Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Album:Dr. Demento 20th Anniversary Collection: The Greatest Novelty Records Of All Time
There was a time when comedy and novelty records were as popular as pop music. By the time Kip Addotta came along in the 80s, those days were over for good. Addotta is a stand up comic who also recorded a couple of novelty singles. The 1982 single Wet Dream is still alive because of Barry Hansen AKA Dr. Demento, The King of Novelty Records. Addotta was born June 16, 1944 in Rockford, IL. When I watch his stand up work, it's clear that he was a huge Lenny Bruce fan. Addotta started out in Chicago clubs and by the mid-70s, he had appeared on The Tonight Show. Then he signs with Laff Records. Laff was very successful in the 60s with Richard Pryor, Redd Foxx and Slappy White. But by the 80s, comedy records weren't selling anymore and Laff was on its last legs. Addotta recorded three albums for Laff. Wet Dream is from the 1982 album The Comedian of the United States. Let's just say that the song is very fishy. And Addotta produced a video for it. Of course Laff couldn't afford to promote it so the single went nowhere. But Barry Hansen got his hands on it and Hansen has played it on his Dr. Demento radio show ever since. The Dr. Demento show is still available online. Hansen has also released Dr. Demento CDs on Rhino for years and that's where you can find Wet Dream and plenty of other novelty songs. Addotta recorded a couple of other novelty songs including the rap parody White Boy Rapp. But Laff went bankrupt in 1985. When Laff was reborn as Uproar Entertainment in the 90s, Addotta recorded for them. He also appeared on TV shows like Make Me Laugh and he continues to perform live. It looks like he records on his own label. He could have been a successful recording artist in an earlier era. Here's the video for Wet Dream by Kip Addotta.
Monday, May 30, 2016
Here's the match video of Sara McMann vs Jessica Eye from last night's UFC show in Las Vegas. This aired on Fox Sports 1 in the US and The Fight Network in Canada. Both of these fighters are on losing streaks and both have serious flaws that need to be corrected if either is going to get back in the title picture. That's what I am looking for. I didn't see anything encouraging in this fight. Round one was just wretched. Neither of them did anything. A failed Sara takedown led to clinching on the fence that should have been broken up quickly. But ref Big John McCarthy let it go on for 90 seconds. Sara threw a couple of knees but nothing substantial. And Jessica did nothing to break free. She just kept staring at McCarthy. It was bad. The judges scored the round 10-9 for Sara. I scored it 9-9 because neither of them did anything. And McCarthy even told them before the start of round two to be more active. When was the last time a ref did that? Round two began the same as round one. But finally Sara got a takedown and that and another takedown in round three is what won Sara the fight. All three judges scored the fight 30-27 for Sara. But the flaws are still there. Near the end of round three, Sara attempted a north south choke but she never applied it properly because she already had the fight won and didn't need a finish. Lack of killer instinct is Sara's major flaw. Meanwhile, Jessica has four losses in the UFC and all four highlighted her major flaw, the lack of any ground skills. Just take her down and sit on her. She can't escape. I didn't see any urgency in either of them. Someone suggested to me that both should be released. And if Sara thinks a win like that gets her back in the title picture, she's dreaming in Technicolour. They said on the broadcast that Sara went to a sports psychologist. Get your money back. It didn't help. Sara has all the physical tools to be a great fighter. But she lacks the proper mentality. And she's not changing at 35 years old. This fight was an example of wasted potential. Enjoy the video!
Album:Super Hits of the '70s: Have A Nice Day Vol. 15
I bet many of you remember this 1975 top five hit but you know nothing about Jigsaw. Sky High was their only big hit but they did better in Europe and Japan. Jigsaw was formed in 1966 in Coventry and Rugby, England by guitarist Tony Campbell. The other key member was keyboard player Clive Scott. Later Des Dyer was brought in to replace the original drummer and he also became lead singer. Scott and Dyer wrote most of the band's songs. They released some singles and recorded albums for Philips and BASF. But Jigsaw went nowhere until their manager Chas Peate started his own Splash label. One of the band's songs Who Do You Think You Are was recorded by Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods. Peate made a deal for Sky High to be the theme of the 1975 film The Man From Hong Kong starring one time James Bond George Lazenby. It was played over the opening credits. Sky High became a hit in England and then it was picked up in the US by Wes Farrell's Chelsea label. It reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also became a #1 hit in Japan when Sky High was used as Mexican pro wrestling legend Mil Mascaras' entrance theme. They continued to be very popular in Japan. Then Jigsaw signed with 20th Century Records. They were brought to Los Angeles to record with producer Rick Jarrard. So it looked like they were on the rise. But the album they recorded was shelved. Jigsaw split up in 1978 though Scott and Dyer continued to record as Jigsaw. After a 1981 disco album for Elektra, Scott and Dyer ended Jigsaw but they continued as a production and songwriting team for acts like Nikki French and Bad Boys Inc. You can get Sky High on this Rhino 70s comp. Clive Scott died in 2009 after an accident in his home. Here's video for Sky High by Jigsaw that was made to promote The Man From Hong Kong.
Sunday, May 29, 2016
Bassist Christian McBride has been one of the most versatile jazz musicians in recent years. He has recorded everything from fusion to big band music. When he signed with Mack Avenue Records in 2013, he decided to return to a basic trio after recording the 2011 big band album Good Feeling. He also led the larger band Inside Straight. One of the musician who was on both of those recordings was drummer Ulysses Owens Jr. He got into the New York jazz scene while studying at Juilliard. He was in Ted Nash's big band and he recorded and toured with singer Kurt Elling. He had worked on a couple of McBride's albums and was a natural choice for McBride's new trio. Pianist Christian Sands was a protege of Billy Taylor. He studied at the Manhattan School of Music and he was in the school's Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra led by Bobby Sanabria. After graduation, Sands joined Inside Straight and McBride already knew him when he decided to turn that band into a trio. The 2013 CD Out Here is their first album. They record mostly standards including the Oscar Peterson standard Hallelujah Time best known for the 1964 recording by Woody Herman. They continue to tour and the live CD Live At The Village Vanguard was released last year. They are coming to Koerner Hall in Toronto in 2017 and I will be there. All three record as sideman. McBride has been on recent albums by Diana Krall and Angelique Kidjo. Sands appeared on bassist Ben Williams' latest album. And Owens continues to work with trombonist Michael Dease. Here's Christian McBride Trio performing Hallelujah Time at the Jazz Standard in New York 2013.
