Thursday, March 31, 2011

LinkUp To These ...

Sometimes, the most-requested acts aren't those you hear every five minutes on Top 40 radio ...

Awhile back (okay ... 2 days, 15 hours, 12 minutes from the time I started this post, to be exact), I received three emails asking for more info on (and music samples by) the indie acts that have been pressed here and on the Rock, Rhythm and Rimshots blogs.

Believe me, I'm more than happy to oblige. These acts are absolutely some of the best in the business -- and their fan bases are growing at record speed! From solo artistes to full bands, these are performers whom you'll want in your music library ... and if you get the chance to catch them in person, do it!! Each one puts on a dynamic and pleasantly-unforgettable performance:

I've already had a few emails this morning from fans who (as one so eloquently put it) are "already kicking (themselves)" for missing Mike Tinsley's interview on Skyline FM a coupla weeks ago.
As you've already read here, Mike was the lead singer for the popular UK band, Hedgehoppers Anonymous ("It's Good News Week") but now has a dynamic solo act that's thrilling fans throughout the UK -- and he's starting to pick up a solid fan base here in the U.S.!
But, for those of you who missed out on the interview (which includes some very interesting flashbacks as well as his hit, My Survival), Cuzzin Relic's at the rescue! Just download it here and enjoy!

Now ... on to the country side of things:

Mike Lane has one of the most refreshing and emotive voices in country music -- and his songs speak to literally thousands. And, whilst his performances are fan-friendly, full of life and music -- specifically the works of his collaborator -- legendary songwriter, Ron Ryan. With hits like Truckers, Believe and You Turn The Magic On, he's beginning to make a big impact in country music ... soon, you'll be hearing him on stateside radio! So stay tuned ...

Matt Hardy is best known to most fans as the lead guitarist/vocalist for The Fore. But he's also a dynamic songwriter -- and has a solo act that's so warm and meaningful that he's been called "the new Donovan" by fans. His Coming Home and Point The Finger are just two of his hits that have touched the hearts of fans on both sides of the Atlantic! He has a bright future ahead of him as a solo artiste as well as with the band ...

The fab music of Frank Lee Sprague has already drawn ginormous audiences throughout the U.S., Japan and Europe. Whilst he has a lively Merseybeat sound, "there seems like a Buddy Holly influence in his music" (so says some RockMail that came in from a reader named Joanne). I'm not surprised, Joanne -- after all, this Wichita Falls Texan is related to the late legend ...

Now, I've more coming up in the next edition, which will be in about 24 hours. And, speakin' of legends: stay tuned for an upcoming interview with Ralph Morman -- former lead singer with Savoy Brown and The Joe Perry Project! This is one interview you won't wanna miss!

Okay ... it's 4:00 AM on the East Coast (9 AM in London, 1 AM in L.A. -- and it's bound to be 5:00 somewhere ...) and time for me to settle down and inspect the inside of my eyelids for about 360 minutes. So I'll ...

see ya on the flip side!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Interview That Didn't Make It (Pt. II)

This is the conclusion of the interview that was-to-be (see this post for the first part). It's a bit overdue but, after digging through mounds of other work, finding all my saved files destroyed a short while back (Facebookers, you know the story ...) -- and the untimely passing of my courageous friend Pete Dintino, I'm continuing it here. Sorry for the delay (hope you can read my writin'! lol):

You've also recommended a book that Mr. Thaxton wrote. Can you tell us more about it?

Stuff Happens (and then you fix it) was actually co-written with the great motivational speaker, John Alston. Describe the book?? Okay ... imagine sitting down with your favourite uncle(s. Gotta include John here) and just talking with them about how you can live a happier, more productive life. No fancy talk or gimmicks -- just a conversational "one-on-one" with a lot of good, solid advice and even a few laughs. And all in a relaxing, easy-going style. It's a dynamite book, really ... one you'd want to read again and again ...

Earlier, I asked about your favorite interview. But, as the Rock Relic, you've probably met a number of people in the industry. Who among those would you say are your favorites?

Well, whilst there are some bands that you listen to a bit more, or a solo act that seems to "stand out" from the rest in his/her genre, you really don't play "favourites".
You see, there are different styles, voices, genres and presences -- and each one of the acts contribute to the whole purpose of entertainment. They've paid their dues, put in the shoe-leather-and-sweat to make it all work. So, in the RelicWorld, they're all my faves.
The people behind-the-scenes at each gig are just as important, and they're my favourites as well. And let's not forget the most vital part of any act: THE FANS! Each and every one is cherished and appreciated for their support. So they're every act's favourites!

What's next for the Rock Relic?

If everything goes well, a good dinner followed by a night's sleep. Actually, as the rock world keeps turning -- and, incidentally, the Arbitrons® are starting to show a slow turn away from techno and back to the beat that made rock-n-roll in the first place -- and new bands and solo acts begin picking up speed, I'll stay busy promoting it. And, of course, there's always enough news to keep me on my toes.
But as long as there's a rock fan who's interested, and as long as there are fans of Uncle Lloyd who want to reminisce and share, I'll be around ...

Like I said, Mousers, that interview never appeared since the web-fanzine folded shortly after these questions were received. Hope you didn't mind my sharing -- 'cause now you know a little more about this Relic ...


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Monday, March 28, 2011

Fallon, Gaga and A Lady Called Elizabeth

You'd be hard-pressed to find a more beautiful, gracious and talented lady (and I do mean lady ...) to grace the silver screen than the late Elizabeth Taylor -- she was, as the old saying goes, "one of a kind". And, this past Friday, starting promptly at 8:00 PM and lasting for one minute, the lights on all Broadway marquees were dimmed in honour of this marvelous woman.

It's also a tribute to her that, other than her marriages, the tabloids of yesteryear had very little gossip fodder about her. Whilst I never met her personally, quite a few of my industry friends did -- and I remember one telling me "as long as Liz (she hated that name, btw) is alive, there's still hope for Hollywood ..."
In Cleopatra, she played the queen; in real life, she was the queen.
And her presence will definitely be missed ...


Late last week, a reader named Brenda B wrote in about NBC's fab "Late-Night" host, Jimmy Fallon. I've been a fan of Jimmy's since before his days with SNL, and was anxious to see what she'd written. Here 'tis:

"When I see him I cant help but think about Lloyd Thaxton. He has the same charm and is so hypper and funny. I would not be suprised if he drew little finiger people on his finigers one day. What do u think?"

