“If I Fell” (The Beatles Cover)

By Jim Fusco:

Welcome, welcome to another edition of the Laptop Sessions featuring myself and the Traveling Acai Berries!  We’re continuing our month-long tribute to Beatles cover songs tonight (have you seen the great posts by Chris and Jeff these past two weeks?) with one of their finest early songs in “If I Fell”.

“A Hard Day’s Night” is an interesting film.  If you haven’t seen it, it’s really worth your while.  If you haven’t yet fallen in love with the Beatles, then this movie will seal the deal.  If you’re someone who wasn’t fortunate enough to live through Beatlemania, then this movie will show you what it was really like.  The fact that the boys could be so fun loving and charming during all that craziness proves why they were such a special group.

But, throughout the hype, they remained relevant and cool.  You might write-off some of their early hits like “She Loves You” and “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” as early-sixties fluff (you’d be an idiot, by the way), but there were some really introspective gems throughout their first few albums.  Go ahead and listen to “Things We Said Today” or “No Reply” and you’ll hear what I’m talking about.  These guys were not only great musicians and songwriters, but they were “deep, man”.  John Lennon and Paul McCartney (and even George Harrison on his early work like “Don’t Bother Me”) were ahead of their time in so many ways that I can think of 50 more songs I want to record for the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog.

“If I Fell” is one of those songs that just “gets you”.  I, for one, cannot stop singing it in my head.  The tune is one that goes back into itself constantly and is on permanent loop up there.  Couple that amazing tune with the harmonies of John and Paul (with Paul’s amazingly high vocals that I think I nailed pretty well) and you’ve got a classic Beatles song, indeed.  Both my father and my fellow Acai Berry Steve said that this song stood out to them when they watched “A Hard Day’s Night” and to me, that says it all.  When you’re up against the heavyweight singles on that album (like the title track) and the response is, “If I Fell really stood out to me,” then you know it’s a great song.

We couldn’t get Steve on camera again this week and Chris C. was busy studying sheet music (you can finally hear him this week!), so he was off-camera.  We had our fourth member, Bill, there for the session, but he had to leave early and we couldn’t get his guitar playing on the video.  I’m hoping that Bill can coax Steve on camera, as four people on camera makes you stand-out much less as an individual than when there’s only two people.  Anyway, I hope to record some more songs in two weeks, so maybe I’ll soften him up by then.  Next week is the last of our Beatles quatrain (like that little music term there?) and we’ve got a whole bag of tricks that should keep things fresh and interesting here on the best music blog ever created!

That’s right, I said, “Best EVER!”  Believe me?  Then comment about it!  We’d love to hear from you and, yes, each comment you leave brings Steve one more inch closer to appearing on camera!  So, get commentin’ and we’ll see you next week for another installment of Jim Fusco Tuesdays.  Stay-tuned for an all-new video by Jeff Copperthite, coming up Thursday!

“Runaway Feeling” (The Thorns cover)

By Jim Fusco:

So, I’ll admit it- that messup in the beginning of the video wasn’t left in there on purpose.  Why didn’t I catch that?  Must’ve been in a rush to render the video…

Anyway, this is my first entry into “New Bands Week”.  Jeff set the bar pretty high yesterday with a great cover of a David Bowie song.  I bring you a song from a MUCH lesser-known artist in The Thorns.  This band, which consists of 90s pop artists Shawn Mullins, Matthew Sweet, and Pete Droge, made only one album and this is the opening track.

I’m not going to lie and say that this is the best album ever, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.  My brother Mike had heard one of their songs and got me into the group.  I listened to this album about 100 times, and even though it has some “eh” songs on it (which is consistent with just about ANY debut album), there’s a lot of great songs, too.  The band was clearly influenced by Brian Wilson with their harmonies and usage of great instruments like the bass harmonica.

But, the band also has Traveling Wilburys ties.  All three members played acoustic guitar, just like the Wilburys members did, they used famous session drummer Jim Keltner (known as the sixth Wilbury), and this song, “Runaway Feeling”, sounds like it’s taken from the Tom Petty songbook.  I tried to keep the Petty impersonation to a minimum, but with this song, you don’t really have that much of a choice.

