Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Here's the match video of Maycee Barber vs Jamie Colleen from last night's Dana White Tuesday Night Contender Series (DWTNCS). The fighters on this show are not only fighting but competing with each other for UFC contracts. Normally quick finishes get the contracts. Maycee is 20 years old from Fort Collins, CO. She is 4-0 with three finishes. Jamie is 32 years old from Philadelphia. She has a 4-1 record. She won her fight on last year's DWTNCS but she didn't get the contract. She says she suffered a knee injury during that fight which is why she is getting a second chance. Like a lot of the fights on this year's DWTNCS, this seems to be a deliberate mismatch designed to showcase Maycee. And though she doesn't get that quick finish, Maycee is impressive considering Jamie didn't seem to want to fight her. Jamie tries for a keep away strategy that is supposed to frustrate Maycee. But Maycee shows a lot of poise and maturity for a kid. In round one, she scores a lot in the clinch. Between rounds, Jamie's corner tells her she needs to get a lot closer to get anywhere. But it's clear that Maycee is much quicker than Jamie. In round two, Maycee scores with a variety of kicks with a late takedown followed by some elbows. In round three, Maycee gets the takedown a lot sooner and the fight is stopped after an elbow breaks Jamie's nose. And Maycee got that UFC contract. she looked very good and we'll see how she looks down the road. Watch the fight and I think you will be impressed with Maycee Barber. Enjoy the video!
Album:Dance For Life
Taana Gardner scored a couple of dance hits from 1979-81. Heartbeat was a top ten R&B hit in 1981 and it's one of those songs that is frequently sampled by hip hop guys. It was released by the popular dance music label West End Records. Taana was born Sept. 3, 1960 in Newark, NJ. She was taught to sing by her opera singer grandmother. As a teen, she got into the New York theater scene. She wrote a couple of plays that were performed. She got involved with West End Records by accident. Producer Kenton Nix was recording Work That Body. But the singer who was supposed to record the vocal got sick. So he needed a singer. Nix's brother worked for Taana's father. He invited her to the studio. She was spotted by members of Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band. They were working on a side project Aural Exciters and they needed a singer. Taana was lead vocal on the 1979 Aural Exciters single Spooks In Space. It did well enough to get Taana a longer look at West End. She recorded a few more songs with Nix. Heartbeat was the biggest hit. It reached #10 on the R&B Singles chart. Heartbeat has been frequently sampled by hip hop guys, most notably on the 1995 #1 hit Here Comes The Hotstepper by Ini Kamoze. It has been sampled a lot. You can get Heartbeat on this various artists budget comp. Taana could have been a big star. But she didn't want that. She does make occasional guest vocal appearances. But mostly she raised her family and was happy to be a backup singer in the studio. Kenton Nix went on to produce Gwen MacRae's 80s Atlantic recordings. Heartbeat is sampled so much he makes a good living from royalty cheques. Here's a video for Heartbeat by Taana Gardner.
Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Song:(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)
Album:Solid Gold Hits
(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party) was the only top ten pop hit for the Beastie Boys in 1987. They had a pretty good run as album artists. I guess the controversy at the time is they were white boys from the suburbs. The other thing is they started as a punk group and seemingly switched to rap for commercial reasons. In 1981 they were called The Young Aborigines. Michael "Mike D" Diamond was the lead singer. John Berry was the guitarist and he brought with him bassist Adam "MCA" Yauch. Kate Schellenbach was the drummer. The Young Aborigines released a couple of singles. Berry left and was replaced by Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz. He is the son of playwright Israel Horovitz. That's when they switched to hip hop and changed their name to Beastie Boys. Schellenbach left and would go on to be drummer for Luscious Jackson. The group is getting a local rep in New York for performing and having the audience film the performances. They were still a punk band at this stage. But after Shellenbach left in 1984, they went completely hip hop complete with nicknames. They signed with fledgling label Def Jam owned by Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons. The Beastie Boys went on tour. A song was on the Krush Groove soundtrack. Licensed To Ill was released in 1986. Fight For Your Right reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was the first rap album to top the Billboard Hot 200 and it was the biggest selling rap album of the 80s. Beastie Boys left Def Jam for Capitol and started their own label Grand Royal. The album Paul's Boutique was released in 1989. Though it was considered to be a better album, it didn't do nearly as well as Licensed To Ill which turned out to be their most successful album. This budget comp is a good intro to their music. Beastie Boys continued to release albums until a 2000 tour was cancelled when Diamond was seriously injured in a bicycle accident. They returned in 2004 and continued until Yauch died of cancer on May 4, 2012 at age 47. Diamond and Horovitz said they would not record as Beastie Boys out of respect for Yauch. They still dabble in music but they aren't very active. They were certainly a big deal in 1986. Here's the video for (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party) by Beastie Boys.
Monday, July 16, 2018
Here's the match video of Carmella vs Asuka from last night's WWE Extreme Rules. This has James Ellsworth suspended above the ring in a shark cage. This is more of an angle than a match with enough logic holes that a truck could drive through them. Logic hole number one is the cage is too low. Logic hole number two is obviously Ellsworth needed to be searched. Never let it be said that Vince McMahon has ever let logic get in the way of an angle to amuse himself. And he thinks Ellsworth is funny. No one else does but he makes the decision. So the match starts and Ellsworth hands Carmella a chain which she drops and the ref gets rid of it. Then he hands her the hair spray and Carmella can't do that properly. Now Asuka is beating Carmella up. She gets her in the Asuka Lock but Carmella gets to the ropes and slides outside the ring. While Asuka beats Carmella on the floor, Ellsworth picks the lock (!) and opens the door. Of course he's so inept that his foot gets caught in the cage. He's hanging upside down. Asuka sees this and comes back into the ring to pound on him. Corey Graves said he resembled a heavy bag. And he's about as useful. They lowered the cage so she could do this. While she's doing this, I'm yelling at her "Oh Asuka! Don't forget about Carmella." This is Vince McMahon making a babyface look stupid for his own amusement. Carmella sneaks up on Asuka and pushes her face first into the cage and keeps the title. Afterwards, Asuka destroys Ellsworth and based on the fan reaction, that's what they wanted to see. That got the biggest crowd reaction. Carmella winning just makes them shake their heads. She's held the title since April and fans are already tired of her. They aren't booing her. They are yelling "You can't wrestle." She knows that. Is that the reaction Vince wants? Is Carmella supposed to be the epitome of the Women's Revolution? The booking of both women's divisions has been so bad lately, it makes me think that it's time for HHH to intervene like he did for 205 Live. I don't know how this angle continues. It should have ended already. But remember Charlotte is returning for SummerSlam. Enjoy the video!
Song:Black Is The Night
Vadim Beare was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia but he grew up in England and now he is now known as DJ Vadim. He had success in the 90s and then disappeared and reemerged with the 2007 album The Soundcatcher and the popular single Black Is The Night. In the mid-90s Beare released music on his own label. Then he released a series of U.S.S.R. albums on Ninja Tune. He released five albums from 1998-2002. These albums were very popular on the British electronica scene. But I guess Beare's deal with Ninja Tune ran dry. And he produced a couple of CDs for the hip hop group One Self. Beare returned in 2007 with the album The Soundcatcher on the label BBE, which is owned by a couple of DJs. Beare is not a musician. The main musician on the Soundcatcher is veteran session keyboard player John Ellis. He has been around since the 80s working with Peter Gabriel among others. He has worked with Beare since 2002. Beare uses several guest vocalists on the album. The singer on Black Is The Night is Kathrin deBoer of the group Belleruche. Belleruche split up in 2013 and Kathrin has been singing with various DJs. Most of the songs on The Soundcatcher have a guest vocalist or rapper. The Songcatcher is probably Beare's most popular album to date. Like many DJs, Beare likes to experiment with different kinds of music. He seems to be into reggae beats right now like on his 2016 CD Dubcatcher 2. He produced an album for the singer on that album Katrina Blackstone. And he does occasional live shows. He is in Germany next week. Here's the video for Black Is The Night by DJ Vadim featuring Kathrin deBoer.
