Happy 2015, everyone! For my first post of the year, I’m proud to bring you the full video from my concert celebrating the release of my 2014 album, “The Easy Ways”! In this concert, I play the album in its entirety. I made a special mix of the album without the lead vocals and lead guitar. So, I was able to play alongside that backing track to give the audience a real preview of what the album sounded like!
We had a great turnout and performance went off without a hitch. If you weren’t able to make it, it’s a great opportunity to watch and listen to the whole album! And, if you went, I’m sure you’ll want to relive the concert again and again.
The concert, like the album, is split into two sections. So, make sure to watch both videos. I’d love to hear any comments about the album and hope everyone enjoys.
Jim Fusco’s constant quest for perfection reached its final destiny. He had obtained perfection due to hours of careful planning and tedious work to make The Best Song EVER! Show a free Internet radio masterpiece. First, Jim asked everyone in the cast, which now included Dave Perrelli as a permanent member, to pick the top three songs of all time (in their opinion). He also threw in a suggestion for everyone to pick the worst song of all time, just to add a little comedy to the show. After all the times were given to Jim, he wrote up an elaborate, down to the second, 3 page, typed outline of the proceedings of The Best Song EVER! Show. But the show was going to be a little different from all the others. There was too much music to put the whole show on one 90 minute tape. Therefore, he was forced to choose two 60 minute tapes, making it an interesting double album. Each of the 30-minute sides had a total time allowed for the essentials: 29 minutes 30 seconds for side one, 26 minutes 30 seconds for side two, 27 minutes 30 seconds for side three, and 22 minutes 35 seconds for side four. Although Jim knew he was very liberal on the allotted time for each side, Mike made complaints that Jim’s down-to-the-second planning would be too strict, just as it was during the Millennium “Mayhem” Celebration tape. But he was proven wrong, because there was plenty of time for all that was needed, even giving leeway for free time and debate.
The tape went off without a hitch, the first side having traffic, news, weather, sports, and technology coupled with the third picks of all time. Side two then continued with the second picks of all time and another information report. The beginning of tape number two, or side three overall, followed the same pattern of the first two sides: an information report, and the first picks of all time. Side four, however, started with a three minute heated debate. The side then moved on to the elimination of the first ten songs, would whittle the list down to number 5. The songs were eliminated from worst to best going around the table using the “seniority rule”. A person could pick one song to eliminate at a time, or could pass their turn. After getting down to No. 5, the group kept the audience waiting by then playing thirty seconds each of the worst songs ever (or as long as they could take it). After that came an information report, then finally eliminating all the songs down to No. 1. As it turned out, Alberto had the final choice between numbers one and two, finally selecting the number one song of all time. The number one song was played over again, and then a promo for the “Party!” tape was played, and finishing off the tape with a debate.
There were some problems, though, that the cast faced during the recording of this tape. Jim stereo does not stop recording once the side of the tape has ended, so when the cast lost track of time on the second side, the tape flipped over and started recording over the first side! So, the first five minutes of the beginning had to be recorded over again, but the cast learned their lesson, and checked periodically for the end of every side.
Even though that incident left the first couple of minutes of the tape a little choppy, listening to the tape again, the sound quality is great, everyone’s microphone levels are perfect, there is no feedback, the content is perfect, and everything seems to blend together. Jim had finally received what he had worked so hard to do.
This is merely the first step on the road to free Internet radio (and funny radio!) perfection…
Part 3 of this four part Laptop Sessions extravaganza comes to you with a Christmas song. I’ve always loved the way the Beach Boys did this tune, so I’m doing it in the key they sang it in. Like I’ve mentioned before, Christmas music just makes me excited about this time of year, and this tune always kind of sets that mood for me.
It’s an interesting song because there’s really no pattern. It’s just like one long musical sentence. That makes it pretty difficult to play, but now that I’ve got the hang of it, I’ll be able to play it every year. I hope you enjoy and I hope this helps make your season great, if only in your dreams.
So, in the middle of the second biggest, busiest weekend of my semester, I decided to record a Laptop Session. A couple years ago, this would have been no surprise, but it’s been a long time since the “session-a-day” workaholic’s regime ruled this blog.
That’s the date I posted my last acoustic cover song music video. I’ve recorded performances of original songs since then, but it’s been since before the premiere of Steven Page’s “Indecision” that I posted a true Laptop Session.
Back in July, I had based my cover on an acoustic performance by Page that a fan had posted on YouTube. That pretty much sums up my working philosophy concerning covers: I’m not on a schedule so much as I’m waiting for the interest to strike. Of course, I keep plenty busy in between writing music reviews and publishing playlists, as well as facilitating the Guest Sessions division of the blog, and I’m happier about my work here than I’ve been in a long time.
Still, there was an appeal to those days when cover songs were the sole focus of our efforts, and we were excited about expanding our repertoires at a breakneck pace.
That being said, I’ve learned fairly recently that the past is a nice place to think about and even visit, but I wouldn’t want to stay.
Today’s session is born out of how pleasantly surprised I was to find how much I like the Goo Goo Dolls’ early nineties work. I’ve been a fan of the band since I first heard “Iris” on the KISS 95.7 morning radio show in early 1998. I remember saving up my allowance so I could pick up the song the next time my parents took us out to the mall. This being before I understood and appreciated albums, I picked up the first CD I could find with “Iris”: the City of Angels soundtrack. (If I remember correctly, Dizzy Up the Girl hadn’t been released yet.) This wasn’t a complete loss, as this is the disc that introduced me to other great songs like Jimi Hendrix’s “Red House,” Eric Clapton’s “Further On Up the Road,” and one of the few U2 songs I truly love, “If God Will Send His Angels.”
Needless to say, I fell even more in love with “Slide” when that was released as the follow-up single. Looking back, I took this time period entirely for granted: excellent rock bands like the Goo Goo Dolls were on the radio all the time and their music videos were being played — sometimes at full length (gasp!) — on MTV. To this day, I can’t listen to “Iris” without imagining clips from the video, like in the tower or under the over pass.
At the end of the day, though, I’ve always felt Dizzy Up the Girl to be an okay album and not much more. There are some outstanding songs — “Broadway” became and remains my favorite song from the album and “Acoustic #3″ is utterly, heartbreakingly beautiful — but there are also a handful of “okay’s” and throwaways. Compared to other albums I was listening to at the time — BnL’s Stunt and Matchbox20’s Yourself or Someone Like You — Dizzy Up the Girl took a back burner, and I never bought a follow-up album. By the time I was old enough to know about and be interested in back catalogs, I had left the Goo Goo Dolls behind.
Fast forward to 2010. Something For the Rest of Us is released, and interestingly, my review of Dizzy Up the Girl could be duplicated here, with only the specific song titles needing to be changed. (For the record, “Still Your Song” is in the running for my favorite GGD song and there are others, like “Sweetest Lie,” that I love.) My friend Mike kept singing the praises of this new album, so I gave it another chance (thus falling in love with the aforementioned songs that I hadn’t paid more than one listen), but the result still falls flat in comparison with his enthusiasm.
Then, Mike, my girlfriend Nicole, and I saw the Goo Goo Dolls in concert.
Several songs into the setlist, something clicked. I finally “get” the Goo Goo Dolls. Unlike Third Eye Blind (another late nineties favorite of mine that promptly faded from my radar when I “got” them and consequently got bored), the Goo Goo Dolls have such depth and energy that I had partially forgotten and partially missed. So, I set out to find albums from their back catalog. The first two I’ve been able to find are 1995’s A Boy Named Goo (discussion of which I will reserve for a future post) and 1990’s Hold Me Up. The latter is such a boneheaded album filled with boneheaded little rock songs like “Laughing,” but I loved it instantly. Almost immediately, I began singing a quieter version of “Laughing” to myself, eventually figured out the chords, and have played it now and then over the past week. Finally, I got the urge to record it today and voila!
It should be noted that I’m rusty and the consequences are as follows: I didn’t comb my hair, I didn’t think to hook up my new USB microphone that I’ve been using to mic sessions for my new album, and I absentmindedly dragged over the nearest item that would hold my cheat sheet at the proper level. The results? I look disheveled, it’s harder to hear me than it should be, and I smelled the vague whiff of cat poop throughout my two takes (turns out the aforementioned item is the cat’s poop bin, moved into the spare room while the bathroom is being worked on).
So, without further ado — and there’s been much ado, many parentheticals, and a slew of sidebars — I bring you my first authentic Laptop Session in over four months. My acoustic arrangement is certain to drum up a compliment or two and a much greater number of grammatically nonsensical rants about my talent (or lack thereof) and sexual orientation, but that’s the only way to know I’m back on the blog!
See you next session!
Cover Songs & Original Music Videos By Laptop Sessions Songwriters
The Laptop Sessions music video blog is a great combination of acoustic cover songs and original music. This website features cover songs from many of rock music's greatest bands, including the Beatles, the Beach Boys, and Bob Dylan. The blog is updated every day with another acoustic cover video, how-to video, or article about music. We only play the best cover songs from the best rock bands of all time.
Here at the Laptop Sessions, we don't just sit down and do a bunch of cover songs- we make them our own. Yes, each cover will sound like the original, but it will also have a new, fresh sound to it. One of our specialties is taking a song from say the eighties and stripping-away the production. Then, we're left with just the song- simple (and most times, much better). We then record an acoustic version of that song and put it on this music video blog for all music fans to watch.
But, Laptop Sessions Music Blog is much more than just videos. There are informative blog posts, including the chords and lyrics to your favorite songs, recording tips, and much more. Plus, you can buy Jim Fusco's original songs right here on the music blog!
Right from the start, the Laptop Sessions Acoustic Cover Songs & Music Video Blog set out to be different. We wanted to give the best music blog for the world to enjoy. We wanted to put an end to bad YouTube cover videos forever. We wanted to bring great rock music back to the forefront with our great cover songs and original music. And, we guarantee we'll keep it this way- free videos that are updated constantly for your musical enjoyment. If you're looking for the best cover songs, the most exciting new music, and the most informative music articles, look no further than right here: home of the world-famous Laptop Sessions.