Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Michael Johns, Rye Randa, and Jeff Foxworth Score!

Michael Johns, Rye Randa, and Jeff Foxworth teamed up to score the original soundtrack for the Shaun White documetary film "Don't Look Down". In a release first published in BC Magazine (blogcritics.org), and here at Love Me Two Times, the following announcement was made October 12, 2008 in the article Rye Randa - Musician Extraordinairre. Here's an excerpt from the original interview with Rye Randa in October.

Here's the latest OFFICIAL WORD!!!

I received this from a website I'd requested information from months ago:

This message is to inform you that a DVD for ESPN SHAUN WHITE: DON'T LOOK DOWN (2008) will be released on January 6, 2009. If you would like more information, click on the link below or copy the address into your web browser.

You can also sign up to be reminded when it's actually released.

http://videoeta.com/movie/105322

VideoETA.com

The new release was announced again in the BC 2008 Holiday Special - Spirit of the Holidays article Michael Johns Is The Gift That Keeps On Giving (Published in BC Magazine - Dec. 17, 2008) and here at Love Me Two Times.

Due out on DVD January 6, 2009, Shaun White's documentary "Don't Look Down" will air on ESPN January 2nd, according to an article published today by BlueMonday on Michael Johns Fan Site forum. Click on the headline below to view the original post.

Don't Look Down on Dvd - January 6, 2009 -
By BlueMonday, Wed Dec 31, 2008 6:33 am
"Don't Look Down is an unprecedented compilation of the legendary snowboarder's greatest achievements and his out-of this-world moves that have helped shape action sports forever," said Tori Stevens, Vice President, Multi-Platform Development, ESPN. "To televise this amazing film one night and make it available to fans a few days following demonstrates our commitment to getting great content in the hands of sports fans as soon as possible."

The DVD includes White's runs at Winter X Games 11, the World Superpipe Championships, the Nippon Open and the US Open, his gold medal run at the 2006 Winter Olympics and his gold medal run in Skateboard Vert at X Games 13 — making White the first athlete to win gold at both the Winter and Summer X Games in 2 different events. Don't Look Down also includes exclusive bonus features of over 80 Minutes of X Games action footage including all of White's gold medal winning runs, deleted scenes, 3 music video highlight reels, ESPN The Magazine Shaun White cover gallery and much more.

Read the whole article here.

Don't Look Down, directed by Willie Ebersol, will premiere on ESPN 2 on January 2, 2009 at 12AM ET. ESPN will release a series of new Don't Look Down webisodes exclusively on ESPN.com/DLD weekly beginning January 12. The film will also be made available on iTunes, Xbox and ESPN Video-on-Demand platforms on January 12. The film has been submitted to the 2009 X-Dance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

Watch, order, buy and listen.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Michael Johns - "Another Christmas" Mossimo Music Video

Michael Johns continues to make headlines with the gift of his first single being given to charity this year.  The following is the video that was given to everyone who purchased Michael Johns' single "Another Christmas" in the Philippines.

Through his collaboration with Mossimo Music, Michael will donate all proceeds from the Philippine sales of the song to the children's charity Bantay Bata 163.  My thanks to Associated World for sharing the news and the video.  The single can be purchased through iTunes and Amazon.com.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Michael Johns Performs "Another Christmas" On Today

Michael Johns performs "Another Christmas" on Today 12-23-2008. He is accompanied by Jeff Foxworth of Miss Fodus Publishing. All sales of the single will be given to the charities ALS and Red Cross.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

American Idol Michael Johns Is The Gift That Keeps On Giving.

Originally posted at blogcritics.org
by Ulitmat1

As most everyone has probably heard by now, American Idol finalist Michael Johns has just released his first single since leaving the show.
"Another Christmas" was released for download on Amazon and iTunes December 9, 2008. Now that in itself is newsworthy enough, however, there is so much more to be told to the story. You see, Michael didn't release the song to profit from it himself. In fact, he's giving 100% of his first post-Idol single away to charities as his gift to others for Christmas.
In an article first published in New York Post – POP WRAP Michael told how the song was written. According to that article, the song's history is this. He wasn't able to go back home to Australia for Christmas in eight years, but planned on going back in 2006. His visa didn't come through in time for him to make the trip.
He was so homesick and upset, that he woke up around three in the morning and "the song just came out". His wife Stacey was brought to tears when she heard it the next morning. You can view the original article by clicking the link above. The story continues after I give you the chance to see the video of Michael performing "Another Christmas" on Access Hollywood.

