Saturday, July 31, 2010

VIDEO: Here Comes the Sun with photo tribute to George

Posted by: "Judith G" on, Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:54 am (PDT)

Interesting photo montage of George Harrison and The Beatles to the sounds of "Here Comes The Sun". Check it out!

MOVIE REVIEW: Jerry Garcia Movie Announced - 'Dark Star' will chronicle Grateful Dead leader's early life

Jerry Garcia
Jerry Garcia via

Posted by: "Mike Kitts" on, Sat Jul 24, 2010 8:22 pm (PDT)

By Daniel Kreps, Jul 23, 2010 8:31 AM EDT

The story of Jerry Garcia's life before he became the heart of the Grateful Dead is heading to the silver screen for the first time. Director Amir Bar-Lev and his team of producers have announced plans to turn Robert Greenfield's Dark Star: An Oral Biography on Jerry Garcia into a big-screen biopic.

Like the film Nowhere Boy, which chronicles John Lennon's adolescence prior to joining the Beatles, this movie will focus on Garcia's early life before he became the figurehead of the legendary jam band. "I don't think Jerry is easily understood. I think he's a complex human being," Greenfield tells Rolling Stone. "After a certain point, everyone had their own vision of Jerry. This film is about who he really was before people made him what they wanted him to be. I think a lot of that has been lost in the legend and the myth that has grown since his death."

Greenfield says the movie ends when Garcia leaves to join the Dead, but it captures the period when the guitarist was working in coffee shops and playing bluegrass, newly married with a young daughter. Likening it to Backbeat, the film about the young Beatles, Greenfield says, "All the seeds of his life and the formative influences that came through his music with the Dead everything is there, the childhood, the death of his father, the way he grew up. You see him at the crossroads of his life." He adds that production could begin as early as next year.

Greenfield, a Rolling Stone contributor, is well versed in Haight-Ashbury psychedelia, having co-written "Bill Graham Presents: My Life Inside Rock and Out" and written "Timothy Leary: A Biography". Dark Star charts Garcia's life via interviews with his friends, family and bandmates. Since the film will take place prior to Garcia's Dead days, Greenfield said it's unlikely the film will feature the band's music, opting instead for a soundtrack filled with "bluegrass, folk ballads and jugband music" that was influential at the time.

Bob Weir and songwriter Robert Hunter will be portrayed in the film. "This picture will be psychedelic in the best sense," Greenfield says, explaining that the storytelling will not be completely linear. The film's title has not yet been officially announced, but Greenfield tells RS the film will be titled Dark Star. "The reason we're focusing on this part of his life is [he was] an artist struggling to find himself. During the acid revolution, when he came upon LSD, it changed the way he played his music," Greenfield says. "He did things on electric guitar that weren't done before not because he had taken LSD but because of all the influences he absorbed throughout his life. It's an accident of history and where he was in time."

Screenwriter Topper Lilien, whose last big-screen writing credit was 2000's live-action Dungeons and Dragons, will pen the script. Bar-Lev is a noted documentary director and producer who previously worked on the post-Katrina New Orleans doc Trouble the Water as co-producer and more recently The Tillman Story as director. "Amir is a remarkable guy. He knows the Dead very well," Greenfield tells RS. "He knows their music. He is a documentary filmmaker. He's got the right sensibility; he really gets what the piece is about and what Jerry is about. He certainly understands what the Dead were about. He strikes me as a really good choice."

"I've opted for fun in this lifetime..." - Jerry Garcia (1942-1995).

"I've been to too many Dead concerts. There've been smokin' holes where my memory used to be" - Ken Kesey (1935-2001).
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When You're Strange: A Film About The Doors

Jim Morrison in 1970.
Image via Wikipedia

Great website about the movie "When You're Strange". Go to:

Here is a further tribute to The Doors

The Doors: Alive Forever in Cyber Space
Starbucks, 8th Steet @ University Place, NY
R. L. Norman Jr.
November 29, 1997

For many years I've listened to and enjoyed the music of the Doors. In my first college years, my then girl friend lived about 100 miles from the school. I would listen to the first album and Morrison Hotel on 8-track as I eased through the darkness in a 1966 GTO. I felt a real sense of personal loss when Jim Morrison died. When my own dear father died in 1996, Doors music in some ways helped me deal with the terrible pain.

Two members of the original Doors are touring again, Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek, but drummer John Densmore refused to join the tour, saying that the absence of the lead singer Jim Morrison hurt the music.

Below are possible ways of continuing the musical model of the Doors, which are not only technically feasible, but is faithful to the original music. As musicians of great rock bands die, more and more of their members could gradually be replaced with virtual versions. The music could theoretically exist forever, with new virtual songs created periodically. The music would never be over. I will never forget the feeling of driving through the night listening to 'Light My Fire' and 'Break on Through'. I'd like to pass the feeling further down the line.

These notes were originally written in November 1997 near New York University.

R. L. Norman Jr,
July 27, 2004
On the Road in South Georgia


David Cope and Experiments in Musical Intelligence

Recently a computer program was written which is able to create new versions of classical music, by absorbing the original music of a great composer and creating what is known in the computer field as an 'algorithm'. An 'algorithm' is a mathematical approximation of something. For some cultural elitists, it is heresy to try to convert human creativity into a mathematical formula. This view goes back to the Enlightenment dichotomy between mathematics and cultural creations, yet other ancient philosophers spoke of the 'music of the spheres' when describing the universe.

David Cope, a music professor at UC, Santa Cruz, designed the program, called EMI or Experiments in Musical Intelligence. This particular algorithm was able to create a likeness of Chopin. Naive listeners responded favorably to the ersatz Chopin. Also, he has fed the program works by different composers. This merging of influences drives EMI to create music in its own 'syncretistic style'. The system was not perfect; Beethoven 'productions' were not as well received as the Chopin.

This system did not itself create new human-like algorithms, it simply took the essence of a previous creation-creator and tried to find the strands which largely defined the creativity of that individual. As vast online, digital libraries of all previously existing music are created, the possibilities rise for doing statistical analyses of individual artists, as well as analyses of multiple artists, even from different eras. The system does not threaten human creativity, it merely extends the mental processes of those who have stretched their souls and created something worth expanding further.

The extension of this technology to cultural forms is almost limitless. Already a drawing program has been written by Harold Cohen of the Center for Research in Computing and the Arts, UC at San Diego. As vast online, digital libraries of all previously existing music are created, the possibilities rise for doing statistical analyses of individual artists, as well as analyses of multiple artists, even from different eras.

Although original music today is usually copywritten and the unique music patterns may be copywritable, it is questionable whether new music created from the algorithm of a dead rock and roll star might also be copywritable. It has recently become a settled matter that heirs of dead film stars may control the further use of the film star's image. The descendants of the Marx Brothers had problems in this area, as have descendants of The Three Stooges. I understand that this has been true of Fred Astaire's heirs.

Algorithms arising from analysis of individual artists might be controllable by heirs. However algorithms from multiple artists would be very difficult to ascertain by anyone other than the statistician who ran the analysis, much as it is difficult to determine which previous music has been expropriated by rap artists who 'sample' from existing music.

The 1960s, Rock and Roll and LSD

During the early and mid 1960s, popular music underwent a revolution, prompted as much by psychodelic drugs as by the ferment tearing apart the then existing modern capitalist system. LSD or acid was one of the more popular drugs in Haight Ashbury. Gurus such as Timothy Leary praised the effects of acid. Acid in the American rock scene had a major impact on the music and later on the musicians themselves. It is arguable that acid helped composers such as Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys and perhaps the Beatles. The price for such drug use however was severe for many, including Wilson, who has gone through major emotional problems since the mid 1960s. Drug use may have shortened the lives of artists like Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead.

Groups like the Jefferson Airplane in San Francisco would have concerts where almost every thing was spiked with acid. Their long guitar sequences were the perfect background for groups of people tripping on acid. The L.A. group, The Doors, also used acid as part of the base for their music, sometimes performing under the influence, if the Oliver Stone movie can be believed.

