The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

The Beatles 1967 album Sgt Pepper is often cited as the most influential and important album of all time. In what I consider to be a reactionary backlash to this praise Sgt Pepper is also often cited as one of the most over rated albums of all time.

This year this monumental album turns 40 years old. So where does it stand now? In 2003 Rolling Stone magazine ranked it as the 1 album of all time. It doesn?t fair quite as well on the popular music rating website Rate Your Music where it ranks 27 of all time which is behind four other Beatles classic albums Revolver (#1), Abbey Road (#2), The White Album (#10), and Rubber Soul (#21).

Personally while it?s not my favorite Beatles album (that honor has to go to The White Album) I do believe it is the most important and most influential album of all time and I do rank it above Revolver, Abbey Road, and Rubber Soul.

I?ve heard some people say it doesn?t hold up well with time but I disagree entirely. I think this album is absolutely timeless. I don?t think the songs sound like they are from the 1960s necessarily. They sound like they are from the future and the past simultaneously.

I believe all 13 songs from this album to be absolutely essential to the album and this is a very rare thing. What set this album apart from most of the albums that came before it is that it truly plays like an album. While definitely somewhat in debt to The Beach Boys classic Pet Sounds, Sgt Pepper takes things a big leap forward. In many ways I still feel that Sgt Pepper is the perfect cohesive album. It doesn?t take the ?concept? and wear it thin but it also holds together as one work very well despite, and maybe because, the fact that the songs are of such varying styles.

Song by Song Breakdown:

1 Sgt Pepper

The album starts off with the crowd noise which goes into the first song which shares the same name as the album: ?Sgt Pepper?s Lonely Hearts Club Band.? This is a great song and also sets up the rest of the album as part of this loose concept of watching a band perform. This is all made to come together even more by the later inclusion of the Reprise of this song! Paul McCartney came up with the idea of the Beatles pretending to be this different band. The idea being that they could really branch out into all sorts of different styles with no limitations. They could also break free of their image. There?s quite a few layers to the idea but it?s also a very simple idea that isn?t overbearing unlike some later prog rock attempts at ?concept albums.?

2 With A Little Help From My Friends

This track was written by lead songwriters and singers Paul McCartney and John Lennon specifically for the drummer Ringo Starr to sing. This adds another layer to the lyric ?I get by with a little help from my friends.? This song was a hit for Joe Cocker (his cover version was used on television program The Wonder Years.) It also contains a reference to marijuana with the line ?I get high with a little help from my friends.?

3 Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds

This song is inspired by LSD in my opinion although Lennon denied this and said it was merely inspired by his son?s painting. Many years later McCartney admitted the influence of LSD on this track. This song is often cited as a prime example of 1960s psychedelic music. Besides the other worldly fantastical lyrics the song has a dreamy quality to both the music and the vocals. This song uses a flange effect on the drums and the bass is very prominent in the mix.

4 Getting Better

There?s so many great things about this track I have a hard time deciding what to talk about first. One thing that really does stand out for me though is use of sitar in this track. It?s subtle and yet very effective. A great example of the sort of unique tracks on this album that don?t really have any direct comparison to anything else in rock music, even to this day. I think the sharp down stroke style used on the guitars in this track has been extremely influential in rock to this day.

5 Fixing A Hole

This is another amazingly unique song that has so many layers and so much to discover. I?m still hearing new things in it now and I must have listened to it over 1000 times. The harmony vocals are absolutely incredible (listen to the right side)

6 She?s Leaving Home

This song features McCartney and Lennon on vocals but no Beatles play in the instrumentation. The song was scored for classical musicians. The twists and turns in this album are startling but they somehow all make sense. So much variety. All beautifully and masterly done.

7 Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite

Lennon got all of the lyrics off of an old circus poster he had. A great example of the avante garde attitude of the Beatles at the time. I like to picture this as the wild place she goes after she leaves home. I don?t hear 60s when I listen to this track. I hear another time, another place. A warped distorted but still very relevant version of our own reality. This song is absolute psychedelic weirdness. It?s overflowing with ideas and imagination. The instrumental breakdown after ?Henry the Horse Dances the Waltz? and at the end of the track includes bits of real circus sounds which were all cut up and taped back together randomly. This type of thing you could do quite easily today with Pro Tools but in 1967 it was a very inventive and creative technique. The way it was done also lends to it a timeless quality that isn?t connected to any particular recording technique or trick. This sort of experimentation has been very influential on countless artists.

8 Within You Without You

This is probably the least popular song on the album amongst your average rock fan because unfortunately too many people have a hard time opening their minds towards other types of music. This song, just like ?She?s Leaving Home?, features no Beatles on the instrumentation. The music is all recorded by Indian musicians under the direction of George Harrison. Harrison sings and wrote the music. This song to me is absolute essential to the album. ?Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite? should have opened your mind a little bit but this one should really blow your mind right out of your head. You are now in a completely different world. This is an album that deftly takes you all over the world with an incredible journey through the middle of your mind. I really don?t think I?m overstating this or exaggerating. I simply feel if you don?t hear this, then you haven?t really listened to this album and fully experienced it. I think in some ways this is the most psychedelic song on the album. It?s a true journey and it?s very beautiful. I believe the laughing at the end of the album symbolizes your average person who laughs at things that are different or thoughtful.

9 When I?m 64

As of this writing Paul McCartney is actually 64. As far as out as the last track takes you, this one places you right back somewhere else entirely. Such a strange trip, isn?t it? This is another song of many on this album that is not guitar based. The Beatles really were experimenting with instrumentation a lot on this album. This instrumental experimentation has been extremely influential on many bands

10 Lovely Rita

This is just an excellent fun song. The lyrics are fantastic. There are so many just out of this world sounds going on, really listen to everything going on in the mix. And for God?s sake, listen to the reverb on those backing vocals. Awesome. I also just absolutely love the way this song ends with all of the weird vocalizations with the delay. They?re just having a great time making this track that enjoyment directly leads right into my ears.

11 Good Morning Good Morning

This is probably my least favorite track on the album if I have to choose one. That being said it?s still a great song. I?m a big fan of the time changes and of Paul McCartney?s searing Hendrix like guitar solo.

12 Sgt Pepper (Reprise)

The sound of a rooster leads directly into a guitar squeal. One of the coolest segues ever. This version of Sgt Pepper is like the first except it rocks a lot harder. This is a great way to tie together the album and lead into the grand finale.

13 A Day In The Life

This may be the greatest song ever written. In my opinion it is just that. Certainly a fantastic way to end an album. The orchestral buildups are genius and perfectly capture the feelings that could never be put into words. The song itself is can sometimes sound deceptively simple but there?s so much nuance. So much you can hear even on the 1000th listen.

The Top 10 Rock Albums Of All Time According To Rateyourmusic.com

I?m a big fan of the site RateYourMusic.com (I?m also a huge fan of the site http://www.MusicByDay.com by the way!) and one thing I really like to look at is the overall charts to see which albums have been the top rated of all time. If you don?t know what RateYourMusic.com is, it?s a site where music lovers (like myself) rate all of the albums they?ve listened to. Some raters also write their own reviews which can be very interesting to read.

This article is a review of the top 10 rock albums listed (removing the jazz albums that are listed in the top 10 because while I do enjoy jazz I don?t feel I know enough about it to really review it.)

1 The Beatles ? Revolver

As a huge Beatles fan I?m definitely glad they have the 1 spot although personally I feel that Revolver has become a bit overrated in the backlash to Sgt Pepper?s supposed overrated-ness! As great as Revolver is (and it is really great) I don?t feel it should rank above either Sgt Pepper or The White Album. That being said the songs on Revolver are truly timeless and beautiful. The album was also extremely groundbreaking and has been almost incalculable in it?s influence.

2 The Beatles ? Abbey Road

I?d personally probably rank Abbey Road as the fourth best Beatles album so I think it?s slightly overrated as well here. It?s still a great album but for my tastes it?s not quite ?far out? enough in comparison to some of the other great Beatles albums. The second side is quite glorious though.

3 Bob Dylan ? Highway 61 Revisited

I?m not sure you could go wrong with about 5 different Dylan albums here. ?Ballad of a Thin Man? is my personal favorite track on this album.

4 Bob Dylan ? Blood on the Tracks

I don?t quite enjoy this Dylan period as much as his 60s stuff. I think I may even prefer his recent trilogy (at least Time Out of Mind & Modern Times) over Blood on the Tracks, not sure why. This is still a great album, don?t get me wrong.

5 The Velvet Underground ? The Velvet Underground & Nico

I?m a fan of The Velvet Underground yet I do think this album is probably a little overrated here.

6 Radiohead ? OK Computer
This album is now nearly 10 years old and it is the most recent album on the list. I certainly believe it belongs on the list, although I think Kid A should be ranked just as high, if not higher!

7 The Beatles ? The Beatles (The White Album)

This is my 1! I would rank this as the greatest album of all time because of it?s expansiveness and how many times I can replay it without ever getting tired of it. It?s not as cohesive as most (any?) of the albums on the top 10 and it has a few tracks that aren?t that great by Beatles standards yet somehow it all just works perfectly together for me.

8 Bob Dylan ? Blonde on Blonde

I?d rank this one over Blood on the Tracks for sure. Not sure vs. Highway 61 Revisited.

9 Bob Dylan ? Bringing it all Back Home

This is the fourth Dylan album on the top 10 to go along with the 3 Beatles albums. It?s no surprise really. There?s really no competition when it comes to who are the two most important acts in rock music history. It?s Dylan and the Beatles.

10 Pink Floyd ? The Dark Side of the Moon

I actually feel this album should probably rank even higher. It?s a timeless psychedelic classic. This album is just about as close to perfection as you can find.

American Idol Season One – Where Are They Now?

If you’ve watched American Idol in the past, you may be wondering what has happened to the singers from American Idol Season One. Here is a brief look at how some of the more popular contestants have faired:

Top Ten Finalist ? Ejay Day

Ejay performed along with the other finalists on the 2002 U.S. American Idol tour. He?s sang at several events for boxing champ Muhammad Ali and assisted in writing Raven-Symone?s song ?Pure Love? for her Undeniable album. Currently, Ejay is performing on the cruise ship Explorer of the Seas.

Top Ten Finalist ? Jim Verraros

Jim has been active in both music and acting since American Idol ended. Jim recently released his album Rollercoaster, featuring the dance hits ?I Want You? and ?You?re Getting Crazy.? He starred in the 2004 film Eating Out and is set to reprise his role in Eating Out 2: Sloppy Seconds.

7th Place ? Ryan Starr

Despite finishing 7th, Ryan has been one of the busier contestants from Season One. Her single ?My Religion? peaked at 7 on the American iTunes Top 100 and she plans to tour in 2006-2007. She made guest appearances on several shows and also appeared in the VH1 show The Surreal Life in 2004. She also starred in the movie Ring of Darkness.

6th Place – Christina Christian

After American Idol, Christina guest starred on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and is now a correspondent for the TV Guide Channel.

5th Place ? RJ Helton

RJ Helton made the top 10 as a wildcard choice. RJ signed with Gospo-Centric Records and released an album, Real Life, in 2004, which made the Billboard Christian Top 20.

4th Place ? Tamyra Gray

Tamyra had a reoccurring role in Boston Public that allowed her to sing as well. She also guest starred on Half and Half, Las Vegas, Tru Calling, What I Like About You, and All of Us.

She co-wrote and sang duet with winner Kelly Clarkson on ?You Thought Wrong.? She appeared on Season Three of American Idol and co-wrote the song ?I Believe? which was a number one hit for Fantasia Barrino. She received writing credit for ?If You Were Mine? and ?The Lover in Me? on Jessica Simpson?s A Public Affair album.

In 2004, she took to the stage with the Broadway show ?Bombay Dreams.? She had a supporting role in 2005?s The Gospel and one song on the movie?s soundtrack.

3rd Place ? Nikki McKibbin

Nikki signed with 19 Management and RCA Records after her American Idol success, although she is currently under contract with Astral Records. Her single ?The Lie? reached 1 on the Idol Waves online radio station.

She has appeared on several reality shows, including Fear Factor and Kill Reality and appeared in the made for television movie The Scorned.

Runner-Up ? Justin Guarini

After coming in second, Justin starred in the unsuccessful movie From Justin to Kelly with winner Kelly Clarkson. He secured a deal with 19 Management and RCA, but he had to wait until Kelly?s album was released before he could work on any solo projects. Because of this contractual obligation, he had to refuse a guest role on Friends, a role in The Fast and Furious, and a modeling contract for Tommy Hilfiger.

When his self-titled album did come out nine months after his American Idol success in June 2003, it flopped and he was eventually released from his contracts. His second album Stranger Things Have Happened was released in late 2005.

