Friday, July 31, 2015

Battle of the Bands - Summertime Blues

Summertime is here! You know what that means don't you? Festivals, holidays, fairs, beer gardens, picnics, fireworks, music concerts, beaches, barbecues, I'm sure I could go on. There is generally so much to do in Summer, it's hard to pack it all in. And if you are like me, coins start to run a little short. At some point during the Summer, you have to start making choices. Which event is most important for you to do? When will you schedule the fun and excitement? Can you earn more money to stretch your dollar? Will you plan to invite others to join you? It's enough to make one feeling blue. So many choices for the Summer.

In 1958 Eddie Cochran was having his own problems with Summer, which is when he released his song, 'Summertime Blues'. It seems a lot of people could relate to the song because it became a big hit and many artists have performed covers of the song. In this instalment of Battle of the Bands, we will listen to two artists who have covered the song. Can you relate to these Summertime Blues? Which song do you prefer?

Over 15 years after Eddie's song was released, Olivia Newton-John covered the song. It was 1975, and the song appeared on her 'Clearly Love' album. Do you like her version?


It would be almost another 20 years before Alan Jackson performed his version. The song appears on his 1994 album, 'Who I Am'. It's also the first song on the album.


So those are the two contenders. Ignoring the actual videos, who do you think performs the song best? I found the two bands to battle it out, now it's your job. Time to vote on your favourite. Please vote for your preferred song choice and let me know in the comments. Also, please let me know why you feel the way you do. Voting ends on the 14th when I'll cast my own vote and announce the winner in a separate posting.

Did you enjoy the Battle of the Bands feature? Come back on the 15th of August when I'll have a new battle. Also, be sure to check out my friends below who have banded together to offer up their own musical battles.

FAR AWAY SERIES
STMcC PRESENTS 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS'
TOSSING IT OUT
JINGLE JANGLE JUNGLE
WOMEN: WE SHALL OVERCOME
YOUR DAILY DOSE
BOOK LOVER
MIKE'S RAMBLINGS
CURIOUS AS A CATHY
THE SOUND OF ONE HAND TYPING
DCRELIEF - BATTLE OF THE BANDS
THE DOGLADY'S DEN
CHERDO ON THE FLIPSIDE
ANGELS BARK
NOVEL BREWS
QUIET LAUGHTER
HOLLI'S HOOTS AND HOLLERS

Are you currently in the BOTB and don't see your name in the list above? Let me know in comments and I'll include it.

Monday, July 27, 2015

A Special Anniversary R.a.n.t. 2015

R.a.n.t. of week 07/26/15
I can't believe I've been r.a.n.t.ing on my blog for three continuous years straight. Even more to the point, I can't believe I've been seriously writing for over thirty years. What started with me keeping a simple creative writing journal in one of my English classes, has resulted in boxes full of short stories I've written and rewritten, an eight part short story series titled "Writer's Block", almost 200 poems and countless r.a.n.t.s on this very blog. You would think I'd have run out of things to write about, and I admit from time to time I wonder where I'll get more ideas and inspiration from. But they still keep coming. And since I do continue to keep getting inspiration, what better thing could I celebrate? As I did once before, I bring you my anniversary r.a.n.t with the help of a few friends.

Business
"We got hosed!" So say many customers of Telebrands Inc, also know as the "As Seen On TV" people. You may be tempted to purchase a few of their products such as the 'Pocket Hose', 'Lint Lizard' or 'Dump Cakes', but you better be prepared to order more than than what you are bargaining for. The company has recently come under fire for "scamming" customers with shady up-selling deals and inaccurate adverts. I can only image getting a refund would be as much of a nightmare. Honestly, who needs a useless 'Rabbit TV' USB so badly they are willing to risk getting scammed? I for one would be happy to stick with the CBC. Or better yet, read a good book.
Jenni Long
- Thanks for doing the anniversary r.a.n.t. again Jenni. I hope you are satisfied writing the business feature, per your request of last time.



Celebrities
I don't no if I can still be a Ariana Grande fan after I heard this report. If you know me like all my friends know me, you know I love my donuts. But I also love Ariana Grande, almost as much as I love One Direction. But then she licks all the donuts in the store and I'm like OMG! Did she really do that? It's a good thing I did not see her do that or I would have to fight her. Now every time I eat a donut I wonder if someone liked it. And I love my donuts. Did I mention that already? Why did you do that Ariana? Why? Now One Direction is my favorite music group. Expecially Liam Payne. I love you.
Katy
- I like your r.a.n.t. Katy. As always, your writing is extremely humorous. In more than one way.


