Friday, April 30, 2021

Music Review //
Devin Reardon
"Ireland Song"

There has been debate among those who make music and those who write about it as to whether or not "singer/songwriter" is a genre.  Sure, you can be a singer and a songwriter and make music that sounds like The Doors, for example, but I think we all kind of relate that idea with a single person taking a single instrument (usually a guitar) and playing it to create a song.   It's like when Bob Dylan went through the phase of just setting up shop anywhere with an acoustic guitar and playing his songs.  And I see this song by Devin Reardon in that way.   It's got that stripped down feeling to it.

With the soft acoustics this song reminds me a bit of Jack Johnson but also of Elliott Smith.   It's funny how when you hear someone with an acoustic guitar and voice your mind always goes back to the same sources.   That probably also depends upon your age, what kind of music you listen to, etc. so for you, these influences might be different because maybe you didn't watch that "Curious George" movie a hundred times and follow the label Kill Rock Stars.   But there is something very primal about breaking it down to just a guitar and a voice and regardless of who your mind goes back to when thinking about that, there is always someone there and it's always nice to hear.

When you see the title "Ireland Song" though it makes you wonder what the song is about.  Is it an anthem?  If you're Irish or not does that matter?  And I think there are two important lines in this song which define it, for me.   First off, I really enjoy the lyric: "Sat down long enough to shake off some of the doubt"  This just makes me feel like sometimes you have to take a moment and reflect to help reassure yourself and that's okay.   And the second line, which goes with that, is: "Finally started to live for myself today" and I find that to be important because we all only get one shot at life and it's ours so we might as well take it.   

For me, there is something familiar and just natural about hearing a voice sing along with an acoustic guitar.  If you're a musician and you put out the most complicated arrangements of music, I still like to think about what they might sound like in this basic, most true form.   Then when your song is also about rising up and being yourself, that just makes me feel even better because sometimes we need that motivation to get through the day.  And listening to this song to help us doesn't make us weak, it can only make us stronger.  

Wrestling Review //
New South Pro Wrestling
Top Shelf 4

New South Pro Wrestling has been doing a weekly series called Action Clash on IWTV and it confuses me because sometimes I think about ACTION Wrestling as the two companies share talent sometimes and just tend to make me think one is the other for various good reasons.  On a recent episode of Action Clash, Mike Bennett took on Danhausen.  Mike Bennett also makes another appearance for New South, but one of my reasons for watching Top Shelf 4 is because you get Mike Bennett vs. Effy.  (And if you haven't, go out of your way to see Mike Bennett vs. Danhausen)

As I say that I confuse New South with ACTION sometimes, this show kicked off with 2 Fly Ty taking on Jaden Newman.  If you remember, Jaden Newman crashed that ACTION anniversary show.   Jaden Newman also shows up in SUP, so I feel like he's slowly making his way around and becoming a household name in independent wrestling.   I'm not sure who Nick King or Tony Evans are- yes you can see them on Action Clash for sure but neither has had that "I remember them because..." moment for me yet.

I remember seeing Shean Christopher during the New South Hoss Tournament because 1) He spells his name different and 2) His entrance music is Deftones.   It was pretty fun to see him come out here against Danhausen.   Shean Christopher has this sort of goth way about him that makes me think he would be friends with Danhausen.   But this was a good match which will hopefully put a much deserved spotlight on Shean Christopher and his crew.

Petty In Pink (still one of my favorite names) successfully defended their tag team titles against Double Down- the team of Donnie Janela and Suge D.  After the match, Donnie Janela questioned whether or not he and Suge D should even be a tag team.  This made Petty In Pink decide to issue a challenge for one more match: If Double Down wins, they're tag team champions.  If Double Down loses, they cannot be a tag team anymore and also give up their New South careers.    Look, they were talking about breaking up just a few moments before, so even if Double Down does pull out the win- IN A LADDER MATCH- how long can they survive after that??

This show could be considered to have a triple main event because the first match I would consider to be as such was Mike Bennett vs. Effy.   It's one thing to see Mike Bennett wrestling Danhausen because they both are in ROH, but to see Mike Bennett vs. Effy is on another level.  Can we get Mike Bennett to Glory Pro next to vs. Dan The Dad?  Or maybe Mike Bennett vs. Warhorse somewhere.  The ideas are just seemingly endless and I like that Mike Bennett has opened up this option in wrestling where matches you might not have thought possible before are now possible.  This was also just one of those matches you should go out of your way to see because both men are incredible performers.

I'm not sure why, but this is the second time that I've seen Dump Sanders come out and impose some stupid rule on Derek Neal.  I'm not the type to boo heels because it's cool but I like Derek Neal.  I'm sure if I see more of him I'll realize why he's a heel and why I should boo him, but from where I sit right now he's just a big boy from a different generation of wrestlers, out there kicking ass.  So having Dump Sanders come out and talk makes me want to see Derek Neal put Dump Sanders (if that's even his real name) through a table or something.  Does that make me a bad fan?

Anyway, before this second main event ol' Dumpy declared it to be a street fight but I think that kind of works in Derek Neal's favor anyway.   Remember, New South is the company where their championship belt is like twice the size of Nolan Edward.  But hey, I've seen enough Nolan Edward matches (he recently has a win over Dan Maff) to know that you can never count this guy out and if you think anything is working against him he'll likely prove you wrong.  So Derek Neal- one of the hottest wrestlers in the world today- challenges Derek Neal for the title and you can't really dream of a better title match than that.

I fully believe that Derek Neal defending against Nolan Edward would have been the last match main event had it not been for Dustin Leonard taking on Erron Wade inside of a Lion's Den Match.   The only Lion's Den Matches I remember were with guys like Owen Hart, Dan Severn, Ken Shamrock (and apparently upon looking it up also Steve Blackman)   This still feels like a special cage with special rules which should come out and be used every so often in pro wrestling and I hope to see it more in New South Pro.  

Wrestling Review //
IWA Mid-South
Battle Of The Sexes

Buy the DVD here :::

IWTV calls this one "Battlebroads" and also does not air the Joseline Navarro vs. Kevin Giza match that CageMatch says took place but oh well to both.   This was an interesting show because it put a man up against a woman in most matches and people who feel like those aren't realistic enough or whatever would have a heart attack if they ever saw this show.   I've never understood that mentality of fans not "buying into" a man vs a woman.   UFC taught us that anyone can beat anyone based on size, so why should whether you're a man or woman play a role in that?  Plus, there are some badass women out there who can clearly beat up a large number of men.  But I won't name names.

This show started with Larry D (who I think is on Impact) against Thunderkitty.   Thunderkitty showed us what women can do that men can't as she repeatedly hit Larry D in the crotch area to cause a DQ.   It's funny though because there was a strong point being made that these matches were under old school IWA-MS rules which meant there shouldn't have been a DQ.   Larry D should have just had to tap or it should have been ref stoppage but that would both reflect upon Thunderkitty being the winner here so I'm just going to remember this match as if Thunderkitty got the W.

