The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

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

Friday, February 20, 2015

Let's Go to a Party!

Rave crowd shot from NASA Rewind in NYC 04-03-04.
Rave crowd shot from NASA Rewind in NYC 04-03-04. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Are You a Party Goer?

        What if you went to a party where a lot of people--friends as well as people you didn't know--were present and everyone was busily mingling and socializing.    As someone would come up to say hello, you'd tell them something to which they would respond and then as you were responding to continue the conversation, they would walk away to talk to someone else.  That would happen with most of the people you encountered, though a few of them might actually listen to your response and counter with their own reaction.  But for the most part people would be just seeing how many other people they could visit briefly only to move on until they'd visited everyone.

         Now let's say that party happened every day, never ending.

         Does this sound like any party you've been to?




Battle of the Bands News!


      The results from my February 15th Battle of the Bands post are now in.  This round got a bit ugly.  For the greater part of readers the song "Slip Inside This House" was not a favorite and there was perhaps even more dislike for the two song combatants The Shamen and Primal Scream.  

       My having given a label to the music genres that the chosen groups typically play might have not been the best thing for me to do since many voters I think went into the contest with preconceived notions of what they expected from previous listening experiences with the genres rather than just judging each song version on the basis of what was presented.   No matter though, since most visitors to the post did vote albeit with mostly reluctant votes.

         However there were those voters who did appreciate what I'd presented.  A Beer For The Shower said "Unlike some of the others here, I love electronica. It's probably one of my favorite genres.." My choices were not ones that were among the favorite bands but at least I was in the right genre.  


     Sheboyganboy 6 commented:  "Arlee, I think you get a bad rap.... I think this is a really intriguing and fun contest. ... I really like ALL THREE versions."

      Mark Clough offered, "I'm voting for Primal Scream. Screamadelica is a favourite album."

     There were also others who were more receptive to this contest pairing. but generally speaking it was one of those Battles where voters were mostly choosing the version they disliked the least.  That being said, this was nevertheless a pretty darn successful contest thanks to my great readers.  There were a total of 31 votes including my own.

       My vote goes with the majority opinion in favor of Primal Scream.  This group recreated their original studio version of "Slip Inside This House" with what I felt was an outstanding live performance.  I did enjoy the version by The Shamen, but the musical instruments trump the electronics for me.

Final Tally:

The Shamen         11 votes

Primal Scream      20 votes

       Maybe I'll avoid labeling certain genres in the future, though I may use techno/electronica again one day without naming what music genre I'm using.  Not in the next Battle of the Bands contest though.  My next Battle will appear at Tossing It Out on Sunday March 1st.   I won't say what style the recordings will be in, but I will say that my song pick is a hugely well-known piece by one of the most famous composers of all time.   The song title refers to a woman's name.

       Not only should you visit for that Battle, but you will want to stay with Tossing It Out throughout that week as I inject some added value and excitement to the contest. During the week prior to my announcement of the winner of the Battle, I will have special posts featuring the contestants with an interview complete with photos on Monday March 2nd and a Wednesday March 4th Insecure Writer's Support Group post where I will be assisted by the other Battle contestant.  You won't want to miss these posts!

           Would you be interested in hearing more about artists featured in the Battle of the Bands posts?   Any idea about the song or composer I will be featuring next Battle?   Are you comfortable at parties?



60 comments:

  1. Never comfortable at parties; avoid them if I can, otherwise stay close to hubby's side if I'm "forced" to go. Prefer smaller intimate settings.

    betty

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  2. BOIDLEE ~

    >>... Does this sound like any party you've been to?

    I'm pretty sure you're referring to the habit many blog readers have of reading or skimming a blog, leaving a very brief comment to show they'd been there, and then moving on to the next blog. You know, "hit-and-run commenting".

    Obviously, that's not the sort of commenter I am (although maybe you and some other bloggers might occasionally wish I wouldn't keep returning to the discussion). Ha!

    >>... generally speaking it was one of those Battles where voters were mostly choosing the version they disliked the least

    As you know, I was amongst that group. Of course, I can't speak for anyone else, but I can tell you from my perspective that your having labeled the recordings "techno" or "electronica" had absolutely zero effect on my opinion. You could have called it Pop, Rock, Art Rock, or Moon Rock Rock and it wouldn't have changed what my ears heard.

