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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!


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.]

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

2016, MARCH 15: 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' (Or, 'BOBBY "BLUE" BLAND VERSUS VAN MORRISON')

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Most of this blog bit is actually being composed on Sunday, March 13th. This marks exactly one year to the day that I moved to Reno, Nevada, from Phoenix, Airheadzona. It's been a mixed bag, but mostly a massive disappointment. (Don't get me started, y'all.) 

However, there are two areas in which Reno has offered more than I anticipated. Two things I really love are 1) old buildings with vintage signs, and 2) Mexican food.
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I like my food bold and spicy, which is why Mexican has always been my favorite. I'm sure I could eat it every day and never grow tired of it. I'm an Angeleno - born and raised - so I consider myself a connoisseur of excellent 'South Of The Border' food.

Surprisingly, I think, overall, Reno may have more top-notch Mexican restaurants than Phoenix has. I've found five I really like, but two are too expensive.

Believe it or not, my #1 choice can actually be found in a casino. For food quality, great atmosphere, lowest prices, and good service, you can't beat 'PANCHO & WILLIE'S CANTINA' in the Western Village casino:
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But what's cooler than old buildings with old-style signs? And Reno has a plethora of 'em. (Eventually I'll do a blog bit that highlights my favorites.)
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However, there's one place where my love of vintage buildings and signs and excellent Mexican food come together, and that's 'CARLILLO'S COCINA' (aka 'CARLITO'S COCINA').

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It's located in a tiny, authentic 1950s diner. The place seats only 25 customers at the counter, from which you will be only a few feet away from the owner while he cooks your meal. His wife will wait on you and his Pa puts all the finishing touches on the plates - everything arranged with an eye toward color and design. I'm not kidding! The food is excellent but Carlillo's is only open for breakfast and lunch and is closed on Sundays. (I asked the owner / cook once which Mexican restaurants he liked best in Reno, outside of his own. He said that he cooks so much Mexican food during the week that he prefers to eat Pizzas and Hamburgers. Ha! I un'erstan' that.)

WILL  THIS  SATISFY  YOUR  APPETITE?
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I found the place one day by accident. I was driving by and saw that miniature 1950s style diner, looking like it was a set for the movie 'AMERICAN GRAFFITI'. I had to park so I could get a closer look. From the street, it appeared to be out of business, but pressing my nose to a window I could see that it was truly a functioning restaurant that was merely closed for the day. I made it a point to return when it was open.

I've probably eaten there about 7 or 8 times now, and in those visits I've heard at least 4 other customers say that it was their first time and they were definitely coming back again. It does a lot of repeat business. You can read local reviews by clicking HERE One of my favorite dishes at 'CARLILLO'S' is the Chilaquiles Con Salsa Verde, but I've enjoyed everything I've tired thus far. (You gotta sneak in your own Margaritas spiked with Habanero sauce because 'Carlillo's' serves no booze, and Mexican cerveza is no bueno anyway.)

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I hear ya. You're asking: "OK, but what does all this have to do with 'Battle Of The Bands', DogG?" 
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Well, on one wall in 'CARLILLO'S COCINA' there's a video jukebox that sometimes plays old Rock 'N' Roll. You know, stuffs like 'Runaround Sue' by Dion And The Belmonts.
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I was in there having breakfast one morning when the biggest hit song for legendary Rhythm & Blues singer Bobby "Blue" Bland, 'Ain't Nothing You Can Do', played on the jukebox. I  immediately thought that might make a good 'Battle Of The Bands' match-up with Van Morrison.
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So, even if you can't dig into the food at 'CARLILLO'S COCINA' while rubbing elbows with a cool, sexy, charismatic guy like me at the counter, you can still vote on the music.

BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (‘BOTB’)

Alright, let's get on it...

'AIN'T NOTHING YOU CAN DO' - BOBBY "BLUE" BLAND
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CZMEctxtwE  


'AIN'T NOTHING YOU CAN DO' - VAN MORRISON
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vtn4ufLtCvE


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.) 

Voice Your Vote @ ‘FAR AWAY SERIES’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘TOSSING IT OUT’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ 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.
@ 'DCRELIEF - BATTLE OF THE BANDS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THE DOGLADY'S DEN' by clicking HERE.
@ 'CHERDO ON THE FLIPSIDE' by clicking HERE
@ 'ANGELS BARK' by clicking HERE.
@ 'JINGLE JANGLE JUNGLE' by clicking HERE.
@ 'JANIE JUNEBUG, RIGHTING & EDITINGby clicking HERE.
@ 'J.A. SCOTT' by clicking HERE.
@ 'NOVELBREWS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'QUIET LAUGHTER' by clicking HERE
@ 'REINVINTAGED' by clicking HERE.

@ 'HOLLI'S HOOTS & HOLLERS' by clicking HERE. 

@ 'EVIL POP TART' 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 

74 comments:

  1. Reno sounds like an interesting place. Old buildings are fascinating to me as well.
    Bobby Bland's version has a real early 60s feel to it - great voice! Still, there's something I preferred about Van Morrison's performance, but not sure what it is, exactly. A fuller sound, maybe. Anyway, my vote goes to Van.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DEBBIE ~
      Reno IS interesting. Sometimes interesting good, and sometimes interesting very bad. Overall though it's not nearly like I expected it would be after dreaming of living here for decades.

