Friday, April 30, 2010

Jango Song Of The Day-Cliff Edwards

Artist:Cliff Edwards
Song:When You Wish Upon A Star
Album:Walt Disney's Pinocchio: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

I am a huge classic animation fan and When You Wish Upon A Star is one of the most memorable songs from the Walt Disney 1939 production of Pinocchio. The song was sung over the opening credits of the film by Cliff Edwards. He was born June 14, 1895 in Hannibal, MO and established himself in vaudeville as Ukelele Ike. By the late 20s, he moved to Hollywood to work for MGM. Things didn't go well there but a renewed interest in movie musicals led to a career upsurge for Edwards in the mid-30s. He returned to MGM and had a small role in Gone With The Wind. Then Walt Disney hired him to voice Jiminy Cricket in Pinocchio. Pinocchio was the follow up to Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs so it was an important film to show that full length animated films were here to stay. Composer Leigh Harline (born Mar. 26, 1907 in Salt Lake City) won an Oscar for his score and wrote When You Wish Upon A Star with veteran songwriter Ned Washington. Of course the soundtrack is available in a remastered version on CD. Cliff Edwards went on to sing When I See An Elephant Fly in the 1941 film Dumbo and appeared on TV frequently in the 50s. He continued to voice Jiminy Cricket until his death on July 17. 1971 at age 76. Here's When You Wish Upon A Star as sung by Cliff Edwards over the opening credits of Pinocchio.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Jango Song Of The Day-Shekinah Glory Ministry

Artist:Shekinah Glory Ministry
Album:The Best Of Shekinah Glory Ministry

Shekinah Glory Ministry started out as a standard church choir in the Chicago suburb of Oak Forest but through the 90s has mushroomed into an international sensation in the gospel music industry with their own record label with major label distribution. The founder is Apostle H. Daniel Wilson of Valley Kingdom Ministries International in Oak Forest, IL. The Shekinah Glory Ministry choir released their first CD in 2001. A lot of church choirs release a lot of CDs that get very little attention. But this CD contained a song called Praise Is What I Do written and sung by William H. Murphy III. It's a great song that is now a church choir standard and it simply blew up. But Murphy wasn't a regular member of the choir. It was just a guest shot and he's gone on to his own solo career. But Wilson could see the power of music and decided to start his own Kingdom Records. And he brought in veteran pianist songwriter and gospel music producer Daniel Weatherspoon to run the company. And by the time Jesus was released in 2007, they signed with Universal to distribute the label. Like a lot of choirs, Shekinah Glory Ministry records all their CDs live and seems to videotape them too so this comp is a CD/DVD package that is a good intro to their music. They're now branching out into other artists like Phil Tarver and The Whispers. So this is a company on the upswing. Their music is recommended to gospel music fans. Here's the video for Jesus by Shekinah Glory Ministries.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Jango Song Of The Day-Clara Nunes

Artist:Clara Nunes
Song:Canto das Tres Racas
Album:2 Em 1

Clara Nunes was one of Brazil's most popular singers in the 70s and was regarded as one of the queens of samba. Unfortunately she died prematurely so is somewhat forgotten today. She was a very expressive singer and a great song interpreter. She was born Aug. 12, 1943 in Caetanopolis, Brazil. She was an orphan growing up and was working in a factory when she won third place in a talent contest in 1960 and was given her own TV show. She moved to Rio de Janiero in 1965 to work for TV Continental. She began recording in 1966 but came into her own in the 70s. She was the first female artist in Brazil to sell 100,000 LPs in 1973 and continued to have great success through the 70s. Canto das Tres Racas was just one of several hits. She was also known for her elaborate costumes and stage show. This CD from EMI is actually a twofer of Clara's more popular albums. Sadly Clara Nunes died as a result of anasthesia complications during varicose vein surgery on Apr. 2, 1983 at age 39. Brazil went into mourning and her death was a great loss. She is still highly regarded today. She toured Europe once but Clara Nunes isn't known outside Brazil. Here's Clara Nunes performing Canto das Tres Racas on a Japanese TV show.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Beth Phoenix is the new WWE Women's Champion

Here's the match video from Sunday's WWE Extreme Rules PPV with Beth Phoenix winning the WWE Women'e Championship from Michelle McCool. They decided to do an Extreme Makeover match with ironing boards and other items on a ringside table. This was set up on last week's Smackdown when Michelle smeared lipstick all over an incapacitated Beth. Layla and Vickie Guerrero were at ringside to assist Michelle. Normally I don't like these kind of goofy gimmick matches. But I have to give both wrestlers credit for making the most of a silly gimmick with decent execution considering the time constraints. Beth has always been very imaginative so it's not surprising. Obviously the main problem with the match was the length. So they couldn't do as much with the stuff on the table as they would have liked. These two deserve more time on a PPV. Enjoy the match!

Beth Phoenix vs. Michelle McCool
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Jango Song Of The Day-Shirley Bassey

Artist:Shirley Bassey
Album:The Best Of Bond...James Bond: 40th Anniversary Edition

I'm not a big fan of Shirley Bassey's over the top singing style. But it was perfect for the theme of the 1964 film Goldfinger. And it also established the James Bond film series as a source of pop music. In North America, Goldfinger was Shirley's only big hit. But she has had a long career in England. She was born Jan. 8, 1937 in Cardiff, Wales and began singing professionally in 1953 mostly in musical theatre. She first recorded in 1956 and became a regular on the British charts in the early 60s. She did record for Mitch Miller at Columbia Records but had limited success. Goldfinger was the third film in the James Bond series and John Barry composed the score as he had for the first two films. Barry approached Anthony Newley and songwriting partner Leslie Bricusse to write a theme song and they immediately thought of Moon River from Breakfast At Tiffany's. Newley originally recorded it but Barry thought Shirley Bassey would be perfect for the song and he brought in George Martin to produce it and Jimmy Page played guitar. Goldfinger reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. Many of the themes from James Bond films have been big hits and you can get them all on this 2008 comp from Capitol Records. Though Goldfinger was her only US hit, Shirley Bassey has always been a strong live draw and in England she continued to have a lot of chart success in the 70s and coninues to perform today. Here's Shirley Bassey performing Goldfinger at Royal Albert Hall in London.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Shana Olsen wins a hometown decision over Yoko Takahashi

Once again it is time for Big Bad Blog Video Theatre. Today I have a match from Saturday's CFX show at the Target Center in Minneapolis between Shana Olsen and Yoko Takahashi. Shana is a 145lb prospect. She was 3-0 and trains at the Minnesota Fight Factory. And of course Yoko is a women's MMA pioneer and though her record is 14-11-3, we knew she would be a good test for Shana. Cris Cyborg couldn't KO her. She hasn't won since 2007 but always gives top effort. But I don't think she's ever upset anyone. The match was very close and went the distance. Some are already talking match of the year. It's too early for that. Talk to me in December. But it's an action packed match so I know you'll enjoy it. In the end, Yoko Takahashi scared the hell out of Shana Olsen but Shana got a unanimous decision. I think Yoko won the match but this was in Shana's hometown so I'm not surprised that it didn't go her way. It was close enough that the only way Yoko could win was if she closed the deal. She couldn't leave it to the judges. The correct decision might have caused a riot. Decide for yourself.

