Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Motorola SURFboard- My Innernets just got faster!

Motorola SB6121 SURFboard DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem

Lookie what I'm getting... my internets were slowing down, so I went and got myself a new surfboard to ride the tubes a little faster!

Building upon the success of the SB6120, Motorola's SURFboard SB6121 delivers your complete personal media experience, at lightning-fast broadband speed. It harnesses the power of DOCSIS 3.0 technology to bond up to four downstream channels and four upstream channels--providing you advanced multimedia services with data rates of more than 100 Mbps in each direction. That makes gaming, shopping, downloading, working, high-quality voice and video conferencing, and peer-to-peer networking applications far more realistic, faster, and efficient than ever before.

* Up to 160 Mbps downstream, up to 120 Mbps upstream
* Front panel, easy to read operational LEDs to indicate status and simplify troubleshooting
* IPV6 support - latest Internet communication protocol
* Rear panel color coded for ease of installation

Easy to Set Up and Use
  • Plug and play installation
  • Front panel LEDs indicate status and simplify troubleshooting
  • Multi-language user guides
  • Supports standard internet software
  • User-friendly online diagnostics
  • Stylish and space-saving enclosure
  • Offers innovative, high-bandwidth data and multimedia services to customers
  • Backward-compatible to DOCSIS/EuroDOCSIS 1.x and 2.0
Advanced Services Ready
  • DOCSIS 3.0-certified (EuroDOCSIS 3.0-based)
  • Channel bonding of up to 4 downstream and 4 upstream channels
  • 1 GHz capable tuners
  • Supports IPv4 and IPv6 to expand network addressing capabilities
Versatile and Convenient
  • Compatible with Windows, Macintosh, and UNIX computers.
  • Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45) data port enable flexible, high-speed connectivity with Auto Negotiate and Auto MDIX
Reliable and Secure
  • Enhanced security: supports Advanced Encryption Services (AES) traffic encryption
  • Remotely configurable and monitorable using SNMP and TFTP
With the DOCSIS 3.0 specification, cable Internet providers can take advantage of the extra capacity provided by channel-bonding technology in order to offer ultra-fast broadband services. Channel bonding allows parallel data pipes to act as a single broadband conduit. With each channel capable of providing around 40 Mbps of data, the Motorola SURFboard SB6121's four downstream channels can provide a theoretical maximum of 160 Mbps of throughput.
Currently, cable providers max out at around 50 Mbps of downstream data throughput, but DOCSIS 3.0 will enable cable Internet providers to continue to improve the speed of their networks.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Want Home Theater without a lot of fuss? Check this out!

Polk Audio Surroundbar IHT 6000 Instant Home Theater

Polk Audio Surroundbar IHT 6000 Instant Home Theater

Flat panel TVs create stunning pictures. Their sound should be, stunning too. Which is why we’ve created the SurroundBar 6000 Instant Home Theater. Our latest SurroundBar is the sleekest, leanest, self-powered single-speaker surround solution yet. The SurroundBar 6000 blends almost seamlessly with the new generation of TVs, while the wireless subwoofer tucks away anywhere you want it to. But the real beauty of the SurroundBar 6000 becomes evident the moment you turn it on. That’s when your flat panel comes alive with the astonishing performance of Polk’s 3D Audio. You’ll never look at your flat panel TV the same way again. 

When you want to fill a larger room with convincing surround sound, and you want the incredible convenience of a single-speaker system, or you have a new super-slim flat-panel TV, the SurroundBar 6000 IHT delivers the clutter-free performance and style you want. No wires, no other speakers needed. Simple connections, specially engineered materials, and digital technology in a beautiful loudspeaker that's less than 2" thin and mounts above or below your flat-panel TV.

  • Less Than 2" Deep, the SurroundBar?s sleek design blends seamlessly with today?s contemporary TV designs
  • 3D Audio-a combination of Polk Audio?s proprietary SDA and Polk Digital Logic technologies-creates a rich, enveloping listening experience
  • Dolby Digital Decoding for the kind of full, clear sound you want from all your digital sources
  • Powerful Wireless Subwoofer creates deep bass impact and can be placed anywhere in the room within 50' of the SurroundBar 6000
  • ENERGY STAR Certified

Monday, February 27, 2012

The HERO Camera Soooooo Rocks!

GoPro Camera CHDOH-002 HD HERO2 Outdoor Edition

If you do action sports or spend time outdoors doing things people would like to watch, you absolutely need this.

GoPro cameras are used by more professional athletes, sports filmmakers and core enthusiasts than any other camera in the world. The HD HERO2: Outdoor Edition is the most advanced GoPro camera yet. Wearable and gear mountable, waterproof to 197′ (60m), capable of capturing professional full 170º wide angle 1080p video and 11 megapixel photos at a rate of 10 photos per second, the HD HERO2 is the world’s most versatile camera. Whether your goal is to capture a great day out with friends or you’re gunning for the cover of a magazine, the HD HERO2: Outdoor Edition can help you nail it and look like a HERO.

If you've used the original Hero, this updated version will be a real treat. The menu is so much easier to navigate - no more obtuse codes to decipher. You can use the camera without ever looking at the user manual. Other improvements include LED's on top and bottom (as well as the front,) a more informative display, higher resolution for still images - this of course includes time lapse, and a 10 photo burst mode (the camera takes a few moments to store these out.)

If you're new to the Hero line, this beats the pants of any competitor. The vast array of mounting options, both from GoPro and third party vendors make mounting this puppy anywhere a breeze. The fact that it uses SD cards (class 4 or above) keeps the cost down. and the tons of options make this a no-brainer. There's a Streaming video back being released shortly - yes - streaming video! You can add extra power using the USP port and any generic power supply (Aluratek, Belkin, or Tekkeon) for those really long shoots. The affordable replacement housing and parts are another big plus. I've seen this thing survive being tossed from a go-cart doing 50mph (It needed a new housing, but the camera was undamaged) and being knocked off a ski-helmet and tumbling down a rocky mountain face.

The slo-mo and new super-slo-mo are really cool - watch those trick jumps and stunts in all their glory. You can always speed them up in most video editing software! When I first saw this unit online I thought it looked a little strange and was larger than it actually way. Once I actually held one in my hands, I was shocked by it's tiny size, negligible weight and variety or mounting options.

For the most bang-for the buck, the motorsports version is your best deal - you can purchase the vented helmet mount for about 1/2 the price of the suction-cup mount - that's the main difference. That suction-cup is a must-have for automotive shooting (unless you want to permanently stick a mount to your dash.)

In case you're not sure, it's the same camera in all three Hero sets (the original Hero) and it's the same Hero2 camera in all Hero2 sets. The differences are the included mounting accessories.

Special mention goes to the anti-shake/anti-vibration the GoPro has. It's amazing. It cancels out 99% of the vibration from motor vehicles and rough ski-runs! The camera is so light, some model helicopter flyer's use it mounted to the chassis.

For some additional fun, you can make a mechanical kitchen-timer rotating base for 360 degree time-lapse movies. The camera, including mount and housing, is light enough to make this work. Check out YouTube for samples and how-to videos. One final tip - the packaging has a base that the camera comes attached to. This base is great for clamping to surfaces, for use as a extra-stable base, or for screwing to an outdoor surface where you'll use the camera a lot. I'll attach it to the starting house for our ski races so I can do some motion capture from the same spot and edit them together.

One final observation on the still photo quality - it's using the video sensor, so don't expect it to be as clear or crisp as en equivalent resolution camera. The photos show a lot of compression artifacting and noise.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Nike+ SportWatch GPS Powered by TomTom

Nike+ SportWatch GPS Powered by TomTom

Check out my latest attempt to use technology to keep me on my fitness regimen, this cool watch Nike+ SportWatch GPS Powered by TomTom

  • Water resistant Nike+ SportWatch features TomTom GPS for accurate speed and distance information, indoors or out--even if the GPS signal gets interrupted
  • Track your time, distance, pace, heart rate (with optional sensor), and calories burned; view your mapped route with pace data/changes in elevation on
  • Rechargeable lithium polymer battery charges via USB, provides eight hours of run time with the GPS and sensor both turned on, up to 50 days of standby power
  • Join challenges and connect with friends as a member of routes, find popular running areas, share activity on Facebook or Twitter
  • Personal coaching features help keep you at your best--reminds you to run, stores your run history, and remembers your personal records

Think Less, Run Better

Put on your Nike+ SportWatch GPS, go outside and run. The Nike+ Sensor is optional. Tap the screen to mark laps and activate the backlight during your run, and personalize the data that you want to see during your run. For direct connect, USB contacts are built into the watch strap--just plug the watch directly into a USB port on your computer to upload run data and recharge the battery.

