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Harry Connick Jr. is Going on Tour!

We’ve become more accustomed to seeing him on the Broadway stage or taking up various roles on television and the silver screen. Now though, Harry Connick Jr. is going back to his roots with a new music album, and it’s the most personal he’s ever written. To promote the album, and give his fans a chance to see him for just who he is, the megastar is also taking the album out on the road this summer!

The album will be his seventeenth studio album and it’s titled, Every Man Should Know. It will be out on June 11, and the singer said in a press release that it’s his most personal album yet.

“No rules, no limits,” Connick says. “I used to be more comfortable writing…ideas that intrigued me but didn’t necessarily come from personal experience. It’s one thing to assume the role of a storyteller — it’s quite another when the story is your own. I felt ready to explore some of my personal experiences in some of the songs this time around.”

He also says that while it’s the most personal, it’s also the most eclectic album he’s ever made. While it does largely stick to his roots in jazz, the album also contains “straight-up country” and guests such as trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and vocalist Kim Burrell.

The tour to support the album will be almost a month long, beginning on June 19 in Baltimore and wrapping up on July 17 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In between Connick will also be stopping into Rhode Island, Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Atlanta, and Pennsylvania, to name just a few of the tour stops.

 


Daniel Tosh Hits Las Vegas This Month, Retirement Could Follow

Daniel Tosh is probably best known as the host of Comedy Central’s Tosh.0, which uses a lot of viral web videos to get laughs out of viewers as Tosh interjects his comedy in between. He’s also a successful stand up comedian, though.

Tosh really burst onto the scene in 2001 when he was on the Late Show with David Letterman. Eventually, one Comedy Central special led to another before he picked up his own show in 2009. Tosh is known for pushing the boundaries of acceptable comedy, so his content often includes jokes about racism and sexism.

Tosh has had a running joke that he will end his career on May 29, although he has a slew of shows scheduled starting on May 30 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Still, you never know. The last chance to see Daniel Tosh perform could come on April 19 and April 20 in Las Vegas, Nevada when he performs at the Terry Fator Theatre at the Mirage.

Tosh is always coming up with fresh material, but he has released one CD, one DVD and one combination CD and DVD. Those might give some sense of what you can expect to hear from his routine this year. True Stories I Made Up was released in 205, while Completely Serious came out in 2007 and Happy Thoughts dropped in 2011.

Any time Tosh performs without the constraints of television censorship, you never know exactly what you might get. On top of his own admission to making misogynistic and racist jokes that he finds funny even if he doesn’t believe them, Daniel Tosh was at the center of controversy last July after accusations that he made inappropriate jokes about rape.

Tosh denied that the accusations were accurate, but apologized for his remarks nonetheless. A long list of prominent comedians then came out to support his right to speak uncensored as a comedian, much in the tradition of many comics who pushed the boundaries of acceptable speech in the past.

You may not know exactly what you’ll get, but you know that Tosh won’t be afraid to speak his mind and there are sure to be plenty of laughs so get your tickets now for his shows in Las Vegas on April 19 and 20.


Shakespeare’s ‘The Winter’s Tale’ Opens at McCarter Theatre

Last night audiences at McCarter Theatre were privy to a very special treat — Rebecca Taichman’s take on Shakespeare’s Winter Tale. Taichman has done plays before, both taking on Shakespeare and being done at McCarter. But, this being a play that “has everything, really,” as lead actor Mark Harelik puts it, people were doubly excited, and doubly as anxious to see if Taichman could pull it off. Turns out she can, and with flying colors, too.

The Winter’s Tale is a story about King Leontes, and how he believes that his wife, Hermione, is having affections for his best friend. Acting upon his jealousy he imprisons her, leaving her to give birth to their child in her jail cell; and then later having that child abandoned. Only after he can no longer have Hermione at all, and after she starts haunting his dreams, does he begin to realize his deep love for her, and need to be reunited with her once again.

