Sunday, August 31, 2008

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Nicholas Payton

Artist:Nicholas Payton
Song:The Peanut Vendor
Album:Dear Louis

Trumpeter Nicholas Payton is one of today's top jazz musicians. This 2001 CD is his tribute to Louis Armstrong. He was born Sept. 26, 1973 in New Orleans. His father Walter Payton taught music and played bass in the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. By age nine, Nicholas was playing trumpet in his dad's Young Tuxedo Brass Band and continued to perform through his teens. He attended the University Of New Orleans and studied with legendary pianist and music educator Ellis Marsalis and was encouraged by his trumpeter son Wynton Marsalis. Payton left school to tour with drummer Elvin Jones and remained for two years. He signed with Verve and released his debut From This Moment in 1992. He also performed in the Robert Altman film Kansas City. Payton was commissioned to do a tribute to Louis Armstrong and this CD has a 14 piece jazz orchestra. His dad plays bass and other key musicians include Tim Warfield on flute & sax, Ray Vega on trumpet, Anthony Wonsey on piano and Bob Stewart on tuba. Vocalists Dr. John & Dianne Reeves also guest star. Dear Louis has been Nicholas Payton's best selling CD to date. It isn't just a tribute but a contemporary interpretation of Louis Armstrong's music. Payton moved to Warner Bros. and the 2003 CD Sonic Trance was more influenced by 70s fusion music. He suffered some injuries in a car accident and was off for a while but returned in 2005 as part of the SF Jazz Collective with sax player Joshua Redman & vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson. Payton's latest CD Into The Blue was released on Nonesuch Records in April. Here's Nicholas Payton performing Bags Groove at the Ray Brown 75th Birthday Concert in Bern 2001.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Johnny Maestro & Brooklyn Bridge

Artist:Johnny Maestro & Brooklyn Bridge
Song:My Juanita
Album:The Doo Wop Box

This is an odd track on Rhino's 4CD box set The Doo Wop Box because it's not an original doo wop classic. It's Johnny Maestro performing a live version of a doo wop classic. Along with his group Brooklyn Bridge, he had some success in the late 60s. He was born Johnny Mastrangelo May 7, 1939 in Brooklyn, NY and was the lead singer of The Crests, best known for the doo wop classic Sixteen Candles. My Juanita was one of their previous songs and was a regional hit in New York. Maestro left The Crests to go solo and had a couple of Top 40 hits with What A Surprise & Model Girl in 1961. In 1967, The Del Satins were looking for a new lead singer. They were best known for backing up Dion's solo records. Les Cauchi of The Del Satins ran into Maestro and he joined the group. Then they got together with a horn band called Rhythm Method and were renamed Brooklyn Bridge. They signed with Buddah Records and reached #3 on the pop charts in 1968 with the Jimmy Webb song The Worst That Could Happen. Brooklyn Bridge continued to record into the early 70s with some success. When things wound down, Maestro downsized Brooklyn Bridge and the group has been touring the oldies circuit for years performing classic Crests songs and Brooklyn Bridge songs. They were inducted into The Vocal Group Hall Of Fame in 2005. So this version of My Juanita isn't the original version but it is authentic. Here's Johnny Maestro & Brooklyn Bridge performing My Juanita on WLIW in Long Island 1984.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Azumi Hyuga to return Sept. 23

JWP owner Commando Bolshoi announced today that Azumi Hyuga will return on the Sept. 23 Korakuen Hall show. She will team with Tsubasa Kuragaki against the NEO team of Yoshiko Tamura & Misae Genki. Of course Hyuga has unfinished business with Tamura. Hyuga will also participate in a talk show with Sachie Abe & Arisa Nakajima. I guess they're going to talk about injuries as that's what they have in common. Abe has been out with eye surgery and Nakajima suffered a separated shoulder on a recent New AJW show. Hyuga had knee surgery in early June and she's a very hard worker so I am not surprised she is returning so quickly. The main event of this show has Kayoko Haruyama defending the JWP Open Weight Championship against Yumiko Hotta. I expect Haruyama to retain and Hyuga to get a title shot around Christmas time. Tamura is still a factor because many fans still want to see a rematch of the Hyuga/Tamura 60 minute draw from Dec. 24, 2006. NEO & JWP have both been guilty of screwing around when they should have done that match mid 2007. Now neither of them have title belts.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Bruce Channel

Artist:Bruce Channel
Song:Hey Baby
Album:Ultimate Dirty Dancing

This 1962 one hit wonder is another song revived by the 1987 film Dirty Dancing. Bruce Channel never had another pop hit but he has had a long songwriting career. He was born Bruce McMeans Nov. 28, 1940 in Jacksonville, TX. Channel was performing on the Louisiana Hayride radio show when he got together with harmonica player Delbert McClinton. Channel had been performing Hey Baby for a couple of years when a demo landed in the hands of Fort Worth record producer Major Bill Smith. After the song had some regional success on Smith's LeCan label, he licensed it for national distribution to Smash Records and Hey Baby was #1 on the pop singles chart for three weeks in March 1962. Of course everyone recognizes Delbert McClinton's harmonica in the intro and in fact John Lennon was a big fan of the song. Channel & McClinton toured England and met The Beatles and Lennon acknowledged the influence of Hey Baby on his harmonica break in Love Me Do. The song seemed to be more popular in England and The Heartbeats had a hit with Hey Baby too. Channel was never able to recreate the magic of Hey Baby but Dirty Dancing has kept a lot of oldies alive. Bruce Channel went on to be a major songwriter in Nashville and wrote several country hits in the 70s & 80s. Delbert McClinton has had a significant solo career and I may look at him at another time. Here's a video clip of Bruce Channel & Delbert McClinton discussing the influence of Hey Baby on John Lennon.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Satomura's return match announced at Aug. 24 show

The big news at Sendai Girls' Aug. 24 Zepp Sendai show was the announcement of Meiko Satomura's Oct. 26 return match. I'll get to that later because new trainee Yukari Ishino made her debut on this show facing Chikayo Nagashima. Yup, it was another Sendai vs OZ show. They all came out and sang a song, Ishino addressed the fans and it was announced that it is DASH Chisako's 20th birthday. Then the rookie led off the show. Ishino hit a dropkick and an elbow. Nagashima came back with a neck throw, a kick followed by a headlock, a knee, a hair throw, some trampling, a body ram and an arm bar. Ishino gets to the ropes. Ishino gets a fingerlock but Nagashima kicks and stomps her for two. Ishino hits a dropkick. Nagashima avoids a body ram and attacks her left arm. Ishino hits a dropkick, a body attack followed by two footstamps and a backdrop. Nagashima returns the footstamp and Ishino hits several dropkicks. They exchange shoulder blocks and elbows. Nagashima takes her down with a headlock and armbar and elbows her followed by an airplane spin and blockbuster for two. Ishino hits a dropkick and goes for a pin but Nagashima finishes her with a fisherman buster and a missile dropkick at 10:38. They shook hands afterwards.

Next was Sendai Sachiko vs Sonoko Kato. They exchange elbows and tackles. Kato kicks Sachiko, throws her by the neck and applies a sleeper. Sachiko escapes, kicks Kato followed by elbows, a body ram, another elbow and a neck throw. She applies an Achilles hold. Kato reverses it but Sachiko excapes and applies a camel clutch. Kato reverses that and follows with a guillotine to the back and a dropkick. They start blocking each other's moves. Kato misses a gullotine and a dropkick and Sachiko hits a dropkick to the head. Kato kicks her and rolls her up for two. Then Kato goes to the top and hits a Frankensteiner and a senton followed by a DDT. Sachiko comes back with a missile dropkick and a swinging DDT from the second rope. Kato kicks her in the back of the head followed by a bosy ram and a dragon sleeper. Kato misses a top rope guillotine leg drop. Scahiko hits a double arm salto and a German suplex. Kato returns the German suplex. They exchange kicks and Kato's running elbow followed by a dragon suplex gets her the win at 13:07. Sachiko refuses the post match handshake.

