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Friday, July 15, 2016

Can I Go (#BOTB)

Princeton, NJ (a random photo by Arlee Bird)


Shared Vacations

         Have you ever had someone join your family on a vacation?   I've heard of families or relatives going on vacation together.  It seems to be most common when people will share a cabin rental at the beach, in the mountains, or some other vacation destination.  Expenses as well as experiences are usually shared by all participating parties which I'm sure can defray the cost for all.  In these cases I suppose tension and conflict has the potential of being on the increase, but hopefully the parties get along well enough to enjoy the company during said vacation.

        When I was single I used to take trips with friends.  There have been some times when my mother or other close family members have accompanied my family on a trip, but this was usually when I was touring with a roadshow.  I can't recall ever taking an actual vacation trip with others in tow.   During my years on the road with a stage production, my family almost always had a couple of cast members who traveled in our van with us.  That could often be fun.  I enjoy taking people to exciting places where I've been before, but are new to those who are with me. There's this thrill of the introduction to new places to people who have not previously been there.  

         This year another couple almost went with us on our vacation.   I was a bit apprehensive about this since the wife was a friend of my wife and I did not know the couple very well.  As it turned out they decided not to go since the husband was concerned about his business and possibly upsetting some of his customers while he was gone.   In all honesty, my wife and I were somewhat relieved as we like traveling on our own.   But it might have been fun.   So no one is going with us this time and that might be for the best.  Maybe some other time we will bring others with us on one of our great adventures.  Would you like to go with us?

Battle of the Bands
   

          Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by 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.



My Circumstance

        It's summer vacation season and that's what I'm doing at this time.  I've scheduled this post ahead of time and if all is according to schedule on the day that this posts, I'm somewhere between Calgary, Alberta, Canada and New Jersey when you read this (which I hope you will do).   I might be a bit late getting my votes out, but barring any internet problems I should be able to get around to voting over the upcoming days.

"Can I Go" (1968)

         This song was composed by Roger Nichols who collaborated with such artists as Paul Williams, Randy Newman, and Van Dyke Parks.   His influence can be heard in the music of The Carpenters and Three Dog Night,

Roger Nichols and the Small Circle of Friends  "Can I Go" (1968)

         I featured another recording by this group from the same album with the Carol King song "Snow Queen" a couple years ago.  The group consists of the songwriter Roger Nichols and some fine vocalists.  Though I found no confirmation, there is speculation that this song might have been produced by Van Dyke Parks.  This is a carefree little  tune representative of so much of the music of the late 60's.



The Collage   "Can I Go"  (1968)

         Perhaps the only other recording of this song that one might find is by The Collage, a psychedelic pop/rock vocal group in a similar vein as the Mamas and Papas or the Fifth Dimension.  Their sole album is an obscurity that was released about the same time as the Roger Nichols album.  I discovered both albums in the vinyl cut-out bins back around 1970 and I still have my copies of each.  It's actually some good listening in a couple of well-produced efforts.




Time to Vote!

        This is a very nuanced pairing I realize.  Initially both versions might sound almost identical, but there are some distinct differences.  However I agree that this might be a tough choice.   Let us know what you think about these two recordings. Is there one that you prefer over the other?    If you're visiting a Battle of the Bands post for the first time then let me briefly explain.  Please give each song version a fair listen to decide which one you enjoy the most.  If you don't like either then at least tell us which recording was least innocuous to you. This comes down to your preference and it's as easy as that.

     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. 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:

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

 ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ 

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

DC Relief Battle of the Bands

The Doglady's Den 

Angel's Bark  

Cherdo on the Flipside  

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 

Janie Junebug Righting & Editing.
  
J. A. Scott  

Quiet Laughter

Holli's Hoots and Hollers

Be ReInVintaged


Winner Announced on Friday July 22nd

       Things will be quiet on this blog until next Friday as I wend my way to the east coast.  I'll be responding to comments on this current post, but not much else though.   I'll be back on Friday July 22nd with the announcement of the winning version of "Can I Go".  Hope you're having a wonderful summer.

         If you've gone on shared vacations, how did it work out?  Do you enjoy traveling in your own vehicle or do you prefer guided group tours?   How do you feel about the sunshiny psychedelic pop/rock from the late 60's?










52 comments:

  1. The second one actually sounds more dated to me. Like the first version best.
    I prefer to go on my own for vacations, at least for the driving portion. We have met up with family and friends for vacations, which was fun. But in the car, I prefer it to be just my wife and I.

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  2. Alex, driving with just family can be complicated enough without mixing up more personalities and interests.

    First vote for Roger Nichols

    Lee

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  3. Hi, Lee!

