Friday, April 9, 2021

Music Review //
GETTERS
"Blindsided"


While GETTERS have created a music video for the song "Blindsided" which should be in the Music Video Hall of Fame, that shouldn't distract from the fact that this song is also easy on the ears.  "Blindsided" treats the listener to that blend of pop and rock which comes out sounding like What Made Milwaukee Famous and to some extent AJR.   This is a song which I could easily hear on the radio and not just on the rock station but crossing over to the pop stations as well, much like that AJR song "Bang" does.

Along with this song- which will get stuck in your head- comes a music video which is an animated work of art.  The video takes us through several different stages of what looks like a video game, though if this was actually made as an app I would definitely download and play it.  There is something modern about the animation in the way which Cartoon Network shows look after a certain period (When they switched from the Cartoon Cartoons era of "Johnny Bravo", for example, to "Regular Show") but there is also something a little bit twisted within the animation as well, making me think of "Liquid Television".

As someone who has watched every episode of shows like "Adventure Time" and "Steven Universe" this video is perfect to me.   It has a video game theme, sure, but if it also somehow became an animated series I would be into it.  There are also these odd bits the longer the video goes on- like a fish with a chainsaw mouth- which make me think of "Monty Python".   What I think perhaps most importantly needs to be stated about this video though is that it is created in a time when a lot of artists either don't make music videos (or don't try) because there isn't what I remember as being an MTV growing up.

When I think of animated music videos of course I think of Radiohead's "Paranoid Android" first and that was really groundbreaking stuff back in 1997, but in some way you have to think that it was also done for the attention as music videos were so abundant.   If I simply heard "Blindsided" on the radio, I would instantly become a fan of the song and want to know more about GETTERS.   But then, to find out that their music video for this song was also this masterpiece, it just makes me love them that much more.  

Music Review //
Ava Della Pietra
"Home"


"Home" can be heard through an exclusive premiere with Parade Magazine by clicking here.

More information on Ava Della Pietra can be found at: https://www.avadellapietra.com/


There is a slight chance that since the start of Disney+ I've been watching entirely too many Disney animated movies, but "Home" by Ava Della Pietra really reminds me of what I will refer to as Disney Pop.   The thing is, I grew up with a lot of great movies which had equally great soundtracks ("Aladdin" comes to mind) but this particular song reminds me more of something along the lines of the movie "Lilo & Stitch", partly because of the way the music sounds compared with that soundtrack and partly because the lyrics fit it so well.  (I will also accept this as part of the "Moana" soundtrack, so maybe it's a tropical island thing)

While I fully realize that there was in fact an animated film called "Home" (Though Dreamworks, not Disney) I somehow just don't see this song as part of that soundtrack as much because Ava Della Pietra just has that Disney magic.   It's a type of pop which gets in your head, but also has a certain amount of depth to it because you can really picture the song as it plays.  There would be clips of someone (whether it be a talking dog or just an animated human who is lost like Nemo) who is trying to find their home as a montage throughout this song, though they would also serve as reminders of the happy times and, hey, home is where you have been all along.  

It seems like the plot to many different movies but right now I'm unable to place just one of them.   Someone gets stuck somewhere by some circumstances, spends the whole movie trying to get home (or somewhere they feel is better) and then at the end come to the conclusion that their friends and family are where they are and they don't want to leave.  I feel that in this song.  I feel like it is a good way to help you find your home, but also it is a good way to just realize that wherever you are you might very well be where you are supposed to be right now.

I'm not sure there has ever been a time when I've so clearly seen a series of animated scenes play out before my eyes while listening to an upbeat song such as this.   The message within here is about reuniting children with their homes because of what I will call a "mess" (to keep it simple) at the border, but I do believe this song addresses it in a friendly way which makes it more open for discussion rather than people hearing an angry song and just dismissing it.  This also might somehow end up on a Disney movie soundtrack some day and if it does I would not be the least bit surprised.  I'd actually be quite pleased.  


Thursday, April 8, 2021

Music Review //
Thorin Loeks
"In This Place"


https://thorinloeks.bandcamp.com/album/in-this-place


Through a short intro comes the titular track on "In This Place"  I've read a lot about how people say that you shouldn't use "singer/songwriter" as a genre for various reasons but whenever I hear what can be broken down as a voice + acoustic guitar that will always be how I think of it.  Maybe you could think of this album by Thorin Loeks as being like the early days of Dashboard Confessional (before the full band) but with a bit more bass in the vocals.  It's a little less emo than that too and I would say leans more towards folk if anything.

There are some beats in here, strings too, and on the song "Open Sky" it really kicks in.  I enjoy the power of lyrics such as: "I just made a plan / to love my life / I messed up again / but I'll still try"  Sometimes all we can do is try, so we must continue on.  "Ice Age" makes me think of if that particular film was made by Disney while there are backing vocals on "Tonight" and that song makes me think of Eagle-Eye Cherry for some reason.   The song has beats and it just drives, so even though you might think of this as being a certain way for being acoustic it does tend to move more than what you would think of in terms of folk.

While some of these songs can take a turn for the lighter in some ways ("Let It Rain" for example is a nice one to just put on and zone out during, perhaps while watching it rain) the last two seem to be the most deep of them.  "With You" is a love song about how regardless of what happens, "I'll be there with you".   It sounds like the type of song people would play over a montage of happy photos at their wedding.   It really is quite moving and though I've said this is more folk than emo it doesn't mean that these songs remain free from feelings.

"In This Place" does take a lot out of me when I listen to it.  It's light in the acoustics but it's heavy in the depth of songs.   When you reach that last song, "All That's Left", you hear that voice which has been hypnotizing you for the past thirty or forty minutes and it just feels so final- so much like you have listened through to the end and went on this journey with Thorin Loeks.  But, it was more like you were being told a story throughout these songs and so you're not as affected as a listener but by the end you notice that Thorin Loeks is different than when the album first started and "All That's Left" is the detailed note as to why.  


Music Review //
Nonviolenze
"Matrix"
(Independent/Ahimsa Creations LLC)

 


When I first listened to the song "Matrix" I thought it had some qualities of the blues.  I thought it was along those same lines as Santana.   But then the more I listened to it I began to really hear how much it is just trippy rock n roll.   It has a huge influence of Pink Floyd to it, but when you begin to really break it down it is just vocals and the guitar which somehow makes it more psychedelic.

Thanks to Keanu Reeves we all kind of have an idea of what the Matrix would be like.   So when listening to this song by Nonviolenze it doesn't feel like too hard of a concept to grasp.   This is good because it keeps me grounded during the song as otherwise it could feel as if you might float away.   During this music video, squares of images- usually involving Nonviolenze singing and playing the guitar- appear in patterns across the screen.   This is very likely being done deliberately to enhance the otherwise trippy aspects of this song.   

