Hello all! Here’s another song for the Laptop Sessions! This one is by request for an early Beach Boys tune called “Farmer’s Daughter”. It’s a pretty cute little song (only four chords!) made exponentially harder because of the fact that it’s ALL sung in falsetto! But, as Brian Wilson was about when he recorded this, I’m in my early 20s, so I think I hit the notes! I, for one, love the songs from the very early Beach Boys albums. It was definitely a different time. It was before the Beatles made it big in America and there was an innocence to the music. Of course, that’s why I love the music I love- I try not to listen to too many depressing songs. For instance, I was starting to get in to Elliot Smith’s music. But, as anyone who has heard of Elliot Smith knows, his songs are almost always dark and with an overtone of suicidal thoughts. Elliot was a great musician and songwriter. But, I could never become a huge fan because of the songs’ subject matter. Listing to music has always been a source of joy for me, so I’ve decided to stay in my happy pre-Vietnam music world, smiling all the way.
Although, I will admit, “Farmer’s Daughter” is a bit too “vanilla”, even for me. But, Brian Wilson sings it so sweetly and it works. In fact, many of the songs from their early albums are a bit embarrassing to listen to now. Remember “Chug a Lug”? Probably not- it’s not that memorable. But, basically, it’s about drinking beer…root beer! I’ve played that song for people over the years and it’s embarrassing every time I do. But for some reason, I really like that song. It’s just a song a bunch of teenage friends, brothers, and cousins wrote and sang together for fun. And their voices are so “cute” that you can’t help but smile while singing.
Speaking of SMiLE, I wonder if these early songs gave Brian Wilson some influence over his most notable work. He wanted SMiLE to be something fun- something that was brilliant, but also made you not take the music so seriously. He always seemed stuck in a child-like state. I wonder if he looked back on these early songs and thought, “Yeah, I’d like to get back to that fun again. How do I do that while still sounding cool, complex, and relevant?”
One other album I love so much (which you’ll see plenty of videos from here on the music blog) is the Beach Boys Christmas Album from 1964. It’s one of my absolute favorite albums of all time. Why? Well, it fits all the criteria I listed above! It’s great music with the wonderful innocence and happiness of Christmas built right in. Nothing puts a bigger smile on my face (musically) than their Christmas songs.
I hope you enjoy, and stay tuned for many more updates to the Laptop Sessions Acoustic Cover Songs Music Video Blog in the coming days.
Hello and welcome back to another brand-new Laptop Session! Jim and I have been laughing this week about how funny it is that Ringo has used his classic phrase “it don’t come easy” in at least one song for his past three albums. This is, of course, a reference to his early hit “It Don’t Come Easy,” one of the first solo Beatles singles. I figured, why not go right to the source? So, here I am singing this great Ringo tune!
I just bought his new album, Liverpool 8, last week, and I have really been enjoying it. I was hesitant to buy it, since I had heard that he severed his working relationship with Mark Hudson. However, I was excited to see that Ringo, Hudson, and the Roundheads (Ringo’s studio band) co-wrote all but one of the songs on the album. And it had a lot to live up to — after all, Ringo Rama and Choose Love are great, if underrated, albums. In the end, I have to recommend it, whether you’re a fan of Ringo and/or rock ‘n roll. I’ll certainly be recording a Laptop Session for “If It’s Love That You Want” — track 10 — if not others in the future. And I’m not going to say much more than that about the album, but look for an article from me about Ringo’s and George Harrison’s solo careers in the coming weeks!
As always, thanks so much for listening (and reading)… I hope you enjoy it! Don’t forget to come back to LaptopSessions.com tomorrow for an all-new session from Jeff!
Welcome to the Laptop Sessions’ Original Wednesday. I’m guessing some people will be new to the Laptop Sessions because of this original song video, and we welcome you aboard!
This song, a pun on the “Red, White, and Blue”, is my first and only “protest” type of song.
The song was written in early 2002 after 9/11 about the hypocritical actions of Americans automatically becoming “patriotic” as soon as a disaster hit. This original song is just me wondering why people weren’t just ALWAYS patriotic!
This song is still as relevant today, six years later, as it was when I wrote it. I even talk about Easter in the song (it was that time of year), and I thought this would be the perfect week to bust it out again.
Basically, I’m giving the point of view of an 18 year old kid (at the time) from Connecticut because all the hardship and fear seemed so distant from my everyday life at the time.
To say this song is still relevant today shows how stagnant the country’s been lately. We still are fighting a never-ending war on terror and the patriotism of the country is waning once again.
Oh, and the verse about California: it’s in reference to when they didn’t have the Red-Carpet festivities for a big award show that year. I didn’t think that was helping anyone. Letting the terrorists know we’re scared? That’ll really help…
“The Red, White, and Blues” is from my double-album set, “That’s All…” that I released in 2003. I say “double album” in a different way than you would normally think of it. For instance, the Beatles came out with a double album with their “White Album” (simply titled, “The Beatles”) in 1968. That album consisted of over 20 original songs and couldn’t fit on just one vinyl record. For “That’s All…”, it’s a bit different. You see, I had just gotten a guitar- my first real acoustic guitar, an Ibanez Artcore. I instantly wanted to play everything on the acoustic guitar and quickly went to playing folk songs. I even came up with a bunch of my own. I thought a blues song like “The Red, White, and Blues” would be a perfect way to start off an album of folk songs.
But, I also had a bunch of original songs that I’d written in my normal rock’n’roll style, too. So, I decided to record everything at once and split up the whole project into two original albums: “That’s All Folks”, which featured all of the folk songs I’d written, and “That’s All Jim” that featured all of my songwriting efforts in my normal style. I put both albums on one CD, but each album had it’s own cover. Plus, the combo-pack of both albums called “That’s All…” had it’s unique album cover!