Welcome to day two of “Track 1” week here at the Laptop Sessions! This week, Chris, Jeff, and I (plus a possible new special guest) will be bringing you our favorite album-starters! This is the second in a series of specialty weeks to come. We’ll be doing “Title Track Week” soon, plus an album closer week, and another new bands week very soon!
This particular week is pretty big for me- but to find out why, you’ll have to visit the Blog at http://laptopsessions.com and read my entry that will appear in the next few days- trust me, it’s worth the click!
Today, I bring you the first of TWO Beach Boys songs because I haven’t done one for a couple weeks. Actually, this just kinda fell into place- I was going to do “Slip On Through” anyway (track 1 off of my favorite album, “Sunflower”), and it just fit into this week, so here it is!
I’m also happy to finally be doing a Dennis Wilson song here on the Sessions. We’re all anxiously awaiting Dennis’ “Pacific Ocean Blue” and “Bambu” collection to come out next month, and you better believe there will be Sessions done from those albums! We’ve had POB for years now and I’ve been itching to do a song from it.
Like I said, “Sunflower” is probably my favorite Beach Boys album (besides my guilty pleasure: the 1985 album), so ANY requests from this one will be fulfilled.
I’ll be back on Thursday with yet another amazing Beach Boys album starter: “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” from everyone’s favorite, “Pet Sounds”!! It’ll be my first Pet Sounds Session and I’m very proud of how it came out. See you then, but make sure to check out Chris’ first entry for “Track 1 Week” on http://laptopsessions.com!
Well, tonight I’m bringing you yet another piece of archival evidence to prove that I have no shame. I am apparently not interested in impressing anyone, or if I am, then it’s impressing them with how willing I am to make a fool of myself…
But, seriously, I bring you this video tonight — another all-new cover by an all-new band to the sessions — in the hope that you’ll enjoy listening to it and remembering it as much as I have enjoyed learning to play it.
I actually heard it this weekend, as my friends and I watched the film Into the Wild. This song came on during one of the scenes. Instantly, I was reminded of my father’s tape collection again, as I had been for “Dead Skunk” and other cover songs that I’ve done. One of his old tapes has this Canned Heat single, “Goin’ Up the Country,” on it.
Of course, the first aspect that you’ll most likely notice is my falsetto delivery. You may even think it sounds goofy. Well, even though I wouldn’t classify the original vocal as goofy, it is certainly in a distinct voice. If you don’t know the song, then you should most likely search YouTube or iTunes for it as a companion to my Laptop Session. Or, just take my word that there is a good reason for the otherwise ridiculous vocals I have recorded here…
“Goin’ Up The Country” is how my night ends. Allow me to share the rest of the evening, which was interesting and indeed, I hope, a kickstart to a relaxing, fun, and productive Thanksgiving week. First of al, I stayed at school until six, entering grades and reading college essays. By the time I got home and changed, Becky was napping, and Jim and Dana were in the kitchen getting ready for the first Fusco-Moore Pre-Turkey Day Celebration! The best part of this story is that, as I went into the kitchen this morning to get my lunch, I found that Jim had stayed up late to prepare as much as he could. Dishes were portioned out, sealed with cellophane, post-it noted with directions, and the counter was covered with an array of foods and utensils. Now, the oven was working overtime, and the smells were tantalizing.
Before long, we ate dinner — which was amazing, by the way, and a definite home run for Jim. We broke open the bottle of wine that Jim and Becky had bought for me a couple weeks ago in the Berkshires. We watched the episode of The Office that we had DVR’ed from last week.
How much better could it get?
After dinner, we still had Two and a Half Men, Worst Week (which I regretfully missed in order to record my video), and Boston Legal (which was a wild and predictaby crazy Thanksgiving episode!). Boston Legal was actually sobering for a number of reasons, such as the fact that it is drawing ever nearer to the final episode (don’t even get me started on how disappointing that is, being that it is my absolute favorite show on TV next to, perhaps, The Office), Denny was showing signs of progressing Alzheimers’, and Katie and Jerry were having a spat. Jerry announced to her that he loved her… it’s about time! He added that she need not feel awkward; he would find her friendship to be more than an adequate consolation prize. I thought, particularly for a man with a social disorder, that Jerry handled the talk extraordinarily well. Katie didn’t respond in any certain terms, but did mention that they are a couple, if not in a romantic way, and may be in need of couples therapy.
I have a bit of a crush on the Katie character, so I’m rooting for Jerry here so I can live vicariously through him, if only until the show ends in December!
And with that, the night was over. A big thanks should be extended to Jim for cooking and to Dana and Becky for filling the house with great company. Now, I’m off to sleep and school and then a night of hanging out, talking about music, and watching an Office mini-marathon with my sister, Jaime. I can’t wait!
