“Teaching For What?” – New book by Michael Fusco

Available for sale now on Fountain Blue Publishing is “Teaching For What?” by Michael Fusco.  It’s the story of a long teaching career in public schools and the toll that career took on this man’s life.  From such hopeful beginnings in the profession, it’s sad to see the progression of events that lead him into depression and early retirement.  The politics, egos, and unknown workings of the teaching profession in public schools are revealed in this frank and sometimes scathing memoir.  Teachers, students, and parents will all gain a greater understanding of the widely misunderstood teaching profession- let’s just say that big “vacation” they get over the summer isn’t just for time off- it’s to keep from going insane!

You can order the book now on Amazon by clicking HERE! The book is available in both print and electronic versions.

You can also order the paperback or Nook version from Barnes and Noble by clicking HERE!

Finally, check-out the book’s official website from Fountain Blue Publishing by clicking HERE!

Teaching for What? by Michael Fusco

“Jingle Bell Rock” (Bobby Helms Christmas Cover)

Originally posted 2007-12-16 19:29:02. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Part 4 of this four part Laptop Sessions extravaganza comes to you with another Christmas song!

This classic tune by Bobby Helms has been covered by almost every artist since the song came out. But, I figured the Laptop Sessions could use a jolt of a song everyone knows and can sing to.  But, you rarely hear an acoustic cover version of “Jingle Bell Rock”, though.  Most of the time, you’ll hear a country artist sing it or someone will try to turn it into a slow, crooning song.  Not me, though- I stay pretty true to the original song.  But, who says that you can’t rock out on acoustic guitar?  Of course, I’m using my nylon-stringed (or “gut” stringed) classical guitar that I bought while on vacation in Italy with one of my dearest friends.  I don’t think many people would associate a classical guitar with “Jingle Bell Rock”, but I like to make my acoustic cover videos have an intimate setting.  It allows me to sing at a nicer volume without having to worry about getting drowned out by my steel-stringed acoustic guitar.

As far as Christmas songs go, you can’t get more popular than “Jingle Bell Rock”.  Sure, some Christmas songs may be AS popular as this classic Bobby Helms tune, but this song is instantly recognizable.  Well, that’s kind of a given, seeing that you’ll probably hear it about a hundred times each Christmas.  A few years back, my free internet radio station, WCJM Internet Radio, did a Christmas show where we wanted to find out what the best original Christmas song was.  I chose the term “original song” because so many classic standards like Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and Santa Claus Is Coming To Town are simply untouchable.  We at WCJM Internet Radio wanted to find out which Christmas song other than those standards was the best.  And, whatever song won would be “retired” as a classic itself.  Well, “Jingle Bell Rock” was very close to the top of the list.  Oh, you didn’t think I would just give the list of the Best Original Christmas Songs away here on the music blog, right?  You’re going to have to head over to WCJM Radio by clicking here to find out for yourself!  Remember, all WCJM Internet Radio programs are absolutely free to listen to online.  They’re hilarious and I know you’ll become an instant fan.

So, sit back and sing along to this Bobby Helms Christmas cover song music video- it’s another step on my journey to make your holiday season great!

“Blueberry Hill” (Fats Domino Cover)

Originally posted 2008-09-18 13:44:48. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

And with the curveball out of left field, it’s Jim Fusco premiering a Fats Domino song!  I have a list of about 20 songs that I’m ready to record, but my raging cold didn’t allow for that.  You know, the best laid plans… But, I was listening to my new Genius Playlists in iTunes and this song came up.  It was the Beach Boys version from 15 Big Ones that I’ve known for so many years.  I mean, I heard the Fats Domino version on the local oldies station back when they actually played 50s music, but I knew all of the words because of the Beach Boys version.

I stayed true to the Fats Domino version for two reasons: 1, the Beach Boys version isn’t that great, and 2, it’s new bands weeks here on the best video blog on the internet and it only seemed fitting.

My current illness, which I’ve noticed is similar to most, allows me to feel much better as the day goes on.  When I first wake up, I can barely talk and before I go to bed, you wouldn’t think I was sick at all.  So, that’s why I recorded this video so late at night.  My voice still won’t hold up for any higher-register songs (no comments from the peanut gallery as to my NORMAL ability to sing those parts), so this tune, even though I remembered it the day before, moved 20 slots up my list and onto New Bands Week.

Honestly, this video may rank as one of my favorites in the future.  There’s a few Jim Fusco personal touches, including that C to Cmaj7 to C7 that I added during the middle 8.  There’s also that crazy strum pattern I’m doing.  Try to replicate it.  I’m playing over a full six inch span over the sound hole.  You’ll see the lower notes being played first, followed by the mids and highs.  The video doesn’t rush, either.  I did two full takes that were literally about a second apart from each other in length.  The video seems to capture that orignal Fats Domino feel to it, and I’m proud of how the song came out.  I think my voice, even though it wasn’t at its best, fit the song well.

