Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Musical Ramblings First Podcast Makes Waves... Idol Waves, That Is...

Several of you guys have been bugging me to do a podcast, so I'm gonna do you one better. I'm gonna give you guys a fully produced radio show.

My buddy DJ Kenndawg over at Idol Waves Radio and I are working together to get a weekly show going. Idol Waves, if you've never listened before, is an online station, hosted on Live365, that plays and promotes music recorded by American Idol contestants from every year the show has been on. That means you might hear the latest single from Kelly Clarkson, unreleased tracks from Taylor Hicks, or really just any song that any Idol contestant has produced.

Every week, listeners vote, and a Top 20 chart is tallied. And there's where my show comes in. I'll be counting down the Top 20 songs on Idol Waves week to week, as well as bringing my own personality and commentary to the show.

The first show will be going into production this weekend, and we're shooting for a target air date of Tuesday, September 5, 2006 for the show's premiere! Air times are not yet set, but I'll be filling you in when they are. Kenndawg is handling the logistics and the charting, and I'll be voicing and producing the show.

Again, this will be a weekly show. For the moment, I will be streaming only on Idol Waves Radio, but I will be looking at the logistics of making the shows downloadable so you can enjoy them on your own time!

Keep your ears open. I'll be bringing you updates soon!

(picture courtesy of Ayla Brown, whose album "Forward" will be available on October 17)

Monday, August 28, 2006


Any of you who are auditioning for American Idol in Memphis, listen up! I need someone to tag along with. I want to get a good look at the inside of the audition process. Plus you get the added benefit of having someone who knows the city pretty well and can show you all the great places to go. And you're guaranteed exposure on this blog!

I did have someone to tag along with, but they had to back out.

Email and hook me up!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

News and Notes

I'm up at three in the morning for no good reason whatsoever, so I was trying to pull together a great blog post. However, much of what I came up with didn't sound so good after being typed, so I just thought I'd go over some recent news to catch you guys up!

First off, Mikalah Gordon did decide to go ahead and do the benefit concert for pediatric cancer this weekend, despite the horrific events of the past week. She felt like she needed to sing to keep her spirits up and that not going would be equivalent to letting her attackers get the best of her. Your response to her has been tremendous.

Those of you who have been keeping up with the Idol Interviews for a while will probably remember Brooke Barrettsmith. According to her band's Myspace blog, Brooke has undisclosed good news. She hasn't responded yet to my questions of what exactly the news is, but as Goodbye is no longer booking new shows, my guess is that a solo career can't be far off.

This note was sent out by Chris Daughtry to his fans: 'Sup guys and gals? Just started production on the album yesterday and I'm in the studio again today. Working w/ Howard Benson (My Chemical Romance, Papa Roach, etc.) is amazing. I'm sitting next to my buddy Ed (LIVE) in the studio now, just hangin out getting ready to get started. He's not recording w/ me, just hangin' out. I'll be doing this between shows for the next week or two and hopefully we can get alot done in a short amount of time. Thanks again for all you love, support, and prayers. God bless y'all.-Chris

My blogger buddy, Mack Collier, recently got his "100 CDs for a 100 Bloggers" marketing plan mentioned in The Washington Post. Way to go, Mack!

Jordan Southerland, whose recent Idol Interview can be found in the archives (or by clicking on his name), recently re-auditioned for American Idol in Birmingham, AL. While he couldn't discuss specifics, he let me know that auditions "went great." I think we all can guess what that means.

Vegoose 2006, the concert festival in Vegas, has added several new acts to their lineup. There are also a series of night shows that include Widespread Panic, Dave Matthews, Damian Jr. Gong Marley, and many others. Check their website if you're interested in going.

I recently re-designed Roxie Mae's Myspace for her, with her help, so go take a look. New music from her new album is not up yet, but will be premiering soon. And to clear up the rumor mill, no, Roxie and I aren't dating. We're just really good friends. Not that that would be a bad thing, necessarily... But I digress.

My Myspace friend, Joy Williams, has posted a new article in Radiant Magazine. In it, she talks about her success in the music world, but how that same success led her to ultimately opt out of her recording contract. It's actually a rather interesting take. She's a great writer, and I encourage you all to read her. And yes, that's her in the photo up at the top of this post, courtesy of her Myspace.

And finally, for those of you who have been begging me to do a podcast, I haven't gotten one online yet, but there are currently plans in the works. I'm negotiating with an online radio station that I'll not disclose at the moment, but look for more updates as time goes by. I'm excited about it! you're updated. Enjoy!

Friday, August 25, 2006

"Weird Al" Yankovic - Straight Outta Lynwood release date set

The much anticipated, world-changing release of "Weird Al" Yankovic's latest sweeping epic album is upon us. The Weird One will be but a thin sheet of plastic polymer away from listening goodness on September 26th. And if you can't wait that long to send Al envelopes stuffed with cash, you can go to and pre-order your copy.

The new album will feature parodies of Chamillionaire, Green Day, Usher, and R. Kelly. Idol fans, he will also be paying tribute to Taylor Hicks (and since Taylor's only had one single, I assume it will be a hilarious send-up of "Do I Make You Proud?") Fear not, though. Al is always tasteful and respectful in his parodies.

The CD will also be available in DualDisc format, which includes PCM Stereo, 5.1 Surround and instrumental mixes of the entire album (with on-screen lyrics option), plus a 9-minute behind-the-scenes documentary and 6 BRAND SPANKING JUST-HAD-THE-UMBILICAL-CORD-CUT NEW MUSIC VIDEOS! So there's really no reason for you not to buy this album.

Still unsure? Fine. You're a tough crowd. How about a free download to sweeten the pot? Go to and open the e-card. You will be treated to a video of Al's new single, "Don't Download This Song," which is a scathing commentary on the RIAA and their lawsuits and is completely ironic and hilarious. Of course, on the e-card you are given the option to download the song. (And you should. Nobody will be upset with you if you do.)

Don't want to do it that way? Well, hardheads, you can still go and download it for free at Al's Official Myspace Page. There's absolutely no reason not to.

What you do with the mp3 after that is really none of my business.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

News About Mikalah Gordon

Hey guys and gals,

I'm just sitting here scratching my head, wondering about this world... I'm upset and angry about what happened to Mikalah Gordon yesterday.

All I can tell you is that she's physically okay for the moment, but as you can imagine, there is trauma emotionally. There's not much more I can tell you at this point. I called this morning, and I'll probably call again this afternoon sometime, but out of respect for Mikalah's privacy, I doubt if any of that will be made public.

Just know that she's alright, and those of you who are her friends and are trying to get through to her, her phone's been ringing off the hook, so it may take a while.

God bless you, Mikalah...


I just got off the phone with Mikalah's mom, Victoria. I'm not going to get into much of the conversation, but I do think a couple of things are important to point out so that false rumors don't get started.

Mikalah was in the studio laying down instrumental tracks for the benefit concert she was going to do in Orange County this weekend. During a break, she and a friend stepped outside. As they were standing outside the studio doors, they were accosted by a young man who then drew a gun, cocked the hammer back, and ordered them onto the ground.

As they were getting on the ground, a group of young men joined the first. They groped Mikalah. I want to be clear here: she was NOT raped. She also did not have anything stolen from her. She did look up once, and one of them slammed her head into the concrete because they did not want her looking at them. The only reason that they eventually fled the scene was because Meek started having a panic attack.

Mikalah was unable to identify the attackers. If anybody out there reading this knows anything about the case or can provide information that can aid in the apprehension of these people, please get in touch with Las Vegas Crimestoppers at (702) 385-5555 or If you don't want to contact the police, then email your tips to and I will make sure they get passed along.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Fans of this year's American Idol lot will remember Bobby Bennett from the Top 24. "Copacabana" and all that. Whether you liked him or not, he's a really cool guy, and he just recently tipped me off that he's doing his very first concert. He's excited about it, and I'm happy for him.

So, those of you around the Denver Colorado area please go and show your love for Bobby as he performs.

The name of the show is "Bobby Sings Barry and Broadway," and it goes down on September 24, 2006 at 7PM at Lannie's Clocktower Cabaret. Tickets are $10 online and $12 at the door and may be ordered at or by calling (303) 293-0075, and reservations are recommended as tickets tend to go fast and shows sell out quickly.

For a quick summation of what you'll see, I refer you to the blurb from Lannie's website:
Bobby Bennett makes his cabaret debut appearance at Lannie's!

His name and face are familiar to you if you happened to be one of the millions of fans of American Idol. Bobby was one of the last 12 males standing in the 2006 season, a remarkable feat considering the hundreds of thousands of hopefuls who tried out for the coveted top spots.

Bobby made his impression on American Idol judges... they called him "the showman of the season!"

Tonight he'll take us on a journey through his own musical favorites, all the way from his idol, Barry Manilow, to his favorite Broadway melodies.

Bobby is a showman and passionate about his music. He's got the charm, the chops and as Simon Cowell said, "He's got the likability factor!!"

Paula Abdul said, "You are so passionate in anything you could sing "Old Macdonald" and I'd buy into it" and tough critic Randy Jackson said, "Dawg, if you keep doing what you're doing...people are gonna know who you are."

Barry Manilow himself told Bobby, "Don't give up. You've got a long career ahead of you."

Doors open at 6, show starts at 7pm. I'm not going to be able to make it to Denver to see the show, but if you're in the area, are able to go, and would like to write a review, send it to me, and you may be the next guest writer here on Musical Ramblings.

Monday, August 21, 2006


About a thousand of you have been asking me about the concert tour that Will Makar mentioned in his interview with me this past weekend. Will said that he would be doing a mini-tour with Ruben, Constantine, Kevin Covais, and several other Idols. This caused great consternation among those whose lives consist largely of gossiping about the Greek One.

Then there was the post that Will left on Myspace that failed to mention Constantine's name. And the wheels turned further.

The die-hard Cons fans have been all aflutter about it, trying to decipher what it means, if it indicates that Constantine still recognizes his Idol past and will associate with it, or if he's doing it just to be doing it, or whatever... Some boards have been fretting over whether Constantine would "sell out" his integrity by performing with Idols. (Um, hello, performing with Idols is how come we all know who he is, right?) And there were those who just used the opportunity to poke fun at him.

Constantine's fandom is one of the most complex of all the American Idol contestants. My friends over at Carriefans and Kelliefans are pretty much straight-forward: they love their singer, and they're ardent about it. With the Constantine crowd, it's a whole 'nother level. You have groups who do nothing but sit around all day and theorize about what he'll do next. It goes on for pages and pages. And then you have groups that clearly hate him and spend a vast majority of time writing negative things about him and creating things that are a bit on the hateful side (even though they're often funny.) And the thing is, these fan groups HATE each other.

One board is so mystical, that even I as an objective reporter have to meet approval before even viewing it. I tried following their link to Will's interview back to the board, but it was safely guarded. I even received an email from a user of this board, who wishes to remain anonymous. He writes, "A couple of us have been doing a little research on you as well! We just feel in our capacity as a Constantine fan club, that it is partially our responsibility to help you understand that all boards out there are not Constantine friendly even though they may appear that way initially. You have registered on a board that we would advise you to steer clear of... As you can tell by negative comments on your blog, you would be wise to avoid such boards unless you truly want to become a tabloid blog." (The writer wanted me to keep the email between us, and I have for the most part, but that part was so melodramatic that I had to share it with the rest of the world.)

So, like I said, it's a complex and odd fan base.

Whichever side you fall on (and I am not taking any sides) I've got some answers for you regarding the question you've all been asking: Will Constantine be joining the mini-tour with Will Makar?

I asked Will to clarify, since I was fielding all these questions with no clue how to answer them. Here's what he said to me by way of email:
The promoter who hired me had him on the list. Kevin Covais' dad told my mom that Constantine's people had not approved that yet. So I don't really know. And I don't know how Kevin's dad knows that either. So I just stopped putting down that he was coming on the tour. It has not been decided yet, I guess.

So, there you have it, Constantine theorists. Discuss among yourselves.

And for those of you who'd like to see the other Idols (Kevin Covais, Ruben Studdard, Melissa McGhee, Anthony Fedorov, and others) and you're in the McAllen, San Angelo, Laredo, Corpus Christi and Beaumont, TX areas during the week of October 3-7, please go out and support these fine people, Constantine or no, and show them all your love.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

TEEN CHOICE AWARDS 2006 (or "3 Hours in Hell That Would've Been Better Spent Watching the Indianapolis Colts Get Spanked By the Seahawks")

Somebody must've given Dane Cook a HUGE check to do this award show. What a large pile of AWFUL. All I can say, having watched it, is "God help the kids." Seriously, I hope you kids out there have a bit more depth than this. I've seen jar lids that aren't as shallow.

Jessica Simpson is so vacuous that small particles have been orbiting her, and light keeps getting sucked into her ears.

For the most part, I really expected most of it to turn into an orgy onstage. Between the live performances and the half naked women in the hot tub, there was a TON of sex. I wouldn't be surprised if the teen birth rate went up by 200% immediately following this show. When it was over, I felt like I needed a cigarette.

It's really difficult to watch Dane, Nelly Furtado, and various others sell out like this. Nelly Furtado in particular. How awful that a truly original musician has had to resort to releasing Christina-Aguilera-reject songs where the booty shaking drowns out an incredible voice.

But I couldn't NOT watch, because the big selling point for this awards show was a "special" performance by Kevin Federline. Yes. Special. K-Fed. Special K-Fed. That's surprisingly apt. But I digress. How do you sell a show by having as your centerpiece the biggest punch line in all of pop culture??? Were they trying to attract the train wreck watching crowd?? I'm not a teen anymore. Can somebody tell me if Special K-Fed is a huge draw in the pre-college demographic? Does his "world television premiere" really warrant all this?

I did like Jessica Alba's appearance on the show. I would like Jessica Alba if she was sitting in the corner doing a crossword puzzle, but that's irrelevant. She won the award for "Choice Hottie," but she reminded the kids that it's all about what's inside you and being yourself, and then thanked her photo airbrushers and the manicurists who scrape the ash off her elbows. Gotta love her. And I'm totally serious about that.

Then there was the award given to the autistic kid who drained six threes in a row in that one high school basketball game. You all heard about it. That was classy. And that's about it for anything resembling decorum.

Thankfully, there were commercials, otherwise I'd have hated the show for making me miss football. I already hated it for making me listen to Brooke Hogan speechifying on and on and on and on for winning the award for "Choice Grill" and yes, it's the bling on your teeth kind of grill, not the kind you cook steaks on. That an award like that even exists should be cause enough for someone to be executed. I give credit to Jensen Ackles of Supernatural, though, because he looked just as annoyed to be presenting the award as I was to be watching it.

I'm never letting my kids watch the Disney Channel. Ever. They might start liking people with obviously made-up names like "Zac Efron."

Paula Abdul couldn't manage to get through an award presentation without insulting Simon. Folks, the one trick pony has performed its trick. Don't forget to tip your waiters. Show's over.

Please PLEASE let Special K-Fed perform "Popozao." I want to make fun of that one more time.

Leave it to Britney Spears to come out with her pregnant self in a low cut strappy thing, looking for all the world like a side of beef. And we're not talking about the lean cut either. The only way this chick will ever have class is if she signs up for night school. Somebody call Elvira and let her know her hair has been found. Oh well, I'm pretty much thinking out of all the celebs that were on the show tonight, Witless Britness is probably the only one who would debase herself enough to introduce this classless buffoon.

Well it wasn't Popozao, but it was some kid who won't ever have a normal life pretending to be K-Fed. Then the real Special K-Fed got up from a piano that he obviously wouldn't have a clue how to play and started growling again into the microphone. Who told Special K-Fed that he could rhyme? He claimed to be a superstar in his song. Hmm...aren't superstars able to find distribution deals? Who's distributing your CD, K-Dead? It's telling that he bears more than a passing resemblance to Vanilla Ice. Anybody else would have to put in overtime to be that much of a douche. Fortunately, he got bleeped out a lot, and the quiet moments were the most cherished. Your Ferrari, Mr. Spears? Your tax bracket??? Don't you mean HERS? You guys know how people make fun of NKOTB, Color Me Badd, MC Hammer, Vanilla Ice, Milli Vanilli, and stuff like that? K-Fed will be in that elite club in no more than five years, if not sooner.

Kids, if you buy a Kevin Federline CD, you get to go to the Dork Club, do not pass Go, do not collect $200. Line up outside the door, and your atomic wedgies will be administered in short order.

Whew... still time to watch the fourth quarter.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Fresh young faces seemed to rule the crowd among this year's American Idol hopefuls. Granted, a seasoned vet you might have heard of named Taylor Hicks walked off with the title, but when the Top 24 were named, more than a few of them had to go to school backstage as well as prepare for a competition that would intimidate the most mature of us.

One face in particular turned the heads of America's young ladies. Will Makar, who came to us by way of the Austin, TX auditions, turned out to be more than just a pretty face. He also had a voice. A voice that led him through the Hollywood rounds to your votes in the Top 24.

I got the chance to interview young Will, and I found him to be quite charming. He's also quite confident, as he should be. Speak of his early dismissal from the Top 24, and he'll quickly remind you that he finished eighth of all males in the competition, which is a rather tremendous accomplishment when you think about it. He's easy-going, a little baffled by his newfound celebrity, and ready to move on to the next level after he finishes his education.

He's also great with his fans. All it took was me mentioning Hannah's crush on him, and he sent her a personal email. (There were squeals. She's going to kill me for posting this.) He's a class act all the way.

So, without further adieu, here's our conversation:

J.D.: Give us a little background on yourself prior to Idol. Did you have any experience?

Will: Before Idol, I was a student at The Woodlands College Park High School. I was born in Houston and grew up in The Woodlands, TX. I played Little League baseball but liked singing with the Houston Children's Chorus better. I got a classical music background at a very young age with Houston Children's Chorus. I traveled to Japan, Scotland, England, Mexico with the choir. I got to sing at some
great affairs, like with Celine Dion for her last concert in Houston. There were 14 of us from the choir that got to sing with her. I didn't even know who she was, I was so young. After I graduated from HCC, I started working with a voice coach and doing some musical theatre. I was also in my school choir.

J.D.: What motivated you to try out for the competition?

Will: My sister lives and works in Austin, TX. She's a radio DJ. She
wanted me to come up to Austin and try out. When I went, all I really wanted was to get to Randy, Paula, and Simon. I was just curious what they would say about my singing. I thought I could learn something from their comments. If they didn't put me through to Hollywood, I would take what they said and build on it. That was how I approached every audition for them throughout the show. I learned so much.

J.D.: Who are your influences, musically?

Will: My family, especially my sisters and brother, who told me I was fabulous when I sang "The Bear Necessities" when I was two years old. Beauty and the Beast was the first musical I saw. I always loved musicals. My choir director, Steve Roddy, from The Houston Children's Chorus is also a huge influence on me. My voice coach, Tom McKinney, also. My music teachers in school. The Backstreet Boys, Michael Jackson, N'Sync. Later on, I was influenced by Josh Groban, Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble and Stevie Wonder. There are still many more.

J.D.: What would you consider the most difficult part of the whole process?

Will: Thursday night result shows were very stressful.

J.D.: Can you tell us about the friendships you made while on the show?

Will: There were so many! David Radford, Kevin Covais and I were great friends, even from Hollywood. We were part of "The Il Dweebos." That was our group. We were good working together in a very short amount of time. Another member was Josh. He was a good friend too. He didn't make it to top 45. Kevin, David, and I are still good friends and I hope to work together more in the future. All the top 24 were close. Paris, Gedeon, Ayla, Lisa and I were good friends too. We were all in school together. I was close to our producer, Norm, Mike Orland, and Dorian (they were the music directors.) I also liked the body guards. I really do miss the people behind the scenes. I still talk to them.

J.D.: Was there anyone in particular that you had difficulty with?

Will: Brenna was a trip, but she made me laugh. I can't really say I had
difficulty with her. She just chimed in quickly to any discussion. Personally, I really liked her in many ways. I have emails from her.

J.D.: What is the weirdest, wildest, or funniest story that you can remember about your time in Hollywood?

Will: In the rooms, when we were named to the top 45. It took forever and was very wild. We were sure that our room had not made it. But we did!

J.D.: Brittenum Twins. Thoughts?

Will: They were always nice to me. But it's not a good idea to steal a car to get to Idol.

J.D.: How much do the judges interact with you once get to Hollywood? Do they speak with you or do they keep their distance?

Will: Not much interaction. We talked more once I was off the show.

J.D.: Do you feel that contestants are treated equally and fairly?

Will: As fair as possible on such a TV show. You have to keep in mind that the number one priority is the success of the show.

J.D.: Which contestants are really really hot/cute/sexy in person?

Will: Kellie Pickler!!

J.D.: What kind of things do the producers put you as a contestant through that might be tough on someone your age?

Will: It's a tough venue to be in for ANYBODY, no matter what your age.

J.D.: Some have said that young people should wait longer before trying to become a musical superstar. As a 17 year old, yourself, how do you react to that?

Will: Who knows? I might have never ever gotten any further if I had waited. The way it went down was my destiny.

J.D.: What were your thoughts when you found out you were going home the week before the announcement of the Top 12?

Will: It was sad. It was very hard. I sure wished I could have met Stevie Wonder! But once I got back to Houston, I was happy. Life is great!

J.D.: What was it like for you when you got home? Did people react positively?

Will: I got home at 6 AM on Saturday morning. All my friends were at the airport to meet me including Fox News. (cringes) I looked like a zombie. I had been up since 3 AM Friday morning before. I slept for two days straight once I got home. People at my school were great. I went right back to school just like always.

J.D.: How do you handle it when you face the inevitable critic?

Will: If I can learn from them, then critics are cool. I am learning to sort through what is helpful and what is just meant to be hurtful. I really haven't felt hurt very often at all.

J.D.: Were there any particularly hateful people that tried to rain on your parade?

Will: I can't think of one.

J.D.: Now that you've had all this public exposure from one of the most popular shows on television, how are you planning to use that to further your career?

Will: I'm staying in school, but doing things one step at a time. Each thing I do, I assess carefully to make sure I can build my career on it positively.

J.D.: Where will we be seeing Will Makar next?

Will: On small venue tours, mostly in Texas to start with. I hope to do a CD in the near future.

J.D.: What kind of opportunities have come up because of your Idol experience?

Will: Singing with the Houston Symphony and great sports experiences singing the National Anthem. I'm doing a mini tour with Ruben Studdard, Constantine, Anthony Federov and Kevin. Numerous other things are in the works.

J.D.: What direction would you like to go in artistically? Any way you'd like to branch out?

Will: I'm developing my style right now. I'm going to do some song writing. I am studying more about the business too.

J.D.: What have you taken away from this experience that will shape the rest of your life?

Will: So much. I don't know where to start. I would say confidence is the biggest thing.

J.D.: Tell the truth: did you pick Pickler?

Will: No, but she's great.

J.D.: Do you have a website that fans can visit? And do you have any CDs or anything like that which we can buy?

Will: is coming soon. You can go there now and it will lead you to the fan site I have a T-shirt that my sister designed for sale. No CD yet. But soon there will be a single.

J.D.: If you could leave your fans with only one thought, what would it be?

Will: Live a dream.

Words to live by. Thanks, Will! And now it's time for you, the readers to show your love!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


It would be nearly impossible for a music writer from Memphis like myself not to write about the anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley. It's part of our culture around here--just something we take for granted.

I was listening to XM's 1950's channel, and one of the DJ's during an Elvis tribute said, with no irony whatsoever, "this is a special time for people in Memphis."

My first thought was "'s not." And it really isn't. Of the thousands of people who thronged Graceland last night for the candlelight vigil, the vast majority of them weren't from here. A Memphian's first thought, upon being reminded of the anniversary of Elvis' death is generally "great, more people to screw up traffic." To most of us, Death Day is a time when nobody can visit us because all the hotels are booked up. 99 percent of us wouldn't go anywhere near Graceland on two days out of the year: Death Day and Birthday. The 1 percent of us who would only do so because of living in the general vicinity.

Most of us stay out of Elvis' old neighborhood these days anyway. Graceland's grounds are beautiful, but outside those fences is a stinking cesspool of gang violence and ghetto living. It's not a place you want to be after the sun goes down. I used to live there, so I know. Gunfire and sirens provide the soundtrack of the night.

It's not that we don't care about Elvis. Elvis is part of our day-to-day lives here, from his music, to the geography we share across the plane of time. We've learned to live with him and accept him as part of our environment.

I don't mean to sound jaded. I made my visit to Graceland when Memphis people go, which, like I said, is any day besides those two. I marvelled at his body of work, his fleet of cars, his almost innumerable gold and platinum records, his extremely gauche decor, and his excess. I love his music, and I am glad that he pioneered many of the things we have in the music industry.

But the adulation...let's face it, the worship...they weren't how he would've wanted it to be. I certainly don't believe, from what I've seen, that he would've approved. And I know he wouldn't want us to remember the ugly scene that Ginger Alden found in the upstairs bathroom, as the once and future King lay dying in his own vomit, unable with all the money in the world to buy one last gasp of air.

If you want to remember Elvis on this, the anniversary of his death, do like this Memphian did. Pop in "Love Me Tender" and stay home with your loved ones.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


I'm sure you guys remember the lovely young lady that I interviewed last week by the name of Roxie Mae. If you don't remember my conversation with the up and coming singer, then I plead with you to click here and read it first before moving along.

My favorite girl from Indianapolis (sorry Teri and Mojo) has made some changes to her website. For one, she's moving her journal to her Myspace blog. Add her as a friend while you're there. And admire how pretty the profile looks. (I helped her do the layout, but she provided the cutie in the picture.)

And the website is undergoing a makeover in anticipation of her new album, which will be reviewed right here just as soon as I get my grubby hands on a (ahem, autographed) copy. Roxie promised!

Oh yeah, in case you want an autograph, you can enter the monthly drawing on her website. It works the same as the drawing on Candace Cameron Bure's winner per month receives an autographed 8x10. However, after December, Roxie promises that the competition will get even sweeter. She didn't tell me how, but I know the surprises that Roxie has sent me, and trust me, she is very imaginative!

Vintage Love Letters, Roxie's second CD should be dropping around January '07, with pre-orders starting in November. Pre-ordered CD's will be autographed, so bookmark her page so that you'll remember to go there and order it in November. You can do that while you're there ordering Shades of Blue, which is well worth your time, as well as checking for tour dates of shows that Roxie will be performing to promote her new release.

According to Roxie's webmasters, your response last time was tremendous, with traffic to her site almost doubling. So let's support my favorite Indy girl one more time and make her a superstar!

Monday, August 14, 2006


No, it's not just me typing nonsense! There's actually a music festival called Vegoose, and it's held (where else?) in Vegas. The event occurs over Halloween weekend.

I'm not actually going to get to go but those of you who live in the area just might want to consider sticking your heads in the door and catching some of these acts.

The line-up, as of today, includes:

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Widespread Panic
The Killers
The Mars Volta
The Keller Williams Incident
The Black Crowes
Fiona Apple
The Raconteurs
Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley
Medeski Martin & Wood w/ special guest Maceo Parker
The Roots
The Rhythm Devils feat. Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzman, Mike Gordon & Steve Kimock
G. Love & Special Sauce
Jurassic 5
Yonder Mountain String Band
Built To Spill
Jim James of My Morning Jacket
Dr. Octagon aka Kool Keith
Band of Horses
Jamie Lidell
The Zutons

And they promise there will be more additions to come. So far, it's a great line-up, and I hate that I'm missing the show! (I don't, however, hate that I'm not going to pay the price for the tickets, which I will get into later.) There will also be special late night concerts during the days surrounding the show. I'm unclear as to whether or not there's an extra charge for those. I would hope not.

Tickets for two-day passes are already on sale. Visit their website to order tickets, if you're so inclined. Two-day passes are going for $146.50 each (about triple the price of Beale Street Music Fest tickets, unfortunately.) Ticket purchase includes access to both days of the festival as well as parking for one vehicle. There is a limit of 6 tickets per order. Price DOES NOT include facility, service or shipping charges. Which means when you go to Vegas, you are not going to be able to camp out at the concert ground, as they will not even let you park your car there overnight. (So if you're going, get extra cash out of the ATM for your hotel room.) Service charges are $13.55 PER TICKET (Including a $6.00 Facility Fee, sheeeeez) By the time you finish paying for everything, you'll be out about $175 bucks. Oddly enough, there is no option to order online, which is kind of dumb to me. Seriously, it's the 21st century. But I digress... If you're going to order tickets, you can do it through the email address or phone number on their site.

Oh yeah, there's a contest to win tickets to the festival. Go to their Myspace profile, add them as a friend before September 1, 2006, and you automatically get entered into the contest. I did it. What the heck, right, I'm not going to get to go anyway, but if I win, woohoo :)

Those of you who go, have fun. Those of you who don't... we'll do something else.

Friday, August 11, 2006

It has been almost a week since my last post. I felt like it was important to leave Mikalah's interview up as the Top Story for longer than usual. As always, your response has been tremendous, both in the comments to her and in the private emails and messages you have sent me. All the kind comments were forwarded to her. And let me just say one more time, Mikalah, you touch my heart, and you've got a friend for life in me.

Those of you who are checking in to see my recap of the Nashville American Idol concert are going to be a little disappointed. I was unable to make it to the show, due to financial constraints related to my acceptance of a new job. So basically it was either the concert or eating/shelter/clothing. Normally, I'd pick A.I., but since my television won't run off of coconut oil, I figured I'd pay the bills instead.

HOWEVER, I'd like anyone out there who may be reading and who went to the Nashville show (or any other show) to send me your recap and review, and of those I receive, the best of the best will be posted here as a guest blogger spot. Here's Zach's photos from the show, courtesy of Zach and MJ's Big American Idol Blog. (MJ is my American Idol.)

Also, I'm putting out an all-call to you American Idol auditioners out there. Send me your experiences!!!

And those of you who plan to audition in Memphis, I would like to tag along with one of you. Whether you're really good or just going on TV to get attention, let me know. I want to be there with you through the process, and if I go with you, you'll get coverage on this blog.

Contact for either of these.

Saturday, August 05, 2006


If you look down the list of my American Idol interviews, you'll find several names of very interesting and dynamic singers. But not one of them has touched my heart or moved me like Mikalah Gordon.

Meek is a unique person. We've only been friends for a short time, but already we've had conversations that mean so much. She's the last person on Idol that I ever thought I'd take a personal liking to. But now that I'm getting to know her, I respect her so much as a person, and I applaud her for the things she's been able to do.

Because of Mikalah, you can expect my coverage of American Idol to change this year. It will be a challenge to keep things funny without making fun of people, but I cannot and will not be part of the ugliness that has caused such heartache to such wonderful people anymore. I will urge you all to be kinder as well. These people are human beings just like we are. And as such, they deserve respect, and not the abuse that so many bloggers and commenters, including myself, have dished out on Mikalah, Kellie Pickler, or any number of other contestants.