Saturday, May 28, 2016
Album:Into The Night
If you listen to Love Inc.'s brand of Eurodance, you will think they are from Europe. But they are actually from Toronto. They were very successful in Canada with hits like Broken Bones and You're A Superstar but they had little success elsewhere. This happens to many Canadian acts because of CRTC Canadian Content regulations for radio stations. The airplay in Canada doesn't always convert into airplay elsewhere. Love Inc. was led by veteran DJ Chris Sheppard. He hosted dance music shows on CFNY and Energy 108 and he also released many dance music compilation CDs. In clubs he was known as Dogwhistle. In the early 90s, he had a group called BKS. They are best known for the Don Cherry mashup Rock Em Sock Em Techno. The singer in that group was Simone Denny. They got together with Brad Daymond to form Love Inc. in 1997. They signed with RCA Canada and Broken Bones was the first single. It topped the Canadian Dance chart and won Best Video at the 1998 MuchMusic Video Awards. The album Love Inc. was certified Platinum in Canada. The second single You're A Superstar also topped the Canadian Dance chart and it also charted in the US and England. Love Inc. toured Canada featuring dancer Monique "Nikki K" Kurnath. She was a regular part of the touring band. Daymond left in 1999 to go into production as Riprock. Love Inc. continued as a duo and Into The Night was released in 2000. All their hits are on this budget CD. Love Inc. then split up. Sheppard lives in retirement in the suburbs. Simone sang with the group Widelife and has released the occasional single. She currently tours Canada as Love Inc. featuring Simone Denny. Here's the video for Broken Bones by Love Inc.
Friday, May 27, 2016
Song:Not An Addict
Album:10: 1993-2003 Ten Years Of
K's Choice had brief success on the Modern Rock chart with the 1995 single Not An Addict. It turned out to be their biggest hit as they had personnel issues. They reformed last year and toured. K's Choice are from Antwerp, Belgium led by lead singer Sarah Bettens and her guitarist brother Gert Bettens. They had a group called The Basement Plugs. Sarah signed a solo deal with Double T Records and as Sarah Beth she had a hit in Belgium with her cover of the Hank Williams classic I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry. Then Double T signed the band which was at first called The Choice but was changed to K's Choice for copyright reasons. They released the album The Great Subconscious Club in 2004 and toured the US with The Indigo Girls. This got them a US deal with Epic. Not An Addict is from the 1995 album Paradise In Me. The song got radio airplay in the Modern Rock market but didn't quite make it to the mainstream. K's Choice toured with Alanis Morissette. Apparently she really liked them. They had trouble keeping the band together and they hired US bassist Eric Grossman to help stabilize the band. Maybe the Bettens were difficult to work with. K's Choice appeared on a 1999 episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. When that didn't launch them to greater fame, K's Choice left Epic and went on hiatus in 2003. This comp is a good intro to their music and it is also available in an edition with a bonus DVD. Sarah released an EP in 2004 followed by a full length CD in 2005. Her music has done well in Europe. Gert formed the band Woodface and released a CD in 2005. K's Choice reformed in 2010 and they have released 2CDs including one last year. They toured the US earlier this year and they are currently touring Europe. K's Choice didn't quite make it but I think fans might remember Not An Addict. Here's the video for Not An Addict by K's Choice.
Thursday, May 26, 2016
Album:Her Very Best...So Far
Jazz singer Sophie Milman had some success a few years ago. She seems to be semi-retired at the moment raising her family. She was born in 1983 in Ufa, Russia but she grew up in Israel. As a child, she listened to Ella Fitzgerald, Mahalia Jackson and Stevie Wonder. Her family moved to Toronto which is where she lives now. She started performing locally and she was spotted by pianist Bill King. He got her a deal with the Canadian label Linus Entertainment with distribution in the US by Koch/eOne. King and Danny Greenspoon produced her 2004 debut album Sophie Milman. It did well on the jazz charts and Sophie became a favourite on Canadian TV and on tour. Speak Low is from her 2011 CD In The Moonlight. The album was produced by former Warner Bros. Jazz president Matt Pierson. Speak Low was written by Kurt Weill and Ogden Nash for the 1943 show One Touch of Venus. Carmen McRae was probably the first jazz singer to record Speak Low and it is now a jazz standard. This recording was arranged by guitarist Julian Lage. Other musicians are Larry Grenadier on bass, Lewis Nash on drums and Bashiri Johnson on percussion. Unfortunately, In The Moonlight is Sophie's latest CD. She left Linus and they released this comp in 2013. Sophie is married to lawyer Casey Chisick who is also her manager. They have a young child and it looks like Sophie has taken time off to raise her child. It remains to be seen if she will return but she did appear on a Yiddish music tribute in Richmond Hill early this year. Her website is kaput. I hope she returns. She's a pretty good singer. Here's Sophie Milman performing Speak Low at Club Soda in Montreal July 5, 2012 as part of the Montreal Jazz Festival. The clip doesn't identify the musicians but I think that is Julian Lage on guitar.
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Song:They Can't Take That Away From Me
Album:Crazy For You: Original Broadway Cast Recording
Though most fans should be familiar with Harry Groener for his TV work on shows like Dear John and Buffy The Vampire Slayer, He's had a lot of success on Broadway in shows like Crazy For You. He was born Sept. 10, 1951 in Augsburg, Bavaria, Germany but his family moved to San Francisco when he was a child. His father was a concert pianist and his mother was an opera singer. Groener studied drama at the University of Washington. He moved to New York and in the 80s, he appeared mostly on Broadway though he worked on TV too. He was in the 1979 revival of Oklahoma. He was an original cast member of Cats and then he was in Sunday in the Park with George. On TV, he had a recurring role on the third season of Dear John. He also does a lot of regional theater. The 1992 show Crazy For You is supposedly based on the 1930 George and Ira Gershwin show Girl Crazy. But the real influence was the success of the 1988 Cole Porter show Anything Goes. The show includes songs from various Gershwin shows. Groener stars in the show with Jodi Benson. Crazy For You won the 1992 Tony for Best Musical. Groener was nominated for a Tony. They Can't Take That Away From Me is from the 1937 film Shall We Dance sung by Fred Astaire. The show ran for four years. The original cast album is available on CD. After this, Groener returned to TV best known as Mayor Richard Wilkins on the third season of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. He still does a lot of TV guest shots and live theater in Los Angeles. He did return to Broadway in the show Spamalot in 2006. Here's Harry Groener performing They Can't Take That Away From Me on A&E Revue hosted by Robert Klein. The first part of the video is clips from Crazy For You followed by Groener. I guess the performance date as 1992.
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Album:Buddy's Baddest: The Best Of Buddy Guy
After years of toiling in obscurity, legendary blues guitarist Buddy Guy scored a hit album in 1991 with Damn Right, I've Got The Blues fueled by this video of Mustang Sally featuring Jeff Beck. The turning point for Guy was in 1985 when Eric Clapton told Musician Magazine that Guy was his biggest influence. After similar praise from guys like Jeff Beck, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Mark Knopfler, Clapton asked for Guy to appear at a series of concerts he was doing at London's Royal Albert Hall. Some of the performances appear on the 1991 Clapton album 24 Nights. This led to Guy signing with the British label Silvertone Records. Damn Right, I've Got The Blues was Guy's first album for Silvertone in 1991. It was his biggest selling album ever and it won a Grammy. Beck appears on this cover of the classic Mustang Sally and a video was shot for it and it was played on VH1. Beck and Clapton appeared on a cover of the Louis Jordan classic Early In The Morning. Mark Knopfler is the other special guest. Damn Right, I've Got The Blues is available as a budget CD but this budget comp is a good intro to Guy's Silvertone recordings. Guy is still going strong today. Silvertone was taken over by Jive Records and they were sold to Sony. So Guy now records for RCA. His latest CD Born To Play Guitar was released July 2015. It features guest appearances by Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, Kim Wilson of The Fabulous Thundebirds, Joss Stone and Van Morrison. The album topped the blues chart and it won a Grammy. Guy is also on tour. It's been 25 years since Guy's career was revived by Damn Right, I've Got The Blues and he doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Here's the video for Mustang Sally by Buddy Guy featuring Jeff Beck.
