Sunday, February 1, 2015

You better take care

because it's time for another Battle of the Bands, and this week it's a double event of sorts since I found so many worthy (to me) covers of Gordon Lightfoot's "Sundown". So, the original, and therefore not part of the battle (but ironically not my favorite - I know - FOR SHAME! - version) is Gordon Lightfoot's "Sundown".

The gist of this is to listen to each (or enough of each) cover version to get a feel for the song. Then vote in the comments on which version you like best (or hate the least). And I'm nosy, so I always love to know why you chose a particular version over another! In order to compare apples to apples, this first round is broken into two which could fall into rock/alternative.

First up, Indie Rockers Claw Hammer with their version:

And now here is a cover by rock-rapper Elwood:

The second round will feature some country covers, both recorded live.

First, Dwight Yoakam:
(Try not to let the quality of the fan-recorded video (not too bad, really) or the person coughing at the first hinder your listening pleasure!)

And now, a more widely-recognized version by Toby Keith:

Since this is a double event, I plan on declaring two winners - one from each "division," if you will - and if anyone wants to tell me their overall favorite, then I will additionally declare an overall winner. I will be back on the 6th to cast my own vote and declare the winners!

Be sure to come back tomorrow for my regular #MusicMonday post if you like. For now, have a great remainder-of-the-weekend and enjoy your Super Bowl Sunday! As for me, I don't pay much attention to football, but I feel like the Seahawks will take this one. Mainly because everyone else does and I like Seattle, but almost certainly because Teddy Bear the Porcupine predicted they'd win, and he's never been wrong in his short super-bowl-predicting career. Nah. I'm actually there for the commercials, and will be switching to the Puppy Bowl as soon as that comes on.

26 comments:

  1. Is it OK if I go no further than Claw Hammer's version? Because I freaking LOVE it.
    (I grew up with Lightfoot's version and it was the only one I had ever heard.)

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    1. Haha, my rules are not that rigid. The other covers are pretty decent, too, though.

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  2. Sorry for the deleted second comment - it was a repeat. My vote is: rock version, Claw Hammer. Country version: Toby Keith.

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    1. Okay...a vote for Claw Hammer and a vote for Toby Keith. Is it safe to say your overall favorite is Claw Hammer, since you didn't want to go past their version to begin with? LOL.

      Thanks for stopping by, Lattegirl!

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  3. Of the two latter versions I'm going with Toby Keith--it's cleaner and better sung.

    The first two were both rather raucous to my ears. I'm not a rap fan, but in this case I did prefer the version by Elwood. It was not too bad actually. An interesting twist on the song and actually fairly well delivered rap that was atypical of most of the rap crap I've been subjected to.

    I fixed your link on my site as it was going to your "sympathy" post from the first of the year. No wonder I was missing your current post.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Haha, thanks! So far, it looks like one vote for Elwood, one for Claw Hammer, and two for Toby. This is getting interesting!

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  4. First off, I love the Gordon Lightfoot version. I thought to use this song as a battle once, but no one else's cover seemed to appeal. Since you're not a Lightfoot fan of Sundown it's great you found some that have appeal for you.

    Unfortunately, I haven't developed a taste for Indie rock or rap, (yeah, I know). Therefore, I have no choice between the first two. I'd soon skip them all-together.

    If I didn't know any better, I'd wonder if Dwight Yokum was drunk, and I like a couple of his songs. Saw him in concert many moons ago.

    That leaves Toby Keith, and I'm not a fan of his at all. So believe me when I say it's a shock to cast my vote for him. However he did a better job vocally and I liked his band better then Dwight's.

    My vote goes to Toby Keith. In fact, give him both of mine if we're allowed two votes.(smile)

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    1. Haha, will do! Looks like Toby's in the lead all around!

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  5. OK, this is a weird one for me. I really like the Gordon Lightfoot version and would vote that at the overall winner, if I could, but I'll play by your rules.

    Just a note for the future and my opinion ONLY, but I would have preferred you broke this into two BATTLES, say one on the first and then come back with the country versions on the 15th. It's hard to listen to so many songs, with all the participants an all. Just sayin'.

