Original Wednesday: “Only A Dream” – an MoU Original Acoustic Rock Song

Originally posted 2009-01-21 22:19:22. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

For my first trick…

Welcome to my first Original Wednesday original acoustic song music video for the year 2009!  It’s Jim Fusco here with a great song that we chose to kick-off our (and by “our”, I mean the band Masters of the Universe, or MoU) second album, “Homestead’s Revenge”.  The song is “Only A Dream” and it’s a chorus I wrote the tune to, but never did anything else with.

I remember the day very vividly.  It was one of our band songwriting sessions and I remember finally fleshing-out the chorus with the help of Chris, Mike,  Becky, and Cliff.  Then, I ran over to the piano and started to work out chord progressions for the verses.  I came up with the very interesting Em7 to Bm chord progression and I really love the tune that goes along with it.  I remember sitting there working and hearing Becky and Chris deciding on words to go into the chorus of the song.

I took my ideas over to the rest of the band and we worked out the words.  We came up with this image of a man in a jail cell.  The conversation went something like this: “How about a man locked in a jail cell that’s dreaming about getting out?”  “Oh yeah- like he’s locked in there!” “Okay, let’s see- ‘Locked in solitary confinement…'”  “No, that doesn’t work with the tune…” “Locked in solidarity…” “That doesn’t make sense, though.” “Oh, but it does!  The guy is locked up AND he’s all alone!” “Perfect!”

And that’s how the writing session went- we scrutinized everything but were able to paint a very realistic image of the idea we were getting across.  Why don’t you just listen and find out what that message is?

I also remember Mike returning from the back room, playing his middle-8.  I love that part of the song and it leads right back into the chorus very well.  He did that on “These Streets” from the same album.  The lyrics are great on the middle-8 to “These Streets”- we were thinking about that kind of great fast-paced life you think you have in high school  and threw in, “Live like it’s 1999,” because I was a freshman/sophomore in 1999.

Also, I was very excited when we all did the vocals.  On the original (which you can hear by going to MoU’s Official Website), you’ll hear double-tracked vocals from each of the five members of the band on the choruses and backgrounds, PLUS the lead vocals.

Some fun facts: Chris, Cliff, Mike, and I recorded our vocals together and we dubbed Becky’s much softer voice later on two other tracks so I could handle it better in the mix.  It isn’t easy blending a female voice into four other male voices.  But, my voice must not be too far off from a female’s voice, which made it easier to mix.  Why do I say that?  Well, on the middle-8, you’ll hear the backing vocals come in.  I love that part.  Well, on that section, Becky doesn’t sing- it’s just Mike’s lead, then Mike, Chris, Cliff, and I on backing vocals.  I sang the high part (doing my best Becky impression) because we seamlessly wove the backing vocals around Mike’s lead, allowing us to use only four other backing vocal harmony parts.  I remember doing those backing vocals that night with the boys and we were all so incredibly excited.  After we finished each good take, we’d get so stoked about it.  The greatest backing vocals I think I’ve ever heard are during the second half of the second verse.  The way that some of the vocals move around and some stay the same…it’s really a stroke of genius on my part! :-)  Want to hear just the vocals-only section?  Click HERE and you’ll go to the Albums page on the MoU website.  The clip of only the vocals from that section will play in the background.  Click around to the other pages on the site and you’ll hear more rare vocals-only clips from the album!

Well, I hope you enjoy this great original song.  It was truly a collaborative effort- a great, catchy song- that was the perfect album-starter.  Until next Tuesday, I hope you have a great week.  Make sure to come back tomorrow for your Jeff Copperthite Thumpin’ Thursday acoustic cover song music video!



“Sober” (New Music by Indie Music Songwriter Jim Fusco)

Originally posted 2008-04-30 23:02:25. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Welcome to Original Wednesday here on the Laptop Sessions! Tonight, I bring you the first ever video starring Jim, Chris, and Becky for my original song from the new MoU album, “Homestead’s Revenge”.

“Sober” is a song I wrote a couple years ago and has become a live favorite whenever we play it. I wrote it during the recording of the first MoU album, but didn’t get to record it until recently, so it remains a “new” song.

I had Chris and Becky help me out for two reasons- first, the harmonies. Second, the fact that my voice kinda gave out tonight right before I went to record another original song called “The Game”. And, for anyone that’s heard that song before, you know it’s not one to sing with a bad vocal range! I guess that will have to wait three weeks.

I hope you enjoy this edition of Original Wednesday and I hope you’ll come back tomorrow for the continuation of “#1 Week” here at LaptopSessions.com!



