Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Match videos from Upcoming Glory tournaments

It's time once again for Big Bad Blog Video Theatre. Over the weekend there was a couple of tournaments in Europe called Ultimate Glory 7. There's 135lb tournament and a 145lb tournament and the winners get a spot in the proposed Strikeforce tournaments. There were three fighters in each tournament and one fighter got a bye. And three fighters were making their debuts. So they didn't have enough fighters to have a real tournament. So then they put the videos on a website where you have to download Divx to watch them. BOOOOO!!!!! So I got my friend Chief to upload then to Daily Motion. Here at the Big Bad Blog, you don't have to download anything. Well, you could buy a CD from Amazon. The winner of the 135lb tournament was Maiju Kujala from Finland. She looks like a pretty good fighter. Her opponents aren't very good so it's hard to tell. Akvile Vitkauskaite is making her debut and is totally outclassed. Titiana van Polanen Petel is also making her debut. The fight goes the distance so she does a little better but Maiju wins easily by unanimous decision. Here are the two fights.

Maiju Kujala vs Akvile Vitkauskaite
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Maiju Kujala vs Titiana van Polanen Petel
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In the 145lb tournament French fighter Romy Ruyssen gets the bye. I've heard of her. I saw her lose to Marloes Coenen a couple of years ago. Sheila Gaff faces the debuting Lena Buytendijk in the first fight. Lena shows some fire early but Sheila pounds her down until she wins with an armbar. In the final, Sheila comes out aggressively and takes Romy down. But a very nifty reversal turns into an armbar and it's all over. Romy Ruyssen wins. I bet Sheila is really pissed with herself. Thanks for coming out. Enjoy the videos.

Sheila Gaff vs Lena Buytendijk
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Sheila Gaff vs Lena Buytendijk
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Jango Song Of The Day-The Righteous Brothers

Artist:The Righteous Brothers
Song:Unchained Melody
Album: 20th Century Masters: The Millenium Collection: The Best Of The Righteous Brothers

Blue Eyed Soul is soul or R & B performed by whites. That's what Elvis Presley was supposed to be. In the 60s, The Righteous Brothers defined Blue Eyed Soul and of course they had most of their success working with producer Phil Spector. The soulful bass of Bill Medley (born Sept. 19, 1940 in Los Angeles) and the tenor of Bobby Hatfield (born Aug. 10, 1940 in Beaver Dam, WI and grew up in Anaheim) first came together in 1962 as members of The Paramours. They met while attending California State University, Long Beach. While they were performing as The Paramours, someone from the audience yelled that they sounded "righteous". Hence the name The Righteous Brothers. They released a couple of albums on the small Moonglow label and had a minor hit with Little Latin Lupe Lu in 1963. But then they signed with Phil Spector's Philles label and You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling topped the charts. Follow up singles didn't do that well until Unchained Melody reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1965. Obviously it's a solo performance by Hatfield. You won't even see Medley in the video clip. Unchained Melody was written for the 1955 prison film Unchained by veteran composer Alex North (A Streetcar Named Desire) and Tin Pan Alley lyricist Hy Zaret. Unchained was Warner Bros.' attempt to turn football star Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsch into a movie star. Though the film was soon forgotten, the song was nominated for an Oscar and Les Baxter, Al Hibbler and Roy Hamilton all had top ten hits with Unchained Melody. Black opera singer Todd Duncan sang it in the film. But obviously The Righteous Brothers version is the most memorable especially after it was used in a key scene in the 1990 film Ghost. The Righteous Brothers didn't get along with Spector so he sold their contract to MGM Records. Their #1 hit Soul & Inspiration was produced by Medley. The duo split up in 1967 and took on different partners. They did reunite in 1974 and had a top five hit with Rock 'N' Roll Heaven. Bobby Hatfield never had much success as a solo artist. The duo reunited occasionally and Hatfield died of a cocaine overdose Nov. 5, 2003 at age 63 before a show in Kalamazoo, MI. Bill Medley has had solo success especially with songs from the 1987 film Dirty Dancing. Today he performs at his own theatre in Branson, MO. Because it was on a different label, a lot of Righteous Brothers comps don't have Rock "N' Roll Heaven. This Universal budget comp contains that song and that's why I recommend it. Here's The Righteous Brothers performing Unchained Melody on Shindig 1965.

Righteous Brothers - Unchained Melody
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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Jango Song Of The Day-Lee Dorsey

Artist:Lee Dorsey
Song:Working In The Coal Mine
Album:Wheelin' and Dealin': The Definitive Collection

The partnership of Lee Dorsey and Allen Toussaint produced some of the most memorable R & B of the 60s. Working In The Coal Mine was arguably Dorsey's biggest hit and an appropriate song for him because he was never a full time singer. He was born Dec. 24, 1924 in New Orleans and moved to Portland, OR at age ten. After serving in the US Navy during WWII, Dorsey became a scuccessful light heavyweight boxer as Kid Chocolate. He retired from boxing in 1955 and moved back to New Orleans and opened a very successful auto body shop. He sang at night but always had the business. He met legendary music producer Allen Toussaint in 1961 and they decided to record together. Ya Ya reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1961 but follow up singles didn't do that well and Dorsey returned to his auto body business when the label went bust. But Toussaint always loved Dorsey's voice and signed him to his own Amy label in 1965. Several of his singles charted but Working In The Coal Mine was the most successful and reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. Dorsey and Toussaint wrote this wonderful working class anthem with its sound effects and The Meters backing him up. Dorsey had some other minor hits but by 1970 he quit the music business and went back to his auto body business. Arista Records released Wheelin and Dealin' in 1997. BMG's Camden budget label released the exact same CD in England in 1999 as The Definitive Collection. Except for the cover, they are identical. I understand the Arista CD is out of print but Amazon still has it at a good price. Dorsey returned to music on ABC Records in 1977. And though the album wasn't successful, he went on tour as a supporting act. And then Devo covered Working In The Coal Mine for the 1981 film Heavy Metal. Lee Dorsey continued to perform until he died of emphysema on Dec. 1, 1986 at age 61. Here's Lee Dorsey performing Working In The Coal Mine 1967.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Yasuko Tamada added to Apr. 11 VALKYRIE show

The main event for the Apr. 11 VALKYRIE show at Differ Ariaki was supposed to be the final of the Flyweight Championship Tournament between Yasuko Tamada (pictured) and Naoko Omuro. This has been postponed due to Omuro's injury. But VALKYRIE announced today on their blog that Tamada will fight on the show against veteran Yukiko Seki. The match is contracted for 45.4kg and scheduled for three three minute rounds. Tamada trains at AACC. Her record is 10-4-3 and her last match was a win over Happy Fukuko on the Feb. 10 VALKYRIE show. Seki is freelance. Her record is 5-18 and her last match was a loss to Naoko Omuro at the Oct. 24 VALKYRIE show. She is on a nine fight losing streak and hasn't won since 2007. Tamada won over Seki at the Nov. 28, 2006 SMACKGIRL show. Tamada's matches tend to go the distance so I would expect her to win by unanimous decsion.