While I am a fan of Thunderkitty and knew Larry D from Impact, I didn't know anyone in the next few matches.   Hollywood Haley J, Kyle Hawk, Arie Alexander, Corey Storm and even some of the tag team participants are names I might have seen somewhere before but I don't recall any specific matches with any of them to the point where I think "Oh yeah, I know her".   Hollywood Haley J is one to watch.   The tag team championship match was a little bit weird but from what I can gather there was supposed to be a match but someone got hurt so Zodiak wanted the shot and had to find a partner.   It's just weird to me that the tag team scene in independent wrestling is so strong right now and you see not a tag team challenging for titles.

My match of the night (and really one we should talk about all year) is Queen Aminata vs. Aaron Williams.  If you've never seen either of these competitors before, please do yourself the favor of starting with this match.  Queen Aminata is someone I will go out of my way to watch wrestle and Aaron Williams is quickly becoming one of the best on the planet today (see what I did there?)   And this match delivered all that you could hope for and more.   It's definitely going into my year end list and it's just sitting there for IWTV subscribers to watch so why not do it now before someone cooler than me tells you to in like five years.

John Wayne Murdoch taking on Alice Crowley was also a match I wanted to see- it was literally the two matches back to back I watched this show for- and it did not disappoint either.  If you've ever doubted the toughness of Alice Crowley, you need to watch this match because she can hang.   And this was also a match which I hope puts more eyes on Alice Crowley.  She's someone we'll hopefully be talking a lot more about this year.

The main event saw Jake Crist retain the title over Kongo Kong in a wild fight.   The first thing I want to say about this match is how much fun it is to see someone like Kongo Kong on Impact and then also see him here, in IWA-MS.  I'm not saying that Impact treats him like a joke, but there is just this unpredictable monster side to Kongo Kong that you fear in IWA-MS and maybe not so much in Impact.  I also want to say that this show was taped before Wrestlemania week so it was before the IWTV showcase had Jake Crist defend the title against John Wayne Murdoch.  

As you may or may not know, JWM defeated Jake Crist to become IWA-MS Champion during Wrestlemania week on IWTV.   We all saw it.  But there is a move that JWM is banned from using and he used it to win the match so, as they told me on Twitter, IWA-MS reversed the decision.   Look, I get that there are rules and whatever, but if your shoulders are down and the ref counts to three, that's all that should matter.   If Jake Crist somehow, for example, had his foot on the ropes and a three count was made would IWA-MS go back and reverse the decision a few days later?  I hope not because shit happens.

Back in the early '00's I was all about IWA-MS.   I watched classic matches with CM Punk, Chris Hero, Cesaro, etc.   It was just like a who's who of wrestling at the time.  And Dave Prazak did a lot of the commentary with the wrestlers, which was great.    Somewhere along the way I stopped watching as much wrestling and that lead to me not buying DVDs off of eBay as much.  But being able to watch all of these different promotions- including IWA-MS- on IWTV for one low price... if I had this in 2005 I'd be a much bigger mark than I am today.  But yes, it's nice to feel a sense of familiarity in watching IWA-MS again and I'm going to watch and hope that John Wayne Murdoch gets that title back.  

Wrestling Review //
ACTION Wrestling
Oops, We Forgot To Buy An Anniversary Present!

This was the first show from ACTION Wrestling following Wrestlemania week when they joined up with SUP for "Have Fun, Be Sad".   I actually started watching ACTION Wrestling back with "Eyes On The Throne" and apparently there have been at least three events according to CageMatch that I need to watch but right now my wrestling cup floweth over.    For those unaware, this card was highlighted by AC Mack taking on Alan Angels in a Last Man Standing Match and back at "Eyes On The Throne" it was Alan Angels who cost AC Mack the championship which Arik Royal now holds and so I do feel like this show was a payoff for that.

Whenever I feel like I'm starting to recognize names in wrestling, I go and watch a show like this and learn new ones.  I feel like this ACTION show was about 50/50 since there was someone I was familiar with wrestling someone I might not have seen before.  This all started with Alex Kane (who I have seen, among other places, in that PPW UWFI Series) taking on Brandon Williams, who I had not heard of before.   I feel like I've heard of Orion Bishop before, but I'm not sure I've seen him wrestle.  This was still a solid match with Kavron Kanyon and I look forward to seeing more of Orion Bishop in the future.

Have I seen Bobby Flaco wrestle before?  Probably.  Do I remember?  Probably not.  He defeated Brogan Finlay in this match though and, yes, Brogan Finlay is son of Fit and his brother is a tag team champion right now with Juice Robinson.   Kind of makes me wonder why the brothers aren't a tag team though.   Logan Creed is someone I am always happy to see on a show and he took on Ben Buchanan, who is also the son of Bull Buchanan.   This concept might exist (or it might be a terrible idea) but imagine a promotion full of only second and third generation wrestlers.   That would be something I would watch a full card of at least once.

In a tag team match, King Garuda and Takuri defeated The Skulk.  I've never heard of King Garuda and Takuri before, but I have seen The Skulk around.  This was also the only non-one on one match on this show, which also makes me wonder why there were no women on this card.  But, to be fair, even Arik Royal isn't on here, so who knows what was going on exactly.   I do remember Jaden Newman coming out and taunting Matt Sells early on in the show and one of the people on commentary said "I blame Val Pancakes for this!"   That got a cheap pop out of me.

The last two matches would be the main events for me.   I've seen Ashton Starr around and I've seen the name CT Keys on Twitter because I always think the CT is for Connecticut.  This is very tricky because you see something like "Ashton Starr vs. CT Keys" too quickly and you think "Ashton Starr is facing who in CT?  Who cares!  It's in CT!  Let's go!"   This was a good match though and I am a fan of CT Keys now and not just because of the home state connection.  

I'm never really sure if it's Alan Angels or Alan Angles, but either way he took on AC Mack in a Last Man Standing Match which AC Mack won.  AC Mack is the real deal.   If you're going to build a promotion around someone, AC Mack is a great choice.  But so is Arik Royal.  So to see Arik Royal and AC Mack feuding for the title in ACTION Wrestling just makes ACTION Wrestling a promotion you should have your eyes on.  If you want to see classic feuds like from the territory days, this is the place to go.  

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Wrestling Review //
Pro Wrestling Magic
Red Letter Day
Night 1 & Night 2

Pro Wrestling Magic is quickly becoming one of my favorite wrestling promotions to watch because they combine wrestlers who I know with some wrestlers who I might not but the way the show is presented is just all around something which no other company is doing.   Point in case, when the Pro Wrestling Magic Champion Meadowlands Monster was injured, PWM decided to have a tournament to declare a new champion.   Night 1 of this show would be matches which would send competitors into the next round and they weren't all just one-on-one either.

I was happy to see Matt Vertigo in PWM and even though he lost to Jordan Oliver I hope he comes back and has more matches.  Matt Vertigo is really talented.   In what makes PWM special, Alec Price was set to face Ace Romero to advance in the tournament but when Alec Price brought out the Main State Posse, Romero responded by bringing out Wrecking Ball Legursky and Adam Payne.  This then became a six man match with the winning team having either Price or Romero going on to compete tomorrow night.   

