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Saturday, August 06, 2005
We have posted a link to MegaUpload.com where you can download Clay's new song (a medium tempo ballad), performed first last night to a hometown crowd of nearly 7,000 in Cary NC's Koka Booth Amphitheater, on our Tour News/Media Page.
Here are the lyrics:
Through my eyes
I see the world start spinning like a ball
Stars lights up and then fall for you.
So then what's a man like me supposed to do?
If I gave you the moon would you notice
That I'm right beside you?
Well a thousand days, a thousand nights are not enough
Cause I can't hold back the way I feel about my love
Won't let it go, won't let it go
And if the Angels came, I'd fight them back to win your soul
When everything was said and done, they'd go back home
They oughta know, they oughta know
That you're mine, all mine
In my world...
You're the sun that shines and lights an evening sky
Clearing up the horizon
Come with me now and I will never let you down, ooh
And in this love we'll drown
This I promise you
They can't hold us down, ooh...
I would do anything, yes believe it
Your love means everything, yeah I mean it
The heart won't lie
Reach out and love...
Credit goes to the CB's UntoldDarkness.
Friday, August 05, 2005
I have just added links to articles for the Cary, Merrillville and Musikfest concerts. They can be found on our Tour News/Media page.
New 14 Carolina has a nice write up along with a video of the Raleigh Pre-Concert Breakfast posted at their website:
Claymates enjoy pre-concert breakfast
8/5/2005 2:11 PM
By: News 14 Carolina Staff
Hundreds of women woke up with Clay on their minds Friday morning.
More than 300 Raleigh Claymates gathered at the Sheraton RTP Hotel and Convention Center for a pre-concert breakfast.
Clay will take center stage Friday night at Cary's Koka Booth Ampitheatre at Regency Park.
More than 300 Raleigh Claymates gathered at the Sheraton RTP Hotel and Convention Center on Friday morning.
It's the latest stop for Clay's "Juke Box Tour" which includes songs from several decades.
Fans say Claymania reminds them of the fan following of another rock-n-roll legend.
"I was a huge Elvis fan back in my day and I'm in my second childhood," said Canadian Clay Aiken fan Darla Steinke. "It’s like fandom all over again."
A silent auction was also held at the door. The proceeds go toward the Bubel-Aiken Foundation.
Clay is losing the poll as of 8/5 17:37 EDT. Please go and help Clay by voting NO. This is in Clay's hometown newspaper-- The Raleigh News & Observer!
Although he's idolized, Aiken finds time to help others
By Tom Jicha
Special to The Morning Call
Clay Aiken didn't watch a single episode of ''American Idol'' this season. He wasn't snubbing the show, even though the show might be snubbing him because he broke free of contractual ties to it. The extraordinary demands on his time just haven't afforded him the opportunity to watch, he says.
Legal squabbles notwithstanding, Aiken, whose Musikfest concert last year sold out faster than any other performance in the festival's 21-year history, says he still has warm feelings for the series that made him one of America's hottest performers.
His debut CD, ''Measure of a Man,'' sold three million copies; his 2004 holiday album, ''Merry Christmas With Love,'' sold a million; ''This Is the Night'' was the best-selling single of 2003, and his shows are windfalls for scalpers.
'''American Idol' is a very familial atmosphere,'' he says. ''When you're with people 24/7, as we were, you get to love them or hate them. I got to love them.''
He has toured with original ''Idol'' Kelly Clarkson and talks to her regularly. He tries to keep in touch with Ruben Studdard, the soul singer to whom Aiken finished first runner-up in 2003. He wanted to watch the April 6 results show, which included a performance by 2004 ''Idol'' Fantasia Barrino, but says he couldn't escape other commitments to get to a TV set.
No matter how jammed his schedule gets, he makes time to help others. For example, in April he participated in the ''Florida Voices for Change'' benefit in Broward County. Tickets were available for $200 and $275, with tables for 10 ranging as high as $25,000.
The pricing might have been a little steep for ''Clay-mates,'' his wildly supportive fan base, whose passion and loyalty mystifies him. ''I love it, but it's hard to understand why they care so much,'' he says, displaying the same boyish politeness in a phone interview that he exhibited toward Randy, Paula and Simon. His humility, even now that he has reached legitimate star status, is a big reason.
The beneficiary of ''Florida Voices for Change'' was the Bubel/Aiken Foundation, which he formed in 2003 with activist Diane Bubel, whose son Mike is autistic. The organization is dedicated to the integration into the mainstream of young people with developmental disabilities.