Taichman has only a small cast for this production, so many characters assume many different roles — and many, many different costumes — throughout the play’s entirety. Mark Harelik takes on the main role of King Leontes, while Hannah Yelland (Tony-nominated for 2011′s Brief Encounter) will be playing the part of Leontes’ wife, Hermione.

The play, directed by Taichman, eliminates parts of the script that are difficult for audiences to follow; and set after intricate set by Christine Jones pulls this great show together from beginning to end. Opening night is over, but you can catch The Winter’s Tale at McCarter Theatre in Princeton until April 21.


Maroon 5 Headlines Honda Civic Tour, and Kelly Clarkson’s Coming Too!

It’s official: the world is going pop! That certainly seemed to be the case first when Bjork was announced as a headliner at Ottawa’s Bluesfest this year, and now another huge event has also gone to the side of pop. Followers of the tour are finding out that Maroon 5 is going to be headlining the Honda Civic Tour this year, with Kelly Clarkson co-headlining. A handful of other acts will provide support along the way, with different bands performing different dates.

The Honda Civic Tour hasn’t been an exclusively rock tour, with Paramore performing in 2010, and Panic! At the Disco headlining before that in 2008. However, with rocker bands like Blink-182, My Chemical Romance, and Fall Out Boy filling the bill for the past several years, it certainly has made that name for itself. That being said, this slight change of pace is exactly what’s making this year’s tour one of the most exciting and highly anticipated yet.

Rozzi Crane and Tony Lucca will be appearing as the supporting acts, as will PJ Morton, who recently stood in as the keyboardist for Maroon 5.

The tour starts on August 1 in St. Louis and from there will travel all around the United States for a total of 31 stops. Some of the biggest cities along the way include Tampa, Austin, Atlanta, Saratoga Springs, and Raleigh. The tour will wrap up on October 5 in Chula Vista, California. For a full listing of dates, as well as who will appear as the opening acts, you can find them on the Maroon 5 tickets page.

Will you be going to the Honda Civic Tour this year? Are you excited about the change in musical genre?


Who Won at the ACMAs?

Sunday night was country music’s biggest night of the year as the Academy of Country Music awards ceremony was held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. And while names like Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift have dominated in year’s past, this year it was Miranda Lambert and co-host of the show, Luke Bryan, that were the biggest winners of the night.

Lambert picked up three cowboy-hat-topped trophies, one that included beating out past favorites, Swift and Underwood, when she took home Female Vocalist of the Year. Her song, “Over You,” which she co-wrote with her husband, Blake Shelton, won in two categories — Best Song of the Year, and Best Single Record of the year.

In addition to the awards voted on by the Academy, there are two categories that are always the most popular by viewers, because they’re the ones voted on by the fans. One of those was New Artist of the Year, for which Florida Georgia Line was awarded the trophy; and the biggest award of the night, Entertainer of the Year, which went to Luke Bryan.

Bryan was both choked up and speechless when he accepted the night’s biggest honor, saying that music was the only thing he ever wanted to do, and how grateful he was to be able to do it. Afterwards his co-host, Blake Shelton, joked about how great it was that Bryan could win on his “first and last year as co-host.”

If there were big winners though there were also big, well, not so much winners. Of the night, those honors go to Hunter Hayes, with Taylor Swift running a close second. While Hayes was nominated for six awards and went home with nothing, Swift was nominated for five and also went home empty-handed.


Angels Home Opener Worth the Wait as Athletics Visit

It can be one of the most frustrating things about the start of baseball season. You wait all winter to see your team take the field, only to have to sit through a week or more of road games before the home opener finally rolls around.

That’s the predicament that Los Angeles Angels fans find themselves in this year, but the home opener may well live up to the hype when the Oakland Athletics visit Tuesday April, 9.

Last year the American League West was one of the toughest divisions in baseball, with the Athletics, Texas Rangers all notching 89 or more wins. The Angels missed the playoffs at 89-73, though, and will be looking to get off to a strong start in the division this year.

