Sunday, February 28, 2010

MIKU announces retirement

DEEP Women's Lightweight Champion MIKU announced at today's DEEP show that she will retire from MMA. The retirement ceremony will be at the Apr. 17 DEEP show. If there is an exhibition match on the show, DEEP matchmaker Shigeru Saeki said Megumi Fujii will be the opponent. Megumi was at today's show. It's been rumoured for about a month that MIKU would retire due to personal problems causing deep depression. MIKU said at the end of last year that she made the decision to retire. It reminds me a bit of when joshi wrestler Arisa Nakajima retired last spring. All the talent and potential in the world won't help if depression is clouding a person's mind. I guess MIKU could come back if she feels better. But the truth is if she's not healthy mentally, taking a break is the best option. Saeki said he had planned on MIKU vs Fujii this summer. Not anymore. What a waste. What about the title belt? They could turn it into a JEWELS title belt. Fujii is the obvious favourite. I don't think there's anyone in either JEWELS or VALKYRIE who could beat her though I'm sure Mika Nagano would like the opportunity. So it's a very sad day but as I said I've known about this for a month so I'm not surprised.

Sarah Kaufman is the Strikeforce 135lb Women's Champion

OK gang. Once again it's time for Big Bad Blog Video Theatre. For those of you who did not get to see Friday's 135lb Strikeforce Women's Championship match between Sarah Kaufman and Takayo Hashi, here's the complete video. Of course you may have trouble staying awake. It just wasn't very good. Hashi was the main culprit. She said last week that she wanted to trade punches with Sarah despite being a submission specialist. So Sarah knocked her down a couple of times in round one. Sarah didn't persue her on the ground and let her get up. Fans mistakenly assume that Sarah is a one dimensional fighter. She isn't but she prefers standing and trading punches. So her strategy as dictated by her coach Adam Zugec was if Hashi wants to stand up, let her. The problem was it made for a boring fight because Hashi insisted on continuing this poor strategy. Mostly she tried to avoid getting hit and didn't try for takedowns until later in the fight. And Sarah has such a low center of gravity, she's difficult to take down anyway. I guess Hashi thought she could wear Sarah out. Ain't happening. In fact, Hashi ran out of gas. She fought like she was more interested in surviving five rounds than winning. And she's an experienced fighter who should know better. Sarah explained afterwards that Hashi was backpedaling and that made her difficult to hit. But the problem was fans in San Jose left after round two stunk out the joint. Part of the problem was that the previous match between San Jose resident Trevor Prangley and Karl Amoussou ended in a technical draw when Amoussou was poked in the eye. And the fans weren't familiar with either of the women. And as I've said before, that's on Strikeforce for not promoting the fight properly. But congratulations to Sarah Kaufman and her trainer Adam Zugec for winning the title. She's going to be tough to beat. Who's next? Probably the winner of next month's Meisha Tate/Zoila Frausto match. And don't forget the 135lb #1 contender tournament is coming up. Enjoy the video.

Jango Song Of The Day-The Five Americans

Artist:The Five Americans
Song:I See The Light
Album:The Best Of The Five Americans

The Five Americans had several top 40 hits in the mid-60s. They had a lot of success for a group that wasn't around very long. I See The light wasn't their biggest hit but it's probably their best song. Though The Five Americans were billed as being from Dallas, they were actually from Oklahoma. Guitarist Mike Rabon grew up in Hugo, OK and had a band called Rhythm Rebels in high school. Pianist John Durrill was from Bartlesville, OK and had a band while attending Southeastern Oklahoma State College. They met in 1962, added guitarist Norman Ezell, bassist Jim Grant and drummer Johnny Coble and called themselves The Mutineers. They recorded a single financed by Rabon's father and moved to Dallas in 1964. Coble backed out and was replaced by Jim Wright. They were spotted by John Abdnor Jr. and he signed them to his Abnak label. Abdnor's father was a millionaire insurance man and the label was started to give Junior something to do. He insisted on the name change to The Five Americans. I See The Light was their debut single in 1965. It was leased for national distribution to HBR Records which was owned by the Hanna-Barbera cartoon studio and it reached #26 on the Billboard Hot 100. Their follow up single Western Union did even better and reached the top ten. And Dale Hawkins (Suzie Q) started producing them. But friction with Abdnor and the lack of major label distribution eventually killed the group. Durrill and Ezell left and after one final album, The Five Americans split up in 1969. Mike Rabon was a member of Gladstone and then had a long career in the Oklahoma school system. John Durrill joined The Ventures and wrote songs for others. Norman Ezell and Jim Wright are both ministers and Jim Grant died in 2004. This comp is available from Sundazed Records. Here's The Five Americans performing I See The Light on Shivaree 1965.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Jango Song Of The Day-Mark McGuinn

Artist:Mark McGuinn
Song:Mrs. Steven Rudy
Album:Mark McGuinn

Singer songwriter Mark McGuinn had a top ten country hit with his debut single Mrs. Steven Rudy in 2001. It looked like he was on his way but his record label went bust and he's still on the comeback trail. He was born Aug. 19, 1968 in Greensboro, NC. He started out playing jazz trumpet. After a knee injury ended a potential career as a professional soccer player, he moved to Nashville to become a songwriter. In 2001, he signed with VFR Records. VFR was co-owned by former RCA and Mercury Records exec Harold Shedd. He has worked with Alabama and Reba McEntire among others. Originally the first single was supposed to be That's A Plan. But a Dallas DJ suggested Mrs. Steven Rudy instead. It turned out to be the right decision as it reached #6 on the country charts. McGuinn co-wrote the song with producer Shane Decker. The banjo is played by Wanda Vick of the 80s group Wild Rose. The album did well especially considering it was on an independent label. He also got some attention for the 9/11 tribute song More Beautiful Today which is available only as a download. He also wrote Lonestar's 2001 hit Unusually Unusual. So McGuinn is recording his follow up recording when he learns that VFR went out of business. So with partner Jim Foster, he started Blue Flamingo Records and One Man's Crazy was released in 2006. The album didn't do as well but McGuinn is still around touring and writing songs for others. And Mrs. Steven Rudy is a really good song. Here's the video for Mrs. Steven Rudy by Mark McGuinn.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Jango Song Of The Day-The Uniques

Artist:The Uniques
Song:You Ain't Tuff
Album:Nuggets: Original Artyfacts For the First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968

The Uniques were a very obscure garage band from Shreveport, LA. Because of Rhino's Nuggets comps, there is still some interest in them. But they never broke through nationally. They are not to be confused with the Jamaican group also called The Uniques. The leader of The Uniques was Joe Stampley (born June 6, 1943 in Springhill, LA). Country music fans will be familiar with him. The Uniques started playing in Shreveport and gained a following in the south. This led to a contract with Paula Records. Like a lot of regional record companies, Paula had problems distributing nationally. The Uniques 1966 album Uniquely Yours was their first release. The label was a division of Jewel Records which was more of an R & B label. The Uniques had some minor chart success with songs like Not Too Long Ago, All These Things and You Ain't Tuff. And they even performed You Ain't Tuff in the film Where The Action Is. But they were never able to break through to a national audience. So after four albums, Stampley disbanded The Uniques and signed with ABC-Dot Records in 1971. He was a big country music star in the 70s and even had a #1 country hit with All These Things in 1976 after he moved to Epic Records. Stampley is semi-retired now. Sundazed Records has released Uniquely Yours on vinyl only. So the best way to get You Ain't Tuff on CD is on Rhino's Nuggets box set. It's a box set you should have anyway if you're into this kind of music. Here's The Uniques performing You Ain't Tuff in the 1966 film Where The Action Is.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Joshi wrestlers coming to SHIMMER

