“Feliz Navidad” (Jose Feliciano Cover)

Originally posted 2008-12-30 23:34:32. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

And the award for most spirited contribution to a Laptop Session goes to…

Jim Fusco!

Yes, that’s right, for my FINAL video of 2008, I called in the big guns (plural) — not only Jim, but also Dana.  The video that resulted is a one take, gather ’round the ol’ laptop spontaneously kind of video.  At its core, this is what the Laptop Sessions are all about — recording a performance as if you were just sitting around the house with us.  Break out a guitar, tune it, and start strumming.  That’s what we do here.  And that’s what we’ll continue to do in 2009!

For tonight, I chose “Feliz Navidad” in honor of the quickly approaching new year.  Jose Feliciano recorded this song in 1970 and when it was released on CD in 2001 it quickly became one of the most played and recorded Christmas songs, according to ASCAP.  Now, it has been added to the massive “session-a-day” catalog at the Laptop Sessions music blog, soon to be 366 music videos strong from this year alone!

Tonight was a lot of fun.  Not only did I get to go to my English department Christmas party, but I also got there on time and without getting lost, thanks to the GPS that Jim and Mike got me for Christmas!  I’ve been saying for years that I don’t really need one, that it wouldn’t get used, and epecially with the iPhone, that a GPS seems unnecessary.  Well, not so.  This was extremely easy to use and it was more fun than it should have been to drive to Hamden and back.  Anyone who knows me will understand how great this is, as it combines my dorkiness with technology AND my dorkiness for loving to drive places!

Anyway, the party was extremely relaxing and fun (I am grateful for an amazing department of people to work with), and when I got home, I went out for some late night Burger King and Jim and I kicked back to watch some YouTube Videos.  First, he showed me the little kid screaming as he opened his Nintendo 64.  “NINTENDO SIXTY-FOOOOOUUUUUURRRRR!!.”  So funny.  (YouTube search: kid opening nintendo 64)

Then, I showed him a video I just came across today.  It’s Jeff Tweedy, front man for Wilco, playing an acoustic show and talking to the crowd in between songs.  About midway into the video, he explains “the game” to the crowd.  Essentially, the game is to name a band — Three Dog Night, for instance — and then to consider the bowel movement that might have inspired the band name.  There are so many good ones!  Just think — Green Day, the Rolling Stones, String Cheese Incident, etc…  The list goes on.  (YouTube search: Jeff Tweedy banter and the game)

When we were done and Dana had arrived, we were all fighting unconsciousness.  At least I was.  And I think Jim a bit too.  So, Jim suggested I record my video before we went our separate ways (tangent:  anyone remember that American Dad episode with screaming “Debbie and I went our separate WAAAYS!).  Even I didn’t need more than a quick glance at the chord sheet for this song before I joined them in the other room to record what is probably one of the most fun sessions I’ve done.  It won’t win any awards, but I hope you enjoy the energy and the simplicity of the message.

Truly, I wish you a happy new year and the best of happiness, health, and success in 2009.  Thank you for all your support, for watching our videos, and I hope you’ll continue to come back next year.  With any luck, our numbers will continue to grow!

2008 was a great year for music; there were lots of great albums.  There were also disappointments, but those were weighed out by the good songs and albums that were released.  Personally, it was a year of up and downs for me.  Musically, I found one of my new favorite bands, Wilco.  In other aspects, I’m certainly hopeful that 2009 will be a better year — that I will catch up with my grading and do well on my BEST portfolio, that I will record my album with Jim (hint, hint, nudge, nudge :-) ), and that I will deal with some personal issues that need to be dealt with, oh, I don’t know… months ago!

But for now, I will comfort myself with the knowledge that Jeff’s video will be here tomorrow — our VERY LAST SESSION OF 2008!!  Don’t miss it!

See you next year!!

“Goodbye, So Long” (Original Wednesday Acoustic Song by Indie Music Songwriter Chris Moore)

Originally posted 2008-11-12 23:26:51. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

Tonight was, hands down, the absolute most fun I’ve had writing a song and/or recording a Laptop Session!

And I’ve got lots of songs and videos for this one to stand up against…

It all began when I left school late tonight, and headed home to gather my guitar and Macbook, as well as Jim’s Macbook.  Then, I met Jim and our friend Dana Camp at Dana’s office for pizza and songwriting.  They were gracious enough to help me write a song that I had started — a song that I needed to record and post for tonight’s video.  Actually, interestingly enough, I had planned on finishing a piece I have called “There’s One Thing.”  It’s an upbeat song, and as I explained to Mike when he came by tonight, I haven’t written all that many love songs.  I felt I could definitely use the help to put it over the top!

Then, Jim brought up another fragment that I had recorded as a thirty-second demo for him.  All he or I knew was the verse I had written (i.e. “You said goodbye so long ago; I should’ve said something before I just let you go…”).  We decided to work on that instead, and after much fiddling on the keyboard, Jim worked out a progression for the bridge that we could both agree on.  When we started to write words for the bridge, we realized that we were both singing the tune to yet another fragment I had included on a demo tape.  As we continued to work, that third fragment, transcribed into a different key, became the chorus of the song (i.e. “I wouldn’t want you to think I forgot about you, girl…”).

Still, there was something missing in terms of the chords.  Jim asked Mike to step in and the team of Fusc and Fusc worked some magic in polishing up the tune and progression — for instance, I have Mike to thank for the flourishes at the ends of the verses.

Finally, I needed to work out a complete set of lyrics.  So, Dana pulled up a chair (and an overturned computer monitor as an ottoman) and began writing in his creative writing binder.  Thus, I have him to thank for putting words to the bridge (i.e. “Remember those summer days that we wished would never end…”).

A true collaboration.

Truly, I have Jim to thank for arranging and bringing the concept for the song together.  You shouldn’t be surprised to learn that the awesome outro of harmonies has his trademark on it.  Among other aspects he contributed, I love the riffs he plays on the piano throughout.

So, after a while of writing and feeding spiders to the Dana’s fish (and, by spiders, I mean mutant arachnids — just so we’re clear here!), we recorded the session.  It took a few takes for me to get the words down, but then we did a full take and I’m very happy with the way it came out.  Remember that it’s a first recording, made only minutes after the final touches were applied.  By the time it makes it to the album, there will most likely be some more substance to it and the rough edges will be smoothed out to perfection.  On the heels of tonight’s collaboration, I’m even more excited about my first album — I plan to bill it as a debut album — with a bona fide producer!

Other notable moments tonight were Jim’s live performance of “Winning You Over” (such a great song; I don’t understand how it can be written off as a pro-Obama song) and Mike’s live take of “I Don’t Love You Anymore.”  Now, Mike’s song I wish I had recorded.  After all, as his lengthy list of songs-to-record proves, he writes so prolifically that there’s no telling when an incredible new song will be pushed aside for yet a newer one.  I’m just glad we got to hear it tonight.  Hopefully, he’ll record another session soon!…

And, with that, I’m off to bed.  I hope you enjoy this third offering toward my upcoming new album.  As always, I’ll keep you posted on all developments.  And thanks so much to the boys for a truly fabulous night of pepperoni pizza and good ol’ American rock songwriting.  Now, don’t forget to come around tomorrow and Friday for two more great sessions by Jeff and Jim.

See you next session!