Debuting higher on the charts than any previous album from the National, High Violet deserves the attention: these are some of the most pensive, most beautifully orchestrated tracks they’ve released (particularly on the second half of the album), even if they do threaten to lull you into a forlorn stupor by the end.
Hello and welcome to your Tuesday edition of the Laptop Sessions. After my quite lengthy post last time, I’m going to keep this one fairly brief — not because I want to be lazy and write less, but because I still have a lot of work to finish before tomorrow morning.
Tonight, I’m pleased to present my second video in a three-part series where I present a song from not only a new band to the Laptop Sessions, but also originally done by a female lead singer. Now, if you’ve come to the music blog before, then you know that my vocal range does not exactly lend itself to great heights… But, even though I had to drop an octave for this song tonight, I’ve been true to the Laptop Sessions promise to always record in the original key! Indeed, that’s one of the reasons that Jim started the Laptop Sessions — to create an alternative to carelessly and ineffectively recorded cover songs on YouTube.
While I don’t expect anyone to be wowed by my Johnny Cash-like adaptation tonight (I’m exaggerating with this description, of course!), it was interesting to record for a couple reasons. The biggest one is the rhythm of the first verse. It was difficult at first to keep the rhythm of the guitar, while at the same time being true to the tune and timing of the verse. As with any acoustic cover I’ve recorded, though, I took the time to practice this opening over and over, beginning a few months ago and then coming back to it tonight. In the end, it’s exciting to see the playback and know that, if only in baby steps, my abilities and stylistic experimentations are expanding because of this session-a-day project.
I first saw Tegan and Sara when they warmed up for Ben Folds in concert. There was something about the duo that I liked, and even though they are twins, I’ve always liked the quiet, calming presence of Sara. Which is odd, since I’m usually most interested in the lead singer or songwriter of a band. Anyway, I bought their 2004 album So Jealous, and although I found a lot of the songs to be repetitive within themselves (i.e. a lack of new lyrical material past the halfway point of any given song), I also found the album really catchy. I liked the upbeat sound and their vocal harmonies are really great. They’re not exactly the Beach Boys by any stretch of the imagination, but they’ve found their own niche. One of my favorite memories of this album is when I first bought it and played it for my sister, who liked it very much. I just remember sitting in the basement rocking out to it with her. We don’t exactly have the same tastes in music, so it’s exciting when we find some legitimate crossover!
Anyway, this song — “You Wouldn’t Like Me” — is the first track from the album. When I did my usual Wikipedia/google run tonight, I didn’t learn all that much new about the band. However, one thing I didn’t know was that the White Stripes recorded another track, “Walking With A Ghost,” from this 2004 album.
Okay, without further ado, here’s my version of their song. Keep coming back to the best acoustic cover song music blog on the web, as you don’t want to miss Jeff’s original song tomorrow or Jim’s “Thumpin’ Thursday,” as Jeff would say. And, of course, I’ll be back on Friday — this time, with a song that I can guarantee you know (but probably not the version that you’re familiar with)…
A bit raw and predictable around the edges, but an upbeat debut album with clear rock sensibilities and strong potential for the future (The Colour & the Shape, anyone?) from almost-Heartbreaker Dave Grohl…
Welcome to Original Wednesday here on the Laptop Sessions! Tonight, I bring you the first ever video starring Jim, Chris, and Becky for my original song from the new MoU album, “Homestead’s Revenge”.
“Sober” is a song I wrote a couple years ago and has become a live favorite whenever we play it. I wrote it during the recording of the first MoU album, but didn’t get to record it until recently, so it remains a “new” song.
I had Chris and Becky help me out for two reasons- first, the harmonies. Second, the fact that my voice kinda gave out tonight right before I went to record another original song called “The Game”. And, for anyone that’s heard that song before, you know it’s not one to sing with a bad vocal range! I guess that will have to wait three weeks.
I hope you enjoy this edition of Original Wednesday and I hope you’ll come back tomorrow for the continuation of “#1 Week” here at LaptopSessions.com!