Welcome to the Laptop Sessions for Tuesday! Today, I bring you yet another new band to the Sessions. Well, it’s not a “new” band by any means, but we’ve haven’t done them before: The Temptations!
This song is also in contention for the longest song title award. I’ve always liked this song, but for some reason it moved its way quickly up my list when I thought of it one night and learned how to play it.
Temptations songs are a bit harder to do, like the Beach Boys, because of their usual harmonies, but it’s fun to take a song that has so much more production and make it into a solo performance. That, in my opinion, is what makes the Laptop Sessions so unique.
Over the next few weeks, it’s going to be my focus to do as many new bands as possible. I still have a couple of songs in the reserves to get to first, but look for a wide array of new artists to come!
Hello and welcome to not only a brand-new Laptop Session, but the introduction of a new artist to our list of covers! Today, I’m playing “Waltz #2 (XO)” from Elliott Smith’s XO album. I actually just realized a couple weeks ago that he did indeed have an album between my two favorites from him — Either/Or and Figure 8 — and I had to get it. I’ve been listening to it ever since, and it feels kind of like a new album to me, considering that I thought I had heard all of his studio material.
Like I said, I’ve been listening to the album for over a week, and even though I still have several Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash “Laptop Sessions” videos, I just had to sit down and record this one (thus, the late-night, down-to-the-wire posting).
I hope you enjoy it; I certainly enjoyed learning it and playing it! Don’t forget to check out an all-new session from Jeff tomorrow, right here at http://LaptopSessions.com !
Hello and welcome to your first post by someone other than Jeff since Saturday. There’s no need to fret, though… he’ll be back for another awesome session tomorrow!
And, since it’s a Wednesday, we have an original song music video to look forward to!
For tonight, however, I’m bringing you yet another new band to the blog. I’m fairly certain you’ve never heard of this band. In fact, if I were a betting man, I’d be willing to put down serious money on it. Why did I choose this song, you may be wondering? Well — and this is no lie — this one actually came to me in a dream. I had a dream a few nights ago that I woke up, walked over to my CD shelf, and began looking through the cases to find bands that hadn’t been covered yet. Among the bands I thought of, my Fruit Bats CD came into my vision (in my dream) and thus popped into my head when I woke up.
If this doesn’t show just how pervasive the Laptop Sessions “session-a-day” project has been in our lives, then I don’t know what will. I mean, how many people dream about things like this??
The Fruit Bats are an interesting band. There is very little information available about them; even their Wikipedia page is fairly brief. I found out a little more than I already knew — Eric Johnson is the lead guitarist and songwriter who formed the band in 1999. He has been the only constant member.
I did learn that he used to be with a group called I Rowboat before the Fruit Bats. What a name! Currently, he’s working with the more popular indie/alternative group the Shins. Also, I went to their official website for the first time. It’s pretty plain — what they should do is hire one Jim Fusco of Fusco-Moore Studios’ Web Design Services to really make it stand out — but I learned that they have several tour dates planned for the west coast and that they have plans to record a new album. Also, there’s a new “Blog” section on the site and the first post was made by “the Fruit Bats” last month.
See, blogs are where it’s at!…
So, I hope you enjoy this acoustic rock cover song. If you get a chance to hear the real version, I think you should, as there’s some cool piano components to the studio recording that I, for obvious reasons, couldn’t and didn’t include. I think it shows that I had a lot of fun recording this video. And, truly, it reminded me about one of the best aspects of the Laptop Sessions project — we get to rediscover music that we have forgotten over the years and, through learning the songs, get to understand the music in a way that we previously had not.
Without further ado, here’s the song. Don’t forget to rush back tomorrow for an all-new and excellent Original Wednesday with Jeff. It’ll be good. It’ll be “I fractured my skull by banging my head against a wall because Jeff wasn’t posting today but now he is so I’m still in pain but really happy to watch his new video” good!!…
Hello and welcome to yet another all-new Laptop Session at your web blog for a session-a-day, guaranteed through December 31st, 2008. Now, that guarantee is swiftly running out, but don’t fret. We’ll be introducing a new schedule of performances for 2009 that will not only introduce many new types of posts to the blog on a regular basis, but also maintain a steady and prolific stream of new cover song music videos!
But, let’s focus on the present for now…
I had originally intended to record a Christmas song tonight, but I got busy with napping, fast food eating, Christmas shopping, and TNA Impact! viewing, so I decided to pull out my one and only “backup video.” If I haven’t already, I should introduce this video by announcing my desire to record a cover video for at least one song from each Wilco album. I’ve been listening to this band a lot these past several months, picking up their albums one by one as I find them on sale or used. I’ve already recorded a song from their third studio album, Summerteeth, called “How to Fight Loneliness” — that video is posted in the members only area of this blog (scroll down to the bottom to sign in and/or sign up!). Previous to that, I recorded “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart” from their critically acclaimed fourth album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. This was a great song — easy to learn, fun to memorize the lyrics for the performance, and I even got a compliment from a former student who watched the video!
Last week, I picked up a copy of their subsequent album, A Ghost is Born. Ironically, I’m listening to that album now and — literally the moment I typed the title of the album (!) — I just heard Tweedy singing “a ghost is born…,” which is in the lyrics to the song “Theologians.” I don’t think that A Ghost is Born is as impressive an album as Foxtrot or as rocking and enjoyable an album as Summerteeth, but I’m warming to it. There’s a great deal of experimentation, particularly on the 15-minute penultimate track “Less Than You Think.”
But I’m not quite ready to record a song from that album yet, so I went back to the first Wilco album, A.M., which is the final album that I own thus far. This album was more of a straightforward country rock effort, reminiscent of their predecessor Uncle Tupelo. Tweedy himself doesn’t sound all that impressed with the album, but I think it’s actually the most upbeat of the Wilco albums I own. It’s certainly the best album to listen to in the car!
This is my version of the single from the album, titled “Box Full of Letters.” I don’t know what it is about this song — something about the combination of the guitar hooks, lower lead vocal that resonates, and the catchy chorus — but I love it.
And it puts me one step closer to having recorded one song from each album!
When I return next week, I’ll have three sessions for the week — barring unforeseen difficulties, I’ll be bringing you three holiday-themed songs to finish out the season for me (musically, at least).
Thanks for reading and watching, and don’t forget to hurry back tomorrow and the next day for great videos from Jeff and Jim. They’ll be “slapping yourself in the face to make sure you’re not dreaming” good!