Thursday, September 11, 2008

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

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Download Songs For Your iPod - You Do Have Some Amazing Choices!

What is the best source to download songs for your iPod? You might be asking this question again and again, wondering how people manage to fill up their little but powerful players with thousands of songs so easily. After all, not everyone can afford to buy expensive downloads from iTunes.

You might have tried transferring your favorite songs from CDs to your iPod. However, its capacity still allows tons of good music, and you don't want it to be wasted - after all, it is not what you got your wonderful gadget for.

So, where can you download songs for your iPod online, avoiding disadvantageous per-download fees, yet getting good quality? If your eyes are set on file sharing networks - better drop the idea right away. Yes, they are free, but this is their only advantage which is not worth all the drawbacks and risks you get in return.

Luckily, there are many more options coming up these days. Some inexpensive yet reputed and well-stocked sites are there to let you download songs for your iPod at the lowest fee around. Usually, they are based on a long-term subscription (one-year or even a lifetime), which allows saving a hefty amount in the long run. Other advantages are present, too:

1. You don't feel the burden of law infringement. You know that each download you do is legal and you are not going to land up in a big trouble thanks to your passion for good music.

2. You get to enjoy the quality you deserve along with the vast selection of music (and often many other media for iPod). In other words, you can find and download practically anything you may ever fancy.

3. To download songs for your iPod as easy and fast as at any of those expensive sites claiming to be superior in everything. So, you don't have to compromise on the quality of services while paying less.

4. You are treated as a valued customer - excellent technical support and all the necessary tutorials are provided at any time. The site will also provide you with all software and applications you need to download songs for your iPod - and that is completely free of cost!

So, use your iPod to the fullest and stop worrying about the size of your wallet! Take a few minutes to visit my blog and get to know more about how you can download songs for your iPod on a tight budget within minutes.

Discover how you can download iPod music instantly for less than a dime each. Also, read another of his popular article on iPod music downloads.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Stepping Gains Popularity From Hollywood

You can always tell that a dance form is gaining popularity when you see it on the silver screen. When the Brazilian dance Lambada was the craze, there was actually a movie titled "Lambada" in1989. Patrick Swayze's "Dirty Dancing" popularized a forbidden dance of the same name.

Some other dance movies are:

"Flashdance" (1983) Breakdancing movie

"Saturday Night Fever" (1977) Disco movie

"Fame" (1980) Jazz movie

"The Turning Point" (1977) Ballet movie

"Staying Alive" (1983) Jazz movie

"Footloose" (1984) New Wave movie

Though there are a lot more that could be mentioned, it cannot be denied that most of these movies help disseminate information on the chosen dance topic. For a dance to be featured on film is a good thing no matter what critics say.

It appears the dance form Stepping is also getting widescreen attention. Here are some of the movies on this African American art form:

"School Daze" (1988) musical-drama film, written and directed by Spike Lee, and starring Laurence Fishburne, Giancarlo Esposito, and Tisha Campbell.

Based in part on Spike Lee's experiences at Atlanta's Morehouse College, it is a story about fraternity and sorority members clashing with other students at a historically black college during homecoming weekend. This was the second feature film directed by Spike Lee, and was released on February 12, 1988 by Columbia Pictures.

"Stomp the Yard" (2007) drama film produced by Rainforest Films and released through Sony Pictures' Screen Gems division on January 12, 2007.

Directed by Sylvain White, Stomp the Yard centers around DJ Williams, a college student at a fictional historically Black university who pledges to join a fictional Greek-letter fraternity. The film's central conflict involves DJ's fraternity competing in various stepping competitions against a rival fraternity from the same school. The film's script was written by Robert Adetuyi, working from an original draft by Gregory Ramon Anderson. The film was originally titled Steppin', but to avoid confusion over the 2006 film Step Up, the title was changed.

"How She Move" (2008) Canadian film directed by Ian Iqbal Rashid and starring Rutina Wesley, Cl Bennett, and Romina D'Ugo. The film showcases the emerging street culture of step dancing and the talents of a new generation of Canadian-born actors. The film is produced by Celluloid Dreams, Sienna Films and MTV Films.