Jango Song Of The Day-John Holt

Artist:John Holt
Song:The Tide Is High
Album:The Prime Of John Holt: Massive Recordings from 1970-1976

Most music fans here in North America are probably familiar with the 1980 version of The Tide Is High by Blondie. But you may not know that the song was written and originally recorded by the wonderful Jamaican singer John Holt when he was a member of The Paragons in the 60s. And he recorded it when he went solo in the 70s. He was born July 11, 1947 in Kingston, Jamaica and by age 12 he was already a regular in local talent contests. He recorded his first single I Cried A Tear in 1963 for producer Leslie Kong and also recorded duets with Alton Ellis. He became lead singer of The Paragons in 1964. The Tide Is High was probably their biggest hit in 1967. It was also covered by U-Roy in 1971. Holt recorded some solo songs for Studio One and Prince Buster while he was still a member of The Paragons and he left for good to go solo in 1970. Holt had many hits including Stick By Me in 1972 and his cover of Kris Kristofferson's Help Me Make It Through The Night in 1974. He did record The Tide Is High in the 70s but it didn't get any attention until Blondie had an international hit with it in 1980. Atomic Kitten and Kardinal Offishal are among others who have successfully covered The Tide Is High. John Holt continued to record in the 80s with Dennis Brown and last recorded in 1997. But he continues to perform at music festivals today. This comp of his 70s recordings from the British budget label The Music Club is a great intro to the music of this outstanding and underrated Jamaican singer. Here's John Holt performing The Tide Is High. This video is not on Youtube.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Jango Song Of The Day-Eisley

Song:Golly Sandra
Album:Room Noises

Eisley is an outstanding family vocal group from Tyler, TX mixing pop harmonies with roots music elements. They have a strong fanbase but didn't sell well enough to remain with Warner Bros. There are three sisters, a brother and cousin in the DuPree family. Stacy DuPree (born Oct. 7, 1988 in The Woodlands, TX) is lead singer, keyboardist and primary lyricist. Chauntelle DuPree (born Nov. 8, 1981 in Houston) is lead guitarist. Sherri DuPree (born Dec. 3,1983 in Houston) is rhythm guitarist. Weston DuPree (born May 17, 1986 in Tyler) is drummer and cousin Garron DuPree (born Dec. 4, 1989 in Houston) plays bass. There's a fourth sister who isn't in the band. They were originally called The Towheads when they were house band in their parents coffee house. Bassist Taylor Muse wasn't in the band very long but came up with the name Moss Eisley after the town Mos Eisley from Star Wars. He was replaced by Jon Wilson. When they signed with Warner Bros. in 2003, they dropped Moss due to copyright concerns. They signed after winning Best New Band from the Dallas Observer. They actually released a couple of EPs before their first full length CD Room Noises was released in 2005. Wilson left and was replaced by Garron DuPree. The harmonies of the DuPree sisters is the main draw of the group and they've built a good following from touring. But it doesn't look like Warners knew what to do with them. After releasing the EP Fire Kite in Oct. 2009, Eisley announced in Feb. 2010 that they had left Warners. They've been working on some outside projects and Chauntelle was married in January. Stacy announced her engagement in February. I'm sure we'll hear from Eisley in the near future. Here's the video for Golly Sandra by Eisley.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

WWE Diva Eve Torres trains in jiu jitsu

So I heard about this video clip floating around with new WWE Divas Champ Eve Torres demonstrating her jiu jitsu training. It is on the Wrestlemania XXVI DVD. My friend Curtis got me a copy and I'm putting it up on the blog so you don't have to go looking for it elsewhere. The WWE has been pushing her jiu jitsu training on TV for obvious reasons but it doesn't change that she's still a very green pro wrestler. As she says in the video, she's been training for several years mostly for self defense and for fun. Despite what she says, it really doesn't help her much in WWE style pro wrestling. If she was working in Japan, it would help somewhat but not in the WWE. A lot of her wrestling moves consist of very slow gymnastics. And before anyone get any stupid ideas, even if she wanted to try pro MMA, as long as she is under contract to the WWE, they would never allow it. Enjoy the video.

Jango Song Of The Day-Brendan James

Artist:Brendan James
Song:Hero's Song
Album:The Day Is Brave

Singer songwriter Brendan James released his debut CD in 2008. Hero's Song got some attention when it was the lead track on the soundtrack of the 2007 Iraq War documentary Body Of War. When you first listen to James, you might think he's British. But he grew up in Derry, NH. He had a vocal group when he attended the University Of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After his graduation in 2002, he moved to New York City and then to Los Angeles to write songs. A 2005 contract with Capitol Records went nowhere due to management problems at the label. He used the termination money to finance the 2007 EP The Ballroom Break-In. This earned him a contract with Decca Records and a chance to work with producer Mikal Blue. Blue is a recording engineer turned producer best known for discovering Colbie Caillat. So I'm sure it didn't surprise anyone when James' 2008 CD The Day Is Brave had a very similar slick adult contemporary pop sound. The CD got very positive reviews and did very well on iTunes. And as I said, Hero's Song was in Body Of War. James also played keyboards on the 2009 debut CD by singer songwriter Angel Taylor (no, not the Angel Taylor from Trin-i-tee 5:7) that was also produced by Blue. Brendan James writes all his own songs so he has potential. He is currently working on his next CD with producer Warren Huart (The Fray). Here's the video for Hero's Song by Brendan James.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Why did the WWE release Mickie James?

