Free Internet Radio: WCJM.com is Your Free Christmas Music Source!

Originally posted 2009-12-23 02:17:45. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

By this time of the season, most people are actually getting a bit sick of Christmas music.  And, really, how can you blame them?  At work, we have the local radio station, Light 100.5 WRCH, playing all day.  And I heard that Mariah Carey song, “All I Want For Christmas Is You”, literally five times in an 8-hour span.  And I tell you- that’s way too much.  I know most people don’t listen to the radio for eight hours at a time, so they want to hit the morning and rush-hour crowds with the same popular songs.  But, as we here at the Laptop Sessions have tried to prove, there are TONS of Christmas songs that never get played on the radio.  And these are great songs that would provide some variety throughout the day.

Which brings me to my topic for this evening: WCJM Free Internet Radio!

You see, WCJM is an amateur internet radio station that I started (well, let’s just say “continued”) with my brother and some friends back in late middle-school.  The best part, for me, is that it still lives on today!  Even though many members of the cast (which ballooned-up to seven) have either moved-on with their lives or have changed in many ways, I still listen back to all of the shows online and remember the “good old days”.  Ah, to have all my friends back the way they were in 2001…

Of course, Christmas for me is always about nostalgia.  I just love reminiscing about past Christmases and always going through our traditions on a yearly basis.  I think my parents can see very well that my wife and I have really made a duplicate of their Christmastime house out of our new home.  And that’s the way I always want it to be.  I’m a fan of consistency, folks, as if you haven’t guessed that already.

Anyway, so each year, I bust out the Christmas radio shows (which are now on my iPod) and listen to them at least two or three times apiece.  Here’s a rundown of the shows and what they feature:

The Everything Is Christmas Show: This radio show is a very important one for WCJM Free Internet Radio, because it has the debut of Alberto Distefano, probably my closest all-time friend.  We were all so young during this show- it was 1999 and I was 15 (with my brother being only 13 at the time).  But, it’s a really cute show and there’s a lot of great music.  There’s also some pretty good “early” comedy from my brother Mike, including his all-time famous line: “Updates on Parcels- they just pulled the plug on him…yes, he’s breathing by himself.”  Gets me every time.  And now ten years old, this show is the ultimate trip down memory lane.

The Comedy Christmas Jam: How do I know that the “Everything Is Christmas Show” was a success?  Well, that’s because we had such a great time that we did another show a week later!  I remember it so well- we all went home on my bus route (I was a Sophomore in high school) and we just had the best time.  This show is a little more disorganized, yet more professional because we had a practice round the week before.  This show features both some really classic Christmas songs (like Judy Garland’s “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”) and comedy songs, too.  I remember laughing so hard at Weird Al’s “Christmas At Ground Zero” that I hit the table and the CD skipped.

The Rock’n’Roll Christmas Show: For some reason, this show always seemed “hesitant” to me.  It’s not as laugh-out-loud as the others, but still a classic.  It’s actually the live on-air debut of another one of my oldest friends, Jeff Copperthite (who called me today- it was great to finally catch up and I’m glad all is going well with his new family!).  This show has some unique rock Christmas music, and some skits, but this was only 2000, so we were still getting the hang of doing these shows.

The Best Original Christmas Song Show: This show is truly a classic (done in 2003)- a Christmas countdown with many people voting on their favorite Christmas songs.  I was the only one who knew the results, so it was exciting for the rest of the cast.  And this one has almost all seven cast members (plus my girlfriend turned-wife, Becky, too!).  This show is hilarious, with some ridiculous Dr. K material (Don’t know who Dr. K is?  Click HERE to find out!) and plenty of skits and promos.

The Christmas Vacation Show: This was our reunion show in 2006, as we hadn’t done a show for three years prior to it!  It was great to get the entire cast together after all that time.  We had a great time and played an even different array of Christmas songs, new and old.  The music is really fantastic on this show, but if comedy is your thing (my personal favorite parts of these shows) then we have you covered here- all of our classic characters made appearances (including Stuffy D. Bear) and there were many promos, as well.

In closing, you should really check-out these radio shows if you’re at work or just hanging out online.  They’re really great ways to make you laugh, get you in the Christmas spirit, and save you from the same loop of overplayed Christmas songs on the radio!  So, how do you listen to it?

Listen to ALL the WCJM Free Internet Radio Christmas Shows Online (for FREE, by the way) by visiting:

WCJM.com (the Moore Hits in the Morning Show section)
and clicking on the arrows to scroll through the shows!

“Baby I Love Your Way” (Peter Frampton Cover)

Originally posted 2008-12-29 23:06:26. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

My LAST post of the year is the my last entry into our “Session a day” project.  I can’t believe it’s over, but I also can’t believe that it took this long to get where we are!  I mean, yes, we’ve gotten some success, but it certainly hasn’t been overnight.  We’re talking over a year now!  But, I do see many great signs of progress every day here on the best music video blog ever created.  Tell your friends- tell your enemies- tell everyone!

Tonight, I bring you a classic tune off of the album that Peter Griffin asked, “You what was huge?  ‘Frampton Comes Alive.’  Honestly, was there even one person you knew who didn’t have that record?”  It’s so true.  I went out and got a copy on CD a few years back.  I’m not a huge fan of long, drawn out, jam sessions, so the concert was of limited enjoyment to me.  But, I did get a few great songs off of this album, especially because the famous versions are from that concert.  I first bought a copy of a Frampton Greatest Hits, but it had the studio version of “Show Me the Way”.  The version everyone knows is the live version!  And then, I had always heard the studio version of “Baby I Love Your Way” on the radio.  Guess what?  The live version graced that disc.  I was pissed.  That actually happened to me once before with a Neil Diamond greatest hits album.  I so desperately wanted the studio version of a certain song and the collection only had the live cut.  This was back in the days before iTunes and commercially available mp3s, so no help there.

I really enjoy “Baby I Love Your Way”.  It’s a simple song- no odd stops or middle eights or guitar solos- but it gets the sentiment across well and has a nice, recognizable tune.  I had fun playing this one.  I’m always concerned that I look angry while I’m playing these songs.  That is, angry or just very hurt.  I have to catch myself on things like that.  For this video, I had to do about ten takes (only one other full one) to get it right.  I kept putting the wrong emphasis on words or I would look in the camera and notice I had this scowl on my face.  Ah, the Laptop Sessions…

THANK YOU to all who have supported us in our efforts to bring you a cover song a day for the entire year of 2008!  We’ll be donig a video a week (each) next year, but to make up for the slower schedule, we’ll be writing articles, posting music reviews, and adding the chords to your favorite songs so you can play along!  Have a GREAT New Year.  My next scheduled post won’t be until Tuesday, January 6th, but I don’t think I can be away for that long, so I’ll be on here, redesigning the homepage for the site for the new year and new schedule.  Until then!

“I’m Into Something Good” (Herman’s Hermits Cover)

Originally posted 2008-09-21 23:15:07. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Welcome to your Sunday, Sunday, Sunday edition of The Laptop Sessions here on the best (explitive) music video blog on planet earth.  Don’t believe me?  This is my 120th Laptop Session, Chris debuts his 100th music video cover song tomorrow, and I’m sure Jeff is knocking on that door very soon…  All this adds up to over 300 music videos all done to perfection with love and care for the music that made us who we are.  I suggest, if this is your first time here, clicking on the band categories in the left sidebar and clicking on your favorite band.  I’m sure you’ll find at least one great acoustic cover music video in there!

On to tonight’s video.  Well, after a long day at the Big E fair in West Springfield, MA, I had to come home to do my video.  Regulars to the video blog know that I usually have quite a backlog of videos handy, but with my recent cold, that stash was depleted.  I’m still not at 100%, but I can fake it, as I did tonight.

I didn’t realize that Brian Wilson did a cover of this song on his new album, “That Lucky Old Sun”.  I guess it was on the Best Buy exclusive disc.  I ended up buying the CD/DVD version, so I’m without the bonus tracks, but luckily Chris has them, as he bought the standard edition (some fan HE is! j/k) at Best Buy.

I saw Herman’s Hermits, or at least some derivitive of them, at the North Haven, CT Fair a couple years ago.  They were really good.  At least they had Peter Noone.  I learned the Creed from the Office was actually a real member of Herman’s Hermits back in the 60s, and he plays a character of himself on the show.  Needless to say, I don’t think Creed was at the North Haven Fair show.

This is an easy song to play, but it’s a lot of fun.  It’s definitely one that you should learn if you’re just starting on guitar and also have a tenor voice.  I’m sure Brian doesn’t sing it in this original key, but who knows- no one expected an album like TLOS during this stage of his career.

Stay tuned, folks.  I, of course, extended New Bands Week by a day, but sadly, Chris will be ending that streak tomorrow.  It’s okay- he’s been planning his big 100th Post Bash for a long time.  And if his camera is still functional after seeing his chest hair, he’ll be back for Thursday’s video, as well.  Until then!



