By Chris Moore:
Hello and welcome to another week and another all-new Monday edition of the Laptop Sessions. It’s been quite a weekend, and it’s going to be quite a week!
On Friday night, I stayed late at school for as long as I could, but I just couldn’t resist going to see the newly released Star Trek movie. For once, a movie lived up to the hype! I picked up Nicole for the trip to the theater, and although we’ve seen a lot of good movies together (not to mention a decent number of flops), this has to top them all. Although I’m more of a Trek geek than she is, I think it’s fair to say we were equally excited during and after the movie. If you love the classic series and films, then you’ll appreciate the respect paid to these characters. If you know nothing about the franchise, then this is the perfect film to watch first. I can’t wait to find an excuse to watch it again very soon…
Saturday was a crazy day for me, as my sister Jaime graduated from Nyack college at 2 pm in New York. I got up early (for a Saturday, at least!) and drove to New York for my least favorite of all activities: ceremonies like a graduation. That being said, it was worth it to see my sister graduate. We met as a family later on for dinner and that was great, too. It was great to have Nicole join us, too, and she made what could have been a long, boring drive with lots of downtime an enjoyable little day trip. Sunday was more of the same, as it was Mother’s Day, and my sister is only home for a week before returning to New York to work. We got to hang out, talk music, and watch an episode of The Twilight Zone that gave her nightmares as a young child. We didn’t get to play The Office board game, but there will always be time for another round in the future. (And I’ll be ready this time! 😉 )
Tonight finds me watching the Mets. After a seven game winning streak, it appears that they’re going to lose one. I’m loving this iPhone “MLB.com – At Bat 2009” application. It makes listening to games and staying in touch with the stats and standings soooo easy. It’s been a great week for watching Mets baseball, and I don’t want to complain. But I don’t quite get why they seem unable to score runs when Johan Santana is pitching. Maybe they get subconsciously complacent, since he’s such a great pitcher. Even tonight, although he got into a couple sticky situations, he worked his way out of each one — until they pulled him out 1/3 into the seventh inning. What truly amazes me is his ERA; as of tonight, it is .78! Games with Santana on the mound would have to get busted open wider than Abyss during a Pay-Per-View for weeks straight for him to reach the ERA’s of the other Mets starters…
But, enough of blogging for blogging’s sake — I should probably introduce the song I’ve recorded for tonight’s acoustic cover song music video. “Off He Goes” is a track from Pearl Jam’s 1996 album No Code. This album was the first to break from their previous sound a bit and some fans disapproved. I’ll admit that it’s not my favorite album in the Pearl Jam catalog by any stretch, but there are some great tracks on it. “Hail, Hail” is one of the most rocking and catchy songs in their catalog. “Present Tense” is one of my favorite Pearl Jam tracks, if only for the combination of lyrics and gradual instrumental buildup. “I’m Open” is a cool spoken-word track — yes, those do exist!
This track, “Off He Goes,” is perfect material for an acoustic cover song. Initially, after having this song come up on my iPod this weekend, I thought it would be an easy song to record. Ironically, I almost decided not to learn it and record it for fear of being criticized for recording too many simple songs.
Well, that’s simply not the case…
As Jim can attest to, I spent over an hour and fifteen minutes and about 40-50 takes of this song to get it anywhere near where I wanted it to be. There are still a couple of discrepancies I hit while singing the tune, but I also nailed a few of my favorite subtleties in the song. What recording this song taught me was how truly difficult it is to make a slow, deceptively simple song like this really translate into a great performance. I have even more respect for Eddie Vedder than I did before, especially for the fact that he plays guitar and sings in concert on this one. The chords are so easy — really, just F, C, and Am — but the strumming pattern was difficult to hit in a few places. (**The best part about recording these sessions, undoubtedly, is spending all that time, posting on YouTube, and waking up to find that two people have viewed it, one of whom has one-starred it and left no comment. Thanks for that.**)
That’s enough for one Monday. I hope you enjoy the session (more than my first YouTube viewer did) and hurry back all week for great new acoustic cover song music videos.
See you next session!