You probably already know that yesterday the WWE did their pre-draft purge and released several wrestlers including Mickie James and Katie Lea Burchill. Many fans are upset about Mickie's release and want to know why she was released. But before I get to that, I'll briefly comment about Katie Lea. The WWE just didn't seem to know what to do with her. She's a good wrestler but why did they hire her? They used her in one crappy angle as Paul Birchill's sister. And when it predictably didn't get over, they released him and she's out the door shortly afterwards. It's a waste of talent. Though the release of Mickie James is shocking to some fans, I was not very surprised for a couple of reasons. It was about a year ago that we first heard that the WWE was not happy with Mickie's work on RAW and that's why she was moved to Smackdown. Supposedly they thought she was gaining weight too. Of course they did that Piggy James angle. I don't think she's fat but I wouldn't hire borderline anorexic models to wrestle in the first place. I would hire wrestlers who know what they're doing. And Mickie is a very good wrestler and her biggest asset is she knows how to connect with fans. But it appears that the conflict between Mickie and WWE management continued until showing up late to a couple of flights during last week's European tour was the final straw. The WWE has a corporate culture that demands conformity from the wrestlers. They will release wrestlers who they perceive as misbehaving. It was probably an accumulation of several things that led to Mickie's release. Of course the other thing is Mickie is planning to launch a country music career with her debut CD being released next month. As Maria Kanellis confirmed after her recent release, the WWE is clamping down on this kind of outside activity. Maybe they thought she was burning the candle at both ends. Will Mickie James remain in wrestling? I dunno. She did the indy circuit years ago and TNA is always interested in ex-WWE Divas. It may depend on how her CD does. I heard the single and I didn't care for it. If you look at who is popular in the country music market right now, the sound of the song doesn't really fit. It sounds a lot like someone like Gretchen Wilson who used to be popular but isn't anymore. It seems a little dated to me. I think Mickie James fans will buy it but I'm not so sure about country music fans in general. I always enjoyed watching Mickie in the WWE. Good luck to her and I think fans will miss her. But it doesn't look like WWE management will miss her.

Sara Del Rey on Fox 29 in Philadelphia

I'm always looking for videos of my favourite wrestlers. I've been a fan of Sara Del Rey for several years and she's always fun to watch. So for all of her fans out there, here's a video feature that was shown this morning on Fox 29 in Philadelphia. Sara is always very well spoken and I like her response to the "Is wrestling fake?" nonsense. Maybe she should have given him a personal demonstration.

Jango Song Of The Day-Vinegar Socks

Artist:Vinegar Socks
Song:Life In The Sewer
Album:Vinegar Socks

So I'm listening to this folk group Vinegar Socks and I have a video clip for Life In The Sewer. And I'm wondering if they're from Kentucky or Tennessee because they're a Jango emerging artist and I hadn't heard of them but they're very good. Guess what, folks? They're from Italy. The group is led by guitarist singer songwriter Jordan DeMaio and violinist Paolo Petrocelli along with bassist Matteo Locasciulli and percussionist Filippo Schinina. They've been touring Europe for a couple of years with acts like Joan As Policewoman. And they also worked on the soundtrack for the film Dieci Inverni which premiered at the Venice Film Festival. The video of Life In The Sewer is from an appearance on MTV Soundwave in June 2008. And I guess word has spread and Boston based indie label Grinding Tapes Recording Company signed them up and released their debut CD in Dec. 2009. They sound great and if you're a fan of this kind of acoustic music, you'll want to check them out. The only problem is the CD is not available from Amazon so I can't put an ad up for it. You can get the CD directly from Grinding Tapes and a dollar from each sale goes to the Sacco And Vanzetti Foundation. I always like discovering new music and Vinegar Socks is a great folk group. Here is Vinegar Socks performing Life In The Sewer on MTV Soundwave June 2008.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Takako Inoue teaches Nagisa Nozaki to dance

Yesterday I mentioned on my Twitter that in a desperate attempt to get Nagisa Nozaki over, NEO president Koda is having her sing a song that Takako Inoue sang many years ago. In the interest of full disclosure, I know that the singing was a big part of joshi puroresu for many years and I know fans like it. I just don't care for that kind of music and I don't think a lot of them were good singers. And Takako was one of the worst singers. So NEO had a little media event yesterday with Takako teaching dance steps to Nagisa. Nagisa is even wearing a dress borrowed from Takako that Takako wore when she originally sang the song. So Nikkan Sports captured this monumental event on video. Takako told them she doesn't remember the words to the song. Nagisa is still recovering from shoulder surgery and is expected back this summer. I know Nagisa is a cute little teenage girl but this just seems hopelessly desperate. But enjoy the video.

HIROKO vs Emoto added to May 23 JEWELS show

Atsuko Emoto, HIROKO
JEWELS held a press conference today at the Master Japan gym to announce that HIROKO vs Atsuko Emoto has been added to the May 23 Shin-kiba 1st Ring show. This is an Open Weight match scheduled for two five minute rounds. Why Master Japan? HIROKO trains there. Her record is 8-1-1 and her most recent match was a win over Hitomi Akano on the Mar. 19 JEWELS show. Emoto is a freelance pro wrestler best known for her masked Bullfight Sora gimmick. But a lot of fans may not be aware that along with Emi Tomimatsu, Emoto works at the DEEP dojo as a trainer. Her MMA record is 2-3 and her latest fight was a loss to Megumi Yabushita at the Sept. 13 JEWELS show. Last time around, HIROKO had to cut a lot of weight to fight Akano. Emoto's normal fighting weight is about 165lbs so that won't be necessary this time. HIROKO has been yakking a lot about coming to America to fight Cris Cyborg. Eventually she will get that opportunity. She said she was disappointed that she didn't KO Akano but she had to be cautious with her because of Akano's submission skills. She's going for the KO this time. She sees Emoto as a stepping stone to Strikeforce. Emoto said she has wanted to fight HIROKO for a long time and thinks she can put her to sleep. Very doubtful. HIROKO should knock out Emoto. There simply aren't many opponents left for HIROKO in Japan.

Jango Song Of The Day-Bill Monroe & The Monroe Brothers

Artist:Bill Monroe & The Monroe Brothers
Song:In The Pines
Album:The Essential Bill Monroe & The Monroe Brothers

Bill Monroe is the father of bluegrass music. He even invented the name "bluegrass". This CD covers his earliest recordings but even his later recordings were pure bluegrass. He never changed. He was born Sept. 13, 1911 in Rosine, KY. His father was a step dancer and his mother sang. His uncle Pen Vendiver was a popular fiddle player and his brothers and sister also played. Monroe learned mandolin and when his parents died, he went to live with uncle Pen and started playing in his band. He also learned to play the blues guitar from Arnold Shultz who developed thumb picking. In 1929, Monroe and brothers Charlie & Birch went to Indiana to work at an oil refinery and play gigs at night. They landed on the WLS Jamboree in Chicago. Birch left in 1934 but Bill & Charlie continued to appear on radio shows as the Monroe Brothers. This led to a contract with RCA's Bluebird label in 1936 and recorded for two years until Charlie left to form The Kentucky Pardners. Bill Monroe moved to Atlanta and planned to create a new kind of music that mixed old time country with blues and challenging musicianship. He formed The Blue Grass Boys and debuted at The Grand Ole Opry in October 1939 and then went on tour. Monroe's high tenor and mandolin were something new in country music. In The Pines is one of several songs he recorded for Bluebird in 1941 and those recordings are on this comp. The musicians strike prevented Monroe from recording and by the time he recorded for Columbia in 1945, he had a different band including Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. Monroe had some chart success but Flatt & Scruggs left in 1948 to start their own band. Monroe left Columbia for Decca in 1949 because he was annoyed with Columbia for signing The Stanley Brothers. He thought they were imitating him. Decca tried to get Monroe to make his sound more mainstream. But he never did and though he made occasional appearances on the country charts, Monroe's constant touring kept him going and the 60s folk boom helped too. He was incucted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame in 1970 and continued to record and tour despite being diagnosed with cancer in 1981. After suffering a stroke in early 1996, bluegrass legend Bill Monroe died on Spt. 9, 1996 at age 84. Here's Bill Monroe performing In The Pines probably in the 80s.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

