Timothy Bradley announces retirement from boxing 

 

DSCN7143By Leighton Ginn

Five-time world champion Timothy Bradley announced Saturday he will retire from boxing, turning a page in his life that brought him international fame.

“Thank you for cheering me on when I didn’t deserve it, loving me most when I needed it and for being my heartbeat to keep going day after day. I am the man I am today because of you all,” Bradley said in a release.

Bradley’s full release is below.

There always comes a point in life where we have to make choices that no matter how much we know the right option, it still leaves us filled with mixed emotions.

Looking back at Timothy Bradley’s championship years

I have spent the past couple days trying to find the right words to describe this point in my life and no matter how long I sit and reflect, I still don’t know if these words can do my thoughts justice, but I’m going to do my best to open up my heart and share with all of you during this pivotal time.

How Timothy Bradley’s life intersected with 1968 Olympians George Foreman and John Carlos

It is no secret that a life of any professional athlete is not an easy one- yes it comes with a lot of fame and fortune but also comes with fear and fatigue. A balance that has to be achieved by ambition and maintained through perspective. For over twenty three years, Boxing gave me purpose and it defined me. Dedicated to my craft and fueled by my passion for the sport, my love for my team and my admiration for all of you who supported me day in and day out– I was able to give 100% of myself to be the best and to always get up when I was knocked down. It was the biggest challenge in my life but I embraced the sacrifice with every victory and milestone reached. Boxing gave me roots, it kept me off the streets, it gave me confidence, it taught me how to be a man and face every challenge head on and take the good with the bad. Yes I missed holidays, birthdays, even missed hearing some of my children’s first words but more than time, it took my blood, sweat and tears, all things I can never get back. Which is why turning the page for me is bittersweet. That once in a lifetime purpose to wake up everyday and give 100% is now fueled towards something else- my family. I find my strength in them, my peace and most importantly, unconditional love. I wake up wanting to spend all my time being a father, being a husband and being free. Although that square circle I lived to dance in everyday gave me so many smiles and blessings, it could never out weigh the smiles and blessings I receive from my wife and children. It’s now my turn to support them and encourage them to live their dreams and I couldn’t be more excited for this next chapter. I hope to continue to allow boxing in my world through teaching, commentating and being a fan of a sport I love so dearly.

New Timothy Bradley scores first knockout since 2011 against a guy who was never down in a fight

And to you, the diehard fans, man, it’s been one heck of a ride. The bumps, the bruises, the peaks, the valleys, the days I didn’t want to get out of bed and the nights I couldn’t sleep….So many occasions where my heart, mind and soul were tested but with every challenge there was hope and there was all of you…giving me the courage to fight another day and do what I loved to do. I can never find the words to convey how much I appreciate all of you and how truly humbled I am by the unconditional support the past 23 years, Thank you. Thank you for cheering me on when I didn’t deserve it, loving me most when I needed it and for being my heartbeat to keep going day after day. I am the man I am today because of you all.

Coachella 2017: New Order

 

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By Leighton Ginn

It has befuddled me why Coachella has scheduled New Order against one of the headliners the last two time the groundbreaking English band has been at the Empire Polo Grounds.

As a fan, I would love to see them get more exposure to the younger generation as their sound, I believe, is a precursor for EDM and I think those who don’t know New Order would fall in love with them.

On the other hand, with the struggles of battling through the numerous people, it was actually nice to have some breathing room in the Mohave Tent while they played Sunday night against Kendrick Lamar.

And I don’t think there are more enthusiastic crowds than the ones for New Order.

Their music was the soundtrack of my college days.

They were cutting edge in the day and while I never got to see them live during those days, I’m sure their look was as edgy as their sound.

Today, they look middle-aged, like me. But they exude joy with their music. When lead singer Bernard Sumner breaks out in dance on hits like “Bizarre Love Triangle,” I kind of compare it to watching your father dance for the first time.

But it’s so endearing as well. He’s getting into his great music, and it makes me enjoy it more.

