“Lahaina Aloha” (The Beach Boys Cover)

Originally posted 2009-08-11 22:20:16. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Hello everyone!!  I’m back from obscurity to bring you another obscure Beach Boys song!

I’ve been on my honeymoon for the past two weeks.  You’ll notice a certain new accessory on my left hand in the video- I actually notice the difference when playing.  To sum up the trip and the wedding- everything went great.  Great weather, had a good time at the reception, wasn’t nervous at all, heard good music, went great places, hotels were nice, and just got to live the Hawaiian experience for two weeks!

Back to reality now, but there’s a lot to look forward to- a new house on the way and a new life as a married man.  It’s both exciting and tiring and I think I need a couple more days to decompress after my vacation!  You see, my wife (weird to say that) is the type that needs to see and do anything and everything while on a trip.  So, there really wasn’t much relaxation.  I need another vacation! :-)

Anyway, Hawaii is an amazing place- from the weather to the people (who are very jolly, as the Beach Boys have said) to the scenery.  One of our favorite places was Lahaina, which is a nice town along the coast that boasts many art galleries and the second largest banyan tree in the world!  So, of course, this Beach Boys song was stuck in my head the entire time.  Becky and I walked around the town that day and even though it was only in the mid 80s, that “near the equator” sun made it feel like it was 100 or more.  But, the day was nice and I will remember Lahaina fondly.

I hope to have some time in the near future to post some photos, etc.- things I’ve been wanting to do, but haven’t gotten a chance to.  I hope you all followed me on Twitter (http://twitter.com/jimfusco), as I chronicled all the great (and hilarious) things we saw and did on the honeymoon.

I know Jeff is a fan of tonight’s song, as I played it on one of our BSYNHO shows we did for our significant others.  I hope my acoustic cover version does it justice.  “Lahaina Aloha” comes from an album that didn’t sell well and is officially the last ever Beach Boys album, as I truly don’t think there will ever be another.  “Summer in Paradise” isn’t all bad- just half.  I actually really enjoy the other half of the album- Bruce’s “One Summer Night”, with great vocals from Al, and Mike’s “Strange Things Happen”, which is one of Becky’s favorites, as well.

But, “Lahaina Aloha” is the perfect song for the acoustic cover song music blog tonight, as the islands of Hawaii are still very fresh in my mind.

Just as a last funny note- while on the ship, we saw The Second City, which is a comedy troupe not unlike the cast of “Whose Line is it Anyway?”.  They were very good and did a hilarious skit where they pointed out that the word “aloha” in Hawaiian can mean either, “Hello”, “Goodbye”, or even “I love you”!  So, they would sing songs that fit with that.  For instance, they did the Doors hit: “Aloha, aloha won’t you tell your name…”  And, they ended the skit with the best one- the Beatles “Hello, Goodbye”, or in Hawaiian: “Aloha, aloha!  I don’t know why you say Aloha, I say Aloha.”

Anyway, with that, I bid you the same- ALOHA!  It’s great to be back to the best blog ever created!



“Livin’ With A Heartache” (The Beach Boys Cover)

Originally posted 2009-01-06 22:03:40. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

I kick off the year with a new Beach Boys acoustic cover song.  I bribed Chris (by making clams and spaghetti for dinner) tonight to do this video with me.  He was a welcome addition and really helped to fill-out this song.

Carl Wilson wasn’t the most prolific songwriter, but when he did come out with a new tune, he made it count.  He really took over the role as “leader” of the Beach Boys in the 70s and 80s.  When “Keepin’ the Summer Alive” came out in 1980, he had to juggle his brother Brian’s worsening condition and his brother Dennis’ increasingly tragic lifestyle.

It’s no surprise that I love this album.  Something about it… The Boys just knew what they were doing.  Yes, it’s really cheesy at points, but it’s a really diverse album.  The only true disappointment for me is the lack of ANY Dennis contribution at all.  Oh, wait, I take that back- I think he plays the tambourine on one song…  That’s especially disappointing because Denny had such an amazing contribution to LA (Light Album).  Those songs were supposed to be for his ill-fated (until recently) Bambu album, but even his vocals on Carl’s amazing “Angel Come Home” made the album that much better.  “Love Surrounds Me” is also an incredible song- to me, it just sounds EXACTLY like a song from 1979 should- with elements of rock, blues, disco and mostly funk.  Of course, Bruce Johnston took the “disco” part waaaaaayyyy too far on the horrible (and horribly long) rendition of “Here Comes the Night”.

Anyway, Carl’s best “albums” (meaning albums where he contributed the most) were “The Beach Boys (1985)” and this one, “Keepin’ the Summer Alive”.  These albums will forever remind me of the last day of school each year, as my father would pick us (my brother and me) up from school in the Camaro and we would go have fun on our first day out.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown to love “Livin’ With A Heartache” more and more.  At times, Carl had a bit of a tendency to sound a bit over-dramatic and kind of like a lounge singer (“It’s Over Now” comes to mind), but that may have been just a style of the time.  In this song, Carl sounds angrier and his voice is in perfect form.  I love the country-tinge to this song- another trait I’ve gotten to like more and more as time’s gone on.

I hope you enjoy my first entry for the year.  I hope to bring you a very special duet next week with a new guest to the Laptop Sessions.  We’ll be doing a great Beatles tune, so make sure to come back each and every Tuesday for Jim Fusco Tuesdays!  Oh, and by the way- make sure to check out all the great new sections on the site.  As Chris mentioned yesterday, we have a new homepage design that makes all of the important information and links easier to find.  I hope that the site in its current form will welcome new viewers to the blog better than ever before.



“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!!