Issue #3
Summer 2005
In This Issue:
Keeping in Touch On the Move
ADJA Welcomes Scott Faver Jaguar Computer Networks
Dinner on the Water Clowning Around
The Digital DJ Pass the Mic
Back Issues
Keeping In Touch by Roy Dueitt

Throughout my childhood, I looked up to professional athletes, music artists and movie stars and treated them like heroes. My thinking was, "look at all they can do. I want to be like them." As I grew older and a little wiser, I learned that they are living out a dream. They get to do what I did when I was a kid. On the other hand, I never thought about going off to war and fighting for my country. We have men and women who have given up their lives so that I can go watch a concert or a football game without fear of censorship, persecution or other fascist nonsense that goes on in other parts of the world.

I wish I could let them know that I have learned that they are the true heroes of the world. On September 11th, we were able to see again what defines a true hero. Hundreds of firefighters and police officers rushed into buildings without even thinking twice, and my old heroes wrote songs about it.

That was when it hit me: they look up to those people as well. We sometimes forget that music artists are merely normal people who have a talent that lets them perform at a higher level than people who sing at the local karaoke bar. In a recent documentary that covered the songs of war times, I noticed that many country artists began to cry when they talked about why they were inspired to write the songs they did. Then they saw the people they were writing about crying because they needed to hear what was being said in that certain song. The circle of emotion was profound.

I realized that everybody needs music in his or her life, in some form. Music helps us remember old flames, a great night out, our first dance with our spouse, and ironically, it can also remind us of bad times. But while reminding us of our sorrow, it also helps pull us through and reminds us not to forget that time.

When you hear that popular song again, be thankful for the true heroes we have in this great country and be thankful that we have outstanding artists who let us into their lives through their music. I may not think of them as my heroes anymore, but I do know they have a talent that helps heal our world time and time again.


On The Move by Michael Oder  

A few winters ago, for Christmas, I asked for XM Satellite Radio. My boss has it in his truck, and in riding with him to gigs, we would listen to our favorite music and talk shows.

When I peeled back the wrapping, I was ecstatic. This is what I waited for. The Original Roady and car kit all ready to go in the ’95 Isuzu Rodeo--it was quite the pimped ride if you will imagine. I rushed out in my pajamas to the car, disregarding the sub-40 degree weather and had to decide where to mount this being of joy in my ride.

Well, it’s coming up on almost four years with my XM buddy, and I have loved it every day. Last Christmas I got a boom-box-style base for it at home, so I could listen to it while out of the car. It has proven to be reliable and sounds like a Bose radio. When I got my new ride, an ’05 Ford Taurus, I realized the car kit that worked in the Rodeo (pronounced Row-Day-Oh, naturally) wouldn’t incorporate it well. Bad news.

I haven’t called the local Best Buy yet to ask how much they would charge to install the FM Transmitter. I have all the other parts, so it’s just an installation thing now. About the XM Service: it’s undergone some changes since my first listen but nothing that I haven’t fully disapproved of. One or two of my shows aren’t there anymore, and sometimes that bothers me, but the music is just outstanding. And the variety is very refreshing. Of all their channels, what I like is HEAR MUSIC – The Voice of Music at Starbucks. It’s such a relaxing channel with an eclectic selection of music and artists that you can listen to it anywhere.

I have XM in my room and out back on the pool deck while lounging in the water. It also helps to have the pool, but I wouldn’t get the pool just to use with XM (but you must admit, it would be tempting). They offer a wide variety of products, from a PC-usable antenna to a reference tuner for the entertainment center. You can also find a mobile, Walkman-type radio that allows you to record up to five hours of your favorite music. The fee--and this is where I maybe lose some of you--is a nominal $13.00 a month. Yes, it is up three from the original $10-a-month charge, but satellite radio is becoming a more and more competitive spectrum.

For more information and a list of products and subscriptions plans, of course, you should surf on by www.xmradio.com. For anything else XM related, including discussion boards and installation tips, cruise down to www.xmfan.com.

For TMAC Sound, Oder Out!


American Disc Jockey Association Welcomes Scott Faver, "The Game Master"

The end of August holds great things for Disc Jockeys in the Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma areas. On August 29th and 30th, three great Mobile DJ organizations are joining together to present The 2005 Houston Mobile DJ Symposium.

The Houston Chapter of the American Disc Jockey Association (ADJA), the Greater Houston Area Mobile Music Association (GHAMMA) and the National Association of Mobile Entertainers (NAME) are joining forces to bring to Houston Mr. Scott Faver, "The Game Master," America’s #1 expert on interactive DJ work and successful DJ business practices. This is an opportunity for your DJs to hear Mr. Faver’s customized presentation on how to improve both as an entertainer and as a business owner. As president of the Houston chapter of the ADJA, TMAC Sound's Roy Dueitt has been front and center in the planning stages of the event.

"I know that each of us can continue to improve as mobile entertainers, and I look forward to hearing the ideas and innovations Mr. Faver will present at The 2005 Houston Mobile DJ Symposium," Roy said. "In just the last five years, my business has faced continual changes in technology and business structure, and these types of events have given me ideas that have helped my company be successful. Scott, an ADJA member himself, is very knowledgeable and will be a big help to all of us."

The event will be held over a two-day period at the Park Plaza Hotel--Reliant Center in Houston. The Park Plaza Hotel is located right across the street from The Reliant Center and Reliant Stadium, the site of Super Bowl XXXVIII.


