Tag Archive | "itunes"

IRON MAIDEN: Entire Catalog Now Mastered For iTunes

IRON MAIDEN: Entire Catalog Now Mastered For iTunes


Parlophone Records (BMG/INgrooves Music Group for the USA) is delighted to announce the release of nineteen IRON MAIDEN catalog albums which have been Mastered For iTunes (iTunes.com/IronMaiden), encoded from 24-bit / 96 khz high resolution masters and now re-mastered with iTunes in mind, delivering the music to listeners exactly the way the artist and recording engineer intended. These are brand new re-masters from their original analog sources, exclusively produced for iTunes.

All 15 studio albums, two Best Of compilations and two live albums were personally selected by Maiden’s founder member Steve Harris for this superior mastering technique:Iron MaidenKillersThe Number Of The BeastPiece Of MindPowerslaveSomewhere In TimeSeventh Son Of A Seventh SonNo Prayer For The DyingFear Of The DarkThe X FactorVirtual XIBrave New WorldDance Of DeathA Matter Of Life And DeathThe Final FrontierSomewhere Back In TimeFrom Fear To Eternity (2CD)Live after Death (2CD) and Rock In Rio ( 2CD).

Steve Harris comments,
“The Mastering For iTunes procedure allows the listener to experience the music as close as possible to the way the artist intended it to be heard.  So of course I was very keen for the Maiden albums to be mastered in this way. The records have been available digitally before, when this medium first became a platform for music distribution but that was mastered with CDs in mind. The iTunes process involves a different approach and it’s great to finally deliver the music to our fans in as close to a pure and accurate sound as we could possibly achieve. For example, as most people know, I was never really happy with the sound on the first Maiden album but listening to it now, the guitars are louder, the drums more substantial and the overall tone is so very much improved in my opinion. Tony Newton and Ade Emsley who worked closely with me on the project did a terrific job recapturing everything from the original masters and together we’ve re- mastered them all digitally and I’m really happy with the results.”

Tony Newton adds:
“The process started with locating all of the original album mix tapes (or whichever format they were mixed to). Then the choice of analogue to digital convertor was chosen for the most accurate capture to make it as close as possible to the sound of the mix as it was intended by the band.  When a lot of these tapes were last captured it was in the 1980’s, early days of digital and only 44.1khz/16bit files were possible. On top of this the new A/D convertors are far superior now, and of course it is possible to produce files of far higher resolution. The result of this is that the songs now sound more defined with added depth and warmth. I was very excited to be asked to be part of this project, I honestly feel that there is a massive improvement in the quality of these classic albums.”

Fans can download the Mastered For iTunes versions of the albums now from (iTunes.com/IronMaiden) and learn more about Mastered For iTunes from https://www.apple.com/itunes/mastered-for-itunes/


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Legendary Shock Jock Tom Leykis Discusses His Long Awaited Return!

Legendary Shock Jock Tom Leykis Discusses His Long Awaited Return!

In February of 2009, after 21 years of outraging Southern California drive time radio listeners, as well as a nationally syndicated audience, longtime LA radio shock jock Tom Leykis left the air . As so often happens in the radio business, listeners were left wondering why he was gone and where he went. One thing was for sure, his departure left a massive hole in the world of his listeners, as well as the radio landscape. Those who have listened to Tom Leykis at length know that he is not the type of man that would fade quietly into the night. He spent his time off-air hatching a plan that would bring him back to the forefront of audio entertainment — a plan that just  might serve as one of the final nails in the coffin of the arcane radio industry. On April 2nd, Leykis triumphantly returned to his masses of adoring fans with a new daily show and proved he hadn’t lost a step after an amazing 37 months off the air! As he will be quick to tell you, radio is not the industry it once was and this time, so he’s taking no chances of being made invisible again by the brick-and-mortar terrestrial radio industry. How does he plan on doing it you ask?  Easily! This time “The Tom Leykis Show” will be delivered to the people unfiltered via the internet where it can be heard live and on 24/7 streamed replays at www.blowmeuptom.com as well as through media players such as the TuneIn application for Android phones and iPhones — anywhere but on terrestrial radio! Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Tom Leykis to discuss his humble beginnings, his abrupt departure from the airwaves, blazing the trail of an exciting new medium and much more! Without further ado, “Helllllllooooooo, Tom!”

Tom, we are excited to talk to you. First off, we wanted to welcome you back and congratulate you on the return of The Tom Leykis Show!

Thank you very much!

We always like to give our readers a little background on who we are talking to. You made a tremendous career for yourself. How did you initially get involved with broadcasting?

Tom Leykis Is Back!

It all started when I won a contest when I was 14 years old! A radio station had offered an hour of time to a high school student who wrote the best letter. I wrote a letter and they called me to come down to the radio station. That was in Babylon, Long Island — New York. That was where I was at the time.

What was it about that medium that made you pursue it as a career?

Well, I saw you could make money at it and I liked the idea of making money!

[laughs] There is nothing wrong with that idea!

No, not at all! [laughs]

Looking back on the early days of your career, did you think you would be still going strong all these years later?

I would never have believed I got as far as I have gotten, quite frankly. I grew up in a dirt poor working class family in the Bronx. We lived in the South Bronx in an $80 a month, one bedroom apartment with four kids. I had no right to believe that I would ever reach the heights that I have been able to reach or make the money I have been able to make by doing what I love. A lot of people I grew up with were not as lucky.

To what do you attribute your longevity?

I read a lot, I pay attention to what is going on and I always give the listener what they want and I never worry about criticism from people who say my content is edgy or tasteless. I never listen to criticism. I never worry about what people think except for the people in my audience. Those are the only people whose thoughts matter to me and I give them exactly what they ask for no matter what others think.

And we appreciate that, sir!

Thank you!

Can you tell us a little bit about your departure from terrestrial radio a few years back?

