Thursday, August 26, 2021

Wrestling Review //
Blood Sweat Tears Wrestling
@ Miamogue Yacht Club, Bridgeport, CT

On the Wednesday after this show I found out that Big Jym (Jym Parrella) had tragically died.   This review is dedicated to him, may his legacy forever live on.  

I first found out about this show by telling Jess something to the effect of: "Jessie Nolan is coming to CT!"   The time between then and this day was very eventful as we were also on the eve of Hurricane Henri coming through, so being near the water made it seem more threatening somehow.    What I liked about this show right from the start is that the venue is a Yacht Club and it really looks about how you would imagine a Yacht Club would look.   There are a lot of places where wrestling can go and the walls just feel boring, but this place... this place had something special to it and I liked that.

There was a pre-show meet and greet scheduled here so we got to the Miamogue Yacht Club in time to see Dustin Waller, who is their Heavyweight Champion.  The show was scheduled to start at 3 pm, so as we were in our seats waiting for the show to start (like many others), I see Big Jym (mask on) come out of the back through the corner of my eye.  I think this is odd, but then he goes over to where the table is set up for the meet and greet, begins attacking Dustin Waller and puts him through a table!

In all of my years, all of the wrestling I've witnessed, I've never seen a show start like this before because there wasn't a song that came on and a ring announcer who came out and welcomed us to the show.  It just kind of started.   And if you weren't paying close enough attention, you might have missed it.   This actually set the tone for the show quite well, too, because it left me feeling like you didn't know what could happen next: blurring the lines between what is part of the show and what is real.

The first match was contested for the Tag Team Titles, as The Bite Club had been stripped of them and as such the winners of The Haven vs Brick City Boyz.   I once saw the Brick City Boyz lose in Pro Wrestling Magic, so I didn't have much hope for them here and the crowd was hot behind The Haven.   Even Quentin got in on yelling "Brick City Sucks!" and, eventually, The Haven got the win and captured the gold.

Dan DeMan came out next but he didn't want to talk about why he doesn't dress as Cruella any more (the live action film is coming to Disney+ soon without the $29.99 fee) so I wasn't really paying attention to him.  

This took us to a match featuring Stevie Legend, who I had recently seen at Blitzkrieg! Pro, and I swear he was wrestling Michael Chiklis.  Either way, it made for fun commentary by me when there was a kick out at two and I would say "Fantastic Four 2: Rise of the Silver Surfer!"  Also, I stand by my opinion that "The Shield" is overrated.   This was a nice showing by Stevie Legend though.  I expect to see a lot more of him in this area.

Because wrestlers often times do what they want, Jarett Diaz came out and said he didn't want to be part of the threeway (turned fourway) match and instead he got into a singles match with Lucas Chase.   This was a really good match that if you can take the time to go out of your way to see it, you won't regret it.

The actual threeway turned fourway then back to threeway took place next with El Presagio vs Matt Awesome vs Zachariah Gibbs.  First off, I don't know anything about Zachariah Gibbs but I was willing to go into this match and see his character with an open mind because there is another Amish character out there (sometimes in GCW) and so I didn't want it to feel like Zachariah Gibbs was just ripping off that guy.  But Gibbs came out not really dressed like he was Amish and he was billed as an angry Amish man, so he just tore into everyone.

This character, which I thought might be infringing upon someone else, was actually really well done and it left a lot of questions for me- such as why is he so angry.  I asked him but he didn't respond.  I was also impressed by the way El Presagio created his own language and Matt Awesome connects with the crowd.

We went to intermission at this point and after buying merch we went to get food.  Bless the Miamogue Yacht Club who just seemed overwhelmed by how many people were there, especially since a lot of us came in at the same time during intermission like a rush.  When we got our food, the introductions for the next match had started so we had to quickly run back to our seats and eat cheeseburgers and fries during some of the match.

If you're paying attention to independent wrestling, then you should be paying attention to the Northeast scene here.   If you are, then you'll likely know both Ichiban and Kylon King.  These two have been on every TOS show we've gone to and we even saw Ichiban once at Chaotic Wrestling.   From the high flying, to the mat-based wrestling and submission holds, this match had it all.   Far too many times I thought it was over when it wasn't.  They talk about leaving it all out there in the ring and that is exactly what these two did.   

Yet another match on this show to go out of your way to see.   At one point, Ichiban was outside of the ring near me and I said "Ichiban 1" and he corrected me "Ichiban NUMBER 1!", which I thought was hilarious.  And the thing is, Ichiban is a lot of fun as a character.  He did the spot where he punches his opponent in the corner and instead of counting to 10 he just says "1!" every time and some of the crowd started on "2! 3!" and he corrected them.   But as much as you can laugh during his matches, Ichiban can get it done in that ring.

Kylon King is really going to be one of the next big breakout stars from this area.   When I think of wrestlers from around here I think of names like Richard Holliday, Anthony Greene and Christian Casanova.  And the thing which all three of them have in common is that they have their own unique character, much like Kylon King does.  So it's not enough to say "Kylon King is the next ____" because he isn't like anyone else.  Kylon King is the first Kylon King and soon the world will see what we in the Northeast have been knowing.

After all of that wrestling it was time for some straight up comedy as War And Peace (who we also just saw at Blitzkrieg! Pro) took on Perfectly Sexy and Buff Inc.   First off, The Firm was supposed to be in this match but during the opening match, after becoming Tag Team Champions, Elijah Six attacked The Haven and said he was coming for the titles, all the while everyone wondering where Sammy was.  So this went from four tag teams down to three but that's okay because it worked.

Perfectly Sexy seemed to be more interested in wiggling than in actually wrestling and this lead to Buff Inc trying to wiggle as well, which thankfully didn't break down into a dance off.  War And Peace played to this as they both tried to stop the wiggling and win the match.  If you ever needed more clearly defined people to cheer for it was obviously War And Peace in this match because much like me, they just wanted the wiggling to end.

The BST Monarchs Championship Match felt like a big deal because it went on right before the main event.   Sometimes, it's not just about the fact that you book women but how they are presented and this just made them feel like a really big deal- which this match was.   One of my biggest problems in wrestling is believable contenders.   There are a lot of match ups out there (I won't name names) where you just look at the contender and say "That person is never winning the title!"   But Big Juicy is great as a champion and Jessie Nolan would also be great as a champion, so this match felt like it had a great deal of credibility.

During this match, Quentin told me first that he liked it because no matter who won he would be happy.   Then he told me that Big Juicy would win because juice puts out the fire.    This was just one of those matches that really showed how women can do what the men can do inside that ring and to some extent they can even do it better.  Big Juicy is a star and so is Jessie Nolan, so when you put them across from each other inside a ring they're going to create something special and that's exactly what this match did.

So often I see things in professional wrestling that don't make sense and you're just supposed to accept it-- I can do the whole suspension of disbelief, but I can only take it so far.   At the beginning of the show- to start the show really- Big Jym beat up Dustin Waller and their main event match was to be for the BST Heavyweight Championship.  One might think that this was a bad move because if you beat up the champion and he can't compete in the match then you basically just lost your title shot, right?

Well, Big Jym is not only a large man full of destruction but he is also a smart man who knows the rules of BST.   The BST Championship *can* change hands on a count out and as such, Big Jym came down to the ring and told the ref to start counting Dustin Waller out.   This was a plan which actually made a lot of sense and I applaud Big Jym for it because being smart and being a heel don't always go hand in hand.