Sunday, July 15, 2018
Here's the match video of Jessica Aguilar vs Jodie Esquibel from last night's UFC show in Boise, ID. This fight was supposed to happen last month in Utica, NY but the New York State Athletic Commission saw something in Jessica that they didn't like. Apparently, she is suing them. Jessica is a once elite fighter who at age 36 is on the down side of her career. Also, injuries have slowed her down. Jodie is a points fighter who trains at Jackson Wink in New Mexico. The problem that Jodie has is she doesn't get close enough for her strikes to land properly. She was able remain competitive in this fight because Jessica was only marginally more effective. Between rounds, Jessica's trainer Din Thomas told her exactly how to finish the fight. She didn't listen to him. The fight was close enough that it could have been scored even. But the idiots in Jodie's corner told her she won both rounds. So she lost round three and the look on her face when Jessica was announced as the winner by unanimous decision was hilarious. I don't know if Jessica can beat anyone good. She squeaked out a win over a mediocre points fighter. Listen to your coach. He knows what he's talking about. Enjoy the video!
Here's the match video of Liz Carmouche vs Jennifer Maia from last night's UFC show in Boise, ID. Liz is a former Bantamweight title contender who has dropped to Flyweight. She has a significant size advantage at 125. But she didn't look good losing to Alexis Davis in her Flyweight debut. Also, she is 34 years old and she has slowed down due to injuries. I have never thought that she is an elite fighter anyway. Jennifer is making her UFC debut. She is a former Invicta Flyweight champ. I think she is an overrated points fighter. Though she trains at the famed Chute Boxe in Brazil, she was a boxer before that and that's all she does. I thought if Liz took the fight to the ground, she would win. It wasn't a great fight but Liz did what she had to do to win. And as with the Cat Zingano fight, I understand why Liz was conservative. She didn't want to make a mistake. But Jennifer is useless on the ground. So I don't know what the concern was. Jennifer's entire offense for three rounds was clinching on the fence. After round two, Jennifer's corner told her she was losing. So you would think she would go for broke. Nope. Jennifer is not the kind of fighter who can go down two rounds and mount a comeback. Points fighters can't do that. I scored the fight 30-27 for Liz. She needed the win and now she needs to beat someone better. Enjoy the video!
Here's the match video of Cat Zingano vs Marion Reneau from last night's UFC show in Boise, ID. This was probably the best of the three women's fights on last night's show. And it wasn't that good. Cat is a former Bantamweight title contender who hadn't won in a long time. And she didn't look good at all in her last fight. She's 36 years old and she has been slowed down by injuries. Marion Is a fighter who seems to be moving up. She's on a two fight winning streak. But she's 41 years old. Her biggest problem is consistency. If she wins this fight she can move into the title picture. But Cat needs a win just to remain relevant. I wouldn't say that Cat dominated the fight. But she was able to get a takedown when she needed it and Marion's defense was not good. Round one was fairly close. But once Cat got that first takedown, she knew how to win the fight. Of course I would have liked to see her go for a finish. But I can understand why she was conservative. She needed a win and she couldn't make a mistake. Sitting on Marion and punching her occasionally was the right decision. I scored it 30-27 for Cat. Two of the judges scored it that way and the third scored it 30-26. There were rumblings that round three should be 10-8. I didn't think Cat's dominance was quite at that level. She never went for a finish and she didn't need to. I was disappointed that Marion wasn't competitive. But we've seen this from her before. She'll be great in one fight and then be terrible like she was last night. Cat did her job but I think she needs a couple more wins to get back into the title picture. Enjoy the video!
