“Forever Young” (Bob Dylan Cover)

By Chris Moore:

Hello and welcome to my second to last Laptop Session of 2008!  For my selection tonight, I’ve gone back to the formidable catalog of Bob Dylan.  Specifically, I’ve chosen a song that I think everyone should hear — around this time of the year, especially.

“Forever Young” is a fairly simple and straightforward song, one about wishing someone health, happiness, self-confidence, and an overall high quality of life.  I think it’s really interesting that Dylan recorded two versions of this song.  Now, you may be wondering why this is out of the ordinary, as Dylan is well-known for recording multiple versions of the same song, often with various arrangements and different lyrics.  However, in this case, both versions (each very unique) were included on the same album, 1974’s Planet Waves…  Back to back!

I hope you enjoy my cover of this great song, and I hope you’ll accept it as a blessing extended from me to each one of you, each of you that has taken and continues to take the time to listen to my cover songs.  It’s been quite a year with some great videos, some mediocre videos, and a few that stretched the range of what I’m able to do.  And, at the end of this noble experiment we like to call “session-a-day,” I find myself being able to sing a song — this one, “Forever Young,” — that I wasn’t able to sing and play comfortably as recently as a year ago.

Before I leave you to watch the music video I’ve posted on YouTube for today, I’d like to thank Jim’s cousin Sarah for having us over tonight.  Jim, Becky, Sarah, and I went to see Jim Carrey in Yes Man (and it was excellent fun!), eat at Luigi’s (where I had delicious scallops over ziti), and even got to play Wii tennis, dodgeball, and volleyball.  Sarah and I were an unstoppable team, but Jim did beat me mercilessly in the gladiator event.  It was good to get out.

And, as a final note, I just finished reading Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which was a Christmas present from my sister Jaime.  It was an excellent book, and as I mentioned to her, I wish I had read it in high school, as I was trying to figure out some essential things about myself.  That was in large part what the novel was all about — learning to understand and be confident about yourself before you can properly fit other people into your life.  Now, I’m 25 pages into Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five and really enjoying it.  Vonnegut is great; his final novel, Timequake, really impressed me, and I have no doubts that I’ll be equally amazed with this one by the time I’ve finished reading it.

Okay, but this is enough for now.  You should go watch my video, and I’m going to go back to watching episodes from the eighth season of ER, one of my favorite shows of all time.  I forgot how much I cared about these characters — Greene, Carter, Lewis, and others.

Hurry on back, now, for Jeff’s video tomorrow.  Then, it’s one last time through the batting order before 2009!!

See you next and last (for 2008) session!

Happy 69th Birthday to Bob Dylan!

By Chris Moore:

Although Sony Music has accused me of copyright infringement — then revoked their claim, then made it again — for posting acoustic cover versions of Bob Dylan songs, I am endeavoring to direct all my negative energy at the financial mega-power rather than at the singer/songwriter himself.

With that being said, I couldn’t allow today to slip by without tipping my hat to the man that sparked in me a passion for lyrics and music, albums and artwork, critical perceptions of social issues, and 1960’s American history.

To celebrate Bob Dylan’s sixty-ninth birthday, I’ve put together two more posts in my quest to review all of Dylan’s studio albums by New Year’s Day 2011.  I already put Bob Dylan (1962) under the one-sentence microscope and wrote a full five-star Weekend Review of The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (1963), so that brings us to The Times They Are A-Changin’ (1964) and Another Side of Bob Dylan (1964), the last of his all-acoustic albums until the early nineties.

Before I leave you to my reviews, I want to make two additional plugs for Dylan.  First of all, if you haven’t already, you should take a few minutes and check out the “Drawn Blank” series of Dylan-penned graphics at http://www.bobdylanart.com.  I wish I could afford the actual prints, but I had to settle for l0w-quality j-pegs from the Cassandra and Train Tracks portfolios to use on my desktop, a nice affordable way to celebrate Dylan’s birthday!

Finally, I just read that Newsweek released its list of the top albums of the decade…

…and Love & Theft (2001) is #2!

This thrilled me more than it probably should have, as his September 11th, 2001 classic has been one of my favorite in his catalog since the day it was released.  Well, technically the day after.  (I remember writing in my journal on September 10th that nothing would stand in the way of me going to the CD store to buy Love & Theft on its release day, of course having no idea what tragedy was to befall NYC and the nation.)  I love this album so much, that I actually own two different versions — the original edition, as well as the special edition released later with two additional tracks and different photos included in the packaging.

And, with that, I urge you to listen to a Bob Dylan song today, or better yet, a whole album!  As for me, I’ve listened to two and if you’re interested, my thoughts on them will follow soon…

“World Gone Wrong” (Traditional, Bob Dylan Cover)

For Bob Dylan chords & lyrics, CLICK HERE!

By Chris Moore:

As a general rule, I’m not a big fan of traditional folk songs. Most often, I’d rather hear original songs from the artist. No one really remembers Dylan’s first album, which was comprised of almost all covers of traditional songs; it was his second album and his original songs that were groundbreaking. But, in the end, it really isn’t a hard and fast rule. For instance, I love both Johnny Cash’s and the Band’s 1968 versions of “Long Black Veil,” and one of my favorite tracks on Johnny Cash’s posthumous A Hundred Highways album is the traditional “God’s Gonna Cut You Down.” However, when Dylan came out with two back-to-back acoustic-only albums of traditional folk songs, it wasn’t an exception, at least in my opinion. They’re the only two albums of his that I never really got into.

That being said, there were two songs that I really did get into, both from 1994’s World Gone Wrong. Thus, I decided to cover the title track for today. (Seeing as how Bob Dylan is my most-covered artist here on the Laptop Sessions, I figured I wouldn’t feel so bad if I wasn’t technically covering another Dylan song…)

It seems like we can’t express it enough — the collaboration and the taking-turns schedule we’ve adopted this year works for so many reasons, not least of all that it helps us feel like we’re all in it together. I’m really excited for the release of the free “The Laptop Sessions: Volume One” mp3 download, coming later this month. It will, of course, remind me of how I really was the last one to hop aboard the Laptop Sessions train, though… (If memory serves, I think I posted one session out of the first fifteen.) That’s all the more reason to keep posting now!

Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for an all-new Laptop Session from Jeff!

“You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go” (Bob Dylan Cover)

By Chris Moore:

Hello and welcome to another Laptop Session! I’ve been thinking about love songs quite a bit recently — as a songwriter, I’m not very good at writing them. I feel that I’m much better (and much more natural) at writing songs that express some issue in my life or concern. So, like any good Dylan fan, I went to Blood on the Tracks.

You might wonder why I would go to an album that is considered one of the best “break-up” albums ever. I figured , if it’s one of the best break-up albums, then it must have started with a passionate relationship. “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go” may not be a love song per say, since it’s all about the inevitability of a loved one departing. But, if you listen to the words, there is such a power that this woman has over Dylan/the narrator. It’s so hard to express this type of power that a loved one can have, and although it’s not a happy song, I think it’s a great love song.

So, I may not be any closer to writing a happy love song, but hey… 🙂

On a side note, I’m really excited that I have 35 subscribers as of today and that I’ll reach 4,000 views by early next week. Thank you so much to those who have been watching and commenting on the videos — it makes me all the more excited to keep finding good songs to record!

Jeff will be back tomorrow on LaptopSessions.com for an all-new session!