Monday, September 30, 2013

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Pancrase 265

Here's what you have all been waiting for. It is the entire video for Sunday's PANCRASE 265 show, their 20th anniversary. The main thing you are all interested in is Rin Nakai vs Tara LaRosa. The judges scored the fight as a majority decision for Rin. It was NOT a split decision. The scores were 30-29, 30-28 and 29-29. I agree with 30-28. My main criticism of Rin in recent fights has been her lack of aggression. And we see this in round one when neither of them do much of anything. All three judges scored the round a tie and I agree with that. In the second round, Tara rocks Rin a couple of times. And one judge scored the round 10-9 for Tara based on that. But that ignores that after that Rin got Tara's back and controlled her for the rest of the round. That shouldn't be ignored. The other two judges scored it 10-10. I scored it 10-9 Rin because of the ground control but I don't have a problem with the 10-10 scores. Rin won the fight in the third round with ground control and a kimura attempt in the second half of the round. One judge scored it 10-8 for Rin and the other two scored it 10-9 for Rin. I don't think it was enough for 10-8 so I scored it 10-9. So I scored the fight 30-28 for Rin. In the end it was the correct decision though I don't agree with some of the judges decisions. You can decide for yourself and watch the entire PANCRASE 265 show right here on the blog. Enjoy!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Stonewall Jackson

Artist:Stonewall Jackson
Album:Original Greatest Hits

Honky tonk singer Stonewall Jackson is a long time member of The Grand Ole Opry and had most of his success in the 60s. Waterloo crossed over to the pop charts in 1959. He was born Nov. 6, 1932 in Tabor City, NC. Stonewall is his real name. His family claimed to be descendants of Confederate General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson. His dad died when he was two and mom moved the family to her brother's farm in Georgia. Jackson was in the US Navy from 1950-54 and moved to Nashville in 1956. He signed with Acuff-Rose publishing owner Wesley Rose and was the first artist to join The Grand Ole Opry before signing a record contract. After touring with Ernest Tubb, Jackson signed with Columbia Records in 1958. His breakthrough hit was the George Jones song Life To Go. It reached #2 on the Country Singles chart. The next single Waterloo not only topped the country chart in 1959. But it also reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was his biggest hit and his signature song. The song was written by legendary songwriters John D. Loudermilk and Marijohn Wilkin. Loudermilk is best known for writing Tobacco Road and plenty of other songs. Wilkin was known as The Den Mother Of Music Row. Her best known song was the 1980 Christy Lane monster hit One Day At A Time. Her son Bucky Wilkin was the leader of Ronny & The Daytonas. She was a major figure in the music publishing business in Nashville. Jackson's only other number one country hit was B.J. The D.J. in 1964. But he had plenty of top ten hits until he left Columbia in 1971. You can get them all on this comp from the reissue label Real Gone Music. Jackson last recorded in 1983. But he continued to perform. He sued The Grand Ole Opry in 2006 after GM Pete Fisher threatened to get rid of all the old people. The lawsuit was settled out of court and Jackson returned to the Opry. Jackson and his wife live on a farm outside Nashville. Here's Stonewall Jackson performing Waterloo in the 60s.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Chaim Topol

Artist:Chaim Topol w/chorus, John Williams & Orch. f/Isaac Stern
Song:Prologue/Tradition/Main Title
Album:Fiddler On The Roof: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Recording: 30th Anniversary Edition

Israeli actor Chaim Topol is best known for playing Tevye in the London production and the 1971 film of Fiddler On The Roof. Fiddler On The Roof was written by Jerry Bock, Sheldon Harnick and Joseph Stein based on the Sholem Aleichem story Tevye and his Daughters. The setting is a Jewish community in Tsarist Russia. The musical opened on Broadway in 1964 starring Zero Mostel as Tevye. It ran for several years. There was also a London production starring Topol as Tevye. That opened in 1967. Topol was born Sept. 9, 1935 in Tel Aviv, Israel. He appeared in the 1964 film Sallah Shabati which was nominated for a Best Foreign Film Oscar. His English film debut was in the 1966 film Cast A Giant Shadow. So when it came time to cast the film adaptation of Fiddler On The Roof, it was assumed that Mostel would be hired. So it was somewhat controversial when director Norman Jewison chose Topol instead. Jewison said that Mostel's larger than life personality wouldn't work on film and audiences would see him as Mostel the actor, not the character Tevye. The film is fairly close to the play. There aren't that many changes. Tradition opens the show and explains Jewish traditions and the major characters. It starts with a Prologue written and conducted by John Williams followed by Topol performing Tradition followed by the opening credits featuring Isaac Stern on violin. The film was very successful and it won three Oscars including one for Williams' score. The soundtrack is available as a budget CD and the 30th Anniversary Edition contains some bonus tracks. Chaim Topol starred in the 1976 musical The Baker's Wife. But he was fired after eight months for unprofessional behaviour. This was confirmed by co-star Patti LuPone and composer Stephen Schwartz blamed Topol for killing the show. Topol has appeared in films like Flash Gordon in 1980. In 1983, he appeared in a London revival of Fiddler On The Roof and he has appeared in other revivals of the show. He's made a career out of one role and that's what he is known for. Here's Chaim Topol with chorus performing Tradition from the 1971 film Fiddler On The Roof.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Matches set for DEEP JEWELS Lightweight Championship tournament

Mika Nagano, Emi Fujino, Emi Tomimatsu, MIZUKI
DEEP JEWELS held a press conference today to determine the matches for the DEEP JEWELS Lightweight Championship tournament. The show will be Nov. 4 at Shinjuku FACE. The main event for this show will be Ham Seo Hee defending the DEEP JEWELS Flyweight Championship against Sadae Manhoef. Ayaka Hamasaki was forced to forfeit the DEEP JEWELS Lightweight Championship due to ongoing problems with her left knee. It is likely that Ayaka will be forced to retire from MMA. It says here they did a public draw to determine the tournament matches. In this picture, it looks like the girls did rock paper scissors to do that. Not really. They are goofing around. Emi Fujino posted an equally goofy picture on her Twitter. The matches are Mika Nagano vs Emi Tomimatsu and Emi Fujino vs MIZUKI. Nagano has already beaten Tomimatsu earlier this year at the March JEWELS show. MIZUKI faced Fujino in a J-Girls kickboxing match July 2010. And if I recall correctly, MIZUKI broke Fujino's nose with a high kick. MIZUKI says she really wanted to win the belt from Ayaka to avenge her only defeat. But she says she will use that motivation to win the belt this way. Nagano thinks this will be her last chance to win the title. We could see retirement if she doesn't win. MIZUKI is the favourite to win. I doubt that any of these girls can beat her.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Ricky Van Shelton

Artist:Ricky Van Shelton
Song:I'll Leave This World Loving You
Album:16 Biggest Hits

Ricky Van Shelton had ten number one country hits in the late 80s-early 90s including I'll Leave This World Loving You in 1988. The last of these was in 1991. He did not adapt very well to changing musical trends and faded by the mid-90s. He retired in 2006. He was born Jan. 12, 1952 in Danville, VA and grew up in Grit, VA. His surname is Shelton. Van is his middle name. I thought maybe he was of Dutch descent but apparently not. I didn't know that and I have known about Shelton for years. He grew up singing in church and then performed in local clubs. He moved to Nashville in 1984 when future wife Bettye got a job there. In 1986, newspaper columnist Jerry Thompson heard Shelton's demo and became his manager. This led to an audition and a record deal with Columbia Records. Shelton had most of his success working with Columbia Nashville house producer Steve Buckingham. Buckingham worked with Dolly Parton for many years and is currently a VP at Sugar Hill Records. Shelton's 1987 debut album Wide-Eyed Dream topped the charts. His first number one single Somebody Lied was recorded by Conway Twitty in 1985. Shelton didn't write much so Buckingham was really good at finding songs for him. Life Turned Her That Way and Don't We All Have The Right were also number one hits from Wide-Eyed Dream. I'll Leave This World Loving You was the first single from the 1988 album Loving Proof and it topped the Country Singles chart. That song was written by Wayne Kemp and he recorded it in 1974. Kemp has had more success as a songwriter than a recording artist. Shelton's other number one hits from Loving Proof were a cover of the 1962 Ned Miller classic From A Jack To A King and Living Proof. From his 1989 album RVSIII, Shelton's only number one hit was I've Cried My Last Tear For You. He also recorded a Christmas album and wrote two children's books. I Am A Simple Man and Keep It Between The Lines were number one hits from his 1991 album Backroads. He also recorded the #1 duet Rockin' Years with Dolly Parton which was on her album Eagle When She Flies. All of Shelton's hits except Rockin' Years are on this budget comp. Then Shelton started to fade. He was a traditionalist and did not adapt well to rock music creeping into country with guys like Garth Brooks. Shelton also acknowledged alcoholism in 1992. Shelton left Columbia in 1994. He released an album on his own label through Vanguard Records in 1997 and recorded for Audium. He last recorded in 2000. Ricky Van Shelton retired in 2006. Here's the video for I'll Leave This World Loving You by Ricky Van Shelton.

Friday, September 27, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Dorothy Ashby

Artist:Dorothy Ashby

I guess with electronic instruments ability to create any sound, the harp isn't used much in music anymore. And even when it was, it was never a lead instrument unless you count Harpo Marx playing it in Marx Bros. movies. Dorothy Ashby brought the harp to jazz in the 50s. She was mainly a session musician but she recorded a handful of albums including Afro-Harping in 1968. She was born Dorothy Thompson Aug. 6, 1930 in Detroit. He father was jazz guitarist Wiley Thompson and she met many jazz musicians when she was a child. Dorothy attended Cass Technical High School in Detroit along with Donald Byrd and Kenny Burrell. She tried several instruments before discovering the harp. She studied piano at Wayne State University and after graduating, she started playing piano in Detroit jazz clubs. Then she started bringing her harp. Musicians were resistant at first. They thought it was a classical music instrument. But Dorothy was really good and the harp was accepted when she played it. Dorothy recorded a few albums on labels like Prestige. Among the musicians who played on her albums were drummer Ed Thigpen, bassist Richard Davis and sax player Frank Wess. Dorothy toured with her husband drummer John Ashby and continued to record in the 60s. She also hosted a radio show in Detroit. And Dorothy and her husband founded the theater group The Ashby Players. She usually wrote and performed the music for all the plays. One actor who started out with The Ashby Players was Ernie Hudson of Ghostbusters. In the late 60s, Dorothy recorded three albums for the Chess label Cadet Records. Afro-Harping was the first of those albums in 1968. Games is one of Dorothy's own compositions. The producer is Richard Evans who normally worked with guys like guitarist Phil Upchurch. The musicians are not identified. This album was released on CD by Verve in 2003. It's worth checking out. Dorothy and her family moved to Los Angeles in the late 60s and she became a studio musician. Bill Withers introduced her to Stevie Wonder and Dorothy played on the 1976 album Songs in the Key of Life and on plenty of other recordings. Dorothy Ashby died of cancer on Apr. 13, 1986 at age 55. Her range of influence might surprise some as she played on a lot of sessions. Here's a video for Games by Dorothy Ashby.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Review of The Ultimate Fighter 18 episode four

The big question on this episode of The Ultimate Fighter is can Team Rousey get off the schneid and into the win column. The fight on this show is Roxanne Modafferi of Team Tate vs Jessica Rakoczy of Team Rousey. But this episode begins with a ridiculous confrontation between two guys who shouldn't be in the spotlight on this show. Team Tate brought in former UFC fighter Dennis Hallman as a guest coach. He was in the finals of TUF10 and his fighting career can best be described as that of a journeyman. When he starts giving the evil eye to Ronda Rousey's coach Edmond Tarverdyan, Ronda suspects that Hallman was brought in to get Tarverdyan kicked off of the show. Shayna Bazsler says that she and her other Team Rousey teammates thought that too. I asked her if any of them said it on camera. She said yes. None of that was used. Hallman has nothing to lose. He's only there for one day. Knowing that he could get kicked off the show, Tarverdyan suggests to Hallman that they could get together some other time. Not surprisingly, Hallman suggests they can get together now. Ronda steps in to prevent Tarverdyan from doing something stupid. But even if she hadn't, Dana White was there and he wasn't going to allow anything to happen regardless. On camera, White lectures Ronda. This is one of those occasions where I would like to see the outtakes. What was filmed and wasn't used? So now we get to the two fighters on this show. Jessica has a separated shoulder which was why she was chosen. She talks about childhood abuse from a stepfather and how boxing saved her from going down a bad road. In the house, she is kind of like mom cleaning up after everyone. She realizes that at age 36, this is her last chance in MMA. Of course Roxanne lived in Japan for several years and was a pretty good fighter a few years ago. She has just moved back to the US. Of course everyone in the house loves her. So of course they all want her to win and get that UFC brass ring. But Roxanne is on a five fight losing streak. The stuff she did when she was winning fights in Japan a few years ago isn't working for her anymore. Her major flaw as a fighter is she won't punch anyone. That's a mental block, not a physical issue. This is not grappling. In MMA when someone punches you in the face, you have to return fire or be taken advantage of. So I thought Roxanne won round one. She took Jessica down but wasn't able to do anything. Jessica's defense was good as she kept Roxanne in her guard. Of course Roxanne could have postured up and thrown some ground and pound but she won't punch anyone. Jessica started to exert herself in round two and rocked Roxanne with a punch. While in the clinch, the ref warned Jessica about grabbing the fence. When the fight resumes, Roxanne looks very tired and she isn't defending herself on her feet. Remember she won't throw a punch. Remember that power bomb that Sarah Kaufman used on Roxanne a couple of years ago. That's what Jessica did. It didn't knock Roxanne out but she couldn't get up. The fight should have been stopped. The ref didn't recognize that and after a few more punches, he stopped the fight. Jessica wins and control goes back to Team Rousey. I understand the sentimentality about Roxanne's loss but if she would just throw punches, she could have won that fight. Next week's match will have David Grant of Team Rousey vs Louis Frisette of Team Tate. And we get a special appearance by Ronda's mom, former judo champ AnnMaria De Mars. That should be interesting. Enjoy the video.
UFC The Ultimate Fighter S18E04 - Full Show (HQ) by WrestlingVidsUploaderHQv2

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Jeff Beck

Artist:Jeff Beck f/Rod Stewart
Song:People Get Ready
Album:Original Album Classics

Of course Jeff Beck is a guitar legend. For the most part, he has never been interested in pop stardom with the exception of the 1985 album Flash which spawned the hit single People Get Ready. Of course Beck worked with Rod Stewart in the 60s on the albums Truth and Beck-Ola. When the group split up, Stewart became a pop star and Beck formed The Jeff Beck Group with drummer Cozy Powell and then Beck, Bogert & Appice after Cactus split up. In the mid-70s, Beck recorded a very successful series of jazz rock fusion albums including Blow By Blow in 1975 and Wired in 1976. And then he went on the road with Mahavishnu Orchestra keyboard player Jan Hammer. After the 1980 album There and Back, Beck took a break. He returned with the 1985 album Flash. The album was produced by Nile Rodgers of Chic and was a clear attempt by Beck to record a pop album. In retrospect, Beck has disdain for the album and has described it as a record company goof. Most of the vocals on the album are by Wet Willie lead singer Jimmy Hall. But Beck was able convince Rod Stewart to sing on the Curtis Mayfield classic People Get Ready. That was a major coup because Stewart was a big star at the time. People Get Ready was a hit single and a hit video on MTV. And though Beck says he doesn't like Flash, he still performs People Get Ready in concert. Beck's then regular keyboard player Tony Hymas did the arrangements with Beck. Hymas worked with Jack Bruce in the late 70s. Jan Hammer and Carmine Appice also appear on the album. There is no Jeff Beck comp available right now but this 5CD box set has five Beck albums from the 80s including Flash. People Get Ready is also on the Rod Stewart box set Songwriter. After a four year break, Beck returned with the 1989 instrumental album Jeff Beck's Guitar Shop which was more typical of the kind of music he likes to do. Jeff Beck was inducted into The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 2009. His latest CD Emotion & Commotion was released in 2010. He has been working on Brian Wilson's new album and plans to tour with him. Here's the video for People Get Ready by Jeff Beck featuring Rod Stewart.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-John Berry

Artist:John Berry
Song:She's Taken A Shine
Album:Greatest Hits

Country singer John Berry had six top ten hits in the mid-90s. She's Taken A Shine was the last of those hits in 1996. Since then he has turned to recording Christian music on his own label. He was born Sept. 14, 1959 in Aiken, SC and grew up in the Atlanta area. His favourite singer while growing up was John Denver and you can hear that influence in Berry's singing style. He was also a fan of Philly Soul and gospel music. While riding his motorcycle in 1981, Berry was hit by a car and broke both legs and his hip. He was able to regain the use of his legs. But he can't stand on stage. He has to sit on a stool while playing guitar. He self released several albums which led to a contract with Capitol's Liberty label in 1992. His debut CD John Berry was released in 1993. His third single Your Love Amazes Me was his breakthrough as it topped the Country Singles chart in 1994. Meanwhile, Berry collapsed on stage and was rushed to hospital on May 9, 1994. Laser surgery removed a cyst from his brain. He had the surgery the same day Your Love Amazes Me reached #1. Berry still suffers from short term memory loss and sometimes he forgets the words to songs. His wife is one of his backup singers and helps him with that. He was moved to Liberty's offshoot label Patriot for the 1995 CD Standing On The Edge and he had two more top five hits. Liberty closed and Berry was moved to Capitol Nashville for his 1996 CD Faces. She's Taken A Shine reached #2 on the Country Singles chart and would be his final top five hit. The song was written by Greg Barnhill and Richard Bach. Then he had vocal cord surgery in 1997. He left Capitol after they wouldn't allow him to record a gospel song on his next album. You can get all of Berry's Capitol hits on this comp. Since then Berry recorded for the Disney label Lyric Street and Miles Copeland's Ark 21 label. Berry started his own label Clear Sky in 2004 and records mostly Christian music. His latest CD was released in 2012. Here's the video for She's Taken A Shine by John Berry.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Why is VV Mei fighting in...ahem...Guam?

