Friday, February 26, 2021

Cassette Review //
(Crass Lips Records)


$7 // //

When music becomes experimental for such a long time it really begins to take away the meaning of the word.   Artists will try to be experimental but if you're just sounding like other artists trying to be experimental then what are you?  Luckily for us, Nokti is creating experimental rock music which is still actually experimenting and not just copying everyone else.  Recently I was reminded of the debut album by Liars and in many ways this cassette just reminds me of that, which I truly do love about it.

Through this collection of loud and sometimes short songs you will find singing and even when you perhaps least expect it that saxophone sound.   As it jams out heavy and distorted, this one can be punk and make me think of Refused at times.   I don't feel as if there are a lot of other easy influences to put within these songs but that's always a good thing.   There are always an increasing number of artists creating music and to avoid sounding like them seems to be one of the greatest tasks of making music.

Perhaps what perplexes me the most about music are the bands who just go out and say they're being experimental or think they are trying something different but all they're really doing is showing how little knowledge of music they have-- how few artists they have listened to before.  So much time could be saved if artists just listened to Frank Zappa before making music they think is mindblowing and new.   And this is why I respect Nokti that much more.  Whether intentional or not, they seem to have gone out of their way to avoid obvious influences.

On one hand, this cassette could have gone down the road of energetic punk with a different edge, but it didn't.  On the other hand, Nokti could have strived to create something different which ended up sounding like Liars or any other number of artists I won't name, but they didn't.    The way that Nokti has created these songs by choosing neither of those two roads but yet feeling like it could go down them in such an organic manner is what makes these songs so special.  

Music Review //
Feral Ghost
"Roll the Dice
(Yellow Rhinestone Records)

Listen to "Roll the Dice" on your preferred music provider by clicking here.

One of the magical parts about music is the way which you can hear a song and the way it sounds can take you back to a very specific moment in your life.   "Roll the Dice" has a rock n roll way about it where it is paired with keys so that it sounds kind of like something from a church but not that much.   The first artist I heard within here right away is The Gadjits and that just takes me back to the early 2000's when I requested a Gadjits CD to review and the press person told me they had changed their sound (They went from ska to more of a southern Baptist feel)  Though Feral Ghost is not quite as heavy on the keys- it doesn't have that church organ way about it- and so I think that for religious purposes this song can actually be a little but more listenable.

When you don't think as much about the keys in here, this song overall has a sound which takes me back even further- to the 1980's and 1990's.   With elements of "The Future's So Bright (I Gotta Wear Shades)" by Timbuk 3, the theme song from "Pineapple Express" and Huey Lewis, this song just has that appeal of a film set in the time of John Hughes.   There are possibly too many of them to name off the top of my head, but back in the 1980's/1990's movies would have these opening credit scenes which would often be accompanied by songs which had the title to the movie in the chorus.   In that way, I could totally see "Roll the Dice" being a movie starring someone like John Cusack or John Candy.

What I would dare to say is my other favorite aspect of this song- aside from the music feeling almost like a party- is that the very theme of it is simply to, as the title states, "Roll the Dice".   Too often in life I think we're hindered by things which we do not do or merely think about doing.   The trouble is, we shouldn't just think about what could happen so much as just do it.  It's that overthinking which has often gotten me into trouble but when I've acted more out of impulse I've had more fun.   Sometimes you roll the dice and you go bust, sure, but that's life.  And the times when you roll the dice and hit it big, that's the reason why you should roll the dice in the first place.   Life is meant to be lived.

With this single song, Feral Ghost has my attention.  On one hand, I think this is the type of song I'd want to hear on playlists and even the radio throughout the summer.   At the same time, it'd be interesting to see what this leads to when Feral Ghost release their new album "Speed of Light" on March 21st, 2021.   Some songs could really get jamming with horns and I feel like there should be at least one power ballad with a saxophone solo.  But hey, there are some great guitar riffs in "Roll the Dice" so maybe Feral Ghost will take a different direction and surprise me.   Either way, the future looks bright for Feral Ghost from where I sit.  

Cassette Review //
Center For Whatever
(Huvudbry Recordings)


$8 //
Edition of 50 //

Very quietly, minimally, beeps and sounds like Morse Code come through to open up this cassette.   They begin to just pierce through sharply now, almost like an alarm.  As this slight scratching expands in the background the feeling of urgency grows with this robotic language of music.   Someone is speaking now but it is muffled.   I can't quite make it out, but it sounds human and at first is like how voices get lost in translation through a fast food drive-thru.   The voice becomes higher pitched as a flurry of percussion takes over.    This is the story, right now, of a song which started so small, like one quiet note, and now has just blossomed into something so much larger.  

A ringing comes through, as the speaking begins to sound more like adults in "Peanuts", and it makes me feel like we're about to enter a martial arts film.   It's an electric synth and the growling of a hollow monster.   For some reason, I am reminded of both the movie "Willow" and dragons.   A banging somehow brings in a different type of ringing now and then the darkness consumes it all.   Cymbals crash and this is a slow march to death.    The vocals return through the percussion and now it just sounds all psychedelic, baby.  I can see the color swirls.   This is my Woodstock.  

Trill like a guitar quietly brings in the soft drone of a flute.   This feels like the calm before the storm of a kung fu film.   The guitar plays through some sweet notes and this one just finds a happy groove.   You can feel these notes- they're pretty sharp and they cut like a knife- but there is also a melody within them which can make it feel like we're just smooth sailing.    The way this strums yet can feel so delicately plucked creates two unique sounds and they somehow blend together.  It all flows into what just feels like a tropical island sound now.   The way it twists now feels like a psych free-for-all.   We drone our way to the end with some minimal drumming following along.

On the flip side we open up with some deep synths which can sound like the horns on a boat.   They're a bit wavy too, so I feel like we're just floating out at sea right now.    Notes slowly come in to the point where those church organs just take everything over and now we're on a different trip.   The keys get a bit wild and it feels like we've gone from floating in the ocean to just soaring through the sky.     The drums slowly begin to accompany the droning.    This whole song has just picked up and began going somewhere fast.   Whirrs come through like frequencies and this song is just driving now.   We've gone from the sea to sky to land.    The frequencies are all over the place now and this has just become so chaotic.

A loud crash and the next song is off and running.    The slides go up and down as this is just a free jazz sounding piece of percussion mayhem.   The guitars come in now with the start and stop chords which for some reason now this section of the song reminds me of Primus.   Individual notes now, like that seriousness of a song like the Doogie Howser theme.   It just feels very urgent yet each note stings.

Through a little bit of a calm strumming come some more notes which hit a little bit sharper.   The notes bend now in ways which can just make you feel like everything around you is also bending.   The percussion carries on while the rest of the music is just getting trippy.    The drumming takes us to an end.   We begin into this series of beeps now with what sound like foot stomps as well.   This is done in such a rhythm that more notes begin to expand to where it feels like we are in a dream.   We slide up and down now.   This one feels like we're turning the knobs within our minds.   As we come to an end, it feels as if those parts of our minds have simply been shut off.  

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Music Review //

"We Are Getters"
 is out June 24th 
and can be streamed/pre-saved 
by clicking here.

