Is it really time for another Battle of the Bands? Seeing how it's June 1st I guess it is time since this event happens on the 1st and 15th of each month. As I mentioned in my May 22nd post, this event has become a favorite of mine. We have Far Away Eyes at Far Away Series to thank for conceiving this homage to music. Stephan T McCarthy acts as the list steward and Battle of the Bands host--you can find his blog with the list of participants at StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands. 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 Battles to vote on
If you're here for the Question of the Month, you'll find that below the Battle of the Bands entries. Please take time to vote in the Battle of the Bands contest before you read my answer to this month's question posed by Michael G D'Agostino from A Life Examined. So now let the music begin!
A good many of you probably know the story of the song "Garden Party" but I'll briefly recap for those who don't know the story or may have forgotten. This song was written and originally recorded by Rick Nelson who was a teen idol rock star in the late 50's and early 60's. He first came to fame playing himself in his parents' popular television sitcom The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet which is where as a teenager he made his debut as a rock'n'roll singer.
Ricky Nelson went on to make a number of hit records as well appear in many movies and television shows. By 1966 Ricky, or Rick as he now called himself, was a fading star as music trends started changing. He was becoming a has-been relegated to playing his old hits for his now aging fans.
Not wanting to become musically stagnant, Rick Nelson formed the Stone Canyon Band which became precursors of the country tinged "California Sound" that influenced acts like Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, Poco, and The Eagles. It was an innovative sound that was still rock, but with steel guitar and country style rhythms. Nelson was playing what he wanted to play.
In 1971 Nelson and his Stone Canyon Band played a rock and roll oldies show along with a few other early rock stars at Madison Square Garden. Many of the music elite were in attendance as well as an audience filled with fans wanting to hear Nelson's old hits. Dressed in modern garb and with shoulder length hair, Rick Nelson delivered some of his older songs to the appreciation of the audience. But when he started playing his newer material the audience began to boo and he left the stage in dismay.
In the song "Garden Party" which was inspired by that oldies revival show, there are many references made to the bill of performers as well as some of the greats who were in attendance on that night. "Garden Party" was released in 1972 hitting number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song also made the Billboard Easy Listening and Country charts. The song would be Nelson's last top 40 hit on the pop charts.
This Battle of the Bands contest is somewhat of a lightweight musically speaking--more fun than substance--but this is more in keeping with my theme over the past week concerning taste or preference. This is also my statement that on these Battle of the Bands posts I please myself first and hope in turn that the readers will find something of interest value and perhaps even entertainment value in what I present. I like the songs in the Battles I present, or there is something about them that I find interesting in some way.
We can't always please everyone, but if we stay true to ourselves then hopefully others will accept what we're doing and maybe even find some positive aspect about it. If you're not familiar with how Rick Nelson expressed this philosophy in his song, you might want to listen to his original version of "Garden Party". Don't vote on his version though--it's not in the running!
Here are your versions to vote on:
Owl City "Garden Party" (2012)
An electronica-pop version in a more modern vein than Nelson's original country style take. Considered more of a project than a band, Owl City is under the helm of producer Adam Young.
Johnny Lee "Country Party" (1977)
To make the decision tough, here's a version to vex the anti-twang non-country fans. The song is somewhat like a parody of Rick Nelson's version though it's given a serious country take. This recording made in 1977 reached #15 on the country charts.
Time to Vote!
Come along and play! Please don't back out on this pairing with the excuse that you don't like the music. You don't have to like the music. You're being placed in the role of judge. Which version 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 version you chose (or which one was the least bad to your ears). 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’
DC Relief Battle of the Bands
Shady Dell Music and Memories
The Doglady's Den
Cherdo on the Flipside
Jingle, Jangle, Jungle (a new participant!)
Women: We Shall Overcome (another new participant!)
Alex J. Cavanaugh (returning for more Battle action!)
Book Lover (she's back!)
Results on Friday June 5th
Question of the Month
The Question of the Month is hosted by Michael G D'Agostino from A Life Examined. The first Monday of each month I'll be answering a question posed by Michael prior to event day. Click on the link to his blog for more participants.
Here is this month's question:
If your house caught on fire, what's the one thing you'd grab before running out?
Assuming that my wife can make it on her own and will be grabbing her own stuff, the thing I'd grab is my pants so I'd have my ID's and credit cards. It's such a hassle to replace a driver's license and since my house might be burned down or at least uninhabitable for a while, I'd probably need my credit cards so I could eat and stay in a motel and I'd have my keys so I could move my van out of the driveway. If I could I might even put my pants on before leaving the house.
To what extent do you go to please others? How do you tend to feel when others criticize your taste in music or something else that you enjoy? What would you save from your burning house other than people or pets?