Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ I have the honor of sharing an interview I recently did with two-time Grammy nominee Lisa Loeb! You may know Lisa from her platinum-selling hit #1 single ‘Stay (I Missed You), her various voice-over roles in shows such as ‘Spider-Man: The New Animated Series’, ‘Jake and the Never Land Pirates’, ‘Doc McStuffins’, etc., her eyewear line, or the various other projects that Lisa has had over the past two decades. In this interview we discuss Lisa’s music, eyewear line, her charitable foundation ‘Camp Lisa’, her musical influences, and so much more! Also please keep an eye out for Lisa’s singles ‘3,2,1 Let Go’, and ‘The Disappointing Pancake’, which will be released on vinyl via Blacktop Records on July 8th, 2016. You can also pick up the records at any of Lisa’s upcoming shows:
June 21 – Wolf Trap Theater-in-the-Woods, Virginia
June 22 – Sundown Music Series, Haddon Heights, NJ
July 10 – Oakville Children’s Festival, Ontario
July 11 – Stratford Masonic Concert Hall – Stratford, Ontario (SOLD OUT)
July 12 – Stratford Masonic Concert Hall – Stratford, Ontario
July 13 – Adelaide Hall – Toronto, Ontario
So now let’s get to the interview! Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
Celinda: First of all I would like to thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview. Personally I am such a huge fan of your music, and I know that my readers are excited to hear about all of your new projects. Since we are on the topic of music, what/who would you say originally sparked your interest in music? Also, which bands/artists have influenced your music that would surprise your fans?
Lisa: That’s such a huge question. There are so many musicians and performers who inspired me. My family, the music around me growing up, my friends’ taste in music, the music I was played at school and the music we sang and played at school, music I learned in piano and later guitar lessons, music on the radio. Wow, so much music all around me. I usually think of The Police as the band that made me want to play guitar in a band and write music. I also loved David Bowie’s dramatic singing, writing, storytelling, and all-around aura. I’m hugely influenced by Led Zeppelin, Olivia Newton John, The Cure, and soft pop from the 1970’s like Bread.
Celinda: I can definitely hear all of those influences in your music. So, how does it feel that Stay (I Missed You) is still such a recognizable and beloved song 22 years after its’ initial release?
Lisa: I love it. I think it’s incredible that people connect with me and my song so many years later. People really have sweet nostalgia as well as a current identification with the song. I think that’s why it’s still so powerful so many years later.
Celinda: Now let’s move on to the live action acting you’ve done on television and for films. Did you always want to foray into acting or was it something that you grew to love later in life?
Lisa: I always wanted to be actor, maybe even before I wanted to be a musician. I like the idea of being able to try on different characters and jobs and personalities. (That just sounded crazy.) I think it’s amazing to put yourself in another person’s shoes. I loved doing theater in school and college and always studied theater during the summers. I still use my acting training a lot during live performances and interpreting my own songs night after night. I still hope to spend more time training and doing more acting soon!
Celinda: That’s so exciting, I know I speak for all of your fans when I say we’re excited to see which acting projects you might take on in the future! Along with your live action acting, you’ve also voiced numerous characters on various videos games and television shows such as: ‘Spider-Man: The New Animated Series’, ‘Jake and the Never Land Pirates’, ‘Doc McStuffins’, etc., do you feel that your experience as a recording artist has helped you become more comfortable and confident as a voice actress?
Lisa: My acting experience coupled with recording music in the studio has really come together for voice acting. It’s a place I feel really comfortable and love the collaboration of working with producers, writers, directors, and engineers to come up with the right sound for the animated shows, commercials, and other voice work I do.
Celinda: I would like to take a moment to mention that I love your eyewear line; all of the pieces are gorgeous and very fashionable. Is there a story behind the creation of your eyewear line, or is it something you’ve always wanted to do?