    And, I will speculate that this is also probably true for the majority of the voters. I doubt the label you attached to the music had much if any real effect on the reception the songs received. It probably did not play a part in the outcome anywhere near to the degree you fear.

    I have a recording of a Russian Polka that I like A LOT - I usually crank it "up to eleven". (Didn't even have to take a Music Appreciation course to appreciate it.) And I can tell you that it could be called anything (Russian Folk, Russian Pop, Russians Rushing, Foreign Language Rock, Moon Rock, etc.) and my ears would still be hearing it the same way, and my mind would still be embracing it the same way.

    As you know, there's a lot of music that really can't even be accurately labeled because it's rather hybrid - combining two or three or even more types of music in one piece. So, really, I don't pay any attention to the labels music falls under; I either like it or I don't based solely on a natural reaction to it. And I would bet this is true for the majority of people.

    Is your next BOTB going to be the song 'I'm Not Lisa'? Claude Debussy's version against Franz Schubert's version? (Kidding.)

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. Your party assessment was perceptive--I guess you were reading the post carefully enough to pick up on that.

      there's a lot of music that really can't even be accurately labeled because it's rather hybrid

      I think much music released since the 60's fits into this description. Country music for the most part for example is not what I used to think of as country music (or hillbilly music as some used to call it).

      I would disagree about the influence of labels on the listener. If I start from the onset declaring that a song is country, rap, or classical, I'm quite certain that people will acclimate their expectations according to that. They might even listen to an opening without taking the entire musical experience into consideration. Maybe not you so much, but I'm sure that many people do this. It's probably like the observation that we usually judge according to first impressions. So if a song starts out with a series of grungy power chords and cacophonous sounds, but then goes into something beautiful, some people may not get over the initial distaste of the opening to truly appreciate the rest if they even make it that far.

      the song 'I'm Not Lisa'? Claude Debussy's version against Franz Schubert's version

      Not a bad guess, but no cigar. You might be on the right track though.

      Lee

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  3. Back in my late teens and into my 20s and early 30s, I loved hosting and going to parties. I was very social and extroverted in those days. But after moving to Washington and being isolated from so many people and having no friends, I turned into an introvert. Now the thought of going to a party is mentally frightening and emotionally exhausting. For one, I don't drink. I also don't like a lot of noise.

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    1. I went through a phase from college through my 30's when I enjoyed moderate parties, but I never liked the raucous events where there was continuous high intensity back and forth interactions. Now I'm probably more like you. I prefer situations where I can sit down and talk to someone for a while.

      Lee

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  4. Hi Arlee,
    Nice to be here again!
    What a joyous thing to join in the group of course not the so called party mentioned in the intro instead I am talking about he BIG Party is going to launch on First of April LOL

    Otherwise I am not a party goer at all! instead i hate such gatherings! And of course in any such other occasions it will be very awkward to face such an isolated situation, I will surely try to quickly skip from the scene if no one is around! LOL
    Thanks for the other report on the

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    1. Yes, April is the Big Blog Party. I hope participants make new friends and after April take time to get to know each other better.

      Lee

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  5. I usually dread parties but then have a great time once I get there. I don't always like the selection of music but I do enjoy reading about the artists behind them.

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    1. I've been enjoying the educational tidbits that others have presented on their own BOTB posts. I like offering new information on my posts as well. There are some interesting facts behind the people who have given the world music.

      Lee

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  6. Question for you, Lee... I could tell you were talking about hit and run blog commenters in your party scenario. I always wonder, if I visit a blog but really don't have anything worthwhile to say (no real opinion on the subject matter), should I leave an "I was here." comment or none at all. What do you think?

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    1. Yes, essentially so, though I do think especially a writer or any creative thinker can come up with a little more of a substantial comment even if they are not interested in the topic.

      I rarely visit and leave no comment unless I'm excessively offended, feel that would not want to be associated with the post in any way, or if I'm having some sort of problem with leaving a comment.

