“That Was Then, This Is Now” (Monkees Cover)

Originally posted 2008-06-14 15:59:29. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Welcome to your Saturday dose of The Laptop Sessions, brought to you by me, Jim Fusco!

Today, I’m doing a fairly-unknown song that’s technically only by Mickey Dolenz and Peter Tork, but billed as the Monkees. This song was on their first greatest hits CD in the late eighties and actually continues to make appearances on “Best Of” albums. I love this song and I’ve known it for many years now. Actually, the Monkees were my favorite band before I found out about the Beach Boys. I LOVED that Monkees Greatest Hits CD when I was like 4, and I find that I still love all the songs today.

They didn’t write this song, but in a few weeks, I’ll be putting another Monkees song that they did write (by Michael Nesmith) on http://laptopsessions.com .

We also did a radio show on our free internet radio station, WCJM Internet Radio at http://wcjm.com , called the “That Was Then, This Is Now” Show. This show not only featured this song, but also featured songs (and comedy skits) that give a look at bands both then and now.

I think this Session may fall under the same category that my most famous, “I’m So Lonely”, video falls under: the over-produced and way-too-eighties-sounding songs that I took and made into an acoustic song. These versions always tend to come out the best because you can just LISTEN to the real song and cut through the production.

That’s why I’m always a big fan of people that use production to make the song the best it can sound, but not just “make” the song. That’s why Brian Wilson is so great: he wrote (and writes) great songs, then uses the production to make them shine even better. But, they’d still be great songs without all the instrumentation, which is what I try to prove with these cover songs on the Laptop Sessions.

On a slightly different note, I think it’s obvious by now that we’re doing all of these cover songs because we’re songwriters and the only way we can think of people showing interest in our original music is to play other people’s songs right along with it. I figure, if you like the same songs I like and I write similar songs to the songs I like (in general, of course), you’ll like my music by the transitive property!

With that said, I hope you’re checking out our weekly “Original Wednesday” songs and going to my original music website at jimfusco.com. We have some pretty great stuff- we’re not looking to make a fortune, although we are looking for people to pay….attention!!

Thanks for watching today’s Laptop Session and stay tuned for Chris’ new song tomorrow!



“Your Love” (The Outfield Cover)

Originally posted 2008-11-07 23:43:28. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jeff Copperthite:

Welcome to a fun Friday edition of the Sessions.  I’ve got a song going out by request of Ninja Don.  And we can all thank him that a new band has arrived to our long list of videos.

Before I write my “official” post, I just want to pause to reflect on what we have accomplished this year.  Between the three of us, we have nearly 250,000 views on Youtube, our site visits continue to get more frequent, and all three of us have some notoriety (be it positive or negative) in our respective workplaces, neighborhoods, and with our friends.  Between the three of us, we have over 300 videos (perhaps over 400, but over 300 from this year alone) that continue to attract viewers to the site.  But as Jim mentioned in a earlier post, I look forward to the time next year when our day to post will be a complete enjoyment, rather than a “I have to get my video up because it’s my day to do so” event.

Well, anyway, I’ve got a song that was a hit in 1985, reaching 6 on the Billboard charts.  This song is from a British Pop/Rock band called The Outfield.  Their 1985 album was called “Play Deep”, and the song I am covering is called “Your Love”.  As mentioned, this song is going out by request, because at some point every morning during 1st Period Prep, Don just has to break this tune out.

I just hope he doesn’t start breaking out MY version instead.

Well, if he did, then that means he likes it.

I’ve mentioned before that I don’t really like to talk politics all that much.  I, however, have been following the ongoing discussion that is taking place on Jim’s video from Wednesday.  I am not going to offer my thoughts or feelings on it simply because that’s not a good topic of conversation for me.  However, that being said, I am very hopeful that the President-elect will live up to his billing – both from him and his supporters.

I hope that you enjoy today’s cover song, and come back tomorrow for Jim’s next awesome cover song – as we continue around turn 4 to the finish line for Session-A-Day ’08!

Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, Jeff’s acoustic cover song music videos are no longer on YouTube, but we decided to keep his cover song blog posts up.  We figured these music blog entries would be good for posterity’s sake and because Jeff always gave such insightful posts each Session.  We hope to see Jeff’s impressive catalog of acoustic rock songs here on the Laptop Sessions cover songs and origianal music blog again in the future.  But, for now, please make sure to check-out hundreds of other acoustic cover songs from all of your favorite bands here on the Laptop Sessions music blog!

“King of Comedy” (REM Cover)

Originally posted 2009-03-19 22:36:31. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jeff Copperthite:

Welcome to thumpin’ Thursday, the first post in which my view count is in the 6 digits!  I have a great song from REM for tonight’s session.