SHIMMER announced that Ayumi Kurihara, Hiroyo Matsumoto, Misaki Ohata and Tomoka Nakagawa will appear on their Apr. 9 & 10 tapings and will also appear for Jersey All Pro Wrestling on Apr. 17. This was arranged through Kurihara and the S-Ovation office. Ayumi Kurihara is currently co-holder of the NEO Tag Team Titles with Yoshiko Tamura. The video clip of the Feb. 14 NEO show features their latest title defense. Ayumi has handled her own bookings since M's Style closed. Of course a lot of fans know that a lot of veteran wrestlers own businesses but it's been unusual for younger wrestlers to do that. For example, Kana has a new video game she created launching this weekend. Ayumi gets her entreprenurial spirit from her parents. They own a restaurant and Ayumi has started a catering business providing noodles to a pro baseball team. Yes, there is life after wrestling. Ayumi said on her blog that they would like to book some more US dates. So if you're a promoter and you want four wrestlers who will blow the roof off your hall and give you more than your money's worth, you can contact Ayumi at or you can contact S-Ovation at The RINGSTARS Spring Festival at the Osaka World Hall Mar. 21 will feature these four wrestlers in a special American Send Off match. The only problem that I see with these four wrestlers is Nakagawa is the only one who plays heel regularly. I don't like Ohata much but she teams a lot with Matsumoto so that may be the best way to use her. I'm sure a lot of fans attending the show have never seen joshi wrestlers live so it is a big deal.

Jango Song Of The Day-Cubanismo

Song:Mambo UK
Album:Mucho Gusto: The Very Best Of Cubanismo

The international success of Cubanismo proves that in the music business, timimg is everything. Group leader, primary songwriter and trumpeter Jesus Alemany was in the right place at the right time and the right person helped make Cubanismo a success. Alemany was a child prodigy in Cuba and at age 16 he joined the legendary band Sierra Maestra. After over a decade, he moved to London and with the help of other Cuban musicians living in England, he arranged a jam session in Paris in 1994. One of those in attendance was Hannibal Records owner and legendary record producer Joe Boyd. He got his start producing Fairport Convention in the 60s. Boyd told Alemany to return to Havana and organize a band, record it and bring him the results. One of the key members of Cubanismo on their first couple of albums was veteran jazz pianist Alfredo Rodriguez. Cubanismo toured to support their 1996 debut and their 1997 follow up Malembe. So they were doing well already but were even more popular after the 1997 film Buena Vista Social Club blew up. So their 1999 CD Reencarnacion was even bigger and Mambo UK was one of their most popular songs. After recording Mardi Gras Mambo in 2000, Cubanismo left Hannibal. This comp covers the Hannibal recordings. Their latest CD Greetings From Havana was released on the Australian label AIM in 2007 and they are still touring. Do you like Cuban music but never heard of them? Here's your chance to check them out. Here's Cubanismo performing Mambo UK.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Jango Song Of The Day-The Chordettes

Artist:The Chordettes
Song:Mr. Sandman
Album:25 All-Time Greatest Recordings

This 1954 hit epitomizes the innocence of the 1950s and is still very popular today. Some classify The Chordettes as doo wop but they're more of a cross between the 40s pop of The Andrews Sisters and Barbershop Quartet music. The Chordettes were from Sheboygan, WI. Jinny Osborn's father was the president of the Barbershop Harmony Society. So she grew up with that music. Other members were Janet Ertel, Carol Buschmann and Dorothy Schwartz. Lynn Evans replaced Dorothy in 1953. In 1949, they won Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts radio program. That got them a record deal with Columbia and with Godfrey's musical director Archie Bleyer. They became regulars on Godfrey's TV show. Bleyer married Janet Ertel and signed to his new label Cadence Records. On Columbia, The Chordettes recorded a capella. When they moved to Cadence, Bleyer started backing them with a band. In 1954, Mr. Sandman was #1 for seven weeks. The Barbershop Quartet elements are still there but Bleyer's production gives it a bounciness that appealed to listeners. Bleyer is also playing his knees at the beginning of the song and that's him as Mr. Sandman. Mr. Sandman was originally recorded by Vaughn Monroe. The Chordettes were one of those groups that recorded covers of doo wop songs. They had a top 20 hit with The Teen Queens' Eddie My Love and in 1958 they reached #2 with Lollipop which was originally recorded by Ronald & Ruby. Jinny Osborn left The Chordettes and they split in 1961 when they couldn't find a decent replacement. This comp from Varese has all their hits. Lynn Evans reformed The Chordettes in the 90s to work in Branson, MO. Jinny Osborn died in 2003. So here's a video for Mr. Sandman by The Chordettes and see if that brings back any memories.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Kaufman vs Hashi named main event of Friday's Strikeforce show

Today Strikeforce announced that the Strikeforce 135lb Women's Championship match between Sarah Kaufman and Takayo Hashi will be the main event of this Friday's show. Well, DUH! So why didn't they do this before? There's no good answer to this question except that Strikeforce's promotion of this fight makes them look like incompetent boobs. We saw this with Marloes Coenen too. Fans have seen Sarah Kaufman but Strikeforce needs to tell fans about Takayo Hashi. Fans here do not know she is 12-1. They don't know that she was SMACKGIRL Middleweight Champion. She is as accomplished and more experienced than Sarah. Some of you may be familiar with pro wrestler Sybil Starr from Michigan. But what you may not know is Sybil fought Hashi in Smacklgirl in 2006. The match is on Youtube but the video quality is very poor so I'm not using it. So I sent Sybil a video of Kaufman vs Baszler and asked her to comment on the match. She thinks Kaufman and Hashi have similar fighting styles. Hashi's background is karate so she can trade punches. I agree with Sybil that neither fighter is flashy but both are very effective and it should be a great fight. We all know that Sarah is always well prepared by her trainer Adam Zugec and she has superior cardio. The video is of Takayo Hashi's most recent fight against Chisa Yonezawa on the Nov. 2008 VALKYRIE show. I am concerned that she hasn't fought in a while. And Strikeforce is again to blame as this fight was supposed to occur in November 2009 and was postponed. And fans have also asked me why a title fight is on a Challengers show. Strikeforce seems to have problems with scheduling and of course promoting quality female fighters who aren't known to most fans. These two problems have made Strikeforce's Johnny Come Lately efforts to promote this fight as awfully lame. But the fight will be worth your time.

Jango Song Of The Day-People's Choice

Artist:People's Choice
Song:Do It Any Way You Wanna
Album:Golden Classics

Do It Any Way You Wanna was the biggest hit for 70s funk band People's Choice. They had some other R & B and dance hits but this is the song most folks will remember. The group was led by Buffalo native Frank Brunson. He was lead singer and keyboard player. Other members were vocalists Valerie Brown & Marc Reed, guitarists Darnell Jones & Johnnie Hightower, bassist Stanley Thomas and drummer David Thomson. They had a top ten R & B hit in 1971 with I Likes To Do It. That got the attention of Philadelphia International Records owners and legendary Philly Soul producers Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff. People's Choice recorded the album Boogie Down USA in 1975. The singles didn't seem to catch on unitil the mostly instrumental Do It Any Way You Wanna caught on and topped the R & B and dance charts and reached #11 on the Billboard Hot 100. There's not much to the song but it was written by Leon Huff. People's Choice continued to do well on the dance charts until they left Philadelphia International for Casablanca. They recorded an album there in 1980 and then an album for Mercury in 1984. This CD from Collectables is the Boogie Down USA album with some B sides added. Brunson couldn't have been very happy with the group being pigeonholed as an instrumental group with chanting because they started out as a funk group. But that's what happens sometimes in the music business. Frank Brunson died on Nov. 24, 2007 at age 78. Here's the video for Do It Any Way You Wanna by People's Choice.