The Doors of Perception: The Road to the Infinite with the Internet

If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is: infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern.
Plate 14, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell,1790-1792, William Blake (1757-1827), English poet, painter and engraver

William Blake

The Doors were different from other groups of the 1960s era, in that some of the band members had college educations. I don't know the backgrounds of either Robby Krieger or John Densmore, but both Ray Manzarek and Jim Morrison attended film school as part of their college.

Looking at other rock groups, such as the Stones or the Animals or the Cream, many of these band members came from hard scrabble, working class backgrounds, where college was not usually on the career itenerary.

The Stones Mick Jagger apparently studied at the London School of Economics, but he was probably an exception. I don't think that Keith Richards had many hours at Oxford, nor did Eric Burden of the Animals. It was said of Ringo Starr, that he was unsure early on whether the Beatles would survive, and he wanted enough money to open a woman's hair salon. This from a member of the group which would later have a member knighted by the Queen, Sir Paul no less. I bring up this difference of the Doors, not to put down the music of other singers, such as Janis Joplin or Jimi Hendrix, but to point out the very different themes which the Doors brought, that of classical Greek mystic thought and Freudian sexual images of father and son battles.

The very name the Doors, was taken from the above section by William Blake. The importance of acid for some rock writers, was that it lifted previously existing mental blinders, opening the doors to the infinite. The brain has a built-in way of allowing all sorts of data move into the mind from our senses, but then to filter the information needed for the present task, sorting out the rest to some storage area in the brain or to oblivion.

Philosopher Alfred North Whitehead described this differentiation as the difference between the mode of 'casual efficacy' and that of 'presentational immediacy'. It is a serious question as to whether or not the human mind is capable of simultaneously focusing upon all the information our senses are able to send into the mind. It probably is not possible for any human mind to able to do so, and that a major function of the mind is to do exactly the opposite- to filter out information not needed for the immediate task at hand. Perhaps in our evolutionary development, those members of our species best able to focus upon that mastadon approaching or that landslide nearby, were the members which lived long enough to reproduce themselves.

Drugs which tended to break down this evolutionary system of focusing, such as acid, could easily lead to all sorts of problems in people under the influence. On the other hand, many primitive religions or at least what we know of them, often had means by which they escaped the day to day realities. Peyote, mescaline and almost all primitive societies has some version of alcohol for consumption. The human mind may have evolved with a means of focusing the vast array of incoming information, particularly under the stress of a violent confrontation, but also at different times, primitive man seems to have also evolved using substances to escape that mental focusing system, so necessary for day to day survival.

When combined with existing tapes of concerts, holography, it becomes to possible to imagine a new music form, in which a holographic image of Jim Morrison 'sings' both the old Doors music, as well as the new songs created with a surviving Doors members, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore and Robby Krieger working with a 'Doors' algorithm and a synthsizer. It is now conceivable to create a virtual image and voice of Morrison within cyberspace, and then project that image onto a stage in three dimensions. With the three living members of the Doors playing and singing as before, the band could again get on the road. This possibility would go a step further than the recent Elvis 'concert' with old video and audio images of Elvis, and live music with members of his backup band.

As musicians of great bands die, more and more of their members could gradually be replaced with virtual versions. The music could theoretically exist forever, with new virtual songs created periodically. The music would never be over.
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MOVIE REVIEW: A 'Strange' New Film From the Doors

Posted on YouTube by Associated Press

The three surviving members of The Doors talk about the new documentary film 'When You're Strange: A Film About The Doors,' which features rare footage of singer Jim Morrison and is narrated by actor Johnny Depp (April 7).

The Meaning of Ankh

The Ankh is a Kemetic symbol of eternal life i...Image via Wikipedia
By Jennifer Jaeger

When you think back to the 1960's there are two symbols that spring to mind, one is the old favorite, the peace sign and the other worn around the necks of various peace loving hippies was the ankh. But what is an ankh?

The ankh is a hieroglyphic sign or symbol found through most periods of Egyptian history. I have heard several explanations of what it represents stylistically. A sandal strap, a magic knot, a woman's sexual organs, or a mans (depends which book you read) and perhaps most poetically, Sirius rising being reflected in water (always liked that one).

However we do know what it meant, it represented the key of life, the vital key handed by the gods to the Pharaoh, literally "life". Eternal existence, the essence of all that is spiritual and good.

Often the ankh is held to the nose of the Pharaoh, giving him life. If we think of the art of the reign of the famous Pharaoh Akhenaton (1352-1336 BCE) Aton sends down his life giving rays of sunlight ending in a little hand holding an ankh in front of the Pharaoh and his family's noses. In other words the rays of the sun give life to the Pharaoh and through the Pharaoh to his subjects.

It is interesting to note that as most of the population in Ancient Egypt were unable to read the ankh was instantly recognizable to all, even the peasants. Sometimes it is seen as a potters mark but also is everywhere on all monuments where the Pharaoh is depicted interacting with the gods and goddesses of Ancient Egypt.
It became in Ancient Egyptian religion a symbol of all that was good, everlasting and vital about the gods. In early Christian times the sign was called the crux ansata and became a symbol of the Coptic Church.

In the 1960's the ankh was adopted by the "hippie" movement in the USA as their symbol to denote peace and free love. I don't know if the Egyptians would have approved but it was a nice touch to use it and in a way it has brought many people to want to learn more about Ancient Egypt and that's a good thing.

To learn more about the Ankh a good place to start would be this blog where you can learn about antiquarian books

Jennifer Jaeger is Australia's first agent for the Egypt Exploration Society and proprietor of Fine Egyptology and Ancient History books. Jennifer's love of Ancient History has led her to form a successful career importing and selling rare second hand and new books and journals specializing in her field of interest.

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Friday, July 30, 2010

OPINION: My Top Six Great Blues Guitarists

Stevie Ray Vaughan
By Steve Randazzo

Some of the greatest blues guitarists in the world never achieved greatness, but because their style is so unique and innovative, it has made that artist world renowned. An artist like Bonnie Raitt for example certainly does not have the speed and raw sound of a Stevie Ray Vaughn, but instead she creates beautiful tones and lyrics that make her what she is today and advanced her into the mainstream of blues music.

The following is a list of my favorite top 6 Blues Artists:

Muddy Waters, an amazing artist specializing in the acoustic guitar. Muddy Waters roots came from rural Mississippi and helped create the style know as the Chicago blues. This style exploded and helped pave the way for artists like Stevie Ray and Eric Clapton.

Robert Johnson, his innovative and unique sound helped create the style we know today as the Delta blues, this style can be heard today in current blues.

Eric Clapton, his unique style today helped combine the blues from the 60's and the more heavy rock sounds we hear today. Eric Clapton is truly one of the best of his generation.

Stevie Ray Vaughn, was known for his raw power and sound. His incredible talent reached new heights in the industry. You would be hard pressed to find anyone today that could hold a candle to his style and power. Stevie was one of the most influential artists of his time and often compared to Jimmy Hendrix.

T-Bone Walker, helped establish the blues guitar as a lead instrument, and also had a very unique sound especially while playing the blues. This unique style is still widely used today. T-Bone Walker is truly a pioneer and an important influence in almost every great blues player from that generation on.

Jimmy Hendrix, known as the godfather of the blues, Jimmy had the most influence and impact on virtually every guitarist today. Although Jimmy was surprisingly humble, musically, his style and sound is one that is most imitated today. When anyone talks about the blues guitar it would be nearly impossible not to mention Jimmy Hendrix.

We only mentioned a few of the great blues guitar players in this article, but every one of these artist helps continue to shape the history of the blues and lives in every great blues player today.

