Time--2017 A to Z Theme

My theme for the 2017 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge was "Time". The posts are of a more philosophical, contemplative, and even autobiographical bent. No time management tips in this theme, but stuff intended to make you think.

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

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Eres (#BOTB)


I hate hate, but sometimes love gets overly hyped and I don't like that.  Love is not a box of chocolates.  



English: A swedish box of chocolates called &q...
 A swedish box of chocolates called "Paradis"
  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Oh, by the way--have you found any good post-Valentine's candy on sale?   I love those mark-downs...


Post-Valentine Blues

        This week I've been seeing a lot of posts about love songs.  I'd already made my mind up not to use a love song for this Battle.  I had a completely different theme in mind, but then I thought it better to postpone that post until next time and succumb to the love bug.  After all, love is everywhere these days.  At least in the stores until the leftovers are put on clearance to make way for Easter.  I guess love wins again.

         There are love songs in every language.  Love is universal and so is music.  And love makes you want to sing--or at least hear the music all around.  I've been in the lowlands of late so nothing like a couple of doses of love to pick me up.  Anyone in the mood for Mexican?

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.

Eres (You Are)

        The love song for this Battle was originally done by the group Café Tacuba, an immensely talented eclectic band from Mexico.  Among my favorite bands, I saw them in concert in 2000 at a theater in Anaheim.  "Eres" comes from their album Cuatro Caminos which won the 2003 Grammy for Best Latin Rock/Alternative Album.  If you don't mind the Spanish, this group is well worth checking out.

        Please don't vote on their version, but if you want to listen as a matter of reference their version can be heard here.   

         And now let the contest begin!


Elafrojack  "Eres"  (2013)

         Jack Vargas aka "Elafrojack" hails from Columbia.  I didn't find much about him other than he has a fairly wide social media presence and several YouTube music videos.  I know right off that some of you might not like his heavy metal approach in his cover, but for others this might be just the thing that makes you vote for his version.






Nathalia Campos "Eres" (2017)

        Nath Campos is from Mexico City. Her father is a song writer and music producer. She gives "Eres" a smoother more romantic touch.






Time to Vote!

    
    Hope you'll give these two song versions a chance.   What's your style preference between these two choices? 
  Which song version do you like best?   You don't have to know about music to have an opinion since it all comes down to your own personal taste.  
       

        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 Wednesday February 21st

      Be watching the Blogging from A to Z Challenge site for announcements about April.  A sign up list will be appearing soon as well as information about the upcoming event.   Don't miss the Battle results post on Tossing It Out next Wednesday. 

       Hasta luego amigos!








Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Writer's Lament (#IWSG) (#BOTB results)

The best thing about being sick is staying in bed and sleeping all day.  And that best thing is not really a good thing.   I'd rather just sleep at night like I normally do...

         I'm going to keep this as brief as I can since I've been very sick over the past few days and still not up to staying in front of the computer for very long.  Picked up this nasty bug somewhere--maybe from the pneumonia shot I got last Wednesday or maybe from just being at the doctor's office.  Whatever the case might be, I feel lousy right now and I'm ready to crawl back into bed.  Tomorrow will be another--and hopefully a healthier day.

       The results from my Battle of the Bands post are on down the page, but first my post for The Insecure Writer's Support Group...


Join us on the first Wednesday of each month in Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group--a forum of writers who gather to talk about writing and the writer's life. For a complete list of participants visit Alex's Blog

The co-hosts for the February 7 posting of the IWSG are Stephen Tremp, Pat Garcia, Angela Wooldridge, Victoria Marie Lees, and Madeline Mora-Summonte!


February 7 question - What do you love about the genre you write in most often?

        Well, sad to say, aside from blogging I haven't been writing anything for quite a while.  Nada!  Zilch!   I've been thinking a lot about writing, but I think about a lot of things and thinking doesn't amount to doing.  Oh, I've been doing lots of other things so all of that might add up to life experience which in turn makes for good fodder for future writing.  But I've been in a sort of a slump--a burn out phase so to speak.  And I've been doing other things that take away from writing time.

       However, when I am writing non-blog stuff then I tend to like to write memoir.   What I love about memoir is that it is real and something that I can readily connect with.  It's something that I enjoy sharing.  It's like when my mother used to tell me stories about her younger days or I used to tell my own kids stories about when I was a lad.  To me, history is important.  I didn't always understand that when I was a high school student plodding through what I thought was useless information.  Now I'd rather learn about history to see how events and people in the past brought us to where we are now and to recognize the mistakes that are being repeated repeatedly.  

       I hope my own personal history doesn't include a me who didn't record enough of my own life and got too busy to write.  But then on the larger scale it probably doesn't matter that much.  Still it should matter to me now.  That's why I need to write.  Again.  More than blog posts.   