Song:On The Hill
Album:St. Louis Breakdown: The Best Of Oliver Sain
Sax player Oliver Sain recorded as a leader in the 70s. But he was a very important figure in the development of St. Louis R&B mostly as a producer. And he had a good eye for talent. Solomon Burke called Sain the Quincy Jones of St. Louis. Sain was born Mar. 1, 1932 in Dundee, MS. His grandfather was the guitarist in delta blues pioneers The Beale Street Sheiks. Sain moved to Greenville, MS in 1949 to play drums in Sonny Boy Williamson's band. Sain's stepfather Willie Love was the guitarist. Sain also played with Howlin' Wolf, Claude Jones and Clarence Hines. After a US Army stint in Korea, Sain reunited with Love backing up Little Milton. This is when Sain, influenced by Charlie Parker, started playing the sax. Sain moved to Chicago in 1955 to reunite with Howlin' Wolf. He became a member of the Chess Records house band. In 1959, Sain went to St. Louis for a gig with Little Milton. Sain stayed in St. Louis permanently and became Milton's musical director. Sain hired Fontella Bass to play piano and he discovered her singing talent. When he left Milton's band in 1964, he started the Oliver Sain Soul Revue with lead singers Fontella Bass and Bobby McClure. And of course Fontella went on to a great solo career. Sain opened his own recording studio in St. Louis in 1965. And he produced all kinds of artists there. On The Hill is from Sain's 1972 solo debut album Main Man. This and some of his other songs like Bus Stop are frequently sampled by hip hop guys. He only recorded three albums and in the 80s he returned to producing new acts at his recording studio. Oliver Sain died from bone cancer on Oct. 28, 2003 at age 71. This comp of Sain's 70s recordings was released by Excello in 1996. It was reissued by Sain's estate as a digital download in 2009. Check it out if you like soulful sax. Here's a video for On The Hill by Oliver Sain.
Saturday, July 14, 2018
Album:Jazzmasters: The Greatest Hits
Most fans are probably familiar with British musician Paul Hardcastle from his 1986 chart topper 19. After that it took a few years for Hardcastle to figure out what he wanted to do. He started recording as Jazzmasters in the early 90s and Hardcastle has been a Smooth Jazz staple ever since. After 19, Hardcastle had a couple more hits in England. He continued to record for Chrysalis and he also worked in TV. For contractual reasons, Hardcastle wasn't able to release music under his own name. He released music as The Deff Boyz and The Acid Boyz. Then in 1993 Hardcastle released his first Jazzmasters album on his own Trippin' 'N' Rhythm label. He also released albums as Hardcastle and Kiss The Sky. But the Jazzmasters albums really caught on in the Smooth Jazz market. Shelbi is from the 1997 album Cover to Cover. I chose it because it comes with a music video. The song is very typical of Hardcastle's Jazzmasters music. It's more aural wallpaper than jazz. It's perfect for the Smooth Jazz market. Hardcastle plays all the electronic instruments. He sometimes brings in guest musicians. In this case, the flute is by session musician Gary Barnacle. You can get Shelbi on this Jazzmasters comp. Hardcastle releases albums as Paul Hardcastle, Jazzmasters and more recently The Chill Lounge in 2015. It says on his website that Hardcastle is getting back into dance remixes which he hasn't done since the early 80s. And his new album Hardcastle 8 will be released in September. You can listen to a couple of tracks on his website. I expect it to top the Smooth Jazz charts like many of his Jazzmasters albums. Here's the video for Shelbi by Paul Hardcastle.
