In January I decided to do one of those “record a song straight to camera and upload it on Youtube” dealies. I was time-poor, so getting something out there quickly with a minimum of fuss appealed to me … and as often happens with these things, it became a habit.
That’s why I now have one song for every month in 2013.
Wanna have a listen? We can call it my self-indulgent and very late Christmas present to you all. Here’s the playlist (each song will queue up automatically) …
Or here are the links to the individual songs and a bit of background for each …
A Sesame Street classic by Ernie of Bert & Ernie fame. I used to play this with my band pretty often and it always got a good reaction. I look stupidly serious in the video but I thought that’d be better than having a forced cheesy grin. I’d also recommend taking a nostalgic trip with the original version.
I played this on my new toy at the time – a cheap little ukelele. I was heavily inspired by Amanda Palmer’s version (also played on ukelele) but the original is still unbeatable.
And this is the reason I bought a ukelele in the first place. Amanda Palmer’s original is such a wonderfully wordy, funny and inspiring song. It’s also kind of difficult to play, which is why I had enough footage for a blooper reel at the end.
An original song I usually perform with Cape Town Lullaby. It’s one that I’ve always liked but we’ve never recorded properly. It’s also one of the only tracks where I got to rock out and get a bit shouty.
A beautiful song but perhaps one of the weakest tracks in terms of my playing. It’s just that bit too high for my vocal range.
A lightning-fast version of the shortest song I’ve ever written. The lyrics are about the character from Wuthering Heights but the music has a knee-slapping backwater country-USA vibe to it.
I wanted to turn this very funky song into a fragile love ballad because the lyrics are actually very sweet. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, but it’s the only track where I got a mean comment, so I could be wrong about it. Then again – maybe that’s just Youtube for ya!
At this point I’d recorded a lot of sad songs (an Eels specialty) so I thought it was time for something upbeat (also an Eels specialty). Here’s the original. The visuals here are quite glitchy (as with many of the songs) because I didn’t figure out how to stop it until almost December.
I tried to bring out the underlying melancholy of the original track and feel like I succeeded. The visuals are ridiculously dark (by mistake) but it kind of suited the song.
This is the one that people seem to like the most (600 views!), which is fair enough because I think it suits my voice well. It’s also a fantastic, underrated song from one of the greatest albums ever (Electro-Shock Blues).
An old school original song that I first played with a previous band back around 2004. Fair warning: the visuals are badly lit and a bit out of focus.
The start of it all. I was particularly rubbish with the camera but I’m happy with how the song sounds. Have a listen to the original too, here.
I’d love to get your feedback on any of the recordings, so fire away in the comments! Other than that – have a great New Year’s and I’ll see you in 2014 :)