    How's your trip going? I hope you didn't make a wrong turn and wound up in Barrow, Alaska! :)

    My family used to rent a cabin in the woods with another family for two week summer vacations. Things got tense at times because their daughter had emotional problems and threw a tantrum several times a day. Mrs. Shady and I don't care for guided group tours. We prefer to use our own vehicle or a rental car and set off on our own.

    I don't mind sunshine pop of the 60s and this song and these two recordings are typical examples of the genre. I can imagine either one being used in a movie soundtrack or as the theme of a TV sitcom of the period. Roger Nichols & Friends recorded a breezy, perky, up tempo version that sounds like something Simon & Garfunkel might have recorded. I appreciated the baroque influence. The Collage was a little more to my liking because of the glorious group harmony reminiscent of the Mamas & Papas and Spanky and Our Gang. I also liked the piccolo in their version.

    It was close and I enjoyed both, but give my vote to version #2 - The Collage. Thanks, Lee!

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    1. Shady, dealing with other people's kids can be especially problematic. I understand the feeling.
      We're cruising smoothly along with a long drive ahead for today.

      A vote for Collage

      Lee

      Delete
  4. I like the music on the Roger Nichols version better. The brassiness of the other one is less satisfying, although I think I might like the vocals better on the second one. The song has a kind of acoustic, dreamy thing going on, and anything piercing breaks that veneer.

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    1. Nasreen, I think I get what you're saying here.

      I'll give your vote to Roger Nichols

      Lee

      Delete
  5. Funny-I did not think these versions were anywhere near as similar as you set them up to be, although they were both very dated (no mistaking they were recorded in the 60's).

    I like the slicker production on the Collage version.

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    1. Larry, I agree that those with more discriminating ears like you or I would get the difference, but I do think that some folks might not get that.

      A vote for Collage

      Lee

      Delete
  6. I like the 5th Dimension and the Mamas and Papas, but not so sure about the second song offered her. Something about it just didn't hold me this time. The first song however, did. I rather enjoyed it, so please give my vote to Roger and his Friends

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    1. Jeffrey, I get the drift of what you're saying.

      Roger Nichols

      Lee

      Delete
  7. Lee, This is a new-to-me tune. Both artist sound similar, but I knew almost instantly which I liked the best and that's Richard Nichols & Company. I reckon it just sounded more sunshiny than the contender. To answer you question, yes I like the sound of the 60s. It makes me feel happy. The only shared vacation we had was on our first anniversary. We went hiking with DH's former co-worker and his wife on an overnight trail in Fall Creek Falls. It was actually a weekend adventure. The first time spent in the general campground with us getting up early the next morning to tackle the 14 mile trail. That was my first experience with this sort of thing and I was not equipped to deal with how strenuous this would be on me. I survived to tell about it and that was 36 years ago. But, all-in-all it was a fun trip spent with two other nice people. Get this their last names sounded very close to ours and the wife's first name is...you got it Kathy. If she spelled it with a "C", then that would have been freaky. Enjoy your time on the road and away from the internet when you can!

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    1. Cathy, Fall Creek Falls and a hiking adventure would be nice to share. You really got broken in on that hike!

      A vote for Roger Nichols

      Lee

      Delete
  8. When we did go on vacations (usually up to Chicago to visit family or see to the apartment building Mary inherited), we always drove. I can't imagine going on a "joint" vacation.

    Anyway, to the task at hand...

    I liked both of these, but thought the sound of The Collage was more interesting than that of Richard Nichols and Company, so The Collage gets my vote.

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    1. John, yes a joint vacation could be mighty awkward unless there were a lot of joints to share.

      Collage gets another vote.

      Lee

      Delete
  9. I have heard 'Small Circle Of Friends' before but not sure I've ever heard this particular song.

    Like LC said, neither do I think these songs sound similar. The differences, to my ears, are immediate and pronounced.

    I'm going to vote for THE COLLAGE as I liked the horns and that part where the flute came in.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. STMcC, I also hear the definite distinctions between the two, but I think if one isn't listening particularly closely they might not get it. I also like that flute part.

      A vote for Collage

      Lee

      Delete
  10. I like Roger Nichols version best. It was light and crisp and sharp. There was something about The Collage's version that seemed to pull it down, like something was holding it down, if that makes any sense. There was an undercurrent of bass or something that I didn't like. So please give my vote to Richard Nichols and his friends.

    As for vacationing with others: boy, that's a tough one. It all depends on who the others are, I guess. I went on a cruise with a friend and we ended up not being friends after the cruise. Ha! So I'd be hesitant to travel with others, at least in my near future...

    Hope you're having fun. Enjoy that Canadian air!!

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Michele, with the right friends a shared vacation can be great, but it takes special people. I'm very hesitant to travel with others.

