|Christmas gifts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Welcome to 2015!
Here we are again--another start of another year. I was okay with the last one and wouldn't have mind staying in it for a while longer. Seems like each new day just leaves me behinder and behinder. Wasn't it just summer a few minutes ago? And I barely noticed Thanksgiving and Christmas fly by.
Some of you may have had a big Christmas with lots of gifts while others may have been like me and got plenty of nothing. Actually that's fine with me since I've been trying to downsize my life and I don't want a bunch of additional stuff I don't really need. Since I don't buy Christmas gifts anymore due to my downsized income, I guess I shouldn't expect much in the way of gifts anyway.
I shouldn't be moping about my lack of gifts because I actually did get a few things. Now with my mother gone I didn't get the new shirts that I could always expect from her. That's okay Mom--I still have plenty of the shirts you'd given me in previous years and most of them are still in pretty good shape. My wife said she'd get me a new pair of shoes for Christmas, but we've been too busy to shop for those yet and that's okay because I've got plenty of wearable shoes in my closet.
Don't get me wrong. I wasn't completely neglected at Christmas. One of my daughters sent me some delicious gourmet chocolate-covered strawberries from Sherri's Berries, but they're long gone now so I've got nothing to show for those except for a very fine shipping box that I'm not sure what I'll do with now. Another daughter got me three DVD's and that was nice other than the fact that I already had two of them so now I'll have to do an exchange on Amazon so I can get something that I don't have already.
Really though, I don't need much of anything more. I already have plenty of stuff and after more reality checks over the past year of losing people I loved and cared about I'm reminded how all the stuff we own is just more stuff we leave behind when we leave this world. Stuff for someone else to decide whether to keep or just toss out. After all, life is about tossing it out, material possessions as well as thoughts and ideologies. People matter more than things and as long as I've got the love of family and friends I don't need much of nothing else.
What a convenient way to lead into my Battle of the Bands pick for the New Year!
First Battle of the Bands Post for 2015!
Another Christmas is now behind us and we're off to embark on another year. And to start the year off right there's no better way than the new year's first Battle of the Bands, the blogging event first introduced by our friends at Far Away Series and StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands. This event happens twice each month on the 1st and 15th. 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
I Got Plenty O' Nuttin'
Once again I'm presenting a song from an opera or musical. This time it's "I Got Plenty O' Nuttin'" from the folk opera Porgy and Bess by George and Ira Gershwin based on the novel and stage-play Porgy by DuBose Heyward. The story centers around Porgy, a poor disabled black man living in the slums of Charleston, South Carolina. Infatuated by Bess, the girlfriend of a cruel and possessive guy named Crown, Porgy sets out to win her and take her away from her unhappy life. The controversial opera introduced several popular songs including "Summertime" and "I Got Plenty O' Nuttin'".
"I Got Plenty O' Nuttin'" has been covered numerous times by a wide range of song stylists and instrumentalists. If you're not familiar with the song you can hear a traditional take from a 1935 recording by Lawrence Tibbett under the direction of composer George Gershwin. Listening to this version will give you a pretty good idea of how the song was originally conceived to sound like. If you do listen to this version, please don't vote on it, but save your vote for one of the two selections to follow.
Tee and Cara "I Got Plenty O' Nuttin'" (1968)
I've written about the wonderful duo Tee and Cara in the past not only on Tossing It Out, but also on my memoir blog Wrote By Rote. Their only album As They Are from 1968 is among my favorite albums. The original compositions on the album are superb, but the duo does a couple of fine covers as well. They put a very nice touch to the Gershwin tune with an updated folk/pop sound. I especially like what they do with harmony in not only this song, but all of their songs. Take a listen and see what you think.
Brian Wilson "I Got Plenty O' Nuttin'" (2010)
Brian Wilson is often referred to as a musical genius and listening to his 2010 album Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin is evidence of that claim. Wilson turns the Porgy solo into a fun bouncy instrumental jaunt. To my ears it's almost Christmassy in a way which makes it kind of appropriate for my post-Christmas Battle of the Bands round. Settle back and have some listening fun with this version.
Time to Vote!
Which do you prefer? Please vote on your favorite to start the New Year off on the right foot. I'd hate to get plenty of no votes on this one, but since it's a holiday I realize that voting might not be as active as it's been for most of my Battles. If you do vote please let us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the one 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.
‘FAR AWAY SERIES’
StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands
‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’
This Belle Rocks
DC Relief Battle of the Bands
The results of this Battle will be announced on Friday January 9th. I'll be trying to get back in the swing of my old three day a week blogging schedule--hopefully I can keep that going okay.
Did you reap a big haul of good things for Christmas? Do you have any big plans for the upcoming year? Are you a George Gershwin fan?