.
Welcome back, my friends, to the "Battle" that never ends.
We're so glad you could attend. Come inside! Come inside!


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. Two "Battles" per month, on the 1st and 15th. Six days later (the 7th and 21st), I place my own vote, tally 'em all up and announce the winner.

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!

[NOTE: Links to the first year of 'BOTB' (#1 - #24) can be found at the very bottom of this page.]

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

GUNFIGHT AT THE PIANO BENCH

Lonesome Doggs & Lonesome Doggettes ~

Did you know Lightnin' Hopkins once recorded a Blues song for y'all? He did. And someday I may post it here, but today ain't that day. I got sumpin' else for yaz...





My friends FAE (of the blog Far Away Series) and Bryan (of the blog A Beer For The Shower) and I frequently participate in something we call TRT (short for “The Retro Theatre”).

We live in three different states and two different time zones, but we like to watch old movies together (lately we've been on a Film Noir kick). We all obtain a source for the same movie and then we all agree to start it at a specific time. This way, it's as if we've all gone to see the movie together, only we're actually in our own homes (i.e., we're watching the same movie at the same time, but in three different “theatres”).

At my suggestion, last night we all watched the criminally unknown 1991 movie 'DEAD AGAIN', starring and directed by Kenneth Branagh (including a small part by the late Robin Williams). It's a very cool, complex Psychological Thriller / Time Travel movie with Film Noir aspects to it and some fantastic plot twists. (If you've never seen it, I highly recommend you overcome that oversight and see it... and see a dentist about your overbite.)

There's one particular scene that has to do with smoking a cigarette (I cleverly refer to it as “the smoking scene”). I have seen countless movies in my life (even briefly appeared in a couple of them) but of all the movies I've watched in my 55 years, I think there are two scenes that most stand out as unforgettable (and by strange coincidence, they both involve cigarettes).

One of those segments is, of course, “the smoking scene” in 'DEAD AGAIN'. The other one is the long (18 minutes) piano duel scene in 'THE LEGEND OF 1900' (1998).

The main character, a piano master, never leaves the ocean liner he lives on. A personal quirk – or irrational fear. One night, someone comes to challenge him at his piano on the ship. Here's how it's described by the person who posted the scene at YouTube: 

"Jelly Roll" Morton (Clarence Williams III) - the man who claims to have invented jazz - has challenged Danny Boodmann T.D. Lemon Nineteen Hundred - aka 1900 - (Tim Roth) to a duel on piano because he heard rumors that 1900 can play better than he can. 1900's friend Max Tooney (Pruitt Taylor Vince) takes bets on who will win. A fantastic performance by both actors.

One of the best duels ever in movie history. The proof that you don't need a gun to utterly destroy someone. 

This is the best scene in the movie. Actually, it's one of the all-time best scenes in ANY movie. If you have 18 minutes to spare, watch it below (or click the link and see it BIGGER at YouTube). If you dig piano music, if you dig fantasy movies, if you dig Western gunfights... you'll definitely dig THIS... 

'The Legend of 1900' Piano Duel - HD



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XHYBcxHRDA 

I really need to buy myself a DVD copy of this movie someday. 

~ Stephen T. McCarthy 

YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

'BATTLE OF THE BANDS: 2014, OCT. 15' (Or, 'ATLANTA RHYTHM SECTION VS. DUSTY SPRINGFIELD')

.
Republican Vs. Democrat, Male Vs. Female, War Vs. Peace, Light Vs. Dark, Good Vs. Evil, Man Vs. Machine, Love Vs. Hate, Dog Vs. Cat, Sun Vs. Moon, Brain Vs. Brawn, Oscar Vs. Grammy, Angel Vs. Demon, 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...
.
THE BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (‘BOTB’)
.
.
Shoop-Shooby –
Shooby-duh-Dooby-Doop-Dooby-Dooby-Doo-Wah –
Buh-Doo-Wah!
.
Yes, it’s time once again for ‘Battle Of The Bands’ (‘BOTB’)
.
Alright, let’s get on it...
.
EUGENE  MARTONE  VS.  JACK  BUTLER
.
TRIVIA Q:
Can you name a person who co-wrote a song and scored a 'Billboard' Top Ten hit with it and then a decade later joined a different band, re-recorded the same song and scored a 'Billboard' Top Twenty hit with it?

Here's a clue... a clue... a clue! (Gesundheit.)