Monday, May 23, 2016
Vieux Farka Toure is one of three sons of Malian music legend Ali Farka Toure. Despite dad's objections, all seem to following in his footsteps. Vieux was born in Niafunke, Mali in 1981. Ali forbade his sons from playing music. He wanted all of them to be soldiers. But Vieux moved to the Malian capitol of Bamako and studied secretly at the National Arts Institute. So eventually Ali was convinced to allow his sons to be musicians. Vieux toured with another Malian music legend Toumani Diabate. Eric Herman became his manager and got him a record deal with Six Degrees Records. Six Degrees is owned by former Windham Hill employees Pat Berry and Bob Duskis. They specialize in World Music and they have distribution from Universal. Aigna is from the 2011 album The Secret generally thought to be Vieux's best album to date. The album was produced by Soulive guitarist Eric Krasno. Derek Trucks appears on Aigna and other guests include Dave Matthews and John Scofield. Vieux's latest CD Touristes is an album of duets with singer songwriter Julia Easterlin. It was released last year. If you're fan of his dad, You will probably also like Vieux Farka Toure. Here's Vieux Farka Toure performing Aigna at the Brussels Stock Exchange in Brussels, Belgium Oct. 2012.
Sunday, May 22, 2016
Album:Unfold Ordinary Mind
The clarinet is an instrument that was very popular in The Swing Era of the 40s with Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw. In recent years it has taken a back seat to the sax. Ben Goldberg is keeping the clarinet alive. He is a proponent of what I would call Jewish Jazz similar to John Zorn. The difference is that Zorn lives in New York and Goldberg lives in San Francisco though they have worked together. Goldberg was born Aug. 8, 1959 in Denver. He studied music at the University of California, Santa Cruz and he has a Master of Arts in composition from Mills College. His main teacher was clarinetist Rosario Mazzeo but he also trained with Joe Lovano and Steve Lacy. Goldberg started out in San Francisco leading The New Klezmer Trio and then he made an easy transition to jazz as co-founder of Tin Hat. Klezmer music is sometimes called Jewish Jazz. He also plays in bands led by pianist Myra Melford and guitarist Nels Cline. Goldberg first recorded as a leader in 1992. But since 2010 he has recorded for his own label BAG Production Records. xcpf is from the 2012 CD Unfold Ordinary Mind with Nels Cline on guitar, Ellery Eskelin and Rob Sudduth on sax and Ches Smith on drums. Goldberg's latest CD Dialogue is an album of duets with pianist Myra Melford. It was released Jan. 2016. He has recently formed Mr. Joy with pianist Michael Coleman and they recently released a 2 CDs. It looks like he is playing mostly San Francisco clubs right now. And I'm sure he has other projects in the works. He's a busy guy. Here's Ben Goldberg with Myra Melford on piano, John Shiflett on bass and Scott Amendola on drums performing xcpf at Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse Berkeley, CA Jan. 2013.
Saturday, May 21, 2016
Here's the match video of Alexis Dufresne vs Marloes Coenen from last night's Bellator show in Boise, ID. It aired on Spike TV. These days Bellator seems like The Twilight Zone of MMA. And last night's show may have been the worst MMA show to ever air on free TV. The initial plan was for Marloes to face Julia Budd for a title. And the suits at Spike TV were going to air it on the prelims on the Spike TV website which costs the fighters sponsorship money. This dumb idea was changed when Julia pulled out due to injury and Alexis Dufresne was brought in to replace her. So now it was a non title match on the main card. Alexis fought in the UFC. But she couldn't seem to make 135lb. So after two losses, she was released. Then she got pregnant. This is her first fight since then. She missed weight by five pounds which was not surprising because of the short notice. Marloes took this personally for some reason. She shouldn't have. The fight was fought at a 150lb catchweight. As great as Marloes has been over the years, her one really bad habit is to underestimate opponents. As a fighter, all opponents, even tomato cans, should be taken seriously. And there are plenty of 145lb tomato cans. I guess she was expecting an easy win. But Alexis began the fight with a takedown. Not much was happening. And eventually Marloes reversed it and got top position. But Alexis smartly pinned Marloes' arms. And Marloes couldn't do anything. Ref Jason Herzog warned her about headbutts. Then Alexis goes for a triangle choke. And while cinching it up, she hammered Marloes with elbows to the head. Marloes is in big trouble. And in her attempt to escape, she exposed her arm and Alexis took it. And it's all over. It was a big upset to be sure and Marloes was mortified. But she has no one to blame but herself for not taking Alexis seriously. So now the title match will be Alexis vs Julia Budd. Also, I think Alexis will make weight with a full camp. I suspect many fans skipped this match thinking Marloes would win easily. It just shows one never knows in the MMA business. Enjoy the video.
Song:Soldier Of Love
Album:Best Of Donny Osmond
Of course Donny Osmond is best known as a 70s teen idol with hits like Go Away Little Girl. The 1989 top five hit Soldier Of Love marked his surprise return to the pop charts. After The Donny & Marie Show ended in 1979, he attempted to get into musical theater with the 1982 show Little Johnny Jones. The show was unsuccessful though Osmond would have success in musical theater in the 90s. Other than an appearance in the 1985 Jeff Beck video Ambitious, things were quiet for Osmond in the 80s. He hired entertainment attorney Steven Machat to get him a record deal and Machat hooked Osmond up with Peter Gabriel. This led to a deal with Virgin Records in England. The 1989 album Donny Osmond was produced by Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers. They worked on the music for the film Beat Street and they had produced Stephanie Mills and Gavin Christopher. They have been very successful most recently with jazz singer Kandace Springs. The idea was to give Osmond a contemporary sound so that no one would recognize him as the 70s teen idol. Soldier Of Love was a top 30 hit in England. But Osmond didn't have a US record deal. A cassette of the song was sent to WPLJ New York music director Jessica Ettinger. She liked the song but she was concerned that Osmond would not be accepted by the current pop music audience. So she put the song in rotation as a mystery artist asking WPLJ listeners to guess who it is. After several weeks, she had Osmond come to the studio to introduce the song. Soldier Of Love reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Osmond signed with Capitol Records. Osmond has always given full credit to Ettinger for Soldier Of Love's success. A second song from the album Sacred Emotion was a top 20 hit. Though the comeback was successful, it was short lived as Osmond only recorded two albums for Capitol. This budget comp covers his Capitol recordings. It was at this point that Osmond got back into musical theater and he has had a lot of success there. Here's the video for Soldier Of Love by Donny Osmond.
Friday, May 20, 2016
Album:What It Is?