The Watch itself weighs in at just 2.33 ounces, and boasts a rechargeable lithium polymer battery that provides eight hours of run time with the GPS and sensor both turned on, and up to 50 days of standby power. The watch is also water resistant (up to 5 ATM), for when you head out in less-than-ideal weather. English interface only.
Enhanced Accuracy

Using GPS by TomTom with the Nike+ Sensor, you can start tracking your run instantly, and get accurate speed and distance information, indoors or out--even if the GPS signal gets interrupted. The Nike+ SportWatch GPS by TomTom tracks your time, distance, pace, heart rate and calories burned. It also shows your mapped route, with pace data, and changes in elevation on And it's heart-rate monitor compatible with the Polar Wearlink+ Transmitter.
You'll Never Slack Again

View your Nike+ history (up to 50 runs) and PRs, and set automatic Run Reminders when a run hasn't been logged in the past five days. Run a personal best, receive an Attaboy. You can also find new routes, set personal goals and access training programs on

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Howard Stern and So Much More, Sirius XM Radio

XM XDNX1V1 Onyx Dock-and-Play Radio with Car Kit

I had Sirius Satellite Radio before Howard Stern showed up. In fact, I never listened to Howard before he joined up with Sirius. I knew he did a lot of stuff that was shocking and offensive, and that's it. When I actually listened to him, however, I was soon hooked. If you're a radio listener and you're tired of the same old local stations, or if you drive a lot, do yourself a favor and try one of these. Satellite radio is awesome- they have some great stations, very few commercials, and some great original content, like Howard Stern.

  • PowerConnect FM Transmitter works through your vehicle's radio with easy do-it-yourself installation
  • Personalize your radio with six selectable display color themes and three different trim rings
  • View artist name, song title and channel information on a large color display; enjoy fast access to up to 10 of your favorite channels
  • Browse programs, artists and songs playing on other channels, without having to change the channel
  • One-Touch Jump to traffic and weather of the 20 most congested cities, or to the previous channel to which you were listening
  • Dock & Play XM satellite radio
  • Full-color display
  • 10 channel presets
  • PowerConnect system includes auxiliary output cable and power adapter/FM transmitter
  • Includes car accessories: docking station and roof-mount antenna
With the XM onyX, it's easy to enjoy Satellite Radio in any vehicle. Do-It-Yourself Installation with PowerConnect is quick and effortless: Just plug it into your vehicle's power adapter socket to enjoy live Satellite Radio directly through your FM radio. The large color display and other advanced features maximize your listening experience. You can even personalize onyX to match your vehicle's dashboard with selectable display screen colors and trim rings. Add accessories to enjoy onyX in the home, office or anywhere in between.

Large color display
View artist name, song title, and channel information on a clean and simple color display.
Customize your display
Choose the backlight color theme that matches your mood or your vehicle dash lights. You can change the color of the display screen to one of 6 color themes: Blue, Red, Amber, Yellow, Silver, or Teal.
Personalize your radio
Choose the trim ring that reflects your taste or complements your vehicle interior. The Trim Ring surrounds the Select button on the radio. A total of three trim rings are included with the onyX, including the one that is already installed.
Improved audio connection options
Use the included Aux In Cable for the best sound. For vehicles with a cassette player, you can use a cassette adapter. If you have neither, the new PowerConnect technology transmits via FM, so you can receive audio through your vehicle's stereo system.
Enhanced real-time channel guide
Browse programs, artists, and songs playing on other channels, without having to change the channel you are on.
Favorite channel presets
Save and enjoy fast access to up to 10 of your favorite channels. Each favorite channel can be assigned to a number button.
FM preset button
Store and quickly access FM channels that give you the best audio reception when using PowerConnect.
One-Touch Jump
Directly access traffic or weather of the 20 most congested cities, or use it to go back to the previous channel to which you were listening.
Parental controls
Easily lock and unlock channels with mature content.
Complete PowerConnect Vehicle Kit Included
Color-coded connections make it a snap to install, and a wire guide keeps your cabling organized.
Universal docking capability
Add accessories for your home, office, additional vehicles or even outdoors.
What's in the Box
XM onyX Radio, PowerConnect Vehicle Kit, Magnetic Mount Antenna, Aux In Cable, User Guide, Quick Start Guide, XM Channel Guide

Friday, February 24, 2012

2012 GRAMMY Nominees

2012 GRAMMY Nominees

The Recording Academy's GRAMMY Recordings and Universal Republic Records have joined forces to release the 2012 GRAMMY Nominees album on Jan. 24, 2012. The 18th edition of the best-selling series will showcase many of this year's GRAMMY-nominated artists and songs. A portion of the proceeds from sales of the album will help support the year-round efforts of the GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares Foundation -- two charitable organizations of The Recording Academy.

Every year, the Grammy nominees are named, and the annual version of this CD is released. This is an entertainment event I anticipate every year. The music presented is always wonderful, and it's never disappointing! This year was no exception. I might have overlooked some of these gems if they weren't offered in this format. The track "Body and Soul," by Tony Bennett and Amy Winehouse, for example, is a hauntingly beautiful tribute to the artists.

It's fun to load up these discs when taking a long road trip. While listening, the road trip is transformed into a walk down memory lane as you remember where you were, and what you were doing, when each song was released. Listening makes the time and the miles fly.

The Grammys started in 1959, but this series didn't start until 1995. It's too bad the producers haven't released discs from previous years Grammys. With the caliber of music included, they would be sure to sell, especially now that Baby Boomers are starting to retire.

1. Rolling In The Deep Adele 3:48
2. Grenade Bruno Mars 3:41
3. Firework Katy Perry 3:43
4. Moves Like Jagger Maroon 5 3:21
5. Super Bass Nicki Minaj 3:21
6. What's My Name? Rihanna 3:50
7. Work Out J. Cole 3:46
8. Yoü And I Lady Gaga 4:06
9. Pumped Up Kicks Foster The People 3:31
10. Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites Skrillex 3:16
11. Paradise Coldplay 4:38
12. Walk Foo Fighters 4:16
13. If I Die Young The Band Perry 3:35
14. The Cave Mumford & Sons 3:36
15. Holocene Bon Iver 4:18
16. Just A Kiss Lady Antebellum 3:37
17. Mean Taylor Swift 3:56
18. Honey Bee Blake Shelton 3:17
19. Drink In My Hand Eric Church 3:11
20. Dearest The Black Keys 2:04
21. Don't You Wanna Stay Jason Aldean 3:15
22. Body And Soul Tony Bennett & Amy Winehouse 3:20

The Device that Changed the World- The iPod

Apple iPod touch 8GB (4th Generation- Current Version!)

Apple was a smallish niche computer company that exploded into a giant with the iPod. They have dominated the technology buzz market ever since. The technology revolution, begun in the mid-90s, really gained speed with the super cool iPod as its face- there had been mp3 players before the iPod, but this one really changed the game. I use my phone for mp3 playing now, but for giggles I went to Amazon to check up on what is available in the latest version of the iPod and was truly amazed at how far they have come.

The world's most popular portable gaming device is even more fun. Now available in black and white, iPod touch includes iOS 5 with over 200 new features, like iMessage, Notification Center, and Twitter integration. Send free, unlimited text messages over Wi-Fi with iMessage. Record HD video and make FaceTime calls. Visit the App Store to choose from over 500,000 apps. iPod touch also features iCloud, which stores your music, photos, apps, and moreÑand wirelessly pushes them to all your devices.

FaceTime. Oh, I see what you're saying.

Video calling on iPod touch means your friends can see what you're up to, when you're up to it. With a tap, you can call someone on an iPhone, iPad 2, iPod touch, or Mac over Wi-Fi. And come face-to-face with even more fun.
Tap for a more instant, instant message.

Take "LOL" to the next level and actually see friends laughing. Or bring "XOXO" to life when you blow someone a kiss from miles away. FaceTime on iPod touch makes it possible. FaceTime works right out of the box--just enter your Apple ID and email address. Or create a new email account just for FaceTime. Using FaceTime is as easy as it gets. Say you want to start a video call with your best friend over Wi-Fi. Just tap the FaceTime app and find her entry to start the call. An invitation pops up on her screen asking if she wants to join you. When she accepts, FaceTime begins. It's all perfectly seamless. And it works in both portrait and landscape. See how much fun you can have.
Two cameras make either side its fun side.

iPod touch has two built-in cameras, one on the front above the display and one on the back. The front camera has been tuned for FaceTime. It has just the right field of view and focal length to focus on your face at arm's length. So it always presents you in the best possible light. Which is especially handy when you're talking to someone who's more than just a friend.
The back camera. See and share.

So your friend is sick with a cold and can't make it to the concert. You can share the encore with a FaceTime call. As the band takes the stage and starts playing one of her all-time favorite songs, just tap a button. And before the lead singer can belt out his first note, iPod touch switches to the back camera and to the sure-to-be-legendary performance. Another tap switches to the front camera and to you. Simple, fast, and fun.
Camera with HD Video Recording. Ready, and action.

The next great Internet meme could be yours. iPod touch and its HD video camera go with you everywhere, so you can capture every "What the?" moment that comes your way.
Trim a little off the ends. Or the middle.