Steve enjoys writing articles on topics he has a passion for. Not only does the author specialize in management, customer service, and team building, but he likes to relax by playing the guitar. You can also check out his latest website at which helps people find the best Wireless Mini Camera

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

NEWS: Happy Birthday, Jerry Garcia (Aug 1st) Celebrate in NYC

Jerry Garcia in 1969Image via Wikipedia
Posted by: "julia.tonelli" Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:06 pm (PDT) on

Jerry Garcia's would be 68th B-day is approaching this Sunday. If you're in NYC, come join the Deadhead community at Sullivan Hall this week through next for Grateful Dead covers, remixes, and incredible jams. Musicians playing over the next few days are members of Ratdog, Brazilian Girls and more.

Sullivan Hall
214 Sullivan Street
Btwn Bleeker and West 3rd, NYC

Wednesday, August 4th
Jemimah Puddleduck feat. Mark Karan (Ratdog)
With Devon Allman's Honeytribe

Tickets and Info Here:

Jemimah Puddleduck:
An American rock jam band led by RatDog lead guitarist Mark Karan. In addition to Karan the band also includes John "JT" Thomas (Bruce Hornsby) on keyboards, Bob Gross (Delaney Bramlett, Albert King) on bass, and Joe Chirco (Zen Tricksters, David Nelson, Donna Jean) on drums.

A treat for your eyes and ears: video of Mark Karan and Jemimah Puddleduck performing "Easy Wind":

Devon Allman's Honeytribe:
A power trio. With monster world class bassist George Potsos and new drummer Gabriel Strange, this 3 headed beast has been born. High energy, grooving , bluesy, ass-kickin rock and roll the old school way.

Devon Allman's "Torch":

Whether or not your going to Furthur at Nokia tonight, come down and party with us late night

July 28: Furthur Post show with Alphabet Soup Facebook Event:
Alphabet Soup's an amazing original hip hop/jazz band from Frisco that now resides on the East Coast. Features members of Ratdog, Brazilian Girls

August 1: Jerry Garcia Birthday Celebration

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PREVIEW: Robert Plant's Band of Joy, "Angel Dance"

Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin
Image via Wikipedia
Posted by: "Eric Bonatti" Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:22 am (PDT) on

FYI: Robert Plant's Band of Joy, "Angel Dance" from the upcoming album. Listen to it here:

Eric drummer with the band littleSUNDAY

my page:
I play Underground Drum Co. drums:
and Los Cabos drumsticks:
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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

NEWS: Woodstock Weekend - Thursday August 12 through to Sunday August 15

Hi all, great news! There is a fantastic festival coming up - The Woodstock Weekend from Thursday August 12 through to Sunday August 15.

Janis Joplin's original band, Big Brother and the Holding Company, and The Family Stone will headline the music schedule at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek's during its WOODSTOCK WEEKEND Thurs., Aug. 12 through Sun. Aug. 15.

All shows are 21 and over, with I.D. Required. Tickets are $25 and are available at the casino or through:

Notice: I was contacted directly by Seminole Casino Coconut Creek who asked for my participation in posting information about this festival. The poster has also been shared as part of this initiative.
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Happy Birthday Mick Jagger

Mick Jagger
Image by Yury Cort├ęs via Flickr
Here's a Rolling Stone Retrospective on THE Rolling Stone!

Mick Jagger's Life in Photos: Celebrate the Rolling Stone's birthday in classic shots from his five-decade career.

Go to:
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Janis Joplin: The Queen of Rock

Janis JoplinImage via Wikipedia
Original article at: (from NPR at - please go to the link to listen to/download the audio version of this story, and to support NPR - J-86)

Janis Joplin was dubbed the first queen of rock 'n' roll, and her voice is singular. She was rough around the edges, vulnerable and charismatic, and she paved the way for countless women in rock.

Mid-1960s San Francisco was a mecca for counterculture musicians. Many became megastars, including Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead and Santana, but Joplin and her female peers found many doubting they could play with the boys. Singer-songwriter Tracy Nelson says it wasn't easy in 1966. "I don't know how many musicians [told] me, 'Why do you want to do this? This is no place for women. This is no business for a woman.' You know, 'Why not just stay home, find a man,'" Nelson says.

That same year, Janis Joplin was also trying to break through that paternalistic San Francisco culture. She and Nelson shared a bill at the Avalon Ballroom. "I had to follow Janis Joplin, and I'm standing out there listening to her, and I'm just thinking, 'Man this is a force of nature,'" Nelson says.

Joplin was fronting a group called Big Brother and The Holding Company, almost unknown outside of San Francisco at the time. Then they played the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967. Among the 1,200 journalists covering the festival was music critic Robert Christgau, who was then writing for Esquire magazine. "I very much remember her playing in the sunshine," he says, "and everyone really not just excited but kind of flabbergasted at how intense it was." Like a lot of white musicians at the time, Joplin was trying to sing like a black blues musician. Christgau says that most were not convincing. Janis, on the other hand, blew audiences away with her raw, emotional voice.

Falling In Love With The Blues

It's not how Joplin always sounded, though. She grew up in Port Arthur, Texas, singing as a featured vocalist in the church choir. When she left for college in 1960, her models were folkies, singers like Joan Baez and Judy Collins. Initially, Joplin tried to imitate them. But the young singer didn't believe she could make it as a folkie, according to Alice Echols, the author of a Joplin biography called Scars of Sweet Paradise. "Janis Joplin made a calculation, and the calculation was, 'You know what? I'm not pretty like Judy Collins or Maria Muldaur, and using that pretty voice is also not going to get me very far,'" she says.

Joplin struggled with growing up in Texas. She didn't conform to the mold of the typical young woman of the 1950s. She was a painter, she was chubby, she had bad skin, and she wasn't conventionally beautiful. In an appearance in 1970 on The Dick Cavett Show, she spoke bitterly about her adolescence, of her classmates who laughed her out of class, and ultimately, out of the state. Not surprisingly, Joplin found her outlet in the blues, especially in artists like Bessie Smith, Lead Belly and Big Mama Thornton. As she told Cavett, singing was the only way she could express how she felt.

"Playing is just about feeling," Joplin said. "It isn't necessarily about misery, it isn't about happiness. It's just about letting yourself feel all those things you already have inside of you but are trying to push aside because they don't make for polite conversation or something. But if you just get up there, that's the only reason I can sing. Because I get up there and just let all those things come out."

Joplin brought the voice of the outcast to San Francisco's protest culture, says biographer Echols. "Janis in some sense was the great unrecognized protest singer of the 1960s," she says. "No, Janis was not singing explicit protest songs. But in her voice, what people heard was somebody who was refusing the status quo."

Losing An American Original

Unfortunately, many of the artists of the '60s who emulated the blues also emulated the drug habits of blues musicians. In early October 1970, just a little over three years since she hit it big, Joplin was making an album with a new band. One night, she went back to her Los Angeles hotel room and shot up. She was found dead the next day. Tracy Nelson remembers hearing the news.

"I was kind of pissed off, because she had gone beyond that," Nelson says. "She was really beginning to be a really serious musician and singer. She was playing with really good musicians. Things were just sounding better, and it was just so dumb."

That winter, Joplin's record label posthumously released her last album, Pearl, and "Me and Bobby McGee" topped the charts. Many critics say it was Joplin's best album. She'd begun to take more control of her voice, and was the first woman to make it big in rock. Yet Echols says she really has no imitators.

"Janis Joplin is an American original," she says. "Nobody has come close to capturing the way that that girl sang, and I don't think they ever will, because there is something in her voice that can't be replicated."
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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Northern Soul Music - Dance Moves and More

Edwin StarrImage via Wikipedia
By Russell Thorp

Do you consider yourself a music aficionado, but can't seem to figure out what people mean when they talk about northern soul music? If you live outside the UK, it's reasonable to assume that you would have been ignorant to the musical movement that gave birth to this term.

Typically, this genre is defined as music belonging to a collection of uncommon Motown, Chicago and New York soul music that was played on the radio by British disc jockeys in northern England during the late 1960's and '70s. This type of soul music is unique in that it was atypical of the music that was topping the charts in America around the same time..

