“Broken” (Jack Johnson Cover music video)

Originally posted 2009-11-02 23:51:05. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

For Jack Johnson chords & lyrics, CLICK HERE!

By Chris Moore:

The best part about contributing to this blog is that, every so often, all the pieces fall together at just the right time.  For example, I still have the remnants of a cough that just doesn’t seem to want to leave me entirely, yet I really wanted to record a new video for tonight.  Meanwhile, over the weekend, I was listening to Jack Johnson on shuffle when this song — “Broken” from his Sing-a-Longs and Lullabies from Curious George soundtrack CD — and immediately felt the urge to learn and record it.

Fortunately, the register is fairly low and the chords are very simple, so this was a joy to lay down as a session.

Of course, every cover song music video is not without its challenges when it involves me…

The only difficult aspect of this song is that, although I’ve heard it dozens of times and could sing along to the chorus in my sleep, I really don’t know the verse.  Thus, I put “Broken” on repeat in my car on the way home.  After listening to it seven or eight times straight, I didn’t seem to be much closer to nailing the lyrics.  Still, I soldiered on — I typed up the lyrics from the booklet and practiced a few times to the music.  Finally, I practiced a few times on my own before I hit the “record” button.

And, a few takes later, you have a session to watch!

The reason I was listening to Jack Johnson in the first place was that Mike showed Jim and I his copy of En Concert, the new live CD/DVD, this past Thursday at wrestling.  Based on my disappointment at his last record, I hadn’t purchased the CD myself, but Mike had nothing but great things to say about it, so it’s only a matter of time before I find my way back to the “J” section of my local Newbury Comics store…

Speaking of new music, I am wildly curious about tomorrow’s new Weezer release.  The title alone has caused some controversy.  Based on a recommendation from The Office actor Rainn Wilson (who plays Dwight Schrute), Rivers Cuomo and company titled their latest studio album Raditude.  I’ve heard the first track, “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To” and it may be cheesy, but it sounds great and it’s fun to listen to.  That being said, the other titles on the album alone are enough to make one question what Raditude will be like — tracks like “I’m Your Daddy” and “Girl Got Hot.”

All I will say for now is that The Red Album seemed very weird at first, and it quickly grew on me.  I was just listening to it this weekend, in fact, and realizing that it is truly one of my favorite Weezer releases.  I can’t imagine that this new album will be up to that level, but I have promised myself that I will reserve judgment until after I’ve heard it a few times.  Based on their incredible catalog alone, Weezer really does deserve the benefit of the doubt.

More on that next time…

And that about does it for me, at least for now.  This week is crazy for me, as my grades are due this Friday.  In addition, I have meetings today and now Thursday, a full day of professional development (i.e. no time to grade) tomorrow, and I’m monitoring the selling of tickets at the drama production on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  Add in some wrestling on Thursday night and a whole lot a gradin’ goin’ on, and I’ve got one busy week!  I am looking forward to the weekend, as I’ll be completing a swap with my former student Geoff — some Ben Folds for some Tom Waits.  It’s bound to give me some more interesting listening and perhaps some more interesting Laptop Sessions songs…

See you next session!

“You and Your Heart” (Jack Johnson Cover)

Originally posted 2010-09-16 00:25:14. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Hello everyone and welcome to another new edition of the Laptop Sessions with Jim Fusco!  Glad to be back for my regularly-scheduled Thursday timeslot.  Remember- check back every two weeks for a brand-new video!

I went into a bit of a Jack Johnson phase recently because I ordered his new album, “To the Sea” on vinyl.  I was home cleaning or working one Saturday morning and decided to fire-up the record player.  I instantly liked the album and decided to add it to my car rotation.  However, I still hadn’t listened to Johnson’s previous album, “Sleep Through the Static”, from a couple of years ago.  I even bought it on the first day it came out, but was in another phase at the time (can’t remember what band).  My brother Mike didn’t give “Sleep Through the Static” great reviews, so I thought others should come first.  And there the album sat.  First at the condo, then in my car, and finally in my new house.

