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INTERVIEW: Sara Bareilles Gets ‘Brave’ With New Single, Home, and Tour

Sinatra sang that you could make a “brand new start of it” in New York, so maybe it shouldn’t come as a total surprise that Sara Bareilles is doing just that in the Big Apple. From a new home to a new band to new music, it seems the “Love Song” singer has completely shaken up her life.

Actually, correction: she currently is without a band. Bareilles is trekking across the country solo with the “Brave Enough” tour, the first time she has ever performed a stretch of dates alone on stage.

“I think I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve played a show by myself,” Bareilles told “The Ralphie Show” during an in-studio visit. “And I think I hide behind (the band) in a lot of ways, so it’s very raw.”

The California-born songstress admitted she’s worried.

“I don’t really know how to prepare for this, but there’s a part of that that’s actually really exciting to me,” she elaborated. “It’s gonna be a communion with the audience.”

Bareilles is flying solo again in more than one way. She says that she “recently out of a long relationship” and separated from her band mates, permanently. Her former band includes now ex-boyfriend Javier Dunn.

“All of these splits were really amicable and really loving but just feeling like I needed to move in to some new directions,” she explained. “It’s been a really introspective year from me. A lot of heart break, and heart ache but I feel a lot of expansion.”

This is ironic, because she surely doesn’t have the square footage in lower Manhattan that she had back in California. Even if she does, Bareilles noted that everyone is “on top of each other” in New York. She doesn’t seem to mind.

“There’s something about the energy here,” the singer observed. “I’ve just been super-inspired by literally just walking the streets and seeing graffiti and then hearing music pour out of the windows.”

Bareilles fell in love with the city last fall while working on her forthcoming LP, The Blessed Unrest, due out this July. It spawned the appropriately-titled first single, “Brave,” which Sara worked on with fun.’s Jack Antonoff. She eventually moved to Manhattan in January, and the drastic climate change was a bit of a culture shock to her.

“I don’t know if you guys are aware, but it’s quite cold here in January,” she joked. “There were some brutal days. I’m used to 70 degrees and sunny all the time. So when I’m crying (while) walking down the street carrying my laundry, I’m like, ‘What am I doing here?’”

Yes, I followed up on this, and Bareilles does in fact carry her laundry to and from her apartment. She drops it off at a wash-and-fold, but still, her modesty and girl-next-door persona have not vanished through all of this change. Nor has her sailor’s mouth.

“I even tweeted, ‘The subway’s my b-tch!’” recalled Bareilles, shortly before she would go on to miss her stop and end up lost. “I have no idea where I was about to end up.”

She could probably say the same for other aspects of her life. And like she’s doing with her music, and her personal life, she figured it out, and moved on.

VIDEO: Scar-Jo, Jessica Biel Hit NYC For ‘Hitchcock’ Premiere

“Hitchcock” is essentially a movie about the making of a movie – the director Alfred’s most notable “Psycho.” But the November 2012 release focuses more on the relationship between Hitchcock and his wife, along with the lead actress of the film, Janet Leigh. Scarlett Johansson plays the actress, who it was rumored that Hitchcock flirted with, amongst perhaps other leading ladies he worked with.

This sounds like a storyline that the modern-day, 24/7 media would eat up to the very last tweet. But Johansson doesn’t believe that Leigh would have been covered much differently in 2012 than she was in 1960.

Credit: Video Courtesy of Shaina Moskowitz
“She had her own challenges,” Johansson told me on the red carpet of the “Hitchcock” movie premiere at New York’s Ziegfeld Theatre. “She had a very public divorce; she lived a very public life.”

Still, Johansson thinks the only thing we would have more of is “pictures of her with her kids going to the grocery store.”

Plenty of photos are taken of Johansson and other leading ladies in Hollywood – like her co-star Jessica Biel. The newly-married Mrs. Timberlake was recently photographed with husband Justin and producer Timbaland in The Rockaways, handing out supplies to those affected by Hurricane Sandy.


“It was incredibly amazing and fulfilling,” Biel told me of the experience. “Everyone has to be a part of that community and give back, so it was incredible.”

VIDEO: Maroon 5 ‘Live on Letterman’

On Tuesday night, Maroon 5 showed its age in a way most bands only wished possible: playing 10 years worth of hits in a 45 minute set on a legendary stage.