      Thanks for your vote.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
    2. Sounds like it doesn't live up to your expectations Stephen. That must be disappointing. Hopefully you'll find some joy in it, somewhere, like those old buildings.

      Delete
    3. Yeah, old buildings, good food, and damned cheap booze. ...I'll get by.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  2. I vote for Van, too! That man could sing the telephone white pages and I would swoon!(Do they still print the white pages?)...After all, I AM a brown-eyed-girl :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! BECKY-O!, the white pages DO still exist, because I recently picked up my latest copy of the phone book for Reno. The thing's about 1/8 the size of my old Phoenix book, and 1/12 the size of what my L.A. book used to be... in the 1980s!

      Gotcha down for Van, Brown-Eyed Goil!

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the info on the white pages ;)
      I used to laugh at the teeny-tiny phone book at my beloved grandparents' house in small town Iowa. Back in the 50s and 60s, it was about the size of a 5x7 pocket calendar and that even included the yellow pages!

      Delete
    3. Sounds like the phone book for "Paradise".

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  3. I've loved Mexican food for many decades and still like it. Unfortunately I'm finding my stomach far less tolerant of the spicy stuff than it used to be and I used to really dig the food hot and spicy. We've got plenty of Mexican restaurants around where I live, but I can't say they are mostly more than just average. But I've got a King Taco in walking distance from my house and that's pretty good if you're looking for tacos and burritos without the entire meal set up.

    This Battle was strange and freaky for me--don't know if it was coincidence or what. Just yesterday I was reading an article about Bobby Blue Bland and thinking that I didn't remember ever hearing any of his music though he used to play around Knoxville a lot when I was in college. I decided that I needed to seek out some of his music on YouTube and maybe put together a someday Battle. Well I didn't and here you've done it for me. Excellent.

    This is a tough one as I'm a big Van fan. Both versions are pretty equal. I especially like the guitar in Van's version. In the end though I prefer Bobby's vocals better--though this is a tough call. Maybe that tinkling piano cinches it for me.

    I'm going to call this one in favor of Bobby Blue Bland--but only by the slightest edge.

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

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LEE, speaking for me, I'm not sure life would be worth living if I couldn't tolerate Mexican food anymore. Luckily, my system can handle just about any kind of food. I seem to have a cast iron stomach that very little affects.

      The only occasional disturbance I experience is, like, acid in my throat and/or upper chest. But a little baking soda in water eliminates that in 3 to 5 minutes.

      That IS quite a weird coincidence about Bobby "Blue" Bland. I actually conceived of this particular BOTB installment about 5 weeks ago, maybe even 6. But I had others I wanted to do first.

      But it's like you tapped into my mind when I was finally ready to post this one. Have we just entered 'The Twilight Zone'? Ha!

      Well, Bobby recorded quite a number of songs that were hits on the R&B charts, so I'm sure it would be easy to use him in a good Battle with a different song later on. He was more popular than most folks realize. (And as I type these words, Bobby actually has a couple votes lead over Van-The-Man, so he's a serious competitor for BOTB contests.)

      What makes THIS a particularly difficult Battle is the fact that both recordings are basically pretty similar. The pace, arrangements/style are not a whole lot different.

      With many BOTB contests, a voter will often know in 30 seconds or a minute which one they're voting for, because of the drastic differences in tempo, instrumentation, etc.

      But sometimes I like to do a Battle that forces the listener to really concentrate in order to find the slight differences that determine the winner for them.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
    2. I still tolerate most foods and I do try to keep it as spicy as I can, but, well, you wait a few years. When I was just a young whippersnapper like you I thought I had a cast iron stomach too, but sometimes that spicy stuff does hit me.

      I love chilaquiles when I fix them. I don't remember where I first had them--San Antonio I think--but I loved them and fixed them at home like I'd remembered them. Problem is that ordering the dish in a restaurant can be unpredictable and sometimes disappointing. I've sure had a lot of different versions of chilaquiles but so far mine are the best.

      It was odd but on Monday I was reading a 2011 copy of the entertainment section of the L.A. Times where they had this story about some record producer who was talking about different artists he liked and there was a section about Bobby Bland. In the description about Bland, artist Charles Bradley says about his arrangements:
      The arrangements were really distinct for 60's soul music. They're open, in terms of how everything sounds.
      That was enough to lure me in.

      I'm sure I can find a Battle with a song he does. Guess I could add it to the 100 or so battles in waiting. I don't think I'll ever get around to all of these.

      I like the nuanced Battles too. I've got a few of those still lined up. There's usually some little quirky thing that will cinch a vote for someone listening.

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

      Delete
    3. I think this "young whippersnapper" is only about 7 or 8 years younger'n you, am I right?

      I think hot, spicy food may be like alcohol: constant exposure to it will build one's tolerance.

      I hope if I keep eating it so regularly, my system will never reject it, no matter how old I get. This I shouldn't be proud of, but I bet there are few people who could drink me under the table. My alcohol tolerance was naturally high, and then I made it "supernatural" by... practicing. Ha!

      Yeah, I hear ya on the 100 Battles. Same here. I hardly needed the help of Carlillo's Cocina or Bobby "Blue" Bland to find a suitable BOTB song. I really let this one "cut in line" because what I truly wanted was to write about these Mexican restaurants in Reno. I just used the song as an excuse to do a "Mexican food" post.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
    4. I've recently turned 65 and it's only in the past couple years that I've really began to feel the impact of spicy foods. I noticed it most with Thai food which I think is often far spicier than Mexican food. On the other hand, I do prefer some degree of spice. Like the other day for example, my wife and I went to a Mexican restaurant near our house and the lack of spice in my dish was very disappointing. I was optimistic when I tackled the salsa which my wife said was too spicy and I found very nicely picante. Then when my dish of an echilada, a taco, and a chile relleno was delivered my hopes were dashed. Especially the chile relleno, which is a standard I often use to judge a Mexican restaurant's food, was so bland and flavorless that it was like a bell pepper with the rest of the concoction being prepared with absolutely no spices whatsoever.

      So I'm still beyond most people in tolerating the uppers levels of the Scoville scale, but sometimes the after effects hit me more than they used to. I'm sure you'd drink me under the table. I've never been much of a drinker and I'm okay with that.

      As for Sheboyganboy's cranky attack on my current battle, I'm thinking that maybe he must have had an upset tummy after consuming all that Mexican food he brought back from SoCal with him. Maybe it was food poisoning that went to the centers of his brain responsible for musical appreciation. But that's okay I guess. I like what I like and that's that. I would imagine he'll dislike my next battle just as much as this one.

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

      Delete
    5. >>... Especially the chile relleno, which is a standard I often use to judge a Mexican restaurant's food,

      Yes, actually, that seems to be the case with many of us lovers of Mexican food. Over the years, I've seen many people say the same thing - that they use the chile relleno as the principal item by which to judge a Mexican restaurant.

      I've done that too, in the past, but not so much now, as I've found a number of places that served only an average relleno and yet their other items were exceptional. But when I try a new place for the fist time, I usually start with a combo plate of cheese enchilada and chile relleno with rice and beans. Those are my staples, and if they don't do most of those items really well, chances are nuttin' else is very good either.

      I don't know, man. I get the feeling SBB-6's snarky comment was based more on an earache than an upset stomach.

      I haven't heard your Battle songs yet, but based on Six's comment, and several others like it, I'm preparing for the worst. I get the feeling this is going to be another mad scientist "expand-your-musical-taste" laboratory experiment, but I'll enter with an open mind and see how I naturally react to it. I should get there later today or tomorrow.

      ~ D-FensdogG

      Delete
    6. Hardee-har-har!

      Lee... I didn't see my comment as snarky. I saw it as an honest assessment of my view of what music was presented, and (as I said in my response to your response) I even complimented you on your wide musical tastes. I thought I was being NICE!

      I am sure that if I really rolled out the snarkiness, men would cringe and pale and I would hear the lamentations of their women and children.

      At least we all agree about Mexican food. There is nothing like a well-prepared chile relleno. While listening to Bollywood music.

      Delete
    7. >>... There is nothing like a well-prepared chile relleno. While listening to Bollywood music.

      Now THAT was "snarky".
      But who says one can't be snarky AND sincere. Hell, that's my standard M.O.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  4. I think this is a rough choice. Both versions are really good. But if I have to pick, I will go with Van Morrison.
    I've heard there are good restaurants in casinos, but I've never been to one, so I don't know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JEFFY ~
      Are you saying you've never been in a casino, or that you've never been in a good restaurant in a casino?

      Generally, casinos do not have reputations for great food. That's not to say there isn't any. Because there are actually some exceptionally fine restaurants in casinos. But the majority serve mediocre food to tourists who are really there for other "important" matters like gambling and shows. And I think the type of restaurants most people associate with casinos are All-You-Can-Eat Buffets, where indeed the food is edible but not usually top-notch.

      But there ARE some eateries in casinos that are too rich (read: expensive) for my wallet. Others that I can afford that are damned good.

      There's one called 'Milano Cafe' at the Peppermill in Reno that has damned good food at reasonable prices. And then of course the aforementioned 'Panchos & Willie's' at Western Village. It's certainly not the best Mexican food I've ever had, but the entire experience is stellar. One of the best bargains and dining experiences I've found in Reno.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
    2. Sorry, that was a bit unclear. I've never been to a casino in Reno. I've been to one in Green Bay and Milwaukee for concerts. Never really saw restaurants either, just pub food and some drinks.

      Delete
  5. I liked Bobby Bland's version better, but it was a close call.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, EPT. It seems almost everyone is calling this a tough Battle to vote on.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  6. I like Mexican food, though not as much as you. I can't eat it every day. I can do that with Chinese food though...
    Was fun reading about your foodie adventures at Carlillo's.
    As for your battle: I'm a major Van Morrison fan and so it's no surprise that my vote is coming down for Van. I like Bobby Bland's version too but Van just did it a tad better for my ears...

    Sorry to hear that Reno has been a disappointment for you. At least you have the vintage nostalgia and the great mexican food to appease you...

    Michele at Angels Bark

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MICHELE ~
      Good Mexican food, cheap drinks, and a home computer is about all this boy needs to be reasonably content.

      It's funny that despite being a vegetarian, I've never really liked Chinese food, which does utilize a lot of veggies, noodles and such in their cooking.

      I don't know why, but all Chinese food looks the same to me. (Yuk!-Yuk!)

