Arts, Entertainment, Living

Bluzer Spotlight on -- Ragtime

Tuesday, 04 January 2011 12:00 AM Written by

My apologies to Bluzer, who asked that the following Spotlight be posted on Jan. 1. But I was still waiting for my internet access, which I now seem to have. So here's the Spotlight, on the venerable music called ragtime. The video above is by Bob Seeley, with "Maple Leaf Rag." I've seen Seeley the past two years I've been in St. Petersburg, Fla., and I hope to see him again later this month. A fantastic piano guy.

Bluzer says:

Let's start the New Year right...right from the very beginning!! Before the internet, before television, before radio, before electricity, even before the advent of man's ability to record and reproduce sound...there was the piano.  The first piano (known as the pianoforte) appeared sometime around the late 1600's-early 1700's. Imagine a guitar with 88 strings!! The three main categories of piano artistry that every Blues lover should be familir with are...

RAGTIME

'It began as dance music in the red-light districts of American cities such as St. Louis and New Orleans years before being published as popular sheet music for piano. It was a modification of the march made popular by John Philip Sousa, with additional polyrhythms coming from African music'

STRIDE (OR NEW YORK RAGTIME)

'It was influenced by ragtime, and as a jazz piano idiom, features improvisation, blue notes, and swing rhythms.'

BOOGIE WOOGIE


Blues historian Robert Palmer wrote that the boogie-woogie style bass pattern may have been created in the logging and turpentine camps and oil boomtowns of Texas, Louisiana, and the Mississippi Delta circa 1900'

With this BLUZER Spotlight I've mostly concentrated on the work of Ragtime great Scott Joplin to begin another year of exploring and examining what the Blues is all about and the origins of this great music. While this may be among the longest BLUZER Spotlights I've yet done...it could certainly have been even longer!! BLUZER says: "HAVE A HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR AND KEEP ON LISTENIN' TO THE BLUES!!"

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SCOTT JOPLIN (between July 1867 and January 1868 – April 1, 1917)

MAPLE LEAF RAG
('the first instrumental piece to sell over one million copies of sheet music')

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THE STRENUOUS LIFE - 1902
(MY FAVORITE JOPLIN RAG!!)

THE RAGTIME DANCE - 1906

PINEAPPLE RAG


A BREEZE FROM ALABAMA - 1902


THE CASCADES - 1904

SUNFLOWER SLOW DRAG - 1901

WEEPING WILLOW RAG - 1903
('MUDDY' SOUND)

THE CHRYSANTHEMUM - 1904

THE ENTERTAINER - 1902

SUGAR CANE - 1908
(MIGHTY FINE!!)

SOLACE (A MEXICAN SERENADE) - 1909
(ELEGANT AND BEAUTIFUL!!

ELITE SYNCOPATIONS - 1902


PALM LEAF RAG - 1903

HELIOTROPE BOUQUET - 1907
(ANOTHER SWEET SLICE OF SYNCOPATION!!)

THE FAVORITE - 1904
(SLIGHTLY 'MUDDY' SOUND)

STOPTIME RAG
(WAY AHEAD OF IT'S TIME!!)

ROSE LEAF RAG

SILVER SWAN RAG
(GREAT TRANSFER!!)

M A P L E  L E A F  R A G - 1899

OVER A MILLION 'HITS'!!!
(PIANO ROLL ACTUALLY PLAYED BY SCOTT JOPLIN)
(THIS SOUNDS TOTALLY INCREDIBLE...AS IF HE'S PLAYING IT IN PERSON)

MAPLE LEAF RAG
- PIANO ROLL THAT DOESN'T SOUND HAND-PLAYED)

MAPLE LEAF RAG
(ANOTHER BEAUTIFUL JOB OF RE-MASTERING!!)

PARAGON RAG
(ANOTHER INCREDIBLE-SOUNDING PIECE BEAUTIFULLY RE-MASTERED)

THE SYCAMORE - 1904

COMBINATION MARCH - 1896
(GREAT BEAT - THIS ROCKS!!)