Jango Song Of The Day-David Nail

Artist:David Nail
Song:Red Light
Album:I'm About To Come Alive

Country singer David Nail got off to a bad start a few years ago but Red Light has done very well on the charts and it is nominated for a 2010 Academy Of Country Music Single Of The Year. Nail is from Kennett, MO. He was torn between baseball and music but decided to get serious about music and moved to Nashville. It didn't work out and he went home. He went back to Nashville in 2002 and signed with Mercury Nashville. He recorded an album with producer Keith Stegall and the single Memphis reached #52 on the Billboard Country Singles chart. But Mercury fired Stegall and the album was never released. Nail returned home to coach baseball but in 2007 he was introduced to Miranda Lambert's producer Frank Liddell and Nail signed with MCA Nashville. He recorded a duet with Miranda on his debut CD I'm About To Come Alive and Nail co-wrote four songs including one with Kenny Chesney. Legendary LA session musicians guitarist Waddy Wachtel and keyboardist Chuck Leavell are on this. The first single was a cover of Train's I'm About To Come Alive and it didn't do that well. But the follow up Red Light reached #7 on the Billboard Country Singles chart and as I said he's nominated for an ACM award. Red Light was written by Jonathan Singleton, Melissa Pierce & Dennis Matkosky. Singleton has written songs for Gary Allan, Billy Currington & Josh Turner. He has formed Jonathan Singleton & The Grove and Universal will release their debut CD in May. David Nail is a very talented singer and he deserves a lot of credit for determination and he's going to be a big star. Here's the video for Red Light by David Nail.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Fuuka retires

Fuuka retired today at the final Fuuka Matsuri show in front of 1550 fans at Korakuen Hall. Before I get into the show itself, Sarah "Dark Angel" Stock was unable to make the show due to problems at the Mexico City airport. Rossy Ogawa said Sarah was crying on the phone when he spoke to her. She is still scheduled to appear at next Sunday's Estrella Japan debut. Leon filled in for Sarah. The show itself was the typical Fuuka Matsuri show opening with a dance number. There was a Royal Rumble style match with a special appearance by Minoru Suzuki. You had the match with HIROKA and Princess Sugey coming in from Japan. And Fuuka lost to Nanae Takahashi in her retirement match. And then the retirement ceremony. Some fans are upset that she's retiring and want to know why. Will Fuuka's retirement hurt the joshi business? No because Fuuka was only a draw for herself. She wasn't a draw for the joshi business. So I don't think her retirement will matter much. And any supposed fan who says he won't watch joshi anymore because of her retirement isn't really a fan. I guess they'll shift over to watching the teenage shoot boxer Rena. So when Fuuka's retirement was announced, they tried to say that she was suffering from asthma and other health issues. The Japanese media didn't believe that. So when she did her final interview with Sportsnavi yesterday, that was never mentioned. She did say that there is a 99% chance that she is finished with wrestling and she's not getting married. Last year Fuuka switched representaion to a traditional modelling talent agency. But it wouldn't have been good PR to say that she's tired of wrestling and wants to be a model. How would her fans have reacted to that? Obviously Rossy Ogawa didn't want to know. It might have hurt merch sales. Fuuka thanked her parents and everyone else at her retirement ceremony. She again denied she is getting married. Of course wearing that pink wedding dress didn't help. She said her immediate plans are to get her driver's license and she's going to the dentist. How exciting. Good luck to Fuuka in whatever she does but unlike other retirees, she won't be missed. It might even be good for the joshi business to not have her around as a promoter's crutch.

Jango Song Of The Day-Blues Image

Artist:Blues Image
Song:Ride Captain Ride
Album:Atlantic Hit Singles 1958-1977

The 1970 top five hit Ride Captain Ride was the only chart single for the very short lived group Blues Image. They released three albums but most folks are only going to want this song. The group was from Tampa, FL led by singer guitarist Mike Pinera along with drummer Manny Bertematti, percussionist Joe Lala, keyboardist Emilio Garcia and bassist Malcolm Jones. Garcia left to become a pilot and was replaced by Frank "Skip" Konte. They were the house band at a club in Miami and this led to a contract with Atco Records. They moved to Los Angeles and their 1969 debut album went nowhere. Ride Captain Ride was from their 1970 album Open. The song reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Pinera and Konte wrote the song supposedly about the 1968 incident when the USS Pueblo was captured by Koreans. Richard Podolor (Three Dog Night) produced. This comp of Atlantic singles is a good place to get Ride Captain Ride. The album did well but Pinera left soon after to join Iron Butterfly. Denny Correll and Kent Henry replaced him and Blues Image recorded a third album but split up before it was released. Pinera was also a member of Cactus and was in Alice Cooper's band. He currently performs with the Classic Rock All Stars. Konte joined Three Dog Night. Lala worked with Stephen Stills' band Manassas and is still a session drummer today. Here's the video for Ride Captain Ride by Blues Image.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Women's MMA pioneer Yuuki Kondo announces return

Women's MMA pioneer Yuuki Kondo has announced that she will return to MMA. This was announced by her husband Tetsuya Kondo on his blog and Twitter and reported by NHB News. The couple own and operate the Red Sharks Jiu Jitsu Academy. He trained her when he owned PUREBRED. Yuuki Kondo trained in judo in high school and made her pro debut at the very first women's MMA show promoted by the LLPW women's wrestling company on Nov. 22, 2000. She lost to Marloes Coenen. She was also a regular in the early days of SMACKGIRL. She had planned to continue fighting when she married in 2004. But announced her retirement on Sept. 11, 2004. SMACKGIRL had a retirement show for her on Nov. 4, 2004. She lost to Amanda Buckner. She had one final match on SMACKGIRL's Cool Fighter Last Stand Apr. 30, 2005. She lost to Marloes Coenen. Her record is 11-5-2. Yuuki did get a bit of revenge when she beat Marloes a month later at the ADCC grappling tournament. She had one final exhibition jiu jitsu match with Megumi Fujii July 29, 2005. Obviously Yuuki Kondo is still in the martial arts business so I would guess she's in good shape. She's 35 years old and I think she has a daughter. I'm not sure where this pic comes from but her husband posted it on his blog with the announcement.

Miesha Tate post fight interview

Here is Miesha Tate's post fight interview courtesy of the Strikeforce website. Miesha walks us through the match and even explains the Von Flue chokehold. Hell, I didn't even know the damn thing had a name. There's not much question that was the beginning of the end of the match. I bet Zoila was surprised. Enjoy the video!

