Thursday, May 26, 2011

This is a race with TexasFan

So we're each watching Barry debut 15 Minutes on QVC and tweeting back and forth about how incredible this record is going to be.  We're hearing a few cuts, though not all of the record.  So the great question is, can we wait until we have the actual CDs in our hot little hands before we blog on it?

Ummmm.....    no.

So we're in a race to see who can blog first.

If you missed the QVC debut, stop and kick yourself NOW.  After "Bring On Tomorrow" runs its course on radio, I say make "Work the Room" the follow up single.  If you don't tell the station manager's that it's Barry, they won't realize it until you point it out to them.  It's that different for him but he makes it work.  Which is not a shock to anyone who can tell the difference between an average project and one he's got his heart in.  Where has this record been all my life??

BTW, according to his post on Twitter, Garry Kief is going to contribute $1 for every CD sold on QVC to Sig Ep Foundation.  So preorder now and make him break out the checkbook a couple of times!

(Damn, TexasFan just beat me.  Aw hell.)

Trying to be cool until 6/14.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Video PR for 15 Minutes Begins

All of these were given from the same remote location (NYC?)  And be ready to block a ton of ad cookies.  This is why I rarely frequent TV News websites.

Barry Manilow comments on new album

From "Good Day LA"
Someone wake me when a talking head can interview Barry without using the word "fanilow" in the first 5 seconds.

From Fox affiliate, Tampa Bay, FL

Warning:  lousy video stream server-side.  But better interview.

Looks like he's making the rounds of the "Good Day" circuit.  Easy format and it works.  If he was on "Good Day Atlanta", I missed it.  :-(

Now from WGN...

Nice tie-in with the city and Barry's early history.  Best of the bunch.
No musical.  Shit.

DVR ALERT - The Joy Behar Show tomorrow night at 10 PM (ET) in advance of the QVC presentation.  Check your cable/satellite/whatever listings.

And if you REALLY can't wait, is taking orders and includes the famous "bonus disc".  (Yeah, I'm a sucker for that too.)

Have fun, kids!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Lots o' Tasty Goodies from 15 Minutes!!!

Listen to 30-second clips of all of the tracks on 15 Minutes!

Even a few clips lay out the story.  This is good.

Barry's been telling the story of what is going to be in this record for months (years?)  Even the clips have an intimacy to them that I don't think any fan has seen/heard before.  I can think of a half-dozen records and singles that talk about fame as an entertainer.  I've had Joe Walsh's "Life's Been Good To Me" stuck in my head for a while.  ("It's hard to handle this fortune and fame. / Everybody's so different I haven't changed.")

But every other song that has been recorded about fame always takes an objective view, like someone trying to explain what they've learned or describing it for someone on the outside looking in.  15 Minutes is like looking through the eyes and feeling through the heart of a person dealing with these experiences as they happen.  That takes a few things the average joe doesn't have, even if they're successful in music:

1)  They've had to have had that sudden "big bang" of major success.
2)  They've had to have survived the fall.  There's always a fall, whether it's hard, or whether you roll with it depends on the individual.
3)  They have to have enough mental stability to look back on the ride without losing their minds either to insanity or drugs/alcohol.
4)  They have to be able to find the words to describe how they felt at each step of the way - high and low - concise enough to fit the hook and make it rhyme.  This is harder than it sounds.  Most songwriters will lose something in the translation.  It's a special type of gift to be able to get the WHOLE point across without losing anything.  By comparison in literature, think C. S. Lewis and the Chronicles of Narnia.  It's similar to that.
5)  Finally, they have to have the balls to do all of the above with all of the brute-force honesty they probably aren't used to getting themselves.

First impressions before I get to sink my fangs into the entire CD when it's released:

I cannot WAIT to hear the rest of "Work the Room". 
I have never worn yellow to a show - ANYONE'S show - and I don't intend to start now.

I think this record is going to be genius.

More:  "Bring on Tomorrow" live from Vegas.
That's got to be why this song grabbed me so much.  Over the past few months our family has started to feel that the worst of some tough times were over.   You can't help but smile about it.

More Conversations:

The four shows at the 02 in London were better than any of us could have ever dreamed they would be. The huge and wild audiences in front of us and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra behind us was surreal. I never wanted the shows to end. Thanks to everyone who was there.

And now, here we go!

The single "Bring On Tomorrow" comes out in America this week. The album in a few weeks.

Just send Garry out to the newsgroup or something with marching orders, we'll do what we can to help it along.

Creating "15 Minutes" has been such a fulfilling experience. Working with such great musicians, and with Michael, Marc, Garry, Nick, and getting so much encouragement from everyone who has heard it, is so great, that sometimes I wish we didn't have to release it to the reviewers, and the charts, and the radio, etc!

