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.



Saturday, March 1, 2014

‘BATTLE OF THE BANDS #15’ (Or, ‘WILBERT HARRISON VERSUS BRENDA LEE’)

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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! (‘BOTB’)
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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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According to Wikipedia...

"Kansas City" is a rhythm and blues song written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller in 1952. First recorded by Little Willie Littlefield the same year, the song later became a #1 hit when it was recorded by Wilbert Harrison in 1959. "Kansas City" became one of Leiber and Stoller's "most recorded tunes, with more than three hundred versions," with several appearing in the R&B and pop record charts.

In 1961, when she was 17 years old, Brenda “Little Miss Dynamite” Lee (yes, the same Brenda Lee mentioned in Golden Earring’s hit song ‘Radar Love’) recorded a version of ‘Kansas City’. It featured Floyd Cramer on piano and “Boots” Randolph on saxophone, but it failed to crack the Billboard Top 40 hits chart.

Let’s compare the famous Wilbert Harrison version with the little-known Brenda Lee version and discover how they sound back-to-back.
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Wilbert Harrison – ‘Kansas City


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GODZILLA  VS.  KING  KONG
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Brenda Lee – ‘Kansas City
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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.

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.

Links To Previous 'BOTB' Installments:
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy
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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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45 comments:

  1. I've never even heard of Wilbert Harrison, but I think he does capture the spirit of how the song should be delivered.

    Musically Brenda's version is smoother and better arranged. Kinda the more Las Vegas version.

    It's really a tough choice to me. Both have equally good qualities. I know I've said in the past how much I like a raunchy sax sound, but I prefer Wilbert's jangling guitar break--seems more rock and roll.

    So with demerits for Brenda for having cursed the world with "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" she loses this contest and for my vote Wilbert wins. Besides, "Wilbert Wins" would make a better sounding headline if he were running for political office..

    Yeah, it always seems to come down to politics on your blog.

    Wilbert Wins! I like the slogan.

    Lee
    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LEE ~
      Always good when a political angle can be found.

      "Wilbert Wins!" It's got a nice ring to it. But will it turn out to be another headline like "Dewey Defeats Truman"?

      Rock 'N' Roll Vs. Las Vegas?

      I hear it more as...
      Rhythm 'N' Blues Vs. Rockabilly.

      Anyway, Brenda cursed the world with 'Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree'?

      The first time I heard it on a radio, I would have agreed with you - I hated it.

      The second time I heard it on the radio I thought: There's that song I hate again.

      The third time I heard it I thought: Actually, that's not so bad.

      And the fourth time I heard it I thought: I gotta find out who does that 'cause I wanna buy a copy of it!

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  2. Little Miss Dynamite! Hahaha.

    Before I get down to the mechanics of my vote, I suppose I will confess a little something... On my IPod I have a playlist called "The Ladies." I don't have a playlist called "The Mens." Nothing against The Mens - of course - but there are times when I just enjoy listening to The Ladies sing. Besides, The Mens take up more than 60% of the space in all of my other playlists. So there.

    What does this have to do with this vote? I just like Brenda Lee's voice. I particularly like it when she gets a bit gravelly because she is really digging the song. (For example..."If I got to walk there I'm going just the same.") It makes me dig it, too. So, Little Miss Dynamite was perfectly apt.

    I saw Arlee's comment about Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree and that figuring into his vote against Brenda Lee. Well, I like the song Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree (not exclusively by any means) but I think it adds to the holiday music rather than detracting from it. Of course, that is one opinion amongst many opinions... and you know what they say about THAT!

    There was not a thing wrong with Wilbert's version of Kansas City. In fact, I liked it a lot while I was listening to it. It was just when Brenda started singing... I REALLY liked it. Her voice is smoother and aesthetically pleasing to the ear. And I smiled every time she sang, "They got some crazy little men there. I'm going to get me one." You go, girl.

    I think it's clear that I am voting for Brenda Lee or Little Miss Dynamite. I guess that means I like Rockabilly. Yeah, I saw your response to Arlee. Heck, I am not ashamed. Bring on the Rockabilly.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I gotta go with Wilbert's version-it remains the most faithful to the Graham Parker version recorded in the mid-70's.

    I don't like the Brenda Lee arrangement as much, but every version I have ever heard mimics the Wilbert arrangement, so my vote is probably as much from familiarity as preference.

    LC

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wilbur Harrison, he was better at this pairing. I was sure Brenda Lee was going to be my choice, but not this time.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Win with Wilbert! Are you making buttons? (Yes, that's my vote, BTW)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Stopping off in the mid-west, eh?

