|Trump Hotel in Las Vegas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
As of my writing of this post, it's been a few hours since my having returned from a short vacation to Las Vegas with my wife. We'd gone there to meet up with our daughter and her family--she was there for a conference for a few days and my wife wanted to be able to spend some time with them. It was a nice little vacation trip and I only lost about fifty dollars or so playing the slots. Not a bad sum to have lost, but I'd rather had come home with my pockets bulging with winnings.
I had made reservations for four nights at Harrah's which is where we'd usually been staying for our past several visits. Later my wife requested that I add Saturday night to our stay. The rate was increased for that night and the hotel said we'd have to change rooms, so for about the same price I found that we could move to the Trump Hotel for the one night so that's what we decided to do. We'd never stayed in a Trump property so we thought why not check it out with all the current Trump hoopla and all.
In the end I'm glad we made that decision because the Trump is indeed a beautiful hotel. The pricing was essentially the same as other properties that I had checked so it wasn't like we could have saved much without staying at some property with which we were unfamiliar or one that might have been a dump. No dump the Trump. Not in our normal budgetary range, but it was a fun stay even though we weren't in the room very long.
Everything in Vegas is so much more expensive than it used to be years ago. I didn't see any advertisements about the ninety-nine cent shrimp cocktails or $6.99 buffets. Vegas is crowds of people--though it wasn't as crowded as I'd seen on previous visits--and casinos reeking of cigarette smoke--though not as bad as it used to be. I think less people smoke these days.
Everywhere we went there were opportunities to spend, spend, spend and plenty of people doing just that. We tried to take care about our own spending, but money seems to fly out of your pockets--or get charged to your credit card--wherever you go. Bye-bye hard-earned money. Play now, pay later.
We left early enough on Sunday to avoid the worst traffic heading back to Los Angeles. Aside from a couple of slow downs, the trip went smoothly. We got home before dark (thank goodness) and I collapsed on the bed for a one hour nap. Then for dinner I opened a big can of hot and spicy Juanita's menudo and ate all three servings of the tripe and hominy stew in a spicy broth all by my lonesome. My wife won't even try the stuff and leaves the room when I eat it. What can I say other than I have acquired a taste for menudo and get a craving for it every now and then.
And that brings me to the Battle of the Band winner between the two versions of the song "Preso". And the preceding story explains in part why this winner announcement post is coming a day or two later than everyone else's.
The Winner: "Preso"
My most recent Battle of the Bands post featured the Spanish language song "Preso" as performed by Mexican artists Cristian Castro and Aleks Syntek. I wasn't overly surprised about which version won the most votes, though I didn't expect the victory to be so overwhelming.
First let me explain which version I voted for and why. When I listen to music, no matter what language it's in, I tend not to listen to the lyrics as much as I take in the overall effect of the music along with the style of the vocals. I'm more interested in how a song sounds than what it says. Prior to putting this Battle together I never really thought about what the song was about so lyrics were of no influence on me.
The romantic styling of Cristian Castro is something that I enjoy listening to and there's nothing bad I can say about this artist. His style is soothing and comforting like a bowl of good chicken noodle soup. When I'm in the mood for soothing and comforting and romantic then give me Castro's version.
On the other hand, for me at least, Syntek has an original modern sound that I can dig--he's the menudo of my soup analogy (not to be confused with the band Menudo). As I'd mentioned in my previous post, Syntek first caught my attention when I saw the video for his very cool song Historias De Danzón Y De Arrabal. Later I realized that I had the José José tribute album which included Syntek's version of "Preso". I like the edgy style of Syntek's recording right from the sampling of the violins at the opening to the catchy funk style that he uses in his version.
My vote goes to the Aleks Syntek version of "Preso". I can listen to this version more often than the Castro version though that's not to cast any aspersion on the romantic styling that Castro puts into his. They are both good to my ears.
Most of you were not in agreement with me on this as can be seen in the final outcome of the voting.
Final Vote Tally
Cristian Castro 26 votes
Aleks Syntek 12 votes
As a bonus I offer the video of Historias De Danzón Y De Arrabal which has become a favorite song and video for me. This song gives a good idea of the type of pop music that I enjoy. Hope you'll take a listen and let me know what you think.
My next Battle of the Bands post will be on Tuesday December 1st. At that time I will be presenting a song for our times and one related to the season in a sense. One of my artist choices will be one that Stephen T McCarthy loves while the other he may not like so much. I'm going to take my chances with this Battle. You won't want to miss it!