Archive for summer album of the week

summer album of the week 06/24/11

dire straits: communique (released june 1979).

dire straits: communique (released june 1979).

Erupting with less fanfare than Dire Straits’ self-titled debut album did the previous fall and offering little by way of hits to match the breakthrough success of  Sultans of Swing, the Jerry Wexler/Barry Beckett-produced Communique still offered sanctuary from the last wretched wave of disco that held a death grip on pop radio during the summer of 1979. From the reggae-fied twang of Once Upon a Time in the West to the sleepy, J.J. Cale-flavored Follow Me Home, Communique was a sleek, cool but overlooked summer listen.

summer album of the week 06/18/11

the pentangle: the pentangle. released june 1969.

the pentangle: the pentangle. released june 1969.

From Danny Thompson’s bowed bass introduction to the acoustic ensemble implosion at its conclusion, the 1969 self-titled debut album by The Pentangle (later know simply as Pentangle) was an unlikely musical summit. It mixed global folk inspirations picked up by guitarists John Renbourn and Bert Jansch with what was essentially a jazz rhythm section (Thompson and drummer Terry Cox). Singer Jacqui McShee then made the blend sound deliciously psychedelic. An appealing soundtrack for a fanciful summer afternoon.

General Mills raising wholesale prices, launching new reduced-sugar cereals.(Brief Article)

The Food Institute Report June 28, 2004 General Mills Inc. is raising wholesale prices 2%-9% on several categories of foods, including Progresso soups, some frozen breakfast items, yogurt and Totino’s snack foods, as a result of rising energy and raw material costs. The exact timing of the increases was not specified, but General Mills informed trade customers in early June. website cinnamon toast crunch

The company is not raising prices on its Big G cereals or frozen dough products.

Meanwhile, General Mills is introducing reduced-sugar versions of three of its kids’ cereals–Trix, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Cocoa Puffs. The reduced-sugar cereals, developed using a blend of sugar and non-caloric sweetener Splenda, have 75% less sugar than the original cereals. The products will be available nationwide in mid-July, with a suggested retail prices of $3.29 for an 11.75-oz. box of reduced-sugar Trix, $3.80 for a 13.75-oz. box of reduced-sugar Cinnamon Toast Crunch and $3.39 for a 12-oz. box of reduced-sugar Cocoa Puffs. web site cinnamon toast crunch

Separately, furthering its exit from the food business, Diageo reaffirmed that it intends to sell 50 million shares of General Mills. If the shares are sold, Diageo would still hold 29 million shares in the foodmaker. Diageo got the stake in late 2001 as part of General Mills’ acquisition of Pillsbury, reported CBS MarketWatch. General Mills filed with the SEC to register the sale of up to $5.9 billion of securities, which includes Diageo’s proposed sale.

summer album of the week, 06/11/11

richard thompson: hand of kindness (released june 1983)

richard thompson: hand of kindness. released june 1983.

Though not exactly Richard Thompson’s solo debut album, Hand of Kindness was his first album after nearly a decade’s worth of incendiary British folk-rock with ex-wife Linda Thompson. But the record is still packed with pals, including three Fairport Convention mates, Celtic fiddle great Aly Bain, a then known John Hiatt on backing vocals and a saxophone duo that brings Hand of Kindness within spitting distance of American R&B. The result: an album of love-gone-wrong songs full of brassy soul. Unveils Its Holiday 2011 ‘Most Wanted’ List.

Health & Beauty Close-Up October 3, 2011, a destination website which provides information, entertainment, and services on what’s fun for children and their families, has announced its Holiday 2011 Most Wanted list, naming the 18 toys predicted by the editors to top holiday wish lists.

Hosted by Jim Silver, editor in chief, and Chris Byrne, content director aka The Toy Guy, the press conference kicked off a day-long event featuring a “who’s who” of manufacturers and entertainment companies. Participating companies exhibited a wide range of new toys, video games, and entertainment products that will hit store shelves in time for the holiday crunch, the Company noted in a release. site monster high wiki

Known as the official kick-off to the holiday family entertainment editorial season, the press conference addressed the current state of the toy industry, consumer trends, and those toys that will be exciting kids and the culture at large in the fourth quarter. In addition to unveiling the Most Wanted list, the Time to Play team announced its annual hot list for family friendly video games, The Power Ups. Games featured on the list are predicted to be the hottest titles this holiday season with fun appropriate content for kids of all ages.

