Sunday, November 30, 2008

JWP introduces two new trainees

Commando Bolshoi announced on her blog that two trainees have passed their audition and she posted a pic as well. The one on the left is 14 year old Masako Mochizuki. She's in her second year of junior high. Bolshoi says she is very enthusiastic and she has her parents approval. The one on the right is 20 year old Saya Kurogawa. Bolshoi says her own age is uncertain. No date has been given for their debut. Both are currently in intense training.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-The Stanley Brothers

Artist:The Stanley Brothers
Song:The Fields Have Turned Brown
Album:The Complete Columbia Stanley Brothers

Along with Bill Monroe, The Stanley Brothers were pioneers in popularizing bluegrass music. This comp has everything they recorded for Columbia from 1949-52. Most bluegrass fans will be familiar with Ralph Stanley but older brother Carter died prematurely or he would be better known. The Stanley Brothers are from the mountains of Virginia. Carter Stanley was born Aug. 27, 1925. Ralph Stanley was born Feb. 25, 1927. They grew up interested in music and persued it after WWII ended. They called themselves The Clinch Mountain Boys and appeared regularly on the Farm and Fun Time program on radio station WCYB in Bristol, TN. They signed with Rich-R-Tone Records in 1947. Carter played guitar and sang lead and Ralph played banjo and sang in a high tenor to contrast. They signed with Columbia in 1948 and wrote and recorded many bluegrass standards. Ralph was injured in a car crash in 1951 and Carter went to work for Bill Monroe. But they got together after Ralph recovered. They moved to Mercury Records in 1953. Those records were more commercial. They moved to Florida in 1960 and signed with Starday Records and then King Records and continued to perform regularly on radio and occasionally on TV. But Carter Stanley was an alcoholic and died of cirrhosis on Dec. 1, 1966 at age 41. Ralph Stanley wasn't sure if he wanted to continue in music but King Records owner Syd Nathan urged him to record as a solo artist. He still tours today and is one of the most respected names in bluegrass music. This CD is a must for bluegrass fans. Here's The Stanley Brothers performing Worried Man Blues on The Pete Seeger Show in 1964.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Ozaki, Nagashima in OZ Academy Championship #1 contender tournament final

OZ Academy had the conclusion of the #1 contender league on Nov. 24 at Taisho Azeria in Osaka. Has this been overbooked nonsense? Yeah but the whole idea is to show that Mayumi Ozaki is consumed by hatred and do anything to get revenge on principal Carlos Amano even if it makes no sense. I've said all along that this league is nothing but a timewaster, an entertaining timewaster. One thing that may come into play is Dynamite Kansai is returning on Dec. 14. More on her return later. Also, fans have asked about this woman Sayuri Kakusho who joined the Ozaki Army and started beating up wrestlers on a recent show. Who is she? She's a Japanese TV personality and a long time pal of Ozaki. I'm not crazy about her appearance because she's not a wrestler and probably can't take bumps. I dunno. It's overkill. Who will they bring in next?

The opener on this show is a Block B match between Hiren & Chikayo Nagashima. The plan is to have one of the Ozaki Army win Block B so Ozaki can be guaranteed the title match. So they need Hiren to win this match. Hiren tries to jump Nagashima but Nagashima counters with the Big Boots. Hiren pokes her in the eye and Mika Nishio grabs her foot so Hiren can hit a dropkick. Another cheap shot by Nishio and Hiren charge into the corner is met by Nagashima's foot. They trade kicks and Nagashima hits a uranage. Nishio trips Nagashima again and they continue to trade blows. Then Police grabs Nagashima but Sonoko Kato breaks that up. But Nagashima falls and Hiren starts a chair attack. Nagahima kicks the chair out of Hiren's hand. Nagashima swings at her with the chair but Hiren ducks. Nagashima throws the chair to Hiren and kicks the chair into her and then beats her with it. Hiren gets the chair away from her and hits her with it. Hiren follows with three missile dropkicks and a neck breaker drop for two. Nagashima comes back with a backdrop for two. Police broke it up. Then a diving foot stamp and Nishio breaks up the pin. Nishio kicks Nagashima and Hiren gets two. Then she goes to the top rope but Kato cuts her off. Kato & Nishio roll out of the ring while Nagashima hits an avalanche style Frankensteiner. KAORU intrudes and Police nails Nagashima with a lariat followed by a vertical brainbuster. Nagashima comes back with dragon suplex on Hiren. Nagashima goes to the top corner for a missile dropkick. But KAORU knocks her onto the apron. While those two are struggling for controlof the chair, Hiren dropkicks Nagashima to the floor for the win at 6:44. The Ozaki Army celebrate. KAORU just has to win her match to win Block B.

Next is a Block A match between Takako Inoue & Hiroyo Matsumoto. Again, Takako can't win Block A but needs to prevent Matsumoto from winning. Takako pulls out the stun gun but the ref takes it away. Takako hit a spin kick and a yakuza kick followed by an STF. Matsumoto reaches the ropes. Takako traps her in the ropes and KAORU attacks Matsumoto. Takako hits a backdrop suplex for two. They fall outside the ring and Takako attacks Matsumoto with a chair. Takako hits a DDT on the chair. Matsumoto comes back with a side buster and several elbows. KAORU climbs upon the apron and grabs Matsumoto. But Matsumoto avoids Takako's Big Boots and KAORU is nailed by mistake. Aja Kong takes out KAORU while Matsumoto hits a backdrop for two. Then a Tokaido drop for two. Matsumoto hits a couple of back elbows. But Takako grabs the ropes and then goes to the top corner. Matsumoto follows her and Takako's thrust to the throat sets up an avalanche style brainbuster for two. Takako hits a spinning backfist and then wins with the Destiny's Hammer at 6:15. Ozaki Army mission accomplished.

Next is a Block A match between Tomoka Nakagawa & AKINO. The Ozaki Army mission is for AKINO to lose. The matchis uneventful with AKINO in control for the most part. But the Ozaki Army intrudes. Mayumi Ozaki nails AKINO with the Ozakick. The end result is Nakagawa wins with a cradle at 8:45. Ozaki Army mission accomplished again. Next is a three way match with Carlos Amano vs Manami Toyota vs Ran YuYu. Ran immediately goes after Amano and nails her with a back elbow for two. Toyota grabs Ran in a sleeper and Amano grabs Toyota. Toyota actually does her Indian death lock spot on both of them. There are a lot of these type of goofy sposts in this match. Toyota does her dropkickinto the ropes spot on both of them, one on each side of the ring. Then Toyota hits Ran with a missile dropkick followed by the rolling cradle for two. Ran comes back with kicks and goes to the top corner. But catches her with a German suplex. Amano comes back with lariats on both. Amano goes for an armbar but Ran reaches the ropes. Then Amano goes to the top corner and there's a combined brainbuster/German suplex spot. The end comes when Toyota goes for the Japanese Ocean suplex but Amano counters with a victory roll. Toyota rolls into a Ran European clutch rollup for the win at 9:30. Apparently noone was sure who actually won at first but Ran was declared the winner.