Monday, February 22, 2010

WWE pulls pathetic bait & switch

So if you've read the results from last night's WWE PPV, you know that there was supposed to be a WWE Divas Title match between Maryse and Gail Kim that didn't happen. The proceedings begin on this video at about the three minute mark. It begins with a very good backstage segment where Maryse learns that Gail Kim speaks French. So that's a good setup for the title match until Vickie Guerrero comes out and changes the match. She has Maryse and Gail team up against Michelle McCool and Layla. So why did they do this? The only reason is to get Vickie over as the heel authourity figure. She's over already so it's not even necessary. I would have no problem if this was done on an episode of RAW. But to do it on a PPV not only cheats fans of a title match but it's disrespectful to the wrestlers. What kind of message is that to send to talent? They're telling them they don't care about them. Of course we know that anyway but this was pretty bad. The match itself meant nothing as it was predictable that Maryse wanted Gail to get whupped. So it is a waste of ten minutes but you guys want to see it anyway.

WWE Elimination Chamber 2010 Part 5
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Jango Song Of The Day-Poco

Song:Call It Love
Album:The Ultimate Collection

Poco came out of the ashes of the very popular Buffalo Springfield. But they've been around for decades. Call It Love was one of their biggest hits and was the result of a 1989 reunion. Richie Furay (born May 9, 1944 in Yellow Springs, OH) started the group with Jim Messina (born Dec. 5, 1947 in Harlingen, TX) and pedal steel guitarist Rusty Young (born Feb. 23, 1946 in Long Beach, CA). They added drummer George Grantham and after a complicated transaction, they signed with Epic Records. They wanted to call themselves Pogo but cartoonist Walt Kelly objected. Furure Eagle Randy Meissner was part of the group but left after a disagreement with Furay. Their first album Pickin' Up The Pieces was critically acclaimed but didn't sell that well. This continued for the next few years. Messina left to become a house producer at Columbia. Furay left in 1973 to join the Souther-Hillman-Furay Band. Timothy B. Schmit replaced Meissner and Paul Cotton replaced Messina. Young became leader and Poco went to ABC Records. Scmit left to join Eagles. Young planned to resume touring and recording as the Cotton-Young Band. But ABC agreed to keep them if they kept the Poco name. They hired British musicians Steve Chapman & Charlie Harrison and the 1978 album Legend became their biggest success with Crazy Love reaching the top twenty. Poco moved to Atlantic in 1982 but were dropped in 1984. Poco resurfaced on RCA in 1989. At the urging of Richard Marx, Legacy reunited original members, Furay, Messina, Young, Meissner & Grantham. Call it Love reached the top twenty and Legacy went gold. Rusty Young continues to lead a version of Poco today. This comp from Hip=O is a good intro to their music. Here's the video for Call It Love by Poco.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Jango Song Of The Day-Sparks

Artist:Sparks f/Jane Weidlin
Song:Cool Places
Album:Profile: The Unlimited Sparks Collection

Cool Places was probably the most commercial song ever released by Sparks. But it wasn't all that successful and they remained a cult band. Sparks are basically Russell & Ron Mael. They would add other musicians but they wrote all the songs. They grew up in Pacific Palisades, CA and were part of the late 60s Los Angeles club scene as Halfnelson. Todd Rundgren spotted them and talked Albert Grossman into signing them to Bearsville. The name Sparks is a goof on The Marx Brothers. After their first album tanked, they switched to Warner Bros. and moved to England in 1973 and signed with Island Records. Their 1974 album Kimono My House gave them a #2 hit on the British charts with This Town Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us. They never really broke through in the US the way they wanted so they moved back to Los Angeles in 1976 and tried for a more "American" sound. They also appeared in the 1976 film Rollercoaster. By the late 70s they became friends with producer Georgio Moroder and veered into disco territory. But with Cool Places, Sparks returned to the kind of quirky pop songs they were known for and it reached the top 50. And Go Gos singer guitarist Jane Weidlin was a Sparks fan so she even toured with them. The song also turned up in the popular film Valley Girl. They turned their attention to film in the late 80s but Sparks returned to music in 1994 and continue to release CDs on their own label. This 2CD comp from Rhino is out of print but you should be able to find a copy. Cool Places isn't on any single CD comps. Here's the video for Cool Places by Sparks featuring Jane Weidlin.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Jango Song Of The Day-Hot Chocolate

Artist:Hot Chocolate
Song:You Sexy Thing
Album:Their Greatest Hits

There were two groups called Hot Chocolate in the 70s. This British group is the one behind the 1975 top five hit You Sexy Thing. And it entered the top ten again when it was used in the 1997 film The Full Monty. The leaders of Hot Chocolate were lead singer Errol Brown (born Nov. 12, 1948 in Kingston, Jamaica) and bassist Tony Wilson (born Oct. 8, 1947 in Trinidad). They wrote all the songs. Other members were Tony Connor on drums, Larry Ferguson on keyboards, Harvey Hinsley on guitar and Patrick Olive on percussion. A 1969 cover of John Lennon's Give Peace A Chance got them a contract with Apple Records. But Apple was imploding at the time and legendary producer Mickie Most put them on his own RAK label. They were doing very well on the British charts but really hit it big when You Sexy Thing reached #3 on the Billboard Hor 100 in 1975. Tony Wilson left to go solo in 1975 and Olive took over the bass. They also had a top ten hit with Every 1's A Winner. Hot Chocolate continued to be very successful on the British charts until Brown disbanded the group in 1986. He hasn't had much solo success but You Sexy Thing has been very durable and returned to the charts again when it was used in the 1997 film The Full Monty. And it also got a lot of attention from it's use in a 1999 Burger King commercial. You can get all of their hits on this comp. Errol Brown now lives in retirement in the Bahamas. You Sexy Thing has made him a lot of money. Here's the video for You Sexy Thing by Hot Chocolate from The Full Monty.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Ana Michele Tavares interview

Recently I was asked about Brazilian fighter Ana Michele Tavares and sure enough here's a video interview with In The Guard TV. Last time we saw Ana Michele she won over Lisa Ward as part of Smackgirl's ill fated World Remix Tournament almost two years ago. According to this interview, she plans to get back into MMA in the very near future. In the interim she has been teaching Barzilian Jiu Jitsu and competing in BJJ tournaments. I'm sure Carina Damm would like a crack at her and a trip to Japan for Ana Michele would be intriguing especially against someone like V1 or MIKU. Enjoy the video!

Jango Song Of The Day-Mundy

Song:To You I Bestow
Album:William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet: Music From The Motion Picture: 10th Anniversary Edition

Irish singer songwriter Mundy is best known for this song from Baz Luhrmann's 1996 film Romeo + Juliet. It's been all downhill from there as he was dumped by Sony after one album. He now has his own company. He was born Edmund Enright Feb. 12, 1976 in Birr, County Offaly, Ireland. He moved to Dublin at age 18 and became a busker. He was discovered by Martin "Youth" Glover formerly of Killing Joke and signed with Epic. To You I Bestow was released as a single and then Mundy got a break when the song was licensed to be used in Romeo + Juliet. And they even did a video for the song. The soundtrack sold eleven million copies worldwide. But Mundy's debut CD Jellylegs didn't sell and Epic dropped him while he was recording his follow up CD in 1999. So Mundy took the royalties he earned from To You I Bestow and started his own Camcor label. He's not well known in the US but he's done very well on the Irish charts. His latest CD Strawberry Blood was released Apr. 2009. If you're interested in the Romeo + Juliet soundtrack, EMI released a 10th Anniversary Edition in 2007 with four bonus tracks. Here's the video for To You I Bestow by Mundy.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Jango Song Of The Day-The Soul Survivors

