Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sing a New Song

Yo and what up, homestyle...

Just a quick word to the wise-up...

I've been cyber-collaborating with Jean Paul Lilliston, working on
my new CD, The Wicked.

I've had some technical difficulties as of late, so we decided to try cutting some vocals over the phone. I cued up the song (sans vocals)and put on my headphones while J.P. mic'd up his home phone and put it on speaker. The next step is obvious: The song kicked off and I commencedto screaming into my cell phone in my living room. Turned out great. We'll eventually do "real" vocals, but these are fine for now.

We've got some horn/bass/drum cats coming in from Austin soon and they needed a version with vocals.

If you leave me a comment or send me an email I'll give you a link where you can download the demo w the speaker phone vocals!

This is what the song is about:


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Joe Nolan

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Friday, August 14, 2009

I Like Iron Mike

Hello small babies,

God bless us every one.

So last night I had the pleasure of enjoying the new Mike Tyson documentary, Tyson.

Tyson is directed by James Toback, one of the most eccentric, challenging directors working today.

This is Toback's first doc, but Tyson explores themes of sexuality, racism, madness and drug use that permeate his body of work. If you are interested in exploring his work I recommend watching all of his films, but Fingers (starring Harvey Keitel as a pianist/mob enforcer) and Black and White (a sprawling, Altmanesque exploration of race and class that features Mike Tyson as himself in a supporting role) are both particularly good.

Toback - who wrote a notorious biography of NFL great Jim Brown - befriended Tyson years ago and his film gives Iron Mike a chance to tell his side of his sad, maddening, bizarre story. In fact, Tyson is mostly just our eponymous anti-hero speaking on camera, telling his own story in his own words. Toback's masterful use of split-screen, audio editing and found footage creates a gripping setting for the loquacious ex-champ to express himself - sometimes laughing, sometimes crying - in his own unique way.

Tyson comes off as a troubled man who was driven to become Heavyweight Champion of the World not through a sense of mission or a striving for greatness, but by a terrible, gnawing insecurity for his own physical safety that resulted from experiences he had as a child, growing up in a particularly brutal section of Brooklyn, NY.

The Tyson we see in the film, is poetic, thoughtful, humbled, regretful, joyous when he speaks about his 6 children and generous when he speaks about his fellow fighters. He is also, clearly a complex, sensitive man who may always be haunted by his own peculiar demons, but Tyson makes no apologies. In much the same manner that Mike used to enter the ring with no robe save for a lather of sweat or a kind of improvised tunic fashioned from a gym towel, Tyson wastes little time with formalities. This film comes out swinging and its a knockout.

If you live in Nashville, you missed your last chance to see the film last night. However, I understand the movie has already been released to DVD and is available on Netflix. Check it out.

In the meantime, here are two Tyson docs I am hosting on my YouTube channel.

This first one from ESPN's excellent Beyond the Glory series of boxing career retrospectives.

This next doc is a film made for The Learning Channel entitled The Mike Tyson story.

If all that punching has you wanting to rock out. Check out my newest CD...


Use this player to listen to my new CD. Purchase a song or two at your favorite digital outlet and help us stay awake here at Insomnia!

Find the archives to my Sleepless Film Festival, and more at my You Tube channel: Imagicon

Listen to my earlier releases, and enjoy free downloads here!

Please consider supporting this site by making a PayPal donation and check out our friends using the links on the right.

Joe Nolan

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Sunday, August 09, 2009

Miguel Angel Torres VS Brian Bowles

Hey everybody,

Tonight's the night. Miguel Angel Torres and Brian Bowles are just about to meet in the cage for the third challenge to Torres' WEC Bantam Weight title.

Going into this fight, I am - of course - in favor of Torres: my vote for best pound for pound fighter in the world. However, it may not be so simple.

Bowles is less experienced than Torres, but he is undefeated, he's never gone the distance, he has proven that he can take a punch.

Torres is coming off a very close win against Mizugaki - also covered on this blog...

You can bet that Bowles studied that fight and will try to bring some strategy to the fight tonight. Mizugaki confounded Torres by taking his shattering punches better than previous opponents while also standing up Torres, pushing his own agenda, showing little fear of - and little respect for - Torres formidable striking skills.

Look for Bowles to pressure Torres right off the bat looking for a quick knockout. This won't be easy. Torres is as tough as they come.

The fighters are being announced and we're about to begin...

Round One:
Both fighters look to be in amazing condition. Neither fighter shows any signs of rushing in, both waiting for the other to make a move. A full minute has gone by with NO contact. BOWLES DROPS TORRES WITH HIS FIRST PUNCH OF THE NIGHT, but Torres immediately jumps up and appears to be pissed. Bowles gets Torres to the cage and manages a takedown. Torres attacks Bowles with heel kicks from the guard, Bowles stands up and eats a few up kicks. Bowles and Torres are back on their feet. One minute and a half to go. Bowles moves in, Torres connects with a hard right driving Bowles back. Torres chases him to the cage with a flurry of blows, but Bowles is covering up and backing up before scoring a solid right to the chin of Torres. Torres buckles and rolls to the ground. Bowles follows him down scoring right punches and elbows to the face as Torres attempts to maneuver into a position where he can utilize his up-kicks. Bowles lands a very clean right to Torres chin and he appears to go limp just before Bowles lands a series of hard lefts and gets the TKO.


Congratulations Brian Bowles. An amazing fight. First Faber loses two in a row, now Torres 17 fight winning streak comes to a close.

Fighters like Faber and Torres remain two of the most exciting fighters in the sport, but it is a credit to the evolution of mixed martial arts that even such amazing fighters can lose a given fight in a given night.

I feel like Torres amazing jab has been absent during both of the last two fights. Not to take anything from Bowles, but I think Torres can take this belt back if he is willing and able to go back to fundamentals, putting an emphasis on the techniques that lead him to the championship in the first place.


Use this player to listen to my new CD. Purchase a song or two at your favorite digital outlet and help us stay awake here at Insomnia!

Find the archives to my Sleepless Film Festival, and more at my You Tube channel: Imagicon

Listen to my earlier releases, and enjoy free downloads here!

Please consider supporting this site by making a PayPal donation and check out our friends using the links on the right.

Joe Nolan

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Sleepless Film Festival Presents - Grindhouse Lotus Venoms: A Shaw Brothers Double Feature

Hola bueno.



It is SPRINGTIME in The Old South. This means I am strolling through a wonderland of tulips and other flowers I don't know the names of. There are these sorta droopy ones that come in both yellow and purple. They are also pretty - however - they lack the stately architecture of the simple, sensual tulip.

Another thing that the SPRINGTIME has wrought is a delightful Westerly breeze that I engineer into an Easterly one to discourage my neighbor's cigarette smoke from creeping through my kitchen window. This yangitty-yang flow also invests my daily SUN SALUTATIONS with that extra level of CHI that my ardent, firey posturings demand.

However, I've slacked off today, as SPRINGTIME has also brought allergy season. I have terrible allergies. They are so bad that I am never sure if I have a cold or just allergies when I feel this way. My head is so crazy stuffed and dizzy it is almost making me feel rather giddy...almost. In addition, my body aches badly enough that it requires effort to turn a key in a lock. Seriously. Those of you who know me well know that I am usually the type who'd be more likely to absent-mindedly pull the knob off a door, so you see the depth of my suffering.

Yes you can send chicken soup via PayPal...

Anyway, needless to say, I am down and out and just trying to rest and stay full of liquids. I caught up on all my NetFlix today and decided to share the wealth. Regardless of whether you are sick or not, you may be in need of a Grindhouse-style Kung Fu double feature.

While I was a kid in Michigan, I would watch "Martial Arts Theatre" late at night on Saturdays. I remember flipping back and forth between MAT and SNL. The late nights and bad dubbing served me well. Years later - when Shaw Brothers/Golden Harvest titles became a badge of hip - I was thoroughly educated and well-prepared to speak in great depth about "Pei Mei's vital nerve" the "animal styles of the Five Deadly Venoms" and that "kid with the Golden Arms".

Here are two Shaw Brothers classics for you to enjoy. If you've never seen these, I am jealous of the joy you are about to experience. If you're an old veteran, enjoy this trip down memory lane.

The Fist of the White Lotus

Originally titled Clan of the White Lotus, this 1980 Shaw Brothers classic was released as Fist of the White Lotus in the West. In Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill films, the character of Pei Mei appears as Kiddo's instructor. Pei Mei is played by Lo Lieh in Fist', but Lieh's Fist' co-star - Gordon Liu - reprised the role for the Tarantino revenge tale.

Five Deadly Venoms

Five Deadly Venoms is another Shaw Brothers Kung Fu Classic. Released in 1978, The' Venoms rather convoluted plot involves 5 warriors - each with a different animal-style of Kung Fu - who may or may not be attempting to steal a fortune from the former colleague of their dying teacher. The flick is referenced by the Wu-Tang Clan and World of Warcraft. Kill Bill's Deadly Viper Assassination squad is also a not-so-veiled reference.


Use this player to listen to my new CD. Purchase a song or two at your favorite digital outlet and help us stay awake here at Insomnia!

Find the archives to my Sleepless Film Festival, and more at my You Tube channel: Imagicon

Listen to my earlier releases, and enjoy free downloads here!

Joe Nolan

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Sunday, April 05, 2009

Torres v.s. Mizugaki - Round By Round

Bonjour et bon soir, mes amis.

As you may know Miguel "Angel" Torres will be fighting tonight, defending his WEC championship against Takeya Mizugaki. This is how the fight is sized up on the Fox Sports site:

CHICAGO - Watching the way bantamweight champion Miguel Torres glared across his right shoulder at Takeya Mizugaki every time the challenger spoke at Friday's WEC 40 pre event press conference, you would have thought he wanted to tear the Japanese fighter apart right then and there. Maybe that's because he did.

"I want to fight him now," Torres (35-1) told InsideFighting after the press conference ended.

"I hadn't seen him. I don't know anything about him and to be able to stand three feet away from him I wanted to like jump over the podium and choke him while he was talking. I wanted to so bad."

Torres' menacing game face is quickly becoming the stuff of legend. It certainly had Reed Harris talking Friday afternoon. The World Extreme Cagefighting typically straps title belts on to the waists of champions after their wins inside the cage. But after a recent successful Torres defense he found the task more scary than routine.

"I went over with his belt after the fight to put it on him, tapped him on the shoulder and he turned around with this look," Harris remembered while recreating his own fear-filled expression from the moment. "He scared me and I took a step back. �Whoa!' One of Miguel's guys then came over to me and said, 'He'll be fine in a couple minutes.' He just gets in a zone when he's fighting."

As followers of this blog know, when I am not working on my short film of my one-act play about Charles Baudelaire in the Confederate South I can usually be found in various stages of undress, in my kitchen, slicing garlic with a high G piano wire or repairing one of my prized powdered wigs. Otherwise, there is a good chance that I am eating sandwiches in the tub, listening to the TV in the other room playing the Director's Commentary of Starship Troopers.

However, once I finally settle down, I like to build a nest out of antique jewelry in the middle of my living room and practice my wrestling bridging, keeping my form both supple and limber.

Nothing goes with this better than a double espresso and Mixed Martial Arts, and I believe tonight's fight will be the most important MMA contest before Uriah Faber rematches Mike Brown.

Brown took Faber's belt in a TKO at their last meeting. Check out Brown here in another contest:

Brown vs. Garcia - Watch more Funny Videos

Many people think Uriah is the best pound-for-pound fighter out there. Faber is fantastic, but Torres gets my vote as THE BEST FIGHTER IN THE WORLD.

The fight's about to begin.

I am going to blog as the fight goes on, so I can share my reactions blow by blow.

The fight will take place in Chicago. This is de facto home court for East Chicagoan, Torres.

Pre Fight:

Miz makes his entrance. He looks focused and cool. He has a beautiful face for a fighter, and he carries himself with the quiet confidence we see in many Japanese fighters: an elegant bravado.

The corner man applies a liberal coat of petroleum jelly to Miz' eyes and brow. Annointed, the Miz prays briefly before entering the cage.

Torres enters with an intensity that appears to find his dark, focused eyes on the verge of tears. Again, Torres seems ferocious. Mir just commented that "Torres is seriously looking to hurt you at all times." That said, this guy is a TOTAL CLASS ACT - and a mean motherfucker on The Octagon.

Tail of the Tape: Torres'reach is -as always- something to contend with. He has 8 inches on Miz. Torres also has insanely long legs. In fact MMA should consider length of leg in their tape stats. It makes a huge difference.

Round 1:

Round starts slowly. Miz begins to throw several fearless combos.
Torres is n't throwing his jab like usual. Torres complains of a low kick, but is unhurt. Miguel throws several knees in a clinch with Miz and gets slammed down on his back. Both fighters are throwing many punches, but both are slipping both with great movement, head/movement. Torres is leading with a left round kick, but to little real effect. Torres' trademark jab is nowhere to be found. I give the first round to Miz.

Round 2:

Torres slips an recovers quickly. Miz is the aggressor again. He's not doing a lot of damage, but he is running the fight. Miz continues to make points on the inside. Miz lands a great right. The best punch of the night. Miz starts eating punches. There is a sense of blood in the water. Torres pins him on the cage. Miz turns him out, but is quickly pinned again as Torres unloads knees to the Miz' midsection. Miz is tired. Torres loses his mouthpiece and the fighters need to start again. Torres is throwing knees in baroque arcs that are a kind of dance of damage raining down against the ribs of the Miz. Torres wins the round on a strong second half.

Round 3:

Starts slow. Torres looks like a cobra. Mir raves about a left hook that all but misses. Miz lands some good shots after Torres kicks his front leg. Torres misses a gullotine attempt. Miz continues being busy with his combo punching. Mir goes crazy for a lame punch to the top of Miz' head only to immediately have the fight stopped to investigate a nasty cut over Torres' right eye that seems to have come from a Miz' left. This could be a big deal. Torres pushes the pace and Miz answers back. Torres in beginning to pour it on as his elbows come into play. The Miz lands a great combo of punches and ends with knee to Torres face which is again awash in red. The crowd begins to cheer TORRES. TORRES. TORRES. The round ends. Miz wins another.