Born after the mod scene had seen its most popular day, but before punk music would shake up the entire British music scene with its raw sound and ragged styles, northern soul music enjoyed a unique combination of fashion, song, and dance. Because northern soul was so much more upbeat than many of the records that were making headlines in the U.S. at the time, the dancing style that accompanied it was much more energetic and active than you might expect..

London record store owner David Godin is credited with coining the term northern soul music as a way to help his clerks sell the type of music the customers were looking for. Troops of kids were coming into London looking for the quick tempo songs that were popular a few years ago, and rather than waste time trying to sell them on the current popular black American music, Godin told them to promote that "northern soul" instead.

Although many people thought it would die in the early 1980's the popular records and artists of this movement have remained in the hearts and record players of those that listened to them. If you like this type of music and you're interested in learning some northern soul music dance moves, it's very easy to get started.

First, choose a song that has a steady 4/4 beat, like Edwin Starr's "Double-O-Soul," or Major Lance's "Monkey Time." Listen to the beat for the first couple of bars, and then take four quick steps to the left, and four quick steps to the right, in time with the music. When you're comfortable, start shifting your weight to the ankles and balls of your feet. Talcum powder can be applied to the dance floor to make this easier.

If you are looking for rare soul vinyl look no further than Rare Northern Soul. com where you can buy Northern Soul Records, 70s Soul Music, Motown, crossover soul, oldies soul and rare 45s.

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Monday, July 26, 2010

NEWS: Robert Plant Talks Band of Joy‏

A reunited Led Zeppelin in December 2007 at Th...Image via Wikipedia
Article on on behalf of Robert

Benjamin Crandell of recently conducted an interview with legendary Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. "Band Of Joy" was the name of a band you had in the 1960s with [then-future Led Zeppelin drummer] John Bonham. Why resurrect the name?

Plant: Really, it's braggadocio. Once upon a time, I was a young man, and I found my musical leanings were more important than success. The name is a return to a time when everything was free-form. I remember when I was with Bonzo; we were playing, and we knew it didn't really matter how it was received. All that mattered was that the music was inside your heart. We were trying to get as far away from the popular music of that era, the Bobby Goldsboro sound, as we could. We just wanted to kick ass … The first Band of Joy was quite extreme, psychedelic … I'm thinking Grande Ball Room Detroit, the Blue Cheer. We would have been right at home alongside [Love guitarist] Arthur Lee. This gets me back to the things that allowed me to be a singer, to end up with The New Yardbirds and then Led Zeppelin. If I hadn't been into this kind of extreme sound I never would have hooked up with Jimmy. How would you describe the new band and what people can expect at the show.

Plant: I think of the "Led Zeppelin III" era. There was a dynamic about the "Zeppelin III" period where we could go from reflective acoustic stuff to some heavy shit … "Hats off to Harper", "Gallows Pole" … I'm not interested in doing late-middle-age cabaret. I want it heavy and spooky. There should be some mystery, big and deep, that makes people's skin tingle. I want [Band of Joy] to be as much Arcade Fire as Link Wray. There's gotta be a lot of dark shit going on. A lot of it is Buddy, who is absolutely incredible. He is playing in styles that he hasn't touched on in years. Each of us - me, Buddy, Patty - we came out of ourselves and met somewhere in the air. You and Mick Jagger have taken different approaches to your rock-god status. He's pretty much doing what he's always done.

Plant: There has never been a time where you could say about me, "Oh, he does that, and that's what he does." It's been like that since I was 19. No one Zeppelin album followed the next in style. I don't want to get bored with my own gift. The last few years with [Plant's band] The Strange Sensation, I was in the company of some real special musicians. When we were in Serbia or North Africa or West Africa or Mexico, I just kept absorbing all kinds of music. That guy out of the Stones ... It can be so dull, if you're not careful, if all you are doing is pulling things out of your bag of tricks. You reach in and out comes your juju; that's no good. You've got to keep mixing it up. This is a whole new period for me.
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Great Band "The Temptations"

The TemptationsImage by vidalia_11 via Flickr
By Albert J Franklin

Tired of being in two separate bands that appeared to be going nowhere, Otis Williams, Melvin Franklin and Elbridge Bryant decided it was time to take things into their own hands. In 1961 they joined together, along with former Primes musicians Paul Williams and Eddie Kendricks, to create an all male singing sensation called Elgin. Having recorded several songs, the band decided to rename their group and so they called themselves the Temptations.

The group started slow, recording song after song, none of which would ever become hits. Since the band had prided itself on being an all male singing group consisting of six members, a gap was torn in them when Bryant made a physical attack against Paul Williams in 1963. Although it is unclear if Bryant was then kicked out of the band or if he left on his own, he left a hole in the heart of the Temptations. When David Ruffin joined it was as if the world finally woke up to their sound. Legend Smokey Robinson signed on to help with the lyric and music writing, and to also produce their sounds.

In 1968 the Temptations suffered quite the blow when David Ruffin decided to take on a solo career, a move that he would later regret as he failed miserably for a long time afterwards. When Dennis Edwards joined the group, he brought with him a breath of fresh air and helped the band grow in terms of sound and lyrics. In 1971 Kendricks quit the band to also try a solo career. He would prove to be more successful at this task than David Ruffin had been. A little later down the road, Paul Williams quit the band as well with a drinking problem, and was later found dead in his car. He had committed suicide.

The Temptations brought in performer Richard Street and began to record more types of music other than ballads. Over the next few years the band went through some major changes. They became bored with their label and began their own. Dennis Edwards kept joining and leaving the band before making his final decision and teaming up with former Temptations, Eddie Kendricks and David Ruffin, who by this time had climbed the ladder of success.

In 1991 David Ruffin died of a drug overdose. Only one short year later, Eddie Kendricks was taken down by lung cancer. Later on, Melvin Franklin would die of a heart attack followed by a severe brain seizure. As the only remaining original member of the Temptations, Otis Williams assisted in releasing a few more albums and winning several awards that included a Grammy award in 2000. After over forty years of ups and downs with his group, Williams is proud of what they all accomplished. With several chart-topping hits, the tragedies endured, successes in their personal lives, and the experience of a lifetime, it is no wonder their group is still known worldwide as one of the greatest of all time.

Albert Franklin
University of Manchester
United Kingdom

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Performance Art - Advent and Beyond

By Jacob Taylor

Performance art, with its current ramifications, came into existence in the 1960s with the work of artists such as Yoko Ono, Yves Klein, Hermann Nitsch, Allan KaprowCarolee Schneemann, Barbara T. Smith, Joseph Beuys, Vito Acconci, Wolf Vostell, Chris Burden, the women associated with the Feminist Studio Workshop and the Woman's Building in Los Angeles. But performance art was definitely envisaged first by Japan's Gutai group of the 1950s. The path breaking work in this trend was Atsuko Tanaka's "Electric Dress" in 1956.

In United Kingdom Gilbert and George duo performed their first "living sculpture" recitals by painting themselves gold and singing "Underneath the Arches" in 1970. Combining video with other media, Jud Yalkut, Carolee Schneemann and Sandra Binion, began experiments. Guerrilla theater, or street theater, especially by students popped up as mass statement for antiwar movements.

Among the other influential works, especially in United States were the anarchist antiwar group the Yippies, conglomerated fractionally by Abbie Hoffmann, Latino, Latin-American, and other street theater groups, including those like the San Francisco Mime Troupe, that stem from circus and traveling theater traditions. Also influence of U.S. conceptual artist Sol Lewitt was great as he transformed mural-style drawing into an act of recital by others in the early 1960s.

By the 1970s, it imparted overwhelmingly in the avant-garde of East Bloc countries, especially Yugoslavia and Poland, perhaps, because of its relative transience. The critiques from western cultural theorists' school often trace activity of performing back to the onset of the 20th century.

Dada as well as the Russian Futurist endowed with a significant precursory role with the unconventional performances of poetry. David Burliuk painted his face for his actions. These works can be taken into account as pioneering examples.