      In my blogging travels I've come upon many a post that did not interest me much but still I was able to find something in the post or about the blogger that allowed me to say something at least. I treat my commenting much as I would if I were meeting that blogger somewhere in person and they had tried to start a conversation with them. I'll be as pleasant and diplomatic as I can so I don't completely shut off any possibility of a future relationship with them, but if a conversation is not there I will politely acknowledge them and move on. It would be difficult for me to be in a situation where someone spoke to me and I remained silent and walked away.

      So, yes, I would say if you took the time to visit the blog, if you can leave at least an acknowledgement that you did stop by to make an attempt to engage.

      Thanks for asking
      Lee

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  7. Yes, and that's part of the reason I'm reworking my blogging strategy, because that's not the kind of party I like to be at.
    And part of why I'm not doing A-to-Z this year, too.

    @LD Not speaking for Lee, but I think it's important, in general, to let the blogger know that you were there and that you read. There are two questions that your statement brings up:
    1. Do I have nothing to say in a comment because I feel I have nothing to contribute?
    For that one, I would say to comment anyway. The comment is worthwhile to the blogger even if someone else already made the point or if it's simply, "I agree."

    2. Do I have nothing to say because the post really is without content and, therefore, it leaves me with nothing to say?
    If that's the case (and if it's regularly the case with that particular blogger), why are reading that post or following that blog?

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    1. Well, I answered LD before reading your comment, but your points are very good. If I can't think of anything much to say I will often blame the post. Sometimes there's just nothing there that merits thought for me. If this is consistent, I will eventually just stop visiting this blog.

      In other cases, say posts on sports or crocheting, I can appreciate the blogger's interests, but since those are typically realms I don't delve into much then there's not much I can contribute to the conversation. However if the post has been written well enough or there have been photos that were striking to me, then that might elicit more of a comment from me.

      But, yeah, it's mostly a matter of the blog post content that will inspire a good content. If I have taken the time to stop by and read at least part of the post though, I will use my creative communication skills to come up with at least something. As I said to LD, I use the model of encountering someone face to face--I do pretty much what I would do there.

      I do hope you change your mind about A to Z though. I understand some of what you're thinking about it, but on one hand I think the bloggers like you add a lot of value to the event over all. And from what you've posted in the past I think the event added content value to your blog and engaged your regular readers in a way that may have elevated your blog in some ways in their minds.

      Personally, I've come to see A to Z as just my blogging as usual except on more days like I did when I first started blogging. I still like the networking aspect, but I've come to terms with the fact that there is no way that I can or am willing to try to keep up with every blogger participating.

      Your posts have added a great deal to A to Z and it would be a loss not to have a blogger of your caliber participating. And besides you add reality to the blogging world that no everybody might like to hear, but it's worth saying.

      Thanks for another great comment
      Lee

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    2. I have been known to say that I have no particular interest in the particular topic. Or, as in the case of Michael Offutt, "I didn't read this because of all the spoilers." But he knows I was there.

      The part of A-to-Z for this year is that I just didn't pull my theme together in time. I'm going to hold it for next year, because I think it's, to use a cliche, a game-changer. I just don't have it in me to try to pull something together last minute, at this point.

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    3. Now you have me curious. A game-changer? I really want to know. Maybe you'll go into a time warp that allows you to pull this together for this year. Or a compulsive inspiration to put this into out heads. We need game-changers!

      Lee

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  8. Replies
    1. Neither one was really a loser as far as I'm concerned. Just that one had more preferences in my Battle, but both were really good in my opinion.

      Lee

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  9. I don't like parties and I would hate that kind of party.

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    1. I guess a party like that could have some advantages, especially if they had good stuff to eat and drink.

      Lee

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  10. Well I have actually been to parties where they left me in mid conversation:) I was/is a true nerd. I also try to read everything on people's blogs because they took the time to write it so I should take the time to read it. You might be on to something to not give too much away about your song choice because people will form an opinion before they actually listen. I have done that with movies (50 Shades of crap comes to mind...did i write that out loud??). As for guessing? I suck at that but I am certain it has classical roots..or am I wrong...again?