Miesha Tate gives Zoila Frausto a wrestling lesson

So here's the match video for Miesha Tate's win over Zoila Frausto at last night's Strikeforce show in Fresno. Thanks to Chief for uploading it so I didn't have to look for it. The pre match yakking between these two was pretty funny. Miesha said that she planned to trade punches with Zoila. But we all know that her strategy was to take it to the ground. Zoila knew that too. Knowing what Miesha will do is one thing. But Zoila's response was going to be the key. She's going to want to keep it standing. Miesha's response to that was to go for a takedown. In the first round, Zoila wasn't in any danger. But other than one escape, she didn't have an effective response for Miesha. That's not a knock on Zoila. Miesha is an outstanding wrestler. When Zoila nailed Miesha in the chest with a front kick at the start of round two, Miesha didn't waste any time going for a takedown. That was the beginning of the end. Miesha took a lot out of Zoila with a choke using her shoulder. Then she pounded her and then put Zoila out of her misery with an armbar with a minute left in the round. Zoila hung on longer than most fighters but she never has an answer for Miesha's ground game. BTW, the two were buddies after the fight. There was never any real animosity. This is Zoila Frausto's first loss. She's a little undersized for 135lb so she might want to drop to 125. What's next for Miesha Tate? Well, there is the proposed 135lb tournament. But I would not be surprised if she got a title shot against Sarah Kaufman. Could five minute rounds make a difference this time? Maybe but I don't think we've seen everything in Sarah's arsenal. Enjoy the video!

Miesha Tate vs Zoila Frausto
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Jango Song Of The Day-Jacques Brel

Artist:Jacques Brel
Song:La Quete
Album:Infiniment: The Best Of Jacques Brel

Though not well known in North America, Jacques Brel was a legend in Europe especially France. And many songwriters consider him a major influence despite the fact that he sang mostly in French. He was born Apr. 8, 1929 in Scharbeek, Belgium. He worked at his father's cardboard box plant but became more interested in music and moved to Paris and signed with Philips Records in 1954. He built a following in Paris clubs and had a lot of success on the French charts. Columbia Records attempted to release his music in the US in 1960 but that never worked out. He did have a fanbase in the US mostly because of English translations of his songs most notably by Rod McKuen. Seasons In The Sun is probably Brel's best known song here. Brel continued to be a huge star in France but he retired from concerts in 1966 and started working in films and on the stage. He starred in the stage production of Man Of La Mancha in Paris. If La Quete sounds familiar, it's The Impossible Dream from that show. You can get that and many other Brel songs on this 2CD comp from DRG Records. Mort Shuman's stage musical Jacques Brel Is Alive And Well and Living In Paris was a hit and got more folks interested in  Brel. And singers like Scott Walker recorded his songs all the time. Brel continued to work in films until his death from cancer on Oct. 9, 1978 at age 49. Jacques Brel's influence is wide ranging for someone obscure in North America. Here's Jacques Brel performing La Quete on French TV Christmas Eve 1968.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Meisha vs Zoila staredown video

Tonight is the Strikeforce show starting at 11PM on Showrime in the US and SuperChannel in Canada. Of course readers of this blog will be interested in the match between Meisha Tate and Zoila Frausto. Here's the video of the weigh in featuring quite the staredown between the two. This all started when Zoila won over Elisha Helspur back in November in a very unimpressive manner. Zoila posted some comments on her MySpace that Meisha interpreted as immature and arrogant. And it's gone from there. It's part of the business and I find it very amusing. Zoila is fighting in her hometown so I expect Meisha to get booed and I don't think she cares. I never pick a winner and I won't do that now. Obviously what we have here is a classic wrestler vs striker match. The key to this match is if Zoila comes out aggressively in round one, she can win. But if she fights the way she fought in November, she will lose. Also, I don't believe she has the power to knock Meisha out. But Meisha does have the wrestling skills to submit her. So it should be fun. And thanks to Strikeforce for improving their video player and making the player embeddable so I can post the video on the blog. Their previous player sucked and this is a big improvement.

Jango Song Of The Day-Cheech & Chong

Artist:Cheech & Chong
Song:Earache My Eye
Album:Cheech & Chong's Greatest Hit

Cheech & Chong were probably the most popular comedy act of the 70s. They were mostly an album group but they had a few hit singles including the 1974 top ten hit Earache My Eye. Richard "Cheech" Marin was born July 13, 1946 in Los Angeles. Tommy Chong was born May 24, 1938 in Edmonton, AB. They met in Vancouver in 1967. Chong was in a band and Marin was evading the draft. They moved to Los Angeles and started working as a duo in 1969 after Chong's improvisational group City Works disbanded. They started as a musical act but then based their act around pot induced spacy comedy routines. They signed with Ode Records and their 1971 debut album was a huge success. They occasionally reached the pop charts with songs like Basketball Jones. Earache My Eye reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1974. It's supposed to be a spoof of the glam rock scene at the time with Marin running around in a tutu as Alice Bowie. Gaye Delorme wrote the music and played guitar on Earache My Eye. Cheech & Chong knew him from Vancouver and he worked frequently with them. This comp is a good intro to Cheech & Chong. Of course they went on to make some very successful films and Marin has been a very successful actor for years. They do reunite periodically but Cheech & Chong haven't recorded since 1985. Here's Cheech & Chong performing Earache My Eye 1978.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Jango Song Of The Day-Woody Guthrie

Artist:Woody Guthrie
Song:This Land Is Your Land
Album:This Land Is Your Land: The Asch Recordings Vol. 1

Woody Guthrie's influence as a songwriter and social activist is much greater than anything he ever did as a performer because by the time folk music became popular in the 50s, poor health forced him to retire. This Land Is Your Land is probably his best known song. He was born Woodrow Wilson Guthrie July 14, 1912 in Okemah, OK. Yes, his parents named him after furure president Woodrow Wilson. His father was a businessman and local politician but his mother was institutionalized as she suffered from Huntington's Chorea, the hereditary disease that also killed Guthrie. As a teen, Guthrie worked odd jobs but also learned harmonica. In the 30s, Guthrie travelled looking for work like a lot of Okies. He wrote about these experiences in his book Bound For Glory. By the late 30s, he moved to Los Angeles and had his own radio show. He was also involved in the Communist movement though he never actually joined the party. When he lost the radio show, his good friend actor Will Geer took him to New York City and that's when Alan Lomax first recorded Guthrie for the Library Of Congress. He wrote This Land Is Your Land in 1940. Though today it is considered to be an unofficial US anthem, Guthrie wrote it in protest to what he thought was the insipid message of Irving Berlin's America The Beautiful. He moved to Washington state to participate in a documentary about the Grand Coulee Dam. But when that turned out unsatisfactry, he wanted to move back to New York to join the Almanac Singers. His wife didn't want to go and she stayed with the kids. That was the end of the marriage. Then Guthrie met Folkways Records owner Moses Asch and he was the first to record Guthrie in a recording studio. Those are the recordings on this CD. There are four volumes available individually or as a box set. These are digitally remastered. There are a lot of Woody Guthrie comps but this is the one you should get. By 1952, Guthrie had been diagnosed with Huntington's Chorea and this forced him to retire from performing. His health continued to deteriorate until his death on Oct. 3, 1967 at age 55. Of course Woody Guthrie's legacy continues with his son Arlo Guthrie and granddaughter Sarah Lee Guthrie. But his real legacy is much larger than that. Anyone who has ever picked up a guitar and wrote a politically charged song owes a debt of gratitude to Woody Guthrie. It's just sad that his health didn't allow him to experience that fully. Here's a video for This Land Is Your Land by Woody Guthrie.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Is Erin Toughill leaving Strikeforce?

