“Christmas Morning” by Jim Fusco – FREE mp3 Download! – Day 14 of 14

By Jim Fusco:

And here it is- the end of the line.  I can’t believe we’re already through all 14 days of my Rock’n’Roll Christmas celebration!  Remind me to never do this again. :-)

Today’s song is my original Christmas tune, “Christmas Morning”, that I wrote back in high school!  I personally think every artist has ONE good Christmas song in them.  And, to be honest, I’m not exactly sure that I’d ever be able to come up with another one as catchy as this one, so I don’t think I’m going to try!

I recorded this song for the first time back in 2004 for our Christmas album, “Our Christmas Gift To You”.  At the time, I was just getting used to playing the guitar and recording with my digital 24-track.  I had basic microphones, too.  Now, I have a Cab Clone to record my guitars, various tube amps, high quality mics, compressors, preamps, and…the same 24 track mixer.  But, if you’ve heard both versions, you can really tell a big difference.  I’ll probably end-up recording this again in the future after my equipment gets even better!

My wife Becky helps me sing on this tune, too.  I was going to have my brother Mike help out, but he was sick when he came home for Thanksgiving, so he couldn’t sing on it.  Next time, though!

I hope you’ve had as much fun reading and listening to these Christmas songs as I have making them.  It’s a pretty big accomplishment for me to do all of this while being so busy otherwise.  I hope I can maybe just do one song a year from now on, just to keep me into the recording process.  Enjoy “Christmas Morning” and have a Merry Christmas!

“I Am Mine” by Pearl Jam – Chords, Tabs, & How to Play

Originally posted 2009-06-01 22:42:14. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

For the cover song music video, CLICK HERE!

“I Am Mine”
Pearl Jam

Intro:  D – F – C – G (x4)

D…   D          F             C               G
The selfish, they’re all standing in line
Faithing and hoping to buy themselves time.
Me, I figure as each breath goes by,
F       G         D
I only own my mind.

The north is to south what the clock is to time.
There’s east and there’s west and there’s everywhere life.
I know I was born, and I know that I’ll die,
The in between is mine.
F G   D
I am mine…

D          G             Am            D
And the feeling, it gets left behind.
All the innocence lost at one time.
Significant, behind the eyes,
D                    Cadd9
There’s no need to hide…
Cadd9           D
We’re safe tonight.

[D – F – C – G (x2)]

The ocean is full cause everyone’s crying.
The full moon is looking for friends at hightide.
The sorrow grows bigger when the sorrow’s denied.
I only know my mind.
I am mine…

And the feeling, it gets left behind.
All the innocence lost at one time.
Significant, behind the eyes,
There’s no need to hide…
We’re safe tonight.

D – F – C – G (repeat)

And the meaning, it gets left behind.
All the innocence broken with lies.
Significance, between the lines.
(We may need to hide)…

And the meanings that get left behind.
All the innocents lost at one time.
We’re all different behind the eyes…
There’s no need to hide.

G – Am – D (x3)
G – Am

** These chords and lyrics are interpretations and transcriptions, respectively, and are the sole property of the copyright holder(s). They are posted on this website free of charge for no profit for the purpose of study and commentary, as allowed for under the “fair use” provision of U.S. copyright law, and should only be used for such personal and/or academic work. **

Menomena’s “Mines” (2010) – The Weekend Review

Originally posted 2010-12-31 17:25:50. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

RATING:  4 / 5 stars

The clean, clear pattern of bass and guitar give way to the atmospheric hum of vague distortion and drum fills.  The singer declares and repeats, “I walked right in through the rabbit’s door / And walked right into a rabbit’s hole / I made myself an open book / I made myself a sitting duck.”  It ends disjointed, harmonies both beautiful and haunting, and it ends with a final tom hit.

This is “Queen Black Acid,” Menomena’s opening track on Mines.  It hints at the blend of trippy and serious qualities that are to come, and it aptly sets up this Carrollian dream image of the rabbit’s hole.  For Mines, though, openness isn’t a celebrated childhood quality.

For Mines, openness is a characteristic of those liable to get hurt.

Across eleven tracks, Menomena assemble a patchwork of riffs, both instrumental and lyrical, and achieve a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.  The manner in which the band composes is a fascinating process of playing out for extended periods of time, examining the results, working in pieces, writing lines and instrumental segments to connect parts into the resulting whole songs and, ultimately, sequencing the whole album.

“Killemall” is a striking example of the outcome of this process, uniting such diverse segments as smoothly as it does.  There are frantic drums, manic piano, haunting background vocals broken up by stops filled with harsh bursts of drums and organ.  Thematically, the concept of truth is explored, and the implications for honesty in the living aren’t promising: “Have you met your ghost? / He says things that you won’t” and, later, “The spirits are ventriloquists / They say the thing that must be said.”  The riffs on piano (and one other instrument I “ain’t quite identified yet”) are the glue that holds this composition together.  To write a whole song based merely on one of the handful of sections would probably not be rewarding.