Well, Brenda B, I don't know about "finiger people" (are they Irish finger people?) ... and don't even want to ask where his "finigers" are, but there are some striking similarities between Jimmy and Uncle LL.

He comes alive onstage and has the youthful exuberance that Lloyd had. He's also a live-wire ("hypper"?), is fan-friendly and incorporates them in his show (much like LL did with the studio audience on his), and can ad-lib with the best (if only NBC would let him!).

Brenda B, shortly after Uncle Lloyd left us, I received an email tribute that concluded,
"Lloyd Thaxton reminded me of an early Jerry Lewis set to music. He brought that same zaniness to millions of kids, along with his music and 'finger people' (note the spelling, please ...) to them when we were still reeling from the Kennedy assassination.
He actually helped us find ourselves again ..."

So, while Jimmy does resemble Lloyd in many ways, how could anyone ever fill his shoes??

Still, it's a big compliment to a young man who's really (and quite deservedly) gaining a tremendous following. (btw, I mentioned "Lady Gaga" in the title. Jimmy mentioned last week that she'd visited the Google® headquarters, and put the two together: "Gaga? Google? GagaGoogle? Ga-Ga-Goo-Goo ... Ga-Ga-Goo-Goo" Lloyd would've loved that ...


Over the winter months -- from all the Christmas snacking, New Year's bashes and grabbing extra calories just to stay warm during an ultra-cold season -- some of us have packed on a little cellulite as well.
And, with sunny Spring months ahead, we want to get rid of that stuff so we can look good in our shorts, skorts and spring outfits.
Now, there are a lot of creams, potions and lotions that claim to do the job ... but how do you know they'll really work?
Actually, there is one spot where you can find the best cellulite treatment creams . When you click the link you just saw, you'll find that these have been studied and evaluated (they even look for possible risks or side effects!), and then presented to you -- with a link to the lowest online price!
So what are you waiting for? Get rid of that unsightly cellulite -- and ready to enjoy the Springtime sun by looking your best!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Airtime In The RockYard ...

Well, we're at it again here at the RockYard ...
the latest edition of Relic Radio -- completed between cat litter changes at 5:15:oh:how:I:wanna:sleep:AM this morning -- is available by clicking this link.
I had a few glitches whilst putting it all together, yardbirds (namely, my dog decided, at one point, the mic would make a tasty treat. Switch mics -- don't go after the other -- at least for another thirty minutes, when it passes ... I hope ...)
On the show, you'll be hearing Mike Tinsley, Matt Hardy, Mike Lane, The Fore, Frank Lee Sprague and ... well, a few extras designed just for you listeners.

Enjoy ...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

They Would've Made A Great Duo

BEFORE WE BEGIN, I want all of you who've followed this blog and admired Pete Dintino's courage to have a free copy of his Caringbridge journal. In it, you'll find his struggles as well as triumphs as his daughter, Lin, gave eyewitness reports of his most life-threatening battles. Click this link for your copy -- and be sure to read it from last page to first (ie, from the beginning). I guarantee you'll be touched and inspired ... it's a true story that, if scripted and produced as-is, would outdo any "suspense" movie on the market.

There are some people who just seem to click when you put their personalities together: Lennon and McCartney. Chad and Jeremy. Bartles & Jaymes. AT&T and Sprint (hey ... I said "click", remember? Not "connect"!)

But there were two men who never met, though their personalities were so much alike: Witty, outgoing, optimistic ... and dedicated to the proposition that all rockers were created equal. They were both proud of their families, thankful for their fans -- and, IMHO, taken away too soon.

Whilst yer Cuzzin Relic is still feeling the loss of his brother-in-rock, Pete Dintino, I can't help thinking about how much he and Uncle Lloyd were allike (except LL had more hair and was just a bit ollder). They woulld've tallked for hours about rock, familly, and everything-positive.

No doubt, they would've made a great duo, even without singing a musical note. And, whilst both had their physical afflictions -- Lloyd with the multiple myeloma, Pete with leukemia and diabetes -- neither one would complain about it. Instead, they were more concerned for others' happiness, and would share their very best to motivate and inspire, even when their respective final chapters were imminent!

These two heart-superstars ... one, our beloved Chief Mouser, who knew media, music and motivation like the back of his hand; and the other, a walking rock-encyclopaedia and songwriter who was living inspiration ... taught us an invaluable lesson:

Whatever you go through in life, don't worry about it! Change what you can, accept what you can't, but always ... always hold your head high! Because, no matter what comes your way, you're bound to come out of it all a WINNER!"

Before we leave this post, let me share a pic of the Dintino crew with a man whom Pete truly admired. You'll see (from the right) Lin (the daughter who stayed with her dad until the end), Pete, Toni (another one of Pete's dynamite daughters) ... and Mike Smith (famed vocalist/organist for the Dave Clark Five) taken some time before Mike's accident:

Two men who never met ... yet shared so much in common ... blessing the heavens with their humour, their wit, their warmth and music.
We all were blessed with having them amongst us ... and are so much richer for it! By now, though, I'm sure they've met -- and are talkin' shop, music, their friends and family here on earth -- and, along with all their friends and heroes who've gone (before and after) them, are having a great time rockin' the starscape ...

Stay tuned ...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Requiescat In Pacem

At 9:45 PM Sunday, 20 March, 2011, the world lost a true giant -- and I, one of my best friends. Peter Dintino passed away in Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY.
Many of you have been following Pete's battles since early 2008. In his honour, I am reprinting -- and, sadly, updating -- segments from posts in which I introduced him to you all (for a complete list, just go to our sister site, Rock, Rhythm and Rimshots, and type in "Pete Dintino" to the search box on your right).

This was the dynamic drummer, resilient rocker, partaker of prime pizza -- and fantastic friend -- who optimistically fought against a formidable foe called "leukemia".

I remember Spring of 2008, when talking with Pete just before he went into the hospital (songwriting legend Ron Ryan was also on the line in the conference call), he was his usual, cheerful self: regaling us with humorous stories of rock, bragging on his lovely daughter Lyn (and, considering her undying love for her dad, I can understand!), and playing musical segments for us to enjoy.