DASH Chisako comes out for her match with Carlos Amano and is greeted with red paper tape with Happy Birthday written on it. They begin with a test of strength. Amano throws her with a headlock. Chisako reverses it but misses a dropkick. Amano's neck throw gets a two count. Amano throws her and tramples her at the ropes. They exchange elbows and Amano kicks and knees Chisako. The exchange elbows again and Amano stomps Chisako. Chisako hits several forearms and dropkicks. Amano comes back with several front kicks for two. Chisako hits a lariat and Amano misses a lariat then hits one followed by a top rope lariat. Amano's backdrop is followed by a missile dropkick. She hits a German suplex but misses a missile dropkick. Chisako goes for the pin but then kicks Amano in the face and follows with a Hurricanrana. Chisako hits a power bomb followed by another Hurricanrana. But Amano rolls through and follows a suplex with a Carlos Ghosn and an avalanche style brainbuster for the win at 18:49.

Meiko Satomura then announced her return match. She thanked the fans for their support in her absense and said she didn't want her return match to be viewed as a trial run. So her opponent on Oct. 26 will be Aja Kong. Now we get our first look and the new evil Manami Toyota vs Ryo Mizunami. Toyota attacks Mizunami after the handshake but Mizunami gets an armlock and gets Toyota on the mat. She throws Toyota to the corner and wraps her arm around the rope followed by a dropkick. A test of strength and Toyota tackles Mizunami and takes her down with a headlock. Toyota's sleeper is followed by her Indian deathlock spot. Mizunami gets to the ropes. An exchange of tackles and Mizunami lands outside the ring. Toyota hits a tope from the top rope but misses a moonsault. Mizunami kicks Toyota and tackles her in the corner. She follows this with three guillorine legdrops followed by a diving shoulder tackle from the top rope. Toyota does the rolling cradle for two followed by a moonsault press. Toyota hits a Big Boots anda uraken. Then a diving guillotine legdrop. Mizunami tries for the upset with a Majistral cradle for two. But Toyota hits a German suplex, a missile dropkick and the Japanese Ocean Queen Bee Bomb for the win at 18:49.

The main event is Hiren vs Aja Kong. Hiren attacks Aja on the ramp while she's on the way to the ring. That will prove to be her first and only mistake. She dropkicks her and hits her with Aja's metal can. Aja gets to the ring and Hiren hits several dropkicks. Hiren hits a missile dropkick to the back of the head. Her big mistake is going for the ankle lock. Aja escapes and hits several lariats followed by a vertical brainbuster for the win at 2:28. Aja grabbed the mic. She told Hiren that she expected her attack because Hiren is now in the Ozaki Army and is growing up. But she crushed her anyway. She told Meiko Satomura that she plans to turn Satomura's return match into a retirement match. She suggests that fans should be sure to come for that retirement. Aja said she could show mercy after Satomura's long absence but Aja's only thought is to crush her. Choosing Aja Kong for her return match will be the biggest regret of Meiko Satomura's life. Well, that's a good way to sell a match.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-The Genies

Artist:The Genies
Song:Who's That Knocking
Album:The Doo Wop Box

This is another obscure doo wop classic from the Rhino 4CD box set The Doo Wop Box. At least a couple of the members of The Genies went on to other things after the 1958 hit Who's That Knocking. The Genies were from Long Island, New York. The original members were Roy Hammond, Bill Gains, Alexander Faison & Fred Jones. They formed in 1956 but weren't getting anywhere until Brooklyn native Claude Johnson was added. Veteran producer Bob Shad saw them singing on a streetcorner and they recorded Who's That Knocking in June 1958. But Shad didn't release it until March 1959 and it reached #71 on the pop singles chart. Part of the problem was that Shad was more of a jazz producer and I guess doo wop wasn't a priority for him. The Genies were playing their first big gig at the Apollo when Bill Gains took off to Canada with a woman and was never heard from again. The Genies recorded some additional songs for Morty Craft's Warwick Records. They split up in 1959 but Warwick continued to release records until 1961. Claude Johnson got together with Roland Trone and became Don & Juan. Their 1962 hit What's Your Name reached #7 in 1962. He was also part of the popular 70s soul group New York City. Roy Hammond also had a long career mostly as a songwriter. As Roy C, he had a #14 R & B hit with Shotgun Wedding in 1965. Here's a video of Who's That Knocking by The Genies.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-The Moonglows

Artist:The Moonglows
Song:Ten Commandments Of Love
Album:A Bronx Tale

The Moonglows were one of the best doo wop groups and their influence transcends the 1950s. Group leader Harvey Fuqua is a significant figure in black music outside The Moonglows. He was born July 27, 1929 in Chicago and grew up in Louisville, KY. His uncle was Ink Spots guitarist Charlie Fuqua. He got together with high school classmate Bobby Lester, Prentiss Barnes & Danny Coggins and formed The Crazy Sounds in Cleveland in 1949. They started out as jazz singers but met Cleveland DJ Alan Freed in 1952 and he turned them in a different direction. They recorded for Freed's Champagne label. Coggins left and was replaced by Alex Walton & Alexander Graves. Fuqua & Lester usually sang lead and wrote most of the songs. The Moonglows signed with Chess Records in 1954 and they had several R & B hits. But Fuqua & Lester were fighting over control of the group and they split in 1957. But Fuqua continued to use The Moonglows name for the 1958 hit Ten Commandments Of Love. It was credited to Harvey & The Moonglows. The song reached #22 on the pop charts. No one really knows who backed up Fuqua on the record but he soon recruited a Washington, DC group called The Marquees and they were now The Moonglows. One of the members of that group was Marvin Gaye. This soundtrack to the 1993 film A Bronx Tale has several oldies on it. Harvey Fuqua soon moved to Detroit and became pals with Berry Gordy, married his sister Gwen and was a big part of the early days of Motown. Fuqua's work over the years with Marvin Gaye, Junior Walker & New Birth has made him one of the all time greats of black music. Bobby Lester led his own version of The Moonglows and died in 1980. Fuqua reformed The Moonglows and performed Ten Commandments Of Love on the PBS doo wop special.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

WALL-E review

It's been a while since I went to the movies but I plan to do that a little more frequently now. There's a bus stop across the street from my apartment building. But it wasn't accessible so I had to use Wheel Trans. Many regular readers are aware that I hate waiting around for Wheel-Trans. I want to go on my time. Well, the Islington bus was made accesible a couple of months ago. Unfortunately, my power chair brake had failed. I finally got a new motor a couple of weeks ago and I took the bus on the weekend to try out my repaired chair. I wasn't sliding around anymore so I went yesterday to the local Cineplex to see the one film I wanted to see, WALL-E. Everyone knows I love Pixar.

WALL-E is a post apocalyptic science fiction tale. It's 700 years in the future and planet Earth has garbage piled higher than skyscrapers. The planet is uninhabitable so the monolithic BUY 'N' LARGE corporation has launched the human race into outer space for their own protection. Earth is deserted except for one trash compactor robot named WALL-E. His only companion is a cockroach. How ironic. WALL-E is still doing his robotic duties but he has developed some unexplained quirky human characteristics. A spaceship drops a probe. At first it seems unfriendly but we soon learn her name is Eva. Again, the human characteristics of this robot are not explained. Eva is deactivated and the spaceship picks up the probe. WALL-E tags along and it goes to a huge spaceship containing many humans on a permanent vacation. The humans are all living a sedentary lifestyle of mindless consumerism. They are all so obese that they can't walk and use personal hovercrafts. Hey, I could use one of those. So what will happen when the intruding robot WALL-E is discovered on board?

Technically, WALL-E is perfect. The animation is typically fabulous. The film has been universally praised and received a 97% score at Rotten Tomatoes. I liked the film but I didn't like it that much. Andrew Stanton directed and co-wrote WALL-E. He also directed Finding Nemo. It's one thing to have fish with human characteristics but WALL-E & Eva were presented as robots and I think there should have been an explanation for the human characteristics. I am happy to suspend belief but I didn't buy this. And the love story was unnecessary. Too bad Stanton made it a central part of the story. The WALL-E character was a variation of R2D2 and didn't need the love story to make him appealing. And Ben Burtt's sound effects for the WALL-E character (he also worked on Star Wars) were outstanding. So WALL-E is a very good film with some very good things in it. But I didn't care for the love story between the robots. Pixar fans should see it anyway. But it doesn't hold a candle to Ratatouille. Andrew Stanton's next film will be John Carter From Mars. Check out the trailer for WALL-E. See you at the movies.