Now it's the final Block B match between KAORU & Sonoko Kato. If KAORU wins, she wins Block B. KAORU ambushes Kato in the entranceway. She beats on her and takes her to the ring where Nishio & Hiren help KAORU. Nagashima & Nakagawa break this up and Nagashima & Kato hit a double lariat on KAORU. Kato hits a kamikaze and Nagashima follows with diving foot stamps. The ring is finally cleaned out but Nishio gets the desk board to KAORU. She uses it to block Kato's kicks and then attacks Kato. But Kato kicks it away and hits a dragon suplex for two. Kato misses a diving guillotine legdrop and KAORU hits a moonsault press for two. KAORU beats Kato with the deskboard and hits a brainbuster on the board for two. She hits her again with the board. KAORU's German suplex gets two. Nakagawa tries to get the desk board but KAORU hits her. Nagashima struggles with KAORU and hits a hurricanrana. Meanwhile, Nishio kicks Kato. KAORU & Hiren join her and gang upon Kato. KAORU goes for the excalibur but Kato counters with a high kick for two. KAORU hits a brainbuster but Nagashima dropkicks KAORU. Kato comes back with kicks and a brainbuster but KAORU attacks with the desk board again. Kato hits a Crown's Gate for two. KAORU hits an excalibur for two. KAORU kicks out of another Crown's Gate. Kato hits a third Crown's Gate for the win at 6:44. This means that Nagashima wins Block B.

The final match between Mayumi Ozaki & Aja Kong will decide the winner of Block A. Of course it's a lynching. Ozaki is in the ring while the Ozaki Army attacks Aja at the entranceway. They push Aja into the ring and continue the beating. Police hits Aja with a chair and Ozaki hits a missile dropkick followed by an Ozakick. But then Jungle Jack 21 comes in to even things up. They clear out the Ozaki Army. Aja hits a backdrop and Matsumoto nails Ozaki with a power bomb. Aja hits a vertical brainbuster. Aja hits the backfist but Police intrudes and the Ozaki Army cleans house. Ozaki hits a backfist and they take turns on Aja. Toyota nails Aja in the back of the head with a missile dropkick and Ozaki follows with the Ozakick for the win at 2:53. So it will be Mayumi Ozaki vs Chikayo Nagashima on Dec. 14 to determine the next challenger for Carlos Amano's OZ Academy Championship. After the match, Ozaki has a brief discussion with KAORU and names her as Dynamite Kansai's opponent on Dec. 14. Then Nagashima comes out and says that Ozaki can't win without weapons and help from the Ozaki Army. Ozaki agrees to not use weapons on Dec. 14 so Nagashima has no excuse when Ozaki wins. But will Ozaki really do that?

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Alvin "Red" Tyler

Artist:Alvin "Red" Tyler
Song:Count 'Em
Album:Modern New Orleans Masters

Sax player Alvin "Red" Tyler was a legend in New Orleans because of all the R & B records he played on in the 50s. But his first love was jazz and that's what he recorded when he got the opportunity in the 80s. He was born Dec. 5, 1925 in New Orleans. He learned to play sax in the Navy and joined the band of legendary New Orleans producer Dave Bartholemew in 1950. He played sax breaks on tons of sessions for Fats Domino & Allen Toussaint among others. He did have a regional hit as a solo artist with Rockin' And Rollin' in 1961. Tyler started working as a liquor salesman in the 60s and still played gigs on the side. The Tan Canary Johnny Adams was one of his favourite singers to accompany. Tyler signed with Rounder Records in 1986 and produced the straight jazz album Graciously with the help of the New Orleans jazz group Astral Project. Count 'Em is from that album. Modern New Orleans Masters is a Rounder various artists comp and a perfect intro to some of the greats for beginners. Alvin "Red" Tyler recorded the album Heritage featuring vocalists Johnny Adams & Germaine Bazzle before his death on Apr. 3, 1998 at age 72. Here's a video for Rockin' And Rollin' by Alvin "Red" Tyler.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-David Holt

Artist:David Holt
Song:When The Train Comes Along
Album:Old-Time Music On The Air Vol. 1

Banjo player David Holt is probably best known as a TV and radio show host but he's using the power of the media to keep traditional American music alive and he's a very good musician and storyteller too. He was born Oct. 15, 1946 in Gatesville, TX. He grew up in a family of informal musicians and storytellers. They all moved to California when Holt was a teen but he returned to Texas to learn from the legendary singing cowboy Carl Sprague. During the 70s, he immersed himself in gathering and preserving traditional music. He began his recording career in 1980 and has owned his own label High Windy for many years. He appeared on various TNN shows including Nashville Now and this led to Holt hosting Fire On The Mountain and American Music Shop. With his trademark fedora, this is likely where a lot of folks have seen Holt. He continues to host Riverwalk for National Public Radio. Old-Time Music On The Air is a Rounder various artists comp designed to introduce newbies to artists like David Holt. When The Train Comes Along is from Holt's 1994 CD of children's music I Got A Bullfrog. That's right. He also goes to schools and teaches kids about traditional music. In recent years, Holt has performed and recorded frequently with the legendary Doc Watson. His most recent CD is Live & Kickin' At The National Storytelling Festival. Here's David Holt performing Pretty Polly.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Will someone please fix this sidewalk?

I know what you're thinking. What the heck is that picture? You may recall that a while back I wrote about a very bad curb that was repaired in the Lakeshore area. You have no idea how important the condition of the sidewalk is to someone rolling around in a power chair. At the time, Councillor Mark Grimes' assistant Sheila Paxton asked me to let her know if I needed any sidewalks fixed. Most of the time it's not a big deal and I can handle it but with winter coming, this one could become a problem. I saw it when I went out to the ATM today. Back in April, there was a big fire at the southwest corner of Lakeshore Blvd. W. & 23rd St. A guy died in that fire and it destroyed two storefronts. This portion of the sidewalk needs to be paved over. It's in front of the Thai restaurant that I think is currently under renovation. I can go around it now but it will cause problems for power chairs and scooters once we get some snow. My guess is this was never reported to city staff and was forgotten. So though Mark Grimes is still a dick, Sheila wants to be helpful so let's put her to the test. Tell you what I'm gonna do. Sheila, let me know when this is fixed and next time I go in that area, I'll snap a pic and post it right here on the blog. Thanks in advance for your assistance.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Spin Doctors

Artist:Spin Doctors
Song:What Time Is It?
Album:Pocket Full Of Kryptonite

Pocket Full Of Kryptonite was the 1991 debut studio album by the popular jam band Spin Doctors. It went five times platinum and spawned several hit singles. They've never been able to recreate that but that's pretty good for a debut. The group is an updated version of a 70s band that combines rock, funk and R & B and strong musicianship in a live setting. Spin Doctors started out in the late 80s in New York City as Trucking Company. Guitarist Eric Schenkman (born Dec. 12, 1963) led that group with vocalist John Popper and his high school pal Chris Barron (born Feb. 5, 1968) from Princeton, NJ. Popper left to concentrate on Blues Traveler. Barron took over lead vocals and bassist Mark White (born July 7, 1962) and drummer Aaron Comess (born Apr. 24, 1968) were added and the group name was changed to Spin Doctors. They started playing gigs in New York City and were signed by Epic Records A & R executive Frankie LaRocka in 1991. He was drummer for the 80s group Scandal and Spin Doctors was his first big signing. Their debut CD was actually the live EP Up For Grabs...Live and then Pocket Full Of Kryptonite followed. Spin Doctors built their reputation in concert but really blew up when MTV started playing videos for Little Miss Can't Be Wrong & Two Princes. Two Princes reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. What Time Is It? was the fourth single and didn't do as well but Pocket Full Of Kryptonite reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 200 and sold five million copies. Their 1994 follow up Turn It Upside Down still sold a million copies but didn't even approach the heights of their debut. And Schenkman was tired of touring and was replaced by Anthony Krizan. Schenkman's guitar was a big part of their sound so his departure accelerated their decline and Epic dropped Spin Doctors in 1996. They did release an album on Uptown/Universal in 1999 but then split up until reuniting for a one off gig in 2001. Chris Barron has had ongoing issues with his vocal cords but Spin Doctors hung around long enough to release the CD Nice Talking To Me in 2005. Their label went broke but Spin Doctors continue to play occasional gigs today. I would recommend Pocket Full Of Kryptonite but I don't think any of their other albums are essential listening. Here's the video for What Time Is It? by Spin Doctors.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Dionne Farris

Artist:Dionne Farris
Song:Don't Ever Touch Me (Again)
Album:Wild Seed - Wild Flower

Former Arrested Development lead singer Dionne Farris made a huge splash with the 1995 CD Wild Seed - Wild Flower and especially the hit single I Know...then nothing. What happened? Dionne grew up in Bordentown, NJ and grew frustrated trying to break into the music scene in New York City. So she moved to Atlanta in 1990. She started dating drummer Rasha Don and he was a member of Arrested Development. Though Dionne got a lot of attention for singing lead on their hit Tennessee, she was never actually a member of the group and in 1993 she decided to go solo. She started working on songs with guitarist David Harris and one of her demos got her a contract with Columbia. I Know reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the album sold very well. The album is a strong mix of R & B, funk and rock highlighted by Dionne's strong vocals and Harris' slide guitar. They write most of the songs together including Don't Ever Touch Me. Dionne surfaced in 1997 with the song Helpless in the film Love Jones. Since then she has been working behind the scenes mostly with R & B singer songwriter Van Hunt. Dionne said in an interview with the Atlanta magazine Creative Loafing that her music was considered too rock for black radio. They liked it but they couldn't play it. Dionne Farris now has her own label Free & Clear Records and her albums Signs Of Life and For Truth If Not Love are available through iTunes. Here's the video for Don't Ever Touch Me (Again) by Dionne Farris.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

WWE Survivor Series Diva match

So I have the Divas Survivor Series match from Sunday's WWE PPV in two parts. For some reason, the WWE decided to do RAW Divas vs Smackdown Divas. I suppose that could work if done properly but the WWE continually books these women in a slapdash half baked manner. So forget about the match making any sense. I guess heel vs babyface might work better. I dunno. I'd just like to see them do more than fill time with this stuff. The match is pretty much what you would expect. They rush through it and none of them look very good. They try to have Candice Michelle sell a knee injury not very effectively and then they have Beth Phoenix drop Maryse on her face and try and have her sell a possible broken nose. The Michelle McCool/Maria stuff is pointless. Nobody cares. And of course Victoria does the job in thirty seconds. Thanks for coming out. You may have noticed that Melina returned from her injury on last night's RAW and Melena Roucka was planted in the crowd. Don't know what they're going to call her. And it's being reported that Gail Kim will be on Smackdown. Anyway, check out the match.

WWE Survivor Series 2008 5/19 - MyVideo

WWE Survivor Series 2008 6/19 - MyVideo

The Lakeshore Collegiate revitalization

As many area residents are aware, the new Lakeshore Lions Arena is scheduled to open on September 2009. When the arena opens, the old arena and the park next to it will be leased to the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) for 50 years. The TDSB could do anything with the property but trustee Bruce Davis is proposing a complete reimagining of the area that will include an expanded Don Russell Park, a multipurpose community centre on the old Lakeshore Lions Arena site, seniors housing and a new Gus Ryder swimming pool. After the foolish and short sighted behaviour from City of Toronto Councillor Mark Grimes and Parks & Rec. staff, it is refreshing that someone with authority understands the needs and wants of the community. Davis held an open house at Lakeshore Collegiate last night to present the proposal to the community and get input as well. The project is at a very early stage and you can be sure there will be many changes.

Davis started the meeting and then turned things over to architect Richard Aubrey. Aubrey is an area resident and was on the planning committee. He has put together what I would call a very basic plan. The Lakeshore Collegiate building will undergo a significant facelift and will be givin an all new facade facing Kipling Ave. The Don Russell Memorial Park on Birmingham Ave. will be expanded significantly and is designed to be a gateway to the entire complex. That's a big change because it is currently a very small area. Currently there is a football/track field and a baseball diamond behind the park. Because of the expansion in other areas, the choice has been made to eliminate the baseball diamond and rebuild the football field with the possibility of adding a dome so it can be used year round. This will include a soccer pitch. Sorry about that baseball fans but studies indicate that soccer is on the rise and baseball is on the decline. So the soccer pitch is very important especially for kids.

But the big news for the community is the plan to turn the old Lakeshore Lions Arena into a multi purpose all inclusive community centre. There will be two levels. The upper level will be an oval track. But the main activity will be on the main level. Davis & Aubrey did propose specific activities but this is in the embryonic stage and the whole point of this meeting was to get additional ideas. Among things proposed are a full size basketball court, a multi purpose gym, squash courts, a dance studio and food/beverage facilities. Of course the one thing I want that isn't included is a full gym and facilities for the disabled. As I explained to Bruce Davis, there is no place west of Yonge St. for a disabled person to get a properly supervised exercise. And we need specialized gym equipment. So this is an opportunity to do something very special for the disabled in this community. Of course public officials won't admit this but the truth is that unless a disabled person is in on the planning of this facility, we will be overlooked. They don't like to hear that but that's the way it is. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. I resemble that remark.

Among other things that are part of this plan include a relocation of the Gus Ryder swimming pool. This is very important for seniors and is definitely on my personal radar. But I would also like to include hydrotherapy facilities to service the disabled. The fact is the current pool is old and needs to be replaced anyway. They have also planned seniors housing as a revenue generator. I think we have to look at our options and see what else we can do. What about funding? Well, I suppose the City Of Toronto could get involved. Mark Grimes was there last night. I don't know if I want them involved because when Parks & Rec. gets their greasy paws on something, they tend to want to conform things to what they want, not to what the community wants. The city has shown an unwillingness to adjust. I still believe that even in this economy, a project of this importance can be privately financed and in partnership with the TDSB, we can operate the property ourselves. I always get asked if I understand the scope of this project and the answer is of course I do. I don't believe in pipe dreams so my goal is to help make this project a reality. Thanks to Bruce Davis (pictured), Richard Aubrey, the TDSB and the others who have been involved to date. I look forward to contributing significantly to the realization of this project.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-The Byrds

Artist:The Byrds
Song:Eight Miles High
Album:The Byrds Greatest Hits

The Byrds had already created folk rock but the 1966 hit Eight Miles High took them in a direction that would influence the soon to be popular psychedelic scene. It was also the final contribution of lead singer Gene Clark before he left the group. Though a lot of folks interpret Eight Miles High as a drug song, the song was actually about Clark's fear of flying. Of course that's very ironic because his fear of flying is why he left The Byrds soon after the song was recorded. There are two distinctive elements to the song. One is Chris Hillman's bassline. The other is Roger McGuinn's twelve string guitar. It seems McGuinn had been listening to a lot of John Coltrane's Indian inspired music at the time and tried to make his guitar sound like Coltrane's sax. Eight Miles High reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was their final top 20 hit. It was on their 1966 album Fifth Dimension which reached #24 on the album chart. This Greatest Hits comp was first released in 1967 but Columbia/Legacy released an expanded edition in 1999. Though Eight Miles High was a big influence on psychedelia, The Byrds would soon become more of a country group. Here's The Byrds performing Eight Miles High in 1966. You might think you're hallucinating while watching this video.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Fuuka wins at Shoot Boxing but was it fixed?

I always hate to raise that kind of thing but Fuuka's win over Mai Ichii at today's Shoot Boxing show at Saitama Super Arena sure looks like it may have been fixed. But it doesn't look like Ichii or Fuuka knew if it was. First, DEEP Lightweight Champ MIKU won by unanimous decision over Lena. The Fuuka nonsense started with Sunday's press conference. Fuuka does her usual giggly airhead nonsense and the she talked about beating Ichii in wrestling. Ichii got pissed. You have to remember she's a kickboxing champ now. She holds the UKF Flyweight Championship. Ichii said she'll let her right hook do her talking but she had some other choice words for Fuuka. So then Fuuka comes to the ring in a pink Darth Vader mask complete with dancers. The match itself was close. Ichii dropped Fuuka once with a right hook and Fuuka got her shots in as well. But the key event was that Ichii was penalized a point for continuing after the round one bell sounded. Yeah, not even a warning. And Fuuka chuckled about this on her blog. The result of the match was a majority draw. One judge scored it 30-29 Fuuka. One judge scored it 30-29 Ichii. The other scored it a draw. So if Ichii hadn't been docked a point, theoretically she would have won. They had an overtime round and Fuuka won 3-0. The look on Ichii's face tells the whole story. I'm not saying the fighters knew about it but you never know what's going on behind the scenes especially when Hiroshi Ogawa is involved. How about a rematch, Fuuka?

Gina Carano update

Well, not really. Gina Carano was at Friday's Strikeforce show and Ariel Helwani of MMA Rated caught up to her for an interview. She's still under contract to EliteXC so there's nothing new to report. And Ariel asked her three times. But she did comment on those Tonya Evinger party pics that have been all over the internet. Well, you guys love Gina so here she is.

null - Watch more free videos

Kim Couture post fight press conference

Ever since I posted Kim Couture's win over Lina Kvokov from Friday's Strikeforce show on Daily Motion, there has been a lot of negative comments about both fighters. Details about Kvokov have surfaced over the weekend and I'm not going to get into specifics but if the Couture camp had done a little digging, they would have got someone else. But the main criticism was that a poor quality fight like that televised live on HDNet sets women's MMA back significantly. This kind of poor fight between new fighters isn't unusual except you don't see them on national TV. When Kim Couture announced her plans to fight earlier this year, some fans were upset with my criticism of Kim using her name to get a spot she clearly doesn't deserve. I haven't changed my position. She should be spending her time promoting other women fighters and at least go back to fighting in smokers before appearing on TV again. She's not ready. Meanwhile, I have found video of Kim's post fight press conference courtesy of MMA Weekly. You'll have to excuse the stupid questions. Some reporters suffer from brain cramps.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Bad Religion

Artist:Bad Religion
Song:The Streets Of America
Album:The Gray Race

Bad Religion is one of the most durable and most successful punk bands. They started out in the early 80s and are still around today with a new album scheduled in 2009. They also own the very successful Epitaph Records. They were formed in 1980 by Los Angeles high school students led by lead singer Greg Graffin (born Nov. 6, 1964 in Racine, WI) and guitarist Brett Gurewitz (born May 12, 1962 in Los Angeles) along with bassist Jay Bentley (born June 6, 1964 in Wichita, KS) and drummer Jay Ziskrout. He left in 1982 and was replaced by Pete Finestone. Bad Religion started out releasing music on their own label Epitaph Records. Guitarist Greg Hetson joined in 1984. The group split up and then reformed in 1986. Finestone left in 1991 and was replaced by Bobby Schayer. After years of releasing albums independently, they got the attention of Atlantic Records in 1993. Their song Leaders And Followers appeared in the film Clerks and their 1994 album Stranger Than Fiction was their most successful album to date. But Gurewitz left the band over the usual creative differences and ran Epitaph full time. He was replaced by Brian Baker. Graffin was the main lead singer and now wrote most of the songs. The Gray Race was released in 1996 and was produced by former Cars frontman Ric Ocasek. The album did particularly well in Europe. They left Atlantic and returned to Epitaph in 2001 and Gurewitz returned as well. Their latest CD New Maps Of Hell was released in July 2007 and a new CD is scheduled in 2009. So for all the punk bands that have gone by the wayside over the years, Bad Religion is still doing well. Here's the video for The Streets Of America by Bad Religion.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Norton Buffalo & The Knockouts

Artist:Norton Buffalo & The Knockouts
Song:Is It Love
Album:Blind Pig 25th Anniversary Collection

Harmonica player Norton Buffalo is best known as a long time member of the Steve Miller Band and as a session musician. He has occasionally stepped out as a solo artist. He was born Sept. 28, 1951 in Oakland, CA. He played with various Bay Area bands in the 70s but first surfaced with Commander Cody And His Lost Planet Airmen on their 1976 live album. He then joined Steve Miller Band for Fly Like An Eagle and has been part of that group for years. He also recorded a couple of solo albums on Capitol in the late 70s. But the main thing is he has been on 180 sessions for artists like Bonnie Raitt and The Doobie Brothers. You can view the list on his website. He also had a brief appearance in the Bette Midler film The Rose. In the early 90s, he started recording again as a solo artist again usually with the great slide guitarist Roy Rogers. He was nominated for a Grammy in 1991. Is It Love is from Buffalo's 2000 CD King Of The Highway and includes guest appearances by guitarist Elvin Bishop and keyboard player Merl Saunders. This Blind Pig 2CD various artist comp is a good sampler for newcomers. This past summer, Norton Buffalo toured on his own and also with Steve Miller Band. So he hasn't recorded an album lately but he's busy. Here's Norton Buffalo & Roy Rogers performing Is It Love in Palo Alto, CA Aug. 2008.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Erin Toughill's triumphant return to MMA

The Nov. 20 Pacific Fighting Championship show was streamed live on Sherdog. There were two women's matches on the show. The most interesting of the two featured veteran fighter Erin Toughill. I watched the match live but it took a couple of days to find the match in one piece. The video is over 20 minutes long so then I had to find a place to upload it. Thank you Viddler. Erin Toughill's last MMA fight was in 2006. In addition to MMA, she has had a boxing career and was on the second season of American Gladiators. On this occasion, Erin fought at 150lbs and that's the lightest weight I've ever seen her fight. I guess the thinking was it would be easier to find an opponent. But they had trouble until Jan Finney stepped up. Erin looked to be in great shape. Jan came to the fight with very good strategy. Erin has a significant reach advantage so Jan didn't want to trade shots with her. So she got Erin in the clinch to neutralize that. I thought Erin won round one. Jan was poked in the eye at the start of round two and I think that unnerved Erin and she messed up on an ensuing takedown attempt and Jan was on top of her. But Jan was unable to take advantage of the situation. Then in round three, Jan seemed to run out of gas and Erin was able to do enough to get a unanimous decision. After the match, Erin was clearly unhappy with her performance. I thought she did pretty well considering that she had some ring rust. She says her next fight for PFC will be in March. Because of her size, Erin is always going to be tough to match up. Certainly Lana Stefanac would be very interesting. One fighter Erin should look at is the Japanese fighter HIROKO who is about six feet tall and weighs 175lbs. She won her fight in last week's JEWELS show and her only loss to date was to Hitomi Akano. But it's great to see Erin Toughill back in MMA. She is always very entertaining. Enjoy the video!

Kim Couture wins in Strikeforce

Kim Couture is now 1-1 after defeating Lina Kvotov by TKO at 1:44 of round one at the Nov. 21 Strikeforce show. Check out the video of the match. I think it's great that Kim won but the opponent's behaviour was disappointing. You know, I've been very critical of Kim because she has more important things to do with her time than fight. She basically admitted that the other day. But at least when her jaw was broken in her debut fight against Kim Rose, she fought back. Lina Kvotov came out to the cage like she was going to a tea party. The announcers tried to build her up and then when Kim started to hammer her with punches, she turned her back and quit. She wanted to go home. Why did you come? The ref didn't stop the fight immediately. He must have been surprised by Lina's reaction. She was bawling her eyes out after the fight. Geez, get a real job. Fighting's not for you. Kim Couture said after the fight that she was happy with the win but obviously disappointed with her opponent's behaviour. Kim, if you want to stink up your own promotion, be my guest. But don't do that in Strikeforce. I'm sure we'll see Kim fight again. Obviously she needs a better opponent. So the fight isn't good but you guys want to see it anyway. Enjoy!

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Azymuth

Song:Nothing Will Be As It Was

Azymuth combines Brazilian rhythms with jazz and funk to produce music called samba doido or crazy samba. They built a following with some albums in the 80s and continue to perform today. Members are pianist Jose Roberto Bertrami (born Feb. 21, 1946 in Tatui, Brazil), bassist Alex Malheiros (born Aug. 19, 1946 in Niteroi, Brazil) and drummer Ivan Conti (born Aug. 16, 1946 in Rio De Janiero). Bertrami was working for Flora Purim when he met Conti in a nightclub in 1972. They heard Malheiros at another club and Azymuth released their debut album in 1973. A successful appearance at the 1977 Montreux Jazz Festival led to a US tour with Airto and a contract with Milestone Records. Azymuth released several albums in the early 80s that did very well on the jazz charts including this 1984 CD Telecommunications. All three recorded solo albums too. Bertrami left Azymuth in 1988 but the group continued and Bertrami returned in recent years and Azymuth continues to tour the world with their unique brand of Brazilian funk. They are currently signed with the British label Far Out and their most recent CD Butterfly was released last month. Here's Azymuth performing What's Going On.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Texas Tornados

Artist:Texas Tornados
Song:Adios Mexico
Album:The Best Of Texas Tornados

This outstanding supergroup of Tex-Mex music legends literally came together by accident. Accordion player Flaco Jiminez (born Mar. 11, 1939 in San Antonio), singer guitarist Freddy Fender (born Baldemar Huerta June 4, 1937 in San Benito, TX), singer guitarist Doug Sahm (born Nov. 6, 1941 in San Antonio) and keyboard player Augie Meyers (born May 31, 1940 in San Antonio) all had great success on their own. Jiminez & Fender as solo artists and Sahm & Meyers as part of the legendary 60s group Sir Douglas Quintet. The four had been friends for many years and when they performed together in San Francisco in 1989, it was so perfect they decided to call themselves Tex-Mex Revue and work together regularly. The group signed with Reprise Records and renamed themselves Texas Tornados after a song Sahm wrote for their 1990 debut CD. Adios Mexico is another Sahm tune that was on that CD. The album was released in English & Spanish versions. The album sold pretty well and reached #25 on the Country Album chart. After a few years, the Texas Tornados ran their course and all four guys went back to doing his own thing. Sahm & Meyers reformed Sir Douglas Quintet and Fender & Jiminez went on to form Los Super Seven. Doug Sahm died in 1999 and Freddy Fender died in 2006. The Texas Tornados are recommended listening for roots music fans and I like them a lot. Here's the video for Adios Mexico by Texas Tornados.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Kim Couture Pre-fight interview

Last time we saw Kim Couture in the ring, things didn't go too well for her. In her fight on June 20, Kim Rose broke her jaw at the start of the fight. Couture hung in well for the remainder of the fight and lost by decision. After making silly excuses for the loss, she admitted in an interview posted on this blog that she wasn't mentally prepared for the fight. She is now cleared to fight and will fight Lina Kvokov on this Friday's Strikeforce show on HDNet. Kvokov is a Russian living in Los Angeles and lost her debut match to Tamara Parks at the Apr. 3 Fatal Femmes Fighting show. Checkout this pre-fight interview that Kim Couture has done with MMA Weekly. She talks about her recovery and training, including a sparring session with Wanderlei Silva. The most interesting info is that the Couture promotion plans to run six shows in 2009. I believe they have run two shows this year. She also said they plan to change the name of the promotion to Xtreme Couture or something similar. She says at the end of the interview that she plans to concentrate more on running the promotion in 2009 and less on fighting. She says she only fights for fun. Of course we all know why Kim Couture gets an inordinate amount of attention for someone who fights for fun. There are plenty of accomplished women fighters who would kill for an opportunity to fight in Strikeforce on HDNet. But I will give Kim one piece of advice. Keep your guard up when you're touching gloves. Enjoy the video.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Albert Ayler

Artist:Albert Ayler
Song:Truth Is Marching In
Album:The Impulse Story

During the 1960s, there was a constant firestorm of debate about free jazz usually from traditionalists who didn't like it. Sax player Albert Ayler was at the center of the controversy. Unfortunately Ayler died prematurely so is somewhat forgotten. This Impulse Story comp sums up his musical career. It is not recommended to newcomers. He was born July 13, 1936 in Cleveland. He learned alto sax as a child and began playing professionally in a band with blues harmonica legend Little Walter. So he started out as an R & B honker. This all changed when Ayler moved to Sweden in 1962 and started jamming with avant garde piano legend Cecil Taylor. This led to Ayler returning to the US in 1964 and forming a band with bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Sunny Murray and a contract with ESP-Disk Records. Ayler grew up in church so his music had that spiritual fervor but the criticism was that he was too out of control. John Coltrane didn't think so and got Ayler a contract with Impulse in 1966. But Ayler's music never found a wide audience and after Coltrane's 1967 death, things seemed to unravel for Ayler especially after his brother Donald suffered a nervous breakdown. Truth Is Marching In is from Live In Greenwich Village which is probably one of Ayler's most accessible recordings. Impulse released a 2CD expanded edition in 1998. His later recordings didn't seem to have that same fervor. Albert Ayler disappeared on Nov. 5, 1970 and then his body was found in New York City's East River on Nov. 25 of an apparent suicide at age 34. There was some speculation about his death but his girlfriend said Ayler was depressed over his brother's problems and had threatened suicide. She tried to dissuade him but he jumped off the Statue Of Liberty ferry. Albert Ayler is somewhat of a cult figure among jazz musicians and there's even a documentary about him called My Name Is Albert Ayler. Of course there's no video footage of Albert Ayler but here's a clip from the documentary Inside Out In The Open that puts Ayler and free jazz in context.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Gina Carano in WEC?

Yesterday UFC held a press conference yesterday in Toronto to promote the upcoming Georges St. Pierre/BJ Penn fight. The reason they had it in Toronto is they're trying to put pressure on the Ontario Athletic Commission to legalize MMA. During the press conference, Dana White told reporters that he was willing to bring Gina Carano into the WEC. There is video of the press conference on Youtube but the audio isn't audible but the reporters all cheered. White first said this last week on ESPN in a very offhand manner as part of an hour long interview. Michael David Smith of AOL Fanhouse unearthed the comment and this was the first opportunity that reporters had to address the issue directly. But Dana White didn't say anything about a women's division. Here's the direct quote:

“Gina Carano is a star, I think she’s talented. I think she’s got all the tools, so what I’m willing to do is bring Gina into the WEC. We could do fights whenever there’s a challenger for Gina. That’s how I’ll test the waters and see how it goes,”

Since fans have a bad habit of jumping to conclusions, I am going to put this in the proper context. Sorry if it rains on someone's parade. Dana White realizes that if he's not interested in Gina Carano, he looks like a fool because that's a lot of money to leave on the table. But that doesn't mean he wants to start a women's division. Could it happen? Sure. Will it happen? Well, there are a lot of hurdles to jump over. Gina Carano and the other EliteXC fighters are still under contract. Last Monday's scheduled auction of the EliteXC assets was cancelled by Showtime because it appears that the fighter contracts are non transferrable. Meanwhile, Terry Trebilcock of King Of The Cage said last week that EliteXC management (mostly new CEO Chuck Champion) are still in talks with CBS. So it is possible that EliteXC may resurface on CBS with Trebilcock in charge. My gut feeling is that's what will happen. If CBS wasn't interested in MMA, they would have said that already. I prefer that scenario anyway because there are several female fighters in different weight classes under contract to EliteXC. Trebilcock is interested in women's MMA, not just Gina Carano. Dana White is only interested in Gina. If she's not available, don't expect any other women fighters in WEC. Stay tuned for future developments.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Leadbelly