No need to wait until you're back at your computer to edit video. With basic editing built into iPod touch, you can get right down to business. Just drag to select start and end points on a filmstrip. Keep only the parts of the video you want, and turn it into something you and your friends will watch again and again.

Special guest star: iMovie.

You're on an epic road trip, and you want to create a video postcard of everything you've seen and done. Just use the iMovie app--pick it up on the App Store for just $4.99. Built for Multi-Touch, iMovie lets you combine and edit video clips, give them that extra something with dynamic themes, add music and photos, and share your finished movies with the world.
This is so going on YouTube.

Maybe you're in the middle of texting a friend or browsing the web when you look up and suddenly see something that words just can't describe. Launch the camera and record on the fly. Then upload your HD movie directly to YouTube. Or select some video from the Camera Roll and attach it to a new email message, ready to send. Posting to your Facebook page or blog is also just a tap away.
Two cameras. Countless photo ops.

A really cool piece of graffiti art. A cupcake too cute to eat. Your cat camouflaged by stuffed animals. If you want to take a quick photo to post on Twitter, either camera on iPod touch can also capture stills. Use grid lines, pinch-to-zoom gestures, and single-tap exposure lock to compose the perfect shot. Then tap to tweet at will.
Retina Display. Seeing is still not believing.

Thanks to the Retina display, everything you see and do on iPod touch looks amazing. That's because the Retina display's pixel density is so high your eye is unable to distinguish individual pixels. Which means images in games, movies, and photos pop off the screen. Text in books, web pages, and email is crisp at any size. And everything is sharper. No wonder it's called "cutting edge."

More wow per inch.

Behind the screen of iPod touch, there's some serious technology going on. By developing pixels a mere 78 micrometers wide, Apple engineers were able to pack four times the number of pixels into the same size screen found on earlier iPod touch models. This many pixels packed this close together--326 per inch--make graphics and text look smooth and continuous at any size. Prepare to be glued to the screen.
LED backlighting.

The Retina display includes LED backlighting and an ambient light sensor that automatically adjusts the brightness of the screen for the best viewing and battery life possible. So you can focus on more important things. Like destroying aliens.
AirPlay. Broadcast live to your HDTV and speakers.

With AirPlay, you can wirelessly stream what's on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to your HDTV and speakers via Apple TV. That's gonna go over big.
Give your photos and video the big-screen treatment.

You have great photos on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch and some friends on your couch. Or you're in the middle of an epic action scene that could use a little more screen. Tap the AirPlay icon on your iOS 5 device from a specific app--Photos, Videos, or Safari, for example--and everything streams to your HDTV via your Apple TV.* Make sure both your device and Apple TV are connected to the same Wi-Fi network, and the AirPlay icon appears automatically.
DJ wirelessly.

AirPlay isn't just for photos, movies, and apps. It's for your music, too. A song, an album, a favorite playlist--if it's on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you can stream it to your home entertainment speakers via Apple TV. Because rocking out is always more fun in surround sound.
Your speakers and AirPlay. Perfectly in tune.

Conduct a symphony, chill with an indie band, or put on a rock concert--anywhere in the house. Connect any speaker you own to an AirPort Express. Or stream directly to AirPlay-enabled speakers from manufacturers like Denon, Marantz, B&W, JBL, and iHome. Your iOS device automatically detects your speakers: Just tap the ones you want to use. Since it all happens wirelessly, you have the freedom to cue the tunes from wherever you happen to be sitting, standing, or dancing.
Music. The DNA of iPod touch.

Your workouts, your cram sessions, your commute, your late-night dance party of one, your ever-present need to drown out the noise around you. It's your music that keeps you going. And you know what respects that? iPod touch.

A work of album art.

What a song does for your ears, Cover Flow on iPod touch does for your eyes and fingers. Turn iPod touch on its side and glide through your music by album art with the flick of your finger. Tap an album cover to flip it over and display a track list. Tap again to start the music.
From one great song comes an even greater playlist.

Songs in your library get a newfound rhythm thanks to Genius. When you're listening to a track you love and want to hear others that go great with it, let Genius take over. It finds complementary songs you own and makes a Genius playlist for you. Listen to the playlist right away, save it for later, or even refresh it and give it another go. Count on Genius to create a playlist you wouldn't have thought of yourself.
A genius of a mix.

Genius acts as your personal DJ. All you do is sync iPod touch to iTunes, and Genius automatically searches your library to find songs that sound great together. Then it creates multiple mixes you'll love because it's entirely your music. Genius Mixes are like stations tuned precisely to your taste. They're a great way to rediscover songs you haven't heard in forever--and some you forgot you had.
Shake it like you mean it.

The next time you're listening to your tunes, turn on Shake to Shuffle, then give iPod touch a shake to shuffle to a different song in your music library. It's just another way iPod touch keeps your music feeling fresh.

If it's entertaining, it's on iTunes.

Add songs and music videos to your iPod touch from iTunes on your computer. Or buy and download new music on your iPod touch over Wi-Fi with the iTunes app. When you do, iCloud automatically downloads it to all your devices over Wi-Fi or 3G. So everything new appears everywhere--on your iPad, iPhone, Mac, or PC. You can also browse your purchase history and choose specific songs or albums to download again at no additional cost. Sign up for iTunes Match and you can access all your other music from iCloud--including music you've imported from CDs or purchased somewhere other than iTunes. For just $24.99 a year.
Games + Apps. What iPod touch was made for.

It's hard to be bored when you have instant access to over 500,000 apps. Available in almost every category, they're just a tap away at the App Store. And when it comes to games and entertainment titles--over 100,000 and counting--no other platform comes close to iPod touch. Which probably explains why it's the world's most popular portable gaming device.
iOS. The world's most advanced mobile operating system.

Running the show on every iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad is iOS. It lets you browse, read, and see everything just by touching the screen. It also includes all the fun, powerful, and innovative built-in apps you use every day, many times a day. And the latest version, iOS 5, is packed with over 200 exciting new features that will make you say, "Best. iPod. Ever." Here are a few of our favorite new features in iOS 5:
# iMessage
Now you can be all "I was allÉ" and "She was allÉ" all you want. Send unlimited text messages to any iOS 5 device free over Wi-Fi with iMessage.

# Notification Center
You're about to beat the final boss. Now's not the time for an alert to get in the way. And it won't, thanks to Notification Center.

# Game Center
Get ready to rumble. Game Center lets you play against friends and people you don't know. And it recommends new games and new opponents.

# Twitter Integration
Twitter users rejoice. iOS 5 adds Twitter capabilities to Safari, Photos, Camera, YouTube, and Maps, so you can tweet directly from them.

# Reminders
Forget much? Reminders can fix that for you. Create lists of things to do or remember, set a deadline, and Reminders sends you an alert.

# Safari
Web articles minus the ads. What bliss. Tap the Reader button in Safari and ads disappear. Add article links to Reading List and read them later.

# Photos
Photo Stream in iCloud stores all your latest photos and pushes them wirelessly to your other devices. So every pic is everywhere.

# PC Free
You can activate and set up your iPod touch wirelessly, right out of the box. Without the need for a Mac or PC.

# Newsstand
A magazine rack that's just for you. That's the idea behind Newsstand. Find all your publications here and even subscribe to new ones.

iCloud. Your content. On all your devices.

Thanks to iCloud, your iPod touch has an even tighter bond with your Mac or PC (and your iPhone or iPad). iCloud stores your music, apps, games, latest photos, and more and makes them accessible on your other devices. And it keeps your email, contacts, and calendars up to date across them, too. It's all automatic. There's no syncing required, no management required, no anything required. iCloud does the work for you.
iTunes in the Cloud. Your music and TV shows. Wherever you want them.

You never know when you'll suddenly be in the mood to listen to a favorite song or rewatch that hilarious sitcom episode. With iCloud, you can have iTunes automatically download new music purchases to all your devices the moment you tap Buy. You can also access past music and TV show purchases from any of your devices--wirelessly and without syncing.
Photo Stream. Snap. And it's everywhere.

With Photo Stream, you can take a photo on one iOS device and it automatically appears on all your other devices, including your Mac or PC. Import new pictures to your computer from a digital camera, and iCloud sends copies over Wi-Fi to your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. You can even view recent photos on your big-screen TV via Apple TV. There's no syncing, no email attachments, no file transfers. Your pictures are just there--on whichever device you happen to have handy.

Documents in the Cloud. Start here. Finish there.

You can create amazing documents and presentations on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. And now with iCloud, you can keep your work up to date across all your iOS devices. You don't have to save your work or transfer any files. Your documents--with all your latest edits--automatically appear everywhere. iCloud is already built into Apple iOS apps like Keynote, Pages, and Numbers. It can also work with other iCloud-enabled apps. So you can do things like create a spreadsheet on your iPad and make edits to it on your iPhone. Or start sketching on your iPod touch and add the finishing touches on your iPad at home.
Apps. All your apps. Always at hand.

