Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Learn How You Can Get A Nintendo Wii Absoutely Free!
One way you can get cheap Nintendo Wiis is through auctions online. While it is unusual, you get really get a steal of a deal online. For example, I just found a Wii with a retail value of $249 with a high bid of $18.72. Chances of it being sold at that price are practically nothing, but you can always give it a shot and you might get lucky.
But be careful if you attempt to purchase a Nintendo Wii through Craigslist, eBay, or a similar site. There are tons of people online who would love to get your money for little or nothing in return. So ask a bunch of questions and make sure that you know what you are getting into before you buy.
Even if that doesn’t work out, you can always find a Nintendo Wii cheaper online than in a traditional store. There is just too much competition out there and people know that about the only way they can compete by selling the exact same product is through price. Of course that is great for you because they are going to fight each other by dropping their price more and more.
You might also find a used Nintendo Wii that people don’t want anymore. Some people just get bored really easy after they played it for a while. Others might have to move or need to sell it for some extra money. Searching the classifieds online and in your local paper might point you in the right direction.
Seems like most people that have tried the Wii, Playstation 3, and the Xbox 360 really like the Wii better. While it graphics aren’t nearly as good as these other gaming consoles, people love the motion detection controller, the wireless abilities, and capability to get online.
Monday, October 26, 2009
News media accounts that Michael Jackson was "debt-ridden", without providing further explanation, gave the impression that the King of Pop's financial situation was something the general public could identify with or readily understand.
But far from it. Jackson's so-called "massive debt" was something that hardly any of us will ever be fortunate enough to experience. I dare say most in the general public have never heard of Jackson's category of indebtedness, better known by some as "acquisition debt".
Acquisition debt involves multi-million dollar purchases of ventures where a significant percentage of the purchase price is financed through "leverage" borrowing. The assets of the acquired company are used as collateral for the borrowed capital.
When Northern Songs - a music catalog holding thousand of songs, including the Beatles' back catalog - was put up for sale, Jackson took immediate interest in the catalog. He was warned that he would face strong competition. "I don't care. I want those songs," Jackson said to his entertainment attorney John G Branca. "Get me those songs, Branca."
Jackson eventually beat the rest of the competition, including Paul McCartney, in negotiations for the Northern Songs catalog, which lasted 10 months. He evenually purchased the catalog for $47.5 million.
Jackson used equity in his own catalog, MIJAC, along with the acquired assets from Northern Songs for loan qualification, with the newly acquired assets structured for equity to flow towards servicing the debt.
In 1995, Jackson merged his Northern Songs catalog with Sony's publishing division creating Sony/ATV Music Publishing. This deal gave Jackson half ownership in Northern Songs as well as half ownership in Sony/ATV. It also included distribution rights to thousands of more songs. With the merger, Sony/ATV became the third largest music publishing venture in the world. Both Jackson and the Sony people were equal partners and vowed to become the world's largest catalog.
Late in 2001, Jackson and Sony acquired Tony Martin's Baby Mae Music catalog of 600 songs.
In July 2002, they bought country music publisher Acuff-Rose for $157 million. The venture included publishing rights to 55,000 songs.
And in November 2007, Jackson and Sony bought Famous Music LLC from Viacom. This deal gave the King of Pop rights to songs by Eminem (a C-rated entertainer who once made light of him), Shakira and Beck, among others. The venture included the assumption of a $30 million debt. They purchased the business for $370 million.
Bottom line. If Jackson was debt ridden, it makes more sense to believe his indebtedness of "$500,000,000" resulted from acquiring multi-million dollar ventures, and not, as media myth makers would have it, "lavish spending."
by Larry Carter is an Old School scholar, life-long follower and avid fan of Michael Jackson.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Larry_Carter
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
The Beatles Rock Band comes out on September 9, 2009 (the same date that newly remastered Beatles CD box sets are coming out.) And for people that love both The Beatles and playing Rock Band this is a very big day indeed. In fact, I would say that Christmas is coming early this year!
The game includes 45 Beatles songs which is nearly 1/4th of the songs they released during their career. That's a pretty good sample! Among the songs included are these:
Early Classics: "I Saw Her Standing There," "I Want to Hold Your Hand," & "I Feel Fine."
Psychedelic Era: "I Am The Walrus," "Paperback Writer," & "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."
'68-'69 Era: "Get Back," "Revolution," & "Here Comes the Sun"
Along with the 45 songs that come with the game, players will also be able to download entire Beatles albums, starting with Abbey Road.
The Best Music Game Ever For Your Wii, XBox, Or PS3
One of the really cool things about the game is that players will play "as The Beatles" and will actually get to play throughout their whole career starting at The Cavern in Liverpool in 1960 all the way through the recording of Abbey Road in 1969. The graphics look amazing. Not only do the characters look a lot like The Beatles but there are also many different stages and some really groovy psychedelic images for songs like "I Am The Walrus."
If you get the full version of the game it comes with "Ringo's drum set" and "Paul's bass guitar." You can also buy "John & George's guitars seprately." These are really good looking replicas of the instruments The Beatles actually used.
For the first time ever on Rock Band, harmony singing will be included. Up to three different voices will be able to sing at once. If you are familiar with The Beatles songs then you know that they used harmonies in many of their songs, now you and your friends will get to sing those harmonies on Rock Band
Up To Six Players At Once
Because of the fact that there can be three singers at once, there can now be a total of six players playing at one time! This really makes Beatles Rock Band the ultimate party game.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Johnny_Moon
Grand Theft Auto is such a popular series of video games that there have been more than a handful of movie stars who have loaned their voice to these games. Stars who have loaned their voice include Michael Madsen, Burt Reynolds, Dennis Hopper, Gary Busey, Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Penn, James Woods, Joe Pantoliano, Frank Vincent, Robert Loggia, Kyle MacLachlan, Peter Fonda and Ray Liotta. The publisher of this series of games is Rockstar Games. The premise of these games is for the gamer to take on the role of a criminal in a big city, usually someone who rises through the ranks of organized crime throughout the entirety of the game. The gamer must complete missions of assassination, taxi driving, firefighting, pimping, street racing, bus driving or flying fixed-wing aircraft.
The best feature of the Grand Theft Auto video games is that they give the gamer a ton of freedom when it comes to playing the game. The gamer can choose which missions they want to undertake, how they want to build their relationship with other characters in the game, or if they just want to bumble around the streets of the city they are visiting at the time. The main character can choose from multiple weapons and hundreds of different vehicles when playing the game. There are cheat codes available for the gamer to enter when playing one of the games that make different weapons packages available, that make the main character invincible, or that gives the main character an unlimited supply of money. There are other cheat codes that activate tanks, army helicopters, speedboats, choppers, fire trucks and many other vehicles not see often in the game.
The first Grand Theft Auto game was set in three fictional cities called Liberty City, San Andreas, and Vice City. Liberty City is loosely based on New York City and the third game in the series helped to make the series of games incredibly popular. The game featured, for the first time, a mini map to help the gamer navigate around the city and a third person view. The third person view allows the gamer to see more of what is going on around the city instead of the traditional top-down view where the gamer looks down onto what is happening.
TJ Michaels is a console technician, the experts for PSP repair.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=TJ_Michaels
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts has not quit the band, a spokeswoman said on Wednesday, denying a news report from Australia.
The report, from the normally credible online outlet Undercover Australia, stirred up a worldwide panic among fans, since Watts' departure would likely mean the end of the venerable group.
"Contrary to a fabricated story that ran this morning on a small music web site in Australia, drummer Charlie Watts has not left The Rolling Stones," spokeswoman Fran Curtis said in an emailed statement.
The Undercover report, attributed to "a source within the Stones inner-circle says," said Watts will never record or tour with the band again. It said the Stones were looking to replace him with New York session drummer Charlie Drayton, who has played on solo projects with Stones guitarist Keith Richards.
The Rolling Stones, which Watts joined in 1963 after a stint in the advertising world, have not released a new album since 2005's poor-selling "A Bigger Bang." Their last tour ended in London in August 2007. Future plans are unknown.
Watts, 68, does not contribute to the songwriting, but his spare, jazz-influenced drumming style is considered key to the band's success. He is closely involved in the design of the band's stage sets and merchandising, and gets the loudest cheers when the four members are introduced in concert.
He was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2004, but it went into remission, and the band embarked on a three-year world tour the following year. During the 1980s, the famously clean-living drummer fought a drug addiction at a time when the band had essentially broken up.
Watts has traditionally been the most reluctant to tour, since he hates to leave his wife and Arabian horses at the couple's horse-breeding farm in Devonshire. The media-shy grandfather generally avoids the spotlight, and seems disdainful of the rock 'n' roll lifestyle.
"Worked five years, and 20 years hangin' around," he glumly told a TV reporter while on tour during the 1980s.
Watts' eccentricities are part of the band's legend, such as tales that he owns a huge vintage-car collection but not a driver license, and allows horses to wander through the house. He also has a darker side, once punching Mick Jagger almost unconscious after the singer referred to him as "my drummer."
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Walt Disney Co on Monday agreed to buy Marvel Entertainment Inc for $4 billion in the year's biggest media deal, banking on Marvel's pantheon of superheroes to broaden its lineup of movie franchises that appeal to boys.
Disney adds Spider Man, Iron Man and Thor to its roster of classic characters like Mickey Mouse and Snow White, and will feature the super-heroes in movies before rolling out associated theme park rides, TV shows and merchandise.
But the deal comes at a tough time in the entertainment business, with advertisers avoiding spending on new campaigns and consumers cutting back on everything from DVDs to travel.
The deal is also expensive. It values Marvel at 37 times its estimated 2009 earnings, and offers shareholders a 29 percent premium to Friday's closing price. Standard & Poor's reacted by placing Disney's credit rating on its negative watchlist, saying it may need to issue new debt even as earnings stagnate or fall in the recession.
But the risk of overpaying did not deter Disney from seeking out a deal to address an area of concern among investors: How can it better reach more young males.
"This helps give Disney more important exposure to the young male demographic that they have sort of lost some ground with in recent years," said David Joyce at Miller Tabak & Co.
Disney has long been a blockbuster brand with girls thanks to characters such as "Hannah Montana," "Cinderella" and "Snow White," but has struggled to achieve the same kind of success with boys.
Movies including "Iron Man 2," the sequel to the smash hit about a billionaire playboy with a high-tech suit of armor due to hit theaters in 2010, or 2011's "Spider-Man 4" and "Avengers", should help resolve that issue.
Disney will also be able to use its marketing and entertainment clout -- stretching from ABC to cable television to theme parks -- to promote and build characters such as Thor in ways Marvel never could.
The deal to buy the 70-year-old studio -- which began life as an arm of a pulp fiction publisher in 1930 before bankruptcy, then rose to prominence in the past few years following Spider-Man -- is Disney's largest since the $7.6 billion purchase of Pixar in 2006, and it made waves.
Shares in DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc spiked 6.5 percent on speculation it too may become a takeover target.
But analysts raised questions about companies like Viacom Inc, Discovery Communications Inc, and Hasbro Inc that have existing business partnerships with Marvel. Hasbro stands to lose its chance to acquire valuable content for a new TV venture with Discovery, given that Disney is likely to hoard Marvel content for itself.
Disney agreed to pay a total of $30 per share in cash plus about 0.745 Disney shares for each Marvel share owned. The deal was approved by the boards of both companies.
The deal is expected to gain approval from antitrust regulators, said Evan Stewart, an antitrust expert with law firm Zuckerman Spaeder LLP.
The shares of Marvel, which was founded in 1939 and rolled out its first blockbuster character, Captain America, in 1941, shot up to a high of $49.29 before falling a bit to close at $48.37 on the New York Stock Exchange.
Disney approached Marvel a few months ago "to get to know them," Disney Chief Financial Officer Tom Staggs told Reuters. The overture began with a meeting between Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger and Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter and evolved into merger discussions over a series of meetings.
"We at Disney had admired them because of their position and asset base," Staggs said. "With conversations over time we came to believe in the value of a combination."
Shares of Disney, which will acquire ownership of more than 5,000 Marvel characters, fell 3 percent to $26.04. The deal is expected to close by year-end, but will not add to Disney earnings until fiscal 2012.
Though Disney stands to get a slice of some of Marvel's hottest, upcoming slate of movies -- including "Thor" and "Iron Man 2", it would not gain in the short term from lucrative theatrical distribution fees.
Paramount Pictures said in a statement its five-picture distribution deal with Marvel remains in force. And Sony Pictures, the division of Sony Co behind the "Spider-Man" movies, can continue to make movies in the franchise, under an existing agreement.
The acquisition came as a surprise, even though Iger had mentioned recently the company would consider acquisitions that bolstered Disney brands across international markets and on new technology platforms.
While it could kick-start more mid- to small-sized deals in the media sector -- where stocks have outperformed the broader Standard & Poor's 500 this year -- few analysts see another bidder making a play for Marvel.
A major reason is the presence of Marvel's Perlmutter, who owns 37 percent of the company and will oversee it within the Disney empire. Perlmutter will trade his stake in Marvel for a 1 percent stake in Disney, but will not receive a seat on its board of directors -- as did Pixar CEO Steve Jobs.
Disney was advised on the deal by Goldman Sachs, Allen & Company and Guggenheim Partners, while Marvel worked with Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Disney executives drew a number of parallels between the Pixar and Marvel deals, and suggested it would keep the Marvel brand intact.
"The goal here is not to rebrand Marvel," Iger said on a conference call.
Caris & Co analyst David Miller said Disney was "sandbagging a little" by estimating the deal would not add to its earnings for another two years.
"They said the same thing with the Pixar deal," said Miller, who has "above average" ratings on both Disney and Marvel. "They will make it accretive a lot sooner. They are underpromising, as they always do."
And what do the fanboys -- the ones who scrutinize every comic-book adaptation for faithfulness to the original -- say?.
Stan Lee -- the co-creator of Spider-Man and Chairman Emeritus of Marvel -- says don't worry.
"To me, becoming 'Disneyfied' is not a bad thing. I mean look at (Disney) movies like 'Pirates of the Caribbean,'" Lee, who parted ways with Marvel years ago said in a telephone interview with Reuters. "Disney knows how to do movies."
Thursday, July 23, 2009
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bruce Springsteen, U2, Paul Simon and other rock legends will come together for two concerts in October to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The concerts on October 29 and 30 at New York City's Madison Square Garden will trace the history of rock and roll, from soul to hard rock, and also feature Eric Clapton, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and Metallica, with guest stars and collaborations promised.
Simon and Garfunkel will grace the stage together, as will 1970s staples Crosby, Stills Nash & Friends.
Proceeds from the concerts will help raise money for a permanent endowment for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation and Museum which was founded by Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun.
"Twenty-five years ago ... Ahmet Ertegun created this foundation to recognize and celebrate the music and careers of artists whose music helped shape and define our generation," said Jann Wenner, chairman of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. "These once-in-a-lifetime concerts are designed to celebrate the artists and their music."
Tickets go on sale to the general public on August 3.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
By Bob Tourtellotte
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Michael Jackson, the child star turned King of Pop who set the world dancing but whose musical genius was overshadowed by a bizarre lifestyle and sex scandals, died on Thursday. He was 50.
Jackson was pronounced dead at 2:26 p.m. PDT (9:26 p.m. EDT) after arriving at a Los Angeles hospital in full cardiac arrest, said Fred Corral of the Los Angeles County Coroner's office. The cause of death was not known and an autopsy would likely take place on Friday, he said.
Jackson was taken ill at home and his personal physician tried to resuscitate him but could not, his brother Jermaine told reporters. He was taken by paramedics to the hospital, where doctors worked for more than an hour to try to revive him before pronouncing him dead, the brother said.
Late Thursday, his body was flown by helicopter from the hospital to the coroner's office.
The self-styled "King of Pop," whose hits included "Thriller" and "Billie Jean," leaves behind a mountain of debt and an unfulfilled series of comeback concerts set for London in July. Many hoped the shows would rake in millions and erase his financial troubles.
Jackson's dramatic, one-gloved stage presence and innovative dance moves were imitated by legions of fans around the world who mourned his death.
His lifetime record sales tally was believed to be around 750 million. With his 13 Grammy Awards and boundary-breaking music videos he was one of the most successful entertainers of all time.
But Jackson's belief that "I am Peter Pan in my heart," his preference for the company of children, his friendship with a chimp, his high-pitched voice and numerous plastic surgeries also earned him critics and the nickname "Wacko Jacko."
Jackson led a reclusive life after his acquittal in 2005 on charges of child molestation, the second time he had faced ultimately unproved allegations of abuse of young boys.
"I am absolutely devastated at this tragic and unexpected news," said Quincy Jones, who helped arrange the music on the album "Thriller" and produced the "Off the Wall" album, said in a statement.
Celebrity tributes poured in for the singer who was one of the first black entertainers of the MTV generation to gain a big crossover following.
Pop star Madonna said: "I can't stop crying over the sad news ... I have always admired Michael Jackson. The world has lost one of the greats but his music will live on forever."
JACKSON'S HEALTH A QUESTION
Detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department's Robbery Homicide division searched Jackson's home in the Holmby Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, saying they had been directed to do so by Chief William Bratton because of the media frenzy.
Police called the investigation an "every day" event and said they were assigned due to the high profile nature of it.
But Jackson was plagued by ill health throughout his adult years leading to speculation about his condition when he died.
As Jackson grew older he appeared to lighten his skin to a pale white -- which he said was caused by the skin pigmentation condition vitiligo. Last year he was photographed in Las Vegas in a wheelchair for reasons that were never explained.
Yet, even as he seemed to be sick, Jackson planned the series of comeback concerts in London starting July 13 to help erase debts that the Wall Street Journal reported ran to $500 million, citing people familiar with Jackson's finances.
He had been rehearsing for the past two months, including Wednesday night at Los Angeles' huge Staples Center arena.
Brian Oxman, a spokesman for the Jackson family, told CNN that the family had been concerned about the pop star's health and had tried in vain to take care of him for months.
"Michael appeared at rehearsals a couple of times, he was very seriously trying to be able to do those rehearsals. His use of medications had gotten in the way, his injuries which he had sustained performing, where he had broken a vertebrae and he had broken his leg from a fall on the stage, were getting in the way," Oxman told CNN.
But the promoters of the London shows, AEG Live, said in March that Jackson had passed a 4-1/2 hour physical examination with independent doctors.
CHILD STAR TO MEGASTAR
Jackson was born on August 29, 1958, in Gary, Indiana, the seventh of nine children. Five Jackson boys -- Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael -- first performed together at a talent show when Michael was 6. They walked off with first prize and went on to become a best-selling band, The Jackson Five, and then The Jackson 5.
Jackson made his first solo album in 1972, and released "Thriller" in 1982, which became a smash hit that yielded seven top-10 singles. The album sold 21 million copies in the United States and at least 27 million worldwide.
The next year, he unveiled his signature "moonwalk" dance move, gliding across the stage and setting off an instant trend, while performing "Billie Jean" during an NBC special.
But his personal life was troubled.
In 1993, Jackson was accused of sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy, but no charges were filed against him and the matter was settled out of court in 1994 with the boy's family.
The same year, Jackson announced he had become addicted to painkillers and abruptly canceled a world tour to promote his album, "Dangerous."
In 1994, Jackson married Elvis Presley's only child, Lisa Marie, but the marriage ended in divorce in 1996.
"I'm so very sad and confused with every emotion possible. ... This is such a massive loss on so many levels, words fail me," Presley said in statement.
Jackson married Debbie Rowe the same year and had two children, before splitting in 1999, and he later had another child with an unidentified surrogate mother.
He is survived by three children named Prince Michael I, Paris Michael and Prince Michael II, known for his brief public appearance when his father held him over the railing of a hotel balcony, causing widespread criticism.
Dozens of fans gathered near Jackson's modest boyhood home in Gary, to pay their respects to the entertainer who left the city long ago. Some deposited flowers or toys and others blared his hit songs from their car stereos.
In Los Angeles, fans waited outside the hospital, the coroner's office, and in New York, people gathered at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, singing Jackson hits and dancing in celebratory tribute.
(Additional Reporting by Jill Serjeant, Dan Whitcomb, Alex Dobuzinskis and Laura Isensee in Los Angeles, Andrew Stern in Chicago and Michelle Nichols in New York; Writing by Frances Kerry, editing by Anthony Boadle)
Thursday, June 11, 2009
carlos santana from woodstock to las vegas
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Guitarist Carlos Santana has an answer for anyone who questions what a self-proclaimed hippie is doing playing a months-long residency in Las Vegas: He doesn't buy into anyone's illusions of who he is.
Santana opened his new show last week at the Hard Rock Hotel -- 40 years after the guitarist thrilled the crowds at Woodstock -- becoming one of the biggest music-makers from the generation of peace and love to take up digs in Sin City.
The 61-year-old Mexican native told Reuters this week that he does not care about anyone who might criticize him for straying from his hippie roots by taking the gig in Las Vegas.
"I don't buy into other people's illusions about who I am," Santana said. "First of all, they don't even know about what I do with my money."
Santana, an 11-time Grammy winner, said he has a long history of supporting political causes, such as Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu's fight against apartheid in South Africa, and charities, such as earthquake relief in Nicaragua.
He noted that fellow 1960s superstar Bob Dylan, with whom Santana has toured in the past, will play at minor league baseball parks this summer. "What's the difference if I play at a parking lot, Woodstock or Las Vegas?" Santana said.
Santana, whose hit songs include "Smooth" and "Black Magic Woman," opened his show "Supernatural Santana" on May 27 at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, in the first of 72 shows he will play this year and next at the venue.
Music critic Ann Powers of the Los Angeles Times wrote that Santana's show opened with video images from Woodstock and it seemed an odd fit for Las Vegas' crowd of weekend revelers.
"The fact that Santana's show worked in this setting proves what an unusual rock icon he is," Powers wrote.
A week before opening in Las Vegas, Santana performed on the finale of top-rated talent show "American Idol" on the Fox network, and gave advice to the singing contestants.
"You have to make ugly faces to make pretty notes," Santana said. "The first thing I noticed at rehearsal is they looked really good, like models, and they were sucking their cheeks and looking like they belong in an agency for beauty."
"I couldn't feel the notes, so I said you need to start making ugly faces," he said.
Raised in Tijuana, Mexico, Santana learned his own musical lessons from his father, Jose, a mariachi violinist. As Santana tells it, he once saw his father on the violin play call-and-response with a bird in the backyard.
"And he goes, 'See if you can talk to birds, you can definitely talk to people's hearts,'" Santana said. "That was the biggest lesson that he taught me."
Even though he will tour Europe in July, Santana said the idea of staying in one place attracted him to Las Vegas because it allows him to avoid the hassle of flying to shows.
Gary Bongiovanni, editor of the concert industry news source Pollstar.com, said Santana's residency at the Hard Rock is a natural progression for a Las Vegas hotel industry increasingly attracting top acts.
"Part of it is the realization that the audience coming to Vegas is much more varied than it used to be, and it includes many of the Woodstock generation," he said.
Prior to Santana, one of the few rock stars to play Las Vegas as a resident was Elton John, who this year ended a five-year run that resulted in more than $120 million worth of ticket sales, according to figures from Pollstar.
(Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Eric Walsh)
Carlos Santana is a Grammy Award -winning Mexican rock musician and guitarist . He became famous in the late 1960s and early 1970s with his band, Santana, which created a highly successful blend of rock, salsa, and jazz fusion. The band's sound featured his melodic, blues-based guitar lines set against Latin percussion such as timbales and congas. Santana continued to work in these forms over the following decades. He experienced a sudden resurgence of popularity and critical acclaim in the late 1990s. Carlos Santana has been known as "The Carlos". Rolling Stone also named Santana number 15 on their list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time in 2003.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Guitar Hero: Van Halen to be released later this year.
Guitar Hero: Van Halen is being developed as we speak, according to gaming blog Joystiq. Game publisher Activision Blizzard has confirmed to them that Van Halen fans will have the game in their hands by the latter part of this year.
The site reports that Activision said the game will contain Van Halen's "greatest hits," as well as guest acts like Queen, Weezer, Blink-182, The Offspring, and Queens of the Stone Age.
The game will also feature Van Halen's original lineup with David Lee Roth. Activision's Senior Vice President of Global Brand Management told Joystiq, "Oh this is definitely Van Halen, not Van Hagar."
The Van Halen game will be the third version of Guitar Hero to be based around a single rock artist/band, following succesful Aerosmith and Metallica games.
Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler's long-awaited autobiography, titled Does The Noise In My Head Bother You?, will be published on October 27th, according to a press release. The book follows Tyler's childhood in the Bronx, his early musical career, his now-historic partnership with guitarist Joe Perry and the rise, fall and rebirth of Aerosmith. The book will also trace Tyler's romantic liaisons, his relationship with his four children, and his dealings with the sex-and-drug-filled life of a rock star. Tyler commented, "This is not just my take -- this is the unbridled truth, the in-your-face, up-close and prodigious tale of Steven Tyler straight from the horse's lips."
Publishing house Ecco, a division of Harper Collins, reportedly paid more than $2 million for Tyler's memoir, according to Blabbermouth.net.
A band memoir, called Walk This Way: The Autobiography of Aerosmith, was published in 2003.
Tyler, who has been singing for more than 40 years, told us that even a recent string of injuries and illnesses wouldn't make him think of retiring: "No, I don't know if I know how to do that. I know that Joe and I, we questioned it a couple of times about whether, you know, whether we would go out again. We took a year off. I remember I had hep-C (hepatitis-C) and decided to take a year off, and I literally got rid of it. I mean, it's one of the few miracles known to man. I kicked its ass."
Tyler will promote the book at BookExpo America in New York City on May 28th, where he and E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons, who has also written a book, will be interviewed by author Chuck Klosterman.
Aerosmith will hit the road next month with ZZ Top for a two-month North American trek, before returning to the studio later in the year to continue work on a new album.
source the rockradio.com
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
The survivor, 97-year-old Millvina Dean, has reportedly resorted to selling her autograph to pay her nursing home bills in Southampton, the English city from which "Titanic" began its fateful maiden voyage in 1912.
Dean was only 9 weeks old when her family traveled on Titanic in hopes of beginning a new life in the United States. Her father was one of the 1,517 casualties after the supposedly unsinkable ship hit an iceberg in the Atlantic.
DiCaprio, Winslet and Cameron made their combined $30,000 donation after Irish author and photographer Don Mullan publicly challenged them to match his donation, said Ken Sunshine, a spokesman for DiCaprio. Mullan, who photographed Dean for an exhibition, made his appeal last month in the Irish Independent newspaper.
The 1997 drama "Titanic" made more than $1.8 billion at the worldwide box office, making it the highest-grossing film of all time in figures not adjusted for inflation. It went on to win 11 Oscars, including best picture.
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Dean Goodman and Bill Trott)
Michael Jackson could take home more than $50 million from his much-anticipated 50-show stand at London's O2 Arena, his first shows in 12 years, according to Billboard calculations.
The concert series begins July 8, and the so-called "King of Pop" has been busy rehearsing at a soundstage in Burbank, Calif., for the past four weeks.
Tickets average about $115 and capacity will be about 15,000 per show, taking the gross for the run to about $90 million. Premium and VIP packages and secondary market sales will boost the gross to more than $100 million. Merchandise sales could bring in another $15 million.
The deal is set up where Jackson shares in net ticket revenue which, according to Billboard calculations, would make Jackson's take on ticket sales alone north of $50 million, though producer/promoter AEG Live would not confirm this.
The company has footed the bill for a $20 million production, and the show layout is coming together.
"Originally we tried to keep the show down to 90 minutes, but Michael has so many must-do songs in his repertoire that the shows now will be two-plus hours," AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips tells Billboard.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Singer Britney Spears has extended her "Circus" concert tour to include a dozen European shows taking her from London to Russia, the pop star's representatives said on her Web site on Wednesday.
Spears kicks off the European leg of her tour with a June 19 show in Dublin, Ireland, with later stops in France, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Poland and a final European stop July 26 in Berlin.
She began her "Circus" tour March 3 in her home state of Louisiana, and the tour features 39 North American dates.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
YouTube also announced deals with 11 other partners including the Anime Network, Shout Factory, Telenext Media, Documentary Channel and First Look Studios, bolstering its licensed content offerings from dozens of movies and hundreds of TV episodes to 700 movies and thousands of TV episodes.
YouTube also recently announced a partnership with Walt Disney Co to get shortform excerpts of content from ABC and ESPN, reflecting its aggressive efforts to thaw a chilly relationship with Hollywood, which had criticized it in the past for posting unauthorized content.
The partnerships also mark YouTube's efforts to compete with Hulu, a joint venture of General Electric Co's NBC and News Corp's Fox and a popular online hub for TV shows and films.
YouTube, purchased by Google for $1.65 billion in 2006, is under pressure to start yielding a return in line with its huge popularity. More than 100 million users watch videos on the site every month, but the site, best known for grainy videos uploaded by users, has been unable to attract major financial commitments from marketers reluctant to advertise their brands alongside unprofessional content.
"We are in active negotiations with premium content providers and are looking forward to announcing more content partnerships in the near future," YouTube spokesman Chris Dale said on Thursday.
As part of its latest efforts, YouTube said on Thursday it launched a new destination for TV shows and an improved page for movies to make it easier for viewers to discover content.
YouTube has a pending copyright infringement lawsuit from Viacom Inc, but Viacom's sister company CBS posts episodes of older shows like "Star Trek" and "Beverly Hills 90210" on the video sharing site.
Lions Gate Entertainment had previously reached a deal to feature film clips on YouTube, while MGM is one of the few studios to offer full-length movies via its own channel on YouTube.
A Sony spokeswoman said about 15 mostly older films like "St. Elmo's Fire," and "The Blue Lagoon," will be viewable via YouTube on Sony's Crackle site.
YouTube said it was also posting Sony TV shows like "Charlie's Angels" and "Married with Children."
Last week YouTube and Universal Music Group said they will launch a premium music video site called Vevo featuring mainly just professionally-made music videos.
(Reporting by Susan Zeidler; Additional reporting by Yinka Adegoke in New York; Editing by Richard Chang)
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Osbourne, her Black Sabbath husband Ozzy and children Jack and Kelly -- who shocked and delighted audiences on their reality show "The Osbournes" -- make their return to U.S. television as a family next week as hosts of a show featuring, skits, audience pranks and a sprinkling of four-letter words.
Kelly, 24, recently completed a second stint of rehab for addiction to painkillers, while Jack, 23, has struggled with alcoholism and Ozzy has spoken frequently of earlier addiction to drugs and drink.
Asked in a telephone conference call if their past would prove controversial in their new roles on the "Osbournes Reloaded" show, Sharon said it was "most ridiculous question I have ever been asked in my entire career."
"I am really angry. Do you know how many people in this country alone suffer from addiction?
"All my family are examples of being truthful about their condition and working though it and trying to better themselves," she said.
"We are a real family and we don't pretend to be something we are not. I have taken real offense...probably half the people watching our show have someone in their family who has a problem with alcohol and drugs."
Osbourne said her son Jack had been sober for six years and that she viewed him as a "beacon of hope to every young person in this country who is struggling with addiction."
"We live in the real world, and this world is tough," she said.
"Osbournes Reloaded", which premieres on Fox on March 31 at 9.20 pm, features candid-camera style skits, occasional pie-throwing and a pair of "mini-Osbournes" played by British child actors who dress and behave as outrageously as Ozzy and Sharon themselves.
Sharon Osbourne acknowledged that some of the skits might prove controversial but said that none were mean-spirited.
"I don't care (about the reaction). As far as my barometer goes, we weren't being mean. It was all in good fun," she said.
The heavily-bleeped MTV reality show "The Osbournes" about the family's dysfunctional life in Beverly Hills ran for three years and won an Emmy award before ending in 2005. By Jill Serjeant
Monday, March 23, 2009
Video game software sales climbed 9 percent in the month to $733.5 million while hardware sales rose 11 percent to $532.7 million, research group NPD said on Thursday.
The Wii console led the pack as the top-selling hardware device in the month, moving 753,000 units.
Cammie Dunaway, executive vice president of Nintendo America, said Wii hardware and software each rose about 75 percent on a unit basis.
"The exciting thing is, despite a soft economy, Nintendo's business continues to grow really healthily."
Microsoft's Xbox 360 was the No. 2 console in the month, followed by Sony's PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 2.
Capcom's Street Fighter IV was the best-selling game, moving a combined 849,000 units for the Xbox and the PS3, while the Wii Fit was No. 2 at 644,000. That was followed by Wii Play and Sony's Killzone 2.
"What it tells you about this economy is that there are a couple of categories of consumer that are just going to get what they want," said Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter.
He said the success of Street Fighter and Wii Fit shows that the industry's strength lies at two seemingly opposite poles: the young, hardcore male consumer and families.
"I think that what this is telling you is that guys who buy video games have no clue that we're in a recession," he said.
Software unit sales rose 14 percent, but the average retail price for games fell 4 percent, NPD said.
One of the gaming industry's biggest events of the year, the Game Developer's Conference, will take place next week in San Francisco. An address on Wednesday from Satoru Iwata, president of Nintendo, will be a highlight.
(Reporting by Gabriel Madway; Editing by Gary Hill)
Thursday, March 19, 2009
LONDON (Reuters) - As a young boy, Clash guitarist Mick Jones would chase his football idols all over London for autographs. Then he discovered music and dropped the autograph book but not his manic collecting.
