“Bastard” (Ben Folds Cover)

Originally posted 2012-02-11 12:13:32. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

Tonight’s session, Ben Folds’ “Bastard,” is the opening track to one of the most memorable albums in my collection. Songs For Silverman was released in 2005, a few years after I had really gotten into listening to albums. When I say “gotten into,” I mean that albums quickly became one of the few subjects that truly captured my attention and imagination as a high school senior. As I got into college, I quickly found a slew of new albums that I thought were incredible, ranging from the classics like Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde to new music from Paul McCartney and the Wallflowers. I will always look back at that period of my life and fondly recall how new it all felt.

By 2005, I unwittingly began to fall into the traps that I had scoffed others for, specifically those like the Dylan fans who booed him when he went electric. Was it different? Yes. But, was it amazing music? Absolutely! I couldn’t fathom how close-minded people could be to new music. Unfortunately, two albums that I disliked upon their release — the Wallflowers’ Rebel, Sweetheart and the aforementioned Ben Folds’ Songs For Silverman — I later went on to greatly respect. I had to ask myself, why didn’t I initially fall in love with them?

The answer to this question lies in expectations. I expected Songs For Silverman to be as dynamic a record as Rockin’ The Suburbs, his previous and debut solo release. I expected him to play all the instruments and sing all the harmonies. When I listened to the album, there was a consistent sound throughout each of the tracks. He used a bass player and a drummer to augment his piano. It simply wasn’t what I expected. And to top it off, magazines like Rolling Stone were praising it for being more mature and overall better than Rockin’ The Suburbs, an album that I absolutely loved.

It is for this reason that Songs for Silverman holds a special place on my CD rack — it is an album that I didn’t give a fair chance. Ever since this realization, I have tried to approach each new album for what it is — a new album. It may not be the same or even as good as previous work, but if I give it a chance, I might enjoy it or even find it to be better! I know how much Jim Fusco and my sister, Jaime, love the songs on this album — Jaime didn’t take this CD out of her car for weeks after its release — and I’m glad I finally came around.

Well, I hope this makes up for my lack of post on my “7 8 9” video three days ago; I was just so tired that I couldn’t think straight. And I felt that video spoke for itself; it was amazingly fun to record. With Jim there to add acoustic flairs and background vocals, we knocked it out in a couple takes. We would have recorded some more from our long duet list — about ten or fifteen at this point — but hunger (and the need for ant traps) set in…

I hope you enjoy “Bastard.” You’ll get to hear my embarrassing and mercifully rare falsetto. You’ll get to hear me flub a couple of words noticeable only to the Ben Folds fanatic. You’ll get to see me (most likely) create enemies because I’ve broken Ben Folds’ general no-guitars policy and recorded an acoustic cover song of this song.

See you next session!

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

Originally posted 2012-01-21 10:00:16. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

Every year, there are a wide variety of compilations, best of’s, essentials, greatest hits, and retrospectives that are released.  I usually only buy one here or there.  This year, there were three outstanding compilations, which are recognized below.  In each case, the packaging is excellent, notable if only for the excellent attention to liner notes that provide further context and insight into the tracks.  Even though all three were of high quality, Ben Folds’ reasonably-priced, beautifully packaged, well-selected Best Imitation of Myself takes the prize without debate.

1) The Best Imitation of Myself: A Retrospective – Ben Folds

2) Twenty – Pearl Jam

3) Outside Society – Patti Smith

The Best Spoken Word Tracks of 2010

Originally posted 2010-12-27 10:00:21. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The BEST SPOKEN WORD TRACKS of 2010

Welcome back to the second and final week of the Weekend Review Presents… lists.  This is your source for twelve categories (plus a thirteenth honoring original Christmas music) designed to recognize a wide span of new music from the year of 2010.

The list today revolves around spoken word tracks.  Granted, there are not all that many songs with spoken word components, never mind the number out of those that are standouts.

That being said, there are a few that deserve mention.

The best of the year has to be “Things You Think,” the spoken word collaboration between Ben Folds, Nick Hornby, and Pomplamoose.  It’s a quirky little track with an outstanding set of lyrics and a pleasant chorus that’s sure to get stuck in your head.  This one’s not a surprise, as it was Ben Folds who orchestrated William Shatner’s spoken word/rock/alt/country/(insert genre here) album Has Been, one of the best albums of 2004 and arguably one of the best albums of all time.  (That is, if you can decide which genre it belongs in…)

Another highlight of the year in music is the closing track to the Scissor Sisters’ Night Work.  “Invisible Light” concludes with an excellent spoken word delivery that conjures — and respectably so — vintage late sixties/early seventies Moody Blues.  And, with that, I think it’s official: enough said.

A final addition to this brief list comes, surprisingly (for me), from Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, an album that has more than made the rounds on this year’s “best of” lists.  I’m as surprised as anyone who knows me or is familiar with my tastes and opinions, but West’s album is a fine example of gathering the best aspect of several genres, perspectives, and directions in sound.  The opening track “Dark Fantasy” begins with a brief but fitting spoken word track that caught my attention for what followed.

All in all, this hasn’t exactly been a big year for great spoken word tracks.  As always, if I’ve missed any, please add them in below, and I’ll check them out immediately.  Barring that, these are my picks, and I invite you back for another list tomorrow!

1)  “Things You Think” – Ben Folds & Nick Hornby feat. Pomplamoose (Lonely Avenue bonus track)

2)  “Invisible Light” – Scissor Sisters (Night Work)

3)  “Dark Fantasy” – Kanye West (My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy)

The Best Music Videos of 2010

Originally posted 2010-12-26 10:00:09. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

We’ve all heard — and perhaps even echoed — the common complaint about the contemporary treatment of music videos on broadcast television.  It’s typically voiced in a sarcastic question, something like:

Do you remember when MTV used to play music videos?

These days, the music video feels like a lost art form.  They’re more readily available than ever before, what with digital download software like iTunes and websites like Amazon.com, never mind free sites — like YouTube — where copyright is a questionable notion pushed to its limits by users and exploited by record labels in the form of add-on ads.

This being said, the Weekend Review’s “Best Music Videos of 2010” is one of the biggest lists of the season, and perhaps the one that calls for the most interaction from you, the reader.  If there are any videos that you haven’t seen yet, you should definitely search them on YouTube and, depending on how far up the list they are, consider breaking down to download them.

These videos will hopefully remind you that the music video can be a fascinating and fun extension of songs and, sometimes even, albums.

The Black Keys take to the playground for a good old fashioned fight over a woman in “Tighten Up,” which ends up being hilarious.  “Saskia Hamilton” and “King of Anything” are fast-paced, well-edited videos, the former being all the more impressive for being fan-created and Ben Folds-endorsed.  Get ready for white rooms and clothes and lots and lots of paint in Locksley’s take on “The Whip,” and prepare to love the claustrophobic setting of Spoon’s “Written in Reverse.”

You get the idea: these videos run the gamut.  I hope you’ll check them out — YouTube is probably the first, best place; simply search the title, artist, and term “music video.”  This should keep you busy until tomorrow’s list!

The BEST MUSIC VIDEOS of 2010

1)  “Tighten Up” – The Black Keys (Brothers)

2)  “Saskia Hamilton” – Ben Folds & Nick Hornby (Lonely Avenue) – produced by charlieissocoollike

3)  “King of Anything” – Sara Bareilles (Kaleidoscope Heart) – dir. by Laurent Brie

4)  “The Whip” – Locksley (Be in Love)

5)  “Written in Reverse” – Spoon (Transference)

6)  “In the Sun” – She & Him (Volume Two) – dir. by Peyton Reed

7)  “Memories” – Weezer (Hurley)

8)  “By Some Miracle” – Philip Selway (Familial) – dir. by David Altobelli

9)  “God Save the Foolish Kings” – House of Heroes (Surburba)

10)  “Between the Lines” – Stone Temple Pilots (Stone Temple Pilots) – dir. by Christopher Sims

Honorable Mentions:

“Jefferson Jericho Blues” – Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (Mojo)

“From Above” – Ben Folds & Nick Hornby (Lonely Avenue)

“Help Me Rhonda” – Al Jardine with Steve Miller (A Postcard from California)