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I went back home to Western New York over the weekend and was out at a pub. A friend asked me, “Do you want a Huggie-Bomb?” I’m usually not a fan of anything at a bar that requires a step-by-step manual, but then he pointed to the bartender. I looked down and saw this…

Yes, that was an actual Hugs drink. No, I will not elaborate on any other ingredient that may or may not have been poured in.

While in-studio Thursday on “The Ralphie Radio Show”, singer Fefe Dobson revealed that she is working with an acting coach to prepare for an on-camera role with label mate/singer Ne-Yo.

“I can’t give too much information!” Dobson teased after dropping the R&B crooner’s name. “We get to work together and it’s gonna be awesome and you’ll see it soon.”

You could speculate that perhaps Dobson will appear in Ne-Yo’s music video for his new single, “Beautiful Monster.” The only scenario that Fefe ruled out was a possible cameo in her music video for “Ghost” as she says the final product is finished and will be shown to the masses next week.

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American Idol judge Kara Dioguardi and singer/songwriter/guitarist Kevin Rudolf collaborated to write the track with Dobson, who is pushing it to radio as her next single from Joy. Dobson also noted that her sophomore album, which initially had a June release set, is now postponed until August 17.

“Yunno, we just got the single going and you need a certain amount of time to have a lead up,” explained Dobson as to the project’s delay.

The Canadian-born singer currently finds herself back on a radio promo tour to stir up interest for the record – similar to 2003, when she played radio shows, made TV cameos, and opened for the likes of Justin Timberlake. But despite the time passed, Dobson finds that radio disc jockeys and program directors still remember her from the days of “Take Me Away” and “Everything.”

“I’m going in and people are like, ‘I was at this station, now I’m here and it’s good to see you again,” said Dobson. “But I also want to reintroduce myself… because I’m a different person, I’m grown up and (my) music’s changed, and you have to reintroduce that and yourself as an artist.”


BTW, this is the photo that Ralphie showed Dobson from when he first met her in the spring of 2004.


In addition to traveling across the nation to different radio stations within the past couple of months, Dobson has also performed at events for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, and toured with Hedley and Boys Like Girls. Mix in the radio promo, acting classes, and personal time – and it’s a little easier to understand why Dobson didn’t want to drink any alcohol last Wednesday at Kevin Rudolf’s CD release party in New York.

“I ordered myself a Diet Coke,” proclaimed Dobson. “And the woman gave it to me for free, because it was a Diet Coke, and she probably thought I was lame.”

The wait is almost over for legions of Goo Goo Dolls fans everywhere: the Buffalo, NY band completed its ninth studio LP, for real this time.

“I’m going to New York tomorrow to do the mastering, so I guess it’s finished,” revealed lead singer John Rzeznik. The front man along with fellow founding band mate Robby Takac sat down on “The Ralphie Radio Show” Sunday afternoon. Takac added that he’s heard a June release is planned, but is unaware of an official date. The LP is entitled, Something for the Rest of Us.

Even though the band has sold over nine million albums in the states alone, the standard for a successful LP hasn’t changed too much.

“I think at this point it’s one of those things where, you just have to be satisfied with the work that you did, and hope that you craft it into something that you’re proud of,” said Rzeznik. He then reaffirmed his first statement, but added, “That’s fine, but it would be really nice if it sold a bunch of copies. That always helps. If it gets on the radio… but, we’ll see what happens.”

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Yes, the music landscape has changed quite a bit since the ’96 release of Let Love In. In an interview last September with The Buffalo News, Takac noted that radio isn’t “there the way they were before.” Certainly the influence of the medium has decreased a little, but Rzeznik feels the airplay can still play an instrumental role in the band’s success moving forward.

“Even if you don’t sell a lot of records, getting played on the radio, yunno, keeps your touring business going and then you get out and play, make a living on the road.”

When I caught up with The Goo Goo Dolls, the band was in the midst of doing exactly that. The Goos extended the current tour to over 40 dates, playing mostly smaller, theater-type venues. Rzeznik confirmed that after the LP’s release, summer dates at primarily outdoor venues will be announced.

Coincidentally enough, my third concert ever found me sitting on the lawn of Artpark in Lewiston, NY watching The Goo Goo Dolls – right before Dizzy Up the Girl hit stores, in August of 1998. If I need another reason to head back home and visit the parents, Rzeznik did confirm that the show for the nearby Darien Lake Performing Arts Center is already booked.

The self-proclaimed “Princess of Poughkeepsie” extended her reign upstate over the weekend. Nicole Polizzi, better known as “Snooki” from MTV’s “Jersey Shore”, snagged just under $10,000 for two club appearances on Thursday and Friday in Western New York.

According to three different sources, speaking to “The Ralphie Radio Show” on the condition of anonymity, Snooki appeared early Friday morning at Whiskey River, a night club in Niagara Falls, NY. Patrons were charged up to $25 at the door for admission. The reality show star didn’t arrive until approximately 1:30 a.m., only showing face to the crowd for around 15 minutes. The appearance made her $5,000 richer.

Bars close in Niagara Falls at 2 a.m. on Thursday. Earlier in the evening, Snooki made a guest appearance at a teen night in nearby Rochester. The promoter, who was in charge of making sure Polizzi made the hour and a half commute, blamed the tardiness on inclimate weather.

The following night, Snooki hosted a party at Pure Nightclub, located in downtown Buffalo. Polizzi danced with friends and hosted a “best abs” contest. Although her appearance lasted about two hours, Snooki stayed at the nightclub until 4 a.m., which is last call in Buffalo, dancing and drinking with friends in a V.I.P. area.

Snooki flew cross country later that morning, arriving in Los Angeles to co-host MTV’s red carpet coverage of The Grammy’s on Sunday.

So I went back home to Western New York for Christmas.

That’s my nephew Joey rockin’ the Yankees Dugout Jacket that Grampa Ralph bought him. The full Facebook album is here.

only saturday night and sunday afternoon, due to the battery in my camera dying…

facebook album is here.
p.s. – that’s my nephew – the coolest dude i know, and a diehard yankees fan.
and i finally posted the photos here.