“Letters From the Wasteland” (Wallflowers Cover)

By Chris Moore:

Hello and welcome to yet another all-new acoustic rock cover song from the best cover music video blog on the Internet!  Although last week was fun for me — I played covers from the Counting Crows and Jimi Hendrix, which were both a lot of fun to learn and play — but this week promises to be even better.  Not only is it my turn for an Original Wednesday (when we songwriters here at the music blog break out one of our original songs), but I’m starting out the week with a song from one of my all-time favorite bands, the Wallflowers.

Which brings me to today’s video.  This is “Letters From the Wasteland” from the Wallflowers’ Breach album, which was released in 2000.  I was actually listening to my iPod on random earlier today when this song came up.  I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t already done a session of it, and I figured that Jeff might take it if I didn’t jump on it soon.  In fact, Jeff is another reason I chose to record the song.  He just recently recorded “Some Flowers Bloom Dead,” another great song from Breach.  I love that song, too, but I’ve always been taken by “Letters.”  There’s something really dark and powerful about it, and I absolutely love the drum beat and the guitar sounds.

Interestingly enough, at least for an English teacher like myself, is that the title of this song is reminiscent of T.S. Eliot’s famous poem, “The Waste Land.”  I always wondered if Jakob Dylan intended any sort of reference, but there is a key clue that makes me believe he didn’t.  Namely, the Eliot poem spells it as two words — Waste Land — whereas the Wallflowers song spells it as one — Wasteland.  This may seem like a minor detail, but you’d think that Dylan, being as careful about his wording and his songwriting as he says he is, would have picked up on such a detail.  It would honestly be one of the questions I would ask him if I ever met him…

That being said about the background information regarding the actual song, I have to say a bit about my night surrounding this music video.  What a night!  First, I’ve been hit with allergies pretty bad the past couple days, and even though I started taking allergy medication again, it hasn’t quite kicked in.  Thus, my voice wasn’t exactly angelic to begin with tonight.  Then, I kept recording takes of the song that I wasn’t really thrilled with, so by my tenth take or so (including brief false starts) I was dragging.  My throat was pretty sore.  After taking a break to watch the Mets a bit, I went back downstairs and ten or so minutes later, I had a take that I was pretty happy with.  So, I went upstairs from the studio to render my video and post it…

…only to find that the last ten seconds of the recording were all audio static!!

This was devastating to me at the time and some words and phrases slipped out that I shouldn’t repeat on a family-friendly blog.  (Well, as a quick tangent, a family friendly blog directory actually removed us from their listing a few months ago, so maybe we’ve crossed the line already…)  But, anyway, Jim swooped in and, being the computer deity that he is, spliced and salvaged my take by using footage from previous takes.  Amazing.  Even though I now owe him lunch or dinner or a drink or really any sort of food/beverage outing that he chooses, it was well worth it!  I didn’t mentally or physically have it in me to either record yet another take or to settle for a previous one.

And this brings us to the actual video.  I hope you enjoy “Letters From the Wasteland” and I hope you hurry back tomorrow for a new acoustic rock cover from our resident Wallflowers expert, Jeff Copperthite.  You’ll never know what song is up his sleeve unless you check back tomorrow…

See you next session!

This is one in a series of acoustic cover songs, original music, and free mp3 downloads here on the Laptop Sessions Music Video Blog.

1 thought on ““Letters From the Wasteland” (Wallflowers Cover)

  1. As he wears the New Hampshire “White Mountains” t-shirt during the video. Man, how touristy is that?

    On a side note, you know that I enjoy a good Wallflowers song, I really do. I’m even a fan of this song (and your performance).

    But, it pains me that here on the music blog we have 80% more Wallflowers songs than Beatles songs!! Can you even believe that?

    The Wallflowers have NEVER even had a hit song chart in the Hot 100!

    Yet, we still haven’t done any songs from the Who, the Rolling Stones, Simon & Garfunkel, etc.- the list goes on and on.

    I, as resident “owner” of said video blog, hereby put a cease and desist halt on Wallflowers videos until we cover these other HUGE bands and have the number of Beatles songs match the number of Wallflowers songs!

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