Then he told us he was "going in", and wouldn't "be out" for a couple, maybe three weeks ... or maybe "not at all!" But the way he said it had so much hope, so much "I will be back" in it, that you just knew he wasn't worried about that last part ... he knew he would make it back!
Here ... read the first part of his little "bio" from the CaringBridge site:

"My name is Peter A. Dintino and I was diagnosed in 2003 with Chronic Lymphocyctic Leukemia (CLL). I am a 55 year male with four daughters. I have a large Italian/Irish family that I love with all my heart. I came to Stong Memorial in 2007 to have a Stem Cell Transplant. I love Jesus and can't wait for his soon return!

I have been struggling with this disease for awhile, not only do I have CLL but I have a co-morbidity, diabetes. Other than those two ailments I am a healthy 55 yr old. I have undergone several chemo and biological therapies for my cancer. In 2006 I was recommended for a Stem Cell Transplant. We found a non-related donor that was a 9 out of 10 match. I saw my chance at a cure and I took it! I was admitted for my transplant Feb 8th and received my Stem Cells Feb 12th. I have had an acute reaction to the transplant and now have to be on artificial life support. I have not given up though, I am fighting and will continue to.

The kind of cancer I have affects my blood but manifests it self in my lymph nodes, so when you see me I may look swollen but its really all my enlarged lymph nodes. This cancer is strong and aggressive, I only have a 30% chance of making it through the Stem Cell Transplant. The cancer is strong but with your prayers and help from The Almighty I am stronger than it, so bring it on!!"

Now, here's where I've gotta stop for a moment: He just told-it-like-it-was, shrugged those big shoulders, smiled and moved on. He knew that what was within his soul was mightier than that which was trying to stop him! As I remember Pete's life, his battles -- and his
tremendously optimistic spirit -- I can't help wondering why I ever complained about a little arthritis, or a headache or whatever.


But I also toldja this amazingly-strong rock-n-roll warrior was a fab songwriter as well as drummer, 'oldies' rock authority (me, Rock Relic, humbled by strong man! Him good!) and dynamite parent!

Gettin' back to the songwriter: He did a piece awhile back called Criminal Intent -- a gritty-but-fun blues song that has lyrics that even the masters of the genre would envy! So, in honor of the man whom the Relic considers one of his true heroes, and with permission of the publisher (see below), I'm including a link where YOU, the faithful Rockaholic, can hear this awesome song!

It's recorded by John Hesterman of The Offbeats -- a superb band in its own right -- and a good friend of Pete, Ron and myself. I appreciate John sharing this piece so all my readers can enjoy it ... and hear the wonder of musician/songwriter/miracle extraordinaire Peter Dintino.

So, without further adieux -- well, after the following copyright information -- here's the link to Criminal Intent:

NOTE: This song is © 2008 RHM Music. Used by permission of the publisher. Any reproduction is expressly prohibited without prior consent from RHM Music, 9841 Mission Vega Rd. Unit 1, Santee, CA 92071

Criminal Intent.mp3

21 March 2011 addendum:

In the annals of history -- rock or otherwise -- you'd be hard-pressed to find a more courageous, optimistic fighter than Pete was. His legacy will live forever in the hearts and souls of those who were closest to him -- and in the ones whom, through this post, forums and by word-of-mouth, he had reached with his story.

(An aside for Mousers: When I first received the word of Uncle Lloyd's passing, Peter was the first person I called. He was there to console, to share, to care -- and to dare me to the heights that LL had so wonderfully challenged me to climb.

As the credits begin to roll at the end of this lifetime saga of Peter A. Dintino, you'd see the names of literally thousands who were touched by his life.
Whilst he will be sadly and sorely missed, we realise that this is only the first installment of the saga. One day, a sequel will come out -- one that's never-ending -- as we meet up with him again on the eternal ... flip side!

Requiescat In Pacem, Pete ... "Shadow" ... Friend ...
Your spirit will live forever within us ...

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Somewhere, somebody under the age of 30 is thinkin' the title of this blog refers to the latest gadget from a well-known small-appliance manufacturer:
New! From Ronco® ! The amazing PSYCH-O-DELIC!! It'll chop, dice, slice and puree whatever herb you drop into it!! Its patented "turn-on™" button works automatically whilst you soooothe yourself with its "Sitar-7" motor ...

Actually, when people hear about the drugs, bugs, mugs and hugs goin' down in Haight-Ashbury back in the mid-Sixties (for those who aren't "into" this bag, it's a district in San Francisco), remember that, while it was a trip during the bonzo years, a lot of it was thrown out of focus by the Establishments big anti-hype!

No question, the dope was a bummer; it messed it up for many of us. (Listen -- take it from someone who knows firsthand [yeah, I did a little back then] you've gotta stay away from that junk. It's POISON! [*Click the link, okay? It's a story that's been adapted for children, but acts as a strong lesson for everyone!) But, you gotta admit, some heavy modern art, threads -- and music -- came out of it.

Y'see, by '67, the kids were totally uptight about what was going on in Vietnam. They were down on the racial prejudice that was hurting their black brothers and sisters. They were turned off by the way the Establishment looked down on the young people of the day. Man, all they wanted was peace and equality! And they were willing to do or take whatever they thought they had to in order to get that peace in their lives.

They had some groovy acts doin' their thing in the district: The Beau Brummels (Laugh, Laugh), Blue Cheer (Summertime Blues), Canned Heat (Goin' Up Country; (Back) On The Road Again), the Doors, Grateful Dead (WHO?!? Neverheardof 'em! Lol), and, of course, Janis (do I really need to give her last name?).

Another band, Credence Clearwater Revival, started their Haight stint as The Golliwogs (Fight Fire) before changing their name and adopting a new bayou� sound. That drew the Fogerty brothers (John and Tom -- the latter now deceased), Cook and Clifford away from the district and into the big-time. Unlike Pearl -- er, Janis -- who was a gutsy, howling blues mama, and the Dead, who were digging the lucys (hallucinations) and free-jam setup, CCR was radio-ready!