There are so many great songs from New Order that they are must see every time they are at Coachella. At least for me.

This year, their encore songs were two from Joy Division, which was New Order’s original incarnation, but they changed the name after Ian Curtis committed suicide.

I hadn’t known much of Joy Division, but the final song, “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” is definitely a favorite.

Coachella 2017: Bon Iver

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By Leighton Ginn

One of the acts I’ve wanted to see for a while has been Bon Iver, as I think Justin Vernon is one of the best vocalist out there.

Halocene is such a beautiful song, and his cover of Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make you Love Me” is extraordinary.

But I hadn’t read much about Bon Iver before watching them at Coachella this year during the second weekend. So when I heard the auto tune and the altering of his vocals, it threw me off.

My initial reaction was, “with a beautiful voice like that, why mess with it?”

But I know artists like to branch out, so I tried to give it a chance. But to be honest, it was hard to really soak it in because it did throw me off. It wasn’t bad, but I wasn’t prepared for it. I will have to listen more to his new CD, “22, A Million.” I want to listen to more of it and get an honest take on his new direction.

Yet, I think Bon Iver came up with the signature moment for Coachella 2017 for me when there was a surprise appearance by Bruce Hornsby and Jenny Lewis. They performed together on Hornsby hit, “The End of the Innocence.”

Bringing together three rich and beautiful voices together for that song just gave me goosebumps the whole song.

And it was cool because there was no introduction. I thought it was just a cover, but as I listened, “hey, isn’t that Bruce Hornsby?”

When I got home that night, I searched YouTube to see if anyone posted a video of it. Once I found it, I was sharing it with all my music friends.

Coachella can sometimes be a pain. With so many people, as they expanded to 120,000 this year, it’s can test your patience.

But “The End of the Innocence” is a moment that makes it all worth it.

 

My Coachella 2017 playlist … so far

 

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By Leighton Ginn

I got the alert today that my Coachella wristbands are on the way.

To prepare for the 2017 edition, here is a playlist of some of the songs I’m looking forward to. This is in no way a complete list.

BIZARRE LOVE TRIANGLE

I love this band and it was a great performance when they played in 2013. They were actually on against Phoenix, who was the Saturday headliner and that was a tough decision.

But New Order represents my college days and I just love the band. And Bizarre Love Triangle was the soundtrack of those days.

Whenever I hear it, it just makes me happy.

WELCOME TO YOUR LIFE

So anyone who reads this blog regularly knows I love Grouplove. I especially love the song “Shark Attack” because it was written and inspired by their first appearance at Coachella, which I caught.

But they have an impressive catalog of songs that I love, including their latest.

The energy they bring to their performances is infectious. I’ve caught them numerous times and haven’t ever been disappointed.

ON HOLD

I know the XX has been around and I’ve followed them peripherally, but their latest CD, “I See You” has really hooked me in.

“On Hold” isn’t necessarily my favorite song on the CD, but the sampling of Hall and Oates’ “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” that I didn’t recognize immediately … or actually until I Googled it.

HIGH AND LOW

One of the most visually dynamic bands out there. Again, I didn’t follow them closely, but the first song from their newest CD, “High and Low” hooked me in immediately.

These guys are a staple in the Sahara tent, but it will be interesting if they will be back there again, or on a bigger stage, which would also mean a more elaborate stage set.

That would be fun.

CHANGE OF SEASONS

Two Door Cinema Club’s last performance at Coachella was one of my favorites. The band has a dynamic sound, starting with Alex Tremble’s voice.

They’ve changed their sound for their latest CD, so it will be interesting to see how it will play out on stage. But their new stuff is solid, even if it is a bit of a departure.

“Bad Decisions” is my favorite from their latest CD, but since I featured it in a previous blog, I went back a few years for “Change of Seasons,” a really great song.

RIVER

A new voice that is big and bold, I’m really looking forward to seeing Bishop Briggs. She’s low on the lineup sheet, but feels like a chance to see a future star.

I think her song “River” really captures her dynamic range.

SAFE AND SOUND

Great sound and great energy. When I saw Capital Cities at Coachella, there was a moment when I thought this might be the best set I saw that year and was right up there with the best I saw.

That thought same when they played “Safe and Sound.”

I just remember I couldn’t sit still and I don’t think anyone else could.

And the trumpet player is killer.

 

 

 

 

 

Doppelganger 1: tennis player Jack Sock, Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age

3-15-17 Jack Sock

 

By Leighton Ginn

This blog is done as sort of a public service announcement for people attending the BNP Paribas Open. If you are out and about and think you see American tennis star Jack Sock, don’t assume it’s him.

He has a resemblance to Queens of the Stone Age lead guitarist and singer Josh Homme, who was also grew up in nearby Palm Desert.

I had covered Sock a little more closely the last few years, and only hit me at this year’s tournament his resemblance. So I was wondering if he ever got that.

“I don’t know who that is, and I hope that’s a compliment,” Sock joked.

Jack Sock continues his good vibes at BNP Paribas Open, this time in singles

So for the tennis fans who follow this blog, here’s a little background on Josh Homme:

He was originally in the band Kyuss before starting Queens of the Stone Age in 1997.

Their third album, 2002’s “Songs for the Deaf,” featured Foo Fighters front man and former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl. The album produced the hits “No One Knows” and “Go With The Flow.”

Their hit song “Little Sister,” from their fourth album, “Lullabies to Paralyze,” features a driving cow bell. It helped inspire a classic moment on Saturday Night Live in 2005 with Will Ferrell.

 

Six of their albums have been nominated for Grammys.

In 2009, Homme was part of the super band Them Crooked Vultures, that also featured John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin and Grohl. Their hit “New Fang” won a Grammy for best hard rock performance.

Homme also founded Eagles of Death Metal with high school friend Jesse Hughes. In 2015, Eagles of Death Metal were playing the Bataclan in Paris, France when terrorist came in and killed 89 people. Colin Hanks directed an HBO documentary “Eagles of Death Metal, Nos Amis (Our Friends)” that premiered in February.

The year Roger Federer is having, his preseason goals seem ridiculously low as a return to No. 1 seems possible

For more on Jack Sock, read my blog on his quarterfinal victory over Kei Nishikori at the BNP Paribas Open.

Jack Sock continues his good vibes at BNP Paribas Open, this time in singles

 

 

 

 

 

Who will replace Beyoncé as a headliner at Coachella, and will it be a woman?

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By Leighton Ginn

Of all the people to withdraw from Coachella, Beyoncé was the toughest one to take for 2017.

Beyoncé is outside of Coachella’s comfort zone of indie acts, and its such a huge attraction that a large part of the tickets were purchased just for her appearance. She was also the first woman in a decade to headline, which promoters were probably hoping would end the “Brochella” nickname.

Due to doctor’s orders, Beyoncé cancelled, but promised to headline Coachella the next year.

So who can fill the large hole created by Beyoncé?  When it comes to her stature and body of work, it’s an irreplaceable talent and it won’t satisfy her fans, who have seen the price plummet on the secondary market (the scalpers).

There are numerous great acts, but it’s apples and oranges.

And should it be a woman?

I think at this point, Coachella will have to take whoever it can get. A few woman can headline with the large appeal of Beyoncé, but are not necessarily a Coachella act. At this point, that might not be important.

For acts who don’t mind replacing Beyoncé, the other factor is putting on a headlining-worthy show on short notice. It makes it tough for acts who are not touring or rehearsing to pull the trigger.

Because let’s face it, expectations will be high, and people watching will be incredibly judgmental.

Here’s a look at possible replacements.

LADY GAGA

Her stock has always been high, and after her Super Bowl and Grammy performances, it’s skyrocketing.

Gaga would be the best option. She has a new CD and her world tour doesn’t begin until August. This would be a great jump start.