At the count of 9, Dustin Waller came out with a chair and said that they would have their match but it was going to be a Hardcore Match!  This match was a lot of fun and several times I thought that Dustin Waller might lose it because he seemed to have the deck stacked against him: even in a Hardcore Match, he seemed to be playing right into the plan of Big Jym.   Dustin Waller overcame the odds though, won and I will forever be left with the image of Big Jym clapping and saying "You did good, kid" (Though that might not be exactly word for word)

This was a really fun show at a really neat place and I don't feel like there were any real parts of the show that made me think I wish they would just hurry up and get to the next match.  I often times end up buying tickets to a show based upon one match, but then when other announcements are made and I see the full card I can get behind it all.  I'm glad that I can find so much wrestling- like BST- that just makes the whole show such a great experience because even though it's that one thing which draws you in, the entire show will make you stay.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Wrestling Review //
Northeast Championship Wrestling
Big City Rumble 2021
@ Jacob Jones VFW, Dedham, MA

Whenever I go to a show for a promotion I've never been to before I always wonder "How did I find out about this?"   The reasons why I found out about
(and love) Northeast Championship Wrestling are because they have a YouTube show called "Behind Closed Doors" (which you can and should watch for free) which features such wrestlers as Love, Doug and they also have Becca as their reigning Women's Champion and she just happens to be in a great feud with Little Mean Kathleen.  

One measuring stick which I use for all of professional wrestling is how many women you feature on your show.  There is just too much wrestling out there right now (even in a live sense, if you can believe it) for me to go to a show where there is only one women's match and it feels like a ~special attraction~.   I should clarify though that this show, the Big City Rumble 2021, only advertised one women's match *but* it happened to feature five of the best women in the Northeast and more importantly, NCW has prominently featured women in their "Behind Closed Doors" series, so I feel like we're on the same page.

On a completely random note, on the drive here Jess and I were discussing places in MA and how you pronounce them, mainly because I kept saying "Dedham" as "Dead-ham" and it became this running gag which would come back into full effect during the show, but as a joke only Jess and I would get.   As we pulled into the downtown there was a pizza place and I wondered if their specialty was bacon pizza because, you know, dead ham.

As far as getting to the show, being let in and having it start I felt like it all ran rather smoothly.  I wasn't paying that much attention to the time but I didn't feel like we were ever waiting around forever so I can say it was rather timely, which is important to me but not as important as the quality of the show.

The first match saw Armani Kayos take on "Riot" Kellan Thomas.  I've only ever seen Kellan Thomas before in Lucky Pro but Armani Kayos is everywhere.  This was a fun match with me telling Armani early on that he was basic and Paris Van Dale kind of cost him the match here as well.  Kellan Thomas had gear on that looked like the yellow version of Wolverine and I do feel like there should always be more comic book and wrestling crossovers.

Though the second match ended up being the Women's Gauntlet match, I was both excited and disappointed when Isana and Jessie Nolan were to start the gauntlet together.  I was excited because the concept of Isana vs Jessie Nolan is a match which should be a main event somewhere and go for however long it takes (30 to 40 minutes?) but being in the Gauntlet changes how you wrestle because you're not just focused on a single opponent.  I was disappointed though because this being the first match meant that one of these two wasn't going to get the title shot and that would be determined rather quickly.

Both Sarah Teller and Paris Van Dale had impressive showings, but it was at the end when Little Mean Kathleen came out last and took a count out victory over PVD to get the win.   Something I forgot to mention was that Becca had come out and was watching this whole match as well.  When Becca came out, she did so to absolutely no music which was just awkward.  I'm not sure if her music makes her feel too much like not-a-heel but the uncomfortable silence did work as she played the heel, yelling at the crowd.

What can I say about this match, Jessie Nolan and Isana?  If I was going to start a wrestling promotion, Jessie Nolan and Isana are both wrestlers I would want to build that promotion around.  Both not only look like they could kick some ass, but when you see them in the ring they prove that they can kick some ass.   One of them having a championship and then the two of them feuding over it for a solid year would just seem to print money.   Like most things in life though, I just need to be patient.

The Women's Gauntlet also turned into an immediate title match, as Becca got into the ring and said the match would happen right now.   Becca used the ropes for leverage and defeated LMK, so it appears that despite LMK winning a whole Gauntlet match to get a shot at Becca their feud is still far from over (and they say long term storytelling is dead)

At this point the show got a little bit weird because it took some detours off course, but hey, that's fine.   Love, Doug was out for a Last Chance For Lover's Match where he took on Randy Rivera, with the winner being in the Rumble.   Well, this match broke down when Trigga The OG came out and beat up both guys.   This somehow lead to JT Dunn making a surprise appearance and then this turned into a tag team match where Love, Doug and Randy Rivera were both allowed to be in the Rumble but if The Unit won then they'd be in it as well.

It was a little strange to go from cheering Love, Doug because we wanted him in the Rumble and these two were fighting against each other for a spot to them both being in it and then we're booing The Unit because, well, they just seem to be booed everywhere that they go these day because of the choices they make.

Next up there was supposed to be an Open Challenge with NCW New England Champion Mike Montero, but six men came out to answer it and so it all broke down into a six man tag team match, which was nice but I kept feeling concerned that too much else was happening when there was still a Rumble to be had!  Anyway, there are 21 episodes of "Behind Closed Doors" on YouTube right now and you should watch them all to learn the story of Alexander Lee and a puppet because it's really one of the best things happening in wrestling right now.

In an Anarchy Rules Hardcore Grudge Match, The Lumberjake defeated Tim Lennox.  This was a wild match that broke down with chairs and Legos.   One of my favorite parts of this match though was that The Lumberjake brought a trash can out with him to the ring.   At one point, none other than Grogan jumped out of the trash can and was used as a weapon to help The Lumberjake.  Just when I thought I'd seen it all, it got crazier as at one point Grogan also went after Tim Lennox with a hatchet and if you don't believe me there are photos on Twitter.  (@heygrogan)

Right before intermission there was an incident with Jess, an unnamed fan and myself.  It's not really something which needs to be discussed but it should be noted that it was handled and I am forever grateful to those who went out of their way to see that it was.  

Back from intermission we had the Tag Team Titles Match with The Big Boys defending the titles against The Little Giants.   This is one of those wrestling paradoxes because pretty much wherever you go now, Ricky Smokes is playing the heel.  But when we've seen Brad Cashew (who is Chaz Cashew here) in Chaotic and Lucky Pro, he has been a good guy and cheered.   So it was weird to have to boo him but that's what comes with hanging out with Ricky Smokes I suppose.  

The Tag Team Title Match was good and it seemingly spilled over into the Rumble, as did a lot of the events from the evening, which made it feel like a true tribute to the old WWE Royal Rumbles without copying them exactly.   One of the stories going into the Big City Rumble was that BRG would enter at # 1 and Channing Thomas would enter last.   Well, during the Rumble itself BRG was eliminated, which was a bit of a shock because I thought he'd stick around to fight Channing Thomas, but then BRG came back at the end and took Channing Thomas' spot.   Let me tell you the way the entire crowd stood up and cheered when BRG was eliminated (twice) was just special.

What I liked about the Big City Rumble match was that there were a lot of people in it from earlier in the show, like Alexander Lee, Perry Von Vicious and The League Of Excellence, but there were also some surprises and it was used to showcase some newer talents.   We were a few wrestlers away from Ichiban showing up, I just know it!  In the end it came down to The Lumberjake and BRG.  It looked like BRG was going to win because he had the advantage of The Big Boys at ringside and he had somehow been able to enter twice.   But The Lumberjake pulled it off and sent the crowd home happy!

Overall, I look at this show from the perspective of numbers.   Any match on this show felt like it could have been a main event.   So if you only came to see one person (or the appearance of JT Dunn was a happy surprise) or match, you got your money's worth and so much more because tickets were only $10 each.   To me, the Women's Gauntlet alone was worth the $10 (and more) but to someone else perhaps the match between The Lumberjake and Tim Lennox was worth their price of admission.  

There just wasn't a bad match on this show and everyone wrestled like it was their first match back in front of fans in seventeen months.  When this show is hopefully streamed (on YouTube perhaps) you should definitely check it out.  If you are in the MA area then NCW is a promotion that you should be watching!

Music Review //
Rebel ACA & French Monkey Wrench
(feat iSTAND & Danny Sprang)
"Never Give Up" (remixed by Lil' Rossco)


This song has a lot to process just by looking at the combination of who is making it and who is helping.   There are two names to start but then it also features two more people and it even has a remixed by credit!   While this might feel overwhelming, the end result is a song which could be on the pop radio station but also has elements of reggaeton and hip-hop.  At one point during the singing there is a rap and that just furthers the genres which this song (and these artists) will cross.

When I was in my younger years I used to listen to a lot of ska because it was popular here (and maybe everywhere) at the time.  As I dug deeper into the roots of ska, I found more and more of it came from reggae.   Sure, I had listened to Bob Marley before but it wasn't until I started listening to The Toasters that I really got into Buju Banton, for example.  There is an element of dancehall within ska and reggae as well, and this song is an example of that.   It just feels like something you would put on at a club when you wanted to dance.

Throughout this video it is mainly those involved dancing or standing while singing or rapping.  It paints a nice visual, though there are also some moments of driving around and the like, and makes me think of a video that might be closer to the hip hop side of sound from the late 1990's, when MTV was just full of more videos like this.    It's almost a shame how well this would've fit in back then as a video considering that there really isn't an MTV that plays music videos out there right now.

Overall, perhaps more than anything else, this music video and song are about what the title says: Never Give Up.   The song feels like a positive one in the way it sounds but there is also just this repetition where it can get stuck in your head.  If any lyrics are ever going to get stuck in your head, the ones which tell you to not give up are not a bad choice.   From being on a ska compilation in the year 2000 to being on pop radio right now, "Never Give Up" is a song and video combination not to be missed.

Music Review //
Dylan Tauber
"Sounds From Space 2"

"Sounds From Space 2" could not possibly be a more fitting name for this album by Dylan Tauber as it has a lot of space sounds within it.   Electronics and beats combine with pianos at times to just give you the overall feeling during these songs that you are in space- whether it be on a space station or just drifting through space itself hoping someone will come and rescue you.  It's that atmosphere which I have felt too many times before but this time it just happens to be more suggestive with the title.

One of the aspects of "Sounds From Space 2" is the fine line that it draws between being instrumental and not.   It often feels like music being instrumental is an either/of case, basically that it either is instrumental or it isn't.   But I really feel like Dylan Tauber could change the way that we view instrumental music here, as these songs rely more heavily on the music but also have some singing throughout them.   As early as the second song, "Ambience of India", you can begin to hear vocals but they feel buried in the background of big, expansive beats.

During "Heavenly" there are these electronic crackles but there also some ahhh's which make me think of angels and that's just fitting for the title.  "Earth" has big banging, like a storm, with a bass pulse behind it.  There are also some vocals in here but they feel more spoken through this eerie track.   Electro-loops come out on "Indian Ocean" and there are sort of like singing words coming through as well.   By the time we hit "Carmen Love" we are full into pianos and audio clips.  

It isn't until we reach "Away From Home" that we hear more definitive singing, in a way which with the title seems to further the story along.   There is an element of hip-hop as "Call Me The Sun" is perhaps the most pop-like song on he album and can come as somewhat of a surprise at the end.  Strictly by instrumental standards this album can remind me of Phantoms vs Fire but with the addition of carefully placed vocals it has that something extra which should have you going out of your way to experience this one.

Music Review //
Ajay Mathur
"I Need You Now"

"I Need You Now" hits instantly as a power rock song with acoustic undertones.  It has that way about it that you could definitely hear it on the radio, a Deep Blue Something quality, but it also has these instruments behind the traditional bass/drums/guitar which make it stand out in an even more magical way.  It moves fast from start to finish, but after enough listens you will certainly be singing along.

Perhaps aside from the music itself the most redeeming aspect of this song is the positivity of Ajay Mathur.   Just to admit that you need someone is a huge step for a lot of people- many want to feel like they don't have to rely on others so they think they're stronger by not asking for help.   Being able to admit that you do need help because there is a problem you cannot resolve yourself actually makes you stronger and I should know because I was in that exact situation recently.

Through these Beatles-esque strums come lines such as: "Let's come together / bring love and happiness", which I feel are needed now more than ever.   I don't really care if it reminds people too much of something else (like hippies) because we need more songs about coming together and being happy, preaching love and peace over whatever the world has turned into during the pandemic.   Think about it: we were never really all on the same page, but as a country (USA) and even the world we have seemingly become more divided than ever with recent events.  

While there are lyrics which read like verses to this song, sometimes there are just these single sentence declarations which I also enjoy because they are just these positive tidbits of sunshine that would make the world go around, thoughts like: "A celebration / I wish you all the best"   When was the last time you heard a musician wish someone else the best in a serious manner? The world certainly needs more of it; may this song light your way.  

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Wrestling Review //
Blitzkrieg! Pro
Beer Bash
@ Two Weeks Notice Brewing, West Springfield, MA


The way this show was presented was that the doors would open at 1pm so you could come in and drink and the wrestling wouldn't start until 3pm.   This was such an interesting concept to me and I enjoyed that it felt like people were going to get drunk and rowdy before the first match so it might make for an even crazier atmosphere than what Blitzkrieg! Pro so often provides.  

I hadn't considered that this show was going to be outside but it was.  In 80 degree heat, sitting in the sun, I would've felt worse but we spent the prior Sunday inside the H2O Center and this wasn't nearly as bad as that.  Regardless of the heat, I've come to really enjoy outside wrestling shows.  Sometimes when you're inside the ring doesn't have proper lighting (you promotions know who you are) so outside the sun just does all that for you.

It was a little surprising when we got there that no one was really selling merch yet but there was a meet and greet with Tito Santana.  This whole show went without an intermission as well, which I assume was done so as fans we didn't have to leave the heat to go inside and then come back out into it or just stay out in the heat for longer if inside was too busy.  No intermission gave those who didn't want to buy merch the option to just leave afterwards while all of the wrestlers stuck around for at least an hour to sell their merch.

The first match saw VSK vs Aaron Rourke and it was a lot of fun because the more I see of Aaron Rourke, the more I realize (and hopefully everyone else is realizing) that Aaron Rourke isn't just someone who dresses a certain way and has that *look* about him, but he's actually really tough and can get the job done in the ring.   The fact that VSK is constantly being announced as having recently appeared on Impact and AEW just makes me feel like the wrestling world is in such a great place right now because seeing wrestlers on television but then also in person at your local shows is the way it should be.

During the second match, Kennedi Copeland actually used Quentin as a weapon against Dr. Cube.   I don't think this was announced as a No DQ match until the show but these two went all over and beat the hell out of each other.  Even if Quentin wasn't involved, this was one of my favorite matches because I absolutely love Kennedi Copeland and the crowd was really behind her here.   I've also had this part of me that has wanted to see Dr. Cube in person for quite some time, being a fan of both Kaiju Big Battel and just the odd side of wrestling.

Bryce Donovan and Mark Sterling had a match which told a story not only in the ring but outside of it, as Kirby Wackerman was ringside and the friendship between the two was tested.  Bobby Orlando came out at the end of the match which shifted into the Bobby/Kirby tag match and it just all played so well on Bobby Orlando not wanting Kirby Wackerman in Shook Crew but Bryce Donovan kind of feeling like Kirby is growing on him.  This could all end with Bryce Donovan helping Kirby Wackerman win the Bedlam Championship from Bobby Orlando or a swerve where Bryce ends up costing Kirby his title shot.

