Showing posts with label Kevin Broughton. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kevin Broughton. Show all posts

Mar 3, 2023

Mixed Music Action Vol. 2 No. 2

By Jeremy Pinnell & Kevin Broughton


The first weekend of March brings martial arts fans a much-awaited Pay Per View and the return of a legend to the UFC octagon…


Wait! What’s this? Some breaking news? Hold on…



KB: Let's start off with the "music" portion this week, because we've got an award winner up in here! When I peeped your tour dates before our last edition, I noticed a Memphis gig for the Ameripolitan Awards. For folks who don't know, these awards are the brainchild of Dale Watson and fall into three broad categories: honky tonk, rockabilly and outlaw. And who walked away with the "Male Honky Tonk" prize? Our very own grappler/songwriter/journalist!


You're in some high cotton, buddy, so congratulations. I have to ask first: Did you have an inkling you were the winner when you booked the gig? In any case, how much does this honor -- bestowed by your peers -- mean to you?


JP: It was a cool experience; I’ve always been a huge fan of Dale’s. I didn’t think I’d win, so I didn’t even have a speech prepared. Maybe next time, if there is one. I’m not one for fancy stuff and getting dolled up (KB – “Say it ain’t so!”) but it was a neat experience and I’m very grateful to be a part of. We went to Graceland, which is a trap, bro. DO NOT GO, unless it’s not busy and you’re not on a time schedule. We had Checkers for post celebration dinner and KFC twice. So, we didn’t starve.



KB: Before we look ahead to this week's pay per view, UFC 284 featured a super fight for the ages. Nobody -- you and me included -- expected anything other than a finish by Islam Makhachev over Alex Volkanovski. Lo and behold, Alex took him the distance; and two of three judges had Volk winning two rounds out of five. What a fight; Alex is the toughest sumbitch in the UFC. Change my mind.


JP: Alex is tight. It was such a great fight; I couldn’t look away. Makhachev’s wrestling didn’t look as sound as people put on. He’s no Khabib. His stand up didn’t look bad, but Volk is a tank. I loved that fight; probably gonna watch it again.


KB: We have a highly anticipated main event for UFC 285, but before that let's talk about an up-and-comer in the first bout of the main card. Bo Nickal was a phenomenal wrestler (184 lbs.) at Penn State. He barely missed making the Olympic team, and was the Big Ten Male Athlete of the Year in 2018, when that conference produced nine first-team All-Americans in football and four NBA first-round picks. 


Nickal won his contract on "The Dana White Contenders Series," and I'm finding it hard to stay off the hype train. He's a -2000 favorite over journeyman middleweight Jamie Pickett, meaning for a bettor to win $100, he must risk two grand. He certainly has the look of a star in the making; what will you look for in his big-stage debut?


JP:  I mean he’s a wrestler, I watched him hitting the pads and it seems like something is off. I’m not on the hype train. I’m curious to see what he’ll do.


KB: Hmm. I’ll remember this when you try to climb on the train later.  And of course, we have the long-awaited return to the octagon for Jonny "Bones" Jones, easily one of the two or three greatest mixed martial artists of all time. It's been three years since Jones has fought, and he's moved up to heavyweight from 205. He's a slight betting favorite over Cyril Gane, a silky-smooth, athletic striker – and two-time world Muay Thai champ -- who's finished some top heavyweights like Black Beast Lewis and Bam Bam Tuivasa. 


Lots of wildcards in this fight; what will you be watching for, JP? Also, we’ve got a women’s flyweight title: Valentina “The Bullet” Shevchenko will defend her strap.


JP: Honestly I’m stoked to see Jon fight. Gane is an animal. I might buy this pay per view. Stoked about the bullet fight. She’s fun to watch.


KB: It's been a while since we've asked you for a musical recommendation, Honky Tonk King. You still in a techno-pop groove? What's in your rotation these days?


JP:  I’ve been listening to Mariel Buckley. She has a record called Everywhere I Used to Be. It’s pretty tight. Also, I’ve been listening a little to Mightmare, (a Sarah Shook side project) which is good. I haven’t fully dug in.


Feb 11, 2023

Mixed Music Action, Vol. 2, No. 1


By Jeremy Pinnell & Kevin Broughton

Welcome to the second year of periodic installments of “Mixed Music Action,” a Farce The Music Production. This week, Jeremy and Kevin ponder the question: “What do you say to Dana White’s wife if you see she has two black eyes?”

(Spoiler: “Nothing. Dana’s already told her twice.”)

Actually, they talk about other stuff, too. Read on.

Happy New year, pal. Before we look ahead to a new season of UFC pay-per-views, I think the last half of 2022 merits a look back; belts changed hands in three weight divisions where champs looked to have those straps on lockdown. In August, Leon "Rocky" Edwards won welterweight gold in perhaps the greatest Cinderella finish in UFC history.

In October, Islam Makhachev was scary good against lightweight king Charles Oliveira, making it look easy against the dude who had cleaned out the 155 division. And in November, middleweight champ Israel Adesanya was stopped by punches from Alex Pereira in the final round. 

Two of these bouts (Usman/Edwards and Adesanya/Pereira) are already scheduled for title rematches. On paper, it looks like Kamaru Usman is most likely to get his belt back. Pereira seems more likely -- to me, anyway -- to retain the 185 title; he's a bad man. 

Your thoughts on how long these new champs might reign?

A lot did happen, and honestly, I’m not super excited. I think you’re right, unfortunately. I’d like to see Edwards keep the belt because Usman is such a bore. I also think Periera will win but that fight was close until the last round. Could be interesting. It’s exciting to think who could take out Makhachev. He made light work out of Oliveira

And oh, by the way, we've got ourselves a superfight this weekend. The aforementioned Makhachev will put his lightweight belt on the line against featherweight champ Alex Volkanovski, currently ranked as the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Islam is a considerable favorite, but he's going up against one of the most well-rounded fighters in the game. What's your analysis of this bout, and how do you see it ending?

I don’t know man, Volk pieced Max Holloway up and it was super impressive. He was on a different level. The size difference is pretty crazy between Volk and Makhachev. I could see Islam taking it in the second or third round. His wrestling is another level. I’m actually excited about this fight; I have been for a while.

I think Alex hangs around early, but Islam finishes him in the third.

Something kind of odd about this fight: There's been relatively little noise, promotion-wise. If you look on social media, sports sites, Youtube, etc., it's been pretty quiet. Islam actually wondered aloud why the UFC didn't send him and Volk on a worldwide publicity tour, and I think he has a fair point. Seems like Zuffa (UFC's parent company) has spent more time and money promoting Dana White's "power slap league." Do you think this is because Dana White himself is focused on winning that promotion's Co-ed Championship?

Honestly, let’s just get to it: Power Slap is a fucking joke and makes the UFC look cheap. What a bad move! I blocked PS on my social media and then they start pushing it on the UFC page, and so I dig into the comments and it’s getting so much hate. People think it’s the worst. What a bad move on Dana’s and the UFC’s part. I feel sorry for those idiots, just standing there slapping each other. What a waste of existence. They’re so much in the fight game, so many stories, and they took a fucking dump on all of it with that dumb ass shit. Fuck, it makes me mad.

Got it. I’ll put you down as “undecided.”

Bold prediction by me: By the end of 2023, Islam Makhachev holds both the lightweight and welterweight titles. Am I crazy?

You’re not crazy, it seems totally legit. If you’re right, then you can buy me dinner. You’re welcome.

Let's hop in the musical way-back machine and visit one of the more confounding bands in country music, Son Volt. A decade ago, they (well, it's Jay Farrar & whichever musicians he's assembled) released Honky Tonk, which I consider second only to the groundbreaking, revolutionary Trace. I mean, is there a better waltz with double fiddles than "Hearts and Minds?"

Farrar can be all over the map, album to album; a few are timeless classics, while others leave me scratching my head. 

What are your thoughts on Son Volt overall, and how big is their impact on country music from your perspective?

Jay was one of my original influences more than 25 years ago. I was a big fan of Uncle Tupelo and leaned more towards Jay rather than Jeff. I never was a huge Wilco fan. Jay always kept with a more traditional sound -- which I liked -- and Jeff was making noise or whatever he was doing. Trace is one of my favorite records. Haven’t really listened to Honky Tonk too much because by the time that came out there were so many better country records to come, out and it almost seemed a little late. Don’t hate. You asked.

