Saturday, November 19, 2016

Maurice Hooker draws with Darleys Perez in unsatisfying Ward-Kovalev co-feature


Maurice Hooker draws with Darleys Perez in unsatisfying Ward-Kovalev co-feature
Mark E. Ortega
USA TODAY
November 19, 2016


LAS VEGAS — Fringe contender Maurice Hooker fought former beltholder Darleys Perez in the pay-per-view co-feature of the most important boxing match of the year.

That fact serves as a perfect indictment of what boxing has become in 2016. The result of the fight was as poetically unsatisfying as the undercard that it topped.

It’s not that Hooker (21-0-3, 16 knockouts) isn’t a solid if not unspectacular fighter or Perez (33-2-2, 21 KOs) a solid step up for him. But this fight is more in line with a ShoBox main event than the main appetizer for such an important event.

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Olympic bronze medalist Oleksandr Gvozdyk passes test against Issac Chilemba


Olympic bronze medalist Oleksandr Gvozdyk passes test against Issac Chilemba
Mark E. Ortega
USA TODAY
November 19, 2016

LAS VEGAS — Olympic bronze medalist Oleksandr Gvozdyk passed his stiffest test to date.

The light heavyweight prospect took a big step up with the Isaac Chilemba assignment, a well-traveled veteran gatekeeper. Chilemba’s trainer, legendary trainer Roy Jones Jr., halted the bout after eight rounds when Chilemba suffered an injury to his right arm.

Chilemba is known for giving guys fits, almost as much as he’s known for participating in uninteresting fights. Though Gvozdyk’s decision victory followed a similar script to most Chilemba fights, he won in convincing fashion.

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Curtis Stevens sleepwalks to decision victory over James De La Rosa after hand injury


Curtis Stevens sleepwalks to decision victory over James De La Rosa after hand injury
Mark E. Ortega
USA TODAY
November 19, 2016

LAS VEGAS — A hand injury for Curtis Stevens may have robbed us of what was shaping up to be an excellent fight between two gatekeepers.

Stevens, squaring off with James De La Rosa in the opening fight of the pay-per-view portion of the Sergey Kovalev-Andre Ward mega fight, hurt his left hand in the third round. It brought what was a solid action fight to a slowed pace as Stevens’ activity level dropped.

That didn’t keep Stevens (29-5, 21 KOs) from winning a lopsided decision, though the activity through the second half of the fight would have led you to believe it to be closer than the cards indicated. Stevens prevailed by scores of 98-90 and a more realistic 96-92 twice.

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Sunday, June 12, 2016


Bonnaroo 2016: Winners and losers
Mark E. Ortega
TheWaster.com
June 13, 2016

Bonnaroo in 2016 was the first year to see LiveNation’s full involvement, which meant better facilities (flushable toilets on site along with improved water-refill stations), but also a more expensive ticket than in year’s past. Attendance was reportedly down and it was quite noticeable, particularly during LCD Soundsystem’s Friday headlining set, which was a sparse crowd.

 There was a mild lightning storm scare that caused a delay Saturday, forcing Pearl Jam to take the stage an hour-and-a-half later than anticipated. Attendees were sent back to their cars until further instruction, and when the storm passed, people weren’t checked as they came back through the festival gates. This made the guy who brought a backpack full of Bud Lites back into the festival the true winner of Bonnaroo 2016. Here’s our rundown of the other top winners and losers at The Farm this year.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Courtney Barnett shreds in free Gov Ball makeup gig


Courtney Barnett shreds in free Gov Ball makeup gig
Mark E. Ortega
LYED.org
June 7, 2016

On Sunday, the final day of Governors Ball was canceled due to weather and several artists billed to play that day scrambled to find a way to play elsewhere within NYC.