He appeared on stage in the musical Good Vibrations at Vassar College but declined to accept continue the role. He?s been in several independent films and is involved in many charities such as Support Music Education, Habitat for Humanity, and Children?s World Organization.

Winner – Kelly Clarkson

The most successful of all the American Idol contestants, Kelly signed with RCA and released two singles. ?A Moment Like This? shot to 1 on the Billboard charts. In 2003, she released her debut album, Thankful, that certified double platinum, selling over 2 million copies. Her single ?Miss Independent? reached the Billboard Top 10 and earned her a Grammy nomination in 2004.

Her second album, Breakaway, produced four top 10 singles and she won the Grammy award for ?Best Female Pop Vocal Performance? and ?Best Pop Vocal Album.?

She?s appeared on Saturday Night Live, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and The View and she is scheduled to headline an HBO concert featuring her greatest hits in February of 2007.

Panic at the Disco’s fast rising popularity

Panic! at the Disco is a pop rock/electronica band based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. The band is comprised of Brendon Urie (vocals, guitar, keyboard) and his childhood friend, Spencer Smiths (drums), along with their schoolmate, Ryan Ross (guitar, keyboard, backing vocals).

To promote their music, the band made contact with Pete Wentz (of Fall Out Boy) via his LiveJournal webpage. Impressed by the band, Wentz personally met with the band and signed them to his imprint label Decaydance. Under the label, the band released their debut album, A Fever You Can?t Sweat Out, which would debut at 112 on the Billboard 200 album charts.

Featured in Spin magazine as their band of the day in early October 2005, reaching 1 on the MySpace chart, and consistently staying in PureVolume?s Top 10 chart, would only help grow the band?s popularity. An appearance on MTV?s TRL on January 17, 2006, at the premier of their music video for I Write Sins Not Tragedies, also helped garner the band much publicity.

To date, the band?s 2005 debut album, A Fever you Can?t Sweat Out has sold over 750,000 units. The band is currently headlining a North American summer tour with The Dresden Dolls and The Hush Sound, a band also signed to Decaydance.

Panic at the disco Ringtones

Outkast’s diamond status

OutKast is an American hip-hop duo, comprised of Andre ?Andre 3000? Benjamin (formerly known as ?Dre?) and Antwan ?Big Boi? Patton. Having sold over 20 million records with six albums under their belt, OutKast is easily one of the most successful hip-hop groups of all time. Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, a double album representing a solo album from each member of the duo, achieved diamond status, selling over 10 million units, a feat only two other hip hop albums have ever accomplished. OutKast?s commercial success corresponds to the duo?s critically acclaimed, distinct and experimental sound, which is rare for such a mainstream rap group.

Benjamin and Patton, both from Atlanta, Georgia, went to the same high school together and would regularly engage in rap battles, only to later team up and form OutKast. In 1992, the newly formed duo signed to LaFace Records and became the label?s first hip hop act. In 1994, their full length debut, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, which included hits such as Git up, Git Out and Player?s Ball, which would reach 1 on the Billboard Rap Chart. OutKast?s second album, ATLiens, released in 1996, reached 2 on the US album charts and includes hits, ATLiens and Elevators (Me and You), which would become the group?s first Top 20 hit.

Outkast?s third album, Aquemini, also reached the 2 position on the charts at the time of its release in 1998. The album earned the very rare ?5 Mic? rating from The Source magazine, which is equivalent to a 5 out of 5 rating. A year later, the duo ran into legal troubles with Rosa Parks over the title of one of the album?s singles, which bore Parks? name. After five years of legal contention, the suit was eventually settled with neither OutKast or LaFace Records having to admit any wrongdoing. In 2000, the duo?s fourth album, Stankonia, also debuted at 2 on the album charts and would ultimately go quadruple-platinum, thanks in large to such hit singles including: B.O.B. (Bombs Over Baghdad), So Fresh, So Clean, and Ms. Jackson. Ms. Jackson would become the pair?s first pop crossover hit, achieving the 1 ranking on the US pop singles chart. In 2001, OutKast would receive two Grammy Awards, one for Best Rap Album for Stankonia and the other for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for Ms. Jackson. That same year, the duo would release a greatest hits album, Big Boi and Dre Present?OutKast, which included three new tracks. The following year, OutKast would receive Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for The Whole World, one of the new tracks off the record.

In 2003, OutKast released a double album, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. The album, which was basically two solo albums by each member, would ultimately become the duo?s best selling album debuting on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart at 1 and achieving diamond status. Hits such as The Way You Move, Hey Ya, and ?Roses? would keep the album at the top of the charts for several weeks. The album would go on to win the Grammy Award for the 2004 ?Album of the Year?. OutKast?s next album will be the soundtrack to their film Idlewild, which is scheduled to be released on August 22, 2006.

Outkast Ringtones

You Might Be A Chocoholic If …

Are you a chocoholic? Answer these questions to help find out.
chocoholic (def): a person who has or claims to have an addiction to chocolate
If you have more than 2 secret stashes of chocolate candy, you might be a chocoholic. (Be honest.)

* If your top 3 favorite candies all have chocolate in them, you might be a chocoholic.

* If you have more than 4 books at home on chocolate, you might be a chocoholic.

* If your favorite dessert is chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and chocolate ice-cream on the side, then you might be a chocoholic.

* If you name chocolate as one of the seven wonders of the world, you might be a chocoholic.

* If you bookmark more than 2 websites on the health benefits of chocolate, then you might be a chocoholic.

* If your favorite movie is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, you might be a chocoholic.

* If you own more than one chocolate-related T-Shirt, you might be a chocoholic. (If you actually wear that chocolate T-Shirt in public, just admit it. You are a chocoholic.)

* If you name your first-born child after your favorite chocolate candy – then you are a definite, full fledged chocoholic.

* If you are a chocoholic, there you may want to try one of two possible cures:

CURE 1: Chocolate Overdose

In several cases a chocolate overdose will effectively kill your chocolate bug for a period of time. At some point, too much chocolate in a given month will cure your addiction – for at least a week. Your personal chocolate overdose limit will depend on your level of addiction. (We sell a variety of chocolates to help you do this in style.)

CURE 2: Chocolate Substitution

Chocolate substitution is another option, if the chocolate overdose doesn’t work. It involves starving your chocolate bug by offering it wholesome candy substitutes. The concept is that your body will gradually forget its craving for chocolate. (We sell a variety of delicious candies to help you do this in style.)

If one of these cures doesn’t work, well, at least you would enjoy the attempt . . .

By the way, here are some great links on the health benefits of chocolate. You may want to bookmark them in case someone tries to convince you that chocolate is not good for you.

* http://www.momscape.com
* http://www.aphrodite-chocolates.co.uk
* http://www.chinesefood.about.com

Well, of course it makes sense that chocolate really is healthy. Chocolate is made from a bean – and so, wouldn’t that be like eating a vegetable? (Try explaining that to your mom.)

Calling All Moviemakers…

Yes, you. Movie Maker. Two ways.

1. MOVIE MAKER. Starts with a story THEY really want to tell. Anything THEY are excited about. Something that they were/are touched by, something that affected them or connects with them somehow.

YOU: A successful network marketer starts with a story – one YOU really want to tell. A story is not a promise about what will happen to someone else. The story you tell is based on your experience with say, the product. You RELATE something that happened to you, or affected you, or how something is aligned perfectly with something else that’s important to you. That has the makings of a story.

(E.g. Say you had achy knees for months and were nervous about surgey. You tried 7 different GNC or health store products, and nothing seemed to do much. Then one day you tried this other product and lo! Your achy knees lessened in a week or so, and now, 6 months later, you’ve even playing tennis again.)

2. MOVIE MAKER. Beginning movie makers usually try to sell their movie to the studios (and investors) by pitching it as something everyone will want to see. Who could say no to that, right? Think of the income!

YOU: Many beginning network marketers pitch their products (or business) as something everyone will want because well, they’re just the best thing out there, aren’t they? How to get everyone to love them is the only obstacle. Indeed.

But Whole Foods isn’t for everyone is it? Yet their business is booming. Whether you shop there or not, even. Madonna isn’t for everyone, is she? But does she need everyone to be financially wildly successful? You name something, I’ll tell you that everyone DOES NOT LOVE IT or want it. Sniff.

No one has ever had even close to everyone to make a success of things. “Almost no one” will do fine, actually. Like a few hundred customers for your product line, of the 300 million people in the U.S., say.