Lisa: The eyewear line is a dream come true. I’m a huge fan of glasses and finding the perfect pair for myself! I think glasses can add so much to a person’s face and can help express how a person sees life and how they relate to others. I love that my eyewear line can help women look beautiful, stylish, flirty, classic, and confident. People look to me for that and now I can finally help people. Literally, fans and people who like my glasses and my look stop me on the street to talk about glasses. I thought it was time for me to get more involved. We have lots of tortoiseshell, pops of color, shapes and sizes for different faces and skin tones. I love when people tell me that they wear their glasses because I wear my glasses.
Celinda: All of the pieces are amazing; you definitely have a great eye for fashion. Moving on, I would like to firstly congratulate you for all of the accomplishments that your organization ‘The Camp Lisa Foundation’ has achieved; it is truly inspiring to see artists give back. What would you say has been the most rewarding part of ‘Camp Lisa’, and what do you hope the foundation will accomplish in the future?
Lisa: It’s amazingly rewarding knowing that kids are going to have a summer camp experience, helping them build their confidence and character as well as connecting them to summer fun. I hope the foundation can continue to send more kids to summer camp! Buying my Camp Lisa record, my “Wake Up!” Blend coffee from https://www.coffeefool.com/collections/charity-coffees and making direct donations to me through The Camp Lisa Foundation through www.LisaLoeb.com are great ways that you can help!
Celinda: Your foundation’s mission is truly beautiful and will definitely continue making a positive impact on numerous children. So I read on your website that you earned a degree in comparative literature from Brown University; did you always aspire to become an author? Also, what inspired you to write children’s books?
Lisa: I really should have studied theater, music, psychology- all areas that interested me the most, but at the time I felt I needed a liberal arts major, and that was it. I’ve always enjoyed interpretation, and meta-thinking, and overthinking, so it seemed like a good major. I think it’s important to spend quiet connected time with kids, away from the TV and the computers and phones. These illustrated books help a parent/caregiver/teacher do just that. These books are fun to explore and read and re-read. I made two kids’ books of lyrics, activities, and recipes for kids ‘Lisa Loeb’s Silly Sing-Along: The Disappointing Pancake and Other Zany Songs’ and ‘Lisa Loeb’s Songs for Movin’ & Shakin’: The Air Band Song and Other Toe-tapping Tunes’ and I think a lot of those songs would make really great board books one song at a time. I have a children’s book up my sleeve now too!
Celinda: That’s so interesting! I know we’re all super excited to read and hear this new book! Moving back to the topic of music for a second, your singles ‘3,2,1 Let Go’ and ‘The Disappointing Pancake’ will be released on 7inch vinyl on July 8th, 2016 in Canada via Blacktop Records. Personally I love the throwback feel of vinyl that you just can’t get with digital or even cd releases, but what inspired you to release these singles on vinyl?
Lisa: “3,2,1 Let Go!” is the kind of song you want to hear on vinyl, and since there’s only one song on each side, you really can focus on listening over and over to each song, since once you hear the songs, you’ll want to listen over and over. ; ) “The Disappointing Pancake” is one of my most popular songs, taken from both the ‘Camp Lisa’ record and the ‘Silly Sing-Along’ book, so I thought I’d highlight it here on this special release. Plus, even though it was originally written for kids, I think grownups enjoy hearing it- a story that’s different from your lost love song.
Celinda: Thank you again Lisa for taking the time to speak with me today, it was truly an honor. Lastly, is there anything you would like to say to your fans who are reading this interview?
Lisa: I can’t wait to come to Canada! It’s been really too long since I’ve been there. Yay! Yay for us. I can’t wait to see you!
Keep up with everything Lisa is doing:
Eyewear Line: http://www.lisaloebeyewear.com/
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to talk about last week’s 2014 CMAs (Country Music Awards). This year’s show was once again co hosted by country music superstars Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley, and featured really cool musical performances. Once again, Carrie and Brad were able to use their combination of witty banter, musical talents, and comic timing to poke fun at some of this year’s most highly profiled current events. They also performed a very funny song about George Strait not being at the show this year, and then later when they “discover” that he is at the show, they make comments about why he hasn’t gone anywhere (which is a joke about the tour that George Strait just completed, which was called ‘The Cowboy Rides Away’). The hosts opening monologue was definitely a fun way to kick off such an exciting, high energy show. So now let’s move on to the awards and musical performances!
