Friday, April 15, 2016

Battle of the Bands - New York State of Mind

Short and sweet this week. Because of all the A-Z going on this month, I forgot to mention last time that I will be going out of town for a weekend. This is that weekend. And I'll be going to the state of New York. So what better song to do battle this weekend than New York State of Mind?

I admit, I put this together at the last minute. To be honest, I was wondering if I should drop out this battle. Then I decided against it. I am in a New York State of mind, and excited to go. When I realized this was the perfect song to do battle, I couldn't let the opportunity slide by.

For reference only: Billy Joel - New York State of Mind


The two musical contenders for this Battle of the Bands are below.
Please listen to both and tell me who you like best.

Diane Schuur

Barbara Streisand

Those are the two contenders. Ignoring the actual videos, who do you think performs the song best? I collected the two bands to battle it out, now it's your job to vote on your favourite. Please list your preferred song choice in the comments. Additionally, let me know why you feel the way you do. Voting ends on the 22nd when I'll cast my vote and announce the winner in a separate posting.

Additional Questions:
What state of mind are you in today?
Have you ever been to the state of New York?
Do you have a favourite Billy Joel song?

If you enjoyed this Battle of the Bands feature, don't forget to visit the other participants in the Battle of the Band to see what sort of music they are featuring. You will certainly be entertained, so click on their links below.

eViL pOp TaRt

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.


  1. I love this song! What part of NY are you going to? I'm from western NY, born and raised in Niagara Falls/Buffalo. I miss it so much! Have a great weekend. Hope the weather cooperates: my brother had snow there the other day...

    As for your battle: I love Barbra Streisand but I'm giving this one to Diane Schuur. I like her voice better and I think it's stronger.

    Great battle. Have fun this weekend!! Can't wait to hear about it...

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Sorry it's been so long to get back to these comments.
      Yes, I was in the Buffalo area. It's a nice place to visit. The weather was fantastic.
      As for the vacation, I'm hoping to put some pictures up some time in May.

  2. Hi, Jeffrey!

    I remember this song and enjoyed both versions offered in your BOTB. I'm going to give my vote to Diane Schuur, however, because I appreciate the purity of her vocal instrument and the simple, restrained manner in which she rendered the song. IMO, Barbra's belting rendition was unnecessarily overwrought and overproduced. I vote for Diane, good buddy. Thanks!

    1. Thanks for placing your vote. I am so sorry I'm so late in getting back to comments. I appreciate your input into your song selection. Thanks much!

  3. Streisand is a bit schlocky for me. She's talented but she's also a political whack. Schuur's version is very cool. I really like the instrumental backing and I think she sings the song with more heart. Give my vote to Diane, I'm sure of that decision.

    I've been throughout a good amount of New York--a lot to see there. All month I've been in a New York state of mind--or to be more precise, a Manhattan state of mind.

    Joel has a lot of great songs so it's difficult to pick just one. I like that Four Seasons sound of "Uptown Girl". But so many songs I can't think of right now. That Viet Nam song is another good one.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

    1. I have been reading your New York State of Mind all month. I may suggest to others who have a state of mind to go check out your blog.

  4. This is a hard battle. Now that we live in an age where everyone puts their every thought on the internet, we discover that we just don't like some people all that much. It colors every other thing about them. I've loved Barbra long before the internet came into play. In fact, I thought it was fairly amazing that she became a star at all. She is not a pretty woman, but she has an amazing voice, and she's a pretty good actress. Lots of talent there. In a time when being pretty often is the difference between success and failure, the fact that she made it at all... says she's got a boatload of talent.

    But, why (oh why?) do celebrities of all stripes think we want to hear their views on everything from politics to religion? These are taboo topics at the family dinner table (because we all know it just leads to arguments, insults, and hurt feelings), and still these folks seem to think their opinions are superior to that of others and insist on airing them for the world. Babs is guilty! of this, and it makes me not like her as a person all that much.

    But, this isn't about whether I think she'd make a dynamite friend. It's about the song. And I think she has an amazing voice. I also liked the instrumentation on her piece, so I'm giving her my vote. I think she'll need it. She's managed to annoy many people to the point that just hearing her name makes them shudder. And that's a shame.

    1. I appreciate you not letting personal bias cloud your judgement. You are absolutely true, this isn't a best friend contest, it's a music contest.

  5. Diane for me, please. I usually like Streisand's voice, but not this time.

    1. Had you gone the other way, you would have forced a tie and then I would have had to choose the winner. I hate having to break a tie.