However public performances by the artists of Renaissance could be the ancestor from ancient times of this modern phenomenon. Some critiques even attribute the root of this form into traditions and histories, ranging from tribal to sporting and ritual or religious events. It has not been confined to the European or American traditions; many distinguished practitioners can also be spotted in Asia and Latin America.

You may like to visit Private Art Museum at art gallery Mumbai to read more on Performance Art.

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Rosa Parks - First Lady of the Civil Rights Movement

By Victor Porrello

Rosa Louise McCauley (Parks) was born in Tuskegee, Alabama on February 4th. 1913. Her father James was a carpenter and her mother Leona was a teacher. At a young age her parents separated and her mother moved her and her younger brother to Pine Level just outside of Montgomery Alabama to live on her maternal grandparents farm. Rosa was a small child for her age and suffered ill health growing up.

It was at this time in her young life that she became a member of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, which she remained a member for her entire life. She went to the local school until the age of 11 when her mother enrolled her in the Industrial Schools for Girls in Montgomery. Rosa later attended a school set up by the Alabama State Teachers College for Negroes for secondary education but never graduated. She was forced to drop out to take care of her ailing grandmother then soon after her ailing mother. She never had the opportunity to return to school.

Rosa grew up in a time when the Jim Crow laws were in effect. These state and local laws were to created to enforce segregation between the whites and blacks that encompassed all facets of society. There was segregation in schools, restaurants, restroom facilities, even drinking fountains had whites only or black only designations. Even though the Jim Crow laws called for separate but equal status for blacks this was not the case. The economic, social and educational disadvantages for black people under the auspices of this law were obvious.

In 1932 Rosa married Raymond Parks, who was a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People or what is commonly known as the NAACP. Her husband was very supportive of his wife and he was instrumental in Rosa going back to school to get her high school diploma which she received in 1933. At this time less than 10% of blacks had successfully finished high school.

It was in 1943 that she became an active member of the Civil Rights Movement, joining the Montgomery NAACP chapter. In 1944 Rosa experienced her first taste of equality in her job on Maxwell Air Force Base. Segregation was not allowed on the base. Her brief stint there was a big influence on events that took place years later. Another influence on her life were a couple by the name of Clifford and Virginia Durrs. Rosa worked as a housekeeper for this white liberal couple and in time she became friends with her employers. The Durrs encouraged and sponsored Parks to attend the Highlander Folk School. In the summer of 1955 Rosa attended the education center for workers rights and racial equality.

Her involvement with the NAACP, her experience of Maxwell Air Force Base, her summer at the Highlander Folk School and her religious beliefs, everything that made Rosa Parks the person she was came to the forefront that fateful day on December 1st 1955. At 6pm after leaving the Montgomery department store where she worked, Rosa boarded the bus for home. She sat in the first row of seats that were designated for blacks only. Several stops later with more people on the bus there was standing room only with several white people standing. The bus driver told the blacks in the front black section to get up and stand in the back in order to have enough seating for the whites. Parks refused to give up her seat and she was arrested. She was bailed out the next day on December 2nd.

Parks actions that day on the bus was the catalyst for the boycotting of riding on the buses by blacks. The boycott on December 5th, just 4 days after her arrest was a huge success. That night a new organization was created called the Montgomery Improvement Association and the then unknown Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. was made its president. It was agreed that the boycott of the buses would continue until the laws were changed and blacks would have the right to sit anywhere on the bus.

Rosa Parks' actions not only inspired the busing boycott but also raised national and international awareness of black Afro-Americans. This began the rapid growth of the movement for equality and justice for all people, blacks, poor whites and all those seeking racial justice and equality in the opportunities and freedom in our nation.

Rosa Parks died at the age of 93 on October 29th, 2005. She will always be remembered as an African civil rights activist and as the U.S. Congress deemed her "the first lady of civil rights". Her courage and determination to stand up for the rights of all people will continue to inspire the generations to come to be steadfast in our beliefs.

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Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr - Dare to Dream

By Victor Porrello

Martin Luther King, Jr was born in Atlanta, Georgia on January 15th, 1929 to parents Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr. and Alberta Williams King. Martin attended Booker T. Washington High School where he skipped the 9th and 12th grades. At the age of 15 he entered Morehouse College graduating in 1948 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology. King entered Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania where he received his Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1951. In 1955 Martin received his Doctorate degree in philosophy from Boston University.

The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. spent his life fighting the hatreds of racism and segregation. He fought for equality not only for blacks but for poor white people who were oppressed. His writings and sermons will live on as not only a testament to this great American and Humanitarian but as a testament to the brotherhood of all mankind.

On August 28th, 1963 this black man, a holy man, a leader in his community and an inspiration not only to his race but to people of all colors walked the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to make a speech. Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr came to Washington D.C. to show support for the 200 thousand plus people during the March on Washington for jobs and freedom. The speech was called "I Have A Dream" and when these words were spoken an icon was born, a true American who knew what America was all about, would be a beacon of hope, of promise not only to the present generation of his time but for the many generations to come. His speech ended with the words, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!" He spoke these words to all mankind.

King called on the decency of all Americans to put aside their prejudices, stop the hatred, and let all Americans live the dream, the American dream. His desire was to turn people from their prejudices not by guns but through faith and love of fellow man this great man spoke of a world where justice will prevail.

Martin Luther King, Jr 's "I Had A Dream" speech has become the most significant speech of the 20th century in America and in the history of mankind. We've come a long way since that day at the Lincoln Memorial yet this speech still has significance today as it did in1963. With the trial and tribulations of an ever growing immigration problem, to political unrest and to the challenges we all face as Americans in today's modern world we still haven't reached the full potential of Reverend King's dream. Only in our faith in God, our love for our country and fellow countryman, and adherence to the laws and constitution that our forefathers set forth at the very beginning of our existence as a country, will the dream be realized.

Reverend King received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. On April 4th, 1968 King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee at the age of 39. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Freedom in 1977 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2004. In 1986 a U.S. national holiday was established in his name, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

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1960's Psychedelic Bands Laid the Groundwork For Internet Trolling

By Matthew Jorn

A group of art students form the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas formed the band Red Krayola in 1966. They made noisy rock and psychedelia, and were contemporaries of the psychedelic band The 13th Floor Elevators, which was run by Lelan Rogers, brother to Kenny Rogers.

Their philosophy was simple: make music with instruments they found cheap or made themselves, walk on stage and attempt to make music. It should be noted that they had no idea how. They're recognized as the progenitors of the Houston Noise musical movement, and are in this writer's opinion artists of a very high order.

Their art is not a musical one. Far from it, and that's not to their discredit. They played a show in Berkeley, California and were paid ten dollars by a member of the audience to stop playing. They were, as current Internet parlance dictates, 'trolls.'

Wikipedia defines a troll as "someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous or off-topic messages in an online community ... with the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response." The most typical desired response is of course, anger. With the growing prevalence of inexperienced or otherwise ill-informed people surfing the internet, the trend of trolling grew out of a sort of communal outrage at the sometimes ignorant things people can say or ask while online, and the way others can respond to it. A troll turns the tables on your typical Internet wise guy, trying to make a fool of someone who's already making a fool of him.

The term trolling has since evolved to be essentially synonymous with pulling a prank, or otherwise attempting to 'get someone's goat,' as it were. A troll comes in all shapes and sizes, and indeed some aren't quite as good as others. Failed trolls can come off as lewd, unnecessary, or otherwise cruel, particularly those that are done without any finesse.

The ultimate aim of trolling is what one could imagine was the aim of Red Krayola, or nearly any artist of a particular mindfulness and consideration. They troll to produce chaos, to uproot conventions and show different, sometimes confusing or frightening perspectives, or to eradicate them, and not to mention to be funny.

