Monday, June 30, 2008

Haruyama successfully defends JWP Open Weight Championship

JWP had the night slot at Tokyo Cinema Club on June 22. The main event had Kayoko Haruyama making her first JWP Open Weight Championship defense against Ran YuYu. The story was that Ran had to drop out of the #1 contender tournament due to injury and never lost to Haruyama. Booking 101 had the two facing each other in tag matches leading up to the show. The opener had GAMI vs Pinkie Mayuca. Of course everything is a gag to GAMI so Pinkie is at her mercy. GAMI asks Mayuca to demonstrate a hammerlock and then nailed her with a mule kick for two. GAMI gets a rear chinlock. Mayuca excapes and nails a hip attack to the corner followed by a forearm smash. GAMI blocked the follow up and hit a backdrop suplex. Mayuca tries a sunset flip but GAMI sits on her for two. Mayuca hits two missile dropkicks followed by a Boston crab. Mayuca's rollup pin attempts are unsuccessful and GAMI hits a backbreaker for two. The end comes when GAMI pokes Mayuca in the eye and she is unable to continue at 9:16. Yeah, I know. It's a little strange.

Next KAZUKI teamed with Megumi Yabushita against Commando Bolshoi & Toshie Uematsu. KAZUKI wore a judo jacket to the ring. Yabushita & Bolshoi began the match with some chain wrestling. KAZUKI & Uematsu tagged in after some fooling around, Bolshoi & Uematsu hit a double shoulder block. KAZUKI comes back with a hip attack but Uematsu grabbed the judo jacket and removed it. KAZUKI gets a body slam and kicks Bolshoi when she is tagged in. Yabushita tags in with a body slam followed by an armbar. Bolshoi was trying to get loose but Yabushita holds on to it while hanging over the top rope. They exchange holds and Uematsu tags in and hits a mule kick. Yabushita gets a cross arm breaker while KAZUKI occupies Bolshoi. Bolshoi breaks it up and Uematsu gets a German suplex on Yabushita. Yabushita gets another cross arm breaker. Bolshoi breaks it up and KAZUKI tags in and kneedrops Uematsu's arm. KAZUKI gets a cross arm breaker and Bolshoi breaks it up. KAZUKI gets a sunset flip for two. Bolshoi tags in and hits KAZUKI with a 619. KAZUKI misses a splash but Yabushita breaks up Bolshoi's pin attempt. The end comes when Yabushita's diving footstamp sets up Bolshoi for a judo throw and a cradle for the win at 16:21. Yabushita & KAZUKI had a discussion and KAZUKI attacked her from behind.

Next is Tsubasa Kuragaki vs Kei'to. Ke'to begins with a headlock. Kuragaki escapes and after a staredown, they run the ropes. They smash into each other a couple of times and then Kei'to hits a shoulder block and kicks Kuragaki's leg followed by a leglock. Kuragaki gets to the ropes and stands on Kei'to on the bottom rope. Kuragaki traps her in the corner with kicks and whips her off the ropes and nails her with a superkick. Kuragaki takes her down and applies a cross arm breaker. Kei'to punches her way out and gets Kuragaki in a half crab. Kuragaki reaches the ropes and pounds Kei'to in the corner. Kei'to gets Kuragaki in a tarantula and then kicks her several times in the legs. Kei'to hits a Michinoku driver for two. They butt heads and both are down. Kuragaki goes to the top turnbuckle but Kei'to hits a high kick and tosses her to the mat for two. Kei'to continues to hit kicks for near falls. Kuragaki comes back with a lariat and gets Kei'to up in her Metal Wing finisher (pictured) for the win at 13:41.

Next is Tojuki Leon & Kaori Yoneyama vs Kana & Arisa Nakajima in a JWP Tag Team Title #1 Contender's match. Leon gets Nakajima in a backbreaker. Meanwhile Kana takes Yoneyama to the floor and dives from the top rope. Back in the ring, Kana hits Leon with a hip attack but misses her follow up. Yoneyama gets Kana in a toehold and bridges into a chinlock. Kana escapes, kicks Yoneyama and tags Nakajima. Yoneyama splashes Nakajima in the corner and tags Leon. Leon kicks her and they double team her. Kana comes in and helps Nakajima double team Leon. But Leon hits a backdrop on Nakajima followed by a fisherman suplex and a missile dropkick for two. Kana tags in and hits a missile dropkick followed by a lariat and a dragon sleeper. Kana misses a top rope splash. Leon hits a frog splash for two. Kana attempts a superplex but Yoneyama pushes her off and hits a northern lights suplex for two. It gets very chaotic but Nakajima hits a missile dropkick and a German suplex on Yoneyama for two. Yoneyama hits her own German for two. Kana breaks it up with a hip attack and Nakajima gets two. Yoneyama hits another suplex for two followed by a Leon frog splash followed by a Yoneyama frog splash for two. They exchange cradles and Yoneyama hits a superkick. They take Nakajima to the top and drive her into the mat head first. Yoneyama wins with a victory roll at 18:09. Afterwards, one half of the tag team champs KAZUKI comes out for a discussion. Sachie Abe is out so we don't know who her partner will be.

The main event has Kayoko Haruyama defending her JWP Open Weight Championship against Ran YuYu. They have the contract signing and then the match begins with a test of strength. Haruyama slaps Ran and attempts a quick pin. She gets a rear naked choke and a body scissors. Ran escapes and kneedrops Haruyama's knee. Then a kick followed by a legdrop. Haruyama works on her arm with an armbar followed by a piledriver and a dragon sleeper. Ran blocks a Keene Hammer and hits a cross body. Haruyama charges at her but goes over the top on tothe apron. She shoulder blocks Ran and hits a missile dropkick. Haruyama gets a reverse cross arm breaker. Ran escapes and they exchange blows. Haruyama hits a lariat to the corner. She climbs the ropes and hits a bulldog followed by a plancha and a dragon sleeper on the top turnbuckle. Ran hits a dropkick while Haruyama is at the top and both are hanging from the tree of woe. Ran drives her head into the mat for two followed by a dragon sleeper. Haruyama comes back and attempts a couple of covers for two. Ran hits a high kick and an elbow smash for two. Haruyama wins with the Keene Hammer at 21:30. This was Kayoko Haruyama's first title defense.

This is a WAVE youth show

Pro Wrestling WAVE ran their version of a young wrestler show on June 22 at Tokyo Cinema Club infront of 243 fans. It was supposed to be for wrestlers younger than 29 because of course that's Yumi Ohka's age. But of course it didn't stay that way and actually turned into WAVE vs JWP because JWP was running Cinema Club later that day. This also leads up to the GAMI vs Bullfight Sora identity match. But even if Sora loses the cow costume she will wear it again on the July 5 DEEP grappling show with a comedy match against some actor. Shuu Shibutani appeared before the show to apologize for her inabilty to appear on the show due to a knee injury. It looks like she might be out for a while. They didn't replace her partner but I'll get to that.

The opener was Ibuki vs MAKEHEN with Hiroyo Matsumoto, Ray & Misaki Ohata vs Io Shirai, Mio Shirai & Mika Mizunuma. Ohata begins with a forearm smash on Io. Io kicks Ray and then Matsumoto trades blows with Mizunuma. They both no sell shoulder blocks until Mizunuma knocks Matsumoto down. The Shirai sisters double team her but Ray evens things up with a dropkick. Ray follows with a body slam and Ohata tags in. Ohata gets an armbar on Io but Io comes back with a dropkick and slams Ohata's head into the mat by the hair for two. She kicks Ohata but Ohata gets a rollup for two. We go back to the Matsumoto/Mizunuma test of strength. Matsumoto tries to get her up in an Argentinian backbreaker. Mizunuma comes back with a double lariat. Matsumoto does get her up in a backbreaker. Ray plants her and Ohata hits a diving fottstamp. It gets chaotic until Mio accidently nails Mizunuma with a purple flash and Ray wins with a hurricanrana.