Friday, July 13, 2018
|SARAMI, Alyssa Garcia|
|Nanaka Kawamura, Yuko Kiryu|
After almost twenty years in music, Aaron Watson became an overnight success when his 2015 album The Underdog topped the Country Album charts. The success has continued with the 2017 album Vaquero and the single Outta Style. He was born Aug. 20, 1977 in Amarillo, TX and he grew up in Abilene. He grew up singing in church. As a teen, he wanted to play shortstop for the Houston Astros. He learned to play guitar while attending Abilene Christian University. And that's where he met country music star Larry Gatlin who encouraged Watson to keep writing songs. And Watson released his debut album in 1999. It looked like he was getting somewhere when Asleep At The Wheel leader Ray Benson produced Watson's 2002 album shutupanddance and Benson got Willie Nelson to make a guest appearance. But he was still turned down by every record company in Nashville. So he started his own company BIG Label Records in 2008. Though it is a vanity label, Watson hired an aggressive promotion staff who were determined to get him radio play. They also had distribution from independent distributor The Orchard which is now Sony RED. Watson started to see results with the 2012 album Real Good Time. And then the 2015 album the Underdog topped the Country Album charts. He was the first independent country artist to top the album chart. That Look was Watson's first chart single. The success continued with the 2017 album Vaquero. Outta Style reached #24 on the Country Singles chart. It's Watson's biggest hit to date. And it only took almost twenty years to become an overnight success. Watson is currently on tour. I'm sure he will record new music after the tour. He writes and produces everything. There was talk last year that he would expand his label and sign new artists. It hasn't happened yet but it takes time to develop new talent. He could use his experience to help others. Here's the video for Outta Style by Aaron Watson.
Thursday, July 12, 2018
Here's the match video of Kairi Sane vs Vanessa Borne from this week's episode of NXT. Vanessa is 30 year old Danielle Kamela of Scottsdale, AZ. She was a dancer for the Phoenix Suns before coming to the WWE two years ago. Her only win so far was at last year's Mae Young Classic. As with Lacey Evans, Vanessa is at a certain level and either she has to improve drastically or she's not going to make it. Kairi beat her in April. But Vanessa called her out recently. The match is very similar to Kairi's matches with Lacey. Commentary tries to put Vanessa over. But obviously Kairi makes her look much better than she is. Selling and her dramatic facial expressions are a big part of Kairi's talent. Vanessa needs to work on those things. Kairi takes a beating at first. She hurts her back. But then she has her big comeback which fires up the crowd. And she uses a new finisher. No elbow drop. She takes a double toe hold and bridges into a submission that she calls The Anchor. It's the first time she has used it on TV. Afterwards, she cuts a promo on Shayna Baszler. Kairi says she beat Shayna before and she will do it again...and again...and again. And the crowd starts chanting "again". Kairi has the crowd in the palm of her hand. Next week there will be a four way match with Kairi, Nikki Cross, Candace LaRae and Bianca Belair. The winner gets a title shot at NXT Takeover Brooklyn. So I'll see you here next week for that. Enjoy the video!
Song:When You Dance
Album:The Complete Herald Recordings
This doo wop classic was a top 40 hit in 1955. It was the only big hit for The Turbans. The Turbans were from Philadelphia led by lead singer Andrew "Al" Banks along with second tenor Matthew Platt, baritone Charlie Williams and bass Andrew "Chet" Jones. Jones wrote all the songs and Banks arranged and produced everything. The nicknames were given to avoid confusion. They started singing together after graduating from high school. They didn't have a name and their manager Herman Gillespie suggested they wear caps. It looks like he suggested the Scottish golf hats or tams as they are called. Williams said "I'd wear a turban first". And that's how they became The Turbans. They won a talent contest in 1954 and this brought them to Herald Records. The first single was Let Me Show You (Around My Heart) with When You Dance on the B side. As sometimes happens, DJs preferred the B side. When You Dance reached #3 on the R&B charts and #33 on the pop charts. It turned out to be The Turbans only hit. Jones wrote the song and it was arranged by Banks and guitarist Leroy Kirkland. It looks like King Curtis may have played the sax solo as he was in Kirkland's band at the time. They recorded several singles for Herald and then Big Top, Roulette, Parkway and Imperial. Nothing seemed to work. Platt and Williams were replaced by Earl Worsham and John Christian of The Quadrells. Jones left and was replaced by Reggie Price of The Quadrells. The Turbans finally split up in 1962. This CD has all their Herald recordings. Banks was constantly reforming The Turbans. And he was in an early 70s version of The Drifters. He again was planning to reform The Turbans when he died in 1977. One thing is for sure. When You Dance is a classic. Here's a video for when You Dance by the Turbans.