Last week Erin Toughill posted on her Facebook that she was quitting Strikeforce. Erin is scheduled to challenge Cris Cyborg for the Strikeforce 145lb Women's Championship. Back in November Erin was supposed to fight Marloes Coenen but was forced to pull out due to a serious health issue. She's OK now but she has been telling Strikeforce that she wanted a tuneup match since the beginning of the year. Strikeforce had the opportunity to address this issue at the FCF show in Oklahoma in January. But my understanding is that instead of helping Erin, they chose to discourage Erin by not assisting FCF financially by bringing over an opponent from Europe. Meanwhile, Strikeforce PR guy Mike Afromowicz has been telling the media that Cyborg vs Toughill is scheduled for June regardless of whether Erin gets her tuneup match. You must understand that Afromowicz just does what he's told but he officially represents Strikeforce. After Erin posted her resignation on Facebook, Strikeforce fighter laiason Shannon Knapp posted a reply that they were ready to set up her tuneup match for the Apr. 17 undercard. This was the first Erin had heard about this. Apparently she's getting different answers from different people at Strikeforce and I guess someone told her that she won't be getting the tuneup fight. So Erin had to draw a line in the sand. Erin is still in talks with Strikeforce but there's no question that Strikeforce's notoriously poor communications with fighters continues to cause problems. They need to smarten up. BTW, I know who the scheduled opponent is but I'm not revealing that and any replies revealing that won't be approved.

Jango Song Of The Day-The Action

Artist:The Action
Song:Shadows and Reflections
Action Packed

Despite being on the same label as The Beatles and being discovered by their producer George Martin, The Action were one of the least successful British Invasion bands though their music is well worth checking out. They were originally called The Boys and cut a single for Pye Records in 1964. Lead singer Reg King, guitarist Alan "Bam" King, bassist Mike Evans and drummer Roger Powell were joined by guitarist Pete Watson and renamed themselves The Action in 1965. George Martin signed them to Parlophone. Their first single was a cover of Land of 1,000 Dances. It didn't catch on and neither did the second single I'll Keep Holding On. The Action never graduated from playing smaller clubs. It appears they may have been having management problems. Watson left in 1966 and was replaced by Martin Stone of Savoy Brown. They went from doing R & B covers to a more psychedelic sound. Keyboard player Ian Whiteman was brought in and Reg King left. Alan King became lead vocalist. Shadows and Reflections was their last single. This comp from Edsel is excellent. The Action were dropped by Parlophone but they continued as Mighty Baby. They recorded two albums and backed up Reg King on his 1971 solo album. Alan King had some success with the 70s group Ace. The Action is probably more popular now than they were in the 60s. Here's a video for Shadows and Reflections by The Action.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Jango Song Of The Day-Edgar Winter

Artist:Edgar Winter
Song:Free Ride
Album:The Best Of Edgar Winter

Like his older brother Johnny Winter, Edgar Winter is a blues musician at heart. But he had his successful fling with pop stardom in the 70s with Free Ride and Frankenstein. And of course we all remember the crazy costumes. Edgar was born Dec. 28, 1946 in Beaumont, TX. The brothers played local clubs together as teens. Edgar idolized Cannonball Adderley and Hamk Crawford so he learned the alto sax. But by the time he was 19, he could play keyborads, bass, guitar and drums. Johnny took Edgar on tour with him when Johnny signed with Columbia and this led to Edgar getting a deal with Epic. His 1970 debut album Entrance is more funk than rock. It's a great album but it didn't sell. He started working with Rick Derringer beginning with the 1972 album Edgar Winter's White Trash. Derringer had been in The McCoys and had also worked with Johnny. He would be a big part of Edgar Winter's success. The Edgar Winter Group was formed in 1972 and They Only Come Out At Night was their biggest success. Frankenstein topped the charts and Free Ride reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100. Guitarist Dan Hartman wrote Free Ride and a lot of the other songs on the album. He had a big hit with Instant Replay in 1978. Ronnie Montrose was also in that band. This band continued to do well in the mid-70s but faded by the end of the decade probably because Derringer and Hartman had successful solo careers. Winter even attempted disco. He hasn't recorded for a major label in years and you can get all his hits on this comp. Edgar Winter is currently touring with Ringo Starr & His All-Star Band. Here's Edgar Winter performing Free Ride 1973.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Tara retains TNA Knockouts Championship

Here's the video for Tara's defense of the TNA Knockouts Championship against Daffney from last night's Destination X PPV. The match starts about seven minutes in. The match is OK. It's nothing special. The big problem is the crowd is silent until some start a Daffney chant later in the match. It could have been a lot worse. I understand there are fans who like Daffney's shtick. But the problem is she's not much of a wrestler and anyone who has to work with her has to slow down so Daffney doesn't look that bad. She really shouldn't be wrestling for a title on a PPV. If they like her shtick so much, they should hire Ms.Chif. She can do that shtick and is a great wrestler. And Tara has been blah since coming to TNA. This match didn't help her. It was a slow plodding match that should have been on Impact. And the ending seemed a little disjointed. Apparently they're going to continue this feud as they had Daffney steal the spider afterwards. Thank you Vince Russo, ya dope. He's gotta go.

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Jango Song Of The Day-Atlanta Rhythm Section

Artist:Atlanta Rhythm Section
Song:Imaginary Lover
Album:20th Century Masters: the Millenium Collection: The Best Of Atlanta Rhythm Section

The Atlanta Rhythm Section rode the wave of the popularity of Southern Rock in the 70s. They had a somewhat softer sound than some of the other bands and Imaginary Lover was one of their two top ten hits. The group came out of the Atlanta studio scene and was put together by producer Buddy Buie. Along with music publisher Bill Lowery, he opened Studio One in Doraville, GA in 1970. Buie, songwriter guitarist JR Cobb and keyboard player Dean Daughtry had been in Classics IV. Cobb wrote their hit Spooky. Daughtry had been in Roy Orbison's backup band The Candymen with singer Rodney Justo and drummer Robert Nix. Then they brought in session musicians Barry Bailey on guitar and Paul Goddard on bass. They decided to start working as a band with Buie producing. They recorded an album for MCA in 1971. It didn't sell and Justo left and was replaced by Ronnie Hammond. He was a much better singer and after three albums for MCA, they moved to Polydor in 1974. They toured and started building a regional following. But they didn't have much success until So Into You reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1977. Their 1978 album Champagne Jam was their biggest seller and Imaginary Lover reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1978. So now they're established but they left Polydor for Columbia in 1980. This comp has their Polydor hits. Their second album for Columbia was rejected and they were dropped in 1982. Hammond went solo and Buie and Cobb have continued to work together outside ARS. Dean Daughtry leads a version of Atlanta Rhythm Section today. Here's the video for Imaginary Lover by Atlanta Rhythm Section.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Jango Song Of The Day-Gong

