Showing posts with label UFC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label UFC. Show all posts

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.





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.

 

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. 

 


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