The Dead Weather’s “Sea of Cowards” (2010) – Yes, No, or Maybe So

Originally posted 2010-05-17 23:45:42. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The Dead Weather’s Sea of Cowards (2010) – MAYBE SO

By Chris Moore:

Sea of Cowards (2010) by the Dead Weather

Sea of Cowards (2010) by the Dead Weather

(May 11, 2010)

Review:

Tighter and yet even more frenetic than their debut, Sea of Cowards is a fast-paced, distortion-drenched hard rock romp through eleven solid tracks, made all the better for the sharing of vocal duties between Alison Mosshart and Jack White:  this album is the realization — and only a year later! — of what I had been hoping for when I referred to the great potential expressed in Horehound (2009).

Top Two Tracks:

“Gasoline” & “Blue Blood Blues”

“New Pony” (Bob Dylan / Dead Weather Cover)

Originally posted 2009-07-21 00:42:41. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

For Bob Dylan / Dead Weather chords & lyrics, CLICK HERE!

By Chris Moore:

Hello and welcome to yet another delay for the “double header” I promised last week or (technically) two weeks ago.  But I have a good reason for holding off!  Tonight, I’ve recorded “New Pony,” one of my least favorite Bob Dylan songs, because a brand new cover version was released on last week’s Dead Weather debut album.

First, I’ll give a little background on the original version of the song.  “New Pony” was first released on Bob Dylan’s 1978 album Street Legal.  To give you a little context here, Dylan had recently released Blood on the Tracks and Desire, arguably two of his best albums.  The year 1975 found him fully engaged in the Rolling Thunder Revue along with such artists as Joan Baez, Roger McGuinn of the Byrds, poet Allen Ginsberg, and others.  Although he temporarily revived a different incarnation of the Revue in 1976, this phase of Dylan’s musical career was pretty much over by 1977.

This is not to say that life wasn’t busy for him.  This was right around the time that his marriage to Sara Dylan was breaking down and the divorce proceedings began.  A lot — perhaps too much — has been written about these personal aspects. 

Street Legal was the product of a few weeks of sessions involving a select group of musicians that Dylan had recently worked with.  Although his past two albums had met with critical success and his subsequent album, 1979’s Slow Train Coming, would earn him his first Grammy award, Street Legal has generally been lost in the valley between these two peaks.

Personally, I have always liked this album.  Sure, the female background singers come across as a bit cheesy at times (have you heard “Baby, Stop Crying”?) and the instrumentation can be a bit much at times, but there are some great songs.  “Changing of the Guards” is one of my favorite album openers and boasts a rare fade-in.  “Is Your Love in Vain?” and “True Love Tends to Forget” are fantastic Dylan deep cuts.  And “Senor (Tales of Yankee Power)” is a narrative wrapped in the best, darkest mood you’ve ever felt.  (Jerry Garcia recorded a great version of the latter.)

As for “New Pony”?  Well, it generally ranks as one of my least favorite Dylan recordings of all time, and certainly on this record.  In fact, it’s the very rare track that I may occasionally skip when listening to the album.  Why it was placed in the number 2 slot, I’ll never know.

That being said, let’s flash forward to 2009.  Last week, the Dead Weather released their debut album, Horehound.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with this group, this is a side project band composed of the White Stripes’ Jack White (drums, some vocals, acoustic guitar on one track), the Kills’ Alison Mosshart (lead vocals), Queens of the Stone Age’s Dead Fertita (guitar, etc.), and Jack Lawrence (bass, etc.).  I really liked last year’s Raconteurs album (Jack White and Jack Lawrence’s other side project band), so I figured I would give this one a shot as well.

Long review short, I was not as impressed as I had hoped to be.  (My one-sentence review is coming shortly!)  That being said, the album certainly has its moments, and for me, one of the best moments is track seven when they cover Dylan’s “New Pony.”

This is an excellent example of a band you wouldn’t necessarily think of as being heavily influenced by Bob Dylan turning around and pulling off a stand-up interpretation of one of his songs.  After hearing it, I thought that this song fit better on this album than it did on Street Legal.  In that sense, I was happy to assign “New Pony” to a better place in my estimation of Dylan’s catalog of songs.