The first we fans heard that there might be a Christmas single was in a blog posted by Michael on Oct. 23, 2008. Not much more than the name of the song was given about the release at the time. Then, snippets of the song started appearing on the Internet around mid November on sites such as mjsbigblog. The following week brought more news of the song. In numerous fan forums, like IDF Aussie Posse (idolforums.com) and Michael Johns Fan Site, forum members announced that the song would be sent to all Top 40, Hot AC, and AAA radio stations for nationwide play beginning December 01, 2008.
It wasn't until Michael was on a four day tour in the Philippines sponsored by Ayala Malls, that he played a piece of the song for the first time live at the Greenbelt venue. A video clip from that appearance gave us a little more about his future plans for this gift. He announced that all Philippines sales of the song (made available through Mossimo Music) would be given to Bantay Bata 163, a children's charity in the Philippines.
This was the first hint we had about how extensive his charitable donation of the song would be. On December 1, the day "Another Christmas" started getting radio play, I received an email at the IDF Aussie Posse MySpace, which listed what charities would benefit from the gift Michael had given. The names of those charities are listed below. The list made it quickly apparent; Michael wanted his gift to be meaningful and far reaching. This is a direct quote of the email I received.
In the U.S. it's going to ALS and Red Cross. In Manila it's going to Bantay Bata 163. In Australia the Starlight Foundation.
Michael announces the release of "Another Christmas" in his own MySpace blog!


Another Christmas
Current mood: happy
Hi everyone as you may or may not know today is the release of my song Another Christmas.

All proceeds are going to MDA's ALS division and The Red Cross. I believe very strongly in these charities. ALS is a horrible disease that robs you of everything. You lose the ability to walk, talk and move. However you keep all brain function. It's like being in your own prison.

The Red Cross is such an important organiztion and i am dedicating this song to all the Troops serving abroad this Holiday. Another Christmas is really about being away from loved ones and telling them you miss them and love them.

I never intended to release a song i had written for my family, however it's for such a great cause. I know you will all help me in raising as much money and awareness as you can. Download Another Chritmas at Itunes or Amazon

Cheers,

MJ
In an interview done by Nancy O'Dell for Access Hollywood, on December 9, Michael confirmed all proceeds from the sale of "Another Christmas" here in the United States would be given to ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's disease) and The Red Cross. He chose to champion his friend Nancy's causes to honor her mother who was recently lost to the disease ALS.
Radio play of the song rapidly grew and the news of his gift spread over the internet. In addition to the links already listed, his story was featured in People, an Access Hollywood article (before the appearance), and AOL TV. Ryan Seacrest's radio show on kiisfm.com was listed as the place to make requests for the song.
Another DJ whose name is Ken founded The Sounds Of Christmas radio station in 2007, and he's been keeping all the fans filled in with the news about Michael's song through his blog. He just announced that out of 2300 songs requested, Michael's was #9 this week. Not bad for a brand new song that was in no way promoted except through news of his gift. My thanks to Ken for doing his part to help promote this gift.

There you have it. The story of a song that was written by a man, who simply missed his home, his family, and friends, and how it has now become a gift to others who cannot be with theirs. He has already dedicated the proceeds to the charities, and then he dedicated the sentiments of the song to our troops and their families who can't be with their loved ones at Christmas. His gift will touch countless lives in the years to come.

The song is magnificent in its simplicity, elegance, and heartfelt message. It is timeless and will span generations to become a Christmas tradition. Forever there will always be someone who cannot be with the ones they love during the holidays. Far from being depressing, the song speaks instead of unending love. It's inspiring to hear his words explain how the love you feel is in no way diminished by the distance between you, or the time you are apart.

Michael Johns has dedicated his time, again and again, at virtually every performance since leaving American Idol. He has a history of dedicating himself to charitable acts from the Ithuteng documentary track "River Of Life" that he did with Rye Randa, to performing at New York Presbyterian Hospital for the children there. He's given the phrase "Idol gives back" a whole new meaning, in my opinion.

When I first started this column, I intended to go in-depth for each of the charities listed below, where he's shared his talent this year alone. I realized very quickly, that to delve into each subject would turn the article into a book. I've decided to hit just a few highlights of his donated time for charitable causes this year. Here's a list of the events he's done just since leaving the tour in September.


20 September 2008 - America's Cup of Polo - Journey for the Cure Foundation
24 September 2008 - Life Changing Lives Charity
04-05 October 2008 - Perth Telethon
07 October 2008 - Private appearance with Carly Smithson
09 November 2008 - Tony Hawk’s Stand Up for Skate Parks Benefit for the Tony Hawk Foundation
12 November 2008 - 60th Anniversary Benefit Dinner for the American Australian Association - over $1.6 million raised for the Association's Education Fund

18-21 November – Ayala Mall Tour – where he announced his contribution for Bantay Bata 163 through Mossimo Music

01 December Legoland California - who donated $10,000 to The Dave Thomas Foundation for foster children

02 December - the UNIFEM foundation raised $5000
Oh yeah, did I forget to mention he's finished his new CD for release in March of 2009 in his spare time? Well virtually finished anyway. He's recorded about 20 songs and has a couple more to do before he's through. There will be 12 songs on the CD according to Michael, as heard in an interview done by Access Atlanta's Rodney Ho. Click on his name to view the video. Michael tells Rodney that his first single will be out in February. I'll be back with more news for those events as the release dates become firm.
Until then, you must be satisfied with Michael's performance on the "David Foster and Friends DVD" available now, or the soundtrack he collaborated with Rye Randa and Jeff Foxworth on for the Shaun White documentary DVD "Don't Look Down", to be released in January 2009. Can't wait that long either?
Here's a suggestion. Make a last minute gift to someone you can't be with this year, or buy one for yourself to show thanks that your loved ones are with you. Ninety-nine cents and a few minutes time is all it will cost. You'll be doing a whole lot more than you'll ever know, for people you may never meet. Merry Christmas, and have a wonderful New Year.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Access Atlanta Interview

Rodney Ho met with Michael at the Infinite Energy Atlanta Slam on Saturday. This interview is a gold mine of information.