Single of the Year:
‘Automatic’ by Miranda Lambert
Now if you were listening to country radio this year, you definitely heard this song (this single even reached #3 on the Billboard US Country AirPlay chart). Of course no one should be surprised at this win, because Miranda co-wrote the song and we all know that right now Miranda Lambert truly has the Midas touch.
Song of The Year:
‘Follow Your Arrow’ by Kacey Musgraves
This is another song that you’ve definitely heard all year long. This song was certainly a big hit as the 3rd single off of Kacey’s debut big label album, and its success is definitely evidence that we haven’t heard the last of this rising star.
New Artist of The Year:
Brett Eldredge first made his impact on the country music scene in 2012 when his single ‘Don’t Ya’ (which was certified Platinum in the U.S.) was released to country music radio and reached #1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart. This single was followed up with the similarity successful single ‘Beat of The Music’ (was certified Gold in the U.S.) in 2013. With such a strong show on his debut album, it’s not a surprise that Brett won this honor.
Vocal Duo of The Year:
Florida Georgia Line
Ok everyone who was surprised by this please raise your hands. Let me guess, there are no hands raised right? Yeah, if you’ve listened to the radio AT ALL this past year (country and pop radio), then you’ve heard of the country power duo Florida Georgia Line. These rising stars have also had cross-over remixes of two of their hit singles (Cruise & This Is How We Roll) with features from r&b/pop/rap stars Nelly and Jason Derulo. With their iron grip on both country and pop radio, I foresee 2015 to be an even BIGGER year for Florida Georgia line.
Album of The Year:
‘Platinum’ by Miranda Lambert
Midas strikes again! With her success from the singles ‘Automatic’ & ‘Somethin’ Bad’ (which features fellow superstar Carrie Underwood, and has been certified Gold, as well as peaking at #1 on the Billboard U.S. Hot Country Songs), this was definitely a hard album to beat.
Vocal Group of The Year:
Little Big Town
With a new album which made its’ debut at #3 on the Billboard U.S. Top Country Albums, and a lead single (entitled ‘Day Drinkin’), which peaked at #4 on the Billboard U.S. Country Airplay, this was certainly Little Big Town’s year to win this top honor.
Irving Waugh Award of Excellence:
With highly successful careers as the front man of the country rock band ‘Pure Prairie League’ and as a solo artist, Vince Gill is the definition of a country music icon. As a solo artist, Vince Gill has won every country music award (multiple times), has won 20 Grammy awards, was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame (in 2005), and was awarded with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (2012). Honestly I could sit here and list all of Vince Gill’s INCREDIBLE accomplishments but that would take pages and pages. To make a long story short, if you listen to any one of Vince Gill’s records, you will definitely see why he deserves this award.
Male Vocalist of The Year:
This year Blake has certainly used his voice to prove why he deserves this top honor. This year, Blake released his latest album ‘Bringing back the Sunshine’, which peaked at #1 on the Billboard U.S. 200 chart(which counts albums of all genres) & #1 on the Billboard U.S. Top Country Albums chart. The album also produced a single that peaked at #3 on the U.S. Country chart.
Female Vocalist of The Year:
Midas is here y’all…Midas is here! I don’t think I need to tell y’all why Miranda deserves this award, but in case you forget…listen to her latest album ‘Platinum’, and you’ll remember why she is so awesome.
Entertainer of The Year:
Well now we’ve reached the final award, and although the competition was extremely fierce, it is clear why Luke Bryan walked away with this award. His 2013 album ‘Crash My Party’ was SUCH a huge album for the country music superstar that it peaked at #1 on both the Billboard U.S. 200 & Top Country Albums, as well as producing 3 consecutive #1 singles, and two more singles that peaked at #2 and #5 respectively. If these statistics don’t convince you that Luke Bryan IS the country music entertainer of the year, then take a listen to his album ‘Crash My Party’ and you’ll see how his ability to entertain translates through the album so effortlessly.