Pro Wrestling WAVE's 1st Anniversary show

Pro Wrestling WAVE had their 1st Anniversary show Aug. 16 at Shinjuku FACE. It also marked Yumi Ohka's 7th anniversary. So you might ask am I surprised that WAVE made it to their first anniversary. No, I said it's a company that never should have opened. But once it did, they'll last as long as the money mark is willing to pour money down a black hole. It might take a couple more years for him to come to his senses. WAVE has been a disaster from day one. Weekday shows should have killed them but attendance has been a little better since they've gone mostly to weekends. GAMI's scattershot booking hasn't got any better since THE WOMAN. The bad comedy makes for poor wrestling. Of course they're depending a lot on Yumi Ohka to draw but she's not enough of a draw to support the company. They hired Moeka Haruhi but she's terrible even for an idol wrestler. And they're using the same freelamcers that everyone uses. Why should anyone go to a WAVE show? There's no attraction but you could say that about the entire industry. WAVE doesn't need to exist. Maybe they have the occasional decent match but there's nothing unique about them that will draw.

WAVE did a brief tribute to Plum Mariko before the show. The opener was Moeka Haruhi vs JWP rookie Pinkie Mayuca. It's basic light action as one would expect. Mayuca bodyslams Haruhi. Haruhi is whipped into the ropes and hits a cross body. Mayuca hits a dropkick. Haruhi gets a cross arm breaker. Mayuca gets to the ropes and hits a missile dropkick. As a tribute to Plum Mariko, Haruhi applies a Stretch Plum but Mayuca escapes and wins with her own version of the hold at 5:39. Afterwards, Toshie Uematsu recruits Haruhi to her army. I guess that means she's turning heel though Haruhi is the kind of wrestler who is difficult to turn heel. Next is a mixed match with Cherry & Manabu Hara vs Chiharo Oikawa & Yuki Ishikawa. Cherry has been doing a lot of mixed matches lately. Nothing much to it. Oikawa got an ankle lock and Cheery got to the ropes and then won with a cross arm breaker at 8:29.

Next was Kyoko Kimura vs Kana. This one got out of control. They exchange blows and Kimura mounts Kana and pounds her. They wind up on the floor and at some point, Kimura busts Kana open. It looks like this wasn't planned. Kimura continues to pound on her and rips at her face. Kana comes back with a lariat and applies an ankle lock. Kimura reverses that. Kana hits a German suplex for two and then applies an arm bar. Kimura chokes Kana from behind and again rips at her face. Kana gets angry and it deteriorates into a fist fight. The ref declares the match a no contest at 11:55. Next was GAMI, Ayako Sato & Bullfight Sora vs Sayuri Okino, Saki Maemura & Yuu Yamagata. Okino is triple teamed before the bell. Yamagata grabbed Sora's horns. It's mainly comedy spots. Okino hits GAMI with a kendo stick. GAMI does her rope walking with the megaphone.GAMI goes to the top but Okino & Maemura toss her off for two. Maemura hits a German suplex for two. The end comes when Toshie Uematsu distracts Yamagata and GAMI wins with the eye poke of doom at 13:49.

So they had this tag team tournament which amounted to a match with the Jumping Bomb Angels. The lucky team was Toshie Uematsu & Ran YuYu. This is JBA's final appearance of their tour. JBA hits a double lariat on Uematsu. They missed another one on Ran and Uematsu hit a double dropkick. A lot of running around. Ran is hit with a double shoulder block. Noriyo Tateno gets a Romero special on Ran. Tateno does the bulk of the match but Itsuki Yamazaki tags in with a missile dropkick on Uematsu. But Uematsu wins with a dragon suplex at 10:57. The main event had Yumi Ohka vs Hikaru. They begin with a test of stregth. Ohka hits a neck throw followed by forearms and elbows. Ohka gets Hikaru in a camel clutch. Hikaru escapes and hits a low dropkick followed by a body slam. Ohka goes to the top but Hikaru knocks her to the floor. They fight outside and then it continues inside. Hikaru hits a missile dropkick. Ohka hits a superplex for two. Hikaru hits a backdrop suplex and then wins with the Lanakiller-H at 24:13. I'm sure it was an OK match but these two are not main event wrestlers. They belong at the midcard. But that's a big problem with WAVE. Ohka is important to them but doesn't have that kind of status in the industry. So she's a conflicted star in the company. How are they going to resolve that?

Cyborg/Takahashi set for Oct. 4 preshow

Well, the cancellation of the Sept. 22 ShoXC show really put a monkey wrench into EliteXC's plans for Cristiane Cyborg. Loretta Hunt of Sherdog confirmed last week that the Cristiane Cyborg vs Yoko Takahashi match has been moved to the Oct. 4 EliteXC show. So fans started asking me if the match will be on the CBS show with the Gina Carano vs Kelly Kobald. I figured the Cyborg/Takahashi match will be on the preshow which will be broadcast on Showtime in the US and The Fight Network in Canada. Jared Shaw of EliteXC has confirmed that to Sam Caplan of Five Ounces Of Pain. He said they hope to show the match on the CBS show on a tape delay. Trust me. They won't have the time. The main reason to do this is to keep the focus on Gina for the CBS show and it is good promotional strategy to NOT put them on the same show until they face each other.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Jean-Luc Ponty

Artist:Jean-Luc Ponty
Song:New Country
Album:The Very Best Of Jean-Luc Ponty

French violinist Jean-Luc Ponty was at the forefront of the jazz fusion movement of the 70s. This Rhino comp is a very good intro to his music. He was born Sept. 28, 1942 in Avranches, France. His father was director of the school of music in Avranches and Ponty started playing violin at age 5. At age 15, he was accepted into the Paris Conservatory and won the grand prize at age 17. He joined the Concerts Lamoureux Orchestra. So Ponty was all set to be a concert violinist. But legendary violinist Stephane Grappelli got him interested in jazz. By the mid-60s, he was recording with Grappelli, Stuff Smith & Svend Asmussen as part of Violin Summit. Then Ponty came to the US and met Frank Zappa & George Duke and joined the early 70s edition of the Mothers Of Invention. In 1974, he moved to John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra and then signed with Atlantic Records and went solo in 1975. The energetic New Country is from the 1976 album Imaginary Voyage, his third album on Atlantic. It was a big hit on the jazz charts and crossed over to the rock album chart. Musicians are Daryl Steurmer on guitar, Allan Zavod on keyboards, Tom Fowler on bass and Mark Craney on percussion. Ponty remained with Atlantic until he moved to Columbia in 1987. He continued to experiment with electronics but his music became more formulaic. This Rhino comp covers his prime in the 70s. Jean-Luc Ponty still tours and records. His latest CD The Acatama Experience was released on KOCH Records in May 2007 and features Belgian guitarist Philip Catherine. Here's Jean-Luc Ponty performing New Country in France 1976. This video was added to Youtube today.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-The Fidelitys

Artist:The Fidelitys
Song:The Things I Love
Album:The Doo Wop Box II

Here is yet another obscure doo wop classic from Rhino's 4CD Doo Wop Box II. This 1958 version of the Harry James hit The Things I Love was their one chart hit. The Fidelitys were from Albany, NY. Bass Earl Thorpe formed the group upon moving to Albany from Jacksonville, FL in 1956. Thorpe's cousin Emmitt Smith was lead, Clarence Carter & Robert McCann were tenors and Arthur Morning was baritone. They were originally called The Mellow-Tones but changed their name when Maurice Newton came from Jacksonville to replace Carter. A trip to the amateur showcase at the Apollo in New York got the attention of Apollo bandleader Reuben Phillips. He agreed to manage them and got them an audition with Baton Records owner Sol Rabinowitz. Baton was the home of the popular doo wop group The Revileers. The Fidelitys signed and The Things I Love was their debut single. It reached #60 on the singles charts. If you think it sounds like The Platters, that wasn't an accident. The Platters were one of the hottest groups at that time. Despite regular appearances at the Apollo, The Fidelitys subsequent singles didn't chart. Rabinowitz closed Baton and started a new label with Morty Craft called SIR Records. The Fidelitys continued to record but never could duplicate the success of The Things I Love. The Fidelitys have reformed in recent years touring the oldies circuit. There's no performace footage but here's a video of The Things I Love by The Fidelitys.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-George Carlin

