Showing posts with label Mixed Music Action. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mixed Music Action. Show all posts

Dec 15, 2023

Mixed Music Action, Vol. 2, No. 5


By Jeremy Pinnell & Kevin Broughton
 

The UFC closes out the year with its final pay-per-view of 2023, as do your humble journalistic correspondents, Jeremy “I’ll choke your ass out” Pinnell, and Kevin “don’t do it with the actual blue belt, please save my dignity” Broughton, with their expert analysis. Seriously: This might be a fight worth the 70-ish bucks Dana is charging via ESPN+. Or not. Read on.

 

Kevin:  Hey, dude. It's been a minute. These last few UFC events have been pretty underwhelming, and you've been busy. Playing music and (checks notes) earning a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu! First off, congratulations. Let's use this moment to educate me a little on BJJ; I assume there's a basic set of standards (holds/escapes/etc.) you have to achieve. In general terms, what involved in earning a blue belt, and what was the process like for you? 

 

Jeremy:
It took me almost 3 years to get my blue belt, maybe a little more? I was traveling quite a bit and I would become inconsistent in my training. I don’t know much about rank but I’m surely beginning to understand, and your capacity to use and comprehend technique has a big role in advancement. Plus commitment, obviously. 

If I recall correctly, I had to go through multiple guard passing techniques and sweeps. I’m sure there was more involved, but my memory goes quick these days.

 

Kevin: After some not-so-compelling fight cards, UFC 296 has excellent potential to close out the year on a high note. Colby "Make Fighting Stupid Again" Covington gets his third shot at welterweight gold, this time against Leon Edwards...who's twice beaten Covington's former nemesis, Kamaru Usman. I have to say, I think the wrong fighter is favored here; Edwards is a -155 favorite to Colby's +130. My gut tells me Covington's size, strength and wrestling will be too much for Leon. Pinnell, am I missing something?

 

Jeremy: No, I don’t think you’re missing anything. Colby is a banger. It’s gonna be interesting; although I like Edwards he wouldn’t be my favorite on this fight.

   

Kevin:  There are a couple of tasty matchups on the undercard. UFC all-around nice guy and welterweight gatekeeper Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson stands between Kazakhstan mauler Shavkat Rakhmonov and a run at the 170 title. These Soviet-bloc Sambo dudes are all pretty scary; can Wonderboy keep this guy at range? I kinda crave a Wonderboy spin-kick for the upset win, but that’s me talking with my heart. 


 

Jeremy: Shavkat’s record is clean. Wonderboy always amazes me. That’s an interesting matchup. Gonna make for a great fight.

 

Kevin: Finally, may we talk about Tony Ferguson? From October 2013 to June 2019 our guy won 12 straight fights, besting the likes of Rafael dos Anjos, Edson Barboza, Josh Thompson, and Athony Pettis. Then he lost to Justin Gaethje and five more guys in succession. Tony's 39 and on a six-fight skid. Does he have enough in the tank to beat Fatty Pimblett, the most overrated UFC fighter since Coke Monkey McGregor? 


Jeremy: Honestly, after seeing Paddy propped up by the UFC, this is kind of a lame fight considering Tony is on his last leg. Although I hope Tony knocks him out. 

 

Kevin: Fine, but I’m pretty sure he goes by “Fatty.” And Tony is kind of a brain-dead lunatic, but I’m with you. 

 

You recently closed out a stretch of dates to end your touring year.  Did you have a favorite, or most memorable this year, and are you trying out any new material on the road? 

 

Jeremy:  I’ve been to New York multiple times, and this time it was different. It was like I understood it or something? We had lunch at the famous Nom Wah Tea House, and I bought a fake Rolex and gifts for the family. It was maybe a highlight. We also hit Texas this year, and that was a great tour with good friends. It’s been a good year. Of course we’ve been running new ideas; you have to. 

 

Kevin: You told me you've been listening to Croy And The Boys a good bit here lately, and I'm thankful you turned me on to them! Other than the honky-tonk ethos, what drew you to these guys? Have y'all ever crossed paths? 