Aiken clearly has not forgotten where he comes from, another of his endearing traits. Helping children with special needs is probably what he would be doing, albeit on a less grand scale, if he had never been discovered. He has a bachelor's degree in special ed from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and was working with children with disabilities when he auditioned for ''American Idol.''
Aiken recalls teaching special-needs children at the YMCA in his hometown of Raleigh, N.C., and becoming disheartened when programs that could have been helpful were unavailable because of lack of funds. He says he used to tell himself, ''I'd love to be able to figure a way to get the kids into those programs.'' The fund-raising that has become a major part of his life has helped to do just that.
In late March, Aiken, an ambassador for UNICEF (the United Nations Children's Fund), toured the tsunami-ravaged Indonesian province of Aceh on a fact-finding mission. He also made a brief appearance but did not sing at the eight-hour Force of Nature Concert for Tsunami Aid at a stadium just outside Kuala Lumpur in Mayalsia.
The only downside to his global celebrity is that it has made him a target for the tabloids, which realize his face on the cover will sell papers. Not even someone with his wholesome image is immune to their creative smearing. He's adopted the savvy strategy of ignoring them, but one piece, which was sent to him, was especially hurtful, he said. ''One of them wrote I was working with a children's choir last Christmas and I was rude to them. I've spent my entire life working with kids, trying to help them.''
The only consolation, he said, is, ''I think most people didn't believe this story because it was so preposterous.''
Tom Jicha writes for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, a Tribune Publishing newspaper.
According to reports from the CB, Clay will be singing his new ballad, "1000 Days" tonight in Cary, NC. He was heard practicing this with the band in Greenville last night. Jaymes Foster-Levy, the producer for the new album also said, from the Greenville concert, that Clay will be singing the song in Greenville.
From the CB:
Jaymes Foster Levy just posted this info on the official [fanclub] site [under the name "Clayandr"] and they asked for feedback after hearing it so if you're lucky enough to be going to Cary, please post! The rest of us will have to wait for cellcert reports and audio/video.
Spirit-filled 'fest 'Idol' Clay Aiken puts his faith center stage
Friday, August 05, 2005
By JOHN A. ZUKOWSKI
He transformed from geek to chic in front of millions.
And now the voice over the phone seems to have changed too.
It sounded more mature and seasoned than when TV viewers saw him on "American Idol."
It was Clay Aiken, calling from Atlanta before a concert.
Aiken had just a few minutes to talk in what was likely a flurry of short phone interviews to promote an upcoming tour, which makes a stop 8:30 p.m. Wednesdayat Bethlehem's Musikfest.
The voice may be different because so much else has changed since he was a runner-up on "American Idol" in 2003.
The family friendly, openly religious Aiken has become one of pop music's most unlikely successes.
"You don't look like a pop star," Idol judge Simon Cowell famously told him.
Yep, he's more Manilow than Marilyn Manson. More Elton than Eminem. More Harry Connick Jr. than Sinatra.
But the rise of the self-proclaimed "geek" and "Mama's Boy" is one of pop music's most appealing Cinderella stories.
A chunk of that is told in the revealing autobiography "Learning to Sing: Hearing the Music in Your Life."
Not only is it a tale of overcoming bullies and naysayers, it's also a moving rise out of Southern poverty.
But it's also a story of religious faith.
His mother sometimes put religious-themed notes in his lunch when he was in middle school.
"The Lord sometimes takes us into troubled water not to drown us but to cleanse us," was one note she tossed into his lunch bag.
And there was inspiration in the Baptist and Moravian churches in North Carolina that he attended.
Outside of Pennsylvania, the largest concentration of Moravians is in North Carolina, where Aiken grew up. Aiken attended a Baptist church but for a period worshipped in Moravian churches.
Aiken ultimately returned to the Baptist church because he says it gave him more of a sense of community. But he says some of the inclusive messages in the Moravian Church stayed with him. That's something he wrote about in his book when he declared, "To me God is about love, not condemnation."
And so along the rise of his popularity he's been one of the few pop stars to talk about or display his Christianity.
When he appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone he wore a "What Would Jesus Do" bracelet. In the story inside he met a writer for dinner and prayed to himself before he ate. When an Express-Times reporter asked him last year for a favorite Bible verse, he immediately quoted Exodus 14:14: "The Lord will fight for you and you have only to keep still."
And he's been able to do what many other artists haven't been able to do -- which is being accepted by both Christian and secular media.
A group of Christian Web sites are devoted to him. He's been profiled in some Christian publications. He's also well-known for playing a few spiritual-tinged songs at his concerts.
But when Aiken, 26, performs at Musikfest he'll be somewhat of a human jukebox.
In addition to some trademark songs, such as "Solitaire" and "Bridge Over Troubled Water," and songs from his album "Measure of a Man," he'll perform medleys of songs from the 1950s to the present.
That means Aiken will perform snatches of songs such as Elvis' "Love Me Tender," the Beatles' "Can't Buy Me Love" and the disco anthem "Car Wash."
How did that come about?
From thinking about going back to some places he toured last year, he says.
"We were at Musikfest last year and we couldn't come back and do the same thing," he says. "A friend of mine did a review of songs from the 1960s and I thought that was a neat idea. But when I couldn't decide between the 1950s or '60s or '70s, I just decided to do them all."
He's reportedly been performing part of the Heart song "Alone," which last season's "American Idol" winner Carrie Underwood did a show-stopping version of. But that couldn't be the reason Aiken is singing it, because he didn't watch the "American Idol" contest this year.
Aiken was touring tsunami-struck areas in Asia with the organization UNICEF when "American Idol" was airing. He's also been busy with his charity organization, the Bubel/Aiken Foundation, named after an autistic boy he knew when he was studying to teach special education at the University of North Carolina.
So what does he get out of UNICEF and his nonprofit group that he doesn't get from singing?
It's a chance for him in some way to continue his pre-singing goal of teaching, he says.
And something more.
"When people are screaming at you on stage it's a kind of selfish fulfillment, that's the only way I can think of to describe it," he says. "Who doesn't want to have people love and enjoy what they do? But there's only so much you can get from people telling you how wonderful you are.
"There's a completely different satisfaction in learning what there is to do to help other people. I don't feel like my trip to Uganda is going to greatly change the situation there. But even if it's a small change it was worth it."
Aiken's trip to the African country with UNICEF was actually somewhat dangerous.
Aiken visited UNICEF shelters where children take refuge to avoid being abducted by a rebel army. The army regularly kidnaps children to be forced to either serve in the military or become sex slaves. That's displaced more than a million people.
He considers a question about whether he does things like that because it's part of his faith. Anyone can do it, he says.
"I feel everybody has a purpose on Earth and God has given each person a gift to improve the surroundings they're in once they've discovered what that gift is," he adds. "So each person's purpose is for the glory of God and to better our surroundings."
He's often mentioned his ability to sing as a gift. And he seems reflective about what it's done for him.
"I look at this gift as a stepping stone, or trait if you will, that I can use to ultimately better things," he says. "I think the entertainment career in many ways enables me to do more important things."
Despite his enormous popularity, the entertainment world is something some published reports say Aiken sometimes has trouble adapting to.
He doesn't drink or smoke. He reportedly has never said the F-word in his entire life. He also mentioned in his book how embarrassed he was bringing his mother to an awards show with sex jokes and obscene language.
So how does he stay away from the temptations that come along with that fame?
"It depends who you surround yourself with," he says.
After formerly being around people who were just career and money-oriented, he's found other people and friends that are supportive, he says. Then he pauses and apologizes for "not being very quotable about it."
In a recent TV Guide cover story, Aiken seemed homesick for his native North Carolina -- he has a home in Los Angeles -- and sounded somewhat disillusioned about some aspects of the entertainment business.
So perhaps it's a struggle he's still fighting.
But Aiken turns more definite when it comes to whether he considers himself a role model.
"When I stand out and look from the stage I see families and a lot of kids out there and that's a big thing for me," he says. "I always thought I was going to spend my life working with kids in some way. I know I'm not a teacher when I'm onstage. But whether you're singing or dancing or acting, I think you have a responsibility."
Without mentioning any names, he seems to feel strongly about entertainers who don't feel that way.
"I don't think everybody has the responsibility and delicateness it requires," he says. "When you're doing a job like this, being a role model is something that comes with it. Kids, teenagers, even adults look up to you. If you choose to put something out there that's not necessarily the best image or being a good role model, that's your choice."
He says that in a tone of maturity and experience.
And then he's gone, on to another interview.
Reporter John A. Zukowski can be reached at 610-258-7171 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subscribers to the CDD Clay News Weekly Newsletter as of 7 AM tomorrow (Saturday 8/6) will receive a special gift in the regular Saturday issue. Click HERE to sign up!
Clay's Learning to Sing, long listed for the prestigious 2005 Quills Award failed to make it to the short list, announced today. Voting starts later this month at all Borders stores. Clay is not on the ballot.
Thursday, August 04, 2005
From the CB's FanPower:
"The sounds of Invisible came from the TV in the other room. I almost stumbled getting to the TV. There was Clay on stage performing and his name in large letters promoting the Juke Box Tour. Went on to say music from the 50's to the present, appearing at the Indiana State Fair August 18. Tickets available at ticketmaster. He looked wonderful, but then when does't he. "
Clay plays the Indiana State Fair August 18th. Tickets are still available.
According to the Cary News, Clay's mom, Faye Parker, will be present for the Cary and Vienna Concerts and was present Wednesday night at the Greenville concert.
Clay also changed his dance routine for When Doves Cry... maybe because mommy was there? LOL.
From the CB:
[Faye] was in Greenville last night and unfortunately there was a difference in the WDC dance but I think that was it. Would you wanna do those [WDC] moves infront of your mom? I think i would be a little embarressed.
Wendy Lemus a staff writer at the Cary News has written 3 pre-concert fantastic articles. Clay plays the Koka Booth Amphitheater on Friday August 5th in Cary, NC. There are few tickets left and the show is very close to selling out.
Click to read:
PARKER KEEPS HER COOL DESPITE HER SON'S FAME
STUCK ON CLAY (nice article about all the Clay pins)
AIKEN WAIT IS OVER (about the Cary concert this Friday, the 5th)
100.7 FM WLEV Allentown, PA had Clay on the air today talking about the tour, teaching, his UNICEF work etc. MP3s of the Interview now up on the Tour News/Media Page. The interview will also re-air Saturday August 6th at around 6AM local time.
Summary courtesy dardar1126:
-"Talks about the genesis of JBT - chance to tour again this summer, but didn't want to repeat last summer's tour - worked w/Fred Bronson of BILLBOARD & his musical director S'von to pick the JBT songs - started w/150 songs?! - had to pare it down to less than 75 (NOTE: JBT includes 63 songs/song clips) "
-"Talks about his trips to Indonesia & Uganda - misses teaching - doesn't like to make specific career plans - want to rely on G-d's provident direction to guide his choices - broad goal is to '...be happy in 10 years.'"
-"Talks about the text messaging w/Boomerang - hopes for "nice messages" - life a whirlwind for the last 2 yrs - beginning to get used to it/more comfortable after all this time - thinks he's been asked everything at this point...no secrets left! - on radio to discuss tour, encourage ticket buying - usually doesn't have time to discuss UNICEF work - 6 months since tsunami...subject kind of buried in the news - ain't gonna be over in this 6 months...probably not for at least 6 years or more - still trying to wrap his mind around the disaster in Uganda...a child-centered war - UNICEF is his chance to continue in the teaching mode - he's jealous of his friends who are still teachers - still thinks he'd like to try to return to teaching at some future point - doesn't like to set too many specific goals - when he's made specific plans he's missed other opportunities - things he'd like to do, but doesn't want to be so driven that he misses other chances - trying to live without regrets.DJs think he's a great guy, down-to-earth, really cares about what's going on in the world, very compassionate; male DJ thinks it'd be cool if Clay was able to return to teaching some day. "
Clay is mentioned in an interview with Kathy Griffin, conducted by PlanetOut Entertainment. You can read the full article HERE.
You make a living -- and, by the way, from the looks of your house, a very good living -- making fun of celebrities. Sometimes you can be really harsh, and that's usually when it's the funniest. But are there ever times where you've felt especially bad after ripping on someone, to the point where you really regret it later?
It's really weird, because that happens all the time, and yet I can't seem to stop myself. I used to say "OK, no cancer jokes, no AIDS jokes." But let me tell you something: Nobody makes a better fucking cancer joke than someone who has it. I have friends who are going through chemotherapy, and they make the darkest, most hideous cancer jokes you've ever heard. So I wonder if anything should ever be off limits.
So yes, I say things I regret constantly, and I just can't help it. For instance, in my special "I'm Not Nicole Kidman," I talk about Clay Aiken. I talk about my own relationship with Clay. Which is: I love Clay, I think he's a very sweet guy, hardworking and a very good singer, but it's ridiculous to me that he's in the closet. So in my special, I talk about how silly it is that he does those interviews where he talks about how he can't find the right woman. Have you seen the new issue of TV Guide? He's on the cover talking about how he just wants to get married and have kids, and how he can't wait to fall in love with the right woman.
So I joked about that in my special, and then he goes on "Access Hollywood" two days ago and talks about how he's leaving L.A. because people are mean and jaded here and how everybody has an agenda, and how he's going back to North Carolina. Well, I got two separate calls from friends saying, "You have single-handedly driven Clay Aiken out of L.A." And like, my special hasn't even aired yet! He's going to like, send me anthrax in an envelope when he sees it!
So anyway, I feel really bad now, because he's a really sweet kid. But I just can't ... Well, it's just so funny to me that he talks about girls. Hey -- I don't have any proof he's gay, any more than you do, but I think we're all on the same page.
