2011 Grammy Noms will likely celebrate the "Ladys"

Tomorrow night on CBS, nominations will be announced for the 2011 Grammy Awards. It's no doubt going to be a big year for Eminem, Lady Antebellum, Lady Gaga, and a slew of collaborations, but there are some dark horses that could grab some recognition as well (like Miranda Lambert and Florence + the Machine).

Check out my predictions for the four main categories below (I'll share my own top choices for the year in a separate, upcoming blog):

Best New Artist:
The Script
Justin Bieber
Bruno Mars
Florence + The Machine

Other possibilities: Adam Lambert, LaRoux, Mumford & Sons, Jason DeRulo, B.O.B., Taio Cruz, V.V. Brown, Orianthi, Susan Boyle, Kid Cudi, Ke$ha, and Kris Allen

Song of the Year (goes to the songwriter):
Bad Romance (Lady Gaga)
Need You Now (Lady Antebellum)
The House that Built Me (Miranda Lambert)
Empire State of Mind (Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys)
Love the Way You Lie (Eminem feat. Rihanna)

Other possibilities: Little Lion Man (Mumford & Sons), Breakeven (The Script), Airplanes (B.O.B. feat. Haley Williams), Haven't Met You Yet (Michael Buble), Teenage Dream (Katy Perry), Nothing On You (B.O.B. feat. Bruno Mars), Hey Soul Sister (Train), F*ck You (Cee-Lo Green), Dog Days are Over (Florence & the Machine), Just the Way You Are (Bruno Mars), and Telephone (Lady Gaga feat. Beyonce)

Record of the Year (goes to the artist):
Bad Romance (Lady Gaga)
Need You Now (Lady Antebellum)
Teenage Dream (Katy Perry)
Love the Way You Lie (Eminem feat. Rihanna)
Dog Days are Over (Florence & the Machine)

Other possibilities: The House that Built Me (Miranda Lambert), Empire State of Mind (Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys), Breakeven (The Script), Airplanes (B.O.B. feat. Haley Williams), Haven't Met You Yet (Michael Buble), Nothing On You (B.O.B. feat. Bruno Mars), Hey Soul Sister (Train), F*ck You (Cee-Lo Green), O.M.G. (Usher feat. Will.I.Am.), I Like It (Enrique Iglesias feat. Pitbull), Not Afraid (Eminem), and Telephone (Lady Gaga feat. Beyonce)

Album of the Year:
Recovery (Eminem)
Soldier of Love (Sade)
The Fame Monster (Lady Gaga)
Need You Now (Lady Antebellum)
Brothers (The Black Keys)

Other possibilities: The Blueprint 3 (Jay-Z), Live at the Troubadour (James Taylor and Carole King), Band of Joy (Robert Plant), and Revolution (Miranda Lambert)

UPDATE: Click HERE to see the actual nominees.

So Officially, So Abby

Big news today for your favorite music blog, "That's So Abby." You can now access the site using www.thatssoabby.com (applaud if you feel it).

Previous links still work, but you may be asked to click a link to be redirected. Thank you all for your support!

I'm With the Band

Many of my favorite artists have multi-talented band members working hard and building solo careers in their free time. Here are two of the best:

Javier Dunn is a indie folk singer/songwriter from California whose genuine lyrics and melodies reflect a sensitive and open-hearted soul. He has been touring with friend, Sara Bareilles, for nearly a decade, but still finds time to share solo work sure to leave your heart smiling.

Javier's full-length album, Winnetka, as well as his newest EP, Vessel, are available on iTunes. If nothing else, you must download "If You Go" and "How I Love You."

Also, check out Javier's site for updates on new music and solo tour dates. Be sure to let him know what you think of his music. 

JillandKate (Jill Pickering and Kate Rapier) have been singing background vocals for Kelly Clarkson since 2007. Legend has it they gave Kelly their music backstage at a concert, and she immediately added them to her touring band. In their free time, the duo has been mastering their harmonies and eliminating the line where one vocal begins and the other one ends.

For the past year, JillandKate have been performing an original song, cover, or mashup on the 17th of each month and sharing them online. Yesterday, they released a collection of those songs on their new album, Songs on the 17th. Key tracks include "Texas" and "Guess I better Move On".

You can find their other albums, East Coast Bound and Finding My Own Way, on iTunes as well.

GENERAL ADMISSIONS: My First Concert Ever...

...was exactly 20 years ago tonight at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. I was an extraordinary unique enthusiastic awkward 9-year-old, and my fifth row seat was the closest I'd ever come to the early-90s sexiness that was New Kids on the Block (official fanclub pillowcase and size-of-my-head jean jacket pin notwithstanding).

I had to wait another 10 years until my next concert (Phish in Cincinnati, September 21. I'm not sure what I was doing there either, clear-eyed as I was), but I think my roaring 20s have more than made up for that lull.

DC Got Us Fallin' In Love Again

It's been a lil' while since we've seen David Cook perform live. While we wait for his upcoming sophomore album (set for an early 2011 release), here's a pretty cool video from earlier this week. DC took part in a Ronald McDonald benefit in NYC (as did Idol alums Ruben Studdard and Melinda Doolittle), performing a couple of his own songs as well as this awesome Radiohead cover.

To check out a few more of DC's acoustic performances from the event (including Light On, Livin' On a Prayer, and a Heroes/Champagne Supernova mashup), click here.

Don't You Wanna Watch?

Last night, Kelly Clarkson joined Jason Aldean onstage at the 44th annual CMA Awards to perform their soon-to-be-smash, "Don't You Wanna Stay." The song is the second single from Jason's new album, "My Kinda Party."

Slight sound problems aside (Jason's mic should have been turned up to 11 to mesh with Kelly's powerhouse vocals. I mean really, Kelly, no one girl should have all that power.), the performance was a highlight of the evening. Jason's southern rock style is a nice complement to Kelly's soulful, textured range.

Send me the miles

Drumhead used by
Josh Day,
Sara's drummer
Something always brings me back to you, Sara B.

Saturday night, I drove down to Louisville, Kentucky (a wee jaunt from Cincinnati) to see Sara Bareilles perform as part of her Kaleidoscope Heart Tour. Truly a gem of an artist and an all around human being, Sara put on a spectacular show for what was a fantastic "Loo-ville" crowd.

The set featured 15 tracks, including a mix of songs from Sara's two studio albums as well as a stunning Radiohead cover (see setlist below).

If you get the chance, definitely check out one of Sara's live shows. I promise you won't be disappointed.

Check out all of my pictures here.

Tech Firm Expands in Wood County

As published in the 11/1/10 issue of
Manufacturing & Construction News
(a Toledo Business Journal publication)

by Abby Hoicowitz

Spectra Group Limited, Inc. has been experiencing significant growth in the 5.5 years it has been located at its Lemoyne Road facility in Millbury. The company expects to increase its staff in the next few years and also rent a neighboring space to expand its existing 6,500 square feet. For now, the additional space will be used for storage; Spectra is currently working on a few projects (in the state of evaluation) that could potentially utilize the expansion for manufacturing.