    While Wilbert's (BTW, what kind of a name is Wilbert anyway? Sounds a lot like...) version is the more traditional/what I'm used to sound, I love that alto sax in Brenda's sound.

    Give my vote to Brenda Lee and 'her crazy little men and mug o' KC wine'.

    ReplyDelete
  7. ----- ROBIN -----
    I appreciated your detailed analysis. Brenda Lee was singing well before she was 17, and she had such a big voice for such a little bitty thing that someone came up with the nickname "Little Miss Dynamite" and stuck throughout her career. And, hey, nuttin' at all wrong with liking Rockabilly. Heck, the earliest Rock 'N' Roll (think: Evis' Sun Sessions recordings) were "Rockabilly", which created the template for early R'N'R. I dig plenty of Rockabilly - it's one o' the roots o' Rock!

    By the way, Robin, you remember how you liked that tune 'Yakety Sax' that I posted recently? It accompanied that woman being crazily chased all over the freeway by the cops in a video I'd found at YouTube? Well, the sax player in Little Miss Dynamite's version of 'Kansas City' is the same guy who composed and recorded 'Yakety Sax'.

    ----- DR. DISCDUDE -----
    >>... Wilbert's version - it remains the most faithful to the Graham Parker version recorded in the mid-70's.
    Ha! There's much to be said for remaining faithful to the cover versions that come later.

    ----- D.G. -----
    Thanks for checking in with your vote!

    ----- BROTHER MARTIN -----
    Nope, not in the button-making bidnizz. But I AM a vote recorder, and yours done been recorded.

    ----- FAE -----
    Yeah, thought I'd go a little East of Denver but not all the way back to the East Coast.

    Pretty sure that's a tenor "Boots" is squawkin' on. It's not always easy to tell the difference between an alto played in its lowest register and a tenor played in its highest, but I'm fairly certain some of that squawkin' is too guttural for an Alto to get down to.

    Yeah, "Wilbert"... Ha! For years I was sure it had to be "Wilber", and that when I came across "Wilbert" it was a typo. In fact, I had his version on an LP when I was a teenager and as I recall, it was listed as "Wilber" on the label. So all my later encounters with the listing "Wilbert" I was sure had to be wrong.

    I guess it's no weirder than naming your son "Bobs" [Watson].

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sheboyganboy SixMarch 3, 2014 at 2:54 AM

    I would have to say that generally I am not a big fan of Brenda Lee. She does what she does well... but she's not my style.

    HOWEVER: she is amazing on this song. At times she manages to make her voice take on the exact quality of the saxophone. It is quite something, and it opened my eyes a bit to her music. Listen to her at 1:07, and compare to the sax at 1:30; also near the end at 1:57 and 2:25. WOW.

    This BOTB piqued my interest in the song, so I watched about 10 other "Kansas City" videos and decided that - of what I've seen - James Brown has by far the worst and the Beatles have the best version. So far. But then, there apparently are another 300+ recorded versions out there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SHEBOYGANBOY SIX ~

      >>... I would have to say that generally I am not a big fan of Brenda Lee.

      Actually, you would NOT HAVE TO SAY THAT, because I AM a big fan of Brenda Lee; which of course means that, naturally, you are not a big fan of hers. (Ha! Man, you can "almost" set a reverse musical clock by us.)

      I'd heard The Beatles' version of 'Kansas City' before - in fact, I think it was even included on an old LP I owned (one of the first I ever purchased).

      There's no way I would EVER say that a group of Limeys recorded the best version of a song about a Midwest American City. (Never mind that I've admitted my favorite version of 'Route 66' was by an Irishman who had never even been to the U.S.A.)

      From what I just now learned, it seems that perhaps The Beatles learned 'Kansas City' from Little Richard. And their version of the song is so altered that it's almost not even the same song that Wilbert Harrison and Brenda Lee recorded.

      I would say that Wilbert's version is R&B (although the guitar break is really early R&R); Lee's version is Rockabilly; and The Beatles' version is entirely early R&R.

      So, I guess it depends upon a person's genre preferences. To me, The Beatles aren't even in the running - I'd take Harrison AND Lee over them (still haven't heard the James Brown version).

      You didn't explicitly state it, but I'm assuming you are voting for Brenda over Wilbert(?)

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
    2. Yes, I am voting for Lee.

      I shoulda just left it at that, and not explored further. You had no comment at all about the qualities in her voice I pointed out, or that have to listen to this song has opened my eyes to her. Just complaints about the Beatles.