Griffin also mentioned Claymates in another article (Read it here): "She does say she worries about "Claymates" from "Claynation" coming after her, and probably with good reason, after this show."
Clay mania quiets down
By MATT EHLERS, Staff Writer
They once moved so quickly that thousands of fans would be disappointed.
But tickets to Clay Aiken's concert Friday at Koka Booth Amphitheatre at Regency Park in Cary have been on sale since the final week of April. Only a few of the 7,000 tickets were still available Wednesday morning.
Contrast this lack of ticket-buying hysteria with his appearances last year at the N.C. State Fair, when 6,000 tickets sold in less than 10 minutes. Organizers quickly added a second show and another 6,000 went almost as fast.
Is something happening to Clay Nation when a concert near his hometown doesn't sell out instantly?
Be a Reviewer
Going to see Clay Aiken at Koka Booth Amphitheatre? Tell us what you thought of the show. We'll publish a selection of your reviews in Monday's News & Observer.
Post your reviews by 5 p.m. Saturday and make sure to check your e-mail Sunday morning to see if we have sent you a request for verification.
Dawn Graham of Fuquay-Varina, who laughingly describes herself as part of the "crazy Internet community" that follows Aiken, believes the slower-than-usual ticket sales can be blamed on a couple of factors.
One: Not all fans like to sit on the lawn. And two: There's a lack of familiarity with the Amphitheatre.
"Unless you live in Cary or go to see the N.C. Symphony, you really don't know it's there," said Graham, 36.
Aiken also hasn't been on the radio lately. His debut album, "Measure of a Man," was released almost two years ago. Internet fans might follow his every move, but regular folks could be wondering what he's been up to lately.
"As far as the mainstream, he's probably hurting a bit," said Kelly Marcks of Raleigh, who said she is not concerned about any dip in Aiken's mainstream popularity.
"It doesn't worry me a bit because the Internet fans are so strong," said Marcks, 32. She said the slower ticket sales meant fewer fans were shut out.
Amphitheatre publicist Teresa Franzen said fan Web sites had announced prematurely that the show was sold out. Not that it mattered in the end.
"No matter how you look at it," she said, "we're going to have 7,000 people."
The fanatical hubbub over Aiken may have died down a bit, but don't expect it to completely fade. Fans such as 20-year-old Laura McAllister of Wilson are already looking forward to Aiken's new album, which is expected in 2006.
McAllister spent part of an afternoon watching and rewatching a video clip on the Internet of his recent appearance on "Good Morning America," which included the new tune "Back for More."
"I'm addicted to the song already," she said.
Staff writer Matt Ehlers can be reached at 829-4889 or mehlers@newsobserver.
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
The BAF has updated it's contact list and a prominent BAF figure, Fran Skinner Lewis is not on the list, fueling speculation on the various Clay fanboards that she has left the organization.
This updated list was posted today on the BAF website:
Board of Directors
Chief Operating Officer
The Bubel/Aiken Foundation
P.O. Box 90307
Raleigh, North Carolina 27675
Photos from Clay's GMA Appearance last Friday are featured in MSNBC's weekly photo essay.
Click HERE to view the gallery. (Clay is Picture #4)
It has been rumoured that Kyler England will be opening for Clay in Cary on Friday night at the Koka Booth Amphitheater. New reports via the CB suggest that she may not be opening for Clay, but will be there before Clay for a separate concert. We cannot confirm this infomation at the moment. Stay tuned. This was posted on her website:
8.5.05 Friday 7pm
opening for Clay Aiken (i know, i know ;) )
Koka Booth Amphitheater @ Regency Park (Cary, NC)
8003 Regency Parkway map it!
The Raleigh News And Observer will be featuring Clay on the front page of the August 5th issue, along with a special on the Cary, NC concert at the Koka Booth Amphitheater. If you want a copy, they are available online for $5 within the United States, or $20 for all international orders.
The N&O has been advertising this special edition on all it's newspaper boxes, with this poster (courtesy the CB's thudclayz):
From the CB's HotClay:
"Clay's name shows up in the strangest places..Random Mention"
Adelphia offers digital video recording
By Justin McElroy/The Ironton Tribune
Tuesday, August 2, 2005 1:14 PM CDT
Not a fan of commercials? Skip them. Love singer Clay Aiken? Watch his video again. Tired of missing a minute of "24"? Not a problem.
Being able to pause, play and record live television would have seemed like science fiction just a few years ago, but it's now a reality for Ironton-area Adelphia Cable subscribers.
Beginning immediately, subscribers can use a digital video recorder (DVR) and begin experiencing one of the hottest trends in television.
