Best Packaging of 2012: A Weekend Review Special Edition

By Chris Moore:

The BEST PACKAGING of 2012

 

For this year, I’ll reserve my perennial rant on the decay of the album as an art form and the loss that is represented by the turn to digital delivery of music.  Instead, I’ll take this opportunity to point out three special albums this year that embraced the possibilities that are available for expanding the vision of the album to a more total view, including the physical representation of the themes and images of the music and lyrics.  The highlight of the year was Fiona Apple’s The Idler Wheel…, which presents drawings and handwritten lyrics which give the sense of flipping through a writer’s notebook.   Go Fly A Kite can be  fitted into place as a 3-D diorama, which is unique at the very least, not to mention that the lyrics include chords.  Finally, The Sound of the Life of the Mind is brilliantly designed, but for the fact that far too much space is taken up by names of fans who bought into the project as sponsors, particularly considering that there are no lyrics in the CD version, which is a shame based on how artful they are.

 

1)  The Idler Wheel… – Fiona Apple

2)  Go Fly A Kite – Ben Kweller

3)  The Sound of the Life of the Mind – Ben Folds Five

Best Album Covers of 2012: A Weekend Review Special Edition

By Chris Moore:

The BEST ALBUM COVERS of 2012

 

Even in an age of increasingly digital delivery of music media, album covers continue to be an integral piece of the vision for an album.  In a sense, they are rapidly becoming the primary, if not sole, physical/visual component of the album.  That being said, it also feels like, in many cases, album covers have fallen to the wayside as hastily composed and inspired out of necessity.  Nevertheless, there are always some that stand out of the crowd; this year, there are five that deserve to be honored. 

 

1)  The Sound of the Life of the Mind – Ben Folds Five

2)  Ten Stories – mewithoutYou

3)  Those Around Us – Jim Fusco

4)  The Idler Wheel… – Fiona Apple

5)  Born and Raised – John Mayer

 

Honorable Mention:

Glad All Over – The Wallflowers

The BEST COLLABORATIONS of 2011 (The Year-End Awards)

By Chris Moore:

The following artists are being recognized for their notable collaborations.  Had they not worked together, their tracks and, in some cases, albums would not have been nearly as successfully rendered.  Wanda Jackson and Jack White have to earn the top mention for the comeback release of the year.  Jackson was once a hitmaker, a notable player in the rockabilly scene (dating Elvis Presley for a time), but I certainly hadn’t heard of her before this year.  With White’s electric leads and the fitting arrangements that walk the line between classic and modern, The Party Ain’t Over makes good on the claim in its title.

Beyond this collaboration, the others on this list are more traditional.  8in8 was a cool idea: get together to write, record, and release eight tracks in eight hours as a way of showing just how much the music industry has changed in even the past several years.  Gillian Welch’s role, dueting on the Decemberists’ The King is Dead, was a vital one, just as Norah Jones and Jack White added their vocals to a couple tracks and elevated the Rome soundtrack.  I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out and praise the (brief) reunion of Ben Folds Five, just as much as if I didn’t note that some of the tracks on The King is Dead have a strongly R.E.M.-esque vibe to them at least in part because Peter Buck is playing on them.

1)  Wanda Jackson and Jack White (The Party Ain’t Over)

2)  Ben Folds, Amanda Palmer, Neil Gaiman, and Damian Kulash (8in8)

3)  The Decemberists and Gillian Welch (various tracks on The King is Dead)

4)  Danger Mouse, Daniele Luppi, Norah Jones, and Jack White (Rome: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

5)  Ben Folds, Darren Jesse, and Robert Sledge (as Ben Folds Five for three new recordings)

6)  Norah Jones and Hank Williams (“How Many Times Have You Broken My Heart”)

7)  The Decemberists and Peter Buck (various tracks on The King is Dead)

8)  Bob Dylan and Hank Williams (“The Love That Faded”)

9)  Kevin Hearn and Garth Hudson (“The House of Invention”)

10) Lupe Fiasco and Matt Mahaffey (“State Run Radio”)

“Emaline” (Ben Folds Five Cover)

Originally posted 2007-10-30 16:19:47. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jeff Copperthite:

My 2nd installment for fusco-moore.com’s “Laptop Sessions”. This time we’ll get a bit more obscure.

This song is from Ben Folds Five, and was a song that was intended for their album “Whatever and Ever Amen” – a great album – but Ben Folds decided to not put this song on because it had guitar, and would take away from the piano-rock theme they were trying to promote.

This is such a great song, and I love hearing it at his shows. I hope you enjoy it as well.

Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, Jeff’s acoustic cover song music videos are no longer on YouTube, but we decided to keep his cover song blog posts up.  We figured these music blog entries would be good for posterity’s sake and because Jeff always gave such insightful posts each Session.  We hope to see Jeff’s impressive catalog of acoustic rock songs here on the Laptop Sessions cover songs and origianal music blog again in the future.  But, for now, please make sure to check-out hundreds of other acoustic cover songs from all of your favorite bands here on the Laptop Sessions music blog!