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Monthly Archives: July 2011

28 07, 2011

Rockin’ Clients – New Kids On The Block & Backstreet Boys

By |July 28th, 2011|Clients|0 Comments

Typically, I post on a single artist or band in my “Rockin’ Clients” series.  In this 9th post of my series on Sew What? music clients, I am focusing on two bands – New Kids On The Block and Backstreet Boys.  The two bands are currently on tour together, and so I thought it would be a good way to focus on both bands.

New Kids On The Block

New Kids On The Block (also known as NKOTB) is a vocal boy band started in Boston in the mid 1980s by producer Maurice Starr.  The original 5 members were Donnie Wahlberg, his brother Mark Wahlberg, and Donnie’s friends Danny Wood, Jordan Knight, and Jonathan Knight.  Shortly afterwards, however, Mark left the band, to be replaced by Jamie Kelly, another friend of Donnie’s.  Early on, Starr also replaced Jamie Kelly with Joey McIntyre, forming the core group of Donnie, Danny, Joey, Jordan and Jonathan.

The group’s self-titled debut album, released by Columbia Records in 1986, had disappointing sales, and initially their second album, Hangin’ Tough, (released in 1988) appeared headed in the same direction as the first two singles received limited airplay.   However, airplay picked up, and Columbia began to more heavily promote the band, leading to five Top Ten singles from the album.  Eventually, both albums went multiple-platinum.

By the early ’90s, the band’s popularity was booming.  They released a fourth album (a holiday album had been released in 1989), Step by Step, which included the hit singles “Step by Step” and “Tonight.”  The band performed over two hundred tour dates a year during that time frame, and they were heavily merchandised.  Their fan club included over 200,000 members.

In 1992, however, the group’s popularity began to wane.  After a split from producer Maurice Starr, the band released their sixth album, Face the Music, in 1993.  Sales were disappointing, however, and the band eventually disbanded in 1995.  Reunions were considered throughout the late ’90s and early 2000s, but none came to fruition.

In 2008, fans were excited to learn that New Kids On The Block had finally reunited.  They released two new singles and the album The Block, and went on their reunion tour.  Additional tours and concerts continued through 2009 and 2010.

Backstreet Boys

Formed in the early ’90s in Orlando, Florida, Backstreet Boys are a vocal boy band formed by Lou Pearlman.  The five original members were: Kevin Richardson, Brian Littrell, Nick Carter, A.J. McLean, and Howie Dorough.  Their first single, “We’ve Got It Goin’ On,” though only a modest success in the United States, was a hit in Europe, leading to their first tour, in 1995, and their first (self-titled) album, initially released internationally but not in the US or Canada.  This was followed by a second album, “Backstreet’s Back,” also released internationally only.

Backstreet Boys released their first U.S. album, which included songs from both of their international albums, in 1997.  Though it enjoyed success in the U.S., it was their next album, “Millenium,” which brought Backstreet Boys to the forefront in the U.S.  The album went to number 1, selling almost 9.5 million copies, and remaining on the Billboard chart for nearly two years.

The band continued to record and tour throughout the 2000s, though with several hiatuses during that time as they dealt with legal issues and pursued solo efforts.  Richardson left the band in 2006 to pursue other interests, but the remaining 4 original members continued the band as a quartet. Their most recent album, “This Is Us,” was released in 2009.


In 2011, New Kids On The Block and Backstreet Boys teamed up for a combined summer tour.  Dates are currently scheduled in the United States and Canada through mid-August.

Sew What? was pleased to provide custom stage curtains, including two kabuki drapes, to the NKOTBSB Summer 2011 tour.

21 07, 2011

June / July Anniversaries

By |July 21st, 2011|Company, Sew What Team|0 Comments

Those of you who are regular followers of this blog know that it truly is a team effort here at Sew What?  Those of us in the office (sales staff, sales support, and management) may be the public face of the company, since we are the people communicating directly with our customers via e-mail, phone and fax.  But we know that, without our dedicated manufacturing staff, we would not be able to provide our customers with the high quality products and service that we are known for.  So, please join me in congratulating the Sew What? team members with anniversaries in June and July.


Tammy, Bookkeeper – 3 years

Alicia, Sewing Machine Operator – 1 year


Maria B, Sewing Machine Operator – 5 years

Congratulations, everyone, and thank you for your hard work and dedication to Sew What?