With the DVR connected - after a $25 installation - viewers can pause television programs, rewind them and even save favorites to play again and again.
Using an internal hard drive, the DVR allows viewers to save favorite programs for later viewings - around 50 to 60 hours worth - when they air, or setting the box to record a whole season of a favorite show.
With the service, it's also possible to pause a show until the viewer is ready to watch, to answer a phone call for example, or view key bits in slow motion.
"Adelphia has made a significant investment in our network and support systems so that we can deliver the best services available," said general manager Mark Ganley in a written statement. "DVRs allow our customers to take control of their TV viewing."
Of course, taking control comes at a price. In addition to the installation fee, the combination of the DVR box will run customers $12.90 a month, about the same as comparable competitor TiVo.
The DVR replaces a standard digital cable box, so customers who are currently spending $4.50 a month on their box can expect a hike of only $8.40 in their bill.
Anyone interested in setting up the service or who have more questions can reach Adelphia at 1-877-DVR-2DAY (1-877-387-2329).
Don't bet on payola ever going away
By Ben Wener, The Orange County Register
August 2, 2005
My mother was the first to tell me about the payola scandal --the one involving Sony BMG, New York's crusading attorney general and a $10 million pittance settlement.
You remember my mother the Claymaniac, don't you? That darling fanatic whose nickname at Clayversity, a message board for other Clay Aiken fans, is OCRegMom?
So if she's bringing this up, I know it's because she's worried about how it has affected Clay. My mother hasn't mentioned an entertainment story in two years that hasn't led to its bearing on Clay's career. You'd think she was reaping dividends on his album sales.
"Why do you care?" I asked. "You don't listen to the radio."
Besides, I told her, payola is an ugly industry given. It may be sidelined for a while, but it will never be fully stopped.
It's a pay-per-play practice in which record labels ply radio station bigwigs with cash and goodies to get tunes more spins, and it has been around since the dawn of AM. Though made illegal in 1960, after the Alan Freed-centered scandals of the `50s, anyone with half a brain should have suspected such hit-brokering and bribery continues to this day.
When Jennifer Lopez, Kelly Clarkson and Lindsay Lohan appeared at this year's Wango Tango bonanza in Anaheim, Calif. -- presented by KIIS-FM, a crown jewel in media giant Clear Channel's empire --do you think they did it just because they love their fans? Well, maybe they did, but their contract-keepers offered those performances so their singles would get increased airplay on the station. How could they not, right? You play the show, you get promoted.
Change the names to Audioslave and Foo Fighters and KROQ, or Snoop Dogg and Power 106, and you get the same equation. It is as pervasive as New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer contends.
But do the many revelations in subpoenaed e-mail really surprise anyone? Given such blatant "playola" at radio festivals and contest giveaways, is it such a leap to imagine program directors accepting laptops and plasma televisions and trips to Las Vegas in exchange for spins during peak hours? Or that record labels have teams of interns posing as callers trying to jack up the number of requests for a song-- which, frankly, seems useless under the circumstances?
Is it really so eye-opening to read statements like this, from a Sony exec: "Please be advised that in this week's Jennifer Lopez Top 40 Spin Increase of 236 we bought 63 spins at a cost of $3,600."
Seems pretty cheap to me.
Look, I long for more altruistic radio, wherein DJs play whatever comes to mind or gets requested. And if I didn't have enough CDs to create something similar via my PC, I'd gladly subscribe to a satellite provider.
But I don't see those outlets as mainstream, for they don't take the pulse of average pop listeners; they cater to niches.
Other stations, however, are cruder about hawking hot new things. For that's what radio is best at: pitching products.
Sometimes it's air purifiers and breakfast burritos. Sometimes it's lawyers and doctors you don't need. And sometimes it's music so lousy you wouldn't listen to it if you were paid to.
Welcome to the terminally corrupted entertainment biz, where award nominations can be had by sending out spiffy DVD sets and gift packages, where collusion among a small number of immensely powerful media conglomerates is gross yet unavoidable, where even a cynical schmo like me gets sent a pecan pie from ZZ Top just because I wrote a fond profile. (I let our copy desk scarf it. We have policies about such things.)
It's a you-scratch-mine-I'll-scratch-yours industry, and like it or not --and I don't--payola will survive this setback and persist indefinitely. As it is, labels can still legally barter with tickets and meals and other nominal bribes.
So all I can do is laugh when Spitzer says stations "are the ones most fundamentally violating the public trust."
What trust?! That we trust the radio will continue to play dreck? That we trust stations to operate fairly? Who is he kidding?
