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Harry Styles just dropped his new single, a throwback that recalls British artists of yesteryear entitled “Sign Of The Times.” He’ll perform it next weekend on “Saturday Night Live.”

I jokingly asked Michael Che, the SNL star who co-anchors the “Weekend Update” desk, if he is receiving any extra ticket requests due to the One Directioner’s forthcoming appearance.

“Well I’ll be honest with you, most of my family are African-American, so they’re not huge Harry Styles fans believe it or not,” the comedian quipped back. “There might be some!

“Nobody’s hit me up yet. It’s not like Drake!”

Che walked the red carpet at The Garden Of Laughs comedy show benefiting Madison Square Garden’s Garden Of Dreams Foundation. He thought it was important to support ‘SNL’ cast-mate Leslie Jones along with some of his other friends, like Chris Rock and Tracy Morgan.

“Typically on a Tuesday we would be in the middle of writing and we wouldn’t come up for air until Wednesday, sometime in the daytime,” Che explained of the typical schedule during a show week. “SNL” had last week off; it returns this weekend with host Louis C.K. and musical guests The Chainsmokers. Jimmy Fallon takes over hosting duties next Saturday, when Styles is set to perform.

As for Che, he will tour behind his Netflix special “Michael Che Matters” this June, with the trek’s first stop in Boston. Some New Englanders weren’t exactly thrilled earlier this year when during a “Weekend Tonight” segment about the Super Bowl, the comedian referred to Boston as “the most racist city I’ve ever been to.”

“You know what’s so funny? I have so much fun in Boston as far as performing shows,” Che told me. “I love performing in Boston.”

Just two weeks ago he headlined a show at Boston University and according to the Boston Globe, refused to apologize for his remarks because, “I’m just trying to be more presidential.”

Ironically, you could call that a sign of the times too.

Adam Friedman performed an acoustic version of his single “Lemonade” and then chatted about working with Mike Posner on the track and going to school at Berklee with Charlie Puth.
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Maria Menounos was born in Massachusetts and has had no problem representing and supporting New England’s professional sports teams on local and national platforms. So did she really not know about all of those reports surrounding the Red Sox and their clubhouse antics, or was she simply playing coy as to not upset anyone in the organization? Watch the video for yourself and judge.

Boston born and New Kids on the Block singer Donnie Wahlberg has a sunny disposition on the Red Sox’s offseason.

“In 2003, we lost game seven (of the American League Championship Series)… Grady Little and Pedro Martinez stayed in the game too long. Everyone thought it was the end of the world,” Wahlberg explained last weekend on the red carpet of Mohegan Sun’s 15th anniversary in Uncasville, CT. “We cleaned house, came back, and won the World Series. And that’s what’s going to happen next year.”

The BoSox have parted ways with their Manager and General Manager, amidst all types of reports on the activities of some players in the clubhouse during the Red Sox September slide, a slump which saw the team relinquish playoff contention. Thankfully for Wahlberg, his fall hasn’t been tumultuous whatsoever. NKOTB just announced a European tour, while the actor focuses on his CBS drama, “Blue Bloods” and newly opened restaurant, Wahlburgers, which is located near Boston.

Boston-born singer Michael Africk has been around the block a few times, and by block, I mean world. The former teen superstar opened for N’Sync, Britney Spears, and the Backstreet Boys. How in was the singer with these acts? None of them made him sign a confidentiality agreement. Africk also made a huge name for himself in Japan, playing sold out shows and becoming a sushi connoisseur of sorts in the process.

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Now, Africk is marking his return with “Make it Loud” – an uplifting dance track that he called in to chat about on “The Ralphie Radio Show.”


It wouldn’t be correct to compare this first guy to Ted Williams, the voice-over talent who rose to YouTube stardom and national prominence earlier this year. First, he is talented not for a God-give gift but for the three, yes, three degrees he’s earned. Second, he doesn’t have an addiction problem. Check out his story below.

Next, shout out to our brave men and women in the Armed Forces, specifically the Air Force, regardless of if they can cover Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” or not.

Speaking of covers, where’s KanYe West when you need him? JUST KIDDING TAYLOR SWIFT – who BTW, SMILES as she sings her rendition of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.” I’d expect nothing less.

Just because Martin Johnson tweets, doesn’t mean the Boys Like Girls front man thinks the micro-blogging service is doing anyone any good.

“I think Twitter is really stupid,” said Johnson during an interview on The Ralphie Radio Show. I chatted with the lead singer and guitarist Paul DiGiovanni before another stop on BLG’s headlining fall trek with Cobra Starship. “I think it’s ruining America’s youth.”

Quickly I retorted that Johnson himself owns an account, with over 35,000 “followers.”

“You have to do a Twitter if you’re in a band… keep people updated,” explained Johnson. “Dude, people don’t talk to each other anymore. You go to a show, and kids, like, are texting each other… it’s scary man.”

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I asked Johnson if he’s apprehensive to send out updates, or is even tempted to cancel his account all together. He began to answer before cutting himself off, admitting that he can become “preachy” and “annoying” about the subject. DiGiovanni then chimed in.

“It’s just another way for people to communicate with each other and contact each other,” said the guitarist. “I don’t think it’s gonna be bad.”

Social networking and it’s affect on our country wasn’t the only subject spoken about during the interview. Of course, the guys talked about the latest single from Love Drunk, “Two Is Better Than One”, featuring Taylor Swift.

“It felt, when we made (“Two Is Better Than One”), like it was something special,” revealed Johnson. “The song was fully produced and we were like, ‘It’s missing something so bad,’ and we had been friends with Taylor for a couple years. John (Keefe) actually played on Fearless. So we called her up and asked her to do it, and as soon as we got her voice on there it was just like, ‘Oh man, this is something special.’”

Universal Motown’s Jada stopped by The Ralphie Radio Show to catch up and play the group’s new single, “Breakup Song.”

Jada serenades me on stage at 97 BHT’s Summer Jam.

Part 1: “Breakup Song”

Part 2: Catching up since Summer Jam



Danny Wood didn’t think it would last this long.

“We thought we’d do like 20, 30 shows at best probably, and be home,” Wood confessed. “But we’re very happy it’s gone this long and we’re happy to now be doing the ‘Full Service’ tour.”

New Kids On The Block released The Block in September 2008. The LP marked the boy band’s first studio release in 14 years. After the CD debuted atop the Billboard Pop Charts, NKOTB embarked on a North American tour – then extended the trek to dates overseas. A “fan cruise” last month took the guys with supporters from Miami to the Bahamas. Now, New Kids find themselves on the “Full Service” tour – playing outdoor amphitheaters throughout the summer with opening act Jesse McCartney.

The Boston-born singers themselves didn’t expect this reunion to last in to the summer… but now some are wondering not when will it end, but if it will cease at all?

“We have some plans for next year. I think a new record will probably come in 2011, if we all agree to do that. But, we’re pretty much all on the same page right now. I don’t see this being the last time to see us.”

Wood joked that someone in the group “acting like an asshole,” could prevent the CD release. But, according to him, everyone in the band agreed on that plan for the time being. Still, Wood noted that family situations could play a factor.

“It’s different this time around, so you never know. I mean, I know I never thought my kids would get to see me back on stage. My daughters are with me so, it’s always perfect when they’re here.”

Also with the group is McCartney, a 22-year old pop star that wasn’t alive when NKOTB released its self-titled debut LP in 1986. But apparently, that doesn’t mean the former All My Children actor is seeking out Donnie Wahlberg or anyone in the group for advice.

“You want me to be honest?” Wood asked. “I haven’t seen the dude once. I don’t know… I don’t know. He does a mad dash or he’s hiding or I don’t know.”

Wood seemed a bit bothered, perhaps even offended, in his tone and body language, but insisted that is far from the case.

“I don’t give a shit. He can do whatever he wants, I don’t care,” Wood insisted. “We’re pretty accessible… if you walked around here you’d probably run in to all five of us.”

Give the man credit – I did in fact run in to all the guys at one point or another while backstage. Donnie chatted on his phone. Joey McIntyre walked his puppy. Jordan Knight snapped a photo with me before a Boston Herald phone interview. His brother, Jonathan, attempted to chat on his cell, but of course, coverage can be spotty up on the mountain.

And as for McCartney – Jesse told me later that earlier that day he finally met all five of the guys. The singer blamed a hectic schedule – which even forced him to jet back to Los Angeles at one point – as the reason for his notable absence backstage.

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97 BHT Summer Jam 2009 Artist “Jada” checks in to The Ralphie Radio Show, updating Ralphie on the group’s latest whereabouts while creating a to-do list for Saturday’s show.


Visit Jada on MySpace & Twitter!