“Elf’s Lament” (Barenaked Ladies Christmas cover song)

Originally posted 2007-12-22 01:05:35. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Hello everyone! Continuing with our last couple days of Christmas, we give you “Elf’s Lament”, a great song by Barenaked Ladies. We’ve always been happy with the way our live version came out, so I got the guys together to do a special acoustic version for the Laptop Sessions!  This song was perfect for the band to do because it features vocal parts for three members of the band.  Well, in this version, Mike isn’t sitting behind a large (and loud) drum set, so he got to sing the lead parts with the other three of us.  I’ve always been a fan of songs where two or three members of the band get a chance to sing.  Songs like “Two of Us” by the Beatles and “Walking On Air” by the Moody Blues (off of their amazing 1999 album, Strange Times) are great examples where you can hear all of the band members.  And, my favorite bands are ones where each member gets a chance to shine.

Which brings me to the band that we covered tonight: Barenaked Ladies.  Their Christmas album, “Barenaked for the Holidays’ is awesome.  Four of the five (at the time) members wrote and sang lead vocals on songs throughout the album.  That, to me, is the mark of a truly great band.  You get so much variety in an album and that’s probably why I’m such a big fan of the Moody Blues, the Byrds, the Beatles, and the Beach Boys (after 1967).  “Barenaked for the Holidays” features such classic songs as “Green Christmas” and Steven Page’s “Hanukkah Blessings”.

“Elf’s Lament” was originally done by Ed Robertson, Steven Page, and Michael Bublé.  I’m not a huge fan of Bublé’s voice in this song- it just has an odd sound to it.  And, saying his voice sounds odd next to Steven Page’s voice is really saying something. :-)  So, we stuck Cliff with that part to sing.  I got the Steven Page part.  This song was so much fun to sing.  It was a big hit on our Christmas concert CD and DVD set.  For that show, we performed in front of over 60 people, including the mayor of our hometown of Wallingford, CT.  It was one of the highlights of my musical career.  We just had so much fun playing this song- I wish there were more songs like this that give everyone a chance to shine.  I think everyone else in the band would’ve stayed more interested.  Knowing you have a starring role makes you pay more attention for sure!

To learn more about our music, please visit http://jimfusco.com/albums.html.  You can purchase our Christmas concert on either CD or DVD there.  It’s jam-packed with 30 (yes, 30!) original and cover songs.  I personally think it’s the best Christmas album you can buy for the money.  I hope you enjoy tonight’s Barenaked Ladies cover song and hope you’ll come back for more great Christmas songs from the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog!

“The Man With All the Toys” (Beach Boys Christmas cover song)

Originally posted 2007-12-20 03:21:31. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By MoU:

Back again for another edition of the Laptop Sessions, this time a first: with a band! Here with me are Chris Moore, Mike Fusco, and Cliff Huizenga- all members of the band Masters of the Universe (or MoU, as we call it). You can check out all of our original music on our website at http://jimfusco.com/albums.html!  There, you’ll find everything we’ve ever recorded.  And, it’s all free to listen to online before you buy.  I can personally guarantee that the original songs you hear on MoU’s website are top-notch.  There’s just something magical that happens when five creative people get together and make music.  It’s like when the Traveling Wilburys were formed.  They just all wanted to make music together and had a good time doing it.

Speaking of “good times”, you can clearly tell we’re having a ball singing “The Man With All The Toys”, originally played by the Beach Boys.  MoU did a great live version in concert last year, so we wanted to reprise that with this live acoustic version in my basement studio.  Cliff normally plays bass, but decided to provide only vocals for these sessions. But, you’ll hear his great bass playing abilities (plus Mike’s full drum set and guitar work) on MoU’s normal studio and live efforts.  One interesting thing is that the live version MoU did of “The Man with All the Toys” for our Christmas album was actually in the wrong key!  I didn’t realize it at the time, but we were actually singing the song a half-step higher than the Beach Boys did in 1964.  We rectified that problem for this music video.

I’ve said it a million times before, but the Beach Boys Christmas Album is one of my favorite albums (Christmas or otherwise) of all time.  It’s got such a great style and charm to it.  The members of the Beach Boys sound so young and happy- it’s just a great album if you want to put a smile on your face.  And, for the first side of the album, the Beach Boys themselves play all the instruments.  So, you get a really special sound.  The original songs, with the likes of “The Little Saint Nick” and “Santa’s Beard” have become hits, and “The Man With All The Toys” is no exception.  It’s such a short song- it wasn’t until about 40 years later when Brian Wilson re-recorded this song (I guess a self-cover song of sorts) for his solo Christmas album, “What I Really Want for Christmas”, that he extended the tune by adding a rocking instrumental break.  But, I’m happy with the sub-two minute original version, as well.  It’s a little slice of musical heaven.  Their voices were perfect on the vocal breaks and it’s really just a great holiday song.

I hope you enjoy tonight’s Beach Boys cover song and over the years, we’ll be bringing you many more Christmas songs here on the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog!