Wednesday, June 1, 2016


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

It's time for the June 1, 2016, Battle of the Bands.

Our host, Mr. Stephen T. McCarthy, provides us with this information about the bloghop:

The whole thing is really quite simple: You select two different versions of the same song (versions  you feel might give each other some competition in the voting) and you post them on the 1st and the 15th of each month. On the 7th and 21st of each month, you add your own personal vote to the mix, total up all the votes and announce the winner on your blog.

Beyond that, just try to have fun with it and let your readers/voters have fun with it.

All right! Let's have fun!

Today I present two very different version of a much-loved classic, Superstar

In the movie Juno, Mark Loring (Jason Bateman) introduces a new sound to Juno MacGuff (Ellen Page). She's familiar with Superstar by The Carpenters. That's also the version with which I grew up.  

Mark clues Juno, and thus me, into the existence of Sonic Youth:

Although we don't want to vote on the video, I love it that Sonic Youth pays tribute to The Carpenters.

And now for something completely different that I came across on YouTube, it's Usher:

Although we don't want to vote on the video, I love it that Usher pays tribute to Luther Vandross, who made Superstar a big part of his live performances.

Now, you do your part, if you please. Vote for Sonic Youth or Usher in your comment. Which one do you prefer and why?

I'll return on June 7 to give you the result in our Battle of the Bands. I hope you'll also visit other participants.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

@ ‘TOSSING IT OUT’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ by clicking HERE.
@ 'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'CURIOUS AS A CATHY' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THE DOGLADY'S DEN' by clicking HERE.
@ 'ANGELS BARK' by clicking HERE.
@ 'J.A. SCOTT' by clicking HERE.
@ 'QUIET LAUGHTER' by clicking HERE
@ 'REINVINTAGED' by clicking HERE.
@ 'HOLLI'S HOOTS & HOLLERS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'EVIL POP TART' by clicking HERE
@ 'Booklover' by clicking HERE. 


  1. I love Usher and I love this song - give Usher my vote.

    Juno is one of my favorite movies but Sonic no no.

  2. Usher sings this beautifully, but there's something about the Sonic Youth version that I like more--such a unique distant take on this song. It's a neat arrangement.

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

  3. Hello Janie!

    I'm a big fan of the Carpenters sound, so the Sonic Youth version sounded a bit dark and creepy to me. Oddly though, I did enjoy it.

    But it was Usher who captured the spirit and essence of the song in my mind, so I will be casting my vote for him.

    Great battle!

    Jingle Jangle Jungle

  4. Interesting! I've never heard either one of these covers. My vote goes to Sonic Youth. I like the whispery vocals. Usher did a good job, but his vocal acrobatics turned me off a bit.

  5. Hi Janie! Karen Carpenter was a favorite and I loved her version.

    I'm going with Usher on this one. I liked his version more. Have fun with you battle.

  6. THIS IS TOUGH! Hmmm...usher? Maybe because i don't have any real connection to the song, so I'm not partial to the original or anything. Usher's voice is prettier.

  7. I am not a fan of the over vocalizing, but I guess I'll have to vote for Usher because he put some emotion into the song and kind of made it his own. Faint, breathless whispering did not equal real feeling to me, I guess, and was hard to listen to.

  8. I'll go with Sonic Youth here. I got as far as the first chorus with Usher's version, and had heard enough; it was giving me a headache.

  9. Ushers voice and singing reminds me of Karen Carpenter so I will vote for Sonic Youth.

    cheers, parsnip and thehamish

  10. Can I vote for the original? No? Okay. Well I guess Usher. I mean I didn't love either, but Sonic Youth fell sort of flat.

  11. JANIE ~
    If memory serves me, 'SUPERSTAR' - The Carpenters versus Luther Vandross - was the very first BOTB that Doc Cherdo ever put together. She got a shutout for her troubles. No one is going to touch The Carpenters on this great hit of theirs.

    But, between these two competitors... Mmmmmm... I'm going to vote for SONIC YOUTH. I'm no fan of a dude doing "breathless, girlie vocals" but they did better capture the melancholy, heartbroken mood of the song. (And I too love that they paid tribute to The Carpenters - one of my very, very favorite recording acts of all time.)

    Usher's version was pretty ridiculous. Yeah, he had the better voice, but did he ever once actually think about the lyrics he was singing? Where was the longing that the entire song was written about? Sheesh! Another typical example of a (Whitney Houston-like) singer who just wants to show off his voice and style with no respect whatsoever for the sentiment he/she is (supposedly) conveying to the listener.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

  12. Not a fan of this Sonic Youth cover, but I really enjoyed Ushers version. Please give my vote in that direction.

  13. Janie, great song choice! Usher did a good job. I have no fault with his version, but Sonic Youth owed it as his own. I really liked the hushed vocals throughout the song. The instruments drowned him out at times, but I still enjoyed his version a lot. So, give my vote to Sonic Youth! Have a bandtastic day! ;)

    Drops of Jupiter #BoTB showdown

  14. Hey Janie,

    More like, "Battle of the Blands". I actually didn't like either version of that song, Superstar. Anyway, by a whisker, I'd vote for Usher before I Ushered him out the door.

    Have a nice day, y'all.


  15. Hey Janie. How goes it?

    Sonic Youth was interesting for sure, but I like Usher's version better so please give him my vote. It is such a good song. But all in all, I love the Carpenters version best of all. :)

    Hope all is well in your world! We need to catch up... It's been crazy around here...


    Michele at Angels Bark

  16. Usher. The other one sounds a bit scary. Then again, I'm on medication right now, so it might be me.

  17. I give it to Sonic Youth who played this in a unique way which I liked. Usher was just a bit too drippy

  18. I'm sorry for arriving so late. It's been a bit crazy here. I keep thinking that will change and it keeps... not. Hmmm.

    Anyway, I think The Carpenters do this song best, so it was a good idea to not use them in this battle.

    As for these two versions. The Sonic Youth version was different than what I was expecting, but I really liked it. I could understand the words. I could feel the feeling behind the song. Usher has a great voice, but I think he sometimes falls prey to losing himself in the song rather than really feeling the song... if that makes sense. There were times I couldn't make sense of the words (and I know the song), and it's because he just ran them all together. I didn't really care for that. So, I'm giving this to Sonic Youth and their unique spin on the song.

  19. It's a funny thing... I've never been much of an Usher fan. I like his voice, and I respect him as an artist, but I just can't get into his music for some reason. Sonic Youth, on the other hand, have the kind of sound that I love. So... my vote goes to the Carpenters' tribute :) (How cool was it that they did that, right?)

    Great battle, Janie! Great song choice—and great, great covers!
    Guilie @ Quiet Laughter


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