Last year rookie phenomenon Mike Trout was one of the biggest stories in Major League Baseball, hitting 30 home runs and driving in 83 runs while hitting .326 in just 139 games. Trout made dazzling plays in the field as well, en route to the American League Rookie of the Year award.

That’s earned Trout a lot of attention in the offseason, from sports magazines to Gentleman’s Quarterly with plenty of other media attention in between. That and a little extra weight on the way into spring training left room for speculation about a possible sophomore slump.

Thus, all eyes in Los Angeles will be on Trout when he takes the field in the home opener.

The Angels also bring back Albert Pujols, who hit .285 last season with 30 home runs, 105 RBI and 85 runs.

Los Angeles also made a splash in adding Josh Hamilton in the offseason. The slugger hit .285 last year for the Rangers with 43 home runs and 128 RBI, so the Angels lineup will have plenty of pop with Trout, Pujols and Hamilton.

Don’t miss out on your opportunity to take in a great day at the ballpark and see Josh Hamilton’s home debut for the Angels. Get your tickets right away so that you can be there when Mike Trout begins his sophomore campaign.


Cinderella Story Hits NCAA Tournament South Regional in Dallas

History will be made this Friday at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, as Florida Gulf Coast becomes the lowest seed ever to play a Sweet 16 game in the NCAA tournament. The Eagles knocked off the second-seeded Georgetown Hoyas and the seventh-seeded San Diego State Aztecs and now advance to play the third-seeded Florida Gators Friday at 10 p.m. EST.

Their Cinderella story has caught the attention of college basketball fans everywhere, but the Gators hope to bring it crashing to a halt. Florida was supposed to be here, and things went according to plan with wins over 14th seeded Northwestern State and 11th seeded Minnesota.

While the in-state showdown will be the main event, the earlier game is no slouch either as the fourth-seeded Michigan Wolverines try to knock off the top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks.

Kansas fans didn’t get too much of a chance to yell their trademark chant of “Rock, Chalk, Jayhawk!” as they narrowly escaped a second-round upset in a 64-57 win over the South Region’s 16-seed, Western Kentucky. Kansas cruised against its former coach Roy Williams, though, beating his North Carolina Tar Heels 70-58.

Most recognizable on the Jayhawks is shot-blocking center Jeff Withey, who averages 14 points, nearly nine rebounds and four blocks per game. Withey, a 7-foot tall senior, already has 12 blocks in the tournament.

Michigan took care of business against South Dakota State, 71-56 and then throttled Virginia Commonwealth University 78-53. Sophomore guard Trey Burke, who averaged nearly 19 points and seven assists over the course of the season, lived up to his star billing. Burke scored 18 points and had seven assists in the win over VCU. He’ll have to clean up his seven turnovers against Kansas, though.

Tickets are available for Friday’s session or for the entire weekend, as the two winners will meet on Sunday with a trip to the Final Four on the line. Don’t miss out on your chance to see three of college basketball’s power house teams from this season and a Cinderella team hoping to continue knocking off the big dogs. Get your tickets today!


98 Degrees Release First New Music in Ten Years

Just in time before they head out in a couple of months on the “Package” tour with the New Kids on the Block and Boyz II Men, 98 Degrees have released their first single. But, as those fans who have been eagerly awaiting know, there’s more to this story than it just being a new single — it’s the first one heard from the band in a decade!

The song is called “Microphone” and, when it was first heard on radio, the band was quick to let fans in on it. “Hey did you hear our new single #Microphone on @Z100New York this morning? Make those requests NOW to hear more!” the band tweeted on the morning it was heard.

In the song the band sings to a woman, asking her to please “pick up the microphone.” There are tons of great beats and the characteristic falsettos and boy-band “o-o-oohs” throughout. For those that have been missing the great melodies and harmonies this band brings, “Microphone” certainly takes you back ten years, and reminds you why you loved it so much! You can listen to the full track here.