For those who say there isn't long term storytelling in professional wrestling any more, I suggest they follow The Shook Crew Saga.   Also, Bobby Orlando and Kirby Wackerman took on a tag team which featured Eric James and I don't know a lot about Eric James but his trunks had a cassette on them so I feel like I'm about to own a lot of his merch.

Keeping the drinking theme alive, CPA took on Big Dan Champion.  I'm not sure how many fans here knew of Dan Champion, but the concept of "Lil Dan" and saying it back to him when he says "Big Dan" is really catching on.   Go to your local wrestling show and you too can be part of the Lil Dan movement!

The fourway match featured a lot of individual matches that have already happened but it also made me really want to see TJ Crawford vs Travis Huckabee one on one.   When Sammy Diaz came out, we were booing him and he asked us why.  I told him it's because he's in The Firm and he was just like "That's fair".   He was wearing his The Firm shirt to the ring, but I'm not sure if him being a heel fully translates everywhere until the match starts and he does heel things.   TJ Crawford also played up the heel ways in this match so I don't know if anyone was really trying to be cheered, though Masha Slamovich seemed to get cheered out of fear.

Our semi-main event saw Stevie G, Danny Atom and Stevie Legend take on .50 Cal, Big Juicy and Jay Baker.   The first time I saw .50 Cal I thought that because of the sunglasses and haircut he'd be too much like Love, Doug (and he was actually on a Blitzkrieg! show with Love, Doug) but he's really come into his own as a character and I think more wrestlers need to bring the mullet back.  

Perhaps the real story of this six person tag team match though is the story of Big Juicy.  When I first saw Big Juicy in Blitzkrieg! pre-pandemic, it felt like she was still sort of finding herself but now, at this show, she had chants for her and her character- who she is- it's just there and it just works so well.   Big Juicy is just one of those wrestlers who is breaking out and only going to get noticed more, such as Becca and Erica Leigh have this past year or so.  

Speaking of getting noticed more, how cool is it that the main event featured two women fighting two men.   Often times, my process for going to a wrestling show when it's a new promotion is this: "I want to go to this show because <this woman> is on it!", I buy tickets, then the rest of the card is revealed and there is only one women's match, usually only two women on the entire show.  With Blitzkrieg! Pro, I never worry about whether or not there will be enough women on the show because Blitzkrieg! is not afraid to let the men and the women mix it up.

This was a really great tag team match to close the show with a huge spot involving a forklift and Leary nearly being sentenced to death by his bride-to-be.   As much as there was an angle in here of "They're fighting and they're going to get married!" I also feel like Perry Von Vicious vs Davienne is a hoss fight we need to explore more down the line.  

Overall this was just such a fun show and being so involved in it made you forget about the heat.   I got slightly burned but not nearly as bad as I could have (I didn't bring sunscreen because I didn't know, whoops) and we stuck around for a bit afterwards because we were able to meet Dr. Cube, which felt like such a big deal to me, as an adult now but still feeling like that younger nerdy person I once was.   Blitzkrieg! Pro always has a way of bringing out the best and this show was no exception.  

Music Review //
Paula Standing
"The More I Give"

While the music of Paula Standing can have a folk sound overall- those acoustic guitar vibes which sometimes border on country- there are a few other sounds to be found within here as well.   At the end of the day this could be a perfect album for someone who likes to listen to rock on the softer side, something that is calm and not threatening, but all of the songs certainly do not have to sound the same for it to stay within that realm.

With elements of Paula Cole and Fleetwood Mac, these songs tend to feature only the voice of Paula Standing but there are also moments of backing vocals.  "Hiding Out In Tuscany" brings out more instruments and more of a sound which feels full, as opposed to just the acoustic guitar plus vocals which came before it.   The song is also about travelling so as such it does have that Highwayman vibe to it, where you would listen to it while driving.

"My Heart Goes With You" brings out a banjo and can remind me of John Denver while the titular track has those soft pianos which are borderline sad.   Artists like Crimson Calamity come to mind as we get into "Better Not To Know" and even a bit of "Back on the Chain Gang" by the Pretenders.   We go back into the softer acoustics for "Just Like It's Mine" before it picks up a little bit again on "Heaven On Earth".   It all ends with a solemn ballad though, in "Doing Fine".

The songs on "The More I Give" have lyrics about what the title is about and so they can be taken at face value.   On some level, I feel like "Mother To Me" is a modern day version of "Cat's in the Cradle" only it has more of a happy message than the song about the father.   If you really want to examine the lyrics you certainly can, but it's also just as easy to put this one, lean back and relax while it plays.  

Music Review //
Will Jackson
"Good Enough"

From the very start until the very end I feel like "Good Enough" sounds like a slightly faster version of the Counting Crows song "Hangin' Around".   It has that same sort of folk-laced piano vibe where you just imagine someone sitting outside playing it and having fun but also relaxing.  Much of this video takes place with Will Jackson inside playing the piano but at times he is also outside doing things.

This video just holds the same sort of vibe as the song as there are scenes of driving, out on a boat, on a porch and just gathering around a campfire.   The sound sets a very specific mood that the video will help portray.   It also features Will Jackson and one other person, whom you could assume that the song was about.

During the chorus there is the hook: "If it's good enough for you, well it's good enough for me" which makes me think of "The Goonies" and Cyndi Lauper but that's about where those comparisons end.   This doesn't really feel like a song from a soundtrack and if it was from any other time it would be the late 1990's when bands like Fastball and Semisonic were on the radio for the first time.

While this song and video can both have this feeling of calm and being neutral, the lyrics are about the same.   I like to think of that chorus hook as being a lesson in compromise, a sort of "If you're happy then I'm happy" and if you have that person in your life who you want to be happy and they want you to be happy then neither of you will ever be unhappy.  

Friday, August 20, 2021

Music Review //
Elana Brody
"Rock Steady"


Upon first hearing the song "Rock Steady" I am left with a nostalgic feel.   Growing up, we had artists like Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine and in my slightly later years we had artists such as Jennifer Lopez.  I might just not be listening to the right songs, but it feels like the section of pop music which is destined to make you move is just not as present as it once was before.  

This music video helps to portray the vibe of the song because it's just a group of people dancing around near the ocean- both in the sand and nearby- having fun.  It's very pure in that way but it also is very blunt in the sense that it feels like not only the song itself but the music video is telling you to get up dance, especially if you're outside in the sun.   This whole song definitely has the vibe of summer and so in that sense it can also be closely related with Demi Lovato.

What I really like about this song is that it goes deeper than the lyrics you hear on the surface and the images you see in the video, at least for me.   There is a lyric which says: "Is that my guy or do I just want a rhythm, a rhythm to ride?"  This seems to be an eternal struggle for me as I feel like many of the people I have been attracted to in my life were only so because of the situation.  Maybe we were just good to pass time together at work, but outside of work we really didn't have anything in common and shouldn't have been dating.

Still, the song- as the title suggests- is not just about being in a relationship with someone else but also just dancing.  It's a good vibe to have and even if you just want to take it at face value, there is nothing wrong with just having some fun and this song is perfect for that.  I imagine people driving in one those open jeeps to the beach and playing a relaxed game of volleyball.  This song can put my mind at ease and hopefully you will move with it too.  