      The Little Richard version was not so good in my opinion, and only the pace has similarity to the Beatles. The thing that the Beatles had over all the other versions I have listened to - except Lee - is the quality of their voices. Especially McCartney. His voice on this one was a great blend of raspy/perfect pitch, just like Brenda's.

      Despite you complaining about my musical taste, I think everyone had better get ready. Once you vote all heaven is breaking loose.

      Delete
    3. ALL EIGHT CHAMBERS OF THE SIXGUN ~

      No, no, no, no, no, no, no, NO!
      Don't be two chambers too sensitive!

      I thought your comment was GREAT!
      I loved the way you analyzed the song. It's not your fault that we don't agree 100%. That's the way God designed us. He MEANT for us to find humor in our (near constant) musical disagreements. And when I chastised you for picking The Beatles' version of the American classic 'Kansas City', while admitting that my favorite version of 'Route 66' was by an Irishman (Van The Man), I thought you'd KNOW I was joshing ya.

      I mean, it's true that I'd choose Wilbert's and Brenda's version of 'KC' over The Beatles', but then I generally prefer R&B and Rockabilly over early R&R.

      Now, I didn't even go listen to Little Richard's version, so I have no idea what his sounds like. But it was the "Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey" bit in The Beatles' version that made it seem so different to my ears from Wilbert and Lee's versions, and which helped push it more toward early R&R than Rockabilly or R&B.

      I DID note your remarks about Brenda's voice and its similarity to the saxophone in those couple of places. And I even listened to the song again, paying special attention to that concept.

      I agree. HOWEVER... I am a longtime fan of Brenda's music, so I am very familiar with many of her recordings, and while I do agree with what you said, I'm not so sure that was a conscious act on her part.

      Many of Brenda's early recordings were very Rockabilly and included vocal tricks like that. Her nickname, "Little Miss Dynamite", came about because she had this huge, gruff, gravelly voice coming out of this tiny little girl. There are several early recordings where she sounded like a honking tenor saxophone.

      Check out 'Jambalaya', 'Dynamite', 'Little Jonah', 'Let's Jump The Broomstick', and 'Bill Bailey, Won't You Please Come Home'.

      And if you want to get sexually aroused, check out 'Dum Dum' - "I couldn't love you any more than I do". Ha!-Ha! NO! Not Ha!-Ha! 'DUM DUM'!

      I've got her playing now as I type this. I love Brenda Lee. Here's a bit of trivia that most people don't know: Unlike most celebrities in the spotlight, Brenda Lee did not marry another celebrity. She married a farmer boy she knew and lived happily ever after. Now THAT is my kind of gal! Had I been born a little earlier, I would have been perfect for Brenda.

      One more bit of trivia before I sign off...

      I once went to a Brenda Lee concert in the very early 1990s with my then girlfriend "The Countess". It was one of the most memorable of the great many concerts I've attended in my lifetime.

      The Countess knew I was a big Brenda fan, and when Brenda walked out into the audience and started posing for pictures with selected fans, followed by a roadie with an Instamatic camera (who snapped the pictures and then handed them to the fans who appeared in them with Brenda), the Countess did everything she could to get Brenda's attention so she would pose with me for a picture, but it was not to be. Nevertheless, it was probably the coolest, most down-to-earth thing I've ever seen a big star do for fans in the middle of a concert. Love Brenda!

      Loved yer comment, too!

      Yak Later, Sixgun (with the eight chambers).
      [:-)}

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
    4. POSTSCRIPT:
      Sheboyganboy Six, check it out:

      Brenda Lee sings ‘DYNAMITE’

      You can see it happening right before your eyes but it’s still nearly impossible to believe. She has no breasts at all, but she’s got bigger cajones than most men.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      ‘Loyal American Underground’

      Delete
    5. POST-POSTSCRIPT:
      My God! I just had an insane thought! Go to Wikipedia and read the Brenda Lee entry. And then consider that no one has ever made a movie about her life!

      What a movie that would be! An underground, indie sleeper, no doubt, considering the fact that she is a strong Christian woman.

      At this moment, I could probably be easily persuaded to cash in all my chips and speculate 'em on a Brenda Lee biopic. I could even write the screenplay. (Don't laugh! I COULD!)

      Well, maybe I'm one 12-ounce sheet "to the wind in Copenhagen", but...

      Hell, I ain't got no life anyway. Work sucks, Home sucks... maybe this is the time to take a really big risk with the money that was left to me.

