“Lives of Crime” (Fruit Bats Cover)

Originally posted 2008-12-09 23:24:30. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

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!!…

See you next session!

“Box Full of Letters” (Wilco Cover)

Originally posted 2008-12-18 23:39:11. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

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!

See you next session!

Music Review: The Beatles’ “Please Please Me” (2009 Stereo Remaster)

Originally posted 2009-09-09 22:43:06. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

Of all the remastered Beatles discs, the Fab Four’s debut album might seem the least likely to be the first you’d want to hear.  After all, it is their most raw effort, not only for the fact that it was their first experience in the studio but also because they were pursuing a “live” sound.  It was essentially recorded in a day under the supervision of a profoundly talented producer (George Martin) and four boys with a tremendous deal of potential (John, Paul, George, and Ringo), all five of whom had yet to re-create — or, really, create — the genre in which they would spend much of their respective careers and earn much of their respective fame.

Perhaps for all those reasons, Please Please Me is an excellent place to start.

"Please Please Me" - the Beatles' debut album, remastered for 2009!

“Please Please Me” – the Beatles’ debut album, remastered for 2009!

Amidst all the controversies over mono versus stereo, should the remasters have been remixed?, etc., Please Please Me has been released in the awkward stereo format — instrumentation at the left, vocals panned right — that would have been available only to “a small number of hi-fi enthusiasts,” as the liner notes recall.

I had to chuckle to myself as I sat in the parking lot today, cellophane wrapper on the floor and new-CD smell filling my nostrils, as I imagined how exciting and fresh this format must have been at the time, a hint of what was to come in the not-so-distant future.

For the first time today, I too was excited to purchase a Beatles album.  Each of my previous purchases of a Beatles record on CD left me feeling empty.  Sure, the music was excellent — phenomenal and mind-altering, even — but the packaging has always been far too sparse, nothing more than the cheapest of cheap jewel cases and a one-fold booklet.  The packaging of this 2009 remastered album makes it worth the purchase alone.  There are reprinted liner notes, rare photos, and a mini-documentary that, although very brief (less than four minutes), includes entertaining footage and interesting narration from all four band members as well as George Martin.

The songs themselves sound as good as they ever have.  The Beatles’ rapid ascent to pop music stardom becomes clear after hearing tracks like the energetic “I Saw Her Standing There,” the vocally superb “Please Please Me,” and George’s lead vocal debut “Do You Want to Know A Secret?”

As if these weren’t enough, the other Lennon/McCartney originals round out the set nicely — the classics “Love Me Do” and the lesser-known but equally catchy “Misery.”

Even the covers, like “Anna (Go To Him)” and “Twist and Shout,” shine almost as bright as Lennon/McCartney originals.  Although I have always maintained that “A Taste of Honey” is disposable, it is interesting to hear the first instance of Paul’s double-tracked lead vocals on a recording.

Throughout this remastered album, as with the original release, the words that continually come to mind are “energetic” and “fun.”  In all reality, the remastered tracks are merely cleaned up versions of the original mixes — the same as always with a sharper focus, so to speak.

If the past four decades are any indication, this may be the last overhaul of the Beatles catalog for a very long time.  For those of us “hi-fi enthusiasts” in 2009, it seems a shame to go on for the foreseeable future without all the Beatles’ material — arguably the most essential albums and tracks of rock and pop music — in full, lush stereo sound, each vocal and instrument standing out.

And yet, even if you feel this way, the 2009 remaster of Please Please Me — with all its simplicity and raw energy — should provide nothing but pleasant listening and reading.  And if you’re interested, make sure to check out all of our Beatles cover songs here on the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog!

“The Other Side of Life” (Moody Blues Cover)

Originally posted 2011-07-16 04:31:14. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Back again with another edition of the Laptop Sessions!

This time I finally get to do a Moody Blues song. I just got the urge to do this one yesterday, so it gets first billing. It’s not my favorite of theirs, but it does remind me of listening to it while riding in the car when I was little.

I think it’s got a great beat and a cool chorus (especially how they do the drums in concert), but my father thinks it sounds a bit too much like “Dragging the Line” by Tommy James. I have to agree.




Anyway, this is the first of MANY Moodies songs to come, so stay tuned!