A troll can miss its mark, and can offend or otherwise hurt the unsuspecting bystander. As a result, the activity itself has gotten somewhat of a bad rap. But it is the work of the true artists that deserve the attention, not the imitators. The gentlemen in Red Krayola got in a vehicle, loaded up their equipment, traveled half way across the country just so they could offend an audience until someone paid them ten dollars to stop. There's effort there. There's forethought, and for what? Maybe most of the audience got a bit of a chuckle. They did it because they could, and because they knew it would be unexpected and different, and they were recognized for it.

Most people can't resist the joy in pulling a good prank. If ancient folklore is any indication, people haven't been able to resist it, and have indeed revered it for thousands of years. The next time you're perusing the Internet, keep an eye out for these artists and their thankless art. It's out there, hilarious, and Red Krayola can be thanked for their help passing the unlit torch and putting Houston on the trolling map.

Matthew Jorn writes articles about history, music, travel, fishing, and other vaguely-related topics. Houston's long history of outside-the-box thinking is on display at Russell and Smith Ford in Houston who knows that while looking for a new Ford Mustang Houston drivers don't want a bunch of gimmicks and tricks; just the best car for the money from the best dealership for your money.

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The Birth of the Blues Guitar

By Steve Randazzo

In the late 19th and early 20th century, African Americans who worked in the fields and work camps created the blues. Although the blues went in many different avenues, the most significant was created in a very special part of the United States, in an area of the Mississippi also known as the Delta.

The area near the Mississippi River in between the Yazoo River, Memphis, and Vicksburg, the cotton growing regions are responsible for many of the early blues players. Although the area known as the delta is well known as the area in the Mississippi it is not limited to just that area. Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas also developed important artists as well. These areas helped develop the term know now as the Delta blues.

The blues, now over 100 years old, has become one of the most successful genres of music today, and as a result still packs night clubs, concert halls, and stadiums. We can all thank current musicians today for keeping the blues alive and active.

The blues is still so popular and considered one of the more important styles of music because the songs deeply touch human feelings in a way no other music can. It captures the sole and essence of people which is missing in today's pop, rap, rock and digital music. It identifies and touches real people, with real life issues, and talks about real life lessons. No music today will ever come close to providing the kind of emotions and feelings the blues can give.

It is said that the blues is custom made for the guitar so it is a natural progression when learning the theory and development of playing the guitar that the blues is usually one of the first and most important steps in your journey and in the creation of any guitar god. While some music today sounds great without the guitar, it is very rare that you will ever find a successful blues band without one; it truly is the sole and voice of blues music and cannot be replaced by any other instrument.

The blues will never die and is in good hands with today's generation. There are many young players out there today that are developing the skills and creating new techniques that would pay respects to the blues guitar elders. They are keeping the blues alive and flourishing for the next generation of blues players.

Steve enjoys writing articles on topics he has a passion for. Not only does the author specialize in management, customer service, and team building, he ejoys relaxing by playing the guitar. Please check out his latest website at which helps people find the best Outdoor Surveillance Cameras and information they are looking for when searching for wireless cameras.

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The Women's Movement is Still Alive and Definitely on the March Towards Equality

By Jacqui Ceballos

A brief history

In the 1980s - the Reagan years, the ERA had failed and feminists were dubbed Feminazis by some. Though, as always, men were being honored for their contributions to society, the feminists who'd changed America were practically disdained.

The NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund a thriving reality, was excited about an oral history project for the Schlesinger library involving the history of NOW and Betty Friedan. To a woman, they expressed a wish to reunite. With the help from New Feminist Theater, and the Women's Health Movement, a committee was organized to undertake the planning of a reunion.

Remembering how men met regularly with their war buddies, a group of women involved in the early years of the Women's Movement asked themselves to think beyond a single reunion and toward an organization to document the Movement's history and inspire future feminists.

In May 1993, a first reunion was organized in honor of Catherine East of Washington D.C., the woman Betty Friedan called "the midwife of the feminist movement." Over 250 came to New York to honor the beloved Catherine. After that glorious occasion, Catherine and D.C. attorney Mary Eastwood, both founders of NOW, wanted to honor other Pioneers, starting with Congresswoman Martha Griffiths, who made it possible to include "sex" in Title VII; Virginia Allen, Director of the Women's Bureau under President Nixon; and Phineas Indritz, the attorney who had advised feminists. In Spring 1994, these women were honored, and other greats, right at the historic Sewall Belmont House.

1996 was the 30th anniversary of NOW, and Muriel Fox, one of its founders, helped organize a landmark celebration that reunited founders and early leaders with the help of Sheila Tobias, a founder of university Women's Studies programs, Barbara Love's monumental Feminists Who Changed America 1963-1975, published in 2006, has generated more local celebrations of pioneer feminists.

Future events will honor athletes, the women's health movement, women journalists, and women in business and finance. DVDs of these events are, or will, be housed at major Women's History libraries.

It is hoped that these events will continue to offer support and camaraderie to pioneers of feminism's Second Wave and provide the recognition, respect and honor they so richly deserve. Many activists feel that, while we've done almost everything we set out to do, the two goals we have not fully accomplished are "to pass the torch" and to recruit new activists for feminism among younger women and men.

But now that we've honored thousands of pioneer feminists at 34 events around the country, and now that Feminists Who Changed America is published, and now that our files are archived at Duke University, we can spend more time mentoring and learning from our daughters, granddaughters and friends. And also, from our sons and grandsons and their friends.

The Women's Movement never died ... it still Marches On!
by Jacqui Ceballos.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Johnny Copeland - A Heart As Big As Texas

By Matthew Jorn

Johnny Copeland was born in Haynesville Louisiana on March 27th, 1937. His parents separated when he was six months old and he and his mother moved to Magnolia, Arkansas. The boy was 12 when his father died, and though he had little personal impact on his life Johnny was given his dad's guitar. Less than a year later, he moved with his family to his adopted hometown of Houston, Texas.

A number of Houston's Third Ward acts had a tremendous amount of influence on young Copeland including Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Lowell Fulson, Johnny "Guitar" Watson and especially T-Bone Walker. While playing there Copeland made fast friends with Joe "Guitar" Hughes. Together they formed The Dukes of Rhythm, which began as a vocal group and eventually added instruments into its repertoire.

It was Hughes that had the greatest hand in teaching Copeland the guitar. Although he was a little bit younger Hughes became a mentor to Copeland and they would frequently challenge one another onstage, which added greatly to their band's performance and reputation. From the late '50s and on through the '60s, Copeland performed and began recording albums under numerous small labels, eventually recording "Down on Bended Knees" in 1962, which is considered one of the great Texas Blues classics.

The '60s brought about a big shift in widespread musical preference and Copeland found himself backing up R&B and Funk musicians like Otis Redding and Eddie Floyd. He continued recording in spite of this, with labels like Atlantic and Kent into the '70s. In 1975 Copeland took his friend Robert Turner's advice and moved to Harlem, New York. The venues there were enough to keep him busy until 1981 when he received a record deal with Rounder Records and released "Copeland Special" which earned him a W.C. Handy Award that same year.

In 1985 Copeland worked with Robert Cray and Albert Collins to produce "Showdown!" under Alligator Records to great critical acclaim. The three men received a Grammy Award and a Handy for the album and were later inducted into the Blues Foundation's Hall of Fame. His fame earned him as spot on the 10-country tour of West Africa which was sponsored by the State Department. There he gained an appreciation for African music. He returned from the Ivory Coast to record "Bringing It All Back Home" which melded African rhythms with American Blues.

Into the late '80s Copeland began experiencing health issues of increasing seriousness, having several heart attacks and undergoing open heart surgery eight times. His heart began failing more and more frequently. He eventually required assistive devices for his left and right ventricles and survived on the devices for twenty months (one of the longest periods of time to use the device on record) while still performing onstage. He received a donor heart on January 1st, 1997. Complications arose only a few months after the surgery and he died on July 3rd, 1997 at the age of 60 years old.