      I better sleep on it...

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
    6. You should go for it! You are perhaps the best writer I know, and I am SURE you would do it well. And, who is gonna stop you? What better to do with your time? Banter with chowderheads like me?

      Delete
    7. SIXBRO ~
      Just got back from a trip to Prescott ("Billy Jack" Country, USA).

      Ha! Thanks for the vote of confidence but... I'm done, finished, kaput. Cannot handle one more ounce of rejection.

      I'll leave it to someone far more talented than I be.

      At this point, I'm just hanging on, trying to make it to the end without actually ending it myself. But... again... thanks for the vote of confidence, Muh Bruhthuh! Truly appreciated.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground;

      Delete
  9. This was very, very close, but I've got to give it to Wilbert. Just barely.

    To make up for my tiny, pathetic comment, just know that I conducted a BBTT this weekend, with 4 stellar beers. The results kinda surprised me. One even got a completely perfect score. I'll share the results with you via e-mail soon...

    ~6B

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 6-B ~
      I am willing to overlook your incorrect musical vote ONLY if you send me the results of your BBTT as soon as possible. Send it to my home E address, because I won't be back to work until Thursday night.

      As the street punk said to the bad actor (Clint Eastwood)... "I gots to know!"

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  10. Al Bondigas here. This one is so close you couldn't put a thread through it. I gotta go with W. Harrison, but, If I listened to them both over and over for a couple of weeks, I might change my vote. Brenda Lee is very addictive.

    ReplyDelete
  11. You're a traitor to your brother, MEATBALL!

    Nevertheless, your (traitorous) vote has been counted.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    ReplyDelete
  12. STMcC’s Vote On ‘Battle Of The Bands #15’
    And The Final Tally:


    I’ve always really liked the song ‘KANSAS CITY’ by Wilbert Harrison. I suppose I was introduced to it by a double LP I used to own back in the years of “Licorice Pizza”:

    http://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Graffiti_Vol._III

    Wilbert’s was the first version I’d ever heard and it was not difficult to see why it had climbed to #1 on the music charts in ’59. Wilbert delivers the song in an easy, laid-back, rhythmically rolling way, and I was always perfectly satisfied with the way he performed the song...

    ...until the first time, years later, that I heard Brenda Lee’s version.

    “Little Miss Dynamite” brought so much fire, so much energy to the song (and “Boots” Randolph brought his honking saxophone to it). Suddenly, going to Kansas City didn’t sound like a vacation anymore; it sounded like a quest of passion.

    This time I didn’t hide my vote; I was pretty open about the fact that I’d be voting for Little Miss Dynamite. If anyone thought I was bluffing or attempting to deceive, they were mistaken. My vote goes to BRENDA LEE in this Battle (although I still really like Wilbert Harrison’s version a lot, just not quite as much).

    My vote, however, wasn’t enough to help Brenda Lee pull off an upset victory in BOTB #15.

    Wilbert Harrison = 6 Votes
    Brenda Lee = 4 Votes


    Well, it was a fairly competitive contest, and as always I thank everyone who submitted a vote and comment.

    See ya again on March 15th for BOTB #16.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Too bad Miss Brenda couldn't pull a few more votes. Maybe in this case Mr. Bird was right and folks went for the familiar.

      I'm not sure I would have calledth is a quest for passion vs. a vacation, but she sure did throw herself into this one, of course, I don't think I've heard anything of Brenda's that she didn't throw herself into.

      Delete
  13. I didn't just love Brenda Lee's voice; I wanted to BE her. Well, not really, but I did love to belt out her songs while taking a shower. (Great acoustics in there!)

    That being said, I never heard her singing this song before. (Shame on me.) I had heard the Harrison version though, and thought I'd end up voting for him. NOPE! Gotta go with my girl. Another vote for the amazing Ms. Lee.

    ReplyDelete
  14. ----- FAE -----
    I haven't actually crunched the numbers but I'm pretty sure that in the majority of the BOTBs that I've concocted, I have voted for the lesser known covers more times than I have the originals or more "familiar". I think I'm able to throw out the concept that the song "should" sound the way the most famous version does and just evaluate them side-by-side strictly on their own merits, familiarity be damned.

    ----- SUSAN -----
    I'm sure glad your vote for Brenda wouldn't have given her a tie or a win in this Battle, because then I'd be unhappy that it came in later, after the polls had already closed.

    So, the "unofficial" total then is Harrison with 6, Brenda with 5.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's because you're one rather unique individual - not do the rest of the world.

      Delete
    2. Did you just call me... "interesting"?

      You did, didn't you?
      You just accused me of being interesting.
      "I know when I've been insulted! I know when I've been insulted!"

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
    3. Are you talking to me? If so...them um OK, if you spell 'interesting' U-N-I-Q-U-E!

      Better check your little blue book of insults.

      Delete
    4. Also, that should have said 'not so the rest of the world'.

      Delete
    5. OHhhhh,,, "Unique"! Oh, well, OK then.

      I thought you had called me "interesting", and I was highly upset about it. But "unique", that's TOTALLY DIFFERENT, and I don't mind that at all.

      Say, why are you playing around here?
      Don't you have a memoir you should be working on right now? Hmmm?!

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
    6. You sayin' you don't want to talk to me?And here I thought you were all about conversations in the comment box.

      Delete
    7. Nah, not really. That's just the kinda stuffs I say so people'll think I'm cool.

      In truth, I am a rock, I am an island...

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  15. I actually remembered to come back and check the comments to see how this one turned out. I must admit that I am disappointed that Brenda Lee lost this battle, BUT it was a close race.

    Interesting comments here. When I first saw that the song was Kansas City, I immediately thought of The Beatles. Yes, I have heard that song. BUT, when I listened to these two songs they didn't sound anything like The Beatles recording and I called it a coincidence of two different songs having the same name. Guess not. I haven't heard that version in a long time. I might need to give it another listen. I have to admit that there is a part of me that likes the idea of taking a tune and making it your own. Even if that means that it deviates so far from the original that it doesn't even sound like it anymore. People who cover a song and change virtually nothing aren't doing themselves (or the song) much good, in my humble opinion.

    Interesting thing about covers - totally unrelated to this post - that I am *pretty sure* will not be new information to you, since I just don't see you following this stuff. BUT, I have either had too much coffee or not enough and my fingers have taken control of the keyboard. I really loved the TV show Veronica Mars. Let me clarify that, I loved seasons one and two. Season three had moments of greatness, but by large sucked lemons. And then it was cancelled. As a writer, I find these sorts of things fascinating. But, we are talking about covers here. The theme song of the show was a song called We Used To Be Friends by The Dandy Warhols. Great song. Loved it. There was talk by the writer of ten years later making a Veronica Mars movie. The project was funded by Kickstarter and it is coming out this month. I follow the movie page to keep up on the latest news. Blah blah blah.

    Anyway, about a week ago they made an announcement about having remade the song We Used to Be Friends for the movie soundtrack and gave people a chance to listen. OMG. It was the worst thing I have heard in a long time. I couldn't make it past the first chorus. Oh my ears. There were thousands of comments and all of them (couldn't find one exception) indicated that it was the worst thing ever made.

    My hopes for this movie being great scaled back. If they think that new version of the song is on a par with this movie.... well, I am about to be hugely disappointed again. I can't take another season three.

    ReplyDelete
  16. In other news, the most recent movie of yours to make my watched list is One From The Heart.

    As I was watching it, I noted all of the things that I think YOU love about the movie. The sets were amazing. Unbelievable that they were all built on a sound stage. The music. If you didn't like the music you weren't going to like the movie. It was as integral to the film as the dialogue.

    I must admit that I was shocked by the ending. I really thought she'd get on the plane. In some ways, I think she should have... I know that wouldn't have made it a love story, but it already wasn't a love story. It was a break up story.

    She said some pretty rough things. I think the first one was when she told him that she fell in love with him because he was nice. (Which is valid... someone can work their way into your heart just because they are such a genuine, good person.) But then she says that she doesn't even like him anymore and he hasn't been nice for a long time. Woah. Talk about a stab in the heart. Tell me how you really feel.

    Then he finds her in bed with the other guy. For me, I would have been done right then. Just turned around and walked out. Nope. Not him. He drags her out of there making an entrance through skylight. As soon as they get back to the house, she walks away... again. And says, "We've been saying goodbye for years." Woah. That means she's had one foot out the door for years and is finally ready to make the break.

    Of course, it was bad right out of the chute. He added her name to a piece of property tying her down. And she bought him a vacation to Bora Bora that he had no intention of taking. Talk about two people with completely different goals and value systems. There wasn't anything wrong with either gift (in my opinion) but it shows that they were living at the edge of two extremes.

    So, yeah, I would have liked it better if she'd gotten on the plane. It would have been more realistic to me. She didn't break up with him because he didn't sing to her. I can't believe she even said that. She broke up with him because they want different things. And he might take that vacation to Bora Bora, but after that he is going to want to be himself. A guy who is settled down and wants kids and all that. And she is still going to be buying tickets to exotic locales.

    All that said, I enjoyed it very much. I don't want you to think I didn't like it. And the song One From The Heart (that might not be the exact name) that was playing while he drove home from the airport... great song.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Part 1 of 2:

      ROBIN ~
      I don't know the first thing about 'Veronica Mars', but now you've made me very curious to hear the remake of the cover version. I gots ta know just... how bad is it? Any URL or link you can provide me with?

      I agree with nearly everything you wrote about 'ONE FROM THE HEART'. For one thing, yes, the music was a truly integral part of the movie, far more so than in most films.

      As a matter of fact, the entire movie was inspired by the Tom Waits song ‘I NEVER TALK TO STRANGERS’, which he sang with Bette Midler on his album ‘Foreign Affairs’. The song is a dialogue between this man and woman in a bar. Francis Ford Coppola’s son played the song for his dad who really liked it, and began formulating this story about lovers where the whole thing is told in song like a duet.

      Yeah, he was nice, and he came riding out of nowhere to rescue her like a knight on a white horse, so there's the princess and the dragon-slaying hero scenario that could certainly spark a romance (never mind that the dragon was a stalled car and a bunch of angry motorists).

      You are right that they both wanted different things; she still wanted romance and adventure, while he was more settled. But I think the biggest problem was that, although they weren't married, they'd been together so long that the relationship had become kind of routine and unexciting, as if they were an old married couple who never really thought outside of the box anymore. It wasn't that they "REALLY" disliked each other, but simply that things had gotten stale, I believe.

      >>... Then he finds her in bed with the other guy. For me, I would have been done right then. Just turned around and walked out. Nope. Not him. He drags her out of there making an entrance through skylight.

      This is funny that you, a woman, are arguing the man should have left her at that point, while I, a man, am going to point out that he himself had just spent the night with the Circus Girl. I mean, he was guilty of the exact same charge.

      By the way, the scene where he "steals" her away from the "Rudolph Vaseline-o" is amongst my favorites. I love the way Raul Julia, robe half open, after all that shouting in front of people, tried to recover some dignity by getting a bucket of ice, as if that's what he REALLY came out for. Makes me laugh every single time - just the way he carries the bucket under his arm with his head held up high.

      I also like the uniqueness of the fact that the movie has no villains. Neither "Vaseline-o" or the Circus Girl are bad; they're just going for what they want and what they think will make them happy, like everyone else does. They are antagonists in the story, because they are obstacles put in the way of the two main characters, but they aren't really villains at all.

      >>... She didn't break up with him because he didn't sing to her. I can't believe she even said that. She broke up with him because they want different things.

      I think she broke up with him because the spark, the romance, had gone out of the relationship. And when she mentioned singing (which he later took literally), I think she was just using that as analogy or a symbol for "romance". After all, he had NEVER sung for her - he wasn't a singer.

      Continued Below...

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    2. Part 2 Of 2:

      And, for me, the pivotal scene in the movie, the key to understanding WHY she DID get off the plane just before take-off is the "singing scene".

      Coppola has messed around with the movie, re-editing it several times because he's really a very indecisive director and has a hard time making up his mind. The version that I first owned on VHS I like better than the re-editing job he did on the DVD version you saw.

      In the original, there’s a good scene where Hank is looking in a mirror in his office at the wrecking yard and notices his hair is thinning. He says, “So what. Virility! Y.A. Tittle time!” It was removed in the DVD version, but that’s a good clue into his character. Y.A. Tittle was a bald, tough, Old School NFL quarterback. It makes sense that Hank would know of him and respect him, because Hank too is an Old School man’s man type. This is also indicated by how uncomfortable Hank is getting his hair all done up and changing his wardrobe style. (Incidentally, pretty much every scene in the movie that includes Moe – “Moe me, moe you, moe love!” – makes me laugh.)

      So, when Hank, who KNOWS he can’t sing, even goes so far as to sing to Frannie in public, before lots of strangers surrounding him, it shows just how much he’s come to realize that she means to him. He steps WAY OUTSIDE OF HIS COMFORT ZONE, and he does something so unmanly – singing ‘You Are My Sunshine’ in front of perfect strangers, in one final attempt to get her back, to serenade her away from her idealized lover.

      I think you’ve got to look at it this way: When Frannie sees her knight willing to show such a vulnerable side in public, she too comes to realize just how much she means to him, even though he’s not been much good at showing it as the relationship has gotten stale for both of them.

      Hank steals her out of the motel, right from the bedroom of Vaseline-o, then he sings in public. I think we can assume that neither of them will take their relationship for granted again, and that his efforts were worth taking another chance at it.

      >>... the song One From The Heart (that might not be the exact name) that was playing while he drove home from the airport... great song.

      ‘This One’s From The Heart’ - yeah, agreed. A very romantic song! Here’s a bit of personal trivia: The guy who plays most of the great trumpet on the soundtrack songs is Jack Sheldon, and I once saw him perform on the stage at the Four Queens Hotel & Casino in downtown Vegas. He put on a great show and said some really funny stuffs between songs. A wonderful trumpet player!

      My favorite song from the soundtrack, however, is certainly ‘BROKEN BICYCLES’. My old acting buddy Marty, who was killed in 1989, used to go around singing ‘Broken Bicycles’ constantly. I always think of him when I watch ‘One From The Heart’, which he and I both saw for the first time together during its theatrical release.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      ‘Loyal American Underground’

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    3. I probably should let what you have written here sit before responding, but I am not going to.... ha! I think I will just dive in and sound idiotic if that is what it is.

      Yeah, I can get on board with the fact that their romance has gone stale. But, I stand by the fact that they want vastly different things from life. Hank is a Man's Man. Excellent way of putting it. And Frannie wanted romance and travel and excitement. So, I still think they were looking at life and where they were going from different street corners.

      Here's the different between Hank and Circus Girl and Frannie and Ray... Frannie left Hank. All down the line, she was the one saying it was over. Sleeping with Ray was like an exclamation point on the fact. Hank was just floundering along because Frannie left him and bounced into Circus Girl. He didn't sleep with her because he wanted someone different and he immediately regretted it. Besides, technically he was a free man. He thought she was gone (and she was).

      Frannie didn't regret sleeping with Ray at all. And was going for Round 2 or 3 when Hank tracked her down and busted in on them. That is why I say I would be done. If someone broke up with me and then slept with someone else, didn't want to leave, and I had to drag him out of a motel room (which I probably couldn't physically do, but that is beside the point), and then they just walk away again as soon as the car stops... I think I would be done with it. Now reading what you wrote... I see that Hank is not done with it, and the idea of losing her to Ray only motivates him harder. Guess there are different people in this world. And that is what keeps it interesting.

      I did get that singing You Are My Sunshine in front of an audience was a huge leap of faith for Hank. I did get it. And it made me sad when she turned and got on the plane anyway. Maybe I would have liked it better if she'd figured out RIGHT THEN. I don't know. It would have made for a much more romantic scene. They could have ridden home in the rain-soaked car together. That would have been symbolic of what the last two days were like. But, that is just me quibbling about personal preferences.

      Like I said, I liked the movie. I liked the music a lot. And I appreciate your thoughts on it. That hotel scene is funnier with your input on it. Seriously... what would you do if a jealous ex showed up WHILE YOU WERE IN THE ACT and dragged your lover out over his shoulder? Pretend like you were getting the ice seems reasonable to me. Ha!

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    4. This link contains a link to the cover of the song. On this site you can listen to the original first. Yeah, this is the Veronica Mars info you requested on We Used To Be Friends... Let me know what YOU think...

      http://www.hypable.com/2014/03/03/veronica-mars-movie-theme-song/

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    5. ROBIN ~
      Thanks for getting back to me on that.

      First, OFTH... I totally agree with you that the two main characters want different things in life. I'd like to think that after this blowup, they will both see things a bit differently and act differently.

      I would hope that Hank would begin to not take Frannie for granted and try to add the little romantic touches that women like at times. (There's another scene cut from the original edit, where Frannie comes down the stairs dressed up to go out to celebrate their anniversary, while Hank is in the process of getting together "a special anniversary dinner". He seems surprised that she's dressed up and ready to go out. Hank says, "I thought you said you were tired of eating?" She replies, "I said I was tired of eating, but not tired of going out.")

      So, yeah, I think they both need to be appreciative of what the other brings to the relationship and not take each other for granted.

      I liked the way they handled the airport scene in the movie. When she gets on the plane, and Hank makes the rain-soaked drive home, it gives you that one last dark valley before she comes in the door and the lights magically begin to glow and increase in intensity as their two rain-soaked bodies come together.

      Plus, that way we get to see Hank preparing to burn Frannie's leftover clothing, but he's not able to do it, and breaks down (despite the fact he said, "I don't cry.")

      So, yeah, it's just one last little stab before the healing, and it makes that drive home, and the accompanying music seem so painful.

      Your assessment about the two of them sleeping with someone else is spot-on. However, if I were Hank, knowing that I had committed the same offense (even if only half-heartedly), I couldn't have held it too much against her, particularly if I REALLY wanted her back.

      Also, you're right that Ray really lights a fire under Hank to try to win her back. There's even that part where he says he's come too far to lose her now to some Rudolph Vaseline-o guy.

      For me, though, the best parts of the movie are the cinematography, the music, and the humorous details in some of the scenes. It's a pretty weak storyline, really, and I think I probably said that in my original comments to you about OFTH on your own blog.

      But the scene with Ray and the ice bucket, the scene where Hank tries to pick up the Circus Girl (those lines he uses... "I think you have a nice family", etc. Ha!) and pretty much every single scene that includes Moe (Harry Dean Stanton) is what really makes the movie for me. (Moe: "Can you handle it there?" as he disappears back into the apartment with Frannie's friend.)

      I listened to both versions of the Veronica Mars song and this probably won't surprise you but... I disliked BOTH versions. The first version really annoyed me from a musical standpoint. It was that 1980s SynthPop sound (e.g., Flock Of Seagulls, Duran Duran) that played a big part in driving me into the arms of The Blues around 1984. After immersing myself in The Blues for a few years, it was a natural progression to develop a love of Jazz, which became, and will remain, my very favorite musical genre.

      The updated version of the song... well, musically I can tolerate it better, but the vocals are simply atrocious! Whoever told that guy he could sing?! If that guy's a singer, then so am I.

      So, honestly, I found both versions pretty unlistenable. I know you're a big fan of that 1980s Pop sound, so it's easy to understand why you prefer the first version so much more.

      Well, I'm looking forward to getting your feedback on whichever movie you watch next. I'm curious to find, after all is said and done, which you liked the best. For me, it's 'The Ghost And Mrs. Muir', but just the fact that I own DVD copies of all those movies says plenty about how much I enjoy each and every one.

      Yak Later...

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

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  17. I've never paid much attention to Brenda Lee's music, but all your raving about her made me curious. I listened to several YouTube cuts and must say I have a greater appreciation for her singing. Not the fan that you are, but I'll admit that she's good. Impressive that she started her career so young.

    Still not a fan of "Jingle Bell Rock" though. I don't hate it, I just try to tune it out it if happens to come on somewhere and I wouldn't willingly put it on to listen to.

    Good contest with a reasonable outcome. With more votes Brenda might have come out ahead.

    Lee
    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

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    1. BOIDMAN ~
      Glad you checked out Brenda Lee further. She was a really big star in her day; according to Joel Whitburn of Billboard, she was the 6th most popular performer of the 1960s. I loved the power of her voice (what is she, like 4'9" tall?) and that little hiccup thing she does melts me.

      Twice you've said "Jingle Bell Rock", but the first time you said "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree", which is what I'm sure you mean... even though Brenda DID record a version of 'Jingle Bell Rock' which is one of my very favorites (because she really laid the vocal hiccup effect on thick in that one).

      >>... With more votes Brenda might have come out ahead.

      Possibly. But I think it's debatable. ;-)

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

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    2. POSTSCRIPT:
      Whoops! My mistake. It's not Brenda's 'Jingle Bell Rock' where she lays the vocal hiccup on thick, but on her version of 'WINTER WONDERLAND'. That's the one I had in mind.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

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    3. "Jingle Bell Rock"/ "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" are both seasonal standards that pretty much go hand in hand. Kind of interchangeable I think.

      Though I do like the part that goes "People saying let's be jolly, deck the halls with boughs of holly" or something like that. Not sure which song that's in--maybe it's in both of them. But I do like the punch of that little bridge or chorus or whatever you call it.

      Lee
      Wrote By Rote
      An A to Z Co-host blog

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    4. LEE ~
      Yeah, that's 'Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree'. And on the word "holly" Brenda employs that little "hiccup" vocal technique of hers that I dig so much.

      I've been meaning to ask you, are you planning to work BOTB installments into your April A To Z posts somehow? Or will you be dropping out of BOTB for the month of April?

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

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    5. Since the BOTB segments have become my favorites I will definitely still be participating. I won't be doing the thing with the clues, but I'll be posting songs on the 1st and 15th as always.

      Lee
      Wrote By Rote
      An A to Z Co-host blog

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    6. Glad to hear that, Boidman.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

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