For Radiohead chords & lyrics, CLICK HERE!
By Chris Moore:
Hello and welcome to another week of new music and material, brought to you by the best acoustic cover song music video this side of the Alpha Quadrant! (That’s a little Star Trek: Voyager reference for those of you nerds out there…)
For my song tonight, I’ve chosen my first Radiohead cover. How did I get to this song? Well, I’ve been listening non-stop to A Singer Must Die, Steven Page’s collaboration with the Art of Time Ensemble. The final track on that album is a cover of Radiohead’s song “Paranoid Android.” That song is from their 1997 album OK Computer. Listening to that album today, I came across “Exit Music (For A Film),” a great little track that has a strong acoustic foundation.
And, after all, I realized that Jeff is the only contributor to the blog who has recorded a Radiohead track, and all four of his selections are from their album The Bends. Now, I’ve never heard The Bends, but of the albums I’ve heard, my favorite has always been OK Computer.
What better reason to pull out a track from that release for tonight’s video?
The other story behind tonight’s session is that I had originally planned to cover a song in honor of the final edition of the Johnny Cash “American” series, American VI: Ain’t No Grave, which comes out tomorrow. I would have loved to record Sheryl Crow’s “Redemption Day,” but I couldn’t work out an arrangment I was happy with. The only other song I was halfway interested in taking on was Kris Kristofferson’s “For the Good Times.” I had learned, practiced, and planned to record it until I got home and realized I was too bored by it. It would have been an extremely simple song to record — easy chords, basic country structure, etc.
But what fun would that be?
So, I kept coming back to Radiohead and the fact that we’ve never recorded a cover from the classic OK Computer. Figuring out the chords for “Exit Music” was more difficult than “For the Good Times.” I found a couple different versions online, and what confused me most was how both sets that I found began with the same couple chords but then varied wildly. In some cases, the first was accurate. In others, the second was accurate. In others, neither were accurate. In the end, that was half the fun of this session: I feel like I got acquainted with the song through having to figure it out, so I felt a lot more passionately about recording it.
I suppose I’ll just have to wait for Johnny Cash’s versions of “Redemption Day” and “For the Good Times”…
Going back to the reason I started listening to Radiohead today in the first place, I wanted to repeat that I have been enjoying Steven Page’s A Singer Must Die much more than I initially thought I would. When I first learned of this release, the prospect of an album of covers performed with an ensemble did not appeal to me in the slightest. As time went on, I became more and more interested to hear what it sounded like. Although I couldn’t bring myself to pay for the shipping that it would have taken to get a physical, autographed copy, I had assumed that Newbury Comics would be stocking it. Then, last Tuesday, I was shocked to learn that it wasn’t available at any retailer in the U.S., nor was it available on iTunes. I thought I would have to wait…
…that is, until Steven Page tweeted the link to his online store that had just added the digital version of the album. As you can read in my review (CLICK HERE!), I found the choice of songs, the performances, and the arrangment of tracks to be outstanding. To be fair, it’s not an album I’ll be cranking up in my car, but it is certainly an album that has and will continue to get a lot of air time at home. The most exciting part about this week’s edition of the Weekend Review is the endorsement it was given. After I wrote and posted the review yesterday, I also posted a tweet with a link so that people who follow me could read it. Then, Mike retweeted my post and added Steven Page (@stevenpage). Finally — and this is the exciting part — Steven Page actually retweeted Mike’s post! So, in summary, Mike and I both managed to be retweeted by, as I wrote in my text to Mike, STEVEN FRICKIN’ PAGE!!! In all seriousness, I was thrilled that he took the review seriously enough to retweet it, and I was happy to see the increased traffic on the page for yesterday and today.
As a final, non-music related note, I spent my first hour and a half after school today camped out in the living room with snacks and season five episodes of The Office. The reason? Not just because I’m lazy, although that was probably a contributing factor. No, it had to do with the stench coming from my dishwasher. There’s some kind of issue with the pipes or the dishwasher itself, and nothing I did seemed to help the smell. So, after retreating for a while and feeling a bit depressed about the whole situation, I got excited about this session, which revived me. Then, Nicole came home from her class with some advice from her father. Fifteen minutes later, problem solved! At least for now, as this will only work permanently if it’s an issue with the pipes. If it’s the actual dishwasher, then I’ll probably return home today (or, at the latest, when I run the dishwasher next weekend) to a not so pleasant odor.
I’m not sure why I felt the need to share that, other than the fact that it is a great example of the power of the Laptop Sessions — they have the power to ruin a night (computer issues, multiple takes, etc.), or to revive your day.
And, with that, I hope you have a great week, keep checking back for new material this week, and I’ll see you next session!