Artist:George Carlin
Song:The Confessional
Album:Classic Gold

OK so I guess this isn't really a song but there was a time when comedy albums did very well on album charts. Of course home video has changed all that. And of course George Carlin was one of the all time greats of stand up comedy. This 2CD comp covers his best selling albums from the early 70s. He was born May 12, 1937 in New York City. Carlin came from radio. While stationed in the Army in Shreveport, LA, he started working as a DJ and met fellow radio personality Jack Burns. They formed a comedy team and toured for several years. Burns would find success working with Avery Shreiber and Carlin started working on his own. Through the 60s, Carlin's routines like the Hippy Dippy Weather Man were very radio influenced and there was nothing unusual about his presentation. He wore a suit. But Carlin sensed that morals were loosening in the late 60s so he grew out his hair and started talking about controversial subjects considered taboo. Carlin knew it was a risk because he was present at Lenny Bruce's obscenity arrest. But it worked. The Confessional is a hilarious skewering of his Catholic upbringing from Carlin's 1972 breakthrough album Class Clown. The album was a huge hit mostly because of Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television. Carlin was arrested for obscenity in Milwaukee and a radio station chain was taken to the Supreme Court by the FCC for playing Carlin's records. Of course this made George Carlin a legend and though he faded as a recording artist, he flipped that into his long running series of HBO specials. George Carlin continued to be very funny until his death on June 22, 2008 at age 71. George Carlin did what Lenny Bruce couldn't do. He changed stand up comedy. There's no video of Carlin performing The Confessional but I think you'll enjoy his performance of Religion Is Bullshit from one of his HBO specials. It's a similar subject.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-The Dreamlovers

Artist:The Dreamlovers
Song:When We Get Married
Album:The Doo Wop Box II

The 1961 doo wop classic When We Get Married was the one big hit for The Dreamlovers. I guess it's been a wedding standard ever since. The Dreamlovers were from Philadelphia led by lead singer Don Hogan along with tenors Tommy Ricks & Cleveland Hammock, baritone Clifton Dunn and bass James Dunn. Those two are brothers. They formed in 1956 as The Romancers and a demo got the attention of Dick Clark's Cameo/Parkway Records. They were hired to perform on a session for singer Ernest Evans. That's right, Chubby Checker. And they sang on a 1958 version of The Twist. But it was never released and Evans recorded a different version a couple of years later. They bounced around some other labels until The Dreamlovers recorded the Hogan song When We Get Married for Heritage Records. It reached #10 on the pop singles charts and still sounds great today. It's a very durable song. This and many other doo wop classics are on the 4CD box set The Doo Wop Box II. They had a lesser chart hit in 1962 with If I Should Lose You. The Dramlovers continued to record until 1966 but never had much success. When We Get Married got revived when The Intruders recorded it in 1970. The Dreamlovers continue to tour the oldies citcuit today. Unfortunately there's no video of them performing so we'll have to settle for this amateur video of When We Get Married by The Dreamlovers.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Meiko Satomura to return in October

Sendai Girls held a press conference yesterday to announce that Meiko Satomura will return to the ring on the Oct. 26 Zepp Sendai show. Satomura has been out with a broken eye socket suffered in a match with Azumi Hyuga last October. There was obviously more to it than that or she wouldn't have been out this long. Satomura said she had three operations and a plate was inserted under her eyeball in the third operation. Her doctor OKd her return a couple of weeks ago. You'll notice she's still wearing an eyepatch. Satomura said she's been itching to return and will begin sparring immediately. She's also planning to go to Thailand in September to work on her Muay Thai skills. They had a Q & A session at the press conference. She said she's a little uneasy returning to the ring but she's not seeing double anymore so she'll be fine. Satomura & Jinsei Shinzaki said that not only have they not determined who her opponent will be on Oct. 26, they haven't decided what type of match it will be. Satomura said she has no hard feelings toward Azumi Hyuga about the injury. It doesn't mean she doesn't want to wrestle her but it was an accident. Hyuga is also scheduled to return from her knee injury in October. Satomura said she was very happy with the performance of the Sendai Girls youngsters in her absense. But she's very happy to join them in the ring again. But she'll only be really happy when Tyrannosaurus Okuda returns from her shoulder surgery. I'm sure joshi fans worldwide are very happy that Meiko Satomura is returning to the ring.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-The Tornados

Artist:The Tornados
Album:The British Are Coming

Believe it or not, The Tornados instrumental classic Telstar was the first British rock song to hit #1 on the US singles charts in 1962. Of course it came along at a time when Americans were obsessed with space travel but I'm sure most folks don't know they were British. Unfortunately there were legal issues that hurt the group and a tragic end. The man behind The Tornados was pioneering British record producer Joe Meek. He was born Apr. 5, 1929 in Newent, Gloucestershire, England. I guess he's kind of a British version of Phil Spector. He was a sound engineer who liked to mess around with electronics. He started his own record company and recording studio in his home in a flat above a store. He had some minor success but really hit the jackpot with Telstar. The song was supposed to evoke the dawning of the space age but came out of messing around with sound effects including a flushing toilet as the blast off sound at the start of the record. The Tornados were a real group who usually played on all of Meek's recordings. They were Alan Caddy on lead guitar, George Bellamy on rhythm guitar, Roger LaVern on keyboards, Heinz Burt on bass and Clem Cattini on drums. Unfortunately Meek was wrongly sued for plagiarism by French composer Jean Ledrut and that prevented him from taking full advantage of his success. But Joe Meek continued to compose music for films and had a #1 British hit with The Honeycombs 1964 song Have I The Right. As his business declined, Meek seemed to deteriorate mentally and he shot his landlady and then killed himself on Feb. 3, 1967 at age 37. The Tornados never were able to recreate their Telstar success but Heinz Burt led several versions of the group until his death in 2000. And this 4CD comp has Telstar and many other British Invasion hits. Here are The Tornados performing Telstar on TV in Germany.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Manami Toyota gets new name...sort of

So joshi puroresu legend Manami Toyota has lost the rights to her ring name. So fans want to know her new name. Especially since Manami Toyota is her real name. I have to admit that OZ Academy has found a creative...and sneaky way around this. Oh, the diabolical Mayumi Ozaki. Translated into English, her new name is Manami Toyota. Today, OZ Academy explained on their website. The match was agreed to on the understanding that both wrestlers have used the ring name over many years. So a compromise was going to be worked out. The office decided to discuss this with Toyota after last weekend's Osaka show. So after watching Toyota's brutal treatment of Hiroyro Matsumoto and Toyota's verbal sparring with Aja Kong, Ozaki decided that Toyota should join D-Fix. They've changed the kanji characters in her name so it reads Evil Manami Toyota. So it's really a heel turn as opposed to a name change. For the purposes of this blog, I will still call her Manami Toyota. I think the evil part will become very apparent real soon.

OZ Academy announces #1 contender tournament

On Tuesday, OZ Academy announced a #1 contender tournament for Carlos Amano's OZ Academy Championship. Like we need another tournament. But this one actually feeds into the current storyline. Mayumi Ozaki announced that she is producing the tournament. Doesn't she own the company? Yeah but Amano is the Principal in the angle. The tournament will have twelve wrestlers divided into two blocks. Block A has Mayumi Ozaki, Aja Kong, Takako Inoue, AKINO, Hiroyo Matsumoto & Tomoka Nakagawa. Block B has Chikayo Nagashima, Sonoko Kato, Manami Toyota, KAORU, Ran YuYu & Hiren. It will be a round robin tournament beginning on Sept. 11 and running until Nov. 24. The final will be Dec. 14. They didn't say when the title match will be held. The winner of each match gets 2 points, draw gets 1 point and no points for a loss. The rules of these matches really benefits D-Fix. There will be a ten minute time limit. In addition to pinfall and submission, a match can be won by throwing an opponent over the top rope. Huh? Outside interference will be allowed. Who does that favour? Weapons will be allowed unless the ref determines the weapon to be too dangerous. Huh? And no count outs. The over the top rope rule makes absolutely no sense. Carlos Amano just stood there with her arms crossed and said nothing. Ozaki will announce the rules for the tournament final later. I expect Ozaki to win this tournament. Otherwise, what's the point?

OZ Academy's Plum Mariko Memorial show

OZ Academy had their annual Plum Mariko Memorial show at Taisho Azaria in Osaka. The only nod to current angles had Commando Bolshoi replacing Dynamite Kansai in the main event. There were no story developments at this show and I will deal with OZ announcements later. The opener had Sonoko Kato vs Hiren. Mika Nishio was ringside. Hiren refused to shake hands and Kato gave her a dirty look. Kato begins with repeated low kicks and also bounces off the ropes with a leg drop. Kato continues kicking when Hiren gets up and then hits a neck breaker. Nishio grabs Kato and Hiren stomps her in the corner. The ref breaks it up and Kato soccer ball kicks Hiren's back followed by a body slam and a sleeper. Hiren bites her arm to break it and switches to a hammerlock when the ref counts. Then Hiren applies a camel clutch and bites Kato's head. She switches to a body scissors. Kato escapes by grinding her elbow into Hiren's foot and then kicks her. Hiren catches one of her kicks and takes her down for two. Kato kicks her some more and traps her in the corner and tramples her. Hiren turns this around and does the same with Nishio's help. Hiren applies the ankle lock and stomps Kato who reaches the ropes. Kato catches Hiren's foot and hits a dragon screw leg whip followed by a high kick. Kato applies a dragon sleeper but Hiren reaches the ropes. More rapid fire kicks from Sato but Nishio grabs her foot and Hiren stands on her while holding the ropes. More kicks from Kato. Kato hits a kamikaze drop, goes to the top and misses a diving guillotine leg drop. A high kick from Hiren and she goes for the ankle lock. Kato reaches the ropes and Hiren hits a missile dropkick. Hiren goes for the ankle lock again but Kato backdrops her for two. Kato goes for a dragon suplex but Hiren rolls her up for two. They both go off the ropes and Kato kicks Hiren in the head and follows with a diving guillotine leg drop. Nishio comes in and stomps Kato but is tossed from the ring. Kato blocks a kick and wins with a dragon suplex at 14:02.

Next was Chikayo Nagashima vs the returning Tomoka Nakagawa. The plan before her injury was for Nakagawa to work for OZ regularly. They begin with a test of strength. This lasts for a while until Nakagawa delivers a lick. Nagashima kicks back and tramples her in the corner. This is followed by a sleeper and a body scissors. Nakagawa reaches the ropes and stomps Nagashima. They exchange dropkicks and Nagashima hits a uranage for two then applies a Boston crab. She grabs Nakagawa's arms but Nakagawa reaches the ropes. Nagashima stomps and then bodyslams her. Nagashima traps her in the corner with a facewash. Nakagawa counters with an elbow smash. Nagashima kicks her in the head and then blocks with her elbow. Then Nakagawa comes off the ropes with a shoulder block for two. Nagashima does her 12 monkeys spot. That's where she applies an armbar and head scissors while hanging over the top rope. It's broken up and then Nakagawa hits a dropkick. Nagashima hits a German suplex for two. Then a missile dropkick followed by a fisherman buster for two. Nakagawa avoids a diving foot stamp. Nakagawa hits several dropkicks followed by an Indian death lock. Nagashima escapes and Nakagawa hits a lariat. Nagashima comes back with a uranage folowed by a diving foot stamp for two. Nagashima continues to attack but Nakagawa gets a small package for two followed by a rollup for two. A high kick followed by a full nelson suplex gets Nagashima the win at 10:54. Nakagawa grabs the mic and says before her injury she was supposed to team with Dynamite Kansai. Now she returns and there's no Kansai. But she still wants to be an OZ Academy regular. "Please let me be in OZ Academy." Nagashima nods and raises her hand. So there you have it.

Next is Aja Kong & AKINO vs KAORU & Takako Inoue. AKINO & KAORU begin but Takako attacks AKINO from behind and they give her a double team brainbuster. KAORU applies a camel clutch and Takako kicks her in the chest. They take her to the corner and continue to double team trample AKINO over the top rope. Aja breaks it up. KAORU kicks AKINO in the back. KAORU twists AKINO's arm and Takako jumps on AKINO's arm from the top rope. KAORU continues to work on AKINO's arm. AKINO elbows out and kicks but KAORU dropkicks her elbow and goes back to the arm. Takako tags in and applies the STF. Aja breaks it up by hitting Takako over the head with her steel can. Aja & AKINO clean house and AKINO nails KAORU with the Big Boots followed by a facewash in the corner. Aja tags in and chops KAORU followed by a lariat and a choke. Aja continues her attack but KAORU counters with a jumping hurricanrana for two. She kicks Aja but misses a moonsault press. Aja hits a lariat for two and tags AKINO who soccer ball kicks KAORU in the back. AKINO hits a jumping body press for two followed by a backdrop. KAORU hits a Big Boots and nails AKINO over the head with the desk board followed by a vertical brainbuster on the desk board. She goes for the pin but the ref won't count. KAORU hits a moonsault press for two. Takako tags in and after a body slam, goes for the destiny's hammer but AKINO avoids it. KAORU & Nishio come in to triple team AKINO with kicks. Aja breaks it up and cleans house. AKINO nails Takako with several kicks for two. Aja tags in and backdrops Takako but misses a diving elbow drop. She kicks Aja and hits a back elbow for two. Aja comes back with a backfist and Takako lands in the ropes. KAORU comes in and distracts Aja while Takako grabs the stun gun. Aja pulls out her metal can and blocks the attack but gets an electric shock anyway. Aja grabs the stun gun and throws it away. Aja hits a vertical brainbuster. KAORU comes in and AKINO cuts her off. Aja hits the backfist for the win at 15:16. KAORU & Aja flipped the bird at each other.

Next is Manami Toyota vs Hiroyo Matsumoto. As of this show, there was nothing about Toyota's name change. But I have something on that in an upcoming post. They lock up and Matsumoto is backed into the ropes. Toyota kicks her, ties her in the ropes and comes off the ropes with a dropkick. Toyota applies a camel clutch, bites her hand and switches to a chinlock. Then she switches to her Indian deathlock spot. Then she sticks her knee in Matsumoto's back and grabs her nose. Matsumoto gets to the ropes and counters with a body attack, back elbows and a lariat. She applies a camel clutch and switches to a body scissors then a figure four leglock. Toyota reaches the ropes and stomps Matsumoto's knee. Matsumoto escapes and hits a backdrop and traps Toyota in the corner. But Toyota escapes and hits two missile dropkicks. Toyota goes to the top but Matsumoto catches her and backdrops her. Matsumoto goes to the top and Toyota kicks her off to the floor. Toyota does a tope off the top to the floor and mows down Matsumoto, Aja & AKINO. Back in the ring, Matsumoto comes back with an energetic underdog body attack. Toyota no sells and gets a Canadian backbreaker for two. Then the rolling cradle for two. Matsumoto gets her knees up for Toyota's moonsault press. Matsumoto gets an Argentinian backbreaker followed by a Canadian backbreaker for two. Then a lariat into the ropes. She runs again but gets a foot to the face for two. Toyota hits the Japanese Ocean Cyclone Suplex for two. Then the Japanese Ocean Queen Bee Bomb for the win 16:47. Afterwards, the Ozaki Army has a confrontation with Jungle Jack. KAORU hits Matsumoto over the head with the desk board. Aja yells at Toyota about her name change. Is Toyota joining D-Fix? Stay tuned for an update.