Just  like  a  ghost,  you've  been  a-hauntin'  my  dreams
So  I'll  propose  on  Halloween. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Love  is  kinda  crazy  with  a  spooky  little  girl  like  you.

The answer is: "guitarist JAMES COBB".

I was thinking that I should use a spooky song on BOTB since we are so close to Halloween. And my second thought was: Why not use the song 'Spooky'?

Wackypedia sez:

"Spooky" was originally an instrumental song performed by saxophonist Mike Sharpe, ... which first charted in 1967 hitting #57 on the US pop chart. Its best-known version was created by The Classics IV when guitarist James Cobb and producer Buddy Buie added lyrics centering on a "spooky little girl". In 1968, the vocal version of the song reached #3 in the U.S. (Billboard Hot 100) and #46 in the UK.

Cobb (along with bandmates Robert Nix and Dean Daughtry) later became part of the Atlanta Rhythm Section and re-recorded "Spooky" in 1979. ARS's version hit #17 in the US and #48 in the UK. "Spooky" has also been covered by a number of artists including Dusty Springfield, whose gender-flipped version was featured prominently in the Guy Ritchie film 'Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels'.

I never saw that movie (although I'm certain I would hate it!) but I do dig the Dusty version. First, let's hear Cobb's second hit version of the song:

'SPOOKY' - ATLANTA RHYTHM SECTION



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2w804N8q_RQ

.
GODZILLA  VS.  KING  KONG
I find that there's a peculiar but very appealing quality to Dusty Springfield's voice that I can't quite 'splain. It is extremely obvious to my ears (maybe one of y'all can put it into appropriate words?) but I'm unable to express it in written language.

Wackypedia sez:

With [Dusty Springfield's] distinctive sensual sound, she was an important blue-eyed soul singer and at her peak was one of the most successful British female performers, with six top 20 singles on the United States Billboard Hot 100 and sixteen on the United Kingdom Singles Chart from 1963 to 1989. She is a member of both the U.S. Rock And Roll and  U.K. Music Halls of Fame.

In Dusty's version, the rhythm is the same but... Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Atlanta anymore. It includes a brief but cool alto sax solo and I think it's damned good and different enough from the "second" original hit version that it will make this a neck-'n'-neck contest.

[Methinks I know who StratPlayer-Chris b votin' fo'.]

'SPOOKY' - DUSTY SPRINGFIELD



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7QzxYAjgNc
.
RIDDLER  VS.  BATMAN
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Alright now, “you know the gig”... I welcome EVERYONE to vote for their favorite of these songs in the comment section below. And feel free to tell us WHY you chose one song over the other. (NOTE: Comment Moderation is activated. All submitted comments that do not transgress "Ye Olde Comment Policy" will be posted as soon as possible. Thanks for taking the time to comment.) 
.
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 blogsto vice your voice ...vote your vice ...voice your vote.)
.
Voice Your Vote @ ‘FAR AWAY SERIES’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘TOSSING IT OUT’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘DISCCONNECTED’ by clicking HERE.
@ 'BOOK LOVER' by clicking HERE.
@ ‘CREATIVE OUTLET OF STRATPLAYER’ 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.
@ 'ALEX J. CAVANAUGH' 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.
.
~ Stephen T. McCarthy
.
YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

'BATTLE OF THE BANDS: 2014, OCTOBER 1' (Or, 'THE MARCELS VS. CYBILL SHEPHERD')

.
Republican Vs. Democrat, Male Vs. Female, War Vs. Peace, Light Vs. Dark, Good Vs. Evil, Man Vs. Machine, Love Vs. Hate, Dog Vs. Cat, Sun Vs. Moon, Brain Vs. Brawn, Oscar Vs. Grammy, Angel Vs. Demon, 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...
.
THE BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (‘BOTB’)
.
.
Shoop-Shooby –
Shooby-duh-Dooby-Doop-Dooby-Dooby-Doo-Wah –
Buh-Doo-Wah!
.
Yes, it’s time once again for ‘Battle Of The Bands’ (‘BOTB’)
.
Alright, let’s get on it...
.
EUGENE  MARTONE  VS.  JACK  BUTLER
.
The classic standard 'BLUE MOON' was written in 1933 by the famous songwriting duo Rodgers and Hart. It was originally conceived as a ballad and countless cover versions of it have been recorded. One that I particularly like appeared on the debut album by Elvis Presley. However, without question the most famous version was recorded in 1961 by the bi-racial Pittsburgh Doo-Wop group The Marcels. If you haven't heard this version you've likely been living under a rock, or in Palookaville... or under a rock in Palookaville.