Artist:The Soul Survivors
Song:Expressway To Your Heart
Album:Sweet Soul Music: 1967

This 1967 top five hit is notable as the very first hit for the legendary Philly Soul production team of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. It's a pretty good example of Blue Eyed Soul which is basically R & B performed by whites. It was also the only big hit for The Soul Survivors and they weren't even from Philly. They were from New York City and known as The Dedications in the early 60s. The lead singers were Charlie & Richie Ingui and Kenny Jeremiah. The rest of the band was Chuck Trois on guitar, Paul Venturini on organ, Edward Leonetti on bass and Joey Forgione on drums. They released a few singles and changed their name to The Soul Survivors. They signed with Crimson Records which was an offshoot of Jerry Greene's Lost Nite reissue label. Greene also founded Collectables Records in 1980. He put them in touch with Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff who were just getting started. Expressway To Your Heart was a huge hit in Philly and then The Soul Survivors signed a deal with Atco and the song reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1967. Follow up singles and two albums didn't do well and The Soul Survivors split up in 1972. They did reform for a 1974 album but it too was unsuccessful. You can get all The Soul Survivors recordings on Collectables. But most fans are only going to want Expressway To Your Heart. Rhino did release a various artists Blue Eyed Soul comp that is now out of print. And most of the various artists comps are crap. But this one from Bear Family is a little pricy but it is good and worth getting. Charlie & Richie Ingui continue to tour the oldies circuit today. And here they are performing Expressway To Your Heart on FOX Philly 29's Good Day Philadelphia Oct. 30, 2009.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

HIROKO looking for redemption on Mar. 19 JEWELS show

JEWELS held a press conference today to announce the main event and a couple of other matches for their Mar. 19 Shinjuku FACE show. But first they announced that Saori Ishioka suffered an injury in training and will not be on the show. No Megumi Fujii either. The main event is very interesting as HIROKO (left) will try to avenge the only loss in her career to date against Hitomi Akano (right). In the past HIROKO has always fought at Open Weight but this fight is contracted for 65kg. That's a 10kg cut for HIROKO. And it's not like she's muscular. She's just tall. Of course Hitomi Akano trains at AACC. Her record is 15-6 and her last fight was a win over Miki Morifuji on the July 11 JEWELS show. She is expected to be a part of the upcoming Strikeforce 135lb #1 contender tournament. HIROKO trains at Master Japan. Her record is 7-1-1 and her last fight was a win over Shannon Hooper at the May 16 JEWELS show. Akano won over HIROKO on the Apr. 25, 2008 Smackgirl show. HIROKO made it very clear that she is cutting weight because she wants to come to Strikeforce and fight Cris Cyborg. If she wins this fight, she could be a part of the 145lb #1 contender tournament. But they might want to keep her past as a dominatrix quiet.

The semi-main event is also very interesting as Nika Nagano (right) will face Mai Ichii (left) in a match contracted for 52kg. These two know each other from working at Sakura Emi's Ice Ribbon pro wrestling company. Ichii is known to be a little nuts and can be annoying. Her MMA record is 3-1 and her most recent fight was a win over Megumi Watanabe at the Nov. 2, 2008 Square Jungle exhibition. She started out as a pro wrestler trained by Sakura Emi when she owned Gtkn. She left pro wrestling a couple of years ago and has worked mostly for the M-1 kickboxing company. She has recently returned to pro wrestling for Ice Ribbon and that's where she trains. Nagano trains at S-Keep. She comes from the renowned wrestling program at Chukyo University. Her record is 5-2 and her last win was over Yuko Kagoshima on the Dec. 11 JEWELS show to win the ROUGH STONE tournament. She has also dabbled in pro wrestling at Ice Ribbon. Ichii was needling Nagano about her lack of commitment to pro wrestling. Nagano made it clear that she does pro wrestling for fun and MMA is her priority. She said Ichii can say what she wants. Nagano says she will knock her out. In a match contracted for 58kg, Shizuka Sugiyama will face Miki Morifuji. Sugiyama trains at the Yokohama branch of Zendokai. Her record is 6-1 and her last fight was a win over Ko Ozeki Dec. 11, JEWELS show. Morifuji trains at T-Blood. Her record is 8-6 and her last fight was a win over Han So Lee at the Nov. 11 DEEP vs CMA Korea show. All matches are scheduled for two five minute rounds.

Jango Song Of The Day-Carlos Gardel

Artist:Carlos Gardel
Album:The Best Of Carlos Gardel

Despite his tragic death in a plane crash at age 44, Carlos Gardel is still revered today in Argentina as a tango pioneer. He wrote a lot of tango standards and had the matinee idol looks to be a huge star. He was born Dec. 11, 1890 in Toulouse, France. There has been some confusion about his birthplace but it appears Gardel may have created that confusion himself to avoid service in the French military. Gardel and his mother moved to Buenos Aires in 1893. He started performing folk songs professionally as a teen and first recorded with Jose Razzano in 1913. Gardel was shot during a nightclub fight on Dec. 11, 1915 but he was fortunate that the bullet lodged in his lung and he made a full recovery. He started recording tangos in 1917 and by 1925 he was a solo star in Argentina and Spain. He made his Paris debut in 1928 and became a star there too. Then he started appearing in films and Paramount paired him up with lyricist Alfredo LaPera and they would write many of Gardel's best loved songs including Volver. So now he was becoming a marinee idol. Gardel went on tour and the plane was taking off from Madelin, Colombia and it veered and crashed into another plane. Carlos Gardel was dead on June 24, 1935 at age 44. LaPera died in the crash too. His death hasn't diminished his impact in Argentina and he is still revered today. He's not well known in the US but Paramount had plans to make him a star. He appeared in The Big Broadcast Of 1936 but his scene was cut when he died. This comp is a good intro to his music. Here's Carlos Gardel performing Volver in the 1935 film El Dia que Me Quieras.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Card announced for Fuuka's retirement show

Fuuka and Nanae Takahashi held a press conference today to announce the main event for Fuuka's Mar.28 retirement show at Korakuen Hall. Check out the video of the press conference. Takahashi will be Fuuka's opponent in her retirement match. This is good because Takahashi will make sure the match is good as Fuuka is notorious for stinking out the joint in big matches. Fuuka has also agreed to appear on the Mar. 19 Passion Red show at Shin-kiba 1st Ring. You'll notice in the video that Takahashi makes Fuuka an honorary member of Passion Red by giving her a red headband. Then she does the "rah rah" stuff which can get very irritating. The rest of the show is definitely a cut above the usual Fuuka Matsuri nonsense. The big news is that Ultimo Dragon will appear on the show with a partner TBA against MASADA & NOZAWA. Fuuka did appear on an UD show in Mexico City a couple of years ago. They are also doing a Tigre Fuuka match with Fuuka in her lucha mask teaming with Dark Angel/Sarita against Hiroka & Princess Sugey. That's pretty big too. They're also doing a comedy "Royal Rumble" style match featuring everyone from Yumiko Hotta to Small Antonio Inoki to Minoru Suzuki. There's a timewaster for you. They're having a Future Ace match with Shuu Shibutani & Misaki Ohata vs Ayumi Kurihara & Natsuki*Taiyo. The opener will have Io Shirai vs Kagetsu from Sendai Girls. And there's one more match TBA. There will also be a live band and an opening dance number and of course the show will end with a retirement ceremony. Enjoy the video!