Motion pictures through the years reflect the way things were and are at the time of filming. The 1930s depression produced movies on how hard life was, the '70s showed movies on promiscuity, abortion, war and other social issues of the time, and so on.

Because Stepping is a continuously growing art form, documenting it at a certain period in time helps record its progress and changes.

Though most practitioners of this dance would say that these movies didn't do full justice to this art form, the message all these films are trying to relay is the same: Stepping is part of African American culture and is a part of the here and now. is a free video sharing community website that features step team performances. Members can post and share video footage of their stepteam performances. Visit to learn more about the tradition of stepping.

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Don't Hate the Player, Hate the Game

The greatest blues song of all times starts out with the lament, I hate to see, that evenin sun go down. Some say that the W. C. Handy wail is a precursor to another night alone and homeless on the streets of St. Louis. If youve ever experienced a winter in a mid-western city with relentless wind, freezing temperatures, and dark alleys offering no warmth or haven, then you can almost feel his pain . . . his blues . . . and his aching for a better tomorrow.

If youve never seen a mid-west winter or the streets of St. Louis, then perhaps Ed Taylors ( Dont Hate the Player will drive home that same feeling of dread and hope for a better day.

Ed Taylors music is usually of the smooth jazz variety. And, its often just an instrumental. Ed lets his music speak for him, but in some cases, perhaps, he wants to add his voice to make sure he's understood . . . completely.

In Dont Hate the Player, Ed mixes a nice slow funk and blues with his smooth jazz. Eds lament isnt about the sun and being homeless, its about people living just above that level people living from paycheck to paycheck . . . struggling every day and every week as they try to support a family in America.

Ive got five dollars in my money clip,
And I was supposed to buy my daughter some brand new shoes.
I know my wife is not going to be happy,
And I feel like a lowly fool.

Havent we all been there? Havent we all come up short and faced disappointed faces? Sometimes the worst thing to do is look in the mirror at the most disappointed face of all. Birthday presents, anniversary presents, and Christmas presents just add burden to backs already tired and bent from paying rent and putting dinner on the table.

Eds philosophy is Dont hate the player hate the game. He says, The game is all a poor man has, and even that is not secure. I like the advice. If we look at each day as a game, we may actually already be a winner. It lets us start off each day without the emotional baggage we ended with the day before. With the weight off our back, we can look forward to the new day and new challenges . . . but if we dont make it and that evenin' sun starts goin down . . . hate the game.

Don Doman is a published author, video producer, and corporate trainer. He owns the business training site Ideas and Training (, which he says is the home of the no-hassle "free preview" for business training videos. He also owns Human Resources Radio (, which broadcasts HR and business training information, program previews, and training samples from some of the world's great training speakers twenty-four hours a day. You can listen and learn on Human Resources Radio.

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Monday, September 8, 2008

Amo, Amas, Amat and More: A Book Review

The other day at a staff meeting, one of my co-workers was talking about a project that had gone badly off the rails. "Per angusta ad augusta," I said as he concluded his tale of woe. Everyone looked at me uncomprehendingly, of course. "You know through difficulties to honors," I said.

Now, I am definitely no Latin scholar, but I do arrive at staff meetings armed with several memorized phrases from the ancient tongue, ready to whip them out whenever the occasion permits. My source? Its a breezy little tome titled, Amo, Amas, Amat and More; How to Use Latin to Your Own Advantage and to the Astonishment of Others. Its author is Eugene Ehrlich, a renowned dictionary editor and contributor to other books about words.

The book is straightforwardly presented, with the Latin phrases given in alphabetical order. Each entry consists of the phrase followed by a phonetic rendering to assist in pronunciation, then its English translation and finally, in most instances, an explanatory paragraph to help elucidate the more mysterious of the offerings.

One aspect of Amo, Amas, Amat that is particularly helpful is that the author will occasionally translate a phrase using an equivalent English expression that might not be a word-for-word rendering (although he does provide the exact translation in the follow-up paragraph).

An example: "Aliquando bonus dormitat Homerus" is translated as "You cant win 'em all," but a more precise rendering would be, "Sometimes even good Homer dozes." Ehrlich offers the history behind this phrase, which helps us to understand why our common expression about not being able to "win 'em all" is indeed a good way to translate the Latin in this case.

