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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 15th of each month and six days later, on the 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.]

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

2016, JUNE 1: BOTB RESULTS (TRIBUTE TO FAE: CHRISSIE HYNDE & THE PRETENDERS VS. BOB DYLAN & THE BAND)

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This 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' ('BOTB') installment turned out terrific, and I'm really pleased since it was a tribute to our friend (and first BOTBer) Far Away Eyes. I would have been bummed had it been a boring blowout.

As always, major thanks to everyone - all you DogGs and DogGettes - who came by and took the time to listen and cast a vote. As usual, there was some fun in the comment section. The page with the Battle and the comment exchanges can be found HERE.

I agonized over putting this Battle together. The first part was simple: From the moment I found that Chrissie Hynde & The Pretenders cover of Dylan's 'FOREVER YOUNG', I knew that I'd found a worthy contender for him.

Where the agony came in was trying to decide which of three Bob Dylan videos to use. Bear in mind that my first objective ALWAYS is to try creating the most competitive contest I can. Even when one of my very favorite artists is involved, I attempt to keep it all on a level playing field, all on the up and up. I NEVER try to skew things for or against either artist!

Also, I am of the belief that no matter how many times you say "Please vote ONLY on the recording; DO NOT let yourself be influenced by the videos", it's a difficult request and some visitors are better than others at following it. I suspect a fair amount of voters ARE sometimes influenced by the images, even if only subconsciously. Therefore, I put a lot of thought into matching up the videos as well as the recordings (although sometimes your options are few and fewer).

My first thought was to use Bob Dylan's studio ballad version of 'Forever Young' because I like it, and it also was my preferred type of video for ALL BOTB installments (when available). It was just a static image, forcing the listener to concentrate entirely on the sound without any visual distractions:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLU4jlR18UQ


But after about 30 listenings to it, I felt that since this version really features Dylan's vocals more than anything else, and Chrissie Hynde's vocal was so sublime, this was feeding Dylan right into her wheelhouse where he couldn't possibly beat her on her home field.

So, I decided to use the much more rockin' live version with The Band from their farewell concert, "The Last Waltz". This gave me two versions of the song that were more stylistically diverse, and it also tied in with my "farewell, last waltz-like" tribute to FAE.

Now my problem was WHICH video to use? I had two choices - both of them were the exact same audio ('Forever Young' by Bob Dylan & The Band at 1976's "The Last Waltz"). I could use the photo montage video, which I thought included a lot of great pictures and would match up well against the photo montage video I was forced to use for The Pretenders.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1fSVbBwVX8


My other choice was a video with the actual footage of Dylan & The Band playing the song at the 1976 concert:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtFEzhaNrT4


But I have a theory that when a voter has the opportunity to actually WATCH the artist performing the song live, it gives him/her an advantage. That can be powerful, influential imagery, seeing the singers / musicians creating the music before your eyes. (That's why we pay too much money to attend concerts, right?)

So, just as I felt Dylan's studio recording - focused primarily on his vocals - gave Chrissie Hynde too much of an advantage, I also felt that the Dylan video showing him and The Band performing the song live gave HIM too much of an advantage over Chrissie. Therefore, I went with the "happy medium" and put the two photo montage videos against each other. And what happened?...

Shoot! Chrissie & The Pretenders got the first 5 votes right out of the chute! After 12 votes were recorded, The Pretenders had 10 of them. THIS was Blowout City, DogGs & DogGettes, and it was NOT how I wanted this FAE Tribute to go. (Especially since she's a huge Dylan & The Band fan.) So, I decided to try a little experiment; I decided to do something I'd never done before. I decided to change videos in mid-stream...

Yup! I removed the photo montage video of Dylan & The Band and replaced it with the live footage video of Dylan & The Band. SAME EXACT RECORDING, mind you! Note-for-note it was the identical song, but suddenly voters were seeing the performers playing those notes, rather than just hearing them while pictures of Dylan flashed on the screen. Just a little experiment to see what would happen, and with the hope that this Tribute Battle would become a bit more competitive. And what do you think happened?...