Taken as a whole, “Killemall” is a compelling song.

Mines (Menomena, 2010)

Mines (Menomena, 2010)

Considering the jam mentality at the front-end and the fragmented nature of the segments sorted out at the back-end, the coalescence apparent in the final product is a remarkable feat of songwriting.

From the lulling sadness of the “Dirty Cartoons” refrain of “I’d like to go home, go home” to the distorted guitar that cracks through the silence in the opening movement of “Tithe,” it is clear that a narrative of sorts is being strung together.  The latter settles on the realization “Nothing seems appealing” and subsequently devolves into a cacophony of riffs and voices battling for attention.

This leads the listener to the “shit storm” and the narrator’s “sinking ship” on “BOTE,” a centerpiece track that presents a crisis expressed in seafaring metaphors and explores the resulting shocks of awakening.  “I thought I was tough / I thought I was strong / Thought I could handle anyone who came along,” comes the first confession.  This is followed quickly by the qualification that, “The worth of a boat’s / In how well it floats / And this old boat won’t float for long with all these holes / So I grab both sides with iron will / It’s fit for war but weighs too much and starts to fill.”  Herein lies the weakness that sunk the ship: what was thought to be strength was actually a heaviness that doomed the ship after it had taken several hard hits, struck with “holes”.

Another instance of a clever device comes on “Oh Pretty Boy, You’re a Big Boy” when the band opens with the lines, “All my life I’ve run away / From those who’ve begged me to stay / All your love is not enough / To fill my half empty cup.”  This nomadic sense is extended at the close of the song, as the onus of the fear is flipped to focus on the narrator’s shortcomings: “All my love was in one place / Til I let it escape / And all my love is not enough / To fill your half empty cup.”

It is on the eerie “Five Little Rooms” that the singer repetitively declares, “All this could be yours someday.”  This is referring directly to the five little rooms and their tenants, but it could also be understood to suggest the landscape and content of the album as a whole, this vulnerability that has been inescapably stumbled upon.

The natural response to this is anticipated in the line: “All this someday could be yours / Cross your heart, click your heels and get the hell away.”

Mines presents a richly dangerous and dysfunctional landscape of love, fear, and loss: loss of control, loss of hope.  Knopf, Harris, and Seim juggle instruments and singing duties, blurring the lines between roles in the band and consequently blurring the lines of what a song is supposed to sound like.  There are loops here and riffs and repetition, but there are also authentic instruments and carefully constructed words and sounds.  Mines lays out a world that one can get lost in, one anticipated in the cry/prayer in “Taos”: “Oh my God bring me peace from this wolf covered in fleece / I can’t shake loose from its teeth / Oh my God set me free for I’ve no ability to cut my leash and walk away, away, away…”

For its composition, imagination, and innovation, Mines is one of the premier albums of the year.  At the risk of overstatement, it is a record that calls for a reassessment of what an album can be.

“Great Day” (Paul McCartney Cover)

Originally posted 2008-03-16 16:08:30. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Welcome to your Sunday edition of the Laptop Sessions!

Today, I bring you a tune that I covered on my album “That’s All Folks” called “Great Day” by Paul McCartney. It closes out his 1997 album “Flaming Pie”, one of my all-time favorites.  That album, “That’s All Folks”, came about because I had purchased my first good acoustic guitar.  That guitar meant everything to me- it sounded great, played great, and made me feel like a real musician.  I didn’t even really know how to play too well when I bought it.  So, I learned how to play a bunch of songs I was listening to at the time.  That taught me more chords, which turned me into a better player.  And, at the time, I was going through a HUGE Paul McCartney phase.  They had just released “Wingspan” with all of Wings’ greatest hits.  I know those songs probably grate on people after all this time, but they were all new to me- and I fell for it pretty hard.  We were also listening, as a family, to Paul’s albums from the 90s quite a bit.  The first real song I learned how to play (and played it for my parents) was, of all things, “Hope of Deliverance” by Paul McCartney off of the “Off the Ground” album from the early 90s.  I guess you could say that Paul McCartney’s songs really taught me how to play.  And when it comes to rock musicians, you can’t get a much better tutor than him.

This is the perfect acoustic song and gives quite a vocal workout, which you wouldn’t expect in such a simple song.  I decided to do this acoustic cover song on my nylon-string classical acoustic guitar, as it gave me the opportunity to be more expressive in my performance.  This song is very soulful, which you wouldn’t really expect from the lyrics.  I kind of dumbed-down the guitar picking riff throughout because that’s not really my thing.  I’m a strummer and a soloist, but can’t do the flat-picking thing too well.  Paul McCartney, the phenom that he is, is proficient at almost anything, musically.  The man is one of the best bass players of all time, he can play the drums, sing (obviously), write songs, and play any guitar part you throw in front of him.  Oh, and he’s written some of the most famous rock songs of all time on the piano, as well.  That’s a pretty impressive life, for sure!

I hope you all enjoy today’s Session, as I’ll be back on Wednesday with a “political” original song- don’t miss it!