Drummer Ed Blackwell was best known for his days with Ornette Coleman in the 60s. He was also a member of the Coleman spinoff band Old And New Dreams. Other than that, he was mostly a sideman but near the end of his life he led the Ed Blackwell Project. He was born Oct. 10, 1929 in New Orleans. Blackwell started out drumming in R & B bands in New Orleans. He first met Coleman when he moved to Los Angeles in 1951. But he moved back to New Orleans and had a trio with pianist Ellis Marsalis and clarinetist Alvin Batiste. He also toured with Ray Chatles. In 1960, Blackwell moved to New York to replace Billy Higgins in Coleman's band at a time when Coleman was blazing new trails in free jazz. He worked with Coleman through the 60s. Blackwell also worked with Eric Dolphy, Randy Weston and Archie Shepp. In the 70s he joined the faculty at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. In 1976, he formed Old And New Dreams with fellow Coleman band members Dewey Redman on sax, Charlie Haden on bass and Don Cherry on cornet. They recorded for ECM and Black Saint until 1987. Blackwell also recorded with Cherry and Mal Waldron. He finally decided to form Ed Blackwell Project in the early 90s. He signed with Enja Records. He recorded three albums. Band members were Carlos Ward on sax, Graham Haynes on cornet and Mark Helias on bass. Pettiford Bridge is from the 1992 CD What It Is? Ward wrote the song and he recorded it on one of his own albums and also on the 1990 Don Cherry album Multikulti. Blackwell also played on that album. Graham Haynes is the son of legendary drummer Roy Haynes. Despite kidney problems for many years, Blackwell continued to record and tour until his death on Oct. 7, 1992 at age 62. Here's a video for Pettiford Bridge by Ed Blackwell Project.
Thursday, May 19, 2016
Song:Cradle Of Love
Billy Idol's success in the 80s was based on his music videos in constant rotation in the early days of MTV. None of those songs were radio hits and it wasn't until later that he had a number one hit. The 1990 top five hit Cradle Of Love was Idol's final big hit. He was born William Broad Nov. 30, 1955 in Stanmore, Middlesex, England. I guess he wasn't a very good student because a teacher described him as "idle". Broad wanted to call himself Billy Idle but he didn't think he could because of Monty Python's Eric Idle so he chose Billy Idol. By 1976, Idol was part of the emerging London punk music scene as lead singer of Generation X. They had chart success in England but they split up in 1980 after recording three albums. Idol signed a solo deal with Chrysalis Records. He moved to New York and met guitarist Steve Stevens who would become his main collaborator through the 80s. Stevens also worked as a session musician. Other band members were bassist Phil Felt and drummer Gregg Gerson. Idol's producer for most of the 80s was Keith Forsey who was heavily influenced by Georgio Moroder. The 1981 EP Don't Stop included the Generation X song Dancing With Myself. When his 1982 full length debut Billy Idol was released, the video for White Wedding was played on MTV but the single did not chart. MTV asked for a new video and Chrysalis re-released Dancing With Myself and shot a new video. It played on MTV for six months but it didn't chart. Billy Idol was certified Platinum on the strength of the MTV exposure. His 1983 album Rebel Yell was Idol's biggest seller. And Eyes Without A Face in 1984 and To Be A Lover in 1986 were top ten pop hits. But it wasn't until Idol's remix of the Tommy James cover Mony Mony was released in 1987 that he scored a number one hit. It wasn't even a new recording. It was on Don't Stop. By this time, Stevens split with Idol to get into session work. Idol moved to Los Angeles and recorded the album Charmed Life. Cradle Of Love was featured in the 1989 film The Adventures of Ford Fairlane starring Andrew Dice Clay. The single reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. While recording the album, Idol was in a serious car wreck and he almost lost his leg. That's why he isn't seen much in the Cradle Of Love video. The original video featured scenes from Ford Fairlaine but Clay was banned from MTV. So they shot a video featuring Betsy Lynn George as a sexy teen but they had to tone that down for MTV. Idol's career went into decline after that through his own personal issues including drug abuse. He was also clashing with Chrysalis and he left in 1993. He wouldn't record again for a decade. But he did appear in the 2008 film The Wedding Singer and in 2000 he did a VH1 Behind The Music special. Idol and Stevens reunited in 2001 and they still tour. Idol's latest CD was released in 2014. You can get all of his 80s hits on this budget comp. Here's the video for Cradle Of Love by Billy Idol. This is the original version and it is not on Youtube.
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
The jazz fusion group Yellowjackets have been around since the late 70s and they were very successful recording for GRP in the 80s. The group is still around today. The 1977 formation of Yellowjackets came out of the Los Angeles studio scene. Guitarist Robben Ford and pianist Russell Ferrante were members of Tom Scott's LA Express that toured with Joni Mitchell. After the tour, the two formed a band with bassist Jimmy Haslip and drummer Ricky Lawson. They recorded the 1979 Robben Ford album The Inside Story featuring Ford's vocals. They decided to eliminate the vocals and call themselves Yellowjackets. They signed with Warner Bros. and released their debut album in 1981. Ford left in 1983 and he was at first replaced by sax player Richard Elliot and then he was replaced by Marc Russo. Both guys were in Tower Of Power. Yellowjackets moved to GRP Records for the 1987 album Four Corners. Lawson was replaced by Will Kennedy. Former Weather Report percussionist Alex Acuna worked with them in the studio but did not tour with them. Wildlife is from this album. It was nominated for a Grammy and Yellowjackets did very well on the jazz charts. Russo left in 1991 and he was replaced by Bob Mintzer. Yellowjackets recorded for GRP until 1993. This comp covers the GRP recordings. They returned to Warner Bros. in 1995 and they also recorded for Telarc. Yellowjackets currently record for Mack Avenue and their latest CD Cohearance was released last month. They are currently on tour. Here's the video for Wildlife by Yellowjackets.
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Song:Close My Eyes Forever
Album:The Best Of Lita Ford
Like Joan Jett, guitarist Lita Ford was a member of the 70s all girl band The Runaways. Lita went solo in the 80s. She wasn't as successful as Joan but Lita scored her only top ten pop hit with this power ballad duet with Ozzy Osbourne Close My Eyes Forever. She was born Sept. 10, 1958 in London, England. She was a child when her family moved to Los Angeles. She began to play guitar at age 11. Her big influence was Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple. Lita was 16 years old when Kim Fowley recruited her for The Runaways. The group was successful but conflict over whether they were going to play punk rock or heavy metal led to a 1979 split. Lita signed a solo deal with The Runaways' label Mercury. After two unsuccessful albums, she hired Sharon Osbourne as her manager and signed a new record deal with RCA. The 1988 album Lita was produced by veteran producer Mike Chapman. The single Kiss Me Deadly reached #12 on the Billboard Hot 100. This is considered to be her signature song. But the power ballad Close My Eyes Forever was the bigger hit. It reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. Sharon got her husband Ozzy Osbourne to write and record the song with Lita. Lita was certified Platinum. Her 1990 album Stiletto didn't do as well and Lita left RCA. This budget comp covers her RCA recordings. After one more album, Lita went on hiatus to raise her two sons. She returned to performing in 2008 and released new music in 2009. Lita Ford continues to perform and she just released a new CD last month. She's a nostalgia act at this point. Here's the video for Close My Eyes Forever by Lita Ford featuring Ozzy Osbourne.
