Monday, May 23, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Vieux Farka Toure

Artist:Vieux Farka Toure f/Derek Trucks
Album:The Secret

Vieux Farka Toure is one of three sons of Malian music legend Ali Farka Toure. Despite dad's objections, all seem to following in his footsteps. Vieux was born in Niafunke, Mali in 1981. Ali forbade his sons from playing music. He wanted all of them to be soldiers. But Vieux moved to the Malian capitol of Bamako and studied secretly at the National Arts Institute. So eventually Ali was convinced to allow his sons to be musicians. Vieux toured with another Malian music legend Toumani Diabate. Eric Herman became his manager and got him a record deal with Six Degrees Records. Six Degrees is owned by former Windham Hill employees Pat Berry and Bob Duskis. They specialize in World Music and they have distribution from Universal. Aigna is from the 2011 album The Secret generally thought to be Vieux's best album to date. The album was produced by Soulive guitarist Eric Krasno. Derek Trucks appears on Aigna and other guests include Dave Matthews and John Scofield. Vieux's latest CD Touristes is an album of duets with singer songwriter Julia Easterlin. It was released last year. If you're fan of his dad, You will probably also like Vieux Farka Toure. Here's Vieux Farka Toure performing Aigna at the Brussels Stock Exchange in Brussels, Belgium Oct. 2012.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Ben Goldberg

Artist:Ben Goldberg
Album:Unfold Ordinary Mind

The clarinet is an instrument that was very popular in The Swing Era of the 40s with Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw. In recent years it has taken a back seat to the sax. Ben Goldberg is keeping the clarinet alive. He is a proponent of what I would call Jewish Jazz similar to John Zorn. The difference is that Zorn lives in New York and Goldberg lives in San Francisco though they have worked together. Goldberg was born Aug. 8, 1959 in Denver. He studied music at the University of California, Santa Cruz and he has a Master of Arts in composition from Mills College. His main teacher was clarinetist Rosario Mazzeo but he also trained with Joe Lovano and Steve Lacy. Goldberg started out in San Francisco leading The New Klezmer Trio and then he made an easy transition to jazz as co-founder of Tin Hat. Klezmer music is sometimes called Jewish Jazz. He also plays in bands led by pianist Myra Melford and guitarist Nels Cline. Goldberg first recorded as a leader in 1992. But since 2010 he has recorded for his own label BAG Production Records. xcpf is from the 2012 CD Unfold Ordinary Mind with Nels Cline on guitar, Ellery Eskelin and Rob Sudduth on sax and Ches Smith on drums. Goldberg's latest CD Dialogue is an album of duets with pianist Myra Melford. It was released Jan. 2016. He has recently formed Mr. Joy with pianist Michael Coleman and they recently released a 2 CDs. It looks like he is playing mostly San Francisco clubs right now. And I'm sure he has other projects in the works. He's a busy guy. Here's Ben Goldberg with Myra Melford on piano, John Shiflett on bass and Scott Amendola on drums performing xcpf at Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse Berkeley, CA Jan. 2013.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Alexis Dufresne vs Marloes Coenen