Dylan got 4 of the next 5 votes that came in. Of course it's quite possible (and maybe even likely) that shift in momentum was going to happen even if I hadn't changed the video. This was an entirely unscientific experiment and without any "controls" in place it's impossible to quantify the effect it had on the voting numbers. All I know for sure is that suddenly Dylan & The Band came roaring back immediately and I had an exciting, A-list, come-from-behind Battle on my hands. And THAT made me happy.

As much as I love Bob Dylan's songwriting, and as much as his outside-the-box thinking influenced my creative spirit, this was actually a tough vote for me to cast. At one time, I was seriously thinking about voting for Chrissie & The Pretenders, but the sincerity and "all in" approach of Dylan (as FAE called it) ultimately won me over.

[If you ever liked ANYTHING I've written, you can thank Bob Dylan for it, because his album (link:) 'BRINGING IT ALL BACK HOME' hugely influenced my writing style due to countless revolutions that LP made on my turntable back in the late '70s. I didn't even realize Dylan had influenced me in the least until maybe year 2000 when I heard that album again for the first time in about 20 years. I wrote about this discovery a couple times on my defunct 'STUFFS' blog.]



So, I know, I know -- you wanna know how this BOTB installment turned out! Can you believe THIS?!!...

Chrissie Hynde & The Pretenders = 13 votes
Bob Dylan & The Band = 13 votes

Yes, sir or madam, that's my 10th BOTB tie.
Alright, I can live with it. Considering that Bob & The Band were down 10 votes to 2 at one point, yes, yes, I can live with THIS! And, really, both recordings are so damned good in their own ways that I'm almost happy to have another tie... this once!

Thanks again, y'all, and I hope to see ya back here for my June 15th 'Battle Of The Bands' blog bit!

Please be sure to read FAE's 3-part comment posted here in the comment section. She asked me to transfer that from the original post because she wanted to make sure y'all saw it.

~ Stephen T. McCarthy


24 comments:

  1. June 5, 2016 at 12:43 PM
    FAR AWAY EYES said:


    One of Several
    When I first read this post, in the wee hours of June 1st, I thought I need to take some time to be the first comment. But, as you can see that didn’t happen. Now you know I hate excuses, but I do have a good one. I was preparing to leave town that day and things just got far enough away from me, that I didn’t have a minute to open up computer. Also, I spent more than a few minutes in the ‘cringe zone’, as you know I have a hard time with compliments of any sort, and a tribute like this is a compliment of the highest order.

    Anyway, the fact that I’m out of town and in a place with a dicey Internet connection is only one of the reasons my comment is so late. Considering all of the above, I probably won’t have time or the connection to visit many of the other BOTB’s, because I’m counting on you to post your results here in the comment box (If you should decide to post a separate blog bit and your results post, please copy and paste this comment as the very first, so others will see it.) I figured if I’m one of the last comments, others will see it and feel my appreciation for all of the kind things said.

    I love that you used the Stones ‘Girl with the Far Away Eyes’. That is in fact where the moniker comes from. When I lived in Colorado and was tending bar, a fellow bartender used to play this song every time I showed up for work, or anytime I came into the bar, for that matter. It became kind of a joke and the nickname stuck. Although, I certainly hope I don’t have too much of a resemblance to THAT girl. ‘Far Away Eyes’ also became the title of my first novel; nothing to do with the song, but it does tie in to the premise of the story. No, I’m not going to tell you, you’ll just have to read the book someday.

    ReplyDelete
  2. June 5, 2016 at 12:43 PM
    FAR AWAY EYES said:


    The next of many
    You know I’ve always liked The Traveling Wilburys (are you kidding me: Tom, Bob, George, Roy and Jeff all together in one place and time) and ‘Handle with Care’ is probably my all-time favorite tune by them; ‘nough said!

    You choice for BOTB is another favorite of mine. I like it no matter who is performing, but admittedly some are better than others. Now you know I have always tried to be polite when voting on BOTBs, even though there have been times when it has taken a whole lot of restraint. I know that music is very subjective. Oh yeah, we can get into the technicality of certain performances and the vocal abilities of various artists, but basically the voting in these things is about what each of us personally like. BUT, it’s BOB and THE BAND, how on earth could anyone vote against BOB and THE BAND. Not to mention the fact that this performance if from one of the most iconic concerts EVER (imo).

    Yeah, Chrissie really lets her vocal talent shine on this tune and it is a beautiful rendition, but, like I said above it’s BOB and THE BAND and this version is from The Last Waltz. ‘nough said.

    I don’t care what anyone might say about Bob’s voice, it’s the heart that shines through in his songs. When you put your heart into something and it’s genuine, it shows. Through the years Bob’s voice has changed and obviously so has his heart, but what he puts into his music has not. He is always, Always, ALWAYS ‘all in’. It’s my opinion that this is what makes this guy, who in reality never should have gotten a recording contract, so great. Do I have to say it…give my vote to Bob and The Band on a tune that will forever speak to my heart on numerous levels.

    ReplyDelete
  3. June 5, 2016 at 12:43 PM
    FAR AWAY EYES said:


    Surprise, surprise - I made it in three.

    Thank you for the kind words and I also thank everyone who commented with respect to my departure from BOTB. I may drop back in from time to time, but it’s kind of unlikely. You all know I have that ‘oh look a chicken’ disease and when it’s time to move on…well, it’s time to move on! I do plan to get back to blogging at some point in the future, but for right now, I’m pretty much enjoying being ‘unplugged’.

    I do appreciate all of you and have seen most of your BOTB posts (from my phone, which does not allow me to comment). Several of you left very nice tributes of your own, and I truly do appreciate it. I hope no one will be offended I don’t make it by to comment at their space. As I said earlier, I’m out of town and spending time with family. I only have a short time here, so the family is the priority. I’m also out in the ‘sticks’ of Idaho and have a very snakey Internet connection. I appreciate all of you.

    Ya know I love music, so I want to leave you with my own Thank You. I apologize that I am not able to leave a link you can click directly on to get to this song (you’ll have to copy and paste it). But you know me. Please take the time to listen.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKgUq5dziEk

    One last thing, [Stephen], that I want to address here: Looks like we’ve been outted by Kim at her blog. Why not give it up and admit the truth. I know you like to flirt all over the Internet and it really doesn’t bother me one bit, but the moment of truth has arrived. If for nothing else…think about the children.
    Signed Your Lovely Wife.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I KNEW you two wuz married!

      LC

      Delete
    2. Well, it was either get married or continue spending a fortune on hookers.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  4. Great battle - huh?
    Maybe I'd have voted Dylan too. I do try to avoid watching the videos. They can provide a window into the energy a band or artist exhibits. So I know what you're saying.
    That said, I come away feeling as if I need to wait a couple of days before I vote here. You never know how things will go. And there ain't no rules against it, right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Article 3; Section 4; Subsection 2b:
      "THOU SHALT NOT WAIT A COUPLE OF DAYS BEFORE VOTING."

      Now I have to go back through ALL my old BOTBS, delete your votes and recalculate the results.

      Thanks a lot, DIXIE POLKA! You just made an awful lotta work for me!
      [;o)

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
    2. >>..."Article 3; Section 4; Subsection 2b:
      "THOU SHALT NOT WAIT A COUPLE OF DAYS BEFORE VOTING."

      I'm glad I was smiling as I read that. You know how the Popcorn polka goes, right.

      However I am now invoking: Article 7; Section 11; Subset 2d, which states:

      "Nana Boo-boo!"

      Delete
    3. But you know, some scholarly books have been written stating that "Nana Boo-boo" was never properly ratified by the states.