Monday, May 16, 2016
Song:Tu Conga Bach
Album:Bach In Havana
Though the members of Tiempo Libre were all born in Cuba, they have lived in Miami for many years. The goal of Tiempo Libre is to bring the authentic sounds of Timba to the world. Timba mixes traditional Cuban music with jazz, R&B and funk. On the 2009 album Bach In Havana, Tiempo Libre adapts the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Tiempo Libre is led by pianist Jorge Gomez. He was the leader of Grupo Moncada. They were formed in Cuba in 1974 and then moved to the US in 1978. Supposedly they were the first Cuban band to perform in the US post Cuban Revolution. After Grupo Moncada disbanded in the early 90s, Gomez toured and recorded with Roxy Music's Phil Manzanera. Gomez formed Tiempo Libre in 2001. Other members include Joaquin Diaz on vocals, Tabelio Fonte on bass, Pavel Diaz on trumpet, Luis Beltran Castillo on sax and flute, Leandro Gonzalez on congas and Angel Arce on drums. After releasing a couple of albums on the small Shanachie label, Tiempo Libre signed with Sony Masterworks. They recorded the 2008 CD O'Reilly Street with classical flutist James Galway. This album was heavily influenced by Claude Bolling's Suite For Flute and Jazz Piano that Bolling recorded with Jean Pierre Rampal in the 70s. That album was so successful that Gomez wanted to record an album of Bach adaptations. He said all musicians learn to play Bach as children so it's as much a part of their roots as Timba. The result was the 2009 album Bach In Havana. Tu Conga Bach is Bach's Fugue In C Minor. The album was very successful and it was nominated for a Grammy. Maybe you saw Tiempo Libre on Dancing With The Stars at the time. Guest musicians include legendary Cuban sax player Paquito D'Riviera and up and comer Yosvanny Terry. After a second album for Masterworks, Tiempo Libre moved to Universal Latino for the 2015 CD Panamericano. They will be touring this summer so check them out if they are coming your way. Their show is very high energy and entertaining. Here's the video for Tu Conga Bach by Tiempo Libre.
Sunday, May 15, 2016
Here's the match video of Cris Cyborg vs Leslie Smith from last night's UFC show in Curitiba, Brazil. The fight was at a catchweight of 140lb mainly because Curitiba is Cyborg's home town. Leslie got a new UFC contract for taking this fight. But most of us expected her to be a victim. The fight was like every Cyborg fight of the last five years. She swarmed Leslie with strikes, got a knockdown and pounded her until the ref stopped the fight. It lasted 70 seconds. Leslie complained of an early stoppage. But remember Leslie also complained about the stoppage of her Jessica Eye fight. Then she watched it and admitted she was wrong. She will realize that when she watches this too. A little too soon is much preferable than much too late. Leslie wasn't going to come back from that so what difference does it make? Unless Cris can find another UFC fighter willing to fight her at 140lb, this will be her only fight in the UFC. Based on comments by her and by her idiot manager Tito Ortiz, she will never drop to 135. Remember there are new weight cut rules beginning with UFC 200. All fighters must be within 8% of the target weight at the beginning of fight week. How do you think that would work with Cyborg even at 140. Last night, UFC Women's Bantamweight Champ Miesha Tate said she was interested in fighting Cyborg only at 135 because that's where the title is. I expect all contracted UFC fighters to follow her lead. Only a financial incentive should convince fighters to accept a catchweight fight with Cyborg. Remember Leslie got a new multi fight contract for taking this fight. So unless Cyborg agrees to drop to 135, last night's fight was a dead end. Well, at least Cyborg got her home town pop. Enjoy the video!
Song:Young & Crazy
Album:Sunshine & Whiskey
Frankie Ballard broke through in a big way when he scored three top ten country music hit singles from his 2014 CD Sunshine & Whiskey. His new CD will be released next month. He was born Dec. 16, 1982 in Battle Creek, MI. He was good enough at baseball that he played at Western Michigan University. Meanwhile he got into music and started playing local clubs. He decided that music had more potential than baseball. In 2008, he entered Kenny Chesney's Next Big Star competition. He won in Michigan and opened local Chesney shows. Then he moved to Nashville and signed a publishing deal with Sony ATV Music. This led to a record deal with Warner Bros.' Reprise label and the release of his 2011 debut CD Frankie Ballard. It was produced by Michael Knox who discovered Jason Aldean. He is the son of Rock 'N' Roll legend Buddy Knox. The album did OK but there were no hit singles. For his 2014 CD Sunshine & Whiskey, Reprise Nashville was closed and Ballard was moved to Warner Bros. This probably meant he got a bigger promotion budget. He continued to work with Knox but he also worked with Scott Hendricks and his current producer Marshall Altman. He also produces Eric Paslay. It looks like Warners was looking for a producer who would really click with Ballard. The album sold a lot better and Young & Crazy was one of three top ten country music hits. The song was written by Nashville veterans Rhett Akins, Ashley Gorley and Shane McAnally. After his success as a recording artist in the 90s, Akins is now a very successful songwriter. Gorley has co-written several hits for Carrie Underwood. McAnally produces Kasey Musgraves. Ballard's other top ten country hits were Helluva Life and Sunshine & Whiskey. There are certainly several drinking songs on the album. Last year he toured with Florida Georgia Line. So that's the audience Warners is targeting. This approach continued when It All Started With A Beer was the first single from Ballard's new CD El Rio to be released on June 10. He is currently on tour and he will tour Europe in the fall. The praise for him is that he is an old school country singer. We'll see if he is distinctive enough to follow the success of Sunshine & Whiskey. Here's the video for Young & Crazy by Frankie Ballard.
Saturday, May 14, 2016
The British production duo Disclosure have had success mostly on the dance charts. But they scored a top ten pop hit with Latch featuring Sam Smith. Disclosure are brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence from Surrey, England. They grew up in the music business as their father played in rock bands and their mother was a session singer. They started messing around with electronic music while attending Reigate College. Rapper and producer J Dilla was a big influence. In 2010, they uploaded music to MySpace and this led to a record deal. They released a couple of singles and EPs and this led to the decision to record the 2013 album Settle. Because the Lawrence brothers prefer not to sing, they rely on guest vocalists for most of their music. Latch was the first single from Settle featuring singer Sam Smith. Smith is a big star now but Latch was released before Smith's 2014 debut CD. So I think it's fair to say that Latch helped establish Smith. It reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also topped the dance charts. Settle was certified Gold. It's Disclosure's only US pop hit to date. But they continue to be successful on the dance charts and in England. White Noise featuring AlunaGeorge was a top five hit in England. Disclosure toured to promote Settle. Then they recorded the 2015 album Caracal. Smith also appears on this album and so does The Weeknd, Gregory Porter, Lorde and Miguel. It didn't have the pop success of the first album. But it did well in the electronic and dance market and that's their main audience. Disclosure is currently on a US tour and then I expect they will record new music. Here's the video for Latch by Disclosure featuring Sam Smith.
Friday, May 13, 2016
Album:This Is Happening
LCD Soundsystem is one of the more popular indie bands over the last decade. Though they have never had a hit single, their albums do very well. The 2010 CD This Is Happening is their biggest seller to date. They disbanded but have reformed and a new CD is coming out this year. LCD Soundsystem is led by James Murphy. He writes and performs everything on the albums and he has a touring band. He was born Feb. 4, 1970 in Princeton Junction, NJ. His main influences are Talking Heads and The Velvet Underground. He was in a couple of bands in the 80s. He formed his own DFA label in 1993. The idea was to have an outlet for his DJ work. And that's how LCD Soundsystem started as an electronic dance act. But by the 2010 CD This Is Happening, Murphy turned LCD Soundsystem into a retro 80s punk new wave group. Drunk Girls was the first single. The Spike Jonze directed video is crazy with Murphy and touring band members Pat Mahoney and Nancy Whang bring attacked by pandas. The album reached #10 on the Billboard Hot 200 without a hit single. But Murphy said before the album release that this would be the final LCD Soundsystem album. They played their final show at Madison Square Garden Apr. 2, 2011. Murphy got into record production and other things. In Oct. 2015, it was reported that LCD Soundsystem was reforming. After several denials, it turned out to be true. They signed with Columbia and LCD Soundsystem started playing gigs. The new album should be released sometime in 2016. Here's the video for Drunk Girls by LCD Soundsystem.
Thursday, May 12, 2016
|Rin Nakai, Emiko Raika|
Song:Don't Worry 'Bout Me
Album:I Hear A Dream
Beryl Davis was a British singer who toured Europe with several bands during WWII. After the war, she moved to the US and performed for decades. She was born Mar. 16, 1924 in Plymouth, England. Her father was bandleader Harry Davis and she started out singing in his band as a teen. At age 15, she toured France with guitar legend Django Reinhardt and recorded two songs with him. Don't Worry 'Bout Me was written by Rube Bloom and Ted Koehler and it was a hit for Hal Kemp in 1939. Reinhardt recorded it featuring Beryl on vocals on Aug. 25, 1939. Though he usually played violin, on this recording Stephane Grappelli played piano. Other musicians were Eugene Vees on guitar and Emmanuel Soudieux on bass. During WWII, Beryl sang with several bands. Glenn Miller discovered her in 1944 and she appeared on his final show before his death. Bob Hope brought Beryl to the US in 1947 and she appeared on the Your Hit Parade radio show with Frank Sinatra. Then she married William Mann Moore who was the creator and host of the TV game show Jukebox Jury. They had three children. In the 50s, Beryl was a member of The Four Girls with Jane Russell, Connie Haines and Rhonda Fleming. They had some minor hits and they toured through the 60s. By this time, Beryl had divorced Moore and she lived with former Glenn Miller drummer Buck Stapleton. He promoted cruise ship tours so she performed on those for years. She was featured in a Glenn Miller tribute tour for many years. She didn't record much but you can get some of her recordings with Reinhardt and other bands on this comp. Beryl Davis died due to Alzheimer's on Oct. 28, 2011 at age 87. Here's a video of Don't Worry 'Bout Me by Beryl Davis with Django Reinhardt.
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Song:One Bad Apple
Album:Osmondmania! The Osmond Family's Greatest Hits
The major criticism of The Osmonds back in the 70s was they were a ripoff of The Jackson Five. Of course there's more to it than that. One Bad Apple was their only number one hit. The four Osmond brothers started out as a barbershop quartet performing in their home town of Ogden, UT. It was Alan, Wayne, Merrill and Jay. They were little kids at the time. Andy Williams' father saw them sing on a Disney TV special and they were regulars on The Andy Williams Show from 1962 to 1969. Donny joined the group at some point. The Osmond Brothers recorded for MGM, Uni and even Williams' label Barnaby. But they were unable to score a hit single. The turning point was when MGM Records president Mike Curb saw them perform and signed them to a contract. He sent them to Muscle Shoals, AL to work with producer Rick Hall at FAME Studio. And it was Hall's idea to make them sound like the Jackson Five. FAME staff songwriter George Jackson wrote One Bad Apple with The Jackson Five in mind. Hall thought it would be perfect for the first single. Fans thought it was The Jackson Five and One Bad Apple topped the charts in 1971. The Osmonds other top ten hits were Yo Yo and Down by the Lazy River. But things started to unravel when Curb spun Donny off as a solo artist. He became the focus of the group to their detriment. Then they recorded the 1973 album The Plan. It was a Mormon concept albums produced by Alan Osmond. Once that album bombed, it was the beginning of the end for The Osmonds. Of course they continued and Donny and Marie were very successful. This budget comp has hits by The Osmonds along with Donny Osmond and Donny & Marie hits. The four Osmond brothers still perform occasionally and they last recorded on their own label in 2012. But there was a time when The Osmonds were the hottest group in pop music. Here are The Osmonds performing One Bad Apple at the Los Angeles Forum 1970.
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Song:Gonna Fly Now
Album:Rocky: Original Motion Picture Score
Oscar winning film composer Bill Conti scored a number one hit with Gonna Fly Now, his theme from the 1976 film Rocky. The song was a big hit mostly because the film was huge. Conti was born Apr. 13, 1942 in Providence, RI. His father taught him to play piano. Conti studied at Louisiana State and then Julliard. After graduating in 1967, he moved to Italy and got into film composition. After composing for a few Italian films, Conti returned to the US and he composed the scores for the 1973 film Blume In Love and the 1974 film Harry and Tonto. Rocky director John Avildsen knew Conti after Conti's score for the 1975 film W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings was rejected by Fox. After David Shire was not available, Avildsen needed someone who could work cheap as he didn't have much money to spend. The interesting thing is that trumpeter Maynard Ferguson's recording of Gonna Fly Now was a hit first. And then Conti's original version topped the charts in early 1977. Maybe folks don't know that there were two versions. The lyrics for Gonna Fly Now were written by veteran songwriter Carol Conners. She was lead singer on To Know Him Is To Love Him by The Teddy Bears. The vocals were by DeEtta Little and Nelson Pigford. Obviously the song is now a standard and it was used in all the Rocky films. The soundtrack is available on CD. Conti has composed many scores for films and TV. He won an Oscar in 1983 for The Right Stuff. He doesn't seem to be as active as he once was but his music will turn up occasionally. Here's the video for Gonna Fly Now by Bill Conti.
Monday, May 09, 2016
Here's the match video of Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs Heather Jo Clark from yesterday's UFC show in The Netherlands. Karolina is a very good striker but she has no power. So she's a points fighter. Heather was on TUF and now she's returning from knee surgery. She trains with Miesha Tate and Rob Follis at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas. For the most part, the fight went as I expected. I didn't think Heather could outstrike Karolina. She would have to figure out some other way. Heather did OK in round one. I thought Karolina was too cautious and defensive and Heather may have won the first round. But obviously Karolina's corner told her to get busy. And she was a lot more aggressive for the rest of the fight. Heather didn't have much of an answer for Karolina's striking. There was never going to be a finish because Karolina doesn't finish fights. And compared to our champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk, that's a major flaw. I've watched Karolina's fights in KSW and Invicta and she's never had power. I think she could develop power but I haven't seen it yet. Also, Kenny Florian made me laugh when he said Karolina told him she's been working on her wrestling and he suggested she might go for a takedown. Yeah, right. Let me know when pigs fly. Afterwards, there was a rumour that Karolina hurt her shoulder. When asked about it, she wouldn't discuss it but she also didn't deny it. We shall see. I think Karolina is a good striker. But her lack of power and ground skills bothers me and I expect that will eventually bite her in the ass. Enjoy the video!