Here's the match video of Alexis Dufresne vs Marloes Coenen from last night's Bellator show in Boise, ID. It aired on Spike TV. These days Bellator seems like The Twilight Zone of MMA. And last night's show may have been the worst MMA show to ever air on free TV. The initial plan was for Marloes to face Julia Budd for a title. And the suits at Spike TV were going to air it on the prelims on the Spike TV website which costs the fighters sponsorship money. This dumb idea was changed when Julia pulled out due to injury and Alexis Dufresne was brought in to replace her. So now it was a non title match on the main card. Alexis fought in the UFC. But she couldn't seem to make 135lb. So after two losses, she was released. Then she got pregnant. This is her first fight since then. She missed weight by five pounds which was not surprising because of the short notice. Marloes took this personally for some reason. She shouldn't have. The fight was fought at a 150lb catchweight. As great as Marloes has been over the years, her one really bad habit is to underestimate opponents. As a fighter, all opponents, even tomato cans, should be taken seriously. And there are plenty of 145lb tomato cans. I guess she was expecting an easy win. But Alexis began the fight with a takedown. Not much was happening. And eventually Marloes reversed it and got top position. But Alexis smartly pinned Marloes' arms. And Marloes couldn't do anything. Ref Jason Herzog warned her about headbutts. Then Alexis goes for a triangle choke. And while cinching it up, she hammered Marloes with elbows to the head. Marloes is in big trouble. And in her attempt to escape, she exposed her arm and Alexis took it. And it's all over. It was a big upset to be sure and Marloes was mortified. But she has no one to blame but herself for not taking Alexis seriously. So now the title match will be Alexis vs Julia Budd. Also, I think Alexis will make weight with a full camp. I suspect many fans skipped this match thinking Marloes would win easily. It just shows one never knows in the MMA business. Enjoy the video.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Donny Osmond

Artist:Donny Osmond
Song:Soldier Of Love
Album:Best Of Donny Osmond

Of course Donny Osmond is best known as a 70s teen idol with hits like Go Away Little Girl. The 1989 top five hit Soldier Of Love marked his surprise return to the pop charts. After The Donny & Marie Show ended in 1979, he attempted to get into musical theater with the 1982 show Little Johnny Jones. The show was unsuccessful though Osmond would have success in musical theater in the 90s. Other than an appearance in the 1985 Jeff Beck video Ambitious, things were quiet for Osmond in the 80s. He hired entertainment attorney Steven Machat to get him a record deal and Machat hooked Osmond up with Peter Gabriel. This led to a deal with Virgin Records in England. The 1989 album Donny Osmond was produced by Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers. They worked on the music for the film Beat Street and they had produced Stephanie Mills and Gavin Christopher. They have been very successful most recently with jazz singer Kandace Springs. The idea was to give Osmond a contemporary sound so that no one would recognize him as the 70s teen idol. Soldier Of Love was a top 30 hit in England. But Osmond didn't have a US record deal. A cassette of the song was sent to WPLJ New York music director Jessica Ettinger. She liked the song but she was concerned that Osmond would not be accepted by the current pop music audience. So she put the song in rotation as a mystery artist asking WPLJ listeners to guess who it is. After several weeks, she had Osmond come to the studio to introduce the song. Soldier Of Love reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Osmond signed with Capitol Records. Osmond has always given full credit to Ettinger for Soldier Of Love's success. A second song from the album Sacred Emotion was a top 20 hit. Though the comeback was successful, it was short lived as Osmond only recorded two albums for Capitol. This budget comp covers his Capitol recordings. It was at this point that Osmond got back into musical theater and he has had a lot of success there. Here's the video for Soldier Of Love by Donny Osmond.

Friday, May 20, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Ed Blackwell Project

Artist:Ed Blackwell Project
Song:Pettiford Bridge
Album:What It Is?

Drummer Ed Blackwell was best known for his days with Ornette Coleman in the 60s. He was also a member of the Coleman spinoff band Old And New Dreams. Other than that, he was mostly a sideman but near the end of his life he led the Ed Blackwell Project. He was born Oct. 10, 1929 in New Orleans. Blackwell started out drumming in R & B bands in New Orleans. He first met Coleman when he moved to Los Angeles in 1951. But he moved back to New Orleans and had a trio with pianist Ellis Marsalis and clarinetist Alvin Batiste. He also toured with Ray Chatles. In 1960, Blackwell moved to New York to replace Billy Higgins in Coleman's band at a time when Coleman was blazing new trails in free jazz. He worked with Coleman through the 60s. Blackwell also worked with Eric Dolphy, Randy Weston and Archie Shepp. In the 70s he joined the faculty at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. In 1976, he formed Old And New Dreams with fellow Coleman band members Dewey Redman on sax, Charlie Haden on bass and Don Cherry on cornet. They recorded for ECM and Black Saint until 1987. Blackwell also recorded with Cherry and Mal Waldron. He finally decided to form Ed Blackwell Project in the early 90s. He signed with Enja Records. He recorded three albums. Band members were Carlos Ward on sax, Graham Haynes on cornet and Mark Helias on bass. Pettiford Bridge is from the 1992 CD What It Is? Ward wrote the song and he recorded it on one of his own albums and also on the 1990 Don Cherry album Multikulti. Blackwell also played on that album. Graham Haynes is the son of legendary drummer Roy Haynes. Despite kidney problems for many years, Blackwell continued to record and tour until his death on Oct. 7, 1992 at age 62. Here's a video for Pettiford Bridge by Ed Blackwell Project.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Billy Idol