Darius Carter even defended the Pro Wrestling Magic Dark Arts Championship against Preacher to advance and I feel like that match worked against Preacher because it was contested under Dark Arts rules, but at the same time it also worked against Darius Carter because his title was on the line so if he didn't win not only was he out of the title picture in one way, but he'd be out in two ways.   Masha Slamovich advanced by defeating Little Mean Kathleen, who was then attacked by her Night 2 opponent Jordan Blade.

Killian McMurphy advanced over Manny Rodriguez and perhaps in the upset of the night, Erica Leigh defeated Edith Surreal to move on as well.   In the main event of Night 1, Saieve Al Sabah defeated Sebastian Cage to become the new Pro Wrestling Magic Jr. Heavyweight Champion.   This was an interesting upset and, again, having titles on the line made this show feel more like a show than just a first round of matches.  Along with Darius Carter, Saieve Al Sabah also moves on to possibly become a double champion on Night 2!

Night 2 started with Jordan Blade defending the Women's Championship against Little Mean Kathleen.   I feel like Little Mean Kathleen was a handpicked opponent by Jordan Blade because Jordan Blade knew she could defeat LMK.   I could easily make a list of ten women who are based in the New Jersey area that would give Jordan Blade a great match, but I feel like I don't need to because PWM has been doing such a great job so far of reading my mind.  It's the little things like that which make me happy to be a fan because I don't have to voice my opinion as much.

We went to a classic match between Keith Lee and Ace Romero before the main event.  This match was actually a lot of fun because I've been a big fan of Keith Lee since I first saw him and Ace Romero is someone who I felt unsure about at first but the more that I see him wrestle the more I enjoy him.   It's cool too because there are few matches I think about for Keith Lee prior to him signing with WWE than him vs. WALTER- because I like that idea of two big boys fighting- but Keith Lee vs. Ace Romero is one that I might not have considered before but now it's right up there as one of my all-time favorite Keith Lee matches.

The main event saw four competitors start the match and then when one was eliminated, the next one would come in so there were only ever four people in the ring at once.  This really benefited Darius Carter- who entered the match last- as he would only have to defeat three others who were already fighting for a bit.   The final two came down to Darius Carter and Erica Leigh, with Erica Leigh finally getting the big win and defeating Darius Carter.   This, my friends, is storytelling.  And, yes, I kind of suspected this would happen as it ties the whole Leigh-Carter story together nicely, but you're never certain what will happen.

Coming out of this show, it was revealed that Erica Leigh will make her first title defense against Big Dan Champion.   What's interesting to me is how much attention is already put on that PWM World Championship and it's only been a day.   You have someone like Darius Carter who could come back and try to get a one-on-one shot.   Erica Leigh also was defeated for the vacant Women's Championship by Jordan Blade, so maybe at some point Jordan Blade might want to try and be a double champion.  Oh, and after it all, who would show up but Smiley and so that seems to be a match which is coming down the line.  

Add in to all of that the fact that Meadowlands Monster will one day return to claim what he never really lost and you really just have to feel like Erica Leigh has a lot of weight on her shoulders coming out of a win.    Yes, this should be a time for Erica Leigh to celebrate but she also needs to watch her back because it feels like way too many others are waiting in line to take what she has.    But this also makes Pro Wrestling Magic a promotion you should be watching right now because it's only going to get better from here, I can feel it.  

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Live Pro Wrestling Review //
Invictus Pro Wrestling
"In Bloom"
@ Knights of Columbus #5427,
79 Pascack Road, Washington Township, NJ

It had been nine months to the day since Quentin and I last went to a wrestling show.   Following Wrestlemania week, one of the big take aways which I already knew was that Quentin likes watching wrestling live but not always on television.   So when I saw Riley Shepard post about this show on Twitter I looked it up and it was about an hour and a half away- 1 hr 38 ms on average from google maps.   If there is a wrestler I really want to see or a match, I'll watch an entire two or three hour show on tv no problem.   Going out to a wrestling show is different.  I was prepared to make this trip for Riley Shepard (and Quentin) but then I looked at the card and that mix of wrestlers I've seen before and know as well as wrestlers I wanted to see live for the first time.   So, all in all, that all just worked out so very well.

Quentin and I left somewhat early and I had planned time for us to stop for lunch but we went down 15, barely through New York and then we were there so we didn't find any cool rest stops.   We did, however, leave where the show was on our way to a nearby Target but instead stopped before getting to Target at a 7-Eleven in Paramus, NJ where I found Dunkaroos!  Quentin was unsure of Dunkaroos but got some and now he loves them.   We went back to the event location around 1:30~ish and there were people there but no one really taking tickets or anything.  We saw Riley Shepard first, so we went over to talk with her and then went to the merch table to see Big Game Leroy.   How do you relate to both children and adults as a wrestler?  Play video games!  Quentin saw the Big Game Leroy pin on Twitter and freaked out because he wanted it.  If you can combine that love of wrestling with video games, Quentin is a fan.

We set up our chairs and were hanging out for a little bit when they announced that the doors would be officially opening soon.  I said to Quentin "But we've been here".   Eventually, I got up and went to the ticket-taking-table to show them that even though I had been there we had tickets and everything.   Going to this table also allowed Quentin and I to get an official Invictus Pro face mask, an Invictus Pro pin and two posters for this specific event.  One poster has everyone on it and I knew trying to get everyone to sign it might be a chore, but we got another one which was mostly just photos of the main event so I knew getting two signatures would be an easier and therefore better idea, in theory.

Each side of this show- before and after intermission- had four matches.   The show started with "Dangerhawk" Dennis Morgan (who reminded me a bit of Logan Black) against a cowboy type who was recently seen on AEW Dark but I'm one of those few people who watches something like 40 hours of wrestling every week but still doesn't watch AEW (Though I need to get into it since Kris Statlander is back) A tag team match saw Smiley & Everett Cross (Psycho Drivers) take on Sweater Weather, which is some weird version of Even Stevens who I've seen in Blitzkrieg and Chaotic before.   There was a woman named Trixie with the Psycho Drivers and she hit one of the Sweater Weather guys with a low blow and Quentin couldn't stop laughing.   

The third match featured the women as it was Riley Shepard vs. Vanity vs. Vicious Vicki.   Riley Shepard is one of the big reasons why we went to this show, but also, if you book Vanity on your show within driving distance of me, I will be there.   Vicki is a great heel though, all the credit to her, as she won this match by choking out Riley Shepard with her own sword which... I feel like should have been illegal but maybe there were no DQs and I just missed that part.   There was a gauntlet match before intermission and my surprise pop of the night was seeing Max Zero come out during that one.  File Max Zero under "I didn't know you were on this show!"

During intermission we went over and Quentin asked both TJ Crawford and Ken Broadway to sign our poster.  I also took a picture with Ken Broadway because I really enjoy what he's been doing in the ring and I don't usually take photos with wrestlers but on this day I really wanted to.   We went and talked with Vanity as well.  Quentin put on a shirt she had in size large and it fit him a little too well somehow.   It was really just a low key intermission but it also wasn't an issue of "Oh, I really wanted to meet/buy merch from ___ but they were hiding"  Everyone was out and approachable and that's how I love my wrestling shows.

