“My Last Mistake” (Dan Auerbach Cover)

For Dan Auerbach chords/lyrics, CLICK HERE!

By Chris Moore:

Hello and welcome to another installment of “Chris Moore Monday.”  It is my priviledge and responsibility to start off each week right, usually with a selection that is in “new music” news.  I figure this is appropriate, since tomorrow is “New Music Tuesday” – what better role is there than to turn you on to great new music?

Okay, so tonight’s song is technically a week old…

Dan Auerbach is better known as one half of the blues rock music group the Black Keys.  The band formed in Ohio in 2001, and in less than a decade, they have accumulated an impressive resume — including opening for Beck and Radiohead, playing on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and The Late Show with David Letterman, and receiving accolades from Rolling Stone such as one of the “10 best acts of 2003.”  Although the band has not broken up, this year has found Dan Auerbach making a name for himself by releasing his very first solo album titled Keep It Hid.  I almost transcribed and played this, the title track, but I couldn’t resist “My Last Mistake,” the subsequent track.  Auerbach might agree with this choice of songs to record and play, as he performed “My Last Mistake” on the Friday, February 13th episode of Conan O’Brien.

So, you may be wondering how I heard of this release.  Well, aside from receiving a coupon for the first-week purchase in my favorite email each week — the Newbury Comics e-newsletter!! — I was tipped off to the release by someone who has his finger on the pulse of all things modern and alternative rock.  (So, thank you again, Geoff!)  He’s the same person who strongly suggested I check out the 2008 albums of Beck and Cold War Kids, both of which I would never have purchased on my own.

And I would have missed out!

Now, they’re not my favorite records of the year, by any means, but there are some killer songs that would have passed me by entirely.  So, hopefully I’ll continue to receive new rock music insight from Newbury Comics, Geoff, and who knows who else!

Speaking of new music, I constructed a fairly impressive “Albums of 2008” iTunes playlist.  It contains 341 songs, ranging from the Barenaked Ladies children’s album to Ben Folds’ album (which was certainly NOT kid-friendly!).  I hadn’t really listened to the playlist since the New Year, but I just turned it on yesterday and fell in love with it again.  I’m listening to it now, and even now, Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” just faded into Brian Wilson’s “Oxygen to the Brain.”  Where else can you find that sort of variety?!  I cling to my playlists and albums these days, as the popular media has only embraced an extremely small and profoundly unrepresentative sample of what modern rock music has to offer.  Take the aforementioned Coldplay, an overrated and — until recently, in this writer’s opinion — mediocre band.  Chris Martin and his band have received more Grammys than all of my favorite bands combined.  No kidding!  Meanwhile, Brian Wilson got a Rolling Stone article for his amazing 2008 album That Lucky Old Sun, and that was all.  I understand that he is older and there perhaps isn’t a market for his music, but I find it sad that more people couldn’t have been exposed to the bright, brilliant, and uplifting rock tunes that pour forth from that album.

Enough ranting for one day’s post…

As a final note, I finally picked up and watched the Sam Jones documentary I Am Trying to Break Your Heart.  I had planned on watching it with Dana last night, but he hadn’t returned home, so I got ready to watch it alone.  Then, Mike texted and sounded interested.  So, before I knew it, Mike had arrived with apple juice and saltines (food for sick people — my personal choice is G2 and wheat toast!) and we cranked up the volume on the big screen.  What a great documentary — not only is the filmography reminiscent of Don’t Look Back, but Jeff Tweedy is looking very Dylan-esque.  Scruffy, bearing harmonica rack, singing poetic lyrics — what more could I ask for?  Also, he seems like he would be a difficult guy to live and/or work with.  But that being said, I like Jeff Tweedy a great deal, and it was really interesting to see him candidly in the studio.  And thanks to Dana and Mike for making last night an event in and of itself — when Jim returns from vacation, I just may have to join them for their late night sessions that I miss so much since I’ve become an “old man” with a wakeup time of 5 or 5:30am…

And now to tie this ALL together…

Wilco switched to Nonesuch records after the Yankee Hotel Foxtrot fiasco (the situation filmed and described in I Am Trying to Break Your Heart), and Dan Auerbach is also on the Nonesuch label.  So, as you see, it all comes full circle…

Don’t miss an all-new Jim Fusco Tuesday tomorrow.  Until then…

See you next session!

“Transitions” (Original Wednesday Acoustic Song by Chris Moore)

By Chris Moore:

Hello and welcome to my first Original Wednesday since Christmas Eve!  This is an exciting week for me, as I’m off from work.  There have been plenty of things to keep me busy — really, too many to list — but I woke up this morning and, despite the work I should be doing, I decided to work out this song and record it for tonight’s session.