They had a live-wire style onstage, and could bridge just about any genre gap: soul (Heard It Through The Grapevine), country (Cottonfields), folk-rock (Proud Mary), protest (Fortunate Son), and pure-tee rock-and-roll (Travelin' Band).
Though they had their fights (mostly with leader John), their sound was awesome -- and was often mimicked (Hollies' Long Black Woman, produced by Bob Fogerty). Their songs were covered (Tina Turner's powerful 'Proud Mary'), and reviewed more times than anyone could count.
It's a sound that'll last long after the last member's gone ... and the band of today that picks up the Credence gauntlet and continues a variation of the sound is almost guaranteed a strong measure of success.


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Duly Noted ...

A few days ago, somebody wrote in and asked how The Relic starts his work day. "When u sat down at your comp, whats the 1ST thing u do?" (Don'tcha just love this new "cyber" style of writing? O? U2? lol kewl!)

There's one thing that I always end up with, though, and that's plenty of notes reminding me to do this-or-that tomorrow or this week. Right now, my monitor, the top of my desk, and two cats are covered in Post-It® notes (well, serves 'em right for gettin' in my stuff ...).

Notes like:


NOTE: Remember Gary Belich's birthday Saturday. Do NOT ask age as your life is valuable to you. Old floppy (wait, Gary ... it's not about you! Lemme finish the joke here ...) old floppy-disk drive is not an ATM. Extract that $5.00 bill somehow and tape it back together. Send well-wishes instead.

Actually, Cuzzin Gary has an outtasite site, having written a very interesting chapter in the Book of Faces (okay ... Facebook® for you purists) called Oldies Videos as well as a website called (ready??) Oldies Videos!

And he's Mouser Extraordinaire here at Uncle LL's Cheese Central ... in fact, Lloyd and I talked often about GL and how he was impressed with Gary's knowledge, initiative and personality.

So, 4 U, Vidmeister Belich of Olde Minnesodum, ye purveyor of pure pop, vetter of vivid videos, we wish a boss birthday and MANY more to come (at the rate of once per year).

There are quite a few other notes ... but we'll get to those this evening; so stay tuned ...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Just For Kicks ...

Have you ever had one of those days ...??

Actually, I was re-reading a chapter in Stuff Happens! called "To Change Your Life, Change Your Mind" and held up on Page 84 (the summary). Remember? Ways to keep from monopolizing a conversation??

Well, I've never believed in monopolizing (besides, I thought that was what happened when a male and female game board got together ...). But Uncle Lloyd (and John) gives us some boss ideas for putting our mouths in idle gear:

Have a friend who will kick you under the table
(preferably with soft-toed sneakers)
Or kick yourself (trust me ... it can be done if necessary ...)
then shut up and listen!

A few years ago, I was touring a photo exhibit by the Lovely Linda McCartney at Huntington Museum of Art. Not only could this lady create astounding photo portraits; her vegan recipes were fantastic (yes, they had a spread of some of her dishes. I partook ... and became a believer)!

Anyway, there was one lady in the crowd who just wouldn't shut up, for love nor food! She monopolized every conversation -- people were shuffling from foot to foot, being polite but simulating "walking away".
Finally, one of the docents took her to the side and talked with her about it.

A few moments later, the lady-in-question reappeared ...
turned her back to us ...
looked down and said ...
"Does anybody see her footprint there, or has it worn off already?" Then she proceeded to apologize to everyone ... and was a nice, well-behaved -- and listening lady from that point on.

Sometimes, I think we need a group for those who have a problem with talking too much. For alcoholics, we have AlAnon. For substance abuse, NarcoNon. So, for overtalkers, how about OnandOnAnon?

Dr. Joyce Brothers once said "Listening, not imitation, may be the sincerest form of flattery." Next time you're in a crowd and justHAVEtoSAYsomething, don't. Flatter them by listening.


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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hail, Brave Fighters of Foo ...

Alright ... I'm only gonna say this once this year: For all you who are Irish or have it in your ancestry or eat potatoes: Happy St. Patrick's Day!
I'm from a family who, for many years, believed that they were fehth 'n' begorra folk but, 1,320 shamrocks later -- most of which are still pressed in books gathering dust on the top shelf except those their pets ate -- I dug into our Hinson history and found we hailed from Yorkshire, England.

Now ... lemme put the shovel down and get into today's post (PS One of my favourite blues bands from back-in-the-day was Them. [and right now someone's bound to be saying "Who?" Wrong group. Them:] Van Morrison's dynamic Irish quintet who churned out songs like Gloria and Here Comes The Night)

But this post is dedicated to those valiant (and non-Irish) lads who pick up their guitars almost every night to protect us from the dreaded "Foo". These brave men, dubbed "Foo Fighters", have also provided us with covers of some of rock's biggest hits in their latest album -- but more on that in a minute. Or two.

But I've been asked: What, exactly, is a foo fighter? Well, it's more like a "was", really: Back in the Second World War, it was the term used by Allied fighter pilots for UFO's. These creatures were out to rid the earth of our precious supply of foo, I guess ... (and, considering the language of today, most likely succeeded since, in the 21st Century, many use the exclamation f*** instead of FOOEY!)

But the band-of-the-same-name, conceived by Dave Grohl (drummer of Nirvana) in 1994 as a one-man project, has become an "A"-list rock phenomenon -- and will be releasing a new compilation album of cover songs in time for April 16's Record Store Day.

Amongst the tracks on the album (called Medium Rare) will be Band On The Run (originally by Paul McCartney and Wings), Baker Street (the first hit by Gerry Rafferty, who left us earlier this year), I Feel Free (by the Clapton/Bruce/Baker monster, Cream) and Bad Reputation (a hit for Thin Lizzy, who, btw, were Irish).

There are a lot of other plans in the works for Record Store Day -- most of them already vinylized -- and you can get all the 411 by clicking this link, okay? (The spokesman for this year's wingding is some guy named Ozzy Osbourne. You'll see his promo vid on the site ...)

And that's it for this edition, but stay tuned ... we'll have more Lloyd Thaxton's MOUSE CLLIQUE comin' up within the next 48. Until then ...

stay tuned ...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Touched By A Song

This is the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Prayer Song - Until Then (Kenneth Maiki Aiolupotea)... just let this soak in. And I'll see you on the flip side ...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

WTF?? Watch The Fans!!

