Pink floyd cover – one of these days

Pink floyd cover - one of these days

Bar da Montanha, 8-5-2011…

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Shine on you crazy diamond part vi-ix

Shine on you crazy diamond part vi-ix

shine on you crazy diamond part VI-IX…

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KC musicians debate the many attributes of tribute shows


Everywhere: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac plays Friday at RecordBar.

Friends recall Tony Ruffino as promoter who put state on concert map

Tony Ruffino 082211.jpgTony Ruffino received the Sam Phillips Innovator’s Award at the 2010 Alabama Music Hall of Fame Induction Banquet and Awards Show in Montgomery. (Courtesy of Alabama Music Hall of Fame)

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — Tony Ruffino, the concert promoter who put Birmingham on the map as a tour stop for such iconic rock bands as the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, the Allman Brothers and R.E.M., has died.

Mr. Ruffino suffered a stroke after cooking Sunday breakfast for his wife and grandchildren, and he died Monday morning.

He was 74.

“I’ll tell you one thing: We just lost one great human being on this planet and in our industry,” Nashville-based agent Buck Williams, who has known Mr. Ruffino since the mid-1970s, said Monday afternoon. “He will be so missed by so many of us old-timers.”

From the first show he promoted in Alabama — a Jimi Hendrix concert at Memorial Coliseum in Tuscaloosa in 1969 — until he retired from the concert business in 2004, Mr. Ruffino was synonymous with almost every major rock show that came to the state during that span.

Hendrix. The Stones. Led Zeppelin. The Who. Joni Mitchell. Jackson Browne. Lynyrd Skynyrd. The Eagles. Stevie Wonder. Crosby, Stills Nash. Bruce Springsteen. Bon Jovi. Van Halen. U2. Widespread Panic. The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

“Whether you went to a concert in Huntsville or Montgomery or Mobile or Tuscaloosa or Birmingham or Auburn or Jacksonville State University, Tony Ruffino was probably one of the first promoters to bring national artists to those markets,” Gary Weinberger, a longtime friend and a business partner with Mr. Ruffino in his company New Era Promotions, said Monday.

“What happened as a result of Tony coming down here was the state got instant credibility,” Weinberger added. “Birmingham wasn’t a major market. It wasn’t even a secondary market.

“But the fact that Tony Ruffino lived here and had all of the credibility that he had, a lot of agents and managers said, ‘Tony is in Birmingham. He made an offer. Yeah, let’s do Birmingham.’”

New York native

A native of Queens, N.Y., Mr. Ruffino left Concerts East, a New York concert promotions company, in the early 1970s to start Ruffino-Vaughn Productions with fellow promoter Larry Vaughn. While based out of New York, they booked most of the rock concerts that came through Alabama during that decade and beyond.

In 1977, tiring of all the plane trips from New York, Mr. Ruffino and his wife, Doris, and their five children moved to Birmingham, which had just opened the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center.

The city became his new home, and if he didn’t want to, Mr. Ruffino would never have to get on another airplane again. He rarely did.

“Alabama was his territory,” Weinberger said. “He would say, ‘If I have to go on a plane, it’s too far.’”

From 1978 to 1980, Mr. Ruffino was one of the owners of the old Brothers Music Hall in Homewood, a smaller, 850-capacity concert venue where he booked such artists as Elvis Costello, the Police, Bob Marley, John Prine and Warren Zevon.

Since Mr. Ruffino was living and working in Alabama, he and Vaughn, his New York partner, decided to split up in the mid-’80s, and Mr. Ruffino started New Era, inspired by the name of the printing company his father-in-law used to work for in New York.

“To him it was a new era, a new beginning,” Weinberger said.

New Era opened the Oak Mountain Amphitheatre (now known as the Verizon Wireless Music Center) in Pelham in 1986 and booked and managed that facility — bringing in everyone from Jimmy Buffett to George Jones — until selling it in 2000.

In 1994, New Era also opened the Five Points South Music Hall, an intimate concert venue that was patterned after Brothers and featured the likes of Lucinda Williams, Robert Cray, Cake and Cracker. The club closed eight years later.

Artists liked coming to Birmingham because they loved hanging out with Mr. Ruffino, Williams, the Nashville agent whose Progressive Global Agency represents Widespread Panic, R.E.M. and about 60 other acts, said.

Friend of Panic

Whenever Widespread Panic played Birmingham, Williams said, a golf outing with Mr. Ruffino was always on the itinerary.

“Our lead singer, John Bell, would request a golf match with Tony,” Williams said. “That was the one thing that he looked forward to more than anything in the world, and the one person that he would rather play with than probably anyone in the world other than his dad was Tony Ruffino.”

Even after Mr. Ruffino retired, that relationship continued. They got together for a round of golf at Old Overton Club when Panic played Birmingham this past April.

“Our band just loved to see him,” Williams said. “They always asked, ‘Where’s Tony?’ People just liked being next to him because goodness would rub off.”

Mr. Ruffino will be buried at a private graveside service today.

A public memorial celebration is scheduled for 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Alabama Theatre. Doors open at 3 p.m.

Join the conversation by clicking to comment or email Carlton at bcarlton@bhamnews.com.

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The U.K.’s Legendary Music Station BBC Radio 1 Available on SiriusXM Internet Radio Beginning Friday, August 19


SymbolPriceChangeSIRI1.800.00Chart for Sirius XM Radio Inc.{“s” : “siri”,”k” : “a00,a50,b00,b60,c10,g00,h00,l10,p20,t10,v00″,”o” : “”,”j” : “”}

NEW YORK, Aug. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRINews) announced today BBC Radio 1 will be available to its listeners on SiriusXM Internet Radio beginning Friday, August 19 at 5:00 pm ET as part of a new multi-platform agreement with the BBC that brings subscribers additional concert performances from the BBC vault.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101014/NY82093LOGO )

BBC Radio 1 will be time-shifted by 5 hours so Americans can enjoy the channel’s lineup as it was intended, with Chris Moyles in the morning, Scott Mills in the afternoon, and Pete Tong on Friday nights.

In addition to being available online, BBC Radio 1 programming will be broadcast on satellite radio at various times throughout the year coinciding with major events in BBC Radio 1′s programming schedule.

SiriusXM will also broadcast concerts from the extensive and wide-ranging BBC Radio  archive, many of which are not commercially available. SiriusXM listeners will hear classic performances by Led Zeppelin, U2, Lady Gaga, AC/DC, Pink Floyd, Duran Duran, Queen, The Cure and other music legends. The concerts will air on various SiriusXM music channels.

“BBC Radio 1 has built a loyal and passionate following across North America. We’re delighted that we are able to continue and extend our relationship with SiriusXM, to bring BBC Radio 1 and our catalogue of classic BBC concerts to the North American audience,” said Salim Mukaddam, Head of Radio, BBC Worldwide.

“We are happy to continue our valuable relationship with the BBC and thrilled to now be able to give our listeners access to BBC Radio 1 programming on our expanding internet platform as well as deliver special concert performances to a variety of our satellite radio channels. The additional programming ranges from legendary music icons to today’s rising stars whose exclusive performances for the BBC are featured regularly,” said Scott Greenstein, President and Chief Content Officer, SiriusXM.

BBC Radio 1 is the U.K.’s music station that plays the best new music, live studio sessions, concerts and music news. The channel also features interviews with a distinctive British flair, extensive coverage of music events from around the world and exclusive live performances by some of the biggest artists on the international scene.  

For more information on SiriusXM, please visit www.siriusxm.com

About Sirius XM Radio

Sirius XM Radio is America’s satellite radio company.  SiriusXM broadcasts more than 135 satellite radio channels of commercial-free music, and premier sports, news, talk, entertainment, traffic, weather, and data services to over 21 million subscribers. SiriusXM offers an array of content from many of the biggest names in entertainment, as well as from professional sports leagues, major colleges, and national news and talk providers.

SiriusXM programming is available on more than 800 devices, including pre-installed and after-market radios in cars, trucks, boats and aircraft, smartphones and mobile devices, and consumer electronics products for homes and offices. SiriusXM programming is also available at siriusxm.com, and on Apple, BlackBerry and Android-powered mobile devices.

SiriusXM has arrangements with every major automaker and its radio products are available for sale at shop.siriusxm.com as well as retail locations nationwide.

This communication contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements about future financial and operating results, our plans, objectives, expectations and intentions with respect to future operations, products and services; and other statements identified by words such as “will likely result,” “are expected to,” “will continue,” “is anticipated,” “estimated,” “intend,” “plan,”  “projection,” “outlook” or words of similar meaning.  Such forward-looking statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of our management and are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies, many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond our control.  Actual results may differ materially from the results anticipated in these forward-looking statements. 

The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from the anticipated results or other expectations expressed in the forward-looking statement:  our competitive position versus other forms of audio and video entertainment; our ability to retain subscribers and maintain our average monthly revenue per subscriber;  our dependence upon automakers and other third parties; our substantial indebtedness; and the useful life of our satellites, which, in most cases, are not insured.  Additional factors that could cause our results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010, which is filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) and available at the SEC’s Internet site (http://www.sec.gov).  The information set forth herein speaks only as of the date hereof, and we disclaim any intention or obligation to update any forward looking statements as a result of developments occurring after the date of this communication.

Follow SiriusXM on Twitter or like the SiriusXM page on Facebook.

P-SIRI

Contact for SiriusXM Radio:
Samantha Bowman
SiriusXM Radio
212 901 6644
samantha.bowman@siriusxm.com

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Machine conjures up Floydian magic

LEWISTON — A friend was incredulous when he received the information that I’d be reviewing the Machine at Artpark. “Wait — you’re going to review a cover band?” he asked.

Well, yes and no. Since Pink Floyd doesn’t exist anymore, the Machine is more of a repertory ensemble than it is a cover band. Just as Beethoven, Mahler and Stravinsky are performed constantly minus the input of any “original members,” so have bands like Pink Floyd and the Grateful Dead and Peter Gabriel-era Genesis spawned scores of bands dedicated to re-creating their music. Why? Because the demand for hearing that music in a concert setting remains immense.

Tuesday, the Machine helped Artpark cap a stellar season of free Tuesday shows with twin sets of Floydian magic, replete with an awesome light show and lasers that turned the Lewiston Gorge into a majorly psychedelic landscape. The place was packed, although I have no confirmed numbers to report, and the assembled seemed to be wholly into it.

This was the Machine’s third appearance at Artpark, and like its predecessors, Tuesday’s show was partly brilliant and partly a tad disappointing. Though just about everything was performed impeccably — there were a few surprising hiccups here and there, it must be noted — the choice of set list was a little disappointing. This might seem a quibble to some, but the finest Floyd material is not always the most obvious, and for much of set one, the band’s choices seemed to be a bit too obvious.

A set one “Fearless” was a gorgeous touch, but much of the rest of that short first set fell flat. “Hey You” was nice and sounded inspired, but “Keep Talking” — despite the inclusion of a stellar guitar solo — killed the pace, as did a lengthy “On the Turning Away.”

Floyd was never known for its rapid tempos, to say the least, but too many plodding ballads in the same set is a buzz kill. “Money,” replete with mid-tune reggae breakdown and short “space” jam, led into “Another Brick in the Wall (Part II),” and felt like a cliche, even if both were well-played.

The second set, with the benefit of darkness, started off in a mind-melting fashion with a fantastic “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” all liquid, languid tempo, gorgeous guitar playing and stellar light show. But moving from that brilliant piece into the post-Roger Waters era song “One Slip” was certainly a slip-up. The moods of the two songs — both epic in their own right — made strange bedfellows. Things got better with a midset series of songs from “The Wall,” which picked up the pace a bit, and “Wish You Were Here” back into “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” was very nice. Things felt a bit scattered, though.

“Careful With That Axe, Eugene” into the “Dark Side of the Moon” coda was a nice touch and helped prove that the Machine can dig much deeper than the obvious.

In all, this was a lovely way to conclude what has been an excellent season of free shows at Artpark. The Machine wasn’t perfect, but the band did a good job of summoning the Floyd’s majesty.

Concert Review

The Machine

The finale of this summer’s Tuesday in the Park concert series at the Artpark Outdoor Amphitheater in Lewiston.

email: jmiers@buffnews.comnull

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Bertelsmann Says EMI Fits With Its Music M&A Strategy

Bertelsmann AG Chief Financial
Officer Thomas Rabe said EMI Group Ltd. would fit with the
acquisition strategy of its BMG Rights Management, the music
company that the German media company runs with KKR Co.

EMI, based in London and owned by Citigroup Inc. (C), has said
it is considering selling itself and is looking into a possible
public offering of shares or a recapitalization. Initial bidders
for the label of the Beatles and Pink Floyd included Warner
Music Group Corp. (WMG)
, Sony Corp. and Vivendi SA (VIV)’s Universal Music,
three people with knowledge of the matter said this month.

Asked whether Bertelsmann would consider joining with a
third party to bid for EMI, Rabe told reporters today that the
company has more flexibility in financing acquisitions because
it is closely held. He declined to comment further on the EMI
sales process, adding that Europe’s largest media company is as
“prudent” as before and that its spending policy hasn’t
changed amid the turmoil in capital markets.

Bertelsmann, based in Guetersloh, Germany, is looking for
acquisitions after it returned to profit this year helped by
rising advertising sales at broadcaster RTL Group. BMG Rights
Management made bids for three different sets of assets from
Warner Music, two people familiar with the talks said March 23.
Warner Music this year agreed to be acquired by billionaire Len Blavatnik for almost $3 billion.

EMI Offers

Offers for EMI have come from parties interested in the
whole company and in its individual businesses, one person said
this month, declining to be identified because the negotiations
are private. At least 10 proposals were submitted, said another
person.

EMI has both production and publishing units that sign and
promote singers and songwriters such as Coldplay, Snoop Dogg and
Pink Floyd. Citigroup seized control of EMI in February after
the company and its owner, Guy Hands’s Terra Firma Capital
Partners Ltd., failed to meet the terms of loans used to buy the
business, in a deal valuing EMI at about 3.2 billion pounds
($5.2 billion), according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Bertelsmann currently has 1.6 billion euros of cash and
unused credit lines, Rabe said today, adding that the company
aims to cut debt in the second half of the year. Bertelsmann’s
expansion plans come after several years when it had to focus on
cutting debt because borrowing ballooned in 2006 through the
buyback of a stake for 4.5 billion euros. The deal returned full
control of the company to the Mohn family.

Acquisitions

Bertelsmann said in March that it could spend as much as 1
billion euros on acquisitions this year.

Bertelsmann Chief Executive Officer Hartmut Ostrowski said
today that McGraw-Hill Cos.’s education business is “currently
not in our focus,” adding that the company’s priority is to
expand geographically.

McGraw-Hill, owner of Standard Poor’s, is considering
dividing in two, with the education publishing unit being spun
off or sold, a person with knowledge of the plans said earlier
this month.

Bertelsmann said today that net income rose 7.6 percent to
183 million euros in the first six months, driven by the RTL and
book publisher Random House. Sales rose 1.9 percent to 7.2
billion euros.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Ragnhild Kjetland in Frankfurt at
rkjetland@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Simon Thiel in London at
sthiel1@bloomberg.net

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Miers on Machine at Artpark

LEWISTON — A friend was incredulous when he received the information that I’d be reviewing the Machine at Artpark. “Wait — you’re going to review a cover band?” he asked.

Well, yes and no. Since Pink Floyd doesn’t exist anymore, the Machine is more of a repertory ensemble than it is a cover band. Just as Beethoven, Mahler and Stravinsky are performed constantly minus the input of any “original members,” so have bands like Pink Floyd and the Grateful Dead and Peter Gabriel-era Genesis spawned scores of bands dedicated to re-creating their music. Why? Because the demand for hearing that music in a concert setting remains immense.

Tuesday, the Machine helped Artpark cap a stellar season of free Tuesday shows with twin sets of Floydian magic, replete with an awesome light show and lasers that turned the Lewiston Gorge into a majorly psychedelic landscape. The place was packed, although I have no confirmed numbers to report, and the assembled seemed to be wholly into it.

This was the Machine’s third appearance at Artpark, and like its predecessors, Tuesday’s show was partly brilliant and partly a tad disappointing. Though just about everything was performed impeccably — there were a few surprising hiccups here and there, it must be noted — the choice of set list was a little disappointing. This might seem a quibble to some, but the finest Floyd material is not always the most obvious, and for much of set one, the band’s choices seemed to be a bit too obvious.

A set one “Fearless” was a gorgeous touch, but much of the rest of that short first set fell flat. “Hey You” was nice and sounded inspired, but “Keep Talking” — despite the inclusion of a stellar guitar solo — killed the pace, as did a lengthy “On the Turning Away.”

Floyd was never known for its rapid tempos, to say the least, but too many plodding ballads in the same set is a buzz kill. “Money,” replete with mid-tune reggae breakdown and short “space” jam, led into “Another Brick in the Wall (Part II),” and felt like a cliche, even if both were well-played.

