THE TRUTH ABOUT TRUTH:

All truth passes through three stages.
First, it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.



Wednesday, January 1, 2014

‘BATTLE OF THE BANDS #11’ (Or, ‘JULIE ANDREWS VS. DIANA ROSS’)

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Republican Vs. Democrat, Male Vs. Female, War Vs. Peace, Light Vs. Dark, Good Vs. Evil, Man Vs. Machine, Love Vs. Hate, Dog Vs. Cat, Sun Vs. Moon, Brain Vs. Brawn, Oscar Vs. Grammy, Angel Vs. Demon, Laurel Vs. Hardy, Beer Vs. Wine, TV Vs. Radio, Pitcher Vs. Batter, Paper Vs. Plastic, Reality Vs. Fantasy, Yeshua Vs. Beelzebub, Conservative Vs. Liberal, You Vs. Me, House Vs. Senate, Offense Vs. Defense, Kramer Vs. Kramer, Spy Vs. Spy, Fischer Vs. Spassky, W.C. Fields Vs. Sobriety, Harold Gimpy, Jr. Vs. Sheldon J. Pismire, Rock Vs. Paper Vs. Scissors, Islam Vs. Everything, Singer Vs. Singer, Band Vs. Band...

THE  BATTLE  OF  THE  BANDS!
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Shoop-Shooby –
Shooby-duh-Dooby-Doop-Dooby-Dooby-Doo-Wah –
Buh-Doo-Wah!
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EUGENE  MARTONE  VS.  JACK  BUTLER
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The song ‘MY FAVORITE THINGS’ is one of my favorite things. It was composed by the famous Rodgers and Hammerstein duo and is sung in the classic 1965 musical ‘The Sound Of Music’.

It is generally thought of as a Christmas song because it’s during that season when radio stations most often play it. But in fact it’s really more of a Winter song than it is a Christmas song. The lyrics mention “brown paper packages tied up with strings” (not exactly Christmas wrapping, is it?) The song also mentions “sleigh bells”, “snowflakes”, and “silver white Winters that melt into springs”, but nary a word about Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Nor about mangers, shepherds, or wise men following a star.

I wanted to use ‘My Favorite Things’ as a Winter song on New Years Day (also known in these parts as MARGARITA DAY” – “a tradition since 1986, except for 1994”). I had my fingers crossed that no other Battle Of The Band-ers would use the song in December before I got to it on January 1ST. Fortunately no one did, so it’s mine, ALL MINE!

‘My Favorite Things’ really is one of my all-time favorite songs. I find the melody utterly addictive; let me hear the song just once and I will be humming or whistling it for days or even weeks on end. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a rendition of it that I didn’t like to some degree.

Aside from the vewy wavy and almost loop-like melody, I think the lyrics are very cleverly written. The song was included on ‘An Old-Fashioned Christmas’, the second yuletide offering from The Carpenters. The arranger has so many instruments, colors, and swirling musical passages involved in a sort of Classical-Jazz fusion form that I find it to be nothing short of grand and fabulous - my favorite instrumental version. However, I wanted to include the lyrics on this ‘BOTB’ installment. Nevertheless, I will give you the option of voting for The Carpenters’ instrumental rendition if you would like to. You can get to it by clicking HERE.
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GODZILLA  VS.  KING  KONG
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Alright, first up of the two “featured” contestants is JULIE ANDREWS who sang it originally in the film ‘The Sound Of Music’. Just below is the video of the Andrews take on this gem, but again I remind you that ‘BOTB’ is about the music, NOT the videos.

‘MY FAVORITE THINGS’ – Julie Andrews



OK, and now for Julie’s competition... I’m putting DIANA ROSS AND THE SUPREMES up against her. Let’s hear how they did it in Motown:

‘MY FAVORITE THINGS’ – Diana Ross And The Supremes


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RIDDLER  VS.  BATMAN
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Alright now, you know the gig... I welcome EVERYONE to vote for their favorite of these songs in the comment section below. And feel free to tell us WHY you chose one song over the other. (NOTE: Comment Moderation is activated. All submitted comments that do not transgress "Ye Olde Comment Policy" will be posted as soon as possible. Thanks for taking the time to comment.)

After voting here, I suggest - actually I insist - you pop over to FAE’s ‘Far Away Series’, Arlee Bird’s ‘Tossing It Out’, Robin’s ‘Your Daily Dose’, LC’s ‘DiscConnected’, and Chris' 'The Creative Outlet Of StratPlayer' blogs 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.
Voice Your Vote @ ‘TOSSING IT OUT’ by clicking HERE.
Voice Your Vote @ ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ by clicking HERE.
Voice Your Vote @ ‘DISCCONNECTED’ by clicking HERE.
Voice Your Vote @ ‘CREATIVE OUTLET OF STRATPLAYER’ 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.

For now, I just want to wish all y’all a HAPPY MARGARITA DAY!” (Now go on out and get you one.)

Links To Previous 'BOTB' Installments:

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

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

  1. Um--not my favorite song. Listening to two versions was enough so I didn't bother with the Carpenters version.

    We used to sing this in 4th grade--about the time when the song was kind of popular on the radio. I guess I liked it then, but it's gotten old with me over the years. Oh, it is a nice melody with sweet lyrics and I love the R & H musicals, but I just don't like this song as well as I do some of their other songs.

    That being said, I have to vote for Julie's original since it makes me think of everything the song stands for. The Supremes don't do it for me with their big band glitzy swing sound and those stupid jingly bells in the percussion section. It's not horrible, but I just like the other songs the girls did. "Favorite Things" was like something from a Supremes Christmas special or something.

    I vote for Julie.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BOIDMAN ~
      Why am I not surprised that you don't like the song? One thing I have noticed about the 'Battle Of The Bands' over these last few months is that I seem to have some special knack for selecting songs that you don't like. Oh well...

      Julie takes an early lead over Diana.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  2. Oh, I really like this song, but I have never been fond of the most popular version sung by Julie Andrews. I can't really put my finger on what it is about her style that just seems to make my ears itch. The Supremes really didn't do it for me here either, BUT, that instrumental version by The Carpenters (which I had never heard before) got my foot tapping and me mentally singing along. I really, Really, REALLY like that one and it gets my vote.

    There's another instrumental version by John Coltrane that I like a lot also.

    The words to this song are beautiful in my mind and really evoke a feeling of childhood, maybe that's why I enjoy hearing it sung by children. One of my favorite little people likes to sing this song and she does a pretty good job of it too.

    I never would have guessed this as your 'winter selection', but I'm glad to chose it. Thanks for a beautiful ending to the whole holiday season, even though in my neck of the woods winter is just coming into full swing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your vote and comment, FAE.

      With my love of Jazz you would think that Coltrane's version would be one of my favorites (if not my very favorite), but ironically, I've never really cared for it a great deal. Too much improvisation in which he loses that pronounced melody that appeals to me so greatly.

      Alright, a vote for THE CARPENTERS' instrumental version. That is a big, Big, BIG approach to the song, isn't it? Sort of mixing elements of Classical and Jazz and Thunder from the skies. (I've heard it so many times that I can play most of it for myself in my mind, just by thinking of it and recalling how all those musical passages fit together.)

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
    2. I would not have thought to call it 'BIG' or 'Thunder from the Skies', but now that you mention it, I have to agree. I think that's what appeals to me the most - the 'largeness' of it.

      Now, how about sending one of those Margarita's my way?

      Delete
    3. How about if I just toast you with mine? Right here, in my Pa's old Los Angeles Rams glass - the rim ringed with salt, the glass holding Jose Cuervo Gold and Grand Marnier liqueur poured from a 1.75 L bottle.

      They market it as 'Jose Cuervo GOLDEN Margarita', but that combo is really known as a 'Cadillac Margarita'. They probably had to change the "Caddy" to "Golden" due to legal trademark reasons.

      For a store-bought drink, it's pretty damned tasty. I may have to pour another.

      Incidentally, the tin of lime-flavored salt came with a bottle of Grand Marnier I purchased in Appleton, WI. in 2010 during my "Senator Joe McCarthy Pilgrimage". I broke the seal on it today. (I knew I must have been saving that tin of salt for a special occasion!)

      TRT tomorrow?

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
    4. Your on for TRT.

      I know that drink as a 'Cadillac Margarita from the old days and old jobs. That 'lime flavored salt' sounds delish. I'm working hard not to be envious, but I'll accept that toast. Enjoy!

      Delete
    5. I'm on my second CaddyMag right now. What time is it? ...Only 11:49 PM? Hell, the night is young yet! May have to shift this CaddyMag into third gear!

      We can work out the TRT time tomorrow. I'm off, so any time is good for me... even daytime if that's better for you.

      Yak Later...

      ~ D-Fendslogg-- uhm... Dogg

      Delete
  3. I really like this song. I listened to the Julie Andrews version twice. I didn't really like The Supremes version of this song. I don't know if it was the percussion that Arlee pointed out in his comment or Diana's voice sounding childish instead of child-like. I know what she was going for with it... she wanted to capture the exuberance of a little girl and her favorite things, but it fell flat for me.

    Now the Julie Andrews version is so crisp. I just love it. And the way she sings it... I truly believe those ARE her favorite things. It makes me smile every time I hear it. Not sure I appreciated the big band contributions in the music until today. All the way around a win for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ROBIN ~
      Glad to have been able to give you a new view and a "win" for you!

      ~ D-FensDogg

      Delete
  4. As you know, Stephen, I have a thing for Motown, and had the Diana Ross version had much Motown flavor, maybe I could have been swayed, but I gotta go with Julie Andrews's version.

    LC

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, yeah.

      The blonde hair had nuttin' to do with it, right?

      ~ D-FensDogg

      Delete
  5. Amazingly, I found Diana's vocals annoying right out of the box. Gimme Julie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Julie's a little... uh... ripe.

      Wouldn't you much rather have one who's still fresh and on the vine?

      ~ D-FensDogg

      Delete
  6. Well, Julie's version is THE version since it's so closely tied to the movie, and her voice is so pure. But that being said, I did really like the instrumentation and arrangement in the Supremes' version -- still I would take Julie over it.

    However, I also listened to the Carpenters instrumental version and have to emphatically eat my disparaging words from BOTB #9. While there was a small smattering of "Doot-doot" vocals in it, the whole piece was phenomenal. I loved the interplay of the strings and the piano, the smooth segues between jazz and big-production and broadway and smooth styles. Fabulous!

    But I so associate Trane with this song -- it's one of my favorites of his. It has that incredible phrasing and playing and some outside stretches that are amazing, but not quite so far-flung as say "A Love Supreme" or "Ascension".

    I would still choose Coltrane over all of the above, but of your three contenders, I have to go with the Carpenters. It was incredible.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CHRIS ~
      Don't know if you saw my reply to FAE, but oddly enough, Trane's version never really grabbed me.

      I like Coltrane in general (in fact, I remember a trip I made to Lake Tahoe many years back and I listened to nothing but 'Blue Trane' the entire time), but he's just not one of my very favorite sax players. I do appreciate his Spiritual leanings but there are guys whose playing I like a lot more. Never really fully connected with Coltrane for some reason.

      I totally agree with you about The Carpenters' instrumental version of 'My Favorite Things', however. It's interesting how various different musical passages seem, on one hand, sort of stitched together; but on the other hand, it works like magic - kind of catapulting the listener into one segment after another yet all of it meshing remarkably well to create a beautiful and EXCITING sound.

      In fact, come to think of it... the arrangement is not unlike the melody itself. The melody has a very pronounced rolling hills and valleys vibe to it. And this arrangement sort of meets the melody with a pronounced rocky peaks and dropping cliffs vibe.

      Pretty damned great in my opinion too, Chris.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  7. To be honest, I'm not really a fan of this song. Nor have I seen The Sound of Music. I hear in some places that's a sin.

    With that said, I'm going to go against the grain and say that I like the Carpenters' instrumental version best.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 6-B ~
      Don't let Arlee Bird steal yer soul, Bro!

      I wouldn't actually say your 'Sound Of Music' ign'ance falls to the level of "sin", but it IS a good movie that ya might want to see (unless you simply detest musicals).

      Thanks for your vote.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  8. I do like the Motown sound, but I also love musicals, and am a big fan of Julie Andrews. With that bias, it should be no surprise that I prefer her version to the Supremes.

    What WILL surprise you, however, is that I loved The Carpenters version and it gets my vote. The arrangement and performance were excellent, and the song had none of the features that usually put me off from those Carpenters songs I am familiar with. And, as I always say: "What is a BOTB without a Carpenters song???"

    Bring on more Carpenters, Brother!

    ReplyDelete
  9. SHEBOYGANBROTHER SIXGUN ~
    Hopefully this comment will post. I have been trying for hours but... it seems Mozilla Firefox decided to add a new promotional video to the beginning of their "Start" page. What that means, of course, is that they broke their search engine.

    Not surprising, naturally, since everyone already knows that 99 out of 100 computer "geeks" are totally unfit for normal, civilized contact - which actually explains why they become computer "geeks" in the first place.

    What most people don't realize, however (but being smarter than the average bear, I figured out years ago...), is that computer geeks are not necessarily good at what they do. They do it because they got channeled into that line of work - being unfit for any other - but that doesn't automatically mean that they are good at computer "science". Most of them are just dumbshits who couldn't find employment in any other line.

    And that explains why everytime some "computer pro" fixes something, or adds something, or makes something "better"... they break something that was previously working just fine.

    Other than Washington D.C., the biggest losers on the planet can be found in "IT" departments.

    Your comment reveals the first miracle of the new year.

    Sadly, however, I have only one more 'Carpenters' BOTB entry scheduled (for sometime later) and it will include the thing that you least like about The Carpenters (i.e., Karen's singing).

    But I will attempt to keep in mind your very famous slogan: "What is a BOTB without a Carpenters song???"

    Thanks for the vote!

    I find it stunning that The Carpenters are probably going to win this BOTB installment, and without lyrics and without equal "video footing". Shows ya what I know about my readers!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Stephen,

    Odd request, but I wondered if I could talk you into selling an LP I believe you have in your collection. Is there an e-mail address or somewhere we can talk more privately?

    thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hello, DORKER VIBES ~

    I'm afraid I don't give my Email address out to anyone but my closest of friends. (I tried to get to your blog but was unable to. Experiencing all kinds of computer issues at the moment.)

    However, I seriously doubt I have an LP you'd want. I got rid of all my LPs when I switched to compact discs and the only "Licorice Pizzas" I still own are 'God Bless Tiny Tim' (his debut album) and the 'Dragnet' TV show soundtrack of their Christmas episode.

    The latter I couldn't possibly sell as it's a part of my childhood. So, unless the Tiny Tim album is what you are alluding to, I haven't any other turntable records that I can think of off the top of my mind.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Stephen,

    It's the Santa Monica Unified School District's, 1972, STAIRWAY OF THE STARS LP you refer to in an Amazon review of Feb 2005. (Very) slim chance I know, but I thought it worth a shot!

    Thanks all the same

    ReplyDelete
  13. DORKER VIBES ~
    Oh, my sincerest apology! I did not mean to mislead you. I just didn't think about that record but, yes, I do have it.

    I don't expect I'll ever play it again since I have no turntable and no intention of getting one. I have often thought about contacting Jubilant Sykes to see if he has a copy, and if not, and if he'd like one, I figured I'd give him mine.

    I performed in that show (although I was never much of a singer). I'm curious now about your interest in the record. Did you perform in that concert also? (If so, maybe I know you from days of old.) If not, and if you don't mind my asking, why are you attempting to acquire such an old, unknown recording?

    If I get off my lazy butt and contact Jubilant and he's not interested, perhaps we can work something out after all.

    (I'd take this conversation over to your blog but I can't get there right now; Mozilla Firefox is all fouled up and I may have to uninstall it.)

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    ReplyDelete
  14. DORKER VIBES ~

    Yes, the selection you mentioned is on Side B. I remember it fairly well.

    I jotted down your info on a Post-it note which I'll keep with the record. I'll see if I can get in touch with Jubilant Sykes and if so, find out whether or not he's interested in the album (he was the young "star" of the program after all). I won't be able to even get started on that until next week when I'm off from work, so it may take a few weeks before I have any sort of answer.

    But I will get back to you one way or another when I know more and maybe we can discuss it further in private. I'll contact you again eventually when I have something new to report (and my computer is hopefully working well again by then).

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    ReplyDelete
  15. No problem at all, thanks so much for your help. Look forward to hearing from you at your convenience... :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. ‘Battle Of The Bands #11’
    STMcC’s Vote And The Final Tally:


    For the first time ever, I have a ‘BOTB’ tie.

    As I wrote earlier, I really love this song and have never heard a version of it that I did not like to some degree. Having said that, I’ll tell you that, ironically, Julie Andrews’ version of it is one of my least favorites. Funny, since she’s the one who introduced us to it in the movie ‘The Sound Of Music’.

    What I don’t like about Julie’s version is the way she sings (“shouts” might be a better description) certain words loudly and sharply at various times in the song. In doing so, she gives that rolling melody a certain harshness that kind of grates on me a little bit.

    Still, Julie’s version would be better than no version at all. But since there are other renditions that I like better (pretty much all of them), I can’t vote for Julie Andrews.

    I really love The Carpenters’ instrumental version for all of the reasons previously stated in this blog bit and the comment thread. If I were voting for my all-time favorite INSTRUMENTAL version, The Carpenters would win hands down.

    However, as I said in the blog bit, I like the clever lyrics of this song and thus, I wanted to focus on a version that included singing. Therefore, I am casting my vote for the version by Diana Ross And The Supremes – I like everything about their version, the arrangement, the singing, the background vocals, EVERYTHING!

    And it’s a good thing my vote went to Diana and The Supremes, otherwise they would have gotten shutout in this contest.

    Here’s the final tally:

    Julie Andrews = 4 votes
    The Carpenters = 4 votes
    Diana Ross And The Supremes = 1 vote


    I’m a little disappointed by the low voter turnout but... maybe the ‘BOTB’ novelty has worn off. Regardless, I enjoy all of the ‘BOTB’ posts and I will continue with my participation in the series.

    As always, my thanks to everyone who took time to listen, vote and comment.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

    POSTSCRIPT:
    I am currently encountering computer problems and may be out of touch with all y’all for a little while. I will return, I just don’t know how soon. Yak later, my heroes...

    ReplyDelete
  17. My kinda song. Love it!

    I vote for Julie all the way. I like the Supremes, but not for this song. It just sounds like a poor imitation of Julie.

    Did you watch the live "Sound of Music" with Carrie Underwood? Her version of the song was pretty good, (even though she couldn't act her way out of a paper bag) but NOT as good as Julie's.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I was surprised to see this Battle all tied up. I actually thought Julie Andrews would run away with it, even though she couldn't capture my vote. Also, somewhat surprised at your vote, I would have guessed you as a JA fan of this song, at least. All on all, I think they're good match ups when they come in close.

    ReplyDelete
  19. ---- SUSAN ----
    No, I didn't see Carrie Underwood's special. I watch almost no TV at all (except for an occasional baseball or football game). Also, I'm really not a fan of most Country performers these days. I'm "Old School" generally, and VERY "Old School" particularly when it comes to my Country music of preference. (At the risk of losing my "Man Card", I'll admit that I do like the movie 'The Sound Of Music' though.)

    ---- FAE ----
    I figured my vote would surprise. Let's see... we have the ORIGINAL version of 'My Favorite Things', and we have an instrumental by The Carpenters, and a cover by Diana Ross And The Supremes. Which rendition is Stephen the LEAST LIKELY to vote for? Yep. And that's the one I voted for.

    Aside from that, Sheboyganboy Six voted for The Carpenters, so it was immediately withdrawn as one of my options. (I'm totally kidding, but try getting SBB-6 to believe that. Ha! Right, Six?)

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi Stephen - any word from Jubilant Sykes about the Stairway lp? Still interested...

    thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DV ~
      I have had so much crapola going on that I haven't even had a chance to look into it yet.

      But if it makes ya feel any better (and it should) I definitely have it on my "To-Do" list for my next days off from work - Tuesday and Wednesday.

      I'll need to try to Email some representative for Jubilant - his agent, a publicist perhaps - and then of course I probably won't get an immediate reply (if I get a reply at all).

      So, it's likely to take some time yet. But "good things come to those who wait". Well, sometimes they do, anyway.

      Don't worry, I won't forget about it and I'll keep my word, one way or another (unless I get hit by falling Space Junk and die earlier than I expect to).

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete

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