Kenny Chesney kicked off the show with his performance of his 1st single ‘American Kids’ off of his latest album ‘The Big Revival’. The number consisted of a very hippie/bohemian theme, complete with fun multicolored lights, and a multicolored bus in the background, complete with an American flag. Kenny’s dancers were also dressed to match the theme, and made the audience feel as if they were invited to an awesome party.
Miranda Lambert & Meghan Trainor:
Next up we had a fun performance by two of music’s sassiest performers Miranda Lambert & Meghan Trainor! They performed a fun and unique performance of Meghan’s hit ‘All About That Bass’. The backdrop of the stage flashed the word ‘Bass’ in different colors throughout the number, and Miranda and Meghan both let their sassiness fly and because of this ha the audience hanging on their every word.
Lady Antebellum stepped up next with their infectious hit single ‘Bartender’. The performance was even more fun to watch with the addition of white, blue, purple, and red lights that kept the “party vibe” of the show going. There were also A LOT of small lights that went all around the stage, that made the stage look as if it were surrounded by stars, and this added the perfect finishing touch to a great performance.
Florida Georgia Line:
Next up we had an AMAZING performance of Florida Georgia Line’s single ‘Dirt’. Usually Florida Georgia Line tends to move around a lot during big award show performances, so I thought that it was a really cool change of pace to see them both sitting down and accompanying themselves on guitar. This performance also showed that these talented guys are able to not only draw in an audience through their stage presence, but simply through their musical skills. The backboard of the stage had cool revolving images of houses, roads, and fences in yellow and orange colors that made the images look as if they would explode at any second.
Keith Urban was next with his performance of his hit single ‘Somewhere In My Car’. The staging was cool with strobe lights that flashed all over the stage, but as always; it was Keith’s voice and unnatural guitar skills that stole the show. It honestly would not be a Keith Urban show without an EPIC guitar solo and he certainly did not fail.
The Band Perry:
The Band Perry was up next, with their performance of ‘Gentle In My Mind’, in honor of the great Glen Campbell. I really loved that the staging for this song was very simple, so the attention of the performance was on the song itself. The Band Perry added their own twist to the hit by changing the arrangement slightly, which brought a fresh vibe to the classic tune.
Kacey Musgraves & Loretta Lynn:
One of country music’s newest rising star Kacey Musgraves, performed the hit ‘You’re Lookin at Country’ with the iconic Loretta Lynn (who made the song famous in 1971). The backdrop of the stage has a very classic country look with a barn that said ‘Grand Old Opry’ on it. This was a really awesome performance that brought together the worlds of classic and modern country into a performance that was one of the standout numbers of the night.
Jason Aldean rocked the stage next with a performance of his single ‘Burning It Down’. The performance had a very country meets rock vibe, complete with cool red and white lights, and lots of energy that just made you want to get up and dance.
Little Big Town & Ariana Grande:
Next we had another “mash of the genres”, when Little Big Town performed with special guest Ariana Grande. First Little Big Town came onstage to perform their latest hit ‘Daydrinkin’. This had to be my favorite performance of the night because of all of the cool visual aspects of the number. The board consisted of two levels of drummers with black suits that had red lights. You could really only see the red lights, so this made the drummers look EXTREMELY cool (I honestly can’t even express just how cool this looked)! Little Big Town had similar outfits on, which added such a cool futuristic feel to their performance that said it apart from the all of the other performances. As always their vocals were VERY on point and near perfect (which is HARD to do in a group). Once ‘Daydrinkin’ was over, the lights instantly switched from red to blue, and Ariana Grande came out to sing a snippet of her hit collaboration ‘Bang Bang’. Little Big Town joined her, and in doing so added a fun country meets r&b flair to the song that was very cool.
Tim McGraw was up next with his song ‘Shotgun Rider’, which brought the classic Tim McGraw vine that fans have grown to love. The staging was very simple with cool blue lights circling the stage, and the confidence and energy that are now a Tim McGraw staple.