Artist:Billy Idol
Song:Cradle Of Love

Billy Idol's success in the 80s was based on his music videos in constant rotation in the early days of MTV. None of those songs were radio hits and it wasn't until later that he had a number one hit. The 1990 top five hit Cradle Of Love was Idol's final big hit. He was born William Broad Nov. 30, 1955 in Stanmore, Middlesex, England. I guess he wasn't a very good student because a teacher described him as "idle". Broad wanted to call himself Billy Idle but he didn't think he could because of Monty Python's Eric Idle so he chose Billy Idol. By 1976, Idol was part of the emerging London punk music scene as lead singer of Generation X. They had chart success in England but they split up in 1980 after recording three albums. Idol signed a solo deal with Chrysalis Records. He moved to New York and met guitarist Steve Stevens who would become his main collaborator through the 80s. Stevens also worked as a session musician. Other band members were bassist Phil Felt and drummer Gregg Gerson. Idol's producer for most of the 80s was Keith Forsey who was heavily influenced by Georgio Moroder. The 1981 EP Don't Stop included the Generation X song Dancing With Myself. When his 1982 full length debut Billy Idol was released, the video for White Wedding was played on MTV but the single did not chart. MTV asked for a new video and Chrysalis re-released Dancing With Myself and shot a new video. It played on MTV for six months but it didn't chart. Billy Idol was certified Platinum on the strength of the MTV exposure. His 1983 album Rebel Yell was Idol's biggest seller. And Eyes Without A Face in 1984 and To Be A Lover in 1986 were top ten pop hits. But it wasn't until Idol's remix of the Tommy James cover Mony Mony was released in 1987 that he scored a number one hit. It wasn't even a new recording. It was on Don't Stop. By this time, Stevens split with Idol to get into session work. Idol moved to Los Angeles and recorded the album Charmed Life. Cradle Of Love was featured in the 1989 film The Adventures of Ford Fairlane starring Andrew Dice Clay. The single reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. While recording the album, Idol was in a serious car wreck and he almost lost his leg. That's why he isn't seen much in the Cradle Of Love video. The original video featured scenes from Ford Fairlaine but Clay was banned from MTV. So they shot a video featuring Betsy Lynn George as a sexy teen but they had to tone that down for MTV. Idol's career went into decline after that through his own personal issues including drug abuse. He was also clashing with Chrysalis and he left in 1993. He wouldn't record again for a decade. But he did appear in the 2008 film The Wedding Singer and in 2000 he did a VH1 Behind The Music special. Idol and Stevens reunited in 2001 and they still tour. Idol's latest CD was released in 2014. You can get all of his 80s hits on this budget comp. Here's the video for Cradle Of Love by Billy Idol. This is the original version and it is not on Youtube.