Here's the match video of Germaine De Randamie vs Anna Elmose from yesterday's UFC show in The Netherlands. The big deal is that Germaine is fighting at home in front of her family and friends. Of course Germaine is a kickboxing champ but she is very vulnerable to a ground attack. Anna is from Denmark. She is also a striker. She seems undersized especially against Germaine and she is probably more suitable at 125lb. She had that "Hi, mom. I'm happy to be here" smile on her face. Anna did OK at first clinching on the fence. But she couldn't take Germaine down. Germaine took over and a couple of knees to the body and it's all over. Of course the crowd went crazy. Germaine looked great against a terrible opponent. But she needs to beat someone higher up on the foodchain to be a title contender. I always think back to that match in Strikeforce where Julia Budd beat Germaine by sitting on her for three rounds. She had no ground game. Until I see some improvement in that area, she's still just a great kickboxer. She was offered the Cris Cyborg fight. That could be in her future. Enjoy the video!
Song:Leavin' You Baby
Album:The Spivey Sisters (Sweet Pease & The Za Zu Girl)
Singer Addie "Sweet Pease" Spivey is frequently confused with her better known older sister Victoria Spivey to the point that some of Addie's recordings turn up on Victoria CDs. There's even a third more obscure sister Elton "The Za Zu Girl" Spivey. Part of the problem is they recorded with some of the same musicians like trumpeter Henry "Red" Allen and they also recorded under phony names. The big difference between Victoria and Addie was Victoria was still around in the 60s and Addie died in 1943. Addie was born Aug. 22, 1910 in Houston. Their father was a musician. Victoria was already very popular when Addie made her recording debut in 1929 as Sweet Peas. Leavin' You Baby was recorded with Henry "Red" Allen on trumpet, Luis Russell on piano, Charlie Holmes on sax and Will Johnson on guitar. Victoria also recorded with Allen and that's why Addie was called Sweet Peas to avoid confusion. It hasn't helped and that's why Addie's recordings turn up on Victoria Spivey CDs. A few years later, Addie recorded as Sweet Pease Spivey for Decca and Sweet Peas Spivey for Bluebird. And she also recorded as Hannah May. And one of the Spiveys recorded as Jane Lucas but we don't know which one. Fortunately, the folks at RST Records have put all of Addie's recordings on one CD along with Elton Spivey's recordings. This includes both takes of Leavin' You Baby. Sadly Addie Spivey died in 1943 at age 43. I have no details on her death. Here's a video of Leavin' You Baby by Addie "Sweet Pease" Spivey with Henry "Red" Allen.
Sunday, May 08, 2016
Album:Silk Stockings: An Original Cast Recording
These three character actors are probably best known for their work in film and TV. but they were also versatile enough to appear in Broadway musicals. In this case, it is the 1955 musical Silk Stockings with songs by Cole Porter. It was based on the 1939 film Ninotchka. So it's about Russians in Paris. The show starred Hildegard Knef, Don Ameche and Gretchen Wyler who were all Broadway newcomers. So several veteran character actors were hired to play supporting roles. The show played on Broadway for over a year and then was turned into a 1957 film starring Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse. Henry Lascoe, Leon Belasco and David Opatoshu play three commissars and they do a couple of songs including Siberia. In the film, the commissars were played by Peter Lorre, Jules Munshin and Joseph Buloff. Lorre was a much bigger star than any of these other guys. Lascoe was the most experienced Broadway performer. Before Silk Stockings, he was in successful shows like Call Me Madam and Fanny. He also worked a lot on TV usually doing guest shots on shows like Perry Mason and The Naked City. He died in 1964 at age 52. Belasco began his film career in the late 30s. He usually played temperamental and overbearing Russians in films like Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion and Can-Can. He also led a band that introduced The Andrews Sisters. Later on he worked a lot on TV until his 1988 death. Star Trek fans will remember Opatoshu as Anan 7 in the classic episode A Taste of Armageddon. But he began his career in the New York Yiddish Theater in the late 30s. His most notable films were Torn Curtain and Exodus. He appeared a lot on TV until his 1996 death. The original cast of Silk Stockings is available on CD. Beware of poor quality European versions. This cover is for the original RCA recording. Here's a video of Henry Lascoe, Leon Belasco and David Opatoshu performing Siberia from the musical Silk Stockings.
Saturday, May 07, 2016
Album:First Name Initial: All Her Chart Hits And More
Annette Funicello is best probably best known for her days as a Mouseketeer on The Mickey Mouse Club and then later in the Beach Party movies. So it's not surprising that Walt Disney tried to turn her into a pop star. Tall Paul was Annette's biggest hit. She was born Oct. 22, 1942 in Utica, NY but she moved with her family to California at age four. I guess the key event in Annette's life was when she was 12 years old performing at a dance recital. Walt Disney was in attendance and he made her a Mouseketeer on The Mickey Mouse show. There was resentment at first because Annette didn't have to audition. But she was a big reason the show was successful. Annette was getting 6,000 letters a month. She appeared in several Disney shows and she starred in the serial Walt Disney Presents Annette that ran on The Mickey Mouse Club. When she sang How Will I Know My Love on the show and the single charted, Disney knew he had to try to turn Annette into a pop singer. Annette was reluctant because she didn't look at herself as a singer. But she went along with it and the single Tall Paul reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1959. Tall Paul was written by Dick and Bob Sherman and Bob Roberts. The Sherman Brothers were Disney staff songwriters who would go on to win Oscars for Mary Poppins. The record was produced and arranged by veteran Disney musical director Tutti Camarata. He worked for Disney from 1956 to 1972. Annette always credited him with much of her success in music. Some of Annette's other songs like O Dio Mio and Pineapple Princess charted but Tall Paul was her biggest hit. Even as Annette grew up and starred with Frankie Avalon in those Beach Party movies, she continued to record for Disney until 1965. Disney has released an Annette CD. But this 2CD comp from the reissue label Jasmine does a better job of covering Annette's early recordings. Annette raised her family in the 70s. And then she reunited with Avalon in the 1987 film Back To The Beach. In 1992, Annette announced that she suffered from multiple sclerosis. Her health deteriorated and she died on Apr. 8, 2013 at age 70. Here's Annette performing Tall Paul on the Dick Clark Beech Nut Show 1959.
Friday, May 06, 2016
Here's the match video for Angela Lee vs Mei "VV Mei" Yamaguchi from today's ONE Championship show in Singapore. This is for what they are calling an Atomweight Championship. But the contracted weight is 52kg which is actually Strawweight. Angela is Canadian but she trains in Singapore. So she is billed as a home town fighter. Mei is a very tough fighter. But she's a legit Atomweight. She has fought at 48kg for the last few years. I thought the size advantage would be a big factor. ONE does not use the ten point must system. They score the fight as a whole. But I will score the fight using the ten point must system just because that's the world standard. And they didn't announce the scores at the end of the fight. Mei gets a takedown in round one but Angela rolls through and winds up on top. She maintains the advantage. Angela attempts a guillotine but she never applies it properly. I thought she held on to it too long and could have tired herself out. I scored round one 10-9 for Angela. In round two, Angela tripped Mei but Mei wound up on top. She got some ground and pound. Angela attempted submissions for the bottom but Mei defended very well. I scored round two 10-9 for Mei. Mei continued on the offensive in round three. She scored a knockdown and then got top position. But she tried too hard for submissions and she looked very tired by the end of the round. So I scored round three 10-9 for Mei but but I didn't think she had anything left. And that's what happened. Angela came back in the last two rounds. The rounds were very similar. Angela got top position, attempted unsuccessful submissions but she did enough to win the final two rounds 10-9. So I scored the fight 48-47 for Angela. She deserves a lot of credit for coming back in the final two rounds and for taking advantage of Mei tiring herself out. Of course that was a big mistake but it could have gone the other way. Check out the video for yourself!
