Time--2017 A to Z Theme

My theme for the 2017 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is "Time". The posts will be more philosophical, contemplative, and even autobiographical than instructional. No time management tips planned, but you never know with A to Z.

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Holding Back the Years (BOTB)


         When time seems to pass slowly, later we often wonder how quick it was after that time has passed.  No matter how hard we might try, we cannot cling to the moments other than in memory, which often is unreliable.  Did things really happen the way we remember?  If indeed we remember at all...

Blue alarm clock
Blue alarm clock (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
You Can't Stop Time

         In some ways, looking back on it all, this year seems to have been an accumulation of many years.  The illusion of the expanse of time is a deception in so many ways.  When I look back at the plans I had I can only shake my head in a certain dismay for those things that didn't happen as I had hoped they would.  And yet the miles and the minutes and hours and days came and passed, slipping elusively from my grasp.

         Traveling will do that for me.  Though it may seem like I was just sitting the daylong watching the miles pass by from behind the wheel or dozing in the passenger seat while my wife drove, in reality there were the myriad of sights, mini-dramas in passing cars, music on the car stereo, or often the news.

         There was plenty of news in this past year.  Big changes in the world as well as within many of us.  Friendships were broken; perceptions were altered.  Like having watched an often baffling magic show, I ponder how did this all happen the way it did.

         Now I stand on a precipice of more change.  New dreams.  Unsure hopes.  Waiting and wishing that time could stand still for a year, a week, or even a day.  I can wait and wish as much as I like, but I cannot hold back time from its frantic procession toward tomorrow.
     
Holding Back the Years

         This iconic song from 1985 is probably familiar to most of you.   It's become a classic of 80's rock/pop music after reaching hit status for the band Simply Red.  This is a great song in my opinion--and I'm not alone in that reckoning--and it might even be a favorite of some of you reading this.  Below for the purpose of jarring memories for those who might not have heard it in a while or for those of you who might have never heard the song, here is the most known version of the song as performed by Mick Hucknall and Simply Red.    

DON'T VOTE ON THIS VERSION--FOR REFERENCE ONLY!!!



Here are your considerations for voting

Frantic Elevators "Holding Back the Years"  (1982)

       Before Mick Hucknall became Simpy Red's front man, he was the force behind the punk rock band Frantic Elevators.  "Holding Back the Years" was the last of four singles released by the band.  Hucknall initially began writing this song when he was 17 years old in response to a somewhat tumultuous and painful childhood.  Not exactly punk rock, but still that spare instrumental style can be heard in a mournful almost jazzy setting.





Gretchen Parlato "Holding Back the Years"  (2011)

       Singer/songwriter Gretchen Parlato descends from a family with a strong musical heritage.  Her grandfather and father alike played with some music legends of their times and Gretchen has continued to carry the torch as she wins awards and sings with today's jazz giants.  Here is her mellow take on the now classic "Holding Back the Years".





Time To Vote!

        The song versions in this Battle were recorded nearly 30 years apart providing different musical takes on the same song.  Which version do you like the best?   


        Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.


Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:


 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

 ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ 

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

The Doglady's Den 

Angel's Bark  

Cherdo on the Flipside  

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 
  
J. A. Scott  



Winner Announced on Monday January 9th

       I'm going to give you plenty of time to vote on this one since the current contest falls on a Sunday during holiday season.   I'll be offering my thoughts on the sexism charges regarding Donald Trump coming this Friday January 6th as I attempt to continue on with my (unpopular with some) President Trump Acclimation Series.  I've been postponing my posts on this series due to the holidays and having company, but now I have no excuses.  Hopefully, I won't come up with anymore excuses either unless it's something really really good.

        Did you meet all of your goals for this past year?   What had you hoped to accomplish that you still did not?    What are your goals in the upcoming year?
 


65 comments:

  1. Happy New Year Lee:
    Time is precious whether we remember certain things or not. I have some wonderful travelling memories and memories that are not so good.
    I well remember Simply Red's Version but as we can't vote for that one I choose "FRANTIC ELEVATORS".

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yvonne, I've usually found it best to focus on the good memories and look for the silver linings in the bad memories. Hope I have many more great memories to collect in the future.

      The voting starts off with Frantic Elevators.

