This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

My A to Z Theme for 2022 was My Vinyl Record Collection. For the 2023 Challenge I'll be doing something similar with my home book collection. Lots of book stuff from A to Z

Friday, December 22, 2023

A Little Pot of Pepper (or Who Won the Battle?) ( #BOTB )

 

   It's been raining off and on all day, but didn't matter much to me because I just stayed in the house all day.  I had a lovely time.  And part of what I did with that time is come up with my results post.



Battle of the Bands Results



      No need to spend much time on this.  If you missed this one you can scroll back to my previous blog post.  In brief it was a showdown between a wild Latin sound and honky-tonk bluegrass.  For sentimental and musical excitement factor I went with The Pepper Pots, but I give a nod of admiration to the Jeff Little Trio who sparked the inspiration for this Battle.

Final Vote Tally

The Pepper Pots         6 votes

Jeff Little Trio            3 votes


Merry Christmas!   See you on January 1!





Friday, December 15, 2023

El Cumbanchero ( #BOTB )

      It's Christmas time and that means time for favorite Christmas songs and that provides another opportunity for sharing that music fun in what we call...

 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.


Favorite Christmas Song

       What song most evokes the Christmas season for you?  So many to choose from!  And so many that you might wish would go away.  I have many favorites among traditional as well as pop Christmas songs, but one song takes me back to many Christmas events in my younger days.   

        You might remember "El Cumbanchero" from my earlier Battle "The Real Juggling Music" where Xavier Cugat's version of the song ran away with the victory.  This Battle consisted of two songs my family used in our juggling act.  So why, you might wonder, does this song have any particular significance for me during the Christmas season?  Naturally I'm going to explain it to you now.

       Since my father always worked at a regular job in all his years as head of a household, our juggling performances were mostly relegated to two times of the year:  summer vacation and Christmastime.  Back in the fifties and sixties it was fairly common for companies and organizations to host Christmas parties for their employees.  Often a part of the festivities would include some kind of variety show or entertainment.  From November to Christmas we would be booked on many of these shows and since "El Cumbachero" was the back-up for our act's exciting finale, we would hear that song repeatedly throughout the holiday season.  It was a song we probably heard as much as any Christmas song. So now if I hear it, my thoughts will take me back to those days juggling with my family and the many Christmas shows we would do.

       For this Battle I am offering a version of "El Cumbanchero" that we actually used from 1966 and after up against a very different version that I recently heard on the PBS television show Song of the Mountains.


The Pepper Pots  "El Cumbanchero"  (1958)





Jeff Little Trio  "El Cumbanchero"    (2022)





Time to Vote!

          Don't be a Scrooge!  Have fun and play along.  Which song version do you like best? 
  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. I don't know if anyone else will be doing a Battle this time around, but you can still check out these sites.


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

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 






Results coming on Friday December 22
  
        It's a busy time I know, but I'll try to do this in a timely manner.  No matter what--Have a Wonderful Christmas.   Hope your 2024 is pretty good too.





Friday, December 8, 2023

Who Did the Best Message Song? ( #BOTB Results )

 

The anxiety has been mounting as the countdown continues.  For what?  Christmas?  New Year?  

No...it's the...



Battle of the Bands Results



Who Delivered Their Message Best?

      My recent Battle between pop/punk powerhouse The Police and Karl Wallinger's cool nineties band World Party was a neck and neck race to the end.  As much as I've always liked The Police and this big hit of theirs, a recent rediscovery of World Party has been putting a smile on my face.

       Over the past month I've been doing some housecleaning and room rearranging.  Having a nice compact entertainment system in my home office has tempted my opportunity to listen to some of my old cassette tapes.  These are 30 or more years old so it's kind of surprising they all still play so well--or at least the ones I've listened to so far.

      After I put on my World Party cassette I was pleasantly reminded of their jaunty hit "Put the Message in the Box" and it's been an earworm since hearing it. I'm a sucker for finely crafted pop songs and this song certainly is a winner.  That's why I voted for World Party and put them over the top.  My apologies to The Police.  Still great music.

Final Vote Tally

The Police         7 votes       

World Party       8 votes


         Next BOTB?

     Let me think on that a while.  Not much time I know, but the week-end has just begun.





Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Book Reviews--Opinions and Observations or Vendettas? ( #IWSG )

 

I have a real close competition in my current Battle of the Bands.  If you have a moment, please stop over and cast a vote for your favorite of the two songs I've presented.  Votes needed now!  Your vote would be nice...



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 December 6 posting of the IWSG are C. Lee McKenzie, JQ Rose, Jennifer Lane, and Jacqui Murray.







December 6 question: Book reviews are for the readers. When you leave a book review do you review for the Reader or the Author? Is it about what you liked and enjoyed about your reading experience, or do you critique the author?


     I haven't been doing much in the way of book reviews in recent years, though I did go on a reading binge a few months back and kept intending on posting some reviews.  Well, that didn't happen and that's pretty much par for my course these days.  A few years back I was somewhat diligent about posting reviews on my blog as well as Amazon and Goodreads so I'll answer the question reflecting those reviews.

     Whenever I've posted a review I've done so for any potential readers.  My mission was either to recommend a decent book to read or advise readers on my opinion as to why they might want to avoid a book.  And from another perspective, I do it for myself--my own expression and entertainment.

      Critiquing an author is part of the review approach in most cases I would think. Some observations about the way a work reads and the editing or other such details might be important.  However, it seems ludicrous to write a review specifically to address the author.  I've seen such vendettas in print and they have usually turned me off except when they were actually entertaining.

       No, for me, a review is my thoughts on what I have read and whether I think it's worth reading.  If an author reads my review and gains insight or gets pissed, either way I'd be somewhat flattered that they read my review and were emotionally moved by it. Just please don't get too mad at me if you don't like what I said.

       









Friday, December 1, 2023

Messages ( #BOTB )

 

   We had a great Thanksgiving. Big gathering and had some family for a week including my oldest granddaughter Marley.  I've been so busy that I didn't have time to do a careful job with this post, but here it is, whipped together in a busy time.


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.


Message Songs

       Tis the season for messages with one in particular being dominant.  How would you prefer your message be delivered?  Vote for your favorite of these two random songs about messages...


The Police  "Message in a Bottle"  (1979)






World Party  "Put the Message in the Box"  (1990)








Time to Vote!

           Here's my message to you:  Vote!  Which do you like best?.  Just listen and have fun.
  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. I don't know if anyone else will be doing a Battle this time around, but you can still check out these sites.


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

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 






Results coming on Friday December 8

           Now I'm outta here...