Music & Entertainment
THE 'REAL JOHN LENNON,' REVEALED AT LAST PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Music & Entertainment
Written by Tim Bueler   
Tuesday, 11 December 2012 08:48
Man who knew him says new movie project 'Genius' gets it right

Conducting interviews on this topic is the author of the new book "The Beatles, God and the Bible" as well as a new video, "Genius," Ray Comfort.

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The man called upon by the Beatles to run their record division, and named as the U.S. manager of their Apple Records beginning in 1968, says a new short movie project, "Genius," gets the story right about John Lennon.

The project, by evangelist Ray Comfort, has been described as a new and chilling movie on the life and tragic murder of Lennon.

"It's chilling because it reveals what people will do for money," said Comfort. "There are ordinary people out there who would kill you. All they need is the right money and the belief that they won't get caught."

Just before he was murdered, John Lennon told Playboy magazine that he didn't want to die at 40. Ironically the famous singer was gunned down at the age of 40 by a man who killed him just because he wanted to become famous.

"John Lennon was a musical genius," says Comfort. "All I have to do is think of some of his songs and even the titles make me feel good...and I'm not the only one. His music has crossed cultures and even generations. The Beatles have sold more than 2,303,500,000 record albums, and in June of 2012 they hit number one on iTunes. They are as big now as they ever were and they're half dead - with the tragic loss of Lennon and Harrison."

Ken Mansfield, who was a member of the Beatles inner sanctum for years and was on top of the Apple building in London as the Fab Four played for the last time, said, "'Genius' will open your eyes."

He says he knew the real John Lennon, and "That's who we have portrayed in 'Genius' - the real John Lennon."

Comfort said, "It has twists and turns that you don't expect. 'Genius' shows another unheard of side of John Lennon and that will certainly 'open your eyes,' as Ken Mansfield so aptly said."

The movie was released for free viewing on GeniusTheMovie.com. and is available online.

Scheduled for release this weekend is the companion book written by Comfort,
"The Beatles, God and the Bible."

The book and video are in the tradition of his stunning "1803 short feature that accompanied Comfort's "Hitler, God and the Bible."

Not too many people know that John Lennon met Paul McCartney while at a church function, or that John was a choirboy. Nor do they know that at the height of their fame in 1965, all four Beatles professed to be atheists.

Yet in 1980, John had moved from proudly stating that they were more popular than Jesus, to humbly saying: "I'm a most religious fellow ... I was brought up a Christian, and I only now understand some of the things that Christ was saying in those parables." As a young man, George Harrison wrote, "I want to find God. I'm not interested in material things, this world, fame - I'm going for the real goal." Later in life, Ringo Starr said, "For me, God is in my life. I don't hide from that." In the 1990s, Paul McCartney said, "I'm not religious, but I'm very spiritual." He prayed for his wife when she was having trouble giving birth to their daughter, and his 2001 song "Freedom" spoke of freedom as "a right given by God."

Little has been said of the spiritual side of the world's most famous music group. "The Beatles, God, and the Bible" changes that with its unique and fascinating insight into the spirituality of the Fab Four.

Mansfield also wrote the forward for the book.

Ray Comfort is the founder/president/CEO of Living Waters Publications. From humble beginnings, the ministry has become internationally recognized, reaching the lost and equipping Christians with every necessary resource to fulfill the great commission. In addition to his main ministry, Ray is co-host (with Kirk Cameron) of the award-winning television program "The Way of the Master," which airs in 70 countries around the world. He also co-hosts a daily radio program by the same name, airing on the Sirius Satellite Radio Network and hundreds of terrestrial stations. Ray is a bestselling author of more than 60 books. He and his wife, Sue, live in Southern California, where they have three grown children.

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Happy Xmas: Ten Great Christmas Albums PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Music & Entertainment
Written by John W. Whitehead   
Monday, 10 December 2012 12:43

“Christmas—an aspirin for the soul or cold-turkey celebration of the birth and life of Christ? It has to be a measured bit of both, doesn’t it?”—Ian Anderson, The Jethro Tull Christmas Album

What a year it’s been. We’ve had kids getting micro-chipped in the public schools. Congress, the courts and the White House working in cahoots to erode our privacy rights. The Transportation Security Administration fumbling its way through national security. Hurricane Sandy ravaging the Eastern shore. The police state merging with the surveillance state to keep us tagged, tracked and under control. The military industrial complex lobbying to keep the nation at war and defense contractors in the money. Individuals getting fined and arrested for violating any number of vague and overreaching laws. Homes getting raided and innocent Americans killed by rampaging SWAT teams armed to the hilt.

After endless months of being mired in gloom and doom, we now find ourselves just a few weeks away from Christmas, struggling to latch onto that spirit of joy, excitement, innocence, magic and hope we had as children. Even if one is successful in momentarily blocking out the political gloom and doom, it still takes a monumental effort to get past the Grinches and Scrooges who can you make you feel like yours is anything but a wonderful life. And then there’s Christmas itself, which has become embattled in recent years, co-opted by rampant commercialism, straight-jacketed by political correctness, and denuded of so much of its loveliness, holiness and mystery.

