Category Archives: THAT’S MY JAM! RADIO

Awesome multi-generational/genre mixes, interviews + more! What’s YOUR jam?

PLAYLIST: New Edition Family

In honor of the New Edition story that premiered on BET last weekend, we have compiled a playlist on TMJ!’s Spotify.  Not only does the playlist include NE’s best hits, but features Bobby Brown, Bell Biv DeVoe, Ralph Tresvant and Johnny Gill’s most popular songs as well.  We even dug up some of Ricky Bell’s and Michael Bivins’ other songs, like the Boyz II Men remix of “Motown Philly”.

If you haven’t watched the 3-part biopic on BET, make sure you do.  Check BET for listings or watch the episodes directly on BET.com.  As an ’80s /’90s kid, New Edition, Bobby Brown, Bell Biv DeVoe along with the Michael Bivins’ proteges Boyz II Men was part of the soundtrack to my childhood.

Unlike the unauthorized made-for-TV life stories on Lifetime (have you seen the preview for the Britney Spears one?), the New Edition Story was co-produced by the members of the group.

Watch NE grow up as pop stars, while still living in the projects and fighting for the spotlight.  While the band had their differences, the message of the story is clear: family always sticks together.

Listen to TMJ!’s New Edition Family Playlist on Spotify!

For more That’s My Jam! Radio playlists, follow us on Spotify!

JAX Drops Debut EP “Funny” Today + Discusses American Idol, Battle with Cancer

JAX - Funny EP
“Funny” available now on iTunes.

New Jersey native, JAX won the world over on season 14 of “American Idol” with her sassy rock style, talent and likability.  While she placed 3rd in the competition, J.Lo stated she could have won the whole thing.

After the show ended, JAX was ready to jump head first into her music career, but that didn’t happen when she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at 20-years-old.

She had her thyroid removed along with radiation treatment and is back to great health.  JAX took that scary situation and wrote about it on her debut EP, Funny, which drops today on iTunes!

The 6-song EP features JAX’s sultry vocals, poppy hooks and intoxicating melodies.  Read what JAX has to say about the EP in my interview with her!

Hi JAX! Thanks for letting me pick your brain. How is 2017 treating you so far?

Hey! Of course! Looking forward to it. 2017 has already been a blast. January is a crazy month!

Congratulations on the upcoming EP! How would you describe the sound and vibe of the songs on Funny?

I think the lyrical tone is honest, vulnerable, and incredibly sarcastic. I refer to the overall sound as “confused pop”. I think it has some rock and electronic elements…And on tracks like Funny even some hip hop. But at the end of the day it’s clearly a pop record and I hope it brings good energy to everyone listening. I always thought pop music was the universal language.

Photo by Cortney Armitage
Photo by Cortney Armitage

I know you endured some serious health issues. What got you through those dark days?

Writing and exercising! I trained for a marathon once the doctors told me I could work out again and I basically lived in the studio aside from that. Writing has always been my go-to outlet when I’m going through something. Running and creating were the most cathartic healing methods for me on a physical and emotional level.

“Stars” is your first single. What does that song mean to you?

“Stars” was the first track in the writing process (among a few others that never made the EP lineup) where I wrote and sang about what I was going through health-wise. It was the first moment I could appreciate the strength that came out of a dark time for me and I wanted to share my story…because I know I’m not the only one.

What was it like working with Nash Overstreet from Hot Chelle Rae?

LOVE Nash. He’s the coolest. He also brought this gem Sidnie Tipton on board in the studio who is just as rad as Nash. We had the most natural session and then went and ordered ramen. So Cal 😜

There are plenty of people that are skeptical of the “American Idol” process and results. How has the show helped and hurt you?

I think it was an incredible platform and learning experience regardless of the results. I made some of the best friends I’ll ever have on the show and I got to embark on this wild journey of television, which I had zero experience in coming onto the show. It was definitely a trip and there are emotional ups and downs in every intense experience. I would do it all again in a heartbeat.

Now that the EP is out, what’s next? Touring? More recording?

YES. I can’t wait to see what this year has in store. Definitely working on some shows and I’m always in the studio banging out new material.

Describe what a JAX concert is like.

Being on stage is by far my favorite part of this whole things. I have a pretty special connection with the fans and it always gets pretty intimate. It’s pretty surreal to me still that people come out to see me…It’s seriously humbling. I love to break it down at the piano because it gives me some space to breathe and converse with the audience…Feel out the crowd. Every crowd is different. At the end of the day I just hope people leave the show with a smile on their face, feeling like they had their own personal connection with the music and show.

If you could tell your fans one thing collectively, what would it be?

Weird. Is. Beautiful.

Listen to the Funny EP on Spotify!

For more on JAX:
www.jaxofficialx.com
www.facebook.com/jaxofficialx
www.instagram.com/jax
www.twitter.com/jax

Featured photo by Cortney Armitage.

