“People Say I’m the Man” by Hot Problems

So, being a lover of Ludo and everything related, I’ve also become a fan of Hot Problems – a new project that Andrew Volpe (Ludo’s lead singer) is working on.

This song is quite catchy in my opinion. I can’t stop listening to it, it’s becoming an obsession. Though I love Ludo, the sound that goes with Hot Problems is pretty awesome. The two are very different and both incredibly distinct and that’s another reason that I love this new song.

Not only is the song great, but the video is incredibly entertaining too. It is made up of a combination of a bunch of different videos from YouTube and is hilarious but also uplifting at the same time.

It’s weird, but this song just makes me want to go out and conquer the world.

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Music of My Life

The current project I chose for J2150 centers around The Blue Note in downtown Columbia. I’m incredibly excited about this project because music consumes a large part of my life. I love all kinds of music ranging from 80’s to Christian contemporary. So, let’s get started.

When I was young, I remember riding with my dad in his truck while he listened to bands like Metallica and Van Halen. I loved those times I spent with my dad just driving around and listening to cool music. Being older now, those times influenced my taste in music. Listening to those types of bands brings back good memories accompanied with well, cool music.

Lately, the majority of my listening preferences have included everything on K-LOVE. This radio station is so incredibly uplifting and positive and I can’t help but have a great day when I listen to them. I love David Crowder Band, Casting Crowns, Sanctus Real, Kutless and Matt Hammitt. Everything about these artists and their songs puts a smile on my face that stays for the remainder of the day.

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Tech N9ne visits Columbia, ready for strange therapy

Kansas City rapper, Aaron Yates AKA Tech N9ne, finds time on a cold Monday afternoon to joke around about vampires, talk about his love for psychiatry and plan his future.

In between freestyle raps and jokes, Tech N9ne opens up about his past, his future and what’s going on in his life right now. He has a personality that matches his music perfectly, which makes for interesting conversation, to say the least.

“What, they didn’t tell you I’m abnormal?” Tech N9ne said. “I’m a vampire, I vant to suck your blood.”

Just coming off tour, Tech N9ne finds time to unwind and relax.

“I’m kicking it like a donkey, you know?” Tech N9ne said. “I’m at the Strange Music headquarters right now and I’m in the room where we eat. Everybody’s working and I didn’t want to mess everybody up with my laugh because I know I laugh really loud.”

He mimics a loud, signature Tech N9ne laugh.

With so many hits and a new album out, Tech N9ne is about to shoot a video for another hit song off of his album All 6’s and 7’s called “Am I A Psycho?”

“I’m about to leave now,” Tech N9ne said. “We’re going to Atlanta, Georgia. I do the video on Wednesday, then I fly back Thursday afternoon and I have to drive all the way down from KCI Airport straight down to Columbia and do my meet-and-greet and then it’s on.”

His fast beats and catchy lyrics have been popular for a while now and his fan base is expanding to both the younger and much older crowd as well.

“I just turned 40 and they keep getting younger and younger!” Tech N9ne said. “My whole front row is 10 years old! It’s changing, I’m starting to see 80-year-olds, too.”

Tech N9ne is ready to come back to The Blue Note and its enduring fans.

“I come there all the time,” Tech N9ne said. “I love The Blue Note. We sell it out within hours. It’s going to be massive. The last couple of shows I did there, it was all women. I thought I was like Justin Bieber or something.”

Though music consumes his life, psychiatry is something that Tech N9ne has always been interested in. His music conveys his desire to understand the human brain quite clearly.

“I wanted to major in psychiatry,” Tech N9ne said. “I was always interested in why people do what they do and think what they think. Now that I chose rap and hip/hop, I noticed that a lot of people come up to me and say, ‘Thank you for the music, it really got me through.’ It’s very therapeutic, it’s like I’m my fans’ psychiatrist.”

Though he loves making music and adores his fans, the future approaches and Tech N9ne has an idea of where he wants to be in the next couple years.

“In five years, I’m going to own an island somewhere and I’m going to be on it with my children,” Tech N9ne said. “Eating and drinking coconut stuff. Maybe 151, Malibu rum and pineapple juice.”

Colbie Caillat to get ‘bubbly’ in Columbia

The singer-songwriter will perform Sept. 30 at The Blue Note.

By Megan Suddarth

Published Sept. 30, 2011

Prepare for a laid-back, “bubbly” Friday night with Colbie Caillat. The down-to-earth singer is coming to The Blue Note with a guitar in her hand and flip flops on her feet – well, maybe not so much with flips flops. This cool, fall Missouri weather is a bit of a change from her native Hawaii roots.

