WCJM Free Internet Radio Station: “The Theme-less Show” – 2002

Originally posted 2008-08-03 03:16:56. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By WCJM Free Internet Radio:

The year 2002 started off for WCJM free Internet radio on January 5. This was the day of the “Theme-less” Show. The idea, or lack of one, came from Jim losing the sheet with the show ideas on it! Instead of spending hours thinking of another idea, Dave came up with show’s theme. The cast would play any songs they liked and would throw in any skits they had, with no particular order.

Jim invited the entire cast over, but Jeff had to go to a UCONN basketball game and couldn’t make it. Mike happened to have his friend, Steve Tarca, over and Jim asked Steve to take Jeff’s place. As part of the show, Steve did a great job and had a great time. The cast did a tribute to George Harrison and gave the guitar great a moment of silence.

The show clocked in at almost 150 minutes long! This is the length of a double-play MiniDisc with 23 seconds to spare! The show included all the bands usually showcased on WCJM but with some extras making their first appearance on the station. Matt did his famous comedy routine and a special Bob Dylan skit that left Dave, Chris, Jim, Mike, and Steve gasping for air! Jim did his usual Food Critic and World Report skits including a comedy routine by the Food Critic. Jim also collaborated with Mike to make the “Wong Number” skit that proved to be one the show’s funniest segments.

Dr. Keck came on the show to give another ten minutes of hilarious puns and quips about his height and the world above him! Stuffy D. Bear made his appearance at the end of the show, as usual, and completely brought the house down. He even got his brothers, Stuffo and Stuffu for Christmas this year! And, as always, the Traffic, News, and Weather gang gave their hardly reliable information to the world.

The cast had a great time performing this show and for once, there were no fights! Even though Alberto had to leave three-quarters into the show, the show came out very professional and one of the best to date. Hey, it’s worth it to listen to the comedy radio show just to hear Dave’s new, hilarious, laugh!

Music Review: Jim Fusco’s “Halfway There”

Originally posted 2009-04-13 23:55:34. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

RATING:  4.5 / 5 stars

By Chris Moore:

When Jim Fusco released What About Today? in May 2005, his official website claimed that “this album will prove to be Jim’s best work to date.”  I didn’t think about it much at the time, but that tag of “to date” is key, particularly now — four years later — as he releases a new album.

Now, his website asserts that Halfway There is “his most professional and mature album to date.”

There is certainly something very appropriate about the title of this new release.  Careful listeners will certainly appreciate the conceptual and thematic connections.  In most places on the record, Fusco seems upbeat and generally optimistic, and yet there is a clear feeling of being stuck in a transition phase.  “You go on for miles then you stop,” he sings in “On For Miles,” possibly referring to his fiancee (now only months away from their wedding).  On “Exception,” he sings, “Why can’t we be an exception to the rule?”

Fusco is even more blunt on “I Got You,” as he wails, “I’ll always have you here and shouldn’t that be enough?”

Halfway There is truly unmatched — as promised — in Fusco’s catalog in terms of not only sound quality and “professionalism,” but also lyrical content and overall effect.  This is an album that should draw listeners in and make them feel something.  From the opening track, this is apparent, as much from the snarl of the verse as from the fed-up indifference of the chorus.  The guitar solo is emotive and supported with a classic Jim Fusco — no, better — bass riff.

Go on: I dare you not to get it stuck in your head.

The Best Indie Album of 2009!

The Best Indie Album of 2009!

“Go Back to Him” sets the tone for an album that does what great albums are supposed to do, leading you from highs to lows as you wind your way through its eleven tracks. Perhaps due to his experience with the recording process (and life in general) or an array of new equipment and instruments, Fusco’s vocals are warmer, his guitar effects are more unique and authentic, and the overall sound quality is higher.  The volume level is impressive — sometimes to0 much so, as I’ve had to turn down a couple tracks during pronounced, high-pitched guitar parts.

Indeed, longtime Jim Fusco fans will find traces of sounds here and there that are reminiscent of past work, but this time around there is sense of evolution and a clear progression.  “Our Love Doesn’t Translate” should clearly be the single, as catchy and pretty as it is, weaving a tale of two lovers who don’t always understand each other or see eye to eye.  “A Night Away” is the distortion-drenched track for this album, showcasing just one of many energetic guitar solos and — although he sings “I’d rather be ashamed than proud and angry” — some considerable resentment.

The standout track of the album is “I Got You.”  It is placed perfectly on the album, just past the halfway point.  It begins as a quiet song, just an electric guitar, then a bass, and finally a lead vocal.  When the drums shake and roll into place about a minute in, the song picks up speed and continues its slow assault until just over a minute and a half in when Fusco belts out the first chorus.  The lyrics are my favorite on the album; indeed, this would be the first song I would discuss with him if I were to sit down for an interview.

The album closer, “Ruins,” makes a final and interesting statement on the overall theme of the album.  Using the metaphor of ancient historic ruins for a relationship, Fusco sings, “There was a time when everyone had admired you from afar… But nature has a way of tearing apart what we’ve built, and if it stands, it’s eroded away.”  He leads up to the conclusion in the chorus, “I guess that’s what you call progress.”  The song itself is a dark, haunting number, and you won’t find a better mix anywhere on the album.

As “Ruins” fades, you are left with a momentary silence before a quiet hum fills the speakers.  Almost a minute later, a guitar fades in to the pop powerhouse that is “Winning You Over.”  Not officially included on the album, all I can say is that this song fits firmly into the company of such songs as America’s “Here and Now” and the Wallflowers “Empire In My Mind” — all quality tracks that make you wonder, “Why not include this on the album proper?”

Fusco has said the song was recorded much later than the other songs and didn’t really fit into the album as a whole, which does make sense.

Halfway There is easily his best, most accessible and enjoyable album to date — it is clearly a prime time for Fusco to attract new listeners while impressing his current fanbase.

In his review of Jeff Copperthite’s 2008 album Greenlight, Fusco wrote, “As an independent artist, I’ve found that people don’t take our music seriously. They won’t listen to it in the car like every other album they own. They won’t recommend it to their friends and write online reviews. It just doesn’t happen very often.”  Halfway There is an infectious record.  I’ve already listened to it a half dozen times in the car alone, not counting just as many iPod listens, and I don’t see a time coming when I will want to take it out.  (Well, maybe when the Dylan album is released later this month… :-))

Oddly — perhaps sadly — this level of mastery comes at a time when Fusco, for the first time, has eschewed all the frills, including music videos, enhancedCD content, and even his own original design for the album cover.

Fusco at work in the Meriden, CT-based FMP Studios

Fusco at work in the Meriden, CT-based FMP Studios

This is yet another visible sign of advancement — he brought in talented and accomplished painter Ben Quesnel to design and create an original work that would be used for the cover.  If you watch Fusco’s Laptop Session for “Our Love Doesn’t Translate,” you can see the painting in all its glory.

The album isn’t perfect, though.  The fourth track, “Write it All,” is both a writing collaboration and a rare duet — his first since My Other Half.  Fair warning: that second voice is disconcerting and may lead listeners to frisbee-toss their discs out the windows of moving cars.  (Actually, that second voice is me!)  In all seriousness, “Write it All” is perhaps my favorite collaboration I’ve ever written and performed — and there have been many — with Jim, and I think fans of MoU will especially appreciate this track.

Another notable collaboration showcased for the first time on this album is with longtime friend Alberto Distefano.  “Go Back to Him,” “Our Love Doesn’t Translate,” and “Ruins” were written while on vacation in Italy, and the influence of a new environment with a rich history and unique language is apparent in the writing.  His previous album may have been “purely Jim Fusco from top to bottom,” but the injection of a second perspective seems to have sparked new and different ideas and perhaps even a new era for this already established, accomplished songwriter.

If you’ve made it this far in reading my review, there really isn’t much more that can be communicated in words.  The bass is bassier.  The guitars are crisper, more jangly.  The vocals are as ambitious as ever.  Truly, this is an album that deserves your attention —  it’s only the second great album of 2009, in league with Bruce Springsteen’s Working On A Dream.

Click HERE to listen to the album for free!

Trust me, you’ll be glad you tuned in.

WCJM Free Internet Radio Station: “The Double Meaning Show” – 2001

Originally posted 2008-08-03 03:12:15. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By WCJM Free Internet Radio:

How many times can Matt Griffiths say, “Oh my God” in one show?  I don’t think Alberto can count that high!  This show has now taken a seat next to The Comedy Show as one of the funniest things to come out of WCJM free Internet radio.  The format followed this pattern: skit, song, skit, song.  This made for songs with double meanings and too many puns to bear!  And that’s not a Stuffy pun.

Skits like “The Rascal,” two Dr. Keck segments, a Spy Convention skit, and Stuffy D. Bear made this show incredibly hilarious.  There was also a new character called the Food Critic, played by Jim.  This show has great news reports, hilarious sports, and other great reports during the Traffic, News, and Weather segments.

The original cast plus Matt came back for this well rounded show.  The songs had trivia after them and there was even an investigation on the Beatles’ “Paul is Dead” hoax.  Matt also wrote his Minor Pain Christmastime Hits promo (see below).  Jim used his new DJ Machine to provide the music for the skits and the trivia questions, making for a constant beat during the show.

The show started off shaky (as usual), but after a microphone mix up was fixed, the show went off without a hitch.  Dave and Chris were actually funny!  That’s enough to make anyone want to listen to the show.  There was also a pun tournament during the comedy radio show.  Each pun was carefully counted by Alberto, and here is the final list:

1. Mike- 57
2. Jim- 44
3. Matt- 28
4. Dave- 27
5. Stuffy (in four minutes!)- 25
6. Chris- 19
7. Alberto- 17

WCJM Free Internet Radio Station: “The That Was Then, This Is Now Show” – 2007

Originally posted 2008-08-03 03:21:17. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By WCJM Free Internet Radio:

The show’s theme had been thought-up many years ago, and the ninth anniversary of WCJM free Internet radio would be a memorable one. Songs were chosen as a “then” and “now” from each band, for instance, a Beach Boys song from the 60s and one from the last couple years.

The skits would follow the same format. Before each skit or appearance by such standards as Dr K., Ben Case, the Food Critic, Traffic, News, and Weather, and others, a clip of some great lines from past shows would play. That would be our “then” before the guys busted out with their material from “now”!

As you listen to this show, you can hear how each of the cast members just loves being there. Being around old friends that you see maybe once or twice a year is special enough, but when you add comedy and creativity, it just ups the excitement. Matt was on, as usual, with his comedy routines and Celebrity Jeopardy. Chris had the cast rolling with his “Lightsaber Accidents” skit. Jim wrote more material than ever. Mike and Alb cracked about whatever they found funny. Jeff provided his usual hilarious segments, plus a Top Ten list.

For this show, there was an eighth member. Cliff Huizenga, a college friend of Jim’s, fit right in to the WCJM cast. Let’s just say that he can dish the insults right along with the usual cast. Cliff was invited as a special guest for this show because of his tireless (okay, maybe he was tired) efforts on the WCJM website. His knowledge and skill helped put this site together and the entire cast is very grateful.

The show was recorded differently this time. Two condenser microphones were used back-to-back in the center of the room. This allowed the cast to sit in an on-obscured circle, plus the microphones picked everyone’s voice up perfectly! If you listen to this show on headphones, note the great stereo effect. It really sounds like you’re in the room with them!

This is clearly the longest WCJM show to date- about four hours! But, there’s over 20 segments and skits combined with great music to make that time just fly by. Well, there’s one thing about WCJM- the funny radio shows are great- both then and now!