Tuesday, June 15, 2021

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Mountain Man

Artist:Mountain Man


Album:Made the Harbor

If you like folk music with intricate harmonies, you may like the female trio Mountain Man. The 2010 album Made the Harbor was critically acclaimed but obviously it's not commercial music. Mountain Man are from Bennington, VT. Molly Sarle, Alexandra Sauser-Monnig and Amelia Meath met at Bennington College and started singing together. After self releasing a 2009 album, they signed with Partisan Records for the 2010 album Made the Harbor. Though the album was critically acclaimed, Mountain Man decided to disband. They went on tour with Feist as backup singers. Alexandra and Amelia worked with Nick Sanborn of the electropop act Sylvan Esso. Eventually Feist convinced Mountain Man to reform and they released the 2018 album Magic Ship on Warner's Nonesuch label. Also, Molly released the 2019 album Karaoke Angel. Amanda released the 2019 album Dawnbreaker as Daughter of Swords. Amelia continues to record with Sylvan Esso. They released an album in 2020. Made the Harbor is recommended to folk music fans and it is available as a budget CD. Here's Mountain Man performing River at The Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy, NY Nov. 11, 2010. 

Monday, June 14, 2021

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Zoey Stark and Sarray vs Jessi Kamea and Aliyah

Here's the match video of Zoey Stark and Sarray vs Jessi Kamea and Aliyah. This was taped at last night's NXT Takeover show. The WWE posted it on Youtube today. It's a basic enhancement match. No surprises here. They obviously like Zoey a lot or they wouldn't have her teaming with Sarray. I don't see any clear direction for Sarray yet. With all the releases, I always am asked about Aliyah. The WWE doesn't release wrestlers just because they are jobbers. They obviously think she is worth keeping around as enhancement talent. Because of her size, Jessi may have more potential. I don't know why Robert Stone still works there. The match is OK but nothing special. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Randy Houser

Artist:Randy Houser

Song:Like A Cowboy

Album:How Country Feels

Randy Houser had success first as a songwriter and then with the 2008 album Anything Goes and several country hit singles especially Boots On. But his second album went nowhere and he switched to a new label. That revived his career and his 2013 album How Country Feels did well. Houser's problem was due to record company ownership changes. After success as the writer of Honky Tonk Badonkadonk, Houser signed with Toby Keith's Showdog label and the 2008 album Anything Goes was successful. Keith sold Showdog to Universal and Houser's 2010 album They Call Me Cadillac didn't do nearly as well. What happens in many cases is Showdog as a small label were more invested in Houser's success. When he was moved to Universal South, he was just another guy. The new regime wasn't invested in Houser. They didn't promote him. Houser left Universal and signed with Broken Bow's Stoney Creek label for the 2013 album How Country Feels. He's on a small label again and they promoted the album aggressively. He had a total of five top ten country hits from the album. And the album was certified Gold. Like A Cowboy reached #9 on the Country Singles chart. Houser wrote the song with Brice Long. Long was briefly on Columbia in 2005 and he currently concentrates on songwriting. The album was produced by Derek George from Bryan White's band. Since then Houser has released two albums. The latest is Magnolia in 2019. He says he is much happier with Stoney Creek because the label is small and they give him personal service. He was just another guy at Universal. Here's the video for Like A Cowboy by Randy Houser. The actors are Caitlin Leahy, Timothy V. Murphy and William Shockley.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Pannie Kianzad vs Alexis Davis

