Friday, August 30, 2013


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...
Shoop-Shooby –
Shooby-duh-Dooby-Doop-Dooby-Dooby-Doo-Wah –

Yes, it’s time once again for ‘Battle Of The Bands’ (BOTB). 
Ordinarily, ‘Battle Of The Bands’ blog bits get posted on the 1ST and 15TH of every month. This one is going up a couple days early because I won’t be in town (Phoenix, Airheadzona) this weekend. As Robert Plant sang: “Made up my mind to make a new start; going To California with an aching in my heart. Someone told me there's a girl out there with love in her eyes and flowers in her hair.”

Well, that’s more than I could hope for. Actually, I’m just going to get the hell out of Hell for 3 days. However, that does give YOU, the voter, two extra days to make up your mind about the following versions of the same song and cast your vote for the one ya likes best.
In 1966, The Beach Boys released their album ‘PET SOUNDS’. David Leaf has written: The release of PET SOUNDS was “Independence Day” for rock ‘n’ roll.

Paul McCartney says that PET SOUNDS is “still one of my favorite albums of all time just ‘cause of the musical invention”. In 1966, McCartney, The Beatles’ bassist and pop idol, said that ‘God Only Knows’ was the best song ever written.

Brian Wilson, the leader and principal visionary of The Beach Boys, was the guiding force behind the concept and musical approach of the group’s most highly acclaimed album ‘PET SOUNDS’.

George Martin, The Beatles’ longtime producer, is on record as having stated: “If there is one person that I have to select as a living genius of pop music, I would choose Brian Wilson”.

What was so great about Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys, and what was the “musical invention” that Paul McCartney referred to? Well, one part of it was the fact that Brian Wilson had incorporated so many non-Rock musical instruments into his compositions for the ‘PET SOUNDS’ album. Along with the usual – electric guitars, bass, and drums – Brian was utilizing sounds not normally found on Rock recordings (e.g., French horn, sleigh bells, harpsichord, clarinet, flutes, accordion, strings, dog barks, and train whistles, etc., etc.), and he was structuring and recording the tracks in very different, non-Rock ‘N’ Roll ways!

Paul McCartney has said "[‘Pet Sounds’] was the big thing for me [in 1966]. I just thought: Oh, dear me! This is the album of all time. What are we [The Beatles] gonna do?"

The following year – 1967 - The Beatles’ answer to The Beach Boys’ album ‘Pet Sounds’ was ‘SGT. PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND’, with its advanced musical compositions and iconic album cover.
Listen carefully and you will notice the multiple non-Rock instruments utilized on ‘SGT. PEPPER’S...’ and the many shifts in tempo – all of it a conscious attempt to take what The Beach Boys had done on ‘Pet Sounds’ and one-up them with it.
‘Sgt. Pepper’s...’ is frequently found at the #1 position of many critics’ lists of all-time greatest Rock albums. In 1978, Joel Whitburn, the mastermind behind the Billboard music charts, named The Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’s...’ #1 on his own personal list of favorite Rock albums and said that, “SGT. PEPPER’S was then and still is one of the greatest listening experiences for the rock ear.”
Some of the songs that particularly illustrate The Beatles’ new, complex arrangements - intended to compete with Brian Wilson and his Beach Boys - are the title track, and ‘Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!’, and the album’s closing, grand finale ‘A Day In The Life’.

In the recently published guide to ‘The Beatles’ 100 Greatest songs’, Rolling Stone magazine put ‘A Day In The Life’ at #1 – the all-time greatest Beatles song. In other words, according to Rolling Stone, ‘A Day In The Life’ is the number 1 song on what a good many Rock music critics consider to be The Beatles’ number 1 album. Let’s listen to that song while noting the tempo changes and various “movements” within the song:

If you were paying attention to what I wrote in my ‘BOTB #1’ blog bit, then you know that I have a particular fascination for how drastically a musical arrangement can alter (even make or break) a song. In that spirit, I offer you a cover version of The Beatles’ (best?) song ‘A Day In The Life’.