      Here in Winnipeg where I am now the air smells very smoky, but elsewhere it's been delightful.

      I think the Collage version might be slowed down to a point where it seemed dragged down to you.

      A vote for Roger Nichols.

      Lee

      Delete
  11. The first version made me think of driving through Carolina backroads with the top down. For a second I thought the second version would actually be "Do you know the way to San Jose" ;-) It definitely lent a sense of California beach and sunshine. Tough choice between two good and fairly different versions! My vote goes to Roger and Friends.
    We once took a 7 day cruise around Hawaii with brother and sister in-law. It was good to have separate agendas - and cabins ;-)

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    1. Diedre, shared cabins would likely have been a recipe for disaster.

      This song is light and airy so I can see how you might have gotten the image you did.

      A vote for Roger Nichols

      Lee

      Delete
  12. The Collage doesn't do it for me. They sound kind of folky. I vote for Roger and Friends. I'll go on vacation with you if you go where I want to go and pay my way. I wouldn't say I've ever gone on vacation with anyone. One time my mother rode with us from Maryland to New Jersey for a wedding, and back again. Spending several hours locked in a car with a woman who said every sentence that came out of her mouth at least ten times nearly made me insane. She also spent the entire drive home with a toothpick hanging out of her mouth. I'm not sure why that bugged me, but it did. When we lived near Seattle, we took a business associate to Victoria, B.C., with us for a weekend. He didn't offer to pay for a single thing. We should have made it clear in advance that if he wanted to go with us, then he had to pay his share. We were young and stupid. He also woke us up really early in the morning. I was pregnant and did not want to get up at five in the morning.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Janie, your travel experiences with others sound like nightmares--fodder for a comedy movie perhaps. My mother used to go on trips with my family and I but she was always a delight to have along.

      Another vote for Roger Nichols

      lee

      Delete
  13. I did vacation to CA in 1986 w/ my friend Charlene and we had a blast but towards the end we were both grating on each other's nerves big time. And I met a friend in Portland OR a couple of times but there was conflict at bedtime. She was always cold and I was always hot. She kept shutting the window or shutting off the a/c. She also snored and wanted to sleep w/ the TV on and I need complete quiet and darkness. I just want to travel alone or with my husband.

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    1. JoJo, your experiences don't sound like much fun. Most of my travel by myself with friends along have been camping trips so that wasn't too bad aside from being on a camping trip. I don't mind traveling alone, but I prefer to share the experience with someone whose company I enjoy or especially with my wife.

      Lee

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  14. Up until a few years ago, I would meet up with friends in Vegas for a week (or more) of fun. The few times that someone traveled there with me, it did not go well. It was better when everyone got to the destination on their own.

    I don't know that either version of this song did anything for me. But I think I like Roger Nichols and his friends just a bit more, so my vote goes to them.

    Mary
    Jingle Jangle Jungle

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    1. Mary, I guess it depends on who you're with when you're traveling.

      A vote for Roger Nichols

      Lee

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  15. Roger Nichols gets my vote, crisper, not as busy

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  16. I have traveled with others a few times, and how it goes really depends upon who they are. The best fellow travelers (and I don't mean comrades) are those who are not high maintenance people. They can go with the flow. Highly structured types are no fun... unless you work out the structure collaboratively ahead of time. And if you are traveling with friends with little kids, the whole plan is at risk at all times. I had great trips with friends to visit Gettysburg, and Nashville, and various Disney locations. Some other trips were hell.

    I like both versions of this song, and (I just nodded in agreement as I read from some others above), I didn't think they sounded very much alike. I think the similarity only resides in that they both clearly are from the 1960's.

    This one was tough. I liked the stringed instrument section and the emphasis on percussion of the Small Circle version, but I liked the horns and vocals better on The Collage. The sounds of both versions evoked a strong time-warp feeling of being about 13 again and really looking forward to the excitement I imagined was coming in the next ten years. Boy, was I disappointed.

    I vote for The Collage.

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    1. SBB6, I do like structure in the sense of adhering to time schedules when traveling, but otherwise the easier going types are more fun and comfortable to be with.

      I'm glad that listeners are hearing the distinctions. Maybe my set up encouraged closer listening.

      Got you down for Collage

      Lee

      Delete
  17. Hope you are enjoying your well deseved vacation.
    I choose Roger Nichols, why? well I thought it great.
    Yvonne.

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    1. Yvonne, having a wonderful time!

      Roger Nichols

      Lee

      Delete
  18. We have been on holidays with friends and with relatives - most recently our daughter and her partner to the seaside for a few days. It is fun with others - more to talk about, different points of view, more experimentation, less likelihood of doing the sam sold things... we love it!