Billy Idol - Cradle Of Love (1990) from RetroVidz on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Yellowjackets


The jazz fusion group Yellowjackets have been around since the late 70s and they were very successful recording for GRP in the 80s. The group is still around today. The 1977 formation of Yellowjackets came out of the Los Angeles studio scene. Guitarist Robben Ford and pianist Russell Ferrante were members of Tom Scott's LA Express that toured with Joni Mitchell. After the tour, the two formed a band with bassist Jimmy Haslip and drummer Ricky Lawson. They recorded the 1979 Robben Ford album The Inside Story featuring Ford's vocals. They decided to eliminate the vocals and call themselves Yellowjackets. They signed with Warner Bros. and released their debut album in 1981. Ford left in 1983 and he was at first replaced by sax player Richard Elliot and then he was replaced by Marc Russo. Both guys were in Tower Of Power. Yellowjackets moved to GRP Records for the 1987 album Four Corners. Lawson was replaced by Will Kennedy. Former Weather Report percussionist Alex Acuna worked with them in the studio but did not tour with them. Wildlife is from this album. It was nominated for a Grammy and Yellowjackets did very well on the jazz charts. Russo left in 1991 and he was replaced by Bob Mintzer. Yellowjackets recorded for GRP until 1993. This comp covers the GRP recordings. They returned to Warner Bros. in 1995 and they also recorded for Telarc. Yellowjackets currently record for Mack Avenue and their latest CD Cohearance was released last month. They are currently on tour. Here's the video for Wildlife by Yellowjackets.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Opponent named for Syuri's July 24 PANCRASE match

Nicolle Caliari
A couple of weeks ago, PANCRASE announced that pro wrestler Syuri will fight on the July 24 Differ Ariake show. Today they announced her opponent. This show will air on UFC Fight Pass. Syuri won her MMA debut over Kanna Asakura last month. One clarification about Syuri's training. When PANCRASE announced Syuri's signing, they said she would train with Ayaka Hamasaki at AACC. Though she may have trained there, she now trains at the Japanese branch of the Dutch owned Vos Gym. They are best known for former K-1 champ Ernesto Hoost. Syuri's opponent is 19 year old Brazilian Nicolle Caliari. Nicolle is from the famed fighting city of Curitiba which was the location of last Saturday's UFC show and of course the home town of Cris Cyborg. Nicolle trains at Thai Brasil. It looks like she is the first fighter from that gym to fight outside Brazil. Nicolle won her only fight in December. So obviously she is inexperienced. Who knows if she's any good? Fortunately, as you can see by the accompanying picture, she's hot. This was the pic that PANCRASE sent to the Japanese media though eFight also posted a bikini pic. Well, that will satisfy the dirty old men who are already excited about the return of Rin Nakai. PANCRASE posted on their website that this fight is scheduled for three five minute rounds. Hopefully this will give us a clearer picture of Syuri's MMA skills.

AccuRadio Song of The Day-Lita Ford

Artist:Lita Ford f/Ozzy Osbourne
Song:Close My Eyes Forever
Album:The Best Of Lita Ford

Like Joan Jett, guitarist Lita Ford was a member of the 70s all girl band The Runaways. Lita went solo in the 80s. She wasn't as successful as Joan but Lita scored her only top ten pop hit with this power ballad duet with Ozzy Osbourne Close My Eyes Forever. She was born Sept. 10, 1958 in London, England. She was a child when her family moved to Los Angeles. She began to play guitar at age 11. Her big influence was Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple. Lita was 16 years old when Kim Fowley recruited her for The Runaways. The group was successful but conflict over whether they were going to play punk rock or heavy metal led to a 1979 split. Lita signed a solo deal with The Runaways' label Mercury. After two unsuccessful albums, she hired Sharon Osbourne as her manager and signed a new record deal with RCA. The 1988 album Lita was produced by veteran producer Mike Chapman. The single Kiss Me Deadly reached #12 on the Billboard Hot 100. This is considered to be her signature song. But the power ballad Close My Eyes Forever was the bigger hit. It reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. Sharon got her husband Ozzy Osbourne to write and record the song with Lita. Lita was certified Platinum. Her 1990 album Stiletto didn't do as well and Lita left RCA. This budget comp covers her RCA recordings. After one more album, Lita went on hiatus to raise her two sons. She returned to performing in 2008 and released new music in 2009. Lita Ford continues to perform and she just released a new CD last month. She's a nostalgia act at this point. Here's the video for Close My Eyes Forever by Lita Ford featuring Ozzy Osbourne.