Time--2017 A to Z Theme

My theme for the 2018 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is "Cleaning the Clutter"--I might literally be cleaning my closets or figuratively clearing the excess from some other part of my life. I'm sure you can think of other things this could mean for you as well.

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...


Monday, January 21, 2019

Who Got the Love? (#BOTB Results)

         Some days you just gotta get to where you're going next.  Right now that's me.  At least that seems like a good enough excuse for being lazy right now...

Battle of the Bands Results!

        I'm going to get to the point:  Who won my last Battle?   As a reminder it was Paul Weller versus Paul Carrack on the Bobby Blue Bland song "Ain't No Love in the Heart of the City".  I kind of figured that this would be a tough race because this was one of those where I liked both performances a great deal.  Carrack's version was by far the most complex, diverse, and flashy presentation and this is a good one to see performed live.  However, my musical taste leans more in that tough choppy sound of Paul Weller. His version suggested the grittiness and edge of the mean side of the city.

        For me it was a vote for Paul Weller which edged him a bit closer to the winner Paul Carrack.  Great race!

 Final Vote Tally

Paul Weller                11 votes

Paul Carrack              13 votes

Next Battle on Friday February 1st

          Not sure where I'll go with this next one yet.  I've got a log jam of good--or at least interesting--Battles so I'm going to have to settle for one or come up with something completely different.  Don't forget to keep watching the A to Z Blog!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Pick a Paul on a Bland Song (#BOTB)

        We sometimes hear someone say how much they love this city or that.  Well, that feeling ain't mutual.  The city is a heartless place that doesn't play favorites...

The Mean Streets of Los Angeles
        Here I am on a rainy Monday morning in Los Angeles.  It's colder than I care for these days and that rain doesn't look very inviting.  The forecasters say that the rain will be here for the next four days.  Not common for L.A.  It might be the end of this world as we know it.  Or maybe just more flash floods in Malibu.  Oh well, I guess I'm okay where I live.  I'm just not going to go outside if I can avoid it.

          This morning, aside from watching the rain, I wasted another 45 minutes of my life watching a police pursuit through the streets around the Compton area.  These car chases are not particularly unusual in L.A. except when it's pouring rain like today.  The rain is unusual. The driver was navigating the streets cautiously under the circumstances, with emergency flashers on and stopping at most red lights while pursuers stayed at a distance so as not to provoke the driver.  Fortunately there were no mishaps during the pursuit.

           At the end of the chase, the driver compliantly exited the vehicle and began stripping down to underwear, something I had not seen in previous pursuits.  As the cameras zoomed closer it became obvious that the driver was a woman and a rather heavy woman at that.  The lady was put into a police vehicle as the television stations resumed with regular programming.

           Just another day in Los Angeles, albeit an unusual one because of so much rain.  Three more days of predicted rain. Might be interesting--or maybe not.  Hopefully you'll find this Battle of the Bands to be interesting...

Battle of the Bands

Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens each month on the 15th and on some blogs there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle on the 1st of the month.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it.  Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action.

Bobby Blue Bland

    A couple of years ago, Stephen T. McCarthy (our BOTB host) offered a Battle that featured Bobby Blue Bland.  In my comment I had mentioned that I wanted to find something by Bland with covers by other artists.  The best song choice that came to my attention was "Ain't No Love in the Heart of the City" of which many excellent covers can be found on YouTube.  You might be most familiar with the cover as done by Whitesnake on their first album.

      I had a tough time narrowing this Battle down to just two so I went the gimmick route:  Two male artists from the UK who have been concurrently on the popular music scene for many years and both named Paul.  You might know their names and past affiliations so I won't delve into this.  You can always look them up if you want more info.  And if you want to hear the original version as done by Bobby Blue Bland then you can find that here.  Don't vote on it--I'm just offering this link to those who are curious.

      So, let us continue with the Battle combatants...

Paul Weller  "Ain't No Love in the Heart of the City"  (1997)

         Injecting a lot of rock into some blue-eyed soul sound, Weller puts a rugged edge on things with his version.

Paul Carrack  "Ain't No Love in the Heart of the City"  (2009)

          More in keeping with the original version, this big brassy performance was recorded live at St. Albans, UK.

Time to Vote!

     Show some love and please vote in this Battle.  What's your favorite between these two choices?   Which song version do you like best? You don't have to know about music to have an opinion since it all comes down to your own personal taste.

         Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.

Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands


'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

Angel's Bark  

Debbie Doglady's Den

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 

Cherdo on the Flipside

A I Love Music

Winner of this Battle Announced on Monday January 21st

     By the way, things have been stirring over the A to Z Blog so you might want to drop in to check things out.  Once again Jeremy Hawkins has come up with some neat graphics.  At the helm of things is the ever amazing J Lenni Dorner and again the team is rounded out by Jayden R Vincente, John Holton, and Zalka Csenge Virág.  Keep in mind that this will be the 10th annual Challenge so you might want to join us in the milestone year.   Watch the Challenge blog for updates.

        Do you ever get caught up in watching police pursuits on television?  Do you prefer country life or city living?   Does the future belong to the city or the rusticity?  

Monday, January 7, 2019

Let Me Sleep Before I Wander (#BOTB Results)

If people hibernated like bears then maybe the world would be a more peaceful place.  I'm ready.  Somebody shake me when warmer weather gets here...

       People in colder climes probably would chide me--a fellow living in the more pleasant year-round temperatures of Los Angeles--for complaining about the cold.  But, seriously, it's been in the fifties and sixties of late where I am and I've been feeling very cold.  And from what I've been hearing it's been getting down in the forties at night when I'm asleep.  Maybe I should just go to sleep until May or so, wrapped in blankets in my cozy bed.  I don't think it will work, but on this Sunday I've been making an effort.

        I guess I should take a break from my hibernating nap to announce the winners of my recent Battle of the Bands post since I know everyone out there is waiting with great anticipation for these results.   So let's go...

Battle of the Bands Results

        My most recent Battle of the Bands featured a song first used in a Twilight Zone episode.  The versions of "Come Wander With Me" that I presented were performed by artists Émilie  Satt and Jay Lamm.  My vote goes to  Émilie Satt because I liked the arrangement with the violin.  I liked Jay's version as well, but the style of his competitor was more to my preference in music.

       Out of the starting gate it looked like Émilie was going to leave Jay in the dust, but the voters quickly came to Jay's rescue giving him a massive win.  Way to go, Jay!

Final Vote Tally

Émilie  Satt      7

Jay Lamm       16

Next Battle on Tuesday January 15th

        I plan to be there, will you?  I'm going to set my alarm right now so I don't sleep through that Battle.  Stay warm!

       Has it been cold where you are?  Do you tend to sleep more in winter?  Do you ever feel sorry for us folks in L.A.?