Archive for August, 2009

The Music of Many Lands

August 31st, 2009

IT HAS often been said that music is an international language. Proof of this is the folk music of the world. Enjoyment of it is not confined to the land of its origin. People can and often do enjoy hearing the music of lands other than their own. Getting acquainted with the music of other lands can be a delightful experience.

If you were to travel to every section of our earth you would find that each nation or group of people has its own characteristic songs and dances. Each one has contributed its own “accent” to the “language” of music. And this “accent” is generally so distinctive that a person can identify the land in which a certain song or dance originated, in much the same way that he can tell a foreigner’s nationality by his accent.

Most folk music was not composed by professional composers. Some of it has existed for thousands of years. In early times tunes were made up by musically inclined persons and these were handed down from generation to generation. The words of songs dealt with love, peace, war, drinking, fictional characters and amusing incidents. And people danced to the tunes, each group developing its own style.

So when people got together on social occasions in village marketplaces, in homes or around campfires, they sang and danced to music that had been handed down from their forefathers. Of course, the topography and climate of their land as well as their history, language, customs and temperament helped to mold their songs and dances. And these are the things that give each group’s folk music that peculiar “accent” that identifies it as belonging to them.

The Music of Europe

Much of the greatest music of the Western world was produced in Europe. From the seventeenth century onward a number of outstanding musical composers wrote a great quantity of music both for instruments and the voice. Their orchestral music called for many stringed instruments, as well as the wind and percussion types. Their beautiful concertos featured a solo instrument with an orchestra for accompaniment. And there were moving works that called for a large chorus of voices along with an orchestra.

Europe is known for its operas. As the play is acted out on a stage, with sets and costumes, the presentation is made more moving because the words are usually sung rather than spoken. An orchestra accompanying the singers adds dramatic effect. Operettas, like operas, have plots, but they are lighter and the music is gay.

Oratorios began in this part of the world. These compositions usually deal with Bible history. No stage props and costumes are used. Soloists sing the various parts, and a chorus and orchestra are employed. G. F. Handel wrote great Biblical oratorios dealing with Joseph and his brothers, Israel’s deliverance from Egypt, Joshua, Deborah, Jephthah, Samson, Saul, Solomon, Athaliah, Belshazzar and the fall of Babylon, Esther and the Messiah. In many of these thrilling masterpieces the divine name Jehovah appears.

At times these composers dug into the treasury of European folk music. They would either use a folk tune outright or would compose a melody having the distinctive characteristics of a nation’s folk music. At the beginning of their composition they often indicated that it was in the style of the music of a certain land.

As for the folk music of Europe, the most distinctive is that of Spain. The Moorish occupation of this land from the eighth to the fifteenth century C.E., as well as Gypsies, left their imprint on Spain’s music. Perhaps no other people have as many different kinds of dances as do the Spanish, yet that Spanish “accent” of vitality is evident in all of them. Adding to this “accent” are the instruments used by their folk musicians, namely, the guitar, the tambourine and the castanets with their clacking sound.

The Western music of Europe might be said to find a basic representative in the German. It stresses the bright-sounding major scale and is rich in harmony. Italian music is generally more melodious than is German, and is much lighter. The folk music of the French is also very melodious; however, the emphasis in their music is usually more on rhythm.

The Oriental flavor in European music is especially apparent in that of Russia. This could well be due to the Mongols who overran that country in the thirteenth century. Also, the deprivation of the people under the despotic czars no doubt helped to give Russian music its minor, sad strain. Further, the long, bleak winters there contributed to this melancholy “accent.”

Scandinavian music might be said to lie somewhere between that of the Germans and that of the Russians. Finnish music seems to have an Oriental tinge about it. However, many folk tunes of Denmark and Holland are quite similar to German folk music. Polish folk music shows both Russian and French influences.

Today it is usually the Europeans living in the country who do not merely listen but sing and dance their folk music. Those living in the cities are more inclined to go to concert halls and to listen to music on the radio.

That Latin-American “Accent”

Latin-American music is a combination of Spanish, African and, depending on the country, native Indian music. In this music the African influence is especially noticeable in the greater use of drums, the strong stress on rhythm and on variety in rhythm. Examples of these characteristics are found in such dances as the conga, the rumba, the samba and the beguine. In these dances, as well as others, the rhythm is sharply defined, being highlighted by drums and other percussive instruments. It is this quality that makes this music so catchy and moves one to want to dance to it.

Among Latin Americans there are many who like to have music all the time—and loud. So it is not unusual for them to have music on the radio all day long and frequently far into the night, with the volume turned up full blast. Cafés with jukeboxes and shops with radios add to the sound that can be heard by a good part of the neighborhood. At social affairs a band may be hired, or a phonograph turned up to full volume may provide the music. Of course, preferences vary. In some sections, people will pick up a guitar or accordion and provide their own music, singing or dancing together.

Music | Posted by admin

Washington Sq Park

August 31st, 2009

Washington
Image taken on 1968-01-01 00:00:00 by George Eastman House.

Washington | Posted by admin

What Can the Washington Dc Schools Teach Us?

August 31st, 2009

A mix of political power and extreme poverty, the Washington DC Public Schools face a struggle that epitomizes the state of education in this country. While the elite and affluent live in the best districts, or send their children to private schools, many students in the Washington, DC Schools function in poverty and need.

Why does this matter? The discrepancy between the haves and have-nots in the Washington, DC Schools mimics that which has led to the glaring racial achievement gap in the country. Recently, studies reporting on the gap percentages in all states have gotten a lot of attention. Also, reports on the correlation between income and achievement have received a lot of press. Although I don’t think any jaws are dropping; the question for Washington, DC schools isn’t if poverty leads to low achievement, it’s what to do about it.

Methods in the Washington, DC Schools

The initiatives that the Washington, DC Schools implement are an important barometer for the rest of the schools in the country. If efforts work, they will be duplicated. If they fail, it is a cause for concern, and considered a waste of money. Vouchers are one big issue. Due to declining enrollment in the Washington, DC public schools, and a desire to offer school choice to low-income students, a federal program offering $7,500 school vouchers was offered to needy students in the Washington, DC Schools.

Not everyone is fond of this method because they are afraid it will actually encourage more students to leave the Washington, DC Schools for charter or private schools. Many feel this could degrade the quality of the system. Ironically, this is the same concern when affluent and educated families leave the public school system. The Washington, DC Schools loose both per pupil funding and the most involved parents when this happens. Vouchers may exacerbate the situation.

However, this may be just the thing to motivate schools to improve. Just like in business, competition can be a good thing.

Needed Construction in Washington, DC Schools

Washington, DC Schools are also a mirror to the nation is in terms of adequate space and buildings. As old schools deteriorate, the district is challenged to renovate them. Recently, this became a focus of the district. 120 schools are either being renovated or built at this time. Part of the effort involves reconfiguring these Washington, DC Schools for better efficiency. For instance, feeder 6-8 middle schools are being put on campuses with the appropriate high school. The location of administrative offices and special education facilities are being reconsidered to make better use of the space, and to better meet the children’s needs. Other districts around the country are following the results of these changes closely. The successes and failures of the Washington, DC Schools will have consequences felt by a lot of students in the nation.

Washington | Posted by admin

Sailor and girl at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Washington, D.C. (LOC)

August 30th, 2009

Washington
Image taken on 1940-01-01 00:00:00 by The Library of Congress.

Washington | Posted by admin

Home Run Madness: Getting Washington Senators Baseball Memorabilia

August 29th, 2009

Are you a fan of the Washington Senators? Do you love watching your favorite team score its home runs and blast through the innings with all the points they need to win? Then you will surely salivate for the best Washington Senators baseball memorabilia, which are great when bought as is – and even more precious when signed by your favorite players.

There are many sites on the World Wide Web that offer Washington Senators baseball memorabilia. Some sites will offer forums and services in which Washington Senators fans can discuss plays, arrange meetings, and even trade goods both autographed and unsigned. Other sites will offer auction services, where Washington Senators fans can bid on their favorite items, and where prices can range from almost absurdly low for brand new merchandise, and extremely, unbelievably high for signed merchandise of Washington Senators baseball legends. Still other sites will offer buying and selling services, where the most desperate fans can still get a whiff of the Washington Senators.