Indie rock darling Courtney Barnett was the only one offering a free gig, popping up in the hipster epicenter of New York at Williamsburg's Rough Trade NYC record shop. A line wrapped around the block as people stood in pouring rain several hours early to lock down one of the 150 or so spots inside the tiny performing space at the back of the shop.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Interview with Big Black Delta: How chatting with a friend landed him a dream Debbie Gibson collaboration

Interview with Big Black Delta: How chatting with a friend landed him a dream Debbie Gibson collaboration
Mark E. Ortega
Grimygoods.com
May 4, 2016

Jonathan Bates was sitting with a friend at a bar discussing his solo project Big Black Delta. Bates wasn’t even sure he wanted to continue the project, but his friend asked him if he could work with anyone, who would he choose?

“I just said Debbie Gibson, because I love her music,” Bates relayed via phone in a chat with Grimy Goods. “When I first came to the United States, that was one of the first American acts I heard, and just by chance, she was down [to collaborate].”

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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Andre Berto earns redemption, knocks out Victor Ortiz in rematch


Andre Berto earns redemption, knocks out Victor Ortiz in rematch
Mark E. Ortega
USA TODAY
April 30, 2016

CARSON, Calif. — It may have come many years later than he hoped, but Andre Berto finally got sweet redemption against Victor Ortiz.

Climbing off the canvas in the second round, Berto fought his way back and stopped Ortiz in the fourth round of their PBC on FOX main event at the StubHub Center in front of 7,760 fans. He avenged the first defeat of his professional career, a decision loss to Ortiz back in April of 2011 that was many people’s Fight of the Year.

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Thomas Williams Jr. passes audition with second-round KO of Edwin Rodriguez; is Adonis Stevenson next?


Thomas Williams Jr. passes audition with second-round KO of Edwin Rodriguez; is Adonis Stevenson next?
Mark E. Ortega
USA TODAY
April 30, 2016

CARSON, Calif. – Two fights ago, Thomas Williams Jr. had his top prospect status revoked when he was stopped by former champion Gabriel Campillo. Williams has now emerged as a legitimate contender at 175 pounds after stopping Edwin Rodriguez in the second round of their slugfest.

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Friday, April 22, 2016

The Kills rock foundation of Apogee Studio away from the harsh winds of Coachella

The Kills rock foundation of Apogee Studio away from the harsh winds of Coachella
Mark E. Ortega
Grimygoods.com
April 22, 2016

The Kills vocalist Alison Mosshart paced the tiny stage at Apogee Studio back and forth, biting her nails waiting for guitarist Jamie Hince to launch into the opening song of their KCRW Morning Becomes Eclectic performance. Once “U R A Fever” started, Mosshart and Hince were all business, after engaging in an oft-hilarious 20-minute conversation with Jason Bentley.

Of the things discussed, Mosshart called The Kills’ Monday show at the Mayan Theater the best they’ve ever played, so if you were at that show consider yourself extremely lucky. She also said their Coachella set on Friday was difficult, with extremely gusty winds blowing dust into her mouth while she sang, the sunlight also making it hard for her to see Hince across the stage from her. You wouldn’t know there was any difficulty given how epic their set was.

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Monday, April 18, 2016

Sia steals show from headliner with once-in-a-lifetime performance to Coachella

Sia steals show from headliner with once-in-a-lifetime performance to Coachella
Mark E. Ortega
Grimygoods.com
April 18, 2016

Renowned Aussie singer-songwriter Sia hasn’t performed a full show hardly anywhere in years. When she was announced as part of Coachella’s bill this year, she was instantly on most people’s can’t-miss lists for the weekend. On Sunday, she more than justified the hype with the kind of performance that people will be talking about for years.

Moments into the opening song “Alive,” it became clear that this was not going to be like any other set in the desert that weekend. She stood behind what looked like the bottom of her dress, but instead it was a group of people all fluffed up hiding a dancer that donned the same outfit from the music video for the same song. As Sia hit all the high notes, singing “I’m still breathing,” the dancer was just the beginning of what could be considered more performance art than concert.

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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Guns N Roses pole-vault over expectations with Coachella headlining set Saturday, bring out AC/DC’s Angus Young

Guns N Roses pole-vault over expectations with Coachella headlining set Saturday, bring out AC/DC’s Angus Young
Mark E. Ortega
Grimygoods.com
April 17, 2016

The second day of Coachella saw nearly perfect weather, particularly once the sun went down, which made it that much more enjoyable to witness a series of awe-inspiring performances throughout the day.

