This Is Me--2024 A to Z Theme

My A to Z Themes in the past have covered a range of topics and for 2024 the theme is a personal retrospective that I call "I Coulda Been" which is in reference to my job and career arc over my lifetime. I'll be looking at all sorts of occupations that I have done or could have done. Maybe you've done some of these too!

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



'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?