Clown. At least you know Son Volt is far superior to Wilco.

Turning our attention to Jeremy, your tour dates page shows a gradual start to 2023's road work. Should fans expect to see the schedule fill up pretty soon? And does a light tour schedule correspond to an increased jiu-jitsu workload? 

You know what, I’m gonna take it easy this year and do what I want only. Sometimes you find yourself hitting the pavement and it doesn’t feel good. I did, however, sign up for my first Jiu Jitsu tournament in March. So, I’m getting to class more because I don’t want to go get beat up. I will dominate. I think we’ll be heading to Texas at some point and a few other things but that’s about it for now.

Jeremy Pinnell, right, with instructor Blayne Hodges

Aight, stud. Choke somebody’s ass out in March. Talk soon.

Dec 9, 2022

Mixed Music Action, Vol. 1 No. 7

By Jeremy Pinnell and Kevin Broughton


It’s the Christmas season, and Mixed Martial Arts fans must have been naughty. Why else would the sport’s lead promotion treat viewers to such a lump of coal for UFC 282, the last pay-per-view event of 2022? 


But fear not, as Pinell and Broughton have plenty to re-cap from some outstanding recent bouts…before a certain Bluegrass singer/grappler descends into some ugly music criticism.


It's been a minute, what with life intervening before the last PPV -- which was tits -- and this next one, which is...geez, this is an easy layup, ass. 


Let's talk about a belt switching waists first, because Islam Makhachev made it look easy: Fewer than two rounds to submit a (technically, former) champ, after all Charles Oliveira had done was finish Chandler, Gaethje and Poirier. As stacked as this 155 division is, do you see anyone being a problem for Makhachev anytime soon? To me, he's Khabib with better striking.


Honestly, I think Volkanovski is gonna be a challenge for Islam [in Australia in February.] His fight with Holloway made it look like he was on a whole other level, I was super impressed. And it will put his name at the top if he beats Islam. Also, it looked like Charles got gassed with Islam. The grappling between the two was very technical and entertaining. I was kinda bummed for Oliviera. Also, I agree about Islam’s striking being on point.


As impressive as that fight was -- and there were several on that UFC 280 card -- my "fight of the year" clubhouse leader is the freaking war between the aforementioned "Iron" Michael Chandler and Dustin "The Diamond" Poirier at UFC 281. (Oh by the way, Izzy lost his belt.) After a lot of jawing back and forth pre-fight, these warriors showed great respect and sportsmanship after a crazy fight. Thoughts?


The Poirier/ Chandler fight was so intense for 2 1/2 rounds I was tuned in. You literally couldn’t take your eyes off the screen. In my opinion it sealed the deal; MMA is a top sport and nothing can compare to the fight game when you see a fight like that. I’d like to see Izzy and Alex run it again. That would make for an entertaining fight.


Speaking of great sportsmanship, how about that Wonder Boy -- Kevin Holland fight? Holland's a warrior -- broke his hand early -- and I could see Thompson going into the ministry after retiring. 


 Seeing wonder boy and holland have such respect for each other and still have such a dog fight was entertaining. Holland is a tough dude. Good call stopping the fight. 


‘Tis the season, so what are your favorite sacred and secular Christmas songs?


Sacred for me would be “Blue Christmas” by The King. I’m not really into religious stuff, as it tends to put a damper on things. Don’t get mad, Kevin.  Secular is the new normal for daddy. It would have to be “Happy Christmas (War is Over)” by John Lennon.


All we are saying is give boredom a chance. Oof.


Got to see Turnpike for the first time in late October. The first opening act kinda stunned me: Five or six guys, all from the Atlanta area, called The Hogslop String Band. Home base is in Nashville, and the fiddle player told me that night that this was their first time playing as a band here in Fulton County.


Putting aside your blind spot -- I'll stop short of calling it "hate" -- for the Grateful Dead, how do these boys stand up as musicians?


Yea I’m still not feeling the dead, bruh. Can we all just admit it’s super boring music? It’s 2023, almost Kevin. Let’s stop pretending. Have a holly jolly Christmas, my friend. 


Sigh. They’re just doing a Dead cover. Mark my words, you’ll dig this hillbilly band at some point. Merry Christmas yourself, you ol’ hater. 


Oct 21, 2022

Mixed Music Action, Vol. 1, No. 6

By Jeremy Pinnell & Kevin Broughton

The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to pay-per-view action this weekend (note: 2 p.m. Eastern start for the main card, as the promotion heads back to Abu Dhabi,) with a blockbuster card not seen in quite some time. There’s nowhere to go but up following a near-disastrous UFC 279, so Kevin and a certain Bluegrass State troubadour are here to hash things out. Only one of them is old enough to remember The Cure during their peak; details below.


We've got quite the pay-per-view card coming up Saturday, but we probably should devote a moment or two to UFC 279, which was an insult to cluster f*cks. Khamzat Chimaev busts the weight limit by about eight pounds and shuffles the entire card. It worked out well for Nate Diaz -- who ended up with a win over Tony Ferguson at 170. For Kevin Holland...not so much. 


What to make of that entire goat rodeo? 


Honestly Kevin, I might be crucified for saying this, but the main event was just a spectacle. It was a yawner. I feel like the game has advanced so much that going backwards in fighting styles isn’t entertaining. Obviously, I was a fan of both in the main event, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the upcoming PPV. I gave you the nails, but you have to provide the cross.


Hmm. Some troubling imagery there. This weekend, happily, features UFC 280 and one of the best potential fight cards in a while. There are a ton of interesting angles, starting with the top of the card: Lightweight champ Charles Oliveira -- who's beaten every 155-er not named Khabib -- gets the former champion's protege, Islam Makhachev. It's kinda crazy that the champion is an underdog here, but he's fighting a Daegestani. 


The co-main event has bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling (many don’t consider him the legit belt-holder) defending his title against the Lance Armstrong of MMA, TJ Dillashaw. And in the same weight division, Sean O'Malley finally faces a legit opponent in Petr Yan. 


There's a lot to like about this card. What are you looking most forward to seeing? It's gonna be lit, I think. 


I’m super stoked on this card.  Honestly, every fight on the main card is fire. I don’t even know where to start. I think the O’Malley/ Yan fight is gonna be entertaining AF; I’m a fan of second chances and I hope TJ beats the brakes off Aljo. Makhachev is hungry, but so is Oliviera. Damn, it’s an intense card!

That main event really has me tied in knots. Oliveira went the distance with Ferguson, then stopped Chandler in the second round, Poirier in the third, and Justin Freaking Gaethje in the first. It’s hard to pick against him, but I think Mahkachev is just a different beast. 



Anyway, are you still actively training at Brazilian jiu-jitsu? Serious question: If you're out on the road for a while, do you ever take your gi with you & find a local gym to roll in? 


I am training and it’s going very good. I feel like I’m gaining traction. I never take my gi with me; I’ve considered it, but also I can’t afford any injuries on the road. I’m trying to make money, Kevin. The hustle is real.


Duly noted, sir. Speaking of being on the road, you were quite the warrior in the summer and early fall, so it looks like you're taking some well-deserved time off. Any plans for a short tour between now and the new year? 


No, I needed some downtime. The world is crazy and I’m feeling the heat. I needed to be home with my family for a while. I have a few things lined up but am only taking things I really want… which is kind of perfect. I’m slowly getting interested in playing my guitar again.


Heck, I need to do that myself; I’ve almost lost my callouses and I don’t do that stuff for a living. 


You threw me a curve this time around and told me you've been digging a band called Urban Heat. I was not familiar & did a little research; so what is it that drew you to this group? Sincerely, “Dude who never thought The Cure would change its name and dress up like Lemmy.”



I came across this band the last tour we were on. Their song “City Lights” just sounded so good; I was immediately hooked. I’ve been listening to a lot of synth pop anyway.


Well, color me…surprised. If this were a real curveball, I’d have the umpire search the pitcher’s glove; that’s a lot of break, Cousin. We’ll let Urban Heat take us out of here, wishing you and your better half a happy Sixth Anniversary. 


Aug 19, 2022

Mixed Music Action, Vol. 1 No. 5

By Kevin Broughton and Jeremy Pinnell


The Ultimate Fighting Championship takes its pay-per-view show on the road – to Salt Lake City, not a city typically associated with legalized violence – this weekend, so your humble correspondents are back to talk fightin’, singin’, and maybe other stuff. Let’s go…


KB:  So, we’ve got UFC 278 this weekend, and I’ll go out on a limb and say it’s not an electrifying card. I think Leon Edwards has earned his shot at the belt, but it’s not a compelling main event. You don’t like doing predictions, but I will squeeze you for one pick: In which round do Luke Rockhold and his glass jaw go to sleep?


JPThe card isn’t super exciting, but Edwards and Usman are elite fighters. I guarantee it’ll be a good fight. And I’ll take Costa over Rockhold.  


KB: Hmm. I don’t think Luke makes it to Round 2. 


There are a couple of non-UFC 278 stories brewing below the surface, though. The Nigerian Nightmare – with Leon Edwards on his calendar this weekend – is already talking about a move up two weight classes, to 205. (He says he has no interest in fighting his buddy Adesanya at middleweight; understandable.) Here’s a hypothetical for you: It’s been obvious for a while now that the 205 division isn’t exactly loaded. If Usman were to jump to 205 and win that belt, isn’t he in the all-time GOAT conversation, if not the one himself? Thoughts?


JP:  Kamaru Usman would be a monster at 205. He’s already a spectacle in the octagon, but he lacks charisma. He’s not really likeable, which in unfortunate. Edwards, however, has the story: Overcoming a tough upbringing to find mixed martial arts, and rising to become an elite UFC star. If you’re boring, no one cares. 


KB: I’m not saying he’s the reason Usman might move up to light heavyweight, but there’s this a beast working his way up the 170 ladder right now, Khazmat Chimaev. He’s kind of scary, and by kind of, I mean terrifying. 


I think his only fight that’s been out of the first round was a unanimous decision over Gilbert Burns, himself a monster. 


So what does Dana White do? Matches him with Nate Diaz at UCF 279 next month…on the last fight of Nate’s current UFC contract. I hope Nate gets paid; why do you think Dana White wants him dead?


JP: Chimaev’s first real fight was Burns, and it was a brawl; probably his first real challenging fight in the UFC. Nate was the money fight. As an entertainment aspect, it was a solid choice. Nate has the tank and Chimaev has energy, but how long can he last? Gonna be entertaining. 


KB: Back in the Spring, you sang the National Anthem before a Reds game. My choir does it every summer at (whatever the Braves' park is currently called.) 

Jeremy sings the National Anthem (TikTok)


We have a dude on the front row who turns around and blows a pitch pipe, so we start off on-key.


(a) Were you nervous?


(b) You were on-pitch the entire time; had you practiced, and was there a key you were doing it in?


(c) Was that your first time doing the Anthem in a big setting? And,


(d) For Kentucky musicians, I’d guess “the Anthem at a Reds game” would fall just below “the Anthem at Rupp,” which has to trail only “My Old Kentucky Home at The Derby.” Do I have that right? 


JP: I was very nervous. I get nervous whenever I’m playing -- because I care -- but that nervousness is different. My throat went dry (ha ha.) I was shaking.  It wasn’t pleasant, but it made my family really happy and that’s why I did it. And I don’t know if I’d want to do it again unless it was Rupp or the derby.


KB: As we close things out…I’ve been begging you to listen to some new music for a while now. I was delighted when you sent me a Spotify link to a band I’d never heard of, Goose Creek Symphony. 


Which is odd, because they were formed in 1968. It’s like a different version of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. The album you sent (“Welcome To Goose Creek”) debuted just a quarter-century ago. As Solomon said in Ecclesiastes, “There is nothing new under the sun.” What drew you to this “new” old band? Do you know any of these dudes? I know there’s a Kentucky contingent. Have you played with them?


JP: So, my buddy Arlo sent me that record a few months back and it reminded me of The Band a little. I dig it, and no, I don’t know these motherfuckers but I dig their sound. And Kevin, I didn’t want to tell you, but I’ve been diving back in the music. So maybe next card we can talk a little about it? 


KB: Sounds like a plan.