Song:Governor O.K. Allen
Album:Midnight Special:The Library Of Congress Recordings Vol. 1

I guess the way to look at legendary folksinger Huddie "Leadbelly" Ledbetter is that he was a musical accident that reshaped American folk music as we know it today. So many of his songs are standards today and he was a major influence on other legends like Woody Guthrie & Pete Seeger. He was born Jan. 20, 1888 in Mooringsport, LA. He showed an early interest in music and by age 16 had moved to Shreveport to perform part time and work as a farm worker. He moved with his wife to Dallas in 1910 and met Blind Lemon Jefferson and they started working together. He moved back to Louisiana in 1915 and somehow wound up in a prison chain gang. He escaped and moved to Texas and lived under the name Walter Boyd. But he was arrested and convicted of murder in 1917 and sent to prison. He continued to sing in prison and actually earned a pardon by singing for the governor of Texas in 1925. By 1930, he was again back in prison for an assault. He applied for release in 1933 and was told that he would be released the next year if Governor O.K. Allen approved it. Meanwhile, Library Of Congress musicologist John Lomax and his son Alan Lomax were looking for singers to record in the field and they went to Angola Prison to see Leadbelly. Those are the recordings that are on this Rounder release. That's how the legend of Leadbelly was born and he became famous. Here's a video of Governor O.K. Allen by Leadbelly.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tara LaRosa, will you please shut up?

Ad Combat posted an interview with the outstanding MMA fighter Tara LaRosa today. I have posted a link to the article below. In the article, she talks about competing at next month's FILA Team Trials for Submission Grappling in California. But she also takes the time to call out Megumi Fujii. Why? Tara likes to call out any fighter who happens to be popular with fans even if it makes no sense. Of course I'm sure you all recall that after Gina Carano was on TV two years ago, Tara called out Gina incessantly. Fans asked me several times if that fight would ever happen. I always said it will never happen because of the weight difference and of course, it hasn't happened. But Tara doesn't know when to shut up.

I think Tara should be concerned about the American Fight League but I realize that she probably doesn't know anymore than we do. She could at least express disappointment in not having any fights for the AFL yet instead of making excuses. Could a fight between Tara LaRosa and Megumi Fujii happen? Again, there is a significant weight difference between the two but I don't believe Fujii is concerned about the weight difference so it's possible. But calling her out in the media without offering any ideas about how and where this might happen is not productive. If Tara really wants to fight Megumi Fujii, all she has to do is contact Josh Barnett. He isn't hard to find. Tara's challenge qualify as empty words. Is Tara LaRosa a great MMA fighter? Absolutely but she has enough history of this kind of nonsense that as good as she is in the ring, she doesn't understand how to do business properly. You don't repeatedly call out fighters in the media. So allow me to be the first to say "Tara LaRosa, shut the hell up".

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Miles Davis

Artist:Miles Davis
Song:Full Nelson
Album:Live Around The World

Miles Davis recorded so much music that it is very easy to get bogged down in the sheer volume of his discography. In 1985, Miles did the unthinkable and left Columbia Records after 30 years on the label and signed with Warner Bros. Records. This happened for a couple of reasons but mostly because the always mercurial Miles was constantly annoyed with Columbia's release schedule of his music. But the final straw was likely when Columbia sent golden boy trumpeter Wynton Marsalis on stage unannounced during one of Miles' concerts. Miles sent him off and he signed with Warners soon after. For his 1986 album Tutu, Miles reunited with bassist Marcus Miller and this innovator of recording techniques got to work with modern recording studio technology for the first time. Live Around The World is a collection of concert tracks recorded in the late 80s. The album was released in 1996. Marcus Miller wrote Full Nelson but he isn't on this album. Musicians include Kenny Garrett on sax, Joey Defrancesco, Robert Irving III, Kei Akagi & John Beasley on keyborads, Foley & Richard Patterson on bass and Ricky Wellman on drums. The album even includes a song from Miles' final live performance in 1991. Critics tend to dismiss his later music as not jazz but Miles was always a musical exlplorer and didn't seem to care much about musical pigeon holes. So this album is recommended listening. Miles Davis died on Sept. 28, 1991 at age 65. Here's Miles Davis performing Full Nelson at the 1988 North Sea Jazz Festival.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-The Nighthawks

Artist:The Nighthawks
Song:Bright Lights, Big City
Album:Rock 'n' Roll

Washington, DC blues rockers The Nighthawks have been entertaining music fans since the 70s. The leader of the group is harmonica player singer Mark Wenner (born Nov. 2, 1948 in Washington). He started the group with guitarist Jimmy Thackery (born May 19, 1953 in Pittsburgh), bassist Jan Zukowski (born July 10, 1950 in Washington) and drummer Pete Ragusa (born Mar. 8, 1949 in Washington) in 1972. They started out backing up touring blues artists but they got the opportunity to record when Billy Hancock attempted to resurrect the Aladdin label. Rock 'n' Roll was The Nighthawks 1975 debut. But Aladdin had money problems and the album languished and disappeared when they went broke. They signed with Adelphi and released a few albums and even recorded for Mercury in 1980. The Nighthawks signed with Rounder in 1983 and Rounder created the Varrick label thinking the band was more commercial than what is normally on Rounder. Rock 'n' Roll was releleased on Varrick in 1983. Rounder was probably misguided in thinking that The Nighthawks were a pop group. They're a basic blues rock band and a lot of their fanbase has seen them live. Radio play probably isn't going to help them much. Jimmy Thackery left The Nighthawks for his own successful career in 1986 but Mark Wenner continues to lead the group, tours worldwide and their most recent CD/DVD is a live recording called Blue Moon In Your Eye on their own Rolling Storm label in May 2006. They still have a strong fanbase among blues fans. Here's The Nighthawks performing 16 Tons in 1984.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ishioki, Fujii win in JEWELS debut

JEWELS held their debut show today at Shinjuku FACE. I haven't seen the figure but it looks like they may have filled the joint. They'll probably lie anyway. Before I get into the show itself, Roxanne Modafferi is a US fighter living in Japan. She went to the show and posted comments on Fightlinker. Her main complaint was the glitz and galamor of the show and the fact that the main event was booked because of the fighter's looks as opposed to their skill. Show supervisor Shigeru Saeki made it very clear at the press conference that looks are an issue with him. Should they be an issue? No but I'm not surprised that a male Japanese promoter would believe that. As for the glitz, fans have to understand that without joshi puroresu, there would be no women's MMA in Japan because those companies started women's MMA. So the women's MMA companies take their cues from pro wrestling. I have no problem with it. You do what is necessary to sell the product and sizzle is necessary. MMA fans and fighters who look down on pro wrestling fail to understand that MMA marketing is heavily influenced by pro wrestling marketing especially in Japan. It could have been worse. Fuuka could have been on the show. Just kidding. Actually, she's going to be shoot boxing next week.

So the main event of this show had Saori Ishioka vs Mika Nagano fighting ar 52kg. Nagano is one of those fighters I have seen complaints about because of her looks. But she has a legit grappling background. Unfotunately, she didn't make weight for this fight. Oh well. And Ishioka has a karate background. But JEWELS did sell the fight as a "beautiful woman confrontation". The fights are scheduled for two five minute rounds. And I noticed those goofy mittens that are a holdover from Smackgirl. They need to ditch those. Nagano began with an attempted takedown but Ishioka countered with strikes. Ishioka scores with a right hook and backs Nagano into the corner with strikes. They seperate and Ishioka hits a low kick but they exchange punches. Nagano goes for a tackle but Ishioka again holds her off with strikes. Nagano finally gets a takedown but Ishioka goes for her foot from underneath. Nagano goes for Ishioka's foot but she kicks out. Ishioka hits a low kick and continues to score with strikes. Nagano gets a takedown at the end of the round. Ishioka begins round two with a right. Nagano does her Aja Kong impersonation with a backfist. That move always gets a crowd reaction but isn't usually effective. Nagano throws a straight right but Ishioka counters. Ishioka continues to control the stand up. Nagano goes for a takedown but Ishioka winds up with a side mount. Nagano tries to counter. They stand up and Ishioka continues to score and wins with a unanimous decision. Ishioka is now 6-1 and should be looked at as a challenger for MIKU's DEEP Women's Lightweight Title.

