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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.]

Friday, June 15, 2018

2018, JUNE 15: BATTLE OF THE BANDS (Or, MMEB VERSUS MMEB)

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Republican Vs. Democrat, Male Vs. Female, War Vs. Peace, Light Vs. Dark, Good Vs. Evil, Man Vs. Machine, Love Vs. Hate, 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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Shoop-Shooby -
Shooby-Duh-Dooby-Doop-Dooby-Dooby-Doo-Wah -
Buh-Doo-Wah!
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Yes, it's time once again for another Battle For Los Angeles installment of 'Battle Of The Bands'.
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Alright, let's get on it. Let's get ON this thing!...
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LIFEGUARD STATION #26 -- SANTA MONICA BEACH
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The name Manfred Mann is most associated with the Billboard #1 hit song 'Do Wah Diddy Diddy' in 1964. And the name Manfred Mann's Earth Band is associated with the Billboard #1 hit song 'Blinded By The Light' in 1976.
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This Battle features two songs by Manfred Mann's Earth Band that were NOT Billboard hits. 
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In 1978, MMEB released their album 'Watch' which included the ballad 'California'. Granted, California is a state, and one which encompasses three major cities: L.A., 'Frisco, and San Diego. But it's that first one - which also includes Hollywood - that probably comes to mind first for the majority of folks.
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I GREW UP IN THE SHADOW OF LIFEGUARD STATION #26.
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The following year, 1979, MMEB released an album titled 'Angel Station' which included the uptempo ProgRock number 'Hollywood Town'.
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Scroll on down and let the tunes do Battle in your ears. Do enjoy the videos, as both of them are good, but remember that your eyes are not a part of this warfare. The Battleground is strictly those appendages on the side of your headbone.
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THE SUN SETTING ON MY OLD HOME, SWEET HOME.
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CALIFORNIA -- MANFRED MANN'S EARTH BAND
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DI1MqxhnmJQ

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MIAMI SANTA MONICA VICE
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HOLLYWOOD TOWN -- MANFRED MANN'S EARTH BAND
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WLf25FoqSo

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RANDY NEWMAN SEZ: "LOOKS LIKE ANOTHER PERFECT DAY - I LOVE L.A.!"
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The Battle Within The Battle
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VERSUS
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Question: "Will 'Hollywood Town' lose to 'California'?"
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The Magic 8-Ball (4-1) sez:  "It Is Certain"
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The Amazing Sixwell (3-2) sez:  "Sixwell wishes to thank his one fan, G Dogg, for his support, and predicts that his number of fans will soon swell to the tens of thousands.  He also predicts that Stephen T. McCarthy will meet a shapely brunette 22 years his junior, a Christian with no tattoos who loves older men who are fans of Alex Jones. She will love Arizona, surfing, and sunbathing.  THE AMAZING SIXWELL PREDICTS!!!

As for this round of BOTB, he predicts: “Without a Doubt!”
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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.
@ 'CHERDO ON THE FLIPSIDE' by clicking HERE.
@ 'ANGELS BARK' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THE DOGLADY'S DEN' 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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Thursday, June 7, 2018

BOTB RESULTS: 2018, JUNE 1 (Or, BROADWAY HAIR VS HOLLYWOOD HAIR)

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STMcC’s Vote On '2018, June 1st: Battle Of The Bands' (Or, Broadway 'Hair' Versus Hollywood 'Hair') And The Final Tally:
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To the best of my recollection, only twice in the nearly 5 years of Battle Of The Bands have I not known how I would cast my own vote prior to posting my BOTB installment. I almost always make up my mind how I'm going to vote in advance, BEFORE any of you have even seen what my Battle is, and this contest was no exception.
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The song this time was 'GOOD MORNING, STARSHINE' from 'Hair' -- the Original Broadway Cast recording versus the Hollywood Movie Soundtrack recording -- and the Battle took place [link> HERE. I knew all along that I would be casting my vote for the Hollywood version. Therefore, despite the fact that the Broadway recording got the first 9 votes submitted in the contest, I was never truly in fear of a dreaded BOTB shutout. I knew that I'd be saving myself from a shutout even if no one else saved me from one sooner.
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Nevertheless, I was hoping someone would vote for Hollywood Hair before I did, just so it wouldn't appear that I was doing so solely to save myself from a shutout. I would accept a BOTB shutout before I would lie about which recording of a song I preferred. But how do I KNOW that YOU KNOW that's true?
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I have always liked the song 'GOOD MORNING, STARSHINE' for the sense of joyful exuberance that it conveys, and I genuinely liked BOTH of the versions I used in this Battle. (However, I feel Oliver's hit version is the best recording of it.)
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From a purely musical standpoint, I probably prefer the Broadway recording a wee bit (everything goes better with trumpet!) But both versions are musically sparse -- rightly choosing to focus primarily on the vocals to express the song's happiness. Therefore, in my decision about which to vote for, I give more weight to the singing, and I definitely prefer the singing in the Hollywood rendition, which used some nice counterpoint background vocals in the arrangement. The Broadway version's background vocals were more straightforward and thus less interesting to me. Hollywood's slightly quicker pace also appeals to me.
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Lynn Kellogg was the lead vocalist in the Broadway recording, and her voice was a shade too high-pitched for my tastes. Although I don't think much of her as an actress (well, truthfully, I don't think anything of her as an actress), it was Beverly D'Angelo who provided the lead vocals in the Hollywood version, and I'll take her singing over her acting any day! I certainly liked Beverly's voice better'n Lynn's.
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Incidentally, I really dig the movie [link> 'HAIR', and if this clip below had been filmed with the intention of being a music video, rather than a movie scene, it would be one of my favorite music videos of all time! In my opinion, EVERYTHING about these images perfectly matches the joyful exuberance expressed by the song. (It's also evidence for why I think Milos Forman is probably my #1 favorite movie director.)
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This, below, is the same recording of the song that the majority of you voted against in this edition of BOTB. Had I used this video, do you think the images might have swayed how you voted?:
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmZqb2VVc48

