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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.]

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

BOTB RESULTS: JAN. 1, 2019 (Or, MY COUSIN CLOBBERS CANADIANS!)

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STMcC’s Vote On '2019, January 1st: Battle Of The Bands' (BOTB) - Or, Theory Of A Deadman Versus The Zone - And The Final Tally:
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Hokey-Smoke! 
I'm late, I'm late,
For a very important date.
No time to say, "Hello" -- GOODBYE!
I'm late, I'm late, I'm late!
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Usually, I'm Mr. Punctuality. How unlike me to be two days late to my own party! But I was house-hunting out-of-town the last two days. Sorry 'bout that.
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This 'Battle Of The Bands' contest was another in my subcategory 'Battle For Los Angeles', sub-subcategory "Dogtown", editions (i.e., Santa Monica / Venice).
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The two Santa Monica-related songs I used were 'Santa Monica' by the 21st Century Canadian band Theory Of A Deadman, and 'Do The Thing' by The Zone. The voting and comments can be found HERE
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It began as a tight race. After 8 votes were in, our competitors were tied 4 to 4. But then THE ZONE began to take over and sprinted to the finish line, winning easily.
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THEORY OF A DEADMAN = 7 votes
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THE ZONE = 12 votes
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It was a nice turnout and I thank each and every one of you for taking the time to listen and vote. And those few of you who knew that The Zone's lead singer, harmonica player, and primary songwriter was my cousin, Johnny, I thank you for not spilling the beans in your comments.
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Yes, you read that correctly. The Zone, a 1990s band from Venice, California, was fronted by my own cousin. It was I who got John really interested in Rock music while I, myself, was still just a teenager. John later went on to form / join several Rock groups, my favorite of which was The Zone
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In the beginning, John wasn't really much of a singer and his first band wasn't able to play anything more than raw, ragged, loud, "garage"-type Rock. But I always supported my cousin by showing up at the L.A. clubs where he was playing, and dragging as many friends with me as I could.
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In late 1992, I moved to Prescott, Arizona, and lived there until I returned to L.A. in March of 1994. One day, shortly after moving back to my "homemegalopolis", Cousin John called and asked if he could come by my apartment with a six-pack of beer and play for me the cassette of demos he and his new band, The Zone, had recorded. Of course I said, "Of course". 
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When Johnny got there, we cracked open a couple cold ones and I was prepared to hear some more raw, ragged, loud, "garage"-type Rock. But after the first song on the tape ended, I turned to my cousin and asked him, "Where did you find the crossroads?!"
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Seriously, I could not fathom how anyone could have gotten *that* good that *fast*!! I learned from Johnny that in the year and a half that I'd been in Arizona, he had started taking professional singing lessons. WOW! Did they ever pay off! I was astounded. I'm still kind of astounded, because I still remember how he and his bands sounded before I left L.A. just 18 months earlier.
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THE ZONE - photo by Stephen T. McCarthy
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Band: THE ZONE 
L-R: Peter Noss - keyboards & sax; 
John Napier - vocals & harmonica
??? - drums; 
John DeNault - bass;
Joel Morin - guitar
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I still have copies of 9 original songs by The Zone, and I say without the slightest hesitation that if those 9 songs were an album I owned in my teens, when I was all about Hard Rock music, I would have completely worn that album out. I still think those 9 songs sound great - I still play them pretty regularly - and I still think The Zone was far, Far, FAR more talented than most Rock bands who are popular today. I plan to use The Zone in another BOTB installment sometime later this year. 
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If I were forced to choose just one Zone song as my very favorite, I think I'd say 'How Your Puzzle Fits'. Have a listen and see what you think of it:
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Cousin John has always credited me with having ignited his interest in music. But years later, he repaid me for that when he turned me onto the movie 'This Is SPINAL TAP', which I think is hilarious. I own it on DVD and watch it every few years, and every time I do, I'm reminded of my Cousin Johnny
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As for Theory Of A Deadman and their song 'Santa Monica'... the lyrics include these lines:
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Funny, but that's EXACTLY the way I feel every time I hear 'Santa Monica' by Theory Of A Deadman.
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The Magic 8-Ball and The Amazing Sixwell both predicted this Battle's outcome correctly. That leaves them tied at 13 hits and 6 misses apiece.
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Again, I thank you all for your support of BOTB, and I hope to see all of you back here again for my January 15th Battle.
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy
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POSTSCRIPT: Special thanks to Julio Seis-Abeja for making this Battle possible!
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15 comments:

  1. I didn’t know that is your cousin...pretty cool. This must bring back a lot of fond memories. Hey...good for you for finding a home...stressful but still fun

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    1. BIRGIT ~
      Sorry I'm so late in responding. But I have been swamped with stuffs to do, and I actually had to just say "STOP!", and take some time out to catch up on blog comments.

      Yep! I found the home I hope to die in. But there's so much to do (you're right, it's stressful). The fun hasn't started yet, but after I make the move and the dust of my finances settles so I can see what I've got left, I expect the fun to begin.

      I LOVE the town I'm moving to... but there is so much to do and I'm not used to such a fast pace. It's started feeling like a carousel out of control at an amusement park.

      Yes, I dig reminiscing about my Cousin's musical exploits. He should have made it. And he WOULD HAVE, too, if talent were the primary ingredient in entertainment success. But talent is actually a distant third in the recipe of success.

      Thanks for stopping by to see how it all shook out, my friend.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...'

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  2. Well, it's about time! So you're going to buy a house up there? That sounds like settling in. I've been house hunting online for something back in southwestern VA, but just for research. For now we're staying put in Pico and that works for me as long as we take our back east trip to see my kids when summer comes. Then I'll be coming closer to my decision of what to do about the future. All I know is that if CA gov gets it ways then the future could be a dubious proposal at least with things the way I know and like them.

    As I think I had mentioned when I voted, if I had listened to this last Battle at night I'd probably had gone for the Zone since I would have been in the Zone rather than still zoned out in the early AM hours.

    Good Battle with interesting background.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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    1. LEE ~
      I know, right? How often am I late to BOTB or late to post my BOTB Results? Man, I have been swamped. This buying a house stuffs will take years off a person's life. (And I even feel strongly that God's Hand is in all this. I don't even want to think what it would be like if I were operating solely on my own!)

      I wouldn't want to be living in the L.A. area right now. (Although I LOVED growing up there in the 1960s and '70s!) But, hey, at the very least, you DO HAVE the best weather. Apparently, I never even knew what the word "weather" really meant until I left SoCal.

      Yeah, your voting so early in the morning didn't do my Cousin John any favors. Might have been better if you'd postponed your vote when you heard how high-energy The Zone's offering was. As much as I dig The Zone (which I would dig regardless of whether or not my cousin was the front man), I wouldn't want to hear that at 6:00 AM. Ha!

      I still couldn't have voted for Theory, though, no matter what the time. There is absolutely NO "art" in their recording. With the exception of that kind of cool opening sound (almost like someone's door bell ringing), there is truly zero "art" in that song. To me, anyway, it sounds like some whiny mama's-boy, girlie-man Millennial reading words from his tear-stained diary entry the day after his girlfriend (smart girl!) left his pansy-ass for Santa Monica. To be honest, I'm almost embarrassed for the singer-songwriter. And *THAT* is what passes for a #27 Billboard hit song in the 21st Century? Hell, my no-name cousin, all the way from 1994, kicked his butt!

      Mercifully, the end really is near, my friend!! As I've said many times, The Bible is clear on this: 10 or 11 years is all that remains until that Day is here. You know -- when God whistles and yells, "That's it! Everyone!... Out of the pool!"

      Thanks for checking back and commenting.

      ~ Stephen
      DogGtor of Alcohology &
      King of Inebriation Nation

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  3. Hi Stephen, I'm glad your house-hunting trip was successful. How cool to have a professional musician in the family. "How Your Puzzle Fits" is a good tune. Thanks for sharing it. I had a hunch my homeboys were going to lose this battle. At least it wasn't a blowout. ☺ Cheers!

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    1. Ha! DEBBIE DE DOGLADY, thanks for checking back and commenting, my friend!

      Funny... I had never thought about it that way but, indeed, my cousin truly was / is a professional musician, even though he's never been signed by a record label and released a music album. (Someone *REALLY* missed the boat on that one!) Johnny played the L.A. scene for years (and still is) and has made money from his gigs. Not enough money to buy a house up on Mulholland Drive, but he's still a pro! And he sounds like one to me, too! (Dig those harmonica licks on '...Puzzle...' I know a LOT of professional harp players who couldn't even match that.)

      Nah, it wasn't a blowout. But one more vote for Johnny and it would have been. (In my own personal assessment, it takes a 6-vote winning margin to qualify as a genuine "blowout". A 5-vote win is just... "a clear victory".)

      "Cheers" to you, too, my friend! I'm heading over to your blog sometime tonight. I'm tryin' to play "catch-up", since this buying a house has me so far behind in my "real" life (i.e., my bloggin' life).

      I look forward to you joining us other BOTBers again in just (*YIKES!*) five days from now.

      ~ Stephen
      DogGtor of Alcohology &
      King of Inebriation Nation

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  4. Stephen,

    Hey, man, I'm sorry for not giving cousin Johnny my vote. I think it was the mood I was in as ToD fit the quieter earlier hours when I tossed my vote into the ballad. I very much enjoyed this morning featured song by The Zone and your cousin has a nice singing voice. :) Thanks for sharing and enlightening me. Have a blessed weekend!

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    1. Oh, CATHY, you shouldn't apologize! I'm perfectly OK, with you voting the way you did.

      In fact, I specifically chose not to reveal my relationship to The Zone's singer because I wanted the Battle to be as authentic as possible. I did NOT want anyone voting for The Zone just because Johnny is my cousin. I had a hankering to see how the Battle would go on an even playing field - or as even as I could make it, anyway.

      In fact, a good friend of mine stated in advance that he feared Theory Of A Deadman "might... cream poor Johnny", and I took that as a bit of a challenge. I was pretty sure that would NOT be the case.

      I'm looking forward to a quieter weekend. I'm pooped from all this house-buying activity.

      See ya on the 15th or thereabouts.

      ~ Stephen
      D-FensDogG of the
      Loyal American Underground

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  5. Awesome that your cousin was in The Zone. Fully agree, it's not what one knows it's who one knows. Because let me tell you something Stephen, let me tell something! (insert any classic wrestling promo here). When I moved to CA "I moved" like I had a choice... I actually did have a choice to move to Texas with my dad, or my ma to CA (her parents lived in Los Altos when houses cost 50K)… then my sister moved from Texas to CA one year later... nice choice and she can never claim the mantle of being the most loyal. My stepmom, the 9th youngest of 9 kids - they happen to be Catholic did you guess that already. What I didn't note above before getting in some weird sit-com tangent is: When "I moved" to CA, my uncle was air force, flying C-5s who knows where. His son, my cousin's favorite show as CHiPs. Every week or day, we likely saw you. People don't understand that to people who didn't grow up in CA (they're lazy!), CHiPs is the epitome.. of everything. Doesn't get any better. My cousin became a CHP officer (6'4", 250+ pounds I swear to God Stephen, when he nonchalantly shakes your hand it's like your hand is that of a kid's. And I'm 2 years older than him dammit!
    What I'm trying to overcompensate for - and overcompensate for my respect for rebels (I don't really respect you and your cousin and if I wasn't at the bar with you guys getting more drunk than you are none of us should end up in the clink and the fuzz should have better things to do and can go - to - hell!
    Anywhoo, I like your cousin's songs big-time, thank goodness we all didn't drink together and get locked up... for goodness knows how long. I don't have a lawyer, do you have a lawyer. I don't either. Well, I guess we're stuck here sitting on concrete... with absolutely 100% no idea when we won't be

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    1. G DOGG ~
      Yes, it most definitely is, first and foremost, WHO someone knows, when it comes to fame and fortune in the entertainment industry. Talent only counts for about 15%, in my estimation.

      California or Texas? Yeah, back in the day, I'd-a said "California!" like it was a no-brainer. In 2019? Hmmm..... I guess it would depend on WHERE in California. (I'm not exactly a fan of my own home state these days.)

      I worked on multiple episodes of 'CHiPs', but only occasionally. You had a much better chance of (unknowingly) seeing me if you were watching 'MASH'.

      We'd-a had a good time drinking together back in the day. You'd have been an asset to 'The League Of Soul Crusaders', and you'd have had a blast. I know I did! (I think I'm still hungover from that. 1980-1985 were very hard years on my liver, DogG.)

      ~ Stephen
      D-FensDogG of the
      Loyal American Underground

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    2. Aha,

      I think I noted before, I've visited Phoenix and like it a lot.... Sure, when it's 110 degrees you have to open the car door, brace yourself, turn the key and turn on the AC... then stand around for 5 minutes so that when you get in the car you don't burn your hands on the steering wheel. Anyplace without snow is pretty good weather.
      Texas is an option, no state taxes, 90% humidity.
      The west is the place to be.. Texas still plays that siren song.. who knows.