The business of radio, the actual business of it, is imploding as we speak. People love radio content. They love audio content. I mean, you can’t drive around and watch television! You can’t look at a screen. Many times when you are on a plane you may just want to close your eyes and listen to something. People want audio content but the radio is an outdated, outmoded appliance. Many people confuse the content of what is on radio with the appliance. In other words, they say, “Oh, this is radio.” In reality, our audio content isn’t treated that way. The example I like to use is of the Rolling Stones. When Americans first heard the Rolling Stones they were being played on vinyl, on 45s. When the 8 track tape came out, no one said, “The Rolling Stones, that is a vinyl act! That will never work on tape!” [laughs] No, it was audio content and it went to another medium. Then cassettes came out and the Rolling Stones went to cassette and then they went on to CDs. There was never any question that the audio content would transcend the appliance. In the radio business, because radio has been around so long and people have so many romantic notions about it. Example — the iconic scene in the film “American Graffiti” in which Richard Dreyfuss is spying on Wolfman Jack in his studio. He is watching from a distance and he gets to meet his idol. We have such a romance, such a passion about the history of radio, we don’t imagine decoupling the content from the appliance. But the reality is that people want the content but the radio business is in such trouble right now, we have to find other ways to get it to people. People want to have their content on any kind of gadget, be it iPhone, Android, iPads and even Blackberries for heaven’s sake, and they want their content when they want it! They want it now! Radio has not responded to the demands of the public. They make it very complicated to find radio content online and have been dragging their feet about providing podcasts in a usable form and a customer friendly form. They still have this idea that radio is complacent listening and that people are going to tune in at a particular time. The reality is that Steve Jobs or any number of other people in the technology field have said, “People want their content wherever, whenever, however and on any device.” Radio has not provided that to the public, so we took what was a radio show and we are giving the people what they want in every possible way. You can listen to us on any device except a radio! Anywhere, any time. Our stream is on 24/7! If you can’t listen to us live from 3 to 6 or 3 to 7 p.m. PST, we run different lengths every day, it continues to repeat 24 hours a day! It is always on. We have hundreds and hundreds of listeners at 3 a.m. People listen from around the world!

The other limitation in the radio business is the arcane syndication system of radio, where syndicated shows are heard in some cities but not others. Our show was wildly popular in New York, Seattle, Phoenix and Dallas but it couldn’t even get on the air in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Cincinnati and most of the time, New York City! But now, because we are distributed by Internet, we can be heard anywhere on Earth with an Internet connection and no people are going to act as funnels. There was a guy in New York that I like to talk about. He is the program director of WFAN radio named Mark Chernoff. He was once the program director of an FM talk station in New York called WNEW FM. We were talking to him about the show being on the station on a regular basis. He said, “This show will never work in New York.” Now, that may be true or it may not be true but how do you know until the people have had a chance to listen to it? You know, the way TV works is, let’s say ABC put a new show on Sunday nights. They put it on and it is on in every city where ABC broadcasts. They don’t say it is on in LA and Seattle but it is not on in Chicago! [laughs] It’s just not done that way! With the Internet, it is the great equalizing force! Anyone, anywhere can listen to my show and decide whether or not it is for them. No curator or as we call them, human funnels, the people who funnel content so only certain content gets to your ears and other content does not. Now, we don’t have to deal with the opinions of individuals.

Was it difficult for you to be away from the scene for so long and how excited are you to be back up and running at full steam?

Tom Leykis

To be honest with you, the 37 months that I had off, a little over three years, was the best thing that have ever happened to me. The last six months that I had been working in radio, we had been coming in to work everyday knowing that the format might change. It was not a very happy time. I spent that first year just chilling out because I hadn’t had time off since 1994, except for normal vacations and weekends. I really hadn’t had any substantial time to myself. At the end of that first year, that is when I had the idea to create my own company and create my own safe place to create content that people really want instead of using the radio model of trying to monopolize as many radio stations as possible and then shove stuff down your throat. That is the way it works now. I have a ranch up in northern Santa Barbara County and you turn on the radio at 12 noon, AM radio, and it is Sean Hannity, Sean Hannity, Sean Hannity, Sean Hannity, Sean Hannity! Every station is playing the same thing. We wanted to create a place where people could find all new stuff, all new content and not niche content — mass appeal content that doesn’t necessarily spend the entire day discussing Obamacare all day long!

Tell us more about the new format and content you are offering up when listeners hit www.blowmeuptom.com and the options they have there.

First of all, you get all of the options to listen to the show. There is complete information about every media player and how to listen to us on WinAmp, SHOUTcast, TuneIn and all of the devices. You also get access to our other content. We have three 24/7 music formats. There is an active rock format, a Top 40 format and an Indie Music format. We also have a number of podcasts which we produce, including a wine tasting show that I have been doing for years that is also a syndicated radio show. We have two other personalities who do shows related to alcohol, in one way or another. That is done by a fellow named Dan Dunn who was the wine and spirits editor at Playboy magazine, the so-called “The Imbiber.” There is Natalie Bovis, who is a blogger who calls himself “The Liquid Muse.” He has a podcast called “One of The Road.” Finally, we have “The Gary and Dino Show” which was our first original program developed specifically for the Internet. Gary Zabransky is the producer of “The Tom Leykis Show” and Dean DeMilio was the screener. We gave them a place where they could develop their own act and their own show which they have been doing for a couple of years now and it is just hysterically funny. Even though we have continued producing “The Tom Leykis Show,” the “Gary and Dino Show” continues as well!

You told us about the evolution of radio and how it affected the show and made content key. How do you feel you evolved in the process? Is that something you pay attention to?

Well, I pay attention to what people are talking about. When you do what I do, and no one ever thinks about it this way, and thank God because I have very little competition … [laughs] and I do what I do as a result, is pay attention to what people care about and talk about that! Where people go astray in my business is they forget why they are there! I am there to A) draw as many listeners as possible, B) take those numbers and sell them to ad agencies and C) monetize all of that content. That is my job. My job is not to get presidents elected or voted out of office. My job is not to help a particular political party. I am not here to run for any political office myself.

I am not here to change the world. I am here to entertain people who have a little time to kill! Then, we sell a little advertising and hopefully they listen to the ads in between. I am amazed at the number of people who take themselves so seriously, just look at all of the conservative talk shows on talk radio! These guys all take themselves very seriously and they think they are somehow making a difference in politics but last time I looked, the president is Barack Obama! In California, both of the senators are both Democrats, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer. The governor of California, who couldn’t be more of a liberal, is Jerry Brown. The mayor of Los Angeles is Antonio Villaraigosa! So, from where I am sitting, you have conservative talk radio and all of these people acting like they are so important but they can’t get anybody elected. They can’t! And Obama is going to win again despite conservative talk radio! These guys, it’s all an act. Look, I worked in talk radio and I know how it works. It is all an act by all of these guys but to anyone who believes they have any power, look at the results!

You tend to put it all out there on a daily basis but what do you think the biggest misconception is about yourself at this point in time?

Tom Leykis

Many people confuse what I do on the air with what kind of person I am. They somehow think I am manifestly irresponsible, dangerous or that I just do any old thing. What they don’t know about me is that I am a businessman and that every move I make is calculated to make a living and to make money. I may sound irresponsible but I am a self-made multi-millionaire who has made a living for years being on the radio and now I aim to do it on the Internet! It is done by treating it in a business way and by never treating it in such a way that it is an ego trip or that it is anything but a show to be an advertising vehicle.

Do you think there will ever be a point where we get an autobiography out of you to learn more about the man behind the mic and all of your endeavors? I imagine that would be quite a read!

I don’t think it is impossible! I haven’t even thought about it at this point because I am so busy living my life, I haven’t had a lot of time to be introspective about it at this point. To me, I feel that I am in the most dynamic period of my life where I am not only doing a show but I also own and am running a business. I invested a million dollars to start this business. I took on no partners, no bank loans, nothing, to start this business on my own. For me, it is a big crap shoot and I am working very hard to make it pay off! It would be a luxury to sit there, take notes and write down everything that has happened to me over the years because it is still happening.

Despite the current state of the radio industry, I am sure there are many out there still pursuing it as a potential career. What advice do you have for them?

Don’t go to radio. Radio is dying and I don’t say that happily. Radio was my best friend. I think of radio today as if I have a friend for many, many years who is now very, very sick. We can’t plan to take vacations together or go to the beach anymore or party anymore. All I can do is visit him in the hospital every once so often and make sure he is comfortable. That is how I see radio today. I am not happy that radio is dying but it is finally meeting the same ignominious end that the Pony Express, the icebox and the local corner grocery store had to deal with. The business has been Gordon Gecko’d, it has been squeezed like an orange and the result is that working in radio is like working on the first floor of the World Trade Center on September 11th and wondering what is going on. I am sad to see that and frankly, I would have much rather gone to a radio station and continued doing what we were doing that way but unfortunately the government has allowed people to own, essentially, an unlimited number of radio stations. The result is that people have done in this business what they have done in so many others, they borrowed billions of dollars and paid hundreds of millions of dollars in debt services to finance these purchases and when the economy fell off a cliff in 2008, these companies couldn’t make the money back. They were like the underwater homeowners that you find in various American suburbs. It is like the people living here in southern California in Corona or Palmdale who bought houses that sell for $100,000 and they bought them for half a million and now they are underwater. Radio is exactly like that right now. These companies on 800 or 1,000 radio stations and they are underwater. They can’t pay! What do they do in return? They fire hundreds upon thousands of people and replace them with these syndicated programs and play it everywhere — all with the same content and format. It is sad.

I will give you an example. I was at Yosemite National Park not too long ago and I was on my way home. It was about two hours from the hotel inside the park, The Ahwahnee, before you reach the exit to the park. A half an hour later, I am passing through Fresno. Clear Channel still has a number of radio stations in Fresno and we were listening to one of them. At the end of the song, a voice came on the radio and said “That was Taylor Swift. I’m Ryan Seacrest and we have more coming up!” It didn’t tell us what city it was, the name of the station or what frequency it was at. It was the disembodied voice of Ryan Seacrest coming out of a machine! That is not what people listen to the radio for! People want to get information and be kept company. They want to feel like they know the people on the radio. They don’t want to listen to a tape of Ryan Seacrest! [laughs] The radio business is going to find this out as time goes on.

I still believe in the magic of radio. It is very much like “The Wizard of Oz” and going behind that curtain and finding out it is just a guy with a big microphone! [laughs] It is very much like that! There is magic in radio if it is done right! But if you turn it into nothing more than a jukebox with a bunch of disembodied voices, eventually the people will begin to drift away and it is already happening. It is sad and I am not happy to say it but it is true.

It seems you are in a great place creatively these days. What do you feel the future holds for you? No plans on packing it anytime soon, I hope!

Tom Leykis

Oh, no! No, I am definitely not packing it in any time soon. I am having the most fun I have had in 20 years — not just doing the show but the whole package, from the technical end of getting it up and running and how hard we had to work to get an Internet show to sound like a radio show. I mean, we could have been a podcast and I could have sat at my kitchen table with a can and a string and recorded a show and dumped it out for the public to listen to but we decided to have a real studio and do it live! We have live interaction and live phone calls. Very few people are doing that specifically for the Internet and I would say even fewer even have any background in the radio business and know how to do it that way. As we are looking back from the day we are recording this, (April 10th, 2012) SHOUTcast has us as the number three stream in the world! At that point, it was only our seventh show! I think we are in a very good position here and I think we are the number one or two talk show on an Internet stream. Keep in mind that SHOUTcast has over 53,000 streams at any given time!

That is awesome! Is there anything you would like to add before you are on your way to the studio?

I just want to tell people that they can hear our content 24/7 on www.blowmeuptom.com. We really encourage people to come and check out what we are building here. If someone has a great idea for a show and they are willing to roll the dice and put the content up, we would help them and have them share the revenue with us. We are more than happy to talk to folks about that! All I want to say is that we love being on the Internet, I miss radio and I feel bad that it is in such terrible shape right now. Most of all, I am very optimistic about the future!

Tom, it has been a pleasure getting a glimpse into your world. The show sounds fantastic and we are proud to help spread the word on it. Thank you for your time today, sir!

Thank you! I have enjoyed it very much! Any time!

Posted in Blog, Celebrity Interviews, Featured Stories, Movies, TV and More!, MusicComments (4)

‘Tis The Season – Icon Vs. Icon’s Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts For Everyone!

‘Tis The Season – Icon Vs. Icon’s Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts For Everyone!