With Shuu Shibutani injured, this became Kana vs Ayako Sato & Hanako Kobayashi in a handicap match. I guess Natsuki*Taiyo wasn't available. Kana slaps Kobayashi but Kobayashi comes back with a cross body off the ropes. Kana gets Kobayashi on the mat and repeatedly punches her. Sato hits a dropkick but Kana gets her in a body scissors. Sato gets a Boston crab and Kobayashi stomps her in the head. Sato turns it into a half crab but Kana escapes with a hair pull. Of course every time Kana gets the upper hand, the partner breaks it up. Kobayashi's lariat is followed by Sato's dropkick and a Kobayashi dropkick into the corner. Kobayashi hits a superplex and Sato wins with a German suplex.

16 year old Chihara Oikawa is the very first female wrestler in the submission based wrestling company called Battlarts. Chihara appeared on the WAVE radio show and said she wanted to bring the Battlarts style to WAVE. Her opponent was Fuuka who does have martial arts training. Fuuka likes to show off her kicks and that's what she does at the start of the match. Fuuka get her in a guillotine choke. Then she tries a gogoplata. Oikawa escapes and applies her own guillotine choke. Fuuka escapes and after a failed leg hold, they get up. Fuuka goes behind with a rear naked choke and tries to turn it into a triangle. They get up and after attempted kicks, Oikawa tries another guillotine choke. Fuuka neutralizes it so the ref breaks it up. Oikawa stuns Fuuka with kicks. But Fuuka comes back with a body slam. Oikawa gets Fuuka in a cross arm breaker but Fuuka gets to the ropes. After the break, Fuuka knocks Oikawa out with a jumping high kick the match is over. Afterwards, it was learned that Oikawa suffered a broken nose during practice the day before. Oops!

Next was the first of two WAVE vs JWP matches. It was Yumi Ohka & Moeka Haruhi vs Arisa Nakajima & Pinkie Mayuca. Haruhi & Mayuca exchange dropkicks and then forearm smashes. Ohka tags in and traps Mayuca in the corner. Ohka lifts Haruhi and she delivers a double kick. Then Haruhi gets a camel clutch. Nakajima tags in and gets an armbar on Ohka. Haruhi tags in and after some rope crossing, Nakajima hits a dropkick. Mayuca tags in and beats on Haruhi but Haruhi excapes and takes her to her corner and tags Ohka. Ohka hits an armdrag followed by an armbar. Mayuca gets to the ropes and traps Ohka in the corner with kicks. Ohka turns it around and hits a high kick followed by a Haruhi dropkick. Ohka hits a double arm suplex but Nakajima tags in and hits Ohka with a dropkick. Ohka comes back with a suplex and tags Haruhi. Nakajima hits a suplex for two followed by a missile dropkick. Things are picking up and Mayuca hits a diving footstamp on Haruhi. Ohka holds Mayuca while Haruhi hits a lariat from the top. Then Ohka picks up Haruhi and drops her on Mayuca for two. Haruhi hits a forearm smash for two. Haruhi whips Mayuca into the ropes and Mayuca gets a sunset flip for two. Then another sunset flip for two. Mayuca comes of the ropes with an elbow smash for the win.

The battle royal turned into WAVE vs JWP. It was supposed to be a youth show but we knew GAMI planned to change that for this match. She suggested to Commando Bolshoi that the loser of the battle royal would pay the hall rental. Bolshoi agreed to it. Now they had to figure out who is in the match. Kayoko Haruyama wasn't available as she had a JWP title defense later on. GAMI wanted Ran YuYu but got Toshie Uematsu instead for the same reason. It's a Royal Rumble style match. GAMI & Commando Bolshoi began with wrestlers entering in the following order: Pinkie Mayuca, Moeka Haruhi, Arisa Nakajima, Yumi Ohka, Tojuki Leon, Bullfight Sora, KAZUKI, Toshie Uematsu, Kei'to, Kaori Yoneyama, Tsubasa Kuragaki & Manami Toyota. Yeah, I know. Huh? GAMI had to add wrestlers to the WAVE side to even things out.

GAMI begins by her rope walking. Mayuca arrives to help Bolshoi double team GAMI. Haruhi arrives and attacks Mayuca. Mayuca tries to throw Haruhi over the top rope. Nakajima breaks that up. Ohka comes in and cleans house with kicks. She hits all the JWP wrestlers and then hits GAMI by mistake. Oops! There are all kinds of goofy spots. You have human pyramids, stacked suplexes and all kinds of other stuff. Apparently the deal was that GAMI was expecting Ran YuYu but Uematsu came out and made it look like a surprise. Of course they square off and it's a big schmozzle. One spot has the JWP wrestlers tossing GAMI in the air and dropping her on her back. Kuragaki picks up Haruhi & Ohka in a stacked backbreaker. Of course Toyota is flying all over the place and tosses Kuragaki over the top rope. But then she eliminates herself by diving from the top rope to the floor. Oops! So GAMI remains with Bolshoi, Yoneyama & Leon. The JWP wrestlers discuss strategy but Leon doesn't go along with them. Bolshoi is eliminated and Leon helps Yoneyama with GAMI. They are unable to toss her out. Ohka distracts Leon and she's tossed out. Yoneyama throws GAMI over the top but she lands on the apron. GAMI gets a rollup for two. GAMI hits a lariat but Yoneyama hits a German suplex for two. Yoneyama runs at GAMI but GAMI ducks and Yoneyama goes over the top rope and GAMI wins the battle royal. Bolshoi agreed to pay for the hall rental but someone broke a lamp and somebody had pay for it. Well, they'll figure it out.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Jaco Pastorius

Artist:Jaco Pastorius

Song:John And Mary

Album:Word Of Mouth

Bassist Jaco Pastorius burst onto the jazz fusion scene in the mid-70s but his personal demons killed him by 1987. He was born John Francis Pastorius III Dec. 1, 1951 in Norristown, PA and grew up in Fort Lauderdale, FL. The Jaco nickname is from baseball umpire Jocko Conlan. His dad was an amateur drummer so Jaco started on the drums but a wrist injury turned him to the bass. He played in local clubs as a teen and befriended guitarist Pat Metheny in 1974. Pastotius & Matheny recorded together first with pianist Paul Bley and then with drummer Bob Moses on the 1974 ECM album Bright Size Life. Blood, Sweat & Tears drummer Bobby Columby was hired by Columbia Records to find new jazz talent and Pastorius signed and Jaco was released in 1975. The album was a big hit. It was around this time that he struck up a friendship with Weather Report pianist Joe Zawinul and he was invited to join the band. Zawinul said he made the mistake of introducing Pastorius to alcohol. Pastorius remained with Weather Report until 1981 as his drinking had gotten out of control. Pastorius signed with Warner Bros. and formed his big band Word Of Mouth. This was the band's first album. Musicians are Wayne Shorter, Michael Brecker & Tom Scott on reeds, Chuck Findley on trumpet, Toots Thielemans on harmonica, Howard Johnson on tuba, Jack DeJohnette & Peter Erskine on drums and Don Alias on percussion. The group had potential but Pastorius drinking & drug use made him impossible to work with. He was pulled off the stage at the Playboy Jazz Festival in the Hollywood Bowl in 1984 for drunkenness and then dropped by Warner Bros. This got worse until he was beaten by a nightclub bouncer in Wilton Manor, FL and died of his injuries on Sept. 21, 1987 at age 35. Jaco Pastorius was a great talent but his self destructive behaviour silenced him far too soon. Here's Jaco Pastorius and Word Of Mouth performing Liberty City in 1983.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Mogi, Tamada win at June 26 Shooto show

There were two women's matches on the June 26 Shooto show at the Kitazawa Town Hall. They were at the bottom the card so it was difficult finding details but I have found them at the Shooto website. The second match was a Flyweight bout Yasuko Mogi and Ayumi Takeuchi making her MMA debut. Mogi lands a right hook and goes for a single leg takedown. Takeuchi tries to block it but Mogi is persistent and the takedown is successful. Mogi neutralizes Takeuchi's upper body and mounts her from behind. She continues to work on Takeuchi and hooks a sleeper for the win at 2:45 of round one. Mogi is now 4-3 and Takeuchi is 0-1.

The other match was a Strawweight bout between Yasuko Tamada and Kayo Nagayasu. They exchange punches and Tamada pushes Nagayasu into the corner and attempts a single leg takedown. Nagayasu blocks it but then Tamada goes after her upper body. Nagayasu also blocks that. Tamada next attempts a triangle hold but Nagayasu blocks that. So though Nagaysu was on defense for the whole round, Tamada was unsuccessful in breaking her down. Nagayasu attempts a takedown at the start of round two but Tamada uses her reach to land a punch. Tamada finally gets a takedown and goes after Nagayasu's knee. She goes after the upper body. Tamada is unable to get much further but she did enough to win by a 2-0 majority decision with one judge scoring it a draw. Tamada's record is now 7-4-2 and Nagayasu is 7-6-1.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Rome


Song:Crazy Love


Back in 1997, it looked like smooth R & B singer Jerome "Rome" Woods was poised to be a big star on RCA Records. But record company politics got in the way and his future is uncertain. He was born Mar. 5, 1970 in Benton Harbor, MI. He listened to his mom's record collection and sang in the local church choir. As a teen, he sang in a local cover band called Fire & Ice. In 1989, he dropped out of Alabama's Oakwood University to pursue his dream of a music career in Los Angeles. He was a backup singer for Vesta Williams and performed in local clubs. He eventually got the attention of producers Gerald Baillergeau & Victor Merritt. They are best known for their work with KC & JoJo. They sent his demo to RCA and Rome's self titled debut was released in 1997. The single I Belong To You reached #6 on the singles charts and the album sold half a million copies in the US. Crazy Love was the third single but didn't chart. He's a very strong singer and Rome looked to be on his way. This is where things went wrong. Rome says on his MySpace that his contract was with Michael Conception's Grand Jury label through RCA. When he split with Grand Jury, he attempted to continue with RCA. His 1999 album Thank You was rejected by the label and remains unreleased. He signed with the independent Ground Level label and released his own version of Thank You in 2000. Rome has released a couple of CDs independently and says a new album is in the works. Sony BMG even rereleased his 1997 CD as Best Of Rome in 2006. It seems unlikely that Rome will be able to recapture those days. It's too bad because he has talent. Here's the video for Crazy Love by Rome.

Crazy Love
Uploaded by ice1906

Saturday, June 28, 2008

City Executive Committee approves gym extension

Toronto's City Executive Committee has voted to go ahead with spending $1.8M to build an extension to the gym at the Father John Redmond Catholic School to be given the smokscreen name of Ken Cox Community Centre. There is a catch but not a particularly difficult one that is probably unenforcable. The Toronto Catholic District School Board has to sign an agreement to make sure the community can get adequate access to the facilities. Mayor David Miller supported the project subject to that agreement. He said "I understand that some employees have not acted in accordance with the spirit of that agreement." A written agreement won't change that because the TCDSB and City of Toronto Parks & Rec. are in cahoots and have consistently lied to the community. Is anything going to happen if the agreement is violated? Spare me.

Ruth Grier explained that the school board has not and likely won't cooperate with the community. She also said that the Lakeshore Lions Arena is two blocks away and we'd be better off working with the Toronto District School Board. Ward 6 Councillor Mark "The Coward" Grimes wasn't there but he sent a letter begging that the project be approved. The city's reasoning for going in this direction is that this is what they can afford to do with $1.8M. Ruth said it's not adequate. Ward 15 Councillor Howard Moscoe said that it's better than nothing without taking into consideration that a better solution is available only two blocks away. It's very short sighted.

This is all about control. This $1.8M does not belong to the city. It belongs to the community. We are well aware that $1.8M isn't enough to turn the Lakeshore Lions Arena into a real community centre. But Parks & Rec. doesn't want to give up control. All we want the $1.8M and we will make a deal with the TDSB and finance it privately. We will do this with or without the city and they'll end up looking like the idiots they are. And that will be the legacy of Mark "The Coward" Grimes.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-O.A.R.


Song:Right On Time

Album:In Between Now And Then

Roots rock band O.A.R. (Of A Revolution) has taken a university campus following and taken it to major label success and international acclaim. They will probably appeal to fans of guys like Dave Matthews. The band started with lead singer guitarist Marc Roberge (born Oct. 4, 1978 in Silver Springs, MD) & drummer Chris Culos. They were childhood pals. While attending high school in Rockville, MD in 1996, they recruited guitarist Richard On and bassist Benj Gershman to start a band. They all moved to Columbus, OH to attend Ohio State University and added sax player Jerry DePizzo. They started performing locally and recorded demos. They released the demos independently and this got them a lot of attention on college campuses and on the internet. Eventually they got the attention of producer John Alagia. He has worked with acts like The Ben Folds Five and John Mayer. This earned O.A.R. a contract with Atlantic/Lava 142 Records and the 2003 CD In Between Now And Then was their first major label release. Their music is very solid rock in the vein of roots rock. It's a cut above the usual. They also got a lot of attention by performing the theme to the ABC TV series Extreme Makeover:Home Edition. Their 2005 CD Stories Of A Stranger charted even better especially on Adult Oriented Radio. They've also sold out Madison Square Garden a couple of times. O.A.R.'s new CD All Sides will be released on July 15. As long as they stick to this roots sound and don't go too commercial, O.A.R. should continue to do very well. Here's the video for Right On Time by O.A.R. featuring an appearance by NASCAR racer Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Blogger improves my blog

Just wanted to make note of a couple of changes to the blog. Blogger introduced a couple of new things today. First they have introduced a star system so visitors can rate posts if they wish. They have also made it easier to add comments. It used to be that you would be taken to another page to comment but now a comment form will appear under the post. I will still moderate posts mostly to eliminate spam. They have also completely changed blog editing mostly to make it easier to post photos and I can now place them anywhere within the post via drag & drop. That is a big improvement and I may post more pics when writing about joshi shows. I have to experiment with it a bit to see what else is available in the editing function. I am also adding a picture to my profile.

I have changed a couple of links. I have deleted a couple. The Wrestling Observer recently merged with Figure 4 Online and I have reflected that change. I have added a link to Debi Purcell's Fightergirls site and I have added a link to AOL's Truveo video search site which has become the best place to search multiple viral video sites for videos. That's how I found that Toots & The Maytals video on Kewego, a site I hadn't heard of. Youtube doesn't have everything. I'm sure Blogger has more improvements in the works. I guess the biggest one is to make it easier to use outside templates. Right now it's just not worth it to even try. Keep checking out the blog and leave a comment.

Lineup for AKINO 10th Anniversary Show announced

The full card for AKINO's 10th Anniversary Show called Happy Birthday To Me has been announced. The show will be July 26 at Shinjuku FACE. I believe OZ Academy is promoting this show. It looks like AKINO will appear in most of the matches. The main event is a 10th Anniversary Commammorative Match with AKINO facing her old tag team partner Ayako Hamada. Ayako will have her own 10th anniversary show in September. Those two sure bring back a lot of great memories.

The opening match will be a Camp AKINO Professional Wrestling Debut Match. A lot of fans probably aren't aware that AKINO has been renting space at the U-File dojo and running her own wrestling school for a while now. Two of her trainees will debut with Ayumi Kurihara special ref. There will be a battle royal with Dynamite Kansai, Hikaru, GAMI, Bullfight Sora, Kyoko Kimura, Commando Bolshoi, Fuuka, Ranmaru, Carlos Amano, Chikayo Nagashima and more to be added. AKINO will team with Tsubasa Kuragaki vs Tojuki Leon & a partner TBA. And there will be a noki-A match with Aja Kong & Mohammed Yune vs noki-A & Men's noki-A. Though fans know AKINO is under the noki-A mask, she has always kept kayfabe. The character has been inactive in recent years so I wouldn't be surprised to see her retire the character at this show. Men's noki-A made his only appearance on an El Gran Hamada mixed match show last year. I don't see Mariko Yoshida or Mayumi Ozaki on this card but I expect them to be on the show.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Irakere


Song:Cuando Canta El Corazon (When My Heart Sings)

Album:Live At Ronnie Scott's

Irakere has been Cuba's number one jazz band since the 1970s. The group has always been led by legendary pianist Jesus "Chucho" Valdes. He was born Oct. 9, 1941 in Quivican, Cuba and is the son of pianist and bandleader Jesus "Bebo" Valdes. Of course Valdes is also a tremendous solo artist but he has led Irakere since 1973. Original members included sax player Paquito D'Riviera and trumpeter Arturo Sandoval. Irakere became known for its mix of traditional Cuban instruments and powerful contemporary jazz themes. They had a global reputation by the late 70s except in the US. Columbia wanted to sign them but had to work out a deal with the Cuban government. Irakere released two highly acclaimed albums and even won a Grammy. It all came to a halt when D'Riviera defected when Irakere was in Spain. Then Columbia jazz A & R head Bruce Lundvall was blamed and the deal was cancelled. Lundvall also helped Sandoval defect in 1990 and then signed Irakere to Blue Note in the 90s. Valdes continued Irakere and Live At Ronnie Scott's in London was released by World Pacific in 1991. Musicians include Carlos Averhoff & Cesar Lopez on sax, Juan Monguia & Adalberto Moreno on trumpet, Orlando Valle on flute, Carlos Morales on guitar, Carlos del Puerto on bass, Enrique Pla on drums and Miguel Dias & Carlos Valdes on percussion. Fans of high energy jazz will enjoy this CD. Irakere was finally allowed to appear in the US by the Cuban government in 1996. Chucho Valdes continues to enthrall jazz fans with his musicianship and he also reforms Irakere occasionally as well. Here's Irakere performing Explosion at the Newport Jazz Festival 1993.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

More details of Daily Sports joshi shows announced

Daily Sports held a press conference today to announce more details of the 60th Anniversary called 2008 Summer Dream. The first show will be July 21 at IMP Hall in Osaka and the second show will be Aug. 3 at Korakuen Hall. The emphasis here will be on nostalgia headlined by the Daily Sports Woman Tag Team Championship. And the big news is that the Jumping Bomb Angels will reunite. Noriyo Tateno & Itzuki Yamazaki were at the press conference. Yoshiko Tamura & Azumi Hyuga were previously announced but with Hyuga out of action, Arisa Nakajima will step in. Also previously announced were Manami Toyota & Yumiko Hotta and Kayoko Haruyama & Tsubasa Kuragaki. They have now added The Double Inoues (Kyoko & Takako Inoue) and The Dynamite Gals (Jumbo Hori & Yukari Omori).

Itsuki Yamazaki said she is very excited to return to joshi for this tournament and is also excited about the return of The Dynamite Gals and looks forward to facing them. She says they want to recreate the spirit of joshi from the 1980s and bring back a lot of memories for fans. They were also joking around about Jumbo Hori as the first joshi grandma. Arisa Nakajima says she is excited to be the youngest wrestler in the tournament and all the wrestlers were excited about the return of the Jumping Bomb Angels. They have belts for this title but I don't know what will happen to them afterwards.

The other big announcement is the debut of a masked wrestler called Tiger Lady. She will team with Commando Bolshoi on both shows. They will face Fuuka Kidd & Ran Maru in Osaka and Jaguar Yokota & Kaori Yoneyama at Kaorakuen. Bolshoi talked about her a bit and says Tiger Lady is a high flyer. I suspect that Tiger Lady is a JWP wrestler like maybe Aska Ohki. Other matches announced for the Osaka show are Dump Matsumoto & Sasori vs GAMI & KAORU, Davil Masami, Ran YuYu & Toshie Uematsu vs Kaoru Ito, Takako Inoue & Hanako Kobayashi and Ayako Sato & Misaki Ohata vs Tyrannosaurus Okuda & Pinkie Mayuca. All this and a battle royal too. And there's more to come.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-The Earls

Artist:The Earls

Song:Lookin' For My Baby

Album:The Doo Wop Box

Here is yet another obscure song from Rhino's 4CD Doo Wop Box. The Earls had one chart hit in 1963 but this wasn't it. The leader of The Earls was Larry Chance (born Larry Figueredo Oct. 19, 1940 in Philadelphia). He moved to The Bronx as a teen and formed a group called The Hi Hatters in 1957. Other members were Bob Del Din, Eddie Harder. Larry Palumbo & John Wray. They were spotted by Rome Records owner Johnny Powers singing in front of a subway station and he took them into the studio in 1959. They recorded as The Hi Hatters but Larry got The Earls out of the phone book and changed his own name to Larry Chance. Then Larry Palumbo died in a skydiving accident in 1960. Rome finally released Lookin' For My Baby in 1961 and though it was a hit in New York City, the label didn't have the distribution to take it national. The Earls had better luck when Stan Vincent's Old Town label released Remember Then in 1963 and it reached #24 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Earls continued to record but never charted again. Larry Chance had a brief solo career in the late 60s and then reformed The Earls for a stint at ABC Records. He still leads a version of The Earls today. Here's a video of Lookin' For My Baby by The Earls.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

NEO Mid Summer Tag Tournament returns

After skipping it in 2007, NEO has announced the return of their Mid Summer Tag Tournament. There will be eight teams in a one day tournament on July 13 at Korakuen Hall. They had a press conference last week to tease it and used the June 21 Itabashi Green Hall show to firm up a couple of teams. The teams are Ktoko Inoue & Hiroyo Matsumoto, Haruka Matsuo & Fuuka, Kyoko Kimura & Atsuko Emoto, Etsuko Mita & Makoto, Misae Genki & Aya Yuki, two of the Red Passion wrestlers (Nanae Takahashi, Kana, Natsuki*Taiyo) and Yoshiko Tamura & Arisa Nakajima. According to NEO President Koda, the orginal partner was to be Azumi Hyuga but of course she's out so Nakajima will fill in.

The June 21 Itabashi Green Hall show led off with Tanny Mouse vs Cherry. I guess these two have been feuding though I'd call it more of a running gag. Cherry was wearing a new costume though it was a standard Speedo with her pink pants so she may have been protecting an injury. They run the ropes quite a bit and Tanny gets the edge with an exploder suplex. Cherry typically tries to steal a win with a roll up for two. Then she gets an ankle lock on Tanny. But Tanny wins with a roll up pin of her own at 5:00. It was perceived as a quick count by ref Tommy Ran and Cherry discussed it with Tanny afterwards.

Next up was Haruka Matsuo vs Shuu Shibutani. Shibutani begins with a dropkick followed by a running elbow in the corner and a body slam. She gets Matsuo in a rear chinlock but Matsuo reverses that and turns it into a dragon sleeper. They run the ropes and Shibutani hits a dropkick followed by a DDT. Matsuo comes back with a northern lights suplex followed by two German suplexes for two. Matsuo gets Shibutani in a full nelson for a dragon suplex but counters it and hits a fisherman suplex for two. Shibutani gets a sunset flip for two but Matsuo reverses that and wins at 10:09. Shibutani injured her knee during the match and would miss Sunday's Pro Wrestling WAVE show.

Next was Toshie Uematsu & Hiroyo Matsumoto vs Yuki Miyazaki & Hiroyo Muto. It starts as a schmozzle but Muto gets a body slam on Uematsu followed by a foot to the face. Uematsu turns that around with stomps and Matsumoto tags in and continues the attack. Mitazaki breaks it up and hits a hip attack on Matsumoto. Miyazaki gets Uematsu in a fireman's carry but Uematsu wriggles out with a roll up for two. Matsumoto tags in and hits a sidewalk slam on Miyazaki. Uematsu comes in to help but Miyazaki hits a double lariat when whipped into the ropes. Matsumoto & Muto collide and yell at each other but Matsumoto hitsa shoulder block followed by a suplex for two. Muto places Uematsu on the top turnbuckle for a superplex. But Matsumoto catches her in an Argentinian backbreaker and slams her so Uematsu can win with a roll up at 15:00.

Next is Kyoko Kimura & Atsuko Emoto vs Kyoko Inoue & Etsuko Mita. Kimura throws Inoue out of the ring and slams her into the post. Back in the ring, Mita hits a piledriver on Emoto. Emoto & Kimura double team Mita but Inoue comes back and gets Emoto in a camel clutch. Emoto bites her and tags Kimura. Mita tags in and double chops Kimura. Inoue tags in and shoulder blocks Emoto. Kimura & Emoto attempt a double team but Inoue hits a double lariat. They continue to try and double team Inoue but it's not very successful. After Mita hits a suplex and a piledriver on Kimura, Emoto attacks her with a chair. They sit her on the chair and Kimura hits the Big Boots for the win at 16:56. Afterwards, Kimura attacks Makoto and that sets up the Mita/Makoto team and Matsumoto comes into the ring and Inoue chooses her to be her partner. Two more teams for the tournament.

The main event was Nanae Takahashi, Kana & Natsuki*Taiyo (now called Red Passion) vs Yoshiko Tamura, Misae Genki & Aya Yuki. Red Passion attempts to gang up on Yuki but she hits a cross body off the ropes on all three and Genki & Tamura help her beat down Natsuki. Takahashi hits Yuki with a forearm smash. Genki tags in and hits a hip attack to the corner on Takahashi. Kana comes in to break that up and gets her own hip attack on Genki. Tamura tags in and beats on Kana. Yuki tags in and adds kicks. Kana applies a half crab and tags in Natsuki. She nails Yuki with a flying forearm and rolls up Tamura for two when she tags in. Tamura comes back with a suplex and a body slam. Kana tags in with a hip attack on Tamura followed by a half crab. Tamura comes back with knees to Kana's face in the corner followed by a diamond cutter and a suplex for two. Genki tags in and hits an atomic drop and a power slam for two. Natsuki tags in and is welcomed by a Genki power slam. Natsuki rolls her up for two. Genki hits a flying elbow drop on Takahashi but Takahashi escapes and finishes Yuki with the NanaRack at 24:31. Afterwards, there was some discussion about Tamura's possible partner for the tournament with the NEO Machine Gunz taunting her. Now we know it will be Nakajima. And Red Passion hasn't announced their combination yet.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-The Ventures

Artist:The Ventures

Song:Diamond Head

Album:Live In Japan '65

The Ventures were the most popular instrumental pop group of the 60s with hits like Walk, Don't Run and Hawaii Five-O. By the time Diamond Head was released in 1965, things were slowing down for the group but then they became huge stars in Japan through the 70s. The group was started in Tacoma, WA by construction workers and hobby guitarists Bob Bogle (born Jan. 16, 1934 in Portland, OR) and Don Wilson (born Feb. 10, 1933 in Tacoma). They were originally called The Impacts and then The Versatones. They released a couple of vocal singles independently in 1959 but were unsuccessful. Bogle & Wilson were more interested in the sound of the guitar anyway so decided to ditch the vocals and recruited bassist Nokie Edwards (born May 9, 1935 in Lahoma, OK) & drummer Skip Moore AKA Howie Johnson (born 1938 in Tacoma). Apparently the idea for Walk, Don't Run came from a Chet Atkins record. The song was released locally and became a hit and then the Liberty Records subsidiary Dolton came calling and by the summer of 1960, Walk, Don't Run was #2 on the charts. Howie Johnson left in 1962 and was replaced by Mel Taylor. The Ventures continued to have success in the early 60s but Diamond Head only reached #70 on the charts. Hawaii Five-O would be their last US chart hit in 1967. But The Ventures became huge stars in Japan. Live In Japan '65 was only available in Japan for years and was released on 2CDs in 1995. Through the 70s The Ventures recorded many records strictly for the Japanese market and sold over 40 million records there. Over the years, The Ventures have been categorized as surf music but it's pretty clear that they weren't really part of that scene. But they were pioneers in guitar instrumental music and a lot of fun to listen to. Bob Bogle & Don Wilson still tour the world as The Ventures today. Here's The Ventures performing Diamond Head & Caravan on Shindig Feb. 1965.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

People In Motion 2008

Again this year I went to the People In Motion show at the Queen Elizabeth Building at the CNE on June 6. Of course this is the free trade show for the disabled. Some of you may know that I am on the board of directors of the Robert Cooke Co-op in south Etobicoke. Our co-op manager Nancy Gipson accompanied me to the show this year. Though we have accessible units in the co-op, the building is now fifteen years old and as one who lives in one of those units, we have to look at upgrading the units to make them more accessible. The kitchens in particular need to be redone. They're just not very good. So Nancy came to the show to get information about contractors and we will get some quotes to do the work. Since I will be involved in this process, you can expect me to write about it in the future. Stay tuned for that.

There were a couple of new developments at the show this year. The most interesting comes from the Toronto Transit Commission. The TTC displayed a prototype of a new subway car. The biggest feature of the car is there will no longer be poles in the middle of the floor of the car. This means that it will a lot easier for a wheelchair to move around in the car. They will also have pop up seats and we'll be able to slide right into the space. So it looks pretty good. TTC Wheeltrans introduced internet trip booking at the show. Unfortunately, they didn't have a demo of the service at the show but they did give out complete instructions. So I will have to wait until I use it to determine the effectiveness of this new feature. Stay tuned for that too.

The other new product has the potential to revolutionize the accessible taxi business. Anyone who has taken a power chair on a van knows that there's not a lot of room to move around. It's a tight squeeze. And anyone who has shopped for an accessible van knows how daunting a task that is. Peter Grande is best known as the owner of World In Motion accessible transport. He also owns a leasing company and finances accessible vans. I met Peter at last year's show. Peter introduced a new concept called The Standard Taxi. The idea is to produce a more economical accessible taxi that will be much easier to operate and more passenger friendly. It looks like a Hummer. But the big thing is that it is designed to hold four passengers and a wheelchair. It has a much smaller footprint than any current van so it takes up less space while having more room for passengers. It's built much lower to the ground so the wheelchair ramp is lower than normal. And it even has a full trunk. It also has many state of the art safety features that I doon't have the space to go into. Peter says The Standard Taxi is scheduled to be available in the fall of 2009 and you can check out the website at

Ian & Stephanie Mellor once again did a great job of staging the annual People In Motion show. Next year will be the show's 20th anniversary and will be June 5 & 6 at the Queen Elizabeth Building. I always get my new supply of pens and this year I even won a multimedia headset at the Citizens With Disabilities-Ontario booth. So thanks to those folks. Circle next year's date on your calendar. You never know what kind of products and services can help the quality of your life. See you next year.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-The Grass Roots