So, I listened to “Sleep Through the Static”.  It’s not a bad album.  But, it’s not a great album, either.  I mean, the songs are fine- I really have yet to find a Jack Johnson song I don’t like.  But, and I’m being completely honest here, there’s not too many Jack Johnson songs I truly “LOVE”.  “Sitting, Waiting, Wishing” is probably the closest.  But, all of Johnson’s songs have that same vibe and are semi-simple, for the most part.  Now, if you know anything about my musical tastes, you’ll know that those two traits are things I like in music.  But, on “Sleep Through the Static”, the music is very low-key.  There’s a lot of slow songs and nothing too catchy.

But on “To The Sea”, you start with “You and Your Heart”, which (in my opinion) is the catchiest, most single-worthy song since “Upside Down” off of the Curious George soundtrack.  And since this isn’t a kids’ song, it should get a bit more respect.  Mike doesn’t like the way Johnson sings the verses to “You and Your Heart”, so I hope I did a “better” job with that. :-)

The song, as I mentioned earlier, is pretty simple to play.  If I had accompaniment, I would’ve played the riff the whole way through, though it’s very difficult to do while singing lead.  I chose to do rhythm guitar for most of the song because it sounds better on a solo performance and helps me keep time better.  It took quite a few takes to get this one right- those fast-paced words during the verses are very tricky.  The first line starts with, “Watch you when you say what you…”  That’s three “you”s in the first seven words of the song!  But, Jack Johnson’s alliteration has always been his strong point, lyrically.

I hope you enjoy tonight’s video.  I’ve got the next three videos planned-out already and they’re sure to please.  A quick note on my musical ambitions: The new website is coming along nicely after a tedious start (coding!) and I’ve started creating a new Facebook page just for me and my music.  Also, please remember to follow me on Twitter @jimfuscomusic!  You’ll get up-to-the-minute news and will always be notified of new videos and blog posts.

I’ll be back sooner if I can get the new website done first, but if not, I’ll see you in two weeks.  For now, enjoy, “You and Your Heart”!



Jack Johnson’s “To The Sea” (2010) – The Weekend Review

Originally posted 2010-12-19 12:12:48. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

RATING:  3 / 5 stars

If you’re looking for a benchmark three-star album, Jack Johnson’s To The Sea is a downright lovely candidate.

To The Sea is a charming little album populated by harmless pop songs that are predominantly driven by Johnson’s guitars, both acoustic and electric.  There is, of course, the basic rhythm section we’ve come to expect: Adam Topol on drums and Merlo Podlewski on bass.  This is all accented quite nicely by Zach Gill’s keyboards.

Here and there, as in the bare bones arrangement and thick harmonies of “When I Look Up,” Johnson diverges from the regularly scheduled program, but, for the most part, this is business as usual.  Excellent tracks like “From the Clouds” and even the single “You and Your Heart” suffer from sounding too choreographed at times.  The former heats up a bit at the end and the latter is catchy and lyrically interesting, so this deficiency is covered over for the most part, though it’s not so well disguised on others like “At or With Me.”

The stripped down, direct sentiment of “My Little Girl” and “Only the Ocean” is proof positive that Johnson hasn’t lost the knack for writing and performing simple songs that present cause for pause and reflection.  Likewise, “Red Wine, Mistakes, Mythology” is a catchy smirk-and-wink of a song, worthy of being termed anthemic even and thus illustrative of Johnson’s pop mentalities and abilities.

These aren’t the issues here.

What is questionable is the manner in which the other tracks blend together.  On the one hand, they operate very cohesively, as an album.  In addition to the commonalities in sound, the rhetoric of “No Good with Faces” on track three easily gives way to that on the third to last track “Pictures of People Taking Pictures,” as it does from the sociological commentary on uncertainty of track four, “At or With Me,” to the directness of the penultimate song, “Anything But the Truth.”

