“Busy Doin’ Nothing” (Beach Boys Cover)

Originally posted 2008-01-22 12:31:45. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Back into my favorite domain: the obscure Beach Boys cover songs! Today’s song is by request, and I’ll tell you, it wasn’t easy.

I always loved the acoustic guitar part in “Busy Doin’ Nothing”, especially because there’s not too many acoustic-guitar driven Brian Wilson songs.

But, this song uses some crazy chords, including some that 99.9% of rock songs never use- kind of like old jazz chords.

Needless to say, I learned all these new chords and practiced it over and over again for this cover song music video. That same night, I made this recording. It was actually pretty easy because I knew the words completely by heart (any Beach Boys songs I can sing in my sleep). That’s always the hardest part of the Laptop Sessions- learning the chords to a cover song is easy, but if you forget the order of the verses (see Jeff’s post yesterday), you’re stuck.

About this song: From the Friends album, this tune (I always thought) kind of shows the state of mind Brian Wilson was in during the late 60s. I think after the craziness of SMiLE, he wanted to be at home. This song describes a “day in the life”. Although, I still don’t know why Brian Wilson had a “pocket book”! Reminds me of that Seinfeld episode where Jerry had the pocket-book: “It’s European!”  But seriously, “Busy Doin’ Nothing” doesn’t really sound like any other Beach Boys song.  It has it’s own sound, from the acoustic guitars (that I mentioned earlier) to the flutes.  It has the same bossa nova beat The Beach Boys were into during the Friends sessions, though.  I think The Beach Boys were looking for a way to forge their own niche.  After the SMiLE project broke down, the Beach Boys tried doing psychedelic music on “Smiley Smile”, but to me, it just didn’t work.  I can imagine that they didn’t want to always follow in the (large) footsteps of the Beatles.  At that time, they were working on the White Album and were going back to basics with their sound.  The Beach Boys kind of did that in a way, but they also changed their style.  It became more relaxed.  Beach Boy music was always peppy and fast-paced under the tutelage of Murray Wilson, the Wilson brothers’ father.  Under their own management, the Boys decided to take a more mellow approach.  It didn’t gain them much commercial success for quite a while, but I do look back on this period of albums fondly.

This is a big shout-out to all the Blueboarders (fans of Brian Wilson’s message board on his official website) that always give me encouragement and always want more videos! I have so many great cover song music videos up my sleeve, I can’t wait to release them to the world!  Enjoy tonight’s cover song video in the Beach Boys’ “Busy Doin’ Nothing” here on the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog!

The Weekend Review New Music Report: 2010 Edition

Originally posted 2011-01-17 10:00:06. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

In the past, before the Weekend Review was officially a segment on the Laptop Sessions blog and my articles had the oh-so-clever title of “Music Review” — and I know, I know, “the Weekend Review” isn’t all that much more clever — I have been accused of writing reviews that were positive to a fault.

This may well be true, as I have found it challenging these past couple years to define and refine my voice as a music critic who is also a singer/songwriter.  After all, it has been difficult to find a comfortable middle ground between praising music simply because someone labored over it and pointing out flaws to bring others down a notch.

Being an “amateur” has allowed me the opportunity and relative privacy to hone my craft.

I’ve come a long way from the every-so-often, knee-jerk nature of my early “CD Reviews,” articles that I typed and saved on my computer long before the Fusco-Moore Productions blog — now known as the Laptop Sessions blog — was launched.  I’ve also come a significant way since the aforementioned “Music Reviews.”  And, I’d like to think that I’ve progressed as a writer over the past year of “Weekend Reviews.”

So, this being my fifty-second and final Weekend Review of 2010, I decided to dedicate it to laying out a table of contents of sorts for the fifty-four reviews I’ve written this year (including “Yes, No, Maybe So?” one-sentence reviews).  They’re arranged below in descending order from my one five-star rating down to my handful of one-star reviews.

What it all amounts to is a lot of music from a diverse range of artists that run the genre gamut.  The one common denominator here, the one solid link between all subjects of the Weekend Review, is the presence of the singer/songwriter.  With the exception of a couple of cover song albums, these are albums of original music released in 2010.

The best I can offer as an overall statement for the year’s music is that this was, overall, an excellent year for new music.  The range tended to follow the bell curve (1 five star, 14 four stars, 23 three stars, 13 two stars, and 3 one stars), but this should not undercut the fact that there were fourteen very strong, interesting, entertaining albums released this year.

In all fairness, what the year was lacking was any albums that really blew everything else out of the water.  Although several have argued this point with me, I do not hesitate a moment to give All in Good Time (BnL) the full five-star nod.  That being said, I do not consider it their best album, not by a long shot.

So, where does that leave us?

In my opinion, it leaves 2010 as a very strong year with at least fifteen strong reasons to buy new albums, but it also leaves a gap for those attuned to and awaiting the next, best classic albums for the ages.

I hope you’ll check back for my final post (at least for a while) on the blog tomorrow and that you’ll consider checking some of these albums out while they’re still available on the ever-increasingly trend- and contempo-centric CD shelves.

54 New Albums, 2010: Arranged in descending order of star ranking (out of 5).

All in Good Time (Barenaked Ladies) – 5 stars
Bad Books (Bad Books) – 4.5 stars
Be in Love (Locksley) – 4 stars
Broken Bells (Broken Bells) – 4 stars
Heaven is Whenever (The Hold Steady) – 4 stars
Kaleidoscope Heart (Sara Bareilles) – 4 stars
Lonely Avenue (Ben Folds & Nick Hornby) – 4 stars
Mines (Menomena) – 4 stars
Mojo (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers) – 4 stars (4.5 w/o “Candy” & “Takin’ My Time”)
Night Work – (Scissor Sisters) – 4 stars
Sea of Cowards (The Dead Weather) – 4 stars
Suburba – House of Heroes – 4 stars
The Grand Theatre Volume One (Old 97’s) – 4 stars
The Suburbs (Arcade Fire) – 4 stars
Volume Two (She & Him) – 4 stars
A Postcard from California (Al Jardine) – 3.5 stars
A Singer Must Die (Steven Page with the Art of Time Ensemble) – 3.5 stars
American Slang (The Gaslight Anthem) – 3 stars
American VI: Ain’t No Grave (Johnny Cash) – 3 stars
As I Call You Down (Fistful of Mercy) – 3.5 stars
Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin (Brian Wilson) – 3.5 stars
Brothers (The Black Keys) – 3.5 stars
Dark Night of the Soul (Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse) – 3.5 stars
Death to False Metal (Weezer) – 3 stars
Destroyer of the Void – (Blitzen Trapper) – 3.5 stars
Easy Wonderful (Guster) – 3 stars
Everything Under the Sun (Jukebox the Ghost) – 3.5 stars
High Violet (The National) – 3.5 stars
How to Destroy Angels (How to Destroy Angels) – 3 stars
Hurley (Weezer) – 3.5 stars
Light You Up (Shawn Mullins) – 3 stars
Lo-Fi for the Dividing Nights (Broken Social Scene) – 3 stars
Page One (Steven Page) – 3.5 stars
Sigh No More (Mumford & Sons) – 3.5 stars
Something for the Rest of Us (Goo Goo Dolls) – 3.5 stars
Stone Temple Pilots (Stone Temple Pilots) – 3.5 stars
To The Sea (Jack Johnson) – 3 stars
Transference (Spoon) – 3.5 stars
Court Yard Hounds (Court Yard Hounds) – 2.5 stars
Crazy for You (Best Coast) – 2.5 stars
Eureka (Rooney) – 2 stars
Everything Comes and Goes (Michelle Branch) – 2 stars
Familial (Philip Selway) – 2.5 stars
Forgiveness Rock Record (Broken Social Scene) – 2 stars
Heligoland (Massive Attack) – 2 stars
Infinite Arms (Band of Horses) – 2 stars
National Ransom (Elvis Costello) – 2 stars
Realism (Magnetic Fields) – 2.5 stars
Women & Country (Jakob Dylan) – 2.5 stars
Write About Love (Belle & Sebastian) – 2.5 stars
Y Not (Ringo Starr) – 2.5 stars
100 Miles from Memphis (Sheryl Crow) – 1.5 stars
Clapton (Eric Clapton) – 1 star
Interpol (Interpol) – 1 star

“Don’t Be That Way” (Indie Music by Songwriter Jim Fusco!)

Originally posted 2008-02-06 00:19:37. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Welcome to Original Wednesday! How exciting for me, because it only comes once every three weeks.I can’t wait until my new music officially comes out so I can do Sessions of those songs, but for now, I’ll settle for my last album, “What About Today?”

This song is called “Don’t Be That Way” and it kicks off the album. There’s some references to my past songs in here, so if you know any of my older music, you’ll get the “inside lines”. This song goes along those lines of someone taking and not reciprocating as much as I’d like them to. Must be a pretty strong topic with me! :-)

Well, I recorded this just last night, so you see I’m back to health again. I actually recorded 8 total songs last night! Hey, if you’re on a roll, don’t stop it.

If you really like this song, and I think you will, you can download the original version on iTunes! That’s right- just search my name, the name of the album (What About Today?), or the name of the song and you can get it for only 99 cents!

You can also buy the physical CD on Amazon.com, CDBaby, or at my own website by clicking here!

MoU even did a version of this song on their first album. Same thing- you can order it on iTunes, CDBaby, or on our own site by clicking here!

I hope you enjoy and stay tuned for an amazing Thursday pick from our own Chris Moore!

“Dark of My Moon” (Gene Clark Cover)

Originally posted 2008-02-03 15:47:07. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Welcome to your Super Bowl Sunday edition of The Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog! As a quick note on the Super Bowl, I’m a Jets “fan”, so even though this concerns two northeast teams, I really don’t care who wins. On top of that, I’m a baseball fan, so hearing that the Mets signed Johan Santana, it already feels like a win.

On to today’s acoustic cover song:

I’ve said it before, but Gene Clark is in the running for best songwriter of all time. Those know know Gene’s music share my admiration of it, and even though finding someone who’s even HEARD of him is few and far between, I know this acoustic cover version of “Dark of My Moon” will make a lot of fans very happy.

“Dark of My Moon” and is an “unreleased” song that was formally released only as an acoustic demo a few years ago (long after Gene passed away). This has been a favorite of everyone in my family since we first heard it and I’m proud to bring it to the Laptop Sessions music blog.

This literally took me 30 takes to do. This is a very powerful song and I needed to do it right. I found that the more I played it, the harder it became to sing. But, after plenty of loud obscenities, I finally got the perfect take, which I present to you today.

Listen to the words of this song and listen to how the music rises and falls with the emotions. Not all of Gene Clark’s songs were this slow and sad-sounding, but most of them had this hint of melancholy to them.  Even in a fast-paced song like “Feel A Whole Lot Better”, Gene would put this sad tinge on the lyrics.  But, what’s interesting about “Feel A Whole Lot Better” is how he says, “I’ll probably feel a whole lot better when you’re gone.”  He doesn’t even know for sure!  I think that extra dimension to Gene Clark’s lyrics is what made him so great.  He had a way with words and you could tell he looked up to guys like Bob Dylan.  For “Dark of My Moon”, you can tell it’s a very personal song.  Lines like, “That’s the tenth time that you went and then came back,” make the listener realize that he’s talking about something (and someone) very specific.  On songs like that, I usually choose not to do a cover version.  But, “Dark of My Moon” is such a great song, I just couldn’t help it.  The way Gene Clark sings in the rough demo version is just perfectly suited to the content of the song.  This is only the first of many solo Gene Clark cover songs to come here on the video blog (not to mention those he did with the Byrds), so I hope everyone enjoys it!

Stay tuned as the Laptop Session a day in 2008 “keeps burnin'”! (to quote another great Gene Clark song)