Megumi Fujii returned against pro wrestler Tomoko Morii. Morii outweighed Fujii by 8kg. Now, this is Morii's MMA debut and she is fighting Fujii but she still told Daily Sports that she was confident going into the fight. Of course Fujii didn't waste any time. Fujii lands a left hook and Morii tries a takedown. But Fujii grabs her in a guillotine choke and continues to punch her. Morii drops her on her head. That's called a brainbuster in pro wrestling but it's an illegal move in MMA. It doesn't bother Fujii. She hooks an armbar and it's over in 1:05 of round one. HIROKO faced Super Benkei in an Open Weight match. Benkei begins with a right cross and a front kick. The former dominatrix HIROKO uses her size to get inside and go for a takedown and a side mount and an armbar. Benkei bridges and eventually escapes. but she has this kind of problem with HIROKO throughout the fight. HIROKO is tall so her reach is a big issue. When Benkei goes inside, she can't get enough leverage to take HIROKO down. HIROKO is unable to put her away but wins a unanimous decision. She said afterwards that she hurt her right leg in training three weeks ago and it's still bothering her. She also said she wants to work for VALKYRIE because she wants to fight in the cage.

Hitomi Akano fought HARI im a 66kg fight. Akano begins with kicks. HARI attempts a kick and then attempts a throw. Baut Akano grabs her foot and gets a submission with an armbar at 38 seconds of round one. Misaki Takimoto fought Masako Yoshida in a 49kg bout. Yoshida begins with punches and a front kick. Takimoto goes inside and scores with punches. Takimoto gets a low kick followed by punches. They continue to exchange punches but Takimoto takes her down and gets a heel hook as round one ends. Takimoto begins round two with a kick. Yoshida is still using strikes but Takimoto counters with an armlock and facelock. Yoshida punches her way out and finally gets her arm loose. Yoshida attacks but Takimoto slips her punch and gets an armbar and holds on until the end Takinoto wins by unanimous decision.

SACHI fought Kazumi Kaneko in a 48kg bout. SACHI was hailed by Saeki as one of "the three beautiful women of combat sports" along with Ishioka & Nagano. Kaneko went for a takedown and they got tangled up in the corner. The ref broke it up. SACHI goes for a takedown and eventually gets an armbar. Kaneko tries for the foot unsuccessfully and then tries to stand up. But SACHI holds on to the arm and gets a submission at 4:35 of round one. Kiyuko Ishikawa made her debut against kickboxer Sumie Yamada in a 48kg bout. Ishikawa throws a punch and then blocks a takedown. She gets her own takedown and goes for the foot. Yamada tries to get up and Ishikawa switches to a triangle choke and wins at 1:02 of round one. Shizuki Sugiyama also made her debut against HARUMI in a 60kg bout. Sugiyama scores with a knee kick and a punch and then throws HARUMI down. When the get back up, Sugiyama scores again. HARUMI tries to unsuccessfully trade punches. After a knee kick, Sugiyama takes her down and finishes her with a rear naked choke at 2:55 of round one. Saeki said afterwards that he is aiming for February for the next JEWELS show. Roxy shot video of Fujii's fight and put it up on Youtube. Check it out.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Ohio Express

Artist:Ohio Express
Song:Yummy, Yummy, Yummy
Album:Golden Classics

I'm sure many of you fondly remember this 1968 top ten hit. But who were the Ohio Express? Remember the 1910 Fruitgum Co.? Those two groups had a lot in common. Both were the creation of producers Jerry Kasenetz & Jeff Katz AKA Super K Productions. They met while attending the University Of Arizona and started out managing bands in New York City. They produced some singles for Cameo-Parkway in 1965 and then moved to Laurie Records and produced the 1967 top ten hit Little Bit O' Soul by Music Explosion. Former Cameo-Parkway exec Neil Bogart was starting Buddah Records and they joined the label. The Ohio Express came out of a group called The Rare Breed. They had released a single called Beg, Borrow & Steal in 1966. They had a dispute with Kasenetz-Katz and Buddah rereleased the song under the Ohio Express name and it was a top 40 hit. They recruited a group from Mansfield, OH called Sir Timothy & The Royals and renamed them Ohio Express and sent them out on tour. But the Ohio Express albums were actually recorded by studio musicians. The lead singer and songwriter of Yummy, Yummy, Yummy was Joey Levine. He was also lead singer of 1910 Fruitgum Co. But he never toured with the band. That's how Super K Productions worked. They coined the term "bubblegum music" and used the same studio musicians on all their records. Joey Levine left Super K over money and started a jingle production company. He still does that today. Ohio Express attempted to continue and so did Super K but neither had much success after Levine left. This comp on Collectables is definitive but Yummy, Yummy, Yummy is one of those songs you might want to get on a various artists comp. Yes, Ohio Express was a studio creation but here's a clip of them lip syncing Yummy, Yummy, Yummy.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Sleepy John Estes

Artist:Sleepy John Estes
Song:The Girl I Love, She Got Long Curly Hair
Album:Early Mandolin Classics Vol. 1

Sleepy John Estes was yet another 1930s blues pioneer who was thought to be dead but was rediscovered by the 60s folk boom. He sang in what Big Bill Broonzy called a "crying" style. So what's he doing on an album of mandolin classics? He was born Jan. 25, 1899 in Ripley, TN. He began to perform professionally at age 19 and made his recording debut for Bluebird in 1929. Apparently the nickname Sleepy came from his ability to sleep standing up. Estes was highly regarded as a singer but not as much as a guitarist so he worked with a couple of outstanding musicians for most of his life. One was harmonica player Hammie Nixon. The other was mandolin player James "Yank" Rachel. These three recorded together through the 30s on Bluebird & Decca until 1941. The Girl I Love, She Got Long Curly Hair was recorded in 1929. This various artists comp from Rounder has a variety of musical styles including Ukranian and hillbilly music and the blues. Estes' 30s recordings are on the Yazoo comp I Ain't Gonna Be Worried No More. Estes did record for Sun Records in 1952 but he was thought to be dead when blues historian Samuel Charters found him in 1962. Estes started touring again and recorded several abums for Delmark. He died of a stroke on June 5, 1977 at age 78 and was inducted into the Blues Hall Of Fame in 1991. Here's Sleepy John Estes with Yank Rachel performing Mailman Blues in 1964.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Hank Mobley