If you're performing with a band, blazing out some hot guitar licks (or pounding the skins on a sleek drumkit) in a packed gig, there’s one guaranteed way to be sure your band becomes a hit with the fans: It’s called the “WTF” method (and it’s about time we gave those initials to something decent, right?):


Y’see, when you’re onstage before a live audience, you never know exactly which songs will fire up the fans. Obviously, if you’re good, they’ll listen, dance, holler or whatever.
But, if ya really wanna know how to get your band from “just another musical group” to favorite,


Whilst performing, each member can focus on separate sections of the crowd. As you go through your set, look at their faces … watch their movements.
If you see excitement, movement or other animation that shows they’re into the song, then you’ve got at least one number that you can tailor your sound and stage work by!

But if they seem too interested in talking to others, seem oblivious or even bored, then wipe the number from your set — at least until you can “fine-tune” it to bring the crowd to its feet!

Now, about the winning numbers (no, not lottery. I’m talkin’ about the set!): Have someone make a note of those songs and the fans’ reaction. Then, when you’re back into rehearsal or songwriting, work out new numbers (both fast and slow) that’ll most likely get the same response!

By this “trial-and-error” method, you can build a set — and a reputation — that’s dynamite!


One of the coolest inventions of the Twentieth Century was the camcorder. Now, we can take movies of our kids as they're growing, other special occasions, or the environment.
But if we shop for these digital camcorders at our local stores, we're usually faced with high prices, limited selections -- and salespeople who might just be too busy to help us.
However, if you click the link I just gave you a second ago, you'll find one of the best selections imaginable -- and at prices that are definitely affordable!
These cameras are top-brand, too -- with names like JVC, Panasonic and Sony! You'll also find accessories, a great clearance outlet and so much more than you would at other stores.
So click the link now and start building those recorded memories ...

Byrd-Brained Advice

Whenever you’re starting a band — especially an electric rock band — at one time or other you'll wonder what would happen at a gig if you were either unplugged, your amps fail, or there’s a power outage in the building.

It can be an embarrassing situation — unless you take the advice of Jim (now Roger) McGuinn, leader of the legendary ’60s folk-rock act, The Byrds.

If you’ve heard them, you know they relied heavily on the twelve-string Rickenbacker and very tight harmonies during their early years.
But there was a reason, as McGuinn explained in 1966: Their music was such that, if there was a power outage, they could switch to acoustic and continue the show successfully.

Now, there’s some good advice that comes outta that:

If your band's looking for a solid, sellable sound, build strong harmonies. Include adaptable songs in your set — songs that could be played as well on acoustic as they could electric, without losing any of their “punch”. Always … ALWAYS … bring acoustic guitars to your gigs … even invest in an acoustic bass guitar.
In the event an outage does occur, for whatever the reason, switch to your “acoustic” set while the outage is active. That way, you can keep the music going (and probably calm an audience-full of frazzled nerves!) unless or until you’re told otherwise …

From Eagles to Beach Boys to Crosby, Stills and Nash, we’ve seen how bands can switch from electric to acoustic with no problem (the masters of it, of course, would be ).
But, if you want a perfect acoustic song or two, just take some lessons from the legendary folk duo, Chad and Jeremy. These harmonic wonders — still very active today supporting their album ARK-eology — have been popular for over forty years and show no signs of stopping!

That’s the beauty of being able to do harmonic double-duty (acoustic or electric): You’re always in-demand!


For those of us who've had little children, we know it's important to check their hearing when they're young -- and, because they're often squirmy, impatient creatures, we need to do it quickly.
The best way to do that is with a dependable and accurate audiometer. While it sounds like a complicated, high-priced piece of equipment, you'll find, just by clicking the link you just passed a moment ago, it's neither!
It's an important tool to have in the event of any ear injury that your offspring can incur -- and you can have the very best at only a fraction of the cost you'll find anywhere else!
So click that link now for the welfare of your children -- and your peace-of-mind!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Two Country Giants To Help Japan

TWO COUNTRY GIANTS TO HELP JAPAN RELIEF: Mike Lane has one of the most refreshing and emotive voices in country music -- and his songs speak to literally thousands. And, whilst his performances are fan-friendly, full of life and music -- the works of his collaborator -- legendary songwriter, Ron Ryan -- just makes them that much sweeter. With hits like Truckers, Believe and You Turn The Magic On, he's beginning to make a big impact in country music.

And now, Mike and Ron are collaborating on a very special and heartfelt project: to help the innocent victims of the terrifying 8.9 earthquake that tore into Japan ... and into our hearts.
Here ... let me share what Mike just sent me, moments ago:

"I will play for free, or put up music for free, to sell CDS to help ..."

Now, you can take it from the Relic: These two men -- sensations on the UK country scene and legends in their own right -- offer the very best and most ear-pleasing country music you'd ever want to hear!
And I am HIGHLY Relicommending that you (yes, you!!) take advantage of their offer; whether in buying their CDs and tracks, or going to one of Mike's fantastic shows, you'll be helping the relief efforts in Japan as well as serving your ears a heapin' helpin' of fiiiine country music!!

All you have to do is visit Mike's site, then head over to REVERBNATION for some great track downloads and ringtones!. The proceeds will be donated to relief efforts for that earthquake-ravaged country. Also, if you're in the UK, make a point to book Mike for your next function! Guaranteed a great time for all!!)

It's a great offer from the hearts of two true musical giants!

Pullin' Together For An Island

THIS JUST IN: Whilst working on this simulcast post, I learned that brave songwriter/drummer/leukemia fighter Pete Dintino -- whom you've read about here -- is on life support at this hour. Please keep the "Shadow" in your prayers -- and I'll update you ASAP. Thanks ...

Across the blogosphere, writers are starting their Saturday-morning posts with eloquently-painted word-pictures of a tiny island trying to recover from a major disaster.
But mere words can't describe what's going on in Japan after that ultra-powerful earthquake. It tore into towns and villages, broke apart the roads, and caused the ocean to pour onto the mainland;

at the same time and for those of us who watched it all unfold on cable news, it tore into our souls, broke apart our hearts and caused many of us pour ourselves into relief efforts to aid our Oriental friends.

And (who else?) rockers are leading the charge ...

For example, Lady Gaga launched a bracelet yesterday to support relief in Japan -- and other top names in the entertainment world offered condolences after the mega-quake and tsunami.

Gaga asked her legions of fans -- whom she calls "Little Monsters" -- to buy a bracelet on her website (it's emblazoned with "We Pray for Japan") for donations of $5 or more. All proceeds will go to relief efforts, she said.