Savvy movie makers have long abandoned the “for everyone” pitch. In Hollywood, the smart ones talk about “finding your audience.” This is what you should do. Because nothing is for everyone. Not even God.

4 Secrets To Becoming A Guest On Top Tv Talk Shows

The phone rings. You hear an authoritative voice say, *Hello, I’m the producer of…Good Morning America or Oprah, or Larry King Live* or any other top talk show, you name it. This is your big moment, the break you’ve been waiting for. After you catch your breath what do you do?

Producers make an instant assessment of you in thirty seconds–or less. When you get that coveted call from a producer, you aren’t just *talking* to him: you’re auditioning. You are being screened to be accepted or eliminated as a guest on their show. How can you pass the audition?

Secret 1: Ask Before You Speak

Before you even open your mouth to start pitching yourself and your story to the producer, ask them a simple question: *Can you tell me a little bit about the kind of show you envision?* In other words, ask the producer the angle he is planning to take.

Doing so has two advantages. First, it gives you a moment to overcome the shock and to collect your thoughts.

Second, once you hear the producer’s reply, you can gear your pitch to the type of information he’s seeking. Listen closely to the angle that he’s interested in and tailor your points to it. Publicists often use this technique to get their clients booked on shows. They *get* before they *give* – so they are in a good position to tell only the most pertinent information about their client.

Secret 2: Wow the Producers with Brevity

Follow the advice of jazz musician Dizzy Gillespie: *It’s not how much you play. It’s how much you leave out.* Keep your list of talking points by the phone when you call a producer (or a producer calls you), so you’ll be succinct. You will already have rehearsed your points so that they’ll sound natural and inviting. Be prepared with several different angles or pitches, different ways to slant your information. *Nobody gets on these shows without a pre- interview,* says publicist Leslie Rossman. *Be a great interview but don’t worry about the product you want to sell them because if you’re a great guest and you make great TV, they’ll want you.*

And keep in mind the words of Robert Frost: *Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can’t, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it.*

Secret 3: Prove You’re Not a Nutcase

If you area nutcase on the air, the producer will lose their job. What constitutes a nutcase? You may think it’s a positive trait to be enthusiastic (and it is), but anyone who is overly zealous about his passion is considered a nut. Best-selling author and screenwriter Richard Price talks about this phenomenon as *The dangerous thrill of goodness.* He says, *What happens is you can get very excited by your own power to do good.* Don’t get carried away by this thrill.

One way to tell if you’re being too zealous is that you’re hammering your point at top speed with the energy of a locomotive pulling that toot lever non-stop. I remember a man calling me up about how he was single-handedly taking on Starbucks – who, he felt, had done him wrong. He wanted me to promote his cause. While this could have been a great David versus Goliath type story, he was long on emotion and short on facts. Some statistics or figures would have tempered his mania.

But he also never checked in with me to see if he had my interest. By talking loudly and barely pausing for a breath, he appeared to be a man who wouldn’t take direction well. His single-mindedness was off- putting, not engaging.

When you’re talking to a producer speak for 30 seconds or so and then check in by asking, *Is this the kind of information you’re looking for?* Listen for other verbal cues, such as encouraging grunts, or *uh huhs.*

Secret 4: Can You Mark *The Big Point?*

Contributors to the popular radio show *This American Life,* hosted by Ira Glass, have taken to calling the wrap-up epiphany at the end of a story, *The Big Point.* This is the moment that the narrator gives his perspective on the story in an attempt to elevate it from the mundane to the universal.

Another radio personality, Garrison Keillor, is a master at it. He tells long, rambling stories (not good advice for you), then ties up all the story strands in a coherent and satisfying way. As a great guest, you want to illuminate your story with a big standout point that helps the audience see the significance of your story in their world and the world at large. Rather than hitting them over the head with a two-by-four, you want to share your insights with a feather-like touch. By framing your story you alert the producer to the fact that you’re a thinker and can contribute great insights and clarity to a story thus increasing its appeal.

How to Download and Convert Movies into iPod Movies

Watching iPod movies is just one of the many ways you can enjoy your iPod. But hold on. Before you hit the Internet looking for movies to play on your iPod, there is something you should know. You cannot just click and play. First, you’ll need some helper software to get the movie into a format your iPod can handle. Although there are some companies that want you to plunk down your credit card for that software, this isn?t necessary. Once you finish reading this article, you?ll know how the secret to downloading and converting movies into iPod movies for FREE!

Step 1 of this free process is to install the latest version of iTunes on your computer. This is easy because there is a free version of iTunes waiting for you on the Apple website. Just click on http://www.apple.com/itunes/, read through the system requirements, and begin the download. The iTunes installation program will guide you through the necessary steps.

With iTunes installed on your computer, you?re one step closer to being able to watch iPod movies. The next step involves moving your preferred movie files into the iTunes directory. If you have not downloaded any movies yet, go to your online movie source and begin downloading. When the movie download is complete, there will be a .mov video file on your computer. Just drag and drop this video file into the iTunes video library.

Once the .mov video file is in the video library, a thumbnail image will appear. If several movies are in the library, you?ll see several thumbnails. To select one for viewing, right-click on the desired movie file. From the menu that appears select, Convert selection for iPod.

Congratulations! You are now converting movies into iPod movies. The conversion process will be quick, lasting a few seconds to a few minutes. The amount of time it takes for conversion depends on the size of the video file being converted. The bigger the file size, the longer the conversion process. The converted file will be easy to identify because iTunes creates a new thumbnail for the converted movie file. It, too will reside in the iTunes Video library.

At this point, you?re almost ready to view your iPod movies! The last step is to get iTunes in sync with iPod. Follow the normal procedure for syncing the two. Once you have finished this step, you?re ready to watch iPod movies ? for FREE!

For more tips, tricks and techniques to download and watch movies in your ipod, please visit my blog on ipod movies now!

The Police Are Back On The Road

The Police are back on the road this year for the first time in two decades, in one of the most eagerly anticipated tours of recent years.

As one of the most definitive post-punk/early new-wave bands, The Police made their name in the late seventies with their distinctive punk-meets-pop-meets-reggae sound, while showing off a carefully contrived peroxide blonde look. The mix served them well as they produced a series of five successful albums before breaking up in 1984.

Comprising Sting (a.k.a. Gordon Sumner) on lead vocals and bass guitar, drummer Stewart Copeland, and lead guitarist Andy Summers, the trio took advantage of the growing medium of new musical videos and a general public weariness with punk and pop music. They began with a raw, punk-inspired power-pop sound, but evolved quickly into producing much more complex material, both musically and lyrically, allowing reggae and jazz influences to become increasingly apparent in their music.

In their seven years, they amassed five U.K. number 1 singles, four U.K. number 1 albums, with sales of Synchronicity going platinum eight times in the U.S., as well as hitting number 1 on both sides of the Atlantic. They are the recipients of two Brit awards and six Grammy?s.

Discography (original studio albums only):

Outlandos d’Amour – Nov 1978, UK 6
Reggatta de Blanc – Oct 1979, UK 1
Zenyatta Mondatta – Oct 1980, UK 1
Ghost in the Machine – Oct 1981, UK 1
Synchronicity – Jun 1983, UK 1

While the band enjoyed both critical and commercial success, they fought incessantly and often violently (to the point that Stewart Copeland reportedly broke one of Sting?s ribs during a scuffle). The tumultuous relationship among band members was documented by Copeland who recently compiled personal archived footage and released it as a film. Everyone Stares: The Police Inside and Out premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2006, an event that many credit as the being the main spur behind the band deciding on a come-back tour.

Sting?s son Joe Sumner and his band, Fiction Plane, are currently supporting The Police on the North American leg of their world tour, which is continuing through the summer and then again in November. In October the band are set to come to the UK for several dates in England, Wales and Ireland.

Fans can expect a straightforward set with a black amphitheater design and several video screens suspended discretely overhead to show close-ups of the band members. They are touring with no back-up singers or accompanying musicians, special effects or gimmicks, which is bound to keep the purists happy.

The set list is a straight-up, no apologies ?best of?, but most people attending these gigs will be wanting precisely that; a trip down memory lane and to hear some of the best musical tracks ever written and performed.

Forthcoming UK Dates:

6 October – Croke Park, Dublin, Eire
15 October – M.E.N. Arena Manchester
16 October – M.E.N. Arena Manchester
19 October – Cardiff Millennium Stadium, Wales
20 October – Wembley Arena, London

Certainly, one of the most eagerly anticipated tours of recent years.