Saturday, April 21, 2012

EVENT: Rock Legends Cruise II - Book Now!



If the idea of Foreigner, Paul Rodgers, Credence Clearwater Revisited, Bachman & Turner and 38 Special all performing together on the high seas sounds like the perfect way to kick off 2013, it’s time to book your passage now on ROCK LEGENDS CRUISE II.

And the monies raised will go to an important organization: the Native American Heritage Association.

Following last year’s inaugural ROCK LEGENDS CRUISE, the January 2013 ROCK LEGENDS CRUISE II will feature more than 15 bands performing multiple sets, collaborating musically, meeting and greeting and relaxing alongside fans throughout the four-day excursion. 

The ROCK LEGENDS CRUISE II departs Fort Lauderdale, FL Thursday, January 10 and docks Saturday, January 12 in Labadee, Haiti before returning to Fort Lauderdale Monday, January 14.

The weekend long musical journey will feature three easily accessible performance venues on the ship: The Deck, The Platinum Theater and Studio B/Ice Rink. 

The line-up as of (3-27) includes: Foreigner, Paul Rodgers, Credence Clearwater Revisited, Bachman & Turner, 38 Special, The Marshall Tucker Band, Blue Oyster Cult, Foghat, Molly Hatchet, Kentucky Headhunters, Pat Travers, The Artimus Pyle Band, Black Oak Arkansas, Royal Southern Brotherhood, Devon Allman’s Honeytribe, SwampDaWamp and Whiskey Myers, with acts still to be confirmed (exact set times will be released closer to the launch date). 

Beyond the musical performances and onboard auction, sailors can also enjoy traditional ship board activities including on-board surfing (thanks to its FlowRider wave generator), a boxing ring, a full-sized volleyball/basketball court, cantilevered whirlpools and variety of gourmet restaurants. 

In addition, while docked at the private secured Labadee resort - situated on the north coast of Hispaniola which averages a high of 84.9 degrees in January - passengers can enjoy Kayaking, Snorkeling, Parasailing and Wave Runners at the resort’s stunning beaches, surrounded by beautiful mountain slopes and exotic foliage.

The Liberty of the Seas from Royal Caribbean is one of the biggest, fastest and most luxurious passenger vessels in service today; it is served by a crew of 1300 on 18 decks.

The Native American Heritage Association has been working on reservations in South Dakota for more than 18 years and is a 4-star charity with for seven consecutive years. 

Native American Heritage Association tractor trailers are on the road daily with supplies to the various far flung communities and 94% of the organizations total revenue goes towards program services which provide basic life necessities, including fuel assistance and medical transportation to 90,000 people.

Many of these residents face an 80% rate of unemployment; 70% don’t have transportation and many of those who do, don’t have the means to purchase gas. 

These Lakota Sioux live in abandoned school buses, shacks or government housing with no insulation, some live without indoor plumbing, in homes with dirt floors, no beds or furniture. More information can be found at:

To book passage on ROCK LEGENDS CRUISE II, go to or call 888-666-1499 with any questions.

Swinging Sitars: How the Beatles and Their Culture Influenced Bollywood

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, The Beatles and their c...
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, The Beatles and their companions posed on a dais, image by Paul Saltzman. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
by Will Noble

Bollywood, that inimitable institution of Indian cinema, has been delighting audiences since the birth of Tollywood in the early 1930s. 

From humble roots blossomed an all-singing, all-dancing blowout of color, inspired by traditional Indian folk theater, Sanskrit drama and ancient Indian epic poetry. 

During the 1960s however, this bastion of the Indian film industry was to be swayed in an entirely different direction; one that was decidedly western.

The British Invasion of the mid-1960s will always be remembered as one that crossed the Atlantic, forever immortalized in those black and white images of the Beatles stepping off a plane at Idlewild Airport to be greeted by swarms of crazed fans. 

But the Invasion didn't just get America; it spread eastward too. India in particular would feel the full force of mop-top haircuts and jangly guitars.

Perhaps the strongest example of the Swinging Sixties making its mark on Bollywood is 1965’s Bhappi Sonie-directed film Janwar. The story of two arranged marriages being eschewed in favor of real love may follow conventional Bollywood plotlines, but the film's soundtrack certainly doesn't. 

In what is often touted as the most flagrant use of plagiarism known to the musical world, the number Tumse Hai Dil Ko is set to music almost identical to the Fab Four's Can't Buy Me Love. The icing on the cake sees four guitarists dressed as the Beatles lurking in the background. The band never sued, probably because they realized what priceless promo this was for them.

A few years down the line, as hippiedom became the order of the day, Bollywood was sure to keep up with the times. Hare Rama Hare Krishna – Dev Anand's 1971 film – steered Hindi cinema into territory that had as yet remained un-broached. 

Its exploration of the drug-fuelled inhabitants of a commune in Nepal was revolutionary, launching the career of actress Zeenat Aman, who portrays a westernized hippie. Though drugs aren’t exactly romanticized in the film, the ‘squares’ fare much worse overall. Certainly this Bollywood classic has shades of the Beatles’ 1967 TV special Magical Mystery Tour.

