jonathan “JB” Gills, and Oritsé Williams, auditioned for the fifth season of “X-Factor” in 2008. Check out how it went below.

The group then went to the next stage, judges houses, where they sang for their coach, Louis Walsh. Walsh has had pervious experience with boy bands. He was the manager for Irish boy bands Boyzone and Westlife.

It was this performance that led to Walsh picking JLS to continue on the the live show part of the show. Here the performed many songs, week after week, while they built up a loyal fanbase.

One being their first week performance of the Boyz II Men classic “I’ll Make Love To You,” have a look.

The band hit a high note and made a believe out of Simon Cowell in week four.

Then JLS gave one of their best performances of the competition during the “X Factor” finale.

While the band didn’t win the competition, they went on to receive a recording contract with Epic Records at the beginning of 2009. Then in July of that year, JLS fans proved to be loyal when the sent the band’s debut single “Beat Again” to the number one spot on the UK charts. You can see a live performance of the song below, the performance begins at 2:55.

Just before the release of their debut album, the band released their second single “Everybody In Love,” which once again topped the UK charts.

In November, JLS released their self-titled debut album. It debuted at number one on the UK charts selling over 1 million copies.

Due to their success of their first album, JLS won the BRIT Award for British Breakthrough and Best British Single for “Beat Again.” These awards marked the first “X Factor” contestant to win a BRIT Award. (For those of you who don’t know the BRIT’s are the British equivalent of the Grammy’s in the U.S.)

In July of 2010, the group released the lead single off of their second album. The track, entitled “The Club It Alive” marked the band’s third number one single.

Two months later, the band released the second single off of their second album entitled “Love You More.” The song was a charity single for BBC Children in need. Once again the song reached the number one spot on the UK Charts.

The band’s second album “Outta This World” was released on November 22, 2010. It reached number two on the charts being beat out by long time boy band Take That’s album “Progress.”

In July of 2011 the band released the lead single off their third album. “She Makes Me Wanna,” which features American singer Dev, became the fifth number one single for JLS. The song was also nominated for the 2012 BRIT Award for “Best British Single.”

November 4th, the band released their second single, “Take A Chance On Me” a nice ballad to follow up the dance club feel to “She Makes Me Wanna.” The song reached number 2 on the UK charts.

Shortly after the release of “Take A Chance On Me,” JLS released their fourth studio album entitled “Jukebox.” The album reached number two on the UK charts and was certified platinum in the UK.

In October of 2012, the band released their brand new single from their upcoming fourth studio album. The song, “Hottest Girl In The World,” brought a new, mature sound to the band. The single reached number 6 on the charts.

The next month, JLS released “Evolution,” their fourth studio album. It continued to build the mature sound that audiences heard with “Hottest Girl In The World.” The album also shows more off more of a R&B influence than their previous albums. The album reached the number three spot on the UK charts.

On April 23, 2013, the band released a statement on their website stating that the band had decided to spilt after it’s successful five-year run. You can read Push Play & Listen’s summary of the statement here.

The following Friday, April 26th, JLS appeared on the UK talk show “Alan Carr Chatty Man” to talk about their spilt and it does get quite emotional. The video is provided below. The interview with JLS starts at 23:57. As a warning the video does reference drugs and sex so be warned.

In JLS’s statement released on April 23, the band did state that their will be a final album, “Goodbye: The Greatest Hits,” and a final tour. According to JLS a new single will be released later this year to coincide with the final album.

It’s very sad news for the many many JLS fans everywhere and only time will tell what will become of the talented Merrygold, Humes, Williams and Gills. For now, fans can await for the new album and tour, as well as celebrate the great accomplishments of JLS.

Stay tuned to the band’s website for all the latest news.

JLS: Goodbye to the Talented Boy Band

JLS fans everywhere today were struck with some unexpected news. JLS, a British boy band of 5 years, will call it quits. They released a message to their fans through their website stating that they “have decided to bring [their] time as a band to an end.”

Their message gave no specific reason for the split but stressed that they were grateful for all the success that they have received. Whatever the reason, fans everywhere are saddened by the news.

