“Girl Don’t Tell Me” (A Beach Boys Cover)

Originally posted 2007-10-22 01:10:39. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Well, another day and another installment of the “Laptop Sessions.” This is one that I learned a long time ago and forgot about playing until tonight. Anyone that knows me will know that I admire Brian Wilson’s songwriting the most. His song, “Girl Don’t Tell Me” is truly one of his finest works. Plus, his brother Carl sings an amazing lead vocal that I can only hope to emulate in my version.  This is one of Carl’s earliest lead vocals and I’m glad Brian gave Carl the opportunity to sing it.  Carl knocked it out of the park and had a voice much more suited to this style of music.

I think my Laptop Session acoustic version of this song actually sounds a lot like the original because it was done with acoustic guitars. “But,” you say, “many songs are done with just acoustics!” Well, Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys really used piano as their driving instrument, plus Al Jardine and Carl Wilson took the rhythm and lead guitars (respectively) on electrics almost all the time. Of course, I’m talking about the early records when the Boys recorded the instruments themselves. After a while, Brian and the others decided to have studio musicians come in, which allowed Brian to experiment more while the others were on tour.  I think one of the last vestiges of the Beach Boys playing on their own music (in the earlier years, at least) was their Christmas album.  One the first side (the original songs), you can hear the Beach Boys playing all of the instruments.  Those songs represent some of my favorite recordings of all time.  They’re simply perfect (to me).

But, enough of the Beach Boys history for the time being. But, I will say that you’ll notice how this song sounds more like a Beatles song than a Beach Boys song. Well, with the production done the way it was on the original (like I mentioned before, with acoustic guitars rather than a piano), one can only assume that this Beatle-esque sound was done purposely!  Of course, this acoustic video flies in the face of the logic I was trying to explain regarding the Laptop Sessions cover songs series.  You see, my idea is to strip-away the various instruments in a song to get to the simplest form.  That way, you can hear the song for what it is.  So, songs that you might not necessarily have liked can be given new life here on the music blog.  With “Girl Don’t Tell Me”, however, that’s not really the case.  I just did a straight-up cover of an acoustic song.  My defense?  It’s a great song- shut up and listen! :-)  But seriously, another function of the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog is to introduce you (or even re-introduce you) to songs you’ve never heard before (or forgot you knew).  And that’s just as important.

This song is really a favorite of mine and I know a certain group of people are going to go, “Oh, wow!” when they see I did a version of this forgotten song! I hope you enjoy and stay tuned for more from The Laptop Sessions!


“The Night Was So Young” (The Beach Boys Cover)

Originally posted 2008-04-06 22:22:15. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Welcome to your Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! edition of the Laptop Sessions with me, Jim Fusco.

I promised a new Beach Boys video today, and even though it took me until 10:30 to do it, it’s finally here. Actually, this is one of the rare Sessions that was recorded the same day I’m posting it.

I’ve been practicing this song for weeks now, as I needed to make sure it was perfect before I did a video. “The Night Was So Young” is my favorite track off the Beach Boys “Love You” album and shows the great songwriting skills of Brian Wilson coupled with the singing of Carl Wilson.

I love the minimalist approach to the recorded version of this song- it’s great in contrast to the terribly-dated synth-sounds of most of the tracks. This song also doesn’t have that cheesiness factor that some of the others have. Although, this song does tell of Brian Wilson’s lonely trip to the sink to pour some milk at 3 am…

I hope you like this toned-down Session. We’re still chugging-along at one-a-day here in 2008. I’d like to wish a Happy Birthday to my brother, Mike, who’s 22 today. Hope you had a great one!!



The Weekend Review: November 2011

Originally posted 2012-01-02 14:00:52. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

The SMiLE Sessions (The Beach Boys)

Producer: Brian Wilson, Mark Linett, Alan Boyd, and Dennis Wolfe

Released: November 1, 2011

Rating: 5 / 5 stars

Top Two Tracks: “Surf’s Up” & “Our Prayer ‘Dialog’”

I’ll keep this one brief, as there’s already been so, so, so much written about SMiLE, that infamous, legendary album that almost was, then wasn’t, then in 2004 pretty much was, and finally in 2011 finally is.  Well, it “is” in the best, closest manner it could ever have been, as The SMiLE Sessions are compiled from what Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys managed to finish before it all fell apart, nothing new added.  So, the Sessions lack the polish and finality of 2004’s Brian Wilson Presents… SMiLE!, afforded it by modern recording equipment and, no less significantly, Wilson’s healthier state of mind.  Inversely, the 2004 version lacked the spark, the elusive x factor presented by the Beach Boys’ voices.  When blended, there simply has never been another group quite like Brian, Dennis, and Carl Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, and Bruce Johnston.  Accordingly, I would first recommend you hear Pet Sounds (1966).  If you’ve already heard that, you might be ready for SMiLE.  If you are, judge the version of the Sessions you’ll buy relative to how hardcore a fan you are (I had to go for the full 5-disc boxset, but you might not).  If you’re not, try out Sunflower (1970) or The Beach Boys Today! (1965) first.  But don’t forget to make it back to the greatest album that never was.  And also don’t forget to check back for more Beach Boys cover songs here on the music blog!

 

Camp (Childish Gambino)

Producer: Donald Glover & Ludwig Goransson

Released: November 15, 2011

Rating: 3 / 5 stars

Top Two Tracks: “Fire Fly” & “Hold You Down”

Camp is an imperfect album, with flares of talent and inspiration tempered with stretches of less notable work.  Being that this is Childish Gambino’s first studio album proper, this is all to be expected, particularly of an up and coming talent, and there is much evidence here to suggest that he is.  His attitude toward achieving success, especially in light of past experiences being ignored by girls and others, is explored across multiple tracks, the best of which is “Fire Fly,” truly the standout track for its incisive catchiness.  Childish Gambino has all the necessary bravado, as well as a unique personality and willingness to let his guard down; although I’ve heard it argued that his beats are derivative (I’m far from an authority on this front), his lyrics have an interesting blend between those typical of contemporary rap and those drastically different from the normal.

“Everyone’s In Love With You” (Beach Boys Cover)

Originally posted 2011-07-08 00:59:52. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Welcome to another edition of the Laptop Sessions with Jim Fusco!  A quick update: the recording for my new album has been a fun process and every day I’m more and more excited to hear the finished results.  If you haven’t been following my progress, either go to my website at http://jimfusco.com or directly to my music Twitter feed @jimfuscomusic.

Tonight’s video is one from The Beach Boys- my favorite band of all time.  This song is from one of their most liked albums among fans.  Unfortunately, I don’t fall into that category.  “15 Big Ones” is an interesting album.  Sure, it’s the album where the other members finally got Brian Wilson back into the studio, but to me, it spelled the end of a once-great band.  You see, in the years leading up to “15 Big Ones”, the Beach Boys (the members other than Brian) were writing and producing some amazing music.  IN fact, “Sunflower” may be my favorite album from them.  But, as the nostalgia of the Beach Boys’ #1 greatest hits album, “Endless Summer”, grew in popularity, the band decided to get Brian back to the forefront.  Of course, Brian wasn’t really ready.  He’d been locked away in his room, listening to old music he loved from Fats Domino, Freddy Cannon, etc.  These were songs he loved as a kid and were what got him into rock’n’roll.

So, Brian wasn’t that interested in writing new songs- he ended up going into the studio and having the Boys record many of his old favorites, such as “Rock’n’Roll Music” and “Blueberry Hill”.  Those are the good ones on the album- I’m pretty sure they could’ve left off “A Casual Look” and made it “14 Big Ones” instead.

But, the pun in the title was because the Beach Boys had been a band for 15 years.  And, if I’m not mistaken, this was considered their 15th album.

It’s not a bad album, but it’s definitely dated now.  The synthesizer, brought to even more prominence on “Love You” from the next year, is hard to play for someone right now.  Playing “Palisades Park” for someone and saying, ‘This is from an album considered one of their best” doesn’t really make much of a case for potential fans.

Anyway, there are some great tracks on “15 Big Ones” though, including “It’s OK”.  Actually, I’ve already covered “Blueberry Hill”, “Just Once In My Life”, “Palisades Park” – I must like this album after all!  But, “Everyone’s In Love With You” is my favorite.  It’s definitely Mike Love at his best.  His vocals are sweet and it’s got a great melody.  Songs like this make me wish he had written more (that is, as long as they aren’t “Summer Of Love” from 1992).

I’ve always wondered if “Everyone’s In Love With You” had a bit of a racy meaning to it.  I mean, if you just literally listen to the words, you’ll see what I mean.  But, Mike has said the song is about transcendental meditation, which he was really into at the time.  It’s more of a feeling that everyone shares “love” with each other and individuality takes a back seat to a collective well-being.  At least, that’s what I’ve gained from the whole thing over the years…

I hope you enjoy this song- maybe it’ll prompt you to give “15 Big Ones” a shot someday.  It’s definitely worth a listen, I’ll say that.  I’m pretty busy for the next couple of weeks, but I won’t forget about the music blog.  I’ll be back with another great video soon, so stay-tuned!