a couple of great commercials

Two great commercials for two different reasons.

In a time when 99.99% of all commercials are excessively loud, irrelevant, and annoying, it’s nice to find two that are creatively fun (and productive). Some businesses should take a lesson.

American Express: Simple, creative, and soft.

State Farm: Quick, funny, and catchy.

make your own ringtone

Make a ringtone from any mp3 file in iTunes in under a minute.

Personal Note: I say keep it on vibrate most of the time out of politeness for the general public, but use the ringtones for your morning alarm!

1. In iTunes, find the song from which you want to make a ringtone. Write down the interval of time you wish to capture (e.g. the chorus from 1:13 to 1:27).

2. Right-click on the mp3 file and select ‘Get Info’.

3. Go to the tab for ‘Options’, check the boxes for ‘Start Time’ and ‘End Time’, and input the interval you wish to capture in your ringtone. Hit ‘OK’.

4. With that mp3 file still highlighted, go up top to the ‘Advanced’ menu and select ‘Create AAC Version’. This will automatically create a new file in your library (and it should have a length equal to the interval you set previously).

5. Drag and drop this new AAC file to your desktop. It should have a .m4a extension.

6. Change the extension of this file from “.m4a” to “.m4r”.

7. Drag this file from your desktop back into iTunes. It should now be available in your ‘Ringtones’ library on the left. If you don’t see this library, got to Preferences and make sure you have checked the box to show this library in your iTunes.

8. Lastly, you can delete the file on your desktop, and can delete the AAC version of the song in your iTunes music library. Also, remember to change the original mp3 file back to the normal start and end times (just unclick the boxes).

9. Sync your iPhone/ringtones and you’re good to go.

Reference: eHow

tower of power

You can’t beat Tower Of Power. Last night at the State Theatre in Falls Church, VA was an absolute groovefest. I can’t even move right now my legs are exhausted from two steppin’ it all night. With hits like “Soul With a Capital ‘S'”, “I’ve Got To Groove”, “You’re Still a Young Man”, and “Diggin On James Brown”, the theatre was in bump city with vivacious vocals, bellowing bass, and hip-swingin’ horns.

The half-seated / half-standing venue was packed with mid-sixties, mid-forties, and two mid-twenties bouncin’ to the brim as every seat in the house was within arms’ reach of the trumpet line. As a side treat, the audience included two other legends, one from the Temptations and one from James Brown’s band, both grabbing the mic for a line or two as they stood front row. Good music certainly has no age limit and some current young guns could learn a thing or two from these hipsters of hop. I’m quite glad my mom (who is a two steppin’ legend) introduced me to T.O.P. and it ranks up pretty close to the TOP on my list of greatest performances seen live.

If you want to check out Tower Of Power, click here for a list of their upcoming tour dates. If you don’t want to check them out, then you got to FUNKIFIZE!

black taxi – but anyway

OK – so here’s the Blues Traveler hit But Anyway covered by Black Taxi. I don’t know when this was recorded but I’m guessing around 1999-2000 or something like that. I was probably in some growth stage as my voice is pretty interesting. But anyway, it was fun.
Note: I had to upload as a video as Blogger won’t accept mp3s yet, so I made a slideshow with some pics from high school days. Didn’t have many digital photos to work with, but some are entertaining.
Black Taxi

Dave Conlogue – Lead Guitar
Kyle Berardinelli – Bass Guitar
Jerrod Cattey – Drums
Dan Ridgeway – Harmonica
Kevin Berardinelli – Vocals
Dan Goucher – Band Manager

Ian Johnson – Roadie / Videographer / Chick Magnet

learnin’ the harp

Music and art have defined much of history. Through all the economic ups and downs, regime and boundary changes, social revolutions, technological developments, wars and religious crusades, and astrological and continental discoveries, the love and fascination with music and art have remained consistent.

That being said, I think everyone has a component of his/her personality rooted in music and art. Again, that creative right-brain mentality, even for left-directed minds, still has some influence on everyday thinking and action, even if we don’t realize it. (As a side note here, I’m reading This Is Your Brain On Music by Daniel Levitin where in his introduction, he introduces work that backs up the idea of music being distributed throughout both brain hemispheres.)

For me, I’ve always been intrigued by all types of music and art, the people who create the music and art, and the effects they have on all types of audiences. However, I’ve always been an atrocious musician and artist in terms of instruments and paintbrushes. I’ve tried the guitar, the piano, drums, painted plenty of horrible faces, horizons, and animals, and easily knew that it wouldn’t work as a profession. On the other hand, I could always read music, understand tones, scales, contrasts, textures, themes, and always enjoyed interacting with art and music. Singing was fun, and writing, drawing, and doodling became very fun too. So now, in an effort to continue a connection to art and music, I’m back at a new instrument…

The harmonica! Good supplementary instrument to singing and also good for some drunken blues singing (which you can never get enough of around a campfire). It’s my intention to keep the blogosphere (well the sliver of it that reads The Adsideologist) updated on my progress. I’ve read a beginner book and watched plenty of YouTube and played along plenty of DMB, Dylan, Petty, Blackfoot, Popper, Stones, Boss, and Billy Joel. We’ll see what happens.

I’ll leave you with my end goal song to play: But Anyway – Blues Traveler