Time--2017 A to Z Theme

My theme for the 2018 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is "Cleaning the Clutter"--I might literally be cleaning my closets or figuratively clearing the excess from some other part of my life. I'm sure you can think of other things this could mean for you as well.

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

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Friday, December 15, 2017

Fun in Los Angeles (#BOTB)

Montage of Los Angeles pictures on Commons
Montage of Los Angeles pictures on Commons (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



Are You Ready for Some Fun?

      
          I've been living in the Los Angeles area for over 26 years now and rarely go many places.  There are several places like Venice Beach, La Brea Tar Pits, Griffith Park or Hollywood that I've been to many times.   Those are places I know from repeated visits having taken out-of-town folk there.  Everybody goes to those kinds of places.  And they're not overly expensive like going to Disneyland which if anyone is going, they can go without me.  

         Then there are those places you pass through or pass by.  Sometimes I'll linger in those places if I'm looking for some restaurant that I've heard about. But looking out as I drive through I see a lot of those nondescript urban areas of mysterious factories, an assortment of businesses, and clusters of older housing.  That's where a lot of people live and this is their neighborhood.  I'd say my neighborhood might look strange to some people just passing by.  But I think it all looks pretty normal.

         That's where you'll usually find me--home in my neighborhood where everything seems pretty normal. Still, there are plenty of  people who are getting out and about.  Some are tourists seeing the highlights.  Some are just people doing the everyday stuff that they as people do. In my Band Battle today I'll be looking at both groups from two different musical perspectives.

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 each month on the 15th and on some blogs there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle on the 1st of the month.   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.

          
Filmed in L.A.

          In this Battle I present two music videos filmed in Los Angeles but from very different points of view.  This Battle was inspired by Stephen T McCarthy's post with a Los Angeles theme.  Though the songs I'm using are not geographically specific the videos are most definitely filmed in the Los Angeles area.  The perspectives are very different as are the musical styles.  Hope you enjoy these...


Jenny and the Mexicats   "Verde Mas Alla"  (2012)

     Trumpet player Jenny Ball from the United Kingdom was eighteen when, while touring with an orchestra, met up with a couple of Mexican musicians at a flamenco bar in Spain.  After some "let's start a band" dreaming, the trio joined up with a Spanish cajón player to begin producing a delightful mix of traditional and pop music styles.  Jenny learned enough Spanish to begin writing songs in the language and the band began recording.  Now based in Mexico City, Jenny and her Cats continue to make great music in English as well as Spanish.

       Over the past couple years Jenny and the Mexicats has become one of my favorite bands.  These highly talented musicians play an eclectic mix that ranges from traditional flamenco to rock and a bunch of styles in between.  Many of their songs appearing on YouTube have as many as two or three video versions with additional live videos shot by fans.  The band has chosen to remain independent, recording under their own Mexicat label.

      The song "Verde Más Allá"  or "Green Beyond" is about a woman who has apparently extricated herself from a relationship and is enjoying her life.  She prefers not to work, but to spend her days dancing and drinking pints of Caguama beer and just having the best time that she can have.  As to the "green" in the title there is some controversy about what it means, but taking Jenny's word for it she would rather the listener come up with their own interpretation.  It makes me think of the old expression "The grass is greener on the other side" which fits with the rest of the song story.

      This video version of the song is basically a tourist view of Los Angeles with stops in Venice Beach, Griffith Park, and Hollywood.  These are some of the places I typically would take visitors who had not been to Los Angeles before.  In fact, the guitar player at the 1:06 mark in the video is a guy who I've seen in most of my own visits to Venice Beach.

       Enjoy the music and take in some of the sights here in Los Angeles. This is pretty much where I'd take you if you were visiting me...






Postino   "I Love It"  (2013)

       Not much in the way of lyrics to this song--the title says it all. This bit of crazy jazzy electronica was devised by the South Korean music producer Junho Lee who is based in London.  There is some hot playing in the soundtrack and what can one say about the visuals?   Guff.com says it well I think:  "For those who have never been to LA, this is actually normal. This isn't even a music video. It's just a typical Thursday here."

        No tourist spots in the video, but there are the typical things one might see while driving in Los Angeles--or walking around town dressed like something out of Where the Wild Things Are.  I particularly get a kick out of the scene in the convenience store and later on the bridge when the little boy tries to hold the girl's hand.  Watch for those bits because they are a hoot.