CLEOPHA - 1902
(ANOTHER 'TURN OF THE 20TH CENTURY' ROCKER!!)

GREAT CRUSH COLLISION MARCH - 1896
(STRANGE NAME - SWEET RAG)

THE EASY WINNERS - 1901

PEACHERINE RAG - 1901
(A RAGTIME MASTERPIECE!!)

SOMETHING DOING - 1903
(THIS RAG SWINGS!!)

SWIPESY (CAKEWALK) - 1900
(ANOTHER 'ROCKIN'' RAG)

PLEASANT MOMENTS - 1909

FIG LEAF RAG - 1908

REFLECTION RAG

(SOUNDS ALMOST 'CLASSICAL'!!)

A REAL SLOW RAG

(DON'T BE FOOLED...THIS SWINGS!!)

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Along with Scott Joplin, there was a lesser-known but equally proficient Ragtimer who was perhaps as influential. Here's a mini BLUZER Spotlight of his work.

JAMES SCOTT (February 12, 1885 – August 30, 1938)

'Scott was a cousin of blues singer Ada Brown'

KANSAS CITY PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA - OPHELIA RAG

OPHELIA RAG
(THE ORIGINAL COMPOSITION)

GRACE AND BEAUTY - 1909


RAGTIME ORIOLE - 1911
FROG LEGS RAG
(BEAUTIFUL MELODY!!)

KANSAS CITY RAG

PROSPERITY RAG - 1911

DON'T JAZZ ME - 1921
(RAG ME!!)

HONEYMOON RAG - 1916


CLIMAX RAG - 1914

RAG SENTIMENTAL

GREAT SCOTT RAG - 1909

(ROCKIN' THE RAG!!)

THE SUFFRAGETTE (WALTZ) - 1914

(A HAUNTINGLY-SWEET AND POLITICALLY CORRECT RAG!!)

SUNBURST RAG - 1909

NEW ERA RAG - 1919

HILARITY RAG - 1910
(NICE AND BOUNCY!!)

BROADWAY RAG - 1922


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And now let's take a listen to a variety of artists also associated with the Ragtime/Stride style.

FORGOTTEN STRIDE AND RAGTIME GREATS

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JOSEPH LAMB - AMERICAN BEAUTY RAG - 1913

JOSEPH LAMB - BOHEMIA (RAG) - 1919

JOSEPH LAMB - CHANPAGNE RAG - 1910

ROY SPANGLER - RED ONION RAG - 1911


TOM TURPIN - ST. LOUIS RAG - 1903


WINIFRED ATWELL - TIGER RAG
VARIOUS LIVE PERFORMANCES
(PERHAPS THE MOST FAMOUS OF ALL RAGS)
("HOLD THAT TIGER!!")

WINIFRED ATWELL - THE BLACK AND WHITE RAG
(MORE OF A 'HONKY TONK PIANO' SOUND)
(FAST FINGERS!!)

WINIFRED ATWELL - THE BLACK AND WHITE RAG
SEVERAL DIFFERENT LIVE PERFORMANCES
(THE ROOTS OF BOOGIE WOOGIE!!)

WINIFRED ATWELL - FIVE FINGER BOOGIE

LIVE IN LONDON - 1953
(THIS, OF COURSE, IS 'BOOGIE WOOGIE' AND THAT'S A WHOLE 'NOTHER STORY!!)

MIKE BERNARD - 1915 RAG
(RARE RAG)

EUBIE BLAKE - JAZZIN' AROUND - 1917

(TWO PIANOS AND 'TRAPS' - AN EARLY 'RAGTIME BAND'!!)

EUBIE BLAKE - DREAM RAG - LIVE RECORDING
(AUDIO ONLY)

EUBIE BLAKE AT 90 - INTERVIEW AND LIVE PERFORMANCE
SUBERB...BUT INCOMPLETE
("LOVE WILL FIND A WAY")

EUBIE BLAKE - CHARLESTON RAG
SPEAKING AND PLAYING LIVE FOR A RAGTIME DOCUMENTARY
(WEIRD AND INTOXICATING!! - A LITTLE HISTORY LESSON!)
(RAGTIME AS THE ROOTS OF 'THE SECOND LINE'!!)