The is nothing more appreciated than a helping hand during the holiday season. Let the staff of Icon Vs. Icon help you plan your shopping list with our annual gift guide. We’ve chosen some iconic brands, some up and coming brands, and a few items that will allow you to think outside the box to create or choose your own special gift.  Items range from a few dollars to several thousand, but most are geared towards people like us: regular working stiffs who just want to give a great present that won’t break the bank!  Start making that list, we’ve got the best roundup of gifts that everyone will enjoy! The second part of our series is “For Her!” — Get a look at some unique items for the holiday season for all the special people in your life! Whether it is for him, her, the kids, the coworker or the neighbor, this list has something for everyone.

Chuao Chocolatier
I try to eat pretty healthy and exercise regularly. You know, watch my calorie and fat intake, workout at least three times a week, drink lots of water. However, I allow myself a treat from time to time! Everything in moderation!

Everyone loves chocolate!

Now, if I’m going to cheat, it better be worth it! The worst is being disappointed! Can’t take back those calories girlfriend!

Luckily, I found my ultimate treat source — Chuao (pronounced chew-WOW) Chocolatier — www.chuaochocolatier.com. The first Venezulan chocolatier based in the United States, Chuao is the pioneer of fusion chocolates to offer unusual, unexpected and delicious flavors. They have everything for everyone on your list — bonbons, chocolate bars, hot chocolate, artisan treats and non-dairy items. They also have treats to pair with wine or scotch, and mixes to bake at home.

Everything is delicious and fresh!

Picture treating yourself to a piece of coquito: white chocolate, cranberry and toasted coconut infused with cinnamon, clove and black pepper for a crisp, fresh and flavorful sweet delight. Then you taste a granada: pomegranate caramel and a caramelized walnut in crunchy, sweet dark chocolate. Next up is spiked eggnog: creamy eggnog ganache spiked with dark rum in a white chocolate shell! On to the peppermint crunch: milk chocolate, peppermint caramel with a crunchy old fashioned mint candy center. Absolutely divine.
Your mouth watering yet?

80stees.com - You source for good schtick!

Movies are universal. We remember quotes, scenes and characters. We cry, we laugh and we scream. We tell our friends they’ve gotta watch and, when the time is right, we watch the movie together with our kids. We come back to watch these films again and again, quoting some lines verbatim.

Maybe you’re a fan of “Die Hard” — Yippie Ki Ya! Or maybe you’re more of a “Road House” kinda guy and the Double Deuce. Or you could possibly have watched “Sixteen Candles” at least 150 times like myself and pictured Jake Ryan waiting for you in his Porsche 944 with his smirk and fitted jeans, his flannel shirt and boots, his hair slightly disheveled. Sigh.

Anyway, whatever the movie, 80stees.com has you covered this holiday season for everyone on your list because they have everything in the realm of graphic tees: movies, TV shows, cartoons, video games, music and superheros! Although they definitely have the ‘80s covered, hence the name, they also have non-’80s items! Check them out while I sit back and relax in my pink “I love Jake Ryan” T-shirt!

Light their fire this holiday season!

The Duraflame Electric Stove with Heater
I just had new windows installed in my house, but you know what? There is still a draft. Even with new insulation and having the contractor come back to check things out, there is still a cold that seeps in to give me the chills. What’s the gift I want to receive this year? The Duraflame Electric Stove.

This electric stove can heat a room up to 400 square feet, that’s roughly the size of my first two apartments! It will provide stylish supplemental heat to a den, office or bedroom, and of course would also be great in a drafty hallway, vestibule or entry-way. This stove features a picture window with arched frame detailing on the operable glass door, and an old fashioned brushed nickel coil handle. In other words perfect for whatever style you or your gift recipient home is decorated in, part of the charm for me is that it really looks like a small fireplace. There are two operable doors, glowing logs, an ember bed, and a thermostatic dial. The flame effect can be operated with or without the heat feature so if it’s already warmed up in your room but you want the ambiance of a fire you can have it. A huge bonus in my opinion is that it comes with a remote control. So imagine laying in bed and realizing you are toasty enough, there is no need to get out of bed to unplug the stove, you just get your handy remote, turn it off and go back to dreamtown. It ships fully assembled, ready for immediate enjoyment, and can be easily moved to meet any zone-heat requirements. This Duraflame electric stove comes with a black finish on metal.

So to review:
* Black finish
* Operable door
* No hookups required, vent-free
* Operates with and without heat
* 1350 Watts/4600 BTU’s per hour
* Supplemental heat for up to 400 sq. ft.
* 4 switches and thermostatic dial
* Realistic and dimmable flame effect
* Glowing logs and ember bed
* Slim-line remote control
* The best gift your friend of loved one will receive this holiday season!

Check out Duraflame’s site. There is a button off to the side featuring all of the stores you can purchase this item from, I’ve seen them on QVC and in Rural King as well as Wal-Mart.


Can you name someone on your gift list that doesn’t drink soda, tea, or water? Answer- no! So why not give them a fun gift that puts a bit of fun into things? Instead of popping the tab off of a can or unscrewing the top of a bottle, they can decide what type of beverage they want and what flavor and whip it up in less than 2 minutes. If you haven’t heard of this machine yet then let me explain, it’s pretty simple: The SodaSteam turns plain old water into a carbonated beverage with a few short pushes of a button. Ok, so you have to fill up the 1 liter bottle it comes with first, but then all you do is screw that into the machine, push the button up to 3-6 times (depending on how much carbonation you want), then add your choice of dozens of flavorings. It’s really that simple!

The choices of flavorings is insane, of course if all you want is cola or diet cola then you can have that. But if you look at the range of soda mixes at the company’s official website, you will find you can make energy drinks, sparkling teas, sparkling waters, and their sparkling naturals which are made from all-natural ingredients. The new SodaStream Sparkling Naturals make great-tasting “better for you” sodas. Sparkling Naturals contain no artificial flavors, no artificial colors and no artificial sweeteners, and do not contain any preservatives, making them a perfect, sparkling, natural soda alternative for the entire family.