Music Review //
The Georgia Thunderbolts
"Can I Get A Witness"


There is something to be said for this combination of artist name and song title.   With a band called The Georgia Thunderbolts, you expect them to have the rock n roll sound of the south, not too much unlike Lynyrd Skynyrd.   At the same time, "Can I Get A Witness" seems to be the type of question you ask that is followed by an "Amen!"  The combination of these two ideas could lead to one thinking that this is going to be some good old fashioned southern rock with a hint of gospel mixed in, but it's not.

This song begins with a heavy guitar riff and that just sticks throughout the entire time.  The vocals come out like you would hear them being belted out in a metal sense, perhaps, as they just have that big presence feel to them.  Right away, the first artist I hear within these sounds is Audioslave and that's pretty cool.  After a while, I can hear this as even being something along the lines of Seether, but it just also seems to be forging its own rock trail, a little deceptively with the name, but even if you went in expecting southern rock you'd still be hooked.

Throughout the music video itself there are stills of the band playing their instruments and then the lyrics are seen almost in a comic book-like style.   This is definitely better than the traditional lyric video which just seems to be text on the screen as the creativity of it all takes it above and beyond.   The video feels so close to not being a lyric video, but it is important to read the words as they go by, to eventually sing along, because it's what this song is about.

On the surface this song is about someone not believing in the band, then they leave the band (doesn't have to be a band member, just someone who supported them once and then stopped) and now the band is making songs with people singing along.  Whether or not you've ever been in a band before, this has a universal appeal of "You didn't believe in me but now I've made it".  This can be applied to almost any life situation where you are trying to grow and better yourself and, let's face it, life should be all about growth and trying to be better so let this song guide you on your journey and block out those who doubt you.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Music Review //
Roses & Revolutions
"I Remember Dancing"
(Nettwerk Music Group)

This song begins with a fond acoustic strumming.   It has a folk way about it, since it is primarily acoustic, but there are soft spoken vocals and melodies which make it stand out from anything other song you might put up next to it in your playlist.   Though it could sound like an acoustic version of a Slothrust song, I am also reminded of artists I love such as Polly Scattergood, Alanis Morissette, Jewel, Paula Cole and Taylor Swift.

As much as I love music (and I really love music) I've never really been big into dancing.  But I feel like when you're younger, you have a lot more opportunities to dance and as you get older and your body starts to hurt more you get less and less chances to dance.   It's not something I really think about because I've never really danced before but I suppose it does hold true for a lot of people and in that sense this song can simply make them nostalgic for something they once had but no longer do.

At some point closer to the end of this song there enters a sound which is a cross between clapping and popping.  I'm not sure what it is being made with exactly (it's kind of almost like a wood block but might not be) but every time I hear it I have to look around because it sounds as if someone is knocking on my walls.   I eventually become reassured that is within the song itself but I have always also been an admirer of sounds which can appear within music but make the listener think that they are not.

With the lines: "I remember dancing / late at night / in the middle of the street / friends and music /  the laughter / it was all I'd ever need / for a moment in time / I could finally breathe" it becomes clear that this song isn't about dancing.  Yes, the dancing was a part of it but look at all of the other things which made that moment special.   We all have those moments (hopefully) where they felt so normal as they happened but afterwards we realized how special they truly were.  In some way, I think we're all trying to get back to them and this song is a reminder of that.  

Music Review //
Echo Us
"The Windsong Spires"
(Absolute Probability Recordings) 

As a fair warning to the reader: If you are not prepared to take a musical journey then do not listen to "The Windsong Spires".    This isn't the type of album where you can put it on, get halfway through and then move onto something else.   It also isn't the type of album where I feel like you can pull too many songs out of context as singles and they all just really need to be listened to in order almost as if one long song makes up the entire album.

While the songs of Echo Us are not instrumental, there is an emphasis on the music over the vocals on this album for sure.   This is part of the reason why I feel many of the songs wouldn't translate as "singles" or really as well outside of the album itself.   But I really do love that quality about this album because it's what makes "The Windsong Spires" so special, so much more than feeling like just a collection of songs.

This music itself is rather complex.   Sometimes the percussion is so huge it feels as if it can fill an entire stadium, while other times it isn't even there.   There are a decent amount of pianos and when you first press play it can sound as if we're going into the score of a kung fu film.   I feel like it is post rock at times, but at other times it has that feeling of being at a RenFair, especially when Charlotte Engler comes in with the backing vocals.  

Sometimes this music is soft, other times it can be loud and in your face.  It can feel like we're watching a play unfold before our very eyes or like a movie from the 1980's.   There are just so many things happening here, but I feel like a movie is the best way to compare this because you wouldn't watch a movie for ten minutes or thirty minutes and then bail on it if it was two hours long.  No.  You press play, start the movie and watch it until it is over.  That's how I feel about this complex album which can feel as dramatic as it does magical.  

Wrestling Review //
We Are Wrestling
Wanna Be Startin' Something
Knights Of Columbus, Ridgefield Park, NJ //

When this show was first announced- and it basically also became the announcement of the promotion as it is their first show- I was sold as soon as I saw the match between Trish Adora vs Darius Carter.   What a perfect chance for a face vs heel encounter that has somehow never happened up until this point.    But I would find that a lot of these matches were not only first time match ups but they had that idea behind them of "How has this not happened before?" but I was so glad that they were happening.

I must have said this about ten times during the show itself to various people but one of the things I love about this show is that it had a lot of diversity on the card.   It wasn't an all women's show but it also wasn't one where you felt like there was only one women's match (which is sometimes referred to by other promotions as a "special attraction") so I felt like it went along with promotions I love like Blitzkrieg! Pro, Beyond Wrestling, Invictus Pro, Battle Club Pro, Test Of Strength and Pro Wrestling Magic (for a short list)

It is also worth noting that I knew every wrestler on this show (in the sense that we had seen them wrestle live before or I really wanted to see them wrestle live) except for the students in the pre-show match but since they are students that's the point, right?   The show opened with Saieve Al Sabah taking on Matt Cross and this is just one of those matches where if you go to Middle America you'll find it headlining an indie show.   It delivered on every level of wrestling and was a great way to start things off.

The second match (not counting the pre-show type match) was Becca vs Billie Starkz.   I feel like I see Becca wrestle at least once every weekend, which just goes to show the type of star that she is becoming.   I've seen Billie Starkz on IWTV and FITE but never live before.  This was a fun match and ultimately Becca ended up playing the heel, yelling at the audience, as she sometimes does when it feels like the crowd doesn't know who to cheer for.  Billie Starkz has this presence about her- going from the screen to real life- that makes me think of like how Hellboy went from being a comic book character to portrayed by Ron Perlman on the big screen.   It's just larger than life.

For some reason Steve Pena interjected himself into a match between Yahya and Yoya.  This was a fun match though because Yoya is smaller, Yahya is big like Vader but can move and Steve Pena has that Diesel thing going on so everyone brought something different to this match but they could all still hang with each other.  I still want to see Yahya vs Yoya one on one, but this is enough to hold me over for the rest of the year if need be.

Ken Broadway is all about "If it doesn't make dollars then it don't make sense" while Richard Holliday is the "Air Pod God" and likes to rub it in the fans' faces that he's better than them.   This felt like such a perfect fit for opponents because Richard Holliday has that way of putting himself on a pedestal, above the fans, but Ken Broadway can be right up there with him so his mind games don't work.

Before intermission there was a scramble match and the rules kind of confused me.  I thought that the first two wrestlers would come out and fight and then after two minutes the third would come out and then so on until all five were in the match.   This had me excited when El Oso Blanco came out first and then Janai Kai joined him because I wanted to see them fight each other.  But then we learned that everyone who wasn't going to start the match was coming out first- it was backwards to what I thought- but it was still fun.

