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

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. 


Jun 10, 2022

Mixed Music Action, Vol. 1, No.4


By Kevin Broughton & Jeremy Pinnell

 

Let's do the fight stuff first, with a look back before we look ahead. UFC 274 featured the worst title fight of all time, where my gal Thug Rose lost the belt in five rounds of bizarre inactivity. What's worse, her boyfriend/coach/groomer, Pat Barry, told her after every round she was doing just fine. What in the heck can we make of this? 

 

Was she protecting her belt? People hate her boyfriend. It’s really just a bummer. Bad coaching? Probably. I believe I was traveling and I heard how bad the fight was so I didn’t even go back and watch.

 

Moving on, the company is taking its show to Singapore for UFC 275, which will feature a couple of title fights. Jiri Prochazka -- from the Czech Republic -- is one of the two or three scariest guys in all of MMA. He faces 40-year-old (brand new champ) Glover Teixeira for the light heavyweight belt. My prediction: lots of blood and an early stoppage. Jiri is a 2-1 favorite for a reason; what say you?

 

I’m not predicting anyone anymore; my picks are terrible! I like Glover because his Jiu Jitsu is strong, but yeah, Jiri is a scary dude. I believe I have a pull with the universe. I lose at gambling, so may the best man win, Kevin.

 



The co-main event is a battle for the women's flyweight strap. No one has seriously challenged Valentina Shevchenko in her title reign, and she's a nearly 6-1 favorite here. Taila Santos has an impressive 19-1 record, but as Daniel Cormier once said, "There are levels to this game." Any chance for an upset? 

 

There’s always a chance for an upset. It’s a fucking war. But Shevchenko is such a killer. This might be a solid challenge.

 

Finally, there's an enticing rematch of 115-pound ladies. Weili Zhang and Joanna (I'm too lazy to try & spell her last name -- it's the Polish lady) had one of the most epic UFC fights ever. Joanna got her head temporarily reshaped. Vegas has these odds the closest. Each of these ladies, interestingly, has lost to Thug Rose twice. Who gets her hand raised? 

 

Joanna might be past it? I’ve always like Weili, so I’ll say her --  and we’ll see what the universe does -- and then I’ll know if I have a say or not. Also, don’t be lazy, Kevin.

 

Fine. It’s JÄ™drzejczyk. Neither of us can pronounce it, though. 

 

As we pivot to music, it turns out you and I are both big Lyle Lovett fans -- though you more than I if body art is any indication. He recently released his first album in a decade, The Twelfth Of June. I was going to love this album unconditionally, and the jazz/big (or, "Large") band vibes remind me a lot of my favorite record of his, Joshua Judges Ruth. Have you broken your recent musical celibacy long enough to give a listen? Your thoughts?

 

I am a huge Lyle fan and I obviously listened to his new record the day it came out. But we were in a tour van, and it was drowned out by highway noise so I didn’t get a good read. And no, I haven’t broken my music celibacy. I’m just bored. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.

 

Closing things out, for this edition: A good writer I know recently did a review of Blackberry Smoke's EP of Rolling Stones covers. Assume you have a week of free studio time and any set of players you could ask for. What five songs -- regardless of artist or genre -- would you most like to put on a J.P. EP?

 

That’s a tough one. Maybe I’d go with… George Jones, “The Grand Tour”; Merle Haggard, “Misery and Gin”; Billy Joe Shaver, “Ragged Old Truck”; Mel Street, “Lovin’ on Backstreets”; and Bob Wills, “Faded Love.”

 

 How’s that? You wanna pay for it? I’ll give you a co-producer credit.

 

Hmm. Maybe we can crowd-fund, but I still get a credit for the awesome idea. And geez, a Mel Street reference! What a great way to end this edition. 


  

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Kev’s barely over .500 on UFC bets here lately, but his value plays for UFC 275: 

 

Jiri Prochazka, -200;

 

Jiri by second round stoppage, +450 

Jun 4, 2022

Saturday Night Music / Little Feat / "Spanish Moon"


From a magical night in 1977, Little Feat -- featuring the Tower of Power Horns -- performs "Spanish Moon" in London. The band released Waiting For Columbus (arguably the best live rock album of all time) that same year, and surviving members are touring now, celebrating that record's 45th anniversary. 
~Kevin Broughton

May 26, 2022

Blackberry Smoke’s Stoned: How to do an album of covers



By Kevin Broughton

Atlanta’s Blackberry Smoke released Stoned, an EP of Rolling Stones songs, back in November (as a Record Store Day release) to little fanfare. Under the radar or not, this is the way to do a cover record. 

At least that’s what discriminating Stones fans will think. The first thing that got my attention was the track listing for the seven-cut set; Charlie Starr and the boys put some serious thought into it, and it shows in the distribution: Three songs from Sticky Fingers (“Sway,” “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking,” “I Got The Blues”); two from Exile (“All Down The Line,” “Tumbling Dice”); and one each from Beggars Banquet (“Street Fighting Man”) and Some Girls (“Just My Imagination.”) This last is a cover of a cover, a song first made famous by Smokey Robinson – and the best cover the Stones ever did. 

It spans a decade of Stones history (1968-78), with one song each from the Brian Jones and Ron Wood eras, and a supermajority rightly plucked from the band’s golden (a/k/a “Mick Taylor”) age. 


The tributes in song themselves are exquisite in form and true to the Stones’ blues-based vision of rock ‘n’ roll. “All Down The Line” kicks the record off with a faithful sendup of Keith’s stop-go riff for six bars, and the rhythm section falls right into the pocket. “Tumbling Dice” is so true to the original that you can appreciate why Blackberry Smoke is one of the few bands who could credibly pull this off; they’re just that good, top to bottom. (The Black Crowes could have done this once, but Robinsons.)



My favorite cut might be the aforementioned cover/cover, “Just My Imagination,” one I was exposed to as a 15-year-old on the Tattoo You tour. “What the heck,” I thought. “Why is Mick playing a guitar, and how have I never heard this Stones song before?” 



As faithful as the Stones were to Smokey, Blackberry Smoke is to the Stones.  And on “Sway” and one or two other numbers, the rough edge to Starr’s melodic voice adds a hint of Keith to all the vocals. So much in fact I found myself wishing for a cover of “Happy” or “You Got The Silver” or “Before They Make Me Run.” For that matter, Blackberry has but scratched the surface; Stones fans should be reasonably optimistic about a sequel. Because for all the great renditions on this seven-song EP, they can now envision at least twice that many for any follow-up effort(s).


-------


Stoned is available on Spotify, Amazon, etc.

May 7, 2022

Saturday Night Music / Rolling Stones / "Loving Cup"

From a 1972 rehearsal, The Stones perform a classic cut from their masterpiece, Exile On Main St. So maybe it's not 100 percent authentic -- we don't see Bobby Keys or any horn players, yet we hear them -- but what's better than the Glimmer Twins singing into the same microphone? Keith's harmonies aren't the purest, but they're damned sure rock 'n' roll. 

Just one drink, and I'll fall down drunk.

      -- KB

May 6, 2022

Mixed Music Action, Vol. 1, No. 3



Stars of  mixed martial arts’ premiere promotion will again come out Saturday night, so that means Kevin Broughton & Jeremy Pinnell are back to hold forth on a grab-bag of topics. And our Kentucky troubadour is feeling his oats. Let’s mix it up. 


KB: Let's do the pop culture stuff first. We recently posted a video of Tyler Childers fronting Bobby Weir's band, doing one of my favorite Dead songs, "The Greatest Story Ever Told." Not sure I would have pegged Tyler as a Dead Head, but you never know. (I myself saw the Dead for the first time in the Bluegrass State; Freedom Hall, 1989.) Pick one living artist or band you'd love to step on stage and jam with, and the song. (And why?)


JP: How many hippies does it take to screw in a light bulb? None. They just sit around and watch it burn out then they follow it for 30 years. Never understood The Dead or the fascination. Especially when there are people like Freddie King or Albert King. I don’t know, crucify me I guess but you know I’m right. 


My pick for a dream performance would probably be with one of the last greatest songwriters, Mr. Willie Nelson himself. Most of my favorites have passed, sadly, but he might be the GOAT?


KB: Hmm. I’ll put you down as “undecided” on the Grateful Dead. You do share a sentiment with a fellow pop-culture icon, though:



Moving along, at your suggestion, I've started watching Tokyo Drift, er, Vice. Tokyo Vice, on HBO. It's grabbed my interest; it's well-written and -acted, and based on a true story. I haven't researched anything, to avoid spoilers. What drew you to this series? Is the "yakuza" thing just a different flavor of the classic American mob tale?


JP: I really dig stories of the underworld. It’s just such a fascinating subject. Japanese culture is fascinating by itself, but add some criminal activity and you’ve got my attention.


KB: One of the things that’s impressed me about it is that with few exceptions, all the characters – even the criminals – have some endearing or sympathetic qualities. That’s a mark of good storytelling. 


If you can listen to only three albums the rest of your life, what are they?


JP: I can do this one, Kevin. Waylon Jennings, Honky Tonk Heroes; Guy Clark, Texas Cookin’; and Danzig, Lucifuge.


KB: One of these things is not like the other. Nice. 


Let's get to the main course, because UFC 274 is the best card -- on paper, anyway -- I've eyeballed in more than a year. At the bottom of the main card, there's a career-sunset bout between Cowboy Cerrone and Joe Lauzon. Next up, it's 40-year-old Shogun Rua (he lost the 205 belt to Jonny Bones in 2011) vs. OSP -- probably a "loser retires" match. Then there's Michael Chandler against Tony Ferguson -- a once-great fighter on a 3-bout losing streak. 


My favorite UFC fighter, Thug Rose Namajunas, looks to cement her claim to greatest strawweight fighter of all time against Carla Esparza. And in the main event, Justin Gaethje is a slight underdog to champion Charles Oliveira. A fine menu; let's take it in chunks:


(a) Who do you like in the main event? Based on the recent history of both guys, I'll go out on a limb and say this one doesn't go the distance.


JP: Aaaaaaaannnnd IT’S TIME!!!! I’m a Gaethje fan although I like Oliviera. But Justin is a banger! He will give Charles a hard time and give us a great show.


(b) Does Cowboy make it out of the first round? Hate to put it like that, but he's lost five of his last six, and it hasn't been pretty. He's a betting favorite, but Lauzon is a smart fighter. 


JP: Dang, man. I like Cowboy so much so he’s my pick whether it’s a good one or not.


(c) Chandler won his UFC debut against Dan Hooker, then ran into the buzz saws who'll fight in the main event Saturday. Two guys really needing a win here. Does Ferguson have a shot? He’s a 4:1 dog.  


JP: I’m not a Chandler fan, but I think he gets the win. But a Ferguson victory could turn things around for him and really make things interesting.


(d) Thug Rose: She seems to be cleaning out the straw-weight division with two wins each over Joanna and that bad ass Chinese chick. Does Esparza have a shot? 


JP: I’m not sure why Carla is fighting Rose who has the belt right now, but whatevs.



----------


Jeremy Pinnell is touring his ass off. Catch a show, but don’t request “Uncle John’s Band.”


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Kevin’s plays for UFC 274, which are worth exactly what you’re paying for them:


Rose Namajunas (via decision) - +165


Joe Lauzon over Cowboy Cerrone - +150


Lauzon via submission - +700


Charles Oliveira over Gaethje -  -172



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