Amo, Amas, Amat includes an introduction by William F. Buckley, Jr., as well as an index to the English translations, which makes for a nice cross-reference.

Amo, Amas, Amat was published by Harper & Row Publishers of New York; ISBN # 0-06-181249-8.

H. Tim Sevets is books editor for the Solid Gold Info Writers Consortium, where he specializes in objective reviews of the top money-making reports sold over the Web. Recently, he reviewed an e-book that claims to show how to make money by tearing up old books and magazines and selling them on eBay. Read his opinion at

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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Satellite Radio - Bringing Music To Your Ears

Subscription-based satellite radio service is at the forefront of the US music market. Long gone are the days when people when the only option was in choosing from just one or two measly stations that had poor reception and overbearing, irritating disk jockeys and commercials!

However, local radio stations generally don't fear the satellite radio revolution, predicting their survival in much the same way basic television has survived, despite the emergence of cable in the 90s. There's a lot to love about satellite radio and it's no surprise that Sirius Radio is ranked no. 1 Fastest Growing Company for 2007 (by Deloitte Technology).

First of all, satellite radio provide you with a high-quality digital signal that can transcend geographic borders by beaming down from three geosynchronous communications satellites orbiting around the Earth. Many channels feature CD-quality sound, static-free.

Secondly, subscribers have the choice of over 130 different satellite radio channels, ranging from various rock sub-genres to several news radio sources. This is great news for people who regularly listen to alternative sub-genres like Punk Rock, Death Metal, Christian Rock or Electronica! Satellite radio blends the best of both worlds - the specific ambiance of a CD, with the consumer's need for exposure to new music in fact it seems that new stations are popping up on a weekly basis.

Electronic Music Fans will prefer the Sirius radio service if they'd like a Breakbeat/Old SKool station, in addition to the usual Trance/Progressive stations that both satellite radio services provide. XM Radio has exclusive rights to acclaimed BPM, but Sirius has a special Dance Hits station.

The third benefit - that's worth its weight in gold - is that there are NO commercials! It may be hard to believe that 100% commercial-free radio exists, but for just $13/month, you can evade the constant interruptions that plague your morning and late afternoon commutes. Satellite radio is the obvious choice for truckers, delivery drivers and long road trips.

However, the fact that satellite radio costs anything is still a deterrent to many frugal individuals. Therefore, there will always be a market for regular local broadcast stations. At this point, it can be a hassle to go to the electronics shop and get satellite radio receivers for home use or for your car, having said that there is a huge range of satellite receivers and radios for the home and car on many internet sites.

In the future, satellite radio will become the standard and most new cars will already have it installed. Maybe then the real revolution will begin.

Arnold Hexden is known for his interesting articles. Find out more about XM Radio Equipment by visiting XM Radio Equipment or visit

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Belly Dance and the Feminine Image

History shows us through paintings that the veil came to symbolize the untouchable and tantalizing appeal of women in the Middle East. To show just a little part of the body was alluring enough to cause men to pine for women's affection. If we look at 19th Century paintings of various scenes of women dancing, the look of the belly dancer is quite refined. The distinctive folds in the belt or the accessories from the ankle all the way to the headpiece tell the individual story of each dancer. This is how dancers from the past to the present set themselves apart from their contemporaries.

I can remember seeing "Cleopatra" starring Elizabeth Taylor for the first time and thinking how beautiful the costumes were and how much fun they would be to dance in. "Samson and Delilah" with Hedy Lamarr is my all time favorite biblical movie and her costumes inspire me even to this day. Claudette Colberts costume in the 1934 "Cleopatra" looks like a costume of today. Hollywood had very unusual ideas about what the women from the Middle East wore. But if we look back through time the belly dance costume really hasn't changed all that much. This really surprised me because as I was doing my research it became apparent to me that when you have a good design it's hard to improve on it.

Recently I danced with a wonderful group of performers who were Asian dancers. Their costumes were amazing and I have to admit that I felt a little out of place in my cabaret costume. Their movements were very subtle and their gestures very soft and poetic. Which made me wonder what kind of poetry would belly dancing be? When it was time for me to perform I realized that our music really says a lot about our image. My costume was like magic because it made me feel free enough to dance and tell our story within my movements and gestures. In some ways I felt an obligation to relate to the audience that what I do as a dancer and performer is serious and respected.

But I have to question why I even felt the need to defend my costume and dance form. The dancers with their movements almost seemed to speak to me teasingly asking me why I wasn't covered more. Maybe I was just hearing my own voice questioning this. After I finished my dance the response I received overwhelmed me. It became apparent to me that because of the difference of my costume and dance the audience was able to appreciate the culture that I represented. Costuming really does make the difference for people. It's almost as if the audience can see the story within our movements all the while watching our costumes accenting each word danced through our bodies.

Years ago when I was in Cairo I was able to see Zuhair Zaki dance live and as I look back I realize how lucky I was to have seen such a legend perform. Zuhair Zaki is the total sum of what the belly dance image is for me. Every movement told a story and helped me "hear" the music. I was taught a very good lesson that night because I saw what a masterful dancer can do with music. I also saw Zuhair Zaki become the essence of belly dance as she performed. It wouldn't have mattered what she wore or where she was. The spirit of the dance was in her and you could see it and feel it. These are those spiritual moments that change you forever!

A few weeks later I saw Dina perform and was totally surprised at the sexual innuendos that emanated from her dance. The image of belly dance changed that night for me because I had assumed that provocative gestures were not allowed. Actually let me take it a step further, I didn't think it was necessary. But somehow Dina made it work for her and as I watched her performance I saw that she did a wonderful job. Her sexuality never got in the way of her performance. It enhanced her movements and I understood at that moment that Dina chose to dance free of any inhibitions or restraints her world put on her.

As a modern woman I often wonder how close my image is to women back hundreds of years. Our evolution as women has never been more evident than in the belly dance world. If we look at the dance of the seven veils the removal of the veils represent seven earthly illusions that fall away with each veil. In order for us to become the total feminine archetype in myth these veils must fall from us so we can transcend into the Goddess. As with all myths I wondered what these seven veils of illusion were because I had a suspicion that we may still be portrayed within this myth today. It became apparent to me that each illusion had an opposite side to it. So here's my version of the seven illusions.

1. The Virgin-Temptress

Many dancers have both abilities to enchant their audiences by offering the untouchable innocence of movement combined with eye contact that teases with a fleeting look.

2. Intrigue-deception

The ability to captivate our audience is a major part of our story telling but with all stories we must tell the audience that what intrigues them is only an illusion. This in itself can be perceived as a deception because we work so hard on the illusion that at moments it may become real.

3. Mother-Sex Goddess

Both of these describe the dilemma all women come across through out their careers. While we dance as women who understand what it means to carry and give life we are also expected to be proficient in the art of love. The illusion for most people is that we can be both but they want the two separate.

4. Wise woman-Childlike Innocence

The knowledge a dancer puts in her performing sets her apart from the average dancer. Knowledge is power and our movements speak volumes in regards to our history. The illusion here is that while we dance with experience our audiences to a certain degree want a virtuous dancer that will give them an unsullied look at our dance.

5. Wife-Mistress

In our dance we are compelled to perform from places of the heart. At least some of our music has this impassioned theme in certain songs. As women we feel the need to complete ourselves which is why we search for our mate. The mistress on the other hand is compelled to search outside of this completion which in itself is the wife's mirror opposite. We distance ourselves from the mistress personification yet in the eyes of our admirers the hope is that they get a glimpse of her.

6. Muse-transmutation

Poetry and music speak of the dancer that takes her audience to places of sublime heights. As dancers we are the muses of our times. At the same time we experience the audience that doesn't understand our dance and they try to alter it to fit their perception of the world. We than become a misunderstood version of our own poetry.

7. Diva-modest maid

A dancers self confidence has to come across to the audience or they will be sorely disappointed. Many fans expect a confident woman during and after shows. Yet I have found that dancers can almost believe too much in their personas that they create. We can get caught up in this illusion just as much as anybody. The catch here is to know when to turn your dance persona on and off.

As belly dancers we inspire so much in people and our allure isn't just the pretty costume, it is what we signify as women.

