The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

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

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Marketing (Elements of Blogging) ( #AtoZChallenge ) and Mercy Mercy Me ( #BOTB )


      Some blogs are about the topic of marketing while other blogs might be engaged in actual marketing.   In one sense of the concept of marketing, all blogs are marketing ideas, products, or people.  When we consider that marketing is making something palatable to make others want it then we all do some form of marketing all the time.

        Taking marketing to a business perspective in regards to blogging, a blog can be used to sell a blogger's products (books, craft works, real estate, or whatever they are trying to sell) or services (photography, editing, travel planning or another type of service).

        Another blog topic starting with "M" is Music.  Tossing It Out frequently discusses the topic of music especially in the bi-monthly Battle of the Bands feature.




      Today being the 15th it's time for another 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.

Marketing the Ecology

        Scam, hype, or passionate cause--whatever you might want to say it is--the green movement has been on the minds of many for at least a couple of centuries.  In our own age a big marketing push for conservation was stirred after the publication of Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring in 1962.  The conservation movement has grown ever since.  Now marketers take advantage of "green" and "natural" labeling of products.  Advertising campaigns have been centered around the eco-friendliness of products.   Government has taken rein of many issues related to protecting the environment.

         The movement has not been lost on the entertainment community with many celebrities endorsing their favorite causes and speaking out to save whatever they are interested in saving.  Marvin Gaye was on the forefront of the socially conscious music movement in 1971 as he released one of the greatest albums of all time What's Going On.  This album addresses injustice, hatred, and the ills of modern society including the movement to preserve the Earth.  One of the hits from this great album is "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)".   To hear the original you can click the link in the preceding sentence.   I offer two renditions of this great song in today's Battle of the Bands.


Michael McDonald "Mercy Mercy Me" (2004)




The Strokes  "Mercy Mercy Me"  (2006)




Time to Vote!

     Which do you prefer?    It's up to you to determine the winner.   Please vote on your favorite by letting 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.

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

FAR AWAY SERIES’ 

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

 ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ 

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

DC Relief Battle of the Bands


Results on April 22nd

       I'm posting every day except Sundays on Tossing It Out during April since it's Blogging from A to Z month.  You can vote on this current Battle any time between now and Tuesday April 21 when the votes will be tallied.  Keep dropping by for my daily A to Z posts, but don't forget to come back to see which version of "Mercy Mercy Me" won this Battle. 

      Does overt sales marketing on blogs bother you?   Do you ever consider that you are marketing yourself on a daily basis?   Do you think that with the ecology and green movements we are sometimes being sold a bill of goods or even being sold down the river?

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    Be sure to check out the A to Z Blog to read about our Marketing Experiment!
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68 comments:

  1. Personally I prefer the Michael McDonald version.
    Great post Lee made good reading and very informative.

    Enjoy your day.
    Yvonne.

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  2. Michael McDonald for me because he's retained that fabulous motown sound. I love the original though and am often baffled as to why bands do remakes of such brilliant originals. Oh I just realized this is too long of a story. Later. As to marketing...well it isn't my cup of tea but hey!

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    1. "Mercy, Mercy Me" is a song that has been remade very well a number of times--it's a classic! Still Marvin Gaye retains the title of Best Version for me.

      Lee

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  3. Finally a song I've heard of but I don't like either artist, so as usual I'm placing a vote for the original that's not listed! I always call Michael McDonald 'the man that wrecked the Doobie Brothers'. Like Peter Cetera ruined Chicago.

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    1. Well, things change and artists must pursue the career decisions they think best. So no vote from you.

      Lee

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  4. Marketing is a tough job for a writer. You can market your book in so many ways and still have so far to go! Thanks for sharing.

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  5. Like JoJo I have to say I don't like either one.Yeah, Michael McDonald ruined the Doobie Brothers alright.

    Stephen Tremp
    A to Z Cohost
    M is for Movies

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  6. Hi Lee - Marketing is tough .. but going back to your L post .. there's lots to pick up on the blogs in the blogosphere ... sadly I love music .. but don't know very much about it .. cheers Hilary

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  7. Michael McDonald - his voice makes it.

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    1. Your vote surprises me as I thought you might enjoy the guitar solo in the Strokes version, but maybe you didn't listen that far. Maybe you won't even see my reply to your comment.

      Lee

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  8. Marketing is hardwork! Started blogging to promote my interior decor business. Don't think I have succeeded in that aspect so far. Lol

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  9. On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being not caring at all and 10 caring a lot about ecology, I'd say I fall at about a 6. It's not that I don't care; I do my best to recycle and don't litter, but I am more passionate about human rights and gender equality issues so that is where I pour my passions! My vote for BOTB has to be The Strokes; it's just a little more my pace.

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    1. I don't get involved in issues at all. But I do recycle what I can. I think that's a good thing to do.

      Lee

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  10. I love the contrast in the artists. I like the Strokes version. It is different and I like the rock aspect of it. McDonald's voice is great just in more of a rock mood today I guess.

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  11. I'm so surprised - I thought for sure I'd vote for the Strokes, but they really ought to stick to their beboppy stuff. This song just isn't a good fit for their sound. My vote goes to Michael McDonald - a smooth, beautiful rendition.

    (I'm in the midst of trying to calm myself down about marketing, so I'd rather not talk about that right now.)

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    1. Since I wasn't familiar with the Strokes before this, I don't know what kind of beboppy they usually are. I thought they were kind of a punk type group.

      I guess you are living the marketer's life right now.

      Lee

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  12. I'm choosing The Strokes version. Much more contemporary sound to it.

    I think anything in moderation is fine when it comes to blogs and what we put on them. People get bored with the same ol thing.

    Heather

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  13. I think I prefer Michael McDonald's version. His voice is just a bit smoother, making it easier to listen to.

    Happy to have found you from A2Z. stop by my page at http://www.jinglejanglejungle.net anytime.

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  14. Your BOTB tied in so nicely with your topic. I hadn't heard of the Silent Spring book but I want to give it a read now. I remember in my early college days when Conservation was an actual course that was new to the science curriculum. As far as my vote for the battle: I liked Mike McDonald for sure but I liked the Stokes version better, just because it gave a new sound twist on it. I did like the video that went along with Mike McDonalds; I came across a similar video when searching for Marvin Gaye's Mercy Mercy Me. I might even go in and replace the one I did end up using. I didn't choose that one because some of the images were disturbing. But they're reality. Still pondering this one...
    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Michele, the entire What's Going On album deals with tough issues in society. Having video to depict the lyrics would probably have to lean toward some disturbing images in order to depict the lyrical content accurately.

      Lee

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  15. Michael McDonald's version was so close to the original that I was upset when I didn't hear the saxophone solo. The fact that The Strokes did it a little differently, and yet did a guitar solo that sounded like the sax solo, gives them my vote.

    You know, "t-shirt" fits with my A to Z theme...

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    1. That's what I thought about the guitar solo, John. It was a clever nod toward the original.

      T-shirt does fit your theme. I guess you're looking at a lot of words now with that thought in mind.

      Lee

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  16. Hmmm, I didn't really like either one of those performances, but the edge goes to The Strokes, as it was a more interesting, different style.
    Yes, we are all marketing in some form or another. ☺

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    1. If we're not selling ourselves and our image in some way then we must be isolated and totally oblivious to everything.

      Lee

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  17. This year I'm working on marketing my books a little more on the blog. I have links and everything, but I need to talk them up to get people to click the links. I have to make sure I don't over do it though.

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Member of C. Lee's Muffin Commando Squad
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

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  18. I'm going to go with The Strokes...McDonald's version was quite good but was pretty much a note for note remake, and Ya Mo Thinkin what's the piont of that?

    The Strokes at least mixed up the arrangement...

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  19. BOIDMAN ~
    Yeah, I agree with what LC wrote. I have ALWAYS liked Michael McDonald and his smokey, White Soul voice. (I don't think he ruined The Doobie Brothers at all. I thought they were really good WITH and WITHOUT Michael McDonald. It was just a good band with some great hits.)

    MMcD's version, as LC said, is so close to the original that it's baffling to ponder the point. It was like Marvin's classic, but not as good. Why bother?

    The Strokes (never heard of 'em before) did a nice job of changing a classic tune and still making it recognizable and worth listening to. I didn't think I'd like it right at first - for those first 15 seconds - but once the singing started, I warmed up to it very quickly. It could have and should have been longer.

    Nevertheless, I'm still voting for MMcD because his version was closest to the original... and the original is the best.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. I agree about MM not ruining the Doobies, he just gave them a different sound and I liked it. The shortness of the Strokes version made it work well for BOTB so that was a plus.

      Lee

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  20. Give my vote to The Strokes. I like their sound better.
    As for the green movement, I've always been pretty good with being green. When politicians or celebrities, all living lavish, nongreen lifestyles, spout off about it, I get disgusted. Just like I do when entertainers get involved backing political candidates. Who listens to such people?

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    1. I'm seeing this green thing the same way. I've always been ecologically minded where it made sense and didn't put me too much out of the way. I've lived green often out of a certain necessity to do so. I think it's absurd when high profile people talk the talk but don't live like the rest of us have to. I'm thinking Al Gore and his big house and giant carbon footprint among others.