         If this song doesn't get you moving on the first hearing then play it a few times and I can almost guarantee you'll be moving with the beat if not dancing outright.  Maybe I'm weird--okay I'll admit it:  I'm weird.  I like this one.






Time to Vote!

    
    
You got songs and you got videos.   Which song version do you like best?   Which video did you enjoy the most?   You don't have to know about music to have an opinion since it all comes down to your own personal taste.  The videos are both relatively shosrt.

        Please vote on your favorites 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

The Doglady's Den 

Angel's Bark  

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 


Cherdo on the Flipside 



Winner of this Battle Announced on December 21st

         Since I'll be taking some time off starting next Friday December 22nd, I'll be posting the winner of this Battle on Thursday the 21st.  That gives you plenty of time to vote.  And if you're obsessive like I am then you might be listening to both of these videos a number of times between now and then.  Please vote and then come back on Thursday to see if your choice came out on top.   I'll also be telling you then what is in store for Tossing It Out after that.

     Do you have any favorite tourist attractions near you where you would tend to take house guests?   When you visit someone do they usually take you to places they consider highlights?   Do go out to visit attractions near you?






42 comments:

  1. Los Angeles is certainly fun, I recall a certain I visited there and thanks to you Arlee had a great time.....thanks.
    My choice for BOTB is Jenny and the Mexicats. most enjoyable.
    Have a good weekend.
    Yvonne.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yvonne, you saw some of those sights in Jenny's video when we went to Hollywood so I'm sure you could appreciate that.

      A vote for Mexicats

      Lee

      Delete
  2. Dressed in a reindeer suit was just a little too odd for me. Not crazy about the song either. Jenny and the Mexicats get my vote and bonus points for having a VW Bus that actually still runs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alex, a reindeer sort might be kind of tame for some parts of L.A.

      Another Mexicats vote.

      Lee

      Delete
  3. I recommend visiting the Getty Museum in L.A.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pop Tart, I've been to the Getty many times and it's well worth a visit. Great art and fantastic views.

      Lee

      Delete
  4. Interesting battle, Lee! ☺ I have to be honest, the second one with its repetition and monotonous beat didn't do much for me. The kids were cute in their costumes, though. Jenny and the Mexicats were good and the video was more interesting as well. Please give my vote to them.

    One of our most famous tourist attractions is a 45 minute drive away - Niagara Falls. We go there often. Last visit was this past weekend. Their annual Winter Festival of Lights is spectacular! Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Debbie, like much electronic dance music, "I Love It" is indeed repetitious. I started finding it to be rather compelling and addictive and thus began to like it.

      Niagara Falls is a must see. I've been there many times and would go back anytime if I could. I'd love to see that Festival of Lights.

      Another vote for Mexicats.

      Lee

      Delete
  5. Lee,

    Two new-to-me artists. This was an easy pick for me. I'm giving my vote to Jenny & the Mexicats. Verde Mas Alla was fun and made me want to dance. Need I say more? :D Have an awesome weekend, my friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cathy, you said it well.

      A vote for the Mexicats.

      Lee

      Delete
  6. Lyrically, I preferred Jenny and the Mexicats, though the Postino video was fun.

    The Albany area has a lot of historic monuments and houses, though many of them are unfortunately downtown, where it's hard to find parking or even navigate the streets by car. Downtown Albany isn't nearly the type of area it used to be a few centuries ago, or even 50 years ago. One would never guess it used to be full of mansions and was full of very well-cultivated neighborhoods. A bit further afoot, there are preserved battlefields and more famous houses in the Saratoga area. There are also things such as Erie Canal locks, Cohoes Falls, and all the memorials and monuments around the Empire State Plaza.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carrie-Anne, I haven't spent a lot of time in New York state, but I've enjoyed the places I've visited there.

      I'll record your vote as:

      Video: Postino

      Song: Mexicats.

      Lee

      Delete
  7. LEE ~
    Harry Perry is the name of the roller-skating guitarist you mentioned at the 1:06 mark in the first video. He's been there before the beginning of time and is truly a Venice Beach institution.

    It's difficult to explain why, with all the years of practice he's had, Harry Perry has never gotten any better on that guitar he plays while roller skating.

    SONG: I'm voting for JENNY & THE MEXICATS. I really enjoyed that one immediately. Very, very nice -- everything about it. My kind of music. To me it sounded like a kind of mash-up of Bossa-Nova and Olympic Boulevard Cantina music. Really cool! I'll have to check out some more of their stuffs.

