“On Christmas Day” (Brian Wilson Christmas Cover)

Originally posted 2011-12-23 20:42:34. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Welcome everyone to a special holiday edition of the Laptop Sessions cover songs music video blog with me, Jim Fusco!  It’s become a Laptop Sessions music blog tradition to do at least one Christmas song every year.  This is my fourth Christmas doing the blog and I’ve amassed a great collection of my favorite Christmas songs in acoustic guitar and piano cover video form.    In fact, if you go to my YouTube page at http://youtube.com/jimfusco, you’ll see I’ve made a video playlist of all my Christmas song videos.  So, if you’re in the holiday spirit (in December, or any other time you need some Christmas cheer), you can click on that playlist and go through every cover song video I’ve done for Christmastime!

Before I get started with tonight’s music blog post, allow me to wish you a great Christmas (or any other holiday you may be celebrating this time of year).  It’s been a crazy year for me and I’m glad I’m back doing the Laptop Sessions videos on a regular basis.  I really do get a lot of joy doing these cover song videos.  Getting to a million views was a big deal for me, as it seemed to reinvigorate my efforts to make the Laptop Sessions the best music blog on the internet.  Next year promises to be another banner year, as my new album, “Those Around Us” is released in January.  For more details on “Those Around Us”, please visit my website at http://jimfusco.com.

Onto tonight’s cover song video.  You know, it’s rare to find a new Christmas song that isn’t overly cheesy and especially over-produced.  The problem with Christmas songs is that there’s only a finite amount of things to write about.  And, believe me, every single one of those things has been written about.  So, after a while, every new Christmas song starts to sound the same with very, very similar lyrics.   Every artist these days has to have a Christmas album.  I guess I can’t blame them- it’s a built-in excuse to have people play your music at least once a year.  Look at the older artists like Bing Crosby.  I honestly don’t know one Bing Crosby song that isn’t Christmas-related.  To me, in pop music, Christmas songs make you somewhat immortal.  I mean, who listens to Perry Como anymore?  But, come the day after Christmas, “Home for the Holidays” plays on every radio station across the country.  Even Elvis Presley’s music is now considered too “old” for even our local “oldies” station, as they only play music from the 60s, 70s, and 80s.  But, they break their own rule and play “Blue Christmas” about ten times a day.  Christmas songs, if they’re popular enough, are the great musical equalizer.

Maybe that’s why I love Christmas music so much- my favorite artists, like the Beach Boys, are brought back into the public’s consciousness every Christmas with song like “The Little Saint Nick”.  Speaking of the Beach Boys, I was given an early Christmas present this year with the announcement of the Beach Boys’ 50th anniversary reunion tour and album.  I cannot even begin to express how excited I am about this.  It’s a dream come true.

Tonight’s video also has to do with the Beach Boys because it’s one of Brian Wilson’s original Christmas songs!  I’ve loved this song ever since I first got a semi-bootleg copy off of his website a few years ago.  Brian used to come out with a Christmas song each year and put it on his site for his fans.  So, I recorded it off of the site.  Thankfully, though, it came out as a bonus track on his recent Christmas album, “What I Really Want For Christmas”.  “On Christmas Day” is a great tune and has a nice chord progression to it.  I’m not sure if I’m the only one who notices this, but to me, it sounds an awful lot like “Belles of Paris” from the Beach Boys’ “MIU Album” in 1978.  Anyway, “On Christmas Day” is a better arrangement and is in a better key- Brian sounds great on his recording.

I chose to do this song on piano because I thought it would translate better than on acoustic guitar.  Plus, it felt more Christmasey (to quote another Brian Wilson Christmas song) to sit at the piano and sing a Christmas song.  I hope you enjoy my rendition!

I hope everyone has a healthy and happy New Year, too.  I’ll be back after the first of the year with an original song from my forthcoming album, “Those Around Us”.  Then, we’ll all celebrate the release of this new album on January 13th!  Take care and see you in 2012!