Over the years, the 53 year-old co-founder of one of Punk's biggest bands has amassed a mammoth collection of books, magazines, records, posters alongside artwork, recording gear, stage clothes and song lyrics from his time with The Clash and his other bands Big Audio Dynamite and Carbon/Silicon.
Jones is finally showing this personal archive of popular culture at London's Chelsea Space gallery in an exhibit called the "Rock and Roll Public Library" that runs until April 18.
"I started collecting things when I was very young and I did not really know why. Then at the Millennium, the change of the century, it started to become clear. I realized I wanted to share it," Jones told Reuters.
"It's a fantastic collection people can take great pleasure from and also learn something," he added.
Jones, who went to Hammersmith art school before co-founding The Clash in 1976, says he thinks of the collection as "one big living artwork" that he is still working on.
Many of the items on display had been crammed into his west London recording studio for years and Jones would not guess how many pieces he owns.
"I have kept everything, if it exists it's probably there somewhere," he jokes.
FOOTBALL OR MUSIC?
An only child, whose parents divorced when he was 8, Jones says he started collecting odds and ends as a way to create his own world. Football and later music became escapes for a boy left "with little parental control."
"If you are like a young working class boy in London, you have to make a choice between sport or music. I made the choice for music," he says.
The installation, which seeks to recreate Jones' recording studio and adjoining store room, offers a rare insight into the life, times and influences of the musician.
Album covers dangling on threads from the ceiling like mobiles, books and films about Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash but also Frank Sinatra, The Beatles or The Rolling Stones testify of Jones's deep and obsessive love of music.
As a teenager Jones recalls "bunking" fares to follow his favorite bands like Mott the Hoople or Rod Stewart and the Faces around the country or standing outside Mick Jagger's house in London trying to get a glimpse of an idol.
"We used to stand outside like urchins. I was a stalker then. I never knew I would have my own stalkers one day."
The late Johnny Thunders was a key influence. The New York Dolls guitarist was the reason why a young Jones can be seen donning platform shoes on some pictures taken in his pre-punk English Glam days.
Many of the music magazines and fanzines on display have deep personal meaning. Jones recalls that his mother, who moved to America when he was a young boy, used to send him issues of "Creem" and "Rock Scene" magazines every month.
Creem's star writer Lester Bangs wrote about the early New York punk scene and artists such as Patti Smith or The Ramones.
"I was really up on that stuff while not many people here were. Bangs was one of their main writer. So it was such a joy to get to know him when he came to write about us," he recalls.
Bangs wrote a famous article about The Clash in a 1977 review for the New Musical Express (NME).
Also on display are Clash memorabilia such as the famous pink flight cases, plane tickets, access badges or a hastily scribbled note to Jones by Clash frontman, the late Joe Strummer.
True to his punk ideals, Jones hopes the collection can one day become a permanent and freely available resource.
"Ultimately I'd like to have a permanent place to exhibit the whole collection like a museum, like a library where you can come and see the stuff and maybe get a copy or sit there and read it. I also would like to bring artists there because it's history really," he says.
Jones would not pick a favorite item among the whole collection but admits that his old footballer's autograph book is now "one of my most treasured possessions."
"I have the whole England World Cup winning squad. The managers, the trainers, everything. That was 1966 when we won the World Cup. Biggest thing ever !"
"The Rock and Roll Public Library"
16 John Islip Street
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Iron Maiden documentary set for spring release
Wednesday, Jan 21, 2009 2:25AM UTC
LONDON (Hollywood Reporter) - "Iron Maiden: Flight 666," the first feature documentary on the British heavy metal band, will receive a spring release on home turf via European digital cinema provider Arts Alliance Media.
The documentary details the story of the first leg of the band's 2008 tour and is billed as an "intimate and revealing portrait" of the rockers.
In 45 days the band played in Asia, Australia and North, Central and South America, with lead singer Bruce Dickinson piloting a customized jet.
AAM will distribute the documentary to selected U.K. cinemas beginning April 21 in association with the band itself, EMI Records and Universal in the U.S.
Monday, January 12, 2009
By Jon Hurdle
PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - The U.S. Army, struggling to ensure it has enough manpower as it fights wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, is wooing young Americans with video games, Google maps and simulated attacks on enemy positions from an Apache helicopter.
Departing from the recruiting environment of metal tables and uniformed soldiers in a drab military building, the Army has invested $12 million in a facility that looks like a cross between a hotel lobby and a video arcade.
The U.S. Army Experience Center at the Franklin Mills shopping mall in northeast Philadelphia has 60 personal computers loaded with military video games, 19 Xbox 360 video game controllers and a series of interactive screens describing military bases and career options in great detail.
Potential recruits can hang out on couches and listen to rock music that fills the space.
The center is the first of its kind and opened in August as part of a two-year experiment. So far, it has signed up 33 full-time soldiers and five reservists -- roughly matching the performance of five traditional recruiting centers it replaced.
The U.S. military says it has been meeting or exceeding its recruiting and retention goals, with 185,000 men and women entering active-duty military service in the fiscal year that ended on September 30 -- the highest number since 2003.
Defense officials say the recession and rising unemployment were likely to boost recruiting.
The Philadelphia center lures recruits with a separate room for prospective soldiers to "fire" from a real Humvee on enemy encampments projected on a 15-foot-high (4.5-meter-high) battleground scenario that also has deafening sound effects.
In another room, those inclined to attack from above can join helicopter raids in which enemy soldiers emerge from hide-outs to be felled by automatic gunfire rattling from a simulator modeled on an Apache or Blackhawk helicopter.
The Army is not simply looking for new recruits, said First Sgt. Randy Jennings, who runs the center. It also aims to dispel misperceptions about Army life.