Yesterday it was announced that former Valkyrie champ VV Mei will face Patricia Vidonic on the Oct. 25 PXC show in Mangilao, Guam. Normally I wouldn't comment on this kind of second rate MMA company designed mostly to attract locals. But the timing is very curious. Obviously VV Mei is a cut above the kind of fighter you normally see on these kind of shows. The other thing is that DEEP JEWELS is running a Lightweight Championship tournament on Nov. 5 and VV Mei is not in it. The fight in Guam is at 115lb so she isn't dropping to 105 as some thought she might. The rationalization is that Mei wants to fight in the US and this could help her do that. I don't see how fighting in Guam is better than fighting for a title. If she wins the title or gives a good showing, that's her ticket to the US. Part of the problem is that Invicta has a working agreement with DEEP JEWELS. VV Mei doesn't work for DEEP JEWELS. She is freelance and her most recent fight was for VTJ. So does Invicta even have access to Japanese fighters who don't work exclusively for DEEP JEWELS? I don't know and I bet they don't know either. I know what you're thinking. VV Mei has fought for JEWELS before. Correct but Yuichi Ozono was running JEWELS at that time. In the early days of JEWELS when Shigeru Saeki was running it, she worked for Valkyrie. She only fought for JEWELS after Valkyrie closed. So now that Saeki is running JEWELS again, VV Mei isn't working for them. Maybe she has the same view of Saeki that I have. He's an old fart who has an outdated view of women's MMA. Some might suggest that Mei is getting a premium to go to Guam. I wouldn't be surprised but a possible title should be more important to most fighters. MMA is not always about money. And in the big picture, a title is worth more money anyway. I expect Mei to win this fight. Some are praising Patricia for her split decision loss to Jessica Aguilar a few months ago. But really, Jessica was terrible and probably deserved to lose. It didn't elevate Patricia. This fight just confirms that Shigeru Saeki shouldn't be running a women's MMA company. When a top fighter won't work for him, he's a liability.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Toby Keith

Artist:Toby Keith f/Willie Nelson
Song:Beer For My Horses
Album:35 Biggest Hits

Toby Keith was doing just fine as a new age honky tonk singer when the 2002 song Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue (The Angry American) created a lot of controversy and got him mainstream attention. Beer For My Horses was the next single and was an even bigger hit. Today his music isn't as popular as it once was but Keith's other business ventures have made him a multi millionaire. He was born Toby Keith Covel July 8, 1961 in Clinton, OK. He spent summers with his grandmother in Fort Smith, AR and that's where he went to local clubs and got interested in music. Keith had a part time band while working in the oil fields. When the oil industry went into a decline, he started taking music more seriously. He moved to Nashville in 1990 and a demo got the attention of veteran Mercury Records producer Harold Shedd. His first few albums did OK but corporate mergers at Universal soured Keith and after Mercury rejected some of his recordings, he left for DreamWorks Records in 1998. Keith's first number one country hit How Do You Like Me Now was rejected by Mercury. It topped the chart for five weeks in 1999. The success continued but Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue crossed Keith over to the mainstream in 2002. He recorded Beer For My Horses with Willie Nelson. It was even bigger. It topped the country charts for six weeks. Keith wrote the song with his frequent songwriting partner Scotty Emerick and he even turned Beer For My Horses into a 2008 movie. This 2CD comp should be perfect for most listeners. When DreamWorks Records closed in 2005, Keith started his own label Show Dog and it has become one of the top labels in Nashville. Though Keith's recent CD sales have faded, he has been very successful with his other businesses like Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill restaurant chain. And he's still a big concert draw. In July, Keith appeared on the cover of Forbes Magazine as "Country Music's $500 Milion Man". That says it all. Here's the video for Beer For My Horses by Toby Keith featuring Willie Nelson. The actor playing their partner and appearing in drag is Corin Nemec.

Monday, September 23, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Pilate

Album:Big Shiny Tunes 9

The Canadian band Pilate (pronounced Pilot) were an up and coming band and with the help of MuchMusic seemed to be going places. But they were forced to change their name to Pilot Speed and now the band seems to be inactive. Lead singer and New Zealand native Todd Clark was studying music at the University of Western Ontario in London, ON. He got together with three students at the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto. They were bassist Rudy Bumrah, guitarist Chris Greenough and drummer Bill Keeley. Citing influences like Coldplay and Keene, they released an EP in 2001. They were named Best Unsigned Band at the 2002 North by Northeast music conference. They signed with Maple Music. Overrated is on their 2003 debut CD Caught By The Window. That and some of their other songs got some radio play and video play on MuchMusic. MuchMusic has Canadian content requirements so it's in their best interest to promote Canadian bands. They also own VideoFACT which gives money to bands to produce music videos. Note the VideoFact logo at the end of the video for Overrated. They also produce the various artists CD series Big Shiny Tunes which contains Overrated. Caught By The window is available but too expensive. Big Shiny Tunes 9 is a budget CD. Pilate signed with Wind Up Records for the US market and their 2006 CD Self Control For Life's Speed was retitled Into The West. The band was told the name Pilate would have to be changed for legal reasons and it was changed to Pilot Speed. The CD Wooden Bones was released in 2009. It was produced by Train producer Gregg Wattenberg. That was Pilot Speed's last CD. Though no breakup was announced, they seem to be inactive. But Todd Clark co-wrote a song with Wattenberg for American Idol winner Philip Philips' debut CD. And according to Clark's Twitter feed, he is currently playing solo gigs in Toronto clubs. So we might not hear from Pilot Speed again but I think we will hear from Todd Clark in the future. Here's the video for Overrated by Pilate.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Cocteau Twins

Artist:Cocteau Twins
Album:Lullabies To Violaine Vol. 1

The Scottish 80s band Cocteau Twins distinguished themselves from their contemporaries through the soaring lead vocals of Elizabeth Fraser. They were successful in England and had a cult following in North America. The band was formed in Grangemouth, Scotland in 1979. Guitarist Robin Guthrie and bassist Will Heggie met lead singer Elizabeth Fraser at a local club. They named themselves Cocteau Twins after a song by another band. They signed with 4AD Records and released a couple of EPs. Heggie left after a tour and Guthrie and Fraser recorded the 1983 album as a duo. While working on 4AD's This Mortal Coil supergroup project, they met former Drowning Craze bassist Simon Raymonde. He joined Cocteau Twins for a series of EPs including the 1985 EP Aikea-Guinea. They started getting significant radio airplay in England. 4AD signed a deal with Relativity Records to release Cocteau Twins in the US. The 1985 album The Pink Opaque was a collection of EPs including Aikea-Guinea. In 1988 they signed with Capitol Records. Though the 1990 album Heaven Or Las Vegas did well, Guthrie's drug addiction was causing problems within the band and with 4AD. They left 4AD for Fontana Records. By their 1993 CD Four Calendar Cafe, Guthrie was recovered from his drug addiction and he and Fraser had a daughter. They split up and Cocteau Twins disbanded in 1997. 4AD released a 4CD Cocteau Twins box set in 2006 and they split them up in 2CD sets. Volume one has mostly 80s recordings. Cocteau Twins reunited once in 2005. But the three members continue to work on individual projects. Elizabeth Fraser contributed vocals to Lord of the Rings films. Robin Guthrie leads The Robin Guthrie Trio and his latest CD was released in 2012. Simon Raymonde runs Bella Union Records and is a record producer. Here's the video for Aikea-Guinea by Cocteau Twins.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Ink Spots

Artist:The Ink Spots
Song:If I Didn't Care
Album:Greatest Hits

The Ink Spots are probably the very first black vocal group and were very influential on black music especially doo wop. If I Didn't Care was their first big hit and probably their most memorable song. The Ink Spots were from Indianapolis. Jerry Daniels and Charlie Fuqua performed as Kyle and Charlie. Orville "Hoppy" Jones and Ivory "Deek" Watson were members of the group The Four Riff Brothers. When that group split up, these four guys called themselves King, Jack and Jester. They changed the name to The 4 Ink Spots when they played the Apollo in New York in 1934 with Tiny Bradshaw. They recorded for Victor Records in 1935 and toured but were not successful. Jerry Daniels left in 1936 and was replaced by Savoy Ballroom talent contest winner Bill Kenny. And his soaring tenor was the most memorable thing about The Ink Spots. He got the group to sing ballads instead of up tempo songs. The Ink Spots signed with Decca Records in 1939 and If I Didn't Care was their first record. The song was written by veteran lyricist Jack Lawrence who wrote All Or Nothing At All among other songs. He wrote both lyrics and music for If I Didn't Care. Everyone he played it for hated it until arranger Archie Bleyer gave it to The Ink Spots. It reached #2 on the pop charts and is The Ink Spots signature song. It has Kenny's trademark vocal and the spoken word part by Hoppy Jones who plays the cello like a bass. You may have heard If I Didn't Care in the 1994 film The Shawshank Redemption. The Ink Spots had success in the early 40s and appeared in a couple of films. Fuqua was drafted into the service in 1943 and replaced by Bernie Mackey. Hoppy Jones collapsed on stage and died in 1944. This was the beginning of the end as Kenny and Watson weren't getting along and Watson left. He was replaced by Billy Bowen and Bill Kenny's twin brother Herb Kenny replaced Jones. The Ink Spots continued until 1954. But Fuqua left and started his own Ink Spots in 1952. They recorded for King Records. Over the years many groups called themselves The Ink Spots but had no connection to the real group. This CD has their original hits from the 40s. The Ink spots were inducted into The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1999. Here's The Ink Spots performing If I Didn't Care from the 1941 film The Great American Broadcast.