“Companies recognize that families are looking for value,” said Jim Silver, editor in chief “Parents – and kids – can find value in a $10 toy or a $100 toy but what makes something a ‘keeper’ is whether or not kids will play with it for more than 15 minutes; true value is about providing longevity in the home.” “We are excited to see manufacturers continuing to respond to the realities of the economy and offering a low cost of entry into their hottest brands without compromising play,” said Chris Byrne, content director “That means that virtually all kids can engage with the hottest properties and be part of something that’s cool in their world and in the culture at large.” Predicted to be the most popular and best selling toys of Holiday 2011, the products named to the Time to Play Most Wanted list appear in alphabetical order: here monster high wiki

ANGRY BIRDS KNOCK ON WOOD GAME (Mattel/Ages 5 years & up/ Approx. Retail Price: $16) BEYBLADE METAL FUSION (Hasbro/Ages 8 years & up/ Approx. Retail Price: $5.99 – $39.99) BIG ACTION CONSTRUCTION SITE (Fisher-Price/Ages 3 years & up/ Approx. Retail Price: $59.99) DAGEDAR (Cepia/Ages 4 years & up /Approx. Retail Price: $4.99 – $19.99) FYRFLYZ (iStar Entertainment/Ages 8 & up/Approx. Retail Price: $10) HOT WHEELS WALL TRACKS (Mattel/Ages 4 & up/ Approx. Retail Price: $29.99) INNOTAB (VTECH/Ages 3 & up/ Approx. Retail Price: $79.99) LALALOOPSY SILLY HAIR DOLL (MGA/Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $34.99) LAZER STUNT CHASER (Thinkway Toys/Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $39.99) LOGO BOARD GAME (Spin Master/Ages 12 & up/Approx. Retail Price: $24.99) LEAPPAD EXPLORER (LeapFrog/Ages 4 & up/Approx. Retail Price: $99.99) LEGO ALIEN CONQUEST & NINJAGO LINES (LEGO/Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $3.49 – $119.99) LITE SPRITES (WowWee/Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $19.99) MONSTER HIGH DEAD TIRED LINE (Mattel/Ages 6 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $14.49) NERF VORTEX LINE (Hasbro/Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $12.99 – $49.99) REDAKAI (Spin Master/Ages 6 years & up/Approx. Price: $5.99 – $19.99) SPY NET STEALTH VIDEO GLASSES (Jakks Pacific/Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $39.99) 3D BREAKTHROUGH PUZZLE (MEGA Brands/Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $19.99) ((Comments on this story may be sent to

summer album of the week 06/04/11

the flying burrito brothers: the flying burrito bros. released june 1971.

the flying burrito brothers: the flying burrito bros. released june 1971.

In honor of last night’s concert visit by Chris Hillman, we offer a look back at the self-titled third album by the Flying Burrito Brothers. The year was 1971. Chief Burrito Gram Parsons was gone, leaving Hillman to recruit longtime pal Bernie Leadon (a year before he joined the Eagles) and Rick Roberts (soon to gain fame with Firefall). The result was a more streamlined country sound still bolstered by pedal steel guitarist Sneaky Pete Kleinow, who left the band after this album was cut. A forgotten Americana gem.

summer album of the week 05/28/11

little feat: time loves a hero (released may 1977)

little feat: time loves a hero (released may 1977)

Summer has arrived and with it comes our third series of Summer Albums of the Week. Every Saturday between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend here at The Musical Box, we will serve up a tasty platter from summers gone by that embraces, expounds and expands the notion of “summer music.” And the first platter is…

Time Loves a Hero. One of Little Feat’s most commercially visible albums, it is also the record where founder Lowell George takes a conspicuous back seat role in its design. Guitarist Paul Barrere carries on with the band’s askew, slide-driven sound with delights like Old Folks Boogie while keyboardist Bill Payne counters with the truly summery title tune. But a blast of instrumental fusion, Day at the Dog Races, set the Feat in very different motion. An altogether appealing seasonal listen.