Here's the match video of Pannie Kianzad vs Alexis Davis from UFC 263 in Arizona. This fight is at Bantamweight. Pannie is from Denmark but she trains in Sweden. She was in TUF 28 for Featherweights. But she prefers Bantamweight because it gives her a size advantage. Alexis is from Port Colborne, ON but she trains at Gracie Barra in San Jose,CA. She has fought at Flyweight and Bantamweight. So Pannie has that size advantage. At one time Alexis would have been a big name in WMMA. But she's not who she used to be. At age 37, she could be nearing retirement. The fight was nothing special but I thought Pannie won all three rounds. Alexis may have thrown more punches but Pannie landed more punches. And I don't understand why Alexis didn't take it to the ground. Her coach told her to do that. So I scored it 30-27 for Pannie. Two of the three judges scored it the same and the third scored it 29-28. During round two, Joe Rogan made a big deal about Alexis throwing calf kicks. What he didn't and should have said was that though calf kicks can be effective, judges don't score them as significant. I think some fans were surprised that none of the judges scored round two for Alexis. He should have explained that. In the end it didn't matter as Pannie won the fight. And then in her post fight interview, Pannie went on about watching Alexis fight when she was younger. Oy vey! Enjoy the video! 

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Lauren Murphy vs Joanne Calderwood

Here's the match video of Lauren Murphy vs Joanne Calderwood from UFC 263 in Arizona. The winner of this fight gets a shot at Valentina Shevchenko's UFC Flyweight Championship. Both are veteran midcard fighters. Lauren has been on a winning streak since training at Fortis MMA in Houston with Saif Saud. Joanne is from Scotland but she trains with John Wood at Syndicate MMA in Las Vegas. Both fighters are known for not doing enough to win fights. So I expected a close but not very good fight. Round one was the key round as two of the judges scored it 10-9 for Lauren and one scored it 10-9 for Joanne. I scored it 9-9 because I didn't think either of them did enough. I am aware that judges don't score fights that way. The other two rounds were easier to score. Lauren won round two with what I would call lay and pray. She got a takedown, maintained top position but did nothing to advance her position. Maybe the ref should have stood them up. I scored it 10-9 for Lauren and so did all three judges. It was not close to a 10-8 round. Both coaches yelled at their fighters between rounds for not showing any urgency. I guess that woke Joanne up because she was a lot better in round three. I scored it 10-9 for Joanne and so did all three judges. So I scored it a 28-28 draw and Lauren won by split decision. But nothing Lauren did in this fight made me think she had any hope of beating Valentina. Joanne needed to get off to a better start and she didn't do that. And Lauren needed to take advantage of that and she didn't do that either. They showed me nothing. And I guess they showed their coaches nothing because they yelled at them. Enjoy the video! 

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Mickey Calin

Artist:Mickey Calin


Album:West Side Story: Original Broadway Cast Recording

Most film fans should be familiar with actor Michael Callan in films like Gidget Goes Hawaiian. But he started out on Broadway as a dancer and as Mickey Calin he played Riff in the 1958 musical West Side Story. He was born Martin Calineff Nov. 22, 1935 in Philadelphia. As a teen he performed in local clubs. He moved to New York and changed his name to Mickey Calin. He appeared in the 1954 Broadway musical The Boyfriend and the 1955 musical Catch a Star. He also appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show with his dance partner Grace Genteel. Then he won the role of Riff in West Side Story. Cool was one of two songs where Calin sang lead. And he and The Jets danced. He was spotted by Columbia Pictures talent scout Joyce Selznick (David O. Selznick's niece) and Calin signed a seven year contract with Columbia. They changed his name to Michael Callan. At the time Columbia signed a bunch of young actors that they were going to turn into stars. Most of them didn't make it. Callan had a long career but he was never a big star. His first film for Columbia was the 1959 western They Came to Cordura starring Gary Cooper. Callan was unable to appear in the film version of West Side Story because of his Columbia contract. His biggest films at the time were Gidget Goes Hawaiian (1961) and The New Interns (1964). He signed a new contract after that. He appeared in Cat Ballou. With his dancing talent, one would think Callan would turn up in a musical. Nope. His only musical appearance was in the 1968 ABC TV production of Kiss Me, Kate starring Robert Goulet and Carol Lawrence. Callan did TV guest shots for years and appeared in occasional films until his 2007 retirement. But before all that, he was Mickey Calin in West Side Story. Here's a video of Mickey Calin performing Cool from the 1958 Broadway musical West Side Story. 

Saturday, June 12, 2021

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Mansionair


Song:Astronaut (Something About Your Love)


The Australian group Mansionair has been described as alternative electronic music. After listening to them, I think fans of Electronic Dance Music (EDM) will like them. And the dance floor was where the 2019 album Shadowboxer had success. Mansionair is from Sydney, Australia. Lead singer Jack Froggatt was looking for someone to help him finish some songs he was working on. He met with producers Lachlan Bostock and Alex Nicholls and the sessions went so well, they decided to turn it into a group. Mansionair signed with Glassnote Records and they toured with Alt-J and Chvrches. After releasing a couple of singles and an EP, Mansionair's debut album Shadowboxer was released in 2019. They have had success in clubs and in Australia. Astronaut reached #44 on the US Rock Airplay chart. Nicholls produced most of the album. Fans of EDM should check them out. It looks Mansionair has a new album coming out as they have released a new single recntly and they are going on the road soon. Here's the video for Astronaut (Something About Your Love) by Mansionair. 

Friday, June 11, 2021

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Claressa Shields vs Brittney Elkin

Here's the match video of Claressa Shields vs Brittney Elkin from last night's PFL show in Atlantic City. There was unusual interest in this fight because Claressa is a boxing champ making her MMA debut. She is training at Jackson Wink in New Mexico. She's only doing MMA because there is no money in women's boxing. Brittney is not a good fighter but she actually won the first two rounds. This is because she was able to take Claressa down and stay on top for two rounds. She didn't really do anything. It was lay and pray. But Claressa was going to need a finish in round three. And she got it. She nailed Brittney with one shot and that was enough for Claressa to get a ground and pound finish. Brittney couldn't recover. I thought Claressa might let her off the hook. I understand why Brittney played it safe in top position. She must have thought she had the fight in the bag. But she should have tried to finish. It was a big mistake to not do that. If Claressa had trouble with Brittney, what will happen with someone better, never mind Kayla Harrison. One thing is for sure. She needs to work on her takedown defense. That could save her ass down the road. Enjoy the video! 

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Meiko Satomura vs Kay Lee Ray

 Here's the match video of Kay Lee Ray defending her NXT UK Women's Championship against Meiko Satomura from this week's episode of NXT UK. I thought a title change was likely. I thought they might do that a couple of months ago. The match is very good. It's worth watching. It really picked up down the stretch. I didn't like the commentary. It seemed overly hysterical at times. As the match progressed, I figured Meiko would win. When asked what Meiko would need to win, Nigel McGuiness said her finisher the Scorpio Rising. They saved that for the finish but used everything else. Typically, there were way too many false finishes. And I didn't like Meiko no selling four superkicks. But despite questionable booking decisions and the commentary, the match is worth watching. Congratulations to Meiko Satomura. The streamers at the end were a nice touch. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Madonna


Song:Into the Groove


Into the Groove would have been a #1 hit for Madonna in 1985 except it wasn't officially released as a single in North America so it was not eligible for the Billboard Hot 100. It is another Madonna song that qualifies as a discography orphan. The song was used in the film Desperately Seeking Susan but it wasn't on the soundtrack album. Of course that film was Madonna's breakthrough as an actress. Madonna wrote and recorded a song for the film titled Desperately Seeking Susan. I guess it was supposed to be used over the credits. It wasn't used and it doesn't look like it was ever released. Madonna and her then boyfriend Stephen Bray recorded a demo for Into the Groove that was intended for the teen pop singer Cheyne. But she instead decided to use Into the Groove in Desperately Seeking Susan. The video for Into the Groove was clips from the movie. Of course MTV played it in heavy rotation and then it was a radio hit. But because the song was never released as a single, it was not eligible for the Billboard Hot 100. Into the Groove was added to the international reissue of the Like A Virgin album. But it's not on the original album. Warner Bros. decided against releasing Into the Groove as a single as they were concerned about oversaturation.. It was a hit anyway. Later Billboard named it Dance Single of the Decade. And in a 2003 fan poll of Madonna's best singles, Into the Groove placed third. Madonna thought the song was "dorky" but acknowledged that fans seem to like it. You can get Into the Groove on this 2CD comp. Here's the video for Into the Groove by Madonna. 

Thursday, June 10, 2021

The Big Topic in WMMA

UFC review and PFL, Invicta and UFC preview 

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Afrika Bambaataa

Artist:Afrika Bambaataa

Song:Planet Rock

Album:The Dance Album

Though he faded quickly, Afrika Bambaataa's 1982 single Planet Rock was very important in the early development of hip hop. Bambaataa has had recent notoriety due to sexual abuse allegations. That doesn't diminish the importance of Planet Rock. He was born Lance Taylor Apr. 17, 1957 in The Bronx, NY. His parents were from Jamaica and Barbados. His mom had an extensive record collection and she was a political activist. Bambaataa was in the gang The Black Spades. He was a warlord and did a lot of recruiting. An essay contest win earned him a trip to Africa. He also watched the 1964 film Zulu. And the solidarity shown by the Zulus inspired Taylor to change his name to Afrika Bambaataa and his group was called Universal Zulu Nation. He got into hosting parties to recruit new members. Supposedly Bambaataa was the first to use the term Hip Hop. He formed a couple of groups with DJs, rappers and dancers. Soulsonic Force was the group that recorded Planet Rock in 1982. The featured DJs were Mr. Big, Pow Won and Emcee G.L.O.B.E. Bambaataa signed with Tommy Boy. Planet Rock came out of Bambaataa and producer Arthur Baker's mutual admiration of the German electronic music icons Kraftwerk. They created an electronic backing track and Emcee G.L.O.B.E. wrote the song lyrics. Guitarist John Robie was responsible for the hard edge of the song. Planet Rock was a big R&B and dance hit. It reached #48 on the Billboard Hot 100. Bambaataa was only under contract to Tommy Boy for singles. So there was no album until 1986. You can get it on this Charly Records budget comp. Though Bambaataa would never s core another big hit, Planet Rock is considered today as an important building block of hip hop. BTW, it's not unusual for rappers to score one big hit and disappear. Bambaataa recorded for Tommy Boy and EMI but he had faded into obscurity by the early 90s. His name would resurface in 2016 with child abuse allegations. Though Bambaataa denied the allegations at first, he eventually acknowledged them and left Universal Zulu Nation. Apparently his behavior was widely known in the neighborhood. I guess it's what is called an "open secret". Due to statute of limitations, Bambaataa cannot be prosecuted. We may see civil lawsuits. Bambaataa is through. And it's not like he had made important music other than Planet Rock. But that record is important. Here's the video for Planet Rock by Afrika Bambaataa.


Wednesday, June 09, 2021

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Susan Egan

Artist:Susan Egan

Song:I Won't Say (I'm In Love)

Album:Disney's Hercules: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack

Susan Egan is a stage actress best known for starring as Belle in Disney's 1994 Broadway musical adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. She was also the voice of Megara in the 1997 film Hercules. I Won't Say was her big song and probably the best known song from the film. Susan does a lot of voice work. She was born Feb. 18, 1970 in Seal Beach, CA. She studied dance and singing as a child. While attending UCLA, she toured with The Young Americans and in touring productions of Bye Bye Birdie and State Fair. This led to her winning the role of Belle in Disney Broadway musical Beauty and the Beast. Then she got the role of Megara in the 1997 Disney animated film Hercules. The songs were written by Alan Menken and David Zippel. I Won't Say was Susan's big song in the film. It has an early 60s Phil Spector vibe. Menken says he was influenced by songs he wrote for Little Shop of Horrors. It was probably the most popular song from the film. Susan also appeared in the 1999 made for video sequel Hercules: Zero to Hero and the 2001 made for video film Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure. Other voice work includes the animated series Steven Universe as Rose Quartz. She co-starred in the WB TV series Nikki. Susan has been doing a one woman cabaret style show in recent years and she has recorded albums to support this. Here's Susan Egan performing I Won't Say (I'm In Love) from her home as a Disney Sing-A-Long May 7, 2020.