I have found that there are very, very few artists that I love who started playing music any later than the early t0 mid- 1990s. John Mayer has been an exception, at least up until his whole “I’m into blues/I’m very serious/I have long hair” phase. I fell in love with Room For Squares, found Inside Wants Out charming, and couldn’t stop listening to Heavier Things. Unfortunately, I found Continuum to be unimpressive on the whole. And don’t even get me started on Try!
So, for this session, I went back in time to “Love Song For No One,” hoping to conjure up a time when I loved Mayer and his work. I think his first album is often dismissed, as though every song were “Your Body is a Wonderland” — which I’m man enough to admit I really enjoy…
Without further ado, here’s my take on “Love Song For No One,” a version that took me many takes before I was happy enough to release it. I’m still not entirely happy with it, but my voice was scratchy and I did my best. Besides, you know what they say — a session a day… keeps Chris, Jim, and Jeff going crazy? 🙂
Greetings from the other side of the midnight chimes — this is your latest (and late) Laptop Session! Tonight, I bring you a new band to the sessions… Snow Patrol. Specifically, this is “Run,” the seventh track of their 2003 album Final Straw. This album was first recommended to me by then-fellow Staples Copy Center employee John Fortin, after he heard the Chris, Jim, and Becky album Live in the Studio. He said, based on our album, he thought I might enjoy the band.
At first, I liked the album, but I wasn’t crazy about it. It became one of those albums you go back to every so often, and over time, I grew to like it more and more. Recently, as I went back to both this album and their subsequent one, Eyes Open, I fell in love with the songs of Final Straw. The next album is solid, but lacks the hooks and flairs — really, the strength of individual tracks that are great and stand on their own — of the 2003 release.
My sister has also become a fan of Snow Patrol, so I hope that she gets a chance to read this post and check out the video. Jaime and I have fairly divergent tastes in music, but we have found much more overlap in the past few years — we can especially agree on the awesome-ness of Ben Folds and Elliott Smith! We actually both had a similar reaction to the new Snow Patrol single, “Take Back the City.” Specifically, we were hesitant about the new album based on the strength of this track. I can’t speak for her, but I know that — for me — the song seemed a bit forced at first, as if they were trying to make a hit single that could climb the charts as well as their last big hit, “Chasing Cars,” did. Really, though, what was most off-putting to me was what I initially interpreted as being a line — “God knows you’ve put your life into it tons.” Tons? Really? Is this the poetry I’m rushing to the store to purchase?
Well, those of you who know me will check this off on the list of times that I misinterpret something due to an accent. (Stories for another time…) The line is really “God knows you’ve put your life into its hands.” Lead singer Gary Lightbody’s Irish accent through me off. And, while I’m in a confessional mode, can I also admit that one of the factors that has always prevented me from entirely liking the band was the way Lightbody sings? Yes, it’s true… It took me until a few weeks ago to research and discover that they’re an Irish band. How I didn’t figure that out before is beyond me! But, now that I know, I’ve been going through a Snow Patrol renaissance of sorts.
Their 2008 release, A Hundred Million Suns, is — in my opinion — their best work since Final Straw. I was hesitant to buy it at first, based on their 2006 album and the aforementioned single. But, I’m really glad I did buy it. The opening track “If There’s a Rocket Tie Me to It” is one of my favorite track ones in a long time. Track two, “Crack the Shutters,” is one of my favorite songs on the album and would have been my choice for a single (To date, it has reached #9 on the iTunes alternative rock charts!). Then, track three is the single. Track four, “Lifeboats,” slows it down a bit and is another of my favorites. And it goes on from there…
I found it really interesting to read that the band considered this to be a more upbeat and “cheerful” album than previous releases. I didn’t really interpret it that way, but that could just be my current state of mind. Regardless, I do agree with their statement that it is their best album to date.
Well, that’s enough ranting and rambling about Snow Patrol for one post! In other news, I broke down and bought the first season of the Chappelle show, with hopes that Jim will want to watch some of the episodes. So far, I’ve only watched the first episode, which includes not only my favorite sketch (the Clayton Bigsby, black white supremacist skit) but also the Pop Copy sketch that so wonderfully makes fun of my previous profession as a Staples Copy Center employee! So, as you see, this post really comes full circle. It started with a band that was recommended to me by a Copy Center co-worker and ends with me going off to watch Pop Copy!
But, before I go, I should also mention that I have not made my last post of the day. In fact, there may be as many as two new posts from me in the next few hours. So stay tuned and come back soon for much more brand new fun on the best acoustic rock cover songs blog in the universe — the Laptop Session!
Welcome to Tremendous Tuesday! It’s so good, it’s “like a potential delay or closing tomorrow because of inclement weather” good.
Today I continue my romp of classic songs that have been covered more recently. Chances are you’ll think that Pearl Jam is the composer of the song “Last Kiss”, but if you do your research you’ll know it is a cover of a song that’s over 40 years old! It was actually written by Wayne Cochran, but he didn’t get a lot of publicity for the song. It took his song being covered a few times for the song to be successful.
This is among the easiest songs one can learn to play. I remember teaching this to one of my friends’ cousins at a guitar lesson. If you can play a G, Em, C, D progression, then congratulations you can wham out this song!
I had an incredibly busy day today, so i’m going to keep this brief. But short posts doesn’t mean a subpar video! The video itself came out well, and my voice “naturally” scratched during the higher notes, and it is really effective for this song that it happened. I think it is still an after effect of my voice still recovering from last week.
But Jim “Like an entire Christmas Village playing the same thing at once in their minature houses so it comes out peaceful and awesome” Fusco will be supplying us with an original tune tomorrow. I have a hunch at what it could be (if he hasn’t played it already), but chances are it will be a song I haven’t heard yet.
See you then!
Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, Jeff’s acoustic cover song music videos are no longer on YouTube, but we decided to keep his cover song blog posts up. We figured these music blog entries would be good for posterity’s sake and because Jeff always gave such insightful posts each Session. We hope to see Jeff’s impressive catalog of acoustic rock songs here on the Laptop Sessions cover songs and original music blog again in the future. But, for now, please make sure to check-out hundreds of other acoustic cover songs from all of your favorite bands here on the Laptop Sessions music blog!
Isn’t it about time? Tonight, I bring you- finally- a cover song of The Who, one of the world’s greatest all-time rock bands. This band defines the term “classic rock” and even though they’re only down to two members left in the band, they’re still rocking and making music today.
In our quest to cover every great band of all time, it pains me to think of some of the ones we still haven’t done yet. I’ll be premiering three of them in the next week alone, including tonight’s video. Can you believe we haven’t done Creedence Clearwater Revival or the Marshall Tucker Band yet, either? Well, coming up in my next two sessions, I’ll be doing a cover song from each band. I hope Chris and Jeff will hop on the bandwagon and help me with some of these famous bands we haven’t done yet, including Simon and Garfunkel, the Rolling Stones, and Queen. I, of course, always have a few tricks up my sleeve…53 at last count, that is…
Onto tonight’s Laptop Session cover song video. The Who are an electric band for the most part, with roots from their “garage” band days in the mid-60s. Everyone, I think, kind of thinks of them as a 70s band, and maybe that’s why they’ve maintained their “cool” stature (kids today don’t feel nerdy walking around with a Who t-shirt on, but you NEVER see someone with, say, a Bobby Darin t-shirt on!). But, you can’t forget about their earlier songs, before the concept albums and the rock operas. I do respect them for that, but I wish the other band members did more than just write lyrics and an occasional song (“Boris the Spider”, anyone?).
“Behind Blue Eyes” was a perfect choice because it combines a soft acoustic part with a rocking section that translated well on Chris’ steel-string acoustic guitar. Sorry, the Italian nylon-string guitar had to take a break tonight! The only problem with doing this cover song video was the fact that I practiced it first, making the softer parts MUCH harder to sing. You see, while singing, you have two modes: the sweet mode and the rock-out mode. This song has both, but once you rock out, it’s hard to revert back to the sweet singing style. I think I made it by just fine, as I just played the guitar a bit softer to balance out the lack of power in my voice in those sections, ESPECIALLY after my throat-grinding middle section. This video may be even more rocking and voice-ruining than my video for Billy Joel’s “You May Be Right”! Click here to view the video and make the judgement for yourself!
Lastly, I’m glad that I recorded this cover song music video after I’d recorded two more, because there was no way I was singing anything after THAT vocal performance! I’ve been practicing these songs for a couple of MONTHS now and making sure they’re perfect. Especially when I introduce a new band to the Laptop Sessions acoustic rock cover songs series, I want to make sure that I’m going to please all the new fans of that band we’re going to usher in. So, I think my full-hearted performance of The Who’s “Behind Blue Eyes” should satisfy fans and have them coming back to the Laptop Sessions music video series for more! Enjoy!