Jango Song Of The Day-The Chocolate Watchband

Artist:The Chocolate Watchband
Song:Let's Talk About Girls
Album:Melts In Your Brain Not On Your Wrist: The Complete Recordings 1965-1967

The Chocolate Watchband are one of the more celebrated garage bands of the early psychedelic era. Of course the odd thing is they're more successful today then they ever were back then. And their original vinyl albums once sold for $100. Today you can get all their recordings on this 2CD comp from Big Beat. They were first formed in San Jose, CA in 1965 by guitarist Ned Torney and Mark Loomis. The had been in The Chaparrals. The band ended when Torney was recruited to join The Topsiders. Loomis went to work for The Shandels. But he didn't like the band and decided to reform The Chocolate Watchband with Shandels bassist Bill Flores and former Watchband drummer Gary Andrijasevich. Then they added former Topsiders guitarist Sean Tolby and Early Morning Reign lead singer David Aguilar. They began working with producer Ed Cobb (formerly of The Four Preps). They released some poorly distributed singles and appeared in the films Riot On Sunset Strip and The Love-Ins. But they weren't getting anywhere. So Loomis, Andirjasevich & Aguilar left. Tolby & Flores brought in new members but it didn't last and they split up Dec. 1967. But then they reformed in 1968 with Tolby, Flores, Loomis, Andirijasevich, Torney and original lead singer Danny Phay. They continued to work with Cobb but frequently he would record songs without the band and release them anyway. Don Bennett was brought in as lead singer for Let's Talk About Girls and a lot of songs were recorded by studio musicians. This would kill the band until the Nuggets garage band comps generated new interest in them. University professor David Aguilar reformed The Chocolate Watchband in 1999 and they've been playing ever since. Here's The Chocolate Watchband performing Let's Talk About Girls 2007.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sakura Hirota's return

Here's the S-Arena video digest for Pro Wrestling WAVE's Jan. 31 Nagoya show. You're probably aware that Sakura Hirota returned to the ring in December for DDT. I think this may be her first appearance for a joshi fed. She is teaming with Sonoko Kato and Toshie Uematsu vs GAMI, Yumi Ohka and Bullfight Sora. Hirota is the focus of the match so I'm sure anyone who likes her antics will enjoy this video. GAMI likes to do silly comedy anyway so she might fit in at WAVE. Enjoy the video.

Jango Song Of The Day-David Bowie

Artist:David Bowie
Song:Rebel Rebel
Album:The Best Of David Bowie 1969/1974

There is something to be said for David Bowie's ability to reinvent himself. You have to be able to do that if you're going to have longevity in the music business. I'm not crazy about a lot of his music but I find his early 70s music holds up very well so I'm going to concentrate on that. He was born David Jones Jan. 8, 1947 in Brixton, England. He was punched in the eye at age 15 resulting in permanent blindness. He changed his name to David Bowie in 1966 to avoid confusion with Davy Jones of The Monkees. In 1967, he recorded for Deram. That stuff bombed and Bowie took a couple of years to figure out who he wanted to be. He resurfaced in 1969 with Space Oddity. It was a big hit in England and Bowie formed a band with bassist and producer Tony Visconti, Mick Ronson on guitar and Woody Woodmansey on drums. His 1971 album Hunky Dory got him a lot of attention in the US. Then he created this Ziggy Stardust character and that became the template for the many reinventions of David Bowie. Space Oddity became a big hit in the US and Bowie followed up with Aladdin Sane and then Diamond Dogs. Rebel Rebel is from Diamond Dogs which is not a great album but Rebel Rebel is a great song. You can get his early hits on this comp. Bowie got burned out from touring in 1974 and announced his retirement from live performing. Of course as we all know, Bowie became obsessed with soul music and successfully reinvented himself as a soul singer with Young Americans in 1975. It was a shock to fans but they got used to it. Here's David Bowie performing Rebel Rebel in Top Of The Pops 1974.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Jango Song Of The Day-Ray Peterson

Artist:Ray Peterson
Song:Corrina, Corrina
Album:Tell Laura I Love Her

Corrina, Corrina was one of two early 60s top ten hits for Ray Peterson. Tell Laura I Love Her was controversial at the time so it's more memorable. But Corrina, Corrina was produced by Phil Spector. Peterson faded by the mid-60s and unsuccessfully tried the country music market. He was born Apr. 23, 1939 in Denton, TX and suffered from polio as a child. While he was in hospital, he started performing for patients. When he recovered, He performed in local clubs and then moved to Los Angeles. He was discovered by Stan Shulman and signed with RCA in 1958. His initial attempts were unsuccessful until The Wonder Of You was a top 30 hit in 1959. But Peterson really hit the jackpot when the Jeff Barry song Tell Laura I Love Her reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1960. Peterson and Shulman left RCA and started Dunes Records. They hired Phil Spector to produce Peterson's version of the blues standard Corrina, Corrina. It reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100. Curtis Lee's Under The Moon Of Love was also on Dunes Records. But Peterson quickly faded and by 1964 Dunes had closed and Peterson unsuccessfully tried to revive his career at MGM Records. This Collectables release of his RCA recordings adds Corrina, Corrina as a bonus track. He moved to Nashville and unsuccessfully tried to cross over to country music. Ray Peterson became a Baptist minister and toured the oldies circuit until his death on Jan. 25, 2005 at age 65. Here's Ray Peterson performing Corinna, Corrina on Hollywood A Go Go 1965.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Jango Song Of The Day-Dave Dudley

Artist:Dave Dudley
Song:Six Days On The Road
Album:20th Century Masters: The Millenium Collection: The Best Of Dave Dudley

Dave Dudley wasn't the first to record a song about truck drivers but his 1963 hit Six Days On The Road popularized truck driving songs and led to a long career in country music. He was born David Pedruska May 23, 1928 in Spencer, WI. He wanted to be a baseball player but an arm injury forced him to become a DJ at a Texas radio station. He would sing along with the songs and was encouraged to become a performer. He moved to Idaho in the early 50s and formed The Dave Dudley Trio. They didn't have much success. He moved to Minneapolis and finally started getting some attention with his group Country Gentleman. After recovering from a Dec. 1960 hit and run accident, he recorded for smaller labels and finally got his big break with Six Days On The Road for the Golden Wing label in 1963. It reached #2 on the Billboard Country Singles chart and even reached #32 on the Billboard Hot 100. Dudley soon signed with Mercury Records and he had a long career in country music and of course he was a big favourite of truck drivers. Dave Dudley had 33 Top 40 country hits in the 60s and 70s. This Mercury comp has the re-recording of Six Days On The Road but it has a lot of his other Mercury hits. It's a budget CD and it's hard to get a decent CD with the original version. Someone needs to do a really definitive Dave Dudley comp. Dave Dudley left Mercury for United Artists in 1973 and though his recording career faded, he continued to be a popular live act until his death on Dec. 22, 2003 at age 75. Here's Dave Dudley performing Six Days On The Road in the 1966 film Music City USA.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Jango Song Of The Day-Hothouse Flowers

Artist:Hothouse Flowers
Song:I'm Sorry
Album:The Platinum Collection

The Irish group Hothouse Flowers built a very significant following especially in England with their mix of rock, R & B and celtic music. The group started out in 1985 as Dublin street performers The Incomparable Benzini Brothers. Vocalist and keyboard player Liam O'Maonlai had played in Congress which would become My Bloody Valentine. He and guitarist schoolmate Fiachna O'Broaiinain won the 1985 Street Entertainer Of The Year. So they added sax player Leo Barnes, bassist Peter O'Toole and drummer Jerry Fehily and changed their name to Hothouse Flowers. They started playing gigs and got a record deal with London/PolyGram after U2 lead singer Bono saw them on TV. Their 1988 debut CD People was produced by the team of Clive Langer & Alan Winstanley. It was the most successful debut album in Irish history. It reached #2 on the UK charts. The first single Don't Go reached #7 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart and I'm Sorry reached #12. Clearly Hothouse Flowers was much bigger in England but they were a very popular live act until the constant touring burned them out and they took a break in 1994. They returned in 1998 weren't that successful and London dropped them. This comp from Warner UK is a good intro to their music. They haven't recorded since 2004 but Hothouse Flowers is still touring and the individual members have side projects as well. If you've never heard them, here's your chance to check out the video for I'm Sorry by Hothouse Flowers.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

V1 is the new VALKYRIE Featherweight Champion

This afternoon's VALKYRIE show at Differ Ariake was headlined by Yuka Tsuji defending her VALKYRIE Featherweight Championship against V1. Of course Tsuji is a legend in Japan with only one loss in her career so I don't think anyone expected an upset. But it's not like V1 is not a qualified fighter. She has a 6-2 record and she does come from the famous wrestling program at Chukyo University. But Tsuji had beaten her before. But V1 not only won but won in a shocking upset. They were trading blows. V1 stuffed an attempted takedown. Then she backed Tsuji into the cage with a straight right. Tsuji fired back but V1 landed a left hook that stunned Tsuji. She got behind her and applied a rear naked choke and it was all over in 1:16 of round one. No one was more shocked than V1. First she paid tribute to Tsuji and described her victory as a generational changing of the guard. She said that now she wants to fight either Megumi Fujii or MIKU. But Tsuji isn't going anywhere so I expect a rematch. And for those saying that it ruins Tsuji vs Fujii, that wasn't going to happen anyway. Maybe a little redemption will put the fire back in Tsuji.

The other big story on this show was the start of a VALKYRIE Flyweight Championship tournament. Match number one was Naoko Omuro vs Yoko Takagi. Omuro is a southpaw so that makes her tough to handle. They exchange blows and Omuro stuffs Takagi's attempted takedown and mounts her and pounds her. She shifts to an atmbar at the end of round one. Round two is more of the same as Omuro controls the match. Takagi tries some kicks in round three but the result is the same. Omuro can't finish her but she wins by decision. The other tournament match had Yasuko Tamada vs Happy Fukuko. Similar type of match. Tamada is much stronger and Fukuko can't do anything with her. It looks like it's over in round three when Tamada gets a rear naked choke against the cage. But Fukuko does escape and Tamada wind by unanimous decision. The title match will be on the next VALKYRIE show.

In other matches, veterans WINDY Tomomi and Masako Yoshida faced off. Reportedly a very entertaining match as one would expect. But WINDY uses her punching power is for the most part is able to avoid Yoshida's ground game. WINDY wins by unanimous decision. The undefeated Rin Nakai (pictured) faced Mizuho Sato. As you can see, Nakai has been pumping major iron. Sato pushes Nakai into the cage but Nakai is way too strong and knocks her down and Sato assumes the turtle position while Nakai pounds her. More of the same in round two as Sato assumes the turtle position a couple of times. Nakai finshes her with an armlock at 1:50 of round three. SACHI suffered a broken ankle in training. So Hiroko Kitamura filled in to fight sakura. Kitamura controlled the match and pounded sakura relentlessly until the ref stopped the fight for punches 2:57 of round two. And Megumi Morioka pounded Mamiko Mizoguchi until the fight was stopped at 1:27 of round one.

Jango Song Of The Day-Napoleon XIV

Artist:Napoleon XIV
Song:They're Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!
Album:Dr. Demento 20th Anniversary Collecrion: The Greatest Novelty Records Of All Time

This ode to mental health is quite possibly the goofiest top five pop hit ever. It's just unbelievably silly and it's still a popular song today. The man behind Napoleon XIV was recording engineer Jerry Samuels (born May 3, 1938 in New York City). So the whole Napoleon XIV character and They're Coming To Take Me Away came out of Samuels messing around with tape speeds, loops and sound effects while he was working at Associated Recording Studios in New York. There are no live instruments on this record. The result is a song about a guy going crazy after his girl left him. The flip side of the single was the same song backwards. The song became a hit when New York DJ Cousin Brucie played it. Warner Bros. picked it up for distribution and it reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. The success didn't last long due to mental health advocate protests. Radio stations stopped playing it. Warners sent Samuels into the studio to record an album with Jonathan Winters' former head writer Jim Lehner and veteran songwriter Bobby Gosh. He even recorded a second album that wasn't released. But novelty songs generally are difficult to follow up and this was no different. Samuels' recording career was short lived. You can get this and other novelty classics on this Dr. Demento comp. Samuels now lives in Philadelphia and claims he's the most popular entertainer in nursing homes and senior facilities in the area. I'm not making that up. Here's a pretty good fan video for They're Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa! by Napoleon XIV.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ayumi Kurihara on Youtube

OK Gang. Time once again to talk about everybody's favourite cute little joshi wrestler Ayumi Kurihara. First, Ayumi started a Youtube channel yesterday. Here's the link She posted a video today to promote her Ayumi In Mexico DVD. So Check out that video. I also have the complete match from the Dec. 31 NEO show with Yoshiko Tamura & Ayumi Kurihara winning the NEO Tag Team Titles from Nanae Takahashi & Kana. I'm not sure but I think this could be Ayumi's first title belt. She wore a new outfit to coordinate with Tamura. Ayumi took quite a pounding but came back for the win. She looked very good. A couple of "friendly fire" errors by Takahashi & Kana led to the title change. Enjoy the videos.

Jango Song Of The Day-Evelyn "Champagne" King

Artist:Evelyn "Champagne" King
Album:Greatest Hits

Evelyn "Champagne" King had a long run on the dance and R & B charts beginning in the late 70s and through the 80s. Shame was her first and biggest hit in 1978. She was born July 1, 1960 in The Bronx, NY. She grew up in show business. Her father Erik King frequently sang at the Apollo and her uncle Avon Long played Sportin' Life in the Broadway production of Porgy & Bess and starred in the 70s musical Bubbling Brown Sugar. Evelyn moved with her mom to Philadelphia and they took office cleaning jobs to make ends meet. So one night they were cleaning the bathroom at Philadelphia International Records and guitarist T. Life hears a teenage Evelyn singing. He goes to investigate and signs her to a contract with RCA Records. Shame was the second single and reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #7 on the R & B chart. Evelyn recorded three albums with T. Life and then switched to Kashif and topped the R & B chart with Love Come Down in 1982. She continued to have success on the R & B charts until she left RCA for EMI in 1988. Her career faded at that point. You can get all her RCA hits on this comp. Evelyn "Champagne" King returned to recording in 2007 with Open Book and still tours today. Here's Evelyn "Champagne" King performing Shame 1978.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Jango Song Of The Day-DLG (Dark Latin Groove)

Artist:DLG (Dark Latin Groove)
Song:No Morira (No Matter What)
Album:Greatest Hits

With their mix of Latin and hip hop grooves, DLG had a big impact on the Latin music market in the mid-90s. No Morira was their first big hit. The group was put together by producer Sergio George. He has been a part of the New York music scene for many years as owner of RMM Records. He was producing some of the biggest stars in Latin music. In the mid-90s, George could see where the music business was headed and scouted clubs looking to put together a Latin themed hip hop band. He found a singer named Huey Dunbar. Dunbar is of Puerto Rican descent and he was a backup vocalist in New York clubs. He also discovered rapper James "Da Barba" De Jesus. George would play keyboards himself and signed a distribution deal with Sony for his new Sir George label. No Morira was the first single from their 1996 debut CD. The single topped the Latin music charts and the CD did very well. It offered a new sound that hadn't been heard in that market. DLG released three very popular CDs and then Huey Dunbar left to go solo in 2000. DLG split up and this comp is a good intro to their music. George reformed DLG in 2007. James De Jesus returned but Dunbar did not. The new lead singer is Yahaira "Miss YaYa" Vargas. Apparently George found her on MySpace. Their CD Renacer was nominated for a 2009 Best Tropical Album Grammy. DLG has a very interesting sound so check out the video for No Morira.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Jango Song Of The Day-Yarbrough & Peoples

Artist:Yarbrough & Peoples
Song:Don't Stop The Music
Album:The Best Of Yarbrough & Peoples

Don't Stop The Music was the very first single by Yarbrough & Peoples. It topped the R & B charts and was a top twenty pop hit in 1980. They continued to be a staple on the R & B charts until their record label closed in 1986. Keyboard player Calvin Yarbrough and singer Alisa Peoples are from Dallas. They were childhood friends and grew up singing in church. After both graduated from college, Peoples took a day job and Yarbrough sang and played keyboards for a funk band called Grand Theft. At a 1977 local club gig, Peoples sang with the band and she became a regular member. Their big break came when Robert, Ronnie & Charlie Wilson AKA The Gap Band spotted them and took them on tour as background vocalists. Yarbrough played one of their demos for Charlie and he took it to their manager and producer Lonnie Simmons. They turned up at the Los Angeles office of his Total Experience label. he sent them into the recording studio with house producer Jonah Ellis. Don't Stop The Music topped the R & B charts and reached #19 on the Billboard Hot 100. Peoples wrote the words to the song and Simmons & Ellis were credited with writing the music. Using a live drummer and a drum machine was a key element to the success of the song. Yarbrough & Peoples continued to have a lot of success on the R & B charts until Total Experience folded in 1986. This comp has all their hits. Don't Stop The music is frequently sampled. most significantly on Don't Stop What You're Doin' by Puff Daddy in 1997, Gangsta Lovin' by Eve & Alicia Keys in 2002 and Let It Go by Keyshia Cole in 2007. Yarbrough & Peoples are now married and still perform but they haven't recorded since the 80s. Here's Yarbrough & Peoples performing Don't Stop The Music.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Jango Song Of The Day-Les McCann & Eddie Harris

Artist:Les McCann & Eddie Harris
Song:Compared To What
Album:Swiss Movement: Montreux 30th Anniversary Edition

This surprise hit version of the Gene McDaniels song Compared To What came out of an impromptu session at the 1969 Montreux Jazz Festival. I've talked about sax player Eddie Harris before and he was one of the biggest stars in jazz. But pianist Les McCann wasn't as well known and this would turn out to be his biggest success. Les McCann was born Sept. 23, 1935 in Lexington, KY. In 1960, he turned down an invitation to join Cannonball Adderley's band to record his own band for Pacific Jazz. He recorded many albums there and signed with Atlantic in 1968. Swiss Movement was McCann's second album on Atlantic. Of course Harris was already a big star at Atlantic. Other musicians were Benny Bailey on trumpet, Leroy Vinnegar on bass and Donald Dean on drums. The whole thing was impromptu and Harris and Bailey never had the opportunity to rehearse with McCann's trio. So it was a big shock when the Vietnam War protest song Compared To What became a hit and Swiss Movement topped the jazz charts. Though McCann is identified with the song, it was actually written by Gene McDaniels (A Hundred Pounds Of Clay) and first recorded by McCann protege Roberta Flack. This 30th anniversary edition from Rhino has a bonus track. McCann continued to record in more of an R & B vein and continues to tour today despite suffering a stroke in the 90s. And hee toured with Harris several times over the years. Here's Les McCann and Eddie Harris performing Compared To What in Germany 1988.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Zoila Frausto remains undefeated

It is time once again for Big Bad Blog Video Theatre. This fight is from Thursday's Tachi Palace show in Lemoore, CA between Zoila Frausto and Jessica Rackozsy. The last time we saw Zoila she gave a very underwhelming performance in winning over Elisha Helspur at the Nov. 19 Strikeforce show. Basically she needs to be more aggressive early in the fight. And now she has a fight with Meisha Tate coming up on the Mar. 26 Strikeforce show. Jessica is a veteran boxer trying to get into MMA. She lost her debut. Like a lot of boxers, she has trouble on the ground. Zoila came out a lot better in this fight and took Jessica to the ground and won the first round. She did the same in the second round and got an armbar for the win. Jessica still seems very perplexed and until she improves her ground skills, this will be her achilles heel. And Zoila is more of a Muay Thai expert than a wrestler. But it was good strategy for Zoila to not trade punches. Zoila is now 5-0. Note to the promoters. Women are now fighting five minute rounds. Get with the program. Enjoy the video.

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Jango Song Of The Day-The Emotions

Artist:The Emotions
Song:Best Of My Love
Album:Best Of My Love: The Best Of The Emorions

The Emotions topped the charts with Best Of My Love in 1977 and they had some other hits in the 70s. Like a lot of R & B groups, they are a family group. Sisters Pamela, Sheila and Wanda Hutchinson were born in Chicago and grew up singing in church as The Sunbeams. In 1968, they changed their name to The Emotions and signed with Stax. The Isaac Hayes/David Porter song So I Can Love You was a top five R & B hit in 1969. When Stax went bankrupt in 1975, they signed with Maurice White's new label ARC Records. They had known White in the 60s from his Chess session drummer days and of course he was now leader of Earth, Wind & Fire. Their 1976 album Flowers went gold and they had a dance hit with I Don't Wanna Lose Your Love. Their 1977 follow up Rejoice did even better. The album went platinum and Best Of My Love topped the Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks. Of course Maurice White produced the song and co-wrote it with EW&F guitarist Al McKay. They had another big hit with Boogie Wonderland in 1979. Of course nothing lasts forever and The Emotions faded in the early 80s. You can get all their ARC hits on this comp. Best Of My Love is one of those fondly remembered songs that is constantly covered and sampled by hip hop guys. The Emotions still perform occasionally today. Here's The Emotions performing Best Of My Love on The Midnight Special 1977.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Jango Song Of The Day-Sly & Robbie

Artist:Sly & Robbie f/Lady Traffic & Sobani Iru Ne
Song:Hurry Home

Sly & Robbie are legendary producers who have worked with just about everyone in the music business. This song from 2008 shows they still have it. Drummer Sly Dunbar (born Lowell Dunbar May 10, 1952 in Kingston, Jamaica) and bassist Robbie Shakespeare (born Sept. 27, 1953 in Kingston, Jamaica) were already established in the Jamaican recording industry when they met as members of the Channel One house band The Revolutionaries in 1974. Dunbar had some success with Ansel Collins in 1969. The two began working together as producers and have never stopped working together ever since their initial success with Chaka Demus & Pliers and The Mighty Diamonds. They have been a huge part of changing the landscape of reggae. They have their own label Taxi Records and have worked with Island Records and now Universal all those years. They've worked with reggae artists like Black Uhuru, Peter Tosh and Gregory Isaacs and mainstream artists like Joe Cocker, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Gilberto Gil and many more. Hurry Home is from their 2008 CD Amazing and I would describe it as Neo Soul with reggae overtones. It appears that the CD was intended for the Japanese market and did so well that Universal released it in the US. As is usual with Sly & Robbie, the album features various vocalists. Lady Traffic is a girl group from New York City and Sly & Robbie produced their 2008 debut CD. Sobani Iru Ne is a Japanese rapper. Hurry Home was written by a gospel rapper named SoulJa (not to be confused with Souljah Boy Tellem) and it was originally recorded by Japanese singer Thelma Aoyama. The connection is veteran Japanese producer Hiroshi Sato who brought the song to Sly & Robbie. Others who appear on Amazing are Jimmy Riley, Elephant Man, Courtney John and Bitty McLean. Sly & Robbie are still going strong and have recently had a lot of success producing Michael Franti & Spearhead. Here's the video for Hurry Home by Lady Traffic featuring Sobani Iru Ne.
Sly & Robbie f/Lady Traffic-Hurry Home - kewego
Video for Hurry Home by Sly & Robbie featuring Lady Traffic
Keywords: sly robbie lady traffic

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Chute Boxe touts "new Cris Cyborg"

In an interview after her win on Saturday over Marloes Coenen, Cris Cyborg said she wanted to inspire a new generation of Cris Cyborgs. Of course Brazil's famous Chute Boxe dojo is the home of Cris Cyborg. Chute Boxe announced today that they think they already have the "new Cris Cyborg" with 22 year old Jennifer Maia. Jennifer has already been all over the world as a Muay Thai fighter with a 12-0 record. She also has a 3-0 boxing record. She made her MMA debut with a win over Suelen Pinheiro at the Dec. 5 Brave Fighting Championships show at Curitiba, Brazil. She has now moved to California to train with Professor Ed Monster and her wrestling coach Christopher Adams. Adams says Jennifer is picking up wrestling very quickly and improving every day and he expects her to be as successful in MMA as she has been in Muay Thai. So be on the lookour fot the "new Cris Cyborg".

Jango Song Of The Day-The Selecter

Artist:The Selecter
Song:Missing Words
Album:Too Much Pressure

Like The Specials, The Selecter came out of the British Ska revival of the late 70s. They didn't make the same kind of impact because their second album wasn't very good and they split up. But Too Much Pressure is a must for fans of 2 Tone Records. The leader of The Selecter was guitarist and main songwriter Neol Davies. He was part of the Coventry ska revival with members of The Specials. The Selecter recorded an insteumental for 2 Tone and then Davies decided to turn them into a real band and brought in Pauline Black as lead singer. Other members were Arthur Hendrickson on vocals, Compton Amanor on guitar, Charley Anderson on bass, Charley Bembridge on drums and Desmond Brown on organ. Missing Words was their third single. It did very well on the British charts and they recorded Too Much Pressure in 1979. It reached #5 on the British album charts and is now considered a classic of the era. Things started to go south when Anderson & Brown left to form their own band. Their 1981 album Celebrate The Bullet just wasn't as good and didn't sell either. They split up in 1982. Too Much Pressure is available on CD from Captain Oi! with bonus tracks. Pauline Black went on to a significant acting career mostly on British TV and stage. She won the 1991 Time Out award for Best Actress for playing Bilie Holiday in the play All Or Nothing At All. Davies has recorded some blues CDs but he and Black reformed The Selecter in 1991 and they have toured and recorded occasionally. Here's the video for Missing Words by The Selecter.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Crazy Heart review

Crazy Heart's familiar and somewhat formulaic story is elevated by attention to detail and a probable Oscar winning performance by Jeff Bridges. It's a tale of a country music singer's redemption very reminiscent of Tender Mercies. Up to now, writer director Scott Cooper has had what can be best described as a nondescript acting career. But as a big country music fan, he wanted to make a Merle Haggard biopic and convinced Robert Duvall to help him finance it. When he discovered that the rights to Haggard's story was going to be too expensive, he acquired the rights to Thomas Cobb's 1987 novel Crazy Heart. Though the book is about country music legend Hank Thompson, The film isn't about anyone in particular though Jeff Bridges certainly resembles Kris Kristofferson. Bridges told Cooper the only way he would do Crazy Heart is if T-Bone Burnett produced the music. Burnett is a veteran music producer best known for the music for O Brother Where Art Thou. Once Burnett agreed to do the film, Bridges agreed to do it as well. Now Bridges has a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination.

Bad Blake (Bridges) is a veteran country music singer songwriter on the down side of a very long career. This is mostly due to alcoholism. The film begins with Blake going to a gig in a bowling alley in New Mexico. His manager won't allow him to run a tab at the bar but fans give him drinks anyway and he throws up during the show. His next stop is Santa Fe and he gives an interview to Jean Craddock (Maggie Gyllenhall). This quickly turns into a relationship and Bad becomes attached to Jean and her son Buddy. His manager gets him a gig in Phoenix opening for former protege and now successful country music star Tommy Sweet (Colin Farrell). Bad resents Tommy's success but he does the gig anyway. And Tommy asks Bad to write songs for his next CD. But Bad hasn't written anything in years and probably can't in his current condition. Bad falls asleep at the wheel on the way to his next show and winds up in the hospital. Jean takes him home to recover and then Bad goes home to Houston to rest. Jean and Buddy come to visit. Jean tells him not to drink in front of Buddy. But he loses Buddy on a trip to a bar. Things turn out OK but Jean ends the relationship immediately. But it's the wakeup call Bad needs to straighten out his life.

The main thing that saves Crazy Heart from being formulaic crap is the authenticity. Many actors don't want to look bad on screen. But Jeff Bridges as Bad Blake is disgusting through most of the film. Of course he has his likeable qualities too. T-Bone Burnett brings in a lot of his pals to write and perform the music and appear in the film. But Burnett is a producer, not a road warrior. So he brought in his friend Stephen Bruton. You've never heard of Bruton. He was a member of Kris Kristofferson's band for 40 years and is responsible for a lot of the road incidents you will see in Crazy Heart. His contribution was so significant that he earned a Producer credit. Sadly, Stephen Bruton died of cancer May 2009 and the film is dedicated to his memory. Also, Bridges, Farrell and Duvall do all their own singing. So if you're a fan of country music and you want to see a tour de force performance by Jeff Bridges, you should check out Crazy Heart. Normally, I would post a video of the trailer. But Ryan Bingham has won a Golden Globe and is Oscar nominated for his theme for Crazy Heart, The Weary Kind. Here's the music video for that.

Jango Song Of The Day-Strawberry Alarm Clock

Artist:Strawberry Alarm Clock
Song:Incense and Peppermints
Album:Strawberries Mean Love

This 1967 number one hit is one of the most memorable songs of the psychedelic era. Other than the one song, Strawberry Alarm Clock weren't very successful due to constant personnel changes and mismanagement. But they were a real band. They started out in 1965 in Glendale, CA as a British Invasion cover band called Sixpence and then Thee Sixpence. The original members were Lee Freeman on vocals, Ed King on guitar, Gary Lovetro on bass, Gene Gunnels on drums, Mike Luciano on tambourine and Steve Rabe on guitar. They recorded some singles for All-American Records. One of these was picked up for national distribution by Dot Records. Meanwhile, Rabe left and Mark Weitz joined as a singer and keyboard player. Weitz and King started writing together and wrote an instrumental called Incense and Peppermints. Their producer/publisher Frank Slay gave the song to his songwriter friend John Carter and then Slay cheated Weitz and King out of the songwriting credit. Weitz and Freeman refused to sing the song so a kid named Greg Mumford did the vocal. They didn't care because it was supposed to be a B side anyway. The single was released under Thee Sixpence but they decided the name was too generic so Strawberry Alarm Clock was based on The Beatles hit Strawberry Fields Forever. As sometimes happens in radio, DJs preferred the B side and Incense and Peppermints started getting airplay and was picked up by Decca Records for their UNI label. It topped the Billboard Hot 100. Then they had to record an album and that led to several personnel changes. They went out on a national tour and appeared in the 1968 film Psych-Out. But they were never able to reach the heights of Incense and Peppermints and they split up in 1971. This comp is definitive. Ed King was guitarist for Lynyrd Skynrd but left in 1975. He's been part of that band's reunion. Weitz left the music business but recently has been a member of Billy Corgan's Spirits In The Sky. Here's Strawberry Alarm Clock performing Incense and Peppermints 1967.