The match was started by Big Game Leroy and Isaiah Wolf and when I asked Big Game Leroy what game he was playing on his Switch he responded "Pokemon!"   Isaiah Wolf then went on to ask me why it mattered because this was a wrestling match and I told him that I just have a naturally curious mind, which I do.   One other funny moment in this match occurred when a child next to me asked Janai Kai if her strikes were karate and El Oso Blanco responded "I don't know but they hurt!"

Before the final four matches there was an intermission and though there were a lot of matches and wrestling in general it all went by in a timely manner and didn't feel like we were there for as long as we were.  During intermission and after the show we got to talk with everyone we wanted to and buy merch as well so I was happy about that.  I know we aren't fully out of the pandemic so I can respect a wrestler's right to stay away from fans for their health, but I also feel like wrestlers can make good money on merch so I love to see it when they do.

Prior to the pandemic I feel like MSP were on the verge of breaking out and becoming *the* tag team in independent wrestling.  If someone were to create tag titles in the same way that Wheeler Yuta holds that Independent Championship, then MSP would certainly have them.  I feel happy now that MSP seems to be getting a lot of that momentum back and have opponents like the Besties In The World.   I've seen the Besties matches before but perhaps I best know them for this clip that always used to play on IWTV during intermission where they discussed turning heel and being the "Worsties".

Seeing the Besties for the first time live against MSP was just something magical.   This was such an amazing tag team match I can't even begin to explain it.  Most tag team matches are so formulaic in the way that one person gets beat down by the other two, makes a hot tag and then the match is 90% over.   This match did not do that.  This match just had everyone beating the hell out of each other until the very end.

I was counting to myself (and Quentin) how many matches were left and I thought that there would be four because it was supposed to be Masha vs Savannah, something unannounced for KiLynn King and then the two main events.  What we didn't know was that Masha Slamovich was not there because she went to AEW for a match instead (which is huge, congrats to her) so Savannah Evans ended up facing KiLynn King.   All I'm going to say is we still need Masha vs Savannah at some point because I've told both of them my story.

Savannah Evans vs KiLynn King was everything I could have hoped for and more.  They both are about the same size- which I only note because they are both tall and intimidating- so this match seemed fairly even.   This also kind of played on the Impact vs AEW feud because KiLynn King is someone who I've seen on AEW Dark (mostly) but this was my first time seeing her live and Savannah Evans recently debuted in Impact so I'm going out of my way to watch that now as well.  It's such the power of pro wrestling.

The co-main event of the evening saw Anthony Greene take on Rob Killjoy.  This was a match that I personally called for on Twitter and when Anthony Greene was told he could pick his own opponent I was pleased that he chose Rob Killjoy because it was the match which made the most sense.  On one hand, you have Anthony Greene coming back to the independent scene with something to prove and then you have Rob Killjoy who has been here but seems to feel as if he has something to prove in every single match.  

These two went at it hard and I didn't know who was going to win until the very end.   Anthony Greene flipped Rob Killjoy over in the corner and hit a piledriver on him which looked like a more effective way to do a Canadian Destroyer and that was it.   These two guys went out there and left it all in that ring though.  AG like he never left (except he wears pants now) and Rob Killjoy just always showing up.   This match (and really this whole show) was everything that I thought it could be on paper and yet so much more.  

During the main event perhaps the only thing which outweighed the love of Trish Adora was the fact that the crowd wanted to boo Darius Carter.  This was a back and forth match, neither really seeming to best the other.   Then it happened.  Referee Nick Shin went down.  Another referee came out.  And this second ref counted the 1-2-3 for Darius Carter to win with his feet up on the ropes for leverage.  

When I tell you this place exploded with boos and taunts you will not fully be able to understand it if you weren't there.   This crowd was HEATED.  There was no way Darius Carter was making it to his car after that.  That's the vibe I got.   But then Nick Shin said no.  He told the other ref to know his role and that the decision would not stand and the match would continue.  The crowd nearly blew the roof off of the building as they were so happy that their worst nightmares were not coming true with Darius Carter holding yet another championship (and some would even say *the* championship)

Next, Darius Carter took the championship and left so I thought we were going to have an ongoing story before Trish Adora went after him, brought him back out and beat him into a pin for the win.   When I say to you, dear reader, that I have never experienced a higher intensity of emotions live for a wrestling match- the cheers for Trish Adora and the boos for Darius Carter- I want everyone to study both of these truly gifted athletes to learn how to elicit the reaction they seek.  

This was simply a fantastic show from top to bottom and to think it was the debut show of We Are Wrestling is just what makes it even more remarkable.   At the beginning of the show, it was explained to the crowd that the name is We Are Wrestling because it's not just about the wrestlers but about everyone in that building- including the fans- who make the show what it is.  I truly believe that and I believe that on this night, this Friday the 13th, this Knights Of Columbus in Ridgefield Park, NJ had the best wrestling fans.  I just want to know which one of my teeth Darius Carter thinks is fake.  

Music Review //
Patrick Ames
"The Virtualistics"

When "The Virtualistics" first begins I hear a sound somewhat like a jam band or classic rock.  It makes me think of that "Lowrider".   But that first song also happens to be about what the title states: "Help People Up" and I dig the positivity.   By the second song we are reminded of the pandemic with "Second Wave" being about the virus and lies.   I often feel like the fact that in the year 2021 we have something such as the internet is a good thing because we can reach a lot of people in a short period of time.  But it's also a bad thing because it's full of so much misinformation that people are willing to believe.

If there is a recall on something- if meat will make you sick for example- a notice is put out and everyone seems to agree with "Don't buy this meat or you'll get sick".   But now when we have a worldwide virus and they say "Take the vaccine to help stop the spread" people who might not have even graduated high school suddenly become doctors.   It's a bit crazy but I also wonder if in the time of polio had people been gifted with social media would they have gotten the vaccine or would many more have died.

"Rubber and Glue" is a sort of fun song about what the title says, an old adage from when we were kids.   There is soul to this sound and then on "Great Bunch of Molecules" the tempo slows down to that acoustic ballad state and it teaches us science but also presents an old idea in a new way.  I do like the lyrics throughout this album because they have a different way of viewing things than most songs do.  

Through a nice rock drive- almost disco- we get into "Essential Worker" which is about what the title says and also takes us back to the pandemic.  "Songwriter's Block" is about using more vowels and your song will sing while "You Make Me Scream" reminds me a bit of that "Jungle Boogie".   "Reawakened 2020" has a gospel vibe to it but overall this just feels like classic rock with a modern update because of the lyrics and you don't really hear classic rock presented in a modern way such as this so it should appeal to both fans of music old and new.  

Music Review //
1st Base Runner
"Only One"

The sound of 1st Base Runner in this song is also reflected in the video.   Through mostly black and whites, some greyscale and a few flowers here and there this music is somewhat dark.  It reminds me of an artist such as Finger Eleven or Hozier.  In a more modern sense it can also have the same self awareness as an artist such as Flora Cash.  It's just the type of song which when it is on- even if you hear it somewhere in public- you very distinctly know that this is the song which you are hearing.

For the most part a singer is sitting on a stool during this video while images of chairs and a house go by.  I'm not sure why he wants to be the only one- it isn't really clearly explained as to who else he is in competition with- but this song is also somewhat short and feels like a bridge between two other songs or the greatness of an entire album.   It has this way of starting and then just sort of fading out where it's not really your standard verse/chorus/verse structure, but it works.  

I suppose that the want to be the only one can depend upon what your situation is in life or what you have been through and in that sense it can be left to interpretation by the listener.  Maybe you want to be the best at your job.  Maybe you want to be the best at sports or video games or whatever people typically compete over.  But I think of it as wanting to be the only one for someone else.  And in this video it almost feels as if he is not the only one because the other person has moved onto someone else.