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  7. If you don't stop making this so darn hard I'm going to come to Reno and beat you with a stick. I think I've listened to both of these three times now. I'm in process of the stop/start method. This is one of those bizarre cases of "I'm sure this is the one" while it's playing. Then I switch to the other one and then am sure "this is the one," until I switch back. This is crazy-making, and I'm already teetering on the edge of that particular cliff. The crazy cliff.

    Just to STOP THE MADNESS I'm voting. I'm picking the first one. I really like Bobby Blue's voice (I really like Van the Man's voice, too... Oh God, I feel myself waffling again). Nope. I'm sticking with Bobby Blue Bland (who is anything but bland).

    This is a great song. It starts off with having a headache. It's like these guys are singing my life. The only thing I'd change is that going back to bed only works sometimes. Most of the time there's nothing you can do!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. >>... "If you don't stop making this so darn hard I'm going to come to Reno and beat you with a stick."

      OOOooooh! I would protly like that!

      "Kidnap the Santy Claus, beat him with a stick!..."

      Your indecisive comment made me chuckle. And it seems 9 out of 10 voters agree that... this is a "tough" Battle to vote on. (See my response to Lee above.)

      I like to occasionally post Battles that are different by only a matter of degrees. This FORCES the voter to SERIOUSLY CONCENTRATE on every single element of the recording; forces them to notice the subtle differences and analyze them in order to determine WHY they slightly prefer one recording to the other.

      I think it sharpens the "musical intellect" when we are sometimes required to "hear every note" in order to "differentiate and determine" where our vote will land.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  8. I can safely say this is the first blog post I've ever come across that mentions chilaquiles in salsa verde :D Kudos to you for that, Stephen... Had 'em myself last Saturday, prepared a big pan of the stuff for a bunch of people we had over, and — judging by the number of helpings everyone had (and kept having) — I'm going to go ahead and say they were pretty kick-butt good ;)

    Tough battle you put together for us... Feels so wrong to vote against Bobby Blue, but I can't help it. The Van Morrison version really got me swinging. Sorry, Bobby.
    Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. >>... "chilaquiles in salsa verde... Had 'em myself last Saturday, prepared a big pan of the stuff for a bunch of people we had over, ... I'm going to go ahead and say they were pretty kick-butt good"

      GUILIE ~
      If your boyfriend ever mistreats you, just let me know and I'll be right there to... consume the Mexican food he WOULD have been getting otherwise.

      The quickest way to the place where my heart ONCE WAS, is through my stomach.

      And I have been known to happily confuse "comfort food" with "love". (In fact, I prefer the first to the latter.)

      Seriously, very glad to see you're feeling well enough again to participate in BOTB with us. WELCOME BACK! (Where's my chile relleno and cheese enchilada? Where's my Margarita, damn-it?!:o)

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  9. This is a tough one....I am actually partial to the arrangement used in the film The Commitments, but since that's not an option...

    I like both, I am mentally flipping a coing and voting for Bobby Blue...nothin' bland about him!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LC ~
      Gee, I don't even remember 'AIN'T NOTHING YOU CAN DO' being in 'THE COMMITMENTS'. But it was YOU who turned me onto that movie, and I love it. Have seen it a couple more times since you first showed it to me.

      I will have to add that soundtrack to my Spotify account and listen to it again.

      That's a movie that I'd DEFINITELY like to have on DVD someday.

      I'm still trying to decipher this:

      We skipped the light fandango
      Turned cartwheels 'cross the floor
      I was feeling kinda seasick
      But the crowd called out for more
      The room was humming harder
      As the ceiling flew away
      When we called out for another drink
      The waiter brought a tray

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
    2. Doesn't Jimmy explain it all at the end of the film?

      I am in error-this song was not in the film. The singer (Andrew Strong) released a solo CD ("Strong") and it's on there. The album is on Spotify...

      Delete
    3. I think it was still left as kind of a mystery. Didn't the priest say that he too had always wondered about the meaning?

      Guess I'm due to watch that movie again.

      I'll have to check out Andrew's album at Spotify.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
    4. You're right...so we don't get to find out in this life

      Delete
    5. As I understand it, the meaning of the lyrics is revealed to those in Heaven. And that's the principal difference between Heaven and hell.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  10. I enjoy Mexican food. It's been hard finding a new place since my favorite restaurant closed. (Boo!)
    Old buildings are a treasure. I hate it when thy're torn down for shopping mall garbage(?)

    This battle is tough. Gosh, Van is nice but Bobby's 'sound' brings back happy childhood hours... "dancing with the 'BIG GIRLS' in my neighborhood.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DIXIE POLKA ~
      I haven't had many beloved restaurants close on me, but most of the bars / saloons I've loved have gone out of business, and that's a sad feeling.

      One of the few positive things I can say about Reno is that they do, generally, seem to value old landmark-type buildings and signs.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  11. I do like Van Morrison and he makes a good showing here, but I also love Bobby Blue Bland. A tough battle, but my vote will go to Bobby Blue, who is anything but bland.

    BTW - That sign 'Pancho and Willies' reminds me of a song by Willie Nelson/Merle - 'Pancho and Lefty'? Those southwestern ballad songs always get me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. D.G. ~
      Funny you mentioned the Willie Nelson / Merle Haggard song 'PANCHO & LEFTY' because that is THE VERY FIRST THING I THOUGHT OF when I first discovered the 'PANCHO & WILLIE'S' Cantina.