Artist:The Grass Roots

Song:Sooner Or Later

Album:All Time Greatest Hits

The Grass Roots were a very popular pop group from the late 60s. They had 13 gold singles and 1971's Sooner Or Later was their final top ten hit. But they weren't really a band at first. The idea for The Grass Roots came from Dunhill Records house producers Steve Barri (born Steven Lipkin Feb. 23, 1942 in Brooklyn, NY) & P.F. Sloan (born Philip Schlein Sept. 18, 1945 in New York City). Dunhill had asked the two to come up with some songs to take advantage of the burgeoning folk rock movement of 1965. So they came up with a song called Where Were You When I Needed You sung by Sloan and it was sent to a Los Angeles radio station under the name The Grass Roots. So now they had to find a group to go with the name. Sloan recruited a San Francisco group called The Bedouins because he liked the lead singer Bill Fulton. Fulton recorded some vocals over the already recorded tracks but the group didn't like the music and with the exception of drummer Joel Larson, they left. Sloan & Barri still had to find a group for The Grass Roots name. They found a Los Angeles band called The 13th Floor and they gave them the choice of recording under their own name or they could take advantage of The Grass Roots track record. They chose the latter and Rob Grill (born Nov. 30, 1943 in Los Angeles) became the lead singer. There were different members over the years but Grill has been the constant presence. Their first single Let's Live For Today was a top ten hit in 1967. Sloan left to try and launch his own solo career but Barri continued to produce the group and let them write their own songs too. They had a lot of success and Sooner Or Later was their final top ten single in 1971. This budget comp is pretty good. Rob Grill continues to lead a version of The Grass Roots today. P.F. Sloan never had much success as a solo artist mainly due to health problems. Steve Barri continued to have great success as a producer through the 70s and is currently Senior Vice President of Gold Circle Entertainment. So The Grass Roots were manufactured in the recording studio but turned out to be an entertaining group. Here's The Grass Roots performing Sooner Or Later on the Kenny Rogers & The First Edition show in 1971. The girl is First Edition member Mary Arnold.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Rev. James Cleveland

Artist:Rev. James Cleveland

Song:In God's Own Time (My Change Will Come)

Album:James Cleveland Sings With The World's Greatest Choirs

When you listen to any of today's hot contemporary gospel artists, you have to remember that the sound of contemporary gospel started with Rev. James Cleveland. He was born Dec. 5, 1932 in Chicago. He was a boy soprano at the Pilgrim Baptist Church. The minister of music was the legendary songwriter Thomas A. Dorsey. The pianist at the church was legendary songwriter Roberta Martin. At puberty his voice changed to deep and gruff. He continued to sing but concentrated on the piano. In 1950 he joined The Gospelaires as pianist and arranger. That didn't last long but Martin hired him to work with her as a songwriter. His big break came in the mid-50s when Albertina Walker hired him to work with the legendary gospel group The Caravans. He was a temperamental guy so he would bounce around various groups but he kept returning to The Caravans. As Cleveland's reputation grew, he finally signed as a solo artist with Savoy Records in 1962. He would remain with Savoy for most of his career. He eventually moved to Los Angeles and started the Southern California Community Choir and also founded the Gospel Music Workshop Of America. Cleveland wrote many songs that are considered standards of gospel music today. And he also wrote more complex arrangements that incorporated other styles of black music. Savoy has released so many James Cleveland comps that it's impossible to make any sense of them. I can't seem to find a detailed discography. Rev. James Cleveland died of a heart attack on Feb. 19, 1991 at age 59. He was a true legend of gospel music. Here's Rev. James Cleveland performing Where is Your Faith with the Metro Mass Choir.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Spinal Tap

Artist:Spinal Tap

Song:(Listen To The) Flower People

Album:This Is Spinal Tap

Of course the funny thing about Spinal Tap is they probably have fans who think they're a real band. Like Neil Innes & Eric Idle's The Rutles, the 1984 film This Is Spinal Tap is a spoof of the music business that's taken on a life of it's own over the years. The idea for the film was hatched by comic actors Michael McKean, Christopher Guest & Harry Shearer. All three played their own instruments and sang in the film. The film was a film within a film about this heavy metal band called Spinal Tap. Rob Reiner directed This Is Spinal Tap and also played the director in the film. Most of the dialogue in the film was adlibbed by the actors. The whole point was to make fun of the pretentions of the music business. The film wasn't a big hit when it was released but has gained a cult following on video. The soundtrack album was a different story. The album was released with a plain black cover as a gag but it wasn't an effective gag and some fans thought the band was real. (Listen To The) Flower People is a spoof of late 60s Flower Power nonsense and in particular is a dig at the 1967 Scott McKenzie hit San Francisco. McKean sings lead. Of course one of the gags of the film was Spinal Tap drummers dying in bizarre ways. The drummer on the album is actually Ric Parnell of the group Atomic Rooster. McKean, Guest & Shearer have reunited Spinal Tap over the years and Mick Fleetwood played drums for them once while wearing a fire suit. They even released a 1992 album called Break With The Wind. Christopher Guest has built a successful career out of similar mockumentaries. But the film This Is Spinal Tap is a classic and this video for (Listen To The) Flower People is very funny.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Chubby Carrier & The Bayou Swamp Band

Artist:Chubby Carrier & The Bayou Swamp Band

Song:Who Stole The Hot Sauce?

Album:Blind Pig Records 25th Anniversary Collection

Chubby Carrier grew up in zydeco music so it's not surprising that he is one of today's most popular and entertaining performers. He was born Roy Carrier Jr. July 1, 1967 in Churchpoint, LA and he lives today in nearby Lafayette. His grandfather Warren Carrier was one of the first zydeco musicians. His father Roy Carrier Sr. continued the tradition and his cousins Bebe & Calvin Carrier perform as The Carrier Brothers. Roy Sr. works in oil rigs while playing music part time. He taught Chubby the accordion at an early age and though Chubby usually played drums in dad's band as a teen, he would take over the accordion when dad was unavailable due to work. He joined Terrance Simien & The Mallet Playboys in 1986 and played washboard until leaving to form his own band in 1989 with brothers Troy & Kevin Carrier along with David LaJeune on guitar and Rodney Dural on bass. Their 1991 independent release Go Zydeco Go earned them national distribution with Flying Fish Records. This led to a couple of records with Blind Pig including the 1996 CD Who Stole The Hot Sauce? This 25th anniversary various artists comp is a good intro to their roster. Chubby Carrier now records on his own Swampadelic label. His latest CD & DVD Live At Knuckleheads, Kansas City was released Oct. 2007 and you can get them at And here's Chubby Carrier & The Bayou Swamp Band performing Who Stole The Hot Sauce? from the DVD taped at Knuckleheads in Kansas City.

Who Stole The Hot Sauce

Friday, June 20, 2008

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-The Chambers Brothers

Artist:The Chambers Brothers

Song:The Time Has Come Today

Album:Easy Rider:Deluxe Edition

A while back I mentioned that Universal's Hip-O label has released a deluxe edition of the Easy Rider soundtrack with a second CD of hits from the late 60s that weren't actually in the film. The Chambers Brothers' 1968 hit The Time Has Come Today is on the second CD. George (bass), Willie (guitar), Lester (harmonica) & Joe Chambers (guitar) grew up in Lee County, MS and sang in the local church choir. When George was discharged from The Army in 1954, they all moved to Los Angeles and started performing in clubs. They didn't get anywhere until they added rock drummer Brian Keenan in 1965 and appeared at the Newport Folk Festival. Their 1965 debut album People Get Ready was R & B but they started moving towards a more hard driving rock style. This got the attention of Columbia Records producer David Rubinson and he signed The Chambers Brothers. Rubinson was a bit of a golden boy at Columbia because of the success of Moby Grape. He hit a home run again with The Time Has Come Today. It reached #11 on the pop singles chart in 1968. Their version of Otis Redding's I Can't Turn You Loose hit the top 40 in 1969. But subsequent efforts by The Chambers Brothers were not successful and they split in 1972. They have reunited occasionally over the years. Lester Chambers has recorded solo in recent years. The Time Has Come Today is a very memorable song and this Deluxe Edition of Easy Rider might be a good place to get it. Here's The Chambers Brothers performing The Time Has Come Today on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1968.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Is the American Fight League for real?

Recently there has been a lot of talk emanating from a new MMA company called American Fight League. You may have read that they signed former WWE wrestler Bobby Lashley. But the big news for female fight fans is they have signed former Bodog champ Tara LaRosa to a four fight contract. According to her management, Tara could receive half a million bucks if she wins all four fights. There have also been rumours that AFL is signing Kim Couture AKA Mrs. Randy Couture. She will have her first pro fight tomorrow. I wasn't going to write about all this until there's more concrete information but something came up today that makes me want to take a closer look at AFL.

American Fight League CEO BJ Santiago confirmed to John Morgan of MMA Junkie that Kim Couture will sign with AFL. He also claims that they will sign 20 to 30 female fighters over the next two months and they plan to have four different weight divisions for women. Of course this could be a very good thing for womens MMA...if the AFL is for real. That remains to be seen. They haven't announced a date or location yet but it's been rumoured that their first PPV will be in the fall. The company is based in Louisville, KY so they're familiar with the venues there.

The main guy behind this company is CEO Jon Hatton. He promoted a series of events in Louisville called Caged Inferno. BJ Santiago has zero MMA experience and used to work for Lexmark. Of course as fans we want the promotion to be successful especially since they plan to invest heavily in womens MMA. But taking a local promotion to a national level and expecting to sell PPVs immediately is a big step. And as we've already seen with the upcoming Affliction PPV, the 800 pound UFC gorilla will take no prisoners in trying to crush upstart promotions. It would be great to have another regular place for women to fight but the MMA dead pool is littered with companies who made a lot of noise only to die quietly. Remember Bodog? I will be following this story closely.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Toots & The Maytals

Artist:Toots & The Maytals

Song:Pressure Drop

Album:The Very Best Of Toots & The Maytals

Toots & The Maytals are one of the most enjoyable of Jamaican groups. The group is led by Frederick "Toots" Hibbert. He was born Dec. 10, 1945 in May Pen, Parish Of Clarendon, Jamaica. He grew up singing in church and moved to Kingston in the early 60s where he met Raleigh Gordon & Jerry Matthias and they formed The Maytals. They originally recorded with producer Clement "Coxsone" Dodd and then switched to Prince Buster. Their popularity grew in Jamaica & England and they started working with Byron Lee in 1966. Hibbert landed in jail for possessing ganja at the end of 1966. When he was released after 18 months, they started working with producer Leslie Kong. Their first single with Kong was 54-46, That's My Number and was a huge hit and would earn them a contract with Island Records. Pressure Drop is one of Hibbert's greatest songs and became popular in the 1972 film The Harder They Come. Then Leslie Kong died and The Maytals went back to Byron Lee. They weren't as successful through the 70s and Hibbert broke up The Maytals in 1981. This 2CD comp is a perfect intro for newcomers. Hibbert recorded solo in the 80s with Sly & Robbie and then formed a new version of The Maytals in 1991. His latest CD Light Your Light was released by Fantasy Records in Aug. 2007. Toots & The Maytals are one of the greatest Jamaican groups and Toots Hibbert is widely respected as one of the best singer songwriters in popular music history. He still sounds great as you will tell from this performance of Pressure Drop with Ben Harper & Jack Johnson on Saturday Night Live in 2007.

Pressure drop - kewego
Pressure drop - kewego

Pressure drop - kewego
Ben harper et toots and the maytals ft jack johnson,interpretent Pressure drop.

Un regal...
Video from schrim

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

GAMI & Sora to fight for characters at June 29 WAVE show

Pro Wrestling WAVE had another weekday show on June 17 at Shin-kiba 1st Ring in front of 67 fans. That's pathetic even for this company. But they had a press conference before the show to talk about a Youth show June 22 at Tokyo Cinema Club. This is supposed to be a show for wrestlers under age 29. I guess that is to do with Yumi Ohka's age. The main event is a JWP vs WAVE Battle Royal. Expect silliness because GAMI was at the press conference saying she was a little confused about the age rules for this match. And though she isn't on this show, Cherry was at the press conference making faces while the other wrestlers were speaking. Of course the age thing is part of her gimmick.

There is also going to be a match on the show featuring BATTLEARTS first ever joshi wrestler. Her name is Chihiro Oikawa. For those who don't know, BATTLEARTS is a pro wrestling company that has a more grounded submission style. It is pro wrestling but minus the usual gimmickry. They have featured joshi matches occasionally but Oikawa is their first trainee. She made her debut vs Mariko Yoshida a couple of weeks ago. She recently went on WAVE's radio show and said she wants to take the BATTLEARTS style to other joshi feds. So they've put her in a match against Fuuka with BATTLEARTS rules. Fuuka has MMA training so this might be OK. I just wouldn't depend on Fuuka to carry a match with a rookie. Other matches are Kana & Shuu Shibutani vs Ayako Sato & Hanako Kobayashi, WAVE vs JWP: Yumi Ohka & Moeka Haruhi vs Arisa Nakajima & Pinkie Mayuca and IBUKI vs MAKEHEN: Hiroyo Matsumoto, Misaki Ohata & Ray vs Io & Mio Shirai & Mika Mizunuma.

The opener for the June 17 show was Cherry vs Moeka Haruhi. Cherry begins with a hammerlock. Haruhi flips her and applies a bow & arrow. They lock up and Haruhi gets a rear chinlock and Cherry gets to the ropes. Cherry bodyslams Haruhi and applies a bow & arrow. She kicks her and gets her in a body scissors. Haruhi escapes and kicks Cherry's leg. Cherry whips Haruhi into the ropes and Haruhi hits a cross body. Haruhi goes to the top rope but Cherry catches her and slams her. Haruhi whips Cherry into the ropes and Cherry cartwheels past Haruhi and hits a dropkick. Haruhi works on Cherry's arm and rolls her up for two. Haruhi elbows out of Cherry's go behind and applies a hanging head scissors. Cherry escapes and wins with her Young Person's Clutch rollup pin at 9:57. Afterwards, Toshie Uematsu & Sayuri Okino rush the ring and attack Haruhi with a kendo stick. Yumi Ohka makes the save. This is obviously going to set up the Idol Army that Ohka was talking about when Haruhi was hired.

Next up was Kana vs Hanako Kobayashi. Kobayashi begins with a hard kick to Kana's back. Kana responds with the same. Kobayashi kicks Kana and mounts her on the mat. Kana counters with a front facelock. Kobayashi gets Kana in a camel clutch. Kana reverses it and applies her own camel clutch. Kobayashi gets Kana in a double toehold and grabs her chin and bends her back. Kana escapes and hits a hip attack followed by a kick, a whip into the corner and a forearm smash. Kana get Kobayashi in a Boston crab but Kobayashi reaches the ropes. Kana hits a knee to the head, a kick and a dropkick. Kana attempts a sharphooter but turns it into a half crab. She kicks Kobayashi but misses a missile dropkick. Kobayashi hits a splash from the top followed by a suplex. Kana gets behind Kobayashi and applies a dragon sleeper. Kobayashi gets to the ropes. Kana whips her into the ropes and Kobayashi hits a lariat followed by a shoulder block from the top rope. Kana hits a German suplex followed by a hip attack from the top rope. Kobayshi rolls her up for two. Kana goes for the dragon sleeper. Kobayashi gets to the ropes but Kana gets the dragon sleeper again for the win at 13:41.