Performing in Columbia is a bit of a change from what Caillat is used to. Madison Square Garden, among others, is quite large compared to the unique college town vibe of The Blue Note.

“College towns are always so warm and more personal than huge cities,” Caillat says in an email. “And college audiences really know my music, so they make me feel at home.”

Caillat’s latest album, “All of You,” was released worldwide July 12. This third album is a more candid account of who Caillat really is and it openly explores the relationships in her life.

“I think this album is a very honest album,” Caillat says. “This new album is a more settled me. I am comfortable with my success and exploring all my feelings and those of friends and family. My music has always explored relationships, but I think that this album does it even more and more openly.”

Baring her soul in her new album made Caillat a little nervous about how it would be received.

“Sometimes, a song like ‘Shadow’ is very specifically about a friend, and others are more an amalgamation of my own and other people’s experiences,” Caillat says. “And when a song is very personal to a friend, I’m always a little nervous about playing it for them.”

Alhough touring can be quite stressful, Caillat does as much as possible to keep herself grounded so she doesn’t turn into a diva on tour.

“I am in touch with friends and family all the time, so that keeps me grounded,” Caillat says. “My friends from high school and elementary school are still my best friends.”

When she’s not touring, Caillat uses home remedies to prevent herself from letting success go to her head.

“When I’m home I like to chill out, exercise, hike with my dog and my boyfriend, and I spend a lot of time with my sister and her husband,” Caillat says. “I think that keeps me pretty normal.”

Despite her success, Caillat still promotes keeping the planet safe and healthy.

“Whether it’s leaving garbage on the beach, or throwing things out a window or not taking care of your pet, or eating too much meat, everything has a rippling effect on our planet,” Caillat says. “I wish people took the time to consider the effect of their actions.”

Caillat supports a number of organizations and thinks its important to get involved.

“I want to encourage all my fans to take an active role in their communities and in the causes that concern them,” Caillat says. “I support Farm Sanctuary, the Humane Society of the US (and) Surfrider Foundation. So, think about what is important to you now and in the future and volunteer.”

If you miss Colbie Caillat at The Blue Note this weekend, no worries. You can still get your fix by watching her perform “It’s My Party” on Playboy Club on Oct. 3 on NBC as Leslie Gore, an actual performer for the club in the 1960s.

Tommy and the High Pilots land in Columbia

The band will play Aug. 22 at Mojo’s

By Megan Suddarth

Published Aug. 22, 2011

Home is close yet so far away for the men of Tommy and the High Pilots. They’ve been touring the country for the past two months–rocking crowds and gaining fans with their upbeat rhythms and clever lyrics.

“We’ve been on the road for about two months,” lead singer Tom Cantillon says. “We’re in the last week and a half before we head back out to Cali.”

Although touring and selling out shows seem to be time-consuming, this talented foursome still somehow finds time to sit down and produce more awe-inducing melodies. The band is planning on releasing a new album in the near future.

“We’re working on a bunch of new songs,” Cantillon says. “The hope is that when we’re home for a little bit in September we flush out as many songs as we can. The hope is that by the end of the year we have enough songs recorded that we can start really talking about how we’re going to make the next record.”

Finding time to write those songs is a bit difficult when you’re on a schedule like theirs, but not impossible.

“I’ve been writing as much as I can,” Cantillon says. “But creativity suffers a little bit on the road because you’re so busy. When I get good song ideas and I don’t have another outlet I just call my phone and I’ll just be singing the melody into my phone, which is pretty funny when you’re walking around a mall.”

Many fans may consider “Where to Start” from their EP, American Riviera, their best song yet, but a young up-and-comer may give it a run for its money.

“I think ‘Where to Start’ is one of our best songs,” Cantillon says. “But we have this new song, ‘Young and Hungry’ that blows it out of the water. For me, personally, if every song I write isn’t better than the last one, then I scrap it.”

Not only are they working on new songs, but also a new music video. A video for their song, “The Limit,” from American Riviera is currently in production.

“We’ve already filmed the bulk of the video,” Cantillon says. “We have the whole storyline, and actually Matt Palermo wrote out the storyline. We just need a little bit more footage with the actors.”

All the hard work and effort the guys have put forth has paid off.

“We just found out that Sawhorse Sessions charted on Billboard,” Cantillon says of their latest EP. “We’re in the Heatseekers chart and we’re in the top 200 records this week. It took me a second to digest that – it was pretty cool.”

