Black Country Communion to release debut album


Black Country Communion, a brand new rock supergroup featuring vocalist/bassist Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Trapeze), drummer Jason Bonham (Led Zeppelin),Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater) and blues rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa, recently confirmed the track listing and release date of their upcoming debut album “Black Country”.

Mascot Records will be releasing the album in the UK/Europe on Monday September 20th, with a North American release through J&R Adventures on Tuesday September 21st. The must anticipated album was produced and mixed by Kevin Shirley (Black Crowes, Aerosmith, Journey), and mastered by legendary engineer Bob Ludwig.

All songs are sung by Glenn Hughes, with the exception of “Song Of Yesterday” and “The Revolution In Me” which are both sung by Joe Bonamassa. Hughes and Bonamassa share lead vocals on “Sista Jane” and “Too Late For The Sun”. Also included is a new version of “Medusa”, the rock classic Hughes originally recorded with his first band Trapeze.

Costco vs. BJ’s


So, I’ve ended up with a membership to both CostCo AND BJ’s wholesale club. I initially signed up for a CostCo membership a few months ago since I’ve been finding that my growing boys are becoming *eating machines*. my kids have pushed us over the threshold where buying in bulk becomes cost-effective. anyway, after coming and going to CostCo a good number of times we noticed a few negatives, at least from our point of view.

- CostCo isn’t located conveniently for us. It takes approximately 20 minutes for us to get there and it’s always through heavy traffic.

- No matter what time of day or whatever day of the week, the place is ALWAYS crowded. I’m amazed there are so many people out and about purchasing large ticket items there at the store. aren’t we in a recession, people?

- CostCo doesn’t take Visa or Mastercard. only american express or a debit card. definitely a negative in my book. but I guess you can take it as a good thing where it sort of limits your spending.

And that’s when BJ’s came into the picture. Before the holiday season began, we received a two-month free membership coupon for BJ’s so we went ahead and gave them a try. BJ’s overall isn’t as impressive as CostCo in terms of the scope and variety of items offered but we DID encounter some advantages over CostCo.

- BJ’s takes visa/mastercard.

- the BJ’s in our area is closer to us than CostCo which definitely makes things more convenient.

- I’m not sure if it’s the location or what but the BJ’s near us is rarely crowded. and I’m the type of person that HATES crowds so this is definitely a plus in my book.

- Over the holidays, I noticed that BJ’s had a better variety of gift basket items. you know those gift packs of chocolates or perfumes that you purchase when you have absolutely no idea what to get your co-worker or distant relative.

- they also offer self-checkout lanes which helps when the regular checkout lanes are full. CostCo (at least the one in our area) doesn’t have self-checkout lanes which sucks b/c there are always long lines when checking out at CostCo.

- membership is cheaper at BJ’s. With the free trial coupon, we were offered a full year membership for only $35 which is more enticing than Costco’s $50 a year fee.

Anyway, it’s a tough call either way especially when you factor in those unique “warehouse only” items CostCo has that are pretty good bargains. But the crowd situation is the kicker for me as well as the long drive to and from CostCo. So, BJ’s Wholesale Club wins in my opinion. But I have the rest of the year before I have to decide on renewals so I’ve got time for CostCo to change my mind.

Wireless iPod docking system by Yamaha


While out and about with all the rest of the holiday shoppers, finding gifts for family and friends, I stopped by a local audio/video store to find a higher quality HDMI cable for my TV. While browsing in the store I saw that they had the new Yamaha PDX-60 which allows you to dock an iPod wirelessly to the speaker system. The iPod is perfect while on the go but a docking speaker system is a must when you want to enjoy the tunes at the house. And when you’ve got a music blog like I do, there’s always an endless supply of new music to listen to. Since I review new releases specifically for the blog, I constantly rely on my iPod to get mylistening-time in. I listen to a good portion of the music I need to review out on my daily jogs. But during the winter months, I find myself indoors a lot more so a new docking station like the PDX-60 would definitely come in handy.

I had a chance to play around with a display unit that was hooked up and ready for customers to test out at the store. I had my iPod nano with me so docked it to the wireless base and tried it out. The unit was in the middle of a busy showroom so I couldn’t really blast the music through the speakers like I wanted but I did get to move to one end of the store with my iPod to see if the signal degraded. As far as I could tell, the yAired wireless technology worked perfectly from one end of the store to the other. Granted the retail store wasn’t one of those mega-sized warehouse outlets but it proved to me that it’ll be fine for the average household. I love the idea of having the iPod within reach while having the speakers positioned optimally for the room. It’s so convenient to to able to repeat or skip a track right on the spot without having to walk across the room to do so like you would with a regular speaker docking station.

Eye-Fi Wireless SD Card


Like many households nowadays, we’ve got several digital cameras in our possession. I still have my trusty old Sony point and shoot that has been with me for years. Even though it’s a bit outdated, it’s small and convenient to use on the go. And I also have a newer Kodak super zoom which takes great photos but is a bit bulkier and not as convenient to lug around everywhere. And then my 12 year old son has his own digital camera which he’s using constantly to capture candid photos of the family, in and around the house. He seems to have a knack for capturing the weirdest expressions on my face for some odd reason. go figure.

The downside of owning multiple cameras is keeping track of all the different USB cables. As most of you know, camera manufacturers just LOVE to make things difficult for us consumers by creating proprietary USB connectors for all their cameras. Why not make it simple and agree to a standard USB connector? I’m not sure what drives these companies to create all these different connectors but what I DO know is that I always end up misplacing these cables at some point.

Having to connect and disconnect specialized cables just to upload photos to the computer gets to be a hassle. And like most folks, I tend to put off inconvenient tasks like this and I eventually end up with a massive amount of photos stored on a SD card that I have to sort through and organize which compounds the whole problem even more.

That’s why I love the new Eye-Fi wireless SD card. It works just like a normal SD card that you’d place in a camera but it also has built-in Wi-Fi capabilities that allows for it to automatically upload photos off the card and onto your computer. Once you configure the settings with the included software and USB card reader, the Eye-Fi card will transfer all your photos and organize them into date-based folders. You can also set up Eye-Fi to upload to your favorite online sharing sites like Flickr and Facebook.

It’s simple, fast and easy. Plus, there’s no longer the need to search through desk drawers and closets for that elusive USB cable. The new Eye-Fi card is definitely a must-have for any digicam user. Just think how easy it’ll be to update Facebook now with something like Eye-Fi in your camera!