Backstage Pass

Music, concerts, musicians and more.

'American Idol' recap: Caleb Johnson dominates '80s Week

AMERICAN IDOL XIII: Contestant Caleb Johnson

(Credit: Fox / Michael Becker)

After last week’s “American Idol” results show, the conspiracy theorists were out in force.

Did teenage heartthrob Sam Woolf really get the fewest votes last week? Or did producers say that he did so that he’d be saved by the judges to energize his tween-heavy fanbase? I’m not usually one for conspiracy theories, but considering Wednesday night’s opening for ’80s Week, they sure did need Sam...

Read more »

'The Voice' recap: Sisaundra Lewis leads Team Blake

Sisaundra Lewis performs during "The Voice" Season 6

(Credit: NBC / Tyler Golden)

Now that “The Voice” has finally reached its “playoff” round, (The Round Formerly Known as The Knockouts) there’s a time-tested music industry battle brewing on the team Blake Shelton has chosen to field for public votes.

Sisaundra Lewis has an incredible voice and she showed how well she can use it on Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind.” But young Jake Worthington has a pretty good counter-argument...

Read more »

'The Voice' recap: Jake Barker surprises in final battle round

Brittnee Camelle, left, looks on as Carson Daly

(Credit: NBC / Tyler Golden)

“The Voice”’s final “battle rounds” show had its share of surprises.

Maybe the biggest, though, came from mentor Chris Martin, who revealed that he was intimidated by Rihanna when they first sang together.

It’s interesting to see how quickly some judges’ love for certain singers diminished, though that it is how the music business works sometimes. It’s a prelude to the brutal cuts that...

Read more »

Howard Stern to interview Billy Joel for live SiriusXM special

Billy Joel performs at Madison Square Garden in

(Credit: Bruce Gilbert)

Howard Stern will interview Billy Joel in a town-hall styled meeting, broadcast live on SiriusXM on April 28, which will include special guests and performances just days before Joel turns 65.

“The 2010 interview I did with Billy Joel was one of my favorites of my career,” Stern said in a statement. “Now, this special hits a whole new level, with surprise guests whose lives have been changed...

Read more »

Intro 4.7.14: Videos from Hall & Oates, Lady Gaga, SoMo and more

Hall & Oates (Daryl Hall and John Oates)

(Credit: Ilpo Musto / Rex USA)

Daryl Hall and John Oates take their place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame alongside Peter Gabriel, Kiss, Nirvana, Linda Ronstadt and Cat Stevens at Barclays Center Thursday.

Intro brings you the week’s hottest videos and shows every Monday. To catch up on all the Intros and watch classic Long Island music scene videos, check out Newsday Music’s YouTube channel at


Read more »

Remembering Kurt Cobain on the 20th anniversary of his death

Kurt Cobain of Nirvana performs in Seattle on

(Credit: AP / Robert Sorbo)

It’s comforting to know Kurt Cobain hasn’t been forgotten.

He won’t just be remembered Saturday, the 20th anniversary of his suicide. A few days later, on Thursday, he will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with his band Nirvana.

Rock Hall officials say Nirviana’s surviving members – Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic – are “planning something” for the ceremonies at Barclays...

Read more »

'American Idol' recap: Alex Preston takes Top 8 his way

Alex Preston is first to perform with his

(Credit: Fox / Michael Becker)

As theme weeks go, “Back to the Start Week” is pretty good for “American Idol.”

It lets the finalists return to a song they know well and use it to show off their skills. It also allows them to get more of their personal stories out to their fans.

Here’s how the night shook out:

1. Alex Preston, “Fairytales”: This is why they should let the finalists sing their own songs. It’s...

Read more »

'The Voice' recap: Is Jake Worthington unstoppable?

Jake Worthington (left) is declared a battle round

(Credit: NBC / Tyler Golden)

This week, “The Voice” added another long-term issue to its pile of concerns.

The show is undoubtedly successful – currently the No. 1 unscripted show on the networks and the No. 2 series overall among the coveted 18-to-49 demographic. So long-term issues like the overexposure and burnout that come from running two seasons a year obviously take a backseat to keeping the momentum going.


Read more »

Taking Back Sunday debuts in Billboard Top 10

Taking Back Sunday, from left: bassist Shaun Cooper,

(Credit: Natalie Escobedo)

It’s a big week for Long Island artists on the Billboard charts.

For the week ending April 5, Rockville Centre-based Taking Back Sunday’s “Happiness Is …” (Hopeless) debuted at No. 10 on the Billboard 200 and hit No. 1 on the Independent Albums chart.

Merrick-based I Am the Avalanche’s “Wolvernies” (I Surrender) debuted at No. 108, one notch ahead of Glen Cove's own  Ashanti’s “Braveheart”...

Read more »

Bruce Springsteen, Michael Stipe set to honor Rock Hall inductees

Bruce Springsteen performs at Perth Arena in Perth,

(Credit: Getty Images / Paul Kane)

Bruce Springsteen is set to honor and perform with the E Street Band when they are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at Barclays Center on April 10.

Linda Ronstadt will be inducted by Glenn Frey and saluted by Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, Sheryl Crow and Carrie Underwood performing her songs since the singer is unable to attend due to her battle with Parkinson’s disease.


Read more »

advertisement | advertise on newsday


Follow Newsday music writer Glenn Gamboa for the latest from pop's biggest voices.
Twitter | Blog

Follow Newsday Entertainment

advertisement | advertise on newsday