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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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

My Favorite Things (#BOTB) (#IWSG)



          Another successful year of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is now almost behind us.  The letter posts are done but don't forget to join us in our annual Reflections posts starting Monday May 7th.   And visit the A to Z Blog on May 3rd to participate in our after Challenge poll.  We have some questions for you and want to know your thoughts...





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 awesome co-hosts for the May 2 posting of the IWSG are E.M.A. Timar, J. Q. Rose, C.  LeeMcKenzie, and Raimey Gallant! Please visit their blogs to say hello and thank you!



May 2 question - It’s spring! Does this season inspire you to write more than others, or not?

         This is a question that I've never thought about before hence I'm not sure that I can provide any quantifiable answer--that is until the past several years.  One certain thing is that since I've been doing the A to Z Challenge I definitely write more in March and April, even if it is only blog posts.  For me that's writing as much as anything is. 

         Furthermore, with the A to Z writing comes a flood of ideas for future writing and other projects.  I even started some new future blog posts.  I've also been reassessing who I am as a writer and where I should take things next.  And most exciting for me at the moment is that during the past week I've written a song that I think is a pretty darn good one and I'll be polishing that up over the next couple of weeks. 

         When I was still in college I can recall springtime calling me out to read and write on grassy lawns or in one of the student facilities geared toward studious activities.  But then I think I was writing about equally in all seasons.  Now I don't see any connection to writing and seasons other than the A to Z Blogging.   I'm thankful that I've got that event to spur me on.

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.


My Favorite Things

        Some of my favorite things are the Blogging from A to Z Challenge and Insecure Writer's Support Group.   One of my most favorite things is Battle of the Bands which is why I haven't missed a one of these since they first started about five years ago.  That's a lot of Battles with a lot of great music! 

         BOTB co-founder Stephen T. McCarthy (as well as others) and I have pondered the question of why some people like certain things better than others.  The concept of "favorites" can be perplexing at times and probably would require a fairly in-depth study why some of us like certain things while others don't.  If anyone has an answer to this question I welcome your input on this subject.

        In the past few weeks I started hearing a song on a Volvo commercial that sounded vaguely familiar.  I didn't pay too much attention at first, but as the song started securing itself in my brain I started paying attention to it.  At that point I realized I was hearing an updated electronica version of "My Favorite Things" from Sound of Music

         I happen to know that this is a favorite song of my friend Stephen T McCarthy because we've discussed it in the past.   On the other hand, as I have mentioned to STMcC, "Favorite Things" is far from my favorite things.  I don't dislike hearing it, but I think it might be something about the lyrics that I don't care for.   As I have conceded to Stephen in the past, I do agree that the melody is very nice which is probably why I like the song better as an instrumental than a vocal number.

       Hearing the Volvo commercial repeatedly eventually earwormed the song into my head--or at least this version.   The immediacy of hearing this commercial decided my first post-A-to-Z blog post.   All other songs in my queue get knocked down a notch as this May Day round matches two versions of the song "My Favorite Things"...
         

Nora Khalif  "My Favorite Things"  (2018)

        I don't have any info on the artist, but this is the commercial version of a recording that presumably is still in the works for a longer version sometime down the road.   At least this version is very short which makes it a good pick for Battle of the Bands...

       






Joe Raciti  "My Favorite Things"  (2010)

        If we're going with odd versions of an old classic, then this "creepy" version seems to fit that bill.   I didn't research to find anything about the artist, but I did watch several of his videos.  He's got some interesting stuff on YouTube if you are intrigued after watching this video.   But first listen to his version of "Favorite Things"--and if you are able to do so you might enjoy watching the video--it's kind of weird, but good...







Time to Vote!

    
   
  Please vote. What's your favorite 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 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

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

Angel's Bark  

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 


Cherdo on the Flipside 



Winner of this Battle Announced on Tuesday May 8th

          Hope you'll stop by for my A to Z Reflections post on Monday May 7th, but definitely if you've voted in this current contest then you'll want to see who comes out on top.   By the way, due to a death in the family I will be away from the computer until Friday May 4th on which day I will hopefully make it around to all of the other BOTB posts.  Hope you'll bear with me on this, but it was not in my plans.

            Will you be submitting an A to Z Reflections post this year?    When you write do you tend to get a renewed creative energy to do more things?   Do you like hearing old classic songs in updated unconventional versions?







44 comments:

  1. Good day Lee,
    I think I will stick with the Nora Khalif version. I loved the song in The Sound Of Music.
    Yvonne.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yvonne, it's a favorite song of many.

      Voting starts with Nora.

      Lee

      Delete
  2. You wrote a song? Very cool.
    I'm more of a traditionalist with that song, so the first one wins for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alex, I used to write a lot of songs, but this is the first one that's grabbed hold of me in a long time. Now to see if I can actually do something with the song.