      Lee

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  21. Hi, Arlee! Stephen sent me over to check out your blog and I'm glad I did. I wasn't familiar with either of these recordings and I thank you for presenting them. Michael McDonald has one of the most distinctive voices in the soft rock genre and I enjoyed his 2004 interpretation of Marvin's classic, but I'm voting for the version waxed two years later by The Strokes, a NYC band led by Julian Casablancas, son of the famous modeling agency founder John Casablancas. I appreciated The Strokes fresh, edgy, alt rock arrangement and they get my vote in this battle of the bands.

    I have become your newest follower, Arlee, and look forward to voting in subsequent band battles. Take care!

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    1. thanks for visiting and following. You know more about the Strokes than I do--I'd heard of them but knew nothing about them. "Fresh, edgy" is a apt description of their arrangement.

      Lee

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  22. Well, Marvin did it best, of course, but Michael McDonald of this pairing gets MY Vote. Hubs likes McDonald more than I do, but I didn't think the sound was as authentic in the second version. The haunting quality suits it better.

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  23. Not sure about this marketing business. If I knew a blog was consciously trying to sell me something (other than a book perhaps) I might not read it. I suppose personally I am marketing myself and my ideas. Haven't listened to the bands

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    1. We are all marketing in one way or another. People and businesses have to find ways to promote in order to make money. Why not a blog with an ongoing marketing plan? I'd rather have that than some insincere telemarketer calling me telling me anything whether they believed it or not.

      Lee

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  24. As much as I hate to repeat someone else's comment, STMC hit every point I would have made. Mike's voice was almost made for this song. The Strokes I wasn't holding out a lot of hope for, but it was pretty enjoyable. One of the tighter choices.

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    1. I'm going take this as a vote for Michael.

      Lee

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  25. I always enjoy Michael McDonald! My vote goes to him. Thank you.

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  26. Michael McDonald, without question. Smooth and silky, a perfect song for him.

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  27. Marketing is everywhere! There is marketing about marketing! I enjoyed Michael McDonald much more. It is truer to the original but I love his voice. I did not care for the heavy beat that seem to be right at the forefront and was distracting from the actual song

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    1. Michael is smooth. I've liked his work with the Doobies.

      Lee

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  28. Marvin Gaye all the way. I tend to always like the version I know as the original of the song better than any version I hear after.

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    1. Marvin Gaye for me too, but since he's not in the Battle because I knew he would win there is no vote here.

      Lee

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  29. BOTB is a great concept. Love it. I would have to go with Michael McDonald as I've always liked his music. Something about his music just draws me in.

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    1. Hope you'll join us in the May 1st Battle! Did you know that Michael used to be a vocalist for Steely Dan before joining the Doobies?

      Lee

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    2. I didn't know that. To be honest, I wish I had more time to dedicate fully to my love for music. When my blog first started out, I did a few music CD reviews. I miss that, so maybe doing a BOTB feature would encourage me to get back into that. I love blogging about music, as my recent post illustrated.

      Delete
  30. Oooh....The Strokes, The Strokes, The Strokes! (Well, The Strokes and others). I relate more to overall sound than lyrics, and oftentimes that means just the musical composition will determine whether or not I like a song - or in BotB cases, which song I like the most. It helps that I like I genuinely like the music of The Strokes, as well as Vedder and Homme outside of this collaboration and cover. They definitely shook it up!

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    1. I agree, Kim. I tend to listen to music the same way. Often I don't even hear the lyrics.

      Lee

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  31. I liked Michael McDonald's version, but I LOVED the Strokes! I actually almost started dancing in my pajamas, but then I realized the blinds were open. It's amazing how powerful that song is, with so few lyrics.

    Julie

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    1. Julie, the power of the song is probably what has contributed to its staying power. Rock on!

      Lee

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  32. I liked Michael McDonald's version better. I think it was just more soothing and perhaps today that sounded better.

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  33. I am not so good with placing former band members by name. I like Michael McDonald and didn't know why until I read he was with The Doobie Brothers. McDonald's version is close to Marvin Gayle's original. The Strokes was a wee bit different. I liked the more rocker feel of this cover, but the vocals were not a real big sell even after listening to it twice. So, I'm going to cast my vote for Michael McDonald!

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  34. I guess we all market in a way, even ideas. #1 gets my vote, found the second to be a bit more over bearing.

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    1. Pat, I'm not sure that I'd describe the Strokes version as over bearing, but it did have more energy I thought.

      Lee

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  35. I preferred the edgier sound of The Strokes. So give them my vote.

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    1. I was on "edge" that you'd forgotten to vote here! Glad you made it.

      Lee

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  36. Well, Lee, to start: I am not a fan of anybody doing this song.

    Of these three, the original is best... but we don't get to vote for it.

    Next: I have always disliked Michael McDonald. His voice is like fingernails on chalkboard for me. Or perhaps an ice water enema.

    Then: I like The Strokes, and I like Eddie Vedder. What I don't like is them doing this song, although I would rather listen to them any day than McDonald, period. So they get the vote.

    Finally: I know you don't get involved in political discussions, but I wish you had not promoted that lie-filled tome "Silent Spring." I see at least one of your readers is now going to read that spurious propaganda. She was personally responsible for the deaths of millions of people from diseases carried by insects. There are MANY places to read about this, but here is one:
    https://www.masterresource.org/silent-spring-at-50/silent-spring-at-50/

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    1. SB6, once again we have the matter of taste at play. Along with many others, I've always enjoyed MM's voice and musical style. I thought the Strokes covering the song worked very well. I'll record your reluctant vote for them.

      As to Silent Spring take note that I was not "promoting" it, but merely mentioning it in the historical perspective of the "green" movement being foisted upon the public. I've never read Carson's book and am unlikely to do so. Likewise I don't read any "green" propaganda. I think that conservation is a good cause in many respects. but the causes such as global warming are often questionable and part of a marketing agenda push. So keep in mind I was merely putting green marketing on the table in context of the song. I was hoping for more discussion concerning my questions posed at the end of the piece, but everyone seemed to mostly avoid them.

      Actually I do get involved in political discussions, but there is not much that arises here and I only pose questions to prompt any discussion that might arise. Most of my readers don't seemed to be overly interested in engaging.

      Lee

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    2. I'd like to apologize for my sloppy use of the term "promoted." I regretted it as soon as I re-read my comment as published. I KNOW that you were not promoting it in terms of "supporting it." I intended the definition of promotion that means to publish, mention, or make aware of. I'll try to be more precise next time!

      While I consider myself a rational conservationist, something you said above made me ponder again the irony (in my eyes) of the "conservation movement." It is really only interested in conserving nature alone, things that have zero to do with mankind. For example, conservationists are concerned with preserving the California Condor, a bird that was well on its way out LONG before man arrived. If it survives, it will be only because we kept it from going extinct in spite of its Darwinian defects. But - from malaria in Africa to your water problems in CA: conservationists care only for animals and even inert ground, and not for mankind. And as for conserving the Constitution? "THAT hackneyed document written by dead white guys? Naw!"

      Anyway, sorry to hijack this nice music blog bit with less fun, unrelated matters.

      BOTB: Yes.. you are right that we have the matter of taste at play. All of these fun BOTB contests are just that, and it is always interesting to get everyone's take on them. I've voted enough times that I - probably like you actual bloggers - try to guess at how each of the regulars will vote. I am always most interested when I'm wrong, and then in what folks' reasons were for their votes.

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    3. I agree. Priorities are screwed up when we start focusing so much on animals and plants instead of people. Progress comes at a price. If we can avoid detrimental effects of progress then all the better, but somewhere there has to be trade-offs. We can make a a conscientious effort to preserve the ecology as best we are able, but our lives and economy shouldn't have to stand still to do it. To listen to some of the conservationists they seem to prefer that humankind dies off so the world can go back to some primitive state. Sorry, I don't believe that way.

      And you didn't hijack a music blog as I purposely injected some controversy that for the most part was disregarded. I was looking for some debate but so far you were the only one to take me up on it and I welcome that.

      Lee

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  37. Give me Marvin or give me nuthin' at all.

    Since he's not a choice, then I vote The Strokes. Michael McDonald has an incredible voice, but his version doesn't really add anything to the song. So I pick The Strokes, simply because they took it and made it their own. And I appreciate that.

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    1. Including Marvin would have been a no contest and that doesn't make for a good Battle of the Bands.

      Lee

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  38. Only Marvin Gaye could make environmentalism sound sexy. Of course, he would get my vote if it were a choice. Michael McDonald did a fine job, but I had the feeling that he was trying to hard to 'do' Marvin on this one. At least the Stokes did something different. I didn't like it as much as the original, but I really didn't like MM MG imitation. So give my vote to The Stokes.

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    1. I would have voted for Marvin as well. Every song on What's Going On is a winner.

      Lee

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  39. Came back here because I thought I had forgot to vote, but imagine my surprise when I realized I was late but I did cast my vote.

    Also, meant to say what a great job you did to tying your BOTB into your A to Z posts. Are you having a good time. I hope so, because this, Good Sir, is your month.

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    1. Yes, this is a time when confusion at times reigns and blog visits all run together into a haze of where have I been and where am I going next. Thanks for checking back.

      Lee

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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