SIX SINGLES FROM TEENAGE DREAM! GOTTDAM KATY!!!
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Tim Halperin was a week away from making history on “American Idol” not just once, but twice. He became the first contestant in the show’s history to perform an original track, “The Last Song,” and make the Top 24. The following week, Halperin lost. Had he been voted on, the Omaha native would’ve been the first competitor to perform a Tom Petty song on “Idol.”
“(Petty’s) traditionally not let (‘Idol’) do any of his songs,” explained Halperin, who called in from Dallas to promote his new album, Rise & Fall. “But Jimmy Iovine, who’s president of Interscope Records, he called Tom Petty’s manager up.”
The record mogul played an instrumental role in Petty’s career, so for Iovine, it was almost as simple as calling in a favor to a long time friend.
Certainly there would have been a bit of pressure on Halperin had he been the first to perform a Petty cut on the show. But despite his elimination, the singer/songwriter continued to pursue his dream of performing music. That certainly brought along more pressure, with this chapter culminating in the release of Rise & Fall.
“’American Idol’ was absolutely great, I wouldn’t have traded that time on that show for anything,” Halperin said. “But the tough part comes after the show, because basically what you are is a reality TV star.”
Halperin’s honest perspective forced him to find creative way within the legalities of his “Idol” contract to keep his momentum going until he was allowed to release an album for sale. That led him to “Kidd Kraddick in the Morning,” one of the nation’s largest morning radio shows. Halperin performed originals and took part in a reoccurring segment called, “Idol Got it Wrong.” Each week, Kraddick would play a performance from the show and then Halperin’s performance of that same song in studio. Listeners would vote on who sang better.
The listeners chose Halperin’s renditions every week, thus saying in essence that the show did get it wrong with his early elimination. But the numbers don’t lie either: Halperin’s debut LP topped the iTunes Singers and Songwriters chart this week.
Wynter Gordon’s introduction as a new artist wasn’t typical for the industry. But, when you’re working with Flo Rida on what would eventually be a top five hit in the country, untypical is par for the course.
“The good ole’ days!” exclaimed Wynter, born Diana Gordon, when I brought up the 2009 track “Sugar” during an interview on “The Ralphie Radio Show.” “That was like the first time that I traveled the world in style, because Flo Rida surely does travel in style.”
The best hotels, with the best accommodations, and some prime time gigs like “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” were a small sample of the perks that the singer/songwriter experienced with Flo. But now Gordon is out on her own, making a name for herself.
Wynter just wrapped up a tour in support of Fall Out Boy front man Patrick Stump. I ran in to her backstage during their stop in Philadelphia at World Live Café. Gordon was a bit frazzled. It was just minutes before she was supposed to go on stage and she needed to iron a skirt. The problem: Wynter thought she didn’t have any water for the iron in her dressing room. Quickly I ran to the bar, grabbed two cups and sprinted back to her. Turns out, while my efforts were appreciated, they weren’t needed.
“There was a bathroom right in the room,” Gordon admitted. “I didn’t even know.”
Surely, clothing irons and water were not an issue with Flo Rida’s hospitality rider. But, now that Gordon is flying solo, she can truly live out her dream of making music for the masses. Her first single, “Dirty Talk,” burned up DJ crates across the world and sold over three million copies. Wynter released the With the Music I Die EP in June. The extended play, which has already spawned a top three dance charter in “Til Death,” also features her next single, “Buy My Love.” The track fuses a retro 90’s pop sound with current dance beats, provided by Swedish House Mafia’s Axwell.
“I was doing a bunch of serious songs (for the EP),” explained Gordon. “’Buy My Love’ was one of the more fun, cheekier ones. I’m kind of leaning more towards that sound, moving forward.”
Certainly dance music is seeing quite the resurgence, led by big time DJs and producers like the aforementioned SHM along with David Guetta, Afrojack, The Cataracs, and others. But Gordon believes that like any other genre or group of artists, a lack of evolution could lead to audiences becoming bored and moving away from the product.
“Nothing can stay the same and be popular for a long, long, long period of time,” Gordon said. “I don’t think we can all do the same thing for too long.”
September is usually a month of celebration: Fall arrives, football returns, leaves turn, wardrobes change, and school is back in session.
But Allstar Weekend isn’t exactly celebrating on the new single, “Blame It on September.” The track is a single off the band’s forthcoming LP, All the Way, which ironically enough, drops next Tuesday… September 27.
“It was a disappointing situation,” ASW lead singer Zach Porter recently recalled on “The Ralphie Radio Show.” Porter sat down with fellow band mates Cameron Quiseng and Michael Martinez to chat. “It was like a summer love, and then September (and) school came around, and we went to different schools and she kind of broke it off.”
Porter remembers being so heartbroken, he almost didn’t attend his school’s homecoming that sophomore year. But the front man went to the dance, moved on (kind of), and still keeps in touch with the subject of the song to this day.
However Porter and classmate Quiseng revealed that the girl does not keep up with the band – so she has no idea that the song is about her… yet.
“If you actually look up some of the interviews about the song, we do drop her name,” Quiseng divulged (a quick Google search pointed to a girl named “Rachel”). “But like Zach said, she doesn’t look at any of the videos.”
This September, “Rachel” will have a hard time avoiding Allstar Weekend. The band is set for appearances on “Good Morning America” and “Live! with Regis and Kelly.” The boys from San Diego just wrapped up a summer arena tour supporting Selena Gomez and the Scene.
“We played the first show she ever played, but this our first time, not only touring with her, but touring with her in places this big,” Porter said. “It’s pretty dope.”