Firstly, Michael has finished recording the album!! (there are a few more songs to record but the recording is as good as done). They recorded 20 songs and there will be 12 songs on the album.
The album will have more soul elements than rock since he's most natural at that. The album will be out in March and the single in February. He'll be distributing it either through Universal or Sony ATV.

Random info:
He's doing something with the Dan Band on the 20th in Avalon. All the celebrities who were in the video will be there! (Matthew Perry and Michael in the same room, yum.)

He's going to Texas for Christmas to eat a lot of Turkey and pass out and he'll be coming back on the 27th/28th to do a couple of holiday shows.

The Shaun White Documentary for which he helped to score will be coming out on January 2nd on ESPN and the DVD will be out a week later.

He'll be performing at the Sundance in January.

Here's a video of the interview. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Access Hollywood Interview

Michael Johns "Another Christmas"

Michael Johns "Another Christmas"

Performed on Access Hollywood

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Songs From Manila

Michael Johns was recently in Manila, Philippines for a week-long tour. Fans attended four concerts at the malls and uploaded lots of videos. I have never watched so many youtube videos all at once before. It's quite an experience! I'm posting a few videos posted by the many, many fans Michael has in the Philippines. If your video appears on this blog, thank you very much for having posted it to youtube.

Michael's first concert was at Trinoma, and his first song was an original composition called Fire, followed by Green Day's Boulevard of Broken Dreams. Thank you to alabPH for kindly posting the entire set on youtube. You can watch all her videos here.





The next stop was at Glorietta where Michael sang another original composition called Feelin' Alright. Thank you very much to Ren for posting so many videos shot live at the second concert. You can watch all of hyperren's videos here.




Third stop was the Alabang Town Center. Thank you very much to Ria for posting Purple Rain. You can watch the entire set from the Alabang Town Center concert on Ria's page.





The fourth and last concert was at Greenbelt. Michael sang a snippet of Another Christmas, a song he wrote a few years ago. The song will be sold on iTunes with proceeds going to charity. Video credit to kcolfindo, thank you for your wonderful video.




Don't miss the youtube channel of mjseason7, who posted some of the most incredibly high quality videos of the tour on her youtube page. Thank you very much to mjseason7 for the following videos. The first is Dolly Parton's It's All Wrong, But It's All Right, done blues style. The second is a Queen medley, Bohemian Rhapsody, We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions.








Thenk you to all of Michael's fans in Manila for sharing their wonderful videos with all of us.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Rye Randa On Funny Or Die.com

Thanks to the heads up from BlueMonday, we now have a Rye Randa video just in time for the Christmas season. We've already seen the class this man has shown, and we've heard his incredible music. Now it's time to share some of his quiet humor as he gets into the Christmas spirit. Where's my rofl emoticon?


See more funny videos at Funny or Die

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Songs from Atlanta



Michael Johns sings the National Anthem before the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on October 26, 2008 in Hampton, Georgia. You can watch the video below.





A little earlier, Michael had a Mini Concert. He sang three songs, All Right Now, first released by the band Free in 1970, Sweet Home Alabama, a song by Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd that first appeared in 1974, and Pearl Jam's Alive. Enjoy the videos.














The Mini Concert youtube videos were filmed and kindly uploaded by lmkeramidas from Michael Johns Online, and we thank her for generosity in sharing them with all of Michael's fans.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Gimme Some Lovin' and goodies for your iPod

From the Perth Telethon, Michael Johns' performance of Gimme Some Lovin'.



I've added the mp3s for Fire and Gimme Some Lovin'. Thank you to Sedz and Sheoak for the tracks.

You can also download videos (m4v for your iPod). Thank you to Shannatic for the Across The Universe and Fool's Gold (Kerri-Anne Show) videos.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Rye Randa - Musician Extraordinaire


Rye Randa MySpace Music

The first time I ever heard of Rye Randa was while watching Shaun White's documentary "Don't Look Down" as it was broadcast on ESPN Classic. It's not as if Mr. Randa is an unknown it the music industry. As a matter of fact, he's one of the most respected producer/songwriter/musicians in the business.

I have to admit the only reason I watched the Shaun White snowboard documentary was because I'd heard Michael Johns had teamed up with two others (Rye Randa and Jeff Foxworth) to score the soundtrack for the film. Suffice it to say, I was completely blown away by the music and could not wait to find out when to expect a release date in order to purchase a copy.