Jun 25, 2022

Saturday Night Music / The Pretenders / "Message of Love" (Austin City Limits)

Inspired by FX's Pistol, we give you Chrissie (the biggest talent to emerge from that limited series) and the boys in Austin. 

"Love walks in the room; everybody stand up."

~Kevin Broughton

Jun 24, 2022

No Future: A non-punker’s review of Pistol on FX*

By Kevin Broughton

Spoilers ahead, okay? 

London, 1975. That’s where and when the punk rock movement really got its groove on, at least in the minds of the suits at FX. (*asterisk: It’s an FX production, but available only on HULU… which is a bit of a rip-off in principle, since I had to re-up my Hulu subscription to watch this pretty good docudrama.) It’s a decent, if (probably) apocryphal account of the shooting-star history of the Sex Pistols, whom many people with shitty taste consider an “important” band. 

Let’s do a couple of disclosures: 1. I’m not a punk rock guy. It took very little talent – indeed, less than marginal talent – to have a “good” punk band, especially 45 years ago. That was my impression going into this limited series, and it was only confirmed therein. The band – and their fans – acknowledged that they sucked as musicians. 2. I only care about punk rock to the degree it influenced 30 years’ worth of alt country bands. Johnny Ramone knew about five chords, which is two more than Sex Pistols “guitarist” Steve Jones ever knew. And nobody in the Ramones, or Sex Pistols – or even the Clash, which had actual talent – was as good a musician as anyone in Uncle Tupelo, Whiskeytown, Lucero, or Blue Mountain. 

The general story of Pistol is based on Jones’s memoir, which kinda makes everything suspect; he’s portrayed as illiterate in the series. So, his memoir is probably more of an oral history. It doesn’t make a ton of sense, otherwise. 

Jones can’t read, but he can steal. And in trying to boost some exotic clothes from an exotic store, he runs afoul of an ex-pat American chick. Her name’s Chrissie*, and she’s from Ohio. (She’ll go *back* there one day and be *amazed* that the *farms* have *been replaced by shopping malls*.) Y’all can figure this spoiler out, right? 

The store’s owner is a bon vivant named Malcom McLaren. He’s a faux-Marxist revolutionary – he doesn’t mind turning a profit on pervy clothing – who wants a band to spread his hypocritical version of chaos. 

And he doesn’t give a shit that Jones can’t sing – that was Steve’s original vision: being the next David Bowie (LOL.) He gives him a nice, white Les Paul that allegedly belonged to a member of the New York Dolls, while simultaneously recruiting a similarly untalented freak as a “vocalist,” Johnny Rotten.

Objective viewers might be shocked that everybody, throughout this story, acknowledges that the band has very little talent. Seriously, the consensus is that they suck ass. There’s a strong suggestion that McLaren just wanted to orchestrate something in keeping with his Marxist/anarchist ideal…then pulled the plug when they became too “rock ‘n’ roll.” The best musician, bassist [his name doesn’t matter, does it?] was run off at Rotten’s and McLaren’s insistence and replaced by Sid Vicious who (wait for it) didn’t know how to play the bass. 

Predictable results ensued. [OH, WAIT, Y’ALL, BIG SPOILERS AHEAD.] 

A few months later, Sid said goodbye to his handpicked version of Yoko Ono by stabbing her in the guts multiple times until she bled out, then O.D.’d when out on bail. And there went the Sex Pistols. What a cool “punk rock” ending, huh?  

Here’s the thing:

They were a shit band who couldn’t play worth a damn. They lasted all of two years and change. And yet, they’re some kind of iconic “band?” Whatever. 

Truth: Rotten wrote a couple of decent songs. But they were essentially an overrated joke. They made one album. Best part of the series: Seeing a hot version of Chrissie *Hynde in some decent sex scenes. And, in truth, it’s a decent portrayal of a short period in rock ‘n’ roll history. 

It was interesting to me in the same way a book on the “Know Nothing” Party of the 1840’s U.S. is to me: Mildly compelling in that particular moment, with several instances of “Dang, I didn’t realize that.” But, far less relevant than conventional wisdom, in terms of the history of rock music.

It really is worth the watch, if you have the time. 

But the Sex Pistols were and are a shit band. 

Good talk. 


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