Music
You know what grinds my gears? When someone says to me “I only listen to (insert music genre)” or “I simply can’t stand (insert music genre)”.
Maybe it’s just me, but I honestly believe that each genre represents a mood. If you are listening to only one music genre, you are not properly expressing your moods. For example, one cannot only listen to hymns and properly express anger or rage. And one simply cannot only listen to death metal and properly express a somber spiritual mood. There has to be balance in your life. Each genre provides the balance that is needed.
People have said “But I don’t like Rap (or Urban Street Music). What the music stands for is just wrong with the foul language and sexual innuendo.” If you actually took the time to listen and pay attention, you would realize that not ALL Rap (or Urban Street Music) is full of swearing and sexual innuendo.
There is good in ALL genres of music. and ALL music genres serve a purpose in life. What purpose or mood does Death Metal serve? As a menopausal female - I can honestly tell you that Death Metal is a wonderful release.
Mary Burris
- Lovely contribution Mary. I guess some people prefer only Highlander Music, "There can be only one." Personally, I listen to all sorts of music. Even country and rap. Though I'll admit, not very often, and usually more 80's style rap.


World News
I know you are not going to believe this, but something good has finally come out of the European Union. It seems by the year 2017, data and roaming charges will be abolished for those of us in the EU travelling to other EU countries. As an author looking to promote my new book, 'Giggle, Gaffaw & Other Curious Words', in other European states, this relaxation of data charges is going to help me keep in touch with friends and family back home, should I need my own humour transfusion to keep going. Of course 2017 is quite a time off and I start my book tour late October. Possibly within Foyles or some other chain. Sneak peak: Chapter One is titled, 'Snark, Snark, the Dog's Do Bark'. Hope to see you readers at one of the signings. More details later.
Arrivederci / Professor Sanee
- Sanee, I appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to provide a little something for my anniversary post. Even if it swayed more towards self-promotion. Make sure to give me details on your book tour when it's available and I will share with my readers.


Science
Are you as fascinated with the recent focus of Planet Pluto as I am? Yes, I said it, Pluto is a planet. Say what you want about the reasoning behind calling it a dwarf planet, in my opinion it's still a planet. What's the term - Grandfathered in? And truly, is the term 'dwarf planet' politically correct? Yes, I've read the articles on why it's classification was downsized. Yes, I have read the Science Journals with their facts and figures. I may even agree with a few of them. But when the New Horizons probe was initially launched in January of 2006, Pluto was still a planet. In my opinion, Pluto still IS a planet. But then again, perhaps the New Horizons probe is just a hoax, like the moon landing. Another rant for another time.
Charles Winthrop
- I love topics involving outer space. And yes, I am fascinated about this whole Pluto thing. The moon landing a hoax? LOL I assume you are being facetious.


This draws this years anniversary r.a.n.t. to a conclusion. Thanks to everyone who participated. As for you readers. You have a job to do now. Make sure you let the writers know what a great job they did. Did you find one of their short articles particularly interesting? Let them know in the comments. Did you disagree with their viewpoint on a subject? Let them know too.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Jenni Long is a writer and editor
of the Canadian children's magazine
'Fille Forte'. That being said, her
thoughts do not necessarily reflect
those of myself.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Professor Sanee resides in Italy
and teaches the course 'the
Ethics of Humour' at I.M.A.
She's also author of the book,
"Why Isn't Anyone Laughing?"



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Charles Winthrop is a Washington
state writer & D.J. His interests
include music (both modern and
classical) and is a fine art connoisseur.
His articles have appeared in various
magazines including, 'Art Beautiful',
'Music of the Renaissance', and 'The Walla Walla Whistler'.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mary is a 50 year old cancer survivor
and music lover. She blogs about music
artists and the stories behind the music.
You can find her at:
Jingle Jangle Jungle

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Battle of the Bands Results - It's a Long Way to the Top

I tried something a little different this week. This week, I decided to pit two cover songs against each other. Instead of one performed by the original artists. This little shake up was an interesting experiment. Once again, I was introducing either one or two new artists to the BOTB enthusiasts. How were they received? Check a few of the comments I received below. But first, lets move to the actual battle and see who won. Because unfortunately, someone must win, and someone must lose.

The first round of votes made me think this was going to be a runaway by Dropkick Murphy's. They started strong with three votes, but the final two votes put Lucinda Williams in the running.

Suddenly, the wind was blowing in a different direction. The second round of votes once again were in favour of DKM, but they received only one vote, the rest were for Lucinda. It seems DKM was losing fans quickly. The were now trailing 4-6.