This interview will be a little different. Mikalah had a message she needed to get out to the world. So rather than me talking, I stepped back and let Mikalah pour her heart out to me. What follows are the words straight from her mouth. They moved me to tears. If it touches you or helps you in any way, I encourage all of you to leave a comment for her. She appreciates your support and encouragement more than you know. If you have something negative to say, I encourage you to keep it to yourself. Before you post anything about a fellow human being, step back and consider whether you would like somebody else to say it about you.

And now, without further adieu, Mikalah:

First of all, J.D., whether you liked me or not on American Idol, what you're doing is so amazing. Because before all the little fame I may have or bling I think I own, I am just a human being. A young one at that. And for someone to have my back and just listen to me because I am just a young girl and nothing else...that will touch my heart for the rest of my life.

When I was a little girl, I remember being in class and my teacher asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. Rather than being a doctor or a fire fighter or a lawyer, I said I wanted to be famous. I wanted to be famous so I could touch people's lives in a big way.

All I want to do is send a message to kids my age.

When I was twelve years old, I started going through a rough stage. The fact that my parents were divorced and the feeling of not belonging and having to choose sides with my parents began to take a toll on my life. By the time I was fourteen I had cut off all my hair, dyed it every color, and pierced every body part possible. To be honest, I was very screwed up. I also had a hideous social life. Because I was so different and had such little self esteem, nobody liked me, and I belonged nowhere.

My own family had given up on me. I realize today they just didn't understand me and didn't know how to deal with me. I felt very alone and very scared. For the next two years, I changed schools several times and became a high school flunk. I had also changed my appearance many times and still was not fitting in with anybody. I hated everybody: my family, my friends, my teachers. Because, in reality, I hated myself.

When American Idol came around, I felt like it was an opportunity that could save my life. I remember going to the first audition. I had no support and nobody believing in me. On top of that, my mother, who was the only person i truly loved, was very sick and had been in and out of the hospital. I figured American Idol could not only save me but could save my family. And that they would finally accept me. During the stages of American Idol, I again changed many times. I think what people don't understand is that at the age of sixteen you are still finding yourself. You really don't know who you are, and you will do anything for a little attention.

After American Idol, I still felt lost, and I didn't understand why I couldn't just be happy. On top of that, I received hideous hate mail, and going back home to Vegas was not any better. The girlfriends I thought I made no longer befriended me. Instead they talked behind my back with horrible rumors and, in the end, completely cut me off. I felt lost yet again. And I still felt like I couldn't be accepted for who I was.

I guess I can no longer blame anybody for their dislike for me, because I didn't know who I was either. When I had the opportunity to move out to California, I hopped on the first plane that would take me on board. The perfect escape.

Rather than things getting better, they got even worse. My problems had followed me and were now only a footstep away. For one whole year I cried. Funny, I still do sometimes. I was confused and scared. I suppose Hollywood is not all its cracked up to be. I just wanted the same woman that I had pushed away for six years. My mommy. And now she was many miles away.

So I had to grow up. I either could grow up and work on myself or die from the excruciating pain I felt. So I decided to grow up.

I realize I don't have to fit in with everybody. I realized I don't have to always be the center of attention. I realize people are allowed to make mistakes. I realize those same high school and middle school friends would come and go, and that I shouldn't have based my life around what people said about me, because surprise! not everyone is going to like you.

I learned to love my parents. I realize they were only tring to protect and love me to the best of their ability. And I guess the saddest part is that I knew it all along. i just knew the "cool" thing to do was fight with them because my "friends" said that it was.

But most of all I learned and am still struggling to love myself.

I always thought singing and acting would substitute my pain of unhappiness, and when it didn't, I was angry. I was even angry at American Idol for a long time. But how can you be happy with anything or anybody unless you're happy with yourself and are capable of loving yourself?? That is my struggle today and has been for a very long time. Self acceptance.

No one said this life was easy, or that you or I were perfect, but I think having someone or something to relate to helps. Above anybody or anything, just love your whole self. And when you do, everything and everyone who is supposed to be in your life will fall right into place. And remember, everything, and I mean everything, happens for a reason.

And whatever you decide to do in life, believe that you are more than capable of accomplishing it. You just have to believe in yourself, because nobody else will do it for you.

I hope this is helpful. And whether you loved me or hated me, I'm just a young adult. Wow, that's crazy to trying to find myself.

Peace and love to you, J.D., and to everyone out there listening.

--Mikalah Gordon


And the award for "Band Who Really Gets That Their Fans Are Important" 2006 goes to... Anberlin.

I've been a fan of Anberlin for a while now, especially since the launch of their second album. I love their music. I love their lyrics. They're just fun to rock out to. If you haven't yet, I strongly urge you to go pick up a copy of Never Take Friendship Personal. With songs like "A Day Late" and "Paperthin Hymn," you just can't go wrong.

But now they've gone and topped themselves.

They're working on their third studio album, and in order to get fans pumped up for it, they want all of us to be part of the process. Here's how it goes:

(1.) You visit the Anberlin message board.

(2.) You register for an account, no charge.

(3.) You send a private message with your telephone number to username anberlinstudio. (NOTE: For your own safety and security, don't post your telephone number to the main message board. Only post it in the private message. DUH!)

(4.) The boys from Anberlin call you up, bounce some lyrics, melodies, song titles, or whatever off of you, ask you what you think, and listen to what you have to say about it.

Genius. Pure genius. Let the fans make the album. What a novel concept! These guys are no small potatoes, either. Their label, Tooth & Nail, which has always been very consumer-friendly and interactive, is a rather choice label, with distribution handled by EMI. So they're no indie band. And this time, they're letting YOU call the shots.

Mack, Tricia, do y'all think maybe some of these ideas are starting to sink in out there?

And, just in case you haven't been introduced to Anberlin's music before, here's a video of their latest single, "Paperthin Hymn."

Friday, August 04, 2006


Stevie Scott's been super-busy since her foray into the Top 24 in this past year's American Idol competition. Since she's one of my favorites, I thought I'd shoot her an email to see what she was up to.

If you're new to this site and want to learn more about her, I strongly encourage you to check out her interview with me: American Angel: Stevie Scott. She was very candid with me about her Idol experience.