It should be obvious by now that this is a con game built on backroom deals later given face-lifts for public display. All Spitzer did was force Sony BMG to offer up the biggest payola ever ($10 mil to essentially go about its business) and score front-page publicity, in a sham where negativity is almost as golden as praise.
But back to my mother: She sees the violation of trust. "Radio didn't matter to me before at all," she told me. "But radio play equates to placement on the charts, which equals hype and sales. When one is invested in someone's career, that becomes, at the very least, interesting information."
She wants her boy (not me, Clay) to succeed. And I can see how frustrating it would be for fans who have been incessantly requesting songs to realize their effort may have been for naught.
Yet, all that irritation says to me is that superiority is being wielded here: It's annoying for Claymaniacs, for example, to see him merely rest in the Top 10 while others (Kelly, Avril, Jessica, whoever) get greater payola push and score a No. 1 smash. They want their boy to be every bit as huge.
To which I say: Mom, platinum sales and scores of spins are not the measure of a man.
After much discussion among the board moderators regarding traffic flow and what we assess as the current board needs, we came up with the following plan:
1) Move the Tour Forums above Clay World to better direct the high Tour traffic.
2) Within the Tour Forums:
- Add a NEW forum for links to Tour-related video clips for downloading and
- Move the Clay Parties forum into the Tour forums as well (this forum *might* be moved to Clay World closer to CD release time).
3) Move our BAF forum to Clay World under Clay Street.
4) Add a NEW non-tour related audio/visual downloading forum to Clay World, which would include links to clips of Clay in the News, Radio Interview MP3s, and Montages too!
So, bear with us while we make the changes and move threads to their appropriate forums!
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
The first officially announced concert of the upcoming Christmas tour has been listed on Ticketmaster. The general public will be available to purchase their tickets starting August 27. Meanwhile, tickets are now available to venue members (more info).
From Clay Aiken The Ideal Idol:
The Buzz It is reported that Clay was heard to say (in Pittsburgh) that "a couple more" new songs will be previewed later on during the tour. He said people had "better get some more tickets"...called it "good marketing strategy..."
Monday, August 01, 2005
A few fans have noticed that a verse from the new song, "Just You" had a different wording at the Darien Lake concert than the previous concerts in Tomsriver and Uncasville.
Night after night I dream you're in my arms
Because your love can heal the scars of a wounded soul
Dance with me, baby we'll touch the sky
We'll reach the mountains, oh so high
And then we'll fly away
I never thought that it could be this way
Night after night I dream you're in my arms
Because your love can heal the scars of an empty soul
Reach for me, you own time and space
Cause, no one else can take your place
Can't face this world alone.
A new picture of Clay in a Ugandan school has been posted onto Clay's page at UnicefUSA.org.
People Magazine has posted a picture of Clay sitting casually on the GMA Stage onto it's website along with a nice caption: "Clay Aiken takes a breather during his Friday performance on Good Morning America. The American Idol (and UNICEF ambassador) is currently crisscrossing the country on his summer tour".
Clay Aiken fans pine for pins
The objects have become a hot item for the singer's devotees.
By DIANNE AUSTIN
Special to The Orange County Register
In past decades, steady sweethearts showed their devotion by "getting pinned." Now, Claymates are doing it for the same reason, except the object of their affection is "American Idol" runner-up and pop artist Clay Aiken.
Aiken went into hibernation right after his Joyful Noise Christmas tour last year. Now he's on the road with his Jukebox Tour, which began Friday and will run through Sept. 1.
The Clay Nation, buzzing with excitement at Aiken's return to the stage, is showing its appreciation by designing and collecting fan-club cloisonné pins in an amazing variety of shapes and colors.
A large number feature state-based designs. California Clay fans, including many in Orange County, designed an arresting image of the long limbed idol, sitting with knees bent in front of the outline of the Golden State. This faction professes unconditional support for Aiken, who lives in California but who makes no bones about missing his home and a simpler life in Raleigh, N.C.
Irene Williams is a California Clay Fan and an avid pin enthusiast. Williams, an artist and retired teacher from Cypress, will travel to Atlanta; Greensboro, S.C.; Cary, N.C.; and Vienna, Va. to see Aiken in concert four times in two weeks. She has collected 80 of the more than 100 pins available.
Other than state designs, there are message board, Web site, Yahoo group and individual Clay fan insignia pins. Lori McAdam, an artist who has done a number of portraits of the vocalist, has also donated her time to designing one of the pins. Hers will be featured in North Carolina at a preconcert breakfast celebrating the favorite son's return to the stage in his home state.