If you have an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you have apps. And you probably download new ones all the time. iCloud lets you automatically download new app purchases to all your devices at once. So the app you need is always right where you need it. If an app you bought previously isn't on one of your devices, not to worry. You can download it again from your purchase history--at no additional charge.
iBooks. All your devices are on the same page.

Buy a new book from the iBookstore, and iCloud makes sure it appears everywhere--your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. So if you have to put it down, you can pick it back up on another device, in exactly the same place. In addition to the best seller you're glued to at the moment, the iBooks app keeps a list of titles you've read before. And just like with apps, you can download them again to any of your devices.
Calendar, Mail, and Contacts. Up-to-date everything.

iCloud stores all the stuff you can't live without--your contacts, calendars, and email--and keeps it up to date across all your devices. Say you delete an email, add a calendar event, or change some settings. iCloud makes all your changes everywhere. Same with your notes, reminders, and Safari bookmarks.
Backup. iCloud saves the day.

iCloud backs up your iOS device daily over Wi-Fi when it's connected to a power source. From your Camera Roll and messages to your device settings and ringtones, everything is backed up quickly and efficiently. And since iCloud is built into iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, you can restore your personal data on a new iOS device or one you already have without using a single cable. iCloud does it all for you over Wi-Fi.
Find My Friends. Friend-spotting.

For finding your way to the party, keeping track of family at a crowded amusement park, or getting picked up at the airport, Find My Friends is your app. You can give friends and family permission to see your whereabouts. And vice versa. When you don't want to be found, a single switch takes you off the grid. Simple as that.
Find My iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac. Lost. And found.

If checking all the usual spots hasn't turned up your missing iOS device, Find My iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac can help.4 Just sign in at or use the Find My iPhone app on another device to locate yours on a map, display a message on its screen, remotely set a passcode lock, or initiate a remote wipe to delete your data.
AirPrint. Wireless printing, right from your iPod touch.

Late for a concert? Quickly print your tickets from your iPod touch. Stumble upon a list of cheat codes for the RPG you've been struggling with? Print it and share it with your friends. A few taps is all it takes to go from onscreen to on paper.
Hard copies made easy.

AirPrint on iPod touch makes it simple to print your email, photos, web pages, and documents. There's no software to download, no drivers to install, and no cables to connect. With just a few taps on your iPod touch, you can go from viewing something onscreen to holding a printed copy. And because all the printing takes place in the background, there's no waiting around. Instead, you can start printing and then go back to flicking through photos, browsing the web, or doing whatever you were doing before.
True wireless printing.

"No cables required" means exactly that. AirPrint printing is 100 percent wireless. iPod touch automatically locates and connects to AirPrint-enabled printers on your wireless network. Whether you're on the other side of the house or on another floor from your printer--or you're walking from one room to the next--you can still print what you need, when you need it. In fact, it's all so easy and fast that by the time you finish reading this sentence, you could have printed it from your iPod touch.
What you see is what you print.

If you can open it on your iPod touch, chances are you can print it with AirPrint. AirPrint works with Safari, Mail, Photos, PDFs in iBooks, and third-party apps with built-in printing. Print that hilarious photo of your friend dressed up as an '80s rock star. Running late for a movie? AirPrint lets you quickly print your tickets as you're heading out the door, so you won't have to miss the previews.

Works with AirPrint-enabled printers.

Many AirPrint-enabled printers are available. Just visit the Apple Online Store and find one that's right for you.
Built-in apps. Fun from the get-go.

iPod touch gives you serious game. But there are so many other things you can do with it that are just as entertaining. Make a FaceTime call to your best friend. Shoot HD video of your favorite band. Take and post plenty of planking photos. Check out your go-to celebrity gossip blogs. All this and you can check email, watch a movie, listen to music, and more. Impressed? That's just how iPod touch rolls.
Messages with iMessage

Your two-thumb typing skills are about to be put to some serious use. Say h-e-l-l-o to iMessage, the new text messaging service for all iOS 5 users. It's free over Wi-Fi, so you can say as much as you want, and then say more. iMessage also lets you send a picture, share a video, or text a location. This is definitely going to have people talking.

FaceTime on iPod touch lets you hang out, catch up, and goof off with friends when you can't be there in person. With just a tap, your iPod touch can make a FaceTime call to someone else's iPod touch, iPad 2, iPhone, or Mac over Wi-Fi.1 Witness a prank in action. Or watch your friend on the other side of the country crack up at your stories from last night. All you need to get started is an Apple ID and an email account. You can choose an email account you already have or, if you prefer, set up a new one. You'll never see fun the same way again.
Game Center

Game Center on iPod touch lets you add more players to your gaming network. Invite friends to join. Then totally dominate them. See how your score ranks against your friends and other players of each game. Compare achievements. Put together a select group of friends to play with or have Game Center suggest some new friends based on the games you play. You can even choose to go up against people you don't know in a multiplayer game. So get in the game. And get your friends in it, too.
Camera with HD Video Recording

"You should have seen it!" is a thing of the past. Because with iPod touch, you'll always have a great HD video camera with you. So when your dog does that thing where he sounds like he's talking, you're ready to capture it in all its glory. In high-definition 720p video. You can record video in low-light settings, thanks to the advanced backside illumination sensor. You can even edit and create your own mini blockbuster right on iPod touch using the iMovie app--with Apple-designed themes, titles, and transitions. It's available on the App Store for $4.99.
App Store

Tap App Store and you'll find over 500,000 apps--including over 100,000 game and entertainment titles. With more added every day. Thanks to iCloud, new apps you buy on your iPod touch automatically download to your iPad or iPhone. There are apps for anything and everything--from giving videos you shoot a vintage feel to letting you take on the role of a cunning secret agent. You can download them fast. Many of them are free. And all of them make your iPod touch that much more can't-live-without-able.
Music + iTunes

With iPod touch, you don't just play your music. You hear it, and see it, in entirely different ways. Let Genius create a mix or a playlist for you automatically with music you already own and love. Flick through albums in Cover Flow. Or give iPod touch a shake to shuffle your songs. Craving some new music? iTunes is only a tap away. Browse millions of songs you can buy and download right on the spot. And thanks to iCloud, your purchases automatically download over Wi-Fi to your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or PC, too.

Your favorite movies and TV shows are now playing on a subway train or plane near you. Because you can buy or rent movies and purchase your favorite TV shows right on iPod touch. Shop the iTunes Store and choose from thousands of must-see titles.

Whether you have one email address or five, iPod touch lets you manage it all. View and open attachments. Format text. Drag to rearrange names in address fields. Add or delete mailbox folders. Search the body of messages. And with iCloud, you get a free email account that stays up to date on your iOS 5 devices and Mac or PC.

Safari on iPod touch now includes Reader, a handy feature that removes annoying ads so you can read articles without distractions. Want to read a story but don't have time? Add it to Reading List and read it later. iCloud keeps your Reading List updated across all your devices, in case you want to check out the story on your Mac or iPad instead.

So many hilarious, unforgettable, I-can't-believe-you-just-did-that moments are in the photo library on your iPod touch. And new features in iOS 5 give you more control over the photos you take. Crop, rotate, enhance, and remove red-eye right on iPod touch. Even organize your photos in albums. With Photo Stream in iCloud, all the photos you shoot on iPod touch automatically appear on your other devices.

Maps on iPod touch shows you where you are and how to get to where you want to be. Or maybe you're craving something sweet. Type what you're looking for--"ice cream," for example--and see what's nearby.

A new feature called Reminders makes iPod touch seem like a sticky note come to life. Create a list for whatever you don't want to forget--homework assignments to finish, chores to do, concert tickets to buy. Set a deadline and Reminders will send you a notification to keep you on track.

From tweens with incredible vocal skills to bizarre-but-real TV commercials, YouTube is a video wonderland. And with the YouTube app on iPod touch, you can keep yourself entertained for hours on end.
Nike + iPod

Get the most out of your workouts with the Nike + iPod Sensor (sold separately) and iPod touch. The sensor slips into your Nike+ shoe and wirelessly transmits data about your workout to your iPod touch. The Nike+ app even works with cardio equipment in many fitness centers.
Voice Memos

If you have something to say, say it. Voice Memos on iPod touch will record it. Whether it's a lecture on covalent bonds or your friend's goofy made-up song, you can keep it for posterity. Trim your memos on iPod touch, then sync them to iTunes to use in your podcast or share.
Find My iPod touch

You know your iPod touch is here somewhere because you had it like 10 minutes ago. Don't freak out. Find My iPod touch was made for situations like this. When you first get your iPod touch, set up Find My iPod touch. Then if you misplace it, you can find its approximate location on a map. Display a message or play a sound to help you find it. You can even remotely wipe it clean of your personal information, if you need to.
More Built-in Apps

Keep all your news and magazine apps in Newsstand. Write about anything and everything in Notes. Do quick math with Calculator. Check the weather. And watch your investments with Stocks.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Leave Jamie Lee Alone, Please

Anyone that knows me knows that I am a huge fan of women, and of Jamie Lee Curtis in particular. I was at just the right age when the original Halloween came out to fall in love with her, and have followed her career (and her wonderful boobs) with great interest ever since.

