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I love how the weekend after I visited Toronto, Drake just drops two songs out of nowhere!

Anyways, I was listening to his album “More Life” as my plane made the descent in to Pearson International Airport. After a quick trip through Customs and to the Uber pick-up area, I hopped in an “Uber Select” (nicer than X but not as nice as Black) and headed 20 minutes towards downtown.

I was in Toronto last weekend because of my cousin Shawn. He’s a shooting guard on amateur basketball team called Healthy Buffalo and a couple times throughout the season they play on a NBA court, typically Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland or Air Canada Centre in Toronto. When I was home for Thanksgiving, Shawn and his older brother Chris told me about the Canada date and asked if I was interested in attending. I booked my flight a few weeks later.

Thanks to my plane taxiing on the runway for an hour, Chris (along with his wife, sister-and-law and two kids) and Shawn beat me to the hotel. I met them there, dropped off my bags and we left for the ACC. It was certainly different watching basketball in a nearly-empty, half-lit arena, not to mention it was my first time in this particular venue. Still, it was awesome to see Shawn ballin’ on the same court where later in the evening the Raptors would be taking on Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and the Warriors.

Shawn played great and his team won the round-robin tournament.

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After a late lunch and a quick nap, the three men headed back to the arena for the game. Chris and Shawn had 100 level seats; I was late to the party so I ended up with a seat in 317 that I sat in for player introductions and the first quarter. I spent the rest of the evening in an area called the Draught Deck – full bar, tons of seating and multiple TVs to watch both the game on the court and other sports (Patriots/Titans were on as well).

Oh, then there was the Coors Light virtual reality game that I figured it was necessary to partake in.

Golden State edged out Toronto, I almost drank the arena out of Crown and the three of us headed across the street to this fantastic sports bar called Real Sports. More Crown (for me at least), some appetizers and a check later and we retired to the hotel room.

Rather, Chris and Shawn retired. I had made arrangements to check out Soho House Toronto and I didn’t want to flake on that. Obviously what happens there isn’t for public consumption but I had a great time. The nightcap to the nightcap took place at Cactus Club Café before I wrapped the night in the fashion that every great Canadian night should end.

Poutine, of course.

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Sunday I drove with my family home to see the parents, get one last taste of my Mom’s homecooking and grab a few things I left over the holidays. I flew back early Monday morning, knowingly dreaming of that poutine and unknowingly awaiting new music from Drake.

Simple Plan has been around the block a couple times, but even drummer Chuck Comeau was a little overwhelmed when the band attempted to film its latest music video in an airport.

“The whole video almost collapsed the night before,” the drummer revealed to “The Ralphie Radio Show” while on this year’s Vans Warped Tour. “It was crazy stressful but in the end we got something really great and the funny thing is, we couldn’t play really loud.”

When almost any music video is filmed, the song is played on set in the background so that the artists and sing and play along to it, as if they’re actually playing the track. If you’ve never been on a music video set before, lead singer Pierre Bouvier explained why the low volume mandate proved tricky during the shoot.

“The point is to get (the music) as loud as possible, so you feel like you’re actually playing it,” said the front man. “So you can feel the energy and you don’t feel all ridiculous moving around like you’re rocking out to a little boom box that’s about level two volume.”

Despite the music, the guys are happy with the final product. Simple Plan decided to film the piece for “Jet Lag,” a track from Get Your Heart On!, in Toronto Pearson International Airport. Thankfully for the pop-rockers, they were able to use a terminal closed to the public and under construction. Still, the band was subject to airport security, getting “frisked” anytime they entered or exited the terminal.

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Simple Plan was also thankful for the hotel right next to the airport, which meant Natasha Bedingfield wouldn’t have to travel far from them to record her parts. Bedingfield is on the track and Bouvier said the initial plan was to make the room look as if Bedingfield was at home.

“But, it’s kind of obvious that it’s a hotel room, right?” Pierre asked. “The art department is going to get fired on that one!” he joked.

Comeau added that if you look closely, you can actually see the airport and airplanes out of Bedingfield’s window during the video. Bouvier quickly threw in that the fact would end up on “Pop Up Video,” and it was until that point that the band showed no signs of their first hit coming back in 2002.

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.”

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Universal Motown’s Down With Webster swung through The RRS to perform an acoustic version of “Rich Girl$” & chat about the track.

(Click above download link for interview audio)