I just got a message back from her today. Here's what she said:
Hey there! I'm sorry its been so long; I've been moving to LA and the process is finally over and I'm all settled in down here which is great! My agent and manager are both down here obviously so being down here is much more convenient, ya know? So, now that I'm down in LA we are working on the album, getting all of the ideas in cement, etc. And I'm definately focusing a lot of my energy on the acting side of things which has always been one of my true loves! So there's a brief update but of course feel free to ask any other questions. Thank you for your continuing interest and support. It so nice to know that people are still waiting on news :)
Love always,

For more on Stevie and to hear her sing, visit her myspace profile. She also has some primo new pics up. Guys, get your drool bibs out.

Thanks, Stevie!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


I've been doing these Idol contestant interviews for a while now. Regular Ramblings readers by now have come to expect inside information directly from Idol contestants to be found here. I have sought out many of the contestants to speak with personally in order to give you the whole story behind the phenomenon that is American Idol.

But every once in a while, a contestant seeks me out. Jordan Southerland has been eagerly awaiting his chance to plop down on the Musical Ramblings couch and tell us his story. And tell he has, as you will soon see. I do have to apologize to him for taking so long to get the interview done. It was well worth the wait though, as he had plenty to tell us about his Idol experience, as well as his upcoming efforts.

You may remember Jordan as the guy who auditioned in a fireman's uniform. I said in an early review of the Greensboro talent this year that I thought that Jordan was a really good singer, and the judges agreed with me and sent him to Hollywood. He sang a beautiful version of Josh Groban's "You Bring Me Up." Simon Cowell will be the first to tell you that even though he's a big fan of that song, he usually ends up hating it by the end of auditions. He didn't hate Jordan's version of it, though.

Jordan went on to Hollywood, but did not make the Top 24. But that has freed him up to pursue other opportunities in other venues.

Without further adieu, here's our conversation!

J.D.: According to my sources, you were faced with the choice between auditioning for American Idol and a Christian talent competition called Exalting Him. What made you decide to go for Idol?

Jordan: Well first of all, Exalting Him 2005 was the Christian version of American Idol. I really wanted to audition for American Idol, due to the fact I had watched Idol since I was 14. So I just wanted to fulfill a dream and see what would happen. Speaking of Exalting Him, I auditioned about a month ago for the 2006 edition. I made it to the next round! I fly out to Atlanta GA in September to compete against 34 other singers.

J.D.: I hear that you won something called Net Idol. What was that all about?

Jordan: I didn't win Net Idol. I came in second and lost by just a few votes. It was just a "for fun" singing contest online, in the same spirit as Idol.

J.D.: Why in the world did you decide to come to the Idol auditions dressed in a fireman's suit?

Jordan: (laughs loudly) This is a long story. They didn't show the reason why on TV, so this is an exclusive! I auditioned in Chicago first wearing normal clothes. There were a ton of people who wore outfits to stand out, and they made it on TV. So, I didn't make it past the first round, but I was approached by a producer of the show right after I got cut, and they said that I should definitely audition next year or at another audition city. So I returned to my senior year of school upset. I was sitting in computer lab, and I checked the site and it said that Vegas and North Carolina were on the map for the next auditions! I freaked out because I was only three hours from the audition city. This time I was determined to make it. So I wore the fireman suit in honor of all the firemen who helped out in hurricane Katrina and also in honor of my dad who is really ill, and who has been a fireman for over 20 years.

J.D.: So, you're not an actual fireman?

Jordan: No, and dont plan on being one. (laughs) I will leave that up to my dad. I do respect them a lot though.

J.D.: I really liked your performance of "You Raise Me Up," as originally performed by Josh Groban. Yet, the only judge who really liked it was Paula. Why do you think Randy turned you down?

Jordan: (laughs) I sang the first verse, and they didn't show it! Well, what you didn't see is this: I had a big conversation with Paula about being from a small town and chihuahuas. And Randy did like me! You gotta understand, I was the very last person to audition at the Greensboro auditions. I really dont know what else to say about it. But Simon, thank God, loved me!

J.D.: What's your favorite memory of Hollywood?

Jordan: Meeting so many friends, and just the rush of the Hollywood life. But let me tell you one thing: the food is AWFUL!

J.D.: Okay, time to get down and dirty...give us the scoop on the scandalous happenings in Hollywood. We want ALL the story.

Jordan: (laughs loudly) Let's just say it isn't ALL "reality" TV. For an example, my friend that I met, Cory Sellars, auditioned singing his song. And Paula, because his name was Cory, and making reference to Corey Clark, says "I'm already gonna hate you!" And then they paused the cams and told us to make a "OOOOOO" sound. Also, they don't air everything they shoot in Hollywood. One girl walked out and started singing "I ain't going..... You and You are gonna love me" and couldn't get the words. It was off key, and she wasn't allowed to sing her song choice. They made her song choice for her. Also Heather Cox and I were filmed a lot on move in day, Heather walked into her hotel room to find her bed covered in dirty stuff! The hotel forgot to clean it up! Also water cost us FIVE bucks. When a person gets cut, it's at like 1 AM at night, after a long day of auditions. We returned to our hotel rooms to sleep, and at about 4 am in the morning the producers slid papers under our doors saying to be outside at 7 am to go to the airport! That's crazy! OH, and all Hollywood contestants have to delete their Myspaces.

J.D.: I'm gonna give you all the names of the Top 24, and I'd like for you to tell me your thoughts on each of them. First, Ayla Brown...

Jordan: Eeek! Average! And only got through because of her dad.

J.D.: Becky O'Donohue...

Jordan: Didn't really get to know her. She's hot! That's about it! Needs to stick to modeling or acting.

J.D.: Ace Young...

Jordan: Awesome talent! Before Idol, he was on Half and Half and on a movie soundtrack, which I think he should have been DQed for, but he will have a good career.

J.D.: Bobby Bennett...

Jordan: Waste of time. He probably could do Broadway.

J.D.: Brenna Gethers...

Jordan: (laughs loudly) I don't really know her. I could see her as a TV personality.

J.D.: Heather Cox...

Jordan: Love her!! She and I became really close throughout the whole process. I really want her to make a Christian CD! Plus she is sooooooo gorgeous!

J.D.: Bucky Covington...

Jordan: Bucky is my boy. I'm not sure if he will make it far in country music, but he will sing country music.

J.D.: Chris Daughtry...

Jordan: This guy should have won! I thought he could sing his butt off. He will definitely be a Grammy winner and have a huge career. Great personality.

J.D.: Katharine McPhee...