Friday, September 20, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Ed Thigpen Rhythm Features

Artist:Ed Thigpen Rhythm Features f/Joe Lovano
Song:Chelsea Bridge
Album:The Element Of Swing

Drummer Ed Thigpen is probably best known for his early 60s stint with Oscar Peterson. But he recorded as a sideman for plenty of musicians and occasionally as a leader. He moved to Denmark in the 70s and lived there until his 2010 death. Because of his understated musicianship and he was always well dressed, he was known as Mr. Style. He was born Dec. 28, 1930 in Chicago. His father was drummer Ben Thigpen of Andy Kirk's Clouds Of Joy. When his parents split up in 1935, Thigpen moved with his mother from St. Louis to Los Angeles. He attended Thomas Jefferson High School along with Dexter Gordon and Chico Hamilton. Thigpen moved to New York in 1951 and his first professional gig was with former Duke Ellington trumpeter Cootie Williams. Then he played on plenty of sessions and was drummer for pianist Billy Taylor from 1956-59. Thigpen really wanted to work with Oscar Peterson. Peterson was forming a new band in 1959 and Thigpen and bassist Ray Brown were hired. Thigpen even moved to Toronto for a time. He left Peterson's band in 1964. Thigpen recorded a couple of albums for Verve while in the Peterson band. And then he moved to Los Angeles to work as a studio musician. He joined Ella Fitzgerald's touring band in 1967 because he wanted to work with pianist Tommy Flanagan. He left that band in 1972 and then moved to Copenhagen, Denmark in 1974. After that he worked with local jazz musicians and would back up traveling American musicians. In 1990, Thigpen started recording for the Danish jazz label Stunt Records. In 1998, he formed the trio Rhythm Features with pianist Carsten Dahl and bassist Jesper Bodilsen. For this 2002 CD The Elements Of Swing recorded live at the Copenhagen Jazzhouse, sax player Joe Lovano was special guest. Chelsea Bridge is a jazz standard written by Billy Strayhorn and originally recorded by Duke Ellington. If you like straight ahead jazz, this is for you. Ed Thigpen suffered from Parkinsons disease and died on Jan. 13, 2010 at age 79. Here's Ed Thigpen Rhythm Features featuring Joe Lovano performing Chelsea Bridge at Copenhagen Jazzhouse 2001.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Review of The Ultimate Fighter 18 episode 3

Here is the video of last night's episode of The Ultimate Fighter 18. After Julianna Pena's big upset win on last week's episode, we get a better idea of her behaviour in the house. Before the show started airing, I had heard through the grapevine that Julianna was the most annoying person in the house. The first thing is she starts talking in a phony British accent. She said in an interview with SB Nation that she may have been drunk at the time. This annoyed some of the guys enough that Team Tate teammate Cody Bollinger decided to make up some nonsense about Julianna revealing possible future matchups to the other team. Jessamyn Duke and Raquel Pennington were joking about that but Bollinger decided to use that to stick it to Julianna. He confronts her with it and she denies it. When he presses, she says maybe Roxanne Modafferi did it. Of course no one bought that and she apologized to Roxy later. But all Bollinger wanted to do was make her squirm for being annoying. That was very successful. This week's match is Chris Holdsworth of Team Tate vs Chris Beal of Team Rousey. Before the fight, Julianna sent Holdsworth a mushy letter. She said she did this because he was nice to her. She didn't know the guys read the letter and made fun of her and that was filmed and shown on the show. This is the same person who said she was all business last week and now she wants to hook up. I was asked about this on Twitter last night and my response is Julianna is not a rocket scientist. Obviously the letter was stupid and I hope she doesn't do that again. But I wouldn't be surprised if she does. Then everyone goes to the Red Rock Casino to watch the UFC Brazil show. Ronda Rousey goes to the bar and steps between Miesha Tate and boyfriend Bryan Caraway and starts yelling at him. Miesha steps in and says that Ronda doesn't know how to punch. Ronda's striking coach Edmond Traverdyan gets involved. I can certainly understand his annoyance. He tells Miesha that Ronda will break her arm again. But he also tells Caraway there are too many cameras around but someday he will get him. Wisely, Caraway says nothing. But I can assure you there will be more of this probably next week. So then we get to the fight. Holdsworth is a BJJ guy and Beal is a striker. But Beal hurt his right hand during the qualifying match. He never gets going in the fight. Holdsworth drops him and then submits him with a guillotine choke. Team Tate still has the advantage and Miesha chooses Roxanne Modafferi vs Jessica Rakoczy. Roxanne is a veteran who has lived in Japan for the last few years. She has been a good fighter but her recent record is not good. Jessica is a championship boxer trying to convert to MMA with less than stellar results. And Jessica has a bum shoulder. Both need a win. All that and more drama in the house. Check out the video if you didn't see it last night.
UFC The Ultimate Fighter S18E03 - Full Show (HQ) by WrestlingVidsUploaderHQv2

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Pet Shop Boys

Artist:Pet Shop Boys
Song:West End Girls
Album:Discography: The Complete Singles Collection

The Guinness Book of Records says that Pet Shop Boys are the most successful duo in British music history. West End Girls was their only US number one hit in 1985. Today they are still popular in England. In 1981, lead singer Neil Tennant had worked as an editor for Marvel Comics. At the time, he was working for the teen pop magazine Smash Hits. He met keyboard player Chris Lowe and they started working together on synth pop. They called themselves Pet Shop Boys because a couple of friends worked at a pet shop. Tennant was sent to New York to interview The Police and he had lunch with dance music producer Bobby Orlando. The two were big fans of his remixes. After hearing their demo, Pet Shop Boys singed with his Hi-NRG label. West End Girls was released in 1984. It was a minor dance hit but the record wasn't as successful as was hoped. So they left Hi-NRG and signed with Parlophone/EMI. They went back into the studio to re-record West End Girls with producer Stephen Hague. Hague was a session musician who was becoming a force as a producer of synth pop. West End Girls was released in Oct. 1985 and eventually topped the charts in Jan. 1986. It was a global hit. That was their only number one hit in the US. Their other top ten hits were Opportunities, It's A Sin, What Have I Done To Deserve This? and Always On My Mind. They were a lot more successful in England winning awards and they continue to chart in England today. And they are still a popular dance music act. They released their latest CD in July. But most fans will only be familiar with Pet Shop Boys' 80s songs and you can get them on this comp. Here's the video for West End Girls by Pet Shop Boys.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Robert Westenberg

Artist:Robert Westenberg w/Danielle Ferland
Song:Hello, Little Girl
Album:Into The Woods: Original Broadway Cast

Robert Westenberg is a musical theater performer best known for his acclaimed performance in the original production of the Stephen Sondheim show Into The Woods in 1987. Currently he lives in St. Louis and produces musical theater there. He was born Oct. 26, 1953 in Miami, FL and grew up in Fresno, CA. He made his Broadway debut in the 1983 revival of Zorba. But Into The Woods was Westenberg's biggest role on Broadway. The show intertwines several fairy tales. Bernadette Peters and Joanna Gleason were the stars. Kim Crosby played Cinderella. Westenberg played Prince Charming in Cinderella and The Wolf in Little Red Riding Hood. Hello, Little Girl is his big song where he is stalking Little Red Riding Hood played by Danielle Ferland. Westenberg is married to Kim Crosby. Into The Woods was very successful. It opened on Nov. 5, 1987 and ran for almost two years. It won three Tonys including Best Original Score. Westenberg was nominated for a Tony but did not win. The original cast album is available as a budget CD. Westenberg replaced Mandy Patinkin in the Broadway show Sunday In The Park With George and also appeared in the 1991 show The Secret Garden. In 1989, Westenberg was in the daytime soap One Life To Live for a year. He's done some film and TV but in the 90s he appeared in Broadway revival musicals like Abe Lincoln In Illinois, Company and 1776. Westenberg and his family moved to St. Louis in 1999 and has produced several shows for The Municipal Theater Association of St. Louis. He was in the 2002 national touring production of The Full Monty. Westenberg, Crosby and their three children live in Springfield, MO and he is the Chair of the Theater Department at Drury University in Springfield. Here is Robert Westenberg with Danielle Ferland performing Hello, Little Girl on the PBS series American Playhouse 1991.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Review of WWE Total Divas episode 8

Here's the video of episode 8 of WWE Total Divas. This is the mid-season finale. The show will return in November. The big deal on this episode is Nattie Neidhart's wedding to TJ Wilson but a couple of other major stories are advanced. The episode begins with Nattie's family including her dad former WWE wrestler Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart arriving at Nattie's house. Her mom actually made a wedding dress for Nattie. It is painfully ugly. Besides, she already had a dress. So Nattie has to find a nice way to tell her mom she doesn't need it. It's very awkward. Mom wanted to surprise Nattie. Oy! Meanwhile, Diva In Training Eva Marie is still upset with JoJo for not supporting her success. This comes on the news that one of them will be chosen to valet a match on RAW. JoJo rightly points out that they are competing for the same spot so maybe they can't really be friends. Eva Marie disagrees but they decide not be roommates anymore. One has to wonder what Eva Marie would do if the situation was reversed. We will probably find out very soon. Next John Cena tells girlfriend Nikki Bella that his family is getting together and he wants Nikki to come with him to Boston. The problem is it is the same day as Nattie's wedding. He explains that it is almost impossible for his family to be in the same place at the same time. This is the only day they could do it. Nikki agrees to go and she has to call Nattie to tell her she can't go to the wedding. It is a very tense phone call. Nattie is upset. And there is enough stuff going on at the wedding. It's supposed to be a beach wedding but bad weather is coming and Nattie agrees to move it inside. Remember that guy Jaret that Nattie saw in Calgary and he has feelings for her? She stupidly invited him to the wedding but she didn't tell TJ. He shows up and tells TJ what happened in Calgary claiming he thought TJ knew about it. Yeah, right. TJ is angry and confronts Nattie threatening to cancel the wedding. Of course Nattie apologizes and the wedding goes on. At the hotel, Ariane complains of stomach pains. Trinity has her taken to the hospital and it turns out to be female problems. She's fine. And Ariane broke up with boyfriend Vincent but then gets back together with him. He's at the wedding too. She insists he is her soulmate but everyone else hates him. The wedding happens. They are now officially married. Brie Bella and Trinity say that if Jaret tries to stop the wedding they will dropkick him. That was funny. It doesn't look like he is going away either. Nikki calls Nattie again to apologize for not coming to the wedding. Nattie forgives her. Then Cena asks Nikki to move in with him at his mansion in Florida. He says San Diego is too far away. She agrees to this. They aren't getting married. She understands because Cena just went through a bad divorce. But you can be sure this will become an issue later. WWE Total Divas will return in November. I expect the Nikki Bella/John Cena relationship to become a focal point of the show because he's the WWE's number one star. Cena has had elbow surgery and won't return to the ring until 2014. This is the only show he will be on. There is also Nikki's ankle injury and the possibility that she could retire from the WWE. That may be something that has been discussed but the end result will happen on the show. Enjoy the video and these reviews will return in November.
Total Divas S01E08 - Full Show (HQ) by WrestlingVidsUploaderHQv2

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Sachal Vasandani

Artist:Sachal Vasandani
Song:Love Is A Losing Game

These days there is a lot of pressure on jazz singers to cross over to pop and easy listening. Sachal Vasandani's first two CDs seemed to reflect some of that pressure. But with his 2011 CD Hi-Fly, he has made a renewed commitment to jazz and that has helped him in the jazz charts. Vasandani is from Chicago and he grew up listening to his parents jazz record collection. He studied economics at the University of Michigan along with jazz and classical music. He was named Down Beat Magazine's 1999 Collegiate Jazz Vocalist of the Year. Vasandani moved to New York to work as an investment banker. But the lure of music caused him to quit his job and sing in New York clubs. After a gig with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Vasandani released two CDs independently. This got the attention of jazz label Mack Avenue Records and producer John Clayton of The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. His first two CDs seemed to straddle jazz and pop. But his 2011 CD Hi-Fly brought a renewed commitment to jazz and success on the jazz album chart. I think this comes down to choosing more sophisticated songs and arrangements because the same guys have worked with him on all three CDs. Clayton has produced all three CDs. Pianist Jeb Patton and bassist David Wong have also played on all three CDs. They are from The Heath Brothers. The newcomer is drummer Kendrick Scott who is one of New York's most in demand session musicians. They are all great on this cover of the Amy Winehouse song Love Is A Losing Game. Vasandani performs two duets with jazz vocal legend Jon Hendricks and other guests include trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire and tenor sax player John Ellis. Sachal Vasandani is just finishing a tour of Southeast Asia including his parents birthplace of India. He returns to the US this week. Jazz vocal fans should check him out. Here's Sachal Vasandani with Jeb Patton, David Wong and Kendrick Scott performing Love Is A Losing Game in Pittsburgh May 2011.

Monday, September 16, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Peter Cincotti

Artist:Peter Cincotti
Song:He's Watching
Album:On The Moon

Peter Cincotti started out as a jazz singer and has veered into pop territory with his more recent CDs. This was due to a change in record companies and producer. On The Moon is one of his earlier jazz CDs. He was born July 11, 1983 in New York City. His grandmother gave him a toy piano at age three and he started taking piano lessons at age five. At age seven, Harry Connick Jr. spotted him and had Cincotti sit in on a show in Atlantic City. Cincotti studied classical piano at the Manhattan School of Music and also studied with Ellis Marsalis. At age 12, he started playing New York clubs. Then he toured with Connick in 1999. He won a piano competition at the 2000 Montreux Jazz Festival and in 2001 appeared in the off-Broadway show Our Sinatra. Cincotti was going to attend Columbia University but instead signed with Concord Records and legendary producer Phil Ramone. On his 2003 CD Peter Cincotti, he recorded mostly standards. On his 2004 CD On The Moon, Cincotti wrote more of his own songs including He's Watching. He also worked with some of New York's top jazz musicians including Scott Kreitzer on tenor sax, Wycliffe Gordon on trombone, Sam Yahel on organ, Jeff Mironov on guitar and Kenny Washington on drums. The CD reached #2 on the Top Jazz Albums chart. Then he leaves Concord for David Foster's 143 Records distributed by Warners. And the 2008 CD East Of Angel Town is more of a pop rock CD. It does well because of course Cincotti built a fanbase with his previous album. But East Of Angel Town is criticized as a bit of a sellout to pop. And with his 2012 CD Metropolis, Cincotti goes even farther into pop music including the dreaded dance pop. He's not recording jazz standards anymore. Those who liked his jazz CDs may not like this direction. He also wrote the musical How Deep Is The Ocean? with his sister Pia and it played New York. Here's Peter Cincotti performing He's Watching from the 2004 DVD Live In New York.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Ronnie Hawkins

Artist:Ronnie Hawkins
Song:Forty Days
Album:Golden Classics

Ronnie Hawkins is a legend in Toronto. Forty Days was one of his two big international hits in 1959. He moved to Canada and played local clubs for years and discovered young musicians. He was born Jan. 10, 1935 in Huntsville, AR and grew up in Fayetteville. He formed his band The Hawks while attending the University of Arkansas and they toured the south. Hawkins owned the Rockwood Club in Fayetteville. After a failed 1957 audition for Sun Records, Conway Twitty suggested that Hawkins should play Canada. He came to Toronto in 1958 and never left. Drummer Levon Helm was the only member of The Hawks to remain in Canada. So Hawkins recruited Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson and they became The Hawks. And as we all know, they became The Band in the late 60s. Hawkins recorded for the Canadian label Quality Records and this led to a US record deal with Roulette Records. Forty Days was his first single. It's actually a cover of Chuck Berry's Thirty Days. It reached #45 on the Billboard Hot 100. The next single Mary Lou reached #26. Those were his two big hits. You can get them on this Collectables comp. Hawkins' on stage energy earned him the nickname Mr. Dynamo but he is also known as The Hawk and Rompin' Ronnie Hawkins. After The Hawks left Hawkins in 1964 to back up Bob Dylan, Hawkins continued to play clubs in Toronto and many young musicians were discovered by Hawkins. This included Robbie Lane and the Disciples, Janis Joplin's Full Tilt Boogie Band, David Clayton Thomas, Beverly D'Angelo, Crowbar, Bearfoot, Skylark and Pat Travers. Hawkins has continued to be active in Toronto. He currently lives in Peterborough, ON. He was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame in 2002. He has been battling pancreatic cancer in recent years. Here's Ronnie Hawkins performing Forty Days on The Dick Clark Beech-Nut Show May 9, 1959.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Larry Young