The second set, with the benefit of darkness, started off in a mind-melting fashion with a fantastic “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” all liquid, languid tempo, gorgeous guitar playing and stellar light show. But moving from that brilliant piece into the post-Roger Waters era song “One Slip” was certainly a slip-up. The moods of the two songs — both epic in their own right — made strange bedfellows. Things got better with a midset series of songs from “The Wall,” which picked up the pace a bit, and “Wish You Were Here” back into “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” was very nice. Things felt a bit scattered, though.

“Careful With That Axe, Eugene” into the “Dark Side of the Moon” coda was a nice touch and helped prove that the Machine can dig much deeper than the obvious.

In all, this was a lovely way to conclude what has been an excellent season of free shows at Artpark. The Machine wasn’t perfect, but the band did a good job of summoning the Floyd’s majesty.

Concert Review

The Machine

The finale of this summer’s Tuesday in the Park concert series at the Artpark Outdoor Amphitheater in Lewiston.

email: jmiers@buffnews.comnull

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Kronos Quartet, Patti Smith accept Swedish prize

American string quartet Kronos Quartet and rocker Patti Smith have received the prestigious 2011 Polar Music Prize from Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf.

The musicians accepted their awards at a glitzy ceremony in Stockholm on Tuesday. Each award is worth 1 million kronor ($159,000).

A moved Smith said she was “humbled and inspired” to receive the award. She thanked her family and band members and appealed to the audience to “turn their hearts and minds and resources” toward the famine in Africa.

The Polar Music Prize is typically shared each year by a pop artist and a classical musician. It was founded by the manager of Sweden’s legendary pop group ABBA, Stig Anderson, in 1989.

Previous laureates include Pink Floyd, Joni Mitchell, Bjork and Sir Paul McCartney.

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Machine conjures up Floydian magic

LEWISTON — A friend was incredulous when he received the information that I’d be reviewing the Machine at Artpark. “Wait — you’re going to review a cover band?” he asked.

Well, yes and no. Since Pink Floyd doesn’t exist anymore, the Machine is more of a repertory ensemble than it is a cover band. Just as Beethoven, Mahler and Stravinsky are performed constantly minus the input of any “original members,” so have bands like Pink Floyd and the Grateful Dead and Peter Gabriel-era Genesis spawned scores of bands dedicated to re-creating their music. Why? Because the demand for hearing that music in a concert setting remains immense.

Tuesday, the Machine helped Artpark cap a stellar season of free Tuesday shows with twin sets of Floydian magic, replete with an awesome light show and lasers that turned the Lewiston Gorge into a majorly psychedelic landscape. The place was packed, although I have no confirmed numbers to report, and the assembled seemed to be wholly into it.

This was the Machine’s third appearance at Artpark, and like its predecessors, Tuesday’s show was partly brilliant and partly a tad disappointing. Though just about everything was performed impeccably — there were a few surprising hiccups here and there, it must be noted — the choice of set list was a little disappointing. This might seem a quibble to some, but the finest Floyd material is not always the most obvious, and for much of set one, the band’s choices seemed to be a bit too obvious.

A set one “Fearless” was a gorgeous touch, but much of the rest of that short first set fell flat. “Hey You” was nice and sounded inspired, but “Keep Talking” — despite the inclusion of a stellar guitar solo — killed the pace, as did a lengthy “On the Turning Away.”

Floyd was never known for its rapid tempos, to say the least, but too many plodding ballads in the same set is a buzz kill. “Money,” replete with mid-tune reggae breakdown and short “space” jam, led into “Another Brick in the Wall (Part II),” and felt like a cliche, even if both were well-played.

The second set, with the benefit of darkness, started off in a mind-melting fashion with a fantastic “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” all liquid, languid tempo, gorgeous guitar playing and stellar light show. But moving from that brilliant piece into the post-Roger Waters era song “One Slip” was certainly a slip-up. The moods of the two songs — both epic in their own right — made strange bedfellows. Things got better with a midset series of songs from “The Wall,” which picked up the pace a bit, and “Wish You Were Here” back into “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” was very nice. Things felt a bit scattered, though.

“Careful With That Axe, Eugene” into the “Dark Side of the Moon” coda was a nice touch and helped prove that the Machine can dig much deeper than the obvious.

In all, this was a lovely way to conclude what has been an excellent season of free shows at Artpark. The Machine wasn’t perfect, but the band did a good job of summoning the Floyd’s majesty.

Concert Review

The Machine

The finale of this summer’s Tuesday in the Park concert series at the Artpark Outdoor Amphitheater in Lewiston.

email: jmiers@buffnews.comnull

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