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Welcome back, my friends, to the "Battle" that never ends.
We're so glad you could attend. Come inside! Come inside!
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This is 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' ('BOTB') where you listen to different recordings of the same song and vote for the one you like best. A new Battle gets posted on the 1st and 15th of each month and six days later, on the 7th and 21st, I place my own vote, tally 'em all up and announce the winner.
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Friend? Foe? Stranger? No matter, ALL are welcome. So pull up a chair, pour yourself 24 oz. of DOG BITE High Gravity Lager (or the poison of your choice) and turn it up to Eleven!
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[NOTE: Links to the first year of 'BOTB' (#1 - #24) can be found at the very bottom of this page.]

Sunday, October 14, 2018

2018, OCT. 15: BATTLE OF THE BANDS (Or, JOBIM VS. MENDES VS. SINATRA)

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Laurel Vs. Hardy, Beer Vs. Wine, TV Vs. Radio, Pitcher Vs. Batter, Paper Vs. Plastic, Reality Vs. Fantasy, Yeshua Vs. Beelzebub, Conservative Vs. Liberal, You Vs. Me, House Vs. Senate, Offense Vs. Defense, Kramer Vs. Kramer, Spy Vs. Spy, Fischer Vs. Spassky, W.C. Fields Vs. Sobriety, Harold Gimpy, Jr. Vs. Sheldon J. Pismire, Rock Vs. Paper Vs. Scissors, Islam Vs. Everything, Singer Vs. Singer, Band Vs. Band...
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BATTLE OF THE BANDS (BOTB)
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Yes, it's time once again for 'Battle Of The Bands' ('BOTB').
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No, your eyes are not deceiving you and, no, you are not confused about today's date. This is indeed the 14th of October. But because I will have no computer access until late tomorrow, I'm forced to post my Battle a day too early. If you're a traditionalist (as I am), feel free to pretend you didn't see this here and return tomorrow. Or else vote early... and often.
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Alright, let's get on it. Let's get ON this thing!...
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Yes, it's true, I said in the past that I was going to stop using Satchmo, Nat King Cole, and Frank Sinatra in Battles because certain names seem nearly impossible to beat. But when did y'all start paying any attention and putting any credence into anything I say?
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EUGENE  MARTONE  VS.  JACK  BUTLER
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For the past six to seven months, I've been on a personal quest to determine what, for me, is the ultimate music album to listen to first thing in the morning when I'm waking up with my cups o' coffee. The album has to be pleasant to hear in the early morning hours; it must have some life to it but not be too loud and jarring.  Hard Rock is out. Big Band is out. IMO, there are only certain types of music that fit all the requirements. Over time, I narrowed it down to about a dozen serious contenders, and then I whittled it down further until I believe I finally determined my winner -- 'The Ultimate Early Morning With Coffee Music Album'. (More about this in a future blog bit... maybe... if you're interested.)
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I mentioned this only because it was during my quest to find the winner of that music album contest that I came to love today's BOTB song.
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Wackypedia sez:
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"Wave" (also known as "Vou Te Contar" in Portuguese) is a bossa nova song written by Antônio Carlos Jobim. Recorded as an instrumental on his 1967 album of the same name, its English lyrics were written by Jobim himself later that year. According to The Jazz Discography by Tom Lord, the song has been recorded nearly 500 times.
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I'm giving you the original instrumental version and two vocal covers to choose from...
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GOODNIKS  VS.  NO-GOODNIKS
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Antonio Carlos Jobim  (1967) 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6KDpB6skA4


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GODZILLA  VS.  KING  KONG
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Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66  (1967)  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Idf_JQvcTx4


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RIDDLER  VS.  BATMAN
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Frank Sinatra  (1970) 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKuGwROHSg4