Traveling Barista Picks: Coffee Shop Playlist

Let’s face it, being a barista is sometimes a gruesome job.  We romanticize it, and how it allows us to pursue our dreams, and connect with people.  While that is all true, there is also the downside.  We’re often underpaid, overworked, and take crap from everyone.

The particular coffee shop I currently work in is definitely the busiest one I’ve experienced.  We’re never staffed properly and while I’m making drinks, a crowd of millennials are either glaring at me to see if I’m working on their frappuccino or they’re totally ignoring me while staring at their phone.

Still, there are those customers you connect with and look forward to seeing.  One moment, one person, can make or break our day.  I have selected a handful of songs that express our hot and cold feelings toward being a barista along with the romantic notion of connections over coffee.

Barista or not, we’ve all sat in a cafe with a friend, crush or a dream.

1. One In A Million – Backstreet Boys
This song was the one that inspired this playlist. When the Unbreakable album was released by BSB in 2007, of course, I felt like “One In A Million” was dedicated to me.

Notable Lyrics: The line’s out the door/Serving up fraps/Until she can’t take anymore/I see it in her broken smile

2. Taylor The Latte Boy – Kristin Chenoweth
We all love Kristin Chenoweth! This song is about a customer’s hilarious crush on a barista.

Notable Lyrics: But I saw him flip the lever and for me he made it triple/And I knew that triple latte meant that Taylor loved me too

3. Falling In Love In A Coffee Shop – Landon Pigg
What a sweet song! The title says it all.

Notable Lyrics: I never knew just what it was/About this old coffee shop I love so much/All of the while I never knew/All of the while, all of the while it was you

4. Starbucks! – Bobby Bones & the Raging Idiots featuring Kelsea Ballerini
A silly country ode to the coffee corporation.

Notable Lyrics: There’s a tip jar on the counter/I’m about to make it rain/Hey its Bobby I’m not booby/Please stop messing up my name

5. The Starbucks Rant Song – Christopher Cristwell
One of my former Starbucks co-workers played this song for me years ago. Most of us would never be so mean, but we can all understand some of these thoughts that go through this guy’s mind. P.S. – He got fired for making this song.

Notable Lyrics: You get cappuccinos. You’re the pickiest of all. You didn’t order it dry, but you didn’t want any milk at all.

6. Tom’s Diner – Suzanne Vega
This song reminds me of my childhood. It’s about a diner obviously, but that was the coffee shop of the 80s and 90s.

Notable Lyrics: I am waiting/At the counter/For the man/To pour the coffee/And he fills it/Only halfway/And before/I even argue/He is looking/Out the window/At somebody/Coming in

7. Cold Coffee – Ed Sheeran
A sweet love song about wanting the person in your bed to stay.

Notable Lyrics: I’ll wake with coffee in the morning/But she prefers two lumps of sugar and tea/Outside the day is up and calling/But I don’t have to be so, please go back to sleep

8. You’re So Vain – Carly Simon
Not a song about coffee shops or even coffee really, but I just love the line: “I had some dreams, they were clouds in my coffee”. One day, a newby barista and I listened to this song on repeat after I taught her my trick to make cloud-like foam.

9. Cigarettes and Coffee – Otis Redding
There is no one quite like Otis Redding that can set any mood. I can picture this story in my mind and absolutely love when a song can do that.

Notable Lyrics: People I say it’s so early in the morning/Oh, it’s a quarter till three/We’re sittin’ here talkin’/Over cigarettes and drinking coffee, now, lord

10. Java Jive – The Ink Spots
My mother used to sing this song, but I never knew what the hell she was talking about. When I heard the song recently, it made me laugh realizing she wasn’t just babbling about “a cup, a cup, a cup”.

Notable Lyrics: Oh slip me a slug from the wonderful mug
And I’ll cut a rug just snug in a jug

11. Sugar Shack – The Fireballs
A fun oldie that puts you in a good mood!

Notable Lyrics: Well, it’s just a coffeehouse and it’s made out of wood/Espresso coffee tastes mighty good/That’s not the reason why I’ve got to get back

12. The Sad Café – The Eagles
This is another one of those great stories within a song. They don’t make artists like The Eagles anymore.

Notable Lyrics: Some of their dreams came true/Some just passed away/And some of them stayed behind/Inside the Sad Cafe.

13. Tryin’ – Little Big Town
This song is for all of us who refuse to stop dreaming!

Notable Lyrics: It’s been six years since she left home and she hasn’t made it big yet/Oh but there’s no second guessing baby, she’s got no regrets/She still works late shift down at the Greasy Spoon cafe/When she brings you out your milkshake you just might hear her say/It’s about hoping/It’s about dreaming/It’s about never not believing

14. Down – Mat Kearney
This song was recommended by some friends of mine who are huge Mat Kearney fans.  It makes me want to listen to more of him!

