Battle of the Bands results will be found down the page where you will see the BOTB logo, but first a word pertaining to my recent Battle post in conjunction with this month's Insecure Writer's Support Group posting. For more information about the IWSG and a list of participants please visit Alex J Cavanaugh.
Do You Dare to be Different?
Throughout my life I've tended march to that different drummer which often makes me seem a bit out of step with the rest of life's parade. Not that I'm totally out of the loop concerning what's hot and what's not or even that I'm some outre weirdo from way out there. I do have an inkling of societal trends, but they are not always what interests me all that much. And often what grabs my interest is not what the majority of people around me enjoy. Is it because what I like happens to be crap? Or is it just too far out for most of the crowd?
I'm willing to give just about anything a chance and in most cases willing to go the extra mile if others insist that it's worth my time. In some cases my reasons for not liking something are reaffirmed by those efforts while in other cases I become enlightened by what I may have missed in my initial exposure to something. I may be somewhat rigid in my personal standards of what I think makes something worth my time, but then again I don't always let the rules guide me nor do I just fall into the mainstream flow of what everyone else thinks I should enjoy.
In a recent visit to Alex J. Cavanaugh's blog, author Misha Gerrick discussed the "rules" she breaks in her fantasy books and how she is not sorry about any of it. I say good for Misha. As long as you feel good about what you're doing and you are able offer up a reasonable defense to show why you think your tactics work, then I say stick with what you believe.
That's probably the direction in which I'll continue to march. Different is okay in my way of seeing things. Maybe everyone won't like what I like, do, say, or create, but I'm sure I'm not the oddball of the universe. I will continue to appreciate different, unique, or what others might chide me for liking. Everyone may not be on my side of the fence, but I do ask that those who disagree with me at least give me a chance and not immediately dismiss me because I see things differently from the way they do.
I dare to be different. How about you?
Battle of the Bands: Results on a Different Sort of Pairing
My most recent pairing of performances of the Lorde hit "Royals" drew some volatile reactions from the voting constituency of my BOTB posts. There's a lot of clown aversion out there and that seems to be the main reason the sad-faced golden-voiced Puddles lost this round. If he had gone sight unseen I wonder if the results would have been far different than they turned out to be?
Initially my vote went in the direction of most of you who voted in this Battle. When I first watched the Walk Off the Earth video my reaction was that this version cinched the contest. The visual presentation is clever and likable. The music is very well done and extremely pleasant to my ears. My vote for WOTE was immediately decided. And then I listened to the two versions again. And again. And repeatedly again.
The more I listened, the more I began to realize that the WOTE version was very commercial sounding almost to a point of triteness. Don't get me wrong about this--I like the band immensely and I still think their version is outstanding, It's well arranged and slickly produced. This version I can easily imagine being played on mainstream radio.
However, Battle of the Bands is about the music.
The multi-talented producer/musician Scott Bradlee of PostModern Jukebox is the genius behind the Puddles the Clown music arrangement in this video and his jazz combo is top notch. This shines through in this particular song. One point in the video where this really hit me was at the 1:40 mark. The punch of the piano and drums accentuating the lyric is pretty cool. In fact throughout the song the instrumentation is so tastily presented with the droll background vocals minimalized to prevent distraction that I hear the professionalism of this entire recording.
The "creepy" clown persona is a gimmick that might distract some and prevent them from realizing the true talent of this performer, but it is a different take on things that has gained this artist attention that he wasn't getting otherwise. Now if you check out his booking schedule you can see that he has an intensive tour that's keeping him busy for months to come. He did something different and it has worked for him. It can pay to be different.
However the clown difference didn't work for this Battle. My vote goes to Puddles the Clown, but I am in the minority. In this voting round Puddles got trounced by Walk Off the Earth.
Walk Off the Earth 24 votes
Puddles the Clown 8 votes
If you want to give Puddles another listen to hear what I'm talking about then here is an encore presentation. Let me know if you agree with what I've said above.
Next Battle will be on Saturday August 15th. More about that on Monday the 10th when I'll also be offering a pictorial about my Jersey vacation.
Do you think that resorting to a gimmick is a good way to get talent recognized if you are otherwise not getting anywhere with what you've been doing? Do you think rules in writing or other arts can justifiably be broken? Have you resorted to any types of gimmickry to gain recognition and if so what did you do?