Archive for February, 2010

Jerry Garcia’s Death on Dan Rather

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

In 1964, when British Invasion bands like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones dominated American musical tastes, a little known San Francisco band was about to start another, entirely different, musical revolution. This band consisted of guitarists Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir, organist Ron McKernan, bassist Phil Lesh and drummer Bill Kreutzmann. They called themselves “The Grateful Dead.”

Today the Grateful Dead are synonymous with musical greatness. After all, they ranked number 55 on Rolling Stone’s list of 100 Greatest Bands of All Time and they received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. But what is it that makes the Grateful Dead so great? For many, the answer to this question lies in the uniqueness of the band’s sound and the fan culture that evolved from it.

The Grateful Dead’s unique sound arose in part from the different background of each member. For example, Jerry Garcia had a love for bluegrass and the banjo, bassist Phil Lesh was a classically trained trumpet player with a music theory background, drummer Mickey Hart had an interest in eclectic drumming styles, and drummer Bill Kreutzmann had a jazz background. These interests, coupled with the band’s decision to use electric guitars after seeing a performance by the Lovin’ Spoonful, created the genre bending sound that has been a signature of the Grateful Dead. In any given Grateful Dead album or song, one might hear a fusion of blues, jazz, folk, bluegrass, gospel, rock and other genres.

Apart from their musical style, the Grateful Dead’s live performances were another factor that elevated them to the status of greatness. The Grateful Dead were known for touring frequently and they performed thousands of concerts throughout their career. What was special about these concerts was that each one was different. Unlike most bands, the Grateful Dead did not play a specific set each night, preferring instead to perform whatever songs they felt like performing at the time. The band also featured a lot of improvisation at their concerts, and as a result became the first “jam band,” a term that refers to bands that improvise and mix musical styles.

Because each Grateful Dead concert was different, some fans wanted to see as many as they could and became so dedicated that they followed the band from concert to concert, often supporting themselves by selling t-shirts, food and other memorabilia at the concerts. These loyal fans became known as “Deadheads.” Although these Deadheads were loyal, it could be said that the Grateful Dead were just as loyal to them in return. In fact, in the beginning of their career, the Grateful Dead even provided free food and lodging to attendees at their Haight-Ashbury area concerts. Additionally, throughout their career they allowed fans to tape their concerts in designated taping areas. Fans were even allowed to share their recordings with each other, provided they did not attempt to make a profit from them.

The Grateful Dead enjoyed a lengthy career, from 1964 until 1995 when they formally disbanded after Jerry Garcia’s death from a heart attack. Since then, remaining members of the Grateful Dead have embarked on solo projects including Phil Lesh’s band, Phil Lesh and Friends, and Bob Weir’s band, RatDog. In 2002, remaining members Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bruce Hornsby briefly toured as “The Other Ones” until they changed their name to “The Dead” in 2003. In 2008, The Dead performed a few shows in support of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. These shows spurred rumors that the Dead might tour in 2009. These rumors turned out to be true as the band announced tour dates for a tour that starts on April 12, 2009 in Greensboro, North Carolina. The Dead’s lineup for the 2009 tour includes Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart, Warren Hayes and Jeff Chimenti.

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Dress For Success Wearing The Perfect Necktie

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Four-in-hand: The four-in-hand tie is the standard men’s necktie. Often made of silk, these ties can also be made out of silk-like synthetics, cotton, linen or wool. The fabric is cut in three segments on the bias — diagonally from the fabric — which lets the tie lay flat. These ties are always lined to help the fabric knot properly. Four-in-hand ties usually range in length from 55 inches to 60 inches, with big-and-tall ties coming in at about 62 inches. Different lengths work for men with different heights and allow for different knots to be tied. The width of ties changes with fashion; the classic width is 3-1/4 inches, but you may see trendy ties as narrow as 1-inch wide.

Six-fold and seven-fold ties: Made using the traditional method of folding a square of silk six or seven times, these luxurious neckties are not as common and can be quite expensive because of all the silk required to make them. Six- and seven-fold silk ties are not lined.

Bow ties: Available in two styles, the straight batwing or the more familiar butterfly, bow ties are a jaunty alternative to regular ties. A popular element of black-tie dressing, bow ties are right at home with a tuxedo and cummerbund. Bow-tie lengths are the same sizes as dress shirt collar lengths. If you haven’t worn a bow tie before but would like to try it, practice tying one around your leg just like you would tie your shoes.

