|P question (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
When I decided to use "Trouble of the World" as my Battle of the Bands pick I was thinking about the troubles that have been and those to come. No sooner than the voting began on my Battle a new trouble in the United States reared its ugly head with the shootings just up the road from me in San Bernardino. I don't think we've seen any end to this type of event.
Today--the day of this posting on December 7th-- being Pearl Harbor Day I can't help but wonder if this will be when the next attack occurs. Or will they pick a more subtle time. With the Christmas season approaching I'm probably not the only one experiencing some sense of uneasiness or expectation that something else is coming. Our jihadist enemies would like nothing more than to spoil the happiness and good will of the season. They want us to be afraid. And perhaps more than anything they would like to see economic collapse and dire social discord to befall the "Great Satan" of the United States of America.
What's next? I certainly don't know, but the current administration of our government isn't gaining any confidence from me. I'm not sure the proper issues are being addressed here. I could go on, but I have a Battle of the Bands winner to announce as well as a Question of the Month to discuss.
WE HAVE A BOTB WINNER!
My song pick this time around was "Trouble of the World" which was a song that easily fell into my state of mind at the time I began preparing the post. As the days went on after my choosing this song, my choice seemed prescient with the Paris attacks along with the everyday violence going on in the Mideast as well as right here in my homeland, the "good ol' U.S.A.". It's easy for me to sink into these troubles so let me address the song and the Battle.
This is one of those songs that I liked when I first heard it and liked even more with each subsequent listening. There a so many good and very different versions of this song that I could do a bunch of battles with it. But let me stick with the Battle at hand--
Mahalia Jackson's version of the song is so exquisite in its sparseness, yet with so much spiritual depth. I'm not the biggest fan of this style of singing, still Jackson pulls it off well and I can really get into what she's singing. The organ, piano, and drum trio takes me nicely into the groove of the recording. It's like church at the jazz club.
The version by Kevin Max starts out powerfully with a fine background in the instrument department. Some voters did not care for fuzzy guitar sounds. This is something I do like along with the backing vocals, the trumpet, and the solid trio like the one Mahalia Jackson used except a bit heavier.
Late at night or maybe when I'm in a low time I'd prefer the version by Mahalia Jackson. Her version dives into my soul with comfort. However most of the time to energize me a bit more I'd prefer to listen to the Kevin Max version--his style is more to my personal preference. So my vote goes to Kevin Max.
Final Vote Tally:
Mahalia Jackson 22 Votes
Kevin Max 17 Votes
And now for the victory lap here's Mahalia Jackson's version of "Trouble of the World" as heard in the 1959 film Imitation of Life.
Please be here on December 15th for another round of music Battle. Next time I'll be using two versions of a song I like a great deal. It's a song for our times. A few of you already know what song I'll be using.
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 the question for December:
Which one social convention would you get rid of?
One social convention that I think hinders us in many ways is the unwillingness to discuss controversial things like politics and religion (just taking two topics as an example). Most of us have lost sight of reasoned civil discourse where difficult issues can be talked about without parties becoming angry or upset.
We hear the tales of places with "safe zones" or where speakers are shouted down by those who disagree. Sadly, intelligence and logic have often been abandoned in order to let feelings rule. If only people could sit down to examine issues of disagreement with a calm collected approach, maybe we'd learn more and begin to think rationally about the world. And if one party disagrees we learn the basis of that disagreement rather than name-calling or even violent reactions.
To quote the dubious character Rodney King with an added twist, "Can't we all just get along and learn to talk about our differences like intelligent people?"
Who would you most like to understand? Do you feel misunderstood? Are there any others who are different than you with whom you can discuss differences comfortably?