November 2017

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Janet Jackson Live!

(left to right) Janet Jackson, Joan's On Third's cheese plate, Camrose Highland Park, the marquee at outside the Hollywood Bowl, Janet Jackson, my birthday surprise, the Hollywood Bowl, Janet flanked by two of her incredible dancers

Janet Jackson Live!

  • Story / Photo By Paige Petrone

On October 8th, I was one of the lucky ones that had tickets for Janet Jackson’s sold out State of the World concert at the legendary Hollywood Bowl. Janet Jackson is back, that’s for sure! What a show! What a night!

We began by taking advantage of beautiful Camrose Highland park and picnicked with deliciousness by Joan’s on Third. We nibbled on an array of cheeses, salami, dried fruit and sandwiches accompanied with fine red wine. I thought this was pure perfection until my guests surprised me with cake and candles to celebrate my birthday. Fun and festive. Then onward to the Hollywood Bowl for Janet! Our seats were amazing, located right in front of one of the large screens that showed the concert. I felt like I was at a Drive-In movie and we were in the front row. Super cool!

Janet definitely brought her “A” game to the show. She sang most of recognizable songs and performed each and every step along with the dancers from her best loved videos. Wow is all I can say about the high quality choreography and dancing in each number. Her array of dancers ran the gamut from her early days to the hottest (and youngest) stars of today’s dance world. The show was really wonderful. I may not be too old for these concerts after all.

For all things Janet Jackson, click here.


Dolly Parton


  • By Alex Brown

As a young teen of 13 years, I can’t say I was particularly outward in my adoration of Dolly Parton. After all, my coat of many colors was not exactly locker-room fodder, like jokes about other attributes of the superstar songstress might be considered.

But I could not have been more excited when I tore through the wrapping paper on Christmas morning that winter and found a Dolly boxed set gleaming back at me. It was the best present I got that year, or maybe ever as a child. Mom understood.

Well, the legendary, original country-crossover artist has done it again, this time with her new children’s album, I Believe in You. No longer afraid of loving Dolly out loud, the long-anticipated album is just as exciting for this adult fan as it is for kids. And with all of the proceeds (that’s right, ALL of them) going to the Imagination Library—Parton’s charity of 20 years—everyone can feel good about downloading these 14 tracks.

So, whether you have kids or not, or just want some new Dolly to fill the air, head on over to your favorite source for music and pick up I Believe in You. I promise, after listening, you’ll realize she really does.

I Believe in You was released nationwide on September 29.

Sam Smith!

Sam Smith

Sam Smith!

  • By Dennis Petrone

When Sam Smith’s gospel-tinged ballad “Stay With Me” hit the airwaves in the spring of 2014, people lost it. The song catapulted to the top of the charts worldwide – number one in the U.K., Australia, New Zealand and number two in the U.S. – and won two Grammy Awards including Song of the Year.

Along with “Stay With Me,” Smith sang, produced and contributed to a slew of chart-toppers: “Latch” with Disclosure, “La La La” with Naughty Boy and several singles from his debut studio album – “Lay Me Down” and “I’m Not the Only One.” His Bond movie theme song “Writing’s on the Wall” became the most sold title track ever. And he routinely discussed his greatest influences: Adele, Amy Winehouse, Beyoncé, Christina Aguilera, Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston – essentially all the major divas of our generation. “It’s all I listened to,” Smith once remarked in a BBC interview. “I actually didn’t listen to male vocalists [growing up].”

Three and a bit years later and Sam Smith’s second studio album, The Thrill of It, dropped this month. All eyes are on the still-young talent as two songs from the album, recently pre-released as singles, have steadily climbed the charts: “Too Good at Goodbyes” and “Pray.” And if those songs are anything to go by, this new album promises plenty of soul and sentimentality.

For all things Sam Smith, click here.

Björk’s Utopia!


Björk’s Utopia!

  • By William Nedved

Björk is back this month with a new album that sounds just about perfect: Utopia. During a recent Facebook Live event, the Icelandic musician gave insight into the title of her ninth studio album. “We have Trump, we have Brexit, we have our issues in Iceland, we have our environmental issues. I think if there ever was an urgency or necessity to come up with another Utopian model, how we’re going to live our lives, I think it’s now.”

Björk began working on Utopia almost immediately after releasing Vulnicura in 2015. “The last album, we sort of call it “hell” – it was like divorce! So we are doing paradise now,” Björk explained last year. “Vulnicura was about a very personal loss, and I think this new album is about a love that’s even greater.” More recently she has referred to Utopia as her “Tinder Record.”

The first single, aptly titled “The Gate,” opens the door to this optimistic new world. The song is an ethereal, slowburn, with unapologetically emotional lyrics: “My healed chest wound, Transformed into a gate, Where I receive love from, Where I give love from, And I care for you, care for you…”

Utopiais scheduled for release in November.

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