      I think it's a Constitutional issue that I intend to take to the Supreme Court... as soon as it's fully staffed again.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  5. Well, I thought The Bob would win, and I agree with FAE - it's the heart in Bob's singing and in his words. A tie is ok. Will miss FAE's choices, but I love the history behind why she calls herself Far Away Eyes - that reveals a dreamer, a very good thing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. D.G. ~
      Thanks for all your BOTB support! And "The Bob" thanks you for your vote. Without it, he'd-a lost.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  6. I am certain FAE was touched and glad she responded and you placed it here. This was a great battle as always

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh...I did not watch either video because I prefer to listen and not be influenced by the actual video:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, BIRGIT! And good job on your voting technique.
      [;o)

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  8. Funny-had you pitted the album version against the Pretenders, I'd have voted the other way.

    Also funny you mention the videos-that trait is why I got disenchanted with BOTB-it was clear from comments that people were voting on the video production over the song.

    I am glad to see the comments where some people simply listen, since that (to me) was the point of the whole affair.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LC ~
      Yeah, Dylan might have gotten YOUR vote with that match-up, but I'm sure he would have lost 2 or 3 others that he DID get the other way around.

      We all have our blowouts from time to time, but I've developed a pretty good feel for what will and won't work as a BOTB match-up.

      And yes, the videos do sometimes present a problem. I think I'm unaffected by them because I'm a pretty single-focus kind of guy. But I'm sure their influence creeps into some outcomes.

      The best videos are those without any movin' pictures. They give you nuttin' to do but LISTEN. I always look for those kinds first. And if I can't find one, then I go into "Match-The-Videos" mode.

      In the future, I may ask everyone to close their eyes, or at least move away from the monitor while the songs play, and listen from a slight distance.

      Of course it's possible that my "changing the video in mid-stream" didn't really alter the outcome, BUT... I find it curious that Dylan was losing 10-2 until I changed the video, and after that he won 11 of the 14 votes cast. That's one helluva 180-momentum shift! Interesting...

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  9. Ties aren't so bad! I look forward to your next battle

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, MIKE.
      Haven't decided between two songs which I'll do on the 15th. Must think! Must think!

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  10. A tie seems a fitting conclusion for two worthy contenders. I saw the first Dylan video, but try not to let the videos influence my decision. Your tribute to FAE was perfect and I loved her response; especially the story of how she got that name.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, DEBBIE! I'm glad you enjoyed the Tribute and even approved of the Tie. I didn't really mind it this time, but as you can imagine, after ten of them, I'm really sick of ties. Didn't even like the first one.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  11. I think a tie was an excellent outcome. Really it means you had a roaring battle going on, which is what we all hope for when we try and put one of these things together. What an excellent tribute for FAE!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thank you, ROBIN. Yeah, it WAS a really good Battle, particularly because of how Bob Dylan came from so far behind to create that tie.

      I'd much rather have a tie than a blowout, which is how this installment looked for quite awhile.

      I would have hated it if Dylan got clobbered. Especially since it was HIS song and FAE is a big fan of his.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  12. Much as I love dear ole' Bobby Boo, I had a sneaking suspicion that Chrissie might run away with it...of course, that was based on the fact that she was an Akron girl! [Note: a recent close up revealed the very real possibility that my girl is an Akron grandma, but we all got a little bit o' that problem, eh?]

    I wouldn't be disappointed in this outcome at all - you pleased 50% of the people, all the way around. How often does that happen in life? Really, the odds are much, much worse.

    FAE is such a sweetie; I hope she comes back and want to do so. Till them...prayers and thankfulness for friends.

    Ciao!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Ciao!"?
      Did you write "Ciao!" on MY blog?!
      BANNED!!!

      Cherdo, my friend, this AIN'T 'Cafe Nervosa'!

      OK. I'll overlook it. Just this once. But just so'z ya know... I wouldn't do that for anybody but you.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete

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