Monday, December 22, 2014
2014 Wrap Up: BOTB Results, Update, Music, and More
Today is my last post of the last month of what will soon be 'last year,' and there are a few things I would like to wrap up before taking a break for the Christmas holiday:
Deja Vu Blogathon
Deja Vu blog post. I really appreciate all the kind words.
It was also great getting to visit all the posts of the many bloggers who participated. I tried to visit every single blog in DL's Linky-List, and I commented on most of them. The only ones I didn't comment on were the ones who hadn't put up Deja Vu posts at the time of my visit. So if you did so late in the day and I missed it -- I apologize. But I DID actually visit your blog at one point looking for it.
I just didn't keep a record of which blogs didn't have a post up so I could go back later, and I confess I'm too lazy to go back through 75 blogs again looking for the ones that posted late. :)
Fianlly (and especially!): "THANK YOU" to my writing buddy Don 'DL' Hammons for hosting the blogathon -- It was a lot of fun to do between my last Battle of the Bands (BOTB) entry and its results post.
Battle of the Bands Results
...And speaking of Battle of the Bands:
The results from my December 15th Battle of the Band (BOTB) post did not end up anywhere as close as I thought it might be. I took a lot of time going through tons of videos of "God Rest ye Merry, Gentlemen" on You Tube before deciding on the two that I ultimately chose, and I thought I had two worthy contenders. Truthfully, I did expect the Phil Keaggy and Kim Hill version to win, simply because it was much closer to a traditional interpretation of the song, but I thought the Pillar version might get a few more votes and make it competitive.
Personally, I really like both versions, but for different reasons. I like the energy, moody ambiance, and guitar of the Pillar version. There are some excellent dynamics in this take, from quiet and spacy to high-energy, although the growl/scream at the apex of the build-up is a bit much.
But I also find it interesting that although Pillar is nowhere near the "traditional" version of this song, it is one of the few versions I found on YouTube where they do more of the "traditional" verses, including the second verse with the often misunderstood line, "The which his mother, Mary, did nothing take in scorn." Most versions skip this verse, as the Kim Hill and Phil Keaggy cover does.
However, I do love the guitar, bass, and flute and haunting vibe of the Keagy / Hill version. There is still a cool mix of old and rocking-new in this version, but with a much more 'traditional' vibe. And of course the guitar playing is wonderful. So in the end, I find myself in much the same position as several other voters -- I like the Pillar version, but I'm voting for Keaggy and Hill.
So my vote adds to their landslide victory, with the final tally:
-- Pillar: 2
-- Keaggy / Hill: 11
I guess Christmas brings out the traditionalist in me, too.
Battle of the Bands Update
...And while we're on the topic of the BOTB:
results post from my December 1st BOTB that I have some upcoming changes planned for my blog. But I have to confess that I've also been all over the map as to how these changes will impact my participation in the BOTB going forward. Honestly, I've waffled between deciding to quit and deciding to stay many, many times over the last month.
But, in the end -- despite my assurance to Stephen McCarthy in the comments of that BOTB results post -- I've finally decided to step aside from the BOTB -- or at least for a while.
It was not an easy decision -- I have really enjoyed taking part, and I will definitely continue to vote on the other BOTB blogs on the 1st and 15th of each month. But I will not be making any BOTB posts myself in 2015 (or at least that's the plan as of now).
My blog is titled, "The Creative Outlet of StratPlayer," but in the BOTB posts, I'm really offering nothing creative of my own -- I'm just sharing videos of other people covering songs and asking you to pick which one you like best. It's fun -- I do enjoy getting to comment on the music and give background on the songs, and even trying to interject some creative stuff into my BOTB Results posts.
But, truthfully, the Battle of the Bands posts are not quite in line which what my blogging intent really is. And that creative intent is what I want to refocus on for 2015.
So, with regret, I am announcing that I will not be hosting BOTB posts in 2015...
...But speaking of my creative intent for this blog:
Under this name, I'll be making a new post on Monday of each week with at least one new creative piece I've created -- music or writing, mostly, but who knows what all may end up here?
As I mentioned above, my intent is to refocus my blogging energy to highlight the thing I create, and also renew my efforts to actually creating on a regular basis. So as part of the "Create 52" push, I will be increasing my writing efforts as well as generating music on a regular basis.
I'll explain more of what I'm going for with my first "Create 52" post on Monday, January 5th, but for now I will say that I'm definitely looking forward to this refocused effort on creating and blogging.
I hope you will enjoy what you see here in 2015!
Music: For the Fun of It
...And speaking of creating:
This is another wikiloops jam, but it's one where all the pieces were already in place and I just added a single track of lead guitar. The user 'scrawfrd02' had laid down an acoustic guitar track and then added another track of piano, bass, and other keys, including a catchy little line of pseudo-horns in the background. Then the wikilooper, 'Jaymny,' added some drums (and the intro count-off) to the piece. I found their jam fun and compelling and wanted to take part.
I think it turned out OK for a quick, "off-the-cuff jam" kind of thing.
Click on the image of the StratoRaptor to the left, the image of Wikiloops track above, or here on THIS LINK to check it out. Feel free to comment on what you think of it -- I 'm always interested to hear feedback on what worked, what didn't, and on ways to improve.
Thanks for listening!
I want to be sure to wish you and your family a very, very merry Christmas, and a wonderful New Year!!!
I hope your holiday season is filled with love and joy, and that 2015 will be a year of blessings and great things for you and your loved ones!
See you January 5th!!!