If you are looking for Washington Senators baseball memorabilia, you can inquire at your local collector’s shops, or you can surf the Internet for the sites mentioned above. Be careful, however: many trading, selling, and buying sites are filled with predators that can steal your personal information. Do not give away your credit card number to anyone, and trust such numbers only to sites that are secure.

Here are a few categories of baseball memorabilia that you can buy online, whether with the Washington Senators logo, a Washington Senators player’s signature, or nothing at all. Although this list is incomplete, it should give you a fairly good idea of what you can get online if you know where to look and what price to expect.

– Signed baseballs, gloves, bats are perhaps the most precious materials to any serious collector of baseball memorabilia. If you have such materials from the Washington Senators, keep them in glass cases away from heat, moisture, and direct sunlight. These can damage your baseball memorabilia, or can cause the ink used for autographs to fade.

– Washington Senators jerseys and jackets are also popular in online merchant, auction, and trading sites. If you are able to avail of such materials, and unsigned, keep them in a good condition by following washing instructions. Keep them in boxes away from insects that can chew through the fabric. If you are able to buy signed jerseys or jackets of Washington Senators players, keep these away from moisture by framing them and hanging them up for display.

– Umpire helmets, and baseball helmets, in general, are relatively strong and sturdy, and do not need to be placed in glass cases. However, if your Washington Senators helmet is signed by your favorite player, you may need to display it in a glass case to keep the autograph ink from fading.

– Also popular amongst Washington Senators fans are autographed posters, books, and photographs of their favorite Washington Senators players. As a rule, the more team members in a photograph or poster, the more expensive it can be; and the more team members who have autographed the photograph or poster of the team, the more precious it is. If you have such photographs or posters, keep them away from moisture or direct sunlight, whether or not they have been photographed. If you have autographs on them, keep them sealed in glass frames and hang them in a part of your house or building that is dry and moderately lighted.

If you have books signed by Washington Senators players, you can wrap them in protective plastic and store them in either cardboard boxes or glass cases. If you have books about the team, then you need to do as any serious collector would: buy two copies of the book, and leave one unopened as an heirloom to the next generation of Washington Senators fans.

Washington | Posted by admin

Music Networks – How Bands and Musicians Use Music Networks for Band Promotion

August 28th, 2009

The internet continues to revolutionize the music industry and the creation of music networks has helped musicians to promote their bands, sell their music, find band members, buy and sell musical instruments, chat to fellow musicians in the forums, post photos, their music, videos and so much more.


There are many benefits to joining one of the top music networks. It is best to focus on two or three at the most and create, as well as maintain, a standout profile page for your music or band. If you spread yourself too thin and try to join every music site you come across then you will find yourself struggling to maintain an active profile. If you join one of these music networks then you will gain a massive amount international exposure for your music.


Try to devote 30 minutes each month in updating your profile with new photos, gig dates, videos or music samples. On a more regular basis you may want to respond to forum posts, reply to comments posted on your page and also respond to any emails sent to you. You need to treat these music networks as an advertisement and great way to promote your band. Therefore spending some time on the site could bring about some lucrative and life changing publicity for you.


The key point to gaining the most exposure for your music on these sites is to be proactive and make the most of the features available to you. You will want to post recent photos of yourself or your band. You should add some new photos each month. Try and add some bright and colourful photos of each of your band members as well as some group shots. Ask a friend or partner to take some high quality photos of you while performing.


Music videos are all the rage due to YouTube. You can use a camera to take some footage of the band performing one of their most popular songs. Just as a great video can make your band; a bad video can have a negative impact on your music. If a music venue manager is not the network to look for a band for a gig and they listen to a poor quality live performance then they will just move on to the next band. So make sure the video you submit is one that will impress your viewers.


Why spend time in the forums? Because you never know who is online and who is reading the forum posts. Many of the top music forums not only allow bands and musicians to sign up and create a profile but also music promoters, managers, music venue owners, music producers and professionals from the music industry. As a result, you may just catch the eye of one of these promoters who could give you the lead you need. Post positive and informative posts that will require a similar response. Avoid getting into any personal attacks or conflicts with other forum members. Maintaining a high level of professionalism is of the utmost importance in building the reputation you want to succeed.


