Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Song:Side By Side/What Would We Do Without You?
Album:Company: 1996 London Cast Recording
Adrian Lester won an Olivier award for playing Bobby in the 1996 London production of Stephen Sondheim's musical Company. The most interesting thing about this is that Lester is black. He is mostly a TV and film actor. This is his only appearance in a musical. He was born Anthony Harvey Aug. 14, 1968 in Birmingham, England. His parents are Jamaican immigrants. There is a British director named Anthony Harvey so Lester changed his name to avoid confusion. He started performing as a teen at the Birmingham Youth Theatre. And he studied for three years at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. He won a Time Out award for his performance in the 1991 production of As You Like It. He also appeared in a 1993 production of Sweeney Todd. Sam Mendes directed the 1996 production of Company at the Donmar Warehouse in London. It ran for about six months and Lester won an Olivier award for his performance as Bobby. The show was broadcast on BBC and the entire show can be seen on Youtube. Though Lester has returned to the stage occasionally, he hasn't appeared in any other musicals. In England, he is best known for playing Michael "Mickey Bricks" Stone on the BBC series Hustle. He also appeared in the UPN sitcom Girlfriends in 2002 and the 1998 film Primary Colors. His recent TV appearances include the 2016 BBC series Undercover, the 2017 Sky Atlantic series Riviera, the 2018 ITV mini series Trauma, the 2019 Starz mini series The Rook and the 2019 BBC One mini series Life. Here's Adrian Lester performing Side By Side/What Would We Do Without You? from the 1997 BBC broadcast of Company.
Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Here's the match video of Becky Lynch vs Kairi Sane from last night's episode of RAW. Of course the idea is to set up Becky's match vs Asuka at this Sunday's Royal Rumble. This begins with Becky's promo claiming that Asuka spraying her with the green mist last week has made her see more clearly. Of course Asuka has other plans as Becky may be kidding herself. The match is fine but when we return from commercial, Asuka is perched on the top turnbuckle. Asuka doesn't do anything but Becky still has to watch her. Becky wins the match after she knocks Asuka to the floor. And then Asuka attacks Becky post match with a Shining Wizard, Asuka Lock and a head kick. That got fans to boo Asuka. I guess they could have done a DQ finish. The whole point was to show that Asuka doesn't care what Becky thinks. I don't know what the result will be on Sunday. This program could be extended until Wrestlemania. So a non finish would not surprise me. Enjoy the video!
Singer songwriter Frank Turner has had success in his native England. The 2013 single Recovery is his best known song in North America. He was born Dec. 28, 1981 in Manama, Bahrain where his father worked as an investment banker. When his family returned to England, they settled in Meonstoke, Hampshire and Turner attended the Summer Fields boys school. He earned a scholarship to Eton where Prince Andrew was a classmate. And he studied at the London School of Economics. It's likely that Turner was going to be a banker like his father and grandfather. But instead Turner formed the band Kneejerk while in school. They released a couple of albums. Turner's main influence was Iron Maiden. In 2001 he joined the post hardcore band Million Dead. They recorded two albums for Xtra Mile. They had some chart success but they split up in 2005. After listening to Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska, Turner decided to perform solo as a folksinger. He released a couple of EPs and two albums on Xtra Mile. He toured and recorded with guitarist Ben Lloyd and his band Dive Dive with Matt Nasir on keyboards, Tarrant Anderson on bass and Nigel Powell on drums. They still tour with Turner as The Sleeping Souls. For the 2013 album Tape Deck Heart, Turner signed in the US with Interscope. The album was recorded in Los Angeles produced by Rich Costey. He produced the Scottish band Biffy Clyro who are friends with Turner. The single Recovery got airplay in the US on alternative radio. Tape Deck Heart is Turner's most successful album to date. His latest album No Man's Land was released in 2019 featuring the song Sister Rosetta, a tribute to legendary guitar wizard Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Turner is currently on tour in Europe opening for Dropkick Murphys. This 2CD comp is a good intro to his music. Here's the video for Recovery by Frank Turner.
Monday, January 20, 2020
Song:What I Did For Love
Album:A Chorus Line: Original Broadway Cast Recording: 40th Anniversary Celebration
Priscilla Lopez is a Broadway performer best known for her Tony nominated performance as Diana Morales in the 1976 production of A Chorus Line. She's performing on Broadway right now. She was born Feb. 26, 1948 in The Bronx, NY. Her parents were from Puerto Rico. After graduating from the High School of Performing Arts, Priscilla was supposed to make her Broadway debut in the 1966 musical of the 1961 film Breakfast At Tiffany's. But there were so many problems with the show including constant rewrites that producer David Merrick placed a full page ad in The New York Times to announce that the show wasn't opening. The stars were supposed to be Mary Tyler Moore, Richard Chamberlain and Sally Kellerman. After she had success as a replacement in the musicals Company and Pippin, Michael Bennett invited her to the workshops that became A Chorus Line. What I Did For Love is Priscilla's big number. She was nominated for a Tony and she won an Obie. The cast album was re-released in 2015 with bonus tracks, Marvin Hamlisch demos. Priscilla won a Tony for her performance in the 1980 musical A Day in Hollywood, A Night in the Ukraine. She has also appeared in Nine, In The Heights and a revival of Pippin. She is opening a six week Broadway run this week in a new play Grand Horizons. She does a lot of TV guest shots and some films. She played Jennifer Lopez's mother in the 2002 film Maid in Manhattan. Priscilla was awarded the 2002 Rita Moreno HOLA Award for Excellence from the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors. Here's Priscilla Lopez performing What I Did For Love from the 1981 Tony Awards broadcast.
Sunday, January 19, 2020
Here's the match video of Sabina Mazo vs JJ Aldrich from last night's UFC show in Las Vegas. This fight went as I expected. In the LFA, Sabina was known for head kicks. So far in the UFC, she has been a slow starter. JJ tends to win round one and then fade. So in round one, JJ landed more punches and won 10-9. By the end of round two, the worm turned and Sabina took over. I thought JJ did enough in the first half of the round to win it 10-9. But two judges scored it 10-9 for Sabina. Sabina won round three 10-9 mostly with knees in the clinch. I scored the fight 29-28 for JJ. But the judges gave the win to Sabina by split decision. Round two was very close and it could have gone either way. Afterwards, Sabina admitted she gets off to slow starts. This is something she and coach Rafael Cordeiro need to improve as she won't get away with it against some of the better Flyweight fighters. I'd like to see her against a ranked fighter next time. Enjoy the video!
Here's the match video of Roxanne Modafferi vs Maycee Barber from last night's UFC show in Las Vegas. I watched round one of this fight again to see if I could tell when Maycee hurt her knee. You'll notice that she grabs her left knee right after the takedown. The rest of the round was on the ground so it wasn't detected. But at the start of round two, Roxanne dropped Maycee with a punch. But her left knee actually buckled. The punch was nothing. So Maycee knew she was hurt. And more importantly, so did her coach Duke Roufus. Between round two and three, ref Jason Herzog brought a doctor in to examine Maycee. Of course it should have been stopped then. It's part of the doctor's job and the coach's job to protect fighters from themselves. They both failed. There was no good reason for Maycee to continue. My guess is Maycee will need surgery. We probably won't see her for a while. It's too bad because she has potential. The only interesting thing is anyone who bet on Roxy made a lot of money because she was a heavy underdog. But that's the fight game. Shit happens. I just think the fight should have been stopped. Check out the video for yourself.
Here's the match video of Holly Holm vs Raquel Pennington from last night's UFC show in Las Vegas. I said on my preview of this fight that I would like to see both fighters retire. I still think that. This was the co-main event because of Holly's popularity. And fans are cheering as she comes to the cage. But they're booing by the end because the fight was terrible. Holly is a counterpuncher. She's never been an aggressive fighter as her offense is a reaction to her opponent's offense. Raquel hasn't been the same since that ATV crash a couple of years ago. She's not very good anymore. So most of this fight has Holly controlling the clinch on the fence. It's boring so fans start booing. And despite Joe Rogan's yammering that he doesn't want refs breaking up fights, there are times when it's necessary because Holly will continue this if the ref allows it. And that's why ref Jason Herzog needed to break it up just to get Holly to knock it off. Refs have warned her in the past. I think she would have won anyway because Raquel had nothing for her. After Holly won by unanimous decision, she apologized for her lack of aggression. She says she still wants a title. But I don't think this performance is good enough to get her a title shot. Like I said, the fight isn't very good but check out the video for yourself.
Song:You Put This Love In My Heart
Album:The Greatest Hits
Keith Green was a pioneer of Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) who sadly died in a 1982 plane crash. You Put This Love In My Heart is one of his better known songs. He was born Oct. 21, 1953 in Sheepshead Bay, NY but he grew up in Los Angeles. Green was eight years old when he appeared in a local production of the play The Time of the Cuckoo. The Los Angeles Times gave him a rave review. In 1965, Green and his dad signed with Decca Records and released three singles produced by surf music producer Gary Usher. Green appeared on The Jack Benny Program, The Steve Allen Show and I've Got A Secret. Green wrote some of his own songs. But Decca's attempt to turn Green into a teen idol failed. He ran away from home and started smoking weed. He met his future wife Melody Steiner and she helped him convert to Christianity. They started writing songs together at CBS Records and they started Last Days Ministries. After Green's songs were recorded by Phil Keaggy and 2nd Chapter of Acts, he signed with Sparrow Records. Green's 1977 album For Him Who Has Ears To Hear was produced by CCM pioneer Bill Maxwell. You Put This Love In My Heart was the first single. Green left Sparrow after two albums and he sold the 1980 album So You Wanna Go Back To Egypt by mail order. It sold 200,000 copies because Bob Dylan played harmonica on the record. After two more albums, Green and two of his children died in a plane crash on July 28, 1982. Green was 28. They were doing an aerial tour of the ministry and there were too many people on the plane. Melody Green still runs the ministry and she has released several posthumous albums. This comp CD is a good intro to Green's music. You can watch the 2013 doc The Keith Green Story on Youtube. Melody Green has been trying to develop a Keith Green biopic since 2010. It does not seem to be an active project right now. Here's Keith Green performing You Put This Love In My Heart 1977. Excuse the amateur video production techniques.
Saturday, January 18, 2020
Song:Who's Gonna Save Us?
The Living End has been successful in their native Australia since the late 90s. Who's Gonna Save Us? is their best known song in North America and they have toured successfully. Lead singer, guitarist and main songwriter Chris Cheney and bassist Scott Owen were primary school classmates in Melbourne, Australia. They started performing together as The Runaway Boys in 1991 while still in high school. The Stray Cats were their main influence which is why Owen plays a double bass. They started out as a rockabilly cover band. When Cheney started writing in 1994, the group name was changed to The Living End. That's a reference to the 1956 film Rock Around The Clock. Then drummer Joe Piripitzi was added to the band. A demo got them an opening slot on Green Day's 1995 Australian tour. They released a couple of EPs and the 1997 single Second Solution was certified 2XPlatinum in Australia. Piripitzi was replaced by Travis Demsey. For the 1998 album The Living End, they signed with Modular in Australia and Reprise in the rest of the world. They toured the US and appeared on Conan O'Brien and David Letterman to promote the 2000 album Roll On. They moved to EMI in Australia. Demsey left as he hated touring and Andy Strachan replaced him. They played some gigs as The Longnecks to test material for the 2004 album Modern Artillery. That album was produced by Blink-182 producer Mark Trombino. That was their most successful album to date. Not only was it a big hit in Australia but it did well on the Modern Rock chart in the US. This Japanese edition of Modern Artillery was released with bonus tracks. The Living End hasn't been as successful since then. They have switched labels a couple of times. Their 2018 album Wunderbar was released on Rise Records distributed by BMG. They tour mostly in Australia. Here's the video for Who's Gonna Save Us? by The Living End.
Friday, January 17, 2020
Here's the match video of Kris Statlander and Hikaru Shida vs Brandi Rhodes and Mel from this week's episode of AEW Dynamite. Awesome Kong was supposed to be in this match. As I said when AK was first brought in to AEW, her back is so bad I don't know if she can wrestle anymore. For that reason, it is ill advised to make her a major part of any angle. Fan concerns about Brandi becoming a major part of the AEW women's division are because she can't wrestle. She has trained but she isn't any good. And that's why the crowd is dead during this match. No one wants to see Brandi wrestle. Melanie Cruise hasn't been given a personality. Fans won't care about her until she gets one. So that's the setup and this match is fifteen minutes long. Hikaru and Kris try hard to elevate this match. But it's too much to expect them to do that much when their opponents are this bad. And that's been the problem with the AEW women's division. The booking has been awful. There doesn't seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel. Check out the match video for yourself.
The shortlived supergroup Damn Yankees scored a top five hit in 1990 with High Enough. They only released two albums so it's weird that Warner Bros. has released a comp CD. It's also odd to see guitar legend Ted Nugent in a pedestrian hard rock group. But in 1988, Nugent hadn't had a hit in a decade. Tommy Shaw had left Styx and his solo career wasn't going anywhere. Bassist Jack Blades had just left Night Ranger and he hadn't decided what he wanted to do. Geffen Records A&R exec John Kalodner had dinner with Shaw and Blades and he knew Nugent wasn't doing anything. So he assembled Damn Yankees. Geffen passed on them so he signed them to Warner Bros. Drummer Michael Cartellone was in Shaw's touring band. The 1990 album Damn Yankees was produced by recording engineer Ron Nevison. The band wrote all the songs. High Enough reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album was certified 2XPlatinum. The 1992 album Don't Tread didn't do as well. Where You Goin' Now was a top 20 hit. Damn Yankees started a third album but then they split up. It looks like there may have been some conflict between Nugent and Blades that caused the split. Nugent returned to his solo career. Shaw Blades recorded an album for Warner Bros. in 1995. But hard rock wasn't popular at the time so it was unsuccessful. This comp covers both Damn Yankees albums. Shaw returned to Styx and Blades returned to Night Ranger. Damn Yankees reformed in 1999 to record but they were unhappy with the album and it was shelved. Damn Yankees have reunited occasionally. They haven't ruled out recording again. But it doesn't seem like Nugent is interested. Here's the video for High Enough by Damn Yankees. Thanks to Ultimate Classic Rock for some of the Damn Yankees details.
Thursday, January 16, 2020
Here's the match video of the women's battle royal from last night's episode of NXT. The winner gets a title shot after Rhea Ripley vs Toni Storm after When Worlds Collide. The main thing is this picks up towards the end. The first part is blah. They have Shayna Baszler and Mercedes Martinez face off which may be a tease for an upcoming program. The final four seem to be Tegan Nox, Io Shirai, Bianca Belair and Shayna. Tegan runs wild and Shotzi Blackheart was hiding. She was never eliminated. She throws Shayna out and then gets thrown out herself. Dakota Kai comes out and eliminates Tegan. The closing stretch with Io and Bianca is really good and it makes me want to see a match between them. Bianca wins with her finisher so she gets the title shot. Like I said, the ending is pretty good so check it out.