In the third round, many expressed displeasure with both groups and the votes seemed to be placed begrudgingly. A few placed their vote for who they disliked the most. This time it was almost split and DKM received two while Lucinda received three votes. So Lucinda was still leading, and still receiving more votes. At the end of the third round - DKM 6, Lucinda 9.

By the time the fourth round began, all of Lucinda's fans had packed up and went home. It was getting late, and no doubt they were eager to get back into bed. The Celtic punk rocker fans were still going strong. The final four votes placed were for DKM. They were once again back on top with a score of 10-9. But the votes were not all totalled as yet. I still had my final vote to cast. Safely sealed in an envelope, so I would not be swayed by the outcome of the voting or the comments. It turns out, my vote was placed for Lucinda Williams. You know what that means? That's Right.

WE HAVE A TIE!


Top Comments
Why did I vote the way I did? And why did some of you? Check out the top comments below.

Lucinda sounded a bit like a sloppy drunk at the beginning, but she got better as the song progressed.
Debbie D.

Lucinda Williams has an interesting voice. When she first started singing, I felt like I was listening to a female version of Jim Morrison!
Michele Truhlik

Consarn it! I thought this was going to be 'IT'S A LONG WAY DOWN TO THE TOP' by Backstreet Crawler! I love that band and that song.
Stephen T. McCarthy

Dropkick Murphy's version of this tune was more of an assault on my ears than Lucinda Wiliams's, so I'm going with her version.
John Holton

One is a twang version of rock and roll and the other never learned that shouting and screaming is vastly different from singing.
Cerebrations.biz

Lucinda sounded like a cat in heat to me but The Murphy's version sounded like a man who needs some anger management.
Birgit

It was a long way to the end of this song in either case, for me.
farawayeyes

Even though there are times I like harder rock, and punk versions of songs. I agree with a few people who felt the singing was more shouting from the DKM. I'm not a big fan of being shouted at. I loved that they used the bagpipes, but as another said, it felt it was just an imitation. I way as well listen to the AC/DC version of the song. DKM have other songs I prefer, I think I''ll listen to those. As for Lucinda, I appreciate she did something a little different with it, and yet it was still enjoyable.
Jeffrey Scott

Winners Circle
Since we ended in a tie, I have decided to present one additional song from each artist. In addition to that, I will also be adding the original song they have both covered. Enjoy!

AC/DC - It's a Long Way To the Top (If You Want to Rock & Roll)


Lucinda Williams - Real Love


Dropkick Murphys - Good Rats




Thanks to everyone who stopped by and placed a vote.
Come back again for a new battle August 1st.
Who will you vote for?
What song will I choose?
Which artists will battle it out?
Stay tuned.

Don't forget to visit the other participants in the Battle of the Band to see who won their battles.

STMcC PRESENTS 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS'
TOSSING IT OUT
JINGLE JANGLE JUNGLE
WOMEN: WE SHALL OVERCOME
ALEX CAVANAUGH
YOUR DAILY DOSE
BOOK LOVER
MIKE'S RAMBLINGS
CURIOUS AS A CATHY
THE SOUND OF ONE HAND TYPING
DCRELIEF - BATTLE OF THE BANDS
THE DOGLADY'S DEN
CHERDO ON THE FLIPSIDE
ANGELS BARK
FAR AWAY SERIES
NOVEL BREWS
QUIET LAUGHTER
HOLLI'S HOOTS AND HOLLERS

Are you currently in the BOTB and don't see your name in the list above? Let me know in comments and I'll include it.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Battle of the Bands - It's A Long Way to the Top

Quite frequently, I compare my blog to others on the internet. I'm always amazed and humbled by the various quality blogs and how become many have become. When I look back to my own blog, I see little attention given it. For years I blogged and maybe received the odd comment or two, usually from family or friends. But then I started to do research and found out how the most popular blogs became so. They worked at it! They visited other blogs, left comments, and joined blogging communities. Blog hops have been started and joined by many people looking to both give and receive more exposure.

This past April, I decided to start taking my blog seriously and joined an A-Z challenge. Not only did it help me find cool blogs to follow, I started to receive more attention. Indeed, I've started to see more traffic. I still compare my blog to others and have notice there is still not as much traffic as I'd like to see. It's obvious to me, I have a lot of work to do, and a long way to go. Yes, it's going to be a Long Way to the Top.

Which brings me to my Battle of the Band feature. Like Beevis, AC/DC is one of my favourite rock bands and has one of my favourite rock anthems. Can you guess what it is? That's right, "It's A Long Way To the Top". I love the song so much however, I refused to put them up against anyone else. It just wouldn't be fair. So I'm offering two covers of this great hit. Which song do you enjoy most?

Our first contender is Lucinda Williams. She is a music perfectionist and enthusiast.
Does this come across in her rendition? Take a listen:



Our second song is from the band Dropkick Murphy's. I love Celtic music and they do as well, but play it with a punk flair. Here is their rendition of "It's A Long Way to the Top".


So those are the two contenders. Who do you feel performs this song the best? I found the two bands to battle it out, now you have a job to do. It's time to vote on your favourite. Which group did you think performed the song best? Let me know in the comments. Also, please let me know why you feel the way you do. Voting ends on the 22nd when I'll cast my own vote and announce the winner in a separate posting.

Did you enjoy the Battle of the Bands feature? Come back on the first of August when I'll have a new battle. Also, be sure to check out my friends below who have all banded together to offer up their own music battles.

FAR AWAY SERIES
STMcC PRESENTS 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS'
TOSSING IT OUT
JINGLE JANGLE JUNGLE
WOMEN: WE SHALL OVERCOME
YOUR DAILY DOSE
BOOK LOVER
MIKE'S RAMBLINGS
CURIOUS AS A CATHY
THE SOUND OF ONE HAND TYPING
DCRELIEF - BATTLE OF THE BANDS
THE DOGLADY'S DEN
CHERDO ON THE FLIPSIDE
ANGELS BARK
NOVEL BREWS
QUIET LAUGHTER
HOLLI'S HOOTS AND HOLLERS
ALEX CAVANAUGH

Are you currently in the BOTB and don't see your name in the list above? Let me know in comments and I'll include it.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Battle of the Bands Results - Kashmir

For my second battle of the bands feature, I decided to do something a little different and feature two all girl electric string quartets. I absolutely love their music, but realized it wouldn't be for everyone. One commenter on Facebook said, "It looks like these two groups compete on looks and not music." Though I will agree these girls are absolutely gorgeous, I had to disagree and wonder if the commenter listened to the music.

But many did listen to the music and most enjoyed what they heard. The comments on the music surprised and delighted me. It's always nice when you are able to introduce something new to someone.





Some of my favourite comments are below:

"I never heard of either group and I thank you for introducing them."
Shady Del Knight

"This is like torture. I love both of them!"
Chrys Fey

"I see why you like them, both. They are truly awesome; I'd like to add both to my music collection."
Dolorah

"Both of these sound like they could be used in the action sequence of a movie."
Robin

"Where did you find these? Great choices."
Cherdo

"Thanks for the introduction to these bands. I was unfamiliar with both of them."
Michele Truhlik

"So what were the results?" I hear you asking. Well. I'll tell you.
Bond came out strong the first round, winning the first two votes or three out of five. From there, eScala took charge and won the next round, scoring four out of five votes. The third round consisted of six votes and this is where eScala took a commanding lead, winning four of the six. The total at this time was 6-10 in favour of eScala. But Bond was not going to lay down. They won the next round, taking three of the next five votes. As the final voter in the final round, I placed my vote in Bond's direction, giving the last round 4-2 for Bond. But the come-back was too late. eScala was too far ahead and claimed the final victory. Vote total:
Bond: 10, eScala 12

Congratulations eScala.
Now enjoy another piece of music from the winner.
Here is eScala performing Palladio




Thanks to everyone who stopped by and placed a vote.
Come back again for a new battle July 15th.
Who will you vote for?
What song will I choose?
Which artists will battle it out?
Stay tuned.

Don't forget to visit the other participants in the Battle of the Band to see who won their battles.

STMcC PRESENTS 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS'
TOSSING IT OUT
JINGLE JANGLE JUNGLE
WOMEN: WE SHALL OVERCOME
ALEX CAVANAUGH
YOUR DAILY DOSE
BOOK LOVER
MIKE'S RAMBLINGS
CURIOUS AS A CATHY
THE SOUND OF ONE HAND TYPING
DCRELIEF - BATTLE OF THE BANDS
THE DOGLADY'S DEN
CHERDO ON THE FLIPSIDE
ANGELS BARK
FAR AWAY SERIES
NOVEL BREWS
QUIET LAUGHTER
HOLLI'S HOOTS AND HOLLERS

Are you currently in the BOTB and don't see your name in the list above? Let me know in comments and I'll include it.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Lambeau Field Green Bay

This weeks photo collection is from when I was drove to Egg Harbor a month ago. I decided to stop in Green Bay and visit Lambeau Field for my father. My dad was a big Packer fan. Ironically enough, some of my fondest memories of him were watching the Packers play and listening to him shout at the TV, usually at our own team. When I was growing up, the Packers were not as good as they are now. My dad gave me my first beer when I was 16 watching the football game. I was watching the game with him and joked, "Can I have a beer too?" He replied, "If you want." I drank it, but wasn't very fond of it. I didn't really drink beer again till I moved out years later. The day my dad died of cancer, he watched the Packers play. He even managed a cheer for the team when they were winning. He passed away a fe hours later. And yet, even though he was such a big fan, he never made it to an actual game in the stadium. So you can imagine, I had many thoughts of my dad as I visited Lambeau Field. I dedicate this blog post to my father. My favourite Packer fan.

The entrance to Lambeau Field

The building is absolutely gorgeous.

"Curly" Lambeau, founder of the Packers.

Vince Lombardi, head couch of the Packers.
He couched the Packers, winning the first two
 Super Bowls. Name sake of the Lombardi trophy.

During the tour we are given a Packer history lesson on the
origin of the team and and how it came to be publicly owned.

Some organizations can rent this room for social events
during Packer games. If you rent this, please invite me.

A few Packer mementos.

Vince Lombardi trophy

A view of Lambeau from the upper levels.

Another view of the field.

A view of the Ray Nitschke training facility.
Practice is never held on Lambeau Field.

A View of the large screen, retirees are shown below.
Soon Favre will be added to the list.

One of my favourite parts of the tour, we are taken out to the field
through the same tunnel the Packers use to take the field.

A view of the field from ground level.
I felt like running across the field, but I didn't.

I took this photo for my dad who always used to joke around
and perform Lite Beer commercials for his friends.
"Is Uecker around?" was his favourite catch phrases.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Battle of the Bands - Kashmir

When I first started this blog, one of the main features was music reviews. Of the first reviews, I highlighted an interesting group I discovered watching Britain's Got Talent, eScala. This group played classical and instrumental music with a twist. Their performance included electric strings. Something I was unfamiliar with at the time. I quickly fell in love with the group, but they were only contestants on the reality show and had no album of their own. A friend pointed out to me they were very similar to a group named Bond. At the time, I was unfamiliar with them as well. I had a listen and was immediately hooked. Months later, eScala came out with their own CD (though not winning the talent show) and I made sure to purchase it. Now I own all available music from both groups.

In honour of my first music review on this blog, I've decided to pit these two groups together and let them battle it out in my second 'Battle of the Band' feature. The song I've selected is Kashmir. Those of you familiar with Led Zeppelin will undoubtedly recognize the song. In fact, I'm quite sure most of you unfamiliar with any Led Zeppelin songs, will still recognize this catchy tune. I hope you enjoy it.

eScala, now know as Escala, is first to do battle.


Now it's time for a little Bond.


So what did you think? I hope you enjoyed at least one of the versions above.
Now comes your job. It's time to vote on your favourite. Which group did you think performed the song the best? Let me know in the comments. It would be nice to know why you feel the way you do. Voting ends on the 8th, when I'll cast my own vote and announce the winner in a separate posting.

Did you enjoy the Battle of the Bands feature? Come back on the 15th when I'll have a new battle. Most likely, I'll return to a more popular song as I know instrumental is not for everyone. I thank everyone who indulged my fancy this week.

Don't forget! Please check out the rest of my friends who have "banded" together to produce more band battles. Follow the links below to enjoy more "Battle of the Bands".

STMcC PRESENTS 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS'
TOSSING IT OUT
JINGLE JANGLE JUNGLE
WOMEN: WE SHALL OVERCOME
ALEX CAVANAUGH
YOUR DAILY DOSE
BOOK LOVER
MIKE'S RAMBLINGS
CURIOUS AS A CATHY
THE SOUND OF ONE HAND TYPING
DCRELIEF - BATTLE OF THE BANDS
THIS BELLE ROCKS
THE DOGLADY'S DEN
CHERDO ON THE FLIPSIDE
ANGELS BARK
FAR AWAY SERIES
NOVEL BREWS
QUIET LAUGHTER
HOLLI'S HOOTS AND HOLLERS



Did you know I have my own Facebook Writers Page? It's a great way to keep in touch with me outside of leaving comments on my blog posts.
Help me reach 100 follows by the end of the Summer.
Current count - 60
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