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    1. You are not wrong, but don't tell anyone. I am convinced that most of the time an opinion is formed prior to experiencing something based on what a person thinks they are going to experience. This can be the case with anything. I've avoided some books because I decide ahead of time that I didn't like the genre and then when I did read them I liked them. Same with movies or anything.

      On the other hand I can remember thinking I really enjoyed a movie because of the genre or whatever and then years later watch it and wonder what I thought was so great about it.

      If we expect to hate something we often will probably because we don't want to admit to liking it or prove ourselves wrong about our preconceived opinion. It's one of those weird preference things. Now if I could only get my wife to try salmon or asparagus--she's sure she doesn't like it, but she won't try it.

      I'm rather awkward at parties sometimes. And yes, I've spoken to people who acted as though I had said nothing and ignored me. If I am at the blog, I go ahead and read it unless it's virtually unreadable or it just doesn't register with me, but that's rare.

      Lee

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  11. An unending party? Oy. I have two reactions - if I could head to the dance floor and not speak to anyone, I would be okay. Or, if I could find a quiet place to hide for bits of time, then I would survive. But, although I love gatherings, I only like them for chunks of time - like two to three hours. Five - six hours gets a bit much, and I'm likely to be found either hiding by a loudspeaker (this works well on dance floors because no one can hear conversation), or by a potted plant.

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    1. Are you sure that really is a potted plant? That could be me.

      Lee

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  12. The thing that struck me in this post is that this is the ONE blog that I enjoy the comments more than the post a lot of times. Not a knock on you, but a kudo to the quality that you draw. You draw out questions, you are responsive.

    And, this is one place I try not to leave my usual snark (at least not as much). Sometimes, though, you are tired from work, you sit down and read... and nothing good will willingly wander down from mind to fingers. You leave the "drive by comment" and move on, hoping the fog will clear by the next blog. And it ain't very satisfying.

    I hate doing that here. And usually Cavanaugh or STMC have covered my snark better than I would've, lol!

    Parties? Half the time background noise kills the conversation for me. I once had a friend whose concept of going to the club was to park in front of the ladies room and watch girls passing by. At least I'm not THAT bad...

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    1. I am pleased by some of the conversation that appears in the comment section of my posts. A lot of times the post is merely the starting point to see what kind of responses I can get. I toss the ideas out and hope someone latches onto them with a good comeback.

      Parties and clubs are not great places to get to know people. Though if everyone is drunk or high it might not matter that much anyway.

      Lee

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  13. I prefer small get togethers rather than large parties, but I don't get freaked out by large parties.

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    1. I don 't get overly freaked out, but I end up not conversing much with people at big social gatherings.

      Lee

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  14. I'm definitely not a party person. Small gatherings - yes.

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  15. I like being exposed to all kinds of music. One of the fun parts of BotB.

    I'm not very social. When I go somewhere, I have a conversation until it is over. In the blogs, I forget to go back and check for responses to my comments. Too much overwhelming stimuli in here.

    This is why I don't go out anymore.

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    1. Something's always happening in the blog world. I subscribe to comments wherever I've left one so I don't have to remember to go back.

      Lee

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  16. I really dislike parties and huge crowds, and am out of my element at large social gatherings. I do much better with small groups.

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    1. A lot of us writers seem to fall into this category. And I have a feeling it's not just writers.

      Lee

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  17. That party doesn't sound like one I've ever been to. But then I don't go to "social events". I go to parties hosted by friends and family. I would consider that behavior totally rude.
    Life & Faith in Caneyhead

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    1. But what if the party were a metaphorical one?

      Lee

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  18. With the party stuff, I was expecting your paragraph to be a lead-in to a wise metaphor comparing blogging with going to a never-ending party (the web). I guess I'm seeing metaphors where there are none. I used to think going to the dentist would be preferable to going to a party, but I'm a little better these days. Still, spending time with a small group of people I know well is preferrable.

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    1. You did get the metaphor correct, Tamara. I didn't want to make it any more blatant as I wanted to see who would make the connection. Actually there was originally more to the post but I deleted it to maintain the simple metaphor. So, yes the metaphor you see is the one I intended and if some people took it literally then that is probably a good thing.

      I'm with you on small groups preferable to big parties.

