Sunday, February 25, 2018
Check out today's edition of my podcast on Anchor. I review last night's UFC women's matches and I also preview tonight's WWE Elimination Chamber show. and a Bianca Belair update. If you have any comments or questions, you can leave them on the blog or an audio message on Anchor. Check it out.
Here's the match video of Angela Hill vs Maryna Moroz from last night's UFC show in Atlanta. This fight went as I expected. Angela is a kickboxer. She has no ground game. Maryna is a boxer and so is her husband. The difference was Angela landed more punches and got the unanimous decision. Maryna threw a lot of punches but most of them didn't land. She used a very similar strategy when she beat Danielle Taylor in 2016. But Angela is more aggressive than Danielle so it didn't work. And then she didn't change her strategy and that's why she lost. I guess her attempt to try and look busy without doing anything is an attempt to fool the judges. It's not a strategy that I think fighters should use. I still don't think Angela is an elite fighter. But I guess this win will give her the opportunity to prove herself against better competition. Enjoy the video!
Here's the match video of Marion Reneau vs Sara McMann from last night's UFC show in Orlando. The thing I was wondering about was if Sara's move to Team Alpha Male would improve her. And after this fight, the answer is no. She still does things that I didn't like about her since she started MMA. And at age 37, it doesn't look like she can change. Marion is 40 years old as the UFC kept telling us. I'd like her a lot better if she was consistent. And we saw the flaws of both fighters in this fight. Sara took control in round one and pounded Marion. But she didn't try to finish and the same thing happened when Sara lost to Miesha Tate. Sara won round one 10-9 but by the end of the round, the tide had turned. In round two, Marion knocked Sara loopy with a hard shot. Then she took her down and got the win with a triangle choke. The Bantamweight division is weak right now so I guess Marion could get a title shot. I don't think she's consistent enough. I dunno about Sara. She has the physical tools but she hasn't learned from her own mistakes. I have always thought she was overrated because of the Olympic medal. I still believe that. Enjoy the video!
Here's the match video of Jessica Andrade vs Tecia Torres from last night's UFC show in Orlando. It's possible that the winner of this fight is in line for a Strawweight title shot. Tecia likes to dart in and out and that's one of the things that makes her a points fighter. I was wondering how she would handle Jessica's constant pressure. And the answer is she didn't handle it very well. Tecia started out OK and I thought she won round one 10-9. But the tide had turned by the end of the round and Jessica controlled the other two rounds. The only thing she wasn't able to do was get a finish. Jessica won by unanimous decision. I don't know if she will get the next title shot. there are a couple of upcoming fights that play into that. So we just have to wait and see. Jessica sure made a good case for herself. Enjoy the video!
Song:Sugar, We're Goin' Down
Album:Believers Never Die: Their Greatest Hits
The 2005 album Under The Cork Tree was the breakthrough album for punk emo band Fall Out Boy. Sugar, We're Goin' Down was their first hit single. They went on hiatus in 2009 and their return has been very successful. Fall Out Boy is from the Chicago suburb of Willmette, IL. Pete Wentz had been in several Chicago punk bands in the 90s. But he wasn't getting anywhere and in 2001 he decided to start a band with Joe Trohman. Trohman met Patrick Stump at a bookstore and he joined. They tried out several drummers but eventually settled on Patrick Hurley. Fall Out Boy was a character in The Simpsons. They released a couple of EPs and eventually signed with Island Records. The idea was for their 2003 CD Take This To Your Grave to be released on the small Fueled By Ramen label. And if it did well, and it was certified Gold, Fall Out Boy would graduate to Island. So Under The Cork Tree was on Island. The album was produced by Everclear producer Neal Avron. They started recording in Nov. 2004 and then it was delayed when Wentz attempted suicide in Feb. 2005. He returned after therapy. That probably helped the record. Wentz writes all of the lyrics. Stump writes the music. Sugar, We're Goin' Down was the first single and it reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. That and the second single Dance, Dance propelled Under The Cork Tree to 2XPlatinum certification. Sugar, We're Goin' Down has been described as the most listened to emo sing of all time. The kid in the video with the antlers is played by The Virgins lead singer Donald Cumming. At this point, Wentz got into a relationship with pop singer Ashlee Simpson. So that made Fall Out Boy more than just a pop band. Their 2007 album Infinity On High was certified Platinum so it was also successful. And the single This Ain't A Scene, It's An Arms Race reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. They began to have problems while recording the 2008 album Folie a Deux. Stump and Wentz were quarreling and Frohman and Hurley wanted more say in the band's music. The album was not as successful as the other two. And they would get booed onstage while performing songs from Folie a Deux. Stump decided that Fall Out Boy needed a break and the others agreed. This comp CD was released at that time. Wentz divorced Simpson and he went back into therapy for a prescription drug addiction. Stump got married and lost 60 pounds. He also released a failed solo album in 2012. Fall Out Boy reformed and released the album Save Rock and Roll in 2013. They just released the album Mania last month. They aren't as successful as they were but Fall Out Boy is still a successful concert draw. Here's the video for Sugar, We're Goin' Down by Fall Out Boy.
Saturday, February 24, 2018
Many of you are probably not aware that I trained in radio broadcasting years ago. A podcast is something I wanted to do for a while. But many of the podcast publishers are clunky and not that easy to use. Yesterday I came across Anchor and not only is it free but I can record using my phone. It actually sounds pretty good but I guess I have to turn down my TV when I record. What I plan to do with the podcast is do previews of upcoming shows and talk about subjects that I don't plant to write about. For example, on this episode, I talk about the history of women boxers trying MMA. I don't know how often I will record a podcast but I will do one tomorrow to preview WWE Elimination Chamber. The podcast is automatically published on all the major platforms including Apple and Google. And I have also embedded it on the blog. If you like, you can leave a voice comment. Maybe some of you have questions about fighters. I dunno. Anyone who wants to be a guest or wants me to appear on a podcast can contact me through the comments. I could add music but I just decided to get started and record. It's not perfect but I'm happy with it and I am open to suggestions. Listen and enjoy!
Song:Nothing Ever Happened
Album:Microcastle/Weird Era Continued
Deerhunter is an experimental rock band from Atlanta that have been around since 2001. They have had enough success to hang around but their music is not mainstream. Deerhunter is led by lead singer Bradford Cox. He's very tall and skinny which is the result of the genetic disease Marfan Syndrome. He formed Deerhunter in 2001 with keyboard player Moses Archuleta. The band name was chosen by drummer Dan Walton who didn't remain. Cox didn't care about the name because the band was not supposed to last. But they started doing shows and eventually released a couple of EPs and an album. They finally signed with Kranky Records and released the 2005 CD Cryptograms. Meanwhile they were having problems with guitarist Colin Mee who wasn't showing up to gigs. Nothing Ever Happened is from the 2007 CD Microcastle which got some airplay on alt rock radio. You can get it on a twofer with the 2009 album Weird Era Continued. Deerhunter was forced on hiatus when Cox was struck by a car in 2014. But they returned and their latest CD Fading Frontier was released in 2015. As I said, Deerhunter is not a mainstream band but they do have a loyal following. Here's Deerhunter performing Nothing Ever Happens in 2008.
Friday, February 23, 2018
Camila Cabello rose to fame as a member of the girl group Fifth Harmony. Since leaving the group in 2016, she released a solo album and the single Havana topped the charts. So far so good. She was born Mar. 3, 1997 in Cojimar, Eastern Havana, Cuba but she grew up in Miami. Her mother is Cuban and her father is Mexican. She left high school after grade 9 to pursue a singing career. Camila auditioned for Simon Cowell's TV talent show X Factor. She was eliminated but was brought back to be part of the girl group Fifth Harmony. They finished third but Cowell signed them to his Syco label. They released a couple of albums which did OK but then Camila left in Dec. 2016 to go solo. Camila told E! News that she planned to remain with Fifth Harmony and record solo. But they decided not to have her in the group and continue without her. The whole thing is not surprising when X Factor likes to take strangers and turn them into groups. Apparently she wasn't getting along with the other girls. And when she released the successful single I Know What You Did Last Summer with Shawn Mendes, I guess the writing was on the wall. So she started working on her debut solo album. The album was produced mostly by Canadian Adam "Frank Dukes" Feeney who started as a teen DJ in Toronto and got his big break with rapper Lloyd Banks. He has also worked with Drake among others. Originally the plan was to record a straight pop album. But when Havana topped the charts, Feeney decided to discard a lot of what was already recorded and incorporate Camila's Cuban influences. The video for Havana is pretty funny featuring this guy LeJuan James as the grandma, Noah Centineo of The Fosters as the boy and Lele Pons as her friend Bella. Pharrell Williams is credited as one of the songwriters. It looks like he brought in other songwriters to work on the song. Young Thug only appears briefly. The album was finally released last month. She is beginning her first world tour next month. It's too early to tell if Camila will be a flash in the pan or have a long career. I think those Cuban influences will serve her well in the long run as she could stand out in the crowd. Here's the video for Havana featuring Young Thug.
Thursday, February 22, 2018
Album:The Complete Motown Singles Vol. 11A: 1971
Though most music fans should not know the name Gordon Staples, you have heard him on many Motown songs of the 60s. Staples was a violinist and concertmaster for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. So he was the leader of any string orchestra that you heard on a Motown hit. Of course this partnership ended when Motown moved from Detroit to Los Angeles in 1969. So as a thank you for all his hard work, Motown owner Berry Gordy allowed Staples to record an album. The album was called Strung Out and it was released in 1970. The title song was released as a single. Most of the songs on the album including Strung Out were written and produced by veteran Motown arranger Paul Riser. Riser started out as a trombonist in the Motown house band The Funk Brothers. He arranged strings on hundreds of Motown songs. Though they aren't credited, The Funk Brothers play on this record. Dennis Coffey's trademark guitar is fairly obvious on Strung Out. Some of the music from this album was used in Fred Williamson's 1974 film Mean Johnny Barrows. That was a few years later so I assume Williamson got Gordy's permission to use it. The album Strung Out is available on CD but too expensive. But you can get Strung Out on this 6CD box set which is part of the complete history of Motown singles. Of course Staples returned to his job at the Detroit Symphony and he turned up on albums occasionally. I know he worked with the legendary gospel group The Clark Sisters. Here's a video for Strung Out by Gordon Staples and the String Thing.
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Song:You Only Live Twice
Album:Best Of Bond...James Bond: 50th Anniversary Collection
Of course we all know that Nancy Sinatra is Frank Sinatra's daughter and she had some hits in the 60s like These Boots Are Made For Walking. But you may not know that she sang the theme for the 1967 James Bond film You Only Live Twice. It turned out to be one of Nancy's final hits. I think it's fair to say that she was at the end of her mid-60s chart run. She was doing a lot of TV specials at the time. John Barry wrote You Only Live Twice with Leslie Bricusse. Of course Barry wrote most of the James Bond scores of the 60s. It was always a negotiation with producer Cubby Broccoli about who would get to sing the theme. The first singer to record You Only Live Twice was Julie Rogers. She had a big hit in England with The Wedding in 1964. But she was unknown in the US. Then they tried Lorraine Chandler who recorded a Shirley Bassey version. I guess Shirley wasn't available. Broccoli asked Frank Sinatra to sing the song. He suggested Nancy. Barry wanted Aretha Franklin. When Nancy was in the recording studio, she asked "Are you sure you don't want Shirley Bassey?" Obviously Nancy had no illusions about her singing ability. She says she was very nervous and they did 30 takes. The song plays over the opening and closing credits. It reached #44 on the Billboard Hot 100. It did well in England at #3. Lee Hazelwood recorded his own version of the song with Nancy. Obviously you will want the film version. The soundtrack for You Only Live Twice is available on CD. But I like these James Bond comp CDs. This one is available as a budget CD. As I said, this record was near the end of Nancy's successful run on the charts. Here's Nancy Sinatra performing You Only Live Twice as it played over the opening credits of the film.
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Song:Honky Tonk Badonkadonk
Album:The Definitive Greatest Hits: Til The Last Shot's Fired
Neo traditional country singer Trace Adkins had a good run from 1996 until he switched record companies in 2010. Honky Tonk Badonkadonk was one of his biggest hits in 2005. He was born Jan. 13, 1962 in Sarepta, LA. His dad taught him to play guitar. Adkins was in a gospel group in high school. He was to play football at Louisiana Tech but a knee injury ended that. He left school and worked on an oil rig among other things. Then he started to play local clubs and he moved to Nashville in the early 90s. Record companies started showing interest in him until Scott Hendricks signed him to Capitol Nashville in 1995. Hendricks produced most of Adkins' albums. Adkins had success from the start. His 1996 debut album Dreamin' Out loud was certified Platinum. His first number one country hit was (This Ain't) No Thinkin' Thing in 1997. His 2005 CD Songs About Me was certified 2XPlatinum so it is probably his most successful album. Honky Tonk Badonkadonk reached #2 on the Country Singles chart. The song was written by veteran singer songwriters Dallas Davidson, Randy Houser and Jamey Johnson. Johnson says they were watching a dancer in a club and Houser invented the word badonkadonk to describe her butt. After that, the song wrote itself. Though Hendricks usually produced Adkins, session guitarist Dann Huff produced this song. Adkins left Capitol for Toby Keith's Show Dog label in 2010 which is funny because the main criticism of Adkins is he sounds too much like Keith. Capitol released this 2CD comp after Adkins left. Adkins did OK at Show Dog but he left in 2013 and he now records for Broken Bow's Wheelhouse label. He released the album Something's Going On Mar. 2017. So he's still touring but he seems to be on the decline after a very good run. He may get more into acting as he has done that in the past. His most significant appearance was on a couple of seasons of Celebrity Apprentice. Last year he starred in the western Hickock with Luke Hemsworth and Kris Kristofferson. So he may already be transitioning to acting. Here's the video for Honky Tonk Badonkadonk by Trace Adkins.
Monday, February 19, 2018
Here's the fight video of Lucie Pudilova vs Sarah Moras from last night's UFC show in Austin, TX. Sarah is from Kelowna, BC. She was on TUF 18 but she has been injured a lot which is why we haven't seen much of her. She's good on the ground but her striking is terrible. Lucie is from the Czech Republic. She is a striker and she's terrible on the ground. So I don't believe either is an elite fighter. This fight centers around a very poor call by ref Jacob Montalvo. In round one, Sarah takes Lucie down and pounds her. I don't think she was going to finish but she was keeping busy. And then Montalvo inexplicably stands them up. Not only was it a terrible call but it may have changed the course of the fight. And that's the last thing refs should be doing. So they stood up and Lucie knocked Sarah down. Sarah tried to get an armbar from the bottom but no dice. I scored the round 10-9 for Sarah. The problem was Sarah was never able to get control of the fight again. One of her big flaws as pointed out by Jimmy Smith before the fight is she doesn't follow through properly on takedown attempts. This is something she needs to fix but I guess it isn't that easy to fix or she would have done it already. In the other two rounds, Lucie turned this flaw into top position. And the ironic thing is she did a lot of stalling but Montalvo wouldn't stand them up. Maybe Herb Dean needs to talk to him. Lucie was stalling because she is clueless on the ground. Of course Sarah is equally clueless on her feet. She has no head movement and she only throws one punch at a time. That's easy pickings for a kickboxer like Lucie. I scored the fight 29-28 for Lucie and she won by unanimous decision. But what if the ref never makes that call. That's not something I want to question after the fight. Check it out for yourself.
Song:Look In My Eyes
Album:Ultimate 60s Collection Vol. 1
Most doo wop fans are probably familiar with the classic Maybe by The Chantels. It was a top 20 hit in 1957 and is considered an all time classic. Their second top 20 hit Look In My Eyes isn't as well known probably because of personnel changes and it was on a different label. The original Chantels were lead singer Arlene Smith, Sonia Goring, Renee Minus, Jackie Landry and Lois Harris. They went to high school together in The Bronx. They were discovered by The Valentinos lead singer Richard Barrett and he got them a deal with George Goldner's End Records. Maybe reached #15 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1957. They released a few singles and an album. But when nothing caught on, End dropped them and then Arlene left to go solo in 1959. They continued as a four piece and they finally scored another hit with Look In My Eyes in 1961. Barrett still wrote and produced. It was released on Carlton Records and reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100. Despite the success, Carlton wouldn't let them record an album. So they left. The song isn't as durable as Maybe. You may have heard it on the soundtrack of Martin Scorsese's 1990 film Goodfellas. And you can get it on this 3CD various artists comp from Collectables. I think Arlene Smith still leads a version of The Chantels that tours the oldies circuit. And they were inducted into the Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame in 2010. Here's a video of Look In My Eyes by The Chantels.