Battle of the Bands



      My most recent Battle of the Bands (found here) featured three different band "theme songs."  I had a difficult time coming up with three actual bands so I did have to resort to using two themes from cartoon shows where the characters played in bands.

       This battle did not turn out in any way as I expected.  In fact I was somewhat shocked!   As some of you might have guessed my pick was for the theme of the one real band The Good Rats.  After all I did say they were "one of my favorite rock bands of all time."  And the Rats made a decent showing with voters.  I figured The Archies would win this Battle and the Pussycats wouldn't capture a single vote.  Boy, was I wrong!

Final Vote Tally

Archies                                    2

Josie and the Pussycats        8

The Good Rats                        7

Next Battle on Thursday February 15th

      I will surely be better by then.  Might or might not post anything before that time.  Or I might go back to doing some actual writing.

      Have you evaded sickness this year?   What is your biggest distraction from doing things you want (or need) to do?   Do you enjoy reading memoir?  









Thursday, February 1, 2018

Band Theme Songs: Hey, Hey It's Us! (#BOTB)

The Monkees (album)
The Monkees (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What's Your Theme Song?

       You might have seen this question on other blogs or elsewhere and perhaps you've come up with an answer already.  But why not ask it again?   If everyone had to have their own theme song, what would your theme song be? 

        Perhaps you'd pick an already existing song that you felt described you well or maybe a song that had some special meaning for you.  If you had a talent for writing songs you might write your own with lyrics specifically dealing with yourself.   You might be so fortunate to know someone who could write a song for you or if you could afford it, you could commission a songwriter to compose your personal theme.  There are a number of options here.

      Would you want a song with lyrics?  Or how about a melody that would serve as your theme song?   Like Prokofiev did for his musical composition Peter and the Wolf you could use specific instruments that fit your profile--a haunting oboe, a harmonica, or even a human whistle perhaps.  Lyrics could actually paint a word picture of who you are while a melody might set a mood or evoke an aspect of your personality.

      I think I'd like to write my own theme song. Otherwise I'd have to think long and hard about my own theme song based on an existing recording.

        What might you choose for your own theme song?


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.

Band Theme Songs

       There have probably been many band theme songs before The Monkees hit the scene, but I'm still not coming up with many.  The theme from The Monkees television show is the most exemplary of the kind of song I'm thinking of.  If you don't remember this theme then you can find it here, but please don't vote on it for my Battle today as I'm sure it would likely win since it is so iconic.

         The premise of this Battle is three band themes--songs that introduce the group and tell a little something about that group.  The themes are all short which is why I'm going with three choices.  Take a listen and vote on your song preference.  Hope you have fun with this...


The Archies  "Everything's Archie" (1968)

        For a group that was not exactly "real" The Archies managed to put out a few albums that actually had songs that hit the charts.  "Sugar Sugar" was their biggest charting hit, but they cranked out a number of other songs that received a fair amount of radio play. The theme song is not much on the lyrical content, but it's a silly opening theme so what else does anyone need.  There's a big Beach Boy influence in this that I detect.  What do you think?   Take a listen and tell us...

       






Josie and the Pussycats "Josie and the Pussycats"  (1970)

       The Pussycats' theme does a good job of laying out who the characters of this Archies spin-off from the early seventies are and what the show is about.  The band was originally a prefabbed group like the Monkees with a lot of help from studio musicians.   Over the years Josie and crew has reappeared in various incarnations on television as well as a feature film in 2001.   Take a listen to their theme to see how it grabs you...





The Good Rats  "We Are the Good Rats" (1968)

       The Good Rats were a real band and not a television fabrication though it might have been interesting to do a show based on these guys.   I first came upon this group in 1970 when I was in college and became enthralled with their sound--this is one of my favorite rock bands of all time.  The Rats never quite made it to gain wide exposure despite fifteen albums and a hard rocking tour schedule of mostly bars in New York and New Jersey.  They maintain a hard core fan base to this day, continuing under the leadership of Stefan Marchello, the son of the late band founder Peppi Marchello.   For your consideration, here is the Good Rats theme song from their first album...







Time to Vote!

    
    Hope you'll find a preference of what you like best among these three choices.
  Which song version do you like best?   You don't have to know about music to have an opinion since it all comes down to your own personal taste.  

        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 Wednesday February 7th

         That will also be the day of my Insecure Writer's Support Group post.  Come back next Wednesday for a double dose of fun all wrapped up in one.







Monday, January 22, 2018

Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind? (#BOTB results post)

My thoughts are a million miles away, but I've got plenty right where I am to keep me busy...

Photo by Arlee Bird


           Somewhere there's a place for me.  Probably a lot of places before I get to that great final place.  And maybe that place is a lot of places for eternity.  But for now I'm here and all is well. 