That’s my fiancee Becky in the background clapping for me at the end.  This is the last of my “outdoor” videos.  I have so many songs I’m ready to record from literally TEN new artists, but I can’t right now because I’m in that “no voice” phase of my cold.  I hope it subsides enough by Thursday so I can have a good showing for my next new video.  Thankfully, I already have next week’s Original Wednesday original song video recorded from one of my last sessions.

I’m so excited to see what songs Chris and Jeff are going to do from new artists this week.  Remember last time we did a New Bands Week?  It extended out almost a whole week afterwards.  That’s why I like doing this- it makes us think.  And once a new artist or song pops in, others seem to come very quickly.

Enjoy today’s video and come back tomorrow to see what Chris will premeire for us here on the best music video blog of all time: The Laptop Sessions!  (Oh, and by the way, over the past three days, I’ve gotten TEN more YouTube subscribers!)

“‘Til I Die” (Beach Boys Cover)

By Jim Fusco:

Hello everyone and welcome to another Beach Boys edition of the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog! Tonight’s song, “Till I Die” by the Beach Boys, goes out to everyone on the Brian Wilson message board, especially those who contributed to that great post about the Laptop Sessions.

Tonight’s song is ‘Til I Die, one of Brian Wilson’s most introspective and personal songs. I love the harmonies (Bruce Johnston once said that he believes it’s the last true Beach Boys song, with all the counter-harmonizing), but I think this paired-down version translates well. This performance shows how singularly personal this song can be.

If you’re a big fan like me, then I’m sure you’ve heard the alternate version of “Till I Die” that a producer made while mixing and mastering the “Surf’s Up” album.  That version of this great Beach Boys song is very unique.  It features almost the whole song with just the instruments playing.  It’s pretty spooky to hear the cool vibes that Brian Wilson put into the original song.  But, the most fascinating part of the instrumental section is how few instruments are used.  The Beach Boys’ harmonies in “Till I Die” are wonderful and they fill up the whole song.  It’s incredible to hear how Brian Wilson put it all together.

Of course, when you start listening to the lyrics, you realize how alone Brian felt while writing this song.  As a songwriter, Brian Wilson usually had other people write the lyrics for him.  But, I’m sure he contributed to the meaning of the song and knew the sentiment he wanted to get across.  As you can tell, Brian was feeling lonely and realized that his life wasn’t going to change.  And, yes, that was true for quite some time.  Even when his other band members/family finally got him out of bed a few years later, it was embarrassing (remember the “Brian Is Back” campaign?) and short-lived.  Instead of being the songwriter he was for the Beach Boys back in the early-mid sixties, he only wanted to play old songs he loved.  Thus, the cover songs you hear on “15 Big Ones”.  And when he actually went back to writing again, he was writing about pedestrian things like watching TV (“Johnny Carson”) and his family (“I Wanna Pick You Up”).  I guess the good part was that Brian was finally living his life again, but somehow I doubt the PR image we’ve all been given really reflects his life at the time.  He was neglecting his family members and I think there are some clues to that in songs from “Love You”.  For instance, in “I Wanna Pick You Up” is about how he still thinks his children were “babies”, even though he had essentially missed those important years of their lives.

I hope you enjoy tonight’s music video and thanks for watching this Beach Boys cover song here on the music blog!

New Music News: Songwriters assure that Homestead’s Revenge is coming…

Will YOU get the Revenge? We certainly hope so!

“Homestead’s Revenge”, the new album from Masters of the Universe, is coming out tomorrow.

April Fools?

We hope not, but I for one won’t believe it until I see it.

Needless to say, I’ll be downstairs mastering songs for a LONG time tonight, then working on covers, back covers, inside spreads, mp3 files, and websites. Ugh. But, this album’s worth it- you’re going to LOVE it!

More details as they come in tonight…