The good news to the announcement,  (if you can even call it that), is that the band is currently in the studio recording the final album “Goodbye: The Greatest Hits.” They will release the single from that album later this year and following that release they will embark on a goodbye arena tour to give their fans one last memory of them.

It’s seems here the boy band five year curse may not be myth at all. However, could JLS really be over forever? Well only time will answer that question for us and who knows what the future will hold. Many boy bands have reunited after breaks. New Kids On The Block and the Backstreet Boys are perhaps the biggest example. Both bands spilt up for years only to be reunited years later to continue sharing their music with their loyal fans.

While the spilt is going to happen, even though fans everywhere are praying it’s just a joke, I wish nothing but the best for Marvin, Aston, Oritsé and JB.

For those of you who don’t know, JLS  is a quartet made up of Aston Merrygold (25), Marvin Humes (28), Jonathan “JB” Gills (26) and Oritsé Williams (26). The band was signed in 2008 after being the runner-up in the fifth season of UK’s X-Factor.

They have seen a lot of success in the UK. They have sold over 10 million albums, accumulated 5 number one hits and won 2 Brit awards (the British equivalent of the Grammys). They’ve caused fan pandemonium over in the UK and several other countries for years before band’s like One Direction and The Wanted hit the scene.

It’s a sad moment when a band’s journey comes to an end and talent, no matter what genre, ceases to be showcased. Time will tell whether solo careers will emerge or if a reunion will happen, but for now it is time for music fans alike to come together and celebrate the talent that is JLS. For that reason Push Play & Listen will launch a special Celebrating JLS post later this week.

But for now I leave you with one of my favorite JLS songs, so Push Play & Listen and rejoice in JLS.

Song of the Week 4/23/13

It’s Tuesday again and that means another Song of the Week must be crowned. We are going to award this week’s song to a new single that was released today. This week’s winner is “Pretty Brown Eyes” by Australian, teen, pop idol Cody Simpson. For those of you who don’t know Simpson’s story, he was discovered on YouTube. He received a recording contract soon after and released his first single “iYiYi” in May of 2010. He has come quite a way since then. His new single, “Pretty Brown Eyes,” shows off a more mature side to Simpson while still staying true to his beach vibes and Australian roots. The music video for the single, which was released yesterday, shows depicts a fun pool side party, while incorporating animation.   Simpson’s debut album “Paradise” is available on iTunes. You can catch Simpson on his first headline Paradise Tour this summer with special guest Ryan Betty. Tickets go on sale April 27th. So sit back, push play and listen to this week’s song of the week: “Pretty Brown Eyes.”

Song of the Week – 4/18/13 Special

Due to all the tragedy that our country has seen this week, I thought I would try to use a universal language to bring people together. I can’t provide answers but I would like to pass on hope. To all those in Boston, Texas and all over the world who have been struggling this week, my heart is with you. To all those whose hearts are aching and those who feel alone this is for you. Remember that there are people in this world that love you. If we all come together we can do anything. So without further ado, please sit back, push play, and listen in hopes that a song can give you hope.

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Song of the Week 4/16/13

This week’s pick pays homage to one of the numerous musical television shows that are popping up all over the place. It’s “Original” off of the NBC show “Smash.”

The song’s theme focuses on what stars do in order to stand out and be “original.” I find the charm of the song to be in the real life examples mentioned in the lyrics. American Idol season 5 runner-up Katharine McPhee’s vocal performance is flawless on top of the catchy beat and piano driven melody of the song.

“Original” is a song written for the show by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. The video above is a scene from “Smash” that showcases rehearsal for the fictions musical, “Hit List,” in which this song is featured.

For those who don’t know “Smash” is the story of the road of preparing a musical for broadway. “Smash” airs Saturdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.

So it’s that time to push play & listen to a catchy pop song that makes a nod at popular culture.

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Taylor Jayne: A Local Musician’s Path of Passion

On the outside, Mesa native, Taylor Jayne looks like any normal 20-year-old girl, but her story says differently.

Her passion for music transformed into a big dream, one that she is starting to achieve, while her talent and her passion has put her on a path that has created great opportunity.

Jayne’s first memories of inspiration started as a young girl listening to The Beatles and Bob Marley with her dad in the car. This exposure to music would serve as the stepping-stone to Jayne’s love of music.

In eighth grade, Jayne picked up the guitar and instantly feel in love. It also opened up the gates to songwriting.

“I tried to write songs when I was nine, but it’s a lot easier when you have an instrument to play with you,” Jayne said.

It was then that Jayne developed a strong vision of what her future was going to be.

“I always knew I wanted to do something in the art field, whether it be music, visual arts or acting, so I was always prepared for performing and putting myself out there,” Jayne said.

After Jayne graduated high school, she followed what she thought was the normal route.

“It made sense to go to college, that’s what people do,” Jayne said. “I knew that I wanted to do something in music so I figured music for college sounded good.”

So Jayne packed her bags and headed for Columbia College Chicago.

“I was thinking that I’d get out there and be playing gigs all over the place in Chicago, which felt like a good, big city to be playing music,” Jayne said.

However, Jayne’s plans didn’t pan out the way she thought they would.

“I ended up making excuses, like doing my homework, instead and it felt anti-productive somehow,” Jayne said.

When Christmas break came along, Jayne made the decision to stay at home in Mesa rather than return to school in Chicago, stating that she felt like she was avoiding what she was trying to do. Though it was a difficult decision, Jayne’s family has been there to support her in pursuing her dreams.

“I’ve had a very supportive family from the beginning,” Jayne said. “The fact that I am living at home and doing music has been extremely helpful. Right now I am taking the time, while I have it, to just get the ball rolling.

While she only attended college for a semester, it did bring it’s payoffs.

“I’m still glad I went out there though because I met a lot of really cool people can connections I still have now,” Jayne said. “My manager, Dick Joseph, goes to school there and that’s how I met him.”

With the help of Joseph, Jayne now plays about three to four times a week in and around the Tempe area.

“I play a few bars, coffee shops and things like that,” Jayne said. “[They are] small venues but a lot of fun with intimate kinds of crowds.”

To Jayne, playing locally has its charms.

“My favorite thing about playing locally is that  it feels like your fans are your friends too,” Jayne said. “People start to know my songs and it feels very down to earth.”

Jayne said she loves the interactions with her fans.

“It’s really exciting to meet a fan who comes to one of my shows and says ‘hey you know I went to one of your other shows’ or ‘I saw your stuff on YouTube and I wanted to come see you.'” Jayne said.

While the interactions are great, Jayne said that building a fan base is a slow process and not always an easy one.

“It has its ups and downs,” Jayne said. “Some night there is just nobody there, I have to remember to not be discouraged by it. It’s a constant pull on your confidence, but you just keep doing it and hopefully something will come of it.”

As Jayne continues to try to breakthrough a tough industry, she said she must remain true to herself.

“You’ve got a lot of people giving you advice in all different directions about what you should do,” Jayne said. “I think that the biggest thing is reminding yourself that you can say no.”

Jayne said in those situations you have to trust yourself.

“It’s a mind game sometimes,” Jayne said. “If you know deep in your gut, it’s not something you want to do then you got to go with it. You’ve got to be strong and put your foot down.”

As far as goals go, Jayne has set out practical ones for herself.

“As far as music goes, [I want] to be successful enough to keep doing it and be able to get by,” Jayne said. “I want to have enough of a following to go on tour.”

While it’s a hard road to pave, Jayne is determined to stick with it.

“Sometimes it’s a bit of a grind, but if I remember how much I love music, it’s worth it,” Jayne said. “I know that I owe it to myself to go for it and see how far I can take it.”

You can catch Jayne at Pub Rock Live in Phoenix April 12. Jayne will also be going on her first tour this summer opening for Steff Koeppen and The Articles. The tour kicks off on May 23. Details about this tour and all of Jayne’s other performance on her website

Her EP “Day After Rain” is available on iTunes.

Check out the video below to find out some of Jayne’s inspirations, what she writes about and her go to tips for making a music video. You can also catch acoustic performances of some of Jayne’s new songs.

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Song of the Week 4/9/13

The very first Song of the Week is awarded to “See You Tonight” by platinum selling country artist Scotty McCreery. The single was released today and is special in many ways. First being the first single off of McCreery’s new album that will be released sometime later this year. This song also marks McCreery’s first contribution to songwriting.

The song showcases a new sound than McCreery’s previous music. McCreery was interviewed on GAC’s live ACM Red Carpet where he talked about the new sound.

“We’re trying to find my sound,” McCreery said. “Frank Rogers, the guy we’re working with right now, he’s done a really good job finding that sound and making it unique. We’re excited for the fans to hear it.”

The song showcases youthful lyrics that relate to McCreery’s live style and love. The song revolves around McCreery’s need to see his girl tonight instead of looking at her pictures. The song shows off a more contemporary side of McCreery.

So push play & listen to this week’s song of the week, “See You Tonight.

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Introducing…Song of the Week

For those of you who don’t know, Tuesday is a sacred day in the world of new music. It’s the one day a week that new music hits the shelves and digital music stores. So every Tuesday, a song or two (I have a hard time picking favorites) will be crowned song(s) of the week. It could be a new song that I just downloaded or an old song that is being revisited. It could be a pop hit, a country smash, an alternative jam or maybe even a show-stopping show tune. No matter when it is released or what genre it belongs to it will surely be a song that is worth being played on repeat. All you have to do is visit this page every week, push play and listen. Happy listening!

~Shelby Madson

Hunter Hayes’ Single Talks “Crazy” Love

Platinum selling country singer/songwriter Hunter Hayes premiered his new single “I Want Crazy” last night on the Academy of Country Music Awards.

“I Want Crazy” is the first single off of Hayes’ reboot of his debut album “Hunter Hayes (Encore).” The song starts with a strong catchy guitar riff much like that of his first single “Storm Warning.”

Hayes’ voice comes in strong talking about catching a flight to see is love’s eyes and the “fall” he took for her.

“Yeah, our first date, girl, the season changed/That got washed away in a summer rain/You can’t undo a fall like this/’Cause love don’t know what distance is.”

The song’s theme revolves around Hayes ability to only think about his girl and describes the best love is one filled with unexplainable feelings and spontaneous actions spawned for your feelings.

“Yeah, I wanna be scared, don’t wanna know why/I wanna feel good, don’t have to be right/The world makes all kinds of rules for love/I say you gotta let it do what it does.”

For more lyrics, head over to Pop! Goes the Chart.

On top of the catchy music, Hayes lyrics come off truthful while staying light and playful.

Hayes’ songwriting ability is continuing to grow and this song is proof of it as once again the simplicity of his word choices depict a very colorful and relatable picture.

In Hayes’ weekly webisode For The Love Of Music, he talks about the natural progression of the song and how it stands to be a song that incorporates a combination of themes from his other songs, like number one singles “Wanted” and “Somebody’s Heartbreak.” You can hear all about it in the video below.

Hayes premiered the song last night on the Academy of Country Music Awards. It was a lively performance which incorporated Hayes’ signature chalked lyrics look, balloons and confetti. Catch is performance below.

Will “I Want Crazy” be able to follow Hayes’ previous singles to the number 1 spot on country radio? Only time will tell, but the song it built to be a song of the summer.

“I Want Crazy” is available for download now. Hayes’ rerelease, “Hunter Hayes (Encore)” hits selves June 18th and is available for pre-order on hunterhayes.com and iTunes.

Hayes’ site has a bunch of deals available. If you pre-order a digital copy of  “Hunter Hayes (Encore)” you will receive an instant download of “I Want Crazy.”

On May 7th, the site will launch VIP presale packages that will feature exclusive merchandise, a physical copy of the cd and more. Those who pre-order the digital copy of the album through hunterhayes.com will receive a $9.99 credit towards those VIP presale packages.

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