This article is part of a series of educational biographies of great Texas music legends written by Matthew Jorn and presented by Russell and Smith Houston Ford Dealerships. Texas has always been a hotbed of musical talent, and Russell and Smith Houston Ford dealers is proud to share this story of authentic Texas musical talent.

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Monday, July 19, 2010

NEWS: Apple Records Catalogue Remastered and Reissued on CD and Digital Download: Badfinger, Billy Preston, Mary Hopkin, James Taylor, and More Classics Set for Release on October 26th

HOLLYWOOD, Calif., July 6 /PRNewswire/ --

Launched by The Beatles in 1968, as the new outlet for their own recordings as well as the music of an eclectic roster of artists - James Taylor, Badfinger, Billy Preston, Mary Hopkin, Doris Troy, and Jackie Lomax among them - who were all personally brought to the label by The Beatles (individually and/or collectively), Apple Records made popular music history from the very moment it opened its doors.

Four decades later, Apple Corps Ltd. and EMI Music raise the curtain on remastered CD and digital download releases of 15 key albums from the Apple Records catalog. All 15 titles will be released on October 26, 2010. Most of the physical CDs will include bonus material. Together, the 15 albums represent the first ever Apple Records releases to be available via digital download.

In the revolutionary spirit of 1968, The Beatles' explosive musical output (characterized by their double-LP White Album) was only exceeded by their fascination with what they saw and heard going on around them. Five years into The Beatles' reign, Apple Records afforded them the unique opportunity to sign new (and established) artists who appealed to each of them. In turn, the introduction of an artist on The Beatles' record label was an imprimatur taken very seriously by fans across the universe.

Apple Records' utopian artist-orientated mission immediately set it apart, as the first operation of its kind in the major-label sphere.

Diversity was celebrated, and artists were encouraged to record and release their music in a friendly creative environment. Apple developed a distinctive graphic aesthetic, from its legendary 'apple-core' logo to its advertising and merchandising, in the process setting a subtle new benchmark for the industry to follow.

From 1968 to 1973, Apple Records bedazzled the world with a rainbow spectrum of releases - and fans were unusually well-informed about individual involvements of The Beatles with nearly every project. 1968's self-titled debut album by Boston-based singer-songwriter James Taylor, for example, features Paul McCartney and George Harrison on "Carolina In My Mind." Paul was instrumental in bringing the
Welsh chanteuse Mary Hopkin to Apple, and produced her debut single, "Those Were The Days." Badfinger, also from Wales, was still known as The Iveys when they recorded "Come And Get It," written and produced by Paul (for The Magic Christian movie soundtrack).

The Beatles had been fans of Billy Preston ever since seeing him in Little Richard's band in Hamburg in 1962. George went on to produce and play on Preston's Apple debut, That's the Way God Planned It. Harrison was one of the producers and played (along with Ringo Starr) on Doris Troy's self-titled Apple album. And George also produced and played (with Paul and Ringo) on Jackie Lomax's debut album, Is This What You Want? featuring the Harrison composition, "Sour Milk Sea."

John was much taken with the music of The Modern Jazz Quartet, who released the only two jazz albums in the Apple catalogue. Ringo was intrigued by the music of contemporary British classical composer John Tavener, and his Apple album, The Whale has become one of the most sought-after Apple collectibles of all time.

Each of the 15 albums in this bumper batch of Apple Records releases has been digitally remastered at EMI's Abbey Road Studios in London by the same dedicated team of engineers behind The Beatles' recent remastered catalogue releases of 2009.

The Apple Records albums reissued in the campaign are:

JAMES TAYLOR (1968) by James Taylor

James' debut album was recorded in London in 1968 and remains the hidden gem in his
extensive catalogue. A distinctive English sensibility informs this beautiful early
work, notable for its original versions of James' signature tunes "Something In The Way She Moves" and "Carolina In My Mind."

MAGIC CHRISTIAN MUSIC (1970) by Badfinger

Magic Christian Music rejoices in sweet, colourful pop and prefigures the songwriting powerhouse that Badfinger would become. Featuring the worldwide smash hit "Come And Get It," written and produced by Paul McCartney, alongside two other songs created for the 1969 Peter Sellers / Ringo Starr movie The Magic Christian, based on the satirical novel by Terry Southern.

NO DICE (1970) by Badfinger

The first album with guitarist Joey Molland, No Dice is a watershed collection of power pop that bridges the band's commercial instincts with the classic, no-frills rock that became their trademark. Includes the Top 10 single, "No Matter What," and the original version of the Ivor Novello and Grammy Award winning "Without You," made famous by Harry Nilsson, and later Mariah Carey.

STRAIGHT UP (1972) by Badfinger

Long considered to be the group's finest album, Straight Up is a glorious collection of strong melodies, insightful lyrics and deep emotion. Produced in part by George Harrison and containing the U.S. hit, "Baby Blue," plus the worldwide smash "Day After Day" - featuring George and the group's Pete Ham joining forces on the superb synchronized slide guitar solo.

ASS (1974) by Badfinger

Joey Molland assumes half the songwriting on this, the group's heaviest and most serious album. Ass is solid gold Badfinger, partly recorded at the then state-of-the-art Apple Studios at 3 Savile Row, London, and contains the group's valedictory "Apple Of My Eye," written by Pete Ham.

POST CARD (1969) by Mary Hopkin

Mary Hopkin's debut is a treasury of popular song. Produced by Paul McCartney and featuring especially-written numbers from Donovan, Harry Nilsson and, in rare songwriting mode, George Martin; plus classics from the Gershwins and Irving Berlin. Mary's pure, folk-inspired vocals make for a beguiling, dreamy album. Also includes her global smash hit "Those Were The Days."

EARTH SONG, OCEAN SONG (1971) by Mary Hopkin

Issued in 1971, this is Mary Hopkin's coming-of-age collection, packed with socially-conscious, lyrically-aware anthems from the cream of the era's folk protagonists: Ralph McTell, Gallagher & Lyle, Tom Paxton and Cat Stevens. Mary defines her art on this album, coordinated by legendary producer and Mary's husband-to-be at the time, Tony Visconti.

THAT'S THE WAY GOD PLANNED IT (1969) by Billy Preston

Billy's Apple debut, on which he expanded his palette of gospel and R&B to embrace rock themes, features guest players Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Keith Richards. Produced by George Harrison, after Billy was invited to The Beatles' Get Back sessions, That's The Way ... is a cross-over masterwork that includes Billy's breakthrough chart hit, for which this album is named.

ENCOURAGING WORDS (1970) by Billy Preston

Encouraging Words is steeped in exemplary playing and songwriting ... and pure soul.
Produced by George Harrison and packed with originals and inspired covers, including "My Sweet Lord" and "All Things (Must) Pass" - donated by George before he
released them himself - and the little-heard Harrison-Preston gospel hymn "Sing One For The Lord." This is Billy on the launch pad just before he rocketed to U.S. No. 2 success with "Outta Space" for A&M Records.

DORIS TROY (1970) by Doris Troy

The self-titled Apple album from the legendary Doris Troy, nicknamed 'Mama Soul' by her British fans, is an exciting union of R&B, gospel and rock. It showcases four little-known songs Doris co-wrote with George Harrison, two of which also credit Stephen Stills and Ringo Starr. Other guests include Billy Preston, Peter Frampton and Eric Clapton.

IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT? (1968) by Jackie Lomax

Yes! This is a cracking album of powerful late-Sixties rock and blue-eyed soul by Liverpool vocalist Jackie Lomax. Among the many highlights is George Harrison's White Album-era song "Sour Milk Sea," given to Jackie and featuring guest players including George, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Keith Richards and Eric Clapton.

UNDER THE JASMIN TREE (1968) & SPACE (1969) by the Modern Jazz Quartet (a 2-on-1 CD)

Two albums of high-class improvisational bebop recorded by Atlantic Records legends the MJQ while on secondment to Apple. With their unique line-up of piano, vibes, bass and drums, the Quartet brought old-style tuxedo excellence and cool organic jazz to the Apple catalogue.

THE WHALE (1970) & CELTIC REQUIEM (1971) by John Tavener (a 2-on-1 CD)

Sir John Tavener was knighted by The Queen in 2000 for his services to music, and he remains one of Britain's most popular classical composers. Apple's recordings of 'The Whale,' his avant-garde oratorio, and 'Celtic Requiem,' written for soprano, orchestra and children's choir, were his first ever full-length releases. He was championed by John & Yoko, and befriended by Ringo Starr.

SOURCE: Apple Records/EMI


NEWS: Drummer Says Led Zeppelin Nearly Toured Without Robert Plant (from

According to Jason Bonham, the son of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham who has taken over his father's role in the Led Zeppelin reunions, the band was very close to touring in 2008 without frontman Robert Plant.

Bonham said, "It got as close as you could get. It got real close. You know, we did a year of writing and putting stuff together."

Zeppelin reunited for a one-off show in London in December of 2007. A reunion tour was discussed, but Plant wanted to focus on his solo work with Alison Krauss.

Bonham said the band moved forward with another singer, but didn't name names. He did confirm that it was not Alter Bridge's Myles Kennedy.

The whole thing was shut down, though, after a disagreement between Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones.

NEWS: Kinks Album Set for Movie Release (from

Ray Davies

The Kinks' 1975 album Schoolboys In Disguise is set to become a movie, written and directed by comic Bobcat Goldthwait.

Frontman Ray Davies will be Executive Producer of the movie, which tells the story of a schoolboy and his gang who are constantly in trouble with teachers at school.

Goldthwait says: "It's a story that any kid who has felt that they are not being treated fairly can relate to, all set to some of the greatest rock songs you'll ever hear. It's the genesis story of a supervillain set to music. It's the story of the world's most charming criminal and a realistic high school musical for all the kids who hate sugary, sweet, unrealistic high".

The original songs from the album will be re-recorded by the eventual cast members, with the soundtrack album being issued to coincide with the movie's release.

Davies played a legends set at this year's Glastonbury festival, including a touching version of Thank You For The Days in tribute to original Kinks bassist Pete Quaife, who died just before the festival.

NEWS: The Who Looking at New Quadrophenia Show

The Who Looking at New Quadrophenia Show (from

Classic: Quadrophenia

The Who are putting retirement concerns behind them with plans for a 2011 tour which will either be a brand-new stage show or an updated version of their Quadrophenia rock opera, says singer Roger Daltrey.

The band faced the possibility of calling it a day as guitarist Pete Townshend battled with severe tinnitus. But Daltrey reports they've found a solution using new technology – and lower volume – which means they can keep going until they drop.

The frontman tells Billboard: "The issue is with stage monitors and volumes. Being the addictive character he is, when Pete gets carried away he tends to turn it up to the old levels, and that's when it causes the trouble. We definitely don't want to stop. We feel it's the role of the artist to go all the way through life until you can't do it any more."

Daltrey is currently touring the USA with his solo band, including support slots with Eric Clapton. He says keeping in performance trim is part of his role in the Who, and if Townshend decides he has new material for the band to perform, he's ready and willing to do it.

"He writes, then we decide what to do," says Daltrey. "I've dedicated my life to being the voice of his music and I'm happy with that position – I feel I've done a good job for him."

But if it turns out there's no new material for a brand-new touring show, the band are considering going back to Quadrophenia. They performed the rock opera in March at a Teenage Cancer Trust event – which at the time looked as if it could be their final live appearance due to Townshend's hearing problems.

Daltrey says: "There are issues with making Quadrophenia work at our age. I have a bit of a problem with the way our position in the show was explained to the crowd. What Pete and I were to the guy on the screen was a bit of a puzzle for the newcomer. It needs a revamp – but I know how to do it."

The singer recently commented on his ambition of forming a blues band with Jimmy Page, saying: "I don't sing the blues with the Who but I used to be a great blues singer."

In Search of a Hawkwind T-Shirt

By Don Break

Real Hawkwind fans always have a Hawkwind T-shirt (or two) either actually being worn daily, or in a drawer waiting for an occasion to get it out.

I know this is true, because I'm like this myself. I own such clothing. But wait - why would a grown man want to wear a T-shirt with the album cover or festival logo of a band from the 1970s?

Or why would a younger music fan want a Hawkwind T-shirt? This is a band which has had only one hit single (Silver Machine - as long ago as 1972), whose mainstay (Dave Brock) is a man in his sixties, and whose musical style is so out of step with the modern pop charts that on the rare occasions it gets radio play it sounds as if it has arrived from another, louder planet.

This question - why do people continue to buy and wear Hawkwind T-shirts - has been puzzling me over the years. I suspect the answer is to do with the philosophy of Hawkwind itself - the philosophy which has engendered a kind of love for and loyalty to the band in its fan base. Despite the incessant personnel changes, the long periods of inactivity, the release of some mediocre albums, and the recent unpleasant member and ex-member squabbling and litigation, Hawkwind is an independent force - beyond the appeals of money and fashion, going its own way and being true to itself.

Someone who wears a Hawkwind T-shirt is saying something about himself (or herself, but a wearer is usually male) - I've not been seduced by a logo or by corporate values, there is another world beyond commercial chart music and consumer culture, and that's what I want to support.

Though the counter-culture philosophy of the band Hawkwind is debatable, and ironic, considering they sell their music and their concert tickets and their (official) T-shirts like every other band, this alternative ethos must be part of their appeal.

The other reason is the artwork, which is unique and unmistakable. Hawkwind has been blessed over the years in getting the services of some very talented artists for its album covers. This is still evident on Hawkwind T-shirts which are available today, featuring album covers such as In Search of Space, Doremi Fasol Latido, Roadhawks and Masters of the Universe (a true classic).

Other artwork on Hawkwind clothing features festival logos along with the band's name - and who wouldn't want a Stonehenge T-shirt? If anything speaks of who the wearer really is, a free festival T-shirt does.
Inspired to get your own? Check our page for the easiest way to get your Hawkwind t shirt today.

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The Black Power Movement

By Simon Waker Haughtone

The black power movement is considered a consequence of the movement for civil rights. It is a culmination of various ideologies which gives it a political meaning, mostly through African Americans in the United States. It wasn't started as such, but was a reaction to give an identity to the people of African origin.

No doubt it is a political theory, but it is considered mostly a concept and an accumulation of various ideas through which black people would fight against racial oppression. Separatism theory was part of it but the main motto was to arouse racial pride, which eventually lead to the creation of black social and political institutions rendering cultural interests.

Richard Wright is credited for the usage of the theory in his book titled 'Black Power' which had some interesting reviews and was the base of many social and political ideologies. The concept gained popularity through the famous 'March Against Fear' in 1966. There were some differences in ideologies which resulted in two groups being formed, one who marched with Martin Luther King, Jr (their slogan being 'freedom now') and the rest who aligned with Stokely Carmichael. The latter had a different slogan called 'black power' during the march.

Kwame Ture (earlier known as Stokely Carmichael) and Mukasa Dada (Willie Ricks) are considered pioneers through their efforts resulting in the formation of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). The SNCC was known to be an extremist organization which was outspoken enough to criticize non-violent ways of confronting inequality and racism in particular.

There were many Black Power advocates who did not favor the concept of black separatism and black nationalism, prominent among them were Bayard Rustin and Bobby Seale. Bobby Seale was of the opinion that the black power movement was like a struggle against class and not against race. His thoughts are covered in his book, 'Seize the Time' which blames economic exploitation for the oppression of black people in United States of America. Bayard Rustin believed that the black power struggle diverted energy from a meaningful debate to a mere struggle for power.

Still, it is considered that the fight was not against any community or race; it was a struggle against policies and people in power, more so a combined movement against the government.

The black power movement has been a significant event giving rise to many modern socio-economic philosophies, so people who want to get more information about the movement can check information database.

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