The convenience alone is worth having this machine, but if you do the math on the savings incurred when most of the mixes make 33 cans of final product and I’ve seen them for less than 5 bucks per mix then you’re obviously getting more with the SodaSteam. Environmentally, the SodaSteam is an “Active Green” product, meaning that consumers are actively reducing their CO2 footprint every time they make soda or sparkling water at home instead of buying it from the store. The more the system is used on a daily basis, the more CO2 footprint the user actively saves. (This differs from “Passive Green” products, which use green-friendly production processes, but their products are not inherently helping the consumers save on their daily footprint.)

Because SodaStream uses water straight from the tap, the system makes traditional store-bought beverage bottles obsolete. That means less plastic manufactured, less plastic waste is created, and fewer bottled beverages must be transported from manufacturers to distributors to stores to homes. Globally, 206 billion liters of bottled water were consumed in 2008, and the energy required to make water bottles in the US only, is equivalent to 17 million barrels of oil. According to the US Recycling Institute, more than 80% of bottles in the US do not get recycled and end up in landfills. Also, an estimated 4.7 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions were produced in the process of replacing the 134 billion bottles and cans not recycled in 2005.

Using your own home carbonation system means:
• Less packaging waste from cans and bottles.
• Less pollution caused by transport of bottled beverages.

One SodaStream carbonator makes 60 or 110 liters, equivalent to 170 or 310 aluminum cans! When empty, the carbonator is refilled and reused, ready to make more fizzy and tasty soda whenever you want it.

The machine is slimline and takes up very little space, I put mine under my kitchen sink with some of my favorite mixes (currently Cranberry Raspberry and the Pomegranate Peach tea) where it’s simple for me to grab when I want to mix up a new bottle. But when I get my grandmother’s old side table out of storage, I’m going to set this baby up on it right beside my Hollywood Popcorn Machine and have the rockinest munchie bar set up in the neighborhood!

iTunes Gift Cards
In years past, I always steered away from giving gift cards as gifts. They seemed to have an impersonal touch when it came to gift giving. Boy how times have changed! Actually, I would be hard pressed to think of a more personal gift — as the recipient can get the music and movies they love or discover something totally new! Apple continues to change the way people compute and get their entertainment fix with the phenomenon that is iTunes. For the few who might be unfamiliar with iTunes, it is a free application for your Mac or PC. It organizes and plays your digital music and video on your computer. It keeps all your content in sync. And it’s a store on your computer, iPod touch, iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV that has everything you need to be entertained. Anywhere. Anytime. iTunes boasts the world’s largest online music store that features 13 million high-quality, DRM-free songs priced at just 69¢, 99¢, or $1.29 each. From finding their favorite songs, renting or buying the newest digital video releases or discovering new music by going social with  iTunes Ping, iTunes puts the power of entertainment into the users hands. Apple iTunes gift cards are available practically everywhere and make for a truly unique entertainment experience.

The Gift of Netflix
Netflix has become one of the most recognizable names in home entertainment over the past few years. The company cut its teeth by mailing out the latest DVD releases as well as the classics in little red envelopes to homes across the nation. It was a sensation that quickly swept the nation (much to the chagrin of chain videos stores that ruled the land since the late ‘80s). I received a Netflix subscription as a gift in years past and found it to be a gift that keeps on giving! With thousands of titles to choose from, the subscription satisfied new entertainment jones’ all year long.Things got even cooler over the past year with the inclusion of a streaming feature of many of their titles. For $7.99 a month, Netflix members can instantly watch unlimited movies and TV episodes streamed over the Internet to PCs, Macs and TVs. Among the large and expanding  base of devices streaming from Netflix are Microsoft’s Xbox 360, Nintendo’s Wii and Sony’s PS3 consoles; an array of Blu-ray disc players, Internet-connected TVs, home theater systems, digital video recorders and Internet video players; Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, as well as Apple TV and Google TV. In all, more than 200 devices that stream from Netflix are available in the U.S. and a growing number are available in Canada. Gift subscriptions are available at Netflix.com.

DeBrand Fine Chocolates
It’s a shame DeBrand stores aren’t worldwide, luckily you can order online or call an order in (1-800-482-4373) and have a comparable experience at home. The stores are exquisitely decorated, giving you a warm and inviting feeling the moment you walk through the door, if you are in the Fort Wayne, Indiana area I highly recommend stopping by one of the four shops to encounter the best chocolate in the world! I’ll just say it – you can’t go wrong with anything. People will love you for finding a gift that is so “them”, because gifting DeBrand is fail proof. At the top of their website, www.debrand.com, you will find a tab to “Enter Chocolate Shop.” I suggest you take a look at the “Holiday Baskets/Gifts” and my personal pick would be item number one, The Holiday Gift Tote. Contained within a reusable sleek, brown tote you will find a half pound of the Classic Collection, 9 pc. Connoisseur Collection, 6 pc. Truffle Collection, 2 chocolate tasting bars, 1 box of Pecan Brittle, 1 box of Holiday Medley, 1 box of dark cherry cordials, and your choice of a Happy Holidays bar, a Merry Christmas bar, or a Happy Hanukkah bar.You can go to each collection on the site and “take a bite” by scrolling over each chocolate to find out what’s inside. Each piece is individually molded and there is an artisan aspect to everything DeBrand makes. The Connoisseur Collection is very interesting as well as delicious, DeBrand uses spices and ingredients found from all over the world, bringing a diverse array of flavors to this particular collection. Each piece seems to balance so nicely, my favorite is the Aztec which is a crushed pecan brittle with pecan gianduja dipped in milk chocolate and garnished with finely ground chili peppers. So luxurious with complex flavors that are very complimentary. If you are looking for stocking stuffers, DeBrand is my number one recommendation, their Holiday Medley ($17.50) contains Italian pistachios, tart raspberries, buttery caramel, salty pretzels, and crisp rice encased in creamy white chocolate – YUM! This is all put into a golden box with a bow and tag.

For little ones there is a special Santa Coin ($4.25) which has delectable milk chocolate inside of a large GoldPak coin with Santa embossed on top. The Holiday Place Setting ($7.75) has a milk chocolate Happy Holidays bar, 2 pieces from the Classic Collection (the rose carmella and dark raspberries and cream) and a milk chocolate almond bar, they are stacked like a mini tower and a gold bow ties them all together. You can also purchase small box sets of 5 piece chocolates ($9.25) from the Classic Collection: Chocolate Silk, The Nutcracker, Rose Carmella, and Raspberries and Cream are the choices. DeBrand was on my list long before Oprah chose them as one of her “Favorite Things” selections, I swear! But she is so right, DeBrand will quickly become a favorite of your recipient!