Brian Auger, another English musician - specializing in Jazz-Rock fusion - was introduced to ‘A Day In The Life’ by a friend at a party in Italy. I’ll let Auger give the details:

I was at a party in Milano, Italy, with some Italian musician friends when my friend Maurizio clamped a pair of headphones on me and said, “Hey, Brian, listen to this.” He put on The Beatles’ ‘Sergeant Pepper’ album which I had not previously heard. I listened until the last piano note of ‘A Day In The Life’ carried my imagination far out into space. I thought the album was brilliant and took rock & roll to a completely new level. I determined to record a version of ‘A Day In The Life’ and got the chance in 1968 while making my … album ‘Definitely What!’
So, let’s listen to Brian Auger’s [instrumental] cover of the song now, and then you can vote on which version you prefer and tell us why you voted the way you did. Although Auger’s arrangement does not alter the song as drastically as did the two arrangements of Bebel Gilberto’s song ‘AGANJU’ in ‘BOTB #1’ (you will certainly recognize the melody and tempo shifts within Auger’s take on ‘A Day In The Life’), you may be surprised by the tune’s overall difference, due to the choice of instruments being used at various points and HOW those different instruments are being employed. [This is another excellent example of the massive difference an arrangement can make in the same musical composition!]

I welcome EVERYONE – whether I know you or not -  to vote for your favorite of these two 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’ and Arlee Bird’s ‘Tossing It Out’ 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 ‘Far Away Series’ and ‘Tossing It Out’ to vice your voice your vice ...voice your vote.)

Voice Your Vote @ ‘FAR AWAY SERIES’ by clicking HERE.
Voice Your Vote @ ‘TOSSING IT OUT’ by clicking HERE.
Find The True Meaning Of Christmas: Win Money!-Money!-Money! Spectacular, Super-Colossal Neighborhood Christmas Lights And Display Contest!

Find The True Purpose For Voting On ‘Battle Of The Bands’ Installments: Win Compact Discs!-Compact Discs!-Compact Discs! Spectacular, Super-Colossal Blogosphere ‘Battle Of The Bands’ Voting Contest!

Here’s The Deal: By voting on the ‘Battle Of The Bands’ blog bits here and at the ‘FAR AWAY SERIES’ and ‘TOSSING IT OUT’ blogs, you can win the compact disc of your choice. Every 4 months, FarAwayEyes, Arlee Bird and I will add up how many times you voted on our blogs, and the person who has participated most often (i.e., submitted the most eligible votes) will get to select one compact disc that contains any one of the songs that were included in any of our ‘Battle Of The Bands’ installments (“Super-Colossal” expensive boxed-sets, imports, and ‘out-of-print’ compact discs not included). In the event of a tie, the names will be put in a Stetson and the name drawn from the cowboy hat will win the CD.

Rules For Voting: FAE, Arlee Bird and I post new ‘Battle Of The Bands’ blog bits on the 1st and 15th of each month. We also post our own personal votes for the respective blog bits on the 7th and 21st of each month (i.e., six days later). For your vote to be counted, it must be submitted in our comment sections BEFORE we post our own votes (BEFORE we make our own votes known on the 7th and the 21st).

Every 4 months there will be a new compact disc winner. In other words, ‘Battle Of The Bands’ #1 was posted on August 1, 2013, so at the end of November, one of you lucky voters is going to win a CD that includes one of the songs we’ve featured in our ‘Battle Of The Bands’ installments (you get to choose, and it doesn’t matter if the song won or lost its battle – if you like it, it’s YOURS!)

Alright, now... VOTE ON and ROCK ON! (while we 
‘Count On...’)

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

Links To Previous 'BOTB' Installments:

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, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement. 


  1. The instrumental is interesting, but it does put me in mind of waiting in an elevator or the dentist's office. And unfortunately it's not my type of music. The Beatles' original is a classic and very smooth. That would be my choice.
    The battle at my site is surprisingly close...