Artist:Hank Mobley
Song:A Baptist Beat
Album:Roll Call

Jazz critic Leonard Feather once described Hank Mobley as the Middleweight Champion Of The Tenor Sax meaning that he was at the second level of sax players in comparison to John Coltrane or Sonny Rollins. But Mobley has become more respected over the years. He played with all the greats and recorded classic albums on Blue Note. He was born July 7, 1930 in Eastman, GA and grew up in Elizabeth, NJ. He learned to play piano as a child and took up the sax at age 16. He modeled his style on the greats like Charlie Parker and Lester Young and started performing locally. Clifford Brown recommended him to Paul Gayten and Mobley joined in 1949 and stayed for two years. He was playing with pianist Walter Davis Jr. and Max Roach hired them when they backed him up on a club date. So he first recorded with Roach and then worked for Dizzy Gillespie in 1954. Mobley's big break came when he joined a band led by Horace Silver & Art Blakey that would soon become the Jazz Messengers. Mobley made his recording debut as a leader in 1955. When Silver & Blakey split, Mobley stayed with Silver. Then he landed in jail for drugs in 1958. When he got out, he joined Art Blakey in 1959. Then Mobley was hired by Miles Davis to replace John Coltrane in 1961. That didn't work out too well and Mobley returned to his solo career. He recorded several excellent albums on Blue Note including this 1960 album Roll Call. Musicians are Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, Wynton Kelly on piano, Paul Chambers on bass and Art Blakey on drums. It's good straight ahead bop and Blue Note released it on CD in 2002 with an alternate take of A Baptist Beat. Mobley continued to record for Blue Note through the 60s but problems with his lungs forced him to retire from music in the early 70s and he died on May 30, 1986 at age 55. Hank Mobley is a great sax player that you don't want to overlook. There's no video footage of Hank Mobley but here's a video for I Should Care.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Meiko Satomura returns

Meiko Satomura made her long awaited return from injury at Sendai Girls' Oct. 26 Zepp Sendai show in front of 700 fans. Of course her opponent was Aja Kong. The rest of the show was a five on five elimination match with the Sendai Girls youngsters against the Shirai Sisters and Mikado from MAKEHEN plus Misaki Ohata & Minori Makiba. It wasn't even a tag team match. It was a series of singles matches and the loser is replaced by one of the partners. And I guess the winning team is whoever wins the final match. It doesn't make any sense to me either. But sometimes promoters do things just because it's different. It doesn't mean it's a good idea. And as always, my standard caution when looking at a weird match like this is don't read too much into the results. The main reason to do it like this is to stretch it out to an hour. Individual matches wouldn't have lasted that long. It's simply a pointless timewaster and the real attraction is Satomura's return.

The five on five match began with Ice Ribbon's Minori Makiba vs Sendai's latest rookie Yukari Ishino. Makiba goes for an Achilles hold. Ishino tries to counter with an ankle lock but Makiba gets a headlock. Ishino hits a dropkick off the ropes and follows with two more in the corner followed by a neck throw. Ishino goes for the ankle lock but Makiba escapes. They exchange octopus holds. Ishino stomps Makiba and hits four dropkicks for two. Ishino hits a spear and a blockbuster but Makiba comes back with an octopus hold and gets a submission with a cross arm breaker at 10:57. DASH Chisako comes in. Chisako hits three dropkicks followed by strikes. They exchange elbows. Chisako misses a missile dropkick and Makiba goes for the armbar. Chisako gets to the ropes. Makiba stomps her and shoulder blocks her in the corner three times. Chisako counters with judo throws and an Ace Crusher and gets the win with a top rope splash at 2:07.

Misaki Ohata comes in and Chisako goes for an Achilles hold. Ohata escapes and goes for the arm followed by stomping and trampling followed by a sleeper. Chisako escapes and applies a camel clutch. Ohata bites her to escape and goes after Chisako with elbow smashes and three body attacks. They exchange elbows and Chisako follows with three dropkicks. They continue to go back and forth when Chisako hits a missile dropkick. But she misses a top rope shoulder block and Ohata gets two. The end comes when Chisako goes to the top but winds up in Ohata's subset cross rollup for the win at 7:47. Sendai Sachiko comes in. Ohata goes for the flash rollup for two. Her right arm is bothering her and Sachiko goes after it. First she stomps it and follows with an armbar and a sleeper. Sachiko hits a dropkick and a body ram for two. Ohata throwsan elbow but Sachiko counters with a DDT for two. Then a double list arm salto. They exchange missile dropkicks. Ohata tries a body attack but Sachiko hooks a chicken wing for the win at 3:23.

Io Shirai comes in. They exchange elbows. Io hits a dropkick followed by a sleeper. Sachiko escapes and applies an Achilles hold. She follows with stomps, a body ram and takes Io down with a headlock. They exchange elbows and Io hits three dropkicks. Io follows with a cartwheel elbow to the corner and a face crusher. They exchange elbows. Sachiko hits a dropkick and a body ram but misses a roaring senton. Io hits a missile dropkick followed by a 619 and a chinlock. Sachiko escapes and hits a German suplex followed by a DDT and a brainbuster. Sachiko goes for a moonsault press but Io gets her knees up. Io hits a senton and then wins with a Majistral cradle at 9:21. Ryo Mizunami comes in and begins with a kick, an elbow and a tackle. They exchange tackles and Mizunami hits a low dropkick to the face followed by a guillotine leg drop to the back of the head. Io hits a cartwheel elbow and a face crusher followed by a 619. Io hits a 619 and a brainbuster. Mizunami comes back with a tackle and a guillotine leg drop. Io comes back with a facelock and a shoulder block. The end comes when Mizunami hit a uranage and a diving guillotine leg drop for the win at 5:06. Mio Shirai comes in and attacks Mizunami before the bell with kicks to her knee. Mizunami comes back with a tackle and a guillotine leg drop. Mio comes back with a missile dropkick, a DDT and a heel drop. Mio stomps her but Mizunami kicks her and quickly wins with a uranage at 2:35.

Mikado comes in and goes after Mizunami's foot. They exchange punches. Mikado fakes a body ram and rolls Mizunami up for two. Mizunami comes back with a hammer punch, a kick and a body ram. Then she tramples her on the ropes. They exchange elbows and tackles. Mizunami hits a guillotine leg drop and goes after Mikado's shoulder. Mikado hits a brainbuster for two. The end comes when Mikado hits a blocbuster followed by a diving body press for the second rope for the win at 12:09. Hiren comes in for the final match. Whoever wins this wins for her team. They exchange kicks and Mikado gets a sleeper. Hiren escapes and attacks Mikado in the corner with a hip attack, a tackle and an elbow. Hiren follows with several dropkicks to the face and goes for her ankle lock. Mikado escapes but Hiren goes for it again. Mikado hits a power bomb but misses a move from the top rope. Hiren hits a missile dropkick for two. She follows with a lariat from the top rope. Hiren tries the ankle lock again. Mikado rolls through but Hiren turns it into a jacknife pin for the win at 6:01. Sendai Girls win.

Of course the main event has Meiko Satomura returning to action against Aja Kong. You'll notice that Satomura is wearing an eyepatch. Talk about a bullseye. Aja wastes no time and begins by trampling followed by a head butt and she attacks Satomura's eye with her elbow and knuckles. Then she stands on Satomura's stomach and and face. Satomura comes back with kicks and elbows. But Aja gouges her eye again but Satomura comes back with elbows, knees and a DDT followed by a knee and an elbow for two. Satomura follows with a lariat to the corner. Satomura blocks a backfist and hits a savate kick followed by an elbow. Aja counters with a lariat. They exchange kicks and Aja hits a backdrop followed by an elbow drop from the top rope. Aja goes after her eye again and hits a vertical fall brainbuster for two. Aja goes for her can and the backfist but Satomura ducks and hits an overhead kick and then kicks the can away from her. Aja goes for a Death Valley driver but Satomura counters and get a dragon sleeper. Aja again goes for a Death Valley but Satomura gets out of it and attempts the Scorpion Rising. They keep attempting their big moves but Satomura hits a backdrop. Aja counters with a diving elbow drop and a top rope brainbuster. Satomura blocks the backfist and hits a Death Valley bomb and Scorpion Rising for two. Satomura goes for the Scorpion Rising again but Aja blocks it and wins with two backfists at 18:35. Satomura thanked the fans for coming. It's good to see her back in the ring. But she should probably ditch the eyepatch.