      A vote for Nora.

      Lee

      Delete
  3. The second one was a little bland without the singing. Nora Khalif's version is pretty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. L.Diane, maybe you didn't listen to where the singing started on Joe's version?

      A vote for Nora.

      Lee

      Delete
  4. My Favorite Things is one of my favorite songs from Sound of Music. While Nora Khalif 'sounded' better, I found her repetition of just a line or two to be a bit monotonous. On the other hand, Joe Raciti was weird.

    Although Joe was weird, I felt that he was adding a few elements to the song that made it interesting to listen to. For this reason, I am casting my vote for Joe Raciti

    ~Mary
    Put On Your Big Boy/Girl Panties NSFW #BattleOfTheBands

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mary, I guess the repetitiveness comes from the style of music maybe? And it is what might be referred to as a "sample" of a larger work to come and it's just been edited together to be longer.

      Weird gets the vote for Joe.

      Lee

      Delete
  5. As far as I'm concerned, the Nora Khalif version wasn't the song, it was simply the first verse sung over and over. Joe Raciti's version was a little cacaphonous, but it was closer to the song, so I vote Joe.

    I'm so accustomed to writing every day for my blog that I've learned to get it in gear regardless of season, weather, or any other outside factor. The A to Z Challenge is still the highlight of my blog year, of course, but I keep everything else going while that's happening.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John, like a pro news writer or something similar, you keep on blogging. I tried that for a while, but I found I got more comments per post when they appeared just a few times a week.

      A vote for Joe.

      Lee

      Delete
  6. Sorry to hear about your news. Spring weather can be inspiring, but it's so unpredictable in these parts that I have to self-motivate. Something nice about writing with rain pouring down too, you don't feel like you should be outside.

    I would have to go for Joe. Creepy but interesting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nick, writing while it's raining sounds very nice--or if it's cold and snowy outside.

      Another for Creepy Joe.

      Lee

      Delete
  7. Hi Lee!

    You wrote a song? Fantastic!

    Nora gets my vote, but nothing compares to the original ;-)
    Joe wasn't bad, kind of Phantom at the Christmas Opera...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diedre, over the years I've written many songs that have ended up in my closet. More clutter in a way, but creative clutter.

      Another vote for Nora.

      Lee

      Delete
  8. Hmm... this one's really a toss up to me (blog-appropriate) but give me the first one... it had a bit more life to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CW, a toss-up tossed out appropriately as a vote for Nora.

      Lee

      Delete
  9. Raciti was a really interesting video. I liked the attempt he was making to do "rounds" with himself while also providing verbal percussion.

    I don't think he did a fabulous job of it... but at least he did the song rather than just one verse. A better voice would have helped. He STILL WINS, though!

    I'm sorry about the death in your family that draws you away for a couple of days, and I won't check back for your comment until the end of the week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SBoy VI, I think with better recording the sound would have been much better and more balanced. He has some other pretty interesting videos that display his creativity.

      Another vote for Joe.

      Lee

      Delete
  10. AS far as BOTB goes, I guess I'm always into creepy. The first one was ok, but really just repeating one line. Even in cool electronica, its too repetitions.

    Raciti gets my vote - but for creativity, no cuz he did the song justice.

    So cool you wrote a song! A-Z sure does get the creative juices flowing. Its all that social interraction (commenting) that daunts me. I bet you did more writing out in the sun when it was pen and paper, not a reflective screen, lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dolorah, when I start doing creative things then it fires up more creative thinking. A to Z provides a nice impetus to use my creative sense. I definitely only wrote with pen and paper back then.

      Creepy gets the vote again--Joe

      Lee

      Delete
  11. I had to miss the A to Z this year. Two book coming out in May just didn't allow the time. Like you, I got ideas from my alphabetical posts for future posts. Hope to take that challenge on next year. As to my vote, I'm going with Bright Copper!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. C.Lee, book business should always come before blogging business--unless a blog is making more money than a published book. Hope you can join us next year for the 10th Annual.

      Another vote for Nora.

      Lee

      Delete
  12. You sure seemed to do a lot, but maybe you're that busy all year round. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anna, I'm most busy finding ways not to be overly busy, but I still find time to do a lot.

      Lee

      Delete
  13. Lee,

    I'm running behind and have lots to do still before DH goes in for surgery tomorrow, so I'm going to tell straight up which version I like the best. Give my vote to Joe Raciti. The creepy version appealed to me more than the commercial version which seemed too odd to suit my ears. Maybe, I'm just odd. Oh well, interesting battle song. I'll answer one of your questions, I do plan on putting together a reflections post but I haven't even started on it yet. It may go up later next week. Good battle, my friend. See ya around!

    ~Curious as a Cathy
    Rock Country Roads #BoTB Showdown

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cathy, I'm running late too after my quick trip to Florida. Hope the surgery went well.

      A vote for Joe.

      Lee

      Delete
  14. We have you to thank for inspiring us to write in April, Lee - so thanks. Although, maybe Spring keeps us going.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Roland, Spring is encouraging, but something like A to Z provides a goal to shoot for and bragging rights if we finish.

      Lee

      Delete
  15. ​Hey, LEE, sorry to learn of the death in the family. I hope you all will come to experience the Peace of God which surpasses understanding.

    Indeed, not only do I love the song 'My Favorite Things', but I would say that, for me, in all of recorded music, it's the #1 "earworm". Thank God I love it, because it would be an unbearable torture otherwise. (Yep, I have some musical earworms that I actually dislike strongly. How they bury themselves into my brain and start playing on an endless loop despite the fact that I truly dislike them is yet another mystery I can't explain.)

    As you likely remember, I used this song in BOTB way back in 2013. It was a 3-Way in which Julie Andrews & The Carpenters tied, and Diana Ross & The Supremes got only 1 vote -- mine! Funny that I should be the only person to vote for the version of this song that is probably my all-time favorite.

    I agree with you that it's more about the melody than the lyrics. I DO like the lyrics, but I'd probably have never thought twice about them had they been married instead to a melody that didn't have such a pronounced lilting quality to it.

    I read all of your post and all of the comments FIRST, before listening to either recording you've posted here, and based on that, I fully expected to be voting for Nora. But to my tremendous surprise (and perhaps yours, too), I am voting for JOE RACITI.

    I didn't care for Nora's voice, and even less the electronic background "music". (Too synthy-'80s sounding for my tastes.) And what is that word she's singing? "Whiskits" instead of "whiskers"?

    Joe's version was far from one of the best I've heard but it wasn't bad at all. Like Sheboygan Brother mentioned, I too thought his "vocal percussion" gimmick was kind of cool.

    I probably would have liked his cover even better had I just listened and not watched the video. At first he reminded me of someone having some sort of seizure. And as it continued, I started thinking: He's having pretty hot sex with an invisible partner.

    Anyway, I hope you and your family are doing as well as possible under the circumstances, Lee.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    STMcC Presents 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS'

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    Replies
    1. STMcC, Joe has some very weird videos on his channel. He seems like a very creative guy.

      I'm not surprised by your vote. I'd like to have heard Joe record the song with better recording quality.

      A vote for Joe.

      And all is well with all of us.

      Lee

      Delete
  16. I. Sorry to hear about the death of a family member. This is never easy so my condolences to you and you wife and family. I can see why some people write less now because they would rather be outside and garden etc... but I can also see people feel more alive and wanting to write. 8n the end, it depends on the person. I will write my A to Z post and always enjoy it even if I fall behind. I always thought I was one who could change easily but I am not! I don’t like that about myself but I have to admit to it. I like this song but wish the Tate’s would stop trying t9 make this a Christmas song just because there are a few references to winter and Christmas is mentioned. Hearing both I am going with the Volvo commercial. The gal has a steamy voice actually and I liked that style. Creepy guy is all over t(e place and it made it hard to listen to so Volvo gets my vote

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Birgit, writing when the urge strikes probably makes most sense, but implications of weather have to be factored in.

      The song has kind of stuck with me as a Christmas song as well. We sang it in a 4th grade Christmas program at school--that would have been about 1961.

      A vote for Nora.

      Lee

      Delete
  17. Sincere condolences, Lee, on the loss of your family member.

    Congratulations on another succesful A to Z Challenge run! Sorry I couldn't keep up with too many posts. Maybe next year!

    This is an interesting battle. I didn't like the musical arrangement or the vocals that much in the Volvo commercial, but the "Creepy" version held my interest. Please give my vote to him!

    P.S. How cool that you wrote a song! Will you record it for all of us to listen to? ☺

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Debbie D, I've got to finish the song up and then figure out the technology of what needs to be done to have a working copy. I love for others to hear what I've come up with.

      A vote for Joe.

      Lee

      Delete
  18. The Raciti version has my vote hands down. It kept my interest for the entire time.

    Prayers are with you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan K, thanks for your prayers. This week I've realized there are always a lot of prayers, but we can never pray enough.

      A vote for Joe.

      Lee

      Delete
  19. Very sorry to hear about your loss!

    I like the Joe Raciti version more. The mood is more my style, and seems very fun.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Carrie-Anne, losing a family member so unexpectedly is a jolt of reality that puts my own life in a different perspective.

      A vote for Joe.

      Lee

      Delete
  20. Glad to see you survived another April! I think I'll vote for Nora. It captures me quicker.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I love Nora version better. She has the vibe that makes you want to hear the rest of it. My votes for Nora

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    Replies
    1. Jamila, thanks for the visit. Your vote is too late to count, but with the other vote Nora would be now at a tie.

      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