The Weekend Review: March 2013 Report

Originally posted 2013-07-21 02:55:32. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

The Next Day (David Bowie)

Producer: David Bowie and Tony Visconti

Released: March 8, 2013

Rating:  4.5 / 5 stars

Top Two Tracks: “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)” & “The Next Day”

After releasing albums at breakneck speed for over three decades until 2003, David Bowie returns from a ten year studio album silence with The Next Day, a masterful accomplishment that serves to reestablish his place in rock music.  Here, Bowie offers up heartfelt vocals across a range of songs from fast-paced to downbeat and heavily produced to minimally rendered.  His work continues to demonstrate dominance, particularly in the realm of quirky atmospherics, and the first three tracks quickly suggest the diversity to come across the record.  From “The Stars (Are Out Tonight),” the most single-worthy standout on the album (despite the fact it was chosen as the second single) to well-paced yet laidback “I’d Rather Be High” to the balladic, smooth, bittersweet tones of “Where Are We Now?”, Bowie’s range is what is perhaps most impressive on The Next Day.  This is a project on which all of the songs share a common sound and feel, yet defy any criticism of uniformity.  This is not to mention the lyrical content, which is worthy of uninterrupted time spent listening while reading along to a lyrics booklet.  With this all established, we can only hope that Bowie won’t wait another decade for a follow-up.





Old Sock (Eric Clapton)

Producer: Eric Clapton, Doyle Bramhall II, Justin Stanley, & Simon Climie

Released: March 12, 2013

Rating: 2 / 5 stars

Top Two Tracks: “Every Little Thing” & “Gotta Get Over”

The last truly dominant, dynamic, and original Eric Clapton album was released in 1998.  It was titled Pilgrim and featured all Clapton tracks with only a couple exceptions.  The ratio of originals-to-covers fell to 2:1 for the still outstanding Reptile in 2001 (an album equal to if not better than Pilgrim) and the uneven Back Home (2005).  His 2010 solo release, strapped with the fittingly unoriginal title Clapton, saw him boasting a credit on only one track and a co-writing credit at that.  Now, three years later, Old Sock continues the trend as his first solo album to feature no original compositions, blues-cover albums like From the Cradle, Riding with the King, and Me and Mr. Johnson notwithstanding.  The most frustrating part of this realization is that Clapton is clearly still deserving of his status as legendary guitarist, teasing licks and riffs here and there that are distinctly a style and delivery all his own.  It is difficult to blame him for taking this relaxed route in the latter days of his career, as his recent covers compilations have tended to net reviews equal to or greater than those awarded his recent original efforts.  It is also difficult to listen to Old Sock and not feel the nagging desire to switch over to Pilgrim or Reptile sooner rather than later.





Earth Rocker (Clutch)

Producer: Machine

Released: March 15, 2013

Rating:  4.5 / 5 stars

Top Two Tracks: “Crucial Velocity” & “D.C. Sound Attack!”


After a foray into more blues-based work, Clutch returns with resounding and resonating rock that is not only instantly accessible but also worthy of repeated listens and further study.  The pace rarely lets up as, track after track, the band continues to rip into full-throttle rock.  Indeed, the first five tracks are among the strongest opening sequences they’ve presented: from the infectiously catchy laugh refrain in “Earth Rocker” to the allusive “Unto the Breach,” the pace doesn’t let up until the well-placed, hauntingly stripped-down “Gone Cold.”  Lyrically, Neil Fallon’s words are by turns forceful and poetic, direct and open for interpretation.  The commentary is perhaps sharpest on “Mr. Freedom,” the blend of vocal and instrumental energy screams forth from “D.C. Sound Attack!,” and the vocals never seem quite so driven as on “Unto the Breach,” yet it is on “Crucial Velocity” that a near-perfect fusion of all the strengths of this album is achieved.  From the dead-on-target guitar work to the razor sharp lyrical commentary, it is difficult to understand why this track was held back as the second single.  Regardless, Earth Rocker provides further evidence that Clutch can still render loud, relevant rock on a level beyond most other bands.  The first six tracks are essentially perfect, and the second half presents gems – “Book, Saddle, and Go” and “Cyborg Bette” to name a couple – that may be overshadowed initially but will offer up more over time.  In short, Earth Rocker is an essential rock album for 2013.

“Let It Grow” (Eric Clapton Cover)

Originally posted 2008-08-01 23:39:32. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Welcome, welcome to yet another edition of “I Can’t Believe It’s My Night Already” here on the Laptop Sessions with me, Jim Fusco!  Tonight, I bring you a great song from Eric Clapton, and yes, his solo work counts as yet ANOTHER new band here on the best music video blog in the universe!

So, we keep the hits on comin’ and I’m here tonight to slow it down a bit with this song, “Let It Grow”.   It’s got a great tune with a nice feel to it.  I hope you’ll also like my rendition of Jim Fusco’s classic “vocal guitar solo”.  I think it came out great and I’m pretty proud of this Laptop Session, mostly because of how great my Zoom H2 microphone picks it all up.

I’ll be doing more from Clapton in the future, although I wouldn’t really consider myself a “fan”.  I just have these random obsessions, and it’s great to have the Laptop Sessions as an outlet to get it out of my system for a while.   I’ve had an obsession with this song for many years- one of those ones that comes up on random and I scream, “Oh YEAH!”

Anyway, enjoy tonight’s Laptop Session, on time, as usual, and come on’ back tomorrow for Chris’ next acoustic rock cover song ya’hear? 🙂

“Promises” (Eric Clapton Cover)

Originally posted 2010-01-01 12:30:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jeremy Hammond:

My cover of “Promises” by Eric Clapton. A bit of my own interpretation, I end it with an improvised solo. The video consists of two tracks. For the first track, I recorded the rhythm and vocals in a single take. Then I laid down a second track over the first for the solo.


Eric Clapton is arguably one of the greatest electric guitar players of all time.  Over the first ten years or so of his career, he played in a number of influential rock bands, not the least of which was Cream.  Once he formed Derek and the Dominoes, he went on to release perhaps his most famous song, “Layla.”  As he proved with his famous acoustic rendition of “Layla” during an MTV Unplugged performance, he also has a knack for acoustic performances.

“Promises,” a track from the 1978 Eric Clapton album Backless, is an excellent choice for an acoustic cover.  As you’ll hear, Jeremy has brought another great addition to the Laptop Sessions storehouse of cover song music videos, adding to the woefully meager portion of Clapton that we currently offer.  Admittedly, the solo at the end strays from the Laptop Sessions format, but for those of you purists out there, simply hit stop at the three minute mark.  Otherwise, sit back and enjoy a great improv at the end to top off this excellent performance!

“I Can’t Stand It” (Eric Clapton Cover)

Originally posted 2008-09-27 23:35:37. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Well, I had a day today.  That’s why I had to post so late- a combination of tiredness, emotions, victory, and forgetfulness…mostly forgetfulness.

Tonight, I bring you a song by Eric Clapton that I know little about, but just heard it in the car a couple times and decided that it was a good song to do for the Sessions.  It’s a new one I learned recently, so I hope that you’ll become a fan, too, if you haven’t heard it yet.

I do know that it’s from the early 1980s, but I’m willing to receive a full history lesson if anyone wishes to provide one for me.  I enjoy the tune of this song and the kind of laid-back way Clapton sings it.  I find that kind of funny considering how he’s proclaiming that he’s through putting-up with his significant other “runnin’ around” and “foolin’ around”.  You think he’d be a bit angrier…

On a separate note, as this is meant to be a blog and not just a place to post videos, I’d like to extend a heartfelt condolence to anyone who has recently lost someone in their lives.  The people who care about you won’t let you feel alone.  I personally have felt that I wasn’t able to be there for people during some important times, but I feel good knowing that I can be there for them now and won’t let them down.  I’m always available for hanging out, late-night Taco Bell, PS2 baseball, the movies, TV shows, baseball live on TV, or just general hanging-out at any time.  And I don’t mean that as a sympathy thing, either.  I mean it as that’s the way I’ve always wanted it to be, but haven’t had for a long time.  So, I hope that it’s the way it’ll become from now on and into the future, no matter who ends up coming into or leaving our lives.

Good night everyone and stay tuned for another great tune from Chris Moore kicking off this week on the video blog.  You know that a Sunday, Sunday, Sunday video means that person gets an Original Wednesday pick, so we’re all excited to see what he’ll come out with next!