You can hear “Microphone” live by catching 98 Degrees on the “Package” tour, which kicks off on May 31 in Uncasville, Connecticut. 98 Degrees’ newest album, “2.0,” from which “Microphone” is cut, will be released a few weeks before that on May 7. The “Package” tour will wrap up on until July 13, 2013 when it wraps up in Minneapolis.


JT Plays MySpace’s Not-so-Secret SXSW Show

Justin Timberlake celebrated St. Patrick’s Day by closing out the SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas. The show was supposed to be top secret, but the news that Justin Timberlake would be there leaked so fast, we wouldn’t be surprised to learn that some fans heard about it before the pop star did.

The South by Southwest is notorious for bringing out huge secret acts sometime during the celebration, and often celebrities play on that by dropping clues and hints to their fans somewhere along the way. But this time, fans were told all but what time to show up.

Nearly as soon as JT was booked to play the festival, the Austin Police Department started preparing for it, bringing on additional security and making sure they’d have the grounds and city properly covered. During those preparations, some members of the security team leaked the news that the additional forces were needed because JT was coming into town to perform. But fans didn’t have to hang around the Austin P.D. to know that one of their favorite superstars was coming to town.

That’s because JT’s crew had littered the venue Coppertank Events Center, where the show was held, with ads for his newest project MySpace. And if that wasn’t enough, just around the corner from those ads, the words “Secret Show” were written on a wall in the star’s characteristic typeface.

Although the show probably could have been kept under tighter wraps, JT pulled the show off beautifully. Mostly playing songs from his album that’s about to be released, “20/20,” he also brought in some favorites from his other solo projects, “Justified,” and “FutureSex/LoveSounds.” What might have surprised fans most was when JT broke out into a cover of INXS’ “Need You Tonight.”

In other JT news, he also recently confirmed a rumor that had been floating around about his album “The 20/20 Experience.” The album that’s about to be released is just the first half, with another album due out afterwards.


Kansas City Has Top Seeds, Traditional Matchups and Upset Potential

The NCAA tournament is coming to Kansas City at the Sprint Center on Friday and Sunday, and there’s going to be a little bit of everything for college basketball fans.

That includes a local favorite as the top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks take on 16th-seeded Western Kentucky. Kansas should cruise to the second round against a 15-loss Hilltoppers squad that is lucky to find itself in the tournament, but there could be a tough matchup waiting.

Eighth-seeded North Carolina takes on ninth-seeded Villanova, and if the Tar Heels prevail, there will be plenty of familiarity between North Carolina and Kansas. That’s because Roy Williams spent 15 years coaching the Jayhawks before bolting to the Tar Heels. If those two meet up, there may be little love lost between Jayhawks fans and Williams.

Meanwhile, fifth-seeded Wisconsin takes on 12th-seeded Mississippi in the seed pairing most infamous for producing upsets. Ole Miss could be a good candidate, coming in off an SEC tournament title after knocking off Florida. The winner of that game will advance to play the winner of Kansas State against either Boise State or La Salle in a four seed versus 13-seed matchup. The Broncos and Explorers meet in a play-in game to determine the final matchup in Kansas City.

The atmosphere should be electric for both sessions, as there are sure to be plenty of Kansas and Kansas State fans in attendance. That will make for a home court atmosphere, but also a louder-than-usual venue for some early NCAA tournament sites.

It’s the rare pod of games that could give spectators a look at a national title contender in top-seeded Kansas, a likely to be hotly contested eight versus nine matchup in Villanova against North Carolina and potentially a strong storyline if the Tar Heels and Jayhawks meet up.

Once you factor in the upset-rich seedings in the other matchups, there’s a bit of everything in Kansas City.

Don’t miss out on the chance to take part in all of the March Madness. Make sure to get your tickets today, before it’s too late.