"We want them to know that being in the Army isn't just about carrying weapons and busting down doors," said Jennings, who wears slacks and a polo shirt rather than a uniform. About 80 percent of soldiers are not involved in direct combat roles, he said.
Jesse Hamilton, a former Army staff sergeant who served in Iraq in 2005 and 2006, said the use of video games glamorized war and misled potential recruits, calling it "very deceiving and very far from realistic."
"You can't simulate the loss when you see people getting killed," said Hamilton, who left the Army after his Iraq tour and is now a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War.
"It's not very likely you are going to get into a firefight," he said. "The only way to simulate the heat is holding a blow dryer to your face."
The center is an experiment in boosting urban recruitment, which has traditionally lagged behind that of rural areas.
Eddie Abuali, 20, who was waiting to take an Army aptitude test, said he felt more comfortable in the center than he would in a traditional recruiting office. "It's a more relaxed environment," said Abuali, who plans to join the Army when he graduates from college. "You don't feel like you are being pressured."
Project manager Maj. Larry Dillard said recruitment was more difficult about two years ago when the United States was struggling in Iraq and jobs at home were easier to get.
"Now the news coming out of Iraq is better and we are in an economic downturn. It will be easier," he said.
(Editing by Michelle Nichols and Daniel Trotta)
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
By Douglas MacLaurin
LONDON (Reuters) - British actor Daniel Craig has taken a break from playing James Bond with World War Two drama "Defiance," based on the true story of Jewish brothers who fled the Nazis and formed a partisan group.
Craig has said he wants to avoid being typecast as an action hero after being chosen for the high-profile role of James Bond, and to use his new-found fame to get smaller projects off the ground.
Before his first outing as the superspy in "Casino Royale" in 2006, the 40-year-old was seen as a respected character actor for appearances in TV drama "Our Friends of the North" and gangster movie "Layer Cake."
His latest on-screen outing is as Tuvia, the eldest of the real-life Bielski brothers who hid from the Nazis in a Belarussian forest where they ran a partisan resistance movement that protected hundreds of Jews from Nazi persecution.
"One of the reasons I think the story is important is because this is very recent history and a lot of the way we look at the world and live in the world is shaped because of that history," Craig told Reuters at the London premiere of the movie late on Tuesday.
"Stories like this need to be told because it's not that long ago," added the star, who attracted hundreds of fans to Leicester Square despite freezing temperatures.
U.S. actor Liev Schreiber, who plays another of the Bielski brothers, said the film, and the true story behind it, showed how protecting one another was a basic human instinct.
"I think, at the heart of this story, is the notion that we are, as a race, instinctively ... protective of each other and more so than ever it's important to remember that -- that we are a communal species."
Director Edward Zwick, who also made "The Last Samurai" and "Blood Diamond," said audiences may draw parallels between events of the 1940s and current conflicts.
"I think to see refugees displaced, going from one place to the other, is one of the salient images of our time," he said.
"To try and think about resistance and the nature of resistance by a people against an overwhelming force is also quite contemporary."
"Defiance" has had a limited release in the United States, where it opens nationally on January 16. It arrives in British cinemas on January 9.
(Writing by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato)
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Singers Beyonce, Alicia Keys and Jennifer Hudson, along with the cast of TV comedy "Tyler Perry's House of Payne", were among top nominees for the NAACP Image Awards, the oldest U.S. civil rights organization said on Wednesday.
Television mini-series "A Raisin in the Sun" also received multiple nominations, while "Cadillac Records" and "The Secret Life of Bees" dominated movie entries for the 40th NAACP Image Awards.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People also announced that hip-hop music producer and businessman Russell Simmons will receive its prestigious Vanguard award next month for helping to increase understanding of racial and social issues.
Simmons, 51, the co-founder of Def Jam Recordings, was cited for using the power of hip-hop culture to inspire American youth. He joins past Vanguard recipients Aretha Franklin, Prince, Steven Spielberg and Stanley Kramer.
Beyonce led the music nominations with five nods including outstanding artist, album, song, and music video for "Single Ladies" and "If I Were a Boy."
Former "American Idol" contestant Hudson, and Keys were close behind in the music category, and along with Beyonce, they picked up more nominations in the film section for roles in dramas "The Secret Life of Bees" and "Cadillac Records."
In television, TBS sitcom "Tyler Perry's House of Payne", towered over the best comedy nominees, with cast members LaVan Davis, Cassi Davis, Lance Gross, Larramie 'Doc' Shaw, and Keshia Knight Pulliam all winning nods in the acting categories.
The ABC miniseries "A Raisin in the Sun", based on the 1950s play about life in a black neighborhood of Chicago, won nominations for outstanding drama and for its five leading actors and actresses.
The NAACP Image Awards in 53 categories spanning music, literature, television and music, will be handed out in Los Angeles on Feb 12.
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)
By Jonathan Cohen
NEW YORK (Billboard) - Aerosmith is ready to return to work on its next studio album, according to drummer Joey Kramer.
"Today is the first day (bassist) Tom (Hamilton) and I are getting back together," he wrote Monday on the group's Web site (http://www.aeroforceone.com). "We just rehearsed for two hours and it feels so good! We can't wait to get back into the studio and get back out on the road to do what we do best."
Work has already begun on the band's first album of original material since 2001's "Just Push Play." Aerosmith pressed pause on the project last year while band members recovered from a variety of medical issues, such as singer Steven Tyler's rehab stint and lead guitarist Joe Perry's knee surgery.
"Like a lot of other things in life, you don't get to call the shots on these things, do you?," guitarist Brad Whitford told Billboard.com last fall. "We're just ... getting older."
There's no date for the new album, but it's expected to be out sometime this year via Columbia. Aerosmith also has one live show lined up on February 1 at Estadio Olimpico in Caracas, Venezuela.