Choosing the perfect neckwear Ties have been used to show club affiliations, family background, team spirit and more. Every tie sends some kind of message, so make sure your tie is saying what you want it to say. Here are a few things to consider when you’re choosing which necktie to wear:

Solid ties: Solid ties are the simplest to coordinate with your button-down shirts and suits. A patterned shirt or a white shirt could each work with a versatile solid-colored tie. When pairing a solid tie with a patterned shirt, choose a color that is in the pattern. With a white shirt, choose a color that complements your suit or blazer.

Striped ties: Striped ties are a tradition in menswear, and a striped tie is almost always appropriate. A striped tie can be worn easily with a white dress shirt, but you can also wear a striped tie with a striped shirt as long as the colors are complementary and the stripes are not the same size. If you’re wearing a striped tie with a striped shirt, make sure your suit is a solid color, so the look isn’t overwhelming.

Patterned ties: Paisley, polka dot, abstract designs, even flowers decorate some ties. Patterned ties follow the same rules as striped ties: Make sure the pattern isn’t the same size as a pattern on your shirt and choose a pattern in complementary colors to your shirt. Patterns in subdued colors can be appropriate for more formal occasions, but save the pink flowers for a garden wedding.

Novelty ties: Ties with prints featuring holiday themes, sports teams or cartoon characters should be reserved for light-hearted occasions. Novelty fabrics, like snake skin or stingray skin, also make for ties that can’t always be worn as office wear. Depending on where you live, you may also consider bolo ties — which consist of a braided leather string with a decorative clasp — to be novelty ties, so you’ll want to consider the occasion and the location before you choose to wear one.

Caring for neckties Remove it carefully: When you take off your tie, undo the knot by doing the knot steps backwards. Don’t pull the thinner end of the tie through; this will cause the fabric to wear out quickly. Professional care: Occasionally your ties will need to have stains removed, and you’ll want to have your ties dry cleaned whether or not they’re made of silk. This will help your ties retain their shape and luster. Store them properly: Hanging your ties on a special tie hanger will let wrinkles fall out. Make sure not to overload the hanger, as this can cause more wrinkles. You can also roll your ties up loosely and keep them in a drawer. Knit ties should be rolled for storage, not hung.

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Common neckties questions

I have a vintage tie I really like, but I think it may be too wide to wear now. What can I do? While traditional ties are about 3-1/4 inches wide, the width of your tie just needs to reflect the width of your lapels. If you want to rock the retro style, wear your vintage wide tie with a vintage suit. If it’s just the fabric that you like, you can take your tie to a tailor. It’s very easy for a tailor to narrow down or even shorten ties, and it shouldn’t be very expensive.

How can I keep my silk ties from wrinkling when I pack them for business trips? Prevent wrinkles by gently rolling your ties up and tucking them into a shoe. You don’t want to iron silk ties, as this could ruin them, so if you still end up with some wrinkles, try hanging your tie up in the bathroom while you take a shower; the steam should release the wrinkles gently.

Does my pocket square need to match my tie? Traditionally, men have always matched their pocket squares and neckties, but if you’re not a traditional guy, you don’t need to match them if you don’t want to. If you want to wear a pocket square with your tie, and you don’t have a matching one, you can’t go wrong with a plain white handkerchief, but feel free to mix prints or solids that are in the same color family — if the occasion isn’t too formal.

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Jerry Garcia Men’s Ties Influenced by His Artwork

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Jerry Garcia Influences Necktie Designs Jerry Garcia was best known to us as the leader of the influential 1960’s musical force known as the Grateful Dead. As a young man, Mr. Garcia was an art student at the San Francisco Art Institute. Over the years, Jerry always had a flair for the visual arts and painted as often as possible. That artwork is the basis of a new wave of designer ties that is taking the world by storm.

A little history and who makes the ties The neckties are manufactured and marketed by J. Garcia Neckties. The name was deliberately selected so as not to infringe on any of the Grateful Dead or other Jerry Garcia merchandise. In this manner, the ties made a splash all on their own. The idea was originally introduced in 1992 by Stonehenge, LTD under that name. Since Mr. Garcia’s unfortunate passing in 1995, the necktie designs have been reworked and new designs have risen from the ashes like a phoenix. Currently, J. Garcia neckties are manufactured and distributed by Mulberry Neckwear, who bought the rights to the designer ties in 1998.

The collections Jerry Garcia was an artist in every sense of the word. He did everything to the utmost and his art was n o different. There are many, many separate collections of artwork used in the designer ties we see today. From his “Banyan Forest” to “Lady with Argyle Socks”, you will find a J. Garcia tie for your taste. The collections are numbered and each designer tie is noted with which collection it is derived from. All the ties are named and carry a definite identity. This has been the crux of their success in recent years. Since each designer tie is named, you will have no trouble finding one and there are hundreds of designs available.

The material All of the designer ties influenced by his art are made of the finest 100% silk. The colors are fast and will not fade or run off the material. The quality of these ties is unmatchable anywhere. The ties are also handmade, so the care is evident in each one. He would have had it no other way. Just as every song He wrote was a masterpiece, so is each tie designed. When you wear one of J. Garcia’s designer neckties, you will leave a fashion foot print that is hard to match.

Affordability Now you would think that these designer ties would be available only to a specific segment of people. Jerry Garcia as all about equality and that we all are made the same. These neckties are carrying on that part of his character. Not priced out of range for anybody, you can enjoy J. Garcia designer ties for as little as $39. Of course, there are higher priced ones, but they are still well within range for most people.

The opposite effect Jerry Garcia was a part of living history. The Hippie movement of the 1960s was his stomping ground. Oddly enough, that movement had an impact on fashion that eradicated the necktie. So wearing one of these designer ties is a statement of power, presence and individuality. Tell the world that you are an individual and a force to be reckoned with, just like Jerry Garcia. Courtesy of

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Carrie Underwood Singing National Anthem at Superbowl 2010

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

Wow…what a great job by Carrie Underwood singing the National Anthem at Superbowl 2010!!

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Fashion Tips for the Trendy Man

Friday, February 5th, 2010

Most men would like to look sharp and trendy and show-off their own style of fashion by looking great and realizing it is an asset in their every day lives. Men may want to consider hiring a fashion consultant if they are fashion challenged, or enlist the help of friends and others with trendy fashion knowledge.
• First off, use some of your favorite pieces from other seasons. A solid collection of basics helps and will add to your trendy and designer pieces.
• Be careful not to have too many accessories. Choose a great watch, shoes or shades to add to your wardrobe and don’t overdo it.
• Don’t look ridiculous by trying too hard to be fashionable that you overdo it and look silly.
• Wear what you are comfortable in and what looks good on you and your body type. Not necessarily what others think is good or fashionable.
• Try not to mimic only what you see on television or in magazines. Use some good judgment and go with what fits nice, looks clean and crisp and portrays the image you are seeking.
• Have a good mixture of trendy designer labels along with basic and functional clothes.
Keep these simple tips in mind when shopping for new clothes and things will begin to fall into place when it comes to your wardrobe.

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Brief History of Coach Handbags

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Coach Handbags began in 1941 in Manhattan, New York. Their leather handbags are designed and crafted to withstand the test of time. They started as the founder discovered the leather used in baseball gloves was extremely well-lasting and decided to try making handbags out of it. They use only the top 10% of quality leather and it is slow-cured in large drums that rotate for many days. The leather is then treated with natural treatments which softens the bag and brings out the grain in each piece of leather.

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Coach Handbag’s sales declined in 1998 mostly due to the changing of high-end handbags to something more affordable with blends of materials and fabrics that women preferred at that time. They recognized a need to change the way they did things and introduced the first signature handbag with the letter “C” imprinted onto a mixture that was now using leather and fabric. This particular style was immediately successful.
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Coach Handbags continued to grow and have since created and designed more affordable and adaptable styles for the trendy woman. For those seeking a timeless, classic handbag or something different and new, take a look at Coach Handbags.

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Overview: Tying a Tie

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

Before putting on your necktie you should have your shirt buttoned up all the way to the top button and have the collar up. Starting the tying process with the wide end of the necktie on the left or right side is just a matter of convention, so if you are more comfortable starting with the wide end on the left side then start from the left. Keep the knot of the tie tight throughout the tying process.

When you are finished tying your necktie put your collar down, the knot should be in the middle of your collar and the wide end of your necktie should end around the middle of your belt buckle. If you don’t get it right the first time simply unknot your necktie and try again, tying a perfect knot on your necktie takes practice.

The Dimple
A good knot should always have a dimple. The dimple is the little indentation right below the knot of your necktie. A good dimple is made before you tighten the knot. You start by putting your index finger in the fabric directly under the knot while lightly squeezing the side of the fabric as you tighten the knot by pulling down on the wide end of the necktie. The dimple should be centered in the middle of your knot.

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