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Seeing as how the Wallflowers are coming to town tonight, I thought it only appropriate to play one of my favorite tunes off their most recent album, Rebel, Sweetheart. If you are hearing “Back to California” here for the first time, please find and listen to the album version. The real version is one of the most rocking songs I’ve ever heard from Jakob Dylan and the boys.
I recorded more takes of this cover song music video than I should have, in my desire to recreate it acoustically and yet maintain the same spirit of the studio recording. Just like “Everything I Need,” this was certainly a vocal workout–this time, not because of the range but due to the emotion/inflection I tried to achieve while my allergies are in full swing…
Well, I’m really excited about going to see the Wallflowers show at Foxwoods tonight with Jim and Mike. This is one of my all-time favorite bands, and because they tour so infrequently these days, I was afraid I would never get to see them.
We’ll definitely report back on the Wallflowers show. For now, I hope you enjoy the acoustic cover song music video — I hope you’ll rate it and/or leave a comment.
See you next session!
P.S. I can’t wait to hear more new tracks from Jakob Dylan’s upcoming solo album, Seeing Things! Maybe they’ll translate into some new acoustic covers for the Laptop Sessions music video blog soon… 🙂
Welcome to my second installment for Number One’s Week here at http://LaptopSessions.com ! I’m proud to bring you an artist that I haven’t covered before — Otis Redding. This is truly a classic song that deserved to be a true #1 — “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay.” It’s such a simple song with really basic chords and fairly basic lyrics, but there’s just so much emotion in them. I could never duplicate the sound that Redding put into his studio recording (especially considering that he used a piano instead of an acoustic guitar…), but I really enjoyed recording this session. It was probably the most fun I’ve had recording in weeks; I spent about ten minutes playing along to the real version, and then I hit record and finished in a couple takes.
Once again, I hope you enjoy it. There’s a special “first” for me at the end of the video; regular viewers of the Laptop Sessions will pick up on it…
On a side note, speaking of simple but great music, I’ve been listening to the new Mudcrutch album non-stop since Tuesday, and I’m enjoying it a little more each time. It’s so cool to see not only Tom Petty, but also Benmont Tench and Tom Leadon with lead vocals on a few tracks. As a big Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers fan, it’s also cool to have a Campbell/Petty collaboration — it only takes one listen to “Bootleg Flyer” to figure out who wrote that one! My review will be coming soon, but I just wanted to spread the good news — there is good new music out there! (You just need to wait patiently and watch closely for it…)
Once again, thanks for watching — I hope you’ll comment and/or rate this video. And don’t forget to tune in tomorrow for an all-new session from Jeff!
And welcome one, welcome all to my Laptop Session for this very special Original Wednesday here at your source for the best acoustic cover and original song music videos available on the internet today! (That’s a mouthful…)
You may be wondering, why is this day so special?
Well, for one, this is the birthday of Laptop Sessions series creator Jim Fusco. On behalf of the other contributors and the loyal viewers of this blog, I’d like to wish him a very happy 25th birthday! Only a quarter century in, and he’s accumulated quite a back catalog of music, writing, and side projects. If you haven’t already, you should head on over to jimfusco.com.
Take it from me: the best gift you can get Jim this year is to spend a measely $10 on his brand new album Halfway There. Go ahead, check out the album in streaming audio at his official website, or use the search function at the top of this page to listen to Laptop Sessions of many of the Halfway There tracks, read a full review (another one from Jeff coming soon…), and see the beautiful, custom artwork he used for the cover.
Okay, that’s enough plugging for one post.
Tonight’s session is based on a song that I never recorded for an album. “Keep On Going” is an early track, as you will most likely be able to tell! Although the words are straightforward and the chord progression is simple, I’ve always liked this little tune. I originally wrote this song as a direct statement to my best friend (Jim, if you haven’t made the connection yet), assuring him after a rough week that things really will turn out all right, even though people — particularly high school aged people — can be cruel. I hope he’s seen that to be true, as he’s moved on to college, made many lifelong friends, and become engaged to Becky Daly. For all you former Pine Loft faithfuls: yes, this is indeed the same Becky Daly of Chris, Jim, and Becky fame!
I still sing “Keep On Going” when I feel stressed out or begin to think something — a relationship, a professional endeavor, etc. — won’t work out. I hope you like it.
As a final note, stepping back into the present, I just started listening to the new Bob Dylan album, Together Through Life. In case you’re questioning my devotion, there’s only one reason why I didn’t start listening yesterday: I pre-ordered the album on Amazon.com and didn’t spring for any more than Free Super Saver Shipping. So, I’m cheap. What do you want??? 🙂
Did I mention I’m loving the album? As I type, it’s blaring through my room and probably throughout the condo complex. I may even get a letter in the mail from the condo association condemning me for noise pollution or disturbing the peace or some other such nonsense, but it will be worth it! I spent the day at school today wearing the Best Buy exclusive Together Through Life t-shirt that Mike so graciously passed along to me from his purchase of the album (thanks again, Fusc!!). I made certain to wear a white button down shirt today and a narrow tie, so as to have the Dylan t-shirt show through. Thanks to at least one inquisitive student in each class I taught, I got to talk about the new album at least once every 82 minutes today!
I’ll save my commentary on Together Through Life for the review that will most certainly come, but allow me to share a couple comments. First, this is not what I was expecting after Love & Theft and Modern Times. Then again, that’s pretty much what Dylan himself suggested, so I’m not really surprised. My favorite line thus far is the chorus to track three: “Hell is my wife’s home town.” As if there’s any question as to whether Dylan’s dry sense of humor is still intact, just listen for his chuckling — yes, his chuckling — in the outro of that song. Finally, although it’s a slow album to start, just wait for “Jolene” and “Shake Shake Mama” to really get your foot tapping.
And, with that taste of this new Dylan album, I’ll emphatically suggest you need to buy both Halfway There and Together Through Life and be on my merry way.
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!