In this week’s edition of “Trend Hungry Tuesday” – Resident Fashionista Jessie Holeva chatted about a trend that speaks for itself: wearing words.

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



On Friday’s “Weekend Scoop,” we checked in with People. Staff Writer Patrick Gomez called from Los Angeles and talked about the mag’s cover story regarding Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert’s divorce.
Gomez also chatted about People’s interview with “Southpaw” star Jake Gyllenhaal.

Even when Taylor Swift is wrong, she eventually gets it right.

The pop star is no stranger to controversy, deservedly or not. But we’ve grown accustomed to Swift not only entering the fray on her own terms: penning a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece, removing her music from Spotify, opining to Apple Music via Tumblr – but also entering in order to right a perceived wrong. Swift set out to correct a few misnomers with her latest album, one of which was that albums still have value.

“I’ve always been very optimistic about music sales and album sales, and to have that optimism kind of rewarded with people going out and buying the album; I was so happy about it,” Swift told me last October, the week she released 1989. “Yunno, I would look a little ridiculous if I was just going out for the last two years going, ‘No, people still care about albums!’ And then my album comes out and everybody’s like, ‘Well we don’t care about yours.’”

Over five million albums sold later, it’s clear they care. The LP has also spawned a few GRAMMY nominations, a slew of hardware at May’s Billboard Music Awards and now nine MTV Video Music Award nods. All but one of Swift’s nominations are for the “Bad Blood” music video, which premiered at the start of the aforementioned BBMAs and features Kendrick Lamar a slew of celebrities/Swift’s “squad.” The piece broke Vevo’s 24-hour view record, previously held by Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” video.

But unlike “Bad Blood,” Minaj’s video didn’t receive a “Video Of The Year” look. Enter, controversy.

Minaj took to Twitter and voiced her displeasure over the snub, noting that when “’other’ girls drop a video that breaks records” and it “celebrates women with very slim bodies,” you receive a VOTY nomination.

Swift perceived the tweets as a direct jab and responded by reminding Minaj that she’s done “nothing but love and support” her, and that it’s unlike the rapper “to pit women against each other.” The “Shake It Off” singer later tweeted that she would want Minaj to join her on stage if “Bad Blood” wins.

However for once, Swift was wrong. Minaj didn’t care about “Bad Blood” and probably isn’t overly concerned with winning another Moonman. The emcee was speaking to the racial and social injustices that still exist in the music industry.

“I just think we need to have both images for girls,” Minaj told “Good Morning America” Friday. “We can’t have only one type of body being glorified in the media because it just makes girls even more insecure than we already are.”

And if anyone gets that, it’s Swift, who is about as a good of a role model as you’ll find in the public for young women. According to Minaj, the two singers spoke on the phone and cleared the air. Swift also apologized on Twitter.
“I thought I was being called out. I missed the point, I misunderstood, then misspoke,” she wrote. “I’m sorry, Nicki.”

Taylor was right. Again.

I head back home to Niagara Falls, N.Y. every July for my Mother’s church’s picnic. Yes, the home-cooked Armenian food is to die for, but more importantly my Mom appreciates that I make the trek to Western New York for it.
This year when I went home, I tried this novel idea: a vacation without working. As you’ll see, it was glorious.

A storm in Indy delayed the plane that was picking us up at LaGuardia. I jetted off to the Delta Sky Club.

Hashtag delayed.

A photo posted by Ralphie Aversa (@ralphieaversa) on

But we eventually were en route, flying through a gorgeous sunset.

#TheRealMVP is tonight's sunset as I fly west to Buffalo, from about 20,000 feet up. #RalphieTonight

A photo posted by Ralphie Aversa (@ralphieaversa) on

You don’t need to see any Saturday night photos, but know that Sunday started off in grand fashion, and before noon to boot.

Vacation vibes.

A photo posted by Ralphie Aversa (@ralphieaversa) on


Today, was a good day.

A photo posted by Ralphie Aversa (@ralphieaversa) on

The cot my parents have on their back porch is the real MVP.

Vacation vibes continued.

A photo posted by Ralphie Aversa (@ralphieaversa) on

Yeah no complaints.

This vacation is the real MVP.

A photo posted by Ralphie Aversa (@ralphieaversa) on

I think I’ll be heading back home for Labor Day.

Nominations were revealed this past week for the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards. Gotham Magazine Entertainment Editor Juliet Izon chatted about the nominees, some of whom had graced the cover of Niche Media publications over of the past year, for our Friday edition of Weekend Scoop.

This week, I chat with one of my favorite bands, Walk The Moon. You’ll hear Nick, Sean, Eli and Kevin talk about everything from life after a mega-hit to opening for The Rolling Stones. The guys also talk about the next single from Talking Is Hard, “Different Colors,” – and you’ll get to hear that as well.
Hey, Really Excited
Plus – I’m headed back to Niagara Falls this weekend. I explain why and what I’m looking forward to while I spend some time back home with friends and family.