  6. Helluva good Battle, JEFFY! Maybe you should just toss more "together at the last minute".

    Well, as some others have stated, there's plenty reasons to dislike Barbra Streisand on a personal level. I totally despise her politics, and having read a book in which several people who know her personally said that she's pretty much a mean-spirited elitist, I do not support her with my money in any way. (Will not buy music or movies that she'd make money on.)

    But I'll be the first to admit that she's got a remarkable voice - one of the best female vocalists ever - and I seem to have a knack for not letting personal prejudices or the "familiarity factor" interfere with my objective analysis in BOTB contests.

    I thought BOTH of these recordings were very good (I've heard Barbra's version many times before). I would say they differ most significantly in the background instrumentation. With Diane Schuur, I would describe it as more "Bluesy", whereas Barbra's was more on the "Jazzy" side.

    I love BOTH Blues and Jazz, but Jazz more. However, to me, this song seemed to work better as a Bluesy number than a Jazzy number. I really liked Striesand's version, but I LOVED Diane's. I would say that was "pretty hot in a smoldering kind of way". DIANE for the win!

    >>... What state of mind are you in today?

    I'm in a drunken state of mind!
    Nah. Actually, I've felt sick to my stomach all day. I think it was some guacamole I ate last night. So, I'm in a Nauseous State of Mind.

    >>... Have you ever been to the state of New York?

    Yeah, a few times. Well, surely you've noticed the picture of me on my blog swilling Jack Daniel's at the base of The Statue Of Liberty.

    >>... Do you have a favourite Billy Joel song?

    Actually, Billy Joel is another performer I don't like personally. But I also don't like him musically, either. Except for maybe 2 or 3 songs.

    I absolutely HATE 'The Piano Man'. That song seriously grates on my nerves.

    I used to really like 'Just The Way You Are', but an old TV show called 'JAMES AT 15' ruined it for me.

    Most of his songs I just seem to actively dislike, but 'MOVIN' OUT (ANTHONY'S SONG)' is a good one. And I like 'SHE'S ALWAYS A WOMAN', too. Those would be my top 2 choices.

    Hey, JEFFY, I hope you have a fantastic trip, friend! And give my regards to broads, 'K?

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

    1. Unfortunately, I didn't make it to Broadway. The actual city of New York alluded me. But I shall go there one day. And perhaps Manhattan. It's odd that you find Diane Shuur more bluesy, because I first discovered her when I was searching for a new jazz artist. I wasn't particularly fond of the one I sampled but the few songs I listed when putting this and the results post together, has me thinking I need to give her another shot.

  7. Have a great weekend! ☺

    I've always liked Barbra's voice and don't know much, if anything about her politics, but I don't let that sort of thing influence me when it comes to music. She gets my vote here. I'm also a fan of Yusef Islam (Cat Stevens), who seems to have a lot of haters too.

    1. Yes, when it comes to the music, we really should try to put personal feelings aside and concentrate on just the music.

  8. Diane gets my vote I liked her voice better on this song

  9. To me, nothing beats Barbra Streisand so she gets my vote. She just has such a great voice.

  10. Serious Billy Joel fan here; but never been to NY. Want to some day though.

    I don't know about this song - too slow for thinking about New York. I always think of speed, quick time, although this version of NEW YORK MINUTE seems too slow also.

    I'll vote Barbara. Maybe its just familiarity as both sound too much alike.

    1. Whatever works best to help you vote. Thanks for stopping by.

  11. I really enjoyed Barbara's version.
    I've been to New York. New York came to see me this weekend... well, we met up somewhere in between. My Brother lives in New York, and I live on the other side of the country in Oregon. We gathered in Idaho to lay my mother to rest on Saturday. On top of that, I managed to do a face plant on the pavement that evening. So my state of mind is a bit discombobulated.
    As for Billy Joel - I really enjoy quite a few of his tunes, but I think Piano Man is one of my top favorites.

    #AtoZChallenge O is for O'Connor

    1. So sorry to hear about your mother. My thought have been with you. Hope you are coping.
      Yikes! Hope you are okay after falling. :(

  12. Jeffrey, Nice song choice. I went into this battle with my mind made up who wouldn't get my vote. Streisand makes me think of a lounge singer. She has a good voice, but she doesn't inspire me to buy her music. Her version was good, but again it didn't inspire me. However, Schuuar was not only a good singer, but her vocals have more character and won me over. Give my vote to Schuuar, please! Nicely done. I'm sorry for the late return visit, my friend. I'll catch up with your A2Z posts while I'm here now. :D

    1. No worries about the late visit, as you can see, I'm late in getting to replies. In fact I just got the results posted earlier today. Do't forget to stop by and see who won.