This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

My A to Z Theme for 2022 is My Vinyl Record Collection. This will be about the music I still have on my shelf. Be sure to check the links for samples of the albums and music I'll be talking about. There will be a lot of interesting music ahead for your listening enjoyment.

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

It's About Time ( #IWSG )

 

        My current Battle of the Bands has a Halloween theme.  Please visit this post so you can vote for your favorite songs and costume themes between ghosts, witches, and vampires.  Get in the spirit for Halloween!


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 5 posting of the IWSG are Tonja Drecker, Victoria Marie Lees, Mary Aalgaard, and Sandra Cox!




October 5 question - What do you consider the best characteristics of your favorite genre?


   All the Time in the World (or Wherever)

         As I've mentioned in past posts, I've grown more drawn to non-fiction than fiction.  Most of my reading these days is non-fiction because I prefer reading about reality rather than fantasy.   This also goes for my writing goals.  If I were going to write something these days I might be more inclined to stick with non-fiction--most likely memoir.   However this is not to say I'd never write fiction.  There are still a lot of ideas for fictional stories in my head.

          When it comes to fiction, my favorite go-to genre is time travel.  There is so much that can be done with time travel and stories in this sub-genre can fit into many other categories such as sci-fi, fantasy, romance, and so on.  The possibilities with time travel are endless which is the first big plus in writing, reading, or watching such stories. 

          What I especially like about the time travel genre is being able to tap into and speculate about real events and people in history.   I enjoy research and when writing about reality from a fictional perspective it is imperative to get the history right if the writer hopes to gain credibility with an audience.  Time travel can contain the elements of non-fiction while allowing the writer or reader to take a story into realms of imagination.

         Personally, I'd love to be able to travel through time, and imagining and speculating about the experience can be almost as good as doing it without any risk or having to leave ones safe place.  Fiction is all about the what-if factor and since it's unlikely we'll ever be able to actually travel through time then imagining the experience is as good as we can ever probably do.

          Maybe someday I'll be able to time travel, but more than likely it's going to be through my writing about it and stretching my imagination to far-off places and times.   Probably the best part of the time travel genre is it's versatility.   Like space, time is limitless and the story potential never ends.  Time travel is truly a genre that can encompass all of the other genres.

 

             Do you enjoy time travel stories?   What are some of your favorites?   If you avoid the time travel genre, why? 








Saturday, October 1, 2022

Ghosts, Witches, and Vampires ( #BOTB )

         It's October!  Time for Halloween and all the scary stuff that comes with that day of the year.  Are you ready for all the ghouls and other assorted characters who will be soon be tap tap tapping at your door in search of handouts?  But before that happens, are you ready for 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.


Halloween Inspired Battle

         Being as such that Halloween is such a popular time of each year--one of the biggest retail events of the year--why don't we have Halloween anthems and songs like we do at Christmas?   There are the traditional favorites like "Monster Mash" or "Thriller" but nothing that seems to equal the huge quantity of songs we get inundated with during the Christmas season.  And I can't think of any scary songs we sing as a group.  Isn't it time for some seasonal songs of Halloween?  With that in mind, I've decided to make this Battle about spooky songs that fit well into a Halloween theme. 

        Every year new innovations in costumes or character themes enter the marketplace.  Possibilities for dress-up run the gamut of every kind of superhero imaginable to all sorts of horror creations to career depictions like medical or law enforcement personnel.  You name it and someone probably will be dressing like it.

         Then there are those perennial favorites that have been around since the earliest times of dressing up for Halloween.  In this Battle I will focus on three of the biggies in costumes:  ghosts, witches, and vampires. I offer you one song for each character and you pick your favorite song and favorite costume.  Will they be the same choices or different?  It's up to you, so just have some fun and play along.  And even if you don't like any of the songs, hopefully you'll like one at least a little bit better than the others.

         Are you ready?  Let's go!


Rebecca & the Sunnybrook Farmers   "Ghost"  (1969)





Jim Stafford   "Swamp Witch"  (1973)





Roky Erickson   "Night of the Vampire"  (1981)







Time to Vote!

         You can be scared of these songs, but don't be afraid to vote!   Which scary song 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

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 

Streampebbles (Diedre Knight)



Winner of this Battle Announced on Saturday October 8
         
           Are you ready for Halloween?   Will you be dressing up this year?   What has been your favorite costume that you have dressed up as in the past?  







Thursday, September 22, 2022

Which Was Worst or Which Was Better Than Really Bad? ( #BOTB Results )

      Generally I am of the opinion that there is no such thing as "bad" music, but there is music that some of us don't like as much as others might like it.  

       Typically I cannot stand most rap music.  To me it is often harsh listening from a musical standpoint as well as having little positive value as far as lyrical content.  Of course, that may be the point of rap music:  If it offends others than the audience of this music then that audience finds gratification in having offended a certain group with which they have little identification.  It's kind of like the early rock music or jazz or any popular musical trend decried by those who fancy themselves in a more elitist group.  

        So, as with anything, it's all a matter of taste.  What I like might not be quite to your liking and visa versa.  Music can divide us into camps, sometimes extreme, sometimes with little preference, but almost always with some kind of opinion one way or another.  That's why we do these Battle of the Bands posts.  And with every Battle there is an outcome and so here we are...


Battle of the Bands Results



Battle of Delilah

       My most recent Battle consisted of two versions of that now old Tom Jones chestnut "Delilah".  Some voters like the song while others not so much.  And as for the performances I chose there was not anything that I would call exuberance regarding either.  As for me, I have always liked the song and I find either of my chosen versions to be agreeable in one way or another.  However, as is often the case, one of the artists has some special interest to me.  In the case of these two artists, my relationship with the Sensational Alex Harvey Band (SAHB) goes back nearly fifty years.

       The first time I saw SAHB was in 1974 on the television show The Midnight Special.  I'd never heard of the group prior to that, but the sound and look of the band immediately caught my attention. They reminded me of other theatrical performance groups such as Alice Cooper, Jethro Tull, and The Hello People--groups who played music I enjoyed and performed them live in a very entertaining manner akin to traditional vaudeville and variety shows.  Just my thing!  

        The following spring of 1975 I was invited by a friend with front row tickets to a concert by Jethro Tull in the Knoxville TN Civic Coliseum.  Initially I was thrilled at the invite, but elated when I saw that SAHB was the opening act.  They delivered a performance beyond my expectations based on what I had seen them do on TV.  

          With the darkening of the arena came the sound of bagpipes from the rear of the hall.  Two pipers in kilts and full regalia came marching through the crowd and onto the stage where SAHB had entered while the audience eyes were diverted.  What then proceeded was one heck of an outstanding show.  From that time since I have considered SAHB to be one of the best shows I have seen live.  Add to that list Jethro Tull and that one concert was the best I have attended.  If SAHB had been the only band in that concert I would still name it as one of the best concerts I have ever seen.

         Now here's the peculiarity:  I have never owned or even heard an album by SAHB, but still I would name them as one of my favorite bands.   This assessment based on their television performances I have seen and that concert.  I can't think of another band or artist of which I can say the same.  For this reason my pick in this Battle is The Sensational Alex Harvey Band.  Still, my vote is not enough to bring them to a win.  Don't write off SAHB as creepy, crappy, campy, or just plain bad.  In Europe they were huge.  They just didn't make it as big in the U.S.A.   But it's all a matter of taste.

  

Final Vote Tally

Metal Scent                                      7 votes

Sensational Alex Harvey Band        5 votes


Next Battle on Saturday October 1

         Should I do Halloween themed Battles?  Or not?   I'll have to sift through my Battle queue and see what I got.  Hopefully it will be to your liking.  Have a happy Autumn!






Thursday, September 15, 2022

Delilah ( #BOTB )


         As I get older I seem to get weaker.  It's like some metaphorical Delilah has cut my hair to sap my strength.  Well, that is, if I had actual hair and not metaphorical hair.  Now let's forget about cutting hair and just cut to the chase--metaphorically speaking...




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.


Delilah

      Some of you might remember that heartthrob of the sixties and seventies--the one and only Tom Jones.  He had a number of hits during his time on the charts and among them was the song "Delilah".  You can click on the link to hear the Jones version if you're not familiar with it or don't quite remember it or you can just head on down the page to hear the two contenders of the Battle using this song.  Don't be scared.  These are harder versions that what Jones sang, but they still stay pretty true to the spirit of the original version.  See which version you enjoy the most...



Metal Scent   "Delilah"  (2007)








The Sensational Alex Harvey Band    "Delilah"  (1975)





Time to Vote!

         Forget about throwing panties or hotel keys!  Tom Jones has left the building and now these guys are holding down the stage.   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

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 




Winner of this Battle Announced on Thursday September 22nd 

         If you want to know who comes out on top in this match then come back on the 22nd.   If you don't then don't come back.  I for one will be interested to see, but it would be weird if I didn't.


Thursday, September 8, 2022

How Far Was Far Enough? ( #BOTB Results )

 Miles and miles before I sleep and then wake up and keep going.  That's how far away from L.A. I should go to stay....


Battle of the Bands Results



           In my previous Battle of the Bands post I pondered the question in song of how far would I like to get from Los Angeles (staying within the confines of the United States).   My musical options were 1000 miles represented by artist Vanessa Carlton or 2000 miles represented by The Pretenders.  I do not recall ever having heard either song before so I went into this Battle with mostly unbiased ears.

           Regarding the question posed, 1000 miles is not enough for me.  I'd much rather go 2000 miles from L.A.  But that didn't win my vote for Chrissie Hynde and company.  The song by the Pretenders is just fine--good vocals and production presenting a pleasant piece of Christmas pop music.  I liked it.  However, they did not get my vote.

      My preference in this match is the youthful exuberance of Vanessa Carlton. Neither song epitomized originality, but I was more drawn to Vanessa's sound.  I liked the rippling piano, the punch of the percussion, and the string background.  It's a bright song that uplifted me.  And with my vote that leaves us with a tie!

Final Vote Tally

Vanessa Carlton     6 votes

Pretenders              6 votes


Next Battle on Thursday September 15th

       Yes, I will try to do another midmonth Battle of the Bands post.  I've got so many waiting in my line up that I need to clean house a bit.   So many Battles await that I need to get them out of my way.  




Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Me Do That? I Doubt It ( #IWSG )

 

       Sometimes if I don't want to do things I'll go out of my way not to do them.  Other times I just won't do them...




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 September 7 posting of the IWSG are Kim Lajevardi, Cathrina Constantine, Natalie Aguirre, Olga Godim, Michelle Wallace, and Louise - Fundy Blue!




September 7 question - What genre would be the worst one for you to tackle and why?

      
Pass the Liver and Onions Please

         I've mentioned in previous posts that to a great degree I've lost interest in writing fiction.  That's not to say I'll never write any again, but non-fiction currently holds a greater lure for me.  Still, I keep coming up with new ideas for fiction that I might consider writing one day.  Plenty of ideas reside in my mind but the inspiration to write them just ain't fueling my imagination these days. 

          So much in fiction that I could write and have written in the past--and maybe some of those things are in my future.  However the one genre that I think unlikely that I'd would ever tackle is romance.  Not my thing so much when it comes to writing.  Now watching romance movies is another thing and I have been known to read a romantic story now and then.  As a romance writer I don't do so well.  But who knows--maybe the love bug will inspire my writing in the future.  I kind of doubt it, but it could happen.

        I'd rather eat a plate of liver and onions than try to write a romance story.  And I will confess that I love liver and onions.  So the worst genre for me to write might come to pass.  Now I'm craving some really well prepared liver and onions.  Mmmm!


          What genre do you avoid?   Do you read genres that you avoid writing?   Is there a food that a lot of people dislike but you enjoy a great deal?  







Thursday, September 1, 2022

How Far Is Far Enough? ( #BOTB )

        Maybe I'm stuck in a rut or maybe it's a major case of ennui?  I haven't felt like blogging much lately or being online at all for that matter.  Maybe it's just laziness on my part, but I just don't feel like thinking about it that much...

        Truth is, I've been feeling this way for a while.  The nonsensical COVID measures certainly didn't help much.  These days I almost hate leaving the house.  Here in Los Angeles gas is too expensive, there are still too many people wearing masks, and things just aren't as fun as they used to be.  Television and books offer more reality of late than actually stepping out the door.

         Taking all this into consideration, how wonderful it would be if someone would just do my blogging for me for a while.  And just like that I get an email with a reader coming up with an idea for the following blog post...



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.


How Far Could I Go?

        After my previous Battle about Los Angeles, one of my friends and regular commenters known here as Sixgun McItchyfinger sent me the following email:

A BOTB idea you don't need to do, But you CAN if you happen to like it.

Hi Lee!  I was thinking about your LA battle and about getting away from
there, and Vanessa Carlton's "1000 Miles" came on the radio.  It hit me
that a fun battle MIGHT be, her, vs. The Pretenders "2000 Miles," vs.
The Proclaimers "500 Miles."  Just how far should one want to get away
from LA?

Now, I know that isn't a battle you'd normally do because you like to
use relatively unknown performers doing well known songs. So maybe -
only if you liked the concept - you could find other people doing those
songs or ever totally different "miles" songs that did not immediately
come to my mind.  I personally really like ALL those songs a lot, though.

I won't be offended if you pass on the idea.  I had lots of fun just
thinking about it anyway!

********

      Heck yeah!  I like the idea!  How far could I go to be where I'd really like to be?  Right off the bat I'm going to dismiss 500 miles because that would just keep me in Crazy California or in some desert clime in Arizona or Nevada.  Not far enough for me!  And besides I think the Proclaimers song "500 Miles" would steal the show and run away with that Battle since it's so well known to so many out there.  And the two song Battles take less time. 

       So I'll look no further than the other two suggestions I've been given.  Thank you, Mr. Sixgun!


Vanessa Carlton    "A Thousand Miles"  (2002)





The Pretenders   "2000 Miles"   (1983)




Time to Vote!

         You don't have to go far to just vote.  Stay in your seat, listen, and cast your vote.   Which song 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

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 




Winner of this Battle Announced on Thursday September 8th
     
        There will be an Insecure Writer's Support Group post on Wednesday the 7th, but I'll save my results for the next day.   I'm sure you'll want to see who came out ahead in this Battle match-up.  Will your favorite be the one?







Monday, August 8, 2022

Diversity Land ( #BOTB Results )

 Back some time ago folks eyed coming to California to pursue their golden dreams.  Then it was sunny weather, beaches, and Disneyland.  Now many who can afford to do so are fleeing the state while others like me are dreaming of going back East.  The nice weather is still here and the beaches aren't going anywhere--yet.  These days I don't know how people can afford to go to Disneyland or why they would even want to go there anyway.  Forget the what used to be The Magic Kingdom.  Welcome to Diversity Land...

What Happened?

     Most of  my elementary school years were spent living in San Diego.  Those years between 1958 and 1963 were for me a kid's paradise.  The city was still relatively small and there were plenty of wild canyons for a kid to explore nearby the vast housing developments being flooded with those post World War 2 families looking for a good place to raise their children.  It was a very good place. Those were some great times for me and probably many of those kids that lived all around me.

      Then as circumstances would have it, my family moved back East not far from my Cleveland Ohio birthplace.  First we went to Northwestern Indiana and then to East Tennessee.  In those years the nation saw the assassination of a President as well as a few other figures who many looked up to.  As I entered my teen years, the war in Viet Nam inundated the national conversation.  Still my life was decent. I had good times and grew into an adulthood that included some great jobs, a couple of marriages, and four kids of my own.  Most of the time I was pretty darn happy.

       In 1991, when I was offered a job in the Los Angeles area, I jumped at the opportunity.  My situation in Tennessee seemed to be at a dead end of sorts and my good memories of living in California were luring me back to that Golden State.  Things for me had to get better then they had become.  So I followed the money (not really that much as I think back) and the possibilities that this new life seemed to promise.

      Now here I am some thirty years later wishing I could go back to that old Tennessee home or someplace like it.   It's not all that easy for me to just pick up and go since it's more than just me.  Not that life is horrible.  I live in a part of Los Angeles where I feel safe and comfortable and things are very convenient for me.  I have to venture out away from my town to see those homeless encampments and these days with high gas prices I can't afford the leisure drives my wife and I used to take.  There is certainly some crime in our area, but not like you see on television news.  

        I'm thankful for all that I have, but I do wish I could have something different.  But to quote that old song, "You can't always get want you want".  So I guess I've got what I need to some extent.  I don't need to go to Disneyland and I don't demand any kind of diversity.  We've got as much diversity in my neighborhood as I care for and don't need to get into the realms of weird diversity land.

        Once there was a dream called California.  Now people are leaving in droves.  When I talk to friends in Tennessee they say the place is booming and being overrun by people from California.  I mean, really, what happened?

          And speaking of what happened...


Battle of the Bands Results



The Battle of L.A.

       My most recent Battle consisted of three different songs with the title "L.A."   Considering the diversity of styles, the outcome was pretty equally diverse.  Personally I liked all three songs.  Normally punk rock is not my favorite genre but the song by Los Illegals did capture my interest when I heard it in the film Mur Murs and I liked the actual album version even better, especially the drumming.

       I also enjoyed the song by Jackie DeShannon.  Bright and sunny like Southern California, this song has a fun pop sound that carried me right back to my high school years when that was a style of music we listened to much of the time.  I'll have to be honest--that song has been ringing in my head since I found it for this Battle.

        However, most of you who know my musical tastes probably can guess that my vote goes to the song by Neil Young.  There is a gritty realness to the sound and the lyrics with enough sarcasm to give me a wry smile.  Yeah, here's my L.A. and that's what I voted for.   And that means a tie.  Still not a bad outcome though.


Final Vote Tally

Los Illegals                      3 votes

Neil Young                       6 votes

Jackie DeShannon          6 votes


Next Battle????

        Maybe I'll have a Battle on the 15th, but more likely it will be on September 1st.   Right now I'm not sure what will happen.  I've got some things going on that I might have to address and I might not be focusing on blogging in the next couple weeks.  We'll see though.  After all, I'm in L.A....







Monday, August 1, 2022

L.A. ( #BOTB & #IWSG )

     What do you think of L.A.?   And I mean Los Angeles CA in case you're in doubt.  Those of you who live here or nearby certainly have some kind of opinion.  If you used to live here you must have left for some reason, but was it L.A. that made you leave?  

       Whatever you may have seen or heard or read about L.A. is probably true and a whole lot more.  It is one heck of a diverse place.  Rich, poor, conservative, liberal, crazy, sane--they're all here (with an emphasis on the crazy).  There are some who are happy as well as some who are discontent with this place.  And there are likely many who think whatever they think depending on the circumstances of the day, the hour, or the minute.  This city sucks and it's amazing at the same time depending on how you're viewing it and any given time or perspective.  And someday the powers beyond our control might just suck this city down into the bowels of the Earth.  Did I hear someone say, "that's where it belongs"?  

      There are a lot of people and groups to try to please in this metropolitan chaos and one thing is for certain:  You can't please everybody, not even some of the time.   It's kind of like writing I suppose...

(cue music for opening credits...)

        

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 3 posting of the IWSG are Tara Tyler, Lisa Buie Collard, Loni Townsend, and Lee Lowery!




August 3 question - When you set out to write a story, do you try to be more original or do you try to give readers what they want?

        Just like managing a city or a business in that city, you want to try to accommodate as many as you can, but the fact is you cannot please every single customer.  That's how I look at my writing.  I'm not looking to be totally absolutely original in what I write, but I try to stick to a style and subject matter that I want to read.  If I like what I've written then I will hopefully find that target audience who appreciates the same thing.  Naturally the more who want to read my writing, all the better--especially if I'm making some kind of income from that writing.  

        Then if I've established some kind of audience (customer base) then I want to give what they expect which is what they very likely want.  It would seem kind of nutty to write something that was way out of my realm of interests that would turn off readers unless I were doing so for purely experimental reasons and that is something I only might do for the novelty of doing it.
         
       Original ideas are great, but trying to go out of my way to sound original doesn't make that much sense unless I've been paid specifically to to that and in that case I doubt that I'd want to keep doing it.  Unless I liked the new style.  How often does that happen?  No, I'd rather write what I know, as the saying goes, and that includes a style and topic that I'm comfortable writing. 

      After all, I don't write to torture myself or any readers I might have.  Just like I don't live here in L.A. to torture myself.  Though that point I might question. 

        How about some views from some songwriters who have written about very different aspects of Los Angeles in some very distinctive musical styles?   

   cue intro for....


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.


L.A.

     If you look up "Songs about Los Angeles" on Wikipedia you will find hundreds on the general topic and well over 30 with just the simple title "L.A.".   A lot of songwriters have been inspired by some aspect of the city both good and bad.  Let's face it--not everyone is singing "I Love L.A.".   A place as big, diverse, historical, and influential is bound to provoke a lot of inspiration and discussion.  Many songwriters and musicians come to L.A. because of the music scene and invariably many write songs about the city.   In this Battle I will present three different perspectives of opinions about L.A. in three different styles.  Please listen and let us know which song is most to your liking...


Los Illegals   "L.A."  (1981)

        This song was the inspiration for this Battle.  The song was performed in a documentary I recently saw on TCM.  Mur Murs (1981) is a French film directed by Agnès Varda which explores the graffiti and murals of Los Angeles.  I found the film to be a fascinating look at Los Angeles in 1980.  Seemed not much different that the city is now except many of the murals in the film are now gone though new murals have taken their places.  This song by Los Illegals is about the situation faced by illegal immigrants coming to the city.  Things haven't changed much in forty years.  The punk style seems like the appropriate genre to express the feelings conveyed in the song.  Lyrics are available on the video if you want to know what they are saying...




Neil Young   "L.A."   (1973)

        When I heard the previous song in the film Mur Murs, I immediately thought of one of my favorite Neil Young songs of the same title and decided that I had a Battle of the Bands installment.  That's often how these Battles come about for me. Neil Young's song "L.A." comes from his somewhat obscure and difficult to find live album Time Fades Away. This song is Young's snarky poke at the city complete with earthquakes and pollution.  Some bleak fun that has a rather nice musical sound...




Jackie DeShannon   "L.A."  (1969)

        Life in L.A. isn't all that bad when you hear it coming from Jackie DeShannon.  Almost makes you want to come here to see what she's talking about.  But it was the hippie sixties when she wrote this.  Love, flowers, and sunny days is what it's all about in this song that sounds like a commercial track or the theme song for a fun television sitcom.  Is this one more to your liking?  Or do you prefer the darker, grittier, and more realistic side?




Time to Vote!

         Don't rate the city in this Battle!  It's all about the songs.   Which song 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

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 




Winner of this Battle Announced on Monday July 8
      
           Not only will I announce the winning song/artist in my next post, I'll also have some of my own reflections about Los Angeles.  I could write my own song about it.  So much to say.