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Despite my personal opinion, the Broadway recording beat the Hollywood recording somewhat easily (meaning that The Amazing Sixwell also beat The Magic 8-Ball  somewhat easily)...
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Broadway 'Hair' = 10 votes
Hollywood 'Hair' = 6 votes
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6 of the final 7 votes went to Hollywood. It was a good comeback, but it didn't come back quite enough to achieve a monumental upset.
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The Magic 8-Ball = 4-1
The Amazing Sixwell = 3-2
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I have now used Broadway 'Hair' versus Hollywood 'Hair' against each other in 2 BOTB matches and they are both 1-1. I think this means that a future rubber match is in order. I'd said that I would relate to you a very odd "Fun Fact" about how The 5th Dimension scored their biggest hit song, 'Aquarius', but I think I'll save that story for the future Broadway / Hollywood 'Hair' rubber match.
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I thank every one of you who came by and submitted your $0.02. Without you, there'd be no BOTB.
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I hope to see Y'All again here on June 15th, when I will be presenting my next Battle Of The Bands contest.
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy
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POSTSCRIPT: Hey, where was the dog?
Oh... there it was.
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Friday, June 1, 2018

2018, JUNE 1: BATTLE OF THE BANDS (Or, BROADWAY HAIR VS. HOLLYWOOD HAIR)

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Tie Vs. Tie-Dyed, Suit Vs. Freak, Pot Vs. Pigs, Acid Vs. Magic Mushrooms, Counter-Culture Vs. "The Man", Batman & Robin Vs. Catwoman & Lesley Gore, Sergeant Standanko Vs. The Boys & Girls Of Our Lady Of 115th Street, Cheech y Chong Vs. My Mom y Dad, and so on and so forth...
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'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' ('BOTB')
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DIG IT! It's "The Summer Of Love, 2.0" and time for 'Battle Of The Bands' ('BOTB'). WHAT IT IS, WHAT IT IS!
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FAR OUT! GROOVY! Alright, let's get on it. Let's get RIGHT ON(!) this thing...
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When the idea of doing regular "Battle Of The Bands" blog installments first occurred to me nearly 5 years ago, I immediately began compiling a list of songs to be used in future Battles. Believe it or not, the 7th song I wrote on that list was 'GOOD MORNING, STARSHINE', a composition from the 1968 Broadway musical 'HAIR', which was a #3 Billboard hit for Oliver in '69. 
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I used a song from 'HAIR' in the hoary past: My 4th BOTB installment in 2013 featured the song 'EASY TO BE HARD', and I used the Original Broadway Cast recording against the recording from Hollywood's movie version of the play. (At that time, there were only 3 BOTBers, and Hollywood beat Broadway 6-5.) 
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So, if using HAIR's famous 'Good Morning, Starshine' was one of the very earliest BOTB song ideas I ever had, why am I only just now gettin' 'round to it?...
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The Red Dog Saloon[link> Where Rock Music And Psychedelic Drugs First Met Onstage.
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I agonized over this Battle like no Battle I've previously presented these past 5 years of BOTB. There were so many recording choices and I just couldn't find that match-up that instantly "clicked" in my mind, giving me that "Eureka! I have found it!" feeling which I always experience when I know I've struck the right artist combination.
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I mean, seriously, I could have put Roger Whittaker up against The Strawberry Alarm Clock. I could have put John Denver up against Gary Lewis & The Playboys. I could have used Andy Williams & The Osmond Brothers against Bob McGrath & The Muppets. Talk about "BAd ACiD TRiPs"!
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'GOOD MORNING, STARSHINE' sent me through an endless maze of confusing possibilities -- none of which seemed (as Goldilocks would say) "Just right". So, I finally threw up my hands (which is horribly hard on one's throat!) and said... well... "Screw it!... I'm just going with Broadway versus Hollywood -- exactly like I did with the song 'Easy To Be Hard' in 2013!" 
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And so that's what you're getting, whether you like it or not -- and regardless of the fact that the two versions are pretty similar. Nuance is going to play a big factor in your decision of who to vote for in this Battle. Concentrate now. (Or as Pooh Bear would say: "Think!... Think!... Think!...") The vocalists are different, the tempos and musical backing are slightly different, too. How do you evaluate those things? Overall, which version do you prefer, and why?
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GOOD MORNING, STARSHINE - Original Broadway Cast
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GOOD MORNING, STARSHINE - Hollywood Cast
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Yeah, I know the photo is out of focus. When I took it, I was out of focus, too!
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NOTE: In my Results post for this Battle on June 7th, I will tell you a very FUN FACT about how, by a weird coincidence, The 5th Dimension scored their biggest song ever and first #1 Billboard hit, 'Aquarius', in 1969. So, don't forget to return here on the 7th. (I'll be at the Red Dog Saloon in Virginia City on the 7th, but will respond to your comments ASAP.)
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The Battle Within The Battle
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VERSUS
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Question: "Will Hollywood HAIR lose to Broadway HAIR?"
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The Magic 8-Ball (4-0) sez:  "Don't Count On It"
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The Amazing Sixwell (2-2) sez:  "As I See It, Yes."
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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.
@ 'CHERDO ON THE FLIPSIDE' by clicking HERE.
@ 'ANGELS BARK' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THE DOGLADY'S DEN' 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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