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Legendary Guitarist Slash Releases ‘iTunes Session’ EP

Legendary Guitarist Slash Releases ‘iTunes Session’ EP

Legendary guitarist Slash (Velvet Revolver, Guns N’ Roses) has just released “iTunes Session”, a six-song collection recorded exclusively for iTunes. The effort, which features Alter Bridge singer, contains the following tracks:

1) Back to Cali
2) Communication Breakdown (Led Zeppelin cover)
3) Fall to Pieces
4) Rocket Queen
5) Starlight
6) Sucker Train Blues

You can purchase the EP at this location.

The deluxe edition of Slash‘s self-titled solo album was released on September 28. The three-disc set includes two CDs and a 52-minute DVD featuring behind-the-scenes footage from the making of the album, performance footage from Australia and Los Angeles, video clips and more.

Source: Blabbermouth.net

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Howard Stern, The King of All Media, Signs 5 Year Deal With Sirius XM

Howard Stern, The King of All Media, Signs 5 Year Deal With Sirius XM

The King of All Media

Much to the delight of his fans, legendary shock jock Howard Stern has announced on his Sirius XM Radio Inc. (SIRI) show that he has signed a five-year deal to remain with the satellite radio broadcaster. The terms of the contract have not been disclosed. The announcement comes on the heels of concerns that Stern might leave the satellite radio company and go to yet another format such as Apple’s iTunes. Stern added that deals with his supporting cast and crew have not yet been signed, but he expected that most of them would return their return.

Stern originally came to Sirius in 2006 under a five-year, $500 million contract. With the help of Stern’s legions of devoted fans, Sirius gained the upper hand in the battle with it’s rival XM and eventually the two companies merged. The combined company recently reached 20 million subscribers and appears to no longer be in danger of going under, thanks to a cash infusion from billionaire media mogul John Malone.

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Michael Jackson’s “(I Can’t Make It) Another Day” Featuring Lenny Kravitz – Now Streaming!

Michael Jackson’s “(I Can’t Make It) Another Day” Featuring Lenny Kravitz – Now Streaming!

A new song entitled “(I Can’t Make It) Another Day (Featuring Lenny Kravitz)” from the new Michael Jackson album MICHAEL will be streamed free for one week starting December 7th as an iTunes exclusive on Ping, Apple’s new music-focused social network.

Recorded with Lenny Kravitz during the Invincible era, the song unexpectedly leaked in 2008 prompting Lenny to finish the song. Dave Grohl is the featured drummer on the track. Written and produced by Lenny Kravitz and co-produced by Michael Jackson.

The creative process never stopped for the King of Pop who was always planning for his next album; unbeknownst to many fans around the world Michael Jackson was writing and recording songs continuously everywhere from a friend’s home in New Jersey to studios in Las Vegas and Los Angeles with a small group of handpicked collaborators. Now, through the unique stories that will be told about the songs that comprise MICHAEL, fans will get mind-blowing insight into how this artist worked and a chance to hear the songs he most recently created along with tracks that Michael had a desire to bring to fruition.

The tracklisting for ‘Michael’ is:

‘Hold My Hand’ (featuring Akon)
‘Hollywood Tonight’
‘Keep Your Head Up’
‘(I Like) The Way You Love Me’
‘Monster’ (featuring 50 Cent)
‘Best Of Joy’
‘Breaking News’
‘(I Can’t Make It) Another Day’ (featuring Lenny Kravitz)
‘Behind The Mask’
‘Much Too Soon’

MICHAEL will be released December 14, 2010.


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Daisy De La Hoya: Reality TV Beauty Talks Music and Upcoming Projects!

Daisy De La Hoya: Reality TV Beauty Talks Music and Upcoming Projects!

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past two decades, you are probably familiar with the name De La Hoya. It’s a name that has become synonymous with the fighting spirit. Daisy De La Hoya is no exception to that rule and packs a mean punch of her own! She made a huge splash with her stint on VH1’s ‘Rock of Love’ and spawned her own successful spin-off, ‘Daisy of Love’. Proving that she is much more than a pretty face, this pop culture firecracker has set her sights on making a mark on the music world! Icon Vs. Icon’s Jason Price recently caught up with this multi-faceted artist to discuss her past, present and future in the entertainment industry!

You have a lot of irons in the fire at the moment but I wanted to focus first on your musical side. How did music first come into your life?

I have been involved with music since I was a little kid. It has been a huge part of my life. I have had family members who were in bands, so music has always been around. When I was around 18, I joined an underground goth rock band and toured around the country for about three years and then cut a record with them. The band’s name was called Seraphim Shock. So, I was doing that and I got some sponsorships with Daisy Rock Guitar and created a little following for myself. Then I decided to venture off and do my own solo thing, because my ex-boyfriend at the time was in the band, so it just wasn’t working out. [laughs]

Who are some of your musical Influences?

My biggest influences come from ‘80s music. That is what I grew up on! Luckily, my parents were young rock ‘n’ rollers when I was growing up, so I was lucky enough to grow up listening to Guns ‘N’ Roses, Motley Crue, Poison and all of that really good ‘80s hair metal music. Then of course came Nirvana, which was and still is a huge influence in my life. There is also the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and the Beatles, so I was influenced by a lot of good music!

For those who haven’t heard your music, how would you describe your sound?

My sound is very rock ‘n’ roll! I have five songs out right now. I just released a song called ‘Addicted To Love,’ which I launched on my birthday. I’m very excited about the song because I feel that it is a lot more mature than the other songs that I have written. You can get the song on iTunes. My sound is always rock ‘n’ roll but I hope that it will continue to evolve along the way!

What is the typical songwriting process like for you?