I have lately wanted to really take the time to cover the songs that I have wanted to cover and that I enjoy covering.  However, if you have a request please feel free to request it!  I love doing requests, but if I get none I just fall back on the songs and bands that I like.

I have always loved the album this song is off of.  I pretty much have each song memorized.

I hope you enjoy this album cut, and see you next week for more fun!

Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, Jeff’s acoustic cover song music videos are no longer on YouTube, but we decided to keep his cover song blog posts up.  We figured these music blog entries would be good for posterity’s sake and because Jeff always gave such insightful posts each Session.  We hope to see Jeff’s impressive catalog of acoustic rock songs here on the Laptop Sessions cover songs and origianal music blog again in the future.  But, for now, please make sure to check-out hundreds of other acoustic cover songs from all of your favorite bands here on the Laptop Sessions music blog!

“Development of a writer” – A retrospective by Jeff Copperthite (Part 2/3)

Originally posted 2009-04-02 22:40:20. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

One of the things that anybody who knows me well is that I am into a very special type of music.

No, it isn’t anything mainstream.  In fact, I can think of only 3 other people who enjoy this type of music as much as I do.

Quite simply, it is soundtracks from video games.   Especially Role Playing Games.

I have what I feel is a very impressive collection of OST (Original Soundtrack) from a variety of games.  One reason I think I enjoy the music so much is because I did grow up listening to the music from these games almost entirely.  When it comes to my favorite activity both now and then, it certainly is video games.

More so than any of my other hobbies.  It even surpasses the playing and writing of music.

So I have an ingrained affinity to the music.  I always had a great auditory memory as well.  I can still hum music from old Nintendo games I haven’t played in over 15 years.  If you say “Flash Man from Mega Man 2”, I will hum it in tune and on key.  You may even get some of that terrible synth drum channel that NES was notorious for.

But the ones I latched onto immediately are the Final Fantasy series’ OSTs.  I have them all.  And not just some remixed versions or user-generated remixes.  Just like I was playing the original version of the game.

Why do I enjoy listening to the music so much?  Plain and simple – it is something for me to listen too, and I can do almost any regular task while I listen.  Simply put, many papers got written while I listened to “Dancing Mad”, the final boss music from Final Fantasy 6, and other songs from those series.

As I discovered the fact that some more uncommon OSTs existed, I found as many of them as I could and got them.  I have the OSTs for such obscure games as Emperor: Battle for Dune (a favorite actually), Dune 2000, StarFox, Perfect Dark, Super Mario RPG, Secret of Mana (and all of it’s prequels and sequels), Ogre Battle (and it’s derivatives), and the F-Zero series.  Simply put, there’s a soundtrack for all kinds of moods.

Actually, now that I mention the “Emperor” soundtrack, it reminds me of a story.

About a year ago, I did something that I was always a bit afraid of, but knew I had to do – I donated blood.  I’ve always been a bit squeamish about things like this, but I knew it was the right thing to do.  To get me through it, however, I popped up the Emperor Soundtrack because the music had such a driving beat to it, and the tunes are so engrossing overall (I even asked the Phlebotomist to cover the donation bags so I couldn’t watch my blood being drawn).  I looked up at the ceiling of Sacred Heart’s Field House for a while and enjoyed it.  Hey, it got me through it.  I may even do it again in the future.

Well anyway, point is I have always enjoyed VG music.   I downloaded MIDI tracks as well.  But then I found a game that had a great soundtrack, but very few MIDI files for its music.

And so, I began the Final Fantasy Tactics Battle Music Project, which at the time was a regularly updated website with the files that I created using various implements, most notably a program called Noteworthy Composer.  My methods were this easy.  I used an audio recorder to tape the particular song of interest off of the TV while the game was playing.  Then I systematically tried to pick out the different instruments and parts, then try to transcribe them on the keyboard.  Once I had figured out one or two instruments, usually the rest were easy to pick out as well.  This method certainly wasn’t the best, but at the time I was very mad that these files didn’t exist, and I wanted to change that.

I ended up transcribing quite a few of the songs from the game, and within the next two years, I noticed lots of fan sites posting my MIDI files.  I also got lots of great comments, emails, and requests.  I did the majority of the work for files in this game within those two years, but I would go back periodically until I was done in college to update some of the songs that I knew better.

I also at one point in college (~2000 I think) did a similar site for Final Fantasy 9 called (how original) the FF9 MIDI Project.  Similar to FFT, I transcribed select songs due to not many being transcribed at the time.  I still find both of the MIDI files from these games around the internet.

It wasn’t long after this that I began composing music similar in style.  There will be more on that in the next edition of this series.  Stay tuned for that next month!