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Date:    Wednesday, June 17, 2009 04:26:36 PM

 

        RICK JAMES

     It's fitting that two new projects arrived in May from

     "The King of Punk Funk" who raised considerable mayhem throughout his lifetime. 

     Rick James finished recording Deeper Still in his Los Angeles home studio shortly before his death in 2004. 

     He produced the album and wrote or co-penned ten new songs for the collection, which reveals a more sensitive side to the artist who was determined to refocus his legacy on his remarkable musical talents and pioneering achievements instead of on his flamboyant and excessive "sex, drugs and funk & soul" lifestyle. The disc was released last week (May 15) on his Stone City Records label. 

     For those interested in getting a raw, honest and unedited glimpse into what his life was truly like, the autobiography James wrote while incarcerated in California's Folsom State Prison from 1993-1995, Memoirs of a Super Freak, is available now via online book retailers and will soon be in bookstores.

     Interest remains strong in the larger than life persona who behind it all was merely searching for love. 

     There was no denying James' musical genius.  Despite his catalogue of chart-topping hits that uniquely blended funk, rock, R&B, soul and pop music, he was often better known for his drug abuse, kinky sex-capades, and the violence that landed him behind bars on more than one occasion.  But in his later years, James cleaned up his life and those in his inner circle state that he was determined to again enjoy mainstream success.  The Grammy winner's distinctive voice sounds as powerful and agile as ever on Deeper Still.  Musically, he had begun to move away from his hardcore funk edge in order to incorporate Latin rhythms and explore his long-held passion for acoustic-based singer-songwriters.  Lyrically, James held true to his promise to write about what he knew.  On many of the songs on Deeper Still, he wrote candidly about the things that happened to him, disclosed his pain and yearning for romantic love, and revealed some of the awareness that sprang from his own self-realization.   

     Radio programmers have welcomed James back as the album's title track landed in the top 20 on the Urban Adult Contemporary charts.  Critics are also embracing this different James record.  Billboard wrote, "A little salsa with your funk.  That's one of the surprises…Rather than rely on the tried-and-true formula that brought fame and misfortune, James channels an introspective muse while expanding his musical purview…Overall, the album reveals a still rich-voiced singer and talented songwriter who was determined to mount another comeback."  Philadelphia Daily News stated, "…Deeper Still captures a Rick James different than you might know.  Not just the wired-up, super freak, but more often a sensitive dude, sharing truths about his past ('Taste'), celebrating strong women ('Sapphire'), even doing nicely with a folk-filigreed David Crosby tune, 'Guinevere.'"  Amazon described that the album "…opens wide a window on the freak-master's mindset in his final days.  The gentle title song swerves away from empty come-ons and excessive suavity to celebrate romance and (of all things) commitment…mostly Deeper Still represents a mellowing."  Black Renaissance Exclusive concluded, "This album actually reveals more of the true artistry of James with still strong and robust vocals.  He still has the bottom-heavy funk in his soul, but the lyrical content digs deeper into the man…the album covers a gamut of emotions from romantic pain and heartache to some painful realizations.  Deeper Still is an excellent counter piece to the 'original bad boy's' autobiography that provides a deeper dimension to his life."  Many other features and reviews are hitting now or are scheduled to appear in a slew of publications including Vibe Magazine, Ebony, Urban Network, Baltimore Sun, Tacoma News-Tribune, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, and James' hometown newspaper, the Buffalo News.  

     Colossus Books, an imprint of the Amber Communications Group, is publishing Memoirs of A Super Freak.  The film rights to the book were sold and writer Sheldon Turner ("The Longest Yard") is currently developing a script based upon the autobiography that spans five decades - from childhood, the formative years in Canada while AWOL from the U.S. military, his struggle to launch a musical career, the rise to international fame, his subsequent demise and resurrection.

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Video-on-Demand (VOD) Services Over Internet


 

                         SCOTTSDALE, Arizona – As deployments of cable modems and Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) services continue to increase throughout the world, Video-on-Demand (VOD) services over Internet Protocol (IP) networks will grow to a total of more than 17 million users, generating over $1.9 Billion (US) in subscription and pay-per-view revenue during 2006, according to In-Stat/MDR (http://www.instat.com). The high-tech market research firm reports, that as consumer-oriented VOD services over IP become more pervasive, revenue generated by family-oriented VOD services will eventually surpass those of adult content sites, which currently dominate the VOD-over-IP market.

"Consumers who have broadband Internet connections represent a strong growth market for VOD services," says Gerry Kaufhold, a Principal Analyst with In-Stat/MDR. "Adult content Internet VOD services are way ahead of cable TV VOD deployments in terms of total subscribers and revenues. However, four new family-oriented VOD-over-IP service efforts are underway: Cinema Now, Intertainer, MovieLink, and Movies.com." CinemaNow has deployments in North America, Taiwan, and Singapore, with more to come. Intertainer is rolling out their service in 35 major U.S. cities that have strong broadband deployments in place and the other two services will launch later this year.

"Several million movie streams per month are currently being served up for free, but as the major movie studios enter the fray, with premium movie titles, pay-per-view and subscription services will gain traction, helping Hollywood figure out what the market is for 'on demand' content, and help engineers and software programmers to develop efficient delivery systems and workable Digital Rights Management solutions," says Kaufhold.

Slated to generate approximately $460 million worldwide in 2002, the adult content segment of the market (representing over 98% of revenues) will serve as a barometer for the future success of the market as a whole. By the end of 2004, the number of subscribers and pay-per-view participants, regularly using family oriented "on demand" IP services, will out number the users of adult content services, and, by 2006, family oriented "on demand" services will overtake the adult content sites in terms of annual revenues.

In-Stat/MDR has also found that:

- By 2006, about 40% of worldwide consumers who have high-speed Internet connections to their residences will be using 'on demand' services for which they pay monthly fees, bringing $1.9 Billion to Hollywood.

- The North American market has the lion's share of consumer broadband connections deployed, and, by 2006, will represent over 7.6 million VOD users, generating over $820 million in revenues.

- Asia, especially South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and others, will represent about 37% of worldwide VOD-over-IP subscribers by 2006, producing over $700 million for movie studios. Europe will provide about 15% of worldwide VOD-over-IP revenues in 2006, and the Rest-of-the-World will bring in about 4.7%.

- Blockbuster Video rental stores won't go away, but VOD services from Cable TV, Satellite TV services, and digital terrestrial data casting services, will all add momentum to the 'on demand' market.

The report, "Consumer Oriented Video-On-Demand Via IP Networks" (#IN020022MB), includes descriptions of the four key movie 'on demand' services, profiles of four equipment companies that serve as leading indicators for this important emerging market, and regional forecasts for number of subscribers and annual dollar values of each market segment

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OK. Now You Have A Home Studio: 


   

   J&R Computer/Music World   

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