“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” (Traditional/Brian Wilson acoustic rock cover)

Originally posted 2009-12-14 12:00:25. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

For Brian Wilson chords & lyrics, CLICK HERE!

By Chris Moore:

If you have found yourself suffering from a “pernicious case of the Mondays” and need something to turn your week around, then look no further than the best cover song music video blog on the Internet today!

This week, as with all weeks, there’s a lot to look forward to.

Tonight, there’s Chris Moore Monday.  Tomorrow, there’s Jim Fusco Tuesday.  On Saturday, there’s chords to one of the most classic Christmas songs of all time.  And, finally, there’s The Weekend Review on Sunday, a very special edition during which I’ll reveal my pick for the #3 best rock album of the decade, 2000-2009.  Thus far, it’s been The Barenaked Ladies’ Maroon at #5 and, as of yesterday, Elliott Smith’s Figure 8 at #4.

But that’s enough about the future.  For now, let’s live in the moment.

“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” is a traditional song, which basically means that no one knows who wrote the song.  I learned tonight that the song is more accurately referred to as “God rest you merry, gentlemen,” even though it is often incorrectly punctuated as “God rest you, merry gentlemen.”  Of course, as an English teacher, I found this fascinating.  Don’t you?

And, as if that wasn’t enough, Charles Dickens referred to this song in his classic holiday novel, A Christmas Carol.  This is a novel that I loved when I first read it in my Charles Dickens class at CCSU, and I loved it even more when I returned to it a couple years ago.  If I wasn’t so busy this month, I would re-read it for a third time.

Instead, I’m grading, getting car work done, attending real estate meetings, and, of course, decorating for Christmas.  We had a lot of fun pulling out old decorations and buying some new ones to complete the Christmas spirit in the apartment.  Even now, I sit bathed in the multi-colored glow of Christmas lights, and really, there’s no better atmosphere for typing a yuletide post.

I’m very proud of tonight’s session for a couple of reasons.  First of all, I couldn’t find any reliable chords on the web to work from, so I essentially started from scratch.  I used a set of lyrics and chords for the traditional arrangement as a foundation from which to transcribe, but Brian Wilson, true to form, added some twists as well as an instrumental middle section that I figured out on my own.  Being that I’m more of a lyrics guy, I always feel excited when I crack a musical code, no matter how simple or complex it might be.

How long it took me, I won’t mention…  :-)

The other main reason I’m happy with this session is that, for whatever reason, this became one of those songs that I just couldn’t relax for.  For instance, for the life of me, I couldn’t remember which line to sing after the instrumental break.  I kept opting for the blending of the first and third bridges, singing, “To save all those who…”  So, I played more takes than I’m willing to admit here, but in the end, I walked away with a complete session that I’m happy with.  I especially enjoyed being able to play my Bb harmonica, a first for the Laptop Sessions!

“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” is one of those songs that I’ve known forever.  As I mentioned, it’s a traditional Christmas song that anyone who has gone to church has heard.  I never particularly cared for the song — even the Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan version was one I appreciated but never really loved.

Then, I listened to Brian Wilson’s 2004 Christmas album, What I Really Want for Christmas.  I was immediately drawn to Wilson’s arrangement of this song, and it has become an instant favorite for me these past several years.  The album as a whole has become a favorite of mine, right up there with the Beach Boys’ Christmas album and the Moody Blues’ December.  (And, after five years, another top holiday album has been added in Bob Dylan’s Christmas in the Heart.)

If you’ve heard Brian Wilson’s Christmas album — or even if you haven’t — I strongly recommend you go to YouTube and search “Brian Wilson What I Really Want for Christmas Video Part I.”  I just watched this documentary today, which includes some great behind-the-scenes making-of footage, interviews, and clips from the album.  If you love the album, it will remind you why.  If you haven’t heard the album, it will make you want to.

And, on that note, I hope that my video makes you interested enough to want to hear the Brian Wilson version.

See you next session!