Being the nosy little Michael Johns fan that I am, I just had to know more about his collaborations, and what other music Rye and Michael may have teamed up on together. It helped me immensely when one of my fellow IDF forum members mentioned they'd seen Rye Randa listed as one of Michael Johns' top friends on his MySpace Music page.

I proceeded with all due haste to that place, and followed a link to Rye Randa's own MySpace Music page. What I found while diving into each scrap of information I could find about Rye impressed me so much, I felt he'd more than earned an article of his own.

I took a chance and decided to ask Mr. Randa if he might add me as a MySpace friend. I didn't really expect a reply after learning all there is to know about him. I assumed he was too big, or too busy to add a run of the mill, relative unknown like me, but still I figured it wouldn't hurt to give it a try.

You can imagine my surprise when I logged on and found, not only had he added me, but he'd also replied to the message I sent along with the request to be added. The message I offered was simple enough and heartfelt, as I told him how much I'd enjoyed not only the documentary score, but also the incredible music on his website.

Since I already knew of his previous works with Michael, who currently has a new single scheduled for release in November, and a full CD expected out by February, I asked Mr. Randa if he was in any way involved in that project.

The following was the exchange of emails that took place in response to my first question. With great pleasure, may I present:

Rye Randa…in his own words.

From: RYE RANDA
Date: Sep 30, 2008 1:15 AM


Thanks Rebecca! Glad you like the music.

To answer your question, it's too soon to tell, but there is at least one song we've collaborated on that could make the record. We shall see...

Take care,
Rye
I blinked a few times and rubbed my eyes before looking back at the screen. The note was still there, and it was quickly apparent I wasn't just seeing things. Having already heard some of his music, I cannot begin to tell you how excited I was to hear this tidbit of news. Without giving it a second thought, I fired an email back between turning cartwheels across the room. Mine went something (exactly) like this…

From: ultimat1
Date: Sep 29, 2008 11:29 PM

Oh my God! That's wonderful news! You are an incredible talent. I've done a bit of research on you since learning of the documentary. I'm also a writer for BC Magazine and another website featuring Michael Johns and his most talented collaborations! With your permission, I'd like to do a feature on your musical career. Let me know if there's anything you'd like the general public to hear. Thanks so much for the add! I'm truly honored. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that your song makes it to this album!!!
Now you must keep in mind, I was completely taken aback that he'd bothered to answer the first time, so I assumed that was the last I'd hear from Rye Randa, musician extraordinaire. I was just happy to know that he'd heard how excited I was to think he might be involved with the new CD.

Never in a million years, did I expect that he would agree to the feature article I'd proposed. I can't even put into words how honored I am to offer you the following correspondence I shared with Rye Randa...who now also holds the distinction of being my very first celebrity interview.

I asked if he could provide me with a Biography so I'd have a place to start. He sent the following Bio as found on his website, and added a few updated parts. I've left it just as he sent it, since even I can't improve on an hugely impressive history his career has already written.

When it comes to music, there isn't much RYE RANDA can't do! From singing and writing to producing and engineering, he truly does it all...

Rye's life-long passion and gift for music can be traced to his mother, Tina Dispoto, who was one of the CRYSTALETTES, a successful vocal trio whose songs topped the charts in the 60s. Rye himself began recording and performing at the young age of 14. His appetite and innate creativity inspired him to learn a number of instruments on his own including guitar, bass and piano. As a natural progression he then began to write and record his own material.

After attending the University of California in Irvine, Rye returned to Los Angeles to focus solely on music. It wasn't long before his song "LITTLE TOO RIGHT" became the #1 SONG out of 30,000 at Garageband.com and "OVERGROUND" went on to win FIRST PRIZE out of more than 33,000 entries from 50 countries in the USA SONGWRITING COMPETITION. The very same song was subsequently recorded by the legendary pop trio THREE DOG NIGHT and became one of only two new cuts on their 2004 release entitled "THREE DOG NIGHT: 35th ANNIVERSARY HITS COLLECTION" which features the GRAMMY-WINNING LONDON SYMPHONY.

In 2006 Rye partnered with talented guitarist, songwriter and friend Jeff Foxworth (Dave Stewart, Kara DioGuardi, Weekend Excursion). The two joined forces to form a dynamic producer-songwriter duo, and have been quite busy ever since. Current album projects include Three Dog Night, Bonnie Somerville (Garden State), Rachel Fox (Desperate Housewives) and Rossif Sutherland to name a few. Also Rye and Jeff recently signed on to score the exciting new NBC reality series “Echo Ops” which debuts in 2009.

Last year Rye and Jeff teamed up with their good friend Michael Johns (American Idol Season 7) to score the documentary film “Don’t Look Down” for the Ebersol brothers. The film chronicles Olympic snowboarder and skater Shaun White. “Don’t Look Down” airs January 2nd, 2009 on ESPN, and will be followed by a DVD release, as well as a Soundtrack featuring several bonus songs not heard in the film.

With more than a decade and a half of experience under his belt, Rye has written, produced and arranged over 300 records for numerous songwriters, artists and bands.
But we can assure you this is only the beginning…
I followed up the Biography he'd sent with these questions, hoping to put some of my speculations to rest:

Q. - Are those release dates for the Don't Look Down soundtrack and DVD pretty firm?

Rye: ... My understanding is that they will be released in conjunction with the airdate of the film. But I could be wrong!

Q. - It is also rumored that you helped Michael Johns with the "River Of Life" project. Are there any details that you would like to share about that collaboration?

Rye: ... Yes, I produced, engineered and played bass on that song. We recorded it for a documentary film called "Ithuteng" about the South-African Ithuteng Trust School for young teens that have basically been failed by the system in the post-Apartheid region of Soweto. One of the students, Lebo Kgasapane (the singer on "River of Life") passed from AIDS before the film was completed. We literally built the song around a short audio clip of Lebo that was recorded during the filming process (this is the actual voice you hear in the song). It was quite a touching experience for all of us. It was also a really wonderful experience to record the Dorsey High School Choir at Hollywood Sound. Those kids are very talented.

Q. - Of course, everyone would love to know which of your songs might end up on Michael's CD.

Rye: ... Unfortunately I can't say. It's top secret! But I can tell you that his CD will be off the hook. The tracks I've heard so far are insane! Plus there are some very big players involved. All in all I'm positive it will be a huge success.

Q. - Michael has mentioned the following people are involved with the new CD. Diane Warren, John Shanks, Ken Andrews, Matt Mahaffey, Linda Perry, John Legend, and of course, now we know about you. Do you know whether or not Cee-Lo Green and Mark Ronson are on board too?

Rye: I believe there will be some collaboration with Cee-Lo Green. Not sure about Mark Ronson.

Q.
- Some of the questions come from Michael Johns' fans at IDF (Idolforums.com - Michael's section on the board and home of The Aussie Posse forum.). You are rapidly gaining a fan base here at the IDF site as well! One of the members wanted to ask how long have you known Michael Johns?

Rye: ... Michael and I met in 2006 during the Ithuteng project. So about 2 and a half years.

Q. - How many tracks have you and he collaborated on in the past?

Rye: ... including the Lebo song and all the Shaun (White) stuff, probably around 30 tracks or so. Give or take.

Q. - Do you have plans to help or perform with Michael on future albums or projects?

Rye: There has been talk about us performing some of the Shaun songs live at the X Games, but that remains to be seen.

Q. - Are you signed now with a label, and if so, with whom?

Rye: ... No I am not signed. I've been quite busy with producing/writing/scoring for the last few years. As a result my own music has sort of been put on the back burner. But I always try to write and record whenever I have free time in between projects.

Q. - Are you currently working on a solo album, and if so, do you have a title for the album or a release date that I can share with the readers?

Rye: ... Like I said, it's slow moving, but yes I will release a solo album. Hopefully within the next year...

Q. – One of our members noticed Kara Dioguardi is in your top friends on MySpace; what connection do you have with the new 4th American Idol judge.

Rye: ... My writing/producing partner Jeff Foxworth used to play guitar in her band called "Platinum Weird" with Dave Stewart. So Jeff is the connection. Her songwriting career is definitely something that I aspire towards. She's had something like 60 of her songs on platinum selling albums! Quite remarkable…I have tremendous respect for her accomplishments.

Q. - Are there any other personal tracks or websites you can share in addition to the play list on MySpace? (Other than this one RyeRanda.com?)

Rye: ... wow, I forgot I had those tracks posted on my homepage! There are probably quite a few links out there that I'm unaware of, but other than that, it's just MySpace right now. However, I have a designer currently working on my official website, so hopefully that will be done very soon.

Q. - Do you know whether or not Michael's unreleased songs could legally be used in a fan video competition?

*Rye: ... Hmmm, which songs are you referring to? I'm not an expert on legal stuff, so I couldn't really say.

*(writer's note: To be fair to Mr. Randa, I didn't really expect he would be able to answer that question. I only hoped he'd ask Michael that question for me, since they are friends. Let's just say I was pushing my luck just a bit. lol)

Q. - Do you have any music videos for your music? Do you have any live performance videos I can share?

Rye: ... not at the moment, but stay tuned!

I thanked the gentleman again for his time, and must say I'm still a bit stunned that someone with his magnitude of talent took enough interest in one of his fans to respond. Garnering every bit of my gratitude for taking that time, I decided to try and do something as thanks to him in return.

I wrote a quick note to Mr. Michael Johns and asked if he had any comment he'd like to share regarding Mr. Rye Randa. I wish you could see the smile on my face as I copy and paste what he sent in return. Here's yet another gentleman's response to the simple request of a fan.




Michael Johns MySpace Music

----------------- Original Message -----------------

From: Michael Johns

Date: Oct 9, 2008 12:44 AM




"He is an Artist and a genius! He is a dear friend and anyone who gets to work with him will be a better musician for doing so."

Michael Johns


Now it seems I owe Michael Johns my thanks as well! (Thank you Michael!) While I'm doling out thanks, may I just add a few names of the IDF Aussie Posse who sent questions for me to ask Rye. IDF members Feelingdizzy, Ainn, and BlueMonday provided some of the questions for this interview. They have my gratitude.