I'm a firm believer that people need relationships outside of their significant other.  Whether it be family, friends or co-workers, only seeing and spending time with one other person for the rest of your life would wear real thin real fast.   But at the same time there is a way in which that belief can be conveyed which makes it feel less like "She needed more than me" and more like a healthy balance.  So as I listen to this song and watch this video I don't know if it is possible to be the only one and maybe that's why this song sounds the way that it does.  

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Music Review //
Wendy Godfrey
"Venus"  //

Whenever I hear a song like "Venus" I immediately am taken to a place where I listen to Corinne Bailey Rae.   That will always be one of those places I just go and will always be there with certain genres of music.   Wendy Godfrey has that style of pop / R&B / some kind of soul with just that dreamy groove.  It's not a genre I can put my finger on, but for similarity (somewhat in style, but more in the delivery) I look to Corinne Bailey Rae.

This just feels like the type of song you would find on a playlist or on the radio either in the 1990's or present.   It would fit so well in between artists like Boyz II Men and PM Dawn- in a '90's sense- but then it could also go well with Bruno Mars or any of the radio hip hop out there.  Being that versatile also makes me think of Lana Del Rey, who is on a lot of the pop stations but also crossed over into the rock ones with her Sublime cover.

The tone of "Venus" is one of being relaxed, but not too relaxed.  I think this song reminds me of Goldilocks and the Three Bears because it's not too much or not enough of one thing but just right.   It has that feeling of something you could play at a party and people would be into it, but it isn't really fast paced or a dance number.    It's chill, but it won't put you to sleep.   There is also a lot of melody to be found within this song.

Overall, "Venus" is, if nothing else, a love song.   Lyrics like: "Right by my side / Won't you be there" demonstrate how someone has found someone else and just wants to be with them forever.   But also the hook of: "On our own planet like Venus" just goes to show how when you find that special someone it can feel like you're the only two people on the planet.   It's a nice feeling if you can find it, but if you can't you can always think of something (such as music) which helps you escape from reality.  

Music Review //
"Transmission 70" //

"Transmission 70" begins quietly, with minimal sounds, but then it turns into this scraping, which could be the sound of a plane taking off.   Back and forth almost static sounding vibes come in and then there is a hollowed out ringing behind it.   An audio clip of vocals enters, as all of the sounds grow together and become louder.   This sound feels like it's climbing upwards and then it all finally hits this spot where it reaches the top.

A more ominous, trance-like tone comes out now and just takes over the entire front of the song.   This bright hue just overshadows all of the other sounds heard up until this point and if you still that we're going up it could be that we are indeed ascending to Heaven.   Slip beats come into the background now.   It's a little bit of drone and a little bit of that Atari Pole Position type beeping going along with it.

Through some whirrs this can feel scrambled and then it has those echoes like a horror movie.  I begin to think about it as being in a way which rather than going up to Heaven we simply went up to where we exited the atmosphere and are now in space, floating.   Sounds like transmissions come through in the background before it goes quieter again and it does just leave me with that feeling as if we were just stranded in space.

While this song can tell a story- a visual to accompany the audio- it also just has this relaxing calm way about it.   Though I've stated that I felt like it could be going out into space, I could also listen to this song and relax while in water: whether it be floating on a raft in a pool or simply soaking in your bathtub.   The fact that this song can be so calm can leave it open for some much needed peace and reflection which is so rare to get in this world today and for that I am grateful to WooliebuGGer.

Music Review //
Chris Mardini
"I'll Try"


Lately I've been having a lot of conversations (and thinking it to myself) that it is better to try and fail than not try at all.   The idea of that has really helped me to push forward and do many things I might not have otherwise done and most of them were a success.   This song by Chris Mardini though- this idea of "I'll Try" is a little bit different.   It's a little bit more specific to a situation which he seems to find himself in.

Throughout the acoustic sounds of pop and rock, Chris Mardini tells a story about being in a relationship with someone who won't say it to other people.  This leads to lyrics about how Chris Mardini cannot get high on life (but will try) and cannot promise not to get wrecked (but will try).  For being a bit more on the side of pop than anything else I think it has somewhat dark lyrics about drinking and doing drugs because of unhappiness in a relationship.

I feel like it's safe to say that everyone at some point in their life has been in a bad relationship but to have the specific instance of being with someone who wants to keep the relationship a secret seems less common.   But I've been there.  And it's not fun.  And if you're in a relationship where the other person isn't willing to admit it to the public then something is wrong and that relationship just, in the end, isn't going to end up working.  I speak from experience.

While this song can have elements ranging from Teddy Geiger to Radiohead ("Paranoid Android" comes to mind) there is also a video which has the lyrics with an animated person walking while playing guitar, though by the end they wind up in shambles.   I'm not always a fan of "lyric videos" but this one is rather well done (and isn't just the lyrics, so I'm not sure I'd consider it a true lyric video) and I feel like the words in this song are important so you should be following along as you listen.  

Music Review //
Apache Rose

Apache Rose fills a rather serious need for indie rock which sounds a certain way in my life.   There are killer guitar solos and "Tiny Love" is clearly a single.   "Hit Me" starts off slower but then kicks in for the chorus and yet there are also so many melodies.   Some of the first influences I pull out are bands like The Living End and The Damn Personals- both which I feel aren't that well known, but it goes with the idea that this is a very specific genre of rock which I do not hear nearly enough of anymore.

"Attention!" is a little bit funky and maybe because of the title it makes me think of The Academy Is, but through those resonating guitar chords I can also hear somewhat of The Clash.  By the end of the album I can hear other artists ranging from The Exit to Kings of Leon.   The final song, "Some Kind of Love", is somewhere between The Beatles, Buddy Holly and Phantom Planet.  It just has a big, expansive sound overall.

One issue I take with this album is the song "You Kiss like a Girl".   I'm not sure what it means to "kiss like a girl" and I'm not sure that the song means it in a negative way, but it is still the year 2021 (and not the 1950's) so I think the idea of "____ like a girl" is outdated.  Even though it may not be the intention, the song just makes me think of things like "throws like a girl" (in baseball) or "hits like a girl" (in a fight) and so the fact that it makes me feel like it's even that much remotely tied with something so sexist makes it a song I cannot listen to because they do sing the title.

Within that same song though you will find the lyric: "I don't need to tell you how to do your thing", so I feel like the ideas behind the songs of Apache Rose are not meant to offend and it might just be one of my little hang ups.  I also realize this sounds most like a band which you had to be there to experience or you might not know they ever existed.  If you weren't into the New England music scene at the time The Damn Personals and The Exit were putting out albums you might have missed them.  Luckily, you're alive in the time when Apache Rose is releasing music (because you're reading this) so they won't go overlooked.  

Music Review //
Paul Feder
"Lose My Mind"


Right away the music of Paul Feder has a sound which takes from the past- a synth-based artist from the 1980's or 1990's- and also feels more like the present, comparable with an artist such as Capital Cities.   The music is largely synth driven with beats and could be considered synthwave or some variation of that.   It just feels upbeat though, even if it isn't overly pop, and it could be on the radio.

What I like most about this song is that it is about losing your mind, as the title states.  Isn't it funny how we feel like we're losing our minds and it can be for any number of different reasons?  In fact, if you have ever felt overwhelmed, if you've ever had too much to do and not enough time to do it in, you could be losing your mind.  At the same time, being in lockdown during the pandemic also presented many people with next to nothing to do and caused them to feel like they were losing their minds.

This video is really fun because it is essentially a straight shoot of Paul Feder just standing around and singing the song.  Some of these locations are greyscale but they are also just bleak, even just seeing the bricks.  It makes you wonder why cities- when looked at from afar- aren't more colorful.   So pieces of various color have been placed on top or behind these scenes, which I think speaks on many levels about the mundane.