So, without further ado, I submit to you my acoustic rendition of the song as a send-up to the 1978 Dylan version and a tip of the hat to the brand-new 2009 version by the Dead Weather.  I found that I was psyched to learn this ridiculously easy (at least chord-wise) song.  Anyone who visits the Laptop Sessions on any regular basis knows that I’m no stranger to a Bob Dylan cover song, but I never thought I’d be recording this one.

Well, at least not until I ran out of all the other ones in 2045 or so…

I hope you enjoy this, and be sure to stop back tomorrow for Jim Fusco’s Tuesday post, a couple days later for Jeff Copperthite’s Thumpin’ Thursday, and later this week for at least one more post from your truly.  (I’ve got so much to say about other music and non-music related topics, but I think this is quite enough for one post!)

See you next session!

“New Pony” by Bob Dylan (Covered by the Dead Weather) – Chords, Tabs, & How to Play

Originally posted 2009-07-20 20:15:38. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

For the cover song music video, CLICK HERE!

“New Pony”
Bob Dylan (Covered by the Dead Weather)

A
I had a pony; her name was Lucifer.
I had a pony; her name was Lucifer.
A                     E
She broke her leg and needed shooting;
E                                                                        A
I swear it hurt me more than it could’ve hurted her.

Sometimes I wonder what’s going on with Miss X.
Sometimes I wonder what’s going on with Miss X.
She got such as sweet disposition;
I never know what the poor girl’s gonna do to me next.

I got a new pony; she knows how to fox trot, lope, and pace.
I got a new pony; she knows how to fox trot, lope, and pace.
She got great big hind legs;
Long big shiny hair hanging in her face.

SOLO

Everybody says you’re using voodoo; I’ve seen your feet walk by themselves.
Everybody says you’re using voodoo; I’ve seen your feet walk by themselves.
Oh baby, but that god that you’ve been praying to
Gonna give you back what you wishing on someone else.

Come over here, pony; I wanna climb up one time on you.
Come over here, pony; I wanna climb up one time on you.
You oh so nasty and you’re so bad,
But I swear I love you, yes, I do.

Yes, No, or Maybe So: One-Sentence Reviews of 2009 Albums

Originally posted 2010-03-27 12:30:03. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

(Arranged in ascending order by release date)

With so many albums being released every week, what are they all like?  Which are worth your time?  These one-sentence reviews are the answers to those questions!

Battle Studies – (John Mayer) – MAYBE

(November 17, 2009) – CLICK HERE FOR A FULL REVIEW Review: Battle Studies may not be Mayer’s best work, but as a thoughtfully arranged collection of songs, it’s head and shoulders above Continuum. Top Two Tracks: “Heartbreak Warfare” – “Assassin”

Alter the Ending – (Dashboard Confessional) – MAYBE

(November 10, 2009) Review: About mid-way through, some tracks begin to blend together, but there are some standout songs that are both upbeat and engaging. Top Two Tracks: “Belle of the Boulevard” – “Until Morning”

Sainthood – (Tegan and Sara) – MAYBE

(October 27, 2009) Review: Their best work since So Jealous. Top Two Tracks: “Someday” – “Don’t Rush”

One Fast Move or I’m Gone – (Jay Farrar & Ben Gibbard) – MAYBE

(October 20, 2009) Review: Not a breathtaking masterpiece by any means, but there is a hypnotic quality to the combination of Farrar and Gibbard’s sounds and Jack Kerouac’s words. Top Two Tracks: “These Roads Don’t Move” – “California Zephyr”

The Fountain – (Echo & the Bunnymen) – MAYBE SO

(October 12, 2009) Review: Most reviews have jumped to the extremes, and mine is no exception; The Fountain is an outstanding rock album from a band that most major music magazines have essentially ignored. Top Two Tracks: “Live of a Thousand Crimes” – “Drivetime”

Forget and Not Slow Down – (Relient K) – YES

(October 6, 2009) – CLICK HERE FOR A FULL REVIEW Review: Hands down the best concept album of the year, perhaps the best album of the year overall. Top Two Tracks: “Part of It” – “Sahara”

Backspacer – (Pearl Jam) – YES

(September 20, 2009) – CLICK HERE FOR A FULL REVIEW Review: This is the album that may single-handedly be responsible for my eventual hearing loss – it’s simply too much fun not to listen to at high volumes. Top Two Tracks: “Got Some” – “Speed of Sound”

Levitate – (Bruce Hornsby & the Noise Makers) – NO

(September 15, 2009) Review: I try to avoid comparisons to past work, but this new Hornsby album is just a little too far out from the norm for my tastes. Top Two Tracks: “Space is the Place” – “In the Low Country”

A Brief History of Love – (The Big Pink) – NO, PLEASE, NO!

(September 14, 2009) Review: I’m reminded of the Byrds song “Everybody Gets Burned” – if you have any respect for rock music, steer clear of this album and do your best to never consider this band and the amazing debut release of The Band (to which their name alludes) in the same thought. Top Two Tracks: n/a

Humbug – (Arctic Monkeys) – MAYBE SO

(August 25, 2009) Review: The distance between how little I like early songs like “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor” compared with how much I like this new release is vast; overall, Humbug has a cohesive, infectious, and interesting sound, blending alternative rock/punk stylings with echoes of the Who and the Moody Blues in all the right places. Top Two Tracks: “Crying Lightning” – “Cornerstone”

My Old, Familiar Friend – (Brendan Benson) – MAYBE SO

(August 18, 2009) Review: From “A Whole Lot Better” onward, Benson’s latest release is joyful power pop that borrows generously from the sixties and seventies; it’s a great deal of fun from start to finish. Top Two Tracks: “Garbage Day” – “Misery”

Release – (Sister Hazel) – MAYBE NOT

(August 18, 2009) Review: This album is the perfect choice for background music: it is consistently upbeat without being too frenetic, certainly won’t offend anyone, and yet isn’t likely to inspire or even excite anyone either – the heinous typos in the booklet don’t help their cause. Top Two Tracks: “Vacation Rain” – “Ghost in the Crowd”

Ursa Major – (Third Eye Blind) – MAYBE NOT

(August 17, 2009) Review: There will supposedly be another 3eb release soon titled Ursa Minor, culled from tracks that didn’t make the cut for this album; suffice it to say that Ursa Major gets an “eh” and barely a “Maybe Not” rating with the so-called best songs from their recent sessions, so… Top Two Tracks: “Bonfire” – “Summer Town”

xx – (The xx) – MAYBE SO

(August 17, 2009) Review: This debut release by the xx is a gripping, murky, beautiful collection of songs that won’t fail to draw you in to their world each listen. Top Two Tracks: “VCR” – “Shelter”

The Ruminant Band – (Fruit Bats) – MAYBE SO

(August 4, 2009) Review: Aptly titled after the Fruit Bats took twice as long as usual to release this record, The Ruminant Band is worth all the extra wait time:  still quirky but with a lot more energy, backbeat, and attention to making a great album, rather than just a compilation of songs. Top Two Tracks: “The Ruminant Band” – “Singing Joy to the World”

Strange Cousins From The West – (Clutch) – MAYBE NOT

(July 14, 2009) Review: You’ll have to go back to Blast Tyrant or so if you want original, innovative Clutch; what you’ll find here is confined by the blues parameters the band has imposed on themselves – which is not to say you won’t find largely powerful performances of largely predictably structured songs and a couple true gems. Top Two Tracks: “50,000 Unstoppable Watts” – “Minotaur”

Horehound – (The Dead Weather) – MAYBE SO

(July 14, 2009) Review: The Dead Weather certainly deserve credit for having forged a unique sound and presence – Jack White best described their music as “ferocious” – but the riffing, repetition, and other indulgences can be distracting; overall, as a debut release, Horehound is promising… Top Two Tracks: “I Cut Like A Buffalo” – “Hang You From the Heavens”

Ocean Eyes – (Owl City) – MAYBE

(July 14, 2009) Review: A bit too placid for me, but I can perceive at least part of the reason that this album’s simple, soothing numbers have spread so quickly and been embraced by so many. Top Two Tracks: “Fireflies” – “The Bird and the Worm”

American Central Dust – (Son Volt) – NO

(July 7, 2009) Review: As the title implies, Son Volt’s latest album could have been found buried in a collection of Americana; while it certainly hits high points on certain tracks, the simplicity of the arrangements and even the packaging (no lyrics – really?) confine this album to mediocrity. Top Two Tracks: “No Turning Back” – “Jukebox of Steel”

Leaving Wonderland…in a fit of rage – (Marcy Playground) – MAYBE

(July 7, 2009) – CLICK HERE FOR A FULL REVIEW Review: Overall, Leaving Wonderland hits emotional pay dirt with the theme of losing love and youth to the ravages of time, and yet John Wozniak’s lyrics and arrangements leave much to be desired in terms of depth and artistry. Top Two Tracks: “Gin and Money” – “I Burned the Bed”

Wilco (the album) – (Wilco) – YES

(June 30, 2009) – CLICK HERE FOR A FULL REVIEW Review: An atypically brief release, Wilco (the album) is dominated by a wide range of interesting sounds and ideas all packed into tight tracks that ebb and flow just right; multiple listens are a must. Top Two Tracks: “Wilco (the song)” – “You Never Know”

Big Whiskey & the GrooGrux King (Dave Matthews Band) – MAYBE

(June 2, 2009) Review: “DMB” has produced a very strong album that starts off with focused, expressive tracks yet lags somewhat in the second half’s instrumental, repetitive, and nonsensical indulgences. Top Two Tracks: “Funny The Way It Is” – “Time Bomb”

Secret, Profane, and Sugarcane (Elvis Costello) – MAYBE SO

(June 2, 2009) Review: Finally, a stripped-down recording from a rock artist that doesn’t reek of the urge to “jump on the acoustic train”; Costello’s songs here could just as convincingly  have been recorded a century ago. Top Two Tracks: “Complicated Shadows” – “Sulphur to Sugarcane”

21st Century Breakdown (Green Day) – YES

(May 15, 2009) – CLICK HERE FOR A FULL REVIEW Review: Another concept album of epic proportions from Green Day:  big, in-your-face power chords at some points, acoustic guitar and piano high in the mix at others, and strong vocals all around – a well-executed album from start to finish. Top Two Tracks: “Last Night on Earth” – “East Jesus Nowhere”

Together Through Life (Bob Dylan) – MAYBE SO

(April 28, 2009) – CLICK HERE FOR A FULL REVIEW Review: As per usual, Dylan says it best: “I know my fans will like it; other than that, I have no idea.” Top Two Tracks: “Shake Shake Mama” – “I Feel a Change Comin’ On”

Tinted Windows (Tinted Windows) – NO

(April 21, 2009) Review: I remembered while listening to this that there’s a reason I stopped buying Fountains of Wayne albums since Traffic & Weather, and there’s certainly a reason I’ve never bought Hanson albums. Top Two Tracks: “Back With You” – “Nothing to Me”

Halfway There (Jim Fusco) – YES

(April 7, 2009) – CLICK HERE FOR A FULL REVIEW Review: It’s as if all of Fusco’s previous work was only “halfway there” – combining ambitious vocals, innovative guitar parts, and a track listing that boasts eleven great songs, this is easily one of the great albums of 2009. Top Two Tracks: “I Got You” – “Ruins”

The Hazards of Love (The Decemberists) – MAYBE NOT

(March 24, 2009) Review: The Hazards of Love will keep you guessing and trying to piece it all together, but it may not get a lot of immediate repeat listens based on the quality of individual songs; kudos to the Decemberists if only for keeping the concept of the concept album alive and well! Top Two Tracks: “The Wanting Comes in Waves/Repaid” – “The Hazards of Love 4 (The Drowned)”

No Line On The Horizon (U2) – MAYBE NOT

(March 3, 2009) Review: There’s something to be said for Bono’s energy, but it’s not always enough on this record which fluctuates between moments of mastery and moments of mediocrity. Top Two Tracks: “I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight” – “Stand Up Comedy”

Keep It Hid (Dan Auerbach) – MAYBE

(February 10, 2009) Review: Essentially, what you would expect — gritty, bluesy rock with excellent guitar work. Top Two Tracks: “Heartbroken, In Disrepair” – “My Last Mistake”

Working On A Dream (Bruce Springsteen) – MAYBE SO

(January 27, 2009)  –  CLICK HERE FOR A FULL REVIEW Review: The past three Springsteen albums have been exercises in purposeful songwriting, raw acoustic and harmonica work, and upbeat pop/rock respectively — Working On A Dream has it all! Top Two Tracks: “What Love Can Do” – “Life Itself”