Other pop stars offered condolences. R&B superstar Alicia Keys wrote on her Twitter account that she woke up early in the morning with "a song in my heart," although she wasn't sure what it was going to be yet. All she knows, at this point, is that she wants it to support the Japanese and draw attention to their plight. She says, "My heart breaks for Japan."

Even teen heartthrob Justin Bieber has responded, calling Japan "one of my favorite places on Earth. It's an incredible culture with amazing people. My prayers go out to them. We all need to help," Bieber wrote on Twitter.

Of course, there are going to be many more fundraisers and relief efforts coming up over the next few weeks from all genres -- and all of them needed, all from the heart. But here's where we can start:

Wherever we are at this moment -- whatever you're doing -- can it wait a sec whilst we lift up solid prayers or send out positive thoughts to the island of Japan (the whole country's a victim)? Now ... if you've got a few extra dollars you can spare, how about sending -- no, investing -- them in reputable relief efforts (major nets like CNN and MSNBC, as well as those overseas can point you in the right direction).

And, above all, keep up the good vibrations toward the people of Japan -- and don't count them out! This isn't gonna keep them down! Their sun is gonna rise again and fly high and proud over their amazing country once more ...

Monday, March 7, 2011

Auto Tune-Up?

It’s been called the ultimate ‘cheat-board” … probably best-known for Cher’s use of it in her 1998 hit, Believe, it’s been panned by most rock artists as a “cheap way out” for performers who don’t want to take time to rehearse their vocals — or are basically “tone deaf” anyway.
At the same time, the Auto-Tune® has been praised for its economical side — cutting down on studio time, mixing and more.

Performers as diverse as T-Pain, Reba McIntyre, Faith Hill and Cher have used it to save re-takes and give their songs the “perfect pitch” it calls for. They don’t have to worry about missing notes or whatever, because this program can make even the worst singers sound heavenly!

Here’s what it says on the Antares Tech page:

“Auto-Tune is used daily by thousands of audio professionals around the world. Whether to save studio and editing time, ease the frustration of endless retakes, to save that otherwise once-in-a-lifetime performance, or to create striking special effects, Auto-Tune Evo is the tool of choice.”

Now, I’ve been in the business for thirty-plus years, and, quite frankly, I see this thing as a poor substitute for adequate vocal/instrumental rehearsal. If you’re good, you’re good. If not, keep on rehearsing until ya get it right! Don’t depend on a machine to correct your mistakes, because, onstage, you might not have it to rely on!

If the greats from all genres didn’t have to use it (Beatles, Stones, James Brown, Johnny Cash, etc), why do acts need it now?

Heck … all they did was rehearse until they got it right. And, if they had a vocal or instrumental “glitch” onstage, it gave the gig even more substance, because the fans knew they were seeing it all live and raw … they loved the fact that their musical heroes were human and not fed through some machine that did their work for them!

‘Course, that’s just my opinion. I’d like to get yours. Just give me a shout-out by comment or email and let me know what you think. I’ll be happy to print your feedback here …


Many of our readers have their own businesses, whether in audio/video production, performing, writing or whatever. And they know the importance of solid business intelligence software to keep their trade running smoothly and efficiently.
Now, you can search all over the web and on the streets for the right software and only come up with bits and pieces that, you hope, will tie together to produce everything you need. Unfortunately, it's too time-consuming, costly and just doesn't work the way you want!
So, if you're looking for the right software to build your business, why not take the sensible route and click on the link I gave you a moment ago? It's an all-in-one, easy-to-use system that can keep your business at peak efficiency! From analytics to reports, reminders and multi-dimensional charting, you'll have it all at your fingertips ...
and these folks will even go a step further and let you try it for free, just to show you what it can do for your business! You'll be easily convinced ... and, when you decide to buy, you'll find that it's budget-friendly!
So click that link now -- and give your business the organized "boost" it deserves!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Like A Rolling Stone

Of all the classics coming from the vault we call "Rock-n-Roll", ya can't get any more genuine than Bob Dylan's Like A Rolling Stone. The song was crowned awhile back by Rolling Stone Magazine® (no relation, incidentally) as being the #1 rock song in history. (ahem ... we you asked to vote? Naaah ... me neither ...)

But, hey -- there's good reason for the glory.
Y'see, not only does the Freewheeler put a little bit of soul into the soundtrack of his first non-acoustic hit, but he includes the some of the most ingenious wording of any folk-rock hit, before or after.

In the song itself, Dylan is addressing a young woman who, probably a "silver-spooner," finally finds herself scrounging and street bound. It's an exhibit in contrast, obviously meant to show the high muck-a-mucks that, in fact, it's the everyday people -- those who have to hang on to every dime, every crumb of bread, every drop of gas in order to survive -- who makes them the so-called "superstars". But, then again, that's true for anybody who "makes it", right?

Look ... the jet-set can be a stone drag after awhile, and, more often than not, those who are involved with it end up in some very sticky situations (especially when you've got cameras following your every move). (OUCH!! That kinda sounds like a sermon for a certain blonde youngster who's just been released from jail, doesn't it? Clue: Her initials are the same as the first two letters of Uncle LLoyd's name).

My fave part of the lyrics? Remember the line, When you ain't got nothin', you got nothin' to lose? That's it. Been there, know the feeling.
But everybody can take at least a few dozen lines of the song (and its equally-effective followup, Positively 4th Street), and apply the lessons they hold, right? If ya can't, you better go back and play it again ... this time with yer ego listenin' ...

Dylan has always played to the common man (or woman, as the case may be). In his music, you'll find everyday thoughts from plain "meat-and-potatoes" people. In his Highway 61 electrodebut album, you'll find something for every frame of mind ... even the superlong Desolation Row (the one that Uncle Lloyd lip-synched so perfectly back on the show). Most of us Mousers can relate to Dylan (who was from Minnesota, home state of Moustorian supreme, Cousin Gary Belich [PS If ya dig oldies/classic rock vids, you'll wanna visit his Facebook® page! He goes all-out to find the best rock videos of all your favourite stars! Become a fan and enjoy!)