Jeff York, co-owner of Pin Promotions, a company near Orlando, Fla., that manufactures the Aiken pins, says the trend began in April. That's when Aiken fan Judy Cozine placed an order for a "Clayversity" fan site logo pin. Then orders started pouring in for other Aiken pins, each with a different design and message.
How large were the orders?
"Well, a minimum order is 100 pins," York said. "Soon, the average order I'd get was not less than 1,000 pins. Some orders have been as much as 6,000 at a time."
The pin fixation will be obvious as Aiken's Jukebox Tour gives fans a chance to display their acquisitions. No West Coast venues were booked for the tour, so some Orange County fans plan to fly east for Aiken's vintage-themed tour.
Pat Miller of Cypress, Janet Oliff of Tustin and Betti Young of Orange are among them. Miller, who calls herself a Claymate, will be going to Vienna, Va., and Bethlehem, Pa. Oliff has tickets to Aiken's Michigan venues. And Young, 67, will see Aiken in eight venues in two weeks.
Miller says she'll be wearing all 13 of her pins on a lanyard around her neck. Young has 18 pins that she will take with her in a case. But Oliff, who has collected 96 designs, did it just for the keepsake quality. "I won't be trading," she said. "I just wanted one of every design to keep forever."
Now, all that's left for Aiken to do with his Jukebox Tour is go with the flow.
Williams, the artist and teacher, had an idea for Aiken.
She thinks that at each concert, Aiken should search the audience for that special fan he'd like onstage with him. (He's known for inviting audience members to sing and dance.) And inside the upside down Fedora (a signature accouterment) perched on the edge of the platform, there would be one of every fan pin that exists up to that point. The lucky lady chooses one and presents it to him.
Then Williams suggests this with a twinkle in her eye:
"You guessed it. It makes so much sense. Because all the female Clay fans I know would give anything to say 'I was pinned by Clay Aiken!' "
Dianne Austin writes for Clay Aiken fan clubs and Web sites.
Sunday, July 31, 2005
From the CB's gengen:
I'm sitting here bawling like a baby right now. I just saw the pictures riversend has and now I'm going to fill in some absolutely amazing details.
The little girl is Erika and Scott is her father. Scott brought Erika to the concert with a friend. A little while ago I posted asking for prayers for "lurker Sharon and her grandaughter and her daughter. Erika and her mom were hit on the very last day of school by a drunk driver. How they survived was a complete miracle. Sharon the grandmother because of the stress ended up having a heart attack that very weekend.
THAT IS THE LITTLE GIRL CLAY WAS WITH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"Lurker Sharon and I and a friend were at the concert last night. We didn't sit with them because they are in the handicapped section. I'm not all that computer literate but Marg our friend is. If anyone has pictures could they please e-mail them to Marg. Sharon just e-mailed me asking if I had seen any pictures!!! I haven't even had time to tell her yet."
If that isn't enough well it goes even further. Darien had a pre-party at the Beaver Lodge and that was WAY too far for Sharon to walk to. So it was arranged that security would pick Sharon up on one of those little golf carts and take her there. Sharon's doctor and her daughter were coming in around 5:00 (yes they are Clay fans thanks to Sharon) and Sharon was meeting them back at the parking lot. When they arrived the security came back to the pre-party to take her back to the parking lot. On the way back the wonderful security man told Sharon that Clay was on the Viper and did she want to go over there. They did and Clay was on his golf cart going to another ride and Sharon got to see him and he flashed that big smile and waved at her.
That was before the concert!!!!!!!!!!!!! and then that happened at the concert!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We are all still in AWE over last night. I'm without words....
Thanks so much
Maureen Baker is the newest member of Clay's band, currently on tour with Clay on the Jukebox Tour. Take a peek at her website for more information. She will be playing Keyboard.
Clay's bodyguard, Jerome is reportedly off-the-job dealing with a family matter, but was present at a few of the JBT concerts so far, according to reports from the Clayboard. His is being temporarily replaced with a bodyguard by the name of Chuck.
From the CH:
Friends returning from Darien Lake had an opportunity to talk with Larry the security guard and he told them that Clay's people gave them instructions to let the cameras roll! And they did, apparently, for our present and future entertainment (thank you clack gatherers!)
From the CB's wrappedmymindaroundhim:
The rumor is true. They allowed anything and everything we stood and took video there. It was a videographers dream come true! Thank you Clay!
Update from the CB xokarmaxo:
Oh yeah.... wanted to tell ya that there should be LOTS of clack from this show (Atlanta)! Before the show I asked Jerome (who was there, but not on "duty") if he knew what the camera policy was for the concert since Chastain Park is normally a "No Camera" venue. Jerome said that "everything" was allowed, but be careful with video... then he said "Well, do whatever you want to."
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