      Lee

      Delete
  2. I don't like the song but I am voting for Simply Red's. I hope 2017 is a better year but I'm afraid to get my hopes up.

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    1. JoJo, I don't think I cared much for this song when it originally came out, but I didn't care for a lot of Top Forty hits back then either. The song did grow on me over the years though. Now I like it a lot.

      By default, since Hucknall is the singer in both of the early versions and he co-wrote the song, I'll give your vote to Frantic Elevators.

      Lee

      Delete
  3. My vote is for Frantic Elevators. Gretchen Parloto s sultry voice doesn't convey the angst that makes the song work for what it is.

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    1. Julie, you've expressed some of what I feel about these two versions, but I'll say more in my results post. Thanks for stopping by to vote.

      Another vote for Frantic Elevators.

      Lee

      Delete
  4. Happy New Year Arlee! Count me for Frantic Elevators as well. I was gonna fall asleep with Gretchen Parloto. As for your questions, I actually did complete a lot of the goals I had for last year and have made my vision cards to help me continue on some of them in 2017.

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    1. Janet, congratulations on goals met and best wishes on reaching the goals that are upcoming.

      Again it's Frantic Elevators.

      Lee

      Delete
  5. Lee, I enjoyed both cover songs. I thought Frantic Elevator played it a bit safe not making it enough of their own song whereas Gretchen slowed the tempo down and added a very soft touch to it which won me over almost instantly. Kindly give my vote to Gretchen Parlato! Happy New Year, my friend!

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    1. Cathy, thank you for putting a stop to this shut out. I was becoming concerned though Gretchen may end up losing this one.

      First vote in for Gretchen Parlato.

      Lee

      Delete
  6. Well, to be honest, LEE, I don't really care for this song and I don't think it would matter much WHO covered it. As I know I've said many times before, I felt that the 1980s was pretty much the death of Rock/Pop music. And other than just a small smattering of acts at the very start of that decade (like DEXY'S MIDNIGHT RUNNERS, and some of Van Morrison's stuffs then) I thought the '80s was the beginning of the end. Even bands I had previously liked -- such as DIRE STRAITS -- seemed to do a nosedive. TOM PETTY has always kept it together though. YAY, TOM!

    And that's how I found Jazz. (I guess I should be grateful to bad Pop for that.)

    It's funny that as I was listening to the Frantic Elevators, BEFORE reading your text, I was thinking: This guy's voice sounds a lot like the original singer. Ha! Turns out there was a reason for that.

    As you knew I would, I'm voting for GRETCHEN. It just sort of lies there, but at least I liked the instrumentation a bit more, with that "lounge-y" piano and whatnot.

    I hope you have a healthy and happy New Year, McBuddy! And I look forward to the continuation of the Trump series, too. Whodathunkit? Ha!

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. STMcC, as I said to JoJo above, I didn't much care for this song originally nor did I care for Simply Red. Actually having listened to more of Mick Hucknall and now owning some of his albums, I have a much greater appreciation for what he does. I stand by this song being a great one--or at least it speaks strongly to me. Check out more of Hucknall's music as he taps into that jazz that you appreciate. At least that's how I see it.

      A lukewarm vote for Gretchen Parlato.

      Lee

      Delete
  7. I agree with you, Lee, that this song was an exception to the rule of its era. The FE tune took the emotion of the popular version down to a raw level, and it really worked. On the other hand, while she did a good job artistically, Gretchen captured zero of the emotion. FEs for me.

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    1. CW, maybe visa versa or something like that...

      Another vote for Frantic Elevators.

      Lee

      Delete
  8. Yeah, sometimes we don't remember exactly what we think we do, at least a few. I recall it all at my hall. Always meet everything I want to do because pfffft to new year crap, do it when I want and get it done haha

    Elevators for me, push the top floor would you?

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    1. Pat, I remember a lot, but I think I also forget just as much though I don't quite remember.

      A top floor vote for Frantic Elevators.

      Lee

      Delete
  9. I like this song and I go for Frantic Elevators because of the voice...which is funny since it's the same guy. Gretchen was a drippy as a wet noodle for me and I was nodding off. My brother and I were talking about time and New Years and resolutions which I think are dumb because we can make a change in something on March 23 Rd if we want. We just have to get to that mindset. I find when we strive to change things, do things or commit to things we may be setting ourselves up for failure. We do need plans, don't get me wrong but when they don't turn out as we wished, we feel let down which never helps. I will be reading your Trump posts even though I so dislike the guy and you like him but it gives me an idea how someone can see why he might be good. You will never convince me but it is good to read and that's what makes everything great, like I always say. Freedom of speech is everything and having ones opinion is as well. Happy New Year!

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    1. Birgit, I'm with you on the resolutions for New Year. I've never been much on making them as to me the coming of the New Year is often more of a time to reflect on what went by rather than what is to come.

      Another Frantic Elevators vote.

      Lee

      Delete
  10. I'm a bit younger than you and that weirdo, StMcC, so the 80s pop music had quite the influence on me. I do like this song, and have always liked this song.

    Gretchen's version did nothing for me. I thought the vocals were rather understated and overshadowed by the instrumentals. My vote goes for Frantic Elevators.

    ~Mary
    Jingle Jangle Jungle

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    1. Mary, weirdos come in all kinds don't they...

      I like plenty of 80's music including groups like Depeche Mode. It took me a while to warm up to Mick Hucknall and Simply Red, but now I think they put out some excellent music.

      Again it's Frantic Elevators

      Lee

      Delete
  11. Yes, we come in all shapes and sizes. I think it's part of what makes music great. Music can be so subjective. I like to say to that I like all genres of music, but in reality, moderation is key, and I definitely enjoy some genres quite a bit more than the others.

    ~Mary

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  12. Well, you've pulled out a goodie. I'm a HUGE fan of the original version and totally unaware of the previous Mick-fronted FE version or GP's jazzy venture. Nice!

    Listening to FE, the first thing that came to mind was, "EH! That's some bad guitar there, buddy." Wasn't a fan of that part, at all. But there was sweet Mick, singing his little not-so-soulful heart out.

    Then came Gretchen...yeah, nice intro...gonna hear some sweet jazzy jazz here...wait a minute. What's up with the breathy breathy delivery? Some people really like that...people who aren't me, for example.

    Hopefully, this doesn't sound mean, I'm just trying to pull out some pros and cons here. In the end, would I buy either instead (or in addition to) the original? Probably not. I'm good. But if I were gonna choose, I'd still go with Mick.

    FRANTIC ELEVATORS gets my vote. And Happy New Year, Lee!!

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    1. Cherdo, I like the pro and con weighing out of reasoning approach. After all, most music has pluses and minuses if you look and listen deep enough.

      Final conclusion here: Frantic Elevators.

      Lee

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  13. Hi Lee. Happy new year to you and your whole family.
    Personally speaking I've never really enjoyed this song, maybe because I know that this is one thing that is absolutely impossible, but who knows what the years will bring. You wrote about the memories you can keep, the only thing you can actually save from time gone by. I like memories, they certainly beat stuff I never experienced :) My vote goes to frantic elevators, far more energetic and videy, kind of like the time spent going through life, frantic and vibey.
    Have a great 2017, I hope it goes well for you and all of the world, Geoff.

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    1. Geoff, despite the impossibility of holding back time, I think many of us try to do exactly that in certain instances. Memories are wonderful as long as they don't hold back progress.

      Frantic Elevators

      Lee

      Delete
  14. Happy New Year 2017 to you.

    My vote goes to the earlier version, FE. GP's rendition doesn't quite fit somehow.

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    1. Nilanjana, and all the best to you in the coming year.

      Again it's Frantic Elevators.

      Lee

      Delete
  15. I had three goals last year. First was to eat less sugar and I only managed to do that for a month before falling off the sweets wagon. I'm on day 3 of my next attempt. Second I wanted to declutter the house. Very little progress there. Must try again this year. Having spent 4 days at my parents over the holidays is an inspiration. They are so darn tidy! Last, I wanted to write more. Complete fail unless you count in blogging. We'll see if I can do better this year.

    Happy New Year to you. (Loved Simply Red back in the day.)

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    1. Tamara, you sound so much like me in many ways. I'm an absolute fail when it comes to cutting back on sugar--I'm hopelessly addicted. I've been dreaming of the decluttering of my surroundings for years and have made little progress. Whenever I'm rid of something, more comes to take its place. I've been terrible at writing--even my blog post writing has been suffering.

      Hope we both do better in the upcoming year.

      Lee

      Delete
  16. I didn't care for Gretchen's version at all. So, I went back and listened to Frantic Elevators again. Then the original by Simply Red, even though I knew it. Did I like FE better just because Hucknall was singing? Answer: no.

    I really like the sparse guitar work. Makes the song sound more raw. In some ways, I think it might be the more true representation in Hucknall's mind as writer. SR is a more polished sound, but I think I might have voted for FE over their original. In fact, I would have.

    So, Frantic Elevators for me!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Robin, I knew some folks wouldn't care for those breathy vocals. I get the reasoning behind your vote.

      Frantic Elevators.

      Lee

      Delete
  17. Replies
    1. Patricia, that's to the point...

      Frantic Elevators

      Lee

      Delete
  18. I was always something of a fan of so-called "white soul" sound. I liked Paul Young back in the day, as well as Simply Red. I still have the SR album with this song on it in my collection. Unlike StMcC, I saw 80s music as a welcome change from disco. I liked many bands from the period plying their trade in various genres. And there were still some rock bands operating during that period... including -as McCarthy said - Tom Petty, who was one of my very favorites.

    So, I like the song "Holding Back the Years." And if one likes the song, that absolutely, positively PROHIBITS one from liking Gretchen's (with an emphasis on "retch") version.

    I know that you try to give your listeners a clear difference between your two offerings each time. That, you did in spades this time. That nasal, breathy affectation she foists upon our ears was recently prohibited via one of Obama's 3900 last minute executive orders. Fortunately for freedom but unfortunately for our sensibilities, Trump will repeal all of those orders.

    "The Elevators," he said frantically.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. SBB6, "welcome change from Disco" is a good reason to like the 80's sound though I did enjoy a lot of Disco. Personally there is a lot of music from that decade that I enjoy a great deal and it was probably the decade when I bought and kept up with music the most.

      An emphatic vote for Frantic Elevators

      Lee

      Delete
  19. I meant to add that I hope that you have many new developments in 2017 that bring you joy, success, and pleasure. The dreams you mention: may they come true!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. SBB6, thank you and all the same to you!

      Lee

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  20. I found the Frantic Elevators version more emotionally engaging.

    I never make New Year's resolutions, though one of my goals for this coming year is to finally find real, decently-paying work. Being a full-time writer doesn't exactly make as much money as I'd like. I may very well finally take my favorite aunt up on her repeated invitation to move to Sarasota to be near her and my remaining set of grandparents. The job market is a lot better there, and I won't have to deal with snow anymore, even if I'm intrinsically familiar with the Capital Region of NY.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Carrie-Anne, Sarasota used to be the summer and retirement go to place for carnies and circus performers so I have somewhat an affinity for the place though I've never spent any time there. Lately here in Los Angeles it's even been too cold for me. I'd like a job that I like that pays well also. My social security pay doesn't add up to much.

      For engagement, it's a vote for Frantic Elevators.

      Lee

      Delete
  21. Thanks for the insight into that song. Now I understand the haunting sadness conveyed in the Simply Red rendition, which I like the best. I guess the Frantic Elevators (what a name!) are the closest second, but that beginning guitar was awful. Ms. Gretchen has a nice voice for jazz and should stick to jazz songs.
    Due to circumstances way beyond my control I did not achieve every goal I had, so those I didn't get to are first on the roster for this year ;-)
    If you never stop daydreaming, there won't be any room for nightmares.

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    1. Diedre, "Holding Back the Years" lends itself well to jazz as displayed by some of the other excellent covers that can be found. So I think Gretchen was on the right track, but maybe not quite where she could have been with the song.

      I don't know about wanting too many nightmares, but I do plenty of daydreaming.

      A vote for Frantic Elevators.

      Lee

      Delete
  22. Hi Lee. Happy New Year! It's taken me a few days to get back into the swing of things but I'm here finally. Hope your holidays were great.

    That was very interesting, the backstory of Mick Hucknall. I love this song, it's one of my very favorites. The Simply Red version moves me so much. And I found that I was definitely drawn to the Frantic Elevators version because of Mick's voice. So they get my vote.
    I didn't really care for Gretchen Parlato. Her voice was fine but I'm just not into the jazzy sound. And her version just doesn't convey the emotion that Mick/Frantic Elevators does.

    Thanks for choosing this song. It's a great way to kick off 2017! May it be a year of good surprises for us all...

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Michele, we can always use some good as well as fun surprises. I hope the best for all of us in the coming year.

      Again it's Frantic Elevators.

      Lee

      Delete
  23. Frantic Elevators gets my vote. Gretchen's version sounded like boring elevator music (and there are some that I like). Just no. But she does have a nice singing voice. Time waits on no one and memories are imperfect. Happy 2017 Arlee. Oh and can you do BOTB at either the first or second battle of the month or do you have to do both?

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    1. Sheena, I guess you can do one battle per month though two are preferred. We'd take it either way.

      Frantic Elevators.

      Lee

      Delete
  24. Happy New Year and I hope I am not too late to vote.
    Gretchen Parlato is my choice because it is smooth, jazzy, laid back and mellow January is always a month where I reflect and Parlato voice helps me reflect.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat Garcia

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    1. Pat, I know what you mean about that reflective January mood. Good reasoning for your vote.

      Finally another vote for Gretchen Parlato.

      Lee

      Delete
  25. Happy New Year, Lee! Haven't heard this song in years, but I always liked it. Frantic Elevators had that haunting, nostalgic quality and get my vote. I didn't care much for Gretchen's vocals or the arrangement.
    No battle from me this time, but I'll be back for the next one. Cheers!

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    1. Debbie D, missed your entry in this round, but we'll look for you on the 15th.

      A vote for Frantic Elevators

      Lee

      Delete
    2. This battle of yours has inspired my next one, Lee. ☺ Hope you don't mind that I added your quote (with backlink, of course). Thanks!

      Delete
    3. Debbie, I'm honored and likewise further inspired when what I've done or said inspires others. I don't mind at all and I look forward to your next Battle.

      Lee

      Delete
  26. Happy New Years Lee. Its been a while since I commented but I have been lurking :). I liked Simply Red when the song came out. Frantic Elevators get my vote. Gretchen was putting me to sleep for some reason.

    I did reach one of my goals..I'm still alive!!! Every year is a blessing :).

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    1. Lisa, Don't mind you lurking at all, but I'm especially glad when you leave a comment. Thanks for voting in this round.

      Alive is good. I agree with you about every year being a blessing.

      Another vote for Frantic Elevators.

      Lee

      Delete
  27. Frantic Elevators, without a doubt!

    Happy New Year, Lee! Cheers to a brighter year.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. HR, looking bad for Gretchen...

      It's another vote for Frantic Elevators.

      Lee

      Delete
  28. Happy New Year! This year I'm planning to get a nice strong chokehold on time so it doesn't slip through my fingers (probably won't work, but I'm gonna try).

    I've always been a big fan of Simply Red, probably because I grew up listening to them. I would have voted for that version in a heartbeat, but I guess Frantic Elevators is a decent second best. Gretchen did nothing for me, so give my vote to Mick by way of Frantic Elevators.

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    1. Beer, good luck with that chokehold, but it probably won't work--never does.

      Frantic Elevators.

      Lee

      Delete
  29. New years always remind me of standing on precipices. Exciting. Scary. Full of possibilities. Have a wonderful 2017.

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    1. C.Lee, I need to forget any fear and focus on the possibilities.

      Lee

      Delete
  30. My vote is for Frantic Elevator. I very much disliked Gretchen's version.
    Happy New Year to you!
    I did not accomplish all of my goals from last year, so I plan to step it up this year.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Doreen, I think most of us rarely reach all of the goals we set forth toward at the beginning of a year.

      Again--Frantic Elevators.

      Lee

      Delete
  31. Happy New Year, Arlee.

    I'm hopeful that this year our country will find a way to come together again. That's my hope.

    My vote goes to Frantic Elevator for sure.

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    1. Elsie, coming together would not only be nice, but it is essential. Otherwise we may be in trouble.

      Frantic Elevator.

      Lee

      Delete
  32. I really don't know what happened with my goals for 2016. I was doing well early in the year, but it's like I lost sight of things as the year progressed. One good thing about starting a new year is seeing all the motivational articles and posts that others put out. It helps inspire me to put 2016 behind me and strive to do better in 2017.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Elizabeth, things do happen to change our direction. I do know how that can go.

      Lee

      Delete

Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee