Monday, September 17, 2012

Post Tour Recap with Melissa Cox

Hey Philly! Melissa Cox is fresh off of her Harmonious Maladies Tour and was kind enough to talk to me about her time on the stage, off the stage, and everything in between (including a tornado!).

Now that you're back and settled in from your Harmonious Maladies Tour, how did it go?!
The tour went very well. I met alot of cool people, had a little bit of beach down-time, caught up with family members, gave away alot of free download cards, caught some great videos, got some professional quality live recordings for my new Live Album (due out in November/December) and put 1,956 miles on my car!

Were you pleased with the turn out at your shows? Do you think your pre-tour efforts to reach fans in the area paid off?
Absolutely I was pleased, especially considering it was a holiday weekend. I think the pre-tour promo efforts were good. Next tour I will focus more on reaching out earlier to independent radio DJs, and perhaps invest in some Facebook ads. But overall this tour was great in terms of turnout, especially for cities where I've never played before, like Norfolk and Blackstone, VA.

How was your interview on WGMU's "The Fearless Hour" with DJ Monet?
I had a great time talking to Monet! She's so sweet and a really talented DJ. She will go very far in radio if she decides to pursue that after college. I loved her question "If you could be anyone from the 90s, real or fictional, who would it be?" I said Madonna, but after thinking about it more, I think I want to be Dana Scully from the X-Files, because then that way I can get with David Duchovny.

Did any show stand out to you as a particularly awesome experience for you and the crowd?
Honestly--and I don't say this for many tours--every single show was awesome in some way, even the ones I was unsure about before hand. I played Borjo Coffeeshop in Norfolk at Old Dominion not expecting much, but I ended up meeting alot of cool people who enjoyed the music a whole lot. I played Brodapalooza, which is a backyard house concert at fellow GoGirls Music member Brenda Barringer's farm in Appomattox. I met a ton of amazing musicians there and had a great time, and everyone walked away with CDs. Our show at Mt. Vernon Unitarian Church in Alexandria was well attended and the room had excellent acoustics, and we got great audio from that show which will be on my live CD due out the end of 2012. So yeah it was a really great time.

Were the people of MD, DC, VA, & NC receptive to your music? Did you run into any old fans or have any great experiences with new ones?
People were really receptive to my music. The most surprising show was probably in Blackstone, VA, which is several hours south Richmond. My perception was that people in that area would like country most of all. But they really liked our music. I think it was because it was something different that they usually don't hear in their area, but it still has that folk/bluegrassy familiarity to it that they can relate to. I had several old fans come to my shows in Wilmington, NC and D.C. It's always nice to see familiar faces again.

Do you have any cool stories from the road in the states you visited? Did you go to any interesting places on your time off or meet any interesting people?
Well, the psuedo-tornado I drove through trying to get to Appomattox was very scary. Wall cloud, rotating wind, the whole nine. There wasn't a funnel on the ground, but you can be sure I got out of there and fast! While I had some down time, I spent a few days with my awesome Aunt Pat and Uncle Rodger in Duck, NC. I am taking up hoop dancing (dancing with a hula hoop) so it was nice to practice on the beach. While I had some downtime in Virginia, I stopped by the birthplace of America - Jamestown. I saw where Pocahontas lived and was married, the original Jamestown church tower from 1607, and the footprint of the original James Fort, as well as a graveyard of original settlers who died in the early 1600s. It was spooky but cool, and gave me an appreciation for all that early settlers suffered and endured to build this great country.

Aside from the weather danger causing the cancellation of the Sunday Arts Fest in Annapolis, did you run into any other problems along the road?
That pre-tornado was pretty scary! No issues with the car, knock on wood. I'm very fortunate to have great family and friends who host me along the way, so that makes it alot easier and fun.

Any exciting plans coming up as far as touring goes?
Touring is taking a little bit of a break. I do have a 3-show mini tour in October - a show in D.C. and two performances at Bedford Fall Foliage Festival in PA. After that, I have some plans for some local shows in Delaware, and I will be compiling the best of my live tracks from this past year's performances on a live CD, which will be available via digital download only. You can find out more about it come October at

A big thank you to Melissa for taking the time to talk to me about her time on the road! Make sure you keep updated on Melissa's shows, news, and live CD that should be out in November/December on her website:

Also, check out--
Free downloads:
Melissa's interview with WGMU's DJ Monet:
Live Videos:

Lauren Resnick
Monster Entertainment LLC

Monday, September 3, 2012

Made in America

If you weren’t at the Made in America Festival or lucky enough to live around the parkway within listening distance, then you missed an amazing weekend! Hip-hop, rock, pop, EDM, whatever you wanted, you got it. And if you weren’t a fan of some of the music out there, you became one because each performer brought their best to the stage. I’m going to break up my highlights from my top favorite genres so I can try to give you a little taste of everything.