What about writing an article? It is quite easy to write an article about a topic you are passionate about and have knowledge in. How can this help you? Well in a music network you have members who are musicians and are therefore craving information to help them with their band or music. As a result you can gain some valuable exposure by adding your name and active link at the bottom of the article. You can basically piggy back these top music networks who already achieve high page rankings in the search engines for your own benefit. Search engines love quality content about a specific topic. As a result these search engines will pick up the keywords used in your article and rank it highly as the article is located on a reputable site. Both these combined will give it a good chance of being spread throughout the internet.


One of the best features is the ability to post your upcoming gigs or events. What other way can you get free advertising for your gigs! When posting your gig make sure all information is correct and if any of it changes be sure to return to your profile and update it. There will be fans that listen to your music samples, watch your videos and then decide on attending one of your gigs if they like what they hear. You don’t want to upset them by having them go out of their way to attend your event only to find that the details were changed and there is no gig! Try to include the date, time, cost and location of the event. Some of the top networks will have a feature where your fans can “subscribe” or add their name to an attendance list. This will also allow you to send emails with specific details to these members. This is networking and building a fan base.


Classifieds are also a great way to buy and sell instruments, equipment, search for new band members, post jobs or look for a gig, sell tickets to events and so much more. Make sure you only add the information you want people to see and only use a respectable payment solution provider in the transaction. Most sites leave transactions up to both parties and are not responsible for any disputes or problems with the sale.


Are there dangers associated with music networks? Yes, but only if you post personal information that hackers or people involved in criminal activity can use to spam you or rip you off. The top sites will have internal email systems where your personal email address is protected. They also have a feature that allows you to block any members you wish not to correspond with. Remember that you use these music networks to promote your music and not your personal life and details as a lot of the “Social Networks” do. This is why you should stick to the top music networks that operate with the sole purpose of assisting bands and musicians in promoting their music.


If you maintain an active profile you may just be lucky enough to gain additional exposure from the site. For example, the music networks highlight and profiles a new band each month. This profile puts the band on the front page, generates extra hits for the band’s profile page, spreads their band across the internet due to the quality content in the profile and provides a reputable promotion for the band by a music industry leader. Want to make your own luck? Then be proactive and contact the site team and let them know that you would like to have your band or music be considered to be profiled.


One more great tip is to use “Keywords” in your title for photos, events, profiles etc as these keywords will appear in that page’s URL. This will help for better search engine exposure as they love keywords and targeted content.


The key is where to start when selecting which music networks to join? There are many ways to promote your music and three of the best methods for music and band promotion is by creating a profile on MyBandMate and MySpace Music or posting your music videos on YouTube Music.


So if you want to showcase your music to the world and are not active in these top two music networks then you better get on to it. It takes time, some effort and a desire to make your music reach a global audience. Be proactive, utilize all of the key features to gain maximum exposure and build a fan base by responding to their emails and comments. Don’t include any information in your profile that you don’t want the world to see. Treat your profile page as an advertisement for your music. You may only have one chance to catch the eye of a music promoter, producer or music venue owner looking for a band so make your profile look professional.

Music | Posted by admin

Report on the Effect of Specially Composed Music for Mother and Child

August 28th, 2009

Music for Mother and Child

Summary of a report on the effect of specially composed music on fetuses, infants, toddlers and parents

“We were just visited by a couple and their 8 months-old girl. At one point during the evening she was restless and distressed. I put on the CD “Tales of the Ocean” from the CD series “Music for Mother & Child”, and she began to listen, and calmed down with her mother. After a short time she was asleep – and my unborn child “danced” in my womb.” (Ann, mother-to-be)

Background and objective

In the summer of 1999 the two musicians and composers, Claus D Jensen and Henrik Birk Aaboe, produced the CD series Music for Mother & Child, which contains music specially composed and designed to calm fetuses, infants, toddlers and parents. In the course of the process henrik and Claus received such exciting responses from people that they decided to undertake a private study of the effect of the music on pregnant women, infants and their parents.

They wanted to study the direct effect on fetus/infant, as well as the indirect effect: whether the music could calm down the parents, and whether the tranquillity of the parents could positively affect or be imparted to the fetus/child.

In addition to studying how the music affected the participants in the study, they wanted information on how often and when the music was used and for how long at a time. The participants were given the CDs and a questionnaire in the form of a checklist with space for supplementary comments.