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The Battle Within The Battle
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VERSUS
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Question: "Will Antonio Carlos Jobim and Sergio Mendes Lose To Frank Sinatra?"
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The Magic 8-Ball (8-5) sez:  "Outlook Not So Good"
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The Amazing Sixwell (9-4) sez:  "My Reply Is No."
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Alright now, “you know the gig”... I welcome you (whether I know "you" or notto vote for your favorite of these songs in the comment section below. And feel free to tell us WHY you chose one song over the other.
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After voting here, I suggest - actually I insist - you pop over to the blogs of the other 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' participants to see which songs they have chosen and vote there also. (If their ‘BOTB’ blog bits aren’t posted yet, pour yourself two shots of ‘Grand Marnier’ over ice – do it twice – and then return to their blogs to vice your voice ...vote your vice ...voice your vote.)
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Voice Your Vote...
@ ‘TOSSING IT OUT’ by clicking HERE.
@ 'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'CURIOUS AS A CATHY' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THE SOUND OF ONE HAND TYPING' by clicking HERE
@ 'JINGLE JANGLE JUNGLE' by clicking HERE.
@ 'ANGELS BARK' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THE DOGLADY'S DEN' by clicking HERE.
@ 'CHERDO ON THE FLIPSIDE' by clicking HERE.
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As I've done in the past, I will continue to return to my 'BOTB' blog bits on the 7th and 21st of each month to post my own votes and announce the winners in the comment sections.
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy
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Monday, October 8, 2018

2018, OCTOBER 1: BOTB RESULTS (Or, SWEET VERSUS SHERYL)

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STMcC’s Vote On '2018, October 1st: Battle Of The Bands' (BOTB) Or, Sweet Versus Sheryl Crow And The Final Tally:
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I'm a day late with my BOTB Results post this time because I was out of town yesterday. Where was I? New England?
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No, not New England. That's Carson City, Nevada -- 25 minutes South of me. I drove down there to celebrate Cactus Jack's 47th birthday and listen to Catfish Carl, and I decided to stay the night.
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CACTUS JACK
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CATFISH CARL
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And while I was there, I took a few photos of "The Shootist house". 'THE SHOOTIST' (1976) --  a great Western -- was John Wayne's last movie, which also starred Lauren Bacall and Ron Howard. Bacall's boarding house, where The Duke spends his final days, is located just 3 or 4 blocks from the center of downtown Carson City:
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The Duke riding his last horse, Old Dollar.
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Ron Howard sweeps the front steps.
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Same house in October of 2018.
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So, secondly, this was a nice BOTB voter turnout and I thank every single one of you for that.
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The Battle took place HERE, and it included a lot of yakking from me about my homemegalopolis, Los Angeles. Thanks for indulging me and my stories (almost all of you). 
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The contest was between Sweet's "Santa Monica Sunshine" and Sheryl Crow's "Santa Monica Boulevard". As for Sheryl's 'All I Wanna Do', there were those voters who said they really dig it. There were some who said they dig it but are tired of it. There were some who said they dislike it. And, surprisingly, one voter said he had never heard it before. WHA-?! I didn't think a person existed who had never heard that song. I didn't think a person could avoid that song even if they were trying to. 
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Ordinarily the "Familiarity Factor" is a huge advantage for a song in BOTB. But when "Familiarity" becomes "Exposure Overload", there's the possibility of the reverse effect, it seems. Sheryl's song was played every four and a half minutes in Los Angeles, and I knew it was a major national hit. But until I hosted this Battle, I did not realize that the song had been overplayed as much across the entire country as it had been in L.A.
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It's pretty rare that I use a song in BOTB that I personally dislike. 'All I Wanna Do' was one of those rare occurrences. I strongly disliked the song the first time I heard it, and I didn't like it any better the 665 millionth time I heard it! Rarer still is the song that I can't stand and yet is so "earwormy" that it always gets stuck on "Repeat" in my brain. For me, there are about half a dozen such songs and 'All I Wanna Do' is one of them. Having a song you truly hate stuck in your head is true torture!
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Still, the 'All I Wanna Do' Santa Monica-connection was too tempting for me to resist using it in BOTB.
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G DogG made the observation that there's something Rickie Lee Jones-ish about 'All I Wanna Do' and, gee, DogG is RIGHT!! That had never occurred to me before, but when he mentioned it, I listened to the song for the the 666 millionth time with that in mind, and I realized immediately that he was correct. The odd thing is that I LIKE a lot of Rickie Lee Jones' music (I own 5 of her albums on CD) and yet I dislike 'All I Wanna Do'. I dislike Sheryl Crow, too. There's something Diana Krall-ish about her that turns me off. 
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Sometimes the underdog wins. That was the case this time, and both the Magic 8-Ball (8-5) and the Amazing Sixwell (9-4) predicted incorrectly. I had a hunch Sweet would win this contest. Maybe *I* should be one of the BOTB prognosticators. Sweet jumped out to a 5-0 lead and Sheryl could never catch up. She closed the gap to within 2 votes a couple of times but wound up losing by 3:
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SWEET = 12 votes
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Sheryl Crow = 9 votes
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My thanks again to everyone who contributed their $00.02 to this BOTB installment, and I hope to see you all here again for my October 15th contest. I have a Bossa-Nova classic chosen for that showdown. 
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For anyone who may have skipped listening to The Dogtown Beach Report (Sept., 1985) in my original post, here's another opportunity:
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THE SANTA MONICA ("DOGTOWN") BEACH REPORT:
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6H2P8vRHRgk


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~ Stephen T. McCarthy
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Monday, October 1, 2018

2018, OCT 1: BATTLE OF THE BANDS (Or, SWEET VS. SHERYL; Or, SANTA MONICA BEACH VS. SANTA MONICA BLVD.)

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Yes, it's time once again for BATTLE OF THE BANDS (BOTB)
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And not just that, but another edition of the subcategory series 'Battle For Los Angeles' (sub-subcategory: 'Battle For Dogtown'), as inspired by Sixgun McItchyfinger.
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Alright, let's get on it. Let's get ON this thing!... 
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I love where I grew up when I did, and when the nostalgia kicks in, I get very yakky. Please forgive the excessive yakking and just humor me.
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In the mid-1970s, while at the corner of Bay Street & Main Street in southern Santa Monica, Skip Engblom and Craig Stecyk gave birth to the nickname "Dogtown". It became legendary in the world of skateboarding.
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Dogtown Coffee shop (formerly Zephyr Surf Shop) at the corner of Bay & Main Streets, Santa Monica, CA.
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Borrowed street sign in Dogtown, circa 1982.
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The same borrowed street sign in Phoenix, AZ., circa 2008.
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Same borrowed street sign now in Reno, NV., 2018.
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You've seen me mention a 90-minute tape I created in September of 1985 by recording various songs, advertisements, and disc jockey banter from a variety of Los Angeles based radio stations. I titled it 'Me, Lynth & The Beach Report', and listening to it today is like stepping into the Waybac Machine and traveling back to a better place and time. 
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My bedroom in Dogtown was the "studio" where I recorded the tape. Here are a couple photos of my old bedroom taken many years after I moved out of it and someone with a lot of money moved in and "fixed" it:
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My Brother went through that big window in my bedroom while chasing a badminton birdie in 1974. It severed the artery in his left arm and he has the scars to prove it!
My old bedroom is now a wine cellar. How apropos!
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Thanks to my good friend Bryan, who converted the actual "Beach Report" portion of the tape into a 1:37 video, you can listen to it as a mood-setting warm-up to this Santa Monica (or "Dogtown") themed Battle.
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The Santa Monica ("Dogtown") Beach Report
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6H2P8vRHRgk

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Please indulge me as I share some more photos from my old Santa Monica stomping grounds:
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Lifeguard Station #26 (Santa Monica Beach) -- I spent many Summers with my beach towel parked in its shadow while I rode the waves for hours and hours.
A little North of Station #26 on S.M. Beach is that big, brown hotel. I worked there in 1985, during the time I recorded the tape 'Me, Lynth & The Beach Report'.
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OK, here comes our first BOTB contestant. We old-timers remember the English band Sweet for their Top Ten hits [link> 'Ballroom Blitz' and [link> 'Fox On The Run'. Both songs climbed to #5 in 1975. Good stuffs!! But their debut album four years earlier included a song titled Santa Monica SunshineThe lyrics are included below the video if you want to sing along with Sweet:
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SANTA MONICA SUNSHINE -- SWEET
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFBe7cjhSek


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Traveling fast on a southbound highway
Into the sun where I know that I can live my way
Movin' down the highway
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A ticket to ride straight down cross the border
Into the sunshine of South California, my way
Straight down the highway
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Well, I'll drive, drive, drive
Soon I'll arrive
In that Santa Monica sunshine
Santa Monica sands, you're all mine
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Taking the road straight through Sacramento
Moving along, I'll soon be in San Francisco
That's the way you gotta go
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Leaving those Golden Gates far behind me
I look all alive, I'm sure gonna find me, I know
That's the way you gotta go
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Well, I'll drive, drive, drive
Soon I'll arrive
In that Santa Monica sunshine
Santa Monica sands, you're all mine
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Sheryl Crow's debut album included her first and biggest hit, 'All I Wanna Do(#2 on the Billboard charts in 1994). 
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Fun Fact: David Baerwald and David Ricketts of the duo 'David & David' played on Sheryl Crow's debut album and were co-writers of many of its songs. You may recall that David & David won my very first 'The Battle For Los Angeles' contest HERE, three years ago this very day.
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Fun Fact: Santa Monica Boulevard is a major East-West street in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. It's so long that you can be on Santa Monica Boulevard and be in Santa Monica, or be on Santa Monica Blvd and be in West Los Angeles, or be in Century City, or be in Beverly Hills, or be in Hollywood, or be in Silver Lake, just a little North of downtown L.A. It's a lo-oooo-ng street!  
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Fun Fact: Santa Monica Blvd was part of the original, legendary Route 66. The street dead-ends at Ocean Ave on the bluffs that overlook Santa Monica Beach and the Pacific Ocean. In other words, Santa Monica Blvd was the Western-most point of Route 66 -- the end of the line, "from Chicago to L.A.".
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Randy Newman and "a big, nasty Redhead" turn off Ocean Ave onto Santa Monica Blvd - the Western end of Route 66.
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Fun Fact: Every time I hear the lyric "all I wanna do is have some fun until the Sun comes up over Santa Monica Boulevard" it always conjures up for me the memory of a certain night I spent with my friend Dean in 1982 when we were young and wild...
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Dean and Stephen T. McCarthy, circa 1982.
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...We started out at 'Yesterdays', our favorite bar in Westwood Village. After a couple drinks there we went across the street to 'Alice's Restaurant' for a couple more drinks, and to listen to the live Country-Bluegrass group playing there. 
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Afterwards, we picked up a little "road soda" and decided to cruise Hollywood. With Dean at the wheel of his V.W. bus, I was the guy lighting firecrackers and throwing them out the window at the feet of pimps standing on the seedy street corners. One of them even got in his car and took off after us but, like Starsky & Hutch, we lost him when Dean pulled a quick U-turn at a yellow light on busy Hollywood Boulevard. So long, Pimpy!
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After hours of that fun, we decided to hike up to the "HOLLYWOOD" sign. And when the Sun came up on the Eastern horizon over Santa Monica Boulevard (and every other Boulevard, Street, and Avenue in Los Angeles), Dean and I were hanging over ... 
the crossbar (-of the "H" in the l-lOLLYWOOD sign, ... 
and looking out over the city, passing a bottle of Jack Daniel's whiskey back and forth. It was probably the most memorable Sunrise I've witnessed in my life because... "Location! Location! Location!"
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Backside of the "Hollywood" sign.
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The silhouette of downtown Los Angeles can be seen toward the upper left corner. (photo: NateKat.com)
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Decades after Dean and I did it, a man can be seen climbing up the backside of the "H".
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The lyrics are printed in the video if you wish to sing along with Sheryl:
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ALL I WANNA DO -- SHERYL CROW
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHEskz6IuBA


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The Battle Within The Battle
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VERSUS
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Question: "Will Sweet lose to Sheryl Crow?"
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The Magic 8-Ball (8-4) sez:  "Signs Point To Yes"
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The Amazing Sixwell (9-3) sez:  "Outlook Good"
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Alright now, “you know the gig”... I welcome you (whether I know "you" or notto vote for your favorite of these songs in the comment section below. And feel free to tell us WHY you chose one song over the other.
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After voting here, I suggest - actually I insist - you pop over to the blogs of the other 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' participants to see which songs they have chosen and vote there also. (If their ‘BOTB’ blog bits aren’t posted yet, pour yourself two shots of ‘Grand Marnier’ over ice – do it twice – and then return to their blogs to vice your voice ...vote your vice ...voice your vote.)
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Voice Your Vote...
@ ‘TOSSING IT OUT’ by clicking HERE.
@ 'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'CURIOUS AS A CATHY' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THE SOUND OF ONE HAND TYPING' by clicking HERE
@ 'JINGLE JANGLE JUNGLE' by clicking HERE.
@ 'ANGELS BARK' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THE DOGLADY'S DEN' by clicking HERE.
@ 'CHERDO ON THE FLIPSIDE' by clicking HERE.
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As I've done in the past, I will continue to return to my 'BOTB' blog bits on the 7th and 21st of each month to post my own votes and announce the winners in the comment sections.
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy
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