      My friend, Kelly, who killed himself in 1986 was a MASSIVE Merle Haggard fan, and every year on his Birthdate and Deathdate, I play that song in his honor. I always consider him "Pancho" and me "Lefty", because I'm the one who got "left-y" behind when he committed suicide.

      Thanks for your vote, D.G.!

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  12. Ha, you WOULD love chilaquiles con verde. You know, that was the first dish the wife ever cooked for me and officially sealed the deal that I wanted to make her my marital property. Before that I hadn't even heard of chilaquiles. Now I'm hooked, and have her make them for me at least once a month with a nice side of homemade Spanish rice and slow cooker beans. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.

    Oh, wait, we're talking about music, right? Well, we're both with Robin on this one. This was a very tough decision, but ultimately one of us picked Van the Man and the other picked Bobby "Anything But" Bland. Any guesses as to who voted for whom?

    ~6B

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 6-B ~
      You mentioned the chilaquiles, but I expected you to inquire about the Margaritas with Habanero sauce. Good that you're still able to surprise my expectations.

      Man, this one is not easy to predict. Originally, I thought that perhaps Brandon and you would BOTH vote for Van. But obviously I'm 50% wrong already.

      So, my second guess? Uhm... You're voting for Van and Brandon is voting for Bobby?

      That seems to go AGAINST my perception of Brandon's voting pattern, and I'm tempted to reverse that prediction, but I remember what happened the LAST time I ignored my "first impression", so... I'll stick with this (my SECOND impression) rather than "third-guessing" myself.

      YOU for Van, Brandon for Bobby?

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
    2. Okay, I'll bite, what brand of sauce, how much do you add, and to what kind of margarita? I love a good margarita... however, I once had a jalapeno one that was terrible, but I think that was just the place (it wasn't great).

      Congratulations! Your first second intuition was correct, because I pick Van the Man and Brandon is going Blandon. If it tells you anything, he's huge into blues, so Bland was right up his alley. I figured he'd vote Bland before I even hit play.

      ~6B

      Delete
    3. >>... Okay, I'll bite, what brand of sauce, how much do you add, and to what kind of margarita?

      No, no.
      Tom Waits wrote:
      "Cause opportunity don't knock. He has no tongue and she cannot talk."

      Well, the truth is that occasionally opportunity does knock... BUT ONLY ONCE! This is this! This isn't somthing else. This is THIS! From now on, yer on your own.

      Seriously, I've just experimented with it myself trying different things. You'd need to find the one that's right for you.

      I've never heard of a Jalapeno Margarita. That sounds pretty damned interesting. I'd probably like it more than you did. When it comes to food and drink, I'm an easy dog to hunt with.

      I remember there was a time when you and Brandon used to vote alike the vast majority of the time. It seems that now you're more likely to split your votes. (Which is still better'n splitting your pants.)

      I've got a couple good Blues songs lined up for future BOTB contests. Brandon'll protly like those especially well.

      ~ Stephen

      Delete
  13. Gosh this is a toughie but there is something about the older version of the Bobby Blue Band that appeals to me a bit more so they get my vote. I love old architecture and if there is a nice good ole fashion diner with great food and great prices, then that can't be beat. The food looks yummy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BIRGIT ~
      Yeah, the food is great! Prices are average, and the atmosphere is unique as all get-out! If you ever visit Reno, I'll take you there.

      Do you like 'AMERICAN GRAFFITI'?

      Thanks for your BOTB input!

      ~ D-FensDogG

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    2. This place sounds yummy. I love American Graffiti! I haven't seen it in a long time but it is a great movie and now, dang! I could have used it this week for one of my 3 movies...intersecting stories. It would have been perfect!

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    3. Movies with "Intersecting Stories"? Oh, that's a great theme, and apparently I missed that post. As soon as I get all my BOTB votes recorded (I'm way behind this time) I'll make it a point to check out that post of yours.

      ~ D-FensDogG

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  14. I'll be really interested in seeing how YOU vote on this one. I predict Van.

    To me, both are good... but Van's is quite superior. For one, the pace is about 15-20% faster and it works better for me with this song. I loved the guitar and piano bits in the middle of Van's version, also.

    Bobby's voice is excellent! I don't really recall hearing him in my youth, though I am sure I did. But he has a wonderful raw quality like Otis Redding.

    But Van's voice on this'un was VANtastic! Like Mexican food, I could eat it up every day.

    When I lived in SOCAL I DID in fact eat Mexican food every day... or at least every week day. When I take a trip down there still, the very first thing I do is hit my favorite Mexican spots. Last fall when I was there I got 15 lbs. of dry ice and a couple of coolers and drove home with $150 worth of flautas and carne asada burritos.

    A vote for Van.

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    1. SHEBOYGANBOY SIX ~
      So, not only do we agree on TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS, we concur on MEXICAN FOOD, too. We should start our own Mexican restaurant that plays Tom Petty music all day and night.

      I think it's funny that your comment on Lee's Battle was so snarky he suspected you of being ME, stealing your pseudonym. You're not in a positive place when people are confusing YOU for ME, Brother!
      [:o)}

      You seem to be the only voter who feels that one of these recordings is "quite superior" to the other.