Round 4:

Miguel goes into round with huge gobs of jelly on his cut. Where is Torres' jab? Torres takes the fight to the ground, but Miz escapes. Mir suggests that Torres may need to take the fight to the ground. Torres is really losing this fight at this point. (3:09) Mir is saying that Torres is landing better shots as Torres bleeds all over Miz. Torres is owning this round. Keeping Miz against the cage indefinitely. Knees and punches. Miz almost takes Torres back after Miguel misses an elbow but Torres drops for kneelock and the pair divide. Torres continues to get the worst of these largely ineffectual exchanges.

Round 5:

I can't believe I am saying this, but Miz has this fight won if Torres can't knock him out in this round. Mir is defending Torres, but we seem to be watching different fights. Torres rocks Miz with three of the best punches of the night. Mir still acting like Torres is ahead on all the cards. Torres throws his only good jab of the night with three minutes left. Torres pins Miz on cage, but is rather ineffectual and he ultimately falls to his back in the scuffle. Torres pins Miz on cage again after some open punching. One minute to go and both fighters seem tired. Miz mocks Torres. Both fighters punch it out hard for the last 20 seconds.

The lack of commentary at the end of the fight has to do with the fact that Mir et al. are trying to figure out how NOT to say that Torres just lost this fight.

I doubt the judges will go this way, but Mizugaki just won this fight.

Torres never even started to establish his jab in a fight that stayed on its feet. He underestimated Miz and got beat.

Here is the decision...

Miguel wins a unanimous decision. This is not correct or just. I love Torres but he lost tonight.

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Listen my new CD - Blue Turns Black!

Joe Nolan

Use this player to listen to my new CD. Purchase a song or two at your favorite digital outlet and help us stay awake here at Insomnia!

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Desolating Angel

If you've been following these blogs, you know that I am a fan of mixed martial arts. I have trained in Tae Kwon Do, Kung Fu, American Boxing and Judo, but modern mixed martial arts is more beautiful and practical than anything I had seen before I watched my first match.

A fighter who caught my eye early on was Miquel Angel Torres. For months now he has been my favorite fighter and after seeing the way he tore apart Manny Tapia, I now feel he is in contention for best-pound-for-pound fighter along with Anderson Silva.

Uriah Faber breathing down their collective neck.

Here is the word on Torres' recent defeat of Manny Tapia:

As the second round started Tapia landed a big right hand that Super Torres apparently didn’t feel. Unfazed by the “Mangler’s” power shot, Torres connected with a beautiful spinning back fist just before a clean right hand drops Tapia to the canvas.

The Hard Rock erupted into chants of, “Torres, Torres.”

Tapia leaped quickly to his feet but the challenger was hurt and a methodical Miguel Torres capitalized with combo that again sent Tapia crashing to the floor, where Miguel assaulted Tapia with a flurry of strong right hands and elbows. At 3:04 into the second round Josh Rosenthal stepped in to reveal a beaten and bloodied Manny Tapia.

“I wanted to fight a little bit calm this time,” Torres said in the post fight interview. “Last time I fought, I got kind of emotional and got kind of crazy. If I calm myself down, I fight like this pretty much all the time. I knew Manny was gonna come with big punches. I wanted to keep my range, use my jab to measure him up and then throw a couple of feints and a big right hand.”

Miguel Torres is in a class of his own. The worst thing about that is he knows it.
That’s not a bad thing for the sport, it’s not a bad thing for writers or fans and it damn sure isn’t a bad thing for the WEC. It’s a bad thing for Brian Bowels, it’s bad for Will Ribeiro and Joey Benavidez, hell it’s bad for any mixed martial artist that weighs 135 pounds.

If the catchweight bout between Miguel Torres and Urijah Faber ever happens I think it’ll be bad for him too. The performance Miguel put on Wednesday night was special. Special because his BJJ is special, it’s like his pistol and he can pull the trigger whenever he wants to.

The special thing is, Miguel never pulled the trigger.

Read more.

Watch the first and second round here. Notice Torres' incredible left jab as well as his use of unorthodox strikes like a Tae Kwon Do style rolling ax kick and a spinning back fist that spells the beginning of the end for Tapia.

Now crank up the sound and check out these new tunes!


Explore this Santa's Workshop and listen to - and purchase - my new CD at your favorite online outlet. Also click the VIDEO button to watch the short film REvolution featuring yours truly on the soundtrack.


Be gentle in your sleepy hands on this world.
Be a killer in Heaven.

Joe Nolan

Check out my profile at Reverb Nation to see my updated press and bio.

Listen to my earlier releases, and enjoy free downloads here!

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