“Heaven” (Brett Dennen Cover Version)

Originally posted 2010-02-17 02:27:46. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Hi folks!  Welcome to another Jim Fusco Tuesday!  This was one of those weeks where, after such a great long weekend, I truly dreaded the four-day week ahead.  I have two immediate video programs to edit, a whole bunch of PSA’s, an audio mastering project, and multiple projects looming around the corner… And that’s all stuff I have to do AFTER a crazy day at work!  I feel myself getting a better handle on things at work, but it’s still a struggle on a daily basis, as I’m constantly trying to dig out of a growing hole.  It’ll get better, but it’s just these weeks when everything piles up that I get a bit nervous.  Becky’s been helping (bringing me coffee and snacks, plus trying to keep me to a schedule), so it’s definitely hurt less than it should’ve.

Anyway, onto tonight’s video:

I’ve been churning out the new artists to the blog lately (and ones you might even have heard of, by the way), but tonight I might break that mold a bit.  I had never heard of Brett Dennen before, but my boss kept telling me about him after he heard Dennen’s music on Last.fm, a music service on Xbox 360.  Anyway, he burned me a copy of Brett’s songs (don’t worry, Brett- I bought the LP version of “Hope for the Hopeless” afterward and so did my brother!).  But, even though he kept asking me about it, I didn’t put the CD in because I was still hooked on the Grateful Dead!  So, about four weeks ago now, I popped Brett’s “Hope for the Hopeless” album in and completely fell in love with the music.

The man is simply a good songwriter.  His songs are not overly complicated (which I LOVE)- he uses some pretty simple chords in some songs (and some cool inversions in others, too) and the songs are short and sweet.  The songs pretty much follow the verse-bridge-chorus model and there’s one or two guitar solos spattered throughout the album.  It’s a short one with only 11 songs, but I don’t care- the quality definitely makes up for the quantity.

Dennen’s two previous releases before “Hope for the Hopeless” had the feel of Jack Johnson’s first album- sparsely produced to its detriment.  Yes, there are good songs, but I need a little more than an acoustic guitar to make me love an album.  “Hope for the Hopeless” is different.  It’s almost like he got signed to a label that gave him some more money to produce an album.  The result is amazing- I just love the production on this disc.  You won’t find a lot of harmonies here and the instruments are no-frills.  Mostly, you have an acoustic, an electric, bass, piano/organ, and drums.  That’s a perfect mix for me.  What’s great about this album, and I plan on trying with my next album, is that there really is no rhythm guitar.  The guitar only plays what it needs to.  So, the music sounds open, but not lacking.  You’ll just have to listen to get what I’m saying.

I could’ve picked any of the 11 songs from “Hope for the Hopeless” to cover.  My favorites are “Who Do You Think You Are?” and “Make You Crazy”, but I chose “Heaven” because it’s just one of those “perfect” songs.  It has such a message- kind of like “Imagine” by John Lennon.  This song, according to Dennen fans, will stand as his masterpiece.  On the recording, I challenge you not to get chills once the band comes in at the start of the second chorus.  It’s AWESOME!

So, I decided to record my version of this song just acoustically, though I’ve been playing it on the piano recently, as well.  “Heaven” is a great song to sing by yourself, as it only has one vocal in the album version anyway (the single version suffers from a female lead vocal in the second verse- I much prefer the album version and I’m glad he did it that way).

One thing about Dennen- when you hear his songs, you’ll notice his…let’s say “accent”.  I’m not really sure what it is.  It sounds Louisianan to me.  At first, I really didn’t like it.  But, if you get past the way he says certain words (like instead of “trouble”, he says, “trugh-bowl”), you’ll really like these songs.  And now, I even like the way he says those words, because I can tell he’s not doing it on purpose (just to sound different)- it’s just the way he talks/sings.

On a side note, check out one of my new favorite tunes, “Make You Crazy”, on YouTube- the music video is pretty cool.

Now, I had a feeling I’d heard of Brett Dennen before.  I mean, that voice is so unmistakable.  Becky and I both agree that we’ve heard his most “famous” song, “Ain’t No Reason” (not one of my favorites and if you heard it and know my musical tastes, you’ll understand why).  We must’ve heard it in a TV show.  Then, my brother Mike ended up knowing (and loving) “Make You Crazy”, too, from his days working at Hollister, where they played the song on a daily basis.

Okay, enough talk- time to watch the LSHD version of “Heaven” performed by me, Jim Fusco!  I’d love to hear your thoughts about the song, my performance, and Brett Dennen.  I hope you have a great week and make sure to stop back next Tuesday for another acoustic cover song.  I plan on it being a classic early 60’s tune that Becky and I heard in the car while on our way to Albany, NY for our weekend trip.  We had a blast- check my Twitter (jimfusco) for all the updates and photos from the road!  Until next week!