    OK,. now my votes. I am most definitely not a fan of RAP. For the most part I find it annoying and not musical at all. That said, I just about hated the version by Claw whats their face. It was awful. The rap guys(gotta go back and look for their name) at least held to the chorus, so they get my vote. I admit that I DID NOT listen to these two versions all the way through. Sorry, I got a far as I could.

    When it comes to the country version (you'll see, I DO like country), there's no question that the Toby Keith version is cleaner and more polished. Also, closer to the original. BUT, I like Dwight. I like his version and little nuances that make it a Dwight Yokum song. So give him my vote in the country category.

    For an overall vote on this BATTLE between the four participants. No contest - Dwight Yokuum for me.

    As a side note - normally, I don't read the other comments before I leave mine, but after listening to those first two songs (or at least the portion of them I could stand) I had to see what others were saying. Anyway...I noticed the remark someone made that maybe Dwight was drunk. I had to laugh. IMO, that's just Dwight and his normal performing style.

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    1. LOL, I was wondering why Dwight was sitting down through some of this performance, but I've never seen him live, so for all I knew, he does that often. I, too, prefer Dwight's version.

      I will do that from now on - break them down into two battles. I wasn't sure what to do since several participants have done three-way ones. But two are definitely easier to get through.

      I'm really interested to see how all this plays out! I'm getting a bit of variance on the votes, but Toby Keith is still the leader in both country AND overall - I think.

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  6. Can I just vote for Gordon? He is the ONLY one who can do Sundown well. This song does not suit rock or rap style. Uck, both were disgusting; but if I have to vote the rap one was the least unlikeable.

    I like both Dwight and Kieth. Country fan here - old country, new country, country rock. Maybe not so much country rap. The sound and video wasn't great with Dwight, but even professionally recorded, I would have preferred Keith's smoother voice and softer guitar. He did credit to this song; but it still belongs to Gordon.

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  7. I agree with almost EVERYTHING FarAwayEyes wrote (including the idea that I would have preferred listening to these Battles in two separate installments - four songs is too time-consuming what with all the BOTBs to visit).

    I vote ELWOOD in the first contest (Claw Hammer was like the claw end of a hammer to my head).

    In the second contest, I'll vote TOBY KEITH because it was closest to the Gordon Lightfoot original (which is my favorite). I do like Dwight Yoakam, in general, but Toby beats him on this song.

    And I'll go with TOBY KEITH overall.

    Great song!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. Thanks! I will definitely split any further battles like this into two or more or however many. I just wasn't sure what to do because I had seen others post more than two in a battle and wasn't sure if choosing the same song for "battle" more than one time was bad form or something. Lesson learned! (though I can't promise I won't hammer ears in the future. But sorry 'bout that!)

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    2. KIM ~
      No problem. Most of us have at one time or another gone to a 3-Way BOTB, and while some people don't care for the "overload", I really don't mind it as long as all 3 versions are very different from each other. (No point in doing a 3-Way if 2 of the 3 are too much like each other.)

      I haven't done more than a few 3-Ways, but some of those have been favorite BOTBs of mine (i.e., 'Harlem Nocturne' and 'Route 66').

      But when it gets beyond 3 songs to listen to, a lot of us will start screaming bloody clock murder! Ha!-Ha!
      [:-)}

      Say, I meant to tell you this before but "forgotted"...

      During your last BOTB, I went to Norman Greenbaum's website and submitted a fan Email in which I tried to persuade him to vote on your blog for his favorite of the two covers of his song (Doctor And The Medics Vs. Kentucky Headhunters).

      I guess I wasn't persuasive enough since he didn't show. But he had responded to an Email of mine years ago and seemed like a really cool guy, so I thought there was a chance he might submit a vote on your BOTB and I tried to yak him into it. I figured you would be shocked and pleased if Norman GREENbaum showed up out of the BLUE to vote for one of the cover versions of his great hit on your blog.