I am really, really busy with a lot of other things in my life, so it is only now that I am beginning to focus more on my music. At first I was very focused on doing the acting thing but the music side kept coming back to me. I sorta do it all — acting, singing, dancing, modeling, creating chaos, whatever! [laughs] I write a lot, everything from music to stories and things like that. Sometimes I will get writer’s block, so I just move from project to project. Inspiration for me is everything! The best inspiration for me, and I know that this isn’t going to sound good, comes to me when things aren’t going so well in my life … things like heartbreak. It is something like that, that gives me a sort of energy or inspiration to write. I tend to write the lyrics and the melody first. I have never had a band but I am very excited to announce that I have formed a band! One of the band members is Chuck Irwin, who is the drummer in Corey Feldman’s band Truth Movement. It is very exciting to have this new outlet for creativity!

Is the formation of the band and your focus on music going to lead to a full album at some point?

Ya know, I am not really sure. I am kinda of the opinion that albums at this point are kinda old fashioned to me because I have always just been able to do a single and put it out on iTunes, which has been really simple. So, I don’t really know at this point but as far as the songs that I do have already, we will be including them along with a couple of covers. I was very excited to do some covers because that is really part of the fun! Going out on tour with Corey Feldman, I would do a few covers from time to time with people singing along. That is when it dawned on me that I didn’t need to have a full, long set and that I could include some really fun covers! I am really excited to include that element as well.

You mentioned touring with Corey Feldman and The Truth Movement earlier this year. What was that experience like?

Corey and I have been friends for a few years now, very close friends. He knew that I did music and that I wasn’t doing a lot this past summer. He was putting together his plan of attack for this year and he told me that he was going out on tour with his band and he asked me to be a part of the tour. I said, ‘Of course, I would love to be a part of that and tour with your band!’ After that I got a little nervous! [laughs] His music is really amazing and his musicians are brilliant. Doing backing vocals is something that I had never really done before, so when I first heard them I was like, ‘Oh God! Can I do this?!’ Then I learned it and it is something that I loved! I was super excited about it! We went out on a tour bus, which was new for me because I had always toured in vans … unless I was touring as a groupie of course! The bus was awesome and I had an amazing time touring with them. Luckily, I already had some experience with touring. It is pretty hard being a girl and touring with a bunch of guys. Guys don’t need all of the stuff that girls need! There were days where I was taking bird baths at Wal-Mart! But I already knew the process, so it was OK! [laughs] It was an amazing adventure and I learned a lot about being a better singer from the others and from Corey’s music. I really think that it helped me strengthen my voice and become a better singer. When I got home, I became really inspired by that whole situation and decided to put a band together, go on tour and do all the things that come with it. It is not 100% the way I had envisioned it back then but it is good. I am actually going to Japan in November to do a performance there. I am really grateful to Corey for taking me out on that tour because I had a lot of fun and I really needed it!

A lot of people recognize you from ‘Rock of Love’ or ‘Daisy of Love’. Those had to be some pretty unique experiences for you. Was it difficult to put yourself out there for the world to see in the reality TV format?

No, it wasn’t because I am a very honest person. To me, it was doing another form of entertainment. I was on reality television where there is no script and they are just following you around with the camera. When you are in that situation, there is a persona that comes out that is bigger than what I am in everyday life because the camera is on me. I enjoyed that and I am glad that people liked it. It became a huge part of my life.

I know you had a book in the works. What is the status of that?

I had a whole bunch of stuff that I was writing but sometimes my life gets really, really busy …

It sounds like it!

[laughs] Yeah! I have so many ideas and I should be writing it all down but I like to think I can keep it all in my head! [laughs] But yeah, I am writing it but it is a really long process for me. I am a very emotional person, so to get all of that stuff out and put on paper is very challenging for me and almost painful at points. But yeah, it will happen! It might happen 20 years from now but it will happen! [laughs] I just feel that I have a lot to tell people about myself and a lot I would like to share with the world. Hopefully, people will be inspired by that. I always think about young girls, kids and people in general and how we all deserve to be happy. We all deserve to have whatever it is that we want. I am slowly being able to learn how to achieve that and I would love to serve as an inspiration for others.

What other projects are on the horizon for you?

I am currently in talks with a network about a possible new show that I may be doing. I am very excited about it and I do believe it is going to happen. It will be something humongous for myself! I can’t really tell you too much about it other than it is something that really ties in and it is something that I had never thought of doing in a millions years! [laughs] So, I am really excited about that! I have also started doing some charity work which I am very, very excited about! One charity is called To Write Love On Her Arms (www.twloha.com). It is a charity that focuses on people who survived or struggled with suicide, depression, drugs or alcohol. I am really excited to be a part of this charity, as they have done some really amazing work. The other charity I am working with is PETA (www.peta.org), we all know PETA! I love animals and I am really looking forward to helping out in any way that I can! I think those are the major things right now. I am the worst promoter of myself! [laughs] I do have a MySpace account and there you can hear the music and check out the latest dates. You can find that at www.myspace.com/daisyrocksmusic.

What is the best piece of advice someone has given you along the way in your career and what is the best piece of advice that you would give to someone getting into the entertainment industry?

I have gotten a lot of really good advice! Unfortunately, I can’t remember any of it! [laughs] I didn’t listen to any of it to be totally honest with you! [laughs] I am still trying to get into the entertainment industry myself! I have chosen an industry that is a very brutal one because there are a lot of negative elements that surround it. Some days I think, ‘I don’t want to do this anymore,’ but others I think ‘No! This is exactly what I want to do. I’m not going to stop!’ You have to be a very strong person and you have to surround yourself with positive energy and thoughts at all times. If being in the entertainment industry is really what you want, there is no reason that you can’t. The only reason that can hold you back is you. You have to keep fighting and believing in yourself and your dreams can definitely come true.

Just in talking to you on the phone, your positive attitude really comes across. That is pretty refreshing with all the negativity that is out there in the world today.

Thank you, so much!

Is there anything else you want to let your fans know before you go?

I just want to thank everyone who have believed in me and supported me along the way. I am really excited about all of these new projects that I am going to bring to them. I hope everyone will continue to give me some love. Check me out on Twitter (twitter.com/daisy_delahoya) and be sure to check out those charities I mentioned, that would be really awesome.

It has been a pleasure, Daisy! I look forward to talking to you again very soon!

Yeah! No problem! Thank you so much for chatting with me!

