IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THIS: Who will reign supreme, the Dog or the Cat??

This is the battle we’ve all been waiting for. To recap: My friend Mary (from Jingle Jangle Jungle) and I teamed up on putting together this fun Dog v Cat Battle of the Bands Tournament. It’s been so much fun and hopefully you’ve had a chance to check it out. But if not, no worries! You can still play in this very exciting AND HISTORICAL event!

After weeks of battles choosing best Dog songs and best Cat songs in the categories of Hard and Soft Rock, we had Playoffs to determine which song was going to Represent going into the Championship Battle. And now we are here with the exciting finish.

Last month’s mid-month battle of the bands was the Final Playoff to choose the Dog song going into the Superbowl of Championship Battles. And at Mary’s place (Jingle Jangle Jungle) was the Playoff to choose the Cat song to send to this Grand Finale.

Here voters had an opportunity to vote for either the hard-rock Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog” or the soulful soft pop by Marvin Gaye, “I’ll Be Doggone”.

It was a super tight race and tied all the way up to the very end, when two votes came in, pushing Led Zeppelin over the finish line. The final playoff tally was 8-6. (FYI: I voted for Marvin Gaye’s song). So the NDC (National Dog Conference) is sending hard rock winner “BLACK DOG” to today’s big Battle Championship!

So just what Cat song is our Dog champ going up against? Mary’s NCC (National Cat Conference) Playoff winner is the beloved “CATS IN THE CRADLE” by Harry Chapin.

SO THIS IS IT! It’s time for the knock-down drag-out battle between CANINE and FELINE. Who will be the reigning victor of the first ever DOG v CAT BATTLE OF THE BANDS TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONSHIP??

It’s in your hands People! Are you a dog person or a cat person? LET’S HEAR FROM YOU!!!

And now, without further ado, Let’s Battle!

BLACK DOG by Led Zeppelin

 

CATS IN THE CRADLE by Harry Chapin

 

PLACE YOUR VOTES IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW. Being this is the Championship, both Mary and I have the same exact battles going today, using the exact same videos. We know that the regular BOTBers will be placing duplicate votes. Don’t worry about it; we’re going to take out the duplicates. PLEASE VOTE WHEN YOU VISIT EACH OF US. Thank you so much! Thanks for playing along…

VOTING WILL BE OPEN THROUGH SEPTEMBER 10th!

And Don’t Forget to visit the other Battles today. First go to Mary’s Jingle Jangle Jungle Dog v Cat Championship battle post and place your vote there. There are links to all participants at BOTB Host Stephen McCarthy. 

For your convenience, I’ve also listed the other cool battles going on with our fun group so be sure to visit and vote on all these battles:

Stephen McCarthy Presents Battle of the Bands

Tossing It Out

The Doglady’s Den

The Sound of One Hand Typing

Curious as a Cathy

Mike’s Ramblings

 

BOTB: It’s the ULTIMATE DOG v CAT SEMI-FINALS SHOWDOWN!

If you’re looking for my Monday’s Music Moves Me post, go here.

But first, stick around and participate in this all-important Battle of the Bands!

[Yelling]:

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL!!!!!

Oh, wait, this isn’t football. But it’s just as good!!

This is the Ultimate DOG v CAT Battle of the Bands Tournament SEMI-FINAL ROUND! (Round Three for those counting).

For the Dogs, it’s all coming down to this. The winner of this Semi-Final Round will advance to the CHAMPIONSHIP where that age-old question just might be answered. Who will come out on top, the Dog or the Cat?? But let’s not get ahead of ourselves yet. We have this all important Playoff Round.

You were there for Round One, the hard rock battle, in which Led Zeppelin kicked Ted Nugent’s ass and became the Tournament’s Hard Dog winner.

And you were there for Round Two, the soft battle, where Marvin Gaye handily beat out Lobo for the Soft Dog win.

And now, here we are, the SEMI-FINAL PLAYOFF ROUND, the battle that will decide who goes to the CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND. Who is going to REPRESENT the Dogs, the HARD dog or the SOFT dog??