      Like the others, I think this is a VERY CLOSE contest between two nearly equal competitors. Yeah, the Van version is slightly more uptempo (haven't confirmed your percentages yet on my TEMPO-O-METER), but for me, with this song, the tempo isn't really a strong factor either way. To me, both are in the right range.

      My vote comes down to vocal quality (tone or richness) and instrumentation. So... you'll need to return on the 21st to see how I graded each recording in those categories.

      Van jumped out to a quick lead but it didn't take Bobby long to catch and then surpass him. Speculating on the votes that haven't come in yet, this is likely going to be a "photo finish" and perhaps even - GASP! - another damned tie!

      You want the red or green salsa?
      You want 'Damn The Torpedoes', 'Hard Promises', or 'Mojo'?

      ~ D-FensDogG

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    2. Finally someone with 'musical integrity', but then I already knew that about Mr. Six. Could not agree with him more.

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  15. Stephen, I LOVE Mexican food! When I was prego with all three of my little senoritas and hombre this was my go-to food. Knoxville does a few good places for Mexican cuisine, but I'd love to try an authentic southern style restaurant out west someday. That would be awesome! Now, I want Mexican food. Shame on you! Okay, I'll try to get my mind off eating by talking about today's contenders in BoTB. This is song I do not know. The original is nice, but I think I prefer Van Morrison and am giving my vote to him. It just sounded better to my ear. Good battle!

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    1. If you ever get out West, CATHY - like, say, Los Angeles or Phoenix, let me know and I'll tell you where to go for good Mexican food. If you're ever in Reno, well, I've ALREADY told you (with this post) where you'll find the best South Of The Border cuisine.

      You live in Knoxville? Dang! Did you know that's where Cherdo lives, and it's where Arlee Bird grew up? What's with this Knoxville connection?

      I used to like the writer James Agee, and he was also from Knoxville.

      ~ D-FensDogG

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  16. Van Morrison gets my vote! I just love so much of his music, and am unfamiliar with most of Mr. Bland's (although I know he is a highly respected and talented musician in his own right). Like Cathy, Van's version just sounded better to me.

    I love finding a good place to eat, regardless of the type of food they serve - I try so hard to frequent locally owned, non-chain restaurants as much as possible. Businesses like this are slowly becoming a thing of the past in small towns and rural areas where chains have moved in. It's sad. Every town needs two things: a locally owned and operated restaurant, and an old-fashioned soda shoppe.

    Excellent battle, as always!

    Kim (ReInVintaged)

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    1. Thanks, KIM ~
      I'm totally with you on the locally-owned restaurants (and bars, too). There actually are a few chains that I like really well. For instance, I love the CLAIM JUMPER restaurants, and there are some others that I think are pretty top-notch.

      But I usually prefer to catch some of the local flavor by supporting the Mom 'N' Pop establishments.

      I've never ever understood the people who will take road trip vacations and then eat at the Denny's in Bumphuc, Iowa. I mean, a Denny's is a Denny's is a Denny's. Why wouldn't they want to try something that is unique to the area they're in and may never be in again?

      If I get off the highway, hungry, I would have to be almost literally starving before I would stop in at a Denny's or some other cookie-cutter place. I'll drive a few more blocks until I find "Harold & Maude's Diner".

      ~ D-FensDogG

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  17. Stephen,

    'Twas the night before Saint Patrick's Day
    And alll through the public house
    Not a creature was sober
    Not even the mouse

    So, yer after puttin' dis' battle on a few days before Saint Paddy's Day. And yer tinkin' to yerself, I'm after wonderin' who dat Pooh will be after pickin'. Well, me friend and former drinkin' buddy, I'm after pickin' none other than the Irish Rebel himself, Van Morrison. Albeit he's after bein' from the Nort. Dat's me vote. If your after askin' me to change it I will just say no tanks. Now go git me a Guiness and be after gitten' yerself one too. And put dat ting on da ting before ya leave.

    On another note, I saw Bruce and the E Street Band last night at the Sports Arena. He did the River in its entirety along with some other hits for the encore. The River brought back a lot of memories. Can you believe it has been 36 years since we went to the Sports Arena in the Bruce Goose? After bringing the couch to 4th street to get the tickets in the first place. They're gonna tear the Sports Arena down after Bruce closes it on Saturday. I know you don't like him anymore anyhow. The man and the E Street Band played for 3.5 hours straight. I was wiped out just standing that long. Man we're getting old. Nonetheless, I was reminded of Nap and you and the rest of us, but especially Nap singing the last line from the Price You Pay at the tops of our lungs: But just across the county line, a stranger passing through put up a sign
    That counts the men fallen away to the price you pay, and girl before the end of the day,
    I'm gonna tear it down and throw it away!

    Good times, my old friend, good times. We're blessed to have had them and even more blessed to be alive to remember them still. Wish I had the energy from 1980 now.
    JW,
    Pooh

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    1. >>... And put dat ting on da ting before ya leave.

      HA! Classic line, man. It still makes me laugh.

      Sheesh! Seriously? 36 years ago that we all went and saw Bruce? Dude, what a memory that is! Tell ya the truth, Bruce put on a helluva show, but I think the show that THE LEAGUE OF SOUL CRUSADERS put on while just waiting for tickets on 4th street was even more memorable. That was a fun, rowdy-assed night. I'll bet everyone in line wanted to kill us but no one had the courage to try it.