  2. This indeed a tough one for me. The Beatles are one of my all time favorite groups and put out some of the best songs every written. There is no disputing the greatness of the "SGT PEPPER" album, but it's not my favorite and I think tends to be overrated. "A Day in the Life" is a wonderful song and very innovative. However the closing orchestral crescendo and drawn out piano chord that fades out the ending is a part of the song that has always annoyed me.

    Auger's version on the hand is so completely different that it's difficult to put it in the same arena with the Beatles. I've also been a great fan of Auger's music. In some ways the jazzy nature of "A Day in the Life" sounds almost flippant, yet it is all so listenable. And without the sometime silly lyrics we don't have the distraction of the "holes in Albert Hall" and other such oddness.

    If I were going to listen to only one version for here on out, I'd go with Brian Auger. I'd miss the Beatles ethereal psychedelia, but I'd be gaining good jazz. Brian Auger gets my vote.

    Tossing It Out

  3. I've always loved that Beatles song. The second one is just too far from the original. My vote goes to the Beatles.

    I joined the fun and pitted two remakes of a Slade song against each other today.

  4. Thanks, ALL, for the votes and comments. Keep 'em coming and I will publish as many of them as I can before I leave for my weekend trip.

    The votes/comments that are held in the system, I will publish here in the comment section on the evening of Monday, September 2nd, when I've returned home again, home again, jiggety-jig.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  5. Although the news is rather sad, I just have to myself that is. On this day it turns out I'm the joke.

    Having read the book, I'd love to tell you that...but then somebody spoke and I realized that on this day my worst nightmare came true.

    Ah, don't mind me I'm having a bad day. Actually, this has been a bad day for thirty-four years.

    My vote goes to Brian auger and Trinity.

  6. Tough to compare the instrumental with the original for me. I like them both but will have to vote for the Beatles.

    I would like to hear Auger's version of "Helter Skelter" though.


  7. This is a clear choice for me. I will be fascinated by your own choice, when you reveal it.

    The Beatles are a strong winner here. My reasons?

    1) I like the Beatles, and - although this is not one of my fav songs of theirs - it is good, original, innovative.

    2) my ears are used to enjoying this version.

    3) I am a fan of jazz, but this branch of jazz (jazz fusion stuff{s}) is not my thang.

    4) I generally prefer the original version of ANYTHING, unless it is by some band I really hate. I like the Beatles, though about one side of any album is all I can take at a time.

    5) With jazz, I LOVE songs that are new and created by the musicians specifically for that genre. "Blue Rondo a La Turk" and "In the Mood" and "Moanin'" come to mind as examples. I rarely like it when jazz guys take a non-jazz piece and try to "jazz it up." To me it always sounds hoaky. (Now, my son did a jazzy version of a Beatles song with his first "jazz" piece ever last year at college... THAT I LIKED. I admit bias, however.)

    So, is the great gulf properly wide, or do you agree with me?

    Hope you have a great trip. You should swing by Lake Tahoe. It is beautiful this time of year. I, myself, will be going to CA in October for my wife's conference in Hollywood. We'll be celebrating our 25th anniversary on that trip, also.

  8. I have several things to say. First, I missed your comment on the last BOTB about your posting the winner in the comments and have been waiting on the blog bit announcing the winner. Today, I went back to it and saw how you did it. Interesting comments there and your own choice;)

    Now, I am not convinced that this is The Beatles *best* song. However, it is a really good song. I listened to it with a fresh ear after your comments about The Beach Boy's album PET SOUNDS and this being the answer to that. I realize that most times I tend to listen to the WORDS of songs rather than everything else. The instruments are part of the picture, but when you put an instrumental version into the mix, the other stuff becomes very important.

    That said, given the somberness of the message. It is horribly depressing overall, it isn't surprising the instrumental counterpart to the vocals is subdued. I listened with my eyes closed, so when it hit those places where the music climbed it felt like an explosion in my head when it finally peaked out. Ending it first on the repeating note on the piano was brilliant.

    As for the instrumental version, it had none of the pathos of The Beatles version. It was full-on jazz. I liked everything except their crescendo builds. It was too similar to the music when Lynda Carter turns into Wonder Woman. It jarred me right out of the jazz feel of the song and brought me back to the 70s. I could see Lynda Carter spinning around in my head and was waiting for the firecracker sounds at the end. They didn't come, obviously. That ruined this piece for me. It's the strangest things, isn't it???

    So, while I liked most of the jazz version very much, I found a new appreciation for the song I've heard hundreds of times. It really is a masterpiece. Still not sure it's their *best* song, but it is pretty darn good. Yeah, voting for The Beatles on this one.

  9. FAE,

    I am pulling my usual (annoying) trick of voting on YOUR BOTB here rather than acquiring an Open ID.

    Voting on your battle was easy again. I LOATHE Barbra Streisand, and I will always vote against her.

    Beyond that, in a former life I listened to Judy Collins and I actually own her version you posted. I no longer really listen to her, but there is a small location in one cranny of my heart for her Send in the Clowns. And, as for the song in general: I really appreciate Stephen Sondheim musicals. Thanks for the contest!

    1. SB-6

      Thanks for the vote. You're not annoying me and as for STMc, well it just looks like he has more comments if you vote over here.

      I went in and made some changes to my blog site. I think now you will be able to vote this without putting your name on another list. Of course, with my IT talents, I may just have erased my entire blog. Well, I 'll hope for the best, and maybe see you over at my place next month.

  10. Arlee (and StMcC) -

    I went to vote on your blog, and it also requires additional qualifications just like Far Away Eyes. I think that I am fighting a losing battle, and so am going to decline voting on your BOTB contests after this. I do not want to clog up the works any more than I already do. And you do not have to count this misplaced vote.

    But... this one time: I vote for Neil Young by a nose over McKendree Spring. I'd never heard of them and I liked them pretty well, but I like the long, lazy, twangy guitar noodling throughout the middle of the Young version. Closest contest of any one so far for me. Thanks for teaching me about a new (old) band.

    1. Okay She6

      Just for you I've opened up my comments to everyone. I'll experiment to see if the spammers attack and if they do then I'll have to go back and tighten the commenting reins again. I don't like having the restrictions, but as far as I know it's either that or word verification. I could moderate comments but I like for them to appear immediately. That's what I prefer to happen when I leave a comment on a site.

      Anyway, commenting at Tossing It Out is now open to everyone. For now.

      Tossing It Out

  11. My thanks for ALL the comments and votes.

    I probably won't have a chance to reply to all y'all individually until next week (after my trip to Californ-i-a) but I'll get back to yaz (and post any other submitted comments) upon my return.

    Right now... I slow, I slow, but off to pack I go!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  12. I decided to join in on your fun. I hope you stop in and vote!

  13. Stephen-

    You probably knew I'd vote Beatles.

    Your Auger link was disabled, but I found another online version.

    After forty years of listening to the Beatles version, Brian was at a disadvantage (and I like vocals).

    Have fun in Cali....


    1. DR. DISCDUDE ~
      Yes, your vote for The Beatles was a given.

      Thanks for telling me about the Auger link being disabled. I've now replaced it. Hopefully this one will hang around awhile.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

  14. I was afraid of being late to the party, but now I see you posted this early because you went on a trip. Well, I'm still late to the party, but I'm here. It's been a long, long, busy weekend and I haven't had a moment to myself until now. BUT, my weekend comes with a good story about how Big Sky ended up in our new book.

    First, onto the music. I guess unlike some I'm not biased by having heard the Beatles' version my whole life, as I've never even heard it before. So it's a fresh comparison.

    With that said, I have to admit that I just don't "get" jazz. Whether it's one of those crazy jazz pieces that wanders all over the place and never really settles into any kind of distinguishable 'chorus' or whether it's a rock song made into an instrumental jazz version, I just don't really care for it. Like Alex, I'm quick to think of the whole 'waiting for the dentist' thing. This one is definitely not that (after the first 45 seconds, anyway), and I don't dislike it, but it's not something I could just sit down and listen to again. I definitely pick the Beatles.

    Also, not sure if it's been mentioned to you yet, but I have to hilariously point out that the jazz version you posted has already been taken down due to copyright laws. Since it probably got a lot of plays from this blog entry (aka heat from the Internet PoPo), you have to safely assume that it's entirely your fault. Remember that as you try to fall asleep tonight, Mr. Stephen T. Music Pirate.


    Now then, onto my beer story (and it includes 'pitchers', too). As mentioned before, I promised I was going to go to the the big, BIG liquor warehouse and pick up some of the beers you suggested. That... did not go as planned. Yes, it's the biggest certified liquor warehouse in the world. But that doesn't do me a damn bit of good when they don't sell any singles that aren't Colt 45 or King Cobra.

    So I located Summerfest immediately... but only in this form.

    I then found Big Sky... a big ass mixer pack.

    After that, I even tried to find Leinie's Canoe Paddler, but I see I'm in the wrong season.

    (BTW, can I just go on record as saying that it's still technically summer for 19 more days...?)

    I didn't find any sign of Hop Knot whatsoever.

    So my predicament (as you may have surmised by now) was that they only had gigantic 12 packs (sixers were all sold out - damn Labor Day) and it's hard to bite the bullet on an almost $20 12-pack just to try a single beer. But the Big Sky mixer seemed like the lesser of all evils, since it at least included 4 different beers. I snagged that, and it turned out to be a great choice.

    That Big Sky is probably one of the best IPAs I've ever had. It's right up my alley - great hops taste, not overly bitter, goes down smooth. I really enjoyed it. Would absolutely buy again. The Moose Drool isn't too bad, either, but more of an 'okay' beer. The Trout Slayer and the Summer Honey, meanwhile, were not my thing, but we had a small gathering, and everyone else gobbled those up.

    So that brings us to the end of this story. Brandon and I are rushing to get our new book out the door in time for our upcoming signing, and we wanted to take a new author picture for the back cover. Brandon had an idea to take one at my home's pathetic excuse for a bar, with some alcohol inspired things around us. We set things up and took the picture without even realizing what was being captured until long after we took it.

    Author pic

    So included in our new book is my Mexican beer barrel (full of delicious red ale), two Big Skys, and on the top of the shelf you'll see Grandpa's old tequila that you helped crack the mystery on, Gusano De Oro. Who knew one picture could have so many Easter Eggs?

    Enough about me and beer. I know you mentioned a bit of it on our blog, but how was your trip - that is, outside of buying a Doyers shirt and meandering down the wrong Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd (I don't think there's actually such a thing as meandering down the right Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, for the record)? Did you at least visit Doyer Stadium?

    1. Part 1:

      4 "OLD SOUL" B ~

      >>... With that said, I have to admit that I just don't "get" jazz. Whether it's one of those crazy jazz pieces that wanders all over the place and never really settles into any kind of distinguishable 'chorus'...

      That would be "Bebop", and I'm not a fan of it either (forgive me, Jack "On The Road" Kerouac!)

      >>... I didn't find any sign of Hop Knot whatsoever.

      That doesn't surprise me at all. I think you'd need to be in Airheadzona to find that, or in a Total Wine & More somewhere.

      Let me give you another one to watch for (to put on your 'Must Try Someday' list)...


      I didn't discover that one until AFTER our 'Blind Beer Taste Testing' competition, but when I did first try it (on tap at The Main Ingredient), it knocked Odell's 'Red Ale' right off my Top Ten list. 'Red Rocket Ale' is unquestionably amongst my Top Five.

      In fact, a few weeks ago, when we had that plumbing disaster in our house, as I was mopping and vacuuming up water from my bedroom floor, I was drinking a 'RED ROCKET ALE'. And even in the midst of an A-list disaster, I kept pausing to think: Damn! This is a GREAT ale!

      Any brew that can momentarily make you forget that you're removing water from your bedroom floor is damn-sure a GREAT brew!

      Continued Below...

    2. Part 2:

      >>... That Big Sky is probably one of the best IPAs I've ever had.

