On April Fools Day, a band named Lukas Graham with a lead singer named Lukas Graham, nee Forchhammer, will release a self-titled album in the States.

This is not a prank, but as I found out during a recent chat with the band, the guys sure do love to joke around.

“But ‘The Revolvers’ just sounded too 60’s,” Graham shot back when I inquired why the band uses his name instead of something different. He then offered a more serious explanation.

“I write the lyrics. I write the songs. It’s my experience as a human being on this planet Earth that is being portrayed on the record,” Graham said. “So, it’s natural that it’s my name.

“And, my name is prettier.”
Mark Falgren, Magnus Larsson and Kasper Daugaard compromise the rest of the band. Perhaps even in jest he had a point.

“We all get caught up in the live show,” Graham revealed regarding the emotions of his music. The band’s U.S. tour kicks off later this month and runs through the end of May. Most dates are sold out. “We have a lot of songs about my father and my family but also songs about having fun and being drunk in the morning and going to strip clubs or taking the world by storm.

“We can influence each other with our music and our expressions on stage to be three-and-a-half minutes in one emotional setting, and then switch it up completely in the next three-and-a-half minutes.”

The band mates, from Denmark, have known each other since high school and have never strayed through trials and triumphs.

“In a song on the album called ‘Happy Home,’ I wrote, ‘All my good friends, now they’ll last; the same ones that stood by me when my daddy passed,’ Graham told me. “After my father passed, we went straight back on tour and I had three of my very best friends there with me to back me up and to give me all the inspiration to write, ‘7 Years,’ ‘Funeral,’ ‘Don’t You Worry About Me.’”

The track “7 Years” is currently gaining steam at radio, breaking in to the top 20 on the pop airplay chart this week for the first time. Graham said in an interview with Official Charts that the song is about the past, present and future of his life. But as Graham sings about himself as a 7, 11 and 20 year-old and looks ahead to 30 (he’s currently 27), he ends the ballad by musing about what life might be like at 60. And he won’t go any further.

Because his father died three years ago, at 61. And until Lukas lives past it, he won’t believe it.

I met Paul O’Neill in May of 2009 at the now-closed Crowne Plaza in Secaucus. He was one of a number of former Yankees participating in an autograph signing held by memorabilia company MAB Celebrity.

If you have never been, basically you show up and purchase a ticket which allows you to obtain an autograph on an item of your choosing (you can provide said item or buy one there) from an athlete.
Of course, being 30, I remember the ‘96 team and made some of my first trips to both Manhattan and Yankee Stadium during the championship run from 1998 to 2000. Growing up in Niagara Falls, I would also frequently drive up to Toronto so I could watch the Yankees play the Blue Jays in the then-SkyDome.

Anyone who followed those teams loved Paul O’Neill. He was as George Steinbrenner so notoriously dubbed him, “The Warrior.” He always left it all on the field and certainly racked up his fair share of clutch hits and memorable moments in route to helping the Bombers secure four World Series championships.

On the field, he was as intense as they come (just ask the water coolers in the dugouts that felt his wrath following a strike out or missed opportunity). But off the field, O’Neill is now known as a pretty fun-loving guy, mostly due to the personality he showcases as a color commentator in-game on the YES Network.

So when I met him, I asked him why Michael Kay and the other guys in the booth rib on him so much for always talking about collecting free swag, like clothes and equipment. He got a kick out of that and we had a good laugh before he signed my 8×10.
If I ran in to O’Neill tomorrow, I’d ask him something similar: perhaps jokingly inquiring how he puts up with Kay and David Cone for a full season of broadcasts. Maybe I would want to discuss what the team’s chances of a playoff run are this year. I might even see if he has any favorite spots in my neighborhood, the Upper West Side.

You know what I wouldn’t ask him? His views on politics. Want to know why? I don’t care, and quite frankly it’s none of my business.

As a fan that buys tickets and merchandise and invests time in to following the team, the only thing O’Neill “owed” me and anyone else in Yankees Universe was effort and integrity. I wasn’t supporting him because I thought he was going to lower taxes and feed the homeless, I cheered for him because I wanted the Yankees to win. That’s something we received from “The Warrior” ten-fold. He helped bring us four rings and never compromised the Yankee tradition us fans adore.

But the overriding issue here is the lack of perspective we have in regards to the opinions we value. The guy we’re talking about is a retired baseball player. He is not an elected official, nor does he work in the public sector. He’s an American citizen who talks about sports on TV. I love Paul O’Neill, but like the Starbucks red cups had zero effect on my celebration of Christmas, number 21’s pick for President will have no impact on my own political views.