Please enjoy the following tracks of Rye Randa's music.


Here's the latest OFFICIAL WORD!!!

I received this from a website I'd requested information from months ago:

This message is to inform you that a DVD for ESPN SHAUN WHITE: DON'T LOOK DOWN (2008) will be released on January 6, 2009. If you would like more information, click on the link below or copy the address into your web browser.

You can also sign up to be reminded when it's actually released.

http://videoeta.com/movie/105322

VideoETA.com
Thanks to the heads up from BlueMonday, we have a new Rye Randa video just in time for the Christmas Season.


See more funny videos at Funny or Die

Michael Johns - Dream On (Studio Version) Video

Michael Johns was the first contestant on American Idol ever allowed by Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, to do one of his songs for the reality show.  Here's why.  Enjoy the fan video! 

Michael Johns - "Dream On" (Studio Version)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

For your ears only

Some mp3s for your iPod, mp3 player, windows media player, your phone, or whatever it is you listen to.


Fool's Gold as sung on Mornings With Kerri-Anne





Fool's Gold from the Merrick Rosso & Kate Ritchie Show






Across The Universe from Sunrise 7



I'm Yours as heard on The Kyle and Jackie O Show

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

More Songs From Down Under

Michael Johns appeared on Mornings With Kerri-Anne, and he sang a song which he co-wrote with Dave Cobb called Fool's Gold. Original video by the kind courtesy of Shannatic.

video

Fool's Gold first appeared on Michael's eponymous album, produced by Dave Cobb. The album was first released in 2007 but was later shelved when the independent label it was on folded. Dave Cobb is also involved in producing some tracks for Michael's new album. Listen to the Cobb produced and co-written Fool's Gold.

video

Michael Johns was part of the star cast for Perth's Channel 7 Telethon fund-raiser. He sang the song Fire, co-written by Dave Cobb and which also appeared on his self-titled album. Thank you to Sedz and Sheoak for the video.

video

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Michael Johns - I'm Your's Video

This radio performance was recorded during Michael's recent trip back down under to Australia. Arriving days before the Perth Telethon, this is just one of the many appearances he's made, both on radio and TV. The host of this show even joined Michael in singing a few bars. Credit goes to The Kyle and Jackie O Show.  Enjoy as Michael does an acoustic cover version of Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours". The video was made by a fan.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Songs from Down Under

Michael Johns is in Australia to participate in a fund-raising telethon. While there, he was interviewed by a few radio stations. In fact, Michael sang. Watch the video of an acoustic version of Fool's Gold performed at the studio of the Merrick Rosso & Kate Ritchie Show. According to Michael, this song is representative of the blues/soul sound of his album and he mentions the influences of Van Morrison and Joe Cocker.

video

Michael was also at the Kyle and Jackie O Show, singing a cover version of Jason Mraz's I'm Yours. Is that a tiny bit of Bob Marley I hear?

video

On Sunrise tv, Michael sang The Beatles' Across The Universe. Earlier this year, Dr. Condoleezza Rice told Michael how much she had enjoyed his performance of this song on American Idol.

video

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Rising Live At The Applestore



On July 11th, 2003, Michael Johns (then known by his birth name Michael Lee), together with his band The Rising, performed an acoustic set of songs from their album Future Unknown, which was scheduled for released on September 9th that same year. Label issues forced the release to be cancelled. Future Unknown was finally released in 2008 when Michael Johns appeared as a finalist on tv's American Idol show. Watch the band perform their songs.


Redemption
video

Cradle
video

Lie To Me
video

So Alive
video

Coming Down
video

Saturday, September 20, 2008

So Who is Michael Johns? (Part Three)

MICHAEL JOHNS

In this segment, we continue our journey with Michael Johns (formerly known as Michael Lee) while he was lead singer for newly formed group The Rising. They wrote and recorded their debut album and perfected the level of excellence they expected before taking their tour nation wide.

The band was well on its way to the stardom all of them should now be enjoying. They performed on The Rock Boat, and were featured on The Sharon Osbourne Show, a nationally sydicated television program. Ozzy's wife is well known for having good taste, and knows exceptional talent when she sees it.

In 2003, the group performed an outstanding acoustical set at the opening of a Los Angeles Apple Store. Thankfully, that event was recorded and has been released for download as The Rising - Live At The Apple Store, EP. Clicking on the link above will take you directly to the EP, which can be heard on Amazon.com.

Taking their music on the road, the group was determined to put everything that they had into their live performances. It wasn't enough to play for the fans, they wanted the audience to feel the emotion that went into writing the songs.

Groups of this calibre and uncompromising stardards are rarely found any more. Legendary bands whose music survives even now and spans decades, practiced that same gift when they performed. Inexplicably, they somehow knew what it took to connect with their audience.