As is well-documented, the cultural influence was reciprocated. George Harrison's friendship with sitarist Ravi Shankar led to the use of the instrument in such Beatles tracks as Norwegian Wood and Within You Without You

Then, in 1968 the Beatles famously flew out to Rishikesh in India, where they attended Transcendental Meditation sessions with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

Other western musicians of the 1960s were soon getting their mitts on sitars too. The Kinks, the Monkees, the Rolling Stones (Brian Jones also picked up a tambura for Street Fighting Man), the Mamas & the Papas and the Moody Blues all incorporated eastern strings into at least one of their songs. Such was the surge in popularity of the sitar in fact, that by the late 60s, the first electric version was on the shelves.

Eventually, as the Summer of Love cooled off and Flower Power faded into a hazy memory, so did its influence on Bollywood. The next chapter in Indian cinema would be another sea change; Bollywood was soon bristling with sassily violent movies about mafia and banditry.

Will Noble is a freelance writer from England who has written for the Prague Post and the Bournemouth Daily Echo. He studied Scriptwriting for Film and TV at Bournemouth University and is co-creator of comedy sketch show The Chop House. He regularly writes for the Pimsleur Approach, sellers of language courses including Learn to Speak Brazilian Portuguese and Learn to Speak Japanese.
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Friday, April 13, 2012

Charles Manson Denied Parole for 12th Time!

As if Charles Manson could make a life on the outside for himself ... He sabotaged his 12th parole hearing by telling fellow inmates that he was a "Dangerous man".

Maybe 30 years ago but at 77 how dangerous is he?? But the fact is he needs to stay right where he is ... in prison ... Manson chose not to attend this hearing ...

This was his 12th parole hearing and YouTube has pages devoted to his many failed hearings see them HERE....


Notorious killer Charles Manson was denied parole today after a California parole board noted that he recently bragged to a prison psychologist, "I am a very dangerous man."

Manson, now a gray haired 77, was denied parole for the 12th time. He is serving a life sentence for seven murders in the 1969 "Helter Skelter" killing spree in Los Angeles.

"This panel can find nothing good as far as suitability factors go," said John Peck, a member of the panel that met at Corcoran State Prison in central California for the hearing, according to a pool report from the Associated Press.

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Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Origins of the Blues and How Blues Music Is Still Relevant Today

American blues singer and guitarist Robert Ler...American blues singer and guitarist Robert Leroy Johnson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)By Xan Sillem

Blues is the name given to a form and a genre of music that originated from the African-American communities of the "Deep South" of the United States at the end of the 19th century.

It consisted of spiritual numbers, hollas and chants as well as working songs and was characterized by simple rhyming narratives.

The pioneers of this new style at the time were members of the first black generation in the US after slavery was abolished in 1808. Although now technically free, it was to be a long time before the social and economic boundaries that existed as a hangover from the slave period were finally to be adjusted.

As a result the black workers were more often than not poor and without access to education. This was a crucial point in the birth of the blues. Blues musicians would use melodies that would sound good on the ear. They were unlikely to have had any training in western music and so would not have known about key signatures or indeed any western music theory.

In the notation of blues music it is often not known whether to attribute it to be minor or major. It is more practicable to simply say a blues in A or a blues in C.

From its inception, this lead to new forms of melody being born, that incorporated elements that have now spread into an enormous number of cross genres. They worked well on the ear and didn't have to conform to the fundamental imposed by western musical structures and devices. Instead blues was making its own fundamentals.

For example, blues music often uses a minor to major third, something almost unheard of in western music up until this point. That in turn has spread into rock n roll and surf music in the 60s. Imagine that Chuck Berry may never have written 'Johnny B Goode' if it hadn't have been for that major to minor shift.

Not only that, but the dissonant sound of 7th chords have been made so familiar to us by the blues that now they have become staple elements in songs on their own, whereas previously they were used solely as devices by composers to make suggestions to the melody.

Jazz music uses a complex mixture of 7ths, majors and minors and altered scales and owes everything to blues music not only in terms of melodies and harmonies but also in the African rhythms that characterize a great deal of jazz drumming. Lest we forget the 'Jazz 1/8th note' and the problems of how to write it in notation! I read once that Blues is to Jazz music what the Sonnet is to poetry.

The use of pentatonics in blues is so widespread that they have also become so pleasant on the ear that songwriters and guitarist use them in abundance. As is the 12 bar form, which continued into Rock n' Roll and Jazz music as well as evolving into more complex melodies and chord structures.

A further element in the evolution of blues music was the lack of accessible music equipment. This would have meant that the early blues musicians would have had to be content to use whatever instruments that they could lay their hands on. Honky-tonk pianos and old guitars have lent a great deal to the early blues sound as well as spawning another blues offspring - Ragtime.

Making music became an escape from the lot imposed upon them by US society at the time and for the black community one such place where they found freedom and space to sing was in the church. Gospel music is still practiced wholeheartedly to this day and some of the finest soul singers of our times learned to sing in church choirs. We may not have had Alicia Keys or Gladys Knight or Aretha Franklin were it not for this.

The influence of blues has permeated into all forms of modern music. Gershwin is but one of many composers who have written blues pieces for musicals and the British Blues revival of the 1960s, spawned another blues offshoot that coincided with the emergence and golden age of the electric guitar.

For guitarists blues music is an essential part of their musical education as much blues music was originally and still is characterized on this instrument and is one that will still be drawn upon for much more time to come. Listen carefully and you won't fail to notice the touch of blues throughout the music that is on the air for us to listen to today.

For More About the Blues and Blues Guitar Lessons Visit:

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