… but I digress

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Cover Battle – “Alison” October 17, 2014

 

The ballad “Alison” was written and originally performed by an artist whose music I’m really growing to enjoy – Elvis Costello. It comes from his first album, My Aim is True, which is also a line in the song. Mr. Costello is a skilled musician and a prolific songwriter, and has been entertaining multitudes of fans in a variety of genres for decades.

 

I’m not really all that into the studio release; it just seems there’s too much thrown into it. I’m partial to the live versions. They’re simpler, less cluttered and much more reflective (or introspective). Everything you hear has a purpose, as opposed to just being melodic filler, like the studio production.

 

When Elvis appeared on the Jonathan Ross chat show, we got an impromptu acoustic version. The first part of the video is an interview then at the 5:05 mark he performs a bit of the song.

 

The song was covered by Linda Ronstadt in 1978. Not my favorite. Generally, I’ve been a fan of a lot of her songs, but I don’t think this one worked for her. More importantly, it didn’t work for the song. It takes something away from it. And there’s a weird little saxophone periodically in the background, and then fading out at the end. Like – wtf is that even doing there?

 

The group Everything But the Girl does an acoustic version that is much more successful, to me. It’s sparse and it’s beautiful. Lead singer Tracy Thorn’s voice makes it absolutely reverent.

 

Another version I can get behind comes from a favorite of mine, Holly Cole. She does it in her elegant torch song manner with a touch of a slower tempo. It’s quite nice.

 

The live performance from American Football is just … not good. I’ve never heard them before but I’m hoping this was just a really off day, and the singer had a bad cold because this was just … not pleasing to listen to. It was kind of messed up, actually.

 

   

   

 

Cover Battle – “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of The Bay” October 25, 2013

 

(Sittin’ On) The Dock of The Bay, originally performed by Otis Redding is one of those classic songs that everyone knows. Especially with the whistling at the end. Despite the melancholy and homesickness you hear in the tone of the song, it somehow comforts you when you’re listening to it.

 

The Pearl Jam cover was an unexpected gem. In the intro Eddie Vedder mentions how honored he is “to play one of his songs with him tonight”. For the record – there was no hologram of Mr. Redding. (That whole singing with dead people thing is just creepy to me. The Natalie/Nat King Cole thing, and the Tupac hologram in concert, etc? No. Just stop it.) Steve Cropper, who co wrote the song with Otis, was onstage with the band.

 

He’s also onstage with Justin Timberlake at a White House performance. Looking dapper and slick, Justin brings it. But, it’s Justin, so you know he’s got the chops to pull it off. Maybe the falsetto is a bit off, but he acquainted himself very well.

 

Steve Cropper also pops up in a live performance with Dave Edmunds and Robert Cray. The gentlemen share vocals during the course of the song and I think Robert does the song the most justice. The guitar showcasing, though is a good addition that plays to the strength of each artist, and the horns sound nice as well.

 

 

Neil Young, with Booker T & the MGs, is good. I’m not into Neil Young, but I don’t hate this. I know it sounds like I’m damning it with faint praise, but I did enjoy this. Really. I swear. Okay, the harmonica opening threw me a bit, but I’m fine now. Stop laughing at me.

 

One of my Twitter friends introduced me to Shinedown, and it’s a great band. I very much enjoy the casual way they do the song on stage.

 

The fabulous, the talented Sara Bareilles gives a nice stripped down take on the song that really highlights her skills. Simply fantastic. There’s also a concert version with her on piano.

 

Another really good stripped down performance comes from artist Craig David. And, you know, he’s pretty easy on the eyes. It would be nice if we could see his eyes, too, though. 😉

 

 

The deeply impassioned singing of Michael Bolton, with the modern pop arrangement sounds good and helped bring the song back to mind for a modern audience. I love Michael’s voice.

 

From the very first notes of the Sammy Hagar version I was not thrilled. A few seconds in that feeling of underwhelm continued. It sounds sooo cheesy. Sammy doesn’t seem to have a bad voice but this whole production is just not my thing. Sorry Sammy.

 

Now, from the ridiculous to the sublime. The version by Billy Valentine & The Forest Rangers, recorded for an episode of Sons of Anarchy, is so freakin’ good! It’s extremely soulful. Billy’s voice and the familiarity of the song draw you in without losing the sense of sadness at the heart of the song. And, I think … I’m just gonna say it: I think this might be even better than the original. I’m also including a live video.

   
   

   

 

When is it better to be sorry than safe? April 4, 2011

Filed under: Confessional,postaday2011 — jerzygirl45 @ 9:04 pm
Tags: , , , ,

 

 

I have sooo been slacking on my commitment to this WordPress PostADay2011 thing. So I’m searching through my prompt folder for ideas and this is one I decided to tackle.

 

When I first saw this prompt in the beginning of March I saved it but didn’t really understand how there would be any situation where you would not prefer to be safe. Personally I love the safety of staying in my own little hermit cave – it’s warm, and comfy. My computer and all my books are here and I have indoor plumbing. But in looking at this I suddenly, kind of ‘got it’.

 

So, back to the original question:

When is it better to be sorry than safe?

 

When being “safe” means you hide in the shadows; existing but not actually living. I don’t, by any means, advocate being absolutely reckless but you have to do the things that scare you a bit and may cause some pain. There’s no other way to achieve growth, and knowledge and maturity. And, oh yeah – FUN!!

 

Physical pain is uncomfortable but the idea of emotional pain and vulnerability is utterly terrifying. You want to connect, but then when you do and your trust is betrayed you become skittish and drag the rock back in front of the cave. The longer you stay in there the harder it is to try – anything – again. You doubt your ability to judge character, your own worth, and this whole “having a real life” thing.

 

On the days you feel like curling up into a ball I say – go ahead, indulge yourself. Briefly. But staying in the wallow should not be a permanent thing. You have to find a way to take a step outside of it. The step you take may be meaningless to someone else but as long as you recognize it as a forward progression that’s okay. Only you can decide what is truly living for you, it can’t be based on anyone else’s expectations or steps.

 

Of course if you end up suicidal, with broken bones, concussions, and wanted by the fuzz you may want to take things a little slower in your quest for living. But still –

 

 

TAKE THE STEP

 

JFK on Gratitude … February 4, 2011

Filed under: Found Objects,Quotes — jerzygirl45 @ 6:38 pm
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The Daily Hotness – Timothy Olyphant January 16, 2011

Timothy Olyphant on IMDB

Timothy Olyphant on wiki

Justified

The Office

Damages

Elektra Lux

Stop-Loss

Deadwood

Hitman

Live Free or Die Hard

Dreamcatcher

Gone in Sixty Seconds

The Crazies

Sex and the City

Scream 2

High Incident

First Wives Club

Theatre World Award

 

Walking Day 21 January 11, 2011

Filed under: Ramblings — jerzygirl45 @ 1:59 pm
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MUSIC:  “Train Song – Live” – Holly Cole

        “Come Together” – Dianne Reeves
& Cassandra Wilson

 

 

 

Just a quick one – no pretense at health or exercise. Just a breath of fresh air & a trip to the corner store for some butter. Haven’t used actual butter in years; I stick with Smart Balance buttery spread but corner stores are somewhat limited in their choice. Of everything. $4 for 4 sticks of butter. Is that normal? Seems excessive to me. I didn’t need a toast spread that much, so I decided to pass.

 

$4???? Really??

 

RANDOM PARTING THOUGHT

 


 

Oprah on living life to the fullest … January 3, 2011

Filed under: Found Objects — jerzygirl45 @ 4:20 pm
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Happy Birthday Amy Lee December 13, 2010

Amy Lee

Evanescence

Evanescence official site

Interview with Amy Lee

Spin magazine interview

Out of the Shadows

 

Happy Birthday Frank Sinatra

Frank Sinatra on IMDB

Frank Sinatra on wikipedia

The Rat Pack

Frank Sinatra official site

Hollywood.com

Rolling Stone article

Discography

From Here to Eternity

The Manchurian Candidate

A Hole in the Head

Sinatra: A Man And His Music

Paintings by Frank Sinatra

Best Actor Academy Award

Grammy Award

Grammy Legend Award

Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award

Kennedy Center Honors

Congressional Gold Medal

Presidential Medal of Freedom

Hollywood Walk of Fame

Ava Gardner

Mia Farrow

Barbara Marx

Tina Sinatra

Nancy Sinatra

Frank Sinatra, Jr.

 

“A Streetcar Named Desire” premieres on Broadway, today, in 1947 December 3, 2010

A Streetcar Named Desire“, the play

Tennessee Williams

Elia Kazan

Marlon Brando

Jessica Tandy

Kim Hunter

Karl Malden

Vivien Leigh

Laurence Olivier

Bonar Colleano

Renee Asherson

Pulitzer Prize for Drama

This Day in History