      Lee

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  19. Some one said..."hit and run comments"... another said, "drive by comments."
    Lately I find myself in a dilemma. I have two bog-hop commitments that occur simultaneously, every weekend. It is unfortunate that I failed to realize this. It becomes one reason I sacrifice comment content in order to complete my commitments within a timely manner.

    I also take note of other bloggers' patterns of response. When there is consistently no acknowledgement to comments from myself, or from others, I tend to think the blogger might have more going on. At times there is information contained within their post that pre-explains an issue the blogger is having. So I am not inclined to leave a comment I might otherwise have left. I see it as a courtesy to the blogger.

    As a BOTB participant now for four battles, it dawns on me the things I lack to have more success with it. Success, in terms of saving time, by pre-knowing what genre, or having musical knowledge others have. I simply hear the songs presented, and chose the one I like, period. I'd prefer leaving the analytical aspects to those who have the knowledge. And yet that is a prime component of BOTB, which I failed to understand. I am challenged to continue, and will make that decision within the next couple of days. I take commitments to blog-hops seriously.

    Lee, I loved your battle. I can count on you to tell me what it is I'm listening to. You've lots of artist tidbits that make it all the more interesting. THAT is BOTB! That said, I do not allow anyone's definitions or "genre naming" to influence my vote. It is always going to be: what song version I like. In this particular battle I chose how the music background-ed those lyrics. I had fun. Thank you for allowing this rather long response. I always return to see if there's word from you, as well as from others I leave a comment with. Enjoy your week, sir. (smile).

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    1. I hope you continue with the BOTB posts as each participant has something interesting to contribute whether it be musical knowledge or just the songs. It all has value to me.

      And there are some like you who I know gives the songs a chance and evaluates them according to which is best and not how bad a genre is. I mostly get miffed by those who don't give the songs a chance dismissing them with a comment about not liking a genre or never having heard of the song or group. To me BOTB is an evaluation of preference and not popularity. Everyone is equipped to provide an analysis from the standpoint of what they know and what they like.

      As far as blog commenting in general, I just think it's a bit strange or perhaps uncreative to pop in and not say much of any substance or not even say anything. I take pride in my visits to a blog and attempt to say something that indicates that there was some thought involved in my visiting experience and what my comment is. I don't see too many vacuous comments on my site anymore, but looking at others I see an abundance of "Nice post" or whatever. That's certainly okay--better than nothing--but I'd hate to think of myself as a writer or a thinker and just leave terse tidbits of repetition.

      I get mostly fine comments though and I'm happy to have the visitors that I get here.

      Lee

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  20. I can pretend to be comfortable just about anywhere. Does that help? Honestly, I don't particularly enjoy screaming to be heard so places with brain-rattling music or a million shrieking party people aren't my scene.

    Although, now that I think about your description, some of it sounds like blogging. Most people walk up to you (check out your blog), you tell them something (your post), they'd respond (comment and leave or just leave), and they'd never come back. Then again, maybe that only happens to me... the networking bozo.

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    1. You got the metaphor and you are not the only one. "We're all bozos on this bus" to quote Firesign Theater.

      Lee

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  21. Not a big fan of big parties, especially when I don't know anyone. Taking your metaphor a step further...I admit to being reluctant to say anything when I go to a well-known and/or exceedingly popular blog that typically has hundreds of comments. Any comment I might make is likely to get lost in the crowd - unless I am very clever and witty.

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    1. I don't often go to a blog with hundreds of comments and frequently if I do, I can't figure out how to leave a comment anyway. But if the blogger is someone whom I regularly visit and where I typically leave comments I will say something as a rule to let the blogger know I too stopped by.

      Lee

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  22. I was one of those that said their don't like electro music, but I really don't think that affected my decision. I don't like the genre in generally, but I love Cars by Gary Numan and a few others. So I didn't go in with a preconcieved option, just wasn't all that for me!
    Parties - IRL I'm the person standing by the wall, always have been. Blogging I always try to leave a comment, even if it's just a 'hi!'. Occasionally I can find absolutely nothing to say - not an easy feat for me - so move on, but that's the exception rather than the norm.

