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In this week’s edition of “Trend Hungry Tuesday” – Resident Fashionista Jessie Holeva talked about a trend she saw on the red carpet of The Tony Awards – pleats.

Visit Trend Hungry to find the latest fashion 411 on a skinny budget, and catch Jessie every Tuesday evening on “Ralphie Tonight.”

Photo: https://instagram.com/ashleytisdale/

Photo: https://instagram.com/ashleytisdale/

In this edition of “Weekend Scoop,” Hello! Magazine.com Lifestyle Editor Jordi Lippe called in to talk about George Clooney, Rumer Willis and the upcoming Tony Awards. Clooney recently took his wife Amal back to where he grew up in Kentucky, while Willis spoke with the media outlet and Bennett was spotted at the musical, “An American In Paris,” before the weekend.

Photo: twitter.com/whatupitsusan

Photo: twitter.com/whatupitsusan


Perhaps it was not merely a coincidence that on the week I turn the big 3-0, I interviewed a gentleman that gave me one of the biggest breaks of my young career.

Of course at the time, he wasn’t trying to throw some 20 year-old know-it-all living in Scranton, Penn. a bone; rather he was attempting to help elect Barack Obama to the White House. And we all know how that story ends.

David Plouffe re-wrote the history books and how-to manuals on elections in the 21st century as President Obama’s Campaign Manager in 2008. He now serves as the Senior Vice President of Policy and Strategy for the car service Uber. On the app’s fifth anniversary of existence, Plouffe made the media rounds, including a phone call on “Ralphie Tonight,” to chat about the present state of the company and what the future holds for it.

“UberPOOL, our car pooling service, is only in four cities now,” Plouffe explained. That particular feature allows different users to share the same car as opposed to calling separate cars; benefits to the consumer include lower rates. “We want to bring that to as many cities as possible because it’s cheaper transportation, the driver makes more money because they’re always on a trip and it really can help reduce congestion and reduce emissions and pollution.”

Of course in addition to expanding services within the cities in which Uber already operates, the company also has its eyes set on breaking in to new markets, both domestically and internationally. The app can be used in 58 countries – yet many major cities in New York State don’t have Uber.

“One good example is Upstate New York,” Plouffe said (born in Niagara Falls, N.Y., I was quick to refer to my neck of the woods as Western New York). “We’d love to get in to Binghamton and Buffalo and Syracuse and Albany; places by the way that don’t have a lot of public transportation options. We think we can help cut down on drunk and distracted driving.”

Another stated goal of Plouffe’s is to break up the monopolies that taxi and black car companies have in certain cities. Las Vegas was a topic of conversation; both Uber and Lyft will be allowed to operate in Vegas starting next month.

“(Monopolies) don’t foster innovation. They don’t serve the public,” Plouffe lobbied. “But what you see is most people who use Uber are making a choice not to drive themselves. So it’s not that it’s a small pie that’s now going to be divvied up between Uber and taxi; the overall pie grows.”

Regarding Vegas, Plouffe said he believes Uber will see business from not just The Strip but the surrounding suburbs; people that he claims can’t access a taxi as easy because they’re all located in one central place.

Oh, and regarding that big career break: I lived in Northeastern Pennsylvania and covered both the Democratic Primary and General Election for my radio station. My perseverance at the campaign rallies paid off: then-Senator Obama’s camp began throwing a number of celebrity surrogates my way. Suddenly this kid who had been in Scranton for just over a year had the likes of Cynthia Nixon, Fran Drescher, Adam Levine, Maggie Gyllenhaal and more calling in to his show. Those interviews gained me national press, which led to my show entering syndication. That set the groundwork for my eventual move to the biggest media market in the country.

“Well that’s a great story,” Plouffe responded when I filled him in. “I’m glad we could provide that opportunity.”
Uber1
And you can say that the Wilkes Barre/Scranton market has been good to Plouffe. This past Febraury, over seven years after NEPA helped elect President Obama and Scranton’s own Vice President Joe Biden, the area became the latest to join Uber.

In honor of #ThrowbackThursday, here are a few of the aforementioned interviews from 2008!

Episode four of the podcast features an in-depth chat with Stephan Jenkins of Third Eye Blind – covering the band’s next and final LP as well as 3EB’s upcoming tour with Dashboard Confessional.
Hey, Really Excited
Plus, find out what Jenkins and Lady Gaga have in common, and listen as Jenkins performs the band’s new single acoustically for the first time ever. The front man also gave the acoustic treatment to the hit, “Jumper,” and explained how the meaning of the song has changed for him.

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In this week’s edition of “Trend Hungry Tuesday” – Resident Fashionista Jessie Holeva talked about a chic way to rock your jacket.

Photo: instagram.com/ddlovato

Photo: instagram.com/ddlovato


Visit Trend Hungry to find the latest fashion 411 on a skinny budget, and catch Jessie every Tuesday evening on “Ralphie Tonight.”

In our second week of “Weekend Scoop,” an old friend called the show – GOTHAM Entertainment Editor Juliet Izon, who talked about the newly-opened “Saturday Night Live: The Exhibition.” The exhibit brings visitors through a week at ‘SNL,’ from writing the show on Monday to performing it Saturday night. Izon attended the premiere party, and also chatted about the recent GOTHAM cover that featured the entire cast.

Photo: Robert Ascroft/Niche Media

Photo: Robert Ascroft/Niche Media


Check out our chat with Juliet and PIX 11’s video on the exhibit below.

In so many ways, Third Eye Blind and Lady Gaga are a lot more similar than it might seem.

For starters, both care deeply about their respective fan base’s experience at a live concert. Hearing 3EB front man Stephan Jenkins talk about the band’s live set conjured up thoughts of Gaga looking out for her “Little Monsters.”

“I’m always watching the audience, because they’re like this group of people that are doing their own thing,” Jenkins noted during an interview on “Ralphie Tonight.” Third Eye Blind is set to tour with Dashboard Confessional this summer; the trek already has two sold-out dates in the tri-state area with a third, June 14 at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, on sale now. “When I’m doing shows, I’m stoked to be here; seeing what you guys are gonna do. Like, I’m part in their thing as well. Everybody’s invited, but (the fans) make their own culture out of it.”

And also like Gaga, speaking to or about culture is something Jenkins has never shied away from. Matter of fact, Third Eye Blind was raising awareness about suicide prevention and the acceptance of people’s differences long before “Mother Monster.” The most prominent example of this is the 1998 hit “Jumper,” which was inspired by a friend of Jenkins’ who committed suicide by jumping off of a bridge in San Diego. The friend was gay and a victim of bullying.

“The song is kind of a noir, because it’s really talking to somebody who is already dead,” the lead singer explained. “So this is kind of what you would say (to him).
thirdeyeblind
“When I wrote it, there was this kind of darkness to it. But now when I sing it, it feels exalted, and you see the audience… they sing most of it, I kind of let them sing it… and you can see this release. So I find a lot of joy in that song now. Maybe that’s bouncing back and reflecting the times.”

“Jumper” was on 3EB’s self-titled debut in 1997, and certainly the way in which we talk about suicide and the LGBT community has changed since then. But what hasn’t changed in the past 18 years? The music industry as a whole is completely different. That was clearly seen in Gaga’s second album cycle when online retailer Amazon offered it at a deeply discounted price. Jenkins is taking it a step further, stating that for all intents and purposes, music is now “free,” so 3EB’s upcoming album will be its final proper LP release. Jenkins said the band will simply post singles after Dopamine drops.

“Artists are not getting paid from the streaming services they have, so far,” Jenkins pointed out. “We’ve been doing LPs; I find that process to be very difficult and I think (the change) is just going to create more interaction and just more happiness for me that when I write a song, then I record it, gift to the universe, there it goes.”

Jenkins isn’t sure how the new model will affect future touring plans, but he seems excited to figure it all out. And speaking of touring, that brings us back to yet another way in which 3EB and Gaga are similar – they alternate use of the same tour bus.

“I don’t have any stories to tell (about Gaga). None of that my friend!” Jenkins joked, although he did reveal that she doesn’t leave the bus a mess.

“She’s quite fastidious. (It’s) well kept.”

And Jenkins?

“No. But I have someone who tidies it for me!”

In episode 3 of my new podcast, I talk about my interactions backstage at the Billboard Music Awards with One Direction and the cast of ‘Entourage.’ Then – it’s back to New York for doctors appointments and down the shore to Point Pleasant, N.J. for 95.5 PLJ’s “Summer Kick-Off.” Plain White T’s, Life of Dillon, Lifehouse and Rachel Platten all join the podcast this week.
Hey, Really Excited
“Hey, Really Excited” is a weekly-ish podcast of mine where I offer some present-day thoughts on what’s happening in music, my life and career – along with a featured artist(s).

Play

In this week’s edition of “Trend Hungry Tuesday” – Resident Fashionista Jessie Holeva talked about an easy summer trend, mirrored sunnies.

Photo: https://instagram.com/reesewitherspoon/

Photo: https://instagram.com/reesewitherspoon/


Visit Trend Hungry to find the latest fashion 411 on a skinny budget, and catch Jessie every Tuesday evening on “Ralphie Tonight.”

Rachel Platten has experienced a lot in 2015 – from performing her uplifting anthem “Fight Song” on “Good Morning America” to enjoying cupcakes emblazed with her face.

“Which I didn’t even know you could do!” exclaimed Platten of the dessert, which friends at her record label served for her birthday last week. “It makes them more delicious.”

Everything has to taste better for the New England-born singer these days. Platten dropped her first album in 2003. Her next release came eight years later. Both were recorded independently from a major label. Then Platten, “Fight Song” in tow, shopped around her and the track from label-to-label. I jokingly mention that she “may have heard ‘no’ a few times;” rightfully so she quickly dismisses this.
RACH
“I think I’ve been rejected by probably every single person in the industry,” she responded, with little sense of hyperbole in her tone. “But I just won’t give up. I don’t know. I have this crazy little thing in my head that won’t quit.

“I didn’t care. Of course it hurt, but something in me just wouldn’t let me stop. I felt like I had this message to give the world.”

So did Columbia Records, the label that signed Platten and released her Fight Song EP. In addition to the “GMA” performance, Platten is enjoying her greatest chart success yet. “Fight Song” peaked last week at 11 on the Billboard Adult Pop chart; it’s been on the chart for 11 weeks.

“As I spread this message, I get the privilege of listening to other people’s struggles and what they’re working on overcoming, and what I’ve found to be so true is that we all have something,” she said. “Sometimes we’re shy about saying it publicly; sometimes we don’t want to declare it. But when you do there’s this power that comes from that, and you get this rush of love and support from your friends and family.”

And that rush will probably continue through the summer for Platten, as she tours in support of co-headliners Colbie Caillat and Christina Perri. The “Girls Night Out, Boys Can Come Too” trek kicks off at Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut on July 10.