Somewhere between the old style of guitar based rock n roll and the newer pop style of rock n roll is where you'll find GETTERS.   The song "Row" is not quite as pop as something you might hear on the radio such as Neon Trees or AJR (AJR has that one song- "Bang"- which I do enjoy) but they're also not as down and dirty as a gritty rock n roll band like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.   The sound falls somewhere in between- perhaps too pop for rock die hards and not pop enough for radio, but the song is easy on the ears so I don't feel like it will be an issue with people not wanting to hear it.   Even though it isn't quite as pop as other artists on the radio, this song still could break through mainstream radio.

Music tends to have a pattern where you can recognize the chorus from the verse, if the song is structured in such a way, and during "Row" I know that there are verses and a chorus but somehow this whole song just feels like a constant buzz to me.   The music can change to switch from verse to chorus, as most songs do, but it just feels like there is this constant sound which goes with it which adds another level to the overall song.   It just feels like once you press play the music keeps going until the song is over.   There are no stops along the way, no pauses, and I don't know when the last time I heard a song do that but also this is at a moderate tempo where as you tend to think of songs without stopping as going much faster.

The music video for "Row" is one which I've watched several times and it truly reminds me of something I would have watched on MTV in my youth.   There is a distinct story which plays out like a short film.   I feel like music videos can work on three different levels and this is the one where the song feels like a soundtrack because what you see in the music video itself is bringing as much to the table as the song.   It might be because of the wardrobe choices, but this music video reminds me of a film by Quentin Tarantino, such as "Reservoir Dogs" or "Pulp Fiction".    The first time through I was also left slightly confused (in a good way) so that I had to re-watch it to try and make sense of the events and how they unfolded exactly.

I tend to enjoy music videos whenever there is any effort put into them but when they are like little movies- such as GETTERS has done here- I just seem to like them even more.  This is a visual you should definitely embrace and on top of that "Row" is just a song which will get stuck in your head, yet it isn't really pop and has more of what I want to call a buzz rock sound to it.   From the Beastie Boys to Soundgarden, this is one of those music videos that people who truly appreciate music videos will not want to miss.   Fans of rock music should also have this song in their ears and I just feel like everyone will enjoy this sound.  

Wrestling Review //
ICW No Holds Barred
Volume 9

Volume 9 kicked things off in 2020 for ICW No Holds Barred and it was just a few days over a year after Volume 1.   Though this was in Florida, it was apparently cold.   Danny Demanto started out the show by bringing out the entire locker room and then singling out John Wayne Murdoch for being Wrestler of the Year and commenting on how people don't take deathmatch wrestling as seriously as other wrestling.   I look at it like this: you go to wrestling school and train so you learn how to throw a suplex and while training you probably take your fair share of suplexes as well.   But how do you train to go through barbed wire or glass? It's just on a different level, but to me it's a higher level since it's more painful.

John Wayne Murdoch was interrupted by Rickey Shane Page, who was on top of a Uhaul for some reason.   RSP said that Danny Demanto had a bunch of troll accounts made and he rigged the contest for Wrestler of the Year.  Now, look, RSP has questionable morals, right?  So if it was that easy to do, why wouldn't RSP just do it so that he could win Wrestler of the Year?  And if he couldn't rig the nominations then at least he could have gone on and rigged it so that JWM didn't win, if RSP hates him that much.   Perhaps I'm overthinking this though.  Eventually, RSP leaves after saying he starts with SHLAK but will ultimately face JWM.   Whenever this match happens, it's going to be so huge.

Last we saw Neil Diamond Cutter he was having a battle of the theme songs with Jeff Cannonball but no one wants to talk about how Satu Jinn comes out to "Sugar" and that should be a sing along theme song as well.   Satu Jinn and NDC were two of the newer wrestlers we saw come in during the end of 2020 and to see them kick off the show in 2021 seems only fitting.  NDC got that win and I think that puts him in a good spot going forward.   

Ugh.   Brandon Kirk came out next and Kasey Catal said that he headlined the best deathmatch wrestling show of 2020, but no one seems to know what that was.   For my money, the best deathmatch show of 2020 was ICW NHB Volume 6 but Brandon Kirk didn't headline that-- he just got his ass beat by Dominic Garrini.   Nolan Edward, whom I love more and more every day, put Brandon Kirk through a sheet of glass to win this one and hopefully Kirk goes home and tries something different next time since it looked like having his wife at ringside might be his key to winning but now that theory is out the window.

This was my first time seeing Lord Crewe, which it's nice to see ICW NHB still having these debuts on every show, giving some fresh faces a chance to show what they can do.  Though Lord Crewe took a loss here at least he went to a Shining Wizard Seminar, unlike his opponent (that thing was so laughable, it'd be like me trying to do it)   AKIRA unfortunately started off 2021 with a loss to Atticus Cogar, who is now 3-0 versus AKIRA.   This was a great match I just wish AKIRA had won.

There were advertisements for various shows on IWTV shown during intermission and it wasn't too bad as they promoted an IWA-MS show that has John Wayne Murdoch on it.   That's some good cross promotion right there.   Following the break, we had Reed Bentley coming in hot and defeating Orin Veidt.  Orin Veidt lost to JWM recently so he said, of The Rejects, "Give me the little one", which seems to be setting up Veidt vs. AKIRA at some point.  This match also made me wonder if we'd see Reed Bentley vs. JWM at some point.  I know we've seen JWM vs. AKIRA, but with Reed Bentley being undefeated that could be a big time match up right there as well.

Rickey Shane Page came out and complained that the ring wasn't clean enough for him to wrestle in.   Eventually, SHLAK came out.  RSP did a lot of the running away outside of the ring thing in this match.  Neither man really seemed to get too beat up and then RSP just rolled up SHLAK really quick for the pin.   It felt like a fluke and there was so much match left to have, but it also leaves me wondering what will be next for RSP.  Does he go after AKIRA?  The undefeated Reed Bentley?  I don't think he's ready for JWM yet.

In the main event of the show, John Wayne Murdoch took on Shane Mercer, who is just one tough guy.   I was thinking Shane Mercer would work his way up to this type of fight but he was just thrown right into it.   Since it was cold, there were these trash cans with fire burning in them to help keep everyone warm and that was used as a weapon during this match.   That wasn't the only use of fire during this match either and this is easily the best match I witnessed through all of the wrestling which took place in January of 2021.

So where am I now?  I've been watching all of the ICW No Holds Barred shows on IWTV since the beginning of the year or so.  I watched Volume 9 on a Tuesday, I'm typing this all on a Wednesday, will post it on a Thursday and then ICW NHB has a doubleheader this coming Saturday.    The matches between the two shows are really something special.   Nolan Edward vs. Atticus Cogar should deliver, while Cogar (who has been on a roll) will have to go up against the undefeated Reed Bentley during the second show.   Gary Jay and Justin Kyle may well kill each other and they're not even in the cage!   This is definitely a weekend I am looking forward to for wrestling and especially ICW NHB.

Wrestling Review //
F1RST Wrestling
On IWTV Show 1 & 2

On Sunday, February 21st, F1RST Wrestling was highlighted on IWTV with a doubleheader of shows.   This was my introduction to F1RST Wrestling but not all of the wrestlers who were on the cards.   The big attraction going into these shows as well was the IWTV Independent Wrestling Champion WARHORSE defending his title for the first time in a while against JDX.   I was, admittedly, tuning in just to see WARHORSE but I also was interested in what else F1RST had to offer because it could mean seeing more of wrestlers I already know or finding out about new wrestlers to like.

The first show- the whole thing- kicked off with JDX in a singles match against Rylie Jackson.   I wasn't sure how this match was going to happen because in just a few hours after this JDX would be facing WARHORSE for the title, so it wouldn't make sense for JDX to lose, right?  If JDX lost, would Rylie Jackson then get the title shot against WARHORSE?  It would have been a nice touch to have some little stipulation like that- like maybe have Rylie Jackson cut a promo about how he should have the title shot not JDX and then it leads to this match with the title shot on the line but whatever.  It was a fine match for what it was.

I recognized Frontman Jah-C right away from Twitter but this was my first time seeing him wrestle.  In fact, the next match also featured three competitors I didn't recognize: Brandon Gore, Kal Creed and Kyle Pro.   I know that promotions like to do scramble matches to get a bunch of people on the show and maybe introduce us to a whole lot of new talent at once (And four isn't even the worst because promotions will do six and eight person scrambles) but to me they're always just confusing.  Watching two wrestlers you don't know is enough for me.  When you add in two more (or more on top of that) it becomes a matter of "who is who again" and that really can take away from the match.

Billie Starkz- who is one of the wrestlers I have seen prior to this show- went up against Skye Blue, who is new to me.  These two wrestled to a double count out which seemed like kind of a bogus ending until we fast forward to the second show.   Filing under "names I see on social media but people I haven't seen wrestle before" is Don't Die Miles.  He actually took on and defeated Gary Jay, who I'm rather familiar with.  It's funny because when he first came out I thought I heard that "Into The Spiderverse" song and then when I thought about it for a minute it just clicked, like, "That's perfect!"

I feel like I've seen Devon Monroe before but right now can only honestly say that it is a name I know.  The Carver is just this... kind of like Leatherface gimmick but not and it's just somewhat terrifying.   The match came to an end when The Carver put a plastic bag over the head of Devon Monroe- literally trying to kill him- and the ref called for the bell to stop it.  Funny story, over in ICW NHB, using a plastic bag like that isn't exactly illegal so seeing The Carver make the trip to ICW NHB one day would be a crossover I could get behind.

The main event of the first show saw The Besties In The World team up with WARHORSE to take on Arik Cannon and Top Flight.  The only wrestlers in this match I hadn't seen before were Top Flight though I know they had a match recently on AEW that was a big deal.   I honestly hadn't seen Arik Cannon wrestle since he had a mohawk and since then it's just been seeing him on Twitter warn other promotions about scammers when it comes to booking and then those promotions not listening or maybe just scamming the fans.  (It's okay, it's okay, they've been quiet for a while)

Random Thought coming out of the first show: I just purchased this action figure size version of the IWTV Independent Wrestling Championship (available now on Shop IWTV dot com!) and then WARHORSE comes out and it has a white strap now.   Wtf.

The second show really probably helped define the individual wrestlers a little bit more, though also seeing them for a second time can also have that effect on you.   We opened with Don't Die Miles taking on Brandon Gore.   Brandon Gore was in that scramble on the first show and he's the guy who kind of reminded me of Daniel Garcia.   Don't Die Miles is still the man and I loved seeing him pick up wins on both of these shows.  I'll continue to watch F1RST or wherever books Don't Die Miles.   Let's go!!

Kal Creed defeated Kyle Pro in the second match and these are basically two guys I couldn't pick out of a crowd.   Kyle Pro is also a pretty bad name, all things considered.   What Kenny Amateur taken or something?  I mean, we get it, you get paid to wrestle which makes you a pro.   It's one of those things like when MC Hammer described why he dropped the MC from his name.  Also, wrestling promotions tend to be named things like ___ Pro, so it makes him seem more like a wrestling promotion than a wrestler.  I'm just not sold on the name.

I somewhat remembered Rylie Jackson from the first show but it didn't matter because he got to be killed by The Carver.   If nothing else, The Carver is one of the most interesting wrestlers going in all of professional wrestling right now as after the match he pulled out a body bag for Rylie Jackson.   Too many wrestlers (not just on this show but in general) look the same and The Carver is just doing such a great job of standing out based on his appearance and on top of that he's just this true terror inside the ring to back it up.

Arik Cannon vs. Devon Monroe vs. Gary Jay vs. Frontman Jah-C ended in a double pin which is kind of like a tie I guess.   Post match Arik Cannon said he'd give Devon Monroe a one on one match for the title he holds, so we've got that coming up at some point.   In the co-main event Billie Starkz defeated Skye Blue, which makes up for the fact that they went to a double count out on the first show.   It's one of those things where I was mad then but now I'm happy.  I don't think of this as a rematch but rather a continuation.

WARHORSE defeated JDX in the second of three main events and I'm not sure what's next for WARHORSE, as this was his first title defense this year I believe, but I'm sure JDX is now on the radar of a lot more people.  I'm not sure what promotion it was for but I have an idea (I don't want to say though in case I'm wrong) but before the pandemic hit and everything there was a show in this area- the east coast- where JDX was going to come in and wrestle.   But I think it didn't happen because of the pandemic.  So I do want to see JDX on the east coast one day, live and in person.  He has skills.

The final match of it all saw Top Flight defeat The Besties In The World, arguably two of the top tag teams in all of professional wrestling today.   If you ever want to see an example of some perfect tag team wrestling, just study this tape.   Ultimately, I feel like there are a few little things here and there about the show that I criticized but overall it was still a solid show and worth going out of your way to see for the talent which was on it.  I'll definitely be checking out the upcoming F1RST shows on IWTV.  

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Wrestling Review //
ICW No Holds Barred
Pitfighter X5

While the ICW NHB shows have been tending to run with a Pitfighter on Friday and then the Volume on Saturday, this Pitfighter actually doesn't have a Volume the next day.  In fact, the next ICW NHB show after this is Volume 9 and it was almost a month after Pitfighter X5.   This was also the last show of 2020 and it was back in The Blood Shed in NJ, which if you were in NJ in December you know it was not warm.  

This was my first time seeing Aidan Blackhart but I think he put on a good show against AKIRA.   Isn't it funny how AKIRA started 2020 against guys like Matt Tremont and he seemed like more of the rookie fighting against the veterans and now he's somehow closer to that veteran position where he's helping to usher in new talent.   The year of 2020 felt like a lifetime, in many ways, and to see the growth and progress AKIRA has made throughout the year has just been such an incredible journey.

Another new name for me is Shane Mercer, who defeated Daniel Garcia by literally pulling the door off of the cage and hitting it into Red Death (which, of course, made ref stoppage)  This guy is a monster and when you talk about monsters there are quite a few in ICW NHB, so Shane Mercer seems like he'd fit right in fighting someone like SHLAK, Justin Kyle or our next match winner: Dominic Garrini.   While I've seen Gary Jay before, this was my first time seeing him in ICW NHB.   The thing about Gary Jay is that he always takes these bumps where he lands and you think "Well, he's dead" but then he just gets up and is somewhat fine.

Something that not a lot of people might know is that WARHORSE (the current IWTV Independent Wrestling Champion) was given this nasty scar on his mouth courtesy of one Gary Jay.  I would absolutely love if in 2021 we saw WARHORSE get into an ICW NHB ring (or pit) to take on Gary Jay for a bit of revenge.  Even just having WARHORSE defend that title against someone like John Wayne Murdoch is the type of thing I want to see happen in the coming months.   But, it's up to people who aren't me to make it happen.

Before the next match could start, Kasey Catal (who I always think is "Casey Katal" for some reason) cut a promo about how Brandon Kirk is a real man and he plays softball twice on Sunday mornings.   This lead to a discussion between the commentary team about John Kruk and whether or not he was alive and he is in fact alive and last I heard he did some kind of talk show deal on ESPN.   But could all this talk of softball bring Sid to ICW NHB?  (Probably not) This match was crazy because when Kasey tried to get involved she was stopped by Mittens and then later Brandon Kirk faked a dive from up where the commentary team was, which was really just a waste of time by him.

Brandon Kirk went through fire, wood and hit the ground and still managed to kick out after only a one count.    Though Danny Demanto didn't win this match he did talk after it about how ICW NHB was doing the best work of anyone in 2020 (which is true) and they did it all themselves, busting their asses and not with sponsorship or donations.   This kind of struck a chord with me because I remember a promotion (but I won't name them) who early on during the pandemic were running shows but you had to sponsor a wrestler, which basically meant you paid their booking fee.  It's been a while though and I haven't heard anything about that particular promotion but that obviously turned out to not be the best idea.

In what was dubbed a "Christmas Tree Death Match" Neil Diamond Cutter defeated Jeff Cannonball.   Both men have fun theme songs and at the end both of them were singing to NDC's music.   During the middle of this match, Jeff Cannonball did a Short Soda Review of a flavor of Mt. Dew which he said "It could be better" and I *think* it was about that new watermelon one.   Either way, that new watermelon Mt. Dew flavor really could be better.  The second to last match was stopped I believe because of the blood coming out of the arm of Casanova Valentine and in keeping with fairness, how much JWM got to patch up his arm during a match (the ref even helped him) but a seemingly similar situation gave Casanova Valentine a loss?  Hmm.

John Wayne Murdoch secured his Wrestler of the Year status in the main event by defeating Nolan Edward.   Nolan Edward has the nickname of "No Flinch" and I didn't really pay close attention to it until this match.  I mean, if half of a door is coming straight for your face, your instinct is to either move or at least turn your head, close your eyes, something-- but Nolan Edward just does not flinch.  This match was also a lot of fun to watch from a visual standpoint because the pit was really more weapons than space for the wrestlers to stand on and move around.  I give the referee a lot of credit during this match just for being in the cage.

Looking back at 2020, I think ICW NHB really started with this core group of wrestlers with names like The Rejects, 44OH! (who were not on this show at all), SHLAK (also absent from this show), Casanova Valentine and if he wasn't injured definitely Nick Gage as well.   Then they bring in guys like Dom Garrini and Tony Deppen sometimes, but there is also this way that throughout 2020 they just began bringing in new talent like Satu Jinn, Nolan Edward, Neil Diamond Cutter, Justin Kyle and others which I feel just really make the roster one of the best of any promotion in the world today.    Having watched this show, I can say now that I've seen all of the ICW NHB shows from 2020 and it really was their year.  No other promotion even begins to come close to this level of greatness. 

Wrestling Review //
High Tension Wrestling
"Camp Leapfrog: Things That Go Bump In The Ring"

Following the debut of Camp Leapfrog, we are presented with what is a Halloween special.  There is a live special after this and then both a holiday special (December) and Valentine's Day is most recent, so I do enjoy that these shows have become themed in such ways.   This show opened with Hallowicked and a haunted VHS.   

When they wouldn't give them any candy, Oreo Speedwagon took on Devantes and Jet Jaghori in what was called a "Tag Team Trick 'r' Treat, Smell My Feet Match".   Devantes had the strength to pick up both members of Oreo Speedwagon on his shoulders at once, but Wavra & Faraday still secured the win.  Post match, Devantes and Jet Jaghori were made to smell the feet of a cook dressed like the Blue Meanie.  Oreo Speedwagon also had Sailor Moon costumes on, while their opponents were not in costume.  What is the Halloween version of a Grinch?

There were a lot of great skits in between matches which really helped define the characters.  I'm okay with watching matches where it's just two people fighting in a sports aspect (because I don't need to know Mike Trout's life story to watch him play baseball) but in the unique world of professional wrestling there is that opportunity to create characters which fans can boo or relate with and this is in many ways a prime example of how to establish such characters.  Fans can ask themselves such things as "Why does Gina have so many weapons??"

I thoroughly enjoy BLANK and the story told in the ring here with ABBS.  It was the story of the canvas being painted on and some of that paint was pumpkin-filled as, yes, pumpkins came into play here.  For Halloween 2021 if Camp Leapfrog returns with another special such as this one, I'd really like to see "It's The Great Pumpkin, D-Lo Brown" become a thing.

Along with a parody of the "Monster Mash" song (it was the "Monster Match") which brought out both Big Callux and Erica Leigh as a werewolf, there was a little tribute to Thriller as well and that was definitely fun to see.   It's just the little things like this which set Camp Leapfrog apart from other wrestling shows but make it so enjoyable to watch that you have to wonder why someone wouldn't be watching it- wrestling fan or not.

As Pancakes was lured into the woods, Matt Makowski and Travis Huckabee met Pancakes with eggs.  This lead to a Tag Scream Match with Ron Voyage and Trajan Horn defending the honor of Pancakes.   Salt The Earth (as Makowski and Huckabee are known together) picked up the win but I really think that Ron Voyage and Trajan Horn make a great tag team together.  

In a surprise to both campers and myself, Violence found himself in a match with a costumed individual who turned out to be none other than IWTV Independent Wrestling Champion WARHORSE.   This became a title match and while Violence put up a valiant effort, in the end it was WARHORSE who reigned supreme.  It's always nice to see a surprise guest star on a wrestling show- especially if it is WARHORSE.

The Monster Battle Royal was a lot of fun and the way this was presented as being taped and not live (They call them "cinematic matches" or whatever, but does that make other wrestling less cinematic? I don't think so) was used to its full advantage.  By the power of Mortal Kombat, Kaia McKenna picked up a huge win here and if you don't yet know the name Kaia McKenna just give it time because you will.

Last show, I felt kind of like the last match wasn't really the main event.  I understood what it represented and how that meant it should be in that final spot on the card, but the match just didn't feel that same way to me.   For this show though, I definitely feel like Killian Murphy defeating Brad Rush lived up to closing out the show and that comes from a show where the IWTV Independent Title was defended.  All sorts of characters came out during this match and it wasn't really set straight until an appearance by 911 (yes, the 911 from old school ECW)  Killian McMurphy got the win but in the end he also got TP'ed so who was the real winner?

The credits roll like a movie and I think there should be more of that in wrestling-- seeing everyone who made it all possible plus knowing that many of those who were involved in the ring were also involved in other aspects of the show.   Plus the whole little Easter Egg (Now I want an Easter show where someone fights a bunny!) with WARHORSE and 911 in the car together was simply the chef's kiss.  

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Music Review //
Naked Gypsy Queens

While I tend to find that the visual aspect of music can be something to enhance the audio, I've always felt strange about just watching live videos if the song is not also being performed live.  And there have been music videos where the band just gets together in a solid white room and plays their song, which is also something that can be compared with being a live video vs a music video.  However, in the year of 2021 (and after what the year 2020 brought us) even if this live performance by Naked Gypsy Queens isn't with live audio, it still makes me remember a time when we could experience live music- a luxury we cannot currently afford.

The sound of Naked Gypsy Queens can best be described as rock.  I know that simply calling something "rock" can take you down a million subgenres, not all of them the same and so it might need some clarification.  But back in the day when rock music really began to take over, I feel like a lot of it is like The Who in the sense that the band name also has to look good on a t-shirt.  Trust me, if you're wearing a t-shirt or see the name Naked Gypsy Queens on a flyer for a show, you're going to stop and take notice.  And that, even without hearing the music, is the power of rock.

If you're going to find artists to compare Naked Gypsy Queens with there aren't a lot but the few I can put together are mighty.  There is this almost southern like feeling to these power chords which start and stop through distortion.  At one point in the song, it just opens up and really takes off and I like when songs do that because it just feels so primal.  Much of the starting and stopping of the music can be seen as restrictive, but once they get going fast it's like they just let loose- like a dam breaking.   Musically, you could think of this as sounding like Jet or even The White Stripes, but not too many other artists compare.

In a world where it seems like music has become so processed, it's nice to feel it in an organic way and not in a way which feels acoustic either.   I think at some point in time, rock music lost its way and it became stale.   Too many artists used computers to create their rock sound and seemingly didn't know how to play instruments anymore.   I don't know- maybe they knew how to play them too well.  But now, for the past two years, I've really been searching for just organic rock music, knowing it was still out there and just trying to help the world find it as well.  And I really do believe that sooner than later the world is going to find Naked Gypsy Queens. 

Wrestling Review //
ICW No Holds Barred
Volume 8

ICW No Holds Barred Volume 8 was supposed to be the show where two men made history in a sixty minute Iron Man Deathmatch but it ended up being best known for something else.   Following the events of one of the matches and one Alex Ocean the wrestling world was all the buzz about Alex Ocean saying "Fuck Eddie Guerrero".   I feel like I could write 5000 words about why Alex Ocean shouldn't have said that, but you know it's easier just to say that I no longer respect Alex Ocean, I won't ever buy merch for Alex Ocean and I don't watch wrestling to see Alex Ocean get beat up-- I just don't want to ever see Alex Ocean again.  Simple as that.  I realize Alex Ocean apologized afterwards and said he meant to say something else but slipped up and that just seems too convenient- it's not going to cut it for me.

This show began with the legendary Meng battling SHLAK to a no contest because when both men were just battling through the chairs and the ref couldn't seem to gain control, it wasn't allowed to go on.   I have to admit that this was kind of a bullshit call.  The whole thing about ICW NHB is that there are no rules, so if the ref says "Get back into the ring" and you don't, it seems pretty lame to get disqualified for that, right?  Just let them fight.  They'll work it out to a pin or submission eventually.   You have to trust the process, referee.

Eric Ryan got another win and this time it was over Deathmatch Dom.   Both of these guys fought and won last night so it was interesting to see them against each other tonight.   I wonder if they were in the cage maybe things would have favored Dom.  I'm not sure, but with Eric Ryan just stomping everyone to victory I don't know who can beat him at this point.    Reed Bentley scored a win over Jimmy Lloyd where all the chairs were thrown into the ring.   What can you say about another Jimmy Lloyd loss?  During this match, I began to realize that Reed Bentley is like the middle child of The Rejects and that makes me like him a little bit more (I, myself, am a middle child)

As someone who has subscribed to IWTV for something like a year and a half, I must admit that I would rather see the staff of ICW NHB sweep the ring and clean it up in between matches than whatever little IWTV clip show they sometimes feel like inserting for whatever reason.   Atticus Cogar defeated Neil Diamond Cutter in the next match by putting him through a plate of glass.  You know, even in defeat, NDC is doing some great things inside of the chains and cage of ICW NHB and I've been typing about wins and losses of certain wrestlers but I feel like it matters a little bit less for Neil Diamond Cutter- because even in defeat, you're still glad you saw him.

While I've seen G-Raver before, this was my first time seeing him in a match in ICW NHB as he took on Eddy Only.  If your plan is to return to the ring for a promotion and you have the fans on your side, it probably is best to take on someone such as Eddy Only because fans just want to see him get destroyed and this also helps G-Raver get closer to Atticus Cogar.  Could we have that Rejects-44OH match one day with G-Raver teaming up with The Rejects?

The second to last match saw Alex Ocean defeat AKIRA when Riley Madison came out and helped Alex Ocean do so.   We all pretty much know what happened during this match- and had Alex Ocean not said what he did, I would have really respected him for nearly dying the night before and still battling for so long against AKIRA.   But my question now is if you hear Alex Ocean say "Fuck Eddie Guerrero" and then come out and help him, does that mean you also hate Eddie Guerrero?  That's what I'm taking from this so fuck Alex Ocean and fuck Riley Madison.   There was already enough heel heat going on... this didn't need to happen, but unfortunately, it's one of those things that once said you can't take it back.   I hope I never see Alex Ocean or Riley Madison ever again.

The main event sixty minute Iron Man Deathmatch basically has Shawn Michaels-Bret Hart Iron Man match rules, which are explained beforehand.  This is where it also gets tricky, such as it did with the first match between SHLAK and Meng, because there aren't supposed to be any rules but then the ref explains about the rest periods after a fall occurs and so, yeah, there are some rules.   

I'm not sure why Orin Veidt hates The Struggles but it's funny.  If you ever look at Cage Match, you'll see how matches like the one between JWM and Alex Ocean from last night were just so bloody and so violent yet somehow were less than ten minutes long.   And I think about all of the times that a match stopped because of the ref deciding one of the competitors could no longer go on.   I think even fifteen to twenty minutes is a long time to be in a death match, so to be in there for an hour is just incredible.   

These two tore the house down and I mean that literally as they ripped the chains down from the ring.   As they were tied when the hour expired, the fans chanted "One more hour" but JWM decided they would go to sudden death- next fall wins it all.  Has an Iron Man match ever gone just the full hour?  It seems like they're always tied after the hour is up.    But how do you not just say "You know what, we'll pick this up again at a later date"?  To keep going just shows that John Wayne Murdoch and Orin Veidt are two of the best in the world at what they do.   After a Deep South Destroyer through fire gave JWM the win, I'm willing to say that John Wayne Murdoch is the best active deathmatch wrestler.  

Monday, February 22, 2021

Wrestling Review //
ICW No Holds Barred
Pitfighter X4

As the last ICW NHB Pitfighter show saw them leave New Jersey for warmer weather, this is the first show where ICW NHB comes to Florida.   It's something that maybe I don't put enough emphasis on, but it somewhat crazy to me that some of these wrestlers do the shows on Friday night in the pit and then get back in the chains on Saturday night as well.   Some of these guys- like Alex Ocean during this show- I feel like if I was in the Friday night match I wouldn't fight again for six months let alone the next night.   It's pretty crazy but I love and appreciate what these guys put their bodies through for sick fucks like me.

Pitfighter X4 opened with Eric Ryan stomping Jimmy Lloyd to victory and I know that a few shows ago Jimmy Lloyd had this moment where he felt like he let himself down and he needed to do better, but honestly, I just feel like every time I see Jimmy Lloyd in ICW NHB he loses.  Eric Ryan is definitely not to be taken lightly and this was quite the violent way to start the show.   Eddy Only didn't do as well for 44OH as he tapped out to Dominic Garrini and, yes, I still want to see Violence Is Forever in ICW NHB (Kevin Ku, where are you?) but Dom is just tearing it up and the big match I want to see now is Dom vs. Justin Kyle.

Justin Kyle comes out for the next match against Bruce Santee.  Even commentary mentions that Santee is wearing jeans like he got pulled off of the street but he's a tough dude and goes toe to toe with Justin Kyle.  This fight had punches in bunches and it was pretty close to those bar fights from the "No Holds Barred" movie, which in some ways is all I ever wanted to see in wrestling.   This took us into intermission which, thankfully, was edited out of this show.

AKIRA and Nolan Edward had one of those crazy matches where you think of AKIRA as being this up and comer because it was only earlier in the year 2020 that AKIRA had these break out moments.  So, in some ways, people look at AKIRA as someone who is young and on his way to the top.   But then you have Nolan Edward, who is also young, and he wants to go to the top as well.   So it was fun seeing these two have the bar fight on top of the cage.   AKIRA choked out Nolan Edward and this was a match that just made me even more of a fan of both competitors.

Reed Bentley and Atticus Cogar kept The Rejects-44OH feud alive.   As commentary reminded me, these two also fought at Volume 6, though this time they are in the cage instead of the chains.  G-Raver attacked Cogar post match and there are a lot of interviews after the matches promoting tomorrow night's show and that just is a nice touch I didn't really pay as much attention to up to now as I probably should have been.

In the co-main event, Alex Ocean has new music and he gets booed.   At one point, both of these guys- Alex Ocean and John Wayne Murdoch- had blood all over their faces and backs.   It was just so much blood.   John Wayne Murdoch was bleeding badly from the arm, so he took his shirt and wrapped it around his arm and then had the ref help him use duct tape to secure it.  I'm not sure what the discretion of the ref allows, but if he can stop a fight because someone isn't protecting themselves while getting punched in the face, it seems like he could have (and maybe should) stopped this fight and said JWM needed medical attention.

After this match, Orin Veidt came out and said that tomorrow night, he and JWM are going to make history in the Iron Man Deathmatch.   Some guy in the crowd yelled "Let's make history right now ring the fucking bell!"  It's kind of crazy to think about how much damage John Wayne Murdoch took in this match and then has to face Orin Veidt- who didn't fight on this show- tomorrow night for an hour.

The main event saw SHLAK try to kill Neil Diamond Cutter and I suppose if you're one of the newer participants coming into ICW NHB you might as well get in there with SHLAK right away, just to see if you're going to stick around or not.   This was a fun way to end the show and rather than thinking about this in itself I spent a lot of time thinking about what some of these guys went through tonight and then have to go and fight again tomorrow.   We're also into November of 2020 now, so the year is almost over and it's been so much fun watching all of these back because everyone just really leaves it all out there.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Wrestling Review //

Official GSW website ::: 

Order "Inception" here :::

GSW on Twitter :::

GSW on YoutTube :::

One thing about me a lot of people may not know is that I spend about an hour after I get into bed at night looking through Instagram.  I see videos of comedy and photos of action figures, but I also go down this hole sometimes where I end up finding Simpsons memes in Spanish and that's when I know it's time to sleep.  I first found out about this show because it was a post I saw on Instagram.   The style of the poster caught my attention and I was familiar with enough of the names that when I saw this only $14.99 on FITE TV, I pulled the trigger and ordered it.

"Inception" opened with the music of Wrecking Ball Legursky playing, quickly stopping, the ring announcer welcomed us to the show and then the music started back up again.  Wrecking Ball Legursky made Michael Elgin look small in this match (which is not easy to do) and this was the big boy fight we were all hoping it would be.  At one point, Elgin was behind Legursky trying to suplex him and Elgin got hit by this elbow you could just feel at home.   I've had Wrecking Ball fighting literally inches away from me in person and when he hits his opponent the sound is just something that stays with you forever.

There were two times in the opening contest where Michael Elgin was able to sort of lift Wrecking Ball Legursky but both of them were because of help from the top rope.  I truly believe if there was some kind of rematch without the use of ropes (Though I'm not sure what that would be exactly) Wrecking Ball would have won this one.   The crowd was really behind Wrecking Ball Legursky as well, chanting "Wrecking Ball" and "Smash".  With his size, look (he's got a Bam Bam Bigelow kind of thing going on) and just everything about him I'm not sure why Wrecking Ball Legursky isn't tearing it up on national television.  He seems like the type of talent WWE would push to the moon and back.

Following this match, Michael Elgin was confronted by a masked man who turned out to be Jacob Fatu.   This was after only the first match, but it was my first holy shit moment of the night.  I didn't expect to see Jacob Fatu on this show, but as I think about it there are several MLW wrestlers on here so it does make some sort of sense.  For my money, Jacob Fatu is one of the best World Champions in all of pro wrestling today and I think that should go without saying he's a better champion than anyone in the 'E.  For the first time in about a year I had that moment of "I need to see this match live" as Jacob Fatu and Michael Elgin booked a future fight.

In a surprise of a match Masha Slamovich defeated Hyan.   Masha Slamovich came out and cut a promo saying she wished she was in Japan but instead was in "who the fuck knows where New Jersey"   That is also how all of NJ feels to me.  These two women had a great match and the only bad thing about it was my FITE TV app glitching but I got it worked out eventually.   This took us into Richard Holliday vs. Tyson Maddox.   Of course I've seen CT's own Richard Holliday in both MLW and Beyond Wrestling, but I've not heard of Tyson Maddox before.   It was a nice showing for Maddox but I was really looking forward to seeing Jake Crist here because he's supposed to be on this whole new path since leaving Impact Wrestling.

Often times I wonder how things translate from area to area and by that I even just mean with the east coast vs the rest of the world.  Vicious Vicki and Gabby Ortiz are two names which I know well, but I do wonder if they're centrally located to NJ and if you were in California or even middle America perhaps you might not know them.  Either way, this was such a great match that I know it's only a matter of time before you can see both of them everywhere and know their names.  

In a triple threat match, Ricky Reyes picked up the win over Smiley and Gio Galvano.  I've never heard of Gio Galvano before and I've only ever heard of Smiley by name (he's been on shows with other wrestlers I know but I don't believe I've ever seen a match of his before)  This was a good match but it was limited by being a triple threat.  Ricky Reyes is a veteran of professional wrestling though, so it's always fun to see him inside of a ring.

Originally, Deonna Purrazzo was scheduled to face Shaul Guerrero on this show but it ended up being Purrazzo vs. Trish Adora.   I couldn't be more excited to see this match with Trish Adora in it and Trish Adora only lost because she was robbed by outside interference by Kimber Lee.   After Kimber Lee broke up what should have been a pin by Trish Adora, Deonna Purrazzo picked up Adora and looked like she was going for a move but couldn't get Adora up all the way so it just landed so awkwardly.   Purrazzo got the armbar on instead for the tap out.  

The main event was supposed to be Alexander Hammerstone vs. Joe Doering but Austin Aries came in to replace Doering.  I wanted to see Doering since he recently joined Impact but it is also nice to see Hammerstone try and smash some sense into Aries.  The bad thing about this match change was that this was to crown the first GSW Champion and I don't think if the plan was for Joe Doering to win the belt they would have put it on Austin Aries instead, so you kind of knew Hammerstone was winning this one.   And he did.

It surprised me a little bit that there were some chants for Austin Aries.   Commentary handled it well, saying he has some differing opinions in real life but still can get it done and is an accomplished wrestler in the ring.   They also said this was Austin Aries' first match in about a year so that's kind of crazy.   These two did what you would hope to see and I think it's kind of weird the crowd got behind Aries a little bit but this was still one of those matches where both men left it all in that ring.

Post match, Chris Dickinson came out to challenge Alexander Hammerstone and I believe that Dickinson said their next show is May 22nd, which if true might mean my return to seeing pro wrestling live.   There are also apparently episodes of GSW coming to YouTube, which I will be on the lookout for now.  

Though there were three match changes going into this show, you have to understand that a) We are in a pandemic and b) Weather is absolutely nuts right now.   We are literally coming off of a week when there was a major snowstorm going through Texas.   And I know it differs from state to state in terms of me being in CT vs. NJ vs. PA and such, but we go from snow to sunshine to rain and back to snow again.  It's crazy right now, the way the weather is.   So all match changes must be forgiven.  

I also spent a decent amount of time during this show thinking about how much I enjoyed the commentary.   I tried but I can't come up with an exact number of percentage, but commentary can often times make or break a show.   So to hear the commentary to the extent that they were putting over the talent and not themselves, knew the moves and also just gave you backgrounds on the wrestlers so if you didn't know them you could feel like you did.  

I'm going to stay up to date with GSW on YouTube and if their next show really is May 22 in New Jersey then I might just have to make the trip.   If you're not from the east coast, then go to FITE TV and buy this show for $14.99 and watch it.   This show was just the best combination of wrestlers I knew, wrestlers you should know and wrestlers you may not know but you will know.   And that was all just perfectly displayed within the ring.  

Friday, February 19, 2021

Music Review //
"All. Right. Now."

Satsang's new album, "All. Right. Now.", will be released on June 4th, 2021.  Pre-order links can be found here.

The first thing you should notice about this song is that guitar twang.   It might mislead you and make you think that this has a country feel to it, but in reality it feels more like a rock song with those Americana roots: something along the lines of Bob Dylan, Neil Young, The Wallflowers or even Limbeck.   The best way to think of it is as having a slight bit of that country influence but overall just being a rock song.

During this music video you mostly see shots of the band playing and singing along.   At times, there are shots right in front of an American flag which makes me think of Bruce Springsteen, though it does help to emphasize that whole Americana vibe.   The music video just feels fun, like a place you'd want to be, and it makes you want to hear this song either in concert live or just over the speakers at your local bar.  

When I first heard this song it took me back to a time in the early 00's when a lot of indie rock bands decided to throw some country flavor into their sound.   This was when I first heard bands like Limbeck and Lucero, bands who have still stuck with me to this day.  But there is something more inside of this song by Satsang.   It's not quite the "indie rock with an added country flavor" that I thought of those bands to be; it's something more.   I'm not sure if there isn't quite as much country in it or if it just blends together better, but it just seems better crafted.

"All. Right. Now." is many things.  It is a song which can bring you an inner peace.  It's a song which isn't about stress but is rather about feeling a calm, a sense of being okay.   But "All. Right. Now." is also the titular track from the upcoming album by Satsang and I couldn't be more excited to hear it.   I expect songs to go faster and slower, wind and fall right off the rails.   If this song and video don't get you excited for this upcoming album then I'm not sure if anything will and that's a shame.  

Cassette Review //
The Beat Index
"Volume One: Juvenilia"
(No Coast)

$7.99 //

Edition of 100 // //

The Beat Index begin this cassette with a song that has a xylophone as the main attraction and is instrumental.   This takes us into the second track- "World of Want"- which begins with a recording of one of those self checkout machines.  I've never actually paid attention because I use self checkouts at Target and Stop & Shop-- I wonder if the voice on them all is the same.   This song kicks into rock and it has that "Weird Science" vibe to it, like Oingo Boingo or something out of that synth era of rock music.   As it expands the beats just take off into what feels more like an electronic song and the way it just flows into that is quite impressive.

We go into the next song which has more of a pop vibe to it but it's more of the pop I would have heard on cassette back in the 1990's.   There is a Debbie Gibson/Tiffany type of vibe to this song and I'm really digging it.    I like the throwback vibes and they continue onto the next song- "D.O.A."- which starts off sounding like Duran Duran or something from "The Wedding Singer" soundtrack.    There also existed this pop-dance scene in the early 2000's.  I was living in Houston at the time and specifically Numbers Night Club would have a lot of artists come through who felt like they would fit right in with The Beat Index.  

"Nakatomi Plaza 1975" is a song title on this cassette and so are "Nakatomi Plaza 1965" (the first song) and "Nakatomi Plaza 1985" (the last song)   "Brand New Somebody" has a beat like The Go-Go's but also features electronics and it just seems to combine three or four different eras of music into one: Toni Basil, The Go-Go's and something modern I can't quite place my finger on.  There are elements of Metric but with those dance electronics you'd hear in Polly Scattergood.  

On the flip side we have a slower instrumental type intro of a song which makes me think of the closing credits of some forgotten television show.  Remember when shows had closing credits with songs?  "M.A.S.H." was among my favorites.   This takes us into "Record Collection", which has some of those block rockin' beats.   I think it's funny that no matter how you choose to listen to music there will always be this part of society that calls it a "Record Collection".  You don't hear "Cassette Collection" or "CD Collection" as much (and I've never heard "Digital Collection" before)   This song is instrumental as well, aside from some "bah bah bah" sounds.   See if you can listen to it while organizing your records.

At the end of "Record Collection" someone says they like listening to vinyl because it sounds better and while that is a nice point to make I like cassettes because they are the easiest to create on.   I wasn't recording songs off the radio as a kid onto vinyl now was I?  Okay, so, it's at this point I realized I messed up by reading the Bandcamp track listing to try and follow along rather than the j-card of the cassette.   The song "Nakatomi Plaza 1975" actually starts off Side B and then the one I thought was "Record Collection" was actually "Je, Tu, Il, Elle".   (Which also means what I thought was "Nakatomi Plaza 1975" was something between "D.O.A." and "Brand New Somebody" (the end or start of one of those two songs)

So "Record Collection" actually begins with the line about liking vinyl and then it goes into this fuzzy rock n roll song which is somewhere between The Mr T Experience and Smoking Popes.   There is also a nice shout out to several records which are in your collection, some modern and some older.   Hearing the catchy chorus about the record collection is what made me realize I was on the wrong song and i picked up the case to read the j-card and now I think I'm back on the right track.  

"Dead Mall Soundtrack (Love is Vacant)" has audio clips inside of dreamy synth rock.  First there is a story about shoplifting and then there is a story about going on a date.   The chorus is like something out of "The Breakfast Club" and it just brings back all sorts of those memories while the two stories are told and perhaps are intertwined even.   "I Feel Like Death" has one of the most bedroom rock type of sounds that I've heard on the cassette- something like Elvis Depressedly or Nobunny.   Once you go down that rabbithole of sound you'll find some songs which would go well on a compilation with "I Feel Like Death".   

The final track, "Nakatomi Plaza 1985", feels like we were watching an instructional VHS tape and this was the song for the end credits.   If you purchase this cassette or even just the digital version of it [Editor's Note: As I type this, only one cassette remains so when this is published I expect the cassette to be sold out] you get a number of bonus tracks which almost double the length of music for your listening pleasure.   One thing I really enjoy about music is when it makes me want to listen to other music I haven't listened to in a while even if they don't sound exactly the same.   This cassette made me want to revisit Ladytron and Does It Offend You, Yeah? and that's never a bad thing.  

Wrestling Review //
High Tension Wrestling
"Camp Leapfrog"

During the summer- August 16th to be exact- a group of talented wrestlers got together to create this show and I didn't know if it was going to be a one time only thing or what, but since Camp Leapfrog continues to run shows I finally decided to get on board and watch them.   This was... at first I wanted to say that this was an odd show, but really it was just different.   I'm not sure a wrestling show has ever been presented as a campground before but I've recently been watching "Heavyweights" and "Camp Nowhere" on Disney+ so this just fits right in.

The story begins with Brad Rush introducing us to his camp but then a car pulls up and Ethan Wilde won the camp in a poker game so they have to do something to keep it and... I don't know.   Sometimes every episode of "Salute Your Shorts" didn't make sense, but they were still funny.   In the first match, Desean Pratt (fka Amasis) defeated Devantes (who was dressed like Ahmed Johnson) after the two were making friendship bracelets and got into a fight about them so they took it to the ring.  

This same sort of idea took place later on as Joshua Wavra, Xavier Faraday and Vita VonStarr went from fighting Matt Makowski, Molly McCoy and Travis Huckabee on the basketball court to inside the ring.   Between those two matches though we saw Cajun Crawdad defeat Hermit Crab and Ron Voyage (the breakout star here) and Trajan Horn defeat The Runway.   Cajun Crawdad and Hermit Crab had a bullrope, which added another level to their match and made it rather fun as they'd get caught up in the posts because of it.

As a small group of wrestlers was gathered around a campfire, someone simply named Violence came out of nowhere and attacked Killian McMurphy.   This lead to a match in the woods and, in all fairness, it was quite dark so some of it was tough to see and experience fully (like "The Blair Witch Project"!) but it was an "Are You Afraid Of The Dark? Falls Count Anywhere Match", proving that I'm not the only one getting in those pop culture references.

In a Five Round Food Fight, Still Life With Apricots And Pears defeated Cheeseburger.  Two funny things about this: I always, always, always think in my head of the name as being pronounced "Still Life With App-ricots", as it would be like how you say "app" but it's always said by everyone else like "ape" or "ape-ricots".   Also, Still Life had Kevin with her and it took me all of thirty seconds to think "What's the name of Effy's dog?  Oh, right.  Cranberry!"   The knowledge I have at the front of my brain scares even me sometimes.

Quentin was watching parts of this show with me and he enjoyed that this match was called a food fight.   At one point, Cheeseburger ran a really far way from the ring and I told Quentin "Look at him go!  Where is he going?"  Cheeseburger came running back with a full head of steam but it didn't pay off as Still Life got him.   Quentin did enjoy that spot, as did I.

There was also a Swimming Pool Battle Royal where I believe everyone was standing around the pool and once you got thrown into the pool you were out of the match.   This was an unique approach to wrestling and Ronda The Lunchlady (@NotSoRousey) picked up the victory.   Brad Rush defeated Ethan Wilde in the main event and I suppose that was for control of the camp and so instead of the Evil Tony Perkins coming to take over we got... I guess Pat to stay in charge.  (True story: I saw someone wrestle once- and only once- with a Tony Perkins type gimmick.  I wonder what happened to him)

So the funny thing about this show was that at first, I kind of thought "This is an odd concept, being at camp" but then it just works.  It might seem on paper or if you haven't watched it a little confusing, like why, but when you see the show it just all comes together nicely and is a lovely piece of art.   You have to see it to understand it, but it is well worth seeing.  

Wrestling Review //
ICW No Holds Barred
Pitfighter X3

Pitfighter X3 is the last ICW No Holds Barred show in New Jersey for 2020 as after this they moved down to warmer weather in Florida.   For some reason when I pressed play on this video it showed me that MTV opening of IWTV three times in a row, then there was some dead air on a black screen, and then another count down like MTV.   This show didn't actually start for me until about two minutes into the video but whatever. 

The opening contest brings back Neil Diamond Cutter who has been seen recently and newly vs. Dale Patricks who hasn't been seen as recently but still feels a little bit new.   Dale Patricks somehow got a shopping cart into the cage and I'm not sure how that happened.  I feel like Neil Diamond Cutter took the most of the damage during this fight- including a piledriver onto said shopping cart- but then after some staples to the butt he powerbombed Dale Patricks for the win.  

Satu Jinn- who I've seen outside of ICW NHB- made his debut here, coming out to "Sugar" by System of a Down.   He faced Casanova Valentine and Cas finally got a win by hitting Satu Jinn with a barbed wire boxing glove flurry.   The third match saw the pit debut of Daniel Garcia (who is amazing) taking on the returning Justin Kyle.   I don't know what Daniel Garcia has been up to lately but I've heard he had a squash match on NXT, though Hulu didn't show me on the replay.  This wasn't really a death match fight with weapons but rather with strikes and kicks.  

Commentary said this match was like the early days of UFC and I must agree with that.  It was just two guys beating each other up but without the use of tables, chairs, barbed wire, etc.  Justin Kyle slammed Daniel Garcia into the side of the cage and got a ref stoppage decision.   Who can stop Justin Kyle?    This guy is a monster.   Speaking of monsters, Nolan Edward had an open challenge and it was answered by none other than Dan Maff.   Last time we saw Dan Maff in ICW NHB was at Volume 1 and that was to be his send of to ROH, which didn't work out because ROH is such a shit show (and for 2020 it had probably its worst year ever)

Dan Maff threw Nolan Edward up and out of the cage and then later on asked if he should and also threw Edward out of a window!  This was wild and Danny Demanto put this over as his favorite fight since Dan Maff vs. Mance Warner at Volume 1.  This was pretty brutal and every time you thought Nolan Edward would stay down, he got back up somehow so this was a truly great fight to watch.

During an intermission we saw the Cheerful Wrestling Show, which I feel like I've seen this exact same clip before during a different show's intermission.   Whatever happened to Kobe Durst??  

When Jeff Cannonball attempted a Short Soda Review before his match with Tony Deppen, Deppen grabbed the soda from him and told him Schwepp's ginger ale sucks.   Jeff Cannonball got in a Short Soda Review later on in the match and called Code Red the best Mountain Dew but as someone who grew up drinking cherry cough syrup I must disagree because Code Red just reminds me of medicine (and not in a good way)

Eric Ryan and Reed Bentley continued the 44OH-Rejects feud.  After a Regalplex through a barbed wire door, the ref calls it and Reed Bentley remains undefeated.   Larry Legend says this is the first loss for Eric Ryan (though commentary says second) and the fact that they keep track of these things and make mention of them is pretty rad.   Commentary also mentions a four-on-four match for The Rejects vs. 44OH in Indianapolis and I searched Cage Match dotnet but couldn't find it so apparently it has not happened yet.

AKIRA was set to face Eddy Only but apparently Eddy Only was drunk so Atticus Cogar came out instead.  Commentary compared Cogar to Steve Corino and if that's the case then AKIRA is Tajiri.   These two went off the top of the cage and onto a guardrail to end the match.  I thought AKIRA's head hit the metal and he was dead.    Cogar tried to finish AKIRA off after the match but was met by a returning G-Raver, who then also had a stare down with AKIRA.

There was another Cheerful Wrestling Show clip here and I understand they need to take time out to clean the ring but on the replay couldn't someone edit this out?  In the main event, John Wayne Murdoch and SHLAK went to a no contest when Eric Ryan and Atticus Cogar came out and beat down both men.  The Rejects made the save and then RSP appeared up near commentary.  RSP said he was coming for JWM, but first he has unfinished business with SHLAK.   So it does seem like if there is a four-on-four match, as I called for in a previous review, we might see SHLAK teaming with The Rejects instead of Nick Gage and I would also like to see that.