The Plum Mariko Memorial match had Mayumi Ozaki & Devil Masami vs Carlos Amano & Commando Bolshoi. All are current or former JWP wrestlers and Bolshoi replaced Dynamite Kansai. Bolshoi & Devil begin with a test of strength. Bolshoi uses her speed to apply a crab scissors. Devil doesn't fall so Amano comes in and pushes her over. Devil gets to the ropes. Bolshoi grabs her hair but Devil tosses her anyway. Devil & Ozaki double team Bolshoi in their corner. Ozaki bodyslams her and gets her in a sleeper followed by a camel clutch. Ozaki grabs her mask and has to break. Bolshoi does her rope walking routine, tags Amano who nails Ozaki with a lariat. She stomps her and hits the Carlos Ghosn but Ozaki rolls out to the floor. It's the usual mayhem. Back inside, Devil nails Amano with a power bomb for two. Amano comes back with a lariat. She tries for a German suplex but Devil backs her into the corner. Amano hits a DDT but Devil no sells it. Then Devil headbutts Amano but hurts her own head. Bolshoi comes in and they apply a double leg scissors on Devil. Devil get to the ropes and hits a double lariat. Ozaki tags in and nails Amano with the chain. Amano goes for the Carlos Ghosn but Ozaki hits her with the chain and kicks her. Ozaki hits a backfist for two. Amano gets a cross arm breaker on Ozaki. Devil comes in but Bolshoi cuts her off. Devil lariats Bolshoi and breaks it up. Bolshoi tags in and hits a German suplex for two. Then she applies the stretch plum, Plum Mariko's finisher. Ozaki reverses into her own stretch plum. Amano comes in and nails Bolshoi by accident. Ozaki hits a tequila sunrise for two. Devil tags in and hits a lariat. She picks up Bolshoi for a power bomb but Amano breaks it up. They whip Devil into the ropes and hit a double lariat. Then Bolshoi hits a 619. Bolshoi's hurricanrana is turned into a Devil Masami pin for two. Devil hits Bolshoi with a power bomb for two. Ozaki hits Bolshoi with the Ozakick. Devil hits the Fire Valley but Amano breaks it up and goes after Ozaki. Devil goes for the Fire Valley but Bolshoi turns it into a small package for the win at 13:02. A ceremony in memory of Plum Mariko was held afterwards.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Alison Krauss & Union Station

Artist:Alison Krauss & Union Station
Song:Let Me Touch You For Awhile
Album:New Favorite

It may be an overstatement that Alison Krauss has single handedly revived bluegrass music in recent years and she has taken a more mainstream musical direction lately. But there's no question that she built her reputation on her tremendous musical talent. She was born July 23, 1971 in Decatur, IL. She began taking classical violin lessons at age five but soon tired of classical and started playing bluegrass licks. She began entering talent contests at age eight and had her own band at ten. She won the Illinois State Fiddle Championship in 1983 and signed with Rounder Records at age 14. Her 1987 debut Too Late To Cry caused a sensation with bluegrass fans. Her backing band Union Station changed quite a bit but the key addition was guitarist Dan Tyminski who would become her primary arranger. Alison continued to have success in the country market but broke through to the mainstream with the 1995 comp Now That I've Found You. It was a top ten pop album and sold a million copies. Of course the other key was the film Oh Brother Where Art Thou which featured several bluegrass musicians including Alison Krauss. The 2001 CD New Favorite followed that and the emphasis now was more on Alison's vocals than her fiddle playing. So now I guess she's a pop star. Let Me Touch You For Awhile was one of the singles from that album and was written by guitarist Robert Lee Castleman. Alison has recorded several of his songs. Alison Krauss & Union Station last recorded in 2004 but Alison released a CD in 2007 with Robert Plant called Raising Sand. They are currently touring. I've been an Allison Krauss fan since the 80s. She's a little more commercial now but I still enjoy listening to her. And her popularity has given exposure to other bluegrass artists. Here's the video for Let Me Touch You For Awhile by Alison Krauss & Union Station.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

NEO Japan Cup continues

The NEO Japan Cup round robin tournament continued at the Aug. 10 Itabashi Green Hall show. A big raspberry to NEO for this lame tournament but major props to Yoshiko Tamura for selling her loss to Hiroyo Matsumoto as meaningful. The whole thing is just lazy. The opener had rookie Nozomi Dai vs Tanny Mouse. Not much to this. Tanny controlled the match as she should and won with the Tanny Butt at 7:53. NEO announced that Dai is suffering from headaches and will miss some shows. Next was Yuki Miyazaki vs Kana. Miyazaki begins with a hip attack followed by a Boston crab turned into a camel clutch. Kana escapes and returns the favour. Kana whips Miyazaki into the corner and follows with a hip attack. Miyazaki comes back with a body slam and Kana misses a dropkick. Kana hits a hip attack but Miyazaki applies the dreaded boob lock. You think I'm kidding? Look at the pic. Kana whips Miyazaki into the ropes and connects with a hip attack. Then they both try it at the same time and bump butts. Miyazaki hits a dropkick and two German suplexes and wins with the Gedo clutch rollup pin at 11:20. Miyazaki has been doing comedy for way too long.

One of the problems with this tournament is what to do with Kyoko Inoue. This match reveals all. She's teaming with Aya Yuki vs Etsuko Mita & Makoto. At a time when many joshi wrestlers are underwhelming for various reasons, Makoto has to be the most pathetic excuse for a wrestler I have ever seen. I know that's her gimmick. I don't care. I don't have to like it. That's the excuse I get from fans. "Oh, it's her gimmick." It's a crappy gimmick. Anyway, send your hate mail to Makoto begins by coming of the ropes with a cross body on Yuki. Kyoko tags in and tosses her around. At least she can take bumps. Then the dreaded stinkface. Makoto comes back with kicks and Kyoko actually tries to sell them. Yuki tags in and an atomic drop gets a two count. Mita tags in and shoulder blocks Kyoko. Yuki hits her with a forearm smash. Yuki can't get her up in a fireman's carry so Mita body slams her and propels Makoto from the top rope for two. Yuki hits Makoto with a forearm smash. Makoto is whipped into the ropes and hits a cross body. Yuki rolls through and gets the STF for the win at 8:22.

Now it's time for the NEO Japan Cup tournament matches. The first one is in the Red Zone with Kyoko Kimura vs Natsuki*Taiyo. Kimura is at her heelish best in this match. Maybe she's auditioning for D-Fix. Hell, I wouldn't mind seeing her there. Kimura begins by throwing Natsuki outside and clocking her with some sort of metal object that she has in her tights. I'm not sure what it is. It looks like a crowbar. Don't the refs check for foreign objects anymore? Kimura gets her back in the ring and starts ripping at her forehead and busts her open. She continues that while applying a camel clutch. Then she gets her in a front facelock and rips at her forehead behind the ref's back. Then she stands on Natsuki's throat. Kimura continues the assault with a rear naked choke. Natsuki turns purple. She traps her in the ropes and rips at her some more. The ref breaks it up and that gives Natsuki a chance to come back with dropkicks and an atomic drop. She has Kimura on the run when a top rope splash finds Kimura's knees. Natsuki goes piggy back on Kimura but is tossed off. Kimura power bombs Natsuki through a table. Kimura is distracted while the ref gets rid of the table so Natsuki hits a power bomb for two. Kimura finishes her off with the Big Boots at 13:04. This may have been a receipt for some unfinished business from last summer in SUN. And NEO president Koda really puts Kimura over on his blog. But it's so hard to put anyone over consistently these days.

The first Blue Zone match is Nanae Takahashi vs Hiroyo Matsumoto. Matsumoto is coming off her big upset over Yoshiko Tamura. I expect Takahashi to win because I expect her to be in the tournament final. But she's very generous and will make Matsumoto look very good. They begin with a test of strength and Takahashi gets a rear chinlock on Matsumoto. She then picks up Matsumoto in an inverted body vise and slams her into the corner and follows that with a splash. That's a standard Takahashi spot. She does it in every match. Takahashi hits a missile dropkick followed by a backbreaker. They slap each other and then Matsumoto hits a missile dropkick. She picks Takahashi up in a fireman's carry and they both fall out of the ring. They get back in and Matsumoto hits a missile dropkick. They trade blows and Matsumoto hits a backdrop suplex followed by an Argentinian backbreaker. Takahashi escapes and hits a power bomb for two. Matsumoto comes back with a sidewalk slam and then the back elbow she used to beat Tamura for two. Then another backdrop suplex. But Takahashi regroups with a backdrop suplex followed by a jumping high kick for the win at 13:29.