Don’t forget – next weekend I’m participating in Urban Mudder, and all of the money I raise is going to Make-A-Wish. Find out more by clicking here.

The conversation has been ongoing. Third Eye Blind’s Steven Jenkins talked about it in his 1998 hit, “Jumper.” The inspiration for the song was a friend of Jenkins’ who committed suicide by jumping off of a bridge. He 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).

“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.”

Perhaps it is – fast forward to 2015 and indie-rock outfit Walk The Moon is releasing, “Different Colors,” a song about acceptance and unity, to radio.

“It feels really relevant to be playing it right now, and really cool,” guitarist Eli Maiman.

“It’s incredible,” lead singer Nick Petricca added. “We’re just all on the same team out here and it’s cool to feel a part of a movement.”

Maiman noted that the song started as a “rallying cry,” but feels more like a “victory march” when it’s played these days. Again, it’s a reflection of the times – the fact that the movement is deemed “cool” is a step in itself. When you add in the Supreme Court ruling and the light that Caitlyn Jenner is shining on the LGBT community, specifically for Trans people, it is easy to see why the momentum behind equality is stronger than ever.

But as Jenner reminded us Wednesday night at The ESPY Awards, there is plenty of work to still be done. She mentioned Sam Taub, a 15 year-old Transgender boy from Bloomfield, Mich. who committed suicide in April.

“Sam’s story haunts me in particular because his death came just a few days before ABC aired my interview with Diane Sawyer,” Jenner said to the audience. The former Olympian was honored by ESPN with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. “Every time something like this happens, people wonder, ‘Could it have been different, if spotlighting this issue with more attention could have changed the way things happen?’ We’ll never know.”

Jenner admitted that she contemplated taking her own life as well. Now she’s hoping that her actions can help others, if by nothing else, keeping the conversation alive.




In this week’s edition of “Trend Hungry Tuesday” – Resident Fashionista Jessie Holeva talked about a trend she has seen on a lot of A-listers recently, matching separates.

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

The buzz continues to build, the schedule continues to fill up and the guys that comprise Walk The Moon continue to find themselves in an album cycle that admittedly they want to see stretch out for as long as possible. When you look at what has happened in 2015 to the group, you really can’t blame them.

“Shut Up and Dance” is in serious contention for “Song of the Summer.” The band’s next single from its sophomore album Talking Is Hard will be “Different Colors,” an anthem of different gravitas but near-equal jubilation. And the Cincinnati-quartet is playing all types of stages: as headliners, as supporters for The Rolling Stones and as performers on “Good Morning America” and at MLB’s Home Run Derby in their home city. At this point (or at least the day after their date in Detroit with Mick, Keith and the boys), lead singer Nick Petricca credited “caffeine and adrenaline” with fueling the band, but downplayed any changes of seismic proportions in the group.

“We’ve always kept ourselves working around the clock, so in a way not much has changed,” he told me on “Ralphie Tonight.” “I think we’re going to see the results (of the single’s success) the next time we tour.”

Walk The Moon has already noticed a change in the crowd at shows, especially when those opening notes of “Shut Up” hit the speakers. But their last headlining tour sold out before the song became inescapable.

That’s not to say the single’s success hasn’t brought about other change.
“I get a whole lot more texts now saying, ‘Hey, I heard “Shut Up and Dance” in X-Y-Z bizarre situation,” noted guitarist Eli Maiman. “So like – ‘I heard it at Cardinals Stadium in St. Louis, or I heard it in Victoria’s Secret this morning.’

“And I’m like, ‘Mom, why are you telling me this?’”

When the laughter subsided, WTM told me that they also want to collaborate with other artists they enjoy; Petricca said the band hasn’t “sold a song” to anyone yet but they have written with other musicians, and Maiman teased a possible Walk The Moon-feature for another singer could be released soon.

The lead singer also mentioned that there’s a chance fans could hear some new material from the group later this year. At the moment the focus is on “Different Colors,” a song that started as a rallying cry but with recent news events such as the Supreme Court’s lifting of same-sex marriage bans, has turned in to more of a “victory march.” The single celebrates diversity and aims to unite.

“It feels really relevant to be playing it right now, and really cool,” said Maiman.

“It’s incredible,” Petricca added. “We’re just all on the same team out here and it’s cool to feel a part of a movement.”

That idea of community is something that the band can easily be reminded of every night, as they perform in front of thousands of face-painted fans whose sole objective is to have fun. No wonder they don’t want this to end.

In this edition of Weekend Scoop, InStyle Magazine Senior Editor Sharon Clott Kanter called in and talked about the music video debut of Johnny Depp’s daughter Lily-Rose. Also discussed: the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team’s championship parade in Manhattan and a possible collaboration between Jazmine Sullivan and Sam Smith.