MEDLEY - LIVE RECORDING - (AUDIO ONLY) - 1973
EUBIE BLAKE SPEAKS AND PLAYS JAMES P. JOHNSON
(ONE STRIDE MASTER SALUTES ANOTHER)

LUCKEY ROBERTS - PORK AND BEANS - 1946
(THE ROOTS OF STRIDE PIANO!!)

LUCKEY ROBERTS - RAILROAD BLUES - 1946

FELIX ARNDT - FROM SOUPS TO NUTS - 1914
(ANOTHER RARE RAG)

FELIX ARNDT - NOLA - 1915
(A LOUSIANA-FLAVORED RAG!!)
(PLAYED BY SUE KELLER)

JELLY ROLL MORTON - FINGER BUSTER
(WAY BEYOND RAGTIME - BEYOND STRIDE PIANO - THIS IS THE BIRTH OF JAZZ!!)

JAMES P. JOHNSON - ECCENTRICITY - 1921
A SYNCOPATED WALTZ
(MY ALL-TIME, ABSOLUTE FAVORITE RAGTIME/STRIDE PIANO PIECE)

JAMES P. JOHNSON - CAROLINA SHOUT - 1921
(STRIDE (AKA NEW YORK RAGTIME) PIANO CLASSIC)

ART TATUM - TIGER RAG
(TATUM WAS UNIQUE - FLYING FINGERS!!)
(THIS AIN'T YOUR GRANDFATHERS, 'HOLD THAT TIGER'!!)

THE VERSATILE FOUR - DOWN HOME RAG - 1916

(AN HONEST-TO-GOODNESS, GENUINE 'RAGTIME BAND'!!)
(DIG THAT CRAZY RHYTHM - A BAND DOESN'T GET ANY MORE 'CRACKLIN''!!!)

MARTY MINCER AND SUE KELLER - LION TAMER RAG
LIVE PIANO DUET - DATE AND LOCATION UNKNOWN

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An area that I could have greatly expanded on is the way Ragtime became a style played on the guitar.

RAGTIME (OR FINGERPICKING-STYLE) GUITAR
'fingerpicking was probably originally inspired by ragtime piano. An early master of ragtime
guitar was Blind Blake, a popular recording artist of the late 1920s and early 1930s.'

RAGTIME GUITAR LESSON WITH JIM BRUCE


WILLIAM MOORE - RAGGIN' THE BLUES
RECORDED FOR PARAMOUNT - 1928
("RAG MY BLUES AWAY, BOY, RAG 'EM")

REVEREND GARY DAVIS - CINCINNATI FLOW RAG

GEESHIE WILEY - LAST KIND WORDS - 1930
RECORDED FOR PARAMOUNT IN GRAFTON, WISCONSIN

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And last but certainly not least, my all-time favorite stride piano professor. He'll get his own BLUZER Spotlight sometime during the course of 2011.

WILLIE 'THE LION' SMITH - ECHOES OF SPRING

(WALLACE BISHOP, DMS - DEC. 1, 1949 - PARIS)

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With 2010 behind us it’s time to look towards the new year, and if everything that’s slated can hold its release date this year should be a doozey.  Of course, we can assume that most of our anticipated games are likely to be delayed, quite possibly all the way to 2012 (gasp!).  But even with the inevitable delays there are still the sure things like Dead Space 2, Portal 2, and Crysis 2

Here’s what 2011’s video game timeline looks like.  Let the great sequel parade begin!

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'Antiques Roadshow' coming to Pittsburgh

Monday, 03 January 2011 12:54 PM Written by

Antique collectors who didn't make it to the "Antiques Roadshow"-like "Pittsburgh's Hidden Treasures" at the Heinz History Center will have a chance to experience the real thing as PBS's original antiques appraisal show pulls into Pittsburgh in August.