While I do enjoy that this music video syncs up with the song perfectly- in the same way that you could imagine going to one of those laser light shows for Pink Floyd back in the '80's-  there is also this way about the song where it can be heard differently when on its own.  I suggest giving "Matrix" at least one listen when you are able to block out all distractions, are in the complete dark and can close your eyes and focus only on the sound and nothing else.   Upon doing that, this one just hits in a different way.

Listening to one song, seeing one music video, from an artist often leaves me with questions.   What would more songs like Nonviolenze sound like?  Are they all just voice + guitar or do other songs have the bass and drums in them as well?  Maybe to get really trippy we get some synth.   The way this song leaves everything open just shows how creative it is.  You don't know what to expect next from Nonviolenze, but that's okay because this is an experience enough to be satisfied and always wanting more.  

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Music Review //
BARBERA
"Stay"


https://open.spotify.com/album/56QrPWCd8cyOZG8lbvnk3i?si=smMyx2jkSWGYIlL1BFe6KA&nd=1


When I first listened to "Stay" by BARBERA the thing which immediately jumped out to me was how this song has pianos and beats together.   It has soul, but could it be described as R&B?  Could it simply be reduced to pop?  I'm not sure.  I feel like there are people who will try and place this song in either genre just to make it easier on themselves, but the way this song can have the same sounds to me as a cassette by New Kids On The Block did and at the same time so did Bobby Brown, it just goes to show you that sometimes you can't define something so easily.

The lyrics to "Stay" are about what the opposite of the title might suggest.   Rather than asking someone to stay, this song is about why neither person should stay.   It actually makes a lot of sense if you've ever been in a situation like this and I feel like I have for most of my life.   One of the reasons given for why they shouldn't stay with each other is that they do it "only cause we're scared to run away".   There is a lot of power in that thought.   There is a lot of honesty in the idea of am I doing this because I want to or am I doing it because it's the only way that I know.   These are questions I wish I asked myself more in my youth.

If you've never been in a relationship with another person where you felt like it was time to move on but didn't know how to exactly say it, then you can also relate this to other situations in your life.   Do you live at home with your parents still simply because it's easier than having to pay rent, but yet you constantly complain because your parents don't give you any privacy so you really should leave and go out on your own.   Is this about perhaps you working a job that is "safe" because you're too scared to go out and pursue your dreams?  It's been the plot to many movies, so I feel like everyone will be able to relate with this song somehow.

I really feel a deep connection with these lyrics.  I can't go into the full details of how deep it is because that's possibly better left for a therapist to hear.   If I can make one comparison here musically, BARBERA sounds a bit like Alessia Cara to me, which is something I will never mind saying.  "Here" (by Alessia Cara) remains such a huge part of my life, of my mood daily, and I think that in a similar way "Stay" will be the same.  If anything, I just wish I had heard this song twenty years ago, so if you're reading this go and listen to this song now and remember it forever.  


Music Review //
Eric Anders and Mark O'Bitz
"Searise"
(Baggage Room Records)

 



The sound of Eric Anders and Mark O'Bitz is on the softer side of rock.   There are pianos more than any other instrument present with the vocals.  This doesn't make for an easy point of comparison but in some ways it does make me think of Josh Groban or what is thought of as "Christian music" in the sense that it's music which church tells you it is okay to listen to.   Granted, "Searise" could have this spiritual way about it but the lyrics themselves don't ever specifically mention anything to do with The Bible so I wouldn't say the song was one of worship.  Calling it Christian music without the Christian makes it feel unholy but this song is all around easy on the ears.

Towards the back end of the song Evelyn Anders appears as singing vocals as well.   This pairing will remind the listener of something like She & Him or Of Monsters and Men.   I hear that "Little Talks" song on the radio a bit and I must admit I do enjoy it.   This also helps take the focus away from my thoughts of this being "Christian rock" and moves it more towards that pop rock and almost folk sound.  (Though you have to imagine a piano in place of acoustic guitar for the folk)  I think the key throughout "Searise" though is just that theme of melody because whether it's singing or piano it just feels so pure.

There is a music video which accompanies "Searise" and I firmly do believe that even if you do not care about this song based on the words which I am writing about it (or what you might have otherwise heard) you at least owe it to yourself to see this music video at least once.   It's animated in the sense that the images aren't real but they look pretty real.  And they move but they don't move all the way.  As an example, there's one image which sticks in my mind of some drowning.  This person is moving because they are falling down under the water, but most of the surrounding scene is still.   It's unique and I really enjoy it.  The music video is in itself a work of art.

One of the greatest things about music is that there is a song for just about any occasion and even more than that sometimes the song you want to hear isn't appropriate.   I think about how sometimes when people are happy they'll listen to angry metal.  So whether you want to just relax or do the opposite if you're that type of person, "Searise" is the perfect song for remaining calm.   But if you're able to, you can put this one on and clean your entire house.  It just depends on your mood but for me I like to think of this as a later a night song used to help me unwind at the end of a long day.  

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Music Review //
Jobbaloon
"The Invitation"


https://jobbaloon.bandcamp.com/album/the-invitation //


I really like the name Jobbaloon because even though it likely has some other meaning I'm not aware of it reminds me of something out of "Alice In Wonderland" and I love "Alice In Wonderland".   These songs are pretty far out too, which makes me think they could be something from that sort of place- Wonderland- as they don't hold to a lot of what you consider to be the common concepts of music right now.

One of the first things you might notice about these songs is that they aren't the standard verse/chorus/verse.   Some of them are closer to it, but for the most part these songs feel more like trips- like going from Point A to Point B- rather than stopping, going back and revisiting somewhere we've already been.   The words, the singing, can also be a lot of sounds but not actual words like "da da da" which is just something which makes it feel less and less traditional.  Though, again, a song such as "Aligned" can have a lot of words and feel more like a verse/chorus/verse song as well.

There are beats and acoustics.   There are spoken words and strings.   There are horns, there are keys.   Sometimes I'm thinking of Radiohead's "Paranoid Android" and other times the closest influence I can get is from The Scattered Pages.  But what is this exactly?  You can listen to it a hundred times and try to pick it apart but not find that answer.   Is it rock? Pop? Electronica? With the instruments involved (like that sweet, sweet guitar) and tempo I think it can be any mix of those at one time, but the way which it is all delivered just brings the sounds on "The Invitation" into a genre all its own.

One thought which stays with me during this album is "Abide in the What-is".   They say that depression is caused by focusing on the past and anxiety comes from focusing on the future.  Too often I feel like we're overwhelmed because we think about what we have to do or what we didn't get to do yesterday rather than just enjoying what's going on right now around us.  I try so hard these days to live in the now.  Jobbaloon has created songs here which feel rather spiritual and at times can seem like more of a mantra than lyrics.  Whether you already are or just need a push in that direction as well, this album should be part of your daily routine.


Music Review //
Blueanimal
"Rock Bottom"


When I think about the idea of "Rock Bottom" it either goes back to that Enimem song or it's about the wrestler The Rock and his finishing move.   This song is probably closer to the wrestling move though because it's not rap and I could imagine it being used in WWE back when The Rock was an active wrestler there.   It might seem obvious because it is the first word of the song title, but Blueanimal does indeed bring the rock with this one.