Most of you know that, up until about two years ago, I took some extra work as a pro wrestling announcer. One of the items that every grappler required when they geared up was knee padding! Not only did they keep the knees from bruising, scapes and tears -- they also strengthened the knee joints!
Of course, every athlete who's involved with contact sports -- from football to basketball and beyond -- know the value of these. But, of course, they've got to be sturdy and reliable while allowing the flexibility needed for those all-important joints.
But where can you find the knee pads that will provide all that -- and at a price that an you can live with? The answer's right behind that link you saw a moment ago. Not only do they have a tremendous selection of pads, but you can even get them customized!
You can even find other gear and accessories that'll help you look (and play) your finest, whether in-ring or on the field!
So click there now -- if you're an athlete, you'll appreciate -- and really kneed -- it!

Oldies Vs. Classic Rock

Awhile back, a Rockaholic down in PA way (hmph ... I had a Pa once. He was a good man ...) asked me a question: What's the difference between "oldies" and "classic" rock? Or IS there one?
Well, to answer that, let me ask ya this: Is there a difference between a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich and a big, juicy hamburger? I mean, both are filling, but one's got a little meat to it!

Y'see, back-in-the-day, there were thousands of cool 45's twirling around the turntables, and some dynamite entertainers backing 'em up onstage.
Many were danceable, some could turn your lovin' up a notch or two, and a few could make ya wish you had a beer to shed a tear in ...

Aaaaah, then there were those whose lyrics, churning rhythm, heavy guitar bridges, and flexing vocals just got deep in your soul and embedded themselves there. They were the product of overall frustration with the establishment (man, did we ever wear out that word back then!), the war (ie, Vietnam), social injustice, or even themselves. They got deeper into everything, it seemed.
And they were by performers who we could depend on for follow-up hits. These are the true "classics".

Lemme give ya an example or two: Anybody remember Poison Ivy by The Paramounts? (okay ... I know some of our readers from UK do!) Cool, but a cover. But was their rendition classic? Now ... check out A Whiter Shade of Pale by Procol Harum. Classic? In the best sense, right?? Well ... (Relic's got a seeeeeecret ...) It's the same BAND! Just years later ... with a little more meat!

Or Go Now! by the Moody Blues (with Denny Laine). Good, listenable, killer piano ... but classic? They took a little time off, then hit with Nights In White Satin, I'm Just A Singer (In A Rock & Roll Band) and the Relic's fave, Question. New flavor, 'cause there's more meat!

So there ya have it. Gimme your feedback, okay? What's "classic" to you? Drop a few examples while you're at it, if you wanna.

DIDJA KNOW THAT some of the Sixties hits were modified and used in television commercials back then? But they were beaten out by the famed Oscar Meyer jingle as well as the melodic-if-sparse-on-words Meow Mix melody. Incidentally, the cat in the MM commercial wasn't really singing. He was ... er, starting to ... throw up his food (really!) , and the camera dude caught his mouth movements (cats normally meow deeply before anything comes up. I think they're telling us to CLEAR THE AREA!! HERE IT COMMMMES!!) and filmed it, then duplicated it in reverse -- and spliced the parts together. Dunno who did the actual meowing, though ...


Being from the Tarheel State of North Carolina -- and also having been an "insurance man" there years ago -- I know the attachment that my friends there put on buying coverage that's "home-grown" in nature. They want the best and most comprehensive insurance for the most affordable price -- and they want it tailored to fit their needs.
Well, now they can have the plan they're looking for. The BCBSNC plans offer the best coverage, with fantastic options and so many advantages! Just click the link you just passed, and you'll find them compared, side-by-side, so you can find the one that's just right for your specific needs.
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It Started In A Jungle ...

Hey ... lemme see a show of baby-boomer hands out there: How many of you saw the movie, Blackboard Jungle, starring Glenn Ford, Sidney Poitier and Vic Morrow?
Well, here's a little 411 for ya: The movie was the biggest, single video catalyst for the creation of the rock-n-roll attitude back in the Fifties.

Y'see, until that Poitier classic hit the big screen, we felt like it was an unwritten-but-established-by-old-folks requirement to be square. We didn't dig that scene, and the movie just made us more determined to break that rusty chain holding us down to "their" way of life .
Ahhh, but the "old guard" had a tight grip on all-things-teenage ... that is, until a gyrating, sultry-sounding dude from Memphis -- someone the DJ's called Elvis -- began to shake, rattle and roll things up. Thanks to him, (and Ed Sullivan, who said Presley could be shown only from waist up when he first appeared on the show) we finally found a serious role model to parlay the mood we got from Jungle.

Whilst copying this character was giving us the physical personality we needed to match the mood ... over in England, parents didn't want this new American rocker (amongst others) "polluting" their children, so they gave them a substitute by pulling an old vaudeville music called skiffle from the vaults and letting the youngsters "have a go" at it.

But the kids were already into stateside blues and had gotten their first taste of The King, so, as they formed three-to-six-man groups, they excitedly began covering both on the acoustic guitar, tea-chest bass and washboard setup. One such skiffle group, The Drifters, dug Elvis and hired on a young frontman named Harry Webb (who changed his name to Cliff Richard) because he sounded so much like the former truck-driver from Memphis.
They also grooved to the smooth sounds of America's surf-rock electric guitarist Duane Eddy and decided to amplify themselves, changing their name to The Shadows to keep from being confused with our doo-woppers of the Drifter name. This sound was so totally awesome that other skifflers decided to do the same -- including one called The Quarrymen.

These guys thinned their ranks down to a four-man band and changed their name to The Beatles (in honor of America's Buddy Holly and the Crickets). Then, with a combination of the restlessness found in Blackboard Jungle, the electric sounds inspired by the Shadows and a desire to make a noise in the rock world that would equal Presley's, began knocking out sets that fired up audiences throughout Liverpool.

But WAIT! There's MORE ... and all ya gotta do is tune in to future posts!


One of the greatest highlights of any school year is watching its football team take the field, ready to pit its skills against a formidable opponent. These kids -- and their coaches -- go "all-out" to win. Sometimes, they come away with the losing score, but you know in your heart that they're still winners in one way: they gave it their best shot.
Why not honor them, whether collectively or individually (such as a son or a coach) with a beautiful and fitting plaque -- or maybe a football with the team name, logo and varsity year on it? It's a great way to say, "We're proud of you!" -- and it can motivate them to even greater heights during their next season!
And the best place to find these unique football gifts is right behind that link you just passed.
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Saturday, March 5, 2011

I Want My Feed Back (er, Feedback)

All right, Mousers -- who remembers Reality Rule #8 from Uncle Lloyd's Stuff Happens? (ie the Pretty Good Book [the other name's been taken. Sorry ...)
It's "Feedback -- The Breakfast of Champions" ...

Whilst re-reading the book (I'm on my 43rd read now, btw! It's got more dog-ears than a big-city animal shelter ...), I was reminded how we're giving more feedback now -- and to more people -- than ever before thanks to a little wonder called Facebook® ...

Natch, you're gonna read a bunch of replies or comments or whatever they're called -- but remember: The only feedback you get is that which is positive: something from which you can learn, in order to better yourself or broaden your mental or emotional base ...

But how many of us are willing to accept feedback? LL called it "criticism" -- which, according to Mr. Webster (Noah, not the dude in The Monkees' track ...), means "the art of evaluating" (to which Cuzzin Relic adds "constructively"). It pertains to a specific task or venture, and is done so in order to improve your work or product.
People, we can't really improve without it. From the time we learned to walk, we've gotten feedback from someone in order to improve what we're doing (I had the "walking" thing down pat by the age of 19. Then I was drafted ...).

But Lloyd (and John Alston. It was a joint effort, remember. Don't know the name of the joint they were in when they wrote it, though ...) also reminds us of something else. Remember that little box with the analogy of the chef? He had to taste his recipe himself to determine if anything was missing ...).
So we also need to give ourselves some feedback ... and that comes from taking a step back and doing a bit of self-evaluation. Is what we're doing productive? Profitable (and I'm talking, here, about more than just "financially")? Are we doing it the right way? What can we add or lose to make it better?

The "Exercise" section of the chapter was my favourite part. Lloyd says, in essence, to "loosen up" (he called it "Body Lock") by getting on your feet, lifting your leg and really shaking it, then putting it down, doing the same with your arm and hand.
It worked so well (especially when I started shouting, "HEP muh! HUAH!! AH FEEEEL GOOOD!" and the strains of "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag" started pouring through my speakers ...) I'd recommend it to everybody (though my dogs are still a bit nervous, being around me).

So, when you're faced with a dilemma, or want some positive evaluation of your work, listen to the feedback. And, if you've got to give it yourself, remember the PPP Principle: Make it Plain, Positive and Productive.


Face it ... we all need a loan of extra cash at one time or another -- whether we're at the grocery store or looking at a big purchase, we sometimes end up "short".
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Are Newspapers Folding?

It’s been a morning staple for the past billion years, it seems. From growing up with the “thump” on the door as the “paper boy” left the morning edition to my years as columnist for the Southeast Charlotte News, I, like so many of you, have relied on the print newspaper for national and local news, comics, obits (generally
in that order) and more.

Ahhh, but it looks like its days are numbered. With ever-increasing
printing/distribution costs, declining print advertising revenue and the public turning more and more to the instant visual gratification of the internet, fewer people are actually turning the physical pages and reading our “hand-held” newspapers these days.

Now, the Audit Bureau of Circulations says that circulation for 507 daily American newspapers fell to a little over 38 million copies (a 4.64 percent decrease) in a six-month period recently— and that’s down from 40.02 million the year before.

Only Gannett Co.’s USA Today and Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal actually increased their readership, gaining a whopping 0.01 percent in the same time-frame.
With The Tribune Co., owner of The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and other newspapers, having gone bankrupt and the economic vultures circling around other publications, Comedy Central's Jon Stewart got into the act with a new punchline to an old joke.
Question: “What’s black and white and completely over?” Answer: “Newspapers!”

Now, with so many people clamouring for a return to the easy-going days of yesteryear, maybe this trend will reverse. I mean, who doesn't remember going out to pick up that cozy Sunday edition of our local newspaper -- one that … well, it just wouldn’t feel like Sunday without the full-color comics, large “classified” section and the sales inserts that this giant edition brings! And, of course, when all's read, said and done, you could always use it for insulation, one of Junior's school projects -- or instant training pads for a chihuahua ...

Let’s see the Internet provide that, huh??


Every business person knows the importance of the Conference call when trying to land an account or follow-up on proposals. Sometimes, though, these calls don't go through as we want -- and that can leave the proverbial "egg" on our faces. Conceivably, dropped or incomplete calls can cost us an account!
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So click on that link now -- and enjoy the smooth, hassle-free phone conferencing that'll benefit your business!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Before We Begin ...

Before continuing with this or any other blog post, article or whatever, I want to share this with you all (btw, this is a simulcast message):

As many of you may have already figured out, I'm a human being. Within this 160 lb., 5' 10" frame is a dude who fights for the 24-or-so hours he's given every day. Whilst I'm dedicated to the cause (aka Rockin' In The USA-and-elsewhere), I'm also contracted to write for two studios that just loooove to keep me busy with assignments.

Along with that, I also gladly promote some of the best talent in the world (yes, IMHO) here in the states: Mike Lane, Mike Tinsley and The Fore are just a few of those acts. Their music is sent to web and terrestrial (ie, land-based) radio stations as well as publications (natch, magazines don't play their music. Dunno ... maybe if ya put their magazines up to your ear ... ), along with press kits, promo snaps and more.

Sandwiched in with those is my research for articles and blogs, records to keep and peanut butter. Then comes the solo housework, running errands and taking care of the pets (or vice versa. Jury's still out on that one ...)

But there's more: At the same time, I still skirmish with this HIE (hydroxic ichemic encephalopathy). mild cerebral palsy -- and an eidism that can bug the bejabbers out of ya when it comes to memory ("eidism" is another word for "precise photographic memory"); you remember the good -- but also all that you've lost -- vividly.
I was tested on all these about a year ago at Pathways® in Ashland, KY. and at an independent medical service.

So if I seemed just a bit disorganised, or let something "slide" that shouldn't've, I wanna stop here and apologise. The good news is that, over the past few months (and this is why I waited for the re-debut-of-everything until today), I've undergone some intense restructuring and retraining to bring everything into firm focus.

That being said, we're "turning the page" here at RockCentral ... and the chapter we're starting promises to be more exciting, timely and interesting in the Book of Relic.

So stay tuned ... and thanks for hangin' in there with me ...