Read the release with details on the show's Pittsburgh visit and how to apply for free tickets after the jump. ...

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'Archer' DVD's extended gag

Monday, 03 January 2011 12:00 AM Written by

dino_archerLeave it to the warped minds behind FX's "Archer" to fully commit to a gag on the first-season DVD set that was released last week ($29.98,  Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment).

The two-disc set includes the complete first season along with deleted scenes and a behind-the-scenes featurette.

But it's the "orginal, unaired" pilot that's most notable.

Read more after the jump. ...

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Fashion Goals for the New Year

Monday, 03 January 2011 12:00 AM Written by
Happy New Year!!!

I'm a goal-oriented lady and at the beginning of every year, I like to make a list of goals I want to accomplish in the year.

While I was writing my 2011 goals, a lot of fashion-oriented goals came up and I wanted to share them with you. Here are my fashion goals for 2011:

Be more adventurous with color and print. I'll admit that I'm a bit of a Plain Jane. I love black and I love white way too much. In 2011, I want to experiment with more color and mixing more prints. I want to be as vibrant as an Andy Warhol painting.

Purchase a luxury pair of shoes. I've never been a shoe girl and because of this, I don't pay enough attention to my footwear. I'll explain more about this in Wednesday's post, but my goal for 2011 is to step up the style of my shoes and not live completely in a pair of black flats and running shoes.

Embrace vintage fashion more. Vintage fashion has been growing on me in the past year and I would like to embrace more of it. Vintage wears are unique, well-constructed and can be easy on the pocketbook (as I would love to save money in 2011 too!!!)

Wear a ball gown. I don't have any fancy plans for 2011 yet, but I just want to wear a fancy ball gown sometime in 2011.

Readers, it's the start of the New Year and I would love to know what your goals are for 2011 and what you would like to see on Clutch. Please leave a comment below and be sure to check back on Wednesday for another Clutch post!

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We're still here

Monday, 03 January 2011 12:00 AM Written by

 

images
Ain't no sunshine when I'm gone...
The BlueNotes organization has successfully relocated to its southern headquarters in the Tampa Bay area for the winter, and we're now sitting comfortably in the 70-degree sunshine thinking about -- the blues, of course.

Actually, for the past few days I've been listening to early R&B and soul music, and enjoying it immensely. Some of it is the music of my blue teen years, when that wasn't a gun in my pocket, but a bulge in my blue genes, which was shaping my music and my life.

I've been porch-sitting on mild Florida nights, sipping some good whiskey, and listening to the likes of Clyde McPhatter, Roscoe Shelton, Ernie K-Doe, Little Esther Phillips, Little Willie John, Fats Domino, Jimmy Witherspoon, Little Milton and a host of others. What great music. What great memories.

I imagine that most of you know most of the artists in that list, but I'm willing to bet that Roscoe Shelton is not one of your household words. But he should be. He was a a fine, fine R&B singer. Here's a video:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-jChTr7alY

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Weekly Menu for the Week of Jan. 3

Friday, 31 December 2010 08:57 PM Written by

happy_new_year

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

Well . . . what are your resolutions? Are you looking to save money, save time in the kitchen, or maybe prepare healthier meals for your family? You are in the right place!!! It is a new year and we are kicking things off with a time and money saving menu that you and your family will love!!!

We are starting the week with Spaghetti and Meatballs – this is our Double Duty meal of the week! We will use our leftover meatballs for Friday night Meatball Hoagies! This is also a freezer friendly meal for a super quick speedy dinner in the future when you are slammed with work or volunteering or kids' activities and dinner slipped your mind. This is a great make-ahead meal that you could prepare on Sunday while you are watching football ... or maybe you will be taking down all of the holiday decorations while everyone else in your house is watching football. Either way – whip up the meatballs and let them simmer all day! Be careful – Monday's dinner may become the Sunday meal!

We are also serving up Caramelized Chicken in a raspberry ginger sauce and Breaded Pork Chops with a creamy mushroom and wine sauce. Our veggie meal of the week is Black Bean soup and Cheesy Quesadillas! This is soooo quick and easy and absolutely delicious!

If you would like to receive an email notification when the menu has been published please follow the link below and sign-up!

http://pages.exacttarget.com/page.aspx?QS=2e4c31a3756cb940c8b847348e1c2c73ff6c7f36e3c6f7f827d595a306624694

You can also follow the menu on Facebook and Twitter!!! Go to Kristen Kill Reisinger's Menus That Save on Facebook and click like!!! You will receive updates and pics throughout the week. Also follow the menu on Twitter - @menusthatsave.

ALWAYS check your coupons!!! Not only the ones we receive in our newspapers and mid-week mailers but also online! Check out www.coupons.com

Follow the plan so you can save time, money, and a few calories! Remember – cooking our own food is healthier than ordering in and eating out any day!!! Your family, wallet and waistline will thank you!

I hope you all enjoy your week, the recipes and the savings!


Monday

Spaghetti and Meatballs
Tossed Salad
Bread

Spaghetti and Meatballs (Double Duty Meal)

Most everyone has their own favorite way of doing meatballs and their favorite sauce but I will include mine just in case.

I use a meatloaf mix (prepackaged in the meat case at GE – it is ground beef, pork and veal) and add one egg for every pound of meat. I then add chopped fresh garlic, Italian style breadcrumbs, and a little parmesan cheese. Roll into balls and either cook in the oven on a baking sheet at 350˚ until browned, pan fry them, or, my favorite way of doing it, is to place them raw in a large pot full of your favorite sauce, bring to a boil (careful not to scorch) and then let simmer for a few hours. I apologize for the lack of precise measurements but I just eyeball everything.

Please consider doubling the batch – once you start rolling and your hands are all gooey – why stop? You can freeze extras for a future meal and this is our Double Duty meal of the week!!!

Tuesday

Caramelized Onion Chicken
Couscous
Peas

Caramelized Onion Chicken (adapted from Southern Living)

1 lb. chicken breast tenders
Salt and pepper
1 medium onion, sliced thin
1 T. olive oil
½ cup seedless raspberry jam
1 T. red wine vinegar
1 T. soy sauce
1 t. fresh grated ginger or bottled minced ginger
½ t. dried rosemary

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium–high heat. Add sliced onions and sauté until soft. Add chicken to the pan and cook about 4 minutes on each side until done. Remove onion and chicken from pan, set aside, cover and keep warm.

Add jam and the rest of the ingredients to the skillet and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly to loosen up the browned bits from the skillet. Return the chicken and the onions to the pan. Stir together and heat through.

Wednesday

Breaded Pork Chops with a White Wine and Mushroom Sauce
Wild Rice
Steamed Broccoli

Breaded Pork Chops with White Wine Sauce and Mushroom Sauce (adapted from all-recipes.com)

6 boneless pork chops
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. seasoning salt
2 eggs beaten
¼ cup of flour
2 cups Italian-style seasoned breadcrumbs
4 T. olive oil
1 pkg. of mushrooms, sliced
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
½ cup of milk
1/3 cup of white wine

Preheat oven to 350˚

Rinse and pat dry pork chops. Season with garlic powder and seasoning salt to taste.

Dredge pork chops in flour, then egg and then coat liberally with bread crumbs. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the pork chops until breading appears well browned. Transfer chops to a 9x13 pan. Meanwhile sauté mushrooms in a little butter. Place on top of pork chops.

Mix together soup, milk and wine. Pour over pork chops and bake for 30 minutes – uncovered.

Thursday

Black Bean Soup
Cheesy Quesadillas
Chips and salsa

Black Bean Soup (super quick and easy)

2 can of black beans
1 ½ cup of beef broth
1 cup of salsa
1 t. of cumin
4 T. sour cream
4 T. of green onions, sliced

In a food processor, combine beans, broth, salsa, and cumin. Process for about 1 minute until smooth. Heat mixture in medium saucepan over medium heat until thoroughly heated. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and the green onions.

Cheesy Quesadillas

Shredded Monterey/Cheddar cheese
Flour tortillas
Butter or oil

To assemble, butter or lightly oil one side of each tortilla. Layer cheese on top of one of the tortillas and then place another tortilla on top. You can either place on a cookie sheet and bake at 350˚ OR you can cook in a hot skillet or griddle until cheese is melted and tortilla is crisp. Don't forget to dip your quesadillas in sour cream and salsa!

Friday

Meatball Hoagies
Chips
Hot Fudge Sundaes

Meatball Hoagie (Double Duty from Monday)

Meatballs
Sliced provolone cheese
1 pkg. of hoagie rolls

Re-heat meatballs in micro. To assemble, open hoagie roll and place cheese slices inside. Top with meatballs and sauce (you can cut the meatballs in half – easier for the little ones to eat) and additional cheese if you like. Place in the oven at 350˚ until the rolls are toasty and golden brown and the cheese has melted.

Hot Fudge Sauce – this is a family favorite and once you try it you will never use anything else again!

1 – 14.5 oz. can of evaporated milk – use the regular only - not light or fat free – it won't turn out the same and we are talking Hot Fudge here folks!
2 cups of sugar
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
¼ cup of butter
1 t. vanilla
1.2 t. of salt

Heat milk and sugar to a rolling boil, stirring frequently. Once boiling whisk for at least 1 minute – be careful it will want to boil over. Add the chocolate squares and beat with the whisk until smooth. This will take a few minutes. Remove from the heat and add butter, vanilla and salt. Stir until well blended. This is best to make before you start the hoagies. That way the sauce will have set and will be still be nice and warm to serve on top of ice cream. Enjoy!!!

And now for the shopping list. As always, double check your pantry, fridge and freezer to see if you already have any of the items listed below. This will reduce your spending and create less waste! And NEVER shop without a plan!

Shopping/Checklist

Produce
Salad – GE special
Medium onion – GE special
Ginger
Mushrooms – small package
Green onions

Deli
Italian Bread
Parmesan cheese
Hoagie rolls

Spices/Oils/Vinegars/Condiments
Olive oil
Seedless Raspberry jam
Red wine vinegar – GE special
Rosemary
Garlic powder
Seasoning salt
Flour
Cumin
Evaporated milk (14 oz. can)
Sugar
Unsweetened chocolate squares
Vanilla

Canned Goods/Ethnic Foods/Dry Goods
Spaghetti sauce – or your homemade sauce – GE special
Spaghetti
Soy sauce
Couscous
Wild rice
Cream of mushroom soup
2 cans of black beans (14.5 oz cans)
Can of beef broth
Salsa – GE special

Seafood/Meat Case/Butcher
Meatloaf mix (or whatever you prefer for your meatballs)
Chicken tenders or Chicken Breasts – GE special
6 boneless pork chops – GE and Kuhn's specials on the whole pork loin – have the butcher cut into chops

Frozen Foods
Peas
Broccoli
Ice cream – GE special

Dairy
Eggs
Milk
Sour cream
Shredded Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese – GE special on Kraft
Flour tortillas
Sliced provolone cheese
Butter

Bread
Italian Seasoned Breadcrumbs

Misc.
White wine
Tortilla chips – GE special on Tostitos
Chips – GE special on Lays

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Infinity Blade - Review

Thursday, 30 December 2010 10:42 AM Written by

Although many games for the iPad and iPhone are very good, they are usually reserved for grabbing my attention during timeouts, halftime, challenges, and commercials on Sunday during football or during the entire Thursday night game of the week.  They are cheap, fun, addictive, and–best of all–simple.

Angry Birds and Bejeweled have been my games du jour for the past few months, but then came Infinity Blade.   Infinity Blade is a gorgeous adventure game from Epic Games and Chair Productions that is not only perfect for the iPad, iPhone and iPod, it probably couldn’t be pulled off on a traditional platform like the 360 or PS3. 

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