Looking back at the first half of the show, I knew Smiley was going to be there (someone I've seen on that Jersey scene but never in person) and I was perhaps most excited for the women's match, but I think I kind of looked at it on paper as being the weaker half of the card because the second half just seemed to deliver hit after hit.  At one point I even thought that every match was just getting better than the one before it- which might be true.  But you can't take anything away from any of these matches.   On another show, Vicious Vicki vs. Riley Shepard vs. Vanity is a main event ten times over.

Post-intermission started with the ladder match in which the winner got a briefcase for a future title shot. ABBS (who I see in Camp Leapfrog) was in this match along with Gabriel Skye, who had some matches during Wrestlemania weekend.    Kennedi Copeland was in this match as well and I was really excited to see her because she's just been making waves over at H2O [Side Note: After this show I did go back and have since watched the No Peace Underground show "Fatalism"   which Kennedi Copeland is also on]  The match was won, though, by "Mucho" Chris Moljo who is a heel and called us all nerds.  

Big Game Leroy successfully defended the Social Media Championship against Killian McMurphy in a match which saw me constantly yelling at Big Dust.  At one point, Quentin even told Big Dust something like "Your shirt is stupid like your face" and I don't think Dust knew how to handle that.   But thanks to Erica Leigh, Camp Leapfrog and now Big Game Leroy we know it's boo The Goons in this house, all day every day.

In the semi-main event, a true hoss fight, Wrecking Ball Legursky took on Ben Bishop who is seven feet tall and rather impressive in the ring.  I did think about it later- the next day really- and had Ben Bishop been up against someone I didn't like, such as Killian McMurphy or the such, I definitely would have been cheering for him.   But it still is just one of these things which will always baffle me but I won't grow tired of typing it: Wrecking Ball Legursky is so over with the crowd to where we're chanting "Wrecking Ball" and "Smash" and yet between WWE, AEW, ROH and Impact none of them can find a spot for him?  

During this match, the two went outside of the ring and over to where all of the picnic tables were.   Wrecking Ball picked up a metal table and smashed it down onto Ben Bishop.  This was one of those metal picnic tables too where it was green with the holes in it but the benches were welded to it, so that was quite the sight to see.   Eventually, the numbers would get to Wrecking Ball though and after being distracted by some guy from Barstool Sports, "Mucho" Chris Moljo would hit Wrecking Ball with the briefcase he won earlier allowing Ben Bishop to get the win.   I'm looking forward to the rematch and I'm looking forward to hashtag MCM vs. Wrecking Ball.

There isn't really a lot which I can say about the main event other than that I've been told this show is coming to Highspots Wrestling Network and when it does I fully believe you need to go out of your way to see it.   Ken Broadway and TJ Crawford are both two of the best at what they do right now.  On one side of the right, they were chanting "TJ Crawford" but over near where I was sitting we were chanting "Ken! Ken! Ken! Ken!" and it's nice to have those dueling chants in wrestling again.   These two put on a back and forth show and really just left it all in that ring.  A match worthy on the main event spot, right up there with Savage vs. Steamboat and if you have the means to do so (an internet connection) go out of your way to watch this match.

Going into this show there was a solid combination of wrestlers I wanted to see again, wrestlers I've not seen yet and even a few names I've never heard of before.  I think that mix is what a good wrestling promotion needs.   I hadn't been to an Invictus show before so it's always kind of a gamble when you go to a new promotion but you think "Well, at least I'll get to see ____" and that makes up for it even if the rest of the card is lacking.  But this show was top to bottom just a really fun card and I'm definitely going to keep attending the Invictus live shows for as long as I can.  

Cassette Review //
Fir Cone Children
"Waterslide At 7 A.M."
(Blackjack Illuminist Records)


€7 //
Edition of 15 //

I've stared at this title for quite some time now.  I'm familiar with what a waterslide is, but I'm just unsure as to why someone would want to participate willingly in one at 7 in the morning, assuming that's around the time they wake up.  Perhaps if the water is cold enough it will wake you up and have the same affect on you as drinking coffee or Red Bull but I'm not going to try it.   No, I prefer to use this title as a reminder that in the opening sequence of "The Jetsons" there was a machine which lifted you out of bed and through the process of brushing your teeth, showering and getting dressed.   Jetpacks are fine, but I want something that does all that for me instead.  

Fir Cone Children begin this cassette with really fast drum beats but there is a strong element of pop on here.   It's kind of like something from the 1980's synthwave feel but also with twee mixed in.    Perhaps I've just been listening to too much twee lately.  "Soaking In" reminds me a bit of Willy Wonka and usually when I hear something in a song which makes me think of that it's that particularly scary boat scene in the film which gets rather dark for a kids movie.   But at this point, on this song, I think more of Willy Wonka in just a fun way, a way of wonder as we explore a colorful world where most everything can be eaten.

As I begin to hear elements which remind me of The Beatles and specifically the song "Hello, Goodbye" I begin to think about how this cassette by Fir Cone Children could be a modern version of The Beatles.   There is rather specific difference in this, but it is not so much what The Beatles might sound like if they were still making music today but more like what I imagine The Beatles would sound like if they formed and began music in, say, 2019.   If The Beatles were all still alive and making new music I assume it would be on the acoustic side of things for some reason.

With dreamy melodies, sharp guitar cuts through and we start off the flip side with a bang.   I hear some distortion which reminds me of Weezer and then "Max & Hax" has a more pop vibe to it which reminds me of That Thing You Do.   Anyone who reads my reviews knows how much I love cartoons and "Future Pirates" has that way about it that it could be a theme song to a Saturday morning cartoon or even an anime.  But I think of it more like how Warner Bros. made a bunch of cartoons which all look similar- like Jonny Quest but perhaps in space and more like pirates.

Overall this cassette has a dreamy, psych familiar sound to it.   Is it because it feels like a movie I've seen or an animated series I've only dreamt about?  Is it because it sounds like bands I've heard a lot before, such as Weezer and The Beatles?  Or is it simply because I've listened to a lot of music by Fir Cone Children so what makes them sound so familiar now is just that I've heard them so many times before.   I'm not certain, but the combination of all of these things makes this one of my favorite cassettes even if I won't go down the waterslide so early in the morning.  

Cassette Review //
The Wedding Present
"Locked Down & Stripped Back
(Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records)

$7 //

"Locked Down & Stripped Back" is a collection of songs by The Wedding Present which you might think of as being a "Greatest Hits" but each of these songs (as the title implies) has been given the home-recording treatment due to the global pandemic.   There are two new songs on here as well, for those die hard The Wedding Present fans who are unsure as to whether or not to get this cassette.  

This cassette really makes me think about the effects that listening to music presented a certain way can have on the listener.   Back in 2004, I listened to the Blue October live album "Argue With A Tree" for the first time and heard the song "Weight of the World".   It wasn't until years later I'd hear that same song as a studio recording on "Approaching Normal" and I only ever think of the live version of it still.  Listening to this cassette- and in some ways The Wedding Present does remind me of Blue October as well- could have a similar effect if you listen to these songs both ways.