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    1. Liz, if the company is good then the vacation can work, but bad company can be a nightmare or at least discomforting.

      Lee

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  19. Family vacations are UGH! I got suckered into one in the mid 90's and went to the Grand Canyon (among other places) with the family. It was horrific and I vowed never again to do a family vaca, and except for one that we took our daughter on and one that we took my son on, no children have been on a family vacation in the past 23 years. I should note that both children where under the age of two when they went.

    Father Nature's Corner

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    1. GB, kids with adults probably work better than adults with adults, but it really depends on the people involved.

      Lee

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  20. My dad was always planning vacations with friends (some with kids of their own) -- they aren't horrible memories, but I think I enjoyed our family trips with just us four best. Although the big family gatherings with cousins and aunts and uncles in the Missouri Ozarks was a lot of fun. We'd take over almost a whole fishing resort with cabins and sometimes get pretty rowdy. :D

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    1. Patricia, I can't ever recall my family sharing a vacation when I was young. Rarely did we even visit relatives, though a few summers when we lived in San Diego my aunt, uncle, and cousins came to spend a week with us and that was a lot of fun.

      Lee

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  21. I've never gone on a shared vacation but, because I live in a beach town, I've had tons of people decide to spend their vacations with me. I finally had to start telling them that I was happy for them to come here and to show them around but they have to stay somewhere else. It was just too overwhelming.

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    1. Kathleen, houseguests can be a huge chore unless they pitch in to help clean and pay expenses. Even then it can be rather off-putting.

      Lee

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  22. The Collage version isn't bad, but it definitely has that folksy 60s sound that I've never been a huge fan of. Definitely prefer Roger Nichols and those friends of his.

    I've always gone on vacations by myself or with the wife. Unless you count the time I visited Thailand and stayed with a host family. That was kind of shared. They also tried to pawn their daughter off on me and pay me to bring her back here as my fake bride (strong pass), so that burned me out on host families. And shared vacations. Never again.

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    1. Beer, when visiting a foreign country I think it would be extremely advantageous to be with someone who knows the territory, but the bride? I guess it would depend on who she was.

      A vote for Roger Nichols

      Lee

      Delete
  23. I hope you're enjoying your vacation, Lee. Welcome to Canada! ☺

    I've never heard this song before, so there are no preconceptions. The first one sounds better to me, both vocally and instrumentally. Please give my vote to Roger Nichols.

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    1. Debbie D, we had a great time in Canada. Went to see the changing of the guard in Ottawa this morning and now we're back in the states. I'm tired!

      A vote for Roger Nichols

      Lee

      Delete
  24. Roger Nichols gets my vote because I like the musical styling just a bit better even though both sound very 60's to me. The second version reminded me more of a tune one would here from a tv show like Bridget Loves Birney. I hope you are having a great time. We are south of Montreal on the Richelieu river. It is beautiful here and we enjoyed ourselves immensely but tomorrow we have an 8 hour drive ahead. Hope you are having a great time and my hubby and I prefer to go it alone unless we know the people really well. It could be a horrible time otherwise.

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    1. Birgit, we flew through Montreal today and crossed back over the border. It's been a great trip so far.

      A vote for Roger Nichols

      Lee

      Delete
  25. Lee, I'm glad you had a great time in Canada! Roger Nichols gets my vote. The Collage sounds like the music from the late 60's/ early 70's after school TV specials.

    Julie

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    1. Lee, we still have some great times ahead of us on this trip I'm sure.

      Another vote for Roger Nichols

      Lee

      Delete
  26. I prefer traveling in my own vehicle. I believe David feels the same way. We like to be able to control when and how we can leave a place if we choose to. We're both pretty claustrophobic and not having access to our own vehicle exaggerates that feeling.

    I've never been on a shared vacation. The closest that I've come to that is when my parents had to drive my aunt and her children back to Norfolk, VA. That wasn't exactly a vacation, but it was certainly an adventure having 11 people (3 adults and 8 children of varying ages) crammed into that Plymouth for 14 hours. :)

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    1. Suzanne, 11 people in one vehicle for 14 hours sounds like a bit of a nightmare. I tend to be claustrophobic as well.

      Lee

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  27. You're in New Jersey, Arlee? I wish I could go vacation there! Which cities will you be visiting? I was born in Princeton and lived near Trenton. I'm jealous of all the wonderful food you will get to eat. :) I hope you share more pictures of your travels through New Jersey.

    Kelly Hartigan
    XterraWeb Books & More

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    1. Kelly, spending most of the time in Tom's River. Today went over to Asbury Park and ate at a sushi restaurant where my youngest daughter's significant other works. It was great.

      Lee

      Delete

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