It stinks that New Bands Week is over for me.  I always look forward to doing new artists.  You’ll be seeing PLENTY from me in the coming weeks, especially as my voice gets back to normal again and I don’t have coughing fits after a take.  Enjoy today’s video and join me on the edge of my seat as we wait to view Chris and Jeff’s final entries into New Bands Week 2.0.  Oh, and two last things: wasn’t Jeff’s original tune great yesterday?  And second, I love Jeff’s new trademarked “Thumpin’ Thursday”, but today’s mellow number doesn’t really fit that bill.  But then again, I won’t say what went on over on Blueberry Hill…

“Here Comes Santa Claus” (Gene Autry Cover)

Originally posted 2009-12-21 12:00:07. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

For Gene Autry chords & lyrics, CLICK HERE!

By Chris Moore:

Hello and welcome to the final Monday edition of the Laptop Sessions before Christmas Day!  There’s been a lot of Christmas music being posted this month, and it’s hard to believe that this season is almost coming to a close.

Regardless, it’s an honor to kick off Christmas week here at the best cover song music video blog in the universe.

(And the most modest, too…)

“Here Comes Santa Claus” is a track from MoU’s expanded Christmas chord book.  It fits all the criteria for an enjoyable live song — easy to play, upbeat, instantly recognizable, and just plain fun.  There have been so many versions of this song recorded since Gene Autry’s original.  He himself re-recorded it not once, but twice.  In addition, Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley, and Bob Dylan have all recorded their own versions over the years.

In fact, in my favorite music/TV crossover this year, Dylan’s version was used as the opening song in the first few minutes of a Bones episode a couple weeks ago.  Of course, it faded out just as a bank robbery and a bombing were about to occur, but somehow I think Dylan must have enjoyed this macabre twist on the season for peace on earth and good will toward men.

That is, if he watches television.  I’m not entirely convinced he’s moved on from the radio…

It’s not only difficult to believe that Christmas will be this Friday, but that the new year is also just around the corner.  You should know that you have a special Guest Session to look forward to this Friday, with new sessions regular Jeremy Hammond bringing yet another all-new artist’s material to the blog.  It’ll be one of those “how have we not included a song from this guy” moments, I promise.  Being that it’s the end of the decade as well, there’s a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks.  To celebrate the decade’s best albums, The Weekend Review is in the middle of a Top Five Albums of the Decade, 2000-2009 countdown, with number 3 having been revealed yesterday in Ben Folds’ 2001 release Rockin’ the Suburbs.

On a side note, yesterday’s review brings me within one review of my twenty-six review commitment for the year, as suggested by Jim back in February of this year.  I hope he’ll be happy to hear that, in the spirit of continual progress, I’ll be committing to one review a week this year for a grand total of fifty-two!  Because I’ll be reviewing albums on a very regular basis, I’ll be able to really vary the type of reviews that I do.  For instance, I tend to review the albums I like most because I’ve always figured, why waste my time on the music I’m not crazy about?

Well, no more.

This will be a year of exercising my critical abilities as I review new 2010 releases, revisit the classic hits and infamous misses of the past, as well as continue my Deep Racks Report series (for which I already have five albums lined up — I’ve featured albums that begin with A, B, and C, so you maybe you can imagine where I’m going with this…). And I’ll be continuing the five star rating system I introduced a couple of weeks ago. While I’m still hesitant to comfortably box an album into a fraction like that, I really like the feel of the five star rating system.

In other end-of-the-year highlights, the Laptop Sessions will be featuring some great lists, including the Weekend Review’s take on the following:

“The Top Thirty Rock Albums of the Decade”

“The Top Ten Rock Albums of 2009″

“Yes, No, or Maybe So: One Sentence Reviews of 2009 Albums”

“The Top Ten Rock Songs of 2009″

“The Best Packaging of the Year”

“The Best Deluxe Edition Features of the Year”

As a final note, I would like to call on Jim and Jeff to share their thoughts for the best music of the decade.  We all have our overlapping areas of mutual appreciation, but we certainly have room for debate.  Considerable room, at times.

I know what my picks are for the best albums and songs of the decade, but I would love to be reminded or learn of Jim and Jeff’s picks.

With that, I’m done for tonight.  As I sign off, I wish a merry Christmas to all those out there eagerly awaiting a Christmas Eve service or the pitter-patter of eight tiny reindeer overhead.  As for me, I’m going back to the MoU 2006 Christmas Concert CD for a stroll down memory — and also Santa Claus — lane.

See you next session!