Elements of Belle & Sebastian and Smoking Popes also find their way into these songs, which I would consider to be somewhat catchy as they tend to lean more towards the pop side of rock than anything else.    "We Should Be Together" is one of my favorite songs and it features guest vocals from Louise Wener.   It is a song which you really must hear as is "You Should Always Keep In Touch With Your Friends", which feels like just such a more important sentiment to have during this global pandemic.  

On the flip side, "You're Just A Habit That I'm Trying To Break" is an important song about knowing when it's time to walk away.   "Crawl" becomes a bit more electric rock but maintains those smooth melodies.   "Sports Car" makes me feel nostalgic for bands like Letters to Cleo as Melanie Howard takes the lead on vocals.    There is a great guitar solo and the musical work at the end of "Deer Caught In The Headlights" just goes to show how much this can rock.   I am a particularly big fan of the stripped down "Blonde" as well, a song which just feels so vulnerable.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Music Review //
(Outsiders Ent)

"Reflection" begins with an Intro which seems to set the tone for this EP.  Released fresh in 2021, these thoughts by Kestine seem to represent not just what he is thinking but perhaps what many else are thinking and have been thinking as well.  A smooth saxophone starts off the song "U.N.I.T.Y." which makes me feel like it can be R&B but then Kestine begins rapping like Nas.  There is a way about this music which I just find perfect because it's not truly hip hop nor R&B but some kind of wonderful combination.

The first thing I thought of when I saw the song title "U.N.I.T.Y." was Queen Latifah and Kestine made sure to mention that within the song as well.  In a lot of ways, this song is about what the title suggests- coming together as one- and makes note of events from 2020 such as the Black Lives Matter movement just taking off.   I find it sad that we had this lockdown and people really just had the time to sit inside and reflect on their lives and the choices they've made and some still choose to be racist.   COVID-19 doesn't care about your skin color.

"Preacher's Son" hits more intense within the music, but then that sax returns with some sirens for "Melanie" which hits more intense with the lyrics.  The song "Melanie" is about a woman who is raped and ultimately ends up taking her own life because of it.  Again, if we've learned nothing from lockdown in 2020 it should be not to be racist (love everyone) and don't be a sexual predator.    As "Dear Diary" comes to end out the EP there is a more triumphant feel to it, one which just makes you want to get up and applaud when it reaches the end.

Growing up, I feel like I listened to a lot of music which I can hear come out in this EP by Kestine.  I was in Columbia House and BMG with cassettes and I had the rap featured selection, but sometimes they didn't always have rap.  So as much as I heard 2Pac and Dr. Dre, I heard Jodeci and Bell Biv DeVoe.  And, for me, what I liked best too was how you could hear artists sing on their songs or rap- when it was both.   Listening to soundtracks (on cassette) like "Trespass" and I feel like Kestine would just fit in perfectly.  

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Wrestling Review //
No Peace Underground
Shallow Graves

I will admit right away that I could not stay awake to watch this show.  But then why is it that when I start it on FITE TV there's about six minutes of just staring at the No Peace Underground logo?  As someone who reviews cassettes, this is like when someone puts a 50 minutes album on a 90 minute cassette and you're stuck with all that dead air.  This was the third show by No Peace Underground this weekend and it was their first on FITE TV.   This also was the end (not just for me) of the whole weekend as it was the last show.

The first match saw The End defeat Jake Something & Rohit Raju.  Before this match, Rohit Raju took to the mic and made some statements about how he felt like The Collective was basically one big circle jerk with fans tweeting and everyone patting themselves on the back.  To some extent, I agree with him.  I mean, if what you're doing right now works, then keep doing it, but at some point you might want to feel like you're catering to more than just the same five fans.  I don't know.  I don't focus on the business side of it all but I still somewhat agreed with him here.

After a video package by Bam Sullivan hyping up his fight with Bobby Beverly- who Bam said was just Eddy Only in a cowboy hat- we were informed by commentary that both Bam Sullivan and Bobby Beverly were injured so we wouldn't see that fight.  Then why run the Bam Sullivan video?  Who knows.  This brought out a match between AJ Gray and Hardway Heeter instead.   I'm not sure if this was the match where AJ Gray injured his knee or not, but he won by putting Hardway Heeter through a sheet of glass and after that Hardway Heeter looked injured.

I don't really mind a scramble if I know everyone who is in it and I knew everyone in this scramble match.  Jimmy Lloyd was playing off his Wrestlemania fame by wearing The Hurt Business shirt.   Wrestling is so weird because Kevin Blackwood is on AEW sometimes but he's not signed to AEW so here he is fighting without a ring.  

In what was somewhat of a surreal match, Erick Redbeard defeated Matthew Justice.  It's funny because I've seen Matthew Justice in the ring against Slade in Beyond Wrestling and then I also see him across the ring from Davey Boy Smith Jr. in SWE.   Now, he's fighting a big bad dude who likes metal and this match just delivered.  I was curious to see what Erick Redbeard was going to do since I only really know him from WWE, but he was here to throw shit at Matthew Justice and that plan worked really well for him.

I love Mance Warner and feel like he isn't in enough matches.  There was a time when he was working with the SGC in GCW and at the same time he'd be in MLW and ICWNHB and he'd just pop up at random shows.  Now it seems like you see him less and less, which if it's by his choice then good on him, but I kind of miss Ol' Mancer.   This match against Conor Claxton was about as violent as you'd expect and I just hope Mance Warner makes the comeback he deserves and begins to slowly take over the world.

During this 'Mania weekend, No Peace has technically had three shows: Fatalism, MurderMania and Shallow Graves.   As soon as I posted my review for MurderMania, IWTV put up a replay of Fatalism, which I now must go back and watch.  But before Fatalism, back in February, No Peace did a show called Horrors Of Survival.  During that show, The Sinister Minister James Mitchell issued the challenge to G-Raver on behalf of Su Yung.   That moment right there sold me on this show.  

So here we are, a little over a month later, and it's G-Raver vs. Su Yung.  This match was quite possibly *the* match of the Wrestlemania weekend.  Look, there were other matches that were being built up to during this weekend.  On GCW's Take Kare, Nick Gage returned and set the stage for his match vs. RSP.   But, to me, this was that match which as soon as I knew it was happening, I knew I'd put my money down for this show and boy did this match (and all of the Undead Brides) deliver.   I really love Su Yung and go out of my way to see her.  The fact she can do this match with G-Raver and then she also has a different type of match with Orange Cassidy... I just don't think she's talked about enough in terms of wrestlers who are at their best right now

That was my main event.  The show could have ended there and I would have gone home happy.  But instead, we got a match between Masada and Alex Colon to close things out and, well, to basically end this whole wild ride of an extended weekend.   It's kind of crazy to think about the number of shows I was able to watch live and how many I went back and watched later on.  I watched a total of twelve, but if you count "Fatalism" I'll go up to 13 and then there's even some others (like that New Texas show) which just sneak in there.  But I rarely watch anything live so this was a fun weekend to have wrestling just constantly on the tv and to just have so much fun watching it all.  