Song:Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg
Album:Now & Forever: The Hits
TLC was one of the most popular groups of the 90s. Though they went on to have several number one hits, Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg was their very first top ten hit. It set the stage for success. TLC was formed in 1990 in Atlanta. Producer Ian Burke and his teen client Crystal Jones wanted to form a female version of the very popular group Bell Biv Devoe. Crystal put out a call for two girls to form the group with her. That call was answered by Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins and rapper Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes. The group was called 2nd Nature and they started working with producer Jermaine Dupri. Then Tionne got an audition with Perri "Pebbles" Reid. Pebbles was a successful recording artist and she was married to LaFace Records co-owner Antonio "LA" Reid. Pebbles renamed the group TLC-Skee. TLC was the initials of the three girls. They auditioned for Reid. He liked Tionne and Lisa but he wanted to replace Crystal. Crystal claims the reason for that was she wanted her lawyer to look over the contract before signing. Considering the shenanigans that would follow TLC, that's probably true. Pebbles became the group's manager. Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas was a dancer for LaFace artist Damian Dame. Then the girls were given the nicknames so the name TLC could be used. TLC worked with several producers on the 1991 debut CD Ooooooohh...On The TLC Tip including LA Reid, Babyface and Daryl Simmons. But the guy they really seemed to click with was Dallas Austin. Austin had worked for Motown and he produced much of Boyz II Men's debut album. He wrote and produced five songs on the album including Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg. It reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. The video did a great job of establishing TLC's image and musical style featuring Lisa's rapping. Tionne and Rozonda were OK but not great singers. What fans really bought into was TLC's complete package. Problems began when Tionne was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia. Concerts were cancelled when she was hospitalized. But they continued to have success with subsequent albums. The other high profile thing was when Lisa got into an argument with boyfriend Andre Rison of the Atlanta Falcons and set fire to all his shoes and burned down the house. TLC wanted out of their management deal with Pebbles. She kind of agreed to that but TLC declared bankruptcy in 1995. Now you know why Crystal wanted her lawyer to read the contract. In the end TLC renegotiated their deal with LaFace but by that time Lisa was getting restless and wanted to go solo. She recorded an album that was never released in the US. And of course as we all know, Lisa died in a 2002 car crash. You can get all of TLC's hits on this budget comp. Here's the video for Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg by TLC.
Thursday, May 05, 2016
Here's the video of episode 3 of The Ultimate Fighter 23. This features the first women's match of the series. The only notable thing on last week's episode was that Helen Harper was suffering from bronchitis and she passed out in the kitchen. On this week's episode, she hurts her elbow during training. So she continues to have problems. At the end of last week's show Tatiana Suarez of Team Claudia was chosen to face JJ Aldrich of Team Joanna. Leading up to that, we were shown training sessions. A couple of the guys had a donut eating contest. Anything to fend off boredom. And of course they show us Joanna "bullying" Claudia. And I have to remind you the show is edited to make Joanna look like that. I know they hate each other. We don't need to be bludgeoned over the head with it. I hadn't seen Tatiana fight before but she's much bigger than JJ. Wrestling is her specialty. We also learn she is a cancer survivor which no doubt makes her even tougher. I saw JJ in Invicta and I wasn't that impressed with her. She trains with Rose Namajunas in Colorado. The two fighters are the same height so it's striking how much larger Tatiana looks. Tatiana scores a takedown in round one. She's not able to finish but she won the round 10-9. In round two, Tatiana gets another takedown and this time she is able to finish with a rear naked choke. We'll see how Tatiana does in the next round. She looked great or maybe JJ isn't that good. Enjoy the video!
The Ultimate Fighter - S23E03 Team Joanna vs... by xstepsd
The Ultimate Fighter - S23E03 Team Joanna vs... by xstepsd
Song:Yo Me Llamo Cumbia
Folk singer Toto La Momposina is a legend in her native Colombia. She has had success in the US because Peter Gabriel signed her to his Real World label and she toured his WOMAD concert circuit. She was born Sonia Bazanta Vides Aug. 1, 1940 in Bolivar, Colombia. She grew up in a family of musicians. Her father was a drummer and her mother was a singer and a dancer. So that's where she learned the traditions of Colombian music. She performed with her parents until she went out on her own in 1968. Toto first recorded in the 80s when she was living in France. She moved back to Colombia in 1987. I guess the turning point for Toto was when Peter Gabriel signed her to his Real World label and she joined his WOMAD concert tour. Since then she has gotten a lot more international acclaim and she continues to tour with her band featuring her children and grandchildren. Yo Me Llamo Cumbia is from Toto's 2009 CD La Bodega. It was nominated for a Latin Grammy. Her latest CD Tambolero was released last year on Real World. This kind of music is not for everyone. But as I said, she's a legend in Colombia and she's been performing for 60 years. Here's Toto La Momposina performing Yo Me Llamo Cumbia at a WOMAD show in Reading, England.
Wednesday, May 04, 2016
Album:The Complete Recordings: Master Takes
Sax player Harold "Tina" Brooks had a brief career at Blue Note in the late 50s. The problem was three of his four albums weren't released until years after his death. And his career was cut short by heroin addiction. His music is worth checking out. He was born June 7, 1932 in Fayetteville, NC. Tina or Teeny was a childhood nickname. His brother David "Bubba" Brooks played sax for Bill Doggett for many years. His family moved to New York City in 1944 and Brooks began playing local clubs in the early 50s. He played with Sonny Thompson and Lionel Hampton and then trumpeter Little Benny Harris recommended him to Blue Note producer Alfred Lion. Brooks appeared on albums by Jimmy Smith and Kenny Burrell. And he also recorded four albums as a leader. Minor Move was his first album in 1958. Musicians are Lee Morgan on trumpet, Sonny Clark on piano, Doug Watkins on bass and Art Blakey on drums. The album sat in the Blue Note vault until it was released in Japan in 1980 and then Blue Note released it on CD in 2000. This is now out of print but last year Parlophone in England released a Complete Recordings CD. Three of Brooks' four albums went unreleased when they were recorded. So he never got the opportunity to see if he was viable as a leader. Nobody knows why this happened to Brooks but speculation is Lion didn't like Brooks possibly because of his disheveled appearance due to his heroin addiction. His music is great so it wasn't that. Brooks also recorded with Howard McGhee, Freddie Hubbard, Jackie McLean and Freddie Redd. He never recorded after 1961. Brooks health deteriorated as his heroin addiction got worse. He died of liver failure on Aug. 13, 1974 at age 42. Here's a video of Minor Move by the Tina Brooks Quintet.