 

Jeremy: So, I got to meet these guys at the Ameripolitan awards and just dove into their music after hearing the tune “I Get By.” I felt like I fell upon a gold mine. Seriously, they might be my favorite current band? 

 

Kevin: Well, here’s one of theirs from 2017, “Leaving’s The Last Thing,” but stick with me anyway, Slick.


  

Kevin: I gave you the rare homework assignment a couple weeks back: Watch this documentary about Tom Petty and the making of Wildflowers. I tend to come up goose eggs when I float a musical suggestion to you; please tell me you're not a Tom Petty hater, Jeremy! Did anything stand out to you about the recording/producing/song selection portions of this film? 

 

Jeremy: Actually Kevin, I did watch it and enjoyed it very much. I love Tom Petty. I connected with his relationships with musicians, and the idea of moving away from the normal way of doing things and making your own path to create good art. It’s hard to create something beautiful in a hostile or damaged place with musicians. It’s good to do your own thing. Unapologetically. 

 

Kevin: Aight, Cuz. Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year to all the Pinnells.

 

 

 

Jul 28, 2023

Mixed Music Action / Vol. 2, No. 4


By Jeremy Pinnell & Kevin Broughton


This weekend’s UFC 291 fight card may be the best of the year so far and includes the revival of a “fun for the fans” faux-title. Let’s dig into another edition of Mixed Music Action. And look! We’ve got company, too.  


Kevin: Saturday's UFC 291 features a great card. There's no conventional title on the line, but Dana White has reincarnated the "BMF" belt with the retirement of Jorge Masvidal. And you know what, JP? Let's just give the folks some highlights of that scrap -- Masvidal's last win in the UFC -- from almost four years ago:



Personally, I like the idea of the BMF ("Baddest Mother Fucker," for those wondering) belt; it's cool for the fans. I thought Diaz-Masvidal was a perfect matchup, and I really like Dustin-Justin 2 for the second incarnation. Your thoughts?


Jeremy: Hey, Kevin. We’re on tour right now so I’m gonna include our tour manager -- and my jiu jitsu instructor -- Mr. Blayne Hodges, who has kindly taken some of his time to hit the road. He’s been a good friend and huge part -- maybe the biggest part -- of my martial arts journey. He also teaches my son and I’m grateful for his friendship.


Kevin: A little irregular, but I’ll allow it. Is there some proof that this Mr. Hodges exists? 


Jeremy: Well, here’s a picture from the other night…


Kevin: Oh, my goodness. You & Blayne have the floor.


Jeremy: I’m a Gaethje fan, but Dustin’s jiu jitsu is legit. It’ll be a banger for sure. Either way I’ll like the outcome. I’m gonna pass on to Blayne. 


Blayne: I like both guys but have always had a slight personal bias towards Dustin. He’s a little bit cleaner, but still thrives in the pocket under fire. One of the best switch hitters we’ve seen outside (Max) Holloway and (Cory) Sandhagen.  I think his volume and composure gets the job done again, but Justin is a dog for sure.  I also like the BMF title --  nothing wrong with a little theatrics. It’s good for the sport.


Kevin: Masvidal said that Dana "picked the right two guys" for BMF 2, so I'm excited. I don't think we'll see much grappling. 


There are several other intriguing fights on this card. In the light heavyweight division -- where the belt keeps getting vacated due to injuries -- Jan Blachowicz is a slight favorite over former 185 champ Alex Pereira. You have to think the winner will fight for the belt next. 


At welterweight, Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson -- the #7 contender -- reprises his role as division gatekeeper and will be a slight favorite over *another* Pereira, this one named Michel. Somehow Tony Ferguson keeps getting paid to fight; he's a big underdog to Bobby Green at lightweight. And finally, there's a tasty, contrast-of-styles fight at 170 with grappler Michael Chiesa facing off with striker Kevin Holland.


I think this card is fire. What blows your dress up here?


Jeremy: I mean I’m stoked to see all of it, but Blayne and I were just saying how crazy it is that Wonderboy is still in the top ten. He’s been at it for a while and is still incredible. I’m going with Tony in the Bobby Green fight. Also, I think Blachowicz will probably dominate if it goes to the ground. 


Blayne: The whole card is really compelling front to back.  I’m curious to see how Alex does moving up. His hand speed and power are obviously always a factor but that cut to 185 had to be killing him. All the OG’s around him talk about how big he is so potentially that could really help his gas tank.  Jan has underrated grappling in my opinion, but I’m not sure it will be enough to get the finish.  Excited to see how that one plays out.


Kevin: Sorry, I just keep looking at that picture of you two, wondering if anybody would be crazy enough to try & swipe a tee shirt from the merch table.


There's one dude worth mentioning on the prelim card, because he's a fan favorite. I mean, who doesn't love The Black Beast, Derrick Lewis? But lo and behold, dude's lost four of his last five (and they haven't been pretty losses) and I find myself dreading every fight for him. I guess when I look at the way Robbie Lawler went out with a win, it's sad to see guys like Cowboy and Jorge and Tony Ferguson go out on long losing streaks. Am I too sentimental?


Jeremy: Don’t get soft on me Kevin! I feel similarly, but just from my observation, it doesn’t look like Derrick cares. So, whatevs. Also, Lawler shouldn’t have been in a prelim for his retirement. That’s like a gold watch and fuck off.


Blayne:
I understand the sentiment, but I think fighters have a clear choice to move on at an appropriate time --  and some hold on for different reasons. Whether that be an unrealistic perception of where their skills are currently in relation to the other top athletes, or just for a paycheck.  I hate to see it but it’s a part of the human condition.  To walk away from fighting for some is like looking at their mortality.



Kevin: You've been back out on the road. I believe you've been to Tulsa, Little Rock and Dallas so far, and you're in Austin tonight (The White Horse.) Anything fun happening? Met any cool people? Playing any new material? Will you ever again play Atlanta, Georgia?

I have so many questions. Go.


Jeremy: Tulsa was great. We rehearsed in St. Louis on Monday, then the air conditioning went out. Some good people in Tulsa helped us out, and now the van is an ice box. Little Rock at the Whitewater tavern was super fun. A lot of good people and good energy. Friday the Whitehorse is gonna be great. Always a good time. I’m a big fan of Texas.


Kevin: You fellas have fun out there. (No need to say “Stay safe.”) And just hear me out, now: I think you guys, if you’re ever looking to fill some down time, well, the possibilities are endless.





Jul 7, 2023

Mixed Music Action, Vol. 2, No. 3



By Jeremy Pinnell & Kevin Broughton

 

The UFC’s “International Fight Week” is upon us, which means hard-hitting analysis from your rough-and-tumble troubadour and humble scribe. Oh, and there’s talk of potential musical collaborations, too. Let’s dive in.

 

Kevin:  Early July means International Fight Week in Vegas, and the UFC has put together a good -- maybe not great, but really solid -- card for its 290th pay per view. Alex Volkanovski -- whom I think is the toughest fighter in MMA -- will defend his belt for the fifth time against Yair Rodriguez. Featherweight champ Brandon Moreno seems to fight about every two months, and he's a slight favorite over Alex Pantoja for the flyweight belt. 

 

The one that has me really intrigued is the middleweight scrap between former champ Robert "Bobby Knuckles" Whitaker and Driscus du Plessis. Whitaker is a heavy favorite; I think there's a big chance for an upset. Bo Nickal, the freakish former Penn State wrestler...well, the UFC is certainly pacing him along in the early stages of his career; he's a -2,400 favorite over...who knows, it doesn't matter.

 

Finally, Ruthless Robbie Lawler will retire after his fight with Niko Price -- and they put Robbie on the prelim card. 

 

So, that's a lot to choose from. What stands out and piques your interest on this card?

 

Jeremy:  Anytime I can see Volk fight it’s entertaining. He’s a motherfucker. Might be one of my favorites right now. I feel like he’s fighting on a whole other level than anyone else right now. The way he pieced Holloway up was so impressive. He went the distance with Islam; he’s the man. 

 

Yair is cool and expressive and I guess he’s on a little run, so we’ll see. And you’re right: The card isn’t great. They gave Robbie to the prelims, and he probably needed to retire sooner. But as an artist sometimes we can’t or won’t see it. It’s not my call but he’s a legend. Who’s Bo Nickal?

 

Kevin: Such a hater. International Fight Week also means a new class of fighters inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. This year's honorees are: Former middleweight champ (and a top 5 in the GOAT conversation) Anderson Silva; Jose Aldo; Jens Pulver (the first 155 champ in the UFC); and Cowboy Cerrone who...well, he's the only UFC fighter to appear on Justified

 

Thoughts on this class?

 


Jeremy:
 
Hahaha you’re a Justified freak. Cowboy is the man, and that’s exciting. Also, Jesus, Silva changed things. He was different. All good news.

 

Kevin: Sheesh. You’d think a Kentucky boy would like Justified, one of the best TV shows of the last decade. I guess Yellowstone is more your speed, but don’t get me started. Anyway, it may be because I just finished the Showtime miniseries George and Tammy (it's extremely well done, BTW), but I've been thinking about duets of late. Have you ever recorded a duet with a lady, and is it something you might like to do?

 

Jeremy: I would never turn down a duet, but I also don’t care if I ever do one so…

 

I’ve never seen the George and Tammy thing, but it looks cool and my buddy Logan Ledger appears on an episode or two, from what I understand. He’s an amazing artist in his own right.

 

Kevin: Oh, wow, yeah. He played Georgie Riddle, one of the original Jones Boys. Very cool. 

 

I know you didn't ask my opinion -- hey, it's never stopped me -- but might I humbly suggest your fellow Kentuckian Kelsey Waldon? Prine (praise be upon him) was impressed enough to sign her to his label, and I know for a fact she gives a good interview. What more do you need, and how do we make this (brilliant) idea happen?

 

Jeremy: Kelsey is good people and she has her own thing, and no one sounds like her. She’s killer.

 

Kevin: A tad non-committal, but let’s move on. 

 

As long as I'm brainstorming and dispensing career advice, hear me out on this one. The completely sane Leroy Virgil -- who digs your stuff -- has a steel player (Chuck "Utah" Bradley) who's also into jiu-jistu. I sent Leroy our last Mixed Music Action column, he's now convinced that Hellbound Glory needs to do a mini-tour with Jeremy Pinnell. "At least," he said, "we won't have to pay for security." Whaddya think, Cuz? I say it makes perfect sense. 

 

Jeremy: Well, I’m a huge Hellbound Glory fan, first of all. I think “Dial 911” might be one of my favorite country songs of all time. It’s perfect. I would never turn that tour down.


 

 

Kevin: Yeah, that’s probably my favorite cut from the Pure Scum album. Leroy’s voice is damn near perfect. 

 

As we close this one out, you been listening to any cool music lately? Tell me something good. 

 

Jeremy: Cool music? Hmm.  Croy and the Boys just released a killer single called “I Get By,” and it’s my new favorite. So, I’ve been going back through their catalog and have been enjoying that. I’ve also been listening to a podcast called “Breaking Points” that gets me current and through the day. So, that’s my life.


 

Kevin: Okay, buddy. Good talk. I know you’re on the road later this month (ahem, still no Atlanta dates), so stay safe out there. Talk soon.

 


Apr 7, 2023

Mixed Music Action: Vol. 2, No. 3

 

By Jeremy Pinnell & Kevin Broughton

Easter weekend features another big UFC event, but the month of April sees yet more honors for one half of your MMA team of correspondents. Maybe Jeremy’s thinking to himself, “Wow! If I’d start collaborating with Kevin sooner, I’d have a Grammy by now, and maybe a slot on ‘Dana White’s Contender Series.’”

Read on.

KB: Another edition of Mixed Music Action brings yet more glory for my partner. Not only are you an Ameripolitan award winner, you're getting it done on the mat, too. I believe you won a silver and a bronze in your first jiu-jitsu competition; I have so many questions! Were you nervous? Will this fuel your hunger for more competition? Heck, JP, what was it like?

JP: I got the gold in “gi” and bronze in “no gi,” Kevin. I tell you what, my first match I felt very heavy. All my strength was gone. I had some difficult “no gi” matches but won 2 of 4 -- it was a round robin tournament. I hated it, but the reward came later after a day or two. I felt centered and at peace. I think I needed to see where I was at, and it made me a better human being. Testing yourself. I have a deep respect for people who put it all out there in the ring, octagon or mat. I don’t know what’s in store, I know I need to keep training and we’ll go from there.

KB: Gold and bronze! A thousand pardons, sir, and hearty congratulations.

I've been wanting to ask about your songwriting process for a while now. I assume everyone's experience and technique vary from song to song. A couple years ago when we talked about Goodbye LA (the title cut specifically,) you said the band was loading in for a show and someone commented that as hot as SoCal women are, "they don't want babies," and that became the genesis of the song.

Let's pick another one, because I'm pretty sure it's my favorite song of yours, "The Ballad of 1892." (I get the feeling it's a go-to for you, too.) What went into that song? What was the inspiration, and how did you work it out?

JP: My process has changed over the years. I’m usually on the go, so I write in my head if I have a melody or hear something that sparks an idea. I never used to write anything down and I typically don’t but, in my older age I want to start making a record; that is, something to leave my son.

“The Ballad of 1892” came from a book I read by Emma Goldman; it was the story of her and Alexander Berkman and the assassination attempt they made on Henry Clay Frick -- a known union buster and all around shit bag. I didn’t agree with everything in the book, but she would say things like “We’re slaves to the whip, and we love it.” After the attempt Alexander went to prison and Emma hid out in brothels, helping the women take care of themselves. It’s just a hillbilly version of anarchism and a nod to the working class. The boss needs us; we don’t need the boss.

KB: There's been some movement in the world of Mixed Martial Arts since last we checked in. Jon Jones is now the UFC heavyweight king, and he made it look ridiculously easy. I expected more out of Cyril Gane, to be honest. Stipe Miocic is next up for Bones, but it's hard for me to see anyone giving him a problem so long as Francis Nganou is MIA. Your thoughts?

JP: Man, Stipe looks old and Jon is no joke. I want to see Francis and Jon, period. That’s the fight for me. 

KB: You and me both. Dana’s gonna have to come off the wallet, though. Maybe he’ll have some extra dough now that the UFC bought the WWE (don’t even get me started.)

Back to UFC 286, the biggest shock had to be Valentina "Bullet" Shevchinko losing her belt; one misplaced reverse kick, and she's choked out. One has to think there will be a rematch pretty soon, because she's second only to Amanda Nunes in terms of dominant female fighters. What say you?

JP: I saw Grasso train for that exact back-take. They knew it was coming; Bullet was losing her composure the entire fight. Grasso was just waiting for the right moment, and it paid off. 

KB: This weekend's UFC 287 features a middleweight rematch for the belt Israel Adesanya lost to Alex Pereira last fall. Any chance Israel tries to grapple a little bit? Because as Sean Strickland (and Izzy) showed, standing in the pocket and banging with a world-class kickboxer ain't smart. 

JP: I’m excited about this main event. I feel like Izzy did really well last time, but Alex caught up with him. Alex is scary but so is Israel. I think you’re right about grappling. Might need to do something different which will be interesting if that’s the case.

KB: Finally, the co-main event features a fan favorite badly in need of a win -- Jorge Masvidal -- against Gilbert Burns. Street Jesus wants to keep this fight on the feet, but Burns will have other ideas. What are you looking for in this fight?

JP: Burns is gonna smoke Jorge.

KB: I think you’re right, Champ. Till next time, we’ll think about an attempted murder of an all-around shit bag.

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.

 

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