Artist:Larry Young
Song:Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise

Organist Larry Young was usually overshadowed by Jimmy Smith when both recorded for Blue Note in the 60s. The 1965 album Unity is probably one of Young's best and is a worthy introduction for newcomers. Young was also a big part of the early days of jazz fusion. Sadly, he died prematurely in 1978. He was born Oct. 7, 1940 in Newark, NJ. Young worked as a sideman in New York in the 50s with guys like Lou Donaldson, Kenny Dorham and Hank Mobley. He signed with Prestige Records in 1960 and recorded three albums that were clearly influenced by Jimmy Smith. Young was a big Smith fan. When he moved to Blue Note in 1964, he mixed his Smith influence with the post bop of John Coltrane. Young's first recordings at Blue Note were with guitarist Grant Green and drummer Elvin Jones and were released under Green's name. That trio added sax player Sam Rivers for Young's debut as a leader Somethin' Else. On Unity, Young again recorded with Jones along with trumpeter Woody Shaw and sax player Joe Henderson. Shaw and Young toured together in Europe and Shaw had just moved back to New York after a year living in Paris. He wrote three of the six songs on the album. Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise was written by Sigmund Romberg and Oscar Hammerstein II for the 1928 operetta The New Moon. Nelson Eddy sang it in the 1940 film. Artie Shaw popularized the song in 1938 and it has become a jazz standard. The Modern Jazz Quartet recorded it in 1952 and a who's who of jazz has recorded it over the years. Unity is available as a budget CD. In the late 60s, Young started experimenting with avant garde jazz and rock. He even jammed once with Jimi Hendrix which is on the Hendrix album Nine To The Universe. Young left Blue Note in 1969 and joined the pioneering jazz fusion group The Tony Williams Lifetime along with guitarist John McLaughlin. They recorded three albums. He also played on Miles Davis' Bitches Brew. Young recorded two jazz fusion albums for Arista in the mid-70s as Larry Young's Fuel. Young checked into the hospital with stomach pains and died there on Mar. 30, 1978 at age 37. He was being treated for pneumonia but the cause of death is unknown. Usually musicians who die young are forgotten. Larry Young recorded some great albums in the 60s and was an innovator of jazz fusion. Here's a video for Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise by Larry Young.

Friday, September 13, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Paco de Lucia

Artist:Paco de Lucia
Song:Monasterio de Sal
Album:Entre Dos Aguas

Most North American fans will know about Spanish guitarist Paco de Lucia when he crossed over to jazz with The Guitar Trio with John McLaughlin and Al Di Meola in 1979. But he is primarily a flamenco guitarist and he is greatly admired because of his technique. He was born Francisco Sanchez Gomez Dec. 21, 1947 in Algecirus, Andalusia, Spain. His father was flamenco guitarist Antonio Sanchez and his brother Ramon de Algecirus was a guitarist and his other brother Pepe de Lucia is a singer. Paco de Lucia learned to play guitar at a very early age and as a teen he toured with dancer Jose Greco. He first recorded in 1964 and was very popular in Europe through the 70s. But his recordings with The Guitar Trio introduced de Lucia to jazz fans. Jazz musicians already knew about him as they would see him perform at European jazz festivals. de Lucia recorded and toured with pianist Chick Corea in 1983. And he also composed the music for the 1984 film The Hit. The Guitar Trio ended in 1986 and though de Lucia would occasionally play jazz, for the most part he returned to his flamenco roots. Monasterio de Sal is from de Lucia's 1981 album Solo Quiero Caminar with his sextet. Entre Dos Aguas is a good intro to de Lucia's music as it covers his music from the 60s, 70s and 80s. de Lucia moved to Mexico in the 90s and then returned to Spain in 2003. Since then he has slowed down his activity considerably. He tours occasionally and last recorded in 2004. He is considered to be a legend by fans of guitar technique. Here's Paco de Lucia performing Monasterio de Sol in Germany Aug. 1981.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Stephanie Eggink vs Angela Magana

This is the video for a fight from Friday's XFC show. It is Stephanie Eggink vs Angela Magana for the XFC 115lb Championship and it was the main event of the show. I am posting this in response to several requests. I think many fans especially outside the US don't get AXS TV. I don't get it. It's not available in Canada. Stephanie trains with Shayna Bazsler. Shayna was in her corner complete with a cast on her leg. The last time these two were supposed to fight, Angela was injured in a car accident and it was cancelled. So all this time they've been going back and forth on Twitter and they can't wait to get their hands on each other. But nothing much happens in the first round. Colour commentator Pat Militech scores it 10-9 for Angela. I don't know if I would score it for either of them. Things pick up in round two as Angela scores a takedown. But Stephanie keeps her in her guard and eventually wrangles a triangle choke. That's it. It's over and Angela Magana is kicking herself all the way home. A big win for Stephanie Eggink. Enjoy the video!

Julianna Pena upsets Shayna Bazsler on The Ultimate Fighter 18

Here is the video for last night's episode of The Ultimate Fighter 18. We all know what the big story is. But there were a couple of other things of note. The contestants moved into the house. Nothing much happened except for Anthony Gutierrez trying to pick up all the girls in the house. He did not get a favourable response. And the other thing was Tim Gorman talked about not going 100% training with the girls and of course they don't want to hear that from guys. Sarah Moras said she would submit him. But it turns out he suffered a hamstring injury and UFC President Dana White sent him home and replaced him with Louis Fisette. He was portrayed as freeloading in his father's house. The rest of this episode concentrated on this first big fight between Shayna Bazsler and Julianna Pena. Though Julianna's win was an upset, I was not surprised because of the way the show was edited. We were set up for an upset. Shayna took her lightly and that's always a big mistake. Anyone can beat anyone at any time. The problem is Julianna has never fought on a national level. Two years ago, she was supposed to fight Kerry Vera in Strikeforce. But Kerry blew out her knee and the fight was cancelled. Then Julianna got hurt. And since returning, she has lost two fights including one to Team Tate teammate Sarah Moras. She's a hard puncher but other parts of her game are unknown. Unknown doesn't necessarily mean not good. And remember Miesha knows her. But that's the way Shayna talked about her. Overconfidence can always get a fighter into trouble in MMA. And I think that's something Ronda should have discussed with Shayna. But she didn't. In the first round, Shayna quickly realized that she didn't want to trade punches with Julianna. So she took her down and won the round with ground control. In the second round, Julianna stung Shayna with punches and knees and it took a lot out of Shayna. Shayna admitted afterwards that she was already thinking about round three. But she was already softened up and Julianna took her down and won with a rear naked choke. Ronda was correct in blaming herself because Shayna is a veteran and Ronda trusted her. She won't make that mistake again. Of course everyone is talking about Ronda crying. Expect more of that. She cries about everything. And the editing is going to emphasize that stuff. The sad thing is this could be the end for Shayna Bazsler's UFC hopes. She was given an opportunity and she didn't take advantage of it. What should be expected after that? And Shayna seemed to age in that second round. Time is a cruel mistress and maybe it's passed her by. I don't know what she will do next but she had better win. Time is running out. Next week's fight selected by Miesha will be Chris Holdsworth vs Chris Beal. Beal has an injured hand. But remember we thought this week was a foregone conclusion too. Enjoy the video!
UFC The Ultimate Fighter S18E02 - Full Show (HQ) by WrestlingVidsUploaderHQv2

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Taken By Trees

Artist:Taken By Trees
Song:To Lose Someone
Album:East Of Eden

Victoria Bergsman is best known as the lead singer of the popular Swedish group The Concretes. When she left The Concretes in 2006, she took the name Taken By Trees and has recorded three CDs. She was born May 7, 1977 in Sweden. The Concretes were formed in 1995. One of their songs was used in a Target commercial and they gained a following in the US. Victoria left The Concretes in 2006. She felt the band had become too much of a business and wasn't fun anymore. After performing guest vocals on the 2006 Peter Bjorn and John hit Young Folks, she started recording as Taken By Trees. It's not really a band. She brings in musicians she wants to work with and I guess she wants to be anonymous. We see a lot of solo artists hiding behind band names these days. Victoria signed with Rough Trade Records and her 2007 debut CD Open Field was produced by Bjorn Yttling of Peter Bjorn and John. For the 2009 CD East Of Eden, Victoria and producer Dan Lissvik of the group Studio went to Pakistan to work with local musicians. Sain Muhammad Ali appears on To Lose Someone. Certainly this is not commercial music. But Victoria has a following from The Concretes and Young Folks and she doesn't seem to want to be a star anyway. For her more recent CD Other Worlds, Victoria signed with Secretly Canadian Records. She recorded it in Hawaii with producer Henning Furst. Recording engineer Andreas Soderstrom has worked on all the Taken By Trees CDs and she seems to depend on him to get the sound she wants. I think fans who like bands like Camera Obscura should check out Taken By Trees. Here is Taken By Trees with El Perro del Mar performing To Lose Someone on NPR radio station KCRW in Los Angeles Feb. 2010. NPR is one of the best places to discover new music and they have been a big Taken By Trees supporter.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