Though The Rising as a band is no longer together, we are left with their stellar performances. It seems I'm not the only writer to accuse this singer and fellow musicians of evoking in us, emotions unbidden. While researching former band members for this piece, I ran across yet another writer who noticed Michael's gift of expressing the feeling that went into the artists rendition of the music.

In a blog posted at former Rising guitartist Kevin Haaland's music website, I found the following excerpt from an article by Sona Soob.

Live Review - The Rising @ The Roxy
The Rising- Live Review
Category: Music

The band took the stage with sophistication and proved they could win over a Los Angeles crowd. The lyrics are heart felt and moving as the emotions can be heard seeping out in every note Michael sings. Down to the blood that was on Kevin's fingers after the set, this band truly believes in the power of music and it comes across in their performances. Michael Lee once said he wants to create the kind of music "that puts you in a trance". This band indeed creates timeless music which will carry you away into a different world.

- excerpt from a www.riftrock.com article by Sona Sood.
You would think with the rave reviews like the one above, just landing a "Major" label contract with Maverick Records and playing brilliantly should assure the band's successful future. Most people believe that's all it takes to succeed in the music world. Just get yourself a major label record deal and play extraordinarily well in front of your audience. The equation sounds simple enough. Massive talent + Major label = Superstardom.

In my opinion, this talent's rise to fame was a certainty, had the "Major" label offered its stars proper marketing, a.k.a. promotion. The Rising recorded thirty five songs while with this "Major" label. Eleven of those magnificent tunes ended up on its debut album.

One has to wonder, what happened to the other twenty four songs that were done? What motive might a record label have for signing a band, and then do nothing in marketing to assure that talent's success? It's no wonder record labels are folding right and left, while more and more biz savvy artists choose to go independent. (Indie)

Michael Johns and Rick Beato co-produced the debut CD The Rising - Future Unknown. This album enjoys five star reviews at such sites as Amazon.com and iTunes, and it's some of the best down to earth rock music that I've ever heard. A number of songs from the album got national radio play while the band toured.

The five stars on this album should be reaping the rewards of their five star performances, but here's what happened instead. The "Major" label that was to release the CD on September 16, 2003 originally, withheld release of the album until Michael Johns became well known as a finalist on American Idol. That's when the label decided to put the CD on iTunes and cash in on Michael Johns' success.

Someone at that label should be questioning their own intuition as to what talents they should be marketing. Five years of potential album sales have already been lost to the label and the artists. Whoever's judgment the label relied upon at the time, apparently had no clue of the magnitude of this band's superstar potential.

Being trusted to decide what to market or withhold from the public should be left to someone with a better sense of what true music lovers want to hear. That ineptitude led to the label passing up millions in sales, all because someone there was unable to recognize what they already had signed to their label. Not a good trait to have in the music business, in my opinion.

Thankfully, Michael Johns' story doesn't end here. The live EP and full length CD can be heard by clicking on the named releases listed above. Videos of the band performing at the opening of the Apple Store are available and will be posted for your viewing pleasure on our website in the near future. In the meantime, please enjoy the video "Cradle" by The Rising. A song from the album, "Future Unknown".



Thursday, September 18, 2008

It's All Wrong, But It's All Right, Miss Dolly!

Every time I watch this video of Michael Johns singing "It's All Wrong, But It's All Right", written by the legendary Dolly Parton, all I can say is, "Damn!". Definitely his most memorable performance on tv's American Idol.

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Michael recorded a slightly different version which you can listen to below.



And here's the song as sung by the lovely Dolly, with a small surprise at the end of the video. Michael went to a Dolly Parton concert when he was a little boy. Years later, she wants to write songs for him. I hope she finds the time to do it. That would probably elicit an unprintable response from me.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Michael Johns' New Record

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Kansas City Star music writer Tim Finn sat down with Michael Johns before his performance at the Sprint Center. Michael talks about his upcoming album, which he says will have a bit of an INXS vibe, a little Gnarls Barkley and even, gasp! a little bit of The White Stripes. That whole rock/blues/soul thing.

He's been writing songs with Diane Warren and John Shanks and volunteers that Linda Perry wants to submit some songs. Michael has been hard at work and has recorded the first 8 of the 25 songs for the record. He's also working with some up and coming producers, Ken Andrews, Matt Mahaffey and Dave Cobb.

The first single is due to be released in November. Michael describes it as something you could dance to, a little sexy, and will most likely remind you of Need You Tonight by INXS. Is it November yet?

Hit Man: David Foster and Friends

Michael Johns, Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, Michael Buble, Brian McKnight, Kenny G, Katherine McPhee, Boz Scaggs, Blake Shelton and Peter Cetera were some of the $20 million worth of talent who came to sing the praises of the Grammy-winning songwriter and record producer David Foster in May this year. Three days of rehearsals went into the spectacular production. Called Hit Man: David Foster and Friends, the show will be airing in November. Watch the trailer to the upcoming PBS special.



The CD/DVD will be in stores from November 11, 2008. Michael Johns' Beauty/Man In Motion performance will be on the DVD.

Monday, September 15, 2008

So Who Is Michael Johns?

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Michael Johns

If you're an American Idol fan, you already know Michael Johns is the sexy Aussie whose unexpected elimination caused an American uproar to sweep the nation in AI Season 7, which aired in 2007-2008. With the American Idol Tour 2008 just ended on September 13th, it's time to take an in depth look at the man, his past, his present, and his undeniable future.

For those of you who don't watch the "reality" show, I've included a picture and a description. What you can't really appreciate in the photo on a computer screen, are the proportions at which you're looking. Ahem, athletically speaking, he's a prime specimen of manliness. His 6' 3" height and muscular build give him a physical advantage in sports. Add to that his extremely competitive nature, and you've got yourself one Hot Aussie sportsman.

His musical journey in America began in 1998. That's when he left Australia and moved to Atlanta, Georgia where he lived for six years. He attended college at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Georgia on a tennis scholarship. Michael was also a player with the Atlanta Kookaburras, a USAFL Australian football rules club while in Atlanta. He left college soon after arriving to pursue his musical career. For us fans, that's where his rise to fame begins.

This is the first in a series of articles exploring what it took to become the Michael Johns as we all know him. In the next article, we will more closely look into his past. Until then, here are a few quick notes about him.

* Birth Name: Michael John Lee
* Birth Place: Perth, Western Australia, Australia
* Date of Birth - 10/20/1978
* Zodiac sign: Libra
* Profession: Reality cast member; singer; musician

He is currently living in Los Angeles. Johns also plays the guitar and has been singing since age 5. He quickly became American Idol's Season 7 sex symbol with his tall-dark-handsome looks and charming personality. He was once a member of a band called The Rising.

Michael Johns Fast Facts:

* Moved to the United States when he was eighteen.
* Began college on a tennis scholarship, but left to pursue singing.
* Was the lead singer of two different bands: Film and The Rising.

Michael Johns Relationships:

* John Burke - Stepfather
* Janet Burke - Mother
* Stephen - Brother
* Cindy - Sister
* Stacey - Wife

College:

* Attended Abraham Baldwin Agriculture College, Tifton, GA

So Who Is Michael Johns? (Part Two)

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Before he was introduced to the world on American Idol with the stage name Michael Johns, that which all of us now know him, he was best known by his given name, which is Michael Lee. That was the name used as he performed with Jeff Bramwell and Hank Barbee while living in Atlanta. He is the Michael Lee who was lead singer on the EP released while with the band Film.

In 2001, Michael traveled to Los Angeles to showcase music for a number of labels, and was signed with Maverick Records. It was there he found band members Robb Torres and Kevin Haaland (guitarists), Ari Gorman (bass), and Kirke Blankenship (drums), to form the rock band The Rising.

The Rising's story is best described in the following interview with Michael, as published by:

While getting signed to Maverick Records was a major step for Atlanta-based rock group The Rising, the band realizes it's only the beginning. That's why the quintet is taking their music on the road, playing smaller venues and trying diligently to build a fan base. We're playing nearly every night, said frontman Michael Lee with traces of his native Australian accent still dangling. The singer admitted touring hasn't always been an enjoyable experience. At a lot of places, people still don't know who we are, he said. We're such a new band sometimes it's unpredictable. Lee has been singing in bands since he was very young, and was looking for a way to take it to the next level when he was given the answer by You Am I singer Tim Rogers, who was performing in 1997 at the Australian music festival Big Day Out. I'd always been a big fan of You Am I, so when they finished their set, I snuck backstage and approached lead singer Tim Rogers for advice, Lee said. He told me if I wanted to make something happen, I had to go to the States. The young singer packed his bags and headed for Atlanta instead of Los Angles or New York because he felt his chances were better in a smaller setting. Within a month, he met a fellow Aussie and club owner who gave him a job washing dishes and cleaning toilets and eventually allowed the fledgling vocalist to sit in occasionally with local bands. Eventually Lee met a guitarist and became the club's headlining cover band. The next few years, Lee spent days writing and honing original songs and nights performing covers. Recording a demo in 2001, Lee went to Los Angeles where he showcased for several labels, eventually inking an exclusive pact with Maverick Records. He then began assembling the elements of his new band, picking and choosing from the talent the LA music scene had to offer, including drummer Kirke Blankenship, guitarists Robb Torres and Kevin Haaland and bassist Ari Gorman. The newly forged The Rising realized they had an electrifying creative energy about them when they played their songs in front of an audience. With today's technology, anyone can record an album, but not everyone can pull it off live, Lee said. We elevate it to the next level when we play live. The singer admitted he wishes he could get into the studio and rerecord, but for now The Rising is currently touring for their debut release, Future Unknown, produced by Rick Beato and Lee, and recorded at Southern Tracks in Atlanta. All my life I dreamed of making an album like this with a band like this, Lee said. We want to be a source of inspiration, a reason to believe, a way of seeing the world. Maybe that's a lot to ask from a bunch of simple songs, but music has made a difference in all our lives. This is our way of passing it along.
What the interview doesn't say about The Rising, is the success they should now be enjoying. We'll delve even deeper into that subject on the next post.