It’s in your hands, folks. Give a listen to our Dog finalists here and cast your votes. And I can assure you that this system is hack-proof and at this time we are sure there is no Russian interference…

Without further ado, here is the SEMI-FINAL BATTLE, with no commercial interruption.

Led Zeppelin’s “BLACK DOG” vs Marvin Gaye’s “I’LL BE DOGGONE”

Contender #1   

Led Zeppelin with Black Dog:

 

Contender #2

Marvin Gaye with I’ll Be Doggone:

 

I wanted to also give you voters a taste of these songs performed live by our contenders so feel free to give a listen to these as well before making your decision:

Contender #1:This is Led Zeppelin performing at live at Earl’s Court May 24th 1975:

Contender #2:This video is a duet clip of Marvin Gaye and Tina Turner taking turns singing. Marvin starts signing “I’ll Be Doggone” at the :25 second mark. Realize that the audio quality isn’t up to par with today’s standards so if you’re using this clip in your decision, be sure to factor that in.

 

IT’S TIME TO VOTE! Keep your eye on the prize here and remember that not only are we choosing the winner of the DOG Division here, that winner will be advancing to the Championship Final and will be competing against the winner of the CAT Division (and that winner will be selected with the battle being held over at Mary’s place right now: Pantera doing “Cat Scratch Fever” vs. Harry Chapin’s “Cat’s in the Cradle”).

So now, which DOG song are you voting for to win this Semi-Final Round: Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog” or Marvin Gaye’s “I’ll Be Doggone” ???

Place your vote in the Comments section below.

And then be sure go over to Mary’s place and CAST YOUR VOTE FOR THE CAT SEMI-FINAL BATTLE! 

Remember, ultimately, this is a battle between Dogs and Cats! Mark your calendars for the Championship Round which will happen on September 1st! 

 

 

ROUND ONE of the DOG vs CAT Tournament RESULTS ARE IN!

The DOG vs CAT Battle of the Bands Tournament ROUND ONE Results are in!

(Hey, if you’re looking for the Monday’s Music Moves Me post, scroll down or click here).

In case you’re out of the loop and aren’t sure what’s going on here, Mary from Jingle Jangle Jungle and I have teamed up to do the Ultimate Dog vs Cat Battle of the Bands Tournament. You can go back to my original Round One DOG Battle post for full details, or Mary’s Round One CAT Battle.

For my Hard-Rock Dog Song battle (here if you missed it), the contenders were Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog” going up against Ted Nugent’s “Dog Eat Dog” —

It was a bonafide dog-fight (although at first Zeppelin was getting all the votes).  Unfortunately it’s summer and the number of participants is way down so there were only nine voters.

First let me tell you how I voted: I chose Ted Nugent’s “Dog Eat Dog” for two simple reasons: as mentioned in the original post, the whole Free For All album brings back a rush of memories for me from the late 70s, which were my glory days, so to speak. And the second reason is, although I very much like Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog,” the song was soooo overplayed on the radio that I got sick of it. Even today it’s played frequently on Classic Rock stations so I find myself saying “Not again! Can’t they ever go deep???!”

So of course my vote went with the three others who voted for Ted Nugent.

And you know what that means: Five folks cast their votes and…

Led Zeppelin’s “BLACK DOG” is the victor in ROUND ONE of the Dog v Cat Tournament….but let it be known this song won only by a hair (of the dog)…

FINAL TALLY:   Led Zeppelin “Black Dog” –  5 votes

                         Ted Nugent “Dog Eat Dog” – 4 votes

To close out Round One, here is Led Zeppelin live, performing Black Dog:

 

They may be old(er) now, but they can still rock! Here’s Led Zep performing the winning song in their later years:

 

Be sure to go check out the Round One CAT results at Jingle Jangle Jungle where Mary featured Nitro and Pantera duking it out over Ted Nugent’s Cat Scratch Fever!

And be sure to mark your calendars and come back on August 1st for ROUND TWO of this Ultimate Dog v Cat Battle of the Bands Tournament! Round Two will feature battles with Soft Rock Dog and Cat songs! What songs might those be?? Come back on 8/1 and find out!

 

 

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: It’s a DOG vs CAT Battle Showdown! This is ROUND ONE…

SAY WHAT?? You read that right. It’s the first ever DOG vs CAT Battle of the Bands TOURNAMENT. You’re going to want to get a front row seat for this one because it’s about to go down with ROUND ONE.

So what the heck is this Dog v Cat Battle of the Bands Tournament anyway? Well, I honestly can’t remember exactly how it all came together but Mary over at Jingle Jangle Jungle started it all. We were chatting about her idea for a cat vs dog battle and you know me and dogs: I’m gonna jump all over something that has to do with dogs so I said “Hey, whaddya think of us teaming up together on this idea?” and she shot right back that she was just thinking the same thing so Voilà, we now have a major event on our hands. 

This will be a THREE ROUND BATTLE culminating in a Championship Title Fight. Simply put: In today’s Round One, I’m pitting two Dog songs against each other and Mary is pitting two Cat songs against each other. The First Round will feature harder edge song versions (think Hard Rock).

Round Two will be on August 1st where we’ll both be doing it again, me doing Dog songs and Mary doing Cat songs, except this time it will be the softer sounding versions (Soft Rock type).

Round Three on August 15th will feature battles with the winners from Rounds One and Two duking it out, Hard vs Soft: so it will be a battle of a Hard-Rock Dog song vs a Soft-Rock Dog song here at my place and a Hard-Rock Cat song vs a Soft-Rock Cat song battle over at Mary’s place.

The Championship Title Fight — on September 1st — will be taking place exclusively at Mary’s Jingle Jangle Jungle where the Ultimate Showdown will happen:

DOG versus CAT!

Just how this tournament will end is anyone’s guess at this point. Gamblers: have your bookies on speed-dial to place those bets. This will be a showdown for the record books! And it is sure to spark those age-old debates: Who is better, dogs or cats? Oh boy, buckle your seatbelts because this could get crazy!

Okay, so that’s as simple as I could make it. By nature I’m a word person. Mary made a great chart that will be updated as the Tournament progresses. Here’s where we are now:

Without further ado, here is my ROUND ONE BATTLE to choose the HARD-ROCK DOG SONG winner. Contenders are Ted Nugent’s DOG EAT DOG vs Led Zeppelin’s BLACK DOG

Contender #1: DOG EAT DOG by Ted Nugent

Written by the Motor City Madman himself, this song from Ted Nugent’s second solo album Free-For-All (1976) was inspired by the 1967 Detroit riots:

Sabotage in the downtown streets

Police cars overturned

Can’t do nothing to beat the heat

And if you don’t you’ll get burned



Nugent isn’t taking a side, but looking at the riots from the perspective of a citizen who gets caught up in them. “It’s necessary to keep authority in check to some extent, but not always,” he told Sounds. “A lot of times riots are just stupidity in action. A lot of times I can’t tell you whether they are righteous or stupid and there may be occasions of both.”

Ted Nugent didn’t sing on many of his early tracks, and on this one, Derek St. Holmes did lead vocals. Nugent would often introduce the song, making it clear that he was the alpha dog in this outfit. Big surprise there, right?

In the last verse, Nugent sings:

Kamikaze from the hundredth floor

Swan dive to the street

He couldn’t handle this madness no more

He craved that sweeter meat



This represents people who can’t cope in the dog-eat-dog world and turn to suicide. “What it implies is that ain’t nobody eatin’ this dog,” he said. “I’m a part of that city world, I was for many years and I was able to deal with it and take nourishment.”

Oh brother! Listen, no matter your view of Ted Nugent, he did turn out some good music, in my opinion. I grew up on Nugent tunes, I saw him in concert twice in the 70s and although I can’t stand the guy today, I do really like a lot of his music from back then. This is one of those songs that are part of the soundtrack of my life so I thought it only fitting to include his Dog Eat Dog in this Round One battle. Here is the Hard Rock Dog Song contender #1:

 

Contender #2: BLACK DOG by Led Zeppelin

“Black Dog” is a song by English rock band Led Zeppelin, the opening track on their fourth album Led Zeppelin 4 (1971), which became the band’s best-selling album. (Note: The album itself is technically untitled, with symbols on the cover instead of words., but since it was their fourth album, it became known as Led Zeppelin 4).

A wide range of musical styles show up on the set, with “Black Dog” exemplifying the blues-rock that was the bedrock of the band’s sound. It was released as a single in the United States and in Australia with “Misty Mountain Hop” as the B-side, reaching number 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 10 in Australia.

Music sociologist Deena Weinstein calls “Black Dog” “one of the most instantly recognizable [Led] Zeppelin tracks.”

In this song, Robert Plant is singing about a woman who appeals to his prurient interests, but is clearly no good for him – he tells himself he’d rather have a “steady rollin’ woman” come his way.

Robert Plant explained in an interview with Cameron Crowe: “Not all my stuff is meant to be scrutinized. Things like ‘Black Dog’ are blatant, let’s-do-it-in-the-bath type things, but they make their point just the same.”

The title does not appear in the lyrics, and has nothing to do with the song itself. The band worked up the song at Headley Grange, which was a mansion in Hampshire, England. Headley Grange was out in the country, surrounded by woods. A nameless black Labrador Retriever would wander the grounds, and the band would feed it. When they needed a name for this track – which didn’t have an obvious title – they thought of the canine and went with “Black Dog.”

The Retriever, despite his advanced age, was still sexually adventurous, like the song’s protagonist who reiterates his desperate desire for a woman’s love and the happiness it provides. As Plant explained to a 1972 concert audience:

Let me tell you ’bout this poor old dog because he was a retriever in his early days, and the only thing he could ever find in his late days was his old lady who lived two houses away from where we were recording. And he used to go see the old lady quite regularly, but after he’d “boogied” and everything else he couldn’t get back. And we used to carry him back.

Here is our Hard Rock Dog Song contender #2:

 

IT’S TIME TO VOTE FOR THE HARD ROCK DOG WINNER! Which hard-rock dog song do you like best? And tell me why. THEN be sure to go check out the other half of Round One in the Dog v Cat Battle of the Bands Tournament : Mary’s hard-edge Cat-Fight battle over at Jingle Jangle Jungle.

And when you’re done with that, be sure to check out the other cool battles that are happening this week. You can get links to all the other participants in the sidebar at Stephen McCarthy’s Battle of the Bands page. 

 

UPDATE NEWS FLASH: Before I forget, if anyone still even cares: here are the results from my battle last month. Before I announce that though, let me formally apologize to you all. I completely dropped the ball on this one. I put all that time into putting together a combined battle of two electonic versions and two acoustic versions of Train’s “Drops of Jupiter” and you all came over, listened to four cover versions and voted not once but twice…and then I never showed back up to tally the results and declare the winners. Shame on me! I am truly sorry about that. That is not how this is supposed to go. My only explanation is that life (or should I say Life with a capital L) got in the way and I never made it back to that battle post to even read the comments, let alone reply to the comments and then deliver the results…until just now. Hey, maybe no one really gives a shit anymore but I feel bad so, to all of you, my sincere apologies. And now, let me (finally) fill you in on the results!

The song was Drops of Jupiter by Train and the battle contenders were:

In the Electronic version category: Anthem Lights vs Matt McAndrew

In the Acoustic version category: Jess Moskaluke vs Boyce Avenue

And the winners are:

ANTHEM LIGHTS with 6 votes (over Matt McAndrew with 4 votes)

BOYCE AVENUE with 7 votes (over Jess Moskaluke with 3 votes)

btw, I really enjoyed all four of these contenders but I voted for Anthem Lights – their version just grabbed me more and the richness of their instrumentation pushed them over the top for me; and I voted for Jess Moskaluke – only three of us voted for her and many of you thought her voice was annoying. I can see that, but I liked her voice and her style and for sure I really enjoyed the piano over the guitar in her version. But she didn’t win. You all brought it home for Boyce Avenue (who I also liked a lot).

I know it was a month ago, but I really enjoyed putting that battle together. I hope you all enjoyed participating in it and I will definitely not drop the ball on any future battles. Thanks for your patience and your understanding on that one.