But Gaga will hit the West Coast in August and December, including shows at the Forum during both of those months. Will that be too much Gaga? And I’m not sure if the promoters of her tour would go for that.

Then again, the publicity could create an even bigger frenzy.

RIHANNA

Another terrific possibility. Rihanna was at the Indio Polo Grounds in October performing with Paul McCartney and has been at Coachella as a fan and guest star with 2016 headliner Calvin Harris.

Currently, she has no tour dates. It could be asking a lot of her to put together a headlining act with rehearsals in what could be a one-off (or actually two-off) performance.

BRUNO MARS

His tour doesn’t begin until July, and he would go over big with Coachella fans.

He’s never played.

But there could be an ego thing, in that he might want to play Coachella with a huge buildup that traditionally begins in January.

Not sure if he’s had regular talks with Goldenvoice, so who knows if it would be a good fit.

ADELE

I think she would be a great headliner, but maybe being a replacement would be a bad move.

Although gracious at the Grammys,  not sure Adele fans are also Beyoncé fans and vice versa. While Adele has a huge following, it might not satisfy the ticket buyers. Generally, Adele’s shows are more stripped down, compare to the large productions you get from Beyoncé.

She would be great at Coachella, but the cards might be too stacked in replacing Beyoncé. .

KANYE WEST

He’s been a last minute addition for promoters Goldenvoice, and he’s been a great headliner at Coachella. Plus, Kanye wouldn’t have to travel far.

But of course he had personal issues that prematurely ended his tour and saw him in the hospital following his breakdown.

You hope that he will be healthy before considering taking on Coachella.

JAY Z

Considering what Lemonade is about, maybe it’s not a good idea for Jay Z to be away from his pregnant wife to perform at Coachella over two weekends.

MISCELLANEOUS

I’ve said U2 and Green Day in a former blog. And it would make sense since their schedules could accommodate it. But again, short notice and their music might not satisfy the Beyoncé ticket buyers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coachella 2017’s missed opportunities

By Leighton Ginn

So naturally with the lineups being announced, there’s a part of me that things what could have been. There are some cool opportunities that could have made this Coachella a little more special.

PERFECT YEAR FOR SNOOP DOG, WILLIE NELSON OR LIL WAYNE TO HEADLINE

This will be the first time recreational weed use will be legal in California. That would be something if Coachella got Snoop Dog, Willie Nelson or Lil Wayne to headline.

I’m sure they could have gotten other acts that I just can’t think of.

Now that marijuana is legal, will it change the vibe at Coachella? Judging by all the second-hand smoke I’ve inhaled, I’m guessing it won’t.

HAVING U2 KICKOFF JOSHUA TREE

This year marks the 30th anniversary of U2’s legendary “Joshua Tree” album, which has sold over 25 million copies.

Coachella, of course, is close to the Joshua Tree National Park. There has also been talk over the years that U2 would play Coachella as both sides have expressed a mutual interest.

The tour begins in May, and the Southern California stop is on May 20 at the Rose Bowl. While Pasadena is nice, it wouldn’t have felt as magical as if they played Coachella.

U2 is doing one festival, which is Bonnaroo on June 8-11 in Tennessee.

Goldenvoice, which also produced the wildly successful Desert Trip in October, will have the October date again, so perhaps they could be angling to have U2 play then.

 

 

First thoughts on the 2017 Coachella lineup with Beyoncé, Radiohead and Kendrick Lamar … and Hans Zimmer?

By Leighton Ginn

When Coachella announces it’s lineup, the last few years, it’s been met with disappointment.

As the leading music festival in this country, expectations are high, maybe too high.

I look at this year’s lineup and it’s impressive, yet I still feel disappointed.

Having said that, I’ve been disappointed when Coachella’s lineup has been announced the last few years, but I still go and have a good time.

The headliners are strong with Beyoncé, who will be performing for the first time as an act and not a guest. Radiohead is a longtime Coachella favorite. And Kendrick Lamar is on the brink of surpassing superstar status.