Through hectic days and crazy nights, the boys still take time to enjoy the little things in life.

“I have a fresh plate of hash browns waiting for me inside,” Cantillon says. “It’s my favorite thing in the world, I could eat hash browns all day.”

Ludo presents Space Dracula’s Basketball Expo

The band will play Aug. 7 at The Blue Note.

By Megan Suddarth

Published Aug. 6, 2011

Do you love that final frontier some people call space? What about blood-sucking vampires? Or even just a good ole game of basketball? Then Ludo’s tour, Space Dracula’s Basketball Expo, is one show you have to see.

“We’re very excited to be back in Columbia,” Moog player Tim Convy says. “It’s one of our favorite places to play and it’s going to be the last night of our tour, so it should be an even larger party.”

The theme has Ludo’s bizarre yet original signature scribbled all over it, but one might wonder how the idea came about.

“We’ve done themes in the past and we liked it, and we don’t have any new music out for this tour so we knew we wanted to have some sort of theme,” Convy says. “A couple of crazy, random ideas were thrown out and then we landed on space, basketball and Dracula.”

Only a few special cities have the privilege of seeing all three themes combined for the show as opposed to just one. Columbia happens to be one of those special cities.

“We knew we wanted to do all three in our biggest cities,” Convy says. “St. Louis, Columbia, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago get all three.”

Dressing up for this show is part of the packaged deal that is Space Dracula’s Basketball Expo. Band members wear costumes for each theme – and costumes for these themes will really turn heads.

“I’d be lying if I told you that I didn’t pick a favorite based on my comfort level on stage,” Convy says. “I like what we wear on the space nights, I think we look the coolest.”

Although downtime is rare for this out-of-the-ordinary tour, the men of Ludo still find time to live out their basketball-themed nights by shooting some hoops.

“We do play a little basketball,” Convy says. “We’re traveling with a full-size basketball hoop that we bring on stage so every now, and then we’ll set it up in either the venue or parking lot and shoot some hoops.”

So break out of your own comfort level and come dressed up in your craziest space-Dracula-basketball costume to enjoy a rockin’ night.

“We expect people to dress up,” Convy says. “It definitely makes it more fun if everybody comes and looks like an idiot. So you should show up dressed up and ready to sing along.”

Tommy and the High Pilots have little time for play

The band will play Feb. 24 at Mojo’s.

By Megan Suddarth

Published Feb. 22, 2011

Although downtime is rare for Tommy and the High Pilots, the members take time to relish in the small things.

“I’m just standing here watching my boys play pool,” lead singer Tommy Cantillon said. “They’re a good-looking bunch.”

It’s been a long and exciting ride for the members of Tommy and the High Pilots. Since their last appearance in Columbia, they’ve been working nonstop.

“We’ve been writing a bunch of songs,” Cantillon said. “We’ve been staying on the road and working on new stuff. While we’re in St. Louis, we’ll be recording an acoustic EP, which will serve as an in-between album for the kids with American Riviera.”

Taking a break doesn’t seem to be a frequent occurrence for these guys — even during the holiday season.

“We don’t ever break,” Cantillon said. “From the road, yes, but from the band, no. Over the holidays we booked the next tour. I try to write songs every day, which can take a long time. When you get as much time as you need, then that’s what we use that time for.”

The release of the band’s newest album American Riviera has been a huge success.

“We’ve taken a step up,” Cantillon said. “When we put out our first record, we weren’t correlated with Ludo, but we’re very fortunate to be incestuous with them — in a positive way. We hadn’t gotten to be under that umbrella with them until this release.”

The new EP can be expected sometime in March.

“It’ll pretty much be an acoustic album,” Cantillon said. “We’re totally working on this album and we want to put out this in-between album. We want to introduce and show people what we’re into. We want to show people the folksier side of the band.”

Touring with the same people for months at a time can be stressing and at times sickening, but that’s not the case for The High Pilots.

“We’ve been touring for so long that our relationships are really positive,” Cantillon said. “Everything totally falls into place accidentally, everything meshes. We sometimes take 20-hour drives and you really get a lot of time to figure out the personality of every person and to find out who they are.”

Sometimes, their relationship is a little more than just a brotherhood.

“It’s really like having a bunch of girlfriends,” Cantillon said. “You go down a different road to make sure very person is happy. Everyone gets to put their own two cents into everything. We’re a really tight unit. If there’s any dust between any of us, it settles so fast.”