If O’Neill ever cheated or abused drugs or committed an act of domestic violence, then I’d certainly revisit his canonization in the Bronx. I’d lead the way on the “Appall O’Neill” headlines. But until then, I’m not holding O’Neill’s political preferences against him the same way I’m not judging Mayor de Blasio based on his baseball allegiances or for that matter, judging “The Boss” over who he liked to hang around with in his day.

Because you know Trump and Steinbrenner were good friends, right?

Erin Andrews is a victim who found justice in our legal system. But judging by the way people reacted online following a $55 million verdict in a lawsuit she filed against the owner of the Marriott at Vanderbilt University and the man who stalked her across two different cities, you’d think the sportscaster had just gotten away with murder.

Back in 2008, Andrews was secretly videotaped through a compromised hotel door peephole by a pervert who was eventually convicted of interstate stalking. The perpetrator, Michael David Barrett, served 30 months in prison. But his ability to easily find out Andrews’ room number and then book his stay next door is the reason the TV host named both the hotel and Barrett in her lawsuit.

A jury in Nashville, where one of the incidents took place, sided with Andrews. When the defense is as incompetent as the hotel’s legal team was, it is not difficult to understand why she won. Attorneys for the Marriott’s owners, West End Hotel Partners and Windsor Capital Group, actually had the gall to argue in court that the leaked video of Andrews’ naked body helped her career.

The idea that Andrews, who since the tape’s release moved from ESPN to Fox Sports and also picked up “Dancing With The Stars” co-hosting duties, was helped by this criminal act is irrelevant. The idea that a person could prey on someone in a hotel and the company’s counsel would actually try and defend the act is reprehensible. Thankfully jurors in Nashville sent a clear message to the hospitality industry: the privacy and safety of guests is and should always be a priority.

That message, along with hopefully Andrews’ ability to heal from the pain and trauma of this incident, is the true value of this verdict. However some don’t see it that way, in part because they probably can’t see past Andrews: she’s attractive, successful and scandal-free despite the heinous crime committed against her. It doesn’t matter if her rights are violated and her privacy shredded to pieces because she’s famous and the best at her job, right?

I guess that’s why it made sense for one columnist in the New York Daily News to call the verdict, “a mockery of real pain and genuine suffering.” The author, Gersh Kuntzman, cited the police brutality cases in the deaths of Eric Garner and Freddie Gray. Their families received $5.9 and $6.4 million respectively.

Kuntzman doesn’t believe it is fair for Andrews to receive that kind of money from a jury when the verdicts for more serious cases are far less. Had Andrews won a $55 million settlement because she was mistreated by police, maybe he would have a point. Perhaps someone gave him some bad information, but hopefully by now he has been informed that these cases have nothing to do with each other.

(Ed note: TMZ reported Andrews will probably take home about $6 million after the appeal is settled and the legal beagles receive their cut; not that her take-home in any way is relevant to either the verdict or cases of police brutality.)

Kuntzman, Fox News legal analyst Arthur Aidala and countless Twitter experts who can’t even throw a name behind their opinion clearly have never experienced such a violation of privacy. The women in their lives must be immune to it as well, because I’d like to think that had this happened to someone they cared about, it wouldn’t be so quickly dismissed as “a mockery.”

Especially considering the verdict came down on the eve of “International Women’s Day.”

Photo: https://www.instagram.com/erinandrews/

Photo: https://www.instagram.com/erinandrews/

Monday was “National Cereal Day”; whatever that means. The hashtag #NationalCerealDay trended on Twitter while users reminisced about cereals they ate growing up and brands they still enjoy today.

Of course, cereal has made headlines recently for reasons other than having its own day: The New York Times published a piece on the decline in breakfast cereal sales, pointing towards millennials as the reason for this trend.

“It’s just too much work, for one thing,” the article, written by Kim Severson, read. “Almost 40 percent of the millennials surveyed by Mintel for its 2015 report said cereal was an inconvenient breakfast choice because they had to clean up after eating it.”

For those who don’t know, millennials are the cause of all wrong in the world: Global Warming, the volatile stock market, rising health insurance costs and Nickelback. Practically every newsroom in America felt they finally had actual substance behind the played out “millennials are lazy” narrative and decided to run with it.
“The baffling reason many millennials don’t eat cereal,” wrote The Washington Post.

“Cereal sales are falling. Is millennial laziness to blame for the breakfast food’s decline?” asked The Republic in Phoenix, Ariz.

“There isn’t a whole lot of work required to make a bowl of cereal but, for many millennials cereal is just too inconvenient,” said Valley News Live in scenic Fargo, N.D.

Keep in mind these outlets that are calling Gen Y lazy are already writing a story based on someone else’s story that happened to include a portion of a study… but I digress.

Let’s just rip the band-aid off Tony The Tiger and get this out of the way: millennials don’t eat cereal because it generally isn’t healthy, is expensive and most certainly is inconvenient.

