Monday, September 1, 2014

YEP! WE'RE STILL A LITTLE BIT CRAZY OVER HERE - BATTLE OF THE BANDS XXVIII






Ready or not here we go with BATTLE OF THE BANDS XXVIII. Can you believe that this has gone on for over a year now and we are on number XXVIII (28)? I can’t.

I had a running theme of ‘CRAZY’ going for the month of August and I’ve got one more bit of craziness for you here on September 1.

‘Still Crazy After All These Years’ written by Paul Simon was also the title of his studio album released in 1975. Now, I for one love Paul Simon and his version of this song, but I’m not using it in this BATTLE, cause who in their right mind wouldn’t vote for Paul. If your rebellious and absolutely must vote for Paul, go ahead, but keep in mind he really isn’t in the running here. (I’m looking at you Bryan.)

Instead I searched high and low for two fit competitors. I wanted to keep with the ‘side theme’ that Arlee bird started; pitting girls against boys, but I couldn’t find a talented enough female version UNTIL today. I was doing a little background on the song itself and in Wacky-Watchee they stated that none other than the lovely Karen Carpenter had recorded a version of this tune.

Apparently, Karen recorded a solo studio album that was never released in 1980. Rumor has it that her brother was in rehab at the time, and when he was released he and their mother convinced her not to release the album. Backed by the studio executive who was reluctant to release it also, it was shelved UNTIL 1996. Thirteen years after her death. Just one more sad chapter in this nice young woman’s story.

Anyway…Here’s Karen Carpenter with ‘Still Crazy After All These Years’.


Next up Mr. James Taylor and his version of the same song. James has had his troubles along the way, but he has managed to endure and survive.



Now I trust you know what to do and how to do it. After you have voted here and told me why you chose as you did; head on over to the home of the sexiest man on the planet – Mr. Stephen T. McCarthy, and check out what he has offered up for you. Find MR. McCarthy HERE .

This BATTLE OF THE BANDS thing just keeps getting bigger and bigger, so there is absolutely no way I could possibly keep track of everybody participating, BUT Mr. McCarthy can and does. He’ll have a link for all of the possible participants. Be sure to visit all of the sites and cast a vote there.
I’ll be back on the 7th to cast my vote and let you know exactly how these two contestants fared.

BEFORE YOU RUN OFF I HAVE SOMETHING IMPORTANT I WANT TO TALK ABOUT TODAY.


A blogger friend of mine is in some trouble. Melissa Bradley has been diagnosed with, and is undergoing treatment for cancer. Melissa’s good friend Michael DiGesu is hosting a Blog Hop to help her out.

This is your chance to help Melissa, and have yourself published in an Anthology of Humorous, Inspirational, and/or Heart Warming Stories about cancer. 
Unfortunately, in this day and age I don't think there is a one of us who hasn’t been touched by this dread disease. Surely you have a story you could share.

I have pretty much given up joining in on Blog Hops. Heck about all I publish at my space anymore is BOTB, but you see, I’m a cancer survivor, and I can’t pass up a chance to help someone out who is going through the physical, emotional, and spiritual upheaval that cancer can be; even if it does mean talking about myself.

So, go over to Michael’s Blog by clicking HERE. He'll give you all of the details and you can sign up for the Hop.

Come back here on September 15th, when I’ll have another terrific BOTB and my contribution to the ‘Big C Hop’, served up right here.

43 comments:

  1. The James Taylor version sounds like JT singing a cover version. Not that that's a bad thing--I think JT is always pretty excellent, but he doesn't add anything extraordinary to this song.

    Karen Carpenter on the other hand turns the song into a classic as though it were written years before Paul Simon by one of the great songwriters from the 50's or early 60's who were writing for the likes of Sinatra. Every inflection and nuance of Karen's voice comes across just right. I'm thinking I'd vote for her version over Simon's if it had been included.

    Karen Carpenter for me. (And for McCarthy--I'll go ahead and cast his vote right now).

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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    1. If you read the other comments you'll see that I'm pretty shocked two of you would have voted for Karen over Paul (that doesn't even count McCarthy). Also, seems to me your taking some serious chances dancing all over his (McCarthy's) feet in this BOTB. First, you take his song and now your casting his vote. Pretty dangerous stuff there. Ha, ha,ha.

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  2. Yeah, it would be no contest if you let me vote for Paul, so I'll just give him a rebellious nod (is there even such a thing?).

    I've never been a fan of James Taylor, and he doesn't really add anything to this song for me. Karen, on the other hand, has a nice classic sound, so I'll give it to her... since I can't give it to Paul. :)

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    1. Hey guy, sorry to single you out there, but someone let it slip that you are a Paul Simon fan; big time. I didn't put Paul into this game, because I feared he would run off with the prize. I'm truly shocked that two voters said they liked Karen's version so much they would have voted for her over Paul. Just goes to show, I have no idea whatsoever.

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  3. My thanks to Arlee Bird for the assist.

    To FAE: You know, I'm sick and tired of you females praising me for my sexiness! When are you going to recognize me for my intelligence? I am Man, hear me... purr.

    I had to laugh when Karen Carpenter changed the line from "crapped out" to "crashed out".

    I still love Karen Carpenter. I mean, she's even thinner now than she was when she was breathing, but... I still love her.

    If Karen could have known how sexy
    I was going to grow up to be,
    she would have waited for me.

    I'm not sure where you got the info about Karen's solo album but it is about half right. She did record a solo album while Richard was in rehab due to abuse of and addiction to prescription drugs (he wasn't smoking crack or mainlining heroin).

    Karen's solo album was principally produced by Phil Ramone (with some later additions by Richard Carpenter). It was released in 1989 and it's titled 'LOVELINES'. And, by the way, I have it and it is EXCELLENT! (I may even use a song from it in a BOTB blog bit someday.)

    The song 'STILL CRAZY...' is NOT included on 'LOVELINES', so I'm guessing it was recorded at the same time but the decision was made not to include it on the album for whatever reason. This was the first time I ever heard Karen's take on this song. What did I think of it? "ASK ARLEE."

    James Taylor... I LOVE the song 'FIRE AND RAIN'...
    It reminds me of an old flame.

    Other than that, all I can say about James Taylor is... he was ok, Ok, OK.

    I think my Brother Nappy said it best:
    "James Taylor is just the Kenny G. of vocalists."

    Without plenty of caffeine in my bloodstream,
    James T. would put me to sleep.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. First you complain about being a 'sex object' and then you want to capitalize on it with Karen. Sheesh! Make up your mind.

      I did not know that this song was not included on 'LOVELINES'. Obviously, I do not own it. The stuff I found on the Internet said that it was recorded at the same time as the other songs from that album and never mentioned that it wasn't included, so I assumed...see how dangerous that can be.

      There is a lot of JT's stuff that I like and others, not so much. Maybe it's the caffeine thing. Since I have not been able to have caffeine for over two months now, maybe I'm not a very good judge of what works and what doesn't. Also, since I'm back to not sleeping very well, maybe I need a dose of JT to help me fall asleep.

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    1. Thanks Elizabeth. I'm sure Melissa appreciates the prayers and warm thoughts.

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  5. Seems like Karen is getting all the votes, and she's going to get another. It also seems that I'm on the same page with everyone else as to why: I liked Karen Carpenter as a singer much more than I liked James Taylor. She had a unique voice, and if I had known 40-plus years ago that she was this good, my attitude toward her would have been much different.

    Arlee asked me to let it be known that I'm doing BOTB with the rest of y'all. I'd love to have you drop in...

    John Holton
    The Sound Of One Hand Typing

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    1. Isn't it interesting what 40 years or so can do for our musical tastes. Got you down as another vote for Karen.

      Glad to see that you've joined BOTB. I'll get over to your place as soon as I finish up here.

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  6. I like James Taylor. In fact, I really like some of his songs. Fire And Rain. Carolina On My Mind. Steamroller. I also liked his duet Mockingbird with Carly Simon. This I do not like. I just don't think I would sing (on the stage, professionally) a song that I couldn't do at least as well as the original. And, let's face it... the original was pretty darn great. I like the horns in the JT version, but other than that.... Not so much.

    Now, Karen Carpenter... I think she could have given Paul Simon a run for his money. That was just Wow. I think I'd vote for her OVER Paul Simon and that is saying something. In fact, I know I would. Let's pretend this was Paul Simon vs Karen Carpenter and I just ousted him on his own song. She nailed it.

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    1. Interesting that you're the second person who said they would have voted for Karen over Paul Simon himself. That is something I never would have predicted.

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    2. If I am learning ANYTHING about these BOTB posts, it is that I will pretty much always be wrong when it comes to predictions. Well, there are some exceptions, but I have frequently been VERY surprised at the outcome. So, chalk that up to being par for the course.

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  7. Two of my favorites, and the best BOTB of the month. Karen by the thinnest of hairs, though I really wanted to call it a draw.

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    1. Well thank you Mr. Martin, I appreciate the compliment. I would let you call it a draw, but in a way that's kind of like throwing your vote away. At least your expressed your sentiments that you enjoyed both versions.

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  8. Karen sure gets my vote indeed. A more classic feel I guess. And yeah, crummy cancer touches everyone in some form or another.

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    1. Thanks for coming by, Pat, even if you're doing nothing to help me break up this shut-out here.

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  9. Had to listen to both several times to decide, but I guess Karen gets my vote this round. I do like James though, just not in this song against Karen.

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    1. Another surprise. I would have figured you for a JT fan, although maybe just not on this particular song.

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  10. my vote is for karen carpenter, the female vocal makes the song different something jt cant add, and she sames to have more feeling

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    1. I'll have to agree with you on that feeling stuff, Mike. Karen makes a believer outta ya on this one.

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  11. The two styles create two different songs. Like Karen's voice though - she gets my vote.

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    1. OK, got you down as another vote for the lovely Ms. Carpenter.

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  12. Tough choice. I really love Karen Carpenter's voice. But this song, for some reason, her version of this song doesn't quite connect with me. I dislike the white-bread, string-heavy Muzak arrangement -- the only saving grace is the very sweet slide guitar. The harmony vocals are cheesy, and to me, Karen's singing sounds forced -- it doesn't have that smooth, graceful, easy delivery that I normally love.

    And I do really like James Taylor. Not everything -- he can get get a little too white-bread at times, too. But there are a lot of JT songs I really like -- some of it might be personal nostalgia. I know several people who really love James Taylor. His version of the song has a little stronger beat and a very nice sax solo. There is a little too much production here too -- this song needs to be sparse and intimate, I think.

    But overall, I'm going against the grain and voting for JT.

    Call me crazy...

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    1. I have to admit, you have really surprised me with your vote. Not exactly sure why, but I didn't see that one coming. BUT, don't think I'm not grateful. I was beginning to think I was going to be the queen of the shut-out, here at BOTB. Thanks for breaking that streak!

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  13. I love Karen's singing, but for this song I'm going to have to vote for James.

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    1. Wow, I'm a bit surprised at your vote, but I'll take it. It helps to make this more of a BATTLE for JT.

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  14. Had you included Paul Simon, I'd have voted for him. Even though Ms. Carpenter's voice is better, maybe it's just the familiarity with the PS version, but his voice suits it. There are a couple points where his voice seems to almost crack, but it works for me.

    Here, you have two good singers, but one voice clearly is better. While I do not share the same level of passion for The Carpenters as the alleged sexiest man alive (I think Daniel Craig's fans may have something to say there), here I am giving my vote to Karen Carpenter.

    I saw JT a couple of months ago...I probably would not have gone if not for the free ticket (in a box with food and drinks, too), but I enjoyed the show a lot. He had some incredible resumes in the stage band, and there were an awful lot of good songs that I'd lost track of over the years.

    But it was funny watching people about ten years my senior "rocking out" like they were at a metal show....made me wonder if I look as silly when I am at the shows with the twenty-somethings...

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    1. I just read your comment and literally laughed out loud. First, Daniel Craig has already called and said he wants his title back (personally, he just doesn't do it for me), so I told him he should arm wrestle STMc for it. Let's see how that works out.

      Second I got you down as another vote for Karen.

      I saw JT in person quite a few years ago. I've always like most of his stuff, but he certainly isn't a very exciting 'live show'. I was at The Eagles concert last Friday night in Stateline, NV. I had never seen them before and I have to admit it was the second best concert I've been to EVER. There certainly were a whole lof of old folks rockin' out there, but at least with the geriatric crowd there was no longer that sweet smell of MJ in the air and although Harvey's Casino has a full bar set up about every thirty feet, didn't notice a single sloppy drunk. I saw very few young people there and those that I did seemed pretty bored. Are you kidding me?

      I'm sure you blend right in with the young dudes at those Prog Rock shows.

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    2. Don't you miss that haze of MJ smoke veiling the stage?

      I kid-we in the crowd have aged, as have the artists (some of them try too hard to still look cool though-that's why I like Peter Frampton-he just gats a buzz cut and plays guitar!).

      I can never forgive the Eagles for starting the ticket price insanity (they charged $100 back in 1993), but I bet it was a good show.

      A lot of the older acts are charging ridiculous prices, and I guess if they get it, power to them, but I'd rather see three or four shows with bands that are the future than a real expensive show of a band holding on to the past.

      That said, at least the Eagles have a recent album of new material-a lot of other bands are touring on hits from the seventies!

      LC

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    3. Well, I didn't pay, but I suspect these tickets were more than $100 apiece. IMO it was worth every penny of it.

      This tour is called 'The History of the Eagles', so they really didn't play any of their new stuff, but the crowd seemed happy to hear all the old hits. I also have to say they weren't trying to look too cool. Just five old guys up there in their jeans and plaid shirts rockin' out. All of em pretty grey with short hair except for Timothy B, and Joe, of course.

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  15. >>... First you complain about being a 'sex object' and then you want to capitalize on it with Karen. Sheesh! Make up your mind.

    Well, you know, it all depends upon what's in it for me. Which is NOT to say that I'm narsisistic... narsissistic... narsisiztic... uhm... you know what I mean... SELF-CENTURED!

    >>... Daniel Craig has already called and said he wants his title back... so I told him he should arm wrestle STMc for it.

    I never even heard the name "Daniel Craig" before... (Boy, am I ever outta the Celebrity Loop!) ...but as long as "his" name isn't really "DANIELLE Craig" and he's not really a "she" on steroids and on the Russian weightlifting team, I think I can take him in an arm-wrestling contest.

    >>... I was at The Eagles concert last Friday night in Stateline, NV.

    "Wait just a cotton-pickin' minute here!" (as they used to say on the Deputy Dawg cartoons). I have never, ever seen The Eagles in concert! And what that means is that YOU went to the concert with some guy other than "the sexiest man on the planet".

    What'd ya do, go to The Eagles concert with "the second sexiest man on the planet"? And if so... I'll arm-wrestle him for ya! (Unless, of course, "he's" really a steroid-laden shehe on the Russian weight-lifting team, in which case, shehe can have ya.)

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. McDogg-

      Daniel Craig is the newest James Bond....he'd probably beat both of us together in an arm wrestle....but he makes a good Bond!

      LC

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    2. STMcC - Ahhh, that's the first time anybody has every offered to arm wrestle for me. No he/she's in my life - YIKES! Here's hoping you win.

      DiscMan - I gotta say, Daniel Craig just doesn't do it for me.

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  16. Karen Carpenter...what a tragedy! She died way too young! I always liked her unique voice. Despite my fondness of Karen's style, I believe I prefer James Taylor doing this song over her, though. Both versions are good, but I just like Taylor's sound a bit more. Usually I like male over females artists, though and maybe that's the bottom line. So, James Taylor gets my vote.

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    1. Thanks Cathy, not sure he can pull off a win, but it's nice to JT making a good showing here.

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  17. I didn't think I was going to be able to decide here. Karen Carpenter was such and unbelievable talent, and I've loved James since I can remember. But in the end, although Karen's voice is just stunning, she sounded a little more elevator music-y to me, and I'm giving it to James. Hate to choose though. Love them both.

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    1. Hi Lisa, thanks for coming by and casting a vote. Ole JT is making quite a showing here down to the wire.

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  18. Seahawkboyganboy SixSeptember 5, 2014 at 8:52 PM

    Hmmm... I'm glad I was able to drop by and cast a vote. Poor ol' JT isn't getting much love here. And you must KNOW how much I enjoy Karen Carpenter!

    There are some great singer/songwriters, and Taylor is one of the best. I don't think THIS crowd would say that, but the general public would. I have seen him in concert several times, and - although his best writing days are behind him, like so many from his era - he just has a ton of fabulous old songs and delivers them well. I even love his brother, Livingston.

    I prefer Taylor to Carpenter any day.

    But don't lump me in as some over-the-hill, white bread, Depends-wearing, viagra-taking kind of guy. BOTH of these singers can be called "white-bread." Besides, last week I rocked out at a Jack White concert. That's not white bread! The only reason McCarthy keeps getting labeled "sexiest man alive" is that he lobbies for it by continually putting out doctored photos of his mug with that James Dean look. I should send you MY pics and dethrone the emperor.

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    1. .Hey you, I been wondering where you been hiding out. I've seen you over at STMcC's but nowhere .

      I too like JT and have seen him in concert (only once). As I said earlier, hat was a nice concert, real exciting or over the top, but very pleasant.

      Jack White, the 'You drink water, I drink gasoline' guy? I bet that was a wild time. Definitely not 'white bread'.

      Well send some of those pictures along. I wouldn't mind hosting a BATTLE OF THE SEXIEST MEN ON THE PLANET contest, sometime soon, but you have got to gie me some ammo.

      Looks like JT is going to make a very presentable showing here in this contest, even though it didn't start out that way.

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    2. I apologize for my absence lately. I have only been home for about one week of the last month, and I've been incredibly busy. I enjoy the blogs of you "close associates," but haven't really even had time to look at them lately!

      I'll try to do better this month.

      BTW - No pics coming your way. I was just joshing about the SMOTP stuff. I might win a Earnest Borgnine Look-Alike Contest... but nothing more!

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  19. SHEESH! My fingers aren't working too good tonight, and my brain...well it's kind of been on a permanent vacation. If you can decipher that last comment into something coherent, you should win a prize.

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