The next Red Zone match is Misae Genki vs Haruka Matsuo. Remember when Matsuo was champ? Never mind. But she should ditch those silly stockings she wears. Matsuo tried to surprise Genki with a flash pin for two. Genki backs her into the corner and chops her several times. Matsuo has a late lunch and bites Genki's arm. Genki bodyslams Matsuo and turns her over for the half crab. Genki follows this with a surfboard and an inverted body vise and a Boston crab. They go outside and Matsuo splashes from the top rope to the floor. Back in the ring, Matsuo goes for a top rope splash but Genki gets her knees up. Genki follows this with a choke slam for two. Matsuo hits a German suplex for two and follows with another for two. She kicks Genki in the back. Genki power bombs her for two and wins with the Super Freak at 15:10. The Super Freak is a running power bomb variation.

The final Blue Zone match is between Yoshiko Tamura & Atsuko Emoto. Kyoko Kimura is at ringside. Tamura does that high facewash in the corner that she does in every match. She gets an abdominal stretch on Emoto and then pounds her. Tamura then tries to submit Emoto with a neck crank. But Kimura interferes and Emoto pounds Tamura with a steel chair. Emoto continues to pound Tamura while Kimura gets in cheap shots from outside. Emoto bodyslams Tamura but Tamura comes back with a facewash in the corner and an Ace Crusher for two. Emoto hits a backdrop suplex for two. Tamura gets control but Kimura interferes again and Emoto whips Tamura into the corner and follows with a lariat. Emoto attempts a Texas Cloverleaf but Tamura escapes. Emoto misses a spin kick and Tamura's elbow smash gets a two count. Tamura hits another flying elbow smash for the win at 16:07. The standings in the Red Zone are Misae Genki with 2 points, Kyoko Kimura & Natsuki*Taiyo with 1 and Haruka Matsuo with 0. The Blue Zone has Nanae Takahashi with 2, Yoshiko Tamura & Hiroyo Matsumoto with 1 and Atsuko Emoto with 0. I still expect Genki to win the title shot. But if they really wanted to do something with this time waster, they could elevate Matsumoto. Sadly, they don't think that way.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Alexis Korner

Artist:Alexis Korner
Song:Rain Is Such A Lonesome Sound
Album:Kornerstoned: The Anthology 1954-1983

Though Alexis Korner was never a commercially successful recording artist and is unknown in North America, he is revered by British rock musicians as The Father Of British Blues. He was born on Apr. 19, 1928 in Paris and moved to London with his family at age 12. He got interested in the blues and joined Chris Barber's band in 1949 and became part of Ken Colyer's band when the two merged. Korner met guitarist and harmonica player Cyril Davies and they started playing London clubs. They started their own club and brought over blues musicians from the US. Korner & Davies formed Blues Incorporated in 1962 with Ken Scott on piano and Dick Heckstall-Smith on sax along with a rotating band of guests. This version of the Jimmy Witherspoon song Rain Is Such A Lonesome Sound is from the 1962 album R & B From The Marquee featuring lead vocals by Long John Baldry. Many British musicians have been influenced by this album and they all jammed with Korner. Davies left in 1963 when Korner added horns and the British Invasion of much younger groups killed any chance Korner had of commercial success. He continued to record and guested with groups like the Rolling Stones until his death on Jan. 1, 1984 at age 55. This 2CD comp covers his entire career. Here's Alexis Korner with the Rolling Stones at the Marquee Club in London 1983. It's typical of the appearances he made late in his life.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Dynamite Kansai becomes a Buddhist monk

Well, that's how OZ Academy was hyping the main event on their Aug. 10 Korakuen Hall show. Whoever loses the falls in the match between Mayumi Ozaki & KAORU vs Carlos Amano & Dynamite Kansai becomes a Buddhist monk. I was concerned about OZ going the haircut route so quickly but it was executed well and the angle is still compelling. There was a display in memorium of JWP wrestler Plum Mariko. Until now, the Devil Masami retirement road matches have been tame. For this match against Misaki Ohata, she brought out her Super Heel character. Ohata's offense is weak anyway but she was brutalized in this match. Devil wrapped her robe around Ohata's neck and threw her out of the ring. Devil attacked her on the floor and Ohata wound up flat on her back. Ohata attempted to come back but Devil grabbed her by the throat. Ohata jumped on her back but Devil tossed her off and finished her with a Liger bomb at 5:26. Afterwards, Devil passed the Super Heel torch to Toshie Uematsu. The Japanese like these kind of ceremonies.

Next was Hiroyo Matsumoto vs Hiren as part of the D-Fix/Jungle Jack feud. Aja Kong was in Matsumoto's corner and Mika Nishio was in Hiren's corner. Looking at Hiren, I guess part of the deal with Sendai Girls is OZ can't change her costume. She needs to look trashier to be part of D-Fix. Matsumoto chops Hiren followed by a chinlock and a surfboard turned into chimlock while sitting on her back. Hiren escapes and stomps Matsumoto and traps her in the corner and stands on her. The ref breaks it up and they exchange blows. Matsumoto goes to the top rope but Nishio knocks her off. Hiren applies the ankle lock. Matsumoto gets to the ropes but Hiren stomps her ankle. Hiren hits a missile dropkick and then gets a two count with a victory roll. Matsumoto hits a missile dropkick followed by a stomach breaker and an Argentinian backbreaker. Matsumoto hits a backfist but in an attempted suplex, Hiren rolls through and applies the ankle lock. Matsumoto gets to the ropes. The end comes with Matsumoto's backdrop suplex for the win at 12:36.

Next was Kyoko & Takako Inoue vs Toshie Uematsu & Ran YuYu. The match begins with Uematsu having trouble with Kyoko's size. But she does get Kyoko on the bottom rope with a facewash. Kyoko comes back with a stinkface followed by the cattle mutilation hold. Kyoko gets her in a camel clutch and Takako comes in and delivers a kick to Uematsu's chest. Takako comes in and after a double team beatdown, Takako applies the STF. Ran kicks Takako from the outside and then Takako is double teamed on the ropes. Uematsu hits a missile dropkick. Ran tags in and traps Takako in the corner and gives her a facewash. Uematsu tagged in and they criss crossed the ropes until Uematsu got a two count with a rollup. Ran tags in and Takako gets her in the STF. Takako attempts a move from the top but Ran gets out of the way and Kyoko tags in. Ran dropkicks Kyoko and then Uematsu hits a missile dropkick. Uematsu goes to the top again and Takako knocks her off. Kyoko lariats Uematsu but Ran comes in and drops Uematsu on Kyoko for two. Kyoko hits a double lariat and wins over Uematsu with a power bomb at 15:43.

Next is Chikayo Nagashima & Sinoko Kato vs Ayako Hamada & AKINO. Of course there's no heat for this match. It was put together as a time waster. I guess they could do worse things. So it starts with Ayako & Nagashima avoiding each other's moves and they stop and look at each other. This continues with attempted brainbusters but Kato tags in and delivers a kick followed by a double facebuster. Kato hits a baseball slide followed by a snap mare and soccer ball kicks to Ayako's back. Ayako hits a spin kick to the stomach and hits a brainbuster for two. AKINO tags in and soccer ball kicks Kato's back followed by a low dropkick to the corner. AKINO applies a camel clutch turned into a surfboard. Ayako comes in and they whip Kato into the corner. Ayako follows with a body attack and AKINO hits a dropkick followed by a facewash. Kato comes back and they exchange kicks. AKINO is whipped into the corner and Kato follows with a heel drop and AKINO sits in the corner. Kato hits a German suplex and flies onto AKINO from the top. But then they all go to the floor and AKINO hits a missile dropkick on AKINO and Ayako hits them both with a plancha over the top rope to the floor followed by a moonsault. Back in the ring, Ayako & AKINO apply a double team Rita Romero Special on Nagashima. The ref breaks it up. Nagashima hits a hurricanrana on AKINO. Ayako comes in and they double twist Nagashima's arms but she flips out of it and Nagashima exchanges kicks with AKINO. AKINO hits a dropkick for two.