Notable Lyrics: I’m working late again slaving to make the rent
I’m slanging coffee with dreams heavy as cement
They’re coming one by one the face of falling love
I write a song with a prayer as I slide the cups

15. Black Coffee In Bed – Squeeze
I love the imagery in this song.  I have tons of journals with coffee stains on the pages, and it brings me back to how I usually write with coffee by my side.

Notable Lyrics: The stain on my notebook/Remain all that’s left/Of the memory of late nights/And coffee in bed

16. Me And Mrs. Jones – Michael Bublé
Hearing Bublé’s version of this classic gets you dreaming of a secret affair with him, which is why I chose his version over the others. I used to have customers who were both married to other people meet in our cafe every morning before they went to work. Sneaky jerks! All kinds of stories unfold at a coffee shop.  Baristas get just as many as bartenders do, if not more!

Notable Lyrics: We meet every day at the same cafe/Six-thirty and no one knows she’ll be there/Holding hands, making all kinds of plans/While the juke box plays our favorite songs/Me and Mrs. Jones/We got a thing goin’on/We both know that it’s wrong

17. Caffeine – Psychostick
This is the song on the playlist that will surely wake you up. Two of my oldest/best friends recommended this screamo-esque song for this playlist, and I couldn’t leave it out. It is in fact the only song on this playlist that’s straight up about coffee!  Be warned: Pretty sure the band was on more than caffeine when writing/recording it!

Notable Lyrics: Cappuccino is my mother/Frappuccino is my lover/Makes me feel exhilarated

Listen on Spotify!

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98 Degrees Heats Up Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium with My2K Tour!

That's My Jam! Radio's Sandy Lo + Kindell Moore with 98 Degrees, O-Town, Dream + Ryan Cabrera
That’s My Jam! Radio’s Sandy Lo + Kindell Moore with 98 Degrees, O-Town, Dream + Ryan Cabrera | Photo Credit: Courtney Christian

By Sandy Lo

In Nashville, the Ryman Auditorium is a place of musical worship — a legend in itself.  However, the Ryman doesn’t always bring on that good old pop music we sing along to when no one’s listening.  Last night though, it was definitely brought!

Hearing 98 Degrees sing Britney Spears — or any song really — is enough incentive to see this tour, but add on a few other throwback artists, and you’ve got yourself a party on memory lane!

Opening the show was former P. Diddy backed girl group, DREAM.  Remember “He Loves U Not”?  If you were like me, a teenager in high school when that sassy jam came out, you were creating dance moves to it and singing into a hairbrush.

While Holly, Diana, Melissa and Ashley have been gone from the scene for quite some time, they still had the crowd jumping with dance hits like, “This Is Me”.

Next up was Ryan Cabrera, the pop-rocker who was hot for a few minutes in the early 2000s with songs “On The Way Down” and “True”.  While many things have changed since then, Cabrera’s hair feels like a throwback to the “yellow thorn”, which is what Drew Lachey called brother Nick’s frosted tips from the ’90s.

By the time O-Town hit the stage, the crowd was ready for some man band action.  Let’s face it, we all love a good ole boy band!  While O-Town didn’t receive the praise Backstreet Boys or *NSYNC did, mostly due to their “Making The Band” roots, these guys can hold their own.

Trevor, Erik-Michael, Jacob and Dan are truly at ease on stage — dancing, singing and taking selfies — it makes you wonder why these boys don’t receive more credit.  O-Town performed hits “Liquid Dreams”, “We Fit Together” and “All Or Nothing” along with some newer tracks off their 2014 album, Lines & Circles.

Not to let O-Town take all the My2K glory, 98 Degrees delivered a flawless set of hits and covers along with plenty of muscled arm candy!  Nick, Jeff, Drew and Justin even resurrected one of their old stage costumes — bulletproof vests and camouflage cargo pants!  YES!

We all gazed with dreamy fan girl faces on during pop classics “Because Of You”, “The Hardest Thing”, “My Everything”, and “Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)”.  During “I Do (Cherish You)”, one very lucky girl was proposed to by the guys as she wore a wedding veil and they danced with her.  (Yeah, we were jealous too!)

Nick performed his solo hit, “What’s Left Of Me” followed by Jeff, Drew and Justin paying tribute to Prince.  Other covers included *NSYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye” and BSB’s “I Want It That Way”.  These guys truly put together a fun homage to the late 90s/early millennium music era that was much appreciated by the audience.

My2K Tour hits Greenville tonight and will run across the U.S. through the end of August.  Catch it while you can!  To help you reminisce, listen to our Millennium Pop playlist featuring 98 Degrees, O-Town, Dream, Ryan Cabrera + many more!

Photo Gallery

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