TNA Knockouts division has reached a low point

Here's the match video from the Knockouts match on Sunday's TNA PPV. The booking is just ludicrous. Of course the low point was a couple of weeks ago when those idiots had the title change hands on a game show. And what does "strategically placed at random" mean? Over their history, TNA has had a bad habit of doing certain things just because they think it's different. But different doesn't mean good and the results of that silly game show was utterly predictable right down to Daffney drawing the strip tease. So this match had Angelina Love & Tara vs Velvet Sky & Madison Rayne with all the titles on the line. So if Angelina & Tara win, they become the tag team champs and if The Beautiful People win, whoever gets the pinfall becomes the TNA Knockouts Champ. And of course you have the standard Vince Russo babyface tag team at each other's throats angle. So it was very obvious what they were going to do with this match and that's what they did. Madison Rayne is the new TNA Knockours Champ which is pretty funny because I don't think she's ever won a singles match in TNA. So the match concept was stupid. The execution was mediocre. And the ending sucked. And now Angelina Love is injured. That is the current sad state of the TNA Knockouts division. Enjoy the match.

DesiRulez.NET - TNA Lockdown - 18th April 2010 - Part 3
Uploaded by WMIIV. - Check out more sports and extreme sports videos.

Women's match added to May 16 ClubDEEP show

Sakura Nomura
DEEP announced today that they have added a women's match to their May 16 ClubDEEP show in Toyama at the Event Plaza. As many fans are aware, Toyama is the heaquarters for Club Barbarian or as it's now called CB IMPACT and the home of recently retired DEEP Women's Lightweight Champion MIKU. The fight is Sakura Nomura vs Rina Tomita. I didn't see a contracted weight or match length but both fight at around 115lb. Guess what. Nomura trains at CB IMPACT. She won her MMA debut over Yuko Kagoshima at the Mar. 19 JEWELS show. Tomita trains at AACC. Her record is 2-3 and her last fight was a loss to Mari Kaneko on the Dec. 11 JEWELS show. MIKU was in Nomura's corner at her debut so I fully expect her to be in her corner for this match. And supposedly Tomita is Megumi Fujii's favourite student so she'll probably be in her corner. So there you have it. MIKU vs Megumi Fujii by proxy.

Jango Song Of The Day-Jesse Powell

Artist:Jesse Powell
Album:Let's Get It On

In 1999, You topped the R & B charts and was the only top ten pop hit for R & B crooner Jesse Powell. An unfortunate set of circumstances led to his career stalling and I don't know if he'll ever surface. But You is a very memorable song. He was born Feb. 24, 1971 in Gary, IN and grew up singing in church with his sisters. They would record as Trina & Tamara. He met producer Carl Roland in Kansas City and they started writing together and subsequently moved to Los Angeles. In 1994, Powell was spotted by New Edition producer Louis Silas Jr. who was just starting a new label at MCA Records. Powell's debut CD did OK and had a minor hit with All I Need. Strangely enough , You was on that album but was never released as a single. But they decided to record a new mix of You for Powell's 1999 CD 'Bout It. It reached #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the CD went Gold. Follow up singles didn't do that well and his 2001 CD JP didn't chart either. Then Louis Silas Jr. died in July 2001 and with the constant management shuffles at Universal, Jesse Powell was out in the cold. In 2003, he released JP on the independent Liquid8 label and that has been his latest release. You can get You on this various artists comp of sloe jams from the 70s to the 90s from Hip-O. Here's the video for You by Jesse Powell.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Jango Song Of The Day-Shawn Colvin

Artist:Shawn Colvin
Song:Sunny Came Home
Album:Polaroids: A Greatest Hits Collection

The 1997 top ten hit Sunny Came Home has been the biggest commercial success for singer songwriter Shawn Colvin. Though I don't expect her to ever have that kind of chart success again, she is still one of the top live draws on the roots music circuit. She was born Jan. 10, 1956 in Vermillion, SD and grew up in Carbondale, IL. She cites Joni Mitchell as her main influence. She started out fronting a hard rock band until she moved to Austin, TX and sang with the Western Swing band Dixie Diesels. She moved to New York City in 1983 and got involved with the Fast Folk collective. She appeared in several off-Broadway shows and sang backup vocals on the 1987 Suzanne Vega hit Luka. It was around this time that she met John Levanthal and he became her songwriting partner and producer. He has produced many similar performers and is married to Rosanne Cash. Yes, he is Mr. L. A tape that Shawn was selling at her shows earned her a contract with Columbia and her debut album Steady On was released in 1989. Her first two albums were critically acclaimed but didn't sell particularly well. But Shawn was making inroads in the Adult Contemporary market and her 1994 CD Cover Me did a lot better. But her breakthrough came with her 1996 CD A Few Small Repairs and the single Sunny Came Home. The CD went Platinum and Sunny Came Home reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. And she won Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year Grammys. She recorded a Christmas album in 1998 and left Columbia after her 2001 CD Whole New You. This comp and a DVD was released in 2004. Shawn Colvin is currently recording for Nonesuch Records and her latest CD Live was released last year. She's still a very popular live act and last fall toured with Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin and Buddy Miller as Three Girls and Their Buddy. In fact, she was taping an upcoming episode of Austin City Limits with Patty Griffin last night. Here's the video for Sunny Came Home by Shawn Colvin.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Jango Song Of The Day-Nneka

Album:Concrete Jungle

Nigerian born Neo Soul singer Nneka Egbuna has been an international star for a few years. She is just now getting exposure in the US from Sony. She is someone worth watching. She was born Dec. 24, 1981 in Warri, Nigeria to a Nigerian father and German mother. She moved to Hamburg, Germany at age 18 to study anthropology and persue a singing career. In 2003 she started working with German producer DJ Farhot (Andre Luth) and he started Yo Mama's Recording Company. Nneka's debut CD Victim Of Truth was released in 2005. She toured Europe but it was her second CD No Longer At Ease that got her some chart success in Europe. Heartbeat was a top 20 hit in England and reached #9 in Portugal in 2008. Meanwhile, DJ Farhot sold Yo Mama to the German label Four Music and they are 50% owned by Sony. Nneka continued to tour and won a 2009 MOBO Award for Best African Act. She made her US performing debut in Oct. 2009 and Sony released Concrete Jungle in Feb. 2010. It's a comp of her first two albums and with her mix of influences, Sony is trying to sell her as some sort of Mama Africa a la Erykah Badu except of course that Erykah isn't really African. Certainly Nneka is a rising star and Neo Soul fans should check her out. Here's the video for Heartbeat by Nneka.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

FCF Women's Tournament semi final match videos

Once again it is time for Big Bad Blog Video Theatre. This time I have the match videos for the FCF Women's Tournament semi finals from Mar. 27. The winner of this tournament gets a Strikeforce contract. In the first match, Jan Finney won over AJ Jenkins by split decision. She should have won by unanimous decision but at least she won. So here's what some fans and dopey judges don't seem to understand. The fighter gets credit for a takedown. But when the fighter is on top, she has to do something or the ref should stand them up. You don't get points for sitting on your opponent. So yes, AJ got takedowns in the first two rounds but did nothing to advance her position. It made the match kind of poky and the ref should have stood them up a lot sooner. Maybe Jan gets credit for good defense. The camera angle made it hard to tell in the second round. When Jan got a takedown in the third round, she was active on top and that was the likely reason she got the win.

The second match had Shayna Baszler win a unanimous decision over Alexis Davis. First, Alexis gets major props for taking this match on short notice and giving a very good showing. It was much better than the first match. Shayna won the first round fairly handily. What got her in trouble in the second round was a failed judo throw that gave Alexis her back. Alexis spent the rest of the round failing to hook a choke on Shayna. Seem familiar? Same thing happened when Alexis fought Tara LaRosa last year. As in that match, it seemed to take a lot out of Alexis. In round three, the same judo throw was successful and Shayna controlled Alexis for the rest of the match. Alexis was beat at the end. Enjoy the videos.

Jango Song Of The Day-Booker T. & The MG's

Artist:Booker T. & The MG's
Song:Green Onions
Album:The Very Best Of Booker T. & The MG's

The 1962 top five hit Green Onions was one of the first Stax hits. But of course we all know that there's more to Booker T. & The MG's than one hit. They were the basis of the Stax sound and played on most of the records recorded at the Stax studio in Memphis. Organist Booker T. Jones (born Nov. 24, 1944 in Memphis) met guitarist Steve Cropper (born Oct. 21, 1941 in Dora, MS) while hanging around the Satellite Record shop owned by Stax Records owners Estelle Axton & Jim Stewart. Cropper was in The Mar-Keys and they had a hit with Last Night in 1961. Cropper was named A & R director of Stax and formed the house band with bassist Lewie Steinberg (born Sept. 13, 1933 in Memphis) and drummer Al Jackson Jr. (born Nov. 27, 1935 in Memphis). They named the group after record producer Chip Moman's car. The main role of Booker T. & The MG's was to produce and play on all of the records produced at Stax. Green Onions happened purely by accident. They were in the studio backing up Sun Records rockabilly star Billy Lee Riley and they started jamming during a break. Jim Stewart liked what he heard and hit the record button. Green Onions topped the R & B singles chart and reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1962. They had some other chart hits that you can get on this comp. But the band continued to back up just about anyone who came through the studio. Donald "Duck" Dunn (born Nov. 24, 1941 in Memphis) replaced Steinberg in 1965. Dunn had also been in The Mar-Keys. Booker T. & The MG's also toured with the Stax artists so the bottom line is they could do it all and did do it all. Steve Cropper left Stax in 1970 and became a very successful producer. Al Jackson was murdered on Feb. 1, 1975 after finding intruders in his home. The other guys have reunited occasionally and do their own projects as well. Here's Booker T. & The MG's performing Green Onions Oslo, Norway 1967.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

MIKU retires

MIKU and Megumi Fujii
DEEP Women's Lightweight Champion MIKU retired at today's DEEP Korakuen Hall show with an exhibition match with Megumi Fujii. I can't tell you how many fans told me over the last couple of months how exciting this match would be. I understand that fans don't follow the Japanese business so they don't know how things work over there. No matter what anyone tries to tell you, trust me. The two of them were screwing around for five minutes until a very amusing ending. And the funny part was they were still trying to sell the match at yesterday's press conference. DEEP matchmaker Shigeru Saeki agreed to unlimited ground and pound. And Fujii told an interviewer that it would be very close to a real match. They were trying to make it look good with various takedowns and halfhearted submission attempts. But with thirty seconds left in the match, Fujii whispered something to MIKU and MIKU ended the match with a flying armbar. Hilarious! See I told you Fujii would be good at pro wrestling. The retirement ceremony followed with the usual gifts and bouquets of flowers from Megumi Fujii, MIKU's home dojo Club Barbarian, Shigeru Saeki and various others. MIKU gave the title belt to DEEP commissioner Arakawa. MIKU thanked Megumi for the exhibition match. She says they worked hard to make it look good. She thanked everyone for their support and said today is the greatest day of her life. This was followed by the traditional ten bell salute and orange paper streamers thrown by the fans. Afterwards, Shigeru Saeki said that he doesn't know what he will do with the DEEP title yet. He wants to see how things go in JEWELS. Megumi Fujii said yesterday that she is talking to Bellator but has not signed. And Bjorn Rebney said on Thursday that the Bellator 115lb tournament will be scheduled as soon as Fujii is signed. So it's just a matter of time. Pony up, Rebney! On behalf of fans everywhere, I want to wish MIKU all the best in her retirement. You will be missed.

Jango Song Of The Day-Hiromi's Sonicbloom

Artist:Hiromi's Sonicbloom
Album:Beyond Standard

Regular readers of this blog are accustomed to my writing about Japanese women who kick ass in the ring or the cage. But Hiromi Uehara kicks ass with her piano and is one of today's top jazz musicians. And she's coming to town so I get to see her in a couple of months. She was born Mar. 26, 1979 in Shizuoka, Japan. She started learning classical piano at age five and her teacher introduced her to jazz at age eight. At age 14 she played with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. A chance encounter with piano legend Chick Corea had her sitting in with him at his Tokyo gig the next day. She studied at Berklee in Boston and was mentored by jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal. She signed with Telarc Records before graduation. Her debut CD Another Mind was released in 2003. She started out with a trio and has recorded with bassist Tony Grey and drummer Martin Valihora since her 2004 CD Brain. Both guys are Berkelee alums. in 2006, she added guitarist David Fiuczynski to form Hiromi's Sonicbloom. The 2008 CD Beyond Standard is their second CD as a unit. It has some standards on it but XYG is a reworking of Hiromi's composition XYZ with added guitar. The bottom line is the girl can play but I can see why she would cause a commotion. Her latest CD Place To Be is solo piano and was released in January and she still tours with Sonicbloom. But she also recorded the CD Jazz In The Garden last year with bassist Stanley Clarke and drummer Lenny White and is currently on tour with them and will be at the Toronto Jazz Festival in June. I'm going. Here's Hiromi's Sonicbloom performing XYG at the Blue Note in Tokyo 2008.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Yomiuri TV looks at HIROKA in Mexico

It's time once again for Big Bad Blog Video Theatre. These videos are part of a series from Yomiuri TV that looks at Japanese living in foreign countries. This episode features joshi wrestler HIROKO working in Mexico for CMLL. We don't get to see the personal sides of these wrestlers very often. The first video has an interview with HIROKA's mom and grandma. I think her father is deceased. More on that in a moment. Then they take us to Mexico City and then to a CMLL show in Pueblo. They show HIROKA in the ring working mostly with the very popular Lady Apache. They show some of her history in LLPW too. Fans may not know that HIROKA is married to the luchador known as 666. So they show her backstage watching his match and follow them home. HIROKA must be an animal lover and I guess she has a pet store in Mexico City. Finally she opens a package from home containing a camera and a photo album. Apparently her father was an amateur photographer and the photos in the album are pics he took of HIROKA wrestling in Japan. So everybody cries and the ending is very emotional. Enjoy!

Kayoko Haruyama seems annoyed with Nanae Takahashi

Here's a video of JWP visting Nikkan Sports yesterday to promote this Sunday's Korakuen Hall show. The main event has Kayoko Haruyama defending her JWP Open Weight Champioship against Nanae Takahashi. I don't know if there's going to be a title change. I'm not sure it matters much. The video features Haruyama, Sachie Abe, Kei'to and rookie Sunri Kuroki plugging the show. Kei'to will have her 15th anniversary match against Kyoko Inoue. But there is also a video of Takahashi doing her usual rah rah giggly BS with Sakura Emi. And the JWP wrestlers are watching the video. I can certainly appreciate why Haruyama would be annoyed with Takahashi's shtick. I don't like it much either. Geez, she 31 years old. She should stop acting like a kid. Actually, she's a wrestler I would love to see take a serious heel turn but I don't think she has the guts to do that. Enjoy the video.

Jango Song Of The Day-The Winstons

Artist:The Winstons
Song:Color Him Father
Album:Dick Bartley Presents Collector's Essentials: On The Radio, Vol. 5

The 1969 top ten hit Color Him Father was the only hit for Washington, DC based soul group The Winstons. But don't worry. They've made a lot of money from sampling. The group was led by lead singer and tenor sax player Richard Spencer along with G.C. Coleman on drums, Ray Maritano on alto sax, Quincy Mattison on lead guitar, Sonny Pekerol on bass and Phil Tolotta on organ. Most of them had backed up Otis Redding and then signed with Curtom Records and backed up The Impressions. They only recorded one single at Curtom and then signed with Metromedia Records. Metromedia primarily owned TV and radio stations across the US. They got into the record business in 1969. Their biggest star was Bobby Sherman and they closed in 1974 after mixed results. Spencer obviously wrote Color Him Father as a tribute to his father. It reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #2 on the R & B singles chart. The B-side Amen Brother features what is now known today as The Amen Break, a drum break that has been sampled in hundreds of hip hop songs including Straight Outta Compton by NWA. That's a ka-ching for Spencer each time it is used. Richard Spencer left the music business in 1970 and went back to school and had a long career with the Washington Metro rapid transit. After retiring in 2000, Keb' Mo' covered Color Him Father on his 2001 CD Big Wide Grin. Spencer has led a version of The Winstons since then and records on his own label. You wouldn't know it by the title and cover of this various artists comp from Varese but this is a great soul sampler so check it out. Dick Bartley is a DJ and has hosted sydicated radio shows for years. Here's The Winstons performing Color Him Father 2009.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Jango Song Of The Day-Pete Shelley

Artist:Pete Shelley
Album:Just Can't Get Enough: New Wave Hits of the 80's, Vol. 5

Homosapien is probably more fondly remembered today than when it was released back in 1981. That's because at the time, it signaled the end for pioneering punk group The Buzzcocks and fans weren't very happy with Pete Shelley's move to synth-pop. It turned out to be Shelley's only solo hit. He was born Peter McNeish Apr. 17, 1955 in Leigh, Lancashire, England. He thought his name would be Shelley if he had been a girl. It's well known that he is bi-sexual. Shelley had recorded a solo electronic album called Sky Yen in 1974 but it was not released. Then he met Howard Devoto and formed The Buzzcocks in 1975 and they became one of the most popular bands of the punk era. Homosapien was originally intended to be a Buzzcocks record but a dispute with Virgin Publishing forced Shelley to disband the group. He signed a solo deal with Island in England and Arista in the US. Shelley renewed his interest in electronic music while recording the album with producer Martin Rushent. So many Buzzcocks fans were disappointed when Homosapien was not a punk album. The song was banned by the BBC due to sexual content. But Homosapien was still a hit on the dance chart in England and in the US. Shelley's subsequent recordings didn't have the same success and he would reform The Buzzcocks in 1988. You can get Homosapiens on this various artists comp from Rhino. Pete Shelley hasn't recorded solo since the 80s but The Buzzcocks are still touring. Here's the video for Homosapien by Pete Shelley.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Jango Song Of The Day-moe.

Song:Kyle's Song

Back in the old days, it wasn't enough to have to have the standard record releases by groups like The Grateful Dead and Little Feat. So I used to buy bootleg live recordings by those groups. That's not necessary in the digital age but there's no question that as a jam band in that tradition, moe. would have thrived in that era. They are a very popular live act and release a lot of live CDs. The band is from Utica, NY and they all met in 1989 a the University Of Buffalo. They started out as a trio led by bassist vocalist Rob Derhak, guitarist vocalist Chuck Garvey and drummer Ray Schwartz with other rotating members. They were originally called Five Guys Named Moe but then shortened it to moe. While playing the local bar circuit, they recorded demos and added guitarist Al Schnier. By the time they released their debut CD Fatboy in 1992, Schwartz was replaced by Jim Loughlin. He left to join Yolk in 1995 and was replaced by Mike Strazza and then Chris Mazur. They started touring nationally in 1995 and Mazur was replaced by Vinnie Amico. They signed with Sony in 1996 and Loughlin was brought back to play percussion. Things didn't go well for moe. at Sony. They were dropped in 1999 and started their own Fatboy label. And they've been releasing their own CDs ever since. Wormwood is a 2003 CD released through Artist Direct. They took some 2002 llive tracks and enhanced them in the studio. It's a good intro for newcomers to the band. You can get plenty of live CDs too. And they do a lot of music festivals including Bonaroo. Remember when Grateful Dead fans were called Deadheads. moe. fans are called moe.rons. moe. is certainly worth checking out. Here's moe. performing Kyle's Song at the Fillmore in Denver Apr. 2, 2006.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ishioka vs Ichii main event of May 23 JEWELS show