NOW PLEASE JOIN MARY AND ME IN WHAT WE THINK WILL BE A FUN DOG v CAT BATTLE TOURNAMENT! Give us your votes!

And remember to come back on AUGUST 1 for ROUND TWO of this fun and funky Battle of the Bands! 

I’ll post the results from my ROUND ONE Hard-Rock Dog v Dog battle in 7 days…

As always, thanks for participating and ROCK ON my friends!

 

 

Battle of the Bands (#BOTB): Drops of Jupiter by Train

It’s mid-month in June and that means it is Battle of the Bands time. I am in love with the song I’ve chosen for today, and even more so after researching it and discovering how the song was inspired. Without further ado, let’s dig into “Drops of Jupiter” by Train.

Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)” (simply “Drops of Jupiter” on the album) is a song written and recorded by American rock band Train. It was released in February 2001 as the lead single from their second album Drops of Jupiter. The song hit the top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart and also charted in the top 40 for 29 weeks. The song was ranked at No. 4 on Billboard’s 2001 list of top singles of the year, a spot higher than the song peaked. (I think that’s unusual, no?)

Anyway, the recording features the signature strings of arranger Paul Buckmaster, who won the 2001 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) for “Drops of Jupiter.”

Lead singer Patrick Monahan has stated that the song was inspired by his late mother, who had died after a struggle with cancer, and that the opening lines “came to [him] in a dream.” He said,

“The process of creation wasn’t easy. I just couldn’t figure out what to write, but then I woke up from a dream about a year after my mother passed away with the words ‘back in the atmosphere…It was just her way of saying what it was like – she was swimming through the planets and came to me with drops of Jupiter in her hair.”

The verse has a noted resemblance to the chorus of “Drift Away”, a song most famously performed by Dobie Gray, another song that is in my list of all-time favorites.

Critical Reception: Chuck Taylor of Billboard magazine reviewed the song favorably, saying that it

“demonstrates a truly artistic lyrical bent that merits instant acceptance of this credible rock-edged song.” He sums up the review saying “add piano, a splendid orchestral backdrop, and a vocal shimmering with passion and personality, and this is a runaway track for Train.”

“Drops of Jupiter” ascended to the top 10 of the Adult Contemporary chart in its 49th week, marking the longest climb to the top 10 on that tally by any act. The song has spent over 100 weeks on the Adult Contemporary charts, and is still charting on the Recurrents chart. Although the song was released years before digital download became commonplace, the song has sold over 1,000,000 downloads (it was also certified Gold by the RIAA), and hit the top 50 of the Digital Songs charts five years after its release due to Ace Young singing it on the fifth season of American Idol.

Here is Train’s outstanding “Drops of Jupiter.” This is not part of the battle and presented here only for your enjoyment. See battle contenders below.

 

Okay, I’m throwing a curve ball into my battle today…I think I found some decent covers of this song. As I was searching I also found some good acoustic covers so I thought I’d have two parts to my battle: Part 1 – a battle of Electronic covers, and Part 2 – a battle of Acoustic covers. If you all like the song as much as I do, you won’t mind this two-parter.

Part 1 – ELECTRONIC COVERS

CONTENDER #1: Anthem Lights – Anthem Lights is an American Christian group originating from Nashville, Tennessee. The group has released one EP under their former name and two albums under their current name. The group’s debut album was released May 10, 2011 by Reunion Records.

Anthem Lights began as a solo project for vocalist Chad Graham in the fall of 2007. Both he and Alan Powell were living in Los Angeles, writing music for Graham’s solo project. As the final vocal work was being installed, Powell and Graham came to a realization that the songs being written would be more appropriate performed as a group. It was then that Powell and Graham decided to alert their contacts at Liberty University in an effort to recruit members for what is now a singing group.

Powell and Graham’s contacts came to a consensus that Kyle Kupecky and Caleb Grimm would be the best candidates for the project. After receiving notifications by e-mail, Graham flew from Los Angeles to meet with Kupecky and Grimm, who gladly accepted membership. Powell joined the group at the last minute. (The original name of the group was Yellow Cavalier. The group recorded one self-titled EP under this name in 2009. The EP was released independently on May 26, 2009. The group changed their name to Anthem Lights before any other projects were released).

This is the Anthem Lights version of “Drops of Jupiter”, released in July of 2015:

 

CONTENDER #2:  Matt McAndrew – Matthew Brendan “Matt” McAndrew (born September 6, 1990) – Hey, he has the same birthday as me! Although I guess I have a few years on him…

Matt is a singer-songwriter best known for his appearance in Season 7 of NBC’s reality TV singing competition, The Voice, where he finished as the runner-up as part of Adam Levine’s team.

McAndrew grew up in the small town of Barnegat Light, New Jersey, and has been writing songs and performing in bands since he was a young child. During his senior year at the Southern Regional High School in Manahawkin, New Jersey, he decided to pursue a music career. He attended the University of the Arts, Philadelphia, graduating in 2013.

In his earlier days, McAndrew started writing solo acoustic material and playing his songs at open mic nights, ice cream parlors, and bars in 2010. He worked at Bach To Rock, a national music school franchise with a location in suburban Philadelphia, teaching voice, guitar and ukulele. He self-released an album called View of The Pines on March 1, 2014.

His big break came later that year. On September 4, 2014, it was announced that McAndrew would compete in season 7 of The Voice. During his Blind Audition, he covered Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years.” Three coaches (Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Pharrell Williams) turned around. He chose Adam Levine as his coach.

At the Battle rounds, McAndrew faced Ethan Butler where they sang “Yellow”. McAndrew was chosen over Butler, and advanced to the Knockout rounds. During the Knockouts, McAndrew covered “Drops of Jupiter”, defeated Rebekah Samarin, and advanced to the Live Playoffs.

For more details of his performances and standings in that season, see the Matt McAndrew Wikipedia page.

Here is his version of “Drops of Jupiter” from his performance on The Voice:

 

Part 2: ACOUSTIC COVERS

I found four really good acoustic covers of this song and had a hard time deciding which two to showcase. I’m still undecided at the 11th hour but I guess I’m going to go with these two, one a female vocalist from Canada and the other a trio of brothers from Florida. If you are interested in hearing the other two acoustic artists that I was considering, let me know in the Comments section and I’ll include them in the Results post.

CONTENDER #1: Jess Moskaluke – Jess Moskaluke (born June 4, 1990 in Langenburg, Saskatchewan) is a Canadian Country/country pop singer. She released her debut studio album, Light Up the Night in April 2014, which includes the Platinum-certified single “Cheap Wine and Cigarettes.”

In June 2011, Moskaluke won the Next Big Thing contest, sponsored by Big Dog 92.7 and SaskMusic. In September 2011, she won the New Artist Showcase Award at the Canadian Country Music Association Awards. She was chosen to represent Canada at the Global Artist Party at the 2012 CMA Music Festival.

Her version of “Drops of Jupiter” is from her album Cover Up, Vol 2, released in June 2012:

CONTENDER #2: Boyce AvenueBoyce Avenue is an American pop and rock band formed in Sarasota, Florida, by brothers Alejandro Luis Manzano, Daniel Enrique Manzano, and Fabian Rafael Manzano. The brothers attended Pine View School in Osprey, Florida. The band is named after a combination of two streets the brothers lived on as children. As of August 9, 2011, they are no longer signed to Universal Republic Records and have started their own independent record label called 3 Peace Records. Boyce Avenue releases original music as well as covers of contemporary and classic songs on YouTube. Boyce Avenue has also collaborated with many other YouTube artists.

Boyce Avenue frequently tours in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia.

This version of “Drops of Jupiter” was taken from the Covers EP Influential Sessions (2009), which came right after doing four volumes of Acoustic Sessions.

 

TIME TO VOTE! Which versions do you like better and why? Please choose one contender from each of the two battles, the Electronic battle AND the Acoustic battle.

When you’re done voting, please visit these other BOTB participants and check out their cool battles:

Thanks for your participation and your votes! Voting will be open until midnight on the 21st and I’ll post results on the 22nd or shortly thereafter. Until then, Rock On my friends…