“The New Year” (Death Cab for Cutie Cover)

Originally posted 2010-01-04 18:57:34. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

For Death Cab for Cutie chords & lyrics, CLICK HERE!

By Chris Moore:

Hello and welcome to the first all-new Laptop Session of 2010!  It is my pleasure to kick off another great year here for the best cover song music video blog on the Internet today.  This past year has indeed been a year of changes, of many comings and goings for most of us here, and now we’re setting out to make this the best year yet. 

There’s a lot to live up to, given the past two years  and more of contributions.

Still, I think we’re up to it.

What can you expect?  Well, for now, you can expect a Chris Moore Monday and a Jim Fusco Tuesday each week.  Although Thumpin’ Thursday is no longer regularly filled, you never know when Jeff will get the itch again…  As for Guest Sessions Friday, it is my sincere hope that recent regular Jeremy Hammond will continue to send me links.  In fact, he’s already sent me the link to his video for this Friday’s post, and I can tell you that it’s a song that I remember fondly.  I first heard it on one of my dad’s “hits of the seventies” cassette tapes.  (Remember those?  They were THE media before CDs…)  From what little I know of him through our email conversations, Jeremy seems like a really interesting guy with some great ideas for cover songs to record.  Finally, as for Saturday and Sunday, there will be one edition of “The Weekend Review” each week.  On top of all that, you have the “From the Music Blog Archives” feature to look forward to each and every time you visit the site; we’ve gotten to the point where there are so many posts available to draw from that many are ones that I read as though for the first time…

If you haven’t already, I hope you’ll check out my “50 Best Rock Albums of the Decade, 2000-2009” list and liner notes, posted over the past several days.  Now, my next project is to finish off my “Best of 2009” lists.

First, though, I need to take a breather!

Today was the first day back to school, and what a relaxing start it was, due mostly to the 90 minute delay we had.  I didn’t sleep in, but I did get a lot of grading done.  When I finish this post, I’ll be returning to that seemingly endless task until I’m off to a BK Lounge run with Mike and three hours of live TNA.  This feels in many ways like the biggest single show since my friends got me interested in professional wrestling a couple years ago, so I’m looking forward to it as a full three hours of relaxation before school gets back into full swing tomorrow.

Which brings me, at last, to the session of the night.  I’m bringing you my cover version of Death Cab for Cutie’s “The New Year,” which is the opening track to their strong Transatlanticism album.  I’ve already recorded one song from that release, “The Sound of Settling,” a while back, but I couldn’t think of any better song for the first post of the New Year, 2010. 

I hope you’ve had a relaxing and productive holiday, and that the promise of more Laptop Sessions and related posts gives you something to look forward to throughout 2010.

See you next session!

“Far, Far Away” by Wilco – Chords, Tabs, & How to Play

Originally posted 2009-12-26 12:00:57. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

“Far, Far Away”
Wilco

G                                     Bm
Far, far away from those city lights,
Em                         Bm                    Bm – Bbm – Am
Might be shining on you tonight.
Am                        C
Far, far away from you.
C         G            Em      C          G
On the dark side of the moon.

G                                  Bm
I long to hold you in my arms and sway,
Em                           Bm        Bm – Bbm – Am
Kiss and ride on the CTA.
Am                          C
I need to see you tonight,
C              G                    Em – C – Am
And those bright lights.
Oh, I know it’s right.
Deep in my heart,
Am   G                         Em – C – G
I’ll     know it’s right.

INSTRUMENTAL:
G – Bm
Em – Bm  (Bm – Bbm – Am)
Am – C
G – Em – C – Am
G – Em – C – G

By the bed, by the light that you read by,
By the time that I get home to say goodnight.
I need to see you again
On the dark side, my friend.

G – Em – C – G

G                                 Em – C – G
On the dark side…

** These chords and lyrics are interpretations and transcriptions, respectively, and are the sole property of the copyright holder(s). They are posted on this website free of charge for no profit for the purpose of study and commentary, as allowed for under the “fair use” provision of U.S. copyright law, and should only be used for such personal and/or academic work. **

Famous Fans of the Laptop Sessions with Jim Fusco

Originally posted 2010-05-18 23:21:32. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Okay, so they might not be household names, but Jim Fusco’s acoustic cover song music videos have gotten some pretty interesting comments over the years.  Here’s an ever-growing list of notable people that have become fans of Jim’s videos:

Geoffrey Cushing-Murray: This late-70’s Beach Boys lyricist wrote “Goin’ South” with Carl Wilson and even “Love Surrounds Me” with Dennis Wilson, which appeared on “L.A. (Light Album)”.

I enjoyed seeing this very much. It’s gratifying to know this song still has a life. Carl and I were very proud of it and hoped it would find an audience over time. Thanks again and good job. Geoffrey Cushing-Murray

Greg Douglass: He wrote the music to the #26 hit “Jungle Love”, made famous by Steve Miller in the late 70’s.

Wow. I co-wrote this tune, and this is impressive. Works well unplugged! Good work, dude…Wrote the music & played guitar on the track, as well as touring with Steve for a few years. Again, cool job. Always fun to see something I’m involved with re-interpreted.

More to follow!

Insight on acoustic video covers for the Laptop Sessions

Originally posted 2008-05-24 22:10:18. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jeff Copperthite:

When the idea came across to do The Laptop Sessions as a free video series, Jim started it all off by watching a video of Let It Be that was covered highly incorrectly, and Jim recorded himself playing it correctly. He wanted to put a good name to music covers on Youtube – especially covers of one of his favorite bands The Beatles. Also, in spirit of “The Bathroom Sessions”, which was a free music video series by two members of Barenaked Ladies, I helped coin the term “Laptop Sessions”, since Jim was using the camera on his laptop to record the video.

After the positive response to sessions that Jim put out, Chris and I decided to help Jim with the “Session a day” project starting in 2008. Initially, Jim enlisted Chris to put up one video between each of them, so that the site had a new music video each day. I had tried ten sessions in late 2007, but I had stopped doing them due to the low quality web camera I owned. In general, I was still new to the realm of video as well.

After nearly 60 new video sessions recorded for The Laptop Sessions this year, I have recording videos down to a science. Here is a typical rundown of what it takes for me to make each session.

1) Practice the song

This is the obvious one. As a songwriter, I know the more comfortable I am with the song, the better the video will come out. I grew up hearing a lot of music in the 90’s, so I tend to be most comfortable when I decide to do a song by bands such as Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, and Radiohead. However we do try to diversify our recordings across the years, and I know I cannot limit myself to alternative music bands. Therefore, some songs require up to a week of practice. Others I can learn and play comfortably in an hour or two. I will usually begin practicing the song regularly up to two-three days before I record it.

2) Set up the video recording station

Lately I have four common locations for my videos. The biggest problem I have is that I do not have a tripod for my camera (yet – I do plan to buy one). Therefore, I have to rest my camera on a makeshift stand. I also have to make sure there is enough light. Even during the day, I have to have at least one lamp on so the video doesn’t come out dark. After that, I position the camera, set the zoom, tune the guitar, and do a practice run of the song on the acoustic. Music tends to be easy for me – it’s singing and remembering lyrics that is the most difficult. For this reason, I have to put a small sheet of “notes” that remind me what verse or line to sing next. Sometimes, I have to include the entire lyric sheet, but that is rare. “Round Here” comes to mind as a song I just needed that entire lyric sheet by the camera for.

3) Record the video

When I am satisfied that I can record the song, I psych up for the performance. Lately, I have been able to record the song in about three or four takes. I don’t worry about what happens before or after the performance, since I can edit that out in the next step. As you have seen on our site, recording acoustic guitar video covers is real easy some days, other days you want to throw your guitar against the wall because something minor keeps messing takes up. “Jane” comes to mind with this (despite it being a piano cover). I had played it on the first take and was very happy to have satisfactorily made it through the song. That is, until I discovered the battery had died in the middle of the recording. I charged the battery, and then it took me another 20 or so takes to get it again. Other times, the performance comes so naturally you wonder why you practiced the song so much beforehand.

4) Edit the Video

This is probably the easiest step, despite it taking up to 30 minutes. I transfer the video to my laptop (as you can tell, I don’t own a laptop with a built-in camera, so technically I should be doing “The Powershot Sessions”). Once the video is transferred, I split the clip to the parts I want (usually this involves trimming out the beginning and end of the clip), then add on two title screens and a credit roll. Then, depending on the length of the performance, I render the video, which can take up to 12 minutes for long songs.

5) Write the description, and upload the video.

While the video renders, I write the Youtube description and tags. Usually I will comment on the song I chose, why I chose it, the album it is from, and any comments on the performance itself. I will also usually throw in some current news and other tidbits of info. My descriptions tend to be at least 100 words long. I can usually get both descriptions on the blog and Youtube before the video finishes rendering. Then I upload the video, copy the embedding information onto the blog, and publish!

What keeps me fresh for the sessions is when I try to listen to new music that I may like to cover. I found on Chris and Jim to introduce me to bands and songs I’d otherwise not know, but some people I know also help me out in that department. It is also fun to use this as a springboard to get people to hear our independent music. That is why we do “Original Wednesday”, and slowly we are building up some excitement from our subscribers when that day rolls around. At least we know everyone watching will be listening to something they’ve never heard before.

I hope you enjoyed getting some insight on the process on my end. As always, if you have questions please email [email protected], and direct your questions to me, Jeff Copperthite. Have a great evening!