“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!

Elvis Costello’s “Live at Hollywood High” (Recorded 1978; Released 2010) – The Weekend Review

Originally posted 2010-01-31 23:37:34. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

RATING:  4 / 5 stars

With all the confidence and cohesion that comes across on Live at Hollywood High, it is difficult to believe that this is a document of a performance that took place only a year after Elvis Costello’s debut album was released.  One might think that a live album recorded so early in an artist’s career would be a study in a live act finding their sound, featuring a young group aspiring to greatness and working out the kinks along the way.

The opposite is true.

It is clear that, by 1978,  Elvis Costello and the Attractions had been working together closely enough to forge a sound all their own, and one that sounds like it had been planned, rehearsed, and perfected over years of live performances.

And yet they were barely a year in at the time of this concert.

There is something compelling about Elvis Costello’s lyrics, dipped in wordplay and soaked with sarcasm.  His vocals here, as on his best work, are unique and striking.  Likewise, his band works as one united front, Pete Thomas acting as the backbone of the operation, keeping a steady beat and  laying down fills wherever appropriate.

I could listen to Thomas drum all day…

Elvis Costello's "Live at Hollywood High"

Elvis Costello's "Live at Hollywood High"

The concert begins with a poignant version of “Accidents Will Happen,” composed of simply a piano and Costello’s lead vocal.  I like the album version of this song, but I absolutely love this live version.

The slow, serious sound of the opening track is no indication of what is to come, which becomes apparent as the second song, “Mystery Dance,” is launched.  Drawing on references to Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet and taking sonic cues from blues rock, this song sets the precedent for all the others to come: upbeat, passionate, and infectious.

The highlights are certainly the rockers that come across even better live than they did in the studio, songs like “Lip Service,” “This Year’s Girl,” and “Radio Radio.”  Each of these songs attacks human behavior in modern society, and it is interesting to see how these songs are still relevant at the opening of 2010.

In fact, if Costello were to write the second song again, it might be abbreviated to “This Month’s Girl,” or updated to “Internet, Internet” for the second song.

Overall, their pacing and stage presence is outstanding.  “Stranger in the House” is about as slow as Costello and the Attractions get in this concert, and yet it does not feel like a series of very similar songs played at the same speed.

Although he does not speak all that often, when Costello does address the crowd, it is to good effect.  He knows just how to elicit screams and wild cheers (asking, before playing “This Year’s Girl,” if there are any girls present), and he knows just when to introduce hints of what is to come in the show (announcing at the end of one song that he is about to play “Alison”).  This young Elvis Costello is even more funny and quirky than I would have imagined, dedicating “Living in Paradise” to “all the boys on the track, all the boys in the locker room, all the physical jerks…”

How an artist was able to compile such an impressive set list so early in his career, I will never know.  But, what I do know is that Live at Hollywood High plays as a greatest hits at some times, and as an homage to deep tracks at others.

Analyze these and other factors as much as you care to; the bottom line is this:

Elvis Costello & the Attractions play their hearts out, as though their tenure in the music industry and in the hearts of their fans depend on it.  For me, Costello’s performance functioned in the way all music executives dream of…

…it made me want to buy more of his music!

“Alison” by Elvis Costello – Chords, Tabs, & How to Play

Originally posted 2010-02-01 19:48:54. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

“Alison”
Elvis Costello

Intro:  A   E   A   E

E               A                                           E
Oh, it’s so funny to be seeing you after so long, girl,
E                  A                                                 G#m                  C#m
And with the way you look, I understand that you were not impressed.
A                                          G#m       C#m
But I heard you let that little friend of mine
D                                 B7
Take off your party dress…

A                             G#m        C#m
I’m not going to get too sentimental like those
A                            G#m        C#m
other sticky valentines.
A                                                     G#m           C#m
‘Cause I don’t know if you’ve been loving somebody;
D                             B7
I only know it isn’t mine.

A    E     A              B7         G#m   C#m
Alison, I know this world is killing you…
C#m    A    E    A    B7     E
Oh,      Alison, my aim is true.

Well, I see you’ve got a husband now.
Did he leave your pretty fingers lying in the wedding cake?
You used to hold him right in your hand;
I’ll bet he took all he could take.

Sometimes I wish that I could stop you from talking
When I hear the silly things that you say.
I think somebody better put out the big light,
‘Cause I can’t stand to see you this way

Alison, I know this world is killing you.
Oh, Alison…  My aim is true.

My aim is true. (repeat & fade)

** These chords and lyrics are interpretations and transcriptions, respectively, and are the sole property of the copyright holder(s). They are posted on this website free of charge for no profit for the purpose of study and commentary, as allowed for under the “fair use” provision of U.S. copyright law, and should only be used for such personal and/or academic work. **

“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.