Clearly, To The Sea is more than merely a collection of songs written around the same time.

To The Sea (Jack Johnson, 2010)

To The Sea (Jack Johnson, 2010)

On the other hand, the tracks blend so well as to defy individuality at times.  For instance, it is difficult to decide whether a song like “Turn Your Love” is grooving or falling into a rut.  I have yet to figure out whether “The Upsetter” and “Pictures of People Taking Pictures” are moving, or whether the harmonies make up for what the words and instrumentation lack.

Ironically, this is the first time I’ve ever felt lukewarm about a Jack Johnson release.  Accusations of lukewarmth have followed him his entire career, notably being the mantra chanted by those minimizing such outstanding albums as In Between Dreams and On and On.  (Cough.  Nudge.  This means you and your sub-three star balderdash, Rolling Stone.)

Frankly, I’ve never really gotten into Brushfire Fairytales, but it has an appeal that I won’t deny, and it is also a debut effort.  Likewise, I didn’t like Sleep Through the Static at first — in fact, I hated it.  I felt it was a letdown following the “Jack Johnson goes electric” hype, and I resented the inordinate amount of attention it received from critics.  However, when I eventually warmed to it, it came as a result of realizing that the individual songs were actually of very high quality.  I still don’t think it compares as an album in the ranks of In Between Dreams and On and On, but song for song, it holds its own.

So, in summary, I’ve never felt lukewarm about Jack Johnson’s music.

Until now.

The truth is that To The Sea is a likable — charming, even — studio album that lacks the punch, the elusive “x factor” to make it truly moving.  It functions a little too nicely as background music.  It’s a bit too chill, even for Johnson.  Still, there are those moments, like his tender vocals on “No Good with Faces” and his electric solos on “To The Sea” and “At or With Me” — each singlehandedly better than any electric performance on Sleep Through the Static — that stand out from the rest, as if to remind us that Jack Johnson is an artist not to be underestimated.

You might love this album.  You might think it’s forgettable.  As such, there’s no better reason to award it a three-star rating.

“Sitting, Waiting, Wishing” (Jack Johnson Cover)

Originally posted 2012-07-05 16:53:48. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Welcome to another edition of the Laptop Sessions here on the Fusco-Moore Music Video Blog! Today, I bring you a great acoustic song from Jack Johnson that was a single, but never really made it anywhere on the charts. But, his album, “In Between Dreams”, did very well. I guess there’s a big divide: the people the like the music I love really buy albums and the people that like music I can’t stand just buy the singles. So, I’ll bring you this acoustic cover version of Jack Johnson’s “Sitting, Waiting, Wishing” and hopefully give it a little more recognition as a single.

This is my first Jack Johnson cover song, but Chris did a great acoustic cover of “Do You Remember” a few weeks ago, so it’s not a new artist to the Laptop Sessions music blog. I really got into this album and most of Johnson’s music after getting this album. His style is a bit of stretch for my normal musical tastes, but he’s got such catchy tunes and guitar parts (coupled with the great beats he sings with- those fast lyrics, a la Ed Robertson of Barenaked Ladies) I just couldn’t resist. For the most part, like in this song, I really love the lyrics, too. He has a way of cramming a lot of words in, but still says some things in such a unique way. “Lord knows that the world is cruel, but I ain’t the Lord, I’m just a fool, and loving somebody don’t make them love you.” Talk about a loaded sentence! The only times I’m not such a huge fan of his lyrics is when he’s kinda preachy, you know? Of course, I’m not a fan of any preachy lyrics (or people, for that matter- keep that in mind when you’re posting comments, lol), so Johnson gets another free pass there.

I hope you enjoy your Friday edition and I’m glad I don’t have to post tomorrow or Sunday because I’m looking to have a nice weekend away for the first time in over a year. So, Chris and Jeff will hold down the fort for a little while and I’ll be back on Monday for my regularly-scheduled acoustic cover music video.