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A band is only going as far as its lead singer can take it. In the case of Train, that explains the seemingly non-stop run that the trio has been on since 2009. Front man Pat Monahan is one of the most durable singers in the business; known for performing two acoustic showcases and a full band live set in a day’s work. But as Monahan found out last week, he is still human.

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“I had to get on this steroid,” revealed Monahan of medical treatment he received after he essentially burned out during a stretch of holiday show performances. “I’ve never had to do before. I’ve heard about other singers doing it but, I just was incapable of singing.”

Not wanting to cancel on Train’s fans, the physical ailment didn’t stop Monahan from trying. But once the singer lost his voice mid-show in Tennessee, he knew that it was time to seek help.

“I’m in the league of, the more I use (my voice), the better it gets,” he explained. “It’s more like practice than it is singing incorrectly.”

Monahan has used his voice quite a bit as of recent, and not just for performing in arenas. In addition to a hectic year-end schedule that included a guest spot during the Miss Universe Competition, a music video shoot for “Mermaid” and a collaboration with the “Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition,” Train recently stopped by Sandy-ravaged Sea Bright, NJ. The band performed for storm victims at the local fire hall to raise awareness and funds for the recovery efforts. Footage of the show will be broadcasted Christmas Day on VH1.

“Before what happened in Connecticut, (Sandy) was the one, profound heartbreaking event in my life,” Monahan said. “Sea Bright was closed down. You couldn’t even get in. There were places that were on the beach that are now behind buildings. There’s not one business that works currently. Many people don’t have homes. Everything is bad there.”

It seems the benefit show affected Monahan positively, as he hinted at possibly lending a helping hand (or voice) to Newtown, Conn. in 2013.

“My pursuit is not to make more and more money,” Monahan said. “It’s to make a difference in somebody’s life.”

Monahan continued, citing the letters he received from people who were moved by “Hey, Soul Sister.”

“I don’t know how to write about these events and make people feel better, but man I have to do something,” he said. “I certainly would like it to be better for people.”

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I don’t mind the tape delay and Pat, if you listen to this, I’m sorry.

Gavin DeGraw has found living a “normal” life has afforded him more experiences to write songs from, something he says will be apparent when Sweeter is released on September 20. However, attempting to live like everyone else may have lead to an alleged incident on Monday morning, in which the singer was brutally beaten by a group of men.

“When someone says, ‘Oh well maybe you’re not on tour for a year or so, you’re in New York hanging out, watching bands and things like that,’ that’s so important to me as a writer,” DeGraw shared with me on his tour bus Saturday afternoon. “That’s my real life; otherwise I’d just be sitting here on the bus, singing songs about traveling all the time.”

But don’t let him mislead you: DeGraw is doing his fair share of traveling. He played a show in Camden, NJ with Maroon 5 and Train on Friday night. The next evening, DeGraw departed from the tour to headline a small show just outside of Scranton, PA. Sunday night, the “I Don’t Wanna Be” singer rejoined with M5 and Train for a date at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods in Mashantucket, CT.

DeGraw, a Manhattan resident, returned home Sunday evening. According to a report in the New York Post, he was assaulted around 4 in the morning, after leaving some friends at a bar. The singer suffered a broken nose and facial cuts before stumbling 13 blocks. Still dazed, a cab struck an injured DeGraw as he was trying to flee. He eventually made it to Bellevue Hospital, where a rep for the artist told TMZ, who broke the story, that DeGraw is stabilized and under doctors’ supervision.

Almost two days prior, DeGraw was all smiles on his tour bus in Jermyn, PA. The stop was one of just a handful of headlining shows for the Upstate New York-born singer. Perhaps it was growing up in South Fallsburg, NY that kept him grounded to reality.

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“There’s a different reality on the road,” said DeGraw of a singer/songwriter’s life on tour. “When you come off the road, you kinda have to come off the road and just be normal, and then go, ‘Whoa, something very f’ed up happened to me today,’ and other people are like, ‘What do you think we all go through man?’”

Unfortunately for DeGraw, that “f’ed up” thing happened Monday morning, and proved another perception of a musician’s life incorrect.

“It’s funny talking with musicians about their schedule, and then you talk to someone who has a real job, and they’re like, ‘That’s your schedule? I wish I had that schedule.’”

Tonight, the only thing being wished upon is prayers for DeGraw and his family, as he recovers. The pop star was previously scheduled to rejoin Maroon 5 and Train Tuesday evening in Saratoga Springs, NY, and was slated to perform on “Live! With Regis and Kelly” Wednesday morning. As of press time, there was no word from J Records on the cancellation or rescheduling of either appearance.

This is the whole reason why “YouTube Tuesday” was created in the first place – to showcase cool videos with great audio that are on YouTube but that you may not be aware of.

Daryl Hall – one half of the legendary Hall & Oates, invites famous musicians over to his house for jam sessions, which he professionally films and uploads to his website and YouTube. Some of the more interesting collaborations include…

Kevin Rudolf

Train

and Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump

He’s happy for the band. He thinks they’re great guys. He admires their success and their comeback. But if Advertising professional Keith Stoeckeler got his way, Train’s “Hey, Soul Sister” would never grace another commercial again… ever.

“The song has been completely oversaturated and I was just tired of it,” Stoeckeler said Wednesday on “The Ralphie Radio Show.” “I think it just came to a boiling point one weekend where two commercials back to back featured the song and I said, ‘Yunno what? We have got to do something about this.’”

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With that, Stoeckeler launched StopAdvertisingFromPullingATrain.info. The New York City native uses the blog to highlight other points of Train’s oversaturation while taking part in a little good-hearted ribbing of the band and its success. But don’t mistake him: Stoeckeler really wants companies to cease the use of “Hey, Soul Sister” in its ads, and he’s making progress.

“I’ve been hearing from other industry peers that the blog has shown up in internal meetings when one might suggest the Train song,” he revealed of his site, which has been featured in a number of trade publications and on CNN. “Again, not my point, but I think we’re at the point where people who were not aware of the blog now are, and do not want to appear on the blog.”

Despite what you may read on the blog or perceive his comments to be, Stoeckeler insists if he ever met Pat Monahan, Jimmy Stafford, and Scott Underwood – he’d be cordial.

“I would say congratulations, I mean let’s be honest. The legs that they’ve taken with this song have been insurmountable,” he said. “I’m sure they didn’t set out to be the number one iTunes song – so congratulations and kudos to them. But, it’s time to stop.”

Unfortunately for Stoeckeler, that seems far from the case – as Train’s “Marry Me” continues to gain online exposure and radio spins in the early part of 2011. But, at least he’ll continue to have material to blog about.

That might not be an airplane in the night sky you see Sunday during the MTV Video Music Awards. Actually, it could just be B.o.B himself shooting through the air.

“I’m still waiting to hear back about my space boots that I’m supposed to be wearing,” revealed the “Nothin’ On You” emcee during an interview on “The Ralphie Radio Show.” “Basically, (the space boots) flip the polarization of whatever you’re standing on so that you actually float.”

B.o.B was unsure if he’d have them in time for Sunday, but joked that if he did, he would wear nothing but those on stage. It’s fitting that he’s attempting to wear space boots, given that he’s nominated to win five “Moon Men” at Sunday’s VMAs.

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Certainly the rapper doesn’t need astronaut shoes to feel he’s on “Cloud 9” these days. With a number one album and a handful of big hits spawning from it, 2010 has been good to B.o.B. The success is only yielding more opportunities, one of which could make for an interesting collaboration with the band Train.

“We actually did a few shows together, and I really got to learn a lot about just everything that I’m in and everything that I’m doing because Train, they had a really big hit also like, a few years back. So for them, this is like, round two,” he explained. “I learned a lot from them so; hopefully… you never know… something could emerge!”

The emcee revealed him and Train’s Pat Monahan “have definitely talked” about teaming up in the studio – now it’s just a matter of finding time. B.o.B believes that “once the dust settles” on their current schedules, the two will work something out.

The debate is on: is Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler a good replacement for Simon Cowell as a judge on “American Idol”? Season 8 winner Kris Allen thinks Tyler can sit in the chair, and perhaps add even more of an intimidation factor to the show’s contestants.

“(Tyler’s) a great singer himself, so, you didn’t have to deal with that with Simon,” Allen noted. “You know, Steven Tyler can go, ‘Hey, I’m better than you.’” You can say, ‘You can’t do that Simon,’ but you can’t say that to Steven Tyler.”

Allen sat next to Tyler once at a concert, and only has high praise for the Hall of Famer.

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“I definitely think he’s been in the business long enough to do it,” said Allen, approving of the notion that Tyler would sit at the table this season. “He’s an interesting person… seemed like a nice guy.”

The “Idol” alum isn’t such a bad guy either – 2010 has seen him travel to both Haiti and Rwanda on charity missions. I informed Allen that Wyclef Jean would probably be running for president of Haiti (he ended up officially declaring his candidacy later in the week).

“I think he cares about it. I think he cares a lot,” said Allen. “Maybe it’d be a really great thing, I mean, I know that their government was really messed up before so, I think he probably has the vote considering his popularity.”

In the States, its Allen’s popularity that has kept him busy this summer – touring with Barenaked Ladies and Keith Urban while promoting his new single, “The Truth”, which features Train lead singer Pat Monahan. Allen informed me on “The Ralphie Radio Show” that he’s been too busy to even commence construction on his new home in Arkansas.

Sure he warns that he’ll break (break, b-break break) your heart on his hit single – but what Taio Cruz didn’t tell you is that he’ll spoil you first, with sweets galore.

“The only vice I have is sugar,” admitted Cruz, calling in to “The Ralphie Radio Show” from his hotel room in New York on the day his album Rokstarr was released in the states. “I just love things that are sweet… girls love me because I love chocolate, cake, sweets.”

Lure them in with candy, stomp their hearts into a bunch of itty-bitty pieces. Cruz created quite the formula there – but only the former happens in real life. The latter is only sung about on his chart-topping song “Break Your Heart” – however women seem to look past the potential heartbreak and on to the honesty of the record.

“I guess women kind of like a bad boy to an extent,” noted Cruz. “I’ve had loads of messages saying, ‘Will you please break my heart?’”

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Although I didn’t press about any personal heartbreak – I did bring up the troubles his song brought to Train, who couldn’t find the top of the iTunes chart with “Hey, Soul Sister” for weeks because of Taio’s debut in the states.

“(Laughing) Wow, that’s cool, that’s the first I’m hearing about that,” responded Cruz when I informed him of Train’s Twitter plea to the singer to relent the top spot on iTunes, if even for a minute. “I mean, I guess their call was answered somehow.”

The two may find themselves in a battle again soon – Train is headed back to radio with “If It’s Love” while Cruz follows up his first single with “Dynamite” and the Ke$ha-assisted “Dirty Picture.”

You heard him belt these out on “The RRS”… here are the videos of adorable five year-old “Toothless” Jack… for crying out loud, a label needs to sign this kid STAT!

Train – “Hey, Soul Sister”

Adam Lambert – “Whattaya Want From Me”

In an interview that aired Monday on “The Ralphie Radio Show” – the band Train confirmed that they’ll hit the road this summer with John Mayer.

“I think we might be back (in Northeast PA), with John,” confirmed lead singer Pat Monahan. “I think we’re gonna do a handful of dates with him in this part of the country. We’re really excited about that.”

The tour revelation is just another chapter in the on-going saga of the San Francisco trio’s comeback. After a three year hiatus – Train released Save Me San Francisco last year. “C.S.I. New York” featured the band along with the single, “Hey, Soul Sister.” Radio picked up on it soon after – and now the Train is traveling the country again, selling out theaters, with plans yonder.

“Radio really did everything for us,” Monahan said. “C.S.I. kinda took it to a different place.”

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But the group is embracing both traditional media and social networking sites, such as Twitter. Train revealed that all three members update the official Twitter page, while guitarist Jimmy Stafford noted that such things are now a necessity.

“It’s a different world now,” Stafford said. “People buy their music on-line, and it’s a whole new way for us to stay in touch with our fans.”

The comeback brings a group of fresh fans from a new generation or music lovers and artists, alike. Recently in an interview with MTV News, Orianthi counted herself as one of those Train supporters.

“That’s really cool – you know what I think is happening is we’re all kind of fans of each other these days,” remarked Monahan. “We want each other to do well. Orianthi is an amazing talent, and were psyched for her too. So yunno instead of, ‘Hey man, she’s taking up my space on the CD case,’ it’s like, ‘Let’s do something together!’”

So who knows, maybe a Train/Orianthi collaboration is right around the corner? But, surely Train doesn’t have to worry about Orianthi taking their space on a compact disc case… now iPod space – that could be a different story.