Study Group

44 people participated in the 12-week study. The 44 participants were divided into three groups:

1. Mothers-to-be, some of whom gave birth during the course of the study.
2. Parents with infants and toddlers from 0-3 years of age.
3. Practitioners who work with infants and/or pregnant women.

 

How the music originated

The idea for the CDs arose from a common desire of the musicians to compose music that could give fetuses/infants a good start in life.  For it is recognized as an extreme upheaval to leave the mother’s secure womb and suddenly face the “real” world. They wanted to compose music that could impart security and inner as well as external peace and tranquillity.

One thing that impressed the composers was that during their research they read an articleabout the widely recognized French physicist Tomatis, and learned that hearing is the first sense that is developed, and that the fetus already has a fully developed sense of hearing by the 6th month.

Conclusion of the study
Of the pregnant women questioned, 88% were positively affected by the music. Most of them described the effect with words such as “relaxing”, “calming” and the like. One found that by listening to the music her fear of the childbirth was replaced with confidence in a positive birth experience.  

One created a personal space with the music, so that instead of depression she found solutions for what she could do. 79% of the pregnant women could feel a reaction from the fetus, either often or occasionally or infrequently. Several could directly perceive that the fetus was calmed and that it was responsive to the music.  Two of those participating used the music during the childbirth, and they both had a positive experience with it, because the music was both relaxing and distracting.

Of the new parents questioned, 93% were positively affected by the music, and typical reactions were that the music was exceptionally relaxing and good against stress, that it was energizing, etc. No one was negatively affected.

The study shows that the music, besides having a clear effect on the fetus, had a significantly positive effect on infants and toddlers. 72% of the respondents found that the music had a positive effect on their children. Many experienced very significant and powerful reactions.

55% of the respondents noticed the positive reaction from the children immediately, while 17% replied that the reaction came after the child had heard the music several times.

The typical reactions were noticeable contentment, “a calm, listening child”, “the child is calmed”, “the child falls asleep more quickly”, etc. One replied that “the music is the ultimate medicine when my child is sick”. No one in this group noticed negative reactions to the music from their children. However there was one child who did not like the dolphin sounds.

The practitioners all noticed significant reactions not only from the children they treated, but also often from the parents. One noticed a reaction every time a child was in treatment, while the two others answered “often”. Words such as “peace”, “tranquillity”, “inner presence and calm”, that “the music produces calm and attentive children”, etc., were used to describe the children’s reactions.

As to the indirect effect on infant/toddler, which is the effect achieved when the parents are calmed and their state is imparted to the infant/toddlers, we cannot draw any certain conclusion from our study. However we refer to the section on stress, where 57% of the parents questioned believe that there is a connection between their stress and their children’s restlessness.  

Since 93% believed that the music had a positive effect on the parents themselves, and reduced their stress, we can draw a guarded conclusion that the music must also have an indirect, positive effect on the children/fetus.

About the CDs
The CD series Music for Mother & Child consists of three CDs:

1. Windchimes, indicated for pregnant women, the unborn child and infants
2. Tales of the Ocean, for the 0-1 year-olds and their parents
3. Lullabies, for 1-2 year-olds and their parents

The composers talk about the CDs:

“The music on the CDs Music for Mother & Child contains elements chosen specifically to be relaxing for fetuses and infants, and elements that are more generally relaxing for all age-groups. Thus the music can be used by both the unborn, infants/toddlers and adults.

On Windchimes there are purposely long, continuous passages. Through dialogue with a reflexologist who has specialized in work with infants, we learned that the continuity is an important element for calming young children. Too many breaks in the music can be very disturbing to young children.  

Therefore the CD consists of two long passages connected by light, melodious wind chimes. The music has a light and airy quality and is thought of as a soothing blanket of sound. Besides the continuous wind chimes, the instruments we have chosen are Native American drums, which according to the original Americans represent the heartbeat of Mother Earth, the human voice as a primordial instrument, and the acoustic guitar for its transparent tone. The music is composed both with an intuitive approach and a search for a balance in the harmonious structures from a more analytical angle.

Thus, among other things, Windchimes consciously consists of a melodious, five-tone structure, which is completely devoid of tension.

On Tales of the Ocean we use dolphin sounds and the sound of the waves as recurrent elements. Through the ages many people have been powerfully affected emotionally by listening to the fascinating sounds of the dolphins, and we felt that they would help give the music the right expression.  

We all come from the watery element, and we quickly found that the child who is now more conscious, reacted very positively to the naturally created, soothing rhythm of the sounds of the sea.

In addition, on this CD we use Tibetan singing bowls and bells, which have a unique tone and contain an element of primordial strength, which is soothing for both children and adults. Tales of the Ocean is thought overall as a journey of the consciousness from the surface down to the deeper layer (under the sea) ending with a homecoming symbolized in the composition The Sea is my Home.

The last CD, Lullabies, is, as the name says, a sequence of newly composed lullabies, each of which tells its own little story. Compared to the other two CDs, the melodic material is significantly advanced, so they harmonize with the child’s enhanced consciousness and ability to comprehend actual melodic sequences.  

At the same time we have sought to preserve the tranquil and secure atmosphere by purposely using repetition as an artistic effect. Some of the compositions on Lullabies have an almost hypnotic expression, something that naturally also influences the listening experience of the adults.”

About the composers:

Claus D Jensen is a qualified  guitarist amnd composer with a degree from The Music Conservatory of Jutland.  He has played professionally since 1984 and has taught at music school, college and evening school.  He is involved with several scientific researches about the effect of music and relaxation audioprograms on hospitals and self hypnosis-audioprograms for pregnant.

Henrik Birk Aaboe was educated at the Musicological Institute at the University of Århus, and has taught both at the university and in music schools.  In addition he functions as arranger and composer in various contexts.  He has his own company, Corona Music (www.coronamusic.dk), with a recording studio and music publishing house. He has released several music collections in his own name.

Quotes from the report:

“Because of a previous traumatic childbirth, I have some fear of childbirth.  The music was a centering and calming influence on me, and I had more confidence in a positive childbirth experience.”  (a mother-to-be)

“If there was restlessness, the fetus became more calm when I played the music.”
(a mother-to-be)

“With sickness, when the child was restless and unhappy, this music was the ultimate medicine.” (mother of infant)

“They are delightful CDs. Not only for the mother-to-be and toddlers. Also for adults.”  (reflexologist)

“My clients achieve a feeling of lightness so that they feel they are floating over the mat, and they experience a feeling of presence more quickly than with other music.  For the best effect in this process I have used the CD, Tales of the Ocean.” (reflexologist)

“Wonderful stimulation against stress, hip-hop, radio commercials and such.  Very relaxing!” (mother of infant)

“I relax more – drop my shoulders, etc. while nursing.  Beautiful to listen to – uplifting and relaxing.” (mother of infant)

“She often becomes calmer and stops crying. She falls asleep quickly when I play the music when it is time for her to sleep.”  (mother of infant)

“Our child seems more relaxed, and he appears to lie and listen because it sounds good.” (mother of infant)

“She listened quite intensely and calmed down, especially during nursing, if she was a little hysterical or over tired.” (mother of infant)

“If she cries, she stops quickly when we play the music.” (mother of infant)

“The child became calm, listening, searched a little within himself, where fantasies and dreams grow.” (mother of infant)

For more info:
www.musicformotherandchild.com
www.clausdjensen.com

Music | Posted by admin

New Comedy and Satire Book Really Sticks it to the Washington Post!

August 28th, 2009

The Washington Toast

Articles the Washington Post Wouldn’t Print

Washington DC – December 11, 2007

New Comedy and Satire Book Really Sticks it to The Washington Post!

The Washington Toast is the funniest thing to come out of Washington Since Congress.

The Washington Toast, a humor and political satire book, makes its official debut today on December 11, 2007. If you haven’t been clued in to what the Toast does, it is a dead-on, straight faced parody of American newspapers. It is beautifully crude and sophomoric in a manner Mad magazine no longer aspires to, and for readers looking for some deathly funny satire in this politically-correct, can’t-we-all-just-get-along, sissified age, it is a lighthouse in a stormy sea.

