Sunday, May 22, 2016


This has been my very favorite BATTLE OF THE BANDS for a number of reasons. First, I really and truly love both versions. I’ve had a definite favorite and pretty much knew how I would vote from the beginning, but both versions are really very good.

With fifteen votes in, The Piano Guys had thirteen votes and One Republic had two. I was pretty sure I was headed for yet another blow out. I have felt for the last year that I really lost my touch with BOTB, and the BATTLES I was presenting weren’t really very competitive or GOOD, and this seemed to be just another miserable failure. But once again I was mistaken. The next few votes that rolled in were all for One Republic. While The Piano Guys did win this BATTLE handily, One Republic made a very respectable showing.

The final tally, including my vote:

        The Piano Guys                   18 votes including mine
        One Republic                      11 votes

I like the One Republic version and the lyrics definitely add something to the song, but the version by The Piano Guys is one I could put on repeat and listen to all day long. Of course, they cheated and threw in a little Beethoven for good measure and in my ears, something like that never hurts.

I do think that this BATTLE has been one of my most voted on with a total of twenty-eight votes being counted. Thank you all for your support and participation. You make my heart smile.

Daddy always told me to quit when I was ahead and while I have not always taken Daddy’s advice, he has always been right. So, that brings me to the next item on the agenda today.


Truth be told, my heart just hasn’t been in it for the past year. It was about that time that I had a run in with another participant. I still couldn’t really explain to you what happened, but the end result left me reeling. Now, Daddy also told me that no one likes a complainer and I should never whine. Well, I’ve already told you my take on Daddy’s advice, but I do try not to whine. I also have learned that in this great cosmic sphere we call life, I am the odd ball. I don’t normally look at things the way the majority does. Don’t worry about that, because I like it that way, even if it does leave me scratching my head, and with severely ruffled feathers on numerous occasions.

Back at the very beginning of BOTB, I was personally against opening it up to general participation. Silly me. What was I thinking? This is the Internet and not my personal domain. In the end I was flattered that so many of you wanted to join this crazy idea of mine, and grateful that Mr. McCarthy talked some sense into me. Having said that I’m a tad disappointed with the competitive nature that has crept into BOTB. Again, no one, take offense. That’s just the odd ball in me speaking.

I know that Mr. McCarthy loves BOTB and he has done an excellent job of promoting it and keeping a list that everyone can find and locate all of the participants. This is what makes him Mr. BOTB. But you know it’s more than that. I think his love of music and willingness to be objective about different things (even though we all know that he has some very definite favorites and eclectic tastes) is what makes him the perfect host and LEADER OF THE BATTLE OF THE BANDS. No one will ever take HIS place.

I hope those of you who continue to participate keep having fun. When the fun stops it’s definitely time to turn to something else and that is exactly what I am doing.

I’m going to leave you with Jackson Browne and let him express some of my feelings. Please, if you have the time, listen to this video clip until it stops for at the end Mr. Browne expresses my feeling about all of you and BOTB.

Just so nobody hurts themselves trying to leave a comment, I want you to know I have turned the comment section off. I don’t believe in tributes or eulogies after the fact. If you love and enjoy someone tell them while they are around, not after they have departed. Also, I wouldn’t want to chance anyone leaving a ‘good riddance’ comment and know that is just as likely as some kind words.

Until we meet again…Happy Trails!

Sunday, May 15, 2016


Y’all know I’ve moved recently, and if you know that, you probably also know that I move a lot. My furniture which is all old, some actual antiques, some old family pieces and the rest pretty much picked up at thrift stores, and flea markets (I don’t believe in buying brand new furniture, except for mattresses.) has really taken a beating. So, I have been working on refinishing, repurposing, and painting most of it.

Yesterday, I had all the good intentions of writing my BOTB post, scheduling it, and then forgetting about it until this morning when all of your lovely comments started rolling in, but first, I thought, I’ll just put one coat of chalk paint on the interior of this old bookcase that I have been using as a curio cabinet (It’s a great curio cabinet, much better than a bookcase except for the fact that it is so dark inside, so painting it a lighter color on the interior seemed like a good idea.). I mean how long could that take, right?

Well, the paint can says to shake well, so I was shaking this quart can of paint…well, when it slipped out of my hand, hit the tile floor and popped open (brand new can of paint, never before been opened and it just exploded). The ensuing mess was unbelievable, paint everywhere. On me, on the kitchen cabinets, on the tile floor; it was a colossal disaster. 

'Oh carp'! I didn’t scream (I used a lot stronger language than that). Then I proceeded to use some very colorful language, as I cleaned up the rainbow of a mess from my kitchen.

Now I bet you’re wondering how this relates to my title PAVEMENT. Well y’all know the road to hell is paved with good intentions, right? Well, my good intention of writing this post yesterday went straight to hell the minute that paint can exploded. So, I’m a little bit late getting this up today, but you’re not surprised, are you?

I’m not a big fan of a lot of ‘newer’ music, and I really don’t like a lot of these ‘boy’ groups that pop up from time to time, but there was one that had a string of hits and then seemed to disappear from my radar. They had a unique sound and I liked it quite a bit. Their hit ‘Secrets’ really caught my attention because of the mournful cello lead in. I find that I like the cello a lot, especially its use in more modern/pop music.

So, today I’m gonna use the original hit versus a cover. Yeah, I know that can be BOTB suicide, but what the hay? It's been that kind of weekend.

Let’s start with the cover, shall we?

Here’s The Piano Guys (The Cello Guy, actually) with their version of ‘Secrets.

Next up the original, by One Republic.

Now leave me a comment containing your vote and your reason why. When you’ve finished up here mosie on over to the home of Mr. BOTB hisself Stephen T. McCarthy and see what he has cooked up for you in his kitchen of creative musicality. After you leave your opinion there, check out the list of other participants and please, try to vote at each site.

I’ll be back on the 21st with my vote, and the final tally.

Until then try not to pave anything, and may you enjoy HAPPY TRAILS.

Saturday, May 7, 2016


A few days ago when I sat down to reply to my BOTB comments, I read this one from Sheboyganboy Six;

BOTB: I love this song, and I love Joni Mitchell. (I never cared for Joan Collins, or her version.) I suspect this will be a massive blowout in favor of the one everyone knows… though I see it has started to turn around, at least a little bit.

Joni Mitchell was always one of my very favorites. She is a tremendous songwriter - one of the best. I was always amazed at her insight into the introspective side of humanity. (She missed, I think, on the brutal side of our personalities - The Who filled that musical role for me.) There was a period when I listened to her all the time. I think my favorite songs she wrote are “For Free” and “Conversation”… back-to-back numbers on her Ladies of the Canyon album. And the entire Court and Spark album is a top five favorite LP of all time.

I love both versions of this song. The writing shows incredible depth of soul for someone so young. The early version feels like a young person who has learned a lesson about love; it is a bit bouncy and upbeat, emoting the feeling of someone who has felt the pangs and swings of a lost romance… but who still has a life ahead of her to figure it out and find more romance.

The second, as an old woman in 2000: the same words, but it has a VERY different feeling and interpretation.  It is slow and ponderous on the surface, but one needs to give the version a chance.  It is very moving. It has a depth that I feel a connection with - as someone with some extra candles on the cake. She sings as an old person who is looking back with tremendous introspection nearer then end of her life, and has realized the import of things taken for granted in youth. Things we often never figure out. Things we realize later we missed and will never find again.

In the Youtube comment section “Ray C” says:
“This rendition is beyond music, Joni sang with her life and the joys, and fears, and tears, and hopes, and despairs, and dreams, and all the bittersweets. I first heard the original song when I was a young lad who tries to find the meaning of life. So many years later, I hear this song and I recalled all the illusions in the past, I realized that I still don't know life at all.”

I love them both, but I REALLY love the second version.

To which I replied;

I saved my reply to your comment for last, because there was a lot I wanted to say, but now the big thunderstorms that are rumbling through Tahoe today are closing back in, so I need to shut down my computer. I promise to be back shortly with a reply to your comment with some secrets to disclose.

Unfortunately, in typical FAE fashion, I never got back. The thunderstorms just kept coming and I saw a chicken running around somewhere among the boxes still stacked in my house. So, today as my RESULTS post, I would like to reply to Mr. Sheboyganboy Six.

I love this song and I love this BATTLE.

I admit that I am not an ‘over the top’ fan of Joni Mitchell. Every single one of her albums reside in my house, but my general apathy about her may stem from some immature jealousy of her as one of my husbands was so enamored with Joni, that I got sick at the mention of her name or music. With some time and maturity I will concede that the woman was a terrific songwriter, if more than a bit odd, personally. I also must say that I never cared for that almost sickeningly sweet soprano that she and other ‘folk type’ singers were so popular for. Give me the deep rich tones of Mary Travis.

Now that we have that out of the way, let me explain why I love this BATTLE. The mere idea of having the same artist pitted against themselves separated by a few decades in intriguing to me. Someone else (I think it was Cherdo) did this as a BOTB tribute when David Bowie died. It was also a good BATTLE and really got my interest. The changes in a person’s voice as they age, the emphasis they put on different words as they sing, and the overall texture of the song make it a worthy opponent for itself. In the case of ‘Both Sides Now’, you also have to consider the meaning of the lyrics.

Many of you commented that you did not like the fact that the second (older Joni) version was soooo slow. Well, I have to give you that. It was slowed down to the timing more of a funeral dirge than the light happy sound of the earlier (younger Joni) version, but it gave us more time to really consider the lyrics and let their meaning sink in. It was, at least in my mind, symbolic of the slowing every creature endures with age.

I cast my vote for the older 2000 version of Joni singing/talking her way through ‘Both Sides Now’. As someone who has an equally larger number of candles on her birthday cakes, not to mention is the mother of two grown daughters and has five grandchildren in that mix (yeah, I’m hoping that at least up until now, I still had some of your fooled into thinking I was a much younger FAE), I can relate. I too, have looked at life from both sides now, from win and lose and still somehow I manage to have faith in all the tomorrows to come, even though they be much less than those that have past.

Although I may not be a stellar fan of Ms. Mitchell’s performance art, or her personal choices, I give the woman credit as a tremendous songwriter and lyricist, she truly is a poet in her heart. Also, she was the only woman performer singled out in one of my very favorite concert performances of all time; The Last Waltz'. I have come to enjoy many of her songs. I believe my two favorite albums are ‘Court and Spark’ and ‘Hejira’ (Journey). Some really good stuffs on those. My favorite song is 'Coyote'. Yeah, a strange choice, but then 'you know me'.

So, before I close with the final tally, I want to give a great big THANK YOU to YOU Mr. Sheboyganboy Six for this suggestions. This BATTLE was truly one of my favorites, and I probably would not have come up with it on my own.

The final tally:
                         Joni 1969          15 votes
                        Joni 2000           10 votes (including mine)

Thank you all for coming by and casing a vote. Again, I really enjoyed this BATTLE and loved your comments. I wasn’t on the winning side again, but no matter, it’s all good fun. I was encouraged to see that there were some of you who got the same feelings as I listening to an older more mature Joni.

CONGRATULATIONS to all of you who slugged it out through the A to Z and made it to the end. Give yourself a pat on the back and permission to take a break until the 15th of May, when I’ll be back with another BATTLE for you.

Next I need to reply to those of you gracious enough to visit my IWSG post and leave a comment.

Until next time…Happy Trails!

Here's that favorite of mine; 'Coyote'!