    As for Postino's song, 'I Love It'... I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it... You get the idea, right? And, no, speaking just for me, playing it "a few times" would only make matters worse.

    Two words: Repetitive, monotonous.
    Yes, there was some tasteful guitar and keyboard playing in the background. Too bad it was overwhelmed and spoiled by the monotonously repetitive Millennial songwriting. (So, it's the too-cute saccharine little girl who's making most of the money for that? NOT the musicians?)

    VIDEO: I guess I'll vote for JENNY & THE MEXICATS in this category as well. It was pretty much just a standard music video filmed on location, but I liked the sunset shots and especially the VW Bus.

    That VW Bus reminded me of the one my friend Dean had and the night (circa 1982) that we spent driving throughout Hollywood, throwing firecrackers at the pimps on the streets. One of them even got in his old Cadillac and tried to catch us. We wuz playing Starsky & Hutch and laughing like mad! (We finally lost him when we made a sudden U-turn on crowded Hollyweird Blvd. HA! GOOD TIMES!!

    Thanks for activating my memory, Lee.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    STMcC Presents 'Battle Of The Bands'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. STMcC, I'd figured that if anyone knew the Venice Beach guitar player (I'd forgotten that he was on skates), you would know. I can't recall ever actually hearing him play.

      There is an underlying subtlety in the playing on "I Love It" that has tended to grow on me the more I listen. To me, the video is so funny when I watch the interactions and bits throughout--I think it is pretty clever.

      But I've got your votes:

      Video: Mexicats.

      Song: Mexicats.

      Lee

      Delete
  8. Oh gosh, give me Jenny & the Mexicats any day! It is different, eclectic and I enjoyed the video as well. The second one was grating both the video and the song

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Birgit, the Mexicats have some very good videos on YouTube--I became rather fixated on them after I first discovered this group.

      A duel vote for Mexicats.

      Lee

      Delete
  9. Oops....I forgot to add that i live close to Niagara Falls so that is a big destination. I also take people to Niagara On The Lake and to wineries which are in abundance here

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Birgit, Niagara Falls is a must see. I've been there several times and I'd like to go back again. I can just stare at those falls for long periods of time and the town is kind of fun as well. I've seen signs to the wineries but have never had the time to visit any. Maybe on some future trip.

      Lee

      Delete
  10. "I Love It".... I LOVE IT! I liked both, but thought the music of the second one was more interesting. And the girl (who's what, 13, 14?) in the reindeer suit was just too great.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John, thank you for saving this Battle from being a complete shut out. I think one has to listen closely to the music in "I Love It" to catch the solos and musical nuances. A bit of a sense of humor is also needed.

      The girl does a great job in the lead. Her father used to be on The Wonder Years on occasion and still works in the business. I think the girl could have a nice acting career ahead of her. So fair she has just a few credits to her resume.

      Video: Postino

      Song: Postino.

      Lee

      Delete
  11. I vote for Jenny and the Mexicats. They're so upbeat and peppy. Thanks for the tour. I have taken visitors to St. Augustine, and of course, we must have lunch at the neighborhood diner.

    Love,
    Janie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janie, I've never stopped in St Augustine to sightsee, but one day I'd like to do that.

      A vote for Mexicats

      Lee

      Delete
  12. I love playing tourist and taking people around. I esp. enjoyed it when I lived in San Francisco.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JoJo, judging from the places you go on your blog posts, I think you'd be an excellent tour guide. I'd rather get the New England tour.

      Lee

      Delete
  13. Sixgun McItchyfingerDecember 15, 2017 at 9:24 PM

    Lee, I enjoyed Jenny and M-cats a lot. the video was fun, as was the music. I - like others - enjoyed just seeing the VW bus. I've owned FIVE of them, four of the old style one of the newer generation. Three Westfalia campers of the 72-74 variety and one plain ol' bus of 71 vintage. I loved them even though they were slow. I got to where it was a forced "take your time" sort of mental stance.

    I liked Jenny, too.

    The little kid in the second video was too cute by half, and the "music" was poo-poo. Not that there is anything wrong with that. She'll have a fine future career as a Disney star before drifting into drugs and singing suggestive songs while wearing skanky costumes. But perhaps I'm too much of a curmudgeon.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Sixgun, That VW van seems to be a hit with voters. I also like Jenny, but the whole band are talented musicians all.

