This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

This blog is part of my life journey. I've got places to be and people to see along the way. Hope you'll join me and maybe join in the discussion...

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

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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Who Had the Better Parachute? ( #BOTB Results )

 Darkness has been coming earlier and a coolness has drenched the Los Angeles atmosphere.  I hope it stays this way for a while.  It's looks like it could rain.  Maybe it will.  Whatever happens is good.  Find good in everything.  That's what I try to believe most of the time...



Battle of the Bands Results


Parachute Showdown

      My most recent Battle was two Los Angeles area groups doing different songs with the same name of "Parachute".   

      I liked both performances a great deal so either was a winner for me.  But going with style, I prefer that dreamy kind of psychedelic style of Covet so I'll give my vote to their song.  And thusly I avoid a tie.  But, yeah, for me it's Covet.

Final Vote Tally

Thee Lakesiders                6 votes

Covet                                 8 votes


Next Battle on Sunday November 1

        Will I be the only one with a Battle on that day?  Will any of us still be here at the end of that week?   Is 2020 almost over?




Thursday, October 15, 2020

Parachute ( #BOTB )

       The year 2020 so far has been free-falling for months.  At some point we're going to crash.  Somebody hand me a parachute so I can soften the landing...

        Just the other day I was watching a local show about music in the area.  The featured act particularly caught my attention. Curious to hear more I looked them up on YouTube where I found among their several songs a song called "Parachute".  And so comes another Battle of the Bands...


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 there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle excepting over these summer months.   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.


Parachute

        I don't know how many songs have the title "Parachute".  It's kind of a good metaphor so I'd think there could be a number of them.  Being lazy I decided to stop after I'd found two, both bands with ties to Los Angeles.   They're different enough in style that I'm thinking votes might be well distributed.  But you've got to vote.  Take a listen...


Thee Lakesiders   "Parachute"  (2018)

      This young Chicano duo from Los Angeles has a retro sound that evokes fifties music yet they are firmly rooted in the lowrider culture from whence they came. 








Covet   "Parachute"  (2020)

         This "Math Rock" trio from California features the multi-talented guitar virtuoso Yvette Young.  The band began as an instrumental group, but as this video displays, Yvette is a good singer as well.







Time to Vote!
        
           As you float back to the here and now on planet Earth maybe you can cast a vote.  Now let your opinion be heard!  Which version do you prefer?   Hopefully you have an opinion of some kind.  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

 ‘Storms and Stardust’ 

  '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 

A I Love Music


Winner of this Battle Announced Thursday October 22nd









Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Out of the Box and In Again ( #IWSG & #BOTB Results )

 From a personal perspective, the COVID absurdity came along at the best time in my life--I'm not in school, not working a job, not having to socialize with anyone for any reason.  Being retired, the lockdowns and restrictions haven't mattered to me since I'm mostly doing the same thing now that I've been doing over the past few years.  And so I'll keep telling myself...




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 October 7 posting of the IWSG are Jemima Pett, Beth Camp, Beverly Stowe McClure, and Gwen Gardner!



October 7 question - When you think of the term working writer, what does that look like to you? What do you think it is supposed to look like? Do you see yourself as a working writer or aspiring or hobbyist, and if latter two, what does that look like?

        If I were a working writer then I'd be working at writing and making money at it.  Since I'm doing neither then the term working writer doesn't apply to me.  The most writing work I've been doing of late is writing these blog posts so I don't consider that to be much in the way of work and I'm certainly not making any money writing.  

         So I guess my writing these days would be more as a hobbyist and I'm doing a pretty lousy job at that as well.  One should have some degree of passion in pursuing a hobby.  My passion just ain't there either.  These days when I write I'm more in a mood of just getting it out of the way rather than immersing myself in the joy of the experience of writing.

        Recently I dug my old stamp collection from childhood out of the closet.  Perusing some of the old albums and other items from those days of pursuing my hobby of philately, old memories came back to me of the excitement of the quest to fill blank spaces in my albums and the hours of pleasure derived in organizing and studying my stamp collection.  I was passionate about that hobby in those younger days.  But then, I eventually put my stamps away into a box labeled "Stamp Collection" and it has remained stowed away with my other life stuff until it found its way into the closet where it now resides--next to another box labeled "Writing".  

        That probably pretty well sums up my writing life these days.  Stuff stored away in boxes or recesses of memory.  Hopefully this is a temporary state of affairs.  Just like the COVID restrictions.  I'd like to think that this too shall pass.

          Everything does eventually...



Battle of the Bands Results




    Lithium

      My most recent Battle featured two versions of the Nirvana song "Lithium" and it did not go over too well with my visitors.  Firstly, I was surprised how many of the commenters didn't seem to know the song.   I've heard that song so often even though I was never a big Nirvana fan.  I guess it wasn't as memorable a tune as I thought it was.