On one hand, I feel like this song has two different sounds to it: one being found in the verse and the other in the chorus.   But on the other hand I feel like maybe this is just how some rock bands sound and we haven't heard enough of the rock lately to remember that.  During the verses I can hear some Nine Inch Nails and then when the chorus hits it feels more like Metallica, but those are using the two most popular influences I think everyone would recognize.

Visually there is a video here which has images in it that are partly obscured.   They remain calm during the verses but when that chorus kicks in there is faster movement to compliment it.   In some ways, this makes me think of a music video I might have seen back in the 1990's on MTV for Alice In Chains and I'm all on board with that.   There is a space between making a music video too simple and too complex and what Blueanimal does here is find that space so it's just a fun experience when watching.

I'm not sure what type of animal is blue, but then again maybe that's the point.  If the band was called "Redanimal" then people would just start listing off animals which are red, such as the red panda and then just ask "Well, why not just call yourself Red Panda?"  So I think as far as band names go, Blueanimal passes the t-shirt test because it would make people curious.   This sound also passes the crank it up and drive test and I really want to hear more rocking from Blueanimal because I feel like it's a slowly fading genre.  


 

Monday, April 5, 2021

Music Review //
Slide
"Floating (Slip n Slide Mix)"
(If Music Could Talk)


https://open.spotify.com/album/5sWrwSWx5wgHS3iXQ0ovq1?si=XUi1pzfTQt62XCzzgoqhRg&nd=1


The sound of Slide is one which mixes rock music with pop.   Being that this isn't a sound which we hear a lot of there are not a lot of influences to trace this back with.   There are artists such as, say, The New Radicals, who throughout the course of time have put a lighter pop sense on their brand of rock but this isn't the same as that.    Slide has truly created a song in a genre all its own.

One of the only sounds which I can think to compare this song with would come from the Twenty One Pilots song "Stressed Out".    It has that same kind of vibe to it, in the way that I can picture Slide riding around on tiny bicycles.  I really do believe though that the way in which this song feels upbeat just also makes it fun.  It is a song which I feel even the youngest of children would enjoy, which is not something easy to pull off without having an overly annoying sound and I can listen to "Floating" any number of times a day without getting annoyed.

There exists a strange time in the era of modern rock radio where instead of playing just new music (as it was in the 1990's) radio stations relied more heavily on artists from the past (Pearl Jam, Nirvana, STP, Soundgarden, etc) and didn't focus as much on the artists of the present- of the future.  If I listen to my local modern rock station for an hour I'll hear songs by artists like Alice In Chains still, but I'll also hear a handful of new songs, released within the past few years.  In this way, I feel like "Floating" could be one of those songs I hear at random on the radio amidst a sea of grunge.

Aside from "Stressed Out" there aren't really a lot of songs which I hear on the radio and have that same way of breaking through while the listener just seems to be waiting for their next taste of nostalgia.   Most recently, I think the song "Bang" by AJR has hit that point.  If placed within the right context on the radio, I truly do believe that "Floating" could have that break out moment as well, as it is distinguishable enough from everything else but also close enough on the pop side that listeners will just love the hell out of it.  


Cassette Review //
Sophiaaaahjkl;8901
"Silicon Soul"
(Suite 309)


$7 //

https://suite309.bandcamp.com/album/silicon-soul //


While I remember Sophiaaaahjkl;8901 for a previous cassette released on Suite 309, I will also remember them always for the album "FUCK 12".   We start with some electronics and screaming which reminds me of Deathdealer.  This takes us into some more mechanical electro-loops, which feel like a video game but also just like the sounds of the insides of a spaceship.   

The sound now feels like we're walking with the electronics- a little bit of that Atari 2600 sound and a little bit of funk.   A sound like beeping now, but the beeping is somehow fried.   Beats come in and you can dance to this one.   It really kicks in now and you can feel like this one is something out of "Run Lola Run" as it just moves and makes you want to move.   Those synths like lasers cut through now and then we're reduced to this sound of back and forth before the song comes to an end.

There is a ringing but it's like a metallic banging and this makes the loop a little bit like a groove but it also feels like we're on a treadmill- moving while going nowhere.  Though we continue to move, through the static it can feel as if we're slowing down.   It feels like the gears are turning now, beats are here and there is a distant banging on something.   I'm not sure why but I just picture a construction site or steel mill as having this particular rhythm and turning from work into dance.  

We're glitching through the beats now and this one will also make you want to dance.    The beats get deeper and we get to a slightly darker place now as we are being told "Cut me with a knife"  It feels like we're being hypnotized now, not just by the words but by the music itself, as the first side comes to an end.

On the flip side now we open up with fast paced electronics and scrapes which make me think we are digging.   The beats come in and really make it feel like a timed game I'm about to lose.   We take a few minutes for individual notes and then everything breaks down into chaos.   Banging now feels like footsteps- ominous- as we can take in this robot army march to only spell our certain doom.  

We're onto a song now which has a more upbeat feel to it with claps.   A little trippy now, we're told "I can't do that because of the way that I'm sitting" and this one just takes off.   Back into that video game sound now, like we're on a mission, and then those distorted vocals come into it as well, but not quite the same way as the start of this cassette.   Slowly, we go through some beeps and synth with vocals which reminds me of something from the "Lost Highway" soundtrack.

"I don't know how to help you / I don't know how to help me" and then we just become the music.    This then takes us into a distorted game of pinball, which just makes me feel like I'm watching it on a screen rather than inside a typical pinball machine.   The vocals return and you can begin to feel the suffering.   As it feels like shots are being fired into space and just fading out, the beats return.    Through twists and turns this one comes to an end, just fading out as if it was never even there.  














Music Review //
Chris Birkett
"Precious Love"


https://soundcloud.com/chris-birkett/precious-love/


Whenever you see a song title that has the word "love" in it and there isn't any direct relation to it that is negative (You know, if the song is called "I Hate Love" or something) then you can pretty much guess that you're about to hear a love song.   "Precious Love" does deliver on that, as it contains lines such as "I believe they broke the mold that made you".   And while some could argue that every song is a love song in its own way, this is in fact a very direct type of love song, the kind you would play for someone who you loved or were trying to love.

Right away, Chris Birkett brings out the saxophone.  I think because of that it's going to be a feeling of wanting to put this into a genre where it can be influenced by jazz and as such it might be considered easy listening (or what some might even call elevator music) but that might only hold true if it was instrumental and slower.   This moves to a steady rhythm and I think it has all of the makings of a pop song that feels retro but also you can't quite place it with anything in the past so it must be modern.