Despite all of this humbuggery, however, there are still a few steps you can take to reclaim the magic of Christmas and enjoy the season. For a start, do something nice for someone else—whether it’s a family member, a neighbor or a stranger on the street. Turn off the news and turn on a Christmas movie, one of the oldies but goodies—something full of good will, sweetness and heart. And then, to top it all off, add some Christmas tunes to the mix, whatever fits the bill for you—be it traditional carols, rollicking oldies, or some rocking new tunes. What I love about Christmas music is how the sacred and irreverent meld into an atmosphere of joy and wonder. Listen to them over dinner, in the car, on your iPod. Hum them under your breath as you do your shopping. Belt them out in the shower or while gathered together in a group setting. Before you know it, you’ll start feeling like it’s Christmastime again.

Out of the hundreds of Christmas albums I’ve listened to over the years, the following are ten of my favorites, covering a broad range of musical styles, moods and tastes, but each in its own way perfectly capturing the essence of Christmas.

It’s Christmas (EMI, 1989): 18 great songs, ranging from John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” to Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas.” The real treats on this album are Greg Lake’s “I Believe in Father Christmas,” Kate Bush’s “December Will Be Magic Again” and Aled Jones’ “Walking in the Air.”

Christmas Guitar (Rounder, 1986): 28 beautifully done traditional Christmas songs by master guitarist John Fahey. Hearing Fahey’s guitar strings plucking out “Joy to the World,” “Good King Wenceslas,” “Jolly Old Saint Nicholas,” among others, is a sublime experience.

Christmas Is A Special Day (The Right Stuff, 1993): 12 fine songs by Fats Domino, the great Fifties rocker, ranging from “Amazing Grace” to “Jingle Bells.” The title song, written by Domino himself, is a real treat. No one has ever played the piano keys like Fats.

Christmas Island (August/Private Music, 1989): “Frosty the Snowman” will never sound the same after you hear Leon Redbone and Dr. John do their duet. Neither will “Christmas Island” or “Toyland” on this collection of 11 traditional and rather offbeat songs.

A Holiday Celebration (Gold Castle, 1988): The classic folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary, backed by the New York Choral Society, sing traditional and nontraditional holiday fare on 12 beautifully orchestrated songs. Included are “I Wonder as I Wander,” “Children Go Where I Send Thee,” and “The Cherry Tree Carol.” Also thrown in is Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind.”

The Christmas Album (Columbia, 1992): Neil Diamond sings 14 songs, ranging from “Silent Night” to “Jingle Bell Rock” to “The Christmas Song” to “Come, O Come Emmanuel.” Diamond also gives us a great rendition of Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over).” A delightful album.

A Charlie Brown Christmas (Fantasy, 1988): 12 traditional Christmas songs by the Vince Guaraldi Trio. The pianist extraordinaire and his trio perform “O Tannenbaum,” “The Christmas Song” and “Greensleeves.” Also included is the Charlie Brown Christmas theme.

The Jethro Tull Christmas Album (Fuel Records, 2003): If you like deep-rooted traditional holiday songs, you’ll love this album. The 16 songs range from “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” to Ian Anderson originals such as “Another Christmas Song” and “Jack Frost and the Hooded Crow.” With Anderson on flute and vocals, this album has an old world flavor that will have you wanting mince pie and plum pudding.

A Twisted Christmas (Razor Tie, 2006): Twisted Sister, the heavy metal group, knocks the socks off a bevy of traditional and pop Christmas songs. Dee Snider’s amazing vocals brings to life “Oh Come All Ye Faithful,” “Deck the Halls,” “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” among others—including “Heavy Metal Christmas (The Twelve Days of Christmas).” Great fun and a great band.

Songs for Christmas (Asthmatic Kitty, 2006): In December 2001, independent singer/songwriter Sufjan Stevens set out to create a Christmas gift through songs for his friends and family. It eventually grew to a 5-CD box set, which includes Stevens’ original take on such standards as “Amazing Grace” and “We Three Kings” and some inventive yuletide creations of his own. A lot of fun.

One more thing. We must never forget that the Christmas holiday is named after the Prince of Peace. So in the midst of the giving and the getting and the making merry, let’s not forget to do our part to make this world a better place for everyone. As John Lennon sings in “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)”:

And so this is Christmas,
For weak and for strong,
For rich and the poor ones.
The road is so long.
And so happy Christmas
For black and for white,
For yellow and red ones.
Let’s stop all the fight.

Merry Christmas, and in the words of Tiny Tim, “God bless us everyone.”

 
Last chance to see your favorite Holiday movies on the GIANT Screen! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Music & Entertainment
Written by Jenna Smith   
Monday, 10 December 2012 12:41

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Polar Express, playing now through this Thursday, December 13.

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas tickets: $11/adults; $10/senior/student/military; $8/youth.