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    1. Maybe next time you think you don't have anything to say then just say anything. It can be off the wall even. Test to see if the blogger is even paying attention to their comments since sometimes I think there are bloggers who pay no attention to the comments they receive.

      I too very rarely leave a site that I'm visiting without coming up with something. Though there have been a few occasions where I was either too embarrassed or too stunned by what I'd read to say anything so I just quietly sneak away and hope nobody noticed that I was there.

      Lee

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  23. Well, that party sounds like one I've been to before! I still haven't decided on a A-Z theme...I really need to get my butt in gear!

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    1. Can you believe that April is just a few short weeks away!

      Lee

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  24. I'm not a party girl myself. Everyone has their own brand of music that they like.

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    1. Preferences abound, but education can expand horizons. I've been trying to open up new inroads to music that some might not have known much about previously. I hope that sometimes I make visitors think a bit.

      Lee

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  25. Well, I wish I'd caught that round. Growing up in Britain in the 90s, Primal Scream and the Shamen were pretty huge bands and take me back to a more carefree time!

    I think that party happens every day in the blogosphere. I like to check in, but I have to admit to not often getting involved in conversations via comments. Leaving a thoughtful comment shows you have engaged with and taken something from the post, though.

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    1. Yes, I wish you would have joined in the last Battle vote. I needed more support on that one.

      It's nice to receive comments from visitors to my own blog so I like to return that favor to others.

      Lee

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  26. I hope that I never come off as someone who leaves "drive-by comments." For some reason, I've been taking longer to read blogs than I used to, so I often fall behind. I wish we had a "like" button to help speed up the process during A to Z.

    Julie

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    1. Taking longer might mean you're thinking more about what is said and think that could be a good sign. Though it could also mean you're becoming a slow distracted reader like I am and that's kind of a bad thing.

      Some people like me have the "reaction" boxes but I don't know that many people even notice those. I usually forget about them.

      Lee

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  27. That's a typical commenting party in the Blogosphere, all right. I get the "drive-by comments" issue and try not to do that, but sometimes, there's just not enough time to go back, or I forget where I've been. ☺ (This is why I love the premium features of Wordpress - one of them notifies you if your comment has received a reply.) In the physical world, I find large parties rather boring and prefer the small, more intimate variety, with a few good friends.
    I've not checked out your "Battle of the Bands" feature yet, Lee (Sundays are mostly spent offline), but in regards to using music genres, if it's one I don't like - such as techno/electronica or rap, then I'm not likely to listen to it.

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    1. There is the "Notify me" option to check if you want to follow up on a possible conversation. I always check the box, but usually not much comes of it.

      I have been trying to open minds with my Battle of the Bands post. Some the music often perceived in a negative way by many of us sometimes does have something good to offer. I like to explore different genres.

      Lee

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    2. The trouble with that "notify me" option is, you get emails about all comments, don't you? That's just too many emails! Or am I wrong about that? I'll try it and see. ☺ As for genres, I am open to some, but others (like the ones I mentioned) that offend my ears - not so much. (That said, I will check out your selections and render my opinion.) Country for instance, has taken on a more "Southern Rock" vibe and I do like that.

      Delete
    3. I listened and while neither is particularly appealing to me, the Primal Scream one is definitely preferable.

      Delete
    4. You are correct about the emails from the "Notify Me' function. I don't really notice it too much as I use a g-mail account specifically for the email notifications and G-mail clusters the comments so I can easily scan through them without getting an overload of single emails. When I'm satisfied that I've either gotten a reply to a comment or none will be coming then I'll sometime unsubscribe from the notifications. Usually though the emails just stop because there is no longer activity in that comment section.

      I avoid notifications on my AOL account because they don't get clustered like on G-mail. The exception is for the Wordpress blogs. If the email activity becomes too great without any indication that my comment will be responded to I'll just delete them without reading or I'll unsubscribe. Normally it doesn't matter since the comment activity ends pretty quickly on most posts.

      I liked both of the versions of "Slip Inside This House" but my preference was also Primal Scream which ended up being the winner.

      Lee

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    5. I'm trying out the Gmail approach. Thanks for the suggestion.

      Delete

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