18 07, 2011

Rent What? Austrian shines on Glee

By |July 18th, 2011|News, Products|0 Comments

I have posted in the past about the various stage curtains that Sew What? and Rent What? have provided to Glee, both the television show and the touring show.  It is such a fun and innovative show (recently nominated for 12 Primetime Emmy® Awards, including “Outstanding Comedy Series”) that it is exciting to be selected to provide custom stage curtains to the franchise.

Recently, Rent What? provided a gorgeous 30′ h x 60′ w Gold Satin Austrian Curtain to the show, which was used as a backdrop to numerous musical numbers in the show’s Season Two finale.  This beautiful drape, along with a portable lift system (also provided by Rent What?) then “went on the road” with the Glee Live tour.  Also on the tour were several other rental drapes, including a Red Contour Drape and a White Silk Austrian.

14 07, 2011

Rockin’ Clients – Lady Gaga

By |July 14th, 2011|Clients|0 Comments

Lady Gaga is the subject of the 8th post in my ongoing series on the artists for whom we have been privileged to provide custom stage curtains and other soft goods.  What a fascinating artist she is – I have really enjoyed researching and learning more about her rise to superstardom.

Lady Gaga was born Stefani Germanotta in New York City in 1986.  She was musical from an early age, learning to play piano beginning at age six, writing music at age 13, and making her public performance debut at 14.   She was also a good student, spending 1 1/2 years at NYU studying drama and performance, before leaving to focus on her musical career.

Initially she performed under her given name, primarily with a self-titled band, the Stefani Germanotta Band, started with several musician friends from NYU.  However, by 2006, the band had disbanded, and Stefani had begun performing as a solo artist under the stage name Lady Gaga.  Initially, Gaga was thrilled to be signed DefJam Recordings, but she was devasted to be dropped from the label just three months later.  However, despite this diappointment, the time period was one of growth for her, as she began to further develop her onstage persona, with the help of performance artist Lady Starlight, with whom she performed at the 2007 Lollapalooza festival.  In 2007, Lady Gaga was one of the first artists signed to Streamline Records.  She also signed a publishing deal with Sony/ATV, writing songs for Britney Spears and Pussycat Dolls, among others.

Her first album, The Fame, was released in 2008 to critical and commercial success, making the top one in several countries, including the UK, and the top 5 in the United States and many other countries.  The album produced several hit singles, including Just Dance, which received a Grammy nomination for Best Dance Recording, and Poker Face, which won the Grammy award in that same category.  Lady Gaga was also awarded the Rising Star award for 2009 by Billboard magazine.  2009 was also the year of her first worldwide tour, The Fame Ball Tour.

Gaga’s second album, The Fame Monster, was released in late 2009, focusing on the theme of the dark side of fame.  As with her first album, The Fame Monster was a critical and commercial success.  The album produced several hit singles, including Telephone (a duet with Beyonce), and was awarded the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album in 2011.  Her third album, Born This Way, was released in May 2011, onced again topping the charts.  Lady Gaga’s songs and albums have been nominated for nearly 250 awards in the United States and abroad, and have won 120 of those.

Lady Gaga has become known as much for her persona as for her music.  Her provocative costumes, including the famous “Meat Dress,” can be both outrageous and thought-provoking.  She is outspoken advocate for the LGBT community, and inspires fierce loyalty from her fans, called “Little Monsters.”

We were honored to be asked to create a multi-media cutdrop for Lady Gaga’s “Monster Ball Tour” in 2009.  The piece included digitally printed elements, LED lights, and smoke lines – really cool!

14 07, 2011

Get your gray on!

By |July 14th, 2011|Fabrics|0 Comments

In a world of high impact graphics, vibrant colors and over the top visual/video effects at shows, I’ve found over the last few years that the color gray and shades of gray are my favorite colors to work with.

For most people, gray evokes images of battle ships and gloomy days. From my perspective, it’s a lighting directors dream. A gray backdrop lets the lighting designer take control of the mood and drama of the stage.
Add the texture and sweep of a complex swag to your drapes and you can achieve beautiful effects that will transcends your stage to a whole new level. It’s not the only color of course, but something to consider when your planning your tour. Get your gray on!