Check out this acoustic version of the classic War Pigs, performed by one Savannah King. A solid rendition, and nothing too fancy, but it’s her vocals that really stand out. More than simply changing the emotional content by lending a softer touch to a pretty aggressive tune (The Dresden Dolls’ version, also featuring a female vocalist, is even angrier than the original), Savannah’s voice has a slightly throaty quality to it which recalls – dare I say it – Sarah McLachlan. This is particularly evident during the verses that begin at 1:43, and transforms the tone from one of confrontation to one closer to lamentation. Which is some good interpretive work – though it was originally written as a protest song during the Vietnam era, by now most of us feel more or less like Savannah does: this is, sadly, just the way things are.
To check out more of Savannah’s work, visit her on YouTube and MySpace.
Meet Joseph Diaz, college undergraduate, songwriter, and performer. Joseph has a fondness for covers and a talent for video editing, and he’s applied those skills to a tradition he calls “Monday Mashups” – a medley, really, of complementary songs creatively assembled and passionately performed.
This Mashup features three familiar tunes: the Beatles’ All My Loving and She Loves You, and City & Colour’s The Girl.
Aside from putting on a good show, Joseph illustrates the creative and expressive range inherent to the pop form. Sure, you can play these tunes one on top of the other. But each has a unique character, and takes the listener somewhere completely different.
Paul McCartney often plays second fiddle to John Lennon, even 30 years after the latter’s death. The two had a complicated relationship, which influenced their creative output in all kinds of ways. But whatever the subtle dynamics that produced Blackbird, Eleanor Rigby, Yesterday, Penny Lane, The Night Before, She’s Leaving Home, Hey Jude, and dozens of other great songs, they are all attributed to Paul and are primarily his handiwork. So it’s really quite remarkable that the song McCartney himself has said he hopes to be remembered for is one he released on a solo album in 1970, Maybe I’m Amazed. It’s one of those songs that you probably know even if you don’t by name, so you shouldn’t have any trouble humming along to this fantastic fingerstyle instrumental rendition by Adrian Holovaty.
This is a guest post by Racheli, a capella aficionado turned acoustic appreciator.
John Mayer first started to really appeal to me when I realized that his voice was soothing enough that if I listened to him while maneuvering my way through rush hour to and from the subway I actually remained calm and happy (rather than tense and pissed off, as New Yorkers often are). His guitar skills are incredible, and his live performances are often times even better than his recorded ones. This song, Freefallin’, is great – not only because Tom Petty’s original rocks, but also because of Mayer’s interpretation. Whereas Petty’s version has more of a rock feel to it, Mayer’s has a more soothing and calm affect. The lack of drums changes the tempo of the song, which completely changes the style. I also love the contrast between Petty’s voice and Mayer’s, Mayer’s being the raspy type that I just can’t resist. He also changes up the chorus by leaving out the high A that Petty sings. In fact, one of the guys singing harmony sings that note instead.
The song is pretty chilled out until about 3 minutes in when he really starts the build-up, and then my favorite moment comes at 3:26 when he finally hits that A… magical. I get goosebumps every time. I don’t even compare this to Petty’s original because it’s really its own song – as all great acoustic versions are – and I could listen to this one all day.
To get a better idea of what John Mayer is about (…as if you don’t know already), check out these two tracks from Where the Light Is – Live in Los Angeles.