Song:Isle Of Everywhere
Album:Absolutely The Best Of Gong

Gong is a progressive rock band that will be of interest of those who like similar groups like Soft Machine. And it's actually a spinoff of Soft Machine. Group leader Daevid Allen (born Jan. 13, 1938 in Melbourne, Australia) founded Soft Machine with Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers and Mike Ratledge in 1966. But Allen was refused entry to the UK after a tour due to visa problems and he stayed in Paris. It was there that he met professor Gilli Smyth and they formed Gong. They had to flee France for Majorca when they participated in the 1968 student revolutions and supposedly they found sax player Didier Malherbe living in a cave. Among those involved with Gong in the early days were Robert Wyatt, Gary Wright and Maggie Bell. They signed with Virgin Records in 1973 and added guitarist Steve Hillage. Their music is progressive rock mixed with jazz and spoken word elements. They created this mythical Planet Gong complete with characters. It was kind of a musical comic book. Isle Of Everywhere is from their 1974 album You. It was the third part of the Radio Gnome Trilogy of albums that built a strong cult following. Allen and Smyth left Gong in 1975 under mysterious circumstances. Virgin asked drummer Pierre Moerlen to take over the band. It actually became a different band. Allen would continue to record solo albums but by 1992 he formed a new version of Gong. Gong has reunited occasionally over the years and still performs today. This 2CD comp from Varese is a good intro to their music. Here's Gong performing Isle Of Everywhere in Amsterdam 2006.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

HIROKO, Nagano win at Mar. 19 JEWELS show

JEWELS had their latest show at the sold out Shinjuku FACE yesterday. The main event had HIROKO looking to avenge her only loss against Hitomi Akano. The match was contracted for 65kg and it's the first time HIROKO has ever had to cut weight. She could have fought at Open Weight but she wants to go to the US and fight Cris Cyborg. She made weight but she looked very thin. HIROKO was able to use her reach to keep Akano away and she hit her with some good shots. If you've seen Akano fight before, you know that when she gets into trouble she goes for crazy submission holds. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't work. And the usual limited ground and pound rules tend to work in her favour. But this match had unlimited gnp So while Akano was trying to take HIROKO down, HIROKO continued to hammer her. HIROKO had to be very careful with her because Akano has the ability to pull a submission out of nowhere. Akano took her down with time running out but it wasn't enough and HIROKO won by split decision. Afterwards, HIROKO repeated her desire to fight Cyborg. She wants to knock her out. JEWELS matchmaker Shigeru Saeki said he might be able to work that out through DREAM's working agreement with Strikeforce but he wants to see how much money is offered. Keep in mind that there are no opponents in Japan for HIROKO. I would not be surprised to see her in Strikeforce's tournament but I don't think she can beat Cyborg.

The semi-main had Mika Nagano against Mai Ichii at 52kg. Ichii works as a pro wrestler for Ice Ribbon. She quit wrestling in 2007. She's done a bit of MMA but mostly has done well with the kickboxing company M-1. She returned to pro wrestling last year. Of course Nagano is the grappling whiz from Chukyo University. She actually did a bit of pro wrestling for Ice Ribbon last year. The story here was Ichii was upset with Nagano for not doing more in Ice Ribbon. She planned to knock Nagano out. Nagano's response was she was doing that for fun and MMA is her main priority. So Nagano didn't bite on this nonsense. Megumi Fujii is in Ichii's corner. Nagano didn't waste any time going to the ground. And though Ichii went the distance, Nagano won easily with various submissioon attempts. She almost had her with a rear naked choke at the end of round one but Ichii was saved by the bell. Ichii tried to keep it standing in round two. But Nagano is too quick for her and she takes her down again. She wins by unanimous decision. Ichii immediately asks for a rematch. She's known to be a little crazy. Nagano says she wants to fight Saori Ishioka and Megumi Fujii.

Shizuka Sugiyama faced Miki Morifuji in a match contracted for 58kg. Morifuji is a veteran so she's a good test for Sugiyama. Though Sugiyama has potential, she has shown a lack of concentration and maturity in some of her matches. And that weakness showed itself again as Morifuji kept her cool and scored with several punches. She won by unanimous decision. Back to the drawing board for Sugiyama. There was also a Shoot Boxing match with Ai Takahashi beating ASAKO. There was a Shoot Boxing exhibition with RENA and Ham Seo Hee. Ham was supposed to face Saori Ishioka but Ishioka is injured. Ham said she will return to JEWELS in July for a 52kg title tournament. MIKU and Megumi Fujii talked about their exhibition match at MIKU's retirement show. Hiroko Kitamura remained undefeated by defeating the winless Norwegian Celine with an armbar at 2:04 of round one. Celine was outclassed but it appears the ref may have stopped the match prematurely. Roxanne Madafferi was in her corner. Celine's problem is fighters in Europe are a lot bigger than her. But when she comes to Japan, Saeki gives her opponents that are way too experienced for her. Of course she wants to fight but maybe she should wait for the right fight. In other matches, MIYOKO won over Kikuyo Ishikawa by split decision and Sakura Nomura won her debut over Yuko Kagoshima by armbar at 4:35 of round two. Nomura's teammate MIKU was in her corner. The next JEWELS show will be May 23 at Shinjuku FACE.

Jango Song Of The Day-Maria Muldaur

Artist:Maria Muldaur
Song:Midnight At The Oasis
Album:30 Years Of Maria Muldaur: I'm A Woman

Midnight At The Oasis was the one big stab at pop stardom for Maria Muldaur. But her roots were in the Greenwich Village folk music scene and after her hits in the 70s, she returned to those roots and is still recording today. She was born Maria D'Amato Sept. 12, 1943 in New York City. She started out with a girl group called The Cashmeres but then with the mid-60s folk boom, she joined the Even Dozen Jug Band with John Sebastian, David Grisman and Stefan Grossman. When the size of the group became unweildy, she moved to Cambridge, MA to join the Jim Kweskin Jug Band in 1964. She met and married singer songwriter Geoff Muldaur and eventually recorded as a duo for Reprise Records. When he started Paul Butterfield's Better Days in 1972, they split up and Reprise president Mo Ostin convinced Maria to record as a solo artist in Los Angeles. Midnight At The Oasis reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1974. She worked with a lot of session musicians on the album including Amos Garrett, Ry Cooder, Dr. John, Dave Holland, David Grisman and plenty more. David Nichtern wrote Midnight At The Oasis and played guitar on the album. He's an Emmy winning composer for his music for the daytime soap operas One Life To Live and As The World Turns. Maria had a top twenty hit in 1975 with her cover of the Lieber/Stoller classic I'm A Woman. But by 1980 she had faded and became a born again Christian and recorded a gospel album for Takoma Records. In recent years Maria has recorded roots music for labels like Telarc and currently she records for Stony Plain. Her latest CD Garden Of Joy was released in October. This comp from Shout! Factory is a good intro to her music. Here's Maria Muldaur performing Midnight At The Oasis on The Midnight Special 1974.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Jango Song Of The Day-The Mash AKA The Ron Hicklin Singers

Artist:The Mash AKA The Ron Hicklin Singers
Song:Suicide Is Painless
Album:M*A*S*H: Original Soundtrack Recording

Here's a very famous song from a very famous film. But I'll bet most of you don't know who sang it. It has been erroneously credited to composer Johnny Mandel. He's a very good singer and a legendary songwriter. He was born Nov. 23, 1925 in New York City. He started out in jazz in the 40s with guys like Woody Herman. But by the 50s, he was more in demand as a composer and arranger. His more notable films included I Want To Live (1958) and the 1965 hit film The Sandpiper which included The Shadow Of Your Smile. Robert Altman hired him to write the score for his 1970 film M*A*S*H and Altman's 14 year old son Mike Altman wrote the lyrics. Altman said in the 80s that Mike made millions from the song and he was only paid $70K to direct. There's a vocal version on the soundtrack album credited to The Mash. They are actually led by Ron Hicklin along with John Bahler, Tom Bahler and Ian Freebairn-Smith. Hicklin contracted and arranged backup vocals for many years and he even sang the lead vocal on the theme for the TV series Happy Days. On the soundtrack CD released by Sony/Legacy in 2000, there's also an instrumental version played by jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal and plenty of incidental music and dialogue. Pianist Al DeLory had a hit single with his version and so did The Manic Street Preachers with their 90s cover. And of course M*A*S*H spun off into a long running TV series. Here's Suicide Is Painless as it played over the opening credits of the 1970 film M*A*S*H.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Three matches added to Apr.11 VALKYRIE show

VALKYRIE announced on their blog today three matches have been added to their Apr. 11 Differ Ariake show. All matches are scheduled for three three minute rounds. In a match contracted for 52.2kg, VALKYRIE matchmaker Yasuko Mogi will face Akiko Naito. Mogi trains at Strapple. Her record is 3-5 and her last fight was a loss to Misaki Takimoto on the Oct. 24 VALKYRIE show. Naito trains at WK. Her record is 5-9 and her last fight was a loss to Outi Louhimo at the Oct. 17 Fight Festival show in Helsinki, Finland. Naito won their previous match by split decision at the Mar. 11, 2007 SMACKGIRL show. In a match contracted for 58kg, Naoko Torashima will face HARUMI. Torashima is returning to MMA after an almost seven year absence. She trains at WK. Her record is 5-2 and her last match was a win over Maki Koyakashiro at the Aug. 30, 2003 MMA Gals show. HARUMI now trains at Blue Dog. This is a new dojo that is also the new home of Hisae Watanabe. Her record is 0-12 and her last loss was to Hiroko Kitamura at the July 11 JEWELS show. The third match is contracted for 58kg and is probably the most interesting of the three matches. Mutsumi Kasai (pictured) debuted in 2003 and then disappeared for a few years and returned in 2008. She is making her VALKYRIE debut. She trains at Paraestra. Her record is 3-0-1 and her last fight was a win over Celine at the July 11 JEWELS show. Her opponent Ayame trains at WK. She won her debut match over Masae Mori at the Oct. 24 VALKYRIE show.

Jango Song Of The Day-Steam

Song:Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye
Album:'60s: Gold

Most of you know this song because it's still heard at sporting events today. It may be the most lucrative one hit wonder ever. That's pretty good considering that Steam wasn't really a band. The man behind Steam was producer songwriter Paul Leka from Bridgeport, CT. He had a band called Chateaus in the early 60s with Gary DeCarlo and Dale Frashuer. After they released some unsuccessful singles on Coral and Warner Bros., Leka turned to production and produced The Lemon Pipers hit Green Tambourine. He took a house producer job at Mercury Records in 1969 and brought in DeCarlo to record as a solo artist. Mercury liked the songs and Leka needed some B-sides. So they resurrected a song that they had written several years earlier when they were Chateaus. DeCarlo sang lead and they used old backing tracks. And every time DeCarlo couldn't think of a lyric, he's chant Na Na Na Na... And it was done in one take. DeCarlo didn't want his name on the song so Mercury released it under the name Steam. So when a DJ in Georgia played the song the phone lines lit up and the song topped the Billboard Hot 100. But there was no band. So Leka put together a touring band. Subsequent singles didn't sell and that was the end of Steam. Paul Leka went on to produce acts like Jimmy Spheeris, Harry Chapin and REO Speedwagon. Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye became a hit again when the British girl group Bananarama recorded it in 1983. The video was bigger than the record. That's when the Chicago White Sox picked it as their theme and now it's a song everyone knows. This 2CD comp from Hip-O has a lot of great 60s hits. According to BMI, Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye has had over three million radio plays. That's a lot of coin for a throwaway B-side. Here's Steam performing Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye in 1970.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

NEO 10th Anniversary show was a real head scratcher

On Sunday, NEO held their 10th Anniversary show at the Kawasaki City Gym. Typical of NEO's bigger shows, it had a lot of odd booking with one particular problem overshadowing everything including the main event. And that main event was Yoshiko Tamura successfully defending her NEO Singles & NWA Pacific Titles against Meiko Satomura. NEO tried to make a big deal about this being the first meeting between these two. I dunno. It might have meant something five years ago. Also no one believes that Satomura is going to win and take the titles back to Sendai because this appearance is a one shot deal. So there's no suspense. And we have to face facts about Satomura. She's had so many back surgeries she can't do what she used to do. So I'm sure the match was OK but it was also overshadowed by the match that didn't happen between Nanae Takahashi and Kana. NEO had been teasing it for weeks and then didn't do it. My guess is that as the veteran, it was Takahashi's call. So instead we had Kana vs Sakura Emi which is interesting because Emi has become very close to Takahashi. It was a competitive match and Emi won with a rollup pin. Afterwards, they had a staredown as you can see in the pic and Kana announced that she has formed a new faction with the Shirai Sisters. Then later in the show, Takahashi beat Hiroyo Matsumoto in three minutes. Huh? Matsumoto isn't a rookie anymore and shouldn't lose to anyone in three minutes. My guess is the show was running long and this match had to be cut. I guess they had to give more time to the NEO Machine Gunz and the soccer idols. And they also had Fuuka teaming with Shinobu Kandori winning over Kyoko Inoue and Sakura Emi. Kandori got the pin. And those morons from NEO forgot to bring the bell. So when will Takahashi vs Kana happen? I dunno but I expect it to happen either in NEO or Ice Ribbon possibly in Korakuen Hall.

Jango Song Of The Day-Tim Buckley

Artist:Tim Buckley
Song:Come Here Woman

Fans of the late singer songwriter Jeff Buckley are probably not aware that his dad Tim Buckley was also a very talented musician who also died prematurely. I guess Jeff was a chip off the old block. Tim Buckley was born Feb. 14, 1947 in Washington, DC and grew up in Amsterdam, NY and then the Los Angeles suburb of Bell Gardens. He was a quarterback in high school but injured his hand and turned to music with the folk group The Bohemians. He started writing songs with Larry Beckett. They played gigs around Los Angeles and were spotted by Mothers Of Invention drummer Jimmy Carl Black. He took Buckley to manager Herb Cohen and this led to a contract with Elektra. The problem was that Buckley's music wasn't commercially successful. So he recorded a few albums and Cohen moved him to his own Straight label for Starsailor in 1970. But Buckley was getting into jazz so Starsailor was even less commercial. Then he started recording with funk musicians for his 1972 album Greetings From LA. There are Tim Buckley comps available but Come Here Woman is only on Starsailor and Rhino hasn't released a special edition of that CD yet. Of course Buckley was addicted to heroin. He tried to quit but relapsed and died of an overdose under very strange circumstances on June 29, 1975 at age 28. Tim Buckley has been very influential to a generation of singer songwriters but the general music buying public probably isn't familiar with him. Here's Tim Buckley performing Come Here Woman on The Show at Harrisburg, PA PBS station WITF 1970. You can get this on the 2007 DVD My Fleeting House.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Jango Song Of The Day-Woody Herman

Artist:Woody Herman
Song:Four Brothers
Album:The Thundering Herds 1945-1947

Sax and clarinet player Woody Herman was one of the top big band leaders. He seemed to do a better job of adjusting his sound over the years and therefore had a long career. Four Brothers is one of his signature songs. He was born May 16, 1913 in Milwaukee. He sang in vaudeville as a child and by age 15 was a professional sax player. He played in several bands until he joined the Isham Jones band in 1934. When Jones decided to retire in 1936, Herman took over the band. He sang at first but the instrumentals are what caught on during his time with Decca. Woodchopper's Ball was his first big hit in 1939. As the 40s progressed, Herman's band changed especially when Dizzy Gillespie was writing arrangements. He signed with Columbia in 1945. His first band there produced Ebony Concerto but family problems forced him to disband it. But he reformed as the Second Herd in 1947 with sax players Zoot Sims, Stan Getz, Al Cohn and Serge Chaloff. Jimmy Giuffre wrote Four Brothers and it became Herman's signature song and the band even became known as rhe Four Brothers band. This CD is a good collection of his Columbia recordings. That particular band split up in 1949 and then the Third Herd started in 1950. Things petered out a bit for Herman in the 50s. But a 1959 Monterey Jazz Festival performance reinvigorated his bag band and Herman was very active until his death on Oct. 29, 1987 at age 74. Many musicians got their start with Woody Herman so his contribution was significant. Here's Woody Herman and the Young Thundering Herd performing Four Brothers in 1975.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Rin Nakai picture gallery from Feb. 11 VALKYRIE show

Lately I've been getting a lot of fan requests about Rin Nakai from MMA fans and non-MMA fans. A piece I wrote about her last year has been getting a lot of Google hits. So thanks to Gravity, I have a complete gallery of pics from her win over Mizuho Sato from the Feb. 11 VALKYRIE show. This includes her trademark post match backflip. It looks like a lot of fans are very pleased with the results of Rin's physical makeover. Check out those biceps. Enjoy.

Jango Song Of The Day-Joao Bosco

Artist:Joao Bosco
Song:O Bebado A E Equilibrista
Album:O Bebado A E Equilibrista

Joao Bosco started out as a civil engineer and then turned to songwriting mostly for Elis Regina in the 70s. After her death, he gained more prominence as a performer. O Bebado A E Equilibrista is one of his best known songs. He was born Joao Bosco de Freitas Mucci July 13, 1946 in Ponte Nova, Minas Gerais, Brazil. He comes from a family of musicians. His father was a samba singer. His mother was a violinist. His sister is a concert pianist and his brother is a composer. While attending Ouro Preto University, he became interested in jazz especially Miles Davis and the bossa nova of Antonio Carlos Jobim and Joao Gilberto. He started writing with lyricist Vinicius de Moraes and record companies came calling. He also worked with psychiatrist Aldir Blanc for many years. They wrote O Bebado A E Equilibrista in 1977. It means The Drunkard & The Tightrope Walker and became the thme for Amnesty International. Bosco recorded it for RCA and that's the version on this comp. But it became a huge hit for Elis Regina, one of Brazil's most popular female singers. After her death, Bosco became better known in Brazil especially after the dictatorship ended in 1985. He got noticed a bit in the US when he made a guest appearance on Lee Ritenour's 1988 album Festival. He toured the US in the 90s and appears annually at the Montreux Jazz Festival. But mostly he stays close to home and is very popular in Brazil. He is recommended to those who enjoy the bossa nova sound. Here's Joao Bosco performing O Bebado A E Equilibrista at what I think is a tribute concert to Elis Regina.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Kyra Gracie to make MMA debut in 2011

Of course we all know that Kyra Gracie is from the famous Gracie family in Brazil and is a master of Brazilian jiu jitsu. She has competed in many international amateur tournaments. Fans always ask me when Kyra will get into MMA. Over the years she has expressed interest but then changed her mind. And she said in a video interview I posted on the blog last year that she had no plans to get into MMA. A couple of months ago she announced on a Brazilian TV show plans to get into MMA. She has changed her mind in the past so I was skeptical. But now it looks like she's really doing it. Erik Englehart of the Brazilian MMA magazine Tatame recently visited Academy Noble Art to watch and take some pictures of Kyra's boxing training. That's a picture of Kyra training with Claudio Coelho. She has been training for three months and plans to debut in MMA in 2011. BJJ is still her priority and her goal this year is to win the World Cup. Coelho says Kyra is progressing very well especially since she had never trained in boxing before. She's also a southpaw and extremely skilled. Somehow I'm not surprised. There's not much question that Kyra Gracie has the potential to be a huge star who would transcend the boundaries of women's MMA. Her name alone is a draw. So I'm very glad that she's finally getting serious and I look forward to her MMA debut in 2011.

Jango Song Of The Day-The Syndicate Of Sound

Artist:The Syndicate Of Sound
Song:Little Girl
Album:Nuggets From Nuggets: Choice Artyfacts from The First Psychedelic Era

Little Girl was one of the bigger hits of early psychedelia. One other song charted so The Syndicate Of Sound wasn't quite a one hit wonder. But Little Girl is the only song you will want so get it on Nuggets. The group was from San Jose, CA and was a combination of two bands called The Pharoahs and The Aristocrats. Members were lead singer and guitarist Don Baskin, bassist Bob Gonzalez, guitarist Larry Ray, keyboardist John Sharkey and drummer John Duckworth. They won a Battle Of The Bands that earned them a single for Del-Fi Records but it went nowhere. Baskin and Gonzalez wrote Little Girl and the got the attention of the small San Francisco label Hush Records. It got enough regional airplay that Bell Records picked it up for national distribution. It reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. They started having problems just as Bell was setting up a national tour and Ray was kicked out of the band and replaced by Jim Sawyers. So despite the tour and major TV and film appearances, The Syndicate Of Sound was never able to follow up on the success of Little Girl. They split up in 1970 after Duckworth was drafted into the military. Don Baskin became a studio musician and later recorded country music. They reformed in 1990 and perform occasionally today. Here's The Syndicate Of Sound performing Little Girl in the 1966 film Where the Action Is.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Jango Song Of The Day-The Untouchables

Artist:The Untouchables
Song:Agent Double O Soul
Album:Agent Double O Soul

The Untouchables were part of the 80s ska revival. This 1989 cover of Edwin Starr's Agent Double O Soul was their biggest commercial success. But they never graduated out of cult status. The Untouchables started out in Los Angeles in 1981 as part of the punk ska scene. A lot of guys went through the group but the core members were vocalist Chuck Askerneese, guitarist Clyde Grimes, bassist Derek Breakfield and keyboard player Brewster. Various percussionists and horn players went through a revolving door. They started out as a cover band and late in 1982 they became house band at the Roxy in Los Angeles. They released a couple of singles independently and The General was a local hit in LA. They performed the song in the 1984 film The Party Animal and also appeared in Repo Man. They signed with Stiff Records in 1984. By this time Stiff was owned by Island Records. They appeared in the 1984 film Surf II and the 1987 film No Man's Land but they weren't very successful as recording artists probably due to poor promotion. So why were they in so many films. Like a lot of similar bands like Fishbone, they were very energetic on stage. So they're a good band to use in a club scene. Then they signed with Restless Records. Restless was started by Enigma Records owners Wiiliam &Wesley Hein and was not part of their distribution deal with Capitol. Agent Double O Soul charted on the Modern Rock and Dance charts. By this time they were more funk than ska and Jerry Miller was the lead singer on Double O Soul. They released a live album in 1990 and then split up. But various versions of The Untouchables have recorded occasionally and Jerry Miller still leads a version of the group today. Here's the video for Agent Double O Soul by The Untouchables.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Jango Song Of The Day-Barnes & Barnes

Artist:Barnes & Barnes
Song:Fish Heads
Album:Dr. Demento's 20th Anniversary Collection: The Greatest Novelty Records Of All Time

This goofy novelty song came along at the right time to become a sensation on the then fledgling MTV. They called themselves Art Et Atrie Barnes from Lumania. But they were actually childhood pals Bill Mumy (born Feb. 1, 1954 in San Gabriel, CA) and Robert Haimer (born Mar. 2, 1954 in Los Angeles). Mumy has been an actor since as a child he starred in the very popular TV series Lost In Space. He has acted in plenty of other things, has done a lot of voiceover work and is an accomplished musician. Mumy and Haimer would mess around with music and produce Super 8 short films. They started calling each other Art as a gag and Barnes came from a Bill Cosby comedy routine. They first surfaced as Barnes & Barnes in 1978 with a song called A Day In The Life Of Green Acres. What if the Green Acres theme was performed by The Beatles. Then they released Fish Heads independently. But when Dr. Demento started playing it on his radio show, Rhino Records picked it up for release. It never charted but the video was very popular on MTV. Actor Bill Paxton appeared in the video and directed it. They released other albums but nothing has had the lasting effect of Fish Heads. I'm not going to try to explain it but you can get it and plenty of other novelty songs on this Dr. Demento comp. Bill Mumy has continued to work as an actor including a regular role in the TV series Babylon 5. He also records contemporary blues CDs. Haimer hasn't been as successful but is still around milking the success of Fish Heads. Here's the video for Fish Heads by Barnes & Barnes.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Terence Blanchard concert review

It was a great night last night when jazz trumpeter Terence Blanchard performed at the Humber College Lakeshore campus. You may be aware that Humber has a world famous jazz course and they bring in several musicians as guest instructors. Blanchard taught classes since Monday and last night played with Humber students. And it was ten minutes from my apartment. The first half of the show was called The Humber Terence Blanchard Project. All the musicians are Humber students including Eli Bennett on tenor sax, Mikko Hilden on guitar, Carl Bray on piano, Mike Archer on bass and Will Fisher on drums. They performed several Blanchard compositions and the Wayne Shorter classic Footprints. All the musicians got the chance to shine and did very well especially when you consider that this was basically a pickup band of students. The second half of the show was with The Humber Studio Jazz Ensemble and The Humber Strings conducted by Denny Christianson. The program was based on Blanchard's 1999 CD Jazz In Film. Of course Blanchard has composed several film scores but Hollywood people still tell him that jazz and movies don't mix. Jazz influence in film music is nothing new and that's what Jazz In Film is all about. Selections included Alex North's A Steetcar Named Desire, Duke Ellington's Anatomy Of A Murder, Bernard Herrmann's Taxi Driver and Elmer Bernstein's The Man With The Golden Arm. It was a great performance that demonstrated Blanchard's versatility to the Humber students. It was a great concert. Next month sax legend James Moody is coming to Humber. I may have to check that out too. The pic is courtesy of Jazzfm91.

Featherweight contender's tournament announced for Apr. 11 VALKYRIE show

VALKYRIE announced on their blog today that their next show will be Apr. 11 at Differ Ariake. The main event was supposed to be the final in the Flyweight Championship tournament between Naoko Omuro and Yasuko Tamada. But Omuro is injured so that has been postponed. What they have announced is a tournament to determine the number one contender for V1's Featherweight Championship. No rematch for Yuka Tsuji just yet. The first tournament match will have Kyoko Takabayashi (pictured) against Emi Fujino. Takabayashi trains at Alive in Nagoya. Her record is 10-4 and her last match was a win over Akiko Naito at the Sept. 12 CAGE FORCE show. Fujino trains at WK. Her record is 8-3 and her last fight was a loss to V1 at the Apr. 25 VALKYRIE show. The second match will have Kayo Nagayasu against Happy Fukuko. Nagayasu trains at Paraestra Tokyo. Her record is 6-6-2 and her last fight was a draw against Maho Muranami at the Feb. 28, 2009 CAGE FORCE show. Fukuko trains at Cobra Kai. Her Record is 5-4 and her last fight was a loss to Yasuko Tamada at the Feb. 11 VALKYRIE show. That was in the Flyweight tournament which is her usual weight class. Matches are scheduled for three three minute rounds. I expect the winner to come out of Takabayashi vs Fujino. I don't think the other two fighters can beat either of them.