This is very much a seesaw battle. Nagashima is whipped into the ropes and hit by rapid fire body attacks. Ayako hits a missile dropkick. AKINO comes in with a spin kick, traps Nagashima in the ropes and Ayako hits another missile dropkick. AKINO follows with a flying body press. Nagashima gets her knees up to foil Ayako's moonsault press. Nagashima gets a two with a hurricanrana followed by a uranage and a diving foot stamp. Nagashima applies an abdominal stretch and turns it into a pin for two. AKINO breaks it up and nails Nagashima with a spin kick and a power bomb. Kato cuts off AKINO. Ayako hits Nagashima with the AP Cross for two. Nagashima whips Ayako into the corner where Kato is waiting on the top turnbuckle. But Ayako slams Kato to the mat and then tosses AKINO onto her. Ayako hits a moonsault press for two. Ayako misses a spin kick. Kato backdrops her but AKINO hits a missile dropkick. AKINO goes to the top but Nagashima follows her and sets her up for a Kato high kick followed by a Frankensteiner for two. Kato hits several high kicks but then misses a top rope guillotine leg drop. They exchange kicks but AKINO hits the Tornado A for two. All four are in there and Ayako mistakenly nails AKINO with a spin kick. Nagashima drags Ayako out of the ring. AKINO's attempted uranage is countered by Kato's high kick. AKINO hits a Frankensteiner on Kato but Nagashima breaks it up. AKINO dropkicks Kato but the followup hurricanrana is broken up by Nagashima and Kato gets the win with a hold down pin at 20:30.

Now we have this match between Aja Kong & Manami Toyota where the loser loses her name. Don't ask me what that name will be. I don't know. Toyota begins by hitting a German suplex on Aja. Then she ties up Aja in the ropes and hits a dropkick after bouncing off the ropes. When she tries it again, Aja gets loose and hits a lariat. Toyota blocks Aja's backfist. Aja hits another lariat and gets Toyota in a double toehold. Toyota gets to the ropes but Aja kicks her in the chest and Toyota rolls to the outside. They go for a test of strength. This goes on for a while until Toyota walks the ropes and jumps onto Aja. Aja counters with a backfist followed by an avalanche style backdrop for two. Toyota does the rolling cradle then goes for the moonsault press but gets the knees. Toyota rolls to the outside and Aja follows her and hits her with a steel chair and throws her into the ringside seats. She hits her over the head with the metal can. Aja hits three vertical brainbusters but only gets a one count each time. Aja hits a diving elbow drop but Toyota does a no sell. Aja hits a German suplex. Aja misses a diving elbow drop and rolls outside the ring. Toyota hits a Tope Con Hilo from the top rope to the floor. Toyota hits a missile dropkick but Aja counters with the backfist followed by a diving elbow drop for two. Toyota blocks a backfist and hits a brainbuster for two followed by the Japanese Ocean Queen Bee Bomb for two. Aja hits the backfist. Then they hit each other with simultaneous backfists. Aja comes off the ropes and hits the backfist for the win at 19:21. Aja says afterwards that she will be Aja Kong forever. I don't know what Toyota's name will be. Nobody has said anything yet and OZ made a point of saying that on their blog. So something's up. We just don't know what yet.

So now we have Carlos Amano & Dynamite Kansai defending the OZ Academy Tag Team Championships two of three falls against Mayumi Ozaki & KAORU. Whoever loses each fall gets her head shaved. I expected D-Fix to win. You have to give the heels something to keep the angle going. D-Fix attacks before the bell and Ozaki hits Amano with a chair and Kansai gets thrown out of the ring and is attacked by Police & Mika Nishio. Kansai is still outside while D-Fix beat on Amano. Police hits her with a steel chair and KAORU hits her with the desk board. Ozaki, KAORU & Police power bomb Amano. KAORU misses a moonsault press but Ozaki nails Amano with a backfist and KAORU's excalibur gets a two count. Ozaki hits Amano with a chain covered backfist and D-Fix continues to beat Amano with the chain. But Amano comes back with a flying lariat on Ozaki followed by the Carlos Ghosn but D-Fix interferes. Ozaki hits the Ozakick followed by a Fujiwara armbar. Amano comes back with a flying lariat and a hammerlock. Ozaki attempts the Ozakick but Amano gets her in an ankle lock. Kansai is back and hits Ozaki with a bomber kick followed by a backdrop suplex for two. Police comes in but Kansai clocks him. The crowd goes nuts. Kansai hits a Splash Mountain for two. She goes to the top for a diving foot stamp but Nishio grabs her foot. Sonoko Kato grabs Nishio and Hiren grabs her. Kansai falls to the floor. KAORU hits her with the desk board and Nishio hits her with the chair. Ozaki throws Amano into a pillar and then goes after Kansai. But Kansai fights back and they all go back to the ring while the fighting outside continues. Kansai clobbers Police on her way to the ring.

Ozaki hits Kansai with the backfist and the Ozakick for two. KAORU hits Kansai with the desk board and the excalibur for two. KAORU misses a moonsault press and Kansai hits a bomber kick. Amano follows with a lariat. Amano trades blows with Ozaki. Amano goes for the Carlos Ghosn but Ozaki gets a small package for two. Ozaki hits a power bomb but Ozaki gets a triangle choke. Amano blocks a backfist but Ozaki rolls her up for two. Ozaki hits a tequila sunrise for two. Amano applies an armbar on Ozaki. It looks like she might submit but KAORU breaks it up. Kansai gets Ozaki up for the splash mountain but Ozaki gets out of it. She gets Kansai in a dragon sleeper. Kansai gets to the ropes but KAORU hits her with the desk board. Kansai lands outside and is beaten by the steel chair. KAORU sets her up on a table and drives her through the table with the Valkyrie splash. Now there's a ladder in the ring. Kansai is tossed back into the ring and KAORU hits a moonsault press off the ladder for two. Ozaki hits Kansai with the backfist and KAORU hits her with the desk board. Takako Inoue kicks Kansai and then gets her with her stun gun. KAORU rolls her up for two. Kansai lifts KAORU up for the splash mountain but KAORU counters with a hurricanrana for the first fall at 21:11. Dynamite Kansai has her head shaved. D-Fix has a great time.

KAORU is laughing and KANSAI is angry. Amano hits a flying lariat on Ozaki & KAORU followed by an avalanche style brainbuster on Ozaki. Kansai follows with a bomber kick on Ozaki and then KAORU. Kansai lifts KAORU on her shoulders and Amano hits a lariat. Kansai no sells KAORU's desk board shot and nails KAORU with a lariat and a bomber kick. Outside the ring, Kansai places KAORU on a table and lands a diving foot stamp. Nishio attacks Kansai but is rebuffed. Kansai hits KAORU with a splash mountain on the floor followed by a bomber kick. Back in the ring, she hits another splash mountain. But instead of going for the pin, she goes for a diving foot stamp. Ozaki & Nishio save KAORU. Ozaki hits Kansai with an avalanche style brainbuster. Nishio holds her leg and Ozaki hits two backfists. Amano counters with the Carlos Ghosn. While Chikayo Nagashima holds back Police & Takako, Kato slides a table into the ring. Kansai piledrives Ozaki through the table. She gets her up for the splash mountain but Ozaki wriggles out of it and pins Kansai with a small package at 7:26. Mayumi Ozaki & KAORU are the new OZ Academy Tag Team Champs. They proceed to tease Kansai about her Buddhist monk look. Ozaki says that now Kansai is a Buddhist monk, maybe she should retire from wrestling. Kansai said she'll make her own decisions. Amano promised the crowd that Kansai would return. A couple of days later, OZ Academy announced that Kansai told them she is not mentally prepared to compete and is off future shows indefinitely. I expect Kansai to return but who does she go after? She could be as pissed with Amano as she is with D-Fix. This should be very interesting.