With the release of Overexposed, Adam Levine and company took to New York’s Ed Sullivan Theater to perform “Live on Letterman.” The concert is streamed live on VEVO and radio.com and is available for on-demand viewing immediately following its conclusion.

After entering the theater by walking through the lower level of seats, Maroon 5 led off with its latest infectious track – the Wiz Khalifa-assisted “Payphone.” Then, the journey began as the California boys performed almost every single from 2002’s Songs About Jane, 2007’s It Won’t Be Soon Before Long, and 2010’s Hands All Over. Throw in the next Overexposed single “One More Night” and the track that literally revived the band, “Moves Like Jagger,” and you can understand why the entire crowd was on its feet from the show’s open to close.

Maroon 5 ended with “She Will Be Loved,” and Levine explained how easily the song’s lyrics came to him after creating the melody and progression.

“The next day we woke up and turned it in to a song, and we actually wrote a song in about 10 minutes,” he said to the jam-packed theater. “It was really fast, and it came from this idea… and the song that we wrote… wound up becoming ‘She Will Be Loved.’”

Certainly Levine had no idea that the song he recorded in a friend’s guest house would eventually go on to become one of the band’s biggest tracks to date; a song he would perform to conclude a concert on the same stage that The Beatles make its American debut on back in 1964.

fun. Rocks New York’s Terminal 5 for Empire State Homecoming

Fun. front man Nate Ruess placed one condition on the sold-out crowd Saturday night inside New York’s Terminal 5 concert venue.

(L to R) Jack Antonoff, Nate Ruess, and Andrew Dost of fun. after Saturday’s show inside Terminal 5

“Don’t tell Arizona, but it feels good to call New York a hometown show,” Ruess said, eliciting one of many deafening screams of approval from the audience throughout the night. “What do they say; you have to live in New York for five years before you can call yourself ‘a New Yorker’?”

Performing the first of two consecutive sold out shows at the hall, you would’ve thought by the crowd’s reaction that the band grew up in the Empire State. Surrounded by fans, friends, and family alike, Fun. powered through a set that lasted just over an hour and fifteen minutes and included a healthy mix of both 2009’s Aim and Ignite and 2012’s Some Nights. The latter produced Fun.’s global anthem, “We Are Young,” which naturally was the highlight of the evening.

After the show, the band met with local radio station winners and record label staff. Ruess told me that the band already has the third single from Some Nights set (the second is the title track). Keyboardist Andrew Dost joked that there is virtually no chance my favorite track, the seven minute-long “Stars,” will be released as a single to radio for obvious length reasons, although I did unsuccessfully argue that an edit could be made.

INTERVIEW: One Direction’s Niall Horan Finds Out First Hand How Popular Band is in U.S.

After a recent trip near our nation’s capital, the fellas from the UK boy-band One Direction found out just how big of a deal they are.



“When we met (Malia and Sasha Obama) at the ‘Kids Choice Awards,’ they said that if we can’t come to the White House, they would come to us,” singer Niall Horan revealed on “The Ralphie Radio Show.” “So they came down to the show.”

Before President Obama’s daughters took-in the concert from One Direction, the girls had a chance to hang out backstage with the guys at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, VA. Horan is “a massive” fan of the President.

“We just had a conversation about everything,” he said. “It went from food to rollercoasters to life to them having loads of security all the time.”

If there is one facet that the heart-throbs can relate to Malia and Sasha in, it’s the latter topic. Then again, after a recent tour stop in New York, perhaps Niall and his friends could use something similar to the Secret Service.

“Me and Liam [Payne] got mobbed,” Horan recalled. “When we’re on our days off, we just like to chill.”

Niall and Liam, accompanied by a security guard, thought it’d be a good idea to chill by walking the streets of midtown Manhattan. Unfortunately for the guys, the hoards of screaming tweens outside the band’s hotel also thought it was a good idea. Still, the trip wasn’t completely lost.

“My aunt lives in New York, so we had a barbeque,” said Horan. “We meant to go watch ‘The Dictator,’ in the cinema but we fell asleep.”

One Direction will get to see its own film Thursday – the quintet will watch the “Up All Night DVD” and offer live commentary for their fans on Twitter. The band is currently in the midst of a sold-out tour in the States. As if you need more evidence of how popular these guys are, One Direction has already announced dates for a summer 2013 tour in America.

YOUTUBE TUESDAY: Jewish Party Rock, Steve Jobs Tribute, State Farm’s Spike Lee 9/11 Commercial

Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year’s, and is right around the corner. So, here’s a Kosher-friendly spoof of the summer’s biggest song. Mazel Tov!

Here’s another spoof, this time paying tribute to outgoing Apple creator Steve Jobs with a parody of Jay-Z’s “What More Can I Say?” off The Black Album.

And speaking of Jay-Z, if you missed State Farm’s Spike Lee-directed commercial for September 11, continue scrolling and hit play.

VIDEO: Watch Cyndi Lauper Flub the National Anthem During a 9/11 Ceremony in New York

I kind of went a little crazy earlier over 80’s icon Cyndi Lauper messing up the lyrics to the National Anthem on Sunday at the U.S. Open. Some are saying, “What’s the big deal?”

Messing up our National Anthem is enough of an embarassment. I’m sorry, but not knowing the correct lyrics on the tenth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, during a 9/11 ceremony, in New York, is inexcusable. End of story.

LIFE & STYLE’S JULIET IZON: NY Fashion Week, Katy Perry

Life & Style Weekly reports in the magazine’s latest edition that Katy Perry’s behavior hasn’t exactly reflected the lifestyle of her husband, a sober Russell Brand. Events Editor Juliet Izon also talked about New York’s Fashion Week on “The Ralphie Radio Show,” which goes on through next Thursday.

YOUTUBE TUESDAY: The Rivalry, New Nicki Minaj, NYC Improv

Loving this baseball season’s commercials from hat company New Era (Buffalo, NY shout out!) featuring Red Sox fan John Krasinski and Yankees fan Alec Baldwin. Here’s the latest edition of their battle for team supremacy.

Nicki Minaj and Rihanna just dropped an epic video for “Fly.”

And this is definitely one of the cooler concepts I’ve seen for a YouTube video. Enjoy!

EXCLUSIVE: In Last Interview Before Alleged Beating, Gavin DeGraw Talks Touring, New Album

Gavin DeGraw has found living a “normal” life has afforded him more experiences to write songs from, something he says will be apparent when Sweeter is released on September 20. However, attempting to live like everyone else may have lead to an alleged incident on Monday morning, in which the singer was brutally beaten by a group of men.

“When someone says, ‘Oh well maybe you’re not on tour for a year or so, you’re in New York hanging out, watching bands and things like that,’ that’s so important to me as a writer,” DeGraw shared with me on his tour bus Saturday afternoon. “That’s my real life; otherwise I’d just be sitting here on the bus, singing songs about traveling all the time.”

But don’t let him mislead you: DeGraw is doing his fair share of traveling. He played a show in Camden, NJ with Maroon 5 and Train on Friday night. The next evening, DeGraw departed from the tour to headline a small show just outside of Scranton, PA. Sunday night, the “I Don’t Wanna Be” singer rejoined with M5 and Train for a date at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods in Mashantucket, CT.

DeGraw, a Manhattan resident, returned home Sunday evening. According to a report in the New York Post, he was assaulted around 4 in the morning, after leaving some friends at a bar. The singer suffered a broken nose and facial cuts before stumbling 13 blocks. Still dazed, a cab struck an injured DeGraw as he was trying to flee. He eventually made it to Bellevue Hospital, where a rep for the artist told TMZ, who broke the story, that DeGraw is stabilized and under doctors’ supervision.

Almost two days prior, DeGraw was all smiles on his tour bus in Jermyn, PA. The stop was one of just a handful of headlining shows for the Upstate New York-born singer. Perhaps it was growing up in South Fallsburg, NY that kept him grounded to reality.

“There’s a different reality on the road,” said DeGraw of a singer/songwriter’s life on tour. “When you come off the road, you kinda have to come off the road and just be normal, and then go, ‘Whoa, something very f’ed up happened to me today,’ and other people are like, ‘What do you think we all go through man?’”

Unfortunately for DeGraw, that “f’ed up” thing happened Monday morning, and proved another perception of a musician’s life incorrect.

“It’s funny talking with musicians about their schedule, and then you talk to someone who has a real job, and they’re like, ‘That’s your schedule? I wish I had that schedule.’”

Tonight, the only thing being wished upon is prayers for DeGraw and his family, as he recovers. The pop star was previously scheduled to rejoin Maroon 5 and Train Tuesday evening in Saratoga Springs, NY, and was slated to perform on “Live! With Regis and Kelly” Wednesday morning. As of press time, there was no word from J Records on the cancellation or rescheduling of either appearance.

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