Saori Ishioka, Mai Ichii
JEWELS held a press conference today at the DEEP dojo to announce the main event of their May 23 Shin-kiba 1st Ring show. In a match contracted for 52kg, "Ace Of JEWELS" Saori Ishioka will face pro wrestler Mai Ichii. Well, that's what they called her. Ishioka trains at Zendokai in Kagonei. Her record is 8-4 and her last match was a questionable victory over Sally Krumdiack at the Dec. 11 JEWELS show. She was absent from the Mar. 19 show due to an ankle injury. Mai Ichii works for the Ice Ribbon pro wrestling company. Her MMA record is 3-2 and her last match was a loss to Mika Nagano at the Mar. 19 JEWELS show. She's had some success with the M-1 kickboxing company. There are two reasons why Mai Ichii is the opponent for this match. She a very good striker and JEWELS matchmaker Shigeru Saeki wants to see how Ishioka handles herself with a good striker. And Ichii is an excellent interview. She knows how to cut a promo. The first thing Ichii says is she plans to break Ishioka's jaw with a right hook. Of course Ishioka is a little more reserved but she said that ain't happening. She said that Ichii needs to have her picture taken before before Ishioka messes up her face. She also said she is completely recovered from her ankle injury and has been training hard for a month. Ichii said afterwards rhat she did break an opponent's jaw in Shoot Boxing. She's saying the usual stuff but I expect Ishioka to take her to the ground as that is Ichii's weakness. JEWELS also announced a 52kg tournament will begin with eight fighters on the July 31 Shinjuku FACE show. The semis will be on the Oct. 10 Shin-kiba 1st Ring show and the final will be on the Dec. 17 Korakuen Hall show. Korean Ham Seo Hee is confirmed and Ishioka said she's using this upcoming match to get ready for the tournament. But the big news is that Megumi Fujii will NOT be in this tournament. She will be in Bellator's upcoming 115lb tournament. There have been rumours about a start date for that but nothing has been announced and I believe that the rumoured start date is premature and inaccurate due to scheduling issues. When I know the start date, you'll know.

Jango Song Of The Day-Nolan Porter

Artist:Nolan Porter
Song:If I Could Only Be Sure
Album:The ABC's of Soul, Vol. 2: Classics from the ABC Records Catalog 1969-74

Soul singer Nolan Porter made a couple of albums in the early 70s. He's never had a hit but If I Could Only Be Sure has become a favourite in the Northern Soul scene in England and he still tours on the strength of that one song. That's not as unusual as you might think. And the most interesting thing about Porter is he has a major Mothers Of Invention connection. He's been married to Frank Zappa's sister Candy Zappa for many years. And several Mothers played on his 70s albums. I don't have any biographical info about Nolan Porter but I can only assume he was part of the Los Angeles music scene of the late 60s. Israeli born record producer Gabriel Mekler gained a reputation in the late 60s by producing Steppenwolf, Three Dog Night and Janis Joplin. He was a staff producer at ABC Records' Dunhill label. So by 1971 he wanted to start his own label with ABC distribution. Lizard Records had some chart success with Paul Humphrey & The Kool Aid Chemists. But Nolan Porter and other artists didn't sell and Lizard closed in 1972. Porter recorded two albums for Lizard. If I Could Only Be Sure is on the first album Nolan and he wrote and produced the song with Mekler. Among those who played on the album were former Mothers Of Invention members Roy Estrada and Jimmy Carl Black and Lowell George, Richie Hayward and Bill Payne of Little Feat. Those are great musicians. Unfortunately Nolan Porter's albums aren't available but you can get If I Could Only Be Sure on this ABC Records various artists comp from Hip-O. Sadly, Gabriel Mekler died in a motorcycle accident in 1977. But Nolan Porter and wife Candy Zappa still tour today and they even have a MySpace. Here's Nolan Porter performing If I Could Only Be Sure probably in England around 2005.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Jango Song Of The Day-The 13th Floor Elevators

Artist:The 13th Floor Elevators
Song:You're Gonna Miss Me
Album:Absolutely The Best

You're Gonna Miss Me was the only chart single for the legendary psychedelic band The 13th Floor Elevators. Some folks think the band invented psychedelia. I don't know about that but there's no question this band's legendary status has grown to mythic proportions. The 13th Floor Elevators were from Austin, TX led by Roky Erickson on lead vocals, guitar and harmonica, Stacy Sutherland on guitar and Tommy Hall on electric jug. Electric jug? You'll see in the video. There were other members but they were the three main songwriters. The group emerged in late 1965 out of Erickson's band The Spades. Benny Thurman played bass and John Ike Walton played drums. He came up with the group name. So they were brought to Houston to record You're Gonna Miss Me and it was picked up for national distribution by International Artists, a label run by Kenny Rogers' brother Lelan Rogers. There were other psychedelic bands on the label including The Red Krayola & Bubble Puppy. Bassist Benny Thurman was replaced by Ronnie Leatherman in July 1966. When IA re-released You're Gonna Miss Me in the summer of 1966, it reached #55 on the Billboard Hot 100. They released their second album Easter Everywhere in 1967. The 13th Floor Elevators had the potential and talent to be successful but the drug culture killed them. John Ike Walton left when Hall insisted that he use LSD. The end came when Roky Erickson pleaded insanity to 1969 drug charges and was institutionalized. This comp from Varese is a great intro to their music. Roky Erickson has made sporadic attempts at a solo career over the years. But he's still around and appeared on Austin City Limits a few years ago. Stacy Sutherland's heroin addiction landed him in jail and he was accidently killed by his wife during a domestic dispute Aug. 26, 1978. Tommy Hall lives a drug fried existence in San Francisco. The bottom line is that The 13th Floor Elevators were a very influential band and their music is worth checking out. Here's The 13th Floor Elevators performing You're Gonna Miss Me 1966.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Hisae Watanabe returns at Shoot Boxing

Hisae Watanabe
Former DEEP Lightweight Champion Hisae Watanabe made her long awaited return at today's Shoot Boxing show at Korakuen Hall. She was supposed to face Shoot Boxing teenage poster girl RENA but RENA suffered a broken finger in training. So karate champ Megumi Igawa stepped in to face Watanabe. Watanabe won by TKO in round two. She said afterwards that she will face RENA when she recovers. I'm sure most fans are aware that Watanabe retired in 2008 to marry her cartoonist husband and then she had a baby. She was supposed to return at a kickboxing show in Thailand last year but the show was cancelled. Then she suffered a broken foot in training. She sort of returned in an exhibition with Megumi Fujii at an August Shoot Boxing show. So now she has officially returned. But the big question about Watanabe is will she return to MMA or will she only compete in kickboxing and shoot boxing? Her power is her strength and she's not that good on the ground. We'll see. Hisae Watanabe adds a lot of personality and flair to women's MMA but she may want to stick with what she is really good at.

Kyoko Takabayashi wins close decision to get VALKYRIE Featherweight Title shot

Kyoko Takabayashi vs Emi Fujino
VALKYRIE held their latest show this afternoon at Differ Ariake. The main event had Kyoko Takabayashi face Emi Fujino with the winner getting a shot at V1's Featherweight Championship. At yesterday's weigh-in, Fujino was flapping her gums about how she deserved the title shot because Fujino beat her in 2007. Close but no cigar. The southpaw Takabayashi started with punches and took Fujino down and tried to pass guard. They stood up when they wound up in the fence. Fujino knocks Takabayashi down but gets nowhere on the ground and they have to stand up. In round two, They trade strikes and Takabayashi gets a takedown and lands punches. They end up in the fence again and Fujino is able to stand and land strikes. So that was the pattern of the match. Takabayashi wants to keep it on the ground and Fujino wants to KO her. It doesn't happen for Fujino. She lands strikes but Takabayashi lands her own and then drives her into the fence and land more strikes. Then she takes Fujino down again and it's over. Takabayashi wins by majority decision. One judge scored it a draw and the other two gave it to Takabayashi. It was close but it appears that Takabayashi got enough takedowns and controlled Fujino on the ground just enough to get the win. Fujino thought she won but she may have tried too hard for the KO. A fighter can lose if it goes to the judges.

Megumi Yabushita controls Mutsumi Kasai
The semi-main hadwomen's MMA pioneer Megumi Yabushita replacing the injured Ayame against Matsumi Kasai. Yabushita wastes no time taking Kasai down with one of her patented neck throws. Then she takes her down again and pounds her She tries for an armbar but doesn't quite get it. This continues in round two as Yabushita controls Kasai until she taps her out with an armbar at 2:58 of round two. The main event for this show was supposed to be Yasuko Tamada vs Naoko Omuro for the VALKYRIE Flyweight Title. But Omuro is injured so Tamada faced Yukiko Seki. Tamada wins easily by unanimous decision. In other matches Akiko Naito won over VALKYRIE matchmaker Yasuko Mogi by unanimous decision. Kayo Nagayasu won by majority decision over Happy Fukuko. And HARUMI kept her winless record intact by losing to Naoko Torashima by unanimous decision. And I almost forgot. V1 entertained fans with a judo demonstration.

Jango Song Of The Day-Francis Cabrel

Artist:Francis Cabrel
Album:L'Essentiel 1977-2007

Singer songwriter Francis Cabrel has been very popular in French speaking countries for over three decades. He has never sung in English so he is unknown in North America outside Quebec. But he's really good and worth checking out. He was born Nov. 24, 1953 in Agen, France. As a teen, he was inspired by Bob Dylan's Like A Rolling Stone to learn guitar and begin writing songs. When he was thrown out of high school for lack of discipline, he joind Ray Frank and Jazzmen. They actually became known as Les Gaulois because they all had moustaches. After participating in a songwriting contest in 1974, he signed with CBS Records and has been with them ever since. His first hit was Je T'aime du Mourir in 1979. His albums sold well in France in the 80s and he also toured Quebec and became very popular there. After his 1989 album Sarbacane, he took a five year break. He returned with the album Samedi Soir Sur La Terre in 1994. Ocrobre was the first single and it was very successful. It was like he never left. Octobre and many other Cabrel songs are available on this 2CD comp from Sony. It is also available in a CD/DVD package. Francis Cabrel last recorded in 2008 so he's still active and also concentrates on his charitable endeavors and his family. Here's the video for Octobre by Francis Cabrel.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Jango Song Of The Day-Deep Blue Something

Artist:Deep Blue Something
Song:Breakfast At Tiffany's
Album:Non Stop '90s Rock

The 1995 top ten hit Breakfast At Tiffany's was the only chart hit for Deep Blue Something. It has become an Adult Contemporary Radio standard. But why did they only have one hit? I can answer that question. Based on their sound, you might think they're British. But they were all students at the University Of North Texas in Denton, TX. The group was led by singer bassist Todd Pipes and his guitarist brother Toby Pipes. Clay Bergus was the original guitarist but was replaced by Kirk Tatom. John Kirtland played drums. They were called Leper Messiah but found that the name attracted the wrong crowd so they changed it to Deep Blue Something. They released their first album independently and it was good enough that it landed them a contract with Interscope Records. They had already recorded their second album Home but it was decided that they would go back into the studio and re-record several of the songs. Breakfast At Tiffany's reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and and is still gets heavy airplay on Adult Contemporary Radio. Todd Pipes was inspired to write the song by Audrey Hepburn's performance in Roman Holiday but thought that Breakfast At Tiffany's was a catchier title. So the influence of the film was intentional and the video reflects that. Deep Blue Something recorded a second CD called Byzantium and it was released outside the US in 1998. I assume that Interscope wasn't happy with it and they were dropped. Some of the tracks from Byzantium were on a 2001 CD that the band released independently. You can get Breakfast At Tiffany's on a lot of various artists CDs but this one from Razor & Tie has a lot of good 90s alt rock on it. Todd and Toby Pipes have worked as producers with groups like Drowning Pool and Flickerstick in Texas and Toby has a band called Little Black Dress. John Kirtland owns his own record label and owns the back catalog of the group Bush. Here's the video for Breakfast At Tiffany's by Deep Blue Something.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Vera vs Pena set for May 21 Strikeforce show, Toughill not quitting

Kerry Vera
Strikeforce announced today that Kerry Vera vs Julianna Pena is set for the May 21 Strikeforce Challengers show in Portland. It is contracted for 135lb. Most fans know that Kerry Vera is the wife of UFC veteran Beandon Vera and they both train at Alliance MMA in Chula Vista, CA. Kerry's  MMA record is 2-0 and her most recent win was over Kim Couture at the Nov. 20 Strikeforce Challengers show. She has extensive Muay Thai experience but has yet to be tested on the ground. Julianna Pena is known as The Venezuelan Vixen. She is from Spokane, WA and trains at SIK Jitsu. Her record is 2-0 and her last win was over Stephanie Webber on the Dec. 5 CageSport MMA show in Spokane. She's 20 years old and very attractive. I saw a pic on her MySpace. In other news, Erin Toughill announced on her Facebook today that she is remaining with Strikeforce but will not fight Cris Cyborg on the June 16 show at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. I don't know who the opponent will be. There ain't much to choose from. As I reported previously, the problem was mostly miscommunication with Strikeforce and it's not the first time. Erin had similar issues last year and Erin switched agents. Strikeforce fighter liason Shannon Knapp was able to smooth things over and the drama is over. Coker, give Shannon a raise.