Each month guitar picker and Webmaster
Bob Howe brings you the latest Country Music happenings on the
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A Happy New Year to all you Cyber-Cowdudes and Cyber-Cowgirlz out there. There are now less than twelve months left to get you up to speed before all our computers crash and planes start falling from the sky etc. Seriously, let's hope that the outlook is not as gloomy as some "experts" predict. If you are a small to medium business or enterprise, I recommend finding out more about the Millennium Bug by calling the State Government for a brochure on 1800 11 2000. If you want more information on the Web visit www.y2kregister.com.au, and you'll also find many informative links at alex-online.com.
As promised last issue, let's take a look this month at what actually happens when you visit a Web site. As an example, let's go to Twang This! I have previously sung the praises of this site, so let's see why. When you first arrive at www.twangthis.com you are greeted by the Home Page (sometimes called the Index Page). The design and content of this entry page often determines how long a visitor will linger at a particular site. In this case, the Twang This! home page is fast to appear, and provides enough tantalising information to make you want to explore further. Each section of the site is represented by a small graphic picture (known as an icon) which becomes animated whenever you hover over it with your mouse cursor. Whenever the pointer of the cursor changes shape into a pointing hand, then you know that a click of the mouse button will take you to another page.
One click on the "STARS" icon and we are taken to the list of Artists that are represented at Twang This! Everyone from Alabama to The Wheel. Another click on any of the names will take you to a page devoted to that performer. Most of those pages are located within the same site, but a few take you to the artists' own location. Clicking on The Tractors will take you to their official site where you will find information on the band and their second plowing, "Farmers In A Changing World", surely one of the finest albums of 1998.
I'm choosing to click on Pam Tillis this time, on the eve of her Australian Tour. The cover of her excellent 6th album, "Every Time", fills the screen and there are several choices for our next page: songs, photos, discography, E-mail and biography. This time they are not words on the page for us to click, but are part of the album cover photo. These are known as "hot-spots"; let your cursor linger over one of the words and the tell-tale pointing hand tells us something is just a click away! "Songs" takes us to a selection of sound files and even a sample of Pam's video for "I Said A Prayer".
Pam Tillis fans should also check out these sites:-
Be bold when clicking around a Web site. You can't hurt your computer, and if you get lost there is always the button marked "BACK" to help you retrace you steps. You never know what you might find, and that's half the fun!
Now our usual round-up of newly found sites:-
Great news from Streetwise Music who have just launched their own dedicated Country label, Stallion Records. The first crop of releases are out, and a bumper harvest it is! Last year I had the thrill of watching the legendary Brian Cadd close the "Reg Lindsay Benefit" show in Sydney. Although he only sang three numbers it was a highlight of the day and a reminder of the great songs he has written over the last three decades. Now we can all enjoy a complete Brian Cadd concert on CD with "Live At Crown". Also on Stallion, "Mining Dust Burning Sun", the album by up and coming singer/songwriter who is attracting a lot of attention and awards, Michael O'Rourke. Michael also makes an appearance on label-mate Michael Fix's EP "Promise", as does violonist Hugh Curtis. Over six tracks, Fix impressively covers a lot of stylistic ground and a lot of frets! Congratulations to Stallion on these first releases, and long may they ride.
If you want to share the location of an interesting site you’ve seen or request a topic for discussion in future columns, why not E-mail me. Don't forget to listen out for Cowboys in Cybersp@ce each month on the radio waves with Belinda Miller of Murri Country , 4AAA –FM (98.9 in Brisbane). Until next month, happy surfing.
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