I felt the same way right before "2:00 AM - Paradise Cafe" was released - and right before "Here At The Mayflower" was released.

It shows.  I've said this, you've heard it elsewhere, even a novice like me can hear the difference between a project that your heart and soul are poured into, and one you're doing either for the paycheck or to fulfill a contract.  15M is obviously the former.  In my not so humble but still embarrassingly amateur opinion, this will blow Paradise and Mayflower out of the water, even as great as they were.

I bet every artist feels like this right before they show their work to the world. It must be like what parents feel like when they show off their newborns.

Bingo.  Especially the first one.  I just happen to not do it on Facebook.  Too many weirdos interested in pictures of kids.  >:-P  And not just when their kids are born, there's ultrasounds and the new baby stuff.  I'm on my third and the house is wall-to-wall kid crap and we're just screaming from the rooftops about school and preschool and when the hell is the baby going to crawl.  So if it's on that level, I can relate.
All you can do is create the most beautiful work you can create and hope for the best.

If your heart and soul are there, you don't have to hope.  I think you already know that tho.  ;-)

Thanks to everyone on line who has been so enthusiastic about the album. We have all been floating on your positive posts.

They're all true.  Can't speak for anyone else but if it sucked I would have said nothing.  I'm not going to shut up about this one.  Hope you don't mind.
Now wish us luck everyone................Here we go !

Dude, just promise us one thing, OK?  Don't work *so* hard at it that you get yourself sick or injured.  Pace yourself, OK?  It's not good PR if you wear yourself out to the point you can't do a show.  It can't be worth it for you in the long run so try to be reasonable.  Try.  'K?  Please?
But if your PR schedule allows a lot of people would be thrilled if you dragged your happy ass back to the ATL.  Florida is not the same thing and it's been 3 years.
And if my regulars are still here and you live anywhere near the northeast, consider yourselves lucky you have tickets to shoot for in the morning.  Niters!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Now It's For Real (15 Minutes)


Guitar-Driven Pop Album Explores Fame’s Double-Edged Sword


15 MINUTES, the first original album from singer-songwriter Barry Manilow, is set to be released on June 14th.

Manilow is releasing 15 MINUTES through the independent label STILETTO Entertainment and in partnership with FONTANA, the award-winning independent marketing and sales company of UNIVERSAL Music Group.

More than two years in the making, Manilow teams up once again with lyricist Enoch Anderson for this latest work.

After having recorded six critically acclaimed albums of songs written by the greatest songwriters of all time – from Gershwin to Bacharach, as well as two Platinum Christmas albums, Manilow returns at last to his true passion –songwriting.

Inspired by the Andy Warhol quote that “In the future, everybody will be world famous for fifteen minutes,” this exciting guitar-driven pop album explores the perils and pinnacles of fame’s double-edged sword.

“Fame and success are something we all strive for, and yet when we get it how do we behave? That question jumps out at us daily from magazine covers, TV news and online gossip sites. In my world of entertainment, I’ve watched perfectly decent and talented people achieve the success they’ve been striving for only to crash and burn as their star rises. It happens in every walk of life, not only in the entertainment field; in sports, in politics and in daily life when the assistant manager gets promoted at the grocery store. It’s something that continues to fascinate us, and for me it represented an interesting musical journey to explore,” explained Manilow.

“There are very few things that you can count on in life, and one of them is Barry Manilow delivering an incredibly soulful, dynamic and reflective album like 15 MINUTES,”stated Ron Spaulding, President of Fontana. “Songs in this collection are quintessential Barry, soaring vocals and true craftsmanship. We’re delighted to be playing a part in the next chapter of his already storied career.”

Making a guest appearance on 15 MINUTES is young Nataly Dawn, lead singer of the white-hot group “Pomplamoose.” Her rendition of “Letter From A Fan” is both innocent and eerie.

Manilow is scheduled to debut 15 MINUTES during a very special QVC® Presents Q Sessions Live broadcast on Thursday, May 26 at 8pm (ET). QVC will be among the first to offer this new album, which will feature a special bonus disc of additional tracks.

15 MINUTES, produced by Manilow and Michael Lloyd is a captivating tale of someone who achieves fame, blows it and begins again. 15 MINUTES is being released by STILETTO Entertainment and distributed by Fontana in association with the Universal Music Group as part of a multi-product partnership.

Track List:

1. 15 Minutes

2. Work The Room

3. Bring On Tomorrow

4. Now It’s For Real

5. Wine Song

6. He’s A Star

7. Written In Stone

8. Letter From A Fan / So Heavy, So High

9. Everybody’s Leavin’

10. Who Needs You?

11. Winner Go Down

12. Slept Through The End Of The World

13. Reflection

14. Trainwreck

15. 15 Minutes (Reprise)

16. Everything’s Gonna Be All Right