Fun, Fun, Fun – 8 The Warmth of the Sun – 10 (doesn’t get much better than this) Don’t Worry, Baby – 10 (see last song) Pom Pom Play Girl – 4 (too Jan and Dean for me) Why Do Fools Fall in Love – 6 (again, not a big fan of covers, but this one is very well done, especially that vocal break in the middle) *I Do – 6 (even though the verse is a clear re-tooling, the chorus is pretty amazing) In the Parkin’ Lot – 8 (I really like this song- it’s got great harmonies and I love the tag at the beginning and end) This Car of Mine – 6 (I love Denny’s vocals on this one!) Keep an Eye on Summer – 9 (just wow) Louie, Louie – 1 (ugh- why guys, why??) Shut Down, Part II – 3 (okay, but only because Carl wrote it!) “Cassius” Love vs. “Sonny” Wilson – 2 (Can this even count? They can’t even get the jokes right! But, it is cute.) Denny’s Drums – 4 (I hate that Dennis doesn’t get a lot of credit for his drumming, but he clearly has the chops here)
** You have five or six songs that are not only great, but classic on this album and it makes this album a great listen. In my opinion, the Boys really honed the harmonies on this album- not a bum note to be found. Plus, showing off the talents of Dennis (singing and playing) and Carl (writing and playing) is just great. Brian was truly in his prime starting with this album. I find it hard to talk down to any album with the likes of Don’t Worry Baby and The Warmth of the Sun on it. Their greatness truly cancels out any mediocrity the few clunkers on the album express. **
For Woody Guthrie, Billy Bragg, & Wilco chords and lyrics, CLICK HERE!
By Chris Moore:
As promised, I’m up to the plate for the second time this evening, as I sonically celebrate New York Mets baseball opening day 2009!
For my next trick, I picked my familiar acoustic guitar up and learned a song from Mermaid Avenue, Volume II. This album is comprised of songs whose lyrics were composed by Woody Guthrie, predominantly in the 1940s. Then, in the mid to late 1990s, Billy Bragg and the boys of Wilco (Jeff Tweedy, John Stirratt, Jay Bennett, and Ken Coomer) teamed up to write music to the words. The result was Mermaid Avenue. The first album is, in my opinion, a masterpiece. In both individual tracks and the sequence of songs as a whole, the first album is amazing. There’s something about the production quality and the combination of vocals — alternating between Bragg’s deep clarity and Tweedy’s roughness — and instrumentation is masterful.
The second collaboration is essentially a compilation of tracks left off the first release. As Bragg and Wilco had had a falling out, I can’t imagine that there was much in the way of actual collaboration on the second album. This is evident, and it perhaps accounts for why I have never really gotten into the second album as much as the first. Still, there are some standout tracks, such as “Airline to Heaven” and “Someday Some Morning Sometime.”
Admittedly, “Joe DiMaggio Done It Again” is not a song I would, under normal circumstances, choose to record for a Laptop Session. (And it’s a bit of an anomaly, as the music is written by Bragg, yet Tweedy sings it — a good decision, in my personal opinion!) That being said, I couldn’t think of a more perfect track for today. Although Joe DiMaggio was a player for the Yankees (and I’m a Mets fan!), I think DiMaggio belongs to an era of baseball history that is timeless. There are certain players — Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Ty Cobb, and others — that fans of all teams can appreciate.
It doesn’t hurt that the Mets won 2-1 over Cincinnati, led by the strong starting pitching of Johan Santana and a home run by Daniel Murphy to name a couple. Even though I wasn’t home to watch the game, I was able to watch via live phone feed — um, I mean the internet connection to the Mets homepage on my iPhone. As Mike texted today, “We’re back to iPhone scoreboard watching!”
As a final note, today is special for another reason…
It’s fellow Laptop Sessions contributor Mike Fusco’s birthday! Here’s to the big 2-3, Fusc! His birthday seems to come at the best time of the year for him — just as the weather is starting to turn warmer (not that you could tell from today’s weather!). For those of you who don’t know, one of Mike’s favorite pastimes is going to the beach. I was there this weekend, and let me tell you… it’s just about time!
Well, that’s about enough for one post. I mean, two posts. Have a great week and don’t forget to stop back regularly this week for more all-new cover song music videos and posts; the second installment of my “Together Through Life” article is coming this weekend…