      The deer girl, Darla Jacobs, might be on a sensible track to a show biz career. Her father was a child actor and continues in the business mostly behind the scenes. Darla has so far only been credited in a few performance roles, but I think she has a future that will hopefully fare better than your prediction.

      Video-- Mexicats

      Song Mexicats

      Lee

      Delete
  14. Very interesting. Yep; totally different.

    I did not "love" I LOVE IT. A bit too out there for me - unless I was watching a kids program on NiK or Disney. The repetition was a little annoying.

    My vote goes to Jenny and the Mexicats. They looked like they were having fun, the music was upbeat, the video settings were intriguing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dolorah, if you didn't find a few laughs in the "I Love It" video you were either not watching closely or you're a bit cynical about kid-centric entertainment. The repetition to me was like life--basically the same day in and day out like it is for most of us.

      For the fun:

      Video: Mexicats

      Song Mexicats

      Lee

      Delete
  15. Here in Northern Colorado we take guests for a drive up the Cache La Poudre River to watch the rafts full of adventurous folks come down the rapids...or drive up to Rocky Mountain National Park. There's still a lot to see around this area that we haven't explored even though we've lived here 19 years now.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Patricia, I've never been into Rocky Mtn Nat Park, but I've been very close. Never had the time to do the park visit.

      There is so much to see where I am and in 26 years I've barely scratched the surface.

      Lee

      Delete
  16. This one wasn't hard for me. I really enjoyed the Mexicats. I'm not quite to Postino-bility yet. Mexicats big here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CW, no mistaking the vote here...

      A vote for Mexicats.

      Lee

      Delete
  17. Hi Lee.
    I'm definitely giving my vote to Jenny & the Mexicats (love the name too!). I really enjoyed their song and I was captivated by the video.
    The "I Love It" song: not so captivating. The video was funny... and the bridge scene seemed like a reenactment of the Melania Trump slap! Very funny. But definitely too monotonous. Wasn't moved by the costumes either.

    Have a fabulous Christmas if I don't talk to you before then...

    Michele at Angels Bark

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michele, "I Love It" hasn't been getting much love in this contest.

      A vote for Mexicats.

      Lee

      Delete
  18. Hi Lee,
    I grew up in the southern part of our state San Diego, Alhambra, Pasadena, El Monte (when it wasn't El Monte if you know what I mean). When I was a kid, the La Brea Tar Pits fascinated and horrified me. All that bubbling up of bones.

    How are you doing down there with those horrible fires? The reports have been awful to see and read about.

    I'm going with Mexicats, too. Hands down the best.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. C.Lee, one day last week it was kind of smoky, but for the most part the fires have not directly affected us where we live.

      A vote for Mexicats.

      Lee

      Delete
  19. I've been out to LA a few times in my work with Pop Star, and it's certainly an interesting place to visit. She took me to all of the most common attractions, and it's definitely a trip. Something worth seeing. Hollywood especially. Like you, however, at the end of the day... I just prefer to stay at home.

    The battle: I would have voted for Jenny and the Mexicats just based on the name alone. Brilliant name. Listening only confirmed what I thought - give them my vote! Great sound and such fun energy.

    Meanwhile, I don't know if the lyrics ever changed in 'I Love It', or if she truly just spits that phrase out every 5 seconds for 3 minutes on end, but I made it to the 1 minute mark, X'd out, and then listened to Jenny and the Mexicats again.

    ReplyDelete
  20. ABFTS, if you watch the Postino video closely all the way through there are some pretty funny gags. And the more I listened, the more drawn in by the music I became. But I kind of like getting tranced out.

    Another vote for Mexicats.

    Lee

    ReplyDelete
  21. haha I don't have to worry about that here, nothing to see but maybe water, whoopi, for hours. Mexicats get the win. That second one just got hard on the head after thirty seconds.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pat, maybe we're getting old...

      Another vote for Mexicats.

      Lee

      Delete
  22. Hey, this was a fun battle. You'll laugh when I tell you that I did like Postino, but I turned it down after the first half just to see the rest of the scenery without hearing "I Love It!"

    That may be a spoiler to my choice: Mexicats, song and video (with an honorary mention to Postino for visuals only).

    Merry Christmas, Lee!
    Cherdo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cherdo, well I won't laugh that you liked Postino because I liked it a lot.

      Mexicats.

      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