The song is called “Transitions” and this is a Laptop Sessions world premiere.  It may make it to my next album, it may not…  Only time will tell!  I hope you like it.  This is the first fully recorded version of it, so it’s a demo of sorts.  It’s not perfectly arranged yet, to be sure, but I’m pretty happy with the overall structure of it.  Some of the words may change, some of the rough edges will be smoothed out, but this is your sneak peak at the first complete version of it.  I messed around with the harmonica even after I finished recording this video, and I have to say that this song has (and/or will have) one of my favorite harmonica parts that I’ve written in a very long time.  It’s a very deliberate aspect, but not so note-for-note that it sounds scripted.

Outside of writing and recording this song, I’ve been busy during my February break with some grading for my classes, jury duty yesterday (I was released after “a day’s service”), preparing logs for my BEST portfolio, reading three things (Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Pro Wrestling, and the 40-page booklet to the Sam Jones film I Am Trying to Break Your Heart), and listening to several albums, including MoU’s Homestead’s Revenge (I think “Worlds Apart” is my favorite song we’ve ever done!), Pearl Jam’s Binaural, and Dan Auerbach’s Keep It Hid.  Oh, and I can’t forget to mention my favorite playlist that I referred to in Monday’s post — the “Albums of 2008” iTunes playlist.  Good stuff all around…

We’ve gotten a decent number of views to the blog for the chords and cover video of Dan Auerbach’s “My Last Mistake.”  That’s exciting because I wasn’t sure what to expect with this fairly obscure song choice.  It’s all the more incentive for me to keep on top of new rock music, bringing whatever I can to the blog as my contribution to this, the best acoustic cover song blog in the universe!  No kidding!

Okay, that’s it for me for this week.  But, even as I write that, I’ll be back to choose and post a Guest Session for Friday.  We’re accepting submissions every day, so don’t wait — record a video on YouTube and send the link to us today with an interesting description.

See you next session!

“My Last Mistake” by Dan Auerbach – Chords, Tabs, and How to Play

“My Last Mistake”
Dan Auerbach

Pick (notes): B – Eb – G – B

Intro: F

Tell me now, tell me true:
F                                                                Gm
Of all the things I did to you, was this the one
Gm            F
That made you break?
F        Gm                         F
Did I make my last mistake?

Only you can play the game,
Rope-a-dope and lay the blame.
Can’t you see my body shake?
‘Cause I made my last mistake…

I was out of line before,
Am                                           Gm         C
But this is so much more I know.
I don’t wanna be the king
Am                                             Gm
Of every single living thing, just you.
Gm                                                     C
And you can be my queen mama…

Instrumental: F

Separate towns, separate hearts;
Distant love from distant parts.
Every man plays the snake,
Bound to make his last mistake…

Solo over BRIDGE

Outro: F (X4) – F7

** 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. **

The Black Keys’ “Brothers” (2010) – The Weekend Review

By Chris Moore:

RATING:  3.5 / 5 stars

In many ways, the Black Keys are as simple a group as any making music of any kind these days.  Their lineup?  Two men: Patrick Carney on drums and Dan Auerbach on guitar.  Their music?  Often riff driven, and usually classified as blues rock.  Their most recent album?  Well, the cover reads, “This is an album by The Black Keys.  The name of this album is Brothers.”  The back cover?  Reads: “These are the names of the songs on this album.  These are the guys in the band.”

From the outside, there has never been an arrangement of sounds, words, and packaging that was quite so blunt.

And yet, there is an inner torment here, ostensibly brought on by the soul-searching trip down memory lane that runs as a common thread throughout all fifteen tracks on Brothers.  At every lyrical turn, the songs return to that most basic of subject matter: the effects of early — and, most often, painful — experiences with love.

It comes as no surprise, then, that the Black Keys would set the music video for “Tighten Up” on a playground, a video which finds Carney and Auerbach’s sons (in the storyline, at least) vying for the attention of a girl.  By the end of the video, the adults, after trying to break up the fight, have begun fighting over the mother of the girl.

The moral of the story, it seems, is that we may grow older, but we never truly change.

Especially when it comes to attraction and love.

As Auerbach sings in “Tighten Up,” “When I was young and moving fast / Nothing slowed me down.”  As the years have gone by, he’s “Living just to keep going / Going just to keep sane.”  The latter lines suggest that there are accumulated memories and experiences from which to run.

These fifteen songs — alternating between the outstanding and the okay — pick at the scars in order to explore those memories and experiences.

The Black Keys' "Brothers" (2010)

The Black Keys' "Brothers" (2010)

Alternating between tender vulnerability and world-weary realism, the resounding statement that this album makes is, as stated on “Next Girl,” “I made mistakes back then / I’ll never do it again.”  During the album-long review of history, there are some mild bouts of nostalgia, but most of those even end in an audible hardening of the skin.  Most are stark realizations, as he goes on to sing in this song that “A beautiful face / And a wicked way / And I’m paying for her / Beautiful face every day.”

“Next Girl” may seem harsh, even misogynistic, but at its core, it is a song about loving not only based on appearances, but also being aware of the deeper values.

Much of the material here refers to relationships gone wrong, as in “She’s Long Gone” when Auerbach sings about a girl who “was made to blow you away/ She don’t care what any man say / You can watch her strut / But keep your mouth shut / Or it’s ruination day.”  This is the classic girl-as-temptress scenario, and calls to mind Estella, the girl who was raised to break men’s hearts in Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations.  The term “ruination day” adds a biblical edge to the tale.

This girl must really have made an impression, as Auerbach goes on to sing, “And she’s not made like those other girls.”

Revisiting track four, one is left to wonder if this is the same girl he is referring to when he sings, “Throw the ball / To the stick / Swing and miss / In the catcher’s mitt / Strike two / Baby I’m howlin’ for you.”

Another theme that is played out is that of jealousy and its longtime ally revenge.  In “Ten Cent Pistol,” Auerbach establishes himself as a third person narrator, telling the tale of a man who “ran around / Late at night / Holding hands / And making light / Of everything / That came before.”  This individual, apparently vowing never to commit, goes on to make an enemy of a woman, perhaps surprised that their time together turned out to be a one-night stand.

He goes on to sing, “There’s nothing worse / In this world / Than payback from a / Jealous girl / The laws of man / Don’t apply / When blood gets in / A woman’s eye.”  Again, a bit exaggerated perhaps, but this sentiment is in line with the woman-as-dangerous paradigm that is explored throughout the album.

The middle to end of the album is perhaps the most blunt, as Auerbach sings of morality in “Sinister Kid,” noting that “Your mother’s words / They’re ringing still / But your mother don’t / Pay our bills.”  Later, in “The Go Getter,” he recounts, “I got a table at the Rainbow Room / I told my wife I’d be home soon… I see my life going down the drain / Hold me baby and don’t let go / Pretty girls help to soften the blow.”  In both cases, the commonality is idealism versus realism.  Both acknowledge normalcy (or what “should” be done), yet go on to do what is necessary, or at least what “help[s] to soften the blow.”

The low point for optimism falls in “I’m Not the One,” as Auerbach asserts, “You think / That I’m normal / But all these years / I’m just trying to warn you / You’d do good / To move on / No it won’t / Hurt me none.”

It’s difficult to believe a statement like this, particularly the idea that another moving on wouldn’t hurt, considering the more vulnerable moments that are explored on this album, as in “Too Afraid to Love You” when he admits that most basic of human truths: “I’m just one wishing / That I was a pair / With someone / Oh somewhere.”  Then, there is their decision to cover “Never Gonna Give You Up,” which is hardly a song of defeat.

To be certain, the narrator’s recounting of what seem to be early experiences with love are most often delivered with a subtext of regret embedded.  Oftentimes, the pain is felt when reality overshadows the imagination, as in “The Only One,” when he sings, “Like a ghost / The one that I love most / She disappears / When I get near.”  This is perhaps the most difficult lesson of all for a young man to learn: namely, that we often build up the ones we love to be something — typically something more — than what they are in reality.

Memories aren’t all bad on the album, though when they aren’t bad, they’re sad, as in “Unknown Brother”:  “We’ll smile like pictures / Of you as a boy / Long before you retired / To heavenly joy.”  This is really the first time since the opening track, where Auerbach states “Love is the coal / That makes this train roll,” that affection is viewed in a positive light.

The album begins with the optimistic sentiment, “Let me be your everlasting light / The sun when there is none,” but it soon turns out that this is probably less a serious request than a desire to believe that this kind of simple, pure love could exist.  This seems to be supported by the closing track of the album, when Auerbach confides in us that, “Wasted times and broken dreams / Violent colors so obscene / It’s all I see these days / These days.”

These songs could be taken at face value as simple little blues rock numbers, but there is so much more woven into the lyrics, and particularly into the vocal deliveries, guitar riffs, and other instrumentation.  All in all, Brothers reads as a return for Carney and Auerbach to the Black Keys, a brotherhood of sorts, that exists after all these years as an outlet for them, as something in which to place faith in the ability of man to feel genuine camaraderie and sentiment, even if it is wrapped in pain and torment.

But, then again, that’s the blues, right?