Cassette Review //
Larry Wish
"Comb Hair"

$7 //
Edition of 100 //

We begin this Larry Wish cassette with psychedelic guitar riffs and distorted patches.  This simply goes into a series of robotic haha's as if we are being laughed at by our computers.   This takes us into the second song on the cassette which has elements of it which make think of The Doors but it also has this home recording sound to it.   In some ways, this could be the result of Jim Morrison being alive in the 21st Century, finding this technology in his youth and making bedroom recordings because he doesn't get along with anyone so he can't be in a band.

The third song is a cover of Hootie and The Blowfish's "Hold My Hand" which feels screwed in some way and just comes out in a slower, more twisted way than the original.   Hearing this also makes me think of how Post Malone also recently covered Hootie and perhaps there will be a Post Malone-Larry Wish collab at some point in the near future?  Just putting it out there into the world. 

"Suzie 2" is an attempt to "Cheer up Suzie" and the song does feel somewhat upbeat yet still evil.   Throughout this cassette I also can't help but think at times that these vocals are coming out sounding like Mike Judge.   "Malady" has this slow synth drag which sounds like it could go into hip hop but also reminds me of something like "Boris the Spider" by The Who.   Some pretty psychedelic keys find their way into this song as well, which create quite the vibe.    This was quite the wild instrumental number and then "16 2" comes on next with this really sharp sounding piano key ringing in my ear to the rhythm of a synth video game.  

Back into the singing now, this whole song just rattles and it has that Illegal Wiretaps way about it as well.   This ends up taking us on a swirly adventure which just breaks down into music only and has these loops just make you feel like you're part of a rollercoaster ride.   Blissed out waves ride us to the end and then we quickly switch over into this song which sounds like something out of "Double Dragon" and I love that about it.   It makes me want to play the NES.  

As we go into the flip side, I feel like we start off with this song which could be the theme song to a show such as "Rocko's Modern Life" but then we're right back into those dark keys and singing which made so much of the first side feel hypnotic.   It's somewhat like if The Phantom of the Opera was an NES game.   This then all just gets wild, breaks down like it's some kind of polka.   Magical strings are strummed now as it feels as if this next song is going to take us high into the clouds.  

Every time I hear "Memenda" in this song I think it's "remember".  Once the keys kick in, you can hear the melody of "How's It Going To Be".  I've had plans for such a long time to create a covers band for Third Eye Blind but only play the non-radio songs off of their self-titled album.  I also was on my way home from somewhere once and really had to go to the bathroom.  This song came on the radio and I changed the lyrics to "I Really Have To Pee" but I can't remember the rest of them because that was some odd twenty years ago maybe.   I would welcome a Larry WIsh Third Eye Blind covers tape though, just doing the entire self-titled album.

"Idiot Heaven" makes me think about how they say ignorance is bliss and this song does take me to my happy place.    Machine drum beats and possibly birds chirping start off the next song.    There is also this walk-along way about this song, much like "Boris the Spider" and then it just breaks down into this almost flute-like sound which makes me think of the instrumental side of 100 Gecs.    We slowly break off and drop down into some static with tones falling like shooting stars on their way down.   Isolated, the distorted droplets fall, one by one.   The singing returns and it feels like "Knocking On Heaven's Door".

Everything scrambles into deep bass beats now.  There is a more serious tone here, driving.   Whirrs come through swirling around and this one has a steady beat yet feels so chaotic.   Back and forth blissed out tones now and this one is trapped inside a sea of distortion.    It almost feels like "Psycho" to some extent as it begins to skip.   A bouncing ball followed by a strong burst of magic synth takes out to the end and I just feel like we have made it to that next level.  


Cassette Review //
(Blackjack Illuminist Records)

€8 //
Edition of 30 //

Right away, "INTERIOR" opens up with this song which is right out of the 1980's and it just takes me back.   There is a synthwave/shoegaze way about this distorted song but I'm thinking back to a time when Rodney Dangerfield was alive and so was Michael Jackson.  Back to simpler times because I was younger.  Back to when record contracts meant the label paying for you to tour.   I think about how much things might have changed, and yet with artists like Bloody Knives as an example, I feel like this sound never really went away.

"On A Greater Scale" has more of an upbeat, dreamy feel to it that will just take you away.   I think one of the more difficult aspects of understanding music is that I can type that it is synthwave and then you just expect- based on that general statement- that all of the songs would sound similar.  But there are ways in which the songs sound the same without having them all follow that same pattern and so there is variety within the connection.    This is already made apparent on this cassette by the second song.

As "New Dawn" starts I'm thinking of a more moody version of The B-52's, but then there are also elements of a band such as Talking Heads, which makes this feel a little bit punk before it goes all completely blissed out like The Consolation Project or something from a more modern genre meeting the past.   A round of applause can be heard before "Masks Of Faith" and if you've ever watched a movie in the 1980's or 1990's which had someone like Molly Ringwald or Anthony Michael Hall in it and you enjoyed the soundtrack then this will be perfect for you.  But it also just has this faster vibe in the music as well, which brings it more towards the present.

The sounds of a storm end the fourth song and take us into all the bells and loud sounds of "On Miracles", which is just a Verve/David Bowie-like anthem.   On the flip side, we start with a song called "Dreams" in which the hook says "I want to cherish you / But I have to wave goodbye".   This is, in some large way, the synthwave version of "No Scrubs" by TLC if you really think about it.   This takes us into a song called "Hearst" which is about someone who looks like Patty Hearst and that's definitely a reference I didn't think I'd be seeing but I'm here for it.

While "Giants" has more of the whispering vocals with the tones you can hear coming through in an almost fun way, "Darkest Side" comes through much heavier, faster paced and just with a certain amount of energy which should allow you to get up out of your seat and move.   There is still some energy within "Goodbye" and some great guitar riffs as we are informed "I'm not afraid to die".   Having a final song called "Goodbye" is always a nice send off and this cassette just doesn't seem to let up as it should just be played full blast with maximum energy.  

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Baseball Review //
Silver City Banditos 5/9, New Haven Cardinals 3/12
[ 4/18/21 @ Maloney High School, Meriden, CT]

Additional photos can be found in a Facebook album here :::

Last Sunday the Banditos split their double header with the Southington Navigators while the New Haven Cardinals defeated the Windsor HellCats 20-1 and 15-0 (as per the CNMSBL website)  This made it feel like either the Cardinals had a really great team or the HellCats had a really bad team, but I think it looks more like the HellCats are off to a rough start (They lost this week to the Southington Navigators as well)  So I was excited going into this game because I figured the Cardinals would put up a fight but I didn't think it would be a complete blowout.  In a sign of good things to come, this was the first time I saw the scoreboard turned on at the high school.

The first game was really a battle of wills, a tug-of-war if you will, neither team willing to give up an inch.  Right away, first batter, Ray Thayer gets HBP.   Ricky Marrero hit a single and then an RBI by Justin Poirier put the Banditos up 1-0 in the first inning.   Though this was at Maloney, the Cardinals were the home team because apparently they don't have a home field right now (Don't get me started about New Haven as a city)  In the bottom of the second inning the Cardinals would get a runner to third base but were unable to score.  JD Tyler ended the fourth inning with a strikeout and the Cardinals just couldn't seem to get his number.   

During the fifth inning with two outs, JD Tyler helped himself by hitting two Banditos in to make it 3-0.   In the sixth with bases loaded, Jeremy Benique got the RBI to put the Banditos up 4-0.  In the seventh Ray Thayer got a hit again and then JD Tyler doubled to send him home.   Justin Poirier hit a shot to left field which everyone thought was out of here except for the left fielder of the Cardinals who made an amazing catch, then threw the ball back to get the outs because no one from the Banditos had tagged up.  I thought that even if the ball wasn't out of the park for a homerun, it would drop over the head of the left fielder, so he gets props and the play of the day for making that catch and keeping the Banditos to only five runs on the game.

The Cardinals tried to mount their comeback, scoring three runs in a bottom of the seventh rally, and if you think about it- if the Banditos either hadn't scored those two runs in the fifth or one run in the sixth and one more in the seventh, then this would have been a different game.   If you take away those two runs- in the one inning or the two innings combined- then this game could have been tied in the seventh and maybe even the Cardinals could have walked it off.  But you also have to note that for most of this game, the Banditos were up 1-0.  But the Cardinals kept getting into scoring position.  This whole game was rather exciting because it was never really over, you never felt like you had a comfortable lead.

For the second game, Willie Rios once again took the mound for the Banditos while the Cardinals seemed to be in a similar pitching position- where they used a few different people.  In the bottom of the first inning, the Cardinals made a questionable play by sending a runner on third base home when it wasn't a force.   This runner was thrown out and the batter made it safely to first base.  If the runner had held at third, the batter might have been out at first but at least you still have that lead runner on third.   It was an odd choice by the Cardinals and one I don't think I would have made myself.

The Banditos had their own bit of baserunning troubles though as during the second inning a run would score at the bat of Alex Rivera, who was hoping for a double but got thrown out at second.   He got greedy.  Having one less out and runners on first and third would have benefited them there, but hey, baseball is a game of taking chances and sometimes they pay off, sometimes they don't.   But it worked out on this day because both teams were taking those chances.  The Cardinals had a big third inning- putting up three more runs and going up 5-1 over the Banditos.  The Banditos would fire back though and somehow put up seven runs in the fourth inning.  A HBP and at least one walk allowed for some of those runs while we also saw two RBIs by Ray Thayer to tie the game.  

Bottom of the fourth, the Cardinals put up four big runs to not only tie the game but take the lead by one.  While they had the game tied, they had the bases loaded so the Banditos were lucky to get out of that situation with the Cardinals only scoring four runs and not going up even more.   In the fifth the Cardinals seemed to settle in with their pitching as they held the Banditos to just one last run in the seventh inning.   However, the Cardinals also plated three more runs in the sixth inning for insurance, making it 12-8 going into the last three outs for the Banditos.   In the bottom of the sixth, we saw runs score both because of a passed ball and a balk by the Banditos.   

While I feel like both of these games were exciting, I feel like they were exciting for different reasons.   In the first game, the Banditos were up 1-0 most of the game but their lead wasn't safe.   You didn't know until the last out who would win.   In a similar way, the second game kept me on the edge of my seat because apparently even being up by four runs or seven runs wasn't enough as either team proved they were capable of putting up multiple runs in one inning.  It was a matter of the game being able to change that quickly, but that is also what makes baseball such a great game.  

Cassette Review //
Antlered Auntlord
"Daniel Johnston Covers Tape"
(Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records)

$7 //

To attempt to do a covers tape of Daniel Johnston, I think the only factor which needs to definitely be accomplished is the way in which the tape itself appears- much like how the home made cassettes of Daniel Johnston once appeared- and that is exactly how this cassette appears in a physical sense.   If this was in that hard plastic case that swivels open with a j-card (like most cassettes) I'd feel like it wasn't a proper tribute.   But how great is it that when making a tribute to Daniel Johnston there aren't really that many rules because Daniel Johnston just took the rules about music and made his own.

I'm not sure when I first heard the music of Daniel Johnston.   Was it because a small clip of one of his songs appears in the film "Empire Records"?  But I do know that the documentary film "The Devil and Daniel Johnston" is just insanely brilliant and whether you are a fan of the music or not it's just one of those things you have to see.    Then, just two years ago, Daniel Johnston died in what I felt should have been some kind of national holiday where we all could have just stopped what we were doing and listened to his music.   There will never be another Daniel Johnston, but I truly believe his influence in music will live on forever.

Antlered Auntlord is an artist I was familiar with before this release, so having them do this felt right in some ways.   There are certain artists who I might listen to do one or two cover songs of Daniel Johnston, but then there are definitely some artists who I just do *not* want to hear cover Daniel Johnston for one song let alone an entire cassette.  So I feel like Antlered Auntlord was a good choice.  Sometimes the songs can sound like Daniel Johnston, sometimes they sound more like Antlered Auntlord ("Funeral Home" goes particularly crazy) but overall they just find that space between and I think that's beautiful.

For me, hearing the news that Daniel Johnston died reminded me a lot of how I felt when Robin Williams died.  We have this natural urge to feel sad when someone dies- and that's normal and totally acceptable- but I also felt, in this weird way, when Robin Williams died that he wasn't dead because I could put on "Hook" right now and watch it.  Yes, the person might be gone, but his spirit lives on through his movies.  The same can be said about the music of Daniel Johnston.   There is so much music to explore by him and he has had such an influence on so many people I feel like I hear a bit of him in everything I listen to; in that way he can never really die.

Wrestling Review //
ICW No Holds Barred
Volume 12 - Farewell To The Pawn Shop

To me, it's weird to think about how we had a month or so without any ICW No Holds Barred shows, and then now, we've had three nights in a row of them.  Missing a lot of them in 2020 and then watching them back to the point where I was sometimes watching one every day just makes the time in between shows feel even longer, but not only was this the third and final show for ICW No Holds Barred for the weekend but it was also the end of the shows on IWTV, so it was about to go out with a bang.

This show opened up with Nolan Edward defeating Dan Maff.   Yes, you read that right and that might be the biggest upset of the entire weekend.   Nolan Edward had been through hell and back this entire weekend.   Dan Maff won The Battle Of The Tough Guys.  So you kind of knew Nolan Edward wasn't going to go down without a fight, but I did not expect him to win this one against Dan Maff.

Orin Veidt defeated probably the least known member of 44OH Bobby Beverly.  There was a brief time- during summer- when it felt like 44OH was going to take over ICW NHB.  RSP even showed up for a match.   It felt like we saw those Ohio boys on nearly every show.  Now they just seem to be fading away and not in ICW NHB as much.  Where has Eddy Only been anyway?

This was my first time seeing Tank and the man delivered against Neil Diamond Cutter.  NDC picked up the win and if we should happen to see Tank in ICW NHB again I'd like to see him vs. Dan Maff.   Satu Jinn is here because I hear "Sugar" and he defeated Ruben Steel in a match which went all over the place.   I love that ICW NHB introduced me to Ruben Steel who is also in Heavy Metal Wrestling and now I watch them as well.  It was nice to see Satu Jinn get a win here because it doesn't seem like that happens too often for him in ICW NHB.

Look.  I don't want to be the one to have to say this.  I don't want to waste my words.  But apparently it needs to be said.  So here goes.   The next match saw a debuting Damon Spriggle defeat Alex Ocean with some help from Brandon Kirk.  During this match, The Struggles mentioned that at one point Alex Ocean was loved by the fans but then something in him changed and the fans turned on him.   What The Struggles (and Ron you were silent on the issue) wouldn't point out is that the time when fans (like me) turned on Alex Ocean was when he said "Fuck Eddie Guerrero"  Why that sentiment was so tasteless has been covered better by people who aren't me, but if you want it to be said as blatantly as possible: there are a million pro wrestlers out there.  Finding one to like who doesn't say "Fuck Eddie Guerrero" is easier than liking Alex Ocean.  

But fans didn't turn on Alex Ocean ~because he somehow changed~ and the fact that ICW NHB won't own up to it, won't admit that fans turned on Alex Ocean because of those three words just makes it worse- it makes me dislike him even more.   But it's not even dislike.  I don't *hate* Alex Ocean.  It's indifference. In my mind, in my world of professional wrestling, he just doesn't exist.   There are few wrestlers that I feel this way about, but to me, Alex Ocean just lost all the respect I had for him with three simple words and I don't know what it's going to take to get it back.  

In an odd twist of turns (rant over) Shane Mercer and SHLAK decided to wait to fight until they could use light tubes and I wasn't clear as to why they weren't allowed to break the glass inside of this venue but this was Farewell To The Pawn Shop and due to the weather outside (it was a hurricane because it's Florida) they couldn't even have this show at the Pawn Shop so we're all just lucky it's still even happening at this point.

Co-main event time.   Reed Bentley has one big loss in ICW NHB outside of the Battle Of The Tough Guys and that was to Atticus Cogar, who once again defeats him in this match.  There are some definite Raven-Tommy Dreamer "you can't beat me" vibes here, though I'm not sure Reed Bentley and Atticus Cogar went to summer camp together.   (Someone ask them!)

In the main event, the match between John Wayne Murdoch and Eric Ryan was turned into a title match as the creation of the ICW American Deathmatch Championship was born.  And it is a sweet looking title as well.   I don't want to feel like I'm just glazing over this match which JWM won because it was quite the violent affair, but now, with a championship I'm just thinking of the possibilities for future matches.

On one hand, I would have thought that Reed Bentley could be a contender for the title since he has a win over JWM now and is largely undefeated (He maybe has less losses in ICW NHB than anyone else- but don't quote me on that)  With the loss to Atticus Cogar though, now I'm thinking maybe Atticus Cogar should be in line for a title shot.   And who is going to stop SHLAK from demanding a title shot?  Will AKIRA come back and want a title shot?  What about Justin Kyle? Dan Maff? Nolan Edward?  Will ICW NHB ever book Casanova Valentine again?  Will RSP come for this belt since he lost his?  Can Nick Gage have two titles at once?  The future looks so bright.  

Cassette Review //
Tiger Village
"The Argument"
(Patient Sounds)

$5 //

This cassette begins with isolated notes- one at a time- and there is some silence as well.  The notes continue to drop, one by one with pauses, but then other more distorted notes come through as well with the beeps and boops and a distorted robot.    This really feels like a malfunctioning droid but then it finds this smooth loop which just takes us into the next phase of a video game.   A pause and it returns, as electronic and lively as ever.   Those electronic ping pong balls are flying around and the shooting stars are behind them.   There are two sounds within this- and as this is called "The Argument" I was thinking they'd be sort of fighting each other but they actually seem to be working together side by side.

A long video game synth drone now seems to indicate game over.   As the electronics swirl together you can begin to hear sounds in the background which sound like breathing- the ooh's and ahh's of it all.  It also can just feel like the electronics are falling apart in the way which you might hear another type of sound imitate that pots and pans going wild in the kitchen only this particular way about it is digital.  Some synths expand and contrast, much like stepping on the notes to light them up.   This, of course, makes me think of "Land Of The Lost" before it becomes more fragmented, broken.  

While the sound can feel like it is breaking down, it can somehow also find its groove and feel as if we're about to go into a dance number.  I suppose arguing can be seen in a similar way so this makes sense.   At times, I also feel like the electronics just come bursting back in, the way one person interrupts another while in an argument.  I suppose at this point, within the music, you could say that things have escalated.   Percussion can be heard and some screeches as it feels as if the wind has been taken out of our sails, tired of trying to get our point across when it feels like yelling at a brick wall.   Communications come through now as distorted air and sharply piercing laser blasts.  

The beeps continue now, to bounce around, come and go as they please while the synth fades in and out with them.   I feel like at this point one person is speaking a lot of words trying to make their point while the other is talking less- getting less words in edgewise and they might even be just cut off with the way the argument is going.   Quietly, some synths form out on the planes like an old sci-fi movie.   Beats come in to bring more attention to them than what is going on in the distance.   A solemn pattern of tones brings the first side to an end as it feels like perhaps we are reaching some form of calm.  

On the flip side we're right back into the bleeps and bloops, the record even sounds like it's scratching a little.   They come through in that way though once again which stops and starts- there are some pauses of silence as if the argument has reached a point where neither person wants to speak but still is expressing that.    A little bit of a whistle now within these clicks.   The bass drops deep.   Magical synths come in like that 1990's R&B.    This is the sound of slowly putting it all out there at once.  

Synth begins to expand.   Electronic drops.  Some rattling.   A steady beat now like Morse code and then some more dishes in the background before this great video game sounding tone shines on through.   This loops while other tones appear and then drop off.  It feels like we're playing Super Mario Bros but the world around us is just disappearing.   Quieter now, more isolated.   Each individual noise is given the utmost of importance.   The bass comes in and we're back to dropping synth.    It's a little bit of those pots and pans and it's a little bit something else as it feels as if it might be forming in space now.

For a moment, it has all stopped.  It comes back in beeps with smooth synth like R&B.   It's going back and forth between that idea of being something strictly electronic- like a computer game or video pinball- and being something like an R&B song from the 1990's.   There are those two sides to this song right now.    It rattles like shaking now and just comes back with a vengeance.  This has the percussion rejoined and it's just everything all at once complete with those video game blips.   This is a fireworks show and right now is the grand finale.    Even those sounds like breathing have found their way back.

In the end there is some trill.  It's quieter again.  Things have calmed down to where it can almost feel peaceful.   There is some shaking sounds now, like that particular percussion piece.  Beeps are abruptly cut off.  We're trying to find the words here.  Back to the electric jungle.   Things pick back up again but aren't quite as wild as before.   We slip and sift through now, on a repeating pattern.   Synth tones are cut off as we go to silence.   Shaking those rice shaker deals.  Some slight bass coming in as well.   It's quieting down but also picking back up at the same time- growing louder but calmer.   As it all expands it can sound like a carnival ride at the end and maybe that's all an argument really is.