      One thing I don't understand. When Morrison sings, "I woke up this morning and I got myself a beer" is that supposed to be edgy? I would have like to be in the Sould Crusaders and joined in waking up and drinking to 24 ounce cans each of Nighttrain malt liquor.

      Appreciative, and in awe,
      G Dogg

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    3. Correction: Soul Crusaders not "Sould Crusaders."

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    4. BRUHTHUH G DOGG ~
      Sorry I'm so late. Been crazy, crazy busy. This buying a house stuffs is stre-eee-ssful!

      I'm not even sure how I'll manage BOTB for the next couple of rounds. Gonna be kinda rough, methinks.

      To be honest, I didn't really care for my 2 decades in Phoenix. I've often described it as a massive, soulless strip mall painted in earth tones.

      And, yeah, that heat. No lie, I really have burned my hands by placing them too quickly on my car's steering wheel after the car had been out in the sun too long. I don't think anyone, ever, even once, got the estimated life out of their car battery in Phoenix. They're good for maybe two years, max. Then you take it in, buy a new one, and get the "pro-rated" discount because it died about 3-4 years before the manufacturer said it would. Heat kills.

      However, all that aside, Phoenix still beats hell outta living in Reno by a hu-uuu-ge margin.
      Reno: "The Biggest Little Ghetto In The World".
      Reno: "The Biggest Little Disappointment In The World".

      Ha-Ha! Yeah, Jimbo was being pretty edgy for his time - 1970. But by 1983 and the era of 'The League Of Soul Crusaders', it was more like: "Woke up this morning and got myself a [Link> 40-ounce Colt 45 "Buzz Bomb". Why? 'Cause we weren't phuquin' around. [;oD

      Truth: Colt 45 "Buzz Bombs" and Mickey's Big Mouth were very popular in The Soul Crusaders' Bay Street house in "Dogtown".

      Somewhere, I have an old (circa 1983) photo of a Colt 45 "Buzz Bomb" sitting on the Bay Street house's chess table, with many of the pieces knocked over. (Fun Fact: The chess table was our official Drunk-O-Meter. One could tell pretty precisely how rowdy the party the night before had been by counting how many chess pieces were lying on their sides the morning after.)

      Great, great times. And a few of them, I can even remember (with only just a little he'p).

      ~ Stephen
      D-FensDogG of the
      Loyal American Underground

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  6. Hi all, this is cousin Johnny. I just want to thank my cousin, mentor and close friend (I guess I'll call him by his pen name Stephen T. McCarthy) not only for his guidance and support but for RETAINING a LOT of music I've lost or forgotten about over all these years. I would also like to thank all of you for voting - no matter who you chose, it's heartening to know people still care enough about music to listen and opine. I'm at the age where you start to think all your efforts were in vain. This really helps keep the gun out of my mouth (don't worry cuz, I don't own a gun). I'll stay in touch here and look forward to the next BOTB. We'll catch up soon, cuzin...Stephen. Love you, man. Congrats on the new house

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    1. COUSIN JOHNNY ~
      Very cool of you to stop in and leave such a stellar comment for us all! I feel honored!

      I still listen to those songs by your old band, The Zone, quite a bit. I still think they rock like a hurricane... or something like that. So pleased I still have the recordings, and have good friends who burned them on CDs for me and converted them into videos that I could post at YouTube.

      Believe me, Kuz, I know how you feel about the time investment. For awhile, I felt the same way about all the professional acting classes I had invested in. But I finally... let it go.

      That would be really gr-r-reat, Johnny, if you became a regular (or even semi-regular) BOTB voter. We have quite a bit of fun, and my comment sections can get pretty amusing sometimes, with lots of stories told - some reminiscing, and some outright fabricating. Ha!

      The next Battle is tomorrow, actually, and the voting will remain open for 6 days. I can add you to the Email reminder I send out to friends when the new Battles get published.

      Don't let the fact that you never became as famous as Mick Jagger bum you out. Just think of all the great stories you have to tell, which you'd not have had without your Rock 'N' Roll life!

      And remember... no great story ever began with a glass of milk. (Make mine a Mojito, please! ;-)

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...'

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