      Beer Brother, based on things you had written in the past about your likes and dislikes, I was SURE you would like 'BIG SKY I.P.A.'. The hop/malt balance is fantastic. As I've said before, my tastes are usually pretty close to the Beer Advocate consensus score (give or take 5 points), but I strongly feel that the Beer Advocate reviewers have seriously underrated 'BIG SKY I.P.A.'. I think if those folks put 'Big Sky' up against some of their favorites in a blind taste test, they'd discover to their surprise just how great 'Big Sky' really is.

      'Big Sky' was no fluke! In our blindfolded beer testing, it knocked out of the competition, in different taste-testing sessions, Green Flash 'West Coast IPA'; Prescott Brewing Co. 'Ponderosa IPA'; Odell 'Red Ale'; and in the championship round, Lagunitas' 'Little Sumpin' Ale'. That is some heavy-duty competition right there, because all of those other ales are damned good! (Someday we need to put 'Red Rocket Ale' and Lagunitas 'Sucks' up against 'Big Sky' in a blind beer taste test. I'd be very curious to see who would win that competition.)

      'Hop Knot' was in our Final Four and got knocked out by 'Little Sumpin'', who got knocked out by 'Big Sky' in the last competition (Nappy and I both thought, ahead of time, that 'Little Sumpin'' was going to win that final round, but when the "blindfold" was put on... uh-uh). So, if you ever see Lagunitas 'Little Sumpin' Ale', I think you should definitely give that one a try also! (It needs to be especially cold.)

      You and I are in TOTAL agreement about all the other Big Sky beers: 'Moose Drool' is OK (I'm not a brown ale fan, and that one didn't change my mind); I do not care for 'Trout Slayer' nor the 'Summer Honey'. So, I think you and I are very much on the same page when it comes to beer. (If I recall correctly, 'Trout Slayer' is a wheat ale. 'Little Sumpin'' is also a wheat ale, but it totally blows 'Trout Slayer' away!)

      >>... Did you at least visit Doyer Stadium?

      No, I didn't make it to Doyers Stadium, although the possibility of that WAS mentioned and could have happened. (I'll kick myself later if they win the World Series this year.) Nor did I make it to my all time favorite Mexican (or non-Mexican) restaurant, 'Antonio's' on Melrose. But we had so little time, and there is so much to see and do in helL.A.

      I did, however, (barely) manage to stay out of fights and jail, so the trip was definitely a success! (If I can find a way to make it seem like a 'Product Review', I may post a "travelogue" about it, with pictures. My "travelogues" have always been some of my most popular posts, but they were always a 'Stuffs' thang.)

      Check your mailbox tomorrow, Bro. The post office monkey told me you should find something in there from me.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'


      Odell's Red Ale has always been one of my favorites, so if there's a beer that can top it, I'm interested in trying it.

      As things would have it, I googled the name and instantly recognized the label. I remember last time I was checking out singles that I saw that bottle. Specifically, I saw the red rocket, thought fondly of Demetri, and wondered if he'd drink this kind of beer. I know, I have one of those Rainman kind of memories when it comes to beer labels. I've definitely seen Red Rocket. Definitely, definitely seen it (I'll grab it next time I'm at Total Bev).

      So, if you ever see Lagunitas 'Little Sumpin' Ale', I think you should definitely give that one a try also! (It needs to be especially cold.)

      I've seen this one at Total Bev as well, and will try it next I see it.

      Oh, and I saw your reply late last night and decided to take a run to the mailbox (Run, not walk - damn thing is 6 blocks away). And it was waiting for me. So thanks, Bro! I'm looking forward to reading it, and I'll pass the other copy along to Brandon next I see him.

      BTW, those are some seriously meaty booklets. I think it's safe to call them books, rather than booklets. I've written novels smaller than these! But when it comes to the topic of beer, that's not something I'm complaining about. Thanks again!

    4. Ahh, yeah, 'RED ROCKET ALE'... do it for Meechie!

      I have zero doubt that you will really dig that one. The 'Little Sumpin' Ale' I'm not quite as sure about. It's on the upper half of my Top Ten list easily, but it does have a rather unique taste to it (being a kind of Wheat IPA... or sumpin' like that) that may or may not appeal to you. (Must be very cold; as it warms up it becomes less tasty. I'd noticed that Odell 'Red Ale' is another one that diminishes drastically if it's not especially cold. And I s'pose you'd say the same about SN Pale Ale.)

      Pleased that the "books" got to you. It was my pleasure to send 'em.

      Incidentally, I like your new book back cover photo, and it's kinda neat that the STMcC influence is hidden in there too. Someday I'll be saying: "They never would have made it BIG without the BIG SKY IPA I turned them onto, pictured on the back covers.

      By the way, what's the new book? Are we talking about the short stories (E.A. POE-ish style), or something else?

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

  16. NO BRAINER - BEATLES I listened to both though I played fair...nothing changes my mind.

  17. Part 1:

    STMcC's Vote On 'BOTB #3', And The Final Tally:

    First of all, my McPeeps, I want to apologize for not responding to everyone individually, as I almost always do. I got a lot of really great, extensive, analytical comments here, and please don’t think I didn’t read and appreciate them. I did and I do!

    But I had a lot on my plate this time, what with my trip to Californ-i-a, and then I caught a cold from my Brother upon my return; mix in some hectic stuffs going on and I simply didn’t have the time and energy to attend to my Comment Section in the way I am accustomed to doing. (And Sheboyganboy Six knows HOW LONG I’ve owed him a response to a couple of really nice, A-list Emails. Coming soon, Mr. Six, with an attached coupon for .18 cents off your next visit to Del Taco!)

    >>... I would like to hear Auger's version of "Helter Skelter" though.
    ~ Sig2

    Sig --- Yeah, me too. It would have to be better than the Charles Manson version, eh?

    For a couple of years while in high school, I considered myself a big Beatles fan – I owned a lot of their albums. As the years went on, I got more into Hard Rock, and then out of Rock entirely. Now I’m back into Rock ‘N’ Roll again, somewhat, but leaning more toward the melodic than the metallic. However, my appreciation for The Beatles in 2013 is limited primarily to Side Two of ‘The Beatles’ “White Album” and just a few other random songs, like ‘All You Need Is Love’ and ‘Got To Get You Into My Life’.

    Like FAE, my favorite Beatle was/is definitely George Harrison. I really have issues with The Beatles music that came later, that seemed self-consciously “artsy-fartsy” and too contrived.

    >>... the "SGT PEPPER" album... it's not my favorite and I think tends to be overrated. "A Day in the Life"... the closing orchestral crescendo... has always annoyed me. ...the sometime silly lyrics... we don't have the distraction of the "holes in Albert Hall" and other such oddness.
    ~ Arlee Bird

    I feel the same way. Even when I was a big Beatles fan, and ‘SGT. PEPPER’S’ was routinely mentioned at the top of music critics’ list of all time greatest albums, I thought it was vastly overrated. When Lennon and Company became ‘artistes’ in a conscious attempt to keep up with and one-up the musical innovations of Brian Wilson, I feel much of their music suffered for it. To me, it just seemed so artificial and weirdness for the sole sake of expanding the envelope. How many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall? He wear no shoeshine, he got toe-jam football; He got monkey finger, he shoot Coca-Cola? Yeah, OK, whatever.

    I also thought ‘A Day In The Life’ was the most overrated song on that overrated ‘Sgt. Pepper’s’ album. There are a couple songs I kind of like on that record, but they’re the simpler, more catchy tunes. Despite ‘Rolling Stone’ magazine’s recent pronouncement that ‘A Day In The Life’ is the best of The Beatles’ 100 best songs, I don’t like it. It even agitates me a little bit.

    Continued Below...

  18. Part 2:

    On the other hand, I think the Brian Auger arrangement of the song is exceptional; I love the way he incorporates different instruments in the varying “movements” of the song (trombones, strings, clacking percussion, et al.), and blisters the whole piece with his amped-up electric organ rampaging through it. Man, that is great stuffs!

    One of my very favorite moments in the instrumental occurs at the 3:16 mark. Listen to that heavy riff in the background! Rock bands like Steppenwolf, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and AC/DC have built entire songs around a riff like that. But here, Auger uses it simply as a foundation in one segment of the song upon which to layer his piercing B-3 organ notes. Love it! My foot just starts tapping when that riffing begins! – Bubba-Bubba-Bump! Bubba-Bubba-Bump!...

    I can still recall the very first time I heard the Brian Auger version of ‘A Day In The Life’ and at the conclusion, my first thought was: Damn! This is the best The Beatles ever sounded!

    But... the voting public did not agree with me:

    The Final Tally was...
    The Beatles: 9 votes
    Brian Auger & Trinity: 3 votes

    Well, at least I wasn’t the only dissenting voice this time, like I was with The Rockets and their version of ‘Oh Well’.

    Note To Sheboyganboy Six:

    >>... This is a clear choice for me. I will be fascinated by your own choice, when you reveal it. The Beatles are a strong winner here. ... With jazz, I LOVE songs that are new and created by the musicians specifically for that genre. "Blue Rondo a La Turk" and "In the Mood" and "Moanin'" come to mind as examples. I rarely like it when jazz guys take a non-jazz piece and try to "jazz it up." So, is the great gulf properly wide, or do you agree with me?


    Well, We are now 3 4 5. And "THE GREAT McCARTHY-SHEBOYGANBOY MUSICAL DIVIDE" begins to widen. (You know it’s going to get worse... a LOT worse! :-)

    However, you mentioned the instrumental ‘Moanin’’ by Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers. I actually have that tune on my list for a future BOTB match-up. Probably won’t get to it for quite awhile but, when I do, maybe we will agree on that one ...the “smart money” and the Magic 8 Ball, however... says: “Outlook not so good”.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

  19. I have to admit I'm surprised. I admit I completely missed that Arlee had also voted for Brian Auger, I was pretty sure I was alone on that one. I also admit that I was not at my best on this BOTB, but what else is new.

  20. The "gulf" is not something the world is interested in, but a comment on it anyway.

    I don't believe it is accurate enough that you can use it as a Polestar.

    I think that your own BOTB selections are geared - mostly - to allow you to go against what you know will be "the grain" and assume a contrarian stance. That gives you chance to try to argue your position and teach us something.

    When you analyze your and my choices in the BOTBs of the other fine bloggers - adding those choices into the totals - I think we are closer than you'd like to admit.

    When the stakes are high and we're advocating for favorites, then yes: that new Iceland "Grand Canyon" pales in comparison to the GMSMD. But all that middle ground music may bulldoze some fill-dirt into the hole.

      An interesting take.

      Actually, though, my BOTB selections are definitely not geared to allow me to go against what I know will be "the grain". Because, truthfully, this was only the 3rd one, and in the 1st one, I (correctly) assumed almost all of the voters would be voting for the same, more melodic version of the Bebel Gilberto song that I also voted for. And in the 2nd installment, I was genuinely surprised - almost shocked, even - that mine was the only vote for The Rockets (I felt sure The Rockets would beat Fleetwood Mac pretty handily).

      In this Battle, yes, I did expect that "the grain" would go with The Beatles.

      I'm not going to reveal my BOTB contestants for #4 until I post it on Sept. 15th, but I anticipate that the vast majority of voters will be voting for the same version that I will be voting for.

      So... it was an interesting theory, but I believe your bucket has a hole in it. (Not so many holes they could fill the Albert Hall, but one is enough.)

      Brother, be watching your Email InBox tonight. I will send ya sumpin' good... or, well, sumpin' anyway. (I would have been sending it last night except that darn Arlee Boid got me sidetracked discussin' Neil Young and America on his blog.)

      Yak Soon, McBuddy.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'


All submitted comments that do not transgress "Ye Olde Comment Policy" will be posted and responded to as soon as possible. Thanks for taking the time to comment.