The Marcels took the song, turned up the heat, turned up the beat, and fashioned one of the absolute most famous Doo-Wop songs of all time. It's playing right this second on some radio station in the U.S. while you're reading these words.

The Marcels version of 'BLUE MOON' spent 3 weeks at #1 on the Billboard pop music chart and 2 weeks at #1 on the R&B chart. It also went to #1 in the U.K. Yes, we're talking about a monster hit and a perfect song to begin 'BOTB' in the Halloweenie monster month of October. And speaking of monsters, the song was also included in the soundtrack of the movie 'An American Werewolf In London'. 

Wackypedia sez this:
The record sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. It is featured in 'The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame's 500 Songs That Shaped Rock And Roll'. 
.
I sez that it's one of my all-time favorite Doo-Wop songs. Shall we listen to it then? 
.
THE MARCELS - 'BLUE MOON'



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tmkcuawemc
.
GODZILLA  VS.  KING  KONG
.
Alright now, anyone who knows me even half-well knows that I am a big fan of the old TV series 'MOONLIGHTING' which ran from March, 1985 to May, 1989. The show starred Cybill Shepherd as Maddie Hayes, and a then unknown Bruce Willis as David Addison.

Q: What is a Cybill Shepherd?
A: It's a German Shepherd that believes 
it is 16 different other types of dogs.

Aww, if I gotta 'splain it to ya, Lucy, then never mind.

'MOONLIGHTING' was about a Los Angeles model, Maddie Hayes, famous for representing the product 'Blue Moon Shampoo'. When her accountant rips her off, all she's left with is a big house and a tax-shelter detective agency operated by a fast-talking, smart-ass party animal named David Addison. Maddie is going to get rid of the business but Addison yaks her into keeping it open and doing private investigation work with him (learning in the process that "opposites do attract"). 'MOONLIGHTING' was one of the funniest, most creative, and most innovative TV shows ever.

Q: How innovative WAS it?
A: It was SO innovative that it's now 2014 and 
American television  STILL hasn't caught up to it!

I own every episode on DVD and have recently been watching them and affixing a letter grade to each one (and realizing for the first time that there's a helluva lotta David Addison in me!)

Without a doubt, one of the very best episodes was 'THE DREAM SEQUENCE ALWAYS RINGS TWICE'. It was a mostly black & white take-off and spoof of the legendary 1946 example of Film Noir 'THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE', starring John Garfield and Lana Turner. [A married woman and a drifter fall in love, then plot to murder her husband... but even once the deed is done, they must live with the consequences of their actions.] 

In the 'Moonlighting' version, David and Maddie learn of a murder that took place decades earlier in a fancy Big Band-era nightclub. They argue about who was really responsible for the husband's murder, the adulteress woman or her horn-playing boyfriend. That night they each have separate black and white Film Noir-like dreams in which they see themselves as the main characters and each one tries to pin the blame of the husband's murder on the other.

Maddie's dream is sultry and romantic and highlights the song 'BLUE MOON', while David's dream is very comical and includes the 'Moonlighting' specialty of "breaking the fourth wall". But in both dreams, Maddie is the Big Band's singer and David is its smoking-hot horn player.

OK, folks, let's now hear Maddie Hayes (in truth, Cybill Shepherd) singing 'BLUE MOON' in black and white.

CYBILL SHEPHERD - 'BLUE MOON'



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jQPxmtQREw
.

RIDDLER  VS.  BATMAN
.
Alright now, “you know the gig”... I welcome EVERYONE to vote for their favorite of these songs in the comment section below. And feel free to tell us WHY you chose one song over the other. (NOTE: Comment Moderation is activated. All submitted comments that do not transgress "Ye Olde Comment Policy" will be posted as soon as possible. Thanks for taking the time to comment.) 
.
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 blogsto vice your voice ...vote your vice ...voice your vote.)
.
Voice Your Vote @ ‘FAR AWAY SERIES’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘TOSSING IT OUT’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘DISCCONNECTED’ by clicking HERE.
@ 'BOOK LOVER' by clicking HERE. 
@ ‘CREATIVE OUTLET OF STRATPLAYER’ 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.
.
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.
.
~ Stephen T. McCarthy
.
YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.