My question is do we understand what it is that we represent for so many? I have worked with a few women who were disassociated from their body image. They had no clue how beautiful they were because they bought into mixed messages from the media and cultural attitudes. How comfortable are we in the position of the archetype for today's women? If we can't get past the door of self appreciation, than I don't see us in the forefront of today's feminine society. Let us not forget how immeasurable we are as women. Our dance helps us create our own personal myth in which we than can escape into our own feminine image.

I have often wondered that after creating our feminine image, do we than transform gradually into her? Isn't this really what belly dance does? We heal and than become the women we are intended to be. This is how I believe the essence of belly dance lives and thrives through each generation of women. If we can understand our own image than we can be living examples of what belly dance is and the veils of illusion than become nothing more than invisible restraints that disappear through our own transformation. In this sense we than are reborn into women, who are comfortable in their own body, mind and spirit. And there is no better way to express our dance than by embracing who we are and dancing with veils of our choice.

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Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Dancer's Secret -- A Short Horse Story

It was sunset. The wind rode on the sharp edges of the mountains dragging the last bit of color away from the darkening hills. In a small cradle of two hills lay a beautiful girl. Her hair was long and soft, and when it touched the wind no other beauty could compare to it. She had a long face and brilliant searching brown eyes. Her feet were perfectly conformed, but were not like everybody else's who surrounded her. This girl's belly was not thin and it was not bulging, but was somewhere in between, and was the perfect shape. She stood up. Her long hair covering her body like a coat. The wind pushed against her forehead, cooling the nearly invisible sweat.

Others gathered around her, watching her intently. She began to move in a slow, but upbeat rhythm. It grew very quiet. The others continued to look at her, and started to wonder why she had begun to dance when the music hadn't started. The girl's curves moved back and forth and her hands danced their own dance around her stomach. Back and forth she moved until the earth seemed to move and the mountains rumble. The grass quivered back and forth at the eerie silence. She stopped. The ring of quiet shadowed everyone's ears. The beautiful girl opened her mouth. A long sweet tone emerged from her lips. The gazing onlookers listened intently to the wonderful sound. The girl dropped down to a very low pitch and then swerved back up like a bird that was getting too close to the ground. She sang and sang as if she were pouring her inside beauty out to the others. Her voice stopped, and once again silence covered everything.

The girl's body began to move again, but this time it was much slower and seemed more meaningful. Soon the others were bobbing their heads and moving to something unheard. It was the music of their souls. The girl sped up her dance, leaving all of the others to dance their own rhythm. Soon the girl was dancing so hard to the music inside of her that she suddenly stopped and began to run. Blood thumped in her temples and her gorgeous hair flowed back away from her face. Her long sleek body seemed to move with the wind, and her feet with the earth. The girl ran and ran, and when she got to the top of her favorite hill she stopped. Her breathing came harshly, making her nostrils flare for air. She smiled and took a minute to grasp the beauty around her. The smell of wild flowers hung in her nostrils, and the earth cuddled her feet. In the near distance she spotted a small forest and hundreds of night creatures lurking about. Quickly she turned around to look at the others. Their music was still playing within their bodies. The girl was satisfied. Once again she had taught to listen not only to your mind but also to the music, the real music that plays inside of you.

The girl began to laugh. This was no ordinary laugh though -- it was a laugh that was a slightly haunting and scary. Her eyes sparkled and she laughed on. Once again she had gotten away with her secret. Once again she had done something all of the others said she couldn't do. The girl reared up in triumph, showing off her glimmering hoofs and long mane. A long whinny rose from her throat and she galloped home.

The dancer's secret was revealed...

Randall Holman, site owner of Front Range Frenzy and horse enthusiast, is the author of the above short story. You can find easy and practical basic horse care information on his website:

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The Divine Beauty of Traditional Chinese Culture Shines at Radio City Music Hall

As we usher in the Year of the Pig, the divine beauty of the ancient East will come to life in NYC with the now legendary NTDTV Chinese New Year Spectacular! The 30-city world tour Spectacular will play at Radio City from February 14 17.

Featuring the best of Chinese culture and world-class performers, this unique show portrays genuine traditional Chinese culture and includes classical Chinese dance as well as various traditional dances. Performers have worked hard to emulate the musical style of the ancientsclassical melodies filled with the power of compassion. Showcasing grand stage designs, hand-painted backdrops and authentic costuming from ancient Chinese Dynasties, the theme of Myths and Legends weaves a tale of the proverbial battle between good and evil through theatre, music and dance.

NTDTVs main goal is to revive lost Chinese culture from the ancient past. As you may be aware, in 1949 when the Chinese Communist Party took power in China, its leaders did everything possible to sever the people from their 5,000-year-old culture. Everything moral and spiritual was suddenly uprooted from people's lives--temples and buddhas were destroyed. The arts became a tool for fulfilling political aims, evoking the dark side of human nature. China's folk music was used to serve the communist revolution.

Unfortunately, those born after 1949 have opened their eyes to a spiritual desert. They are no longer familiar with their own heritage, which has been decimated and replaced with the communist-atheist model.

Judging by the growth and success of the Chinese New Year Spectacular, now in its fourth year, I believe that NTDTV has lived up to its word. The Spectacular really does have the effect of removing the communist "wrapping paper" around the essence of traditional Chinese values and beauty. It is not surprising that the show ranked 7th on Billboard Magazines top 10 shows in Feb 2006 based on ticket sales for the 2006 shows at Radio City Music Hall.

The Spectacular is a delight to Chinese and Western audiences alikea truly heartwarming event not to be missed. The Chinese New Year Spectacular is the best show ever to appear on stage in North America, said former member of Parliament Simma Holt. I saw the show in Canada and I would like to say to the Chinese Consulate officials, who made a statement saying that the show is political, the fact that some of the atrocities committed by the Chinese regime were re-enacted in the show is nothing unusual; interpretative dance is a feature of all great symphonies, operas and ballets.

Makina Liu is an Arts student living in Canada. For more info aboutthe NTDTV Chinese New Year Spectacular in your city/area, please visit:

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Friday, September 5, 2008

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Thursday, September 4, 2008

RIAA Files Second Wave of Lawsuits

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has launched a second wave of lawsuits against users of internet2 (a specialized high speed version of the internet that makes it ideal for file sharing). By adding 20 new schools to the list, RIAA has greatly expanded the number of students involved in the case.

"As long as students continue to corrupt this specialized academic network for the flagrant theft of music, we will continue to make it clear that there are consequences for these unlawful actions," said Cary Sherman, President, RIAA. "With the multitude of legal music alternatives available to students today, there is simply no excuse for this ongoing, illegal downloading on college campuses."

RIAA is the trade group that represents the U.S. recording industry. Its mission is to foster a business and legal climate that supports and promotes our members' creative and financial vitality. Its members are the record companies that comprise the most vibrant national music industry in the world. RIAA members create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 90% of all legitimate sound recordings produced and sold in the United States.

"Whether its done on a computer at home or one in a college dorm room, the act of theft is one and the same," said Sherman. "These lawsuits have had a significant educational impact on the public and have helped to arrest the staggering growth of digital music theft. We will continue to aggressively pursue them."

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Why Multimedia Content Is Good For You!

Whilst competition is, in many instances, a good thing, in terms of pushing up the quality, reducing the cost to the end user, creating greater choice in the marketplace and harbouring innovation it presents the problem of engagement, particularly in the online sphere.

The rich media and applications of sites like the BBC, YouTube, Trip Advisor, the quality editorial of shopping portals including Amazon and the major social networking sites of Facebook and Bebo fight for attention against conventional platforms, and whilst this statement doesn't consider the innumerable users and their diverse online needs it goes in some way to illustrate the state of the playing field, and how the bar really has been raised.

But what is your strategy? How can you engage customers? How do you compete for their attention? And once you've got customers, how do you retain them? In addition, how can you make cost savings in your marketing by turning visitors into loyal repeat customers who might in turn spread the word about your products and services?

One such engagement tool is multimedia content, which encompasses audio and video content. These multimedia mediums, allow business and website owners to engage with users and communicate differently to the traditional static pages of text and images users might expect from much of the web.

An excellent example of this might include branded videos which describe your services, 'sell' your products and encourage readership in a way that pages of content just can't, as well as differentiating yourself from the competition.

This user centric approach serves the needs of the ever savvy user, who craves information and will just as quickly move off your website if they cannot find the information they need, and multimedia content is another tool to effectively communicate.

Multimedia content needn't stop at video either as the use of podcasting technology represents a further opportunity to demonstrate authority in your sector by communicate news, interviews and other discussions in the form of a downloadable podcast, over, or in additional to, traditional static pages.

Therefore the opportunity to increase your conversions is presented when harnessing multimedia content, which can

- Heighten the perception of your brand

- Cement your position as an authority within your field

- Enhance the user experience

- Naturally attracts links to your website

- Differentiate from your competitions and

- Encourage customers to visit the other pages of your website or 'find out more'

In this age of competitively, engagement is a key consideration, and this is just one reason why multimedia content is good for you.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

First a Trickle then a Flood.The Birth of the Blues in Britain

Chris Barbers Jazz Band with the beautiful Otillie Patterson on vocals brought the sound of New Orleans to British traditional Jazz buffs in the late fifties and early sixties. This was just the beginning of a wave of new sounds that culminated in what came to be known as the British Blues Boom! On Banjo was the great Lonnie Donegan who became the Godfather of Skiffle a year or two later. All of the early musical melting pots were springboards for the next generation of musicians and within a couple of years the Music scene was to change forever.

My first exposure to the blues was on Barbers wonderful L.P. New Orleans Joys. I forget all the titles now but the haunting sounds stirred up strange sensations and led me a few years later to a life long passion for the Blues as I am sure it did with many young kids at the time.

The year 1962 saw the birth of several Blues gigs in London Clubs, notably the Famous Marquee which made its home in Wardour Street, Soho. The great Alexis Korner was to prove to be a nursery slope for what was to come. Cyril Davies on Harp, Dick Heckstall- Smith on the most wailing of saxophones, Mick Jagger (yes that one!) on vocals to name but a few. I guess that first Album recorded live at the MarqueeAlexis Korners Blues Incorporated, started the trickle which very rapidly gathered momentum and soon the Blues was the talking point of all young music heads.

Playing at the Marquee shortly after, in 1963 was the man destined to become the Godfather of British Blues John Mayall. Johns famous band, The BluesBreakers went onto fame and fortune as many musicians joined and left in quite a procession over the next couple of years. John celebrated his 70th Birthday a couple of years ago and is playing as well as ever. This gives lie to the notion that life is over at forty and its all downhill from there on. The list of Johns protges is a whos who of the music business; a good proportion of whom are still playing today. John McVie, co-founder of Fleetwood Mac, Mick Fleetwood, Jack Bruce of Cream, Eric Slowhand Clapton, Peter Green, Aynsley Dunbar, Mick Taylor and many more.

The band that I believe was the turning point at this time was undoubtedly The Yardbirds, whose incredible energy and enthusiasm were absolutely unparalleled on stage. My first exposure to this Juggernaut was on a Monday morning at school one time when some friends told me about this amazing band that they had seen at the Marquee who had a Guitarist that was simply unbelievable. The Year was 1963, the man in question (well he was only 18 years old!) was Eric Clapton.

The Legend was already underway at this stage and I believe Eric was responsible for the huge interest brewing in the Blues in Britain as the Yardbirds became household names on the R n B circuit. Many Guitars were sold at this time as young bloods attempted to emulate Clapton, some with success and many without. Probably one reason for the upsurge in Guitar bands as opposed to wishy washy pop sounds of the time was the discovery of the almost forgotten Gibson Les Paul which produced the sound closest to the Chicago Blues of a decade earlier. Erics use of this instrument took the Blues to a new height and no-one could escape the flood that was on the way. With the Yardbirds there was a mix of Gibson and Fender guitars in use. Eric initially played a Fender Telecaster with Rhythm Guitarist Chris Dreja using the Gibson 335, but the favourite in years to come particularly in 65 and 66 was the Les Paul.

In 1963 one of the first Bluesmen to arrive on this side of the Atlantic for a Tour was the legendary Harp player Sonny Boy Williamson who recorded a wonderful live album with the Yardbirds that was not released for several years. The restrained backing that the band provided to Sonny Boy showed them to be tight and controlled but Keith Relf the Lead singer and Harpist was a little put out at having to take a back seat to the Master during the gig. Many more Blues legends toured Britain and Europe in the following years which not only revitalised their own flagging careers but gave the budding white Blues players a chance to learn from the Maestros. These include Howling Wolf and the legendary Son House who had been a contemporary of Robert Johnson in the nineteen thirties. The author was privileged to see Son House play in London in 1970 shortly before he died. He was very frail but he certainly could make that National Steel Guitar sing sweetly!

The Album that preceded the Flood was of course the 1966 rendition by John Mayall entitled simply John Mayalls Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton recorded on the Decca label .This album marked the first vocal airing by Slowhand and he chose Robert Johnsons Rambling on my Mind as his debut. The interrelating of Mayalls gutsy Barrelhouse Piano together with Erics Les Paul and his tentative vocals, wrote a piece of Blues History that day in the studio. That Album sums up for me not only the musicianship involved and the passion of the music but the very essence of the British interpretation of the Blues. I have listened to this song so many times now since the first momentous day that it came through the speakers and every time its hard to keep the emotions steady.

The Robert Johnson Legacy forms an integral and vital part of the Birth of the Blues in Britain and is responsible for the undoubted vitality of todays thriving Blues scene on both sides of the Atlantic. There are no Blues Bands past or present who do not owe a debt to Robert Leroy and his magic. His genius and virtuosity with the bottleneck will live forever!

Robin Piggott is a Professional Driving Instructor in Ireland, with a lifelong obsessional passion for the Blues. He treasures his Gibson as much as his Motor and just can't make up his mind which is number one! Please visit his web site and blogs for a mix of Motor and Musings designed to help Beginner Drivers and those visiting Ireland.


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    Monday, September 1, 2008

    Information About Music Online

    Using the internet to find music you like to listen to and build your music collection in any style of music is an easy and affordable way to add to your music library as you can easily burn your own CD's or download mp3's to your iPod or other music player. It is also a great way to find out about current and new artists, new album and single releases, get free lyrics and find free music downloads. The popular free iTunes software and music library allows you to create your own music library, find TV shows, podcasts and get free music downloads and for only $0.99 a song download you cannot really go wrong. Plus there are a lot of websites online where you can find free music videos and mp3 downloads like YouTube, MySpace, Rawkus, CDBaby, Soundclick and so many others.

    What does this mean for the future of music? With the everyday consumer buying on average 2 new music albums a month this could have an effect on the music industry but most shops like Virgin, HMV and other well known music retail shops also have online websites which offer even more discounts and sometimes a music community so the music lovers using the internet can only boost music sales.

    The internet is also a good place for independent artists without a major record label to upload and promote their music. There are a lot of independent music websites where you can create your own profile, update fans with your news and even sell your own music. The royalty companies like ASCAP, PRS, Harry Fox and BMI also have internet music licenses you can get so that you receive royalties and commissions for all music plays on internet radio stations, and for any music downloads and mp3 or CD sales.

    You can even make your own music by buying and downloading music production and creation software you find online to your PC or laptop and if you have a good sound card and microphone you can make and record your own music and beats very easily. In fact, you can find hundreds of free loops and backing tracks you can download and even license for commercial use making it easy for the music producer and songwriter to make their own music.

    And if you want to learn about music, study an instrument or get advice on the music industry you can do a search on the internet and find so much free and useful information in articles and on music websites and blogs.

    Does this take away the traditional way of making and playing music for the musician? Some think so but you can look at it like this; the internet has opened up the whole globe to us and you can make good music contacts from all over the world and build your own worldwide fan base just by promoting your music online. Music you may never have even heard of has become easily available and the whole music scene and industry has benefited and grown because of internet and satellite communications.

    You can see then that using the internet connects music lovers around the world and Cyber Technology has made it easier for the songwriter and musician to create and record their own music. Plus it opens doors for the independent music artist and also increases exposure for major record label artists so that they can build their fan base and sell more of their music.

    For more information on finding music online, making your own beats, downloading free music videos, getting free lyrics, buying instruments and production software and generally about the cyber music world visit my blog Cybertunes.

    Did you know you can use this article on your blogs and sites for free? Just visit the article web page and copy and paste, there's usually an HTML and text version of all my articles.

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