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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Saturday, August 22, 2020

Surprise My Heart Again! ( #BOTB Results )



           What was I thinking in this previous Battle?    Well, looking back, my aim was to see if anyone else could hear a similarity between two songs.  My expectation was that the currently popular artist Finneas singing in English would be the predominate favorite.  I projected that outcome way wrong.  Finneas captured a few votes while Gianluca Grignani ran away with the rest including my own.  His song ranks high on my list of favorite songs.

           As to the similarity between the two songs, the question was unaddressed by most who left a comment.  However there were some good observations:

I hear an "emotional similarity" but not a musical one.  said  Sixgun McItchyfinger
   
"As for the song being similar, to quote Billie Eilish, "Duh." They are basically carbon copies of each other, in some ways. But I doubt either artist has heard the other. In one, I hear "Where Do You Go To My Lovely" as sung by the late Peter Sarstedt. But hey, that's just me." so commented Myke Todd

So I checked out "Where Do You Go to My Lovely" to see if I agreed about the similarity.  I can hear it.  Now does anyone know if there is some kind of special musical term to describe this sort of thing?  Just wondering...

Battle of the Bands Results





Final Vote Tally

Finneas                          3

Gianluca Grignani        12


Next Battle on the First of September

      Wait can that be right?  Where has this year gone so quickly?  Where is it going next?










Saturday, August 15, 2020

Sounds Similar--To Me at Least ( #BOTB )


         This is not the Battle I planned for this round, but then something came up this past week that kind of insisted that I change my original plan to use this Battle that's been in the hopper for several weeks.  What inspired this Battle originally was when I saw on America's Got Talent a 17 year old high school student from Nashville TN sing a song that I'd never heard before, a song with what I think is a beautiful haunting melody.  It's one of those kind of songs that sticks with me.

         After hearing it, I looked it up on YouTube and found that the song "Break My Heart Again" was by another artist that I'd never heard of by the name of Finneas.  Yes, I'm certainly out of touch with music.  Finneas is the brother of Grammy award winning artist Billie Ellish and he's won a few Grammies as well.  I am out of touch with modern music, but ho-hum.

             Now, I'm sure a few of you might consider the song rather schmaltzy--it's kind of a tear-jerker for sure--but like I say--I'm a sucker for a lovely melody and I think this song has it.  Anyway, soon after I figured out who sang the song and listened to it by the original artist a few more times, I came to the realization that the song was very familiar to me.  Had I heard it before?  I was sure that I had not, but I decided that it must sound like another song I'd heard.

        It took a bit of pondering on the subject before it struck me that it sounded very similar to one of my very favorite Spanish language songs called "Mi Historia Entre Tus Dedos" ("My Story Between Your Fingers") by Italian artist Gianluca Grignani.  I used covers of this song in a Battle that I did over four years ago (you can find it here along with the translation of the lyrics). 

         But this may be just me.  However, I think there is a great deal of similarity between the songs though I can't precisely call it from a technical musical perspective.  Maybe it's the tempo, the key, chord progressions, but whatever it is the songs sound very similar to me.  I'll let you listen and be the judge.

         Back when I first added this Battle to my queue I figured I'd get around to doing this Battle someday. That was until this past week when I was again watching America's Got Talent and last year's winner, the incredibly talented blind autistic singer Kodi Lee performed the Finneas song (listen here).   The song and the someday Battle had been bugging me as it was and after hearing Kodi perform it again my original Battle for this week was put back in queue so I could get this one out of the way.

        Okay, so that's my story and now for the 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 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.

 On to the Contest

          This might be a mostly giveaway Battle.  On one hand we have a currently popular artist who those of you who are hip to the new stuff will probably know singing a heart-wrenching song with a dreamy melody.  On the other hand we have an Italian artist from the 1990's singing a song in Spanish so that you might not understand what he's singing, but still might appreciate the melodic accompaniment the words are set to and the melody of the song itself.  The song always mesmerizes me when I listen to it.

          But these songs have been fixating themselves in my mindscape. Hope you enjoy and can  name your favorite in the comments.  I know which one I'm choosing, but you'll have to wait for my results post.  Now listen and vote...


Finneas   "Break My Heart Again"  (2019)






Gianluca Grignani   "Mi Historia Entre Tus Dedos"   (1995)





Time to Vote!
        
       Personally I think this is a tough call, but after all they both sound somewhat similar to me.   Which song 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 Saturday August 22nd
    
           I've got some more "sounds like" Battle in my line-up so I hope this one goes well.  Vote.  Come back to see which was the popular favorite.  See you then...










Monday, August 10, 2020

Did the Best Man Win? ( #BOTB Results )

I'm not much for saying whether something is "the best" because that's an opinion. I might be able to say what's best according to my taste and even then that can change from one moment to the next...

Anybody playing games during these China Virus days?  


Battle of the Bands Results



        My most recent Battle included recordings of three different songs by three different groups.  All songs were statements regarding being a man.  Two are pretty much rock classics while the other is by a group with which most of you were unfamiliar.  The two more familiar songs both carried the title "I'm a Man" and were performed by The Yardbirds and Spencer Davis Group.  The third by a mostly unknown group called The Illusion was a song that I had always mistakenly thought was called "I'm a Man" though the actual title is just "Man".  Since I've owned their album on vinyl since 1970 I probably should have realized my mistake, but I guess I just never paid attention to what is on the album cover.

         My inspiration for this Battle was because I wanted to introduce readers to this latter group which I think is quite good.  I only base my opinion on this one album since I've never heard their two earlier albums.  The Illusion album If It's So is just that good in my opinion and opinions are what these BOTB installments are all about. 

          Considering my inspiration for the Battle I think it's probably pretty easy for you to discern that my choice in this Battle was the song by The Illusion.  I like all three songs a great deal, but I just think The Illusion's "Man" is a bit of a rock and roll tour de force. Stephen suggest that  their song was "self-indulgent...overly long and jammy" but that's part of why I like it.  As always, and as it's meant to be, BOTB is an exercise in musical preferences and opinions.  That's what makes it tick!

         If The Illusion hadn't been in the mix then I'd have chosen The Yardbirds with it's psychedelic rave sound.  Still, the Spencer Davis Group song is a good one in my book.  Aside from a low showing of support for The Yardbirds, this contest was a tight race.  That's the kind of Battle I like to see.

Final Vote Tally

The Yardbirds                    2 votes

Spencer Davis Group        6 votes

The Illusion                       8 votes



Next Battle on Saturday August 15th

         Hope you stop by to vote for that one.   Weather has cooled down a bit recently here in Los Angeles which is good for my A/C bill.  And since about all we do is stay home, it's nice to be comfortable and not sweltering.   Now if I could only go places and not have to wear a ridiculous mask.   I'll just leave it at that, but you are welcome to leave your thoughts if you want to.  Hey, a lot of us don't have much else to do these days but sit around and think...













Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Maybe Kinda Sorta ( #IWSG )



If you haven't voted on my most recent Battle of the Bands then I invite you to visit here and let your preference be known.   And now on with my August posting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group...





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 August 5 posting of the IWSG are Susan Baury Rouchard, Nancy Gideon, Jennifer Lane, Jennifer Hawes, Chemist Ken, and Chrys Fey!


August 5 question - Quote: "Although I have written a short story collection, the form found me and not the other way around. Don't write short stories, novels or poems. Just write your truth and your stories will mold into the shapes they need to be."
Have you ever written a piece that became a form, or even a genre, you hadn't planned on writing in? Or do you choose a form/genre in advance?



           Back when I was in high school and college I kept a dream journal.  I kept it partly as a sort of self-analysis or something, but I also enjoyed the surrealism of the dream world.  Being prone to writing as it was, I began to make stories out of some of the dreams.  At other times the dreams might inspire a song or a poem.  I guess I could say my exercise in journaling inspired writing in other forms that were in a sense like a bonus--something I hadn't planned on doing.

         In my more recent years, distanced from those school years by some five decades, I'm finding that as I am inspired to write songs, certain songs call for me to write a story that helps me visualize the songs better.  And more and more I'm less drawn to fiction as my thoughts turn more to memoir.

        Maybe in a way I've gone full circle from where I started in my writing interest.  These days I crave more reality as real life around me seems to become increasingly more unreal.  Who needs fiction when the real world has become so wildly crazy?  No wonder I'm looking back.


         If "2020" had been written as a novel years ago, would you have believed it?    Has this year been more inspirational to you, more distracting, or more something else?   Where do we go from here in your estimation?  







     





Saturday, August 1, 2020

I'm a Man ( #BOTB )


These days I seem to have a lot going against me according to certain opinions--I'm white, I'm older, I'm American, and I'm a man.  So if anyone has a problem with that then that's their problem and not mine.  I am who I am and I'm okay with that.  Why shouldn't I be?  

Ten years ago I was 30 pounds heavier than I am today, I still had a mustache and had recently become a grandpa--Now I have 7 grandkids!  Hard to believe!





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.



The Yardbirds  "I'm a Man"  (1966)

       This song was originally written and recorded by Bo Diddley, but many of you might be more familiar with the sped up version as performed by The Yardbirds.  Through its history this band helped to catapult the careers of some of rock's most famous guitarists--Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and Jeff Beck. The Yardbirds are one of the most influential groups in rock and roll.  Enjoy this blast from the past...






Spencer Davis Group   "I'm a Man"   (1967)

         Stevie Winwood was the singer and co-writer of this song with the title "I'm a Man" which hit the Billboard charts in the U.S. at #10.  Later the band Chicago would cover the song on their first album and charted with their version as well.  I will say that over the years I've grown to like this song better than when it first came out.  That might have been partly due to the Chicago cover.  See what you think of this song in comparison with the others in this Battle...





The Illusion   "Man"  (1970)

        The Illusion was a critically acclaimed band  from Long Island NY.  Unfortunately, even though they managed to release three albums, they never gained much commercial success.  They first caught my attention when I heard their If It's So album played in its entirety on an FM station that I think was broadcasting from Lenoir City TN in 1970. That's when FM stations were pretty cool and did some pretty random stuff.  I was immediately enraptured by the album and bought a copy soon after which I still have in my LP collection.  Apparently the song "Man" was a mondegreen for me as I had always thought the song was saying "I'm a man" in the chorus.  I guess the song listing on the cover didn't register with me.  No matter though as this album is among my favorites in my collection.  See what you think about the song...





Time to Vote!
         You don't have to be a man to vote for your favorite of these three songs because all are welcome to play.  Which song 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 Monday August 10th
  
           This coming Wednesday I'll be presenting my post for Insecure Writer's Support Group so I'll hope you'll stop by for that.  I'm going to post my results for this Battle on a Monday because I never seem to get much response from a Friday post.  For that matter the results posts don't seem to get much attention either.   But I post them anyway because it just seems like the right thing to do.