I largely feel like growing up I had two different sets of musical influences from each of my parents.   The sound of Chris Birkett is one which I would relate more with my mother than with my father.   There is that feeling of Billy Joel in here, or something you would hear on the radio around that same time.   It's that John Mellencamp factor of being in the car with my mom and listening to what I thought was rock music as a kid but when I look back now that "Wild Night" song with Meshell Ndegeocello wasn't really rock no matter how great it remains.

One of my favorite qualities of "Precious Love", though, is that despite the lyrics and the notion that you're going into it as a love song it doesn't sound like a love song.   It is certainly easy enough on the ears to be on the radio and to be a song which you played for your spouse but it's also not a song that you might hear when you are not in love and be annoyed be it.   Chris Birkett is truly living in a space which most music does not exist in right now- pop but not overly so- and I wish more artists would join him.  


Cassette Review //
I Know I'm An Alien
"Wi-Fi Breath"
(Bumpy)


Sold Out // 

Edition of 100 // 

https://iknowimanalien.bandcamp.com/album/wi-fi-breath //


When I first heard I Know I'm An Alien on the cassette "Do You Work Here?" I knew it was something special.   Well, I Know I'm An Alien is back with a cassette now called "Wi-Fi Breath" and if you've ever wondered how someone could have breath which is that of wi-fi, well, sit back, strap yourself and prepare for this wild ride.   It begins with a short track of just carnival sounding music which then takes us to the titular track.   Many of the songs have titles which appear in the lyrics and so just by looking over those titles you can kind of tell what the song might be about.

With robotic vocals at times this can sound like They Might Be Giants.   Is there really a comparison for this particular brand of rock music which at times is also punk but overall what people would just describe as "weird" or "experimental"?   As we get into a song such as "Robot of Cash", which is one of the longer songs on this cassette, and then into "Touchy Robot", we just dive into this place of distorted guitar riffs and slowed down vocals.    It adds something extra to that idea of thinking you've figured out the sound of I Think I'm An Alien.  

I Know I'm An Alien tells it right to the point on "Those Boots Are So Ugly".   I was once somewhere public and I heard two people have a conversation about how they hate Crocs and the older gentleman of the two said something like "Everyone who wears Crocs should die" and I just thought that was a bit extreme.  I was also waiting for someone wearing Crocs to show up.  But, you know, at the end of the day it's just footwear-- it's not that serious.   Then again, why do you wear those boots?

"Software Bacon" is one of the only songs on here I do not understand.  Is this some kind of new hip lingo the kids are using?  I'm an old school programmer and I've never heard this before.   "Rent Star" is about someone who pays their rent on time and makes their landlord happy.   There are so many people out there who struggle to pay rent I can never understand why it is so expensive.  Bills are always like a couple hundred dollars and then you get to rent and it takes that jump from $200 to like $2000 for some people.   It's almost like in some way too they don't want you to live, like they've stacked the deck against you from the start.

Into a song now which has electronic almost alarm-like loops beeping through some static.   This has both a combined sense of relaxation and urgency.    "I Love My Phone" is a song which is about what it says and I think people put too much stock into their phones- especially those who have to go out and buy the brand new model as soon as it comes out- but at the same time, my phone is important because I can do most anything with it.   It's strange how a device once used to talk to other people has become such an important tool in our lives now.  

On the flip side we start off with "Baby Avocado", which sounds like it could be the theme song to a Saturday morning cartoon.  I often think about things like why is it that I went through most of my life not really thinking about avocados and now they're everywhere.  I love avocados, don't get me wrong, I guess I'm just mad I wasn't eating them as a kid like I do now.   "Leprechaun Lucifer" is almost a chant, which somewhat scares me.   

While I'm not as sure what's going on lyrically, the song "Love Napkin" has a cool, fuzzy guitar solo leading it.    This is the longest song on the cassette and it just drifts off in a psychedelic way.  Being a longer song, this again shows that range in the style of I Know I'm An Alien and just makes me rethink what I think they sound like in terms of influences and comparisons.    We also get a one minute interlude called "Redundant Chair" before hitting up the "Download Club".   It's kind of funny but I got a car a few years ago and thought that I'd be able to finally listen to my CDs and it didn't come with a CD player so I have to do everything digitally.   This has made me feel like growing my Bandcamp collection is a good thing because I never know what I want to listen to when driving.

"BB Gun" sounds a little bit like Belle & Sebastian but it also has car horns in it.  The guitars become a little bit twisty, giving off that psych-driving vibe.   The way that "You Don't Have To Be Afraid" starts with a spoken intro makes me feel like it is a song from "Yo Gabba Gabba".   This takes us into "Box of Pay As You Go", which starts off sounding like "Jaws".   As it ends you can still hear the beach if you listen closely enough and I think feeling like we've gone out to sea is a fitting ending to this cassette based mostly on land.  















Monday, March 29, 2021

Music Review //
Mosa
"Sharing the Light"
(BigWhoop! Records)


https://open.spotify.com/album/64O2BoM7fRdpTZgsZJjis7


When you first press play on the song "Sharing the Light" you will hear a piano.   This comes in kind of slow with vocals that have grit to them like Tom Waits but the overall feeling I get from the song when it first starts is one of Billy Joel.   There also exists this holy, powerful sort of vibe to this song within the verse which can make me think of Hozier.   Rather than the idea of Billy Joel (which I just think of more in the way of someone singing while playing piano) I do like thinking of Hozier because there is this darkness in this song as well.

The song opens with the line: "Sorrow fits you like a cheap suit" which can just express any number of types of pain.   As we move into the lyrics "A love that leaves you cold / Winter will be my bride" the tone of the voice gets higher which makes me think of a band such as Muse.   But then it all kicks in while singing the title in the biggest of ways.   This crash of acoustics and melody makes me think of the band Murder by Death and I really do enjoy that I can find someone to compare with them even if they don't fully sound the same.

We're treated to a guitar-focused part which really shows the range of Mosa and then we go into a breakdown where it is mostly just the sound of the drumbeat with the vocals layered over each other.  This is also something which I've heard Murder by Death do, but I've heard other bands do it as well and it's something which I appreciate because I feel like it isn't overused.   I'm also not sure this song exists in a verse/chorus/verse way because it seems more to me like it has a beginning (where there are the most lyrics), a middle (when the hook starts) and then the guitar just drives us on until the end.

There are many ways which one could find meaning in these lyrics.  Based upon the music which accompanies them I would hope you think of them in more of a spiritual way than in a literal way.   I think light comes from the sun, which keeps us warm and in that sense with the chorus that takes through the second and third parts of this song, I think that to share that light is to share that warmth.   And the opposite of light is darkness, so if you think about the darkness as being all of the bad inside of you then the light would be all that is good.  So I see "Sharing the Light" as being an idea of spreading happiness and just lifting others up instead of putting them down.  That is something also which I feel the world could always use.  

Friday, March 26, 2021

Music Review //
The Cold Stares
"Hard Times"


When I see the name "Hard Times", to me, being my age and my upbringing I will always be taken back to professional wrestling and think of "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes.    Why this feels so appropriate here is because growing up watching professional wrestling as well as listening to music, there is this crossover between the two.   Whether it be the theme song for an entire pay-per-view or simply a song which is played over a highlight video, I think this song by The Cold Stares would fit in rather well with the wrestling crowd.  (The NWA actually held a pay-per-view back in January of 2020 called Hard Times and this would have been a perfect theme song)

The Cold Stares have a guitar-based rock n roll sound which makes me initially think of The White Stripes.  It's the type of sound that you'll hear in a lesser capacity from bands on the radio such as The Black Keys, but it's what I like to think of as some good old fashioned rock n roll with a little bit of the blues built into it (Though, in my opinion, if you research the history of rock n roll, in all of its truest forms there is some blues within)  I'm reminded of when Marty McFly goes back in time and sort of invents rock n roll in "Back To The Future"-- it's that sort of sound.

While the music video consists of mostly shots of the two band members, the reason why I find this to be so fitting is that you really get to focus on the guitar as it is being played.   If there was a different story being told- a little movie- or even if the camera just panned out a little bit, I think it wouldn't have the same effect.   Those close ups of the guitar solos and just the way the guitar is being played is important and on some broader level it just makes me feel like we're seeing the music being played, which gives us the greatest visual benefit.

Without naming names, I can tell you that I've listened to a lot of songs that wish they sounded this good.  This song is just so well put together, it's so solid from start to finish.   As if it wasn't made clear by the title, the song is about being down on your luck and I just feel like, especially after the year 2020, we can all say that we are either there or have been there at some point in our life.  Music is a lot like therapy in the way that you don't have to have fallen on hard times to enjoy this song, but if you have then it does make you feel better somehow and even when things are going good the energy in this song will just get you out of bed and going.  

Monday, March 22, 2021

Music Review //
The Ladles
"Nobody Knew"


The Ladles full length "Springville Sessions" is out April 16th


One of the things which I enjoy about the year 2021 is that it seems like we're slowly making our way back to some sense of normalcy and we don't seem as badly confined as we were in the year 2020.   Maybe I'm just getting used to being on lockdown.   But now, in 2021, regardless of when you might have recorded your music there will always come this part in the back of my mind that thinks it might have been recorded in 2020 or at least about that specific year and the events which happened during it.

"Nobody Knew" offers up the line: "Nobody knew it would hit this hard" and I feel like this is largely related to the global pandemic of the year 2020.  I don't think anyone ever expected something like this to happen and even my dad who is 70 years old said in his lifetime he's never seen anything like this before.   It was a special year, 2020 was, but I can't help but also read into these lyrics as being about the mental health of an individual as well.  Maybe it's just where my mind goes because I'm me, but this song feels like a wellness check, as if perhaps someone is struggling with reasons to live.

When the global pandemic hit, I remember one thing being discussed was what would happen with groups like Alcoholics Anonymous- could they still meet because if they didn't the members might face relapse.  I feel like the pandemic brought about feelings of isolation, fear, worry and overall what a lot of people made it out to be was a very bleak situation, where at one point it just felt like we were all doomed.   These are not good feelings to have in general, but as someone who struggles with mental illness they are even worse.   In that sense, I do feel like "Nobody Knew" doesn't have to be about the pandemic or mental health  but rather it could be about both.

As the strings come into the background of this acoustic song I am reminded of Delta Dart.  It's funny because Delta Dart always had this dark way about this music and though The Ladles feel a bit more upbeat or neutral on this song, it still has a certin gloom to the lyrics of it.  I feel it is important now more than ever to discuss how other people are doing because of the state of the world.   Rather than the title suggests that "Nobody Knew", we need to reach out so that we know how each other are doing.   We have the time now, let's make the most of it.  


Wrestling Review //
Pro Wrestling Magic
"The Ides Of March"
(FITE TV)


Order the replay here ::: https://www.fite.tv/watch/pro-wrestling-magic-ides-of-march/2p8ya/


This was my second time watching Pro Wrestling Magic on FITE TV and once again when I purchased the event they gave me a dollar credit.  I think the way that FITE does that is fun because it's kind of like when you buy so many shows you'll get one for free, sort of a frequent customer special, and it kind of rewards you for watching.  Though, not to play spoiler, but I'm cashing in my credits for The Collective weekend coming up.   

There are several stories going into this, which is what I like most about Pro Wrestling Magic perhaps: In just the one show I watched before this I am already invested in their characters and they seem to have a sense of purpose.  Yes, I enjoy putting on a wrestling show and seeing two wrestlers I recognize have a match and then seemingly disappear for months, but to have that quality which makes you want to come back for the next episode not just to see Wrestler A vs. Wrestler B because you think it will be a good match but because there are stories you want to see resolved as well.

"The Ides Of March" opened up strong with Darius Carter defending the Dark Arts Championship against Erica Leigh.   Pre-match, Darius Carter is being interviewed about his win over Billy Dixon and gets upset because he is asked about Erica Leigh.   Erica Leigh comes out and asks Darius Carter why he had to get involved in that match between her and Jordan Blade because it didn't even involve him- and that's a good point.   This really makes you feel like Erica Leigh is justified in wanting her revenge against Darius Carter and you really want to see her beat him.

The thing about the Dark Arts Championship is that Darius Carter picked the rules for it.   There are five rounds and you only get one rope break.   As was pointed out on commentary during the match, this does seem to favor Darius Carter (which is likely why he chose it) because rather than actually defending his title all he has to do is survive.  This was a strong match with too many underhanded tactics by Darius Carter (such as not stopping at the end of a round) and I truly believe someone is going to have to be able to play Darius Carter's game better than him in order to take that title and I'm not sure anyone can do that.

We went right into another title match with JGeorge taking on Sebastian Cage.   While I've seen Sebastian Cage in [redacted[ I feel like he's simply playing the character of champion here, while JGeorge has this whole Hollywood thing going on where he sits in a director's chair and turns his matches into his own little movies.   This was a nice match and it really helped develop the character of JGeorge.   

A flashback to Sonya Strong vs. Jordynne Grace for the vacant women's championship had Jordynne Grace coming out to The Offspring (and not old Offspring either) and then we got to see a little bit more of John Tella.   Perhaps the sleeper match of the night saw Everett Cross taking on Matt Vertigo.   From the few matches I've seen of Matt Vertigo, specifically in [also redacted], I feel like he has that factor which is going to make him a big star some day.  I'm really glad he's appearing in Pro Wrestling Magic.

Billy Dixon picked up a win over Steve Peña and it was good to see Billy Dixon back on the winning track.   Wrecking Ball Legursky and Adam Payne successfully defended the tag team titles in a wild brawl.  Before the fight though (It was really more of a fight than a match) Wrecking Ball and Adam Payne were ordering from the bar and Adam Payne made fun of Wrecking Ball for ordering Dr. Pepper and even asked him if he was a commie.   Why does drinking Dr. Pepper make you a commie?  This also felt surreal, as I look back at it now, because this was Saturday night and on Sunday night I got to hear Necro Butcher spew a Communist Manifesto about flowers and hammers (Yes, really)

I did wonder with the promotion of this show and the poster and everything why Erica Leigh vs. Darius Carter would start things off as opposed to main event, but when it came time for that last match it was The Meadowlands Monster defending the Pro Wrestling Magic Championship against Saieve Al Sabah and it became clear that this match was the main event for a reason.  I was first introduced to The Meadowlands Monster at the last show, but I've always been a fan of the characters in wrestling.  In some ways he reminds me of The Carver, for example.  This match is just one of those matches you need to go out of your way to see.

There was no DQ so these two battled outside of the ring a lot.  They also were in the ring showing off what they could do as well.   This match really just had everything in it that makes a wrestling match special which made me feel like, yes, it should be in the main event spot but it also is a title match and it lived up to that as well.   If you're a fan of professional wrestling, this match is worth the price alone for this show.  Luckily for you, there is also a lot of other great wrestling which just makes what Pro Wrestling Magic is doing can't miss.  


Friday, March 12, 2021

Music Review //
Satsang
"This Place ft. Trevor Hall"


"This Place" is the second single from Satsang's upcoming album "All. Right. Now." out June 4th and available for pre-order here.


When you title a song "This Place" you're going to have to explain to the listener what exactly that place is in reference to or else they might get upset.   Someone might want to know whether this place is in California or Australia, or maybe it's more specific like a national park or historical monument, you know how some people take trips to various places throughout the world such as The Grand Canyon.   But the fact that Satsang doesn't really give an exact place in this song- not one that GPS could use- somehow makes me feel better than if it was revealed to be somewhere specific because that place (Even if it is extraordinary) could feel underwhelming.

Through the cool pop sounds of "This Place", Satsang (along with the help of Trevor Hall) takes us to a place which might be physical but it also might be mental.   As the video pans through scenes of outside farmland- you know, how the Earth looked before we put up all these buildings and roads- it really makes me want to go outside and explore nature more.  I know we're still in a pandemic so traveling isn't as easy as it used to be, but even just to go within driving distance and see nature in all its beauty is something I feel like I should be doing more than sitting inside watching movies.

At the same time, the idea behind the lyrics in this song makes me feel like "This Place" is not just physical but could also be mental.   There is a very spiritual aspect to this song in that regard.  Though I still fully support the idea of going outside, I do also believe that maybe "This Place" can be found by staying inside on your couch if it means you're reaching some key point in your life- whether you find some sort of peace in silence or just reach a life changing realization.  I do feel like we also need to take time in the quiet to reflect even if it's just ten minutes a day in our car.

Perhaps my favorite part about this song is that it really just challenges me in the way that I think.   Sometimes I listen to music and hear the lyrics of other people and something which I've been thinking about for a long time finally makes sense.  But I think instead of trying to find this clarity in the ways I have been, it would be beneficial to go out into nature and try to find it there: with the emotional and physical "This Place" coming together as one.   This song is fun to listen to, as deep as the message is, and at times I think of that "Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride" song from "Lilo & Stitch" as it just puts me in that mood which is bright.  


Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Music Review //
The Ladles
"Sunset Pink"


To describe the sound of The Ladles is to combine an existing idea which you might have about music and take it to another level.   Right away you'll hear those folk acoustic plucks in here and think about artists like Fleetwood Mac.   But as strings, such as that of a violin, enter there seems to be this faster paced feeling to this song.   This is where I get confused.  It's easy enough to think of this as being an acoustic folk type of ballad, but the way it moves just isn't on the same speed as something like that typically.

During this music video you will see someone dancing both in the city on the sidewalk and by the end in front of a sunset, which seems only fitting for the song.   Only because I am watching this video in the year 2021 am I somewhat mad to see this person moving so freely and openly in public, as we have spent almost a year now on lockdown.   It's not so much anger as it is jealousy and since the music is able to calm me, I feel like it eventually shifts to a feeling of comfort in remembering how we once were and shall hopefully be again one day.

Sometimes I think about an artist who would normally play electric guitar and how if you took their sound and made it acoustic then they could compare with The Ladles.   Someone like Slothrust or Metric could be similar if their sound was stripped down but kept that pace.  And I know folk punk exists but to me The Ladles just have a more natural flowing sound where as folk punk feels more rough around the edges to me.   The way that the dancing moves so gracefully and seemingly without effort is the same way that the song flows, which is not something I've heard a lot of in my time.

While I would suggest listening to The Ladles if you are a fan of folk type music- music which you can imagine being set up and played in a park, for example- I will also say that this song should leave you pleasantly surprised.   Yes, you can be a fan of folk like Simon & Garfunkel and enjoy this song, but it is in the way which it moves, the timing and flawless perfection, which makes it stand out from any number of musicians who have ever picked up an acoustic guitar.  With The Ladles full length "Springville Sessions" out April 16th, I do believe this to be that glimpse into what makes them so special.  

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Cassette Review //
The Musical World of Chris Carlone
"Shit's Fucked"
(Crass Lips Records)



https://musicalworldofchriscarlone.bandcamp.com/album/shits-fucked //


To describe the music of The Musical World of Chris Carlone is like attempting to describe a car crash as it happening and you are inside one of the twenty cars involved.    There is a lot happening within these songs, but I'm going to try and type about it all.   First off, these songs have that home recording way about them which make me think of Daniel Johnston.  Let's just get that right out of the way.    There is this aspect of what I like to call circus madness within these songs as well because it can feel like you're taking that ride on the carousel but it's just out of control-- it's in a way which the ride just isn't supposed to operate.

"Having a Good Time at the End of the World (fuck yeah!)" is just one of the songs where the music scrambles on through but I wouldn't call is skramz.   This is just pure chaos.    "Chimi Changa Saturday Night" (shout out Deadpool) has these dark, driving blues guitars.   There are laser shots and air ride sirens as well.    After the year 2020, I think we can all agree that shit's fucked, but also the song "Cabin Fever" becomes so catchy and so relatable.

In perhaps the biggest twist of this cassette the song "Ice Cream Dreams" (featuring Rita Braga) sounds like what I imagine "Adventure Time" might be like if it was owned by Disney.    This is a little bit of calm in the insanity, but at the same time it is still just off the walls.  I like that no matter how grounded you might feel like a song is (based on the songs which came before it) there will always be that feeling of it being completely unhinged when compared with other songs by other artists.

On the flip side we have horns and what sounds like Minions singing.  "You Can Not Be Destroyed" features Borts Minorts paying us compliments, just dropping words about how great we are and this song is the positive guidance perhaps we all need in our lives.   Sometimes the instruments being played sound so fast and punk but other times they're slowed down and just feel broken, not in the way that they're being played badly but in the way that they were found on the side of the road as trash and are being played like an orchestral concert, which is perhaps the best way overall to describe this cassette.  














 

Music Review //
Talia Londoner
"Get It Out"





Though it might be a bit silly to think of (or it might already exist) I always thought it would be beneficial to society if someone out there was to create a show which felt like the 1980's/1990's of MTV- when they used to play music videos-right down to the style and everything-- just to make it feel like you flip on a switch (whether it be a tv channel or YouTube) and you're right back to that place when I was a kid.    In many ways, the music video for "Get It Out" reminds me a lot of that.  There is just this look to this video where it could have aired during the 1980's or early 1990's and fit right in.  

The song and style of Talia Londoner are a reminder of several things.  First off, there is what was called at the time "mall pop" coming out at the surface.   Artists (who I still love to this day) like Debbie Gibson and Tiffany would go around performing at malls, appealing to the teens, but in such a large way this music has become timeless.  I still listen to my Debbie Gibson and Tiffany cassettes to this day.  At the same time, there is something to be said for pushing the boundaries and this video/sound could also make you think back to when Madonna was doing "Like A Virgin" and that era of sound.   What I'd give for a solid Madonna tribute album.   But I also think about Charli XCX, so this does pull me back to the present.

While this can be thought of as a pop song based on the sound, the one way in which it might throw you for a curve is that the lyrics are actually inspiring and unlike a lot of pop songs from the 1980's this song actually has some depth to it.   The idea of "Get It Out" is to not keep your emotions bottled up.  It's that idea that if we keep things inside, one day we'll just explode and maybe it won't be for the right reason either- that anger could be misdirected.  But as the lyrics remind us that we also only have one life to live, it's important to remember to get things out that aren't just emotional in a "bad" way.   Tell your loved ones you love them.  Take that chance and say what you've always been meaning to shout.

"Get It Out" is a song that moves.   In some ways it does remind me of being a child and my mom going to Jazzercise.   But then again it also takes me back to when my grandma used to babysit my sisters and me so that my parents could go out rollerskating and this song does have that end of rollerdisco era feel to it. (You can skate to it, but I wouldn't call it rollerdisco)   Pair that with lyrics that actually send a positive message and you've got yourself a hit.   Talia Londoner could create an entire EP (due oue this fall) of nostalgic sounding songs such as this and I wouldn't complain.   But the beauty within this single is that it could just as easily shift to a futurewave collection of songs and that just leaves the future wide open and bright.  

Cassette Review //
Magick Show
"Dark Night of the Soul"
(Hand'Solo Records)


$12 //

Edition of 50 //

https://handsolorecords.bandcamp.com/album/dark-night-of-the-soul


I will always listen to good hip hop and I will always appreciate hearing it on cassette because as a kid I joined Columbia House and my featured selection always came as rap.  "Dark Night of the Soul" opens up with loud screaming and then someone says that God is dead before we go into some just lovely singing.   Rapping comes over the soul of the music.  The first song is the titular track and the hook is: "I was so alone / Going through my dark night of the soul".  I think we've all been there.

"Goetia" is just hip hop and I think of artists like 2 Skinnee J's, Naughty By Nature and Onyx.     It's fast rapping but not mumble rap, which is also something we don't hear enough of these days.   There are record scratches and, rightfully so, a lot of talk about magic and death.  I particularly enjoy the line: "It's all a magic show so do what thou wilt"  I think sometimes we've all felt like life is a dream and what is a magic show but an elaborate dream?  When we wake up, we'll regret the things we didn't do more than the things we did.

As we are told "this EP is just a prequel" the lyrics feel as if they get a bit more evil on "Black Mass".   "Nightmare" is a song about nightmares that could literally give you nightmares.   If you want to know the mindset of this cassette it is something like "Act like you didn't fucking know / we're already in Hell" and I think based on the way the year 2020 went a lot of people would agree with this statement.

Musically, "Dark Night of the Soul" is everything that is right about hip hop.   It has that "Judgment Night" soundtrack thing going on, which I feel like more artists should be exploring.   At the same time, I feel like a lot of what is going on within these songs is channeling the dark arts.   It's refreshing to see something like this in music, as it does feel like the cassette itself could put a curse on you or one of your enemies.    Probably not since the days of when rock n roll first started has music been this real and if enough people listen to this, the masses are going to get scared.  


















Monday, March 8, 2021

Wrestling Review //
GCW
Take Kare
(FITE TV)


Watch Take Kare here :::

https://www.fite.tv/watch/gcw-take-kare/2p8u8/


Buy GCW Merch here :::

https://gcwmerch.com/


Though I had seen different match graphics floating around for Take Kare, it wasn't until the Sunday before that I put together that it was the Saturday night that it was.   After a Saturday of ICW NHB and a Sunday of PWM and NPU, I thought that this weekend seemed a little bit empty of wrestling so I purchased the show via FITE TV for $13.99 (and they gave me a dollar credit!)  If I had to pick one match which really sold me on the show it would have to be Jimmy Lloyd vs. G-Raver No Rope Barbed Wire match because you don't see those that often.   

Little did I know, that match would open up this show.  These two really went all out and made great use of the barbed wire.   At one point, Jimmy Lloyd had G-Raver up and it looked like he was going to dump him onto something in the ring but instead just went running to the outside of the ring.  The way they both landed outside of the ring looked like it hurt enough if this was a normal match but the fact that they were both tangled up in barbed wire as well just went to show you how far these two went to win this match.

While the ring was being put back together, Charles Mason came out to cut a promo and this was only my second time ever seeing him- the first being just a few hours earlier.  During this promo, Charles Mason insulted the crowd by calling them fat and poor, but he also took a moment to tell a female fan that she was both a whore and a tramp.   I feel like I have to say this almost weekly now, but it is the year 2021.  The things which made ECW cool in the 1990's don't feel as cool now for a reason.   What little respect I had for Charles Mason after his match with Cole Radrick was quickly erased by that promo.  

Calvin Tankman returned from the Hybrid show to take on Brayden Lee and it was my first time seeing Brayden Lee.   This was a good showing by Brayden Lee, but what do you expect when you're up against Calvin Tankman.   I also must point out that I love the fact that Calvin Tankman is being prominently featured in MLW but also is showing up on so many shows I watch outside of MLW.   This is the way wrestling should be.

In what was at that time the shock of the night, Atticus Cogar defeated Effy and then Effy seemingly joined 44OH.   I haven't really missed 44OH in ICW NHB but the way that they've been not featured as much just makes me think it's because they have too much going on over here to be concerned with The Rejects right now.   Alex Colon defeated Nolan Edward with SHALK on commentary.   Post match, SHLAK (who is injured) came into the ring and said during 'Mania weekend it'd be Nolan Edward vs. SHLAK.   

I want to take this opportunity to tip my hat to Nolan Edward.   He was in the ICW NHB shows last Saturday.  He did No Peace Underground the next day.  And then he was also doing the Hoss Tournament which was happening on IWTV as this PPV was on FITE TV.   I realize he went up against Tony Deppen last Saturday, but he really feels like he's becoming Tony Deppen in the sense that he's on all the shows I'm watching.   

Speaking of Tony Deppen, we had an intermisison where they replayed the tag team match from Hybrid with Ironbeast winning and then Tony Deppen kicked things off against Ken Broadway.  I know Ken Broadway from his work in VxS, though I will no longer be watching VxS shows after I was really, really turned off by their "Stay High" show.   These two put on a solid match though and Ken Broadway is one to watch so I hope he sticks around in GCW.

Jordan Oliver and AJ Gray had what I consider to be match of the night here.  It was such a great representation of what wrestling is in 2021.  Jordan Oliver is just blowing up everywhere.  I know during 'Mania weekend AJ Gray is going to go up against AKIRA, but now Jordan Oliver has made the challenge to Lio Rush and I'm going to have to see all the schedules and prices of what shows to purchase because that's a match I really want to see happen live.

It's kind of weird that last weekend SHLAK was injured and pulled from NPU on Sunday but then was expected to face Allie Kat less than a week later.   Allie Kat came out to say that SHLAK is faking an injury because he's afraid of her and she issued an Open Meowange.  This brought Levi Everett back out (he was also on the Hybrid show) and these two had a good match even though I think everyone just wanted to see Allie Kat vs. SHLAK, which seems like it will still happen one day down the road.

The main event was wild.   Rickey Shane Page wasn't allowed to have any of his 44OH guys help him out.   Effy came out with them, but eventually turned on them and revealed he wasn't really part of 44OH after all and sort of chased them all to the back.   This brought out Chris Dickinson, who seemingly helped Joey Janela at first but then ended up costing him the match.   So the big thing going on at this point was: Effy is not really 44OH, RSP is going to run Spring Break and we're likely going to see Dickinson vs. Janela.   All things which I am, strangely, cool with happening. 

Then the music hit.  It was the return of the king.  Nick fucking Gage is back.  He took 44OH out until it was just RSP and him standing in that ring.   Rickey ran because it's what he does (There's a whole show about it) but Nick Gage said it was time for them to face off.   So it looks like, in April, we could see Jordan Oliver vs. Lio Rush, SHLAK vs. Nolan Edward, Chris Dickinson vs. Joey Janela and now Nick Gage vs. RSP (though not all on the same card probably)   This is going to be so much fun and so wild.  

Speaking of wild, I know this show was titled after a song but whenever I saw it or thought about it I only could go back to the old Cat Stevens song, "Wild World", which in the 1990's was covered by a band called Mr. Big.   This is because of the hook: "But if you want to leave take good care / Hope you make a lot of nice friends out there / But just remember there's a lot of bad everywhere" which also just somehow seems so fitting.  If I could do music videos I'd edit a Take Kare video package to that song but maybe someone will.  

Wrestling Review //
Hybrid Wrestling
Let It Ride
(YouTube)



The Sunday before GCW "Take Kare" I purchased that show on FITE TV.  If not the next day it was very soon after when I saw this show circulating social media.  My first thought was "But that's when GCW is", but then I figured out it was a pre-show of sorts for GCW- the two were working together- and so I could watch both as this started at 3pm on YouTube for free and GCW was later on at 8pm.   Once I figured out that I was able to watch this live and have a day of wrestling it made me quite happy.   

Let It Ride has this card on paper that you cannot deny.  The first match I saw was Manders vs. Calvin Tankman and I thought "I'll sit through a free show just to see that".  Then I saw Willow Nightingale vs. Faye Jackson and just knew we were in for a treat.  Then I saw Matt Makowski vs. Wheeler Yuta and was like "Why is this free?"  Finally, I saw Holidead vs. Masha Slamovich and really wondered if this show might be better than Take Kare.  There isn't really overlapping talent between Let It Ride and Take Kare but if you're worrying WWE is signing everyone, here are two shows to prove you wrong.

To prove me wrong, this show opened up with JJ Garrett defeating Yoya, two wrestlers I had not seen prior to this match.   JJ Garrett looks like a young Scott Steiner (in the singlet/mullet days) and Yoya is on the small side but he moves so quickly and he just has these effective strikes.  Both of these guys put on a good showing and even in defeat, I am a fan of both Yoya and JJ Garrett after this match.   Put them on your shows and I will watch them.

The second match was Willow Nightingale taking on Faye Jackson and this was a dream match and really just a main event in many other promotions.   Willow Nightingale got that technical wrestling to come out with something which looked like an stf but I don't even know what it was.   I've been seeing Willow Nightingale recently in Enjoy Wrestling "Canned Heat" and she's doing the Beyond Signature Series as well, but let's see some more of Faye Jackson.  Both of these women deserve the world.

Speaking of the Beyond Signature Series, Matt Makowski took on Wheeler Yuta for the second time this week.   What I love about this match is both of these wrestlers have this style of wrestling which makes me think more of the wrestlers I watched growing up in the 1990's.   It's that idea of Bob Backlund (Makowski) vs. Bret Hart (Yuta) which just makes this such a great match up.   I've seen Wheeler Yuta a lot this year (ROH, Lucha Memes) but I've also been watching Matt Makowski in Camp Leapfrog, so the way these two come together is just such a good pairing I hope we see on cards for a long time to come.

While I am familiar with Cole Radrick and have seen some of his matches before, this was my first time seeing Charles Mason, I believe.  Charles Mason came out in a full suit which he then had to take off to show his Phoenix Suns inspired gear.  In terms of wrestling I really liked this match and Charles Mason can go in the ring.  Speaking of going in the ring, the next match saw Conan Lynch defeat Levi Everett.   I've seen Levi Everett before but this was my first time seeing Conan Lynch and the guy is a beast.  I give him a year or two before WWE wants to sign him.  

Ironbeast is the tag team of KTB and Shane Mercer.  Shane Mercer has appeared in ICW NHB, so when can we get KTB in there?  We should seriously have more tag team matches in ICW NHB.  I've never heard of Charlie Tiger or Ellis Taylor before but commentary was right to question why this tag team would call themselves Young Dumb N Broke.  Broke can mean without money, but it can also mean that Ironbeast just rips you in half.

In what can only be described as a fight, Holidead defeated Masha Slamovich.   I've seen Masha Slamovich in various promotions recently but I really think Holidead needs to be on more shows as well.   This match really told a story and that story was these two women beating the hell out of each other but neither really giving in and letting the other take an inch.   This was co-main event and much deserved as these two women easily had match of the night, which is saying a lot since all of these matches were so entertaining.

Calvin Tankman defeated Manders in the main event and this was just two big dudes beating each other up.  Power moves are fun and when fans of WWE think of independent wrestling they tend to think of smaller guys who do a lot of flips, but the fact that this show had such a variety of wrestling on it, closing out with this huge main event, just makes it seem like a show everyone should go out of their way to watch.   There's a little bit of something for everyone on this show or if you're like me you'll just love the whole thing.  Either way, I hope these Hybrid Wrestling shows keep coming.