      Oh well, I get points for trying though, don't I?

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

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    3. Aw, thanks so much for trying! Yes, that would have been VERY cool!

      I am still trying to learn the ropes and hoping that I don't do an exact replica of a battle someone else has already done. I also have a few twists up my sleeve, but I wanted to ask you about them first so I don't step on any toes or veer too far off course.

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  8. No pick on the first two artists, Kim. I didn't care at all for Claw Hammer and anything that has to do with rap, then you I'm totally gotta say, Nah, because I'm just not a fan of that style of music. Your second set of artists was an easier and more likeable selections. I like Toby Keith, but in for this show down I think I actually prefer Dwight Yoakam. His voice seems simpler and easier to understand. Too bad the recording wasn't better. Give my vote to Yoamam!

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    1. Thank you for your vote, Cathy! This has been interesting to say the least!

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  9. I read the comments before commenting... so, I'm going to try and not repeat anything already said. Finessing these battle is not easy. It's hard to know how to present them sometimes. We've all (I think) offered up 3-ways and that might have worked best in this instance. The first two are significantly different from one another. Then it would be a matter of YOU choosing between Toby Keith and Dwight Yoakam. I probably would've chosen the Keith version since it's better quality.

    However, given the way you've presented this I choose Elwood in the first battle. I don't like all rap music, but I like more than many of the folks who participate in these things, and I think they did well with the song. In the second battle, I feel torn. I like both of these guys. I think that Dwight would've had a better shot with a better video. But, I, too, really like the Lightfoot original and I think Toby Keith comes closest to it. His voice is very smooth (as was Lightfoot's) and it just goes down easy. So, Toby Keith in the second one for me. (And I liked his best overall, if you are also tallying that.)

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    1. Thanks for your votes! I should not have been adding my own twist to it like that anyway. If nothing else, I should have just suggested to pick any two to compare based on your musical preferences. Or yeah, me choosing between Keith and Yoakam would have worked, too. I'll know better next time!

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  10. Being Canadian, of course I have to state my never gonna die love for the original Gordon Lightfoot.

    That being said, I do rather like Toby Keiths version. I was excited to see that Dwight had one because I freaking love him - but I was a bit underwhelmed.

    So... dem Patriots, eh? :)

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    1. It appears so! Thanks for voting, Leslie! I think so far Toby Keith has trounced everyone else. Makes me kind of sad. But two weeks from now is another BotB, so perhaps I can redeem myself a bit :)

      Dem Patriots.....well, thanks to them winning, I think Nikki Sixx has to go onstage naked (if he holds up his end of the bargain, that is!) Whether that is a good thing or not? Guess that depends entirely on whether or not you find him attractive, haha!

      My favorite part of the Super Bowl was actually the thirty or so seconds Lenny Kravitz graced my tv screen.

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  11. I can't pick either one in your first round. I really liked neither.

    In the second round, I thought Toby Keith's version was a little too close to the original. Even his voice sounded like Lightfoot's. Yoakam's, despite the amateur quality of the video, was more enjoyable, because he interpreted it, rather than reproducing the original. Give my vote to Dwight Yoakam in the second round.

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  12. Hi Kim,

    I'm late getting around to BOTB voting, so I won't add to the pile-on regarding fewer videos is best. ;)

    In the first round, I actually liked the guitar-driven garage-rock/punk take of Claw Hammer. Except for the vocals. Annoying! The Elwood version had a cool groove and it intermixed the Gordon Lightfoot original, but it came across as hokey. And rap vocals are even more annoying to me than poser-punk vocals, so the first bout goes to Claw Hammer for me.

    For the second half, I think Toby Keith's version is definitely the best. Dwight's acoustic version is ok, but I really loved the smooth instrumentation in Toby's. The guitar and pedal-steel fills are very tasty, and Toby's vocals add to the melancholic feel. This is a 'country' take, but it's still got soul -- something that seems to be missing in all the other versions.

    So Toby in the second bout, and as best overall.

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    1. Thank you for your thoughts, Chris! Votes added :)

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