The Hip Hop:
MMG and Odd Future obviously threw it down with the crowds (including me) going wild, but I’m a Drake girl. So my favorite hip-hop performance was definitely his. He brought out 2 Chainz and French Montana to help him out for a couple songs and played the perfect mix of his own. Might I add the staff around The Rocky Tent were all loving their time with Drake and breaking it down as they sold their Buds. He even threw out his verse from The Weeknd’s “The Zone” which happens to be my favorite Drake feature, and although not many people in the crowd knew it, the guy next to me did so we got to scream it out together.

The Rock:
Two crowd favorites that I really noticed were from Miike Snow and Passion Pit since people couldn't stop dancing their way around the parkway while the two bands had their sets. Even people who weren't near the stage during either performance were grooving to the beats wherever they happened to be. I even had a couple of middle aged women walk up when Miike Snow played "Animal" asking who they were because they couldn’t stop dancing! But the biggest performance unarguably came from Pearl Jam on Sunday night. It looked like the majority of the 50,000 of us stayed to watch the set which was awesome. They played some new, some old, and of course the unforgettable moment of the weekend—99 problems with Jay-Z. Yeah, that happened.

The EDM:
My usual choice for festivals was different from what I’m used to, but nonetheless great. Although the Kandi Kids were among the minority (of course we showed love when we would find each other!), it was cool to see how much EDM has grown in America. It was crazy to watch thousands on thousands of people from all different walks of music stand together in anticipation for the drop. Just two years ago if you said you listened to electronica people thought you were a little bit weird, but now everyone’s finally embracing the weird so much so that I didn't even make it into the tent! I got to catch a few of my favorite boys, Calvin, Skrillex, Alesso, and Afrojack. Even though I had to keep to the side of the stage/tent areas because it was so crowded, their beats still got to me!

Did you think I forgot about the man himself, Jay-Z? How could I! He needs to be highlighted all on his own. The man of the weekend and the reason we were all there, Jay-Z, you did it right. His performance was ridiculous. Rumors circulated before the show about Miss B making an appearance, which don’t get me wrong would have been AMAZING, but Jay Z still outdid himself. He brought out his friends Kanye West, Big Sean, Common, Pusha T, 2 Chainz, Swizz Beats, and a few others to help him close out Saturday night with the most energetic and best performance of the whole festival. Aside from his performance, Jay-Z was just an amazing festival host. He walked through the crowds a couple times, picked the perfect artists, and I even heard he took time to catch a couple backstage performances.

While the performers all did amazing and I have no complaints on that end, I have to say the organization of the event as a whole didn’t seem to be fully thought through. I’ve been to the parkway on the 4th so I knew what to expect in terms of crowdedness, but it ended up being a lot worse than I thought. On Saturday you could tell that the organization wasn’t ready for everyone to cram in. There were so many people they actually stopped scanning tickets at one point and just ripped them because they didn’t know what to do. Also, the schedules were made to not overlap too much so that people could catch the most sets they could which sounds like an awesome plan, but put into effect made it so that the huge crowd that comfortably fit in front of The Rocky Stage, tried to cram themselves into The Freedom Tent. But the thing that did save the event in my opinion was the great sound and the screens. Whoever the sound techs for the event were need a HUGE shout out because I didn’t hear any complications and it was so clear that I had the time of my life listening from the side with absolutely no view beyond the crowd. It was an amazing accomplishment for that size of a festival!

Finally as I end my recap, I want to shout out to Jay-Z because he's obviously reading this. Jay-Z, you rock. Being able to gather at the end of both nights for two final performances with 50,000 proud Americans were memorable experiences that I am grateful to have had and the best way to end my summer. Thank you for choosing our city and bringing Americans together in the best way possible. Come back again!

Lauren Resnick
Monster Entertainment LLC