TNA Knockouts Knockdown PPV is nothing special

I have watched the matches from last week's TNA all female PPV Knockouts Knockdown. The matches for this show were taped in January. The problem with that is that some of the wrestlers who were working for TNA at the time aren't working there anymore. And some have gone through character changes. Mike Tenay and Taz's commentary was clearly recorded recently and doesn't acknowledge any of this. I guess TNA thinks if they don't mention it, no one will notice. It's like the show was in Bizarro TNA, an alternate universe. Also, I noticed when I read the spoilers in January that not one former TNA wrestler brought in for this show won a match. I don't understand that. Fans like underdogs. It would have made the show more interesting. I also understand there was some filler on this show including the entire 15 minute ODB and Eric Young wedding. Who the hell wants to see that again? For that reason alone, I am glad I didn't buy this show. With a couple of exceptions, the matches are nothing special. And the ending of the show is typical TNA stupidity. The show opens with Gail Kim vs Alissa Flash. This is probably the second best match on the show but these two don't quite click for me. My guess is Alissa is told to hold back because she will lose anyway. This is followed by Lei'D Tapa vs Ivelisse Velez. This is a rematch from their TNA Gutcheck match which Ivelisse won. Ivelisse is clearly a better wrestler but Tapa. I understand TNA likes Tapa's look and her story. But she's very green and her size makes her difficult to work with. She's a long term project who may never be good. She is very awkward. They could put Ivelisse on TV today and she's already good enough to steal the show. Next is Tara vs Mia Yim. Tara wins a basic squash match and nothing is said about Tara recently leaving TNA. Next is Miss Tessmacher vs Santana Garrett. Tessmacher wins. Both have plenty of sex appeal but very little wrestling skill. Next is ODB vs Trinity. ODB wins easily. I never cared for Trinity. She should stick to stunt work. Jackie Moore is brought out of mothballs and beats Taryn Terrell. This was before Taryn became TNA's golden girl. And she hasn't appeared on TV for months. It is not mentioned. Next is a three way with Hannah Blossom, Sojo Bolt and Taeler Hendrix. Hannah is a British girl who usually works as a team with her twin sister. Taeler has left TNA but that was not mentioned. Hannah wins a sloppy match. I hate three way matches. Next is Velvet Sky vs Jillian Hall. They let Jillian sing. This is the worst match on this show. They have no chemistry. Velvet wins of course. The final singles match is the best match on the show with Mickie James vs Serena Deeb. At least they try to tell a story. They are buddies at first and wrestle clean. But Serena gets pissed and turns heel. And I really like the way Mickie sold that. Of course Mickie wins but I liked the match enough to post the video on the blog. They call the final a gauntlet match. It's a Royal Rumble style match. They should pay a royalty to Pat Patterson. The rules contain a pet peeve of mine. In men's battle royales, you have to get tossed over the top rope to be out. In this match, a wrestler just has to go to the floor. It doesn't have to be over the top rope. The WWE does this too. Why a different standard for women? It makes no sense. Gail is the first wrestler in the match. And after beating the crap out of Hannah Blossom and disposing of her, the girls have to figure out how to get rid of Lei'D Tapa. Once they do that, it comes down to Gail Kim and Mickie James and it's a regular match. Gail uses a phony injury to win and make Mickie look really stupid. But not as stupid as the moron who booked that crap. That's TNA in a nutshell. Enjoy the video!
Knockouts Knockdown PPV: Mickie James vs Serena... by dailyknockout

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Avant

Song:Don't Take Your Love Away

The most notable thing about R & B crooner Myron Avant is that he was the first artist signed to NBA legend Magic Johnson's record label. He had some success mostly on the R & B charts in the early 2000s. He was born Apr. 26, 1978 in Cleveland and grew up singing in church. He is a cousin of R. Kelly and cites him as a major influence. He released the single Separated in 1998 through his manager Eric Payton. It got airplay in Chicago and this led to a record deal with Magic Johnson Music distributed by MCA. His debut CD My Thoughts was released in 2000 and Separated was re-released and topped the R & B charts. The album was certified Platinum. Avant recorded a cover of the Rene & Angela hit My First Love with female singer Keke Wyatt. She was also on MCA and Steve Huff produced both artists. I remember watching that video and I was very impressed with Keke but not so much with Avant. And consistency has been a problem for Avant. Each album seems to have a couple of good songs and the rest of the album isn't all that good. Other R & B hits for Avant included Makin' Good Love, Read Your Mind, Don't Take Your Love Away and 4 Minutes. When Johnson closed his label, Avant was moved to Geffen and left after the 2006 CD Director. You can get all his MCA hits on this budget comp. He has since recorded for Capitol and Verve Forecast. His latest CD Face The Music was released Feb. 2013 through EMI. The single You & I reunites him with Keke Wyatt. Both are on the comeback trail. Here's the video for Don't Take Your Love Away by Avant.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Amanda Nunes vs Germaine De Randamie added to Nov. 6 UFC show

Amanda Nunes, Germaine De Randamie
The UFC announced yesterday that a second women's match has been added to UFC Fight For The Troops Nov. 6 at Ft. Campbell, KY. It will be Brazilian Amanda Nunes vs Germaine De Randamie. Both won their UFC debuts. Germaine beat Julie Kedzie by unanimous decision in July and Amanda beat Sheila Gaff by TKO in Brazil. This should be a tougher fight for both of them. Germaine is a legendary kickboxer who is unproven on the ground. Amanda has solid jiu jitsu so I expect her to test Germaine's ground game. But Amanda also has punching power. This show will air on Fox Sports 1 in the US and Sportsnet 360 in Canada.

Megumi Fujii's retirement match is set

Megumi Fujii, Jessica Aguilar
It was announced today that Megumi Fujii's opponent for her retirement match will be a rematch against Jessica Aguilar. This will happen at the Oct. 5, VTJ show at the Ota Gymnasium. The match is contracted for 52.2kg and is scheduled for three five minute rounds. So why wasn't this announced at the recent VTJ press conference? They were haggling over money and there was talk that negotiations broke off and Shooto was going to do something else. Also, it's interesting to note that this fight is scheduled for three rounds when women's matches in VTJ are normally two rounds. I doubt Jessica would agree to a two round match. And I don't blame her for holding them up for more money. Look, there's no upside for Jessica to do this match. If she loses, there will be no rubber match. Will the judges call it fairly? Think about it. This is the only real match that is acceptable as Megumi's retirement match. What I didn't like was meaningless random fighters coming out of the woodwork to volunteer their services mainly to draw attention to themselves. That's not the thing to do. An exhibition match would have been preferable to that and that is normally what is done anyway. But this is the match Megumi wanted. They are billing it as a revenge match because at their match last year, Megumi lost not to Jessica but to incompetent judges. Megumi said afterwards she thought she won but not decisively enough. Megumi's retirement ceremony will follow the fight.

Review of WWE Total Divas episode seven

This week's episode of WWE Total Divas is interesting because it's the first that I believe all three major storylines are based in fact. The episode begins with Diva in training Eva Marie being informed that she is doing a Maxim spread. At first, she talks on the phone while driving. And I guess the camera was turned off and they told her to stop the car. So all the girls congratulate her except for fellow Diva in training and roommate JoJo. Her lack of support becomes a topic of discussion. But no one mentioned that a 19 year old girl picked from a casting call shouldn't be working for the WWE in the first place. What do you want from her? She's a kid. So JoJo thinks her singing the national anthem can get her on WWE TV. Did anyone tell her Lilian Garcia already has that job? Meanwhile, during a match on RAW, Nikki Bella is knocked off the ring apron to the floor and hurts her ankle. It turns out she broke her ankle playing soccer as a teen and it has always bothered her. At first, Nikki doesn't want to tell anyone in fear of losing her spot. This is a common problem in the WWE. Fortunately, her sister Brie and boyfriend John Cena convince her to get a bone scan and treatment. As Brie tells her, their fortunes in the WWE are tied. They are The Bella Twins. But Nikki's fear is real and understandable. She could lose her spot if she is off TV for any length of time. The third story is the continuing drama between Ariane of The Funkadactyls and her boyfriend Vincent. She's still pissed at him for his behaviour in Las Vegas and he chooses this time to push marriage on her. He wants her to meet his old school Armenian father. And dad starts talking about grandchildren. Then Vincent takes Ariane on a surprise visit to a jewelry store to pick out a ring. Not surprisingly, she freaks out. This should lead to Ariane dumping him maybe next week at Nattie Neidhart's wedding. He's dumb but she would be dumber to keep him around after this nonsense. When Trinity of The Funkadactyls hears about JoJo's singing plans, she suggests a remix of their theme music and JoJo can perform it on TV. It turns out that Trinity has roots in the music business. Her father Shawn McCray Sr. is a music producer and her uncle is veteran soul singer George McCrae who had a smash hit with Rock Your Baby in 1974. Trinity's dad does a great job on the remix and Jane Geddes agrees to let JoJo and The Funkadactyls perform it on WWE Main Event. It didn't turn out well because they needed more practice. They were way out of tune. Since then, JoJo did perform the national anthem at SummerSlam. Nattie Neidhart suggested JoJo should be concerned about learning wrestling instead of singing. So Nikki gets the bone scan and WWE doctor Dr. Michael Sampson prescribes rest for at least six weeks. That was in June and Nikki still hasn't returned to action. If it isn't responding, surgery is likely and she will be gone for a long time. Nikki already thinks retirement is a possibility. Remember Michelle McCool was forced to retire due to a similar injury that just never got better. It happens. Next week's episode will be Nattie's wedding and then the show goes on hiatus until November. New episodes are currently in production. Don't forget to watch the video.
WWE - Total Divas - Season 01 - Episode 07 by wwetotaldivas