And I’m sure you can’t wait until the next acoustic rock cover song is posted here on the blog — but, have no fear, Jeff will be here tomorrow for Tuesday’s edition, and then Jim will bring you a fresh new Original Wednesday…
Hello and welcome to your Sunday, Sunday, Sunday installment of the best acoustic cover song blog on the web today! After a couple of nineties covers, I’ve decided to go back a bit further… to 1973 with Jim Croce’s “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown.” This is a song that I remember hearing for the first time when my father bought an audio tape (that’s a hint at how long ago it was…) and played it for me, along with “You Don’t Mess Around with Jim,” explaining that he always liked the story in the songs. I instantly agreed, thinking that the way Croce described Leroy Brown and his lifestyle was really funny and catchy.
I just learned that Jim Croce’s life was sad, though, as he died the same year that this song (considered his biggest single) was released. I found it really interesting to learn, according to Wikipedia, that he was the third singer/songwriter to score a posthumous #1 single (for “Time in a Bottle”), after Otis Redding and Janis Joplin. What is even more sad, I think, is that he died in a plane crash. I’ve got to be honest here — I don’t consider myself a superstitious person, but if I ever get a record contract and any degree of fame, I’m not setting foot on an airplane…
One of the best parts of doing so many Laptop Sessions this year is that I’ve had a chance to learn so much about great singer/songwriters and to remember so many great songs like this one. Now, you may wonder how I learned this song if I haven’t heard it in so long. Well, one of the best parts about having over 11,000 tracks available at my fingertips on my iPod is that I have access to a lot of songs that I have forgotten over the years. In fact, one of my favorite things to do is to set my iPod to shuffle and just wait to see what great music will come up. Unfortunately, there are just as many if not more not-so-great tracks that come up in search of the great ones…
But, as they say, it’s the journey and not the destination, right?
If you didn’t already, you should read Jim’s post from yesterday. He pretty much summed up our day that led to an as-usual great performance by Dewey Bunnell and Gerry Beckley, aka the band America. Not only was the show great, but they are really nice guys. After the show, they signed autographs and shook hands with the fans. I got the chance to tell Dewey that, when teaching the Transcendentalism unit in my English class (Emerson and Thoreau, “Nature” and “Walden,” etc…), I used the Here & Now track “Walk in the Woods.” He seemed interested, as Gerry smiled and said that he’d been thinking about playing that song in concert so they could do the whistling part! We all laughed, and for a brief moment, it felt like Jim and I had broken the usually solid barrier between fan and artist. Cool moment.
I have looked forward to their shows ever since the first time Jim took me to go see them several years ago, and I’ve regretted missing any opportunity to see them. He had initially gotten into the band because of such songs as “Sister Golden Hair.” As with many bands he’s gotten into, I felt like I was missing out on something and had no choice — I had to get into them too! My only past experience with them had been their hit single “A Horse With No Name” that I first heard as a kid (where else?) on a seventies tape that my father had.
And so this session comes full circle! I present to you an acoustic cover of a song my dad played for me as a kid, and not 24 hours after going to a concert by a band that I first heard in my father’s music collection. I’ll see you again on Wednesday for one of my own songs, track two from my soon-to-be-recorded new album.
Welcome back for another installment in the session-a-day project at the best music blog on the Internet! Tonight’s Laptop Session is from a new artist to the blog — James Taylor. “Fire and Rain” is his second single, released in 1970 after “Carolina on My Mind.” And now it is one more acoustic cover song to be added to the Laptop Sessions’ list of covers!
I’ve always liked this song, since I first heard it on a seventies compilation early in high school. This is actually a funny story — I was just explaining it to Jim last week…
Growing up, I didn’t listen to a lot of music. My dad had tapes of his favorite artists and a few compilation tapes, but outside of this, I didn’t really focus that much on songs or especially albums. Then, by middle school, I was listening to the radio religiously, especially the morning show on Kiss 95.7 — one of my favorite parts of summer vacation was being able to listen to 8am-10am portion of the morning show. As I began to record my own “radio shows” on cassette tape, I also began buying CDs so that I would have a wide range of music to present.
Thus began my vast musical journey. My first CD was an Elvis greatest hits that my parents bought me to go along with my first CD player. Then, I got into sixties music briefly. I had an extended seventies period, picking up greatest hits of the 70s compilations and — yes, I’ll admit it now — disco CDs. If you listen to some of the earlier Moore Hits in the Morning shows on WCJM.com, you’ll find that disco music crept into my choices for best songs.
Suffice it to say that I, just like most other people in the free world, did indeed grow out of that phase!
I collected and listened to a lot of eighties music, as well. All throughout these whims, I was buying contemporary music, and I’ve since gone back to the sixties — Dylan, the Beach Boys, and the Beatles — for the core of my favorite music artists.
I’m not sure that everyone goes through a musical education quite like that, but I have a good laugh when I really think about the way I grew into music and experienced a lot of different styles and eras over a relatively short amount of time. So, tonight, I dig back to my favorite seventies tracks to bring you this great one from James Taylor. I hope you enjoy it!
And don’t forget to come back tomorrow for yet another awesome acoustic rock cover by the man, the myth, the legend — Jeff Copperthite…