      And once again, my eclectic tastes and predilection for the weird was apparently a bit off putting to those who did vote.  Not many cared for the song nor either version that I presented in my Battle.  Maybe I should stick to more known entities, but I like to go off into the woods sometimes--well, maybe a lot of the time.

       I liked both versions a great deal (that's why I used these versions).  Since I was a kid I've liked Middle Eastern music.  My favorite Led Zep song?  "Kashmir" of course.  I've long enjoyed exotic sounds from around the world and when you add the modern touch of rock and pop, for me it can be very engaging.  

        When it comes to jazz music I am especially fond of jazz trios--primarily with instrumentation in the mode of The Bad Plus.  Crazy improvisation with sharp percussion grooves cool with me.  Then with the somewhat psycho sounding vocals added on top of it all I was understanding the crave for lithium.  That version was out of sight and over the moon to use vernacular of another age.

        It was a tough choice for me because I could have gone in either direction (Middle East or Far West?).  In the final analysis I had to go with The Bad Plus.  I have to admit I didn't expect so much dislike or ambivalence to these versions, but in the end whatever preference there was turned out pretty equal.  

       I'll call this Battle a good outcome with an asterisk*


Final Vote Tally

Shefita                       6 votes

The Bad Plus             5 votes


Next Battle of the Bands on Thursday October 15th

           I plan to be here then.  Will you join me?










Thursday, October 1, 2020

Lithium (#BOTB)

The United States has become so divided, so mixed up, so outlandishly crazy at times, so seemingly self-destructive, that one might wonder if we need extra lithium added to our water supply...





How About a Hearty Dose of Lithium to Cure the Ills of the World?

       Lithium is an element that can be found just about everywhere including the food we eat and the water we drink.  Since the mid-nineteenth century lithium has been used to treat various mental disorders and lithium compounds are still used regularly to help patients afflicted with conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, and others.  

       The lithium salts induce a calming effect and can reduce suicidal tendencies.  My late youngest brother, who was diagnosed as schizophrenic, was on lithium for many years--at least since the eighties.  When he passed away in 2017 he was very likely still on lithium.  I can recall at least one occasion when he stopped taking his lithium he descended into a highly agitated state until he resumed taking his prescribed doses.  From all indications that I observed, lithium was very helpful in keeping him in a fairly docile and reasonable state.  And believe me, he was a pretty big guy and one you didn't want to see agitated.

        Not to make light of mental illness--like I say my late brother suffered from it and this was a burden upon our parents as well as a sadness for all of my siblings--I do believe there is a great deal of crazy in our world today.  Just look at the so-called "peaceful protests" so many U.S. cities have endured this past year.  There is something not quite right about what has been going on and I don't think it has much really to do with racial or any other kind of injustice or whatever grievances these people claim.

         So what IS going on anyway?  Maybe we'll have a clearer perception after the election or maybe things will just get crazier.  Leftist lunacy has been around for a while now and I can't say that thinking has made the world a better place.  Perhaps these people need more God in their lives?  Or maybe less college indoctrination?   

         Or it might just be that a liberal dose of lithium in the water supply will do the trick.  Actually this is a serious suggestion made by some scientists.  Google it and you can find a number of references to this concept, the suggestion being that the additive might reduce suicide, crime, and depression.  I'm not sure how good of an idea this would be--maybe a notch better than adding LSD to the water supply, but, hey, I'm no scientist so what do I know? 


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 there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle excepting over these summer months.   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.




Lithium

      The song was originally recorded by angst-ridden Nirvana (you can hear their version if you click this link, but please don't vote on this one).  In this episode of Battle of the Bands I'm offering up a couple of pretty crazy sounding versions of the song.  But it's a pretty crazy song anyway so I guess just about any version would sound crazy.   So just take a listen and see which version you like best...




Shefita   "Lithium"   (2018)

     Though a Jew from Israel, Shefita's stage persona is an Arabic diva who specializes in unique covers of popular rock songs,   




The Bad Plus   "Lithium"  (2008)
       Making their second appearance on my Battle of the Bands, The Bad Plus is a jazz trio that often has performed and recorded covers of rock songs.   Avant-garde is one way to describe this groups music or maybe to some of you it might just be crazy sounding jazz...




Time to Vote!
        
           Hope the music didn't agitate you in any way and you were able to listen with an open mind.  Now let your opinion be heard!  Which version do you prefer?   Hopefully you have an opinion of some kind.  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

 ‘Storms and Stardust’ 

  '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 

A I Love Music


Winner of this Battle Announced on Wednesday October 7th

         The results of this Battle will be incorporated in my Insecure Writer's Support Group post for October.  This is my first post using Blogger's new format which has been forced on us Blogger users.  I hope everything shows up okay when it publishes because it sure doesn't look right from my vantage point on the composition page.  The preview looks fine though so hopefully that's the way it will really publish.  Sometimes these media sites drive me crazy.  Pass the lithium please...


           Have you ever taken lithium salts?   Do you think the crazy will end soon or will it get worse?   Who else hates the new Blogger format with a passion?