Predicting Coachella 2017 — The headliners

No doubt, Coachella will do well with ticket sales and buzz.

It also didn’t help that BottleRock Napa Valley announced it’s lineup, with Foo Fighters, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Maroon 5 are the headliners. It’s a matter of tastes, but I’m more excited about those headliners.

But for me, I go to Coachella with an open mind. What usually happens, I’ll find bands I didn’t know much about and fall in love with them. And acts I was so-so with, I’ll fall in love with.

The truth of the matter is Coachella has been evolving and expanding it’s reach, having made hip hop and EDM more of a staple over the years. With the broader base, there will be less bands I really love that will fill the line up.

But that’s cool.

There’s still enough bands I love, as well as a few new ones I’m really anxious to see. If I go with an open mind, I’m sure there will be an act I will fall in love with and it might change my tastes yet again.

So here’s a few of my highlights after seeing the 2017 lineup.

HANS ZIMMER?: If Coachella was going to book an act that is famous for scoring movies, I figured it would have been former Oingo Boingo frontman Danny Elfman.

Zimmer has done the score of countless epic movies, including “The Lion King” and “The Dark Knight.” He’s even teaching an online “Masterclass” online for $90.

I always imagine that if Hans Zimmer does something, it would be with a huge orchestra in a venue like the Hollywood Bowl.

But this could be a very cool show.

It reminds me of when producer Mark Ronson performed at Coachella. While he doesn’t sing, he had a great show with tremendous guests.

 A WOMAN, FINALLY: Beyoncé becomes just the second woman to headline Coachella, following in the footsteps of Bjork in 2002 and 07. It’s surprising it’s been a decade since Coachella had a female headliner.

But Beyoncé will be a spectacular way to end the drought. She stole the show at last year’s Super Bowl, and “Lemonade” was her latest monster hit.

Predicting Coachella 2017: Will a woman headline for the first time since 2007?

It won’t be the first time Beyoncé has performed at Coachella, as she’s been a guest for several acts, including husband Jay Z during his 2010 headlining set.

It also brings up this interesting tidbit. Will Beyoncé’s appearance bring out the Obama family as President Obama has bought a home in nearby Rancho Mirage? They have been friends and Beyoncé and Jay Z were at the White House frequently.

Here’s a look back at Beyoncé performing with Jay Z at Coachella, singing “Young Forever.”

 

CATCHING THOSE I MISSED IN 2012: So at Coachella, be careful what you eat. In 2012, I had something that forced me to leave the evening session, forcing me to miss some much-anticipated acts like Radiohead and Bon Iver.

Luckily, both are here this year.

But I did get one reprieve. Thom York was at the Ace Hotel the following weekend, and he was DJ-ing on a Friday prior to his Weekend 2 performance the next day.

thom-yorke

Another band that I wanted to catch but missed was Bastille, as they played a tent that was so overcrowded I couldn’t get in. Hopefully they’ll be on the main stage this time.

WELCOME BACK: Bands who had some of my favorite sets will be returning, particularly New Order, Two Door Cinema Club, Capital Cities, GroupLove, Local Natives and the Head and the Heart.

Predicting Coachella 2017: Hello old friends, acts due to return

ACTS I WANT TO SEE FOR THE FIRST TIME: DJ Khalid, Empire of the Sun, Glass Animals, Phantogram, Bon Iver, Bishop Briggs, Declan McKenna and Tove Lo.

Predicting Coachella 2017: Acts down the lineup, but not at the bottom

Follow Ginn and Topics on Twitter ( GinnandTopics), Instagram (@GinnTopics) and my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ginnandtopics )

 

 

 

 

Predicting Coachella 2017: Acts down the lineup, but not at the bottom

 

By Leighton Ginn

These will be the diamond in the rough acts.

They might not be high on the lineup, although I could be wrong with that on some, but they will be well worth going to Coachella during likely the hottest time of the day.

EAGLES OF DEATH METAL

Much like Queens of the Stone Age, they guys are a local product from Palm Desert. Unlike QOTSA, EODM has not played Coachella yet.

I felt promoters Goldenvoice missed an opportunity last year to bring the hometown boys to the festival, and maybe even have a benefit to help those who were affected by the Paris shootings last year at the Bataclan.

But most of all, Eagles of Death Metal is a fun band that plays timeless rock music, with a wink and a smile.

They’ve been a personal favorite and surprised they haven’t played Coachella yet.

BANNERS

Shine A Light is one of those ear-worm songs, and Banners had a nice run in 2016. Maybe they should have been in Coachella last year.

COIN

Incredibly fun music that’s catchy. These guys might be my favorite band from the last year or two.

ELECTRIC GUEST

Asa Taccone has a unique and expressive voice that brings their super hit “This Head I Hold” to life. I thought they would have played around when their debut “Mondo” in 2012. That didn’t happen, but now they have new music. Taccone’s brother Jorma is part of “Lonely Island.”

RUN RIVER NORTH

This band is very talented and very versatile, as they changed its sound. They are a fun act live and would do well at Coachella.

JUDAH & THE LION

I might be picking these guys solely for a catchy hook in this song. But they do have a great sound.

X AMBASSADORS

An indie darling, these guys seem overdue to play Coachella.

I would suspect that would not be too far down the lineup.

 

 

Predicting Coachella 2017: Hello old friends, acts due to return

 

By Leighton Ginn

Here’s a few acts I’ve caught at Coachella, which I hope will return.

At least, these are the acts I’m feeling right now. I’m sure there’s more I’ll be able to think of afterwards.

GROUPLOVE

 

I caught Grouplove both times they were at Coachella and they were fantastic performers, a hippy band with the energy of a death metal band.

I read somewhere that “Shark Attack” is a song they wrote from their first time at Coachella, so it only seems natural they would be a regular.

They released “Big Mess” this fall, so they’ll have new music.

Outside of Coachella, I caught them at the Troubadour and the Jimmy Kimmel Show and they never fail to bring the fun.

Looking at their tour schedule, they will end their spring tour on April 13 in Santa Cruz, Ca. The first weekend of Coachella begins April 14.

FITZ AND THE TANTRUMS

Fitz and the Tantrums have been on a little unusual schedule at Coachella, as they never hit this festival right after releasing new music. It usually comes at the tail end of a run for a CD.

So last year, Fitz and the Tantrums didn’t play as they performed in 2015. And during 2016, they released their self-titled “Fitz and the Tantrum,” which included the hit “Handclap.” The LA Times declared it the song of the summer.

So far, the band doesn’t have its schedule made out for 2017, but if Coachella comes calling, you would expect the LA-based band will return.

TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB

One of the great indie-rock bands, Two Door Cinema Club has come up with more of a pop sound in their new CD, “Gameshow.”

It shows their diversity, particularly with the disco sounds of “Bad Decision,” although some fans were still longing their indie-rock sound.

But even critics of the new sound can’t deny the songs are catchy. And Two Door Cinema Club has a deep catalog.

In their last Coachella performance in 2013 was dazzling.

THE KILLERS

The Las Vegas natives were dazzling headliners in 2009, sandwiched between Paul McCartney and the Cure. But that was the last time they played Coachella as a group, although lead singer Brandon Flowers has returned as a solo act.

The Killers will have new music in 2017, and a return to the Empire Polo Grounds would be an overdue return.

PETER BJORN AND JOHN

These guys are much more than the theme song to “Two Broke Girls.”

They are a great Swedish band. Admittedly, when they last played Coachella, it was after their first CD, and playing the main state seemed a little big for the trio.

But their sound got bigger and they’ve been even more dynamic.

In the summer, they released a new CD “Breaking Point” and played FYF festival on the USC campus.

While they have a great array of hits, I really loved this cover they did with the AV Club and wish they would include it on their setlists.

I caught them on the Sunset Strip the day before their FYF festival and they were glorious.