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Ladies and Gentleman… The Beatles Finally Come To iTunes!

Ladies and Gentleman… The Beatles Finally Come To iTunes!

The Beatles

Apple announced a deal with representatives of the Beatles and the group’s record label, EMI Group, to put the entire catalog of Beatles music in the iTunes Store.

For years, The Fab Four have been the most notable holdout from selling their collective digital music in Apple’s popular iTunes store even though solo recordings by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison are already available.

“We’re really excited to bring the Beatles’ music to iTunes,” band member Sir Paul McCartney said in a statement. “It’s fantastic to see the songs we originally released on vinyl receive as much love in the digital world as they did the first time around.”

The deal covers the band’s 13 original studio albums and special box sets. Individual songs cost $1.29, most albums are priced at $12.99 and double albums, such as “Past Masters,” cost $19.99. The popular “White Album” also costs $19.99.

The Beatles’ inclusion in the iTunes store will also put additional pressure on AC/DC, Bob Seger and Kid Rock, all of whom have continued to withhold their music from the online store.

The Beatles-iTunes agreement will also strengthen the iTunes catalog, which has come to symbolize the importance of music to Apple’s corporate identity as it has grown from a niche computer maker. The iPod helped bring digital music to the mainstream, simplifying music purchases while spurring an ecosystem of speakers and other accessories. As the iPod grew to dominate the digital music player market, iTunes became the largest music retailer in the U.S. Since it opened 2003, more than 10 billion songs have been sold on iTunes worldwide.

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Dane Cook To Release ‘I Did My Best – Greatest Hits’ CD In November

Dane Cook To Release ‘I Did My Best – Greatest Hits’ CD In November

It’s the best of the best from Dane Cook!  Dane Cook’s “I Did My Best – Greatest Hits” CD will be released on COMEDY CENTRAL Records on November 22.  The album will also be available on iTunes, Amazon, eMusic, Audible and most digital providers.  Cook is currently on his DANE COOK LIVE! North American tour. For information on tour dates, please visit www.danecook.com.

Arguably the biggest comic on the planet, Cook has put together a collection of his best and most popular material, spanning his five full-length albums which have collectively sold over 4 million copies in the U.S. and Canada alone.  In addition to favorites like “No So Kool-Aid,” “B & E” and “The Atheist,” the album features ten minutes of previously unreleased material, all re-mastered and newly cut together – a must have for longtime fans and those who want an introduction to Cook at his best.  The double-digipak contains two full-length CDs of two and a half hours of Cook’s best jokes.

Combining energetic physical comedy, clever wordplay and trenchant observations about human behavior, Dane Cook’s unique brand of stand-up comedy and accessible guy-next-door attitude have galvanized audiences of all ages.  Named a “comedian phenom and icon” by Entertainment Weekly, Cook has maintained his reputation as one of today’s most prolific stand-up comedians while simultaneously distinguishing himself as a charismatic and versatile actor.  In 2007, Cook starred in his first leading role as the likable slacker Zack in “Employee of the Month.”  After inking a multi-faceted production deal with HBO, he created, directed and starred in the network’s nine-part comedy documentary series, “Tourgasm” and wrote, executive-produced and starred in “Vicious Circle.”

Cook began his career at age 18, honing his craft on the college and comedy club circuits and became one of the first comics to develop and maintain his own Web site to reach out to audiences.  Among many awards and accolades, Cook was named Rolling Stone Magazine’s Hot Comic, Stuff Magazine’s Coolest Comic of the Year and was the winner of COMEDY CENTRAL’s “Stand-up Showdown.”  His arrival on the cultural stage was confirmed when Time Magazine listed him as one of the world’s 100 Most Influential People.  In the past few years, Cook has hosted “Saturday Night Live” twice (including the season premiere) helping the program earn the highest non-sports ratings of any network that year.  Cook has entertained audiences in various films including “Good Luck Chuck” with Jessica Alba, “Mr. Brooks” with Kevin Costner, Demi Moore and William Hurt,My Best Friends Girl” oppositeKate Hudson and Alec Baldwin, “Dan in Real Life” with Steve Carrell, “Waiting” with Ryan Reynolds and Anna Farris, “London” with Jessica Biel and “Mystery Men” with Ben Stiller.

Cook catapulted to media headlines when his comedy CD/DVD, “Retaliation,” bucked industry trends by debuting at #4 on the Billboard 200.  The album, which has hit double platinum, marked him as the highest-charting comedian in 27 years, earning him a place along with best-selling comedy vets Bill Cosby, George Carlin and Steve Martin.  Additionally, “Harmful If Swallowed” and “Rough Around the Edges” CDs have appeared on eight different Billboard charts.  Last year, his last album, “ISolated INcident,” was the highest-rated special on COMEDY CENTRAL and became his second album to debut at number #4 on the Billboard charts, making him the only comedian in history to achieve that feat.

In November of last year, Cook also broke ground in the music industry with the release of his first rock single, “I’ll Never Be You,” and “Simon Said,” which he performed on this year’s finale of “American Idol.”

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‘Sons of Anarchy’ iPhone App Rolls Into The Apple App Store!

‘Sons of Anarchy’ iPhone App Rolls Into The Apple App Store!

The Men of Mayhem are coming to an iPhone near you, as FX’s hit original series Sons of Anarchy releases its very own mobile app today, available for .99 cents on iTunes.  The show’s past and present come together with never-before-heard stories, bonus materials and club history. This new app takes fans deep into SAMCRO’s roots and explores “John Teller’s” original vision for the club, the origins of its relationship with the IRA as well as its link to Belfast and much more.

SOA creator Kurt Sutter said this regarding the new mobile app: “Welcome to Sons of Anarchy. What follows is an insider’s glimpse of the SOA mythology from Charming to Belfast.  The MC history, character backstory and the details of the large narrative arcs my writers and I draw upon to create the show. I think you’ll dig it. If not, what the hell, it was only a buck.”  For a video introduction to the app by Sutter, click here >

The SOA app is updated every Monday and Wednesday with a new story that will work in tandem with the on-air storylines for the show’s current season.  Exclusive photography, bonus materials, deleted scenes and never-before-seen script pages will also be included.  To access the app on iTunes, click here >

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