In addition to this music video feeling like a work of art in and of itself, there is also just a lot of fun put into this song even if it is about having a break down.   If you've ever felt like you were about to lose your mind, putting this song on might help to prevent that from happening.  However, if you feel like you're too far gone and just have to ride it out then this song will also be a good soundtrack to do that with.  

Wrestling Review //
IWTV 100
@ H2O Wrestling Center, Williamstown, NJ


There are two main problems that I had with the IWTV 100 show before it even started, which both had nothing to do with the show itself because these are things which could be said without actually having watched the show.   Firstly, we were about to go into our second show in the 140 degree H2O Center and I just wish that there was either an intermission or some way to not sweat so much in there.   Alas, it's more of a teaching moment for us (as fans) because I will still go to the H2O Center but we won't be doing any more doubleheaders there.  

My second problem with this show was that out of the 27 competitors featured on it only two were women.   When the first match was announced- Warhorse vs John Wayne Murdoch- I purchased tickets.   Then they announced the tag team match which featured the only two women on the show: Trish Adora and Kris Statlander.   And, let's be fair, Kris Statlander can be found all over IWTV if you do a search but she is more recently in AEW and so in a ~currently on IWTV~ sense the only woman who can really be featured is Trish Adora?

I'm not going to name any names because I don't know what the availability was like but if you have thousands upon thousands of hours of content on your streaming service but can only come up with two women to put on your show- to span the entire service and multiple promotions-then I don't know how to feel about that.   I love IWTV but maybe I've been watching it wrong since I see a show and think "I want to watch this because Jody Threat is on it!" or any number of other talented women who were just not here.   For me, the worst part is not that IWTV isn't representing more women but that for this particular show they weren't represented well and I know that's not what IWTV is about.

In between shows we were ushered out and it felt good to be outside in the not-so-hot weather.  We also had about two hours in between shows, so Jess, Quentin and I left to get food and came back.   What struck me as funny is that we got into line at around 4:30pm and they didn't start letting fans in until almost 4:45 with a 5:00 start time.   Once we got in we noticed ladders surrounding the ring.   This was my way of finding out that the H2O match was going to be for a briefcase which would allow the holder of it to get a future Indepedent Wrestling Title shot at a time and place of their choosing.

Look, I don't really watch H2O.  I watched one of their more recent shows where Kennedi Copeland defeated Jody Threat, but outside of that and the one show with Casanova Valentine on it going for a title shot I just haven't seen a lot of H2O.   I understand they have a lot of promising talent.   But I don't understand why someone like GG Everson- who I couldn't pick out of a line up- would potentially be in line for a title shot.  I know H2O loves these boys, but I'm talking about in the grand scale of things and how well known they are throughout all of independent wrestling.

I didn't know that Eric Martin and Kevin Blackwood were going to have a match and I really am still not sure as to who Eric Martin is.   But it is also worth noting at this time that there were little breaks in between the matches where they showed commercials for the viewers at home.  I'm not someone who has ever booked a wrestling show much less one for television, but wouldn't it have made more sense to save all of those advertisements for one spot to air and give us an intermission as opposed to this just minute or so of waiting around?   Aside from the heat I just get tired of sitting sometimes and need to stretch.

I enjoyed the six man tag team match if only because I got to see Jigsaw live and Hallowicked and UltraMantis Black again.   Richard Holliday, Alexander James and Logan Easton LaRoux have a good heel thing going and they quite possibly got the most heat of the entire night.  Kevin Ku vs Matt Makowski is a match I might have known was happening and forgot about but it was a good, hard-hitting match and one day I'd like to even see Matt Makowski find someone to tag with to take on Violence Is Forever.

Sometimes I feel like I'm nitpicking and I want someone to tell me "Oh, you're complaining just to complain" but when I saw Jonathan Gresham come out and he wasn't wearing the octopus gimmick as a mask I was disappointed.   I've been trying to think of a way to compare it but all I can think of is if we saw Bobby Orlando without Bobby Jr but that's way more offensive and Bobby Jr is more of a draw than the octopus mask so I don't know.   Would it be like seeing Jake Roberts without a snake?  Is that a fair comparison?

I was debating what would be the main event and I figured it had to be the title match but then I thought that the tag team match would come right before it.   We got the tag team match third from the end though and all four competitors were hugely over.  Though it has been said it needs to be emphasized that in this match the only person not to hold the Independent Wrestling Championship is Trish Adora and I feel like that is simply because she has not been given a shot.  Also it was funny to me that Orange Cassidy came out holding his jacket because of how hot it was.

Before this match started it was announced that it would not be intergender in the sense that when Trish Adora was in the ring she had to fight Kris Statlander and the same with the guys.  This was met with an overwhelming amount of boos and I, for one, wanted to see the men and women mix it up.   At the start of the match they seemed to follow the rules of one wrestler leaving because the other came in- pairing up guys with guys and gals with gals- but it eventually broke down to where it didn't matter and Orange Cassidy was kicking Trish Adora.  This was frustrating because why make the rule in the first place if you're not going to enforce it?  It just seemed like unnecessary heat. 

John Wayne Murdoch and WARHORSE had a great no DQ match which I felt like was the match of the night.   They had doors and thumbtacks, but still managed to make the match enjoyable and no DQ without going too far and making it feel like a death match.  It was also just good to see WARHORSE again because I hadn't seen him wrestle live since before the pandemic.  Same thing with JWM.

The main event was an interesting match because about halfway through it I realized it was going to the time limit draw.  I had told Jess that since they kept talking about the time, it was going to go the full 60 minutes.  I just thought that maybe afterwards Daniel Garcia would go for a handshake only to be attacked by Richard Holliday and company.   That didn't happen though.  I also thought Daniel Garcia might have gotten a three count but it was after time ran out so we'd get the "New champ! Haha jk" swerve, which I think is the Dusty Finish, right?

As the match went on I just became more and more convinced that it was going to end at the time limit draw and so every time there was a near fall or submission it took away that idea for me that it might end right there.   But, I have to respect both Wheeler Yuta and Daniel Garcia for doing what they did not only for an hour but also for an hour in the 140 degree heat of the H2O Center.   Wrestling for 60 minutes is straining enough, I can't imagine doing it in what basically felt like if a sauna was stuck inside of a well heated room.

After the match, Marcus Mathers comes out to cash in the briefcase and is instead laid out by A Very Good Professional Wrestler.   I'm not sure if he lost his cash in opportunity since there was technically no pinfall (someone should have dragged Yuta onto the kid and had a ref count the three) but this just basically made something which just happened in the beginning of the show feel like a cruel joke by the end of it.  I'm not saying Marcus Mathers doesn't deserve a title shot, I'm just agreeing with AVGPW that he is at the end of a rather long line.

Along with AVGPW, Matt Makowski and Trish Adora were out there waiting for their shot.  This is, again, one of the reasons why I didn't understand the first match because it meant that someone like Ryan Redfield or Reid Walker was closer to getting a title shot than Trish Adora or Matt Makowski.   John Wayne Murdoch even came out and wanted his shot.   I could even argue that a number of other wrestlers who weren't on this show would be more deserving of a title shot than those in the opening match- a name like Bryan Keith comes to mind.

If I watched this IWTV 100 show on its own at home I would have enjoyed it a lot more.   But being there, in the heat, after the awesomeness of the Camp Leapfrog show, it just felt like something was missing from it.  The matches themselves and the wrestling wasn't bad it just didn't have the same vibe as the show before it or that I get from going to any other number of wrestling shows.   It might have been just me but it's how I felt.