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Jaggerz

Artist:The Jaggerz
Song:The Rapper
Album:The Real '70s

The 1970 top five hit The Rapper was the only big hit for The Jaggerz. A couple of other songs charted but they are perceived as a one hit wonder. The Jaggerz were from Pittsburgh led by Dominic Ierace. He would become famous in the 80s as Donnie Iris. He didn't use that name until after he left The Jaggerz. While attending Slippery Rock State College in the early 60s, Ierace was a member was a member of The Tri-Vels who would become Donnie and the Donnels. He dropped out of college in 1964 and met Gary and the Jewel Tones guitarist Jimmie Ross. They formed The Jaggers in 1965. Other members were Benny Faiella on guitar, Thom Davies on piano, Bill Maybray on bass and Jim Pugliano on drums. Ierace and Ross shared lead vocals and wrote the songs. The Jaggers signed with Gamble Records in 1968 and discovered there was another band called The Jaggers so they changed it to The Jaggerz. Their 1969 debut album Introducing The Jaggerz did well locally in Pennsylvania. The band wanted national success and signed with the Buddah Records label Kama Sutra Records. The Rapper is from their 1970 album We Went To Different Schools Together. It reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song is a cautionary one to girls to beware of guys who lie to seduce them. You can get The Rapper on this 3CD various artists budget comp from BMG. After releasing a couple more singles, Kama Sutra dropped The Jaggerz in 1973. After recording the 1975 album Come Again for Wooden Nickel Records, The Jaggerz split up in 1976. Ierace joined Wild Cherry (Play That Funky Music). It was there he met keyboard player Mark Avsec and would become Donnie Iris after Wild Cherry split up in 1979. Jimmie Ross reformed The Jaggerz in 1989 and still leads a version of the band today. Here's a video for The Rapper by The Jaggerz.

Monday, September 09, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Player

Song:Baby Come Back
Album:Baby Come Back: The Best Of Player

Baby Come Back topped the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks in 1978. Though Player is perceived as a one hit wonder, they had a second hit from their debut album. So they had a decent run in the late 70s and split up in 1983. Lead singer and guitarist Peter Beckett is a Brit who moved to Los Angeles in 1974. He was in Skyband with Steve Kipner from the Aussie band Tin Tin. When Skyband split up, Beckett met keyboard player JC Crowley at a party and formed Riff Raff which became Bandana. Kipner was also in that band along with former Grass Roots guitarist Reed Kailing. Bandana recorded a single for Haven Records, a label owned by the songwriting and production team of Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter. Kipner and Kailing left and Haven closed. The band was renamed Player and added bassist Ronn Moss, drummer John Friesen and keyboard player Wayne Cook. Lambert and Potter signed Player to RSO Records and produced their 1977 debut album. Baby Come Back was the debut single. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks in early 1978. This Time I'm In It For Love was Player's other top ten hit. The band toured and was named Billboard's Best New Singles Artist for 1978. Cook was replaced by Bob Carpenter. They recorded a second album. But then they had a big argument while on tour. Beckett left and Player lost their record deal. And then Crowley left to go home to Texas. Beckett returned and Player recorded albums for Casablanca and RCA. Ronn Moss left in 1982 to become an actor. He was in the cast of the daytime soap The Bold and the Beautiful from 1987 to 2012. Player split up in 1983. This budget comp has all their hits. Crowley moved to Nashville and recorded an album in 1988 and has had success as a songwriter. Beckett was in The Little River Band from 1989 to 1997. Since 1995, Beckett and Moss have occasionally reformed Player. They released a new CD Feb. 2013. Here's the video for Baby Come Back by Player.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Sarah Moras vs Tara LaRosa

In case you haven't heard, the UFC has posted the unedited fight videos from the first episode of UFC 18 on their website. So I was on Twitter last night waiting for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race broadcast. I was using my tablet. I love my tablet. So I started seeing rumblings from fans who believed that the Sarah Moras vs Tara LaRosa fight should have been called a draw and should have gone to a third round. So I figured I should look at it and see how I feel about it. And you can watch the fight video right here on the blog and form your own opinion. My short answer is I thought Sarah won the fight. It wasn't a decisive win but it wasn't a draw. This happens a lot in MMA. Some folks including judges don't know what they are watching during a close fight. They miss nuances. I always tell fighters who are effective fighting from the bottom position they need to be careful because some judges won't give credit for effective ground defense or effective activity from the bottom. Both rounds were fairly similar. Sarah got takedowns and Tara got a couple of reversals. The problem was Tara was not effective from top position. She did not advance her position. Sarah's ground defense was very effective. She kept Tara very close in her guard. And she landed her own shots from the bottom including several elbows to the head. So Sarah was more effective even from the bottom where she should have been at a disadvantage. Tara needed to do more to score points especially in top position. Getting top position isn't and shouldn't be enough. There needs to be more activity. It's a common mistake. Judges make this mistake all the time and they are supposed to be experts. Check out the match video for yourself.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Fania All-Stars

Artist:The Fania All-Stars
Song:Ahora Vengo Yo
Album:Our Latin Thing (Nuestra Cosa)

If you're going to talk about Latin music, it has to start with Fania Records. The company was started in 1964 by New York lawyer Jerry Masucci and bandleader Johnny Pacheco. Masucci bought out Pacheco but Pacheco remained at Fania as music director. As they started to develop their roster, Pacheco decided to form an all star band and send them out on tour to promote the label. They were called The Fania All-Stars. In 1971, Leon Gast directed the concert film Our Latin Thing. It was filmed at the Cheetah club in New York. There is also a film of the Fania All-Stars 1973 Yankee Stadium concert. For years, it was believed that Our Latin Thing was lost. It seems that the master print of the film went into landfill. But an eBay user discovered a theatrical print of the film and that was transferred to digital. And then it was released on DVD in 2011 along with 2CDs of music featured in the film. The print is not perfect but Latin music fans should get it. Ahora Vengo Yo was written by the team of singer Bobby Cruz and pianist Richie Ray who were very popular at the time. The rest of The Fania All-Stars is a who's who of Latin music including Ray Barretto, Justo Betancourt, Willie Colon, Cheo Feliciano, Larry Harlow, Hector Lavoe, Ismael Miranda, Johnny Pacheco, Louis Ramirez, Pete Rodriguez, Roberto Roena, Barry Rogers and Bobby Valentin. At the height of their popularity in 1976, Fania signed a deal with Columbia Records for The Fania All-Stars. The recordings were watered down and didn't work. And eventually The Fania All-Stars ended in the 80s. But The Fania All-Stars recordings and DVDs from the early 70s are essential for Latin music fans. Here's The Fania All-Stars performing Ahora Vengo Yo in the 1971 film Our Latin Thing.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Liz Carmouche vs Alexis Davis added to Nov. 6 UFC show

Liz Carmouche
Kevin Iole of Yahoo reported yesterday that Liz Carmouche vs Alexis Davis has been added to the Nov. 6 UFC show at Fort Campbell, KY. This is UFC Fight For The Troops and will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1 in the US and Sportsnet 360 in Canada. Of course Liz is a former Marine so it's not surprising they would put her on this show. Liz rebounded from her loss to Ronda Rousey by winning over Jessica Andrade in July. Since then she's been flapping her gums about getting another title shot. Obviously she will have to wait. Alexis won her UFC debut over Rosi Sexton. But her performance was not impressive. Look, they are both good fighters but both are mistake prone. And that will likely be the story of this match. The winner will be the one who can avoid mistakes. It should be interesting.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Yo-Yo Ma

Artist:Yo-Yo Ma f/Rosa Passos
Song:Amor Em Paz
Album:Obrigado Brazil

Even folks like myself who don't know much about classical music should be familiar with cellist Yo-Yo Ma. He likes to explore all kinds of music. On the 2003 CD Obrigado Brazil, he explores Brazilian music with the help of several special guests including the great Brazilian singer Rosa Passos. The album won a Grammy and was very successful. Yo-Yo Ma was born Oct. 7, 1955 in Paris, France. His mother was a singer and his father was a violinist and music professor. The family moved to New York City when Ma was five years old. He first studied violin and wanted to play bass but settled on cello. He first appeared on TV with Leonard Bernstein at age eight. So Ma was a child prodigy. He toured with orchestras while attending Harvard and made his recording debut after he graduated in 1978. It was in the 90s that he started recording outside classical music. I'm sure many folks first heard Ma in films like Seven Years in Tibet and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. In 1999, Ma recorded an album of Astor Piazzola tango music. That album was very successful so in 2003 he decided to explore Brazilian music. Amor Em Paz was written by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes. The singer is the excellent Brazilian Rosa Passos who likes to mix jazz with bossa nova. The piano solo is by British classical pianist Kathryn Stott. Other guests on the CD include Cuban clarinetist Paquito D'Rivera and Brazilian musicians Egberto Gismonti on flute, Sergio Assad and his brother Odair Assad on guitar and Cyro Baptista on percussion. The album is available on CD and DVD. It won a Grammy for Best Classical Crossover Album. Fans of Brazilian music should check it out. Yo-Yo Ma continues to record classical music and explore other types of music with his group The Silk Road Ensemble. Here's Yo-Yo Ma featuring Rosa Passos and Kathryn Stott performing Amor Em Paz on the 2008 Chinese TV special Yo-Yo Ma's Brazil.