For those of us who have long desired a good dose of wry and winsome humor The Washington Toast, is a treasure trove of biting satire and clever use of modern language. Somehow the writers manage to tickle our funny bones as they educate and entertain us with their insight and insider’s understanding of the madness we know as politics. In this provocative web site, the writers most often approach the subject at hand via parody. They are almost monotonously brilliant, nearly uniformly informative, and best of all, universally irreverent. This is one web site which might force you to bring your lap top to the rest room folks, for it will have you enjoying life’s most personal moments with tears of laughter as the unavoidable net result.

The editors and writers at the Washington Toast, will routinely attack the most sacred shibboleths and taboos of society, ranging from oil derricks erected on the White House lawn to a sagging Washington monument. From sexism to congressional hearings on defective home surgery kits, and from politics to the dangers of traveling to Atlantic City on a steeply discounted tourist bus. To be sure, the humor that results is by its very nature often tasteless and even a little but crude, so if you have a delicate stomach or a fragile disposition this collection of satiric pieces may not be something you would enjoy. But those of us with a taste for such bawdy fare will read the pieces again and again, until our eye’s bleed and our lap tops begin to smoke. All in all, it’s nice to have all this stuff online and available for instant replay. Enjoy!

The Washington Toast is available at www.washingtontoast.com

Joey Thomas, the editor and founder of the Washington Toast, works as a television news producer in the Washington DC market. The contributing writers, some of whom wish to remain anonymous, work as writers for various news rags and in public relations in Washington DC.

Contact – Joey Thomas

202-256-7861

dctoast@aol.com

Washington | Posted by admin

Discover the Benefits of Sirius Satellite Radio

August 28th, 2009

Sirius Satellite Radio is a technical marvel; using a series of three satellites that use a highly inclined elliptical orbit, Sirius Satellite Radio broadcasts from the satellite directly to the receiver on the ground. The signals are completely digital, giving CD audio (or often times better) grade sound quality.

To get Sirius Satellite Radio, you need to have a compatible receiver, and an antenna pointed straight up at the sky; the three satellite constellation means you don’t need to have the antenna pointed straight to the southern horizon (though it does mean that, as the satellites shift position during the day, people who use a fixed installation may need to nudge the antenna direction a bit; some rigs have automatic antenna rotators to track the satellites even.) You also need to pay a subscription fee – though a $500 fee will give you lifetime access. You also need to pay a small fee to activate the radio.

In addition to audiophile grade sound, Sirius Satellite Radio offers exclusive content offered nowhere else. It is the only satellite radio network that offers every NFL game, for example, or Yankees Entertainment System. All Sirius Satellite Radio broadcasts have content encoding broadcast with it; this means you can look at the digital display on your radio and see the name of the song being broadcast, which makes it easier to look it up to buy a copy of it later.

Sirius Satellite Radio divides its content into subchannels called streams – there are currently over 160 of them, and more on the way; this makes it possible to find exactly what you’re looking for – be it Martha Stewart or Howard Stern, or as previously mentioned, the best sports radio on radio.

One of Sirius Satellite Radio’s innovations in providing broadcasting excellence is its hiring of people (like Steve Van Zandt) to executive produce audio shows; these can range from streams that offer only a single artist’s catalog (through albums, interviews, recorded concert footage) to interesting vertical slices of the broadcast music field, like twenty different stations providing different mixes of CD audio-grade rock and roll.

Sirius Satellite Radio also has co-op deals to broadcast talk radio simultaneously nation wide, and to bring some regional radio stations to a nationwide audience, and the packages keep growing, while the subscription fee remains the same. If you want to hear the best radio on radio, Sirius Satellite Radio is the best way to go.

Most new cars sold today have as standard equipment or as a minor cost upgrade the ability to have Sirius satellite radio. A car is a great place for this especially if you are driving across town or even across the country. You can tune in to your favorite Sirius radio station and listen to it throughout your journey, instead of trying to re-adjust your radio to pick up a new station as you start to leave the broadcast area of your traditional radio stations.

If you have not experienced Sirius satellite radio yet, you are missing out on something great, especially if you spend significant amount of time in your car. You deserve the opportunity to give this a try today and make your driving more enjoyable, and then when you get home, you can continue listening to your favorite Sirius radio station at home too from your home unit.

Radio | Posted by admin

Day 468-Thirteen Things Music Edition

August 27th, 2009

Music
Image taken on 2007-12-30 08:14:03 by Mikey Da Photographer.

Music | Posted by admin
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