The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

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Friday, January 24, 2014

"Almost Blue" and Almost Here.

       

        My song choice for the last Battle of the Bands may have seemed a bit lackluster and the turnout of voters may have reflected that.   The song "Almost Blue" might be seen as sad or mellow or just plain slow--and it is--but it's a song that especially caught my attention during my Christmas vacation travels and the period of illness that ensued after I got home.   The song just seemed appropriate for this round of song match-ups.

       During our long cross country trip my wife and I listened to Alison Moyet's terrific album Voice several times.  My wife is not usually big on music albums, but this one has become one of her favorites and I concur with her on this choice.  Listening to the album so many times I started paying very close attention to each of the songs Moyet covers on this recording.

       I was the Lone Ranger in choosing Alison Moyet's version of "Almost Blue", but it is my favorite.  The other versions are fantastic, but I prefer the orchestration and the smooth perfect delivery that Moyet presents.  If you like excellent traditional song interpretations, you might want to check out Voice by Alison Moyet.

       The song's composer Elvis Costello does a fine job, but it's my least favorite version presented in my Battle.  His take is a bit roughshod for my taste, but it'll certainly do.   Elvis managed to sway two votes in this contest.

       The real surprise for me was my throw away toss in of the long depressing version by Chet Baker.  Like Stephen T. McCarthy, I thought Baker had died long before this song was written.   In fact I initially thought Costello had remade a Baker song.  In the end, Chet Baker ran away with the contest having received nine votes.   His version is darn good, but I still prefer Moyet.

        So final tally in the "Almost Blue" contest is Moyet 1, Costello 2, and Baker 9.

         Next Battle of the Bands will be on February 1st.   I will have a special Saturday edition for that post.

A to Z Challenge Sign-ups Start Monday!

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge
        Yes, many of you have been asking, and now the time for Blogging from A to Z April Challenge sign-ups will be here on Monday.  Be watching when the Linky List appears at 3 AM EST on Monday January 27th.   What a day!  We'll debut the new badge for you to add to your sites and announcing the new A to Z Team for 2014.

          Don't miss it and sign up early!

          Do you enjoy sad or depressing songs?    Are you familiar with Chet Baker?    Will you be signing up for the A to Z Challenge on Monday?   
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22 comments:

  1. Great choice Lee, hope to take part in A to Z pc willing.

    Left a comment on Fb also.

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  2. Good thing you tossed in that last version.
    Ready to rock on Monday!!

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  3. I think I missed that Battle of the Bands.

    I'm afraid I won't be doing the A to Z this year. I have some major events in May and need April to prepare.

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  4. I am planning to do the April A - Z Challenge. It sounds like fun. I have read what others have posted in the past and was impressed. Our creativity can always use a boost. I love Blues music that is almost Rock 'N Roll - any recommendations from you or Robin would be great. Take care.

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  5. I'm not doing A-Z this year as a participant. I'll probably hit some blogs though.

    There are some sad/depressing songs that I love. Some make me cry like 'wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald'.

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  6. Yvonne-- Hope your pc problems get taken care of before April. A to Z would not be the same without you--you are like one of the founders.

    Alex -- All systems go for A to Z. Well, mostly.

    L.Diane -- Do your April posts now and let them just post. You could drop in on a few participants now and then. But I do understand priorities.

    Downsizers --I wouldn't call "Almost Blue" rock and roll or the blues. It's more like an old standard tune from the 40's or 50's. Hope you enjoy A to Z.

    JoJo -- "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" does tell a sad story but I never got a sad vibe from Lightfoot's delivery on it. It's a great song though. Hope you'll reconsider A to Z.

    Lee


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  7. Hi Lee, if we plan ahead, the A to Z will not be so tough. I hope I can join this year.

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  8. I admit it. I do like a sad song. Often the music is really beautiful on it. And what else appeals to you when you FEEL sad, but sad songs? As Elton John sang, "Sad songs say so much."

    I hope you are feeling better as we go into this next BOTB.

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  9. I cry over some songs that no one thinks are sad but get me every time. Certain songs also give me the chills.

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  10. I'm thinking of joining the A to Z Challenge this year.

    Yes I know who Chet Baker is, we like jazz. There is a guy in Vancouver, named Adam Thomas, who sings very much like Chet Baker. We saw him at the Cellar in Vancouver and talked to him between shows.

    I'm not crazy about slow songs, but Chet, Michael Buble, and Harry Connick are favorites that get me to slow down. . .

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  11. Rachna-- Planning is the best strategy. Hope you'll join us.

    Robin -- My next song choice won't be as sad as this one--at least not in the same way. I enjoy a good sad song.

    Jennifer -- I think I'm the same way. Strange how that can happen.

    DG -- We hope you will A to Z with us. I like slower songs especially if I'm writing. Faster songs are great for driving though.

    Lee


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  12. Oh man, this year is just flying by.

    .......dhole

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  13. I can't wait for A-Z! So excited to sign up!

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  14. I can't believe that A to Z is almost here! I know that it will be another huge success!

    Julie

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  15. I like Alison Moyet. Happy listening!

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

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  16. I'm still deciding about the Challenge this year, but with everything I want to achieve with my writing, probably not.

    It's just too much, when I already have at least four projects to work on at any given time.

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  17. Yes I enjoy lots of depressing songs but no, I can't say I'm familiar with Chet Baker. There is a song called "Up Against the Wind" by Lori Perri (or Perry) and a song by Brandy that are sad and depressing to me.

    Among the first depressing songs that came to mind though, are some by Johnny Cash and those of Leonard Cohen, the latter of which a friend put me onto.

    ~Nicole

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  18. I'm all for listening to sad and depressing songs, as well as reading books with such subject matter. I know many people gravitate toward happy stuff, but I always feel more of a connection with the darker stuff because it usually carries a deeper message.

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  19. Donna -- Every year gets faster. Can we slow this thing down?

    LG -- Sign ups soon!

    Julie -- It's always exciting to see how the first week of sign ups goes.

    Andrew -- Alison has an amazing voice and the song choices on the Voice album are outstanding.

    Misha -- Maybe you'll still find a way to join in.

    Nicole -- Cash's cover of "Hurt" is devastatingly beautiful and sad. Cohen has done his fair share of melancholy introspective tunes.

    Jeri -- I agree with you on that point. I enjoy a happy movie, but a sad deep one usually sticks with me longer and makes me think.

    Lee

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  20. I love depressing songs. I know a lot of people listen to up-tempo music to lift their spirits when they're feeling blue but not me. I turn on some Smiths, Joy Division, or the Cure and immerse myself in misery :/

    I'm definitely signing up for A to Z this year. I'm planning to revamp my blog and started to wonder when the challenge would begin since I missed it last year. What perfect timing!

    The Pedestrian Writer

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  21. I think sad and depressing music might tap into a part of me that appreciates open sentimentality. So yes, I can appreciate a thoughtfully sad tune when it comes at the right time.

    I'm not sure if I'd be doing A to Z this year. I did it for the last two years though, and enjoyed the experience very much. But I really need to concentrate on my WIP, and I might be doing that in April.

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  22. I had thought about signing up both of my blogs for the A to Z Challenge, but decided to just do one. That will keep me plenty busy.

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Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee