“No Lights, No Sound” (Original Wednesday)

By Chris Moore:

Well, it’s been a while since I posted a music video, so I figured I’d better make certain my YouTube account was still functional…

This week, instead of recording a cover song, I felt that it was time to kick off The 2010 Project music video series I’ve been planning for a while.  You may be wondering, what exactly is The 2010 Project?  It is the working title — and, based on a recent conversation, very possibly the official title — of my forthcoming album.

Thus far, as of April break, I’ve chosen the thirteen songs that I plan to record and completed the writing of both music and lyrics.  Since then, I’ve recorded acoustic demos of each song and begun listening them in order to help me think of and decide on arrangements and various aspects of how I’d like the final products to sound.  I’ve been experimenting with GarageBand drum loops, and I’ve been practicing the songs quite a bit since April.  Every weekend since then, I’ve taken an hour to sit down and play through the album in order.

As with any big project like recording an album’s worth of material, anything’s liable to change by the time the final product is ready to be heard.  That being said, I plan to string together thirteen installments in this music video series, each featuring one of the aforementioned songs.  And, understanding that anything can change, I’ll be releasing them here on the blog in the order I plan to sequence them on the album.

The first song up is “No Lights, No Sound.”  Laptop Sessions regulars may recognize this as a video I’ve already recorded and posted over a year ago.  However, this is the finalized version, with some slight lyric changes and additional verses.  This song is a rare case of old lyrics re-emerging on a new song.  The story here is that, a few months ago, I came across the lyrics for an old song that I never really committed to, but had always liked a few lines from.  I thought they might fit nicely into this song, and with a few alterations, I think they do.

In a lot of ways, this is one of the simplest songs on the list, a tune that started as I walked around my room in the dark almost two years ago.  I was home alone, my capo on the second fret from having played another song (which I’ve since forgotten), and the first line sort of came to me: “The lights are off; there’s no one around…”  I wrote this and the first chorus, but that was it for a while.  It wasn’t until months later that I added the middle section and new verses.  Then, this past April, I deleted a verse and added two more in.

“No Lights, No Sound” is a song that has weathered several phases in my recent life, a track that has been conceived, shaped, and reshaped by these phases and survives in its current form with a scheduled slot as the opening track of The 2010 Project.

I hope you like this one.  For some reason, even though my allergies haven’t been hitting me as hard as they probably will soon, my voice wasn’t at its peak today.  That being said, I feel that worked for this solo acoustic performance.

So, without further ado, here is the first installment in the series — hurry back every day this week and both days of the weekend for new posts!

See you next session!

“House of the Rising Sun” (The Animals Cover)

By Jim Fusco:

Christmastime will have to wait another year to come around again. But, things went very well over the past couple of days. Christmas Eve started with breakfast at McDonald’s before work with Chris and Dana. Then, we got out of work at 2:00 and I came home to clean up and take a nap before my family arrived for dinner. We all ate and ate and ate until Mike and I went over to Hubbard Park in Meriden where they have the whole park decked-out in Christmas lights. There’s always so many interesting animals made out of wire and lights- turtles, a beaver, moose, and even frogs. After that, Mike and I watched an episode of the show Freaks and Geeks before bed.

We woke up to our usual bounty of Christmas presents. I was happy because this year, I actually got everyone a TON of stuff, too, and was pretty excited to see if they liked it all. I got what I was hoping for- a Playstation 3! I’m so excited because I have a great Samsung HD television, but I haven’t gotten to use it to its full potential yet. With the PS3, I’ll be able to play games and movies in high-def.

I also got some other great stuff, including a TON of accessories for PS3 (and also the game MLB 08) from Mike. I got some very useful stuff for my condo, as well, as I tend to neglect buying things I truly need for everyday life and just focus on saving up for large purchases.

After we ate dinner, we took our annual trip to my Aunt’s house. We opened presents and I played a Nintendo DS game with my little cousin Gerry where the object of the game was to make Daffy Duck angry. How fun!

I then came back home for, as Chris said, a great episode of TNA iMPACT! Oh, I also got that video game, too!

After that, I finally got to come home and open presents I got from Becky. She got me a train set (I was right!) for around the tree, some “hot packs” of baseball cards (when you’re guaranteed to get a jersey card inside), and six (yes, 6!) Blu-Ray movies for my new player! I got one from every category, including scenic, action, music, etc.

I got up this morning and went to the train station with Becky to catch the train to New York City. We had an appointment at the NV Perricone Cosmeceuticals boutique on Madison Avenue, where I scheduled a spa treatment for Becky. Thankfully, I work for NV Perricone’s headquarters in Meriden, CT, so it was a lot easier (and less money) to get an appointment. I couldn’t believe how upscale that area was. I ate lunch at a nice European cafe…that is, if you consider lunch to be a piece of pie and a cup of coffee for 14 dollars!!! I sat down and looked at the menu first. I was so surprised at the prices for lunch that I forced myself to just get the pie and coffee. I would’ve been out forty bucks easy if I got lunch…for just me! So, to ease my hunger, I got a $1.50 hot dog from a street vendor, then went back to find a glowing Becky after her treatment.

We then saw the Rockafeller Center Christmas tree, then won a lottery where we got FRONT ROW seats to see Mel Brooks’ “Young Frankenstein” on Broadway for only $27 each! Those tickets were going for $120 at the box office! We were pretty pumped. We ate a nice meal at Bubba Gump shrimp (I knew the answer to the trivia question about how many Dr. Peppers Forrest drank at the White House) and then saw the show. It was a long train ride home, especially because I knew I had to record a video!

Tonight’s video, after 640 words of writing, is one of the most covered songs of all time. Just about every folk singer has done this, but the reason I know it is probably the reason why you know it, too- The Animals. Their version of this traditional song is just so cool. The ripping vocals, the wailing organ solo, and of course, those four to five chords that just give you instant recognition of this tune. The strumming pattern is cool, but not the easiest thing to do while singing. At least they’re easy chords.

I’m glad to add another “new” band to the best video blog ever created- it’s like “going to bed at 4 am knowing that this was the night you were supposed to catch up on your sleep, but who cares because it’s the weekend of Christmas” good! I only have ONE MORE video to do to complete our entire year’s worth of Laptop Sessions acoustic cover and original songs videos and I feel very accomplished right now. Enjoy tonight’s video and I’ll see you for my year’s swan song on Monday!