Battle of the Bands – Blue Jean Blues by ZZ Top

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Happy December! It’s time for another Battle of the Bands. Today I’m featuring the ZZ Top original Blue Jean Blues, from their 1975 album Fandango! I’ll present two contenders. Give a listen to both and then vote which one you like best. I’ll post the results in 6 days!

Here is the ZZ Top original but don’t vote for it. This is presented for your enjoyment only:

 

The song was covered by Hank Williams Jr on the album The Bocephus Box: The Hank Williams Jr. Collection 1979-1992 and by the Jeff Healey Band on the album See the Light.

 

CONTENDER #1: Jeff Healey Band:

 

CONTENDER #2: Hank Williams Jr.

 

TIME TO VOTE! Which version do you like better and why? And when you’re done voting, please visit these other BOTB participants and check out their cool battles:

The Best Thanksgiving Song Ever!

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Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

I wish you all a fun day surrounded by family and friends and lots of good food too!

For some, the holidays — and especially family gatherings — can be stressful. Maybe some of you are in need of a little levity. So I thought I’d share with you the best Thanksgiving song ever! I hope you find it as hilarious as I do…

 

Enjoy this wonderful day of Thanksgiving.

May we always be grateful for all we have.

 

Holiday Dog Safety Checklist

We’re just a few days away from our Thanksgiving celebration and as we are gathering with family and friends, we must be mindful of our furry family members. The holidays present many dangers to dogs and cats.

The fine folks at PuppySpot provided me with a Holiday Dog Safety Checklist (see the graphic below) which highlights not only the the most common dangers, but some you may not have been aware. Please take a moment to look it over and be careful in keeping your animal companions safe this holiday season.

I can attest to the consequences of giving well-meaning “treats” to a dog. Several years ago, I came home from a Thanksgiving dinner with containers of yummy left-overs. I thought the dogs would appreciate a sampling of our Thanksgiving goodies and when I fed them that evening, I gave just a little spoonful of stuffing, mashed potatoes, turkey and a drizzle of gravy. Well, as you can imagine, they LOVED it! It made me so happy to see them really enjoying their special holiday meal.

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That happiness was short-lived however, when my Maggie suddenly became ill the next day. She vomited all over the house and I took her to the vet right away where she was diagnosed with a moderately severe case of pancreatitis. That little spoonful of Thanksgiving dinner stuffs had way too much fat content for her system to handle and it threw her into that very dangerous condition. She was in the hospital on IV fluids for several days. What I thought would be a nice treat came at a very high cost, not only to sweet Maggie but to me as well. The vet bill was quite expensive.

I learned a hard lesson all those years ago. Ever since, I’ve been hyper-vigilant about the food and treats that I give my dogs. Don’t make the mistake of thinking “just a little bit won’t hurt them”. It could very well kill them.

This coming Thanksgiving weekend is the time when many start putting up their Christmas decorations. Be mindful of the ornaments that you hang on your tree, especially on the lower branches. Those dangling ornaments are very inviting to some animals. I highly recommend putting a gate around the tree so the dogs or cats can’t get to the ornaments. My Luca was quick on the draw last Christmas before I had a chance to get the gate around the base and he nabbed a glass ball off the tree and bit into it, shattering the glass shards in his mouth. Luckily he wasn’t injured but that could’ve turned out quite differently. Keep those glass ornaments up high and get that gate around the tree as soon as possible!

Thanks to Rachel at PuppySpot (who have a wonderful No Puppy Mill Promise) for providing this comprehensive Holiday Dog Safety Checklist. Please share with your animal-loving friends.

Holiday Safety Checklist for Dogs

Be careful, be safe and be smart!

Happy Thanksgiving to all…

Battle of the Bands RESULTS – Dancin’ Barefoot

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It’s Results Day for my Battle of the Bands, this time featuring Patti Smith’s song Dancin’ Barefoot. Contenders were U2 vs The Feelies.

Not surprisingly, the majority of voters went with U2. While I really enjoyed U2’s version, and I love them as a band, I found myself more drawn to the Feelies. I liked the simplicity of the music in their version, and the vocals more.

The final battle tally is:

U2 — 9 votes

The Feelies – 5 votes

To close us out today, I thought I’d present The Feelies highest charting single, “Away” from their 1988 album Only Life. Its position was #6 on the US Modern Rock chart.

As always, thanks for participating in my battle. See you on December 1st for the next one…

Battle of the Bands – Dancin’ Barefoot

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It’s the middle of the month and that means another Battle of the Bands. Give a listen to both cover contenders and vote on which one you like best. I’ll post the results in 6 days! Today I’m featuring another Patti Smith song. Today though, she’s not one of the contenders. She didn’t fare very well in my last battle where she was a contender. But I do hope you’ll give her original a listen: it’s one of her best songs and it has been covered by many artists. The original song is called Dancin’ Barefoot from her album Wave.

Patti Smith – original:

“Dancing Barefoot” is a rock song written by Patti Smith and Ivan Kral, and released as a second single from the Patti Smith Group’s 1979 album Wave. According to the album sleeve, the song was dedicated to women such as Amedeo Modigliani’s mistress Jeanne Hébuterne.

In 1998, the song featured on the soundtrack of Whatever, a coming of age film by Liza Weil.

In 2000, a live version was released on the benefit album Broadcasts Vol. 8 from KGSR in Austin, Texas. (I used to do business with this station when I was a Media Planner/Buyer. It was a cool alternative station and very well received here in Austin).

In 2010, the song ranked #331 on Rolling Stone’s list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”.

Give a listen to Patti’s version but don’t vote on it. This is presented for your enjoyment only.

 

CONTENDER #1:  U2

U2 certainly doesn’t need an introduction. Dancin’ Barefoot was on the B-side to the “When Love Comes to Town” single. It was also on the compilation The Best of 1980–1990 and is featured on the soundtrack of the 1994 movie Threesome.

 

 CONTENDER #2:  THE FEELIES

Don’t underestimate this lesser known band as they do a great version of Dancin’ Barefoot. For those who may not have heard of them before, The Feelies are an American rock band from Haledon, New Jersey. They formed in 1976 and disbanded in 1992 having released four albums. The band reunited in 2008, and most recently released an album in 2011.

The Feelies rarely worked with outside producers and created shimmering soundscapes with multiple guitar layers that set them apart from most of the punk/New Wave bands of the late 1970s and early 1980s. They frequently played at Maxwell’s, a live music venue and bar restaurant in Hoboken during the 1980s, often on national holidays.

Although the Feelies never sold a great number of records, their influence was felt on the indie rock scene. Their first album, Crazy Rhythms (Stiff Records, 1980) was cited by R.E.M. as a major influence. The Feelies were influenced by The Velvet Underground and Lou Reed. Novelist Rick Moody has cited the band as one of his influences.

Here is their version of Dancin’ Barefoot, released in 1986:

 

TIME TO VOTE! Which version do you like better and why? And when you’re done voting, please visit these other BOTB participants and check out their cool battles: