“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!

“How Good It Can Get” (Wallflowers Cover)

Originally posted 2008-04-12 15:44:16. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Welcome to your Saturday edition of The Laptop Sessions with me, Jim Fusco!

Today, I join the Wallflowers group with Chris and Jeff (who’ve done quite a few already) and do one of my favorite tunes, “How Good It Can Get”.

This song has one of the best hooks I’ve ever heard, plus it was my “anthem” song during my trip to Italy last year. I remember one night, after an amazing Tuscan dinner, walking through the streets back to the hotel. I was singing this song at the top of my lungs. Clearly less-than-level-headed, I kept also yelling out that I was still on key!

Well, this was recorded long after that night and I was STILL on key! I hope you enjoy today’s Session and make sure to keep checking the blog at LaptopSessions.com for exclusive videos from our first ever LIVE concert tonight!



“You May Be Right” (Billy Joel Cover)

Originally posted 2008-04-21 22:25:58. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Okay, so here’s a bit of an anomaly. Most of us cast members of WCJM.com Free Internet Radio will be surprised, if they’re not listening to the shows as often as I do, to find me playing a Billy Joel song. I want to take this opportunity to clear the air.

If you listen to the Beach Boys’ music through the ages, you’ll hear a progression in the music. The styles may be different as the years go on, but most of it is just building on what was previously there.

Conversely, you can listen to Paul McCartney or the Moody Blues through the years and notice that their song/music styles change with the TIMES. For instance, in the seventies, songs got longer, then got disco-y, then got electronic once they reached the eighties. Around 2000, you heard drum loops and “new age” production on albums from both McCartney and the Moodies.

But, their SONGS and the general “type” of music (rock or pop) stayed pretty constant. I’m not giving any free passes for horrible disco versions (Beach Boys fans can goan at “Here Comes the Night”) or electronica from the early 80s, but at least you still knew it was a “Paul” song or a “Moodies” song.

Billy Joel, for me, falls into two categories, both of which I’ll briefly address:

1. Overrated:

As you’ll note with the bands I like, I tend to stay away from bands that are generally “overrated”. Yes, the Beatles are lauded all the time, but it’s pretty clear they’re the ONLY band that deserves the accolades they get. But, Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys NEVER won a Grammy for their songs (unless you count “Best Instrumental” for “Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow” a few years ago- what an insult). The Moody Blues STILL aren’t in the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame. I don’t think America’s had a decently reviewed album in Rolling Stone since their first one.

But, look at who gets ALL the attention:

– Bruce Springsteen
– Elton John (who sells concert tickets like Tickle-Me-Elmos did the day after Thanksgiving)
– Bob Dylan, whom I’m convinced can fart on the microphone and earn a Five Star Rolling Stone review. Don’t get me wrong, I love the man, but he is overrated, as well.

Now, Billy Joel is playing TEN, yes TEN shows at Mohegan Sun Casino here in Connecticut and sold them all out. The man hasn’t done an album in like 15 years and is more popular than ever. I swear more people go to his concerts than have EVER bought his music. And THAT’S the kind of crowd that makes someone so overrated. The “Starbucks” crowd that loves what all the other soccer moms love.

The theme here: It’s not Billy Joel’s fault. I really don’t blame HIM for my dislike of his music.

2. He changes the TYPE of music he plays ALL THE TIME.

As I said earlier, bands I like have changed their styles through the years, either through progression, or just keeping up with the times. But, again- a Beach Boys song was a Beach Boys song, you know?

Now, Billy Joel:

Sometimes, he’s the crooner, singing in that horrid “holier than thou” voice about “regular people” from New York and their stories.

Then, out of nowhere, he’s formed a barbershop quartet in “For The Longest Time”.

Then, he’s some teeney-bopper singing “Uptown Girl”.

Then, 80’s rocker while singing “We Didn’t Start the Fire”.

And, finally, he’s a good old fashioned rock’n’roller on tunes like this one, “You May Be Right”.

What style of music IS this man? Epic piano numbers? Guitar-based rockers? Vocals-only diddies? What?

That question, I cannot answer. And maybe I’m being a bit too general here, as since I’ve noticed this trend, I’ve never gotten past the Greatest Hits.

In closing, I love this song, I love the style, and I wish this was the REAL Billy Joel. I hope you enjoy my rip-roarin’ rendition of this Billy Joel song! (What a rant…)


“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!