States News Service August 10, 2011 WASHINGTON — The following information was released by the office of Illinois Rep. Randy Hultgren:

A program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, grants are awarded to fire departments to enhance their ability to protect the public and fire service personnel from fire and related hazards. Three types of grants are available: Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG), Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grants (SAFER), and Fire Prevention and Safety Grants (FPandS). The open application period will run from August 15 – September 9, 2011. site duns number lookup


Paid, volunteer and combination fire departments and nonaffiliated EMS organizations from urban, suburban, and rural communities in the U.S. and its territories.


Firefighting and EMS equipment Personal protective equipment (PPE) Fire and EMS vehicles Training programs Wellness and fitness programs Modifications to facilities WHAT’S NEW THIS YEAR? see here duns number lookup

Funding priorities have been categorized as: High, medium and low. Use our priority system to increase your chances of winning an award.

We’ve added new items/activities eligible for funding in 2011: Behavioral health programs, boats under 20 Ft., and extended warranties.

Flashover simulators are not eligible for funding.

Applicants may apply for more than one vehicle. However, driver/operator training/certification is required in order to receive a vehicle award.


NEW THIS YEAR: GRANT RECIPIENTS MUST REGISTER IN THE CENTRAL CONTRACTOR REGISTRATION (CCR) SYSTEM As of August 2010, prime recipients of Federal grants are required to register in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) system. As a potential grantee you are not required to register, but you may wish to do so now in case you receive an award. CCR registration will be required if you are selected for an award.

How to register:

If you already have a DUNS number, skip to #2.

2. Once you have a DUNS number, register here:

For more information on grantee registration in the CCR system, download the AFG Get Ready Guide or visit their website:

summer album of the week 09/04/10

the beatles: abbey road (released september 1969)

the beatles: abbey road (released september 1969)

Another summer gone. We close this one, along with our Summer Album of the Week series, with possibly the greatest parting shot in pop history – a finale that wasn’t a finale.

Abbey Road was the last hurrah for The Beatles, a final studio document as a band- complete with George Martin at the helm. Let It Be, the official nail in the coffin, followed in the winter even though it was cut earlier. But The Beatles’ epic pop reign concluded with this masterful work. One side consisted of lean pop gems that included watershed works for John Lennon (Come Together), George Harrison (Something) and, arguably, Paul McCartney (Maxwell’s Silver Hammer). The second boasted the more audacious suite – an opus of such  overlooked pop miniatures as Sun King and Carry That Weight that wound down to an elegant finish with – what else? – The End and the social kiss off Her Majesty. Who else could close a legendary recording career with a come-on to the Queen of England?

Here, in review, is our Summer Album of the Week list for 2010.

05/29 : The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds (1966)

06/05 : Joni Mitchell – Blue (1971)

06/12 : Wilco – A Ghost is Born (2004)

06/19: King Crimson – Beat (1982)

06/26 : Frank Zappa – One Size Fits All (1975)

07/03 : Crowded House –  Woodface (1991)

07/10 : Devo – Freedom of Choice (1980)

07/17 : The Allman Brothers Band – Live at Fillmore East (1971)

07/24 : R.E.M. – Lifes Rich Pageant (1986)

07/31 : Miles Davis – In a Silent Way (1969)

08/07 : Pink Floyd – Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967)

08/14 : Herbie Hancock – Man-Child (1975)

08/21 : Van Morrison – Into the Music (1979)

08/28 : Grateful Dead – Blues for Allah (1975)

09/04 : The Beatles – Abbey Road (1969)

summer album of the week 08/28/10

grateful dead: blues for allah (released august 1975)

grateful dead: blues for allah (released august 1975)

On its third and final album as a fully independent band, the Grateful Dead looked inward on Blues for Allah by covering multiple musical bases. It served up bright, trippy Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter gems like Franklin’s Tower, Help on the Way and Crazy Fingers that would become staples of the band’s live shows for the rest of its working life. There was also a blatant and quite credible stab at a radio single in Bob Weir and John Barlow’s The Music Never Stopped. But the jackpot was the title track, a three-piece suite that morphed from an Eastern-inspired chant to a bluesy American wail before heading abroad again. Factor in a level of musicianship that was stylistically broad but atypically lean, along with cover art by Philip Garris that was as exact and animated as the music, and you had what still stands as the Grateful Dead’s last truly great studio work.

summer album of the week 08/21/10

van morrison: into the music (released august 1979)

van morrison: into the music (released august 1979)

Picking up on the momentum established less than a year earlier by Wavelength, Into the Music finds Van Morrison at a sunny crossroads. The opening Bright Side of the Road and Full Force Gale presents rapturous pop with a hearty gospel undertow while And the Healing Has Begun and Angeliou surrender to more amorous spiritualism. And then there is the closing You Know What They’re Writing About, an epic Keats-ian come-on tacked onto a cover of It’s All in the Game that presents Morrison at his most poetically evocative. Like so many great Morrison recordings, Into the Music is also a cross-continental journey that continually leaps between Celtic inspiration and American R&B impulses with a supporting cast of diverse musical giants (Ry Cooder, Zakir Hussain, Robin Williamson) that nicely uphold the boundary-crossing mission. A complete underdog of a Morrison album full of summery wonder and a suggestion of the impending autumn.

summer album of the week 08/14/10

herbie hancock: man-child (released august 1975)

herbie hancock: man-child (released august 1975)

In honor of Sunday’s Herbie Hancock concert in Louisville, we offer this little gem. Admittedly, in the scope of Hancock’s prolific and adventuresome career, an album like Man-Child is understandably underappreciated. Released in the thick of the keyboardist’s funk and fusion period, it possessed neither the spaciousness of his sublime Warner Brothers records nor the electric innovations that drove the groundbreaking Head Hunters. And let’s not even get into comparing Man-Child to Hancock’s extraordinary Blue Note jazz albums of the ‘60s. But popping Man-Child into the car stereo during a recent summer road trip revealed all kinds of delights. The opening Hang Up Your Hang Ups (still a cool title) is indicative of the mood with its punctuated guitar hook, killer horn chorus and keyboard colors that both ignite the tune’s groove while orchestrating its sleek melody. A jazz masterwork? Not at all. A slice of sunny instrumental funk ideal for summer fun? Absolutely.

Groupon sues sales staff who quit to join Google

The Independent (London, England) October 26, 2011 | STEPHEN FOLEY Google made a $6bn takeover offer for Groupon last winter but, when that was rebuffed, it set up its rival “daily deals” service called Google Offers – and, according to a lawsuit filed in a Chicago court, poached two key managers who left Groupon in September with confidential information. Michael Nolan, who worked for Groupon for two years, and Brian Hanna, who joined in January, are the subject of the lawsuit. Both worked in Chicago. Google is not a defendant. in our site groupon sandiego

“In their new positions with Google Offers and/or Google, Hanna and Nolan will provide the same or similar services as they provided at Groupon” requiring them “to employ confidential and proprietary information that they learned while employed at Groupon”, according to the complaint. site groupon sandiego

Groupon is seeking a court order to prevent its former employees disclosing information such as customer lists and sales and marketing plans that it says would “irreparably” harm the company if used.

Google, with its huge sales and marketing infrastructure, represents one of the most serious competitors to Groupon, which has seen an explosion in the number of copycat firms.

Concern about the competitive landscape is dogging Groupon’s attempt to float its shares in the US. It said last week it planned to raise up to $540m at a price that values the company at $11.4bn.


summer album of the week 08/07/10

pink floyd: the piper at the gates of dawn (released august 1967)

pink floyd: the piper at the gates of dawn (released august 1967)

The Piper at the Gates of Dawn wasn’t fully the point of origin for Pink Floyd. But it did manage to bring the mad genius of Syd Barrett to the forefront for the first and only time on an album. The Floyd was already the toast of Swingin’ London as it made the switch from learned pop merchants to full blown psychedelic stylists in 1967. Piper chronicled it all, from the bright strides of Bike to the ominous Astronomy Domine to the guitar anthem Intersteller Overdrive with Barrett as the band’s heart, voice and vision. And then he lost his mind, fading into the ranks of rock folklore as an invisible guru for one of the world’s most classically trippy bands. With Barrett and Floyd co-founder Rick Wright now gone, Piper stands as a testament to a lost psychedelic age that came a full six years before Floyd became internationally acclaimed with The Dark Side of the Moon. But within the grooves of Piper, the darkness was already spreading.

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