Clowning Around
When it comes to clowning around, few can do it like Sherry Berry from Clown Express. Sherry Berry has been clowning for 16 years. She belongs to Clowns of America International (COAI), Texas Clown Association (TCA), Cheerful Clown Alley # 166 and Montgomery County Clowns. She has served on the board of Texas Clown Association and Montgomery County Clowns in various positions. She has placed in the top ten in state competition in both makeup and skits and has won several awards for both. At Clown Express, Sherry Berry and her fellow clowns strive to make your event fun filled. They offer a variety of activities, including balloon animation, face/body painting, games and clown magic. They perform at birthday parties, company parties/picnics, grand openings, fundraisers, family reunions, and school and church carnivals. In addition, they volunteer at nonprofit events. They love to entertain young and old. Their goal is to make people laugh and have fun. For more information, please call Sherry Berry at (281) 852-8108 or visit her website.

Jaguar Computer Networks
Zefhery Singleton at Jaguar Computer Networks has been providing service to small businesses and families for more than five years. He specializes in custom-built computers, home-and-office networking, DSL/cable modem setups and computer upgrades. His company is the PC power behind TMAC Sound. Zefhery sat down, reviewed the needs of the company and in no time at all had a fully-functional, custom-built PC to power the PCDJ FX program that TMAC Sound uses to mix music at events. If you are in the market for a new computer or just a upgrade, give Jaguar Computer Networks a call at (281) 898-0551. You can also visit their website.

The Digital DJ

Gone are the days when a DJ had to carry around hundreds of CDs to every event. Computers have helped solve this problem by allowing us to carry every song we own on our hard drives. Instead of bringing all 5,000 CDs I own to an event, I now only have to bring my computer and back-up computer.

Visosonic has invented, in my opinion, the best DJ software available: PCDJ FX. It does so much more than play music. You can set up waitlists to play during dinner or make a big play list that the client wanted for his or her event. It takes all of a few seconds to look up songs by title, artist or even album title. Mix on the fly or use the loop editor--the possibilities are almost endless.

This alone would have been great, but now Visosonic has added karaoke as a option. So you can convert all of your songs to mpeg format and away you go to digital karaoke. Of course, there are still a few glitches in some of the programs, but most of the problems arise from the computer not being able to handle the program. Those who use it will need a good soundcard. Just remember the old adage: you get what you pay for. With PCDJ FX, you get a top-of-the-line program that is easy to use. For more information, visit www.pcdj.com.


Dinner on the Water  
Majestic Ventures is well known for its reception capabilities. Now you do not have to have a large party to enjoy a nice dinner and some dancing on the water. With the addition of a third luxury yacht called Enchantment, Majestic Ventures started doing public cruses in May. The cost is about the same for a nice sit down dinner, but you get to have this dinner on the water. For more information on pricing and scheduling, please call (281) 333-3080 or visit www.majesticventures.com.

Pass the Mic by Josh Pletting  

The Old Days Hollaback: Singles Are Back In Style

"Singles don't sell" was what they told us in the '90s, and just like that, my favorite section of the music store began to fade away. The numbers didn't lie. Nielsen SoundScan reported "conventional" singles sales dropping from 135 million in 1997 to 7.4 million in 2004 (for more, read Entertainment Weekly, July 8, 2005). Of course, Napster probably had a lot to do with it by the turn of the century, but I recall seeing the singles shrinkage before the age of mp3s. Some music stores don't even have singles sections anymore--not even Best Buy, one of my favorite singles dealers from childhood.

It was disappointing to see because singles were the only legal place to get the non-album tracks by your favorite artists. Remember, when an artist releases a 12-track album, it is likely that those 12 tracks were selected from more than 20. The leftovers are either shelved for future album sessions or released with singles and dubbed "b-sides." With singles sections dying across the country, I feared that b-sides would be lost forever. The thing about b-sides is that once in a while, the artist and record company overlook a gem, and to find it in a singles section is not only a good bargain, but it also adds a new dimension to your respect for an artist. B-sides give them license to take more chances, and sometimes, it pays off in a way you couldn't have predicted.

For the last ten years, I've had to compile my b-sides the expensive way: buying them from overseas (Europe still loves singles). But then hope showed up in a most unexpected place. The iPod I bought two years ago turned into a marketing phenomenon, and singles are selling cheaper than ever. For just 99 cents, you can download a CD-quality file of Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl," the ode to "We Will Rock You" that dominated the singles charts for two months despite little radio play. But even better, iTunes is selling many releases with b-sides. Coldplay, Nine Inch Nails and others have used iTunes as an outlet to market their singles, keep album sales strong and give Americans better access to b-sides. Kudos to Apple and the recording industry for using technology to give music fans more depth to their listening experience.

For those of you looking for quality b-sides, I've compiled this list of my very favorites--enough to put together a killer rock 'n' roll album. The albums that these b-sides didn't quite make it to are listed in parentheses.

  1. "Shadow of Your Love," by Guns N' Roses (Appetite for Destruction)
  2. "Dear Lover," by the Foo Fighters (The Colour and the Shape)
  3. "Satisfaction," by Vanilla Ice (To the Extreme, a cover of the Rolling Stones, but one of the best you'll hear)
  4. "Headshrinker," by Oasis (Definitely Maybe)
  5. "Andy Warhol," by Stone Temple Pilots (Purple)
  6. "Closer to God," by Nine Inch Nails (The Downward Spiral)
  7. "Don't Let Me Down," by the Beatles (Let It Be)
  8. "Here. In My Head," by Tori Amos (Little Earthquakes)
  9. "Animals," by Coldplay (A Rush of Blood to the Head)
  10. "How I Made My Millions," by Radiohead (OK Computer)
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