The other day, however, I was talking to a young person who works part time at my business, and they were saying that they learned at school that my Jamie Lee is some sort of hermaphrodite. The story is that she has a strange chromosome arrangement, like an XXY or something, and was possibly even born with a penis.

I googled this immediately.

Poor Jamie Lee has been dealing with these rumors all of her life. Whether they are true or not makes no difference to me, as she hasn't publicly dealt with them, we should all be a little more classy and not speculate and make crap up. I am livid that a TEACHER is using her as an example, based on a urban myth. (I know this teacher, it's a small town, she's a dumb toad from Texas).

So, anyhow, that's my tirade for today. It would be tiradier but I'm really hungover.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

New Game Drops Today!- Syndicate


Syndicate is the re-imagination of a cult classic franchise from 1993 - a unique action shooter set in a not too distant future, where Business is War.


In the not too distant future, the world is divided into regions controlled by mega-corporations known as Syndicates. In this future, business is war, and you are the weapon: the latest prototype agent for Eurocorp, one of the most ruthless Syndicates in a world dominated by greed. In single-player, embark on a unique sci-fi shooter adventure of corruption and revenge, as you utilize DART 6 chip-enhanced technology to breech, manipulate and control the wired world. Or form your own Syndicate in four-player co-op and dominate nine action-packed missions inspired by the original Syndicate game.
Key Features:

* Chip Enhanced Gameplay: Slow down time, see through walls, and breach your enemy and everything digital in the world with Dart vision - A neural DART6 chip implant that allows you to interface directly with the Dataverse.
* 4-Player Online Co-op: Assemble your Syndicate for global domination. A 4-player, online co-op experience like no other, with chip enhanced gameplay and 9 missions re-imagined from the original Syndicate.
* Visceral FPS Experience: Utilize an upgradable arsenal of futuristic weapons, armor and gear to annihilate your enemies and harvest their chip technology for personal advancement and sinister corporate greed.
* Sci-Fi Fiction: Immerse yourself in the world of Syndicate 2069, with a world-class sci-fi story experience, written by bestselling author Richard Morgan.

2069 - No longer governed by politicians, the developed world is divided up into regions controlled by megacorporations known as Syndicates. These Syndicates have revolutionized how the consumer interacts with the digital world. No longer does the consumer require a device to access the world's data and control their technology, they can do this at the blink of an eye via neural chip implant. Civilians flocked to be "chip'd" and enjoy all that their selected Syndicate has to offer; housing, medical, banking, insurance, education, entertainment and jobs. One complete package. One complete lifestyle. In return, the Syndicates gained unprecedented insights, and control, over the individual and their behaviour. With little governmental oversight, business has become war. The Syndicates will stop at nothing for ultimate market dominance. At the front line of this war are the Agents, the Syndicate's bio-engineered and chip-augmented enforcers. They can breach anything in the wired world including their enemies, their weapons and the environment that surrounds them, making them the most efficient and deadly technological weapons in the world. Take on the role of Miles Kilo, Eurocorp's latest prototype agent, and embark on a brutal action adventure of corruption and revenge.
Product Description
Syndicate is the re-imagination of a cult classic franchise from 1993 - a unique action shooter set in a not too distant future, where Business is War. 2069 – No longer governed by politicians, the developed world is divided up into regions controlled by megacorporations known as Syndicates. These Syndicates have revolutionized how the consumer interacts with the digital world. No longer does the consumer require a device to access the world’s data and control their technology, they can do this at the blink of an eye via neural chip implant. Civilians flocked to be “chip’d” and enjoy all that their selected Syndicate has to offer; housing, medical, banking, insurance, education, entertainment and jobs. One complete package. One complete lifestyle. In return, the Syndicates gained unprecedented insights, and control, over the individual and their behaviour. With little governmental oversight, business has become war. The Syndicates will stop at nothing for ultimate market dominance. At the front line of this war are the Agents, the Syndicate’s bio-engineered and chip-augmented enforcers. They can breach anything in the wired world including their enemies, their weapons and the environment that surrounds them, making them the most efficient and deadly technological weapons in the world. Take on the role of Miles Kilo, Eurocorp’s latest prototype agent, and embark on a brutal action adventure of corruption and revenge.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life (Three-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy)

The Tree of Life is a 2011 American drama film with experimental elements written and directed by Terrence Malick and starring Sean Penn, Brad Pitt, and Jessica Chastain. Malick's film chronicles the origins and meaning of life by way of a middle-aged man's childhood memories of his family living in 1950s Texas, interspersed with imagery of the origins of the universe and the inception of life on Earth. After several years in development and missing 2009 and 2010 release dates, the film premiered in competition at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Palme d'Or. The film received widespread critical acclaim, but also polarizing responses to Malick's use of technical and artistic imagery, directorial style, and fragmented non-linear narrative. In January 2012, the film received three Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Cinematography.

* Brad Pitt as Mr. O'Brien
* Sean Penn as Jack
* Jessica Chastain as Mrs. O'Brien
* Hunter McCracken as Young Jack
* Laramie Eppler as R.L.
* Tye Sheridan as Steve
* Kari Matchett as Jack's Ex
* Joanna Going as Jack's Wife
* Michael Showers as Mr. Brown
* Kimberly Whalen as Mrs. Brown
* Jackson Hurst as Uncle Roy
* Fiona Shaw as Grandmother
* Crystal Mantecon as Elisa
* Tamara Jolaine as Mrs. Stone
* Dustin Allen as George Walsh

After nearly thirty years away from Hollywood, famed special effects supervisor Douglas Trumbull contributed to the visual effects work on The Tree of Life. Malick, a friend of Trumbull, approached him about the effects work and mentioned that he did not like the look of computer-generated imagery. Trumbull asked Malick, "Why not do it the old way? The way we did it in 2001?"

Working with visual effects supervisor Dan Glass, Trumbull used a variety of materials for the creation of the universe sequence. “We worked with chemicals, paint, fluorescent dyes, smoke, liquids, CO2, flares, spin dishes, fluid dynamics, lighting and high speed photography to see how effective they might be,” said Trumbull. “It was a free-wheeling opportunity to explore, something that I have found extraordinarily hard to get in the movie business. Terry didn’t have any preconceived ideas of what something should look like. We did things like pour milk through a funnel into a narrow trough and shoot it with a high-speed camera and folded lens, lighting it carefully and using a frame rate that would give the right kind of flow characteristics to look cosmic, galactic, huge and epic.” The team also included Double Negative in London, under the supervision of Paul Riddle, who handled the astrophysical aspects of the segment. Fluid-based effects were developed by Peter and Chris Parks, who had previously worked on similar effects for The Fountain

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Artist

The Artist

The Artist is a 2011 French comedy-drama film directed by Michel Hazanavicius, starring Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo. The story takes place in Hollywood between 1927 and 1932 and focuses on a declining film star and a rising actress, as silent cinema falls out of fashion and is replaced by the talkies. Most of the film itself is silent; it was produced in black-and-white, and has received wide praise from critics and many accolades. Dujardin won the Best Actor Award at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, where the film premiered.

The film was nominated for six Golden Globes, the most of any film from 2011, and won three; Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy, Best Original Score, and Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy (Dujardin). In January 2012 the film was nominated for twelve BAFTAs and ten Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for Hazanavicius, Best Actor in a Leading Role for Dujardin, and Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Bejo. In France, it has been nominated for ten César Awards, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Original Screenplay.

* Jean Dujardin as George Valentin
* Bérénice Bejo as Peppy Miller
* Uggie as Jack (the dog)
* John Goodman as Al Zimmer
* James Cromwell as Clifton
* Missi Pyle as Constance
* Penelope Ann Miller as Doris
* Malcolm McDowell as The Butler
* Bitsie Tulloch as Norma
* Beth Grant as Peppy's Maid
* Ed Lauter as Peppy's First Chauffeur
* Jen Lilley as Onlooker
* Nina Siemaszko as Admiring Woman
* Jewel Shepard as Flapper Starlet
* Basil Hoffman as Auctioneer
* Ben Kurland as Casting Assistant
* Ken Davitian as Pawnbroker

On 9 January 2012, actress Kim Novak stated that "rape" had been committed in regard to the musical score by Ludovic Bource, which incorporates a portion of Bernard Herrmann's score from Alfred Hitchcock's 1958 film Vertigo (in which Novak had starred). In the article published by Variety she stated that "I feel as if my body - or at least my body of work - has been violated by the movie". "This film should've been able to stand on its own without depending on Bernard Herrmann's score from Alfred Hitchcock's 'Vertigo' to provide more drama," she continued. "It is morally wrong for the artistry of our industry to use and abuse famous pieces of work to gain attention and applause for other than what they were intended," she continued. "Shame on them!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan

Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan

2012 four CD collection containing music from Patty Smith, Rise Against, Pete Townshend, Diana Krall, My Morning Jacket, Sting, Lenny Kravitz, Jackson Browne, Sugarland, Joan Baez, Flogging Molly, Joe Perry, Bad Religion and many others. Two iconic forces that have impacted the past 50 years -- the life-saving human rights activism of Nobel Peace Prize-winning Amnesty International and the incomparable artistry of Bob Dylan -- are being saluted by musicians who contributed new or previously unreleased recordings to Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International. Almost 30 tracks on the album were mixed gratis by famed engineer Bob Clearmountain. Bob Ludwig and Adam Ayan of Gateway Mastering donated their mastering services. The album cover illustration is by Grammy Award winning artist Mick Haggerty.

