Friday, December 20, 2013

BOTB 12/15/13 Results and a 50-Word Story

Today the winner of my first Battle of the Bands post is announced!

In that post, I offered three instrumental versions of the song Christmas Time is Here -- the original song by the Vince Guaraldi Trio, a cover by John Zorn, and one by guitarist Steve Vai (you can refer back to the post to listen to each if you'd like).  Today I reveal the winner.

OK -- if you've been following my running tally in the comments, then this isn't going to be much of a surprise, but I liked adding to the taley with each vote.  Besides, if you were dying to know in advance, you could just as easily have counted the votes yourself.

However, you might be interested in my own thoughts and vote, so I'll share those too.

First, let me comment on the voting -- I don't think there was a "wrong vote." Each of these versions has a lot to like, I think. But you know what?  Even if I HATED one of the versions, you still have every right to like it yourself.  Music -- like all art -- is a subjective experience. Why does anyone have a more significant opinion as to whether a certain combination of sounds is "good" or "bad" or "better" or "worse"?  Each person likes what they like, and that's really what it comes down to.  So if in any BOTB post I ever start to sound too opinionated or judgemental or insulting about any kind of music you might like, I apologize.  Call me out on it and I'll come to my senses and remember this.

So my thoughts on this BOTB:  I am not a traditionalist in all things, but I can certainly see the value of tradition.  It provides a concrete link to the past and to the people who have come before us. I love Christmas, partly for all the nostalgia and memories it evokes, and the way it rekindles family traditions is a big part of why I love it.

Still, I enjoy new things and innovative ways of approaching what is old and familiar.  I really like John Zorn's cover of this tune (and am kind of surprised he didn't even get a vote).  There is a great arrangement, some excellent playing, and I thought the "spacy" intro was kind of cool.  I also greatly respect Steve Vai and my jaw drops at his incredible playing. His version is also awesome and I can easily see why people voted for him.

But in this contest, I have to join the traditionalists.

From the opening ostinato bass, to the smooth brush work on the drums, to the wonderfully wistful piano playing, Vince Guaraldi's version is simply superb. Yes, a big part of it is probably nostalgia -- I've been watching A Charlie Brown's Christmas since it was first aired in 1965. I was five years old and saw it in living black and white on our old console TV.

So even without my vote, it was not very close.  Vince Guaraldi wins it with 8 votes.  Steve Vai takes second with 3 votes. And John Zorn comes in third with nary a vote at all (well, he's actually 4th, if you count "None of the above," which received one vote).

Thank you for taking part on my first BOTB post!  I will be having my second on on 1/1/14 -- New Year's Day!

I will also be posting on December 24th with a Fifty States of Pray post, and I hope to see you then (although my post will be pre-scheduled and it may be late in the day before I get a chance to blog).

But in the meantime, let me leave you with the last of my 50-word stories with a prehistoric theme.  This is also one I submitted to "The Prehistoric Week" contest at Tim Sevenhuysen's 50-Word Stories, although it did not make it into the winners group.  It is another dinosaur adventure with Bob and Barney -- and probably the last of their adventures:


The Cretaceous–Paleogene Impact Event

Barney and Bob were relaxing with the other dinosaurs.

Barney lay in the sun, his eyes closed. 

"She's really not that bad," he said. "Even after the divorce we get along."

"No, Dude," Bob said, staring at the asteroid growing in the sky. "I didn't say, 'your ex stinks'."


Thanks for reading, and see you on Christmas Eve!  But if not, I hope you have a wonderful holiday!!!


  1. Funny ending!
    None of the above got third place - how ironic. At least Vai didn't go down in flames.

    1. Thanks! I like funny endings. :)

      And it was nice to see Vai get some votes, although I am a little surprised Zorn got none....

  2. Today has been a rough day. It took me a few minutes to get the ending of your story, but when I did... hahahaha.

    I am not surprised that Guaraldi won. It is a wonderful version.

    1. Sorry for the delay in responding -- it was a hectic Christmas time. Glad you liked my story. :) And you're right -- Guaraldi's is a wonderful version. :)

  3. >>... And John Zorn comes in third with nary a vote at all (well, he's actually 4th, if you count "None of the above," which received one vote).

    HA! That's pretty bad (sad) when you're in a 3-musician contest and you come in 4th place!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    1. Yeah, I know -- but I could probably do that, also. :)

      Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

  4. Tradition, is good. I'm glad to see it won out here.

    50 word story-I'm impressed. I can't say "Hi' in 50 words or less. 'Your ex stinks', ha,ha,ha - very funny and clever.

    1. Thank very much, FAE! And I think this was a situation where tradition and new both had merit, but I love Guaraldi's version!

  5. On the other hand, what little is left of Barny's ex (and Bob and all the others) will definitely stink soon. And I think it would be really disheartening to come 4th after "None of the Above." lol

    1. LOL! Great point, Lexa, :) And you're right, losing to "none of the above" is definitely disheartening.


Don't be shy -- feel free to comment. I really appreciate your thoughts.