I found shade in the Gobi tent and caught jazz-tronica trio GoGo Penguin from Manchester. Nick Blacka on the double bass was a damn machine. He ripped things up and had the small crowd that gathered really feeling it. Pianist Chris Illingsworth slowed things down a bit with the beautiful intro on “Hopopono” before the rest of the band picked up the pace as the song progressed. Their set was one of those that as time progressed, the tent got more and more filled and people started vibing to the music more.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Reviewed: LCD Soundsystem’s Fox Theater warm up gig from a new fan’s perspective

Reviewed: LCD Soundsystem’s Fox Theater warm up gig from a new fan’s perspective
Mark E. Ortega
Grimygoods.com
April 13, 2016

I had never seen LCD Soundsystem perform before seeing them Monday night at the Fox Theater in Pomona. In fact, the band didn’t even really come onto my radar until 2007, 2008ish after graduating high school. But on Saturday, I was lined up in front of Amoeba Records in the rain to buy two tickets to their show, a full three hours before the record store opened.

I wasn’t a superfan of James Murphy and his electro-rock group, so why did I go to all this trouble? For one, many of my best friends whose musical taste I respect are big LCD Soundsystem fans. I was also much too broke to ever see them around the time I got into them, being a freelance sports writer with no connections to free concert tickets at the time. When the opportunity presents itself to see a band of that caliber in a small to medium sized venue, always take it. This might be the last chance I ever get to see this band in a venue smaller than 5,000 capacity, who knows?

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Must-See Coachella Undercard: The Dead Ships — a ripe dose of rock ‘n’ roll for your soul

Must-See Coachella Undercard: The Dead Ships — a ripe dose of rock ‘n’ roll for your soul
Mark E. Ortega
Grimygoods.com
April 13, 2016

Los Angeles indie rock band The Dead Ships have had a helluva start to 2016.

They were added to the Coachella lineup around the time it came out. While trying to track down a contact number for the band and even having his Coachella family reach out to those that may have The Dead Ships contact number (including a text to our editor) — Paul Tollett, the man at Goldenvoice who curates the festival’s lineup, called the band’s manager and offered them a spot on Saturday’s bill. This was accomplished without a label or booking agent (but a lot of Grimy Goods love), quite the feat in today’s music landscape.

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Monday, April 4, 2016

Interview with La Sera: Discussing their new record and the role Ryan Adams played in producing it

Interview with La Sera: Discussing their new record and the role Ryan Adams played in producing it
Mark E. Ortega
Grimygoods.com
April 4, 2016

If you read anything about indie pop darlings La Sera‘s new record Music For Listening to Music To, you undoubtedly will see the name Ryan Adams somewhere in the first paragraph (like I did just now), maybe even the sub-headline. While Adams worked his magic on the production side of things, newly-married Katy Goodman and Todd Wisenbaker put the songs for the album together and had them ready to go, before showing up at Adams’ PaxAm Studios to record between Coachella dates last year.

I spoke with both members of La Sera (who play the Fonda Theatre on May 23 with Titus Andronicus) over the phone last week about the fourth La Sera record. First, it was Goodman on the phone. When asked how they came up with the cheeky name for the record, Goodman let me know it was Wisenbaker’s idea and she tried relaying the question to him in another room of their house.

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Saturday, April 2, 2016

Santigold show at Hollywood Palladium rich with stage theatrics, costume changes, and boss jams

Santigold show at Hollywood Palladium rich with stage theatrics, costume changes, and boss jams
Mark E. Ortega
Grimygoods.com
April 2, 2016

Thursday night, the Hollywood Palladium was packed as Philadelphia singer-producer Santigold made a stop in Los Angeles on her tour in support of her new album 99¢.

People were still making their way into the venue as 10 PM approached. Luckily, Santigold wouldn’t make it onto the stage until about 10:15. As soon as she did, she wasted no time, kicking into the catchy “You’ll Find a Way” from her critically-acclaimed 2008 debut self-titled album.

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