Polar Express tickets: $5

 
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (3D) opens this Friday on the Putnam’s GIANT Screen! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Music & Entertainment
Written by Jenna Smith   
Monday, 10 December 2012 12:39

DAVENPORT- Join the Putnam Museum as they open The Hobbit with a Red Carpet Midnight Premiere this Friday, December 14 at 12:01 a.m. Don’t miss out on prize giveaways, fun trivia, VIP lanyards and seeing The Hobbit where it’s meant to be seen, on the Quad Cities’ GIANT Screen! The Giant Screen Theater is equipped with 264 stadium-style seats; a screen six stories high and seven stories wide; a eight-speaker, 10,000 watt digital sound system; THX® Certified sound by QSC Audio Products, LLC; and a new 4k Dolby digital projection system. The Theater is Giant Screen Certified by the Giant Screen Association.

Opening Weekend Showtimes:

Friday, December 14: 12:01 a.m., 10 a.m., 1:20 p.m., 4:45 p.m., 8:10 p.m.

Saturday, December 15: 10 a.m., 1:20 p.m., 4:45 p.m., 8:10 p.m.

Sunday, December 16: 12:30 p.m., 4 p.m., 7:30 p.m.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (3D) Price: $12.50/adults; $11/senior/student/military; $9/youth. No additional charges for the Midnight Premiere.

 
‘The Hobbit,’ Premiering Dec. 14, Illustrates Value of Adventure Tales for Pre-Teens PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Music & Entertainment
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Wednesday, 05 December 2012 15:59
Juveniles on Brink of Personal Journey,
Says Youth Advocate

It’s only appropriate that fantastical genres of storytelling are often geared toward preadolescents, says writer Elayne James.

“It’s an extremely impressionable time, with the wonder of childhood firmly established and a dramatic transformation about to take place,” says James, author of “Destiny’s Call,” the first installment of the fantasy series “The LightBridge Legacy,” (www.lightbridgelegacy.com).

It’s also not surprising that the “Lord of the Rings” movie trilogy from 2001 to 2003 was one of the most successful in film history – and that fans are eagerly anticipating director Peter Jackson’s return to Middle Earth on Dec. 14 with the release of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” she says.

In addition to being masterfully interpreted on the big screen, many of us were attached to the story from the books, which are often introduced during the middle school years. The narratives and personal experiences we have during preadolescence tend to stay with us more than those from other phases of life.

Researchers frequently cite pediatric neuroimaging studies, which show that during the ages of 11 and 12 our brain development is at a fundamental stage. A four-month journey across America at that age left an indelible impression on James. The trip culminated in New York City which became the launching point for the “Tolkien-esque” adventure in her most recent novel.

“Think about what you were learning at that age, your interests, the dreams of who you might someday become, all taking shape as your sense of self comes slowly into focus. Those things you loved as a child, whether it be drawing or basketball, music or dance, will likely be what brings you back to yourself later in life.”

James says there’s much to value about pre-teens experiencing narratives like “The Hobbit”:

• Preparation and a sense of identity: In “The Hobbit,” the prequel to J.R.R. Tolkien’s famous trilogy, Bilbo Baggins is the protagonist on a quest for treasure. Throughout his journey, he grows and matures, learning to accept the various aspects of his personality, including those that are less appealing. He must be brave at times, and rely on his common sense at other times. This is the journey pre-teens face when entering adolescence, and discussing it with them through the prism of Bilbo Baggins can be a wonderful teaching moment (as well as a potentially entertaining conversation).

• Puberty, the universal “adventure: ” Everyone must endure that first plunge of major physical transformation with puberty. As the body is flooded with adult hormones, adolescents must rely on their still-developing young minds to deal with mature situations. This can be a difficult, even frightening, time and, of course, kids are never the same after puberty. Baggins’ ordeals show children that high adventure (including puberty!) and the most important experiences in life, leave us forever changed. There may be frightening moments, times they grieve what they’re leaving behind, but ultimately, the journey is rewarding.

• There and Back Again … This is not only the expanded title of Tolkien’s “The Hobbit,” it is also a reoccurring theme in James' career as a writer. After reading “The Hobbit” at age 11 and chronicling her own adventures across America a year later, she decided to create her own stories. "Without Tolkien's invitation to Middle Earth," she says, "I might have followed a very different path. Tolkien made me view my own life as an adventure and I believed that I, like the unassuming, shy little Hobbit, could succeed, even against all odds." Returning to New York as an adult, and as an author, she claims, brought her journey full circle.

“What occurs during adolescence stays with you," says James, "so it's important to make sure children are exposed to positive stories and experiences.”

About Elayne James

Elayne James started her writing career at age 11 – after she read “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien and discovered she wanted to spend her life creating worlds. In addition to being a lifelong writer, she has been a singer/songwriter, sound effects specialist, a video editor, a playwright, a theatrical lighting designer, a graphic artist and a professional photographer. She lives by the Pacific Ocean in Southern California.

 
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