Battle of the Bands



          My most recent Battle was "Hammond Song" performed by the original artists The Roche Sisters and the group The Colourfield.  This was a very close choice for me.  I think both recordings are outstanding.

        The version by The Colourfield has a crystalline sound as clear as glass bells.  The vocals and instrumentation have a dreamy relaxing sound that I could listen to for a long time.  At least until I was lulled to sleep.  I've listened to some other songs by this group and decisively like what they do musically.

        However, The Roches have such a unique sound that carries me to places of reverie and wonder.  I like their vocals even when they approach a certain harshness.  But the angelic side of their singing demands authority in the end.  Everything that I've heard by this group earns consideration at least.  In this match I give my vote to the Roches.

         Still, the voters decided the outcome of this round of Battle.  After an even start, The Colourfield took a commanding lead to the end.

Final Vote Tally

The Colourfield              13

The Roches                       7

Next Battle Thursday February 1st

          Something else will happen on this blog between then and now.  Let me think on that a bit.

         
           Does your world keep up with where your thoughts go?  Or do you feel like the world is leaving you behind?   


Monday, January 15, 2018

Hammond Song (#BOTB)

           My wife and I have been gone for 24 days and it's good to be back.  It was a fun trip back east.  We only put about 6200 miles on our van and it was about the most perfect trip we've had yet.  I had been apprehensive about my solo portion of the trip in which I would drive from Houston to New Jersey.  It was a breeze and I found the entire journey to be relaxing.

          I spent one day at my sister's house in Maryville, Tennessee.  From there I took an extended trip to New Jersey.  Friday-my first night was spent at an old restored hotel in Marion, Virginia.  For so many years I had been intrigued by that town so I finally figured I'd stop.  It was too cold to enjoy the town, but the room was comfy and I enjoyed a peaceful evening of TV.

         Saturday was a meandering day that ended up in Winchester Virginia.  There had been a sizable snow so things were a bit of a mess. After settling into a very nice hotel I went out to a nearby Italian restaurant and had some pizza before returning to the room at about 8 PM.  Scrolling through the television channels I discovered that YouTube was available and that was the final word for me.

         My request went for a relaxing song from the seventies.  At the end of that video a recommendation came up for "Hammond Song" by the Roches.   I'd heard of the group but didn't know that much about them other than they were strange--at least from what I'd heard. I dismissed them as a novelty folk group.  I figured that maybe I should listen to this "Hammond Song" to see what I've been missing for the past forty years. 

         Talk about obsessions.  This song cast a spell on me as I spent the next three hours listening to every version of "Hammond Song" that I could find on YouTube.  They were all good in some way--or least  interesting.  I'd fallen into one of those black internet holes.  As I descended into the world of song versions, two versions kept showing up.

          Forget that Battle that I'd had scheduled ahead of time.  That one can wait as a new Battle shoves to the forefront.  I'm not sure why I became so engrossed in this song on that Saturday night.  Perhaps it reflected the mood that I was in on that evening.   Or did the song express something I could relate to?  To me there is an ethereal quality to the music with good story-telling lyrics. 

          This has become my new favorite song.  Is it just me or do you feel it too?  In any case let's get down to the business of Battle...

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.



The Colourfield  "Hammond Song"  (1985)

        This English New Wave pop band was new to me, but on hearing this cut I'm interested in hearing more from them.  This exquisite cover of "The Hammond Song" comes from their album Virgins and Philistines.

          A YouTube sampling of this group's work as well as videos by artists related to the group tells me that I like the talent behind this.  How did I miss them back in the 80s?   See what you think...




The Roches  "Hammond Song" (1979)

        I've had an awareness of The Roches since the release of their first album in 1979.  I'd just never listened to their music other than catching their appearance on Saturday Night Live in that year of their first album's release.  I own a couple of compilation albums on which the Roche sisters appeared, but can't recall what songs they sang.  They have a sometimes quirky sound, but using their voices as instruments they can create amazing sounds.

      "Hammond Song" tells a story that could come from true life--probably did in fact.  The intricate vocals with a steady rhythm backing of guitar and triangle are interlaced with tasteful synthesized guitar work by King Crimson's Robert Fripp who also is the album's producer.  The following is the first version I heard of this song...





Time to Vote!

    
    This song might not be your cup of tea, but hopefully you can pick a version that you like better than the other.
  Which song version do you like best?   You don't have to know about music to have an opinion since it all comes down to your own personal taste.  

        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 Monday January 22nd.

         No posts on this blog until next Monday.  Please vote and leave whatever other comments you'd like to make.  I've had a long break and I'll have to get back into the swing of this blogging thing.  Your comments will help.

            Have you ever gotten obsessed with a song to the point that you play it repeatedly?    Why do you think certain songs stand out for us?   Do you enjoy traveling alone?