Cole Swindell: Cole Swindell performed a snippet of his song ‘Chillin It’, before announcing the winners of the award for ‘Radio Stations of The Year’. Even though Cole only performed a snippet of his song, he was still able to command the stage and grab the crowd in such a way that makes me very excited to see what his future holds.
Dierks Bentley was up next with his party anthem single ‘Drunk on A Plane’. The backboard of the stage had a picture of a plane on a runway, and alternating names of “destination sites”. This performance definitely kept the show’s energy up, and made the show feel less like an award show, and more like an epic concert.
Co-host Brad Paisley performed next with his latest hit ‘Perfect Storm’. The number had an AWESOME Brad Paisley style guitar solo (which the crowd went wild for), and an energy and likability that showed why Brad’s career is steadily on the rise with no sign of slowing down.
Blake Shelton & Ashley Monroe:
Blake Shelton & Ashley Monroe were up next with their emotional duet ‘Lonely Tonight’, which had the crowd captivated from the first note, to the last. The staging for this number was very simple and stripped down, which perfectly brought out the intimate feel of the song, and really made you feel every word.
Co-host Carrie Underwood performed her latest hit ‘Something In The Water’. The backboard had REALLY cool blue lights that floated around and made it look like there was a giant waterfall behind Carrie, that later changed to multicolored lights. Later in the performance a choir of people walked on to accompany Carrie, and added a cool twist to the performance that matched the song perfectly. As always, Carrie’s show-stopping vocals took center stage during this number, and perform that she still has a HUGE presence in country music (BRAVO CARRIE UNDERWOOD!!!).
Next up we had the Entertainer of The Year himself, Mr. Luke Bryan. He performed his newest hit ‘Rollercoaster’, and had very simple staging. The backboard was grey with clouds and occasional thunder. Luke allowed his natural charisma to take center stage, and the crowd completely loved it (and they were even singing back to him at one part of the song).
Miranda Lambert & Little Big Town:
Miranda Lambert & Little Big Town took the stage once more to perform their duet ‘Smokin and Drinkin’ (off of Miranda’s latest album). The staging consisted of a lot of cool smoke and lights, which helped add a cool vibe to the performer that perfectly matched the chilled vibe of the song, Miranda & Little Big Town’s vocals went together perfectly, and made it clear that these two acts NEED to release more tracks together.
George Strait & Eric Church:
King George Strait returned to the CMA stage once more with his performance of his 2003 hit ‘Cowboys Like Us’. The backdrop had a lot of cool pictures of George Strait throughout his career, and added a very classic country feel to the performance. Eric Church added a little rock to George Strait’s classic country vibe, and brought another great example of what happens when modern and classic country merge.
Thomas Rhett performed a snippet of his hit song ‘Get Me Some of That’, while he announced the winners of the CMA ‘Personalities of The Year’ awards. Although his performer was short, Thomas certainly held his audience’s attention the entire time, and showed why he is a rising star to watch.
The Doobie Brothers, Jennifer Nettles, Hillary Scott, & Hunter Hayes:
The Doobie Brothers, Jennifer Nettles, Hillary Scott, & Hunter Hayes were up next with their performance of The Doobie Brothers hit ‘Listen To The Music’. The high energy performance was EXTREMELY fun to watch, and brought musicians from the whole spectrum of country music, to bring a fresh sound to this awesome song. The Doobie Brothers, Jennifer Nettles, and Hillary Scott killed their vocal performances, and Hunter Hayes had an AMAZING guitar solo that the crowd went crazy for. What I loved most about this performance was the fact that it felt less like a calculated award show performance, and more like a bunch of musicians jamming out.
The Doobie Brothers closed the show with their song ‘Takin it To The Streets’, (with some help from Jennifer Nettles, Hillary Scott, Hunter Hayes, & Brad Paisley). The number included an AWESOME keyboard solo, and had a very old school feel and energy that made the performance feel like an AMAZING concert.