Fifty years after its founding in 1962 (the year Bob Dylan released his first album), Amnesty International continues to do lifesaving work for prisoners of conscience and victims of injustice throughout the world. In 1977, it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Since the 1970s, Amnesty's Secret Policeman's Ball concerts and records have generated funds for the promotion of human rights and raised awareness of discrimination, state censorship, police brutality, torture, the death penalty, and genocide. AI currently has over three million supporters.

As for Bob Dylan, few artists have been offered accolades to match those laid at his feet. He's among the greatest poets of our age, a transformational figure in the history of music. There's not a singer or songwriter alive who doesn't owe a debt to his wit and wisdom, and thousands cover his inspiring, compassionate songs every day. They line up to perform on albums like this one, and there's a Dylan tribute disc for every genre you can name: pop, rock, blues, reggae, country, folk, classical, jazz. While most of these are heartfelt, many are uninspired or insipid, and few are memorable.

Fortunately, this four-CD compilation is both musical and meaningful. The renowned performers on Chimes of Freedom possess not only ample talent but also a deep feeling for the political and personal messages that Bob communicates. And they clearly support Amnesty International, whose anniversary they celebrate. None of them accepted any money for their work (nor did producers, arrangers, engineers, or studios), thereby maximizing their assistance to AI. The music and the cause mesh perfectly.

In 1992, Dylan and his legendary contemporaries held the greatest concert ever produced in his honor. Neil Young, Eric Clapton, The Band, George Harrison, Tom Petty, Roger McGuinn, Stevie Wonder, Lou Reed, Johnny Winter, Ron Wood, Richie Havens, Chrissie Hynde, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash, and others expressed love and gratitude for the man and his music. Such a laudatory gathering will never be repeated, but the names on this new 73-track compilation provide evidence of Dylan's continuing relevance.

Nearly all of the tracks are new studio recordings, but Joan Baez, Sugarland, Adele, My Chemical Romance, Dierks Bentley, The Dave Matthews Band, and Marianne Faithfull each contribute previously unreleased live tracks. There are giants like Johnny Cash, Pete Townshend, Sting, Mark Knopfler, Patti Smith, Steve Earle, Elvis Costello, Jackson Browne, Bryan Ferry, Sinead O'Connor, Jeff Beck, Taj Mahal, Kris Kirstofferson, Eric Burdon, and Pete Seeger, among others, as well as more recent stars: The Avett Brothers, Raphael Saadiq, Rise Against, Diana Krall, Ziggy Marley, My Morning Jacket, Lenny Kravitz, Angelique Kidjo, Seal, Lucinda Williams, and many more. And of course Bob himself is here in the form of his original 1964 song "Chimes of Freedom."

A majority of the most acclaimed Dylan anthems are covered, but in over five hours of playing time, there's plenty of room for rarely-heard songs, unusual interpretations, and little-known groups and individuals. Of course, that's a selling point for those of us who like to explore new music. The inclusion of a few performers may irritate those who are not fans (Miley Cyrus, anyone?), yet almost all of them do credit to Amnesty and to Bob's music (with the horrifying exception of Ke$ha, who groans, sobs, and screeches like she's on an epic bender). Listening to the variety of styles represented reveals the universality of Dylan's melodies and lyrics and the pervasive influence he has had on our culture. May it also motivate listeners to lend their support to AI and to human rights.

Most of the music is marvelous, the album benefits a great cause, and the price is remarkably low. Don't hesitate. Get it!

Disc: 1
1. One Too Many Mornings (Johnny Cash featuring The Avett Brothers)
2. Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat (Raphael Saadiq)
3. Drifter's Escape (Patti Smith)
4. Ballad of Hollis Brown (Rise Against)
5. Blind Willie McTell (Tom Morello The Nightwatchman)
6. Corrina, Corrina (Pete Townshend)
7. Most of the Time (Bettye LaVette)
8. This Wheel's On Fire (Charlie Winston)
9. Simple Twist of Fate (Diana Krall)
10. You Ain't Goin' Nowhere (Brett Dennen)
11. Love Sick (Mariachi El Bronx)
12. Blowin' in the Wind (Ziggy Marley)
13. Changing of the Guards (The Gaslight Anthem)
14. Not Dark Yet (Silversun Pickups)
15. You're A Big Girl Now (My Morning Jacket)
16. Boots of Spanish Leather (The Airborne Toxic Event)
17. Girl from the North Country (Sting)
18. Restless Farewell (Mark Knopfler)
Disc: 2 Amazon Music Sampler
1. Outlaw Blues (Queens Of The Stone Age)
2. Rainy Day Woman # 12 & 35 (Lenny Kravitz)
3. One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Below Steve Earle & Lucia Micarelli)
4. Heart Of Mine(Blake Mills)
5. You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go (Miley Cyrus)
6. Lay Down Your Weary Tune (Billy Bragg)
7. License to Kill (Elvis Costello)
8. Lay, Lady, Lay (Angelique Kidjo)
9. Ring Them Bells (Natasha Bedingfield)
10. Love Minus Zero/No Limit (Jackson Browne)
11. Seven Curses (Live)(Joan Baez)
12. No Time To Think (The Belle Brigade)
13. Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You (Live)(Sugarland)
14. Mr. Tambourine Man (Jack's Mannequin)
15. 4th Time Around (Oren Lavie)
16. All I Really Want To Do (Sussan Deyhim)
17. Make You Feel My Love (Recorded Live at WXPN) (Adele)
Disc: 3 Amazon Music Sampler
1. With God On Our Side (K'NAAN)
2. I Want You (Ximena Sariñana)
3. She Belongs to Me (Neil Finn with Pajama Club)
4. Bob Dylan's Dream (Bryan Ferry)
5. Tomorrow Is A Long Time (Zee Avi)
6. Just Like a Woman (Carly Simon)
7. The Times They Are A-Changin' (Flogging Molly)
8. Buckets Of Rain (Fistful Of Mercy)
9. Man Of Peace (Joe Perry)
10. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (Bad Religion)
11. Desolation Row (Live) (My Chemical Romance)
12. Knockin' on Heaven's Door (RedOne featuring Nabil Khayat)
13. Abandoned Love (Paul Rodgers & Nils Lofgren)
14. New Morning (Darren Criss featuring Chuck Criss and Freelance Whales)
15. The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll (Cage the Elephant)
16. It Ain't Me, Babe (Band of Skulls)
17. Property of Jesus (Sinéad O'Connor)
18. Shelter From The Storm (Ed Roland and The Sweet Tea Project)
19. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right (Ke$ha)
20. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right (Kronos Quartet)
Disc: 4 Amazon Music Sampler
1. I Shall Be Released (Maroon 5)
2. Political World (Carolina Chocolate Drops)
3. Like A Rolling Stone (Seal & Jeff Beck)
4. Bob Dylan's 115th Dream (Taj Mahal)
5. Senor (Tales of Yankee Power) (Live) (Dierks Bentley)
6. One Of Us Must Know (Sooner Or Later) (Mick Hucknall)
7. I'll Remember You (Thea Gilmore)
8. John Brown (State Radio)
9. All Along the Watchtower (Live) (Dave Matthews Band)
10. Subterranean Homesick Blues (Michael Franti)
11. Mama, You Been On My Mind (We Are Augustines)
12. Tryin' To Get To Heaven (Lucinda Williams)
13. Quinn The Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn) (Kris Kristofferson)
14. Gotta Serve Somebody (Eric Burdon)
15. I'd Have You Anytime (Evan Rachel Wood)
16. Baby Let Me Follow You Down (Live)(Marianne Faithfull)
17. Forever Young (Pete Seeger)
18. Chimes Of Freedom (Bob Dylan)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (Three-Disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy)

This is the way "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" was meant to be seen: in 3D! I saw this movie in 3D at the theater and I can tell you it was a great experience. The movie itself has some flaws, but the stereo image was simply amazing... say what you want about director Michael Bay, the man knows how to shoot action sequences! This is one of the most entertaining 3D movies to date, and is a no-brainer for anyone with a 3D TV.

Not only is the picture quality top-notch, but the sound is great too. I recently watched an interview with sound mixer Greg P. Russell, and he said that the TF3 blu-ray sound mix was specifically tailored for home video release. Anyone who owns the previous blu-ray release would agree that the sound mix is incredible. This blu-ray will make a great demo when you show off your home theater system!

Here is a detailed description of what is in this set:

Disc 1: Feature Film -- Blu-Ray 3D

Disc 2: Feature Film -- Blu-Ray

Disc 3: Special Features -- Blu-Ray

Above and Beyond: Exploring Dark of the Moon
- Rising from the Fallen: Development and Design
- Ready for Prime Time: Filming Across America
- Battle in the Heartland: Shooting in Chicago
- Attack of the Birdmen: Aerial Stunts
- Shadow of the Sentinel: Post-Production and Release
- Uncharted Territory: NASA's Future Then and Now

Deconstructing Chicago: Multi-Angle Sequences
- Previsualizations with optional commentary by director Michael Bay and previsualization supervisor Steve Yamamoto
- Previsualizations/Final Shot Comparison with optional commentary by director Michael Bay and previsualization supervisor Steve Yamamoto
- Visual Effects with optional commentary by visual effects supervisors Scott Farrar and Matthew Butler
- Visual Effects/Final Shot Comparison with optional commentary by visual effects supervisors Scott Farrar and Matthew Butler

The Art of Cybertron
- Autobots
- Decepticons
- Environments
- Weapons and Gear
- Ships

The Dark of the Moon Archive
- 3D: A Transforming Visual Art
- Moscow World Premiere
- Birdmen Featurette
- Cody's iPad
- The Sound of Transformers: Dark of the Moon

The Matrix of Marketing
- Trailers
- Marketing Gallery

Disc 4: Feature Film -- DVD

**There is also a digital copy included - both a standard digital copy for iTunes, and you can also stream the movie through UltraViolet.

Additional Info:
The blu-ray is presented in 1080p high definition with English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD sound.
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portugese

In summary, the difference between this set and the previous release, Transformers: Dark of the Moon (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy), is the addition of the 3D blu-ray and a bonus blu-ray with 4 hours of new special features.
Shia LaBeouf ... Sam Witwicky
Peter Cullen ... Optimus Prime (voice)
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley ... Carly Spencer
Tyrese Gibson ... Epps
Leonard Nimoy ... Sentinel Prime (voice)
Patrick Dempsey ... Dylan
Frances McDormand ... Mearing
John Turturro ... Simmons
Kevin Dunn ... Ron Witwicky
John Malkovich ... Bruce Brazos
James Remar ... Sideswipe (voice)
Julie White ... Judy Witwicky
Alan Tudyk ... Dutch
Ken Jeong ... Jerry Wang
Glenn Morshower ... General Morshower
Lester Speight ... Eddie
Buzz Aldrin ... Buzz Aldrin
Bill O'Reilly ... Bill O'Reilly
Ravil Isyanov ... Voshkod
Dustin Dennard ... Lennox Lieutenant
Markiss McFadden ... Lennox Team 'Baby Face'
Nick Bickle ... Lennox Team 'Chapman'
Ajay James ... Lennox Team 'Atroui'
Brett Lynch ... Lennox Team 'Phelps'
Chris a. Robinson ... Lennox Team 'Bruno'
Scott C. Roe ... Lennox Team 'Nelson'
James D. Weston II ... Lennox Team 'Tuens' (as James Weston II)
Brian Call ... Lennox Team 'Taggart'
Aaron Garrido ... Epps Team 'Mongo'
Mikal Vega ... Epps Team 'Hooch' (as Mikal A. Vega)
Kenny Sheard ... Epps Team 'Marc L'
Josh Kelly ... Epps Team 'Stone'
Keiko Agena ... Mearing's Aide
LaMonica Garrett ... Morshower's Aide
Yasen Peyankov ... Voshkod Associate
Brett Stimely ... President Kennedy
John H. Tobin ... President Nixon (as John Tobin)
Drew Pillsbury ... Defense Secretary McNamara
Patrick Pankhurst ... Director of NASA
Larry Clarke ... NASA Scientist (1969)
Tom Virtue ... Black Ops NASA Technician (1969)
Thomas Crawford ... Black Ops NASA Technician (1969)
Kevin Sizemore ... Black Ops NASA Technician (1969)
Alan Pietruszewski ... NASA Mission Controller (1969)
Michael Daniel Cassady ... NASA Launch Technician (1969)
Peter Murnik ... Tracking Station Supervisor (1969) (as Peter B. Murnik)
Don Jeanes ... Neil Armstrong (1969)
Cory Tucker ... Buzz Aldrin (1969)
Lindsey Ginter ... Old NASA Scientist
David St. James ... Old NASA Scientist
Mitch Bromwell ... NASA Technician
Elya Baskin ... Cosmonaut Dimitri
Eugene Alper ... Cosmonaut Yuri
Inna Korobkina ... Russian Lady
Zoran Radanovich ... Russian Bouncer
Kathleen Gati ... Russian Female Bartender
Annie O'Donnell ... Human Resources Lady
Chris Sheffield ... Pimply Corporate Kid
Ken Takemoto ... Japanese Executive
Michael Loeffelholz ... Executive Interviewer
Mindy Sterling ... Female Insurance Agent
Stephen Taylor ... Mailroom Worker (as Stephen Monroe Taylor)
Andrew Daly ... Mailroom Worker (as Andy Daly)
Derek Miller ... Mailroom Worker
Leidy Mazo ... Mailroom Worker
Scott Krinsky ... Accuretta Executive
Katherine Sigismund ... Accuretta Worker
Maile Flanagan ... Accuretta Worker
Darren O'Hare ... Berated Scientist
Jack Axelrod ... Simmons Tileman
Meredith Monroe ... Engineer's Wife
Charlotte Labadie ... Engineer's Daughter
Christian Baha ... Dylan's Executive
Jennifer Williams ... Dylan's Assistant
Danielle Fornarelli ... Dylan's Assistant
Danny McCarthy ... NEST Guard
John Turk ... NEST Guard
Pete Kelly ... NEST Guard (as Peter A. Kelly)
Mark Golden ... SEAL
Sean Murphy ... SEAL
Scott Paulson ... SEAL
Luis Echagarruga ... SEAL
Iqbal Theba ... UN Secretary General
Anthony Azizi ... Lt. Sulimani
Sammy Sheik ... Lt. Faraj
John S. McAfee ... GPS Tracking Coordinator
Jay Gates ... DC Mall Reporter
Bonecrusher the Mastiff ... Bones the Mastiff (as Bonecrusher)
Josh Duhamel ... Lennox
Hugo Weaving ... Megatron (voice)
Frank Welker ... Shockwave / Soundwave / Barricade (voice)
Jess Harnell ... Ironhide (voice)
Charles Adler ... Starscream (voice) (as Charlie Andler)
Robert Foxworth ... Ratchet (voice)
Francesco Quinn ... Dino (voice)
George Coe ... Que / Wheeljack (voice)
Tom Kenny ... Wheelie (voice)
Reno Wilson ... Brains (voice)
Ron Bottitta ... Roadbuster / Amp (voice)
John Di Maggio ... Leadfoot / Target (voice)
Keith Szarabajka ... Laserbeak (voice)
Greg Berg ... Igor (voice)



Bridesmaids is a 2011 American comedy film written by Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, directed by Paul Feig and produced by Judd Apatow, Barry Mendel, and Clayton Townsend. The plot centers on Annie (Wiig), who suffers a series of misfortunes after being asked to serve as maid of honor for her best friend Lillian (played by Maya Rudolph). Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Ellie Kemper, and Wendi McLendon-Covey co-star as Annie's fellow bridesmaids, with Chris O'Dowd and Jill Clayburgh—who died of leukemia in November 2010 before the film was released—playing key supporting roles.

Bridesmaids was both critically and commercially successful upon its opening release on May 13, 2011 in the United States and Canada. The film grossed $26 million in its opening weekend, eventually grossing over $288 million worldwide, and surpassed Knocked Up (2007) to become the top-grossing Apatow production to date. The film received an 90% overall approval rating from Rotten Tomatoes and served as a touchpoint for a discussion about women in comedy. It was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, and received multiple other accolades. On January 24, 2012, the film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Melissa McCarthy and Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

* Kristen Wiig as Annie Walker
* Maya Rudolph as Lillian Donovan
* Rose Byrne as Helen Harris III
* Melissa McCarthy as Megan
* Wendi McLendon-Covey as Rita
* Ellie Kemper as Becca
* Chris O'Dowd as Officer Nathan Rhodes
* Jill Clayburgh as Annie's mother
* Jon Hamm as Ted (uncredited)
* Rebel Wilson as Brynn
* Matt Lucas as Gil
* Andy Buckley as Perry Harris
* Jessica St. Clair as Whitney
* Melanie Hutsell as Carol
* Michael Hitchcock as Don
* Tim Heidecker as Doug
* Terry Crews as Boot Camp Instructor
* Kali Hawk as Kahlua
* Ben Falcone as John, the Air Marshal
* Matt Bennett as Helen's stepson
* Wilson Phillips as Themselves
* Chynna Phillips as Herself
* Paul Rudd as Dave (Uncredited DVD Deleted Scene)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Academy Award Nominations for 2012

I'm just getting caught up on life, and one of the things I'm trying to do is get a look at some of the films that have been nominated for Academy Awards. Hopefully I'll have a review or two of them for you in the next week or two, but in the meantime, here are the nominees:

The 84th Academy Awards ceremony, hosted by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), will honor the best films of 2011. The ceremony will take place on February 26, 2012 (4:00 p.m. PST, 7:00 p.m. EST), at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California; it will be televised live in the United States on ABC. The award nominations were announced by AMPAS on January 24, 2012.

The ceremony host was originally scheduled to be Eddie Murphy. However, after Brett Ratner resigned as producer after using a gay slur when talking about rehearsals, Murphy also stepped down. Billy Crystal will be taking over as host, while Brian Grazer takes over as producer. This will be Crystal's ninth time hosting the awards ceremony.

2012 Academy Award Nominees

Best Picture
* The Artist – Thomas Langmann
* The Descendants – Jim Burke, Jim Taylor, and Alexander Payne
* Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Scott Rudin
* The Help – Brunson Green, Chris Columbus, and Michael Barnathan
* Hugo – Graham King and Martin Scorsese
* Midnight in Paris – Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum
* Moneyball – Michael De Luca, Rachel Horowitz, and Brad Pitt
* The Tree of Life – Dede Gardner, Sarah Green, Grant Hill, and Bill Pohlad
* War Horse – Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy

Best Director
* Woody Allen – Midnight in Paris
* Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist
* Terrence Malick – The Tree of Life
* Alexander Payne – The Descendants
* Martin Scorsese – Hugo

Best Actor
* Demián Bichir – A Better Life as Carlos Galindo
* George Clooney – The Descendants as Matt King
* Jean Dujardin – The Artist as George Valentin
* Gary Oldman – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy as George Smiley
* Brad Pitt – Moneyball as Billy Beane

Best Actress
* Glenn Close – Albert Nobbs as Albert Nobbs
* Viola Davis – The Help as Aibileen Clark
* Rooney Mara – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo as Lisbeth Salander
* Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady as Margaret Thatcher
* Michelle Williams – My Week with Marilyn as Marilyn Monroe

Best Supporting Actor
* Kenneth Branagh – My Week with Marilyn as Laurence Olivier
* Jonah Hill – Moneyball as Peter Brand
* Nick Nolte – Warrior as Paddy Conlon
* Christopher Plummer – Beginners as Hal Fields
* Max von Sydow – Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close as The Renter

Best Supporting Actress
* Bérénice Bejo – The Artist as Peppy Miller
* Jessica Chastain – The Help as Celia Foote
* Melissa McCarthy – Bridesmaids as Megan Price
* Janet McTeer – Albert Nobbs as Hubert Page
* Octavia Spencer – The Help as Minny Jackson

Best Writing – Original Screenplay
* The Artist – Michel Hazanavicius
* Bridesmaids – Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo
* Margin Call – J.C. Chandor
* Midnight in Paris – Woody Allen
* A Separation – Asghar Farhadi

Best Writing – Adapted Screenplay
* The Descendants – Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, and Jim Rash from The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings
* Hugo – John Logan from The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
* The Ides of March – George Clooney, Grant Heslov, and Beau Willimon from Farragut North by Beau Willimon
* Moneyball – Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin; Story by Stan Chervin from Moneyball by Michael Lewis
* Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – Bridget O'Connor and Peter Straughan from Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré

Best Animated Feature Best Foreign Language Film
* A Cat in Paris – Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli
* Chico and Rita – Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal
* Kung Fu Panda 2 – Jennifer Yuh Nelson
* Puss in Boots – Chris Miller
* Rango – Gore Verbinski

Best Foreign Language Film
* Bullhead (Belgium) in Dutch and French – Michaël R. Roskam
* Footnote (Israel) in Hebrew – Joseph Cedar
* In Darkness (Poland) in Polish – Agnieszka Holland
* Monsieur Lazhar (Canada) in French – Philippe Falardeau
* A Separation (Iran) in Persian – Asghar Farhadi

Best Documentary – Feature
* Hell and Back Again – Danfung Dennis and Mike Lerner
* If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front – Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman
* Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory – Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky
* Pina – Wim Wenders and Gian-Piero Ringel
* Undefeated – TJ Martin, Dan Lindsay, and Richard Middlemas

Best Documentary – Short Subject
* The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement – Robin Fryday and Gail Dolgin
* God Is the Bigger Elvis – Rebecca Cammisa and Julie Anderson
* Incident in New Baghdad – James Spione
* Saving Face – Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
* The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom – Lucy Walker and Kira Carstensen

Best Live Action Short Film
* Pentecost – Peter McDonald and Eimear O'Kane
* Raju – Max Zähle and Stefan Gieren
* The Shore – Terry George and Oorlagh George
* Time Freak – Andrew Bowler and Gigi Causey
* Tuba Atlantic – Hallvar Witzø

Best Animated Short Film
* Dimanche – Patrick Doyon
* The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore – William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg
* La Luna – Enrico Casarosa
* A Morning Stroll – Grant Orchard and Sue Goffe
* Wild Life – Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby

Best Original Score
* The Adventures of Tintin – John Williams
* The Artist – Ludovic Bource
* Hugo – Howard Shore
* Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – Alberto Iglesias
* War Horse – John Williams

Best Original Song
* "Man or Muppet" from The Muppets – Bret McKenzie
* "Real in Rio" from Rio – Sérgio Mendes, Carlinhos Brown, and Siedah Garrett

Best Sound Editing
* Drive – Lon Bender and Victor Ray Ennis
* The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Ren Klyce
* Hugo – Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty
* Transformers: Dark of the Moon – Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl
* War Horse – Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom

Best Sound Mixing
* The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce, and Bo Persson
* Hugo – Tom Fleischman and John Midgley
* Moneyball – Deb Adair, Ron Bochar, David Giammarco, and Ed Novick
* Transformers: Dark of the Moon – Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush, and Peter J. Devlin
* War Horse – Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson, and Stuart Wilson

Best Art Direction
* The Artist – Laurence Bennett and Robert Gould
* Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 – Stuart Craig and Stephanie McMillan
* Hugo – Dante Ferretti and Francesca Lo Schiavo
* Midnight in Paris – Anne Seibel and Hélène Dubreuil
* War Horse – Rick Carter and Lee Sandales

Best Cinematography
* The Artist – Guillaume Schiffman
* The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – Jeff Cronenweth
* Hugo – Robert Richardson
* The Tree of Life – Emmanuel Lubezki
* War Horse – Janusz Kamiński

Best Makeup
* Albert Nobbs – Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnson, and Matthew W. Mungle
* Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 – Nick Dudman, Amanda Knight, and Lisa Tomblin
* The Iron Lady – Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland

Best Costume Design
* Anonymous – Lisy Christl
* The Artist – Mark Bridges
* Hugo – Sandy Powell
* Jane Eyre – Michael O'Connor
* W.E. – Arianne Phillips

Best Film Editing
* The Artist – Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius
* The Descendants – Kevin Tent
* The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter
* Hugo – Thelma Schoonmaker
* Moneyball – Christopher Tellefsen

Best Visual Effects
* Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 – Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler, and John Richardson
* Hugo – Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossmann, and Alex Henning
* Real Steel – Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Danny Gordon Taylor, and Swen Gillberg
* Rise of the Planet of the Apes – Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White, and Daniel Barrett
* Transformers: Dark of the Moon – Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Matthew E. Butler, and John Frazier

The following films received multiple nominations:
* 11 nominations: Hugo
* 10 nominations: The Artist
* 6 nominations: Moneyball and War Horse
* 5 nominations: The Descendants and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
* 4 nominations: The Help and Midnight in Paris
* 3 nominations: Albert Nobbs, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and The Tree of Life
* 2 nominations: A Separation, Bridesmaids, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Iron Lady, and My Week with Marilyn

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

For Valentine's Day- Best Old School Albums for Sexy Time Fun

Ok, here's a rundown on some great albums to have on hand for laying down a mellow, soulful and sexytime vibe for you and your mate. These are old-school.

Really Old School-

The Platters - All-Time Greatest Hits

The Platters were an important mix between the old-time pop music and rock and roll music, and sometimes they got it perfectly down to be timeless. The Great Pretender and Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and Only You you've all heard and hummed, but you might not have thought to check out the Platters.


Greatest Hits

Al Green IS sexytime music. That's all we need to say.

Let's Get It On [Deluxe Edition]

Marvin Gaye was the man. Give this album a listen if you've not heard it through.

Mellow Gold (Yes, I know that's a Beck album, I wouldn't play it for this, but I would try...)

Astral Weeks

Van has a bunch of great albums, this one is mellow and folky but still smooth.