Jordan: I thought she should have beat Taylor, but who knows. I think she will have a great career and star in movies.

J.D.: Kellie Pickler...

Jordan: (laughs loudly) She will be a spokesperson, host of a show, model, and actress. I don't think she's ready for a music career.

J.D.: David Radford...

Jordan: I didn't really get to know him. If he keeps singing, he may make an album. He should go to college and learn music education.

J.D.: Elliott Yamin...

Jordan: Great voice! He would have been a great American Idol. He is a good role model. I think his career will start off slow but grow.

J.D.: Kinnik Sky...

Jordan: Kinnik and I auditioned together. I would love her to make an album and be like Alicia Keys. But she needs a little vocal work.

J.D.: Lisa Tucker...

Jordan: This girl is amazing. We became friends in Hollywood. I think she is amazing and will grow as time goes by. Her parents are sooooo nice!

J.D.: Gedeon McKinney...

Jordan: I didn't know him. Good voice, I guess.

J.D.: Sway...

Jordan: He has his own style, for sure. That one song he did was way off key! I dunno about his career.

J.D.: Mandisa...

Jordan: She'll make an awesome gospel album, and be a spokesperson for Lane Bryant, and tour to sold out shows.

J.D.: Melissa McGhee...

Jordan: Love her voice on the CD! I like her better on the CD than live. I'm not sure.

J.D.: Kevin Covais...

Jordan: He'll have a career either with broadway, or outside of the entertainment industry.

J.D.: Patrick Hall...

Jordan: He has major talent, just picked the wrong song. In about 5 years we will hear something from him.

J.D.: Paris Bennett...

Jordan: Paris and I go way back. We met in Greensboro at a southern restaurant, and we signed our first autograph togeather. She was crying her eyes out when I got cut. I love her to death. We are the same age.

J.D.: Stevie Scott...

Jordan: I'm not sure what to say. She needs to model. She is soooooo tall in person. Nice personality.

J.D.: Taylor Hicks...

Jordan: I just don't know why???? People love him, people hate him. I'm in the middle. Do I think he will outsell Kelly and Carrie's albums? No.

J.D.: Will Makar...

Jordan: I keep in touch with him. He has a really good voice, similar to mine. I think he possibly could do Broadway and put out a CD in a few years.

J.D.: And just for fun, Simon Cowell...

Jordan: He's actually really, really cool! He is nice in person and funny.

J.D.: Paula Abdul...

Jordan: She's really short, but nice and funny, and a sweetheart too.

J.D.: Randy Jackson...

Jordan: He is my dawg! We cracked a few jokes.

J.D.: (laughs out loud) Sooooo metro!!! I could see him being in movies!

J.D.: What do you think was the biggest factor in your not making it into the Top 24?

Jordan: I was so nervous, and I think the final 24 were pre-picked from the start of the season. My voice was right on, but I think nerves took over. I could definitely stand against most of the people in the final 24 for sure.

J.D.: Do you feel that the competition was fair to you?

Jordan: I do think it was fair. I take everything as a learning experience

J.D.: Now that Idol is over and you're on your own, what is in the works for Jordan Southerland?

Jordan: Well Exalting Him 2006... I'm a semifinalist so far. I'm still eligible, so I may audition for Idol again. [editor's note: Only the Top 44 are ineligible for auditioning again.] I plan on going to college, since I've graduated high school. I am also working with producers and sending out my demo to different labels. I am determined to do what is in my heart, and that is to share my music with the world. I will one day. That's a promise! You haven't seen the last of me. OH! I have lost 20 pounds so far.

J.D.: Do you have any recordings available that fans can buy or download?

Jordan: Yeah! I have a cover CD done right now that fans can get. Just add me on Myspace, and listen to my songs and comment me! And spread the word. If you would like a CD, please message me.

J.D.: What direction are you hoping to move in musically?

Jordan: I hope to grow vocally and possibly learn guitar. I definitely would love to put out a album and tour! I just saw Kelly Clarkson recently, and she is amazing on tour! Go see her! I would love to do what she is doing.

J.D.: Do you think you'll try to branch out into other forms of entertainment?

Jordan: I would love to do Broadway, or do music in Disney movies. I would love to be in a movie. But my number one passion is music.

J.D.: Who would you say is your single biggest influence in both your life and your musical career?

Jordan: In my life, Jesus Christ is number one. In my music career, Rascal Flatts, INXS and Kelly Clarkson are tops. I'd love to do a duet with her. The girl can sing!

J.D.: I noticed that on your myspace page, you have a cover of a Casting Crowns song, and that you seem to be active in the Christian Contemporary scene. The question has been asked many times, why does Idol seem to overwhelmingly attract contestants who have strong Christian beliefs. What's your opinion on this?

Jordan: I'm not really sure. Christian artists want it just as bad as any other people. Our goal as Christians is to share our beliefs through Jesus. I think God has a huge impact on those of us who believe. C'mon, I don't think people could get through the STRESS of this contest without God!

J.D.: Where are you appearing next?

Jordan: I have a few local shows coming up. And if all goes well you will see me on TBN performing and hopefully you will be voting for me. Then again, you may see me in the American Idol line in Memphis! I will not be wearing a fireman suit! (laughs)

J.D.: What else would you like to let us know about your upcoming plans?

Jordan: I think I about covered everything. Let me know if anyone wants me to come sing for them!

J.D.: It's getting close to Idol auditioning season again, so what advice would you give hopeful contestants as they step before the judges and try to achieve their dream?

Jordan: Be yourself! No matter what you are wearing, sing a song with vocal range, and don't be scared. The judges are just three people like you and me. And keep in mind it is three people's opinion on one particular day. So good luck to those of you who go out this year!

J.D.: Kellie Pickler and Melissa McGhee both have boyfriends, but do you think you get me Becky O's phone number?

Jordan: I heard Heather is single, and I have her number! (laughs)

J.D.: Don't tempt me! Any final thoughts you'd like to share with your fans out there?

Jordan: One day you will see me singing live. I promise to give you an amazing show. Please support me! And thanks for all the prayers and thoughts.

Thank you, Jordan, and again, if you'd like to hear him sing again, contact him at and message him to find out how to obtain his CD!

Hey Jordan, if you need a buddy to tag along to the Memphis auditions with you, holler at me. I'm just over the age deadline this year, but I'd love to watch the process! And maybe, just maybe I'd be hanging out with the next American Idol!