Friday, January 9, 2015
I Got Something (BOTB Results)
Our House Runneth Over
Have you ever taken a thorough inventory of your possessions? If you're like my wife and I, you probably have a ton of material goods that you own with much of it stashed away in closets, sheds, or garages. A lot of stuff that you neither need nor particularly remember that you even own.
I've never really bothered to assess everything that's in my house, but in clothes alone I'm sure there's a cumulative investment of many thousands of dollars--and I'm not talking about particularly expensive clothes. There's just a lot of clothes. If I could give up all the recorded music, movies, and other media that I own and get the money back that I originally invested in them I would imagine I could pay off our house and have a lot of money left over. We don't own much in the way of high value items, but we have a ton of crap that has accumulated over the years that adds up to a lot of money spent.
We've got something and a lot of it. Yet how much do we need? And I think we are pretty much exemplary of most households that fit our demographic description. And yet we both kind of want more in a way, but in another sense we don't.
The Gershwin Porgy and Bess tune "I Got Plenty o' Nuttin'" is about not needing material possessions for happiness or security, but enjoying the gifts of people and the blessings of the world around us--the God given gifts of life. It's a similar philosophy as expressed in the popular song "The Best Things in Life Are Free". Let's face it, most of the things we buy for ourselves wear out, break, or disappear and will typically lose the value that we invested in them. It's those intangibles of life, our relationships with other people, and the amazing world all around us that are there for all of us to enjoy. We don't need much when we've already got everything of true value that makes life most worth living.
I Got Plenty Of Results
I can't complain about the votes my Battle of the Bands entries got in this recent round (follow the link if you missed the original post). It was another crazy race with Brian Wilson's version remaining in the lead until right near the end. Suddenly Tee and Cara swept ahead to win by a narrow margin. But then Brian Wilson took another vote to bring things to a tie. It was an exciting race to follow.
And as it happens with a tie in a BOTB contest, I am left with the deciding vote. Who do I bestow with the win?
My love of pop music was nurtured to a great extent by Brian Wilson's group The Beach Boys. Among the earliest albums I owned were The Beach Boys Concert (1964), The Beach Boys Today! (1965), and The Beach Boys Party (1965). I played the heck out of those albums when I was in junior high school and have long admired the genius of Brian Wilson. I'd never realized that Wilson had released an album of Gershwin tunes until I began compiling candidates for this particular Battle. What a discovery that was for me! Two of my musical favorites, George Gershwin and Brian Wilson, on one fantastic album is like a dream come true. This is an outstanding recording in my estimation. Wilson's interpretation of "I Got Plenty O' Nuttin'" is fun and original and highly enjoyable.
However, Tee and Cara get my vote in this musical pairing. It was their recording that inspired this Battle so in essence the Wilson recording was sort of like an afterthought. I'm a huge fan of the album As They Are and the fact that Tee Sapoff and Cara Beckenstein never recorded anything else as a duo (at least not to my knowledge) is one of the great disappointments of modern music. They wrote outstanding songs and everything on their album was performed with brilliance. To think they were essentially kids when they recorded this album leaves us to wonder what they might have created as they gained more musical maturity.
Brian Wilson 15
Tee & Cara 16
Be sure to be here at Tossing It Out next Thursday January 15th for my next Battle of the Bands entry. The song I'll be using? Watch for some hints on my Monday and Wednesday posts.
Cara Beckenstein continued with her career as a singer and writer after her pairing with Tee Sapoff ended. I haven't found too much about what she did in the 40 years after recording As They Are, but there is the following recording she made in 2001 based on a children's book she wrote. Give it a listen if you like and see what you think:
Did you enjoy Cara Beckenstein's children's song? What artists do you lament never having recorded more than they did? Is there anything in your personal inventory of material possessions that you wish you could get your money back for?