Next up is Yumi Ohka vs Pinkie Mayuca. Mayuca hits Ohka with a forearm smash, whips Ohka into the ropes and Ohka hits a dropkick. Ohka throws her by the hair and stands on her in the corner. Ohka whips her into the ropes and Mayuca hits a cross body. Ohka bodyslams Mayuca and gets her in a surfboard. Ohka gets her in a body scissors and Mayuca turns around and hits her with a series of forearms. Mayuca tries something but Ohka gets a victory roll for two followed by an armbar. Mayuca hits two missile dropkicks for two. Ohka gets a sleeper but Mayuca rolls her up for two. Ohka hits a neckbreaker for two. Ohka hits missile dropkick but Mayuca gets an inside cradle for two. Finally Ohka hits a neck hanging power bomb for the win at 9:02.

The main event is GAMI & Ayako Sato vs Kyoko Kimura & Bullfight Sora. Lately GAMI has been having a comic feus with Sora. She also used to team with Kimura while wearing an afro wig. GAMI approached Kimura before the match to discuss hairstyles. Of course Sato doesn't really belong in this match. GAMI grabs Sora's horns and kicks her in the stomach. Then she gives her a suplex and tags Sato in. Sato stands on her in the corner. They double whip Sora into the ropes and Sora hits a cross body on both. Kimura tags in and traps Sato in the ropes. She whips Sato into the ropes and Sato hits a dropkick and tags GAMI. GAMI blocks a suplex and gets Kimura in a camel clutch and of course grabs her afro. Kimura reverses and gets her own camel clutch followed by some punches in the corner. GAMI hits a backdrop suplex and tags Sato. Kimura gets Sato in the corner and shoulder blocks her. Then a front face hold on the ropes and she pulls Sato off the ropes and drops her on her face for two. Sato hits an elbow drop for two. Then she gets a go behind and rolls Kimura up for two. Sato & Kimura exchange suplexes. Sato pulls Sora on the ring apron. Gami's baseball slide hits Sato by mistake. Kimura & Sora double team GAMI and Kimura leaps over Sora to land on Gami's chest for two. GAMI clotheslines Sora in the ropes. They go up to the top and GAMI takes her down by the horns for two. GAMI tries a full nelson but Sora rolls her up for two. Sora & Kimura hit double suplexes. Sato rolls up Sora and Kimura pins GAMI and the ref counts a double pin at 18:47. Gami complained that she got her shoulder up. It hardly matters. This is leading up to GAMI vs Bullfight Sora on the June 29 Shin-kiba 1st Ring. Apparently this match is about the GAMI & Bullfight Sora characters. If Sora loses, she loses the cow costume and the Bullfight Sora character. If GAMI loses, she goes back to calling herself Mikiko Futagami, will wear a new costume and ditch the megaphone and microphone. Who knows how this will end up?

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Levert


Song:Baby I'm Ready

Album:Rope A Dope Style

When Gerald Levert launched his music career in 1984, he decided to start a group instead of just recording as a solo artist. He was born July 13, 1966 in Cleveland. His brother Sean Levert was born Sept. 28, 1968 in Cleveland. Both are sons of legendary O'Jays singer Eddie Levert Sr. Of course they grew up in the music business so it wasn't surprising when Gerald decided to form Levert with Sean and childhood pal Marc Gordon (born Sept. 8, 1964 in Cleveland). Levert recorded their first single I'm Still on the independent Timbre label and it did well enough to earn them a contract with Atlantic Records. They had several hits including the #1 hit Pop Pop Pop Goes My Mind in 1987. Gerald usually sang lead and he wrote most of the songs with Gordon. They were one of the most popular slow jam groups of the era. By the time Rope A Dope Style was released in 1990, Gerald was branching out to a solo career. Baby I'm Ready was a #1 R & B hit in 1991. It didn't really matter much because Gerald's main collaborator on his solo records was Marc Gordon. Levert continued to record as a group in the 90s but with less success. Sean Levert recorded a solo album in 1995. Levert hadn't recorded as a group since 1997 but were planning to reunite when Gerald Levert died of a prescription drug overdose on Nov. 10, 2006 at age 40. The reunion was still in the works with Dwight Thompson replacing Gerald. But then Sean Levert died while serving a jail sentence for failing to pay child support on Mar. 30, 2008 at age 39. So a very sad end to the group Levert. Here's the video for Baby I'm Ready by Levert.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Tuts Washington

Artist:Tuts Washington

Song:On The Sunny Side Of The Street

Album:Modern New Orleans Masters

Pianist Isidore "Tuts" Washington was a legend of New Orleans music and a huge influence on more famous musicians. He was born Jan. 24, 1907 in New Orleans. He taught himself piano and played all over New Orleans. As a recording artist, he had his biggest success with guitarist Smiley Lewis in the late 40s with songs like Tee-Nah-Nah on Imperial Records. That group split in 1953 and Washington moved to St. Louis to join The Tab Smith Orchestra. He returned to New Orleans in the 60s and played at the Ponchartrain Hotel for years. His playing style was a big influence on prominent New Orleans pianists like Allen Toussaint, Roy "Professor Longhair" Byrd & Fats Domino. Washington finally made his solo recording debut for Rounder Records with 1984's New Orlreans Piano Professor and then he died of a heart attack while performing at the New Orleans Worlds Fair on Aug. 5, 1984 at age 77. This is a pretty good Rounder various artists comp featuring artists like Irma Thomas & Walter "Wolfman" Washington. Here's Tuts Washington & Allen Toussaint performing Junker Blues from the documentary Piano Players Rarely Ever Play Together. This is available on DVD from the Louisiana Music Factory at this link

Monday, June 16, 2008

A treasured momento

The accompanying picture is from a Japanese fan blog that I visit daily. He has described it as a treasured momento. You may recall that when KAORU hit Aja Kong over the head with the desk board, the board shattered. This is a piece of that board complete with Aja Kong blood stains. He also posted a pic of a basketball autographed by Arisa Nakajima and thrown into the crowd at a JWP show. And he spent some time at an autograph session goofing around with GAMI & Manami Toyota. He acquired autographs from both. Who wouldn't want some of that loot?

Ran YuYu gets JWP title shot

It's been obvious for a while that Ran YuYu was going to be the first challenger for Kayoko Haruyama's JWP Open Weight Title. It's just that JWP finally got around to announcing it at the June 13 Itabashi Green Hall show. They also set up a #1 contender match for the JWP Tag Team Titles. It's been a while since they've done anything with those belts due to Sachie Abe's injury.

The opener was Shuu Shibutani vs Pinkie Mayuca. It was the kind of light action you would expect and Shibutani won with a Northern Lights suplex at 10:06. Next was KAZUKI vs Megumi Yabushita. Of course with Yabushita you always get judo throws and various submission attempts. Yabushita had KAZUKI in a leg hold but Kazuki escaped and hit a face crusher. This was the pattern of the match. KAZUKI escaped a jumping cross arm breaker and hit a tiger driver. Yabushita's second attempt at a jumping cross arm breaker was successful and KAZUKI tapped out at 9:03. These two will team up on June 22 against Commando Bloshoi & Toshie Uematsu.

Next up was Tojuki Leon & Kaori Yoneyama vs Arisa Nakajima & Kana. The youngsters start out with a double face crusher and display a lot of energy. But the two veterans regain control of the match. The idea is to make Nakajima & Kana look like they could be champs. So it goes back and forth with Kana and her hip attack and the veterans countering and eventually getting the upper hand. Time runs out just as Leon was finishing Kana with the Leon Stone and a diving foot stamp. The 30 minute draw sets up a #1 Contender's match on the June 22 show.

Tsubasa Kuragaki defeated Toshie Uematsu with the metal wing at 13:44. As you would expect, Kuragaki won with superior power. So the main event was Commando Bolshoi & Ran YuYu vs Kayoko Haruyama & Kei'to. Obviously the talk here has been that Ran YuYu had to drop out of the #1 contender tournament due to injury and wants a shot at Haruyama now that she is champ. In this match the two work together quite a bit and Haruyama suffers a bloody nose when Ran wins with a flying forearm at 20:00. Ran taunts Haruyama afterwards and of course the match will happen on June 22. I don't expect Ran to win though.