If you feel the need to then draw the assumption that because of this, millennials are lazy – then fine, that’s your opinion. Don’t play yourself though; you thought this generation was lazy regardless of what they eat to start a day.

The problem is what non-millennials don’t see: college debt, low wages and the end of the traditional 9-to-5 work day. This trend was written about as early as 2011 by Time. With technology, more and more people are connected more frequently to their job. This translates to longer and at times unpredictable hours in an era where decent paying jobs are difficult to come by.

Bottom line: millennials are choosing that cup of yogurt or breakfast bar to-go over cereal because it is healthier, cheaper and will save them a little bit of time in the morning after a long night at the office or before an earlier-than-normal start to the day.

Sorry newsrooms, that’s not lazy. That’s efficient.

When I signed off the radio Friday night, I felt like I was in a bit of a funk. Why? Well, nothing really of significance bothered me; I think I was yearning to just unwind for a few days. For the weekend, I thought the perfect way to accomplish this would be by “unplugging” – staying off of my phone and social networks for 48 hours, beginning at Saturday morning at midnight.

The only exception I made was to periodically check the networks (only Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) for direct messages, in case something was urgent. I did monitor email on my laptop but didn’t respond to anything. Of course, I also turned on my phone occasionally to see if I had any voicemails or text messages, Heaven forbid there be an emergency.

Thankfully, there was not. The plan worked flawlessly and here are 10 things that happened directly because of my absence from social media and text messaging this weekend.

– I ran seven miles.

Now from one perspective, I have to admit that I probably would have run seven miles anyways. But on the other hand, I definitely enjoyed running outside in the park a little more because it was one of the few times I escaped my apartment this weekend. Also, I ran Sunday evening despite a late start, one that could have been prolonged even more had I fallen in to a hole on one of the various social networks.

– I felt less stressed.

There was less clutter in my brain, and I think this contributed to my stress level lowering. Especially with Twitter, I have a tendency to become caught up in every moment, whether that is needed from me or not. It was nice to just watch a sporting event and not feel the need to also watch it along with everyone who has a Smartphone. And contrary to what you may believe, managing personal or brand social networks can be both difficult and time consuming, so it was nice to relieve myself of that stress for the weekend.

– I valued human interaction more.

I broke the “no phone rule” once when I called my buddy Dan because there was a timely piece of information I needed to tell him. Technically the rule stayed intact because I called from my Google number on my laptop but regardless, the 48 hours from my social networks and phone gave me a new appreciation for talking and texting with my friends.

– I prepped my taxes.

This is always on the to-do list after the first of the year, and I finally completed it this weekend, in part because I was distraction free. It was a big undertaking but I’m all-set for my Tuesday appointment at good ‘ole H&R Block.

– I grocery shopped.

First of all, you need to understand that I love grocery shopping. Second of all, you should also know that on Saturday I grabbed items from all three places in the city that I normally use for food: Fairway because of its organic section and snacks, Westside Market which has the best hummus in the city and Amazon Prime Now for water, almond milk and other produce items.
– I cooked!

And while this follows grocery shopping, I actually did not use anything I bought Saturday for the meal I cooked Sunday; rather I had purchased some penne weeks ago and had a lovely red sauce from Marconi Hot Pots on the Upper East Side that I finally threw in a pan. My stove normally serves as the countertop for my Keurig because… single bachelor.
– I barely drank.

This was a big one, especially after last weekend. I made a Bloody Mary while watching Syracuse Saturday, had a few beers while putting my tax materials together that evening and had a glass of wine with Sunday dinner. That’s it. No whiskey. No bar tabs. No late nights of drinking only to be followed by order a copious amount of gluttonous food from my bodega.

– I cleaned my apartment.

A person’s living space is definitely a reflection of their head space. And now that my taxes are prepped, the stray receipts on the coffee table and dresser are to a bare minimum, the clothes are folded and put away and the garbage is outside. Namaste.

– I played a fair amount of Playstation 4.

And I can finally beat the computer in NHL ’16 when playing on the pro level. I’m sure you were reading this whole article just for that piece of information.

– I didn’t miss it.

As I type this, I’m going on 50 hours of not checking Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat. I haven’t texted a soul and sans one person, haven’t called anyone.

Am I curious to see why I have 50 notifications on Twitter? Do I have an urge to respond to some of the text messages I’ve received? Not really. It has nothing to do with the importance of those interactions, but rather the realization that sometimes there is more in life than refreshing Twitter every 2 minutes.

Besides, you should have seen the amount of clean laundry that piled up on my bed…

Model Heide Lindgren and REBUILD Globally founder Julie Colombino stopped by 95.5 to talk about the “Impact Garden” event happening at Madison Square Garden on Monday, March 7. A yoga class will take place on the court at MSG for the first time ever, with shopping, eating, drinking and some hoops to follow. Participants will even have the chance to shoot for a free cruise.
Use the code WELLNESS for BOGO tickets. For more info, click here.

I’ll never forget the second time I met Zendaya. It was in the press room after the 2013 American Music Awards. I had already chatted with Ariana Grande and was waiting for an influx of other big names: One Direction, Taylor Swift and Rihanna to name a few.

The fellas of 1D headed straight to Jimmy Kimmel’s cameras where they taped a skit with Kimmel’s sidekick/security guard Guillermo. I had chatted earlier in the night with both Harry Styles and Niall Horan, so I wasn’t expecting them to stop by again. Rihanna, who Bill Maher presented with the first ever “Icon Award” that evening, walked in to the photo area. Swift was the show’s big winner; she made the rounds before giving me a few minutes of her time.
Towards the end of the night, as Rihanna was heading out of the press room flanked by her entourage and security detail, a then-17 year-old Zendaya was walking in the opposite direction.

The teenager, nee Zendaya Coleman, can recollect what happened next “vividly.”

“(Rihanna) stopped. She gave me a hug and she was like, ‘I love you girl,” an enthusiastic Zendaya recalled when I brought this up to her recently. “She was so positive, so nice.

“It’s so cool for people like her, who obviously are…incredibly successful, empowering women, and on top of that she just stopped to say hi to me. She didn’t have to do that!”

The kindness and humility shown by the “Diamonds” singer certainly left an impression on Zendaya that she now strives to pay forward.

“My thing is, no one will ever catch me not being nice to people,” Zendaya explained. “I don’t ever want somebody not to have a good taste in their mouth about when they met Zendaya or how they felt when they met me.

“I like for people to leave me feeling positive.”

In this week’s edition of “Trend Hungry Tuesday” – Resident Fashionista Jessie Holeva highlighted a trend she saw on the Academy Awards Red Carpet: plunging v-neck dresses.

Visit Trend Hungry to find the latest fashion 411 on a skinny budget, and catch Jessie every Tuesday evening on the air!

Photo: https://www.instagram.com/costafrancisco/

Photo: https://www.instagram.com/costafrancisco/

A weird combination of events led to a string of nights out for me. In perhaps the most evident sign that a good time was had: the amount of photos I have from the weekend is scarce. But regardless, here are a few with context.

So when I signed off the air on Friday night, I headed to the East Village. There is a bar there that I’ve been wanting to have a drink at called Kelly’s. The pub positions itself as a “hockey bar” and specifically as a drinking establishment that supports the Buffalo Bills and Sabres along with the Chicago Bulls and Cubs.

Interesting mix, but I didn’t ask questions. The deep fryers stay on late, the Labatt Blue Light is cold and the Sabres were on a west coast trip – meaning the game didn’t start until 10:30p p.m.

Of course I showed up to support my team, and they even won! A great time along with a few chicken wings were had, and I’m looking forward to returning soon. Afterwards, I bounced around the East Village with a friend before making my way back uptown with a pit-stop at a go-to of mine, Jimmy’s Corner. It’s a dive bar in Times Square and it is fantastic.

It also wouldn’t be the last time I visited that spot over the weekend, although I did finally get to meet THE Jimmy.

On Saturday I made a rare appearance in Brooklyn. I ate thai food in Williamsburg with my old college roommate who I hadn’t seen in forever and his girlfriend who I hadn’t seen period. They have dated now for about two-and-a-half years but due to a number of circumstances, namely travel and schedule, I didn’t meet her until Saturday. She was lovely and it was great to catch up with both of them.

Then I literally walked around the corner from the restaurant to a house party my friend was having for her birthday. The plan? Stay for an hour or so, then head back to the East Village because the Sabres were still on the west coast.

What actually happened? I hailed a cab home around 4 a.m.

Sunday I made my way back to Brooklyn (who am I at this point?) to grab dinner with the birthday girl. We ate at this cozy little spot in Brooklyn Heights called Armando’s; the place has been around since the 20’s and Marilyn Monroe and some of the Dodgers were known to hang out there. We left the restaurant just as the Academy Awards were starting; the fine folks at OK! TV invited us to their viewing party in midtown at Refinery Rooftop, so we obliged.

That is the second and final picture that made its way to the Internet from my weekend. Although after the party I did have yet another opportunity to snap a picture in Jimmy’s Corner, but taking pictures in dive bars usually isn’t my style.

Olympic Gold Medalist and Dancing With The Stars champion Shawn Johnson stopped by to chat about the upcoming AT&T American Cup. The event, which opens the calendar Olympic season for gymnastics, takes place March 4 and 5 at Prudential Center in Newark. Tickets are on-sale now.
Johnson also talked about storing her gold medal and Mirror Ball Trophy away and planning for her wedding this April during our interview.