      But, you know, when the pizza delivery guy shows up and delivers to the gang sitting on the sofa that's right on the sidewalk outside the Ticketmaster window, you gotta kinda give it up to them for the outside-the-box partying style.

      I remember I was SO HUNGOVER that next morning. Cranium and I had to hit that little bar a few blocks north at about 9 AM for a little "hair o' da dog".

      I don't remember the part about Nappy singing 'THE PRICE YOU PAY' at the top of his lungs. Where was that? On the way to the concert in that Party Boat, or AT the concert.

      But just across the county line,
      a stranger passing through put up a sign
      That counts the men fallen away
      to the price you pay,
      and, girl, before the end of the day,
      I'm gonna tear it down and throw it away!


      Man, that was always one of my very favorite verses that Bruce ever wrote. I really understood it, and I remember one time (probably with a good buzz on) I was listening to it alone in my room and got a bit weepy-eyed. It's still a great verse, even if Bruce is a stinkin' commie. (You can be damn sure he's voting for Sanders... if he bothers to vote at all.)

      Thanks for the great stroll down Amnesia Lane.

      And by the way, I knew for sure that your vote was absolutely in the bag for Van-The-Man.

      ~ Saint Stephen

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    2. Man, it could have been anytime the song played. All I remember was how much emotion Nap put into it. Perhaps we all sang that line loud. I had forgotten about the song until Bruce started playing it and man it stirred up some memories. Its great how we attach memories to music. That summer we must have played the album a thousand times and thats back when you had to flip records over too. That's 2000 flips for the double album. Its just different people coming down here now and they see things in different ways
      And soon everything we've known will just be swept away
      Enough of the sad stuff, let's head on down to Caddillac Ranch instead!

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  18. Reno has always been just another overgrown small town to me. I like Reno - for passing through and the occasional top off the tank, but I've never really spent much time there.
    Back to the battle. I really enjoyed both versions of the song, but I feel as though Bobby Bland just barely edged out ahead, so please give my vote to Bobby Bland.

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    1. MARY ~
      My biggest complaints about Reno are the atrocious - ABSOLUTELY ATROCIOUS! - driving habits of these people. Nevadans and Northern Californians can't drive fer shit! They're not too bad on the surface streets, but on the freeways, WATCH OUT!

      And the big, big disappointment for me is the population density. This place is way, way too small for all these people. I expected to feel human congestion in the downtown area with all the casinos, but I thought Reno would have more of a "small town" feel away from downtown. Truth is, I feel every bit as cramped by humans in Reno as I did in Phoenix.

      Also, what's with ALL THESE SCHOOLS? You can't drive more than 3 blocks in any direction without encountering schools, and cops! I think this place has more schools and cops per capita than any other place I've lived, including Los Angeles.

      But then Reno does have some selling points: It's only about an hour's drive from both VIRGINIA CITY and LAKE TAHOE.

      And as I texted to my good friend Beer Boy Bryan last night after work:

      What a world this is here! I'm sitting at a nice casino bar called 'BISCOTTI'S', playing video poker, 25 cents a hand. As long as I'm playing, the beer is free. They have a godzillion beers, but I'm drinking 'IPA-395', which sells for about $3.50 a bottle at 'Total, Wine & More'. What a world Reno is!
      3/16/2016 @ 7:06 PM


      A little over an hour later I sent Beer Boy Bryan a second text:

      I made 50 DOLLARS on a twenty-five cent poker hand. The great beer isn't "free" anymore. Now, they're paying me plenty of money to drink it. "It's A Wonderful Life"!
      3/16/2016 @ 8:13 PM


      Yep, I bitch 'n' moan, but Reno has it's upside too.

      Thanks for the vote. I'll get to yer Battle soon.

      ~ D-FensDogG

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  19. Super battle pitting two legendary vocalists against each other, I this one Bobby Bland sounded better to my ears!

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    1. Thanks, MIKE! I'll be getting to your Battle later today or tomorrow.

      ~ D-FensDogG

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  20. Too bad you’re so disappointed in Reno. Me, I like it, but then remember I was born and raised in Chicago, so by contrast alone…

    I really like some heat to my food, and Mexican fits that bill pretty well. Both of the restaurants you showcased are new to me, but then I don’t eat out a lot, and in Reno hardly at all. I like authentic Mexican, and it looks like that little diner place is the real deal. Not to say that Pancho & Willie’s isn’t, but sometimes the more atmosphere a place has the less quality the food, and it looks like a fun atmosphere. At any rate, that plate of you pictured above is about more than I eat in three days. YIKES!

    As far as the BATTLE goes, I don’t think I really have to tell YOU who gets my vote. I don’t mind the ‘Bland’ version, but even after you and everyone else saying that he has the better voice, I find I really don’t care for his vocals. There is something about the way he ‘sings’ heart, that is like fingernails on a chalkboard to my ears. No matter, he could amend that one thing and still not beat Mr. Morrison, but that’s just my opinion and here I seem to be in the minority.

    It is a good BATTLE and proving to be much closer than I ever would have anticipated.

    There in itself is reason enough to call you Mr. BOTB!

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    1. Well, I remember you saying once that you didn't think you could stand living in Reno. So, you must not like it VERY much.

      >>... sometimes the more atmosphere a place has the less quality the food

      That's true, particularly with the chain Mexican restaurants. But PANCHO & WILLIE'S is not a chain. And although it's not the very best Mexican food I've ever had, it's authentic and damned good. An overall great dining experience. The first time I tried the cheese enchiladas I was amazed to find that it was in a mole sauce, not the standard red enchilada sauce. Now when something comes en mole as the standard way of serving it, that's authentic.

      PANCHOS & WILLIE'S is located in the Peppermill's sister casino Western Village, and I get the sense that it's their way of giving back a little bit to the customers because everything is top-notch and the prices are the lowest in town.

      Oh, the way Bobby sings the word "heart" sounds very, very "Classic Soul-sounding" to me. It's like Otis Redding or early Marvin Gaye.

      Thanks! Glad you're digging the Battle. I don't know who's in the lead right now but it's darned close regardless. This win is still up for grabs.

      ~ D-FensDogG

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    2. Right you are about Reno; I don't think I could live there. But, for a 'city' to be close to, it has everything I need and then some. For coming and hoping I find it pretty easy to get around in and the traffic is generally tolerable.

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    3. Coming and hoping - ha, ha, ha! I hate auto correct. Coming and going, but I bet you knew that!

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  21. Al Bondigas here. You know me, I usually prefer an R and B sound to a jazz sound, but I always liked the jazzed up songs that Van Morrison did. Such as Happy Cleaning windows. In fact, that is probably my favorite Van Morrison song. So although I enjoyed Bobby Bland and the band with the man, today I'm rulin' for Van the man. That's it!! That's my rulin'. And by the way, I sort of vaguely recall what the Pooh said about me screaming at the top of my lungs while singing the end of that song, but we all did a lot of screaming back then, and they all seem to blend together. I was thinking about that concert and waiting in line the other day. Man, that was just normal behavior to us. Can't believe it's been that long. In fact, I never thought I'd live this long. Good call General Poohregard.

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  22. JUDGE AL ~
    Sorry I'm a bit slow with my response. But here she be...

    Ya know, it seems everyone likes Van Morrison's 'CLEANING WINDOWS'. I've never met one person who said they disliked it, and I've even known a couple people who generally DO NOT LIKE Van Morrison but still really like 'CLEANING WINDOWS'. There's just "something" about that song which seems to give it universal appeal.

    Yeah, that show we put on while waiting for Springsteen tickets really was the usual commotion for us. I think one reason it stands out for me is because it was one time where total strangers were subjected to it, and got to enjoy it (or not) ALL... NIGHT... LONG.

    I don't specifically recall what you and Pooh seem to remember regarding your screaming / singing 'The Price You Pay'. But I do distinctly have another similar memory...

    One day we had all gone to the Santa Monica Pier - the entire 6-member hardcore group of The League - and we had parked in the Santa Monica Mall parking garage.

    When we were leaving, all 6 of us in Tiburon, a Springsteen song came on the radio. I know for certain that it was from the 'DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN' album, and I'm pretty sure it was 'PROVE IT ALL NIGHT'. If not that, then 'BADLANDS'. And we all started singing / screaming the lyrics as the song played. And, you know, Tiburon being a convertible, no one could possibly not hear us. We were just all so caught up in the spirit of the song that it was one of those times where we seemed to have supernatural energy. There ain't NOBODY who would have tried to screw with us right then. We were like six maniacs in a Cadillac!

    ~ D-FensDogG

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  23. I like both them about the same, so I'm going to give it to Bobby "Blue" Bland, just for old times' sake. Actually, I like his voice better.

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    1. Okie-dokie, JOHN. Bobby for "voice" and "old times'" sake.

      ~ D-FensDogG

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  24. Hey Stephen! This is really a tough BOTB, because they're both very good. I like Bobby's voice better, but Van's band packs a little more punch. My vote goes to Van. Sorry that you've had such a lousy year in Reno. At least you've found some wonderful restaurants to spice things up.

    Julie

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, GEM JULIE!
      I hear yer vote loud 'n' clear.

      I still have some hope for Reno. I'm thinking that maybe I just wasn't drinking enough.

      ~ D-FensDogG

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    2. FAE, are you absolutely SURE you weren't a cheerleader in high school?

      ~ D-FensDogG

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  25. Morrison! Morrison!

    Okay, I tried to act like it wasn't a tough choice, but in reality, this was a super battle. BBB had been a favorite of mine since back in the day.

    But, Van Morrison...ahhhhhhhh. all of life looks rose with good ole' Van crooning in the background. I had to listen to that one twice.

    Good one, my bruder.

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    Replies
    1. Hokey-Smoke! DOC CHERDO slips in a vote right at the wire.

      Well, "almost too late" counts just as much as "first one outta the gate".

      Thanks, Doc! Glad ya dug it.

      ~ D-FensDogG

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  26. ATTENTION PEOPLES!
    If you are interested in seeing the final vote tally for this 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' installment and my closing thoughts on it, please click (Link:->) HERE.

    Or you can put the following URL into your browser:

    http://stmccpresentsbattleofthebands.blogspot.com/2016/03/results-botb-2016-315-or-bobby-blue.html

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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