The Other Half: A Look Back at Ten (Officially Released) Jim Fusco Rarities – PART TWO

By Chris Moore:

Last week, I brought you the first five in a list of ten Jim Fusco rarities in preparation for the release of his new album Halfway There this “new music Tuesday,” April 7th, 2009.  After all, there’s no better way to anticipate an upcoming release than to go back and enjoy all previous releases in a series.

In the case of Fusco, there has been quite a variety of musical projects over the course of the past eight years.  There have been six solo studio albums, three band albums, four releases (of 20 tracks each) in the Laptop Sessions acoustic mp3 series, a single, a greatest hits disc (with accompanying music video DVD compilation), and assorted demos, covers, and other tracks.  Now that I’ve officially finished listening to all the Bob Dylan tracks in my collection (almost 700!), I’ve embarked on my “Jim Fusco Catalog” playlist.

Clocking in at “only” eleven hours or so, this should be much easier to tackle than my Bob Dylan playlist!

For those of you Jim Fusco faithfuls, I hope you’ll enjoy the final five tracks on this second installment of “A Look Back at Ten (Officially Released) Jim Fusco Rarities” worth remembering…

A Look Back at Five More (Officially Released) Jim Fusco Rarities…

6)  “The Red, White, and Blues” – This is yet another album starter that I love.  It is Fusco’s first foray into direct protest songwriting.  Indeed, his March 2008 Laptop Sessions version stirred up some controversy in the form of comments left on the site.  It was nice to see that at least some people listen to the lyrics, even if they misread and/or disagreed with their message.  As he wrote in the blog post, this was the first and last “protest” type song of its kind.

7)  “The Second Time” – All I have to say is: this better be at the wedding reception!  In 2003, Jim recorded and released Formula, an album whose material was clearly inspired by his now-fiance Becky Daly.  She joins him near the end of this track, offering up a preview of 2/3 of the Chris, Jim, and Becky trio that would go on to perform around the state and release a “live in the studio” album.  While this isn’t necessarily one of my favorite Jim Fusco songs, it’s always been one of my favorites from Formula and — if it’s not “best of” material, then — it’s “top ten rarities” material.

8)  “Sideshow” – There are so many different tracks that were up for inclusion on this list of rarities — there’s the simple, piano-based vulnerability of “My Angel” or the folky storytelling style of “Vision of Cobblestone Town,” to name just a couple.  “Sideshow” earns a spot in the top ten for its unique sound.  There’s something about this track that is controlled and yet sort of wild; it’s one of those songs whose sound truly meshes with and contributes to the meaning conveyed by the lyrics.  In addition, as the penultimate track on What About Today?, it’s truly the point at which the recurring instrumental section comes to a climax before the first chords of “Harmony” and the close of this concept album.

9)  “Never Taking Your Chances” – This is one of those songs that benefits from my memories surrounding its conception, recording, and release.  I vividly recall my conversations with Jim about the situation that resulted in the writing of this song, and I recall the then-groundbreaking recording methods that he was pioneering.  This is a clear example of early blending between vocals and distortion guitar.  With each album, Jim’s use of guitar effects has become more effective and more interesting, and I can’t wait to hear his latest leap forward on Halfway There.

10)  “Another Backwards Day” – Speaking of guitar effects, “Another Backwards Day” is a track that I always felt was left forgotten about, sandwiched between the live favorites “Can’t Count on Words” and “Sometimes.”  This song is every bit as upbeat and rocking as the other songs around it, and it boasts a Frampton-esque series of guitar solos and riffing.  If “She Waits” (another favorite and one that ALMOST made the list!) demonstrates Jim’s softer, piano-driven side, then “Another Backwards Day” pulls out the stops and allows him to flex his electric muscle.

“Wilted Rose” (Vanity Project Cover)

For Vanity Project chords & lyrics, CLICK HERE!

By Chris Moore:

Hello and welcome to another week of rock’n’roll related intrigue at the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover song music video blog!  This is an exciting time for the blog, as we have consistently been pumping out more quality material for you than any time since the session-a-day project ended.  This week, for instance, you can look forward to your typical Monday and Tuesday excellence in cover song music video form, a final Jimi Hendrix-themed edition of “Yes, No, or Maybe So, Retro,” two more installments in the “Top Five Rock Artists of the Decade, 2000-2009” list, a Guest Session on Friday by an all-new contributor (bringing back an oft-covered band), AND it’ll all be tied up by a full length Weekend Review on Sunday.

Not bad for a free blog…

Tonight, I bring you “Wilted Rose,” a song from the Vanity Project’s 2005 self-titled debut release.  For those of you unfamiliar with the Vanity Project, this is the title of former Barenaked Ladies co-frontman Steven Page’s solo album.  Well, it’s not technically a solo album in the strictest sense of the term, but for all intents and purposes, The Vanity Project is a Page solo album populated mainly by collaborations with Stephen Duffy.  Page and Duffy have been swapping lines and tunes for years, and many of their co-written efforts have been recorded by the Barenaked Ladies.  Here, Page is able to record those songs that simply weren’t a clear fit for the Barenaked Ladies.

I couldn’t believe one of us hadn’t already recorded this song for the blog — after all, it was included in the official MoU chordbook, even though it was only a rare live track.  In addition, this is the right time to have Steven Page on the brain, as the first of two Page solo efforts is due in stores tomorrow.  Now, tomorrow’s release is the less-anticipated A Singer Must Die, a collection of ten cover songs performed with the Art of Time Ensemble.  Although I’m much more interested and excited for his first solo album proper, Page certainly picked out some interesting tunes to cover — the title track from Leonard Cohen and “For We Are the King of the Boudoir” by the Magnetic Fields to name a couple.  Some of his other choices boggle my mind — why re-record “Running Out of Ink” so soon, for example?  Or why attempt an Elvis Costello deep track like “I Want You” when Fiona Apple’s cover version is already the quintessential take on it?

Overall, I can’t imagine quite what this album will sound like, but I’m very excited to hear it.  There’s only one problem: even Newbury Comics didn’t include it on their “new releases” list.

You know your release is under the radar when not even Newbury Comics is aware of its existence.

I honestly would have pre-ordered it to get it complete with Page’s autograph, but I couldn’t see spending the full price of the CD plus a considerable fee for shipping and handling.  Thus, I’ll need to get creative and soon!

Until you get a chance to listen to (or even find)  A Singer Must Die, I hope you enjoy my music video of the night.

See you next session!

“Happy Tears” (Original Wednesday Song by Songwriter Jim Fusco)

By Jim Fusco:

Tonight, it’s another Original Wednesday for me, Jim Fusco, where I play an original song from my now vast collection of well over 150. I’m excited about tonight’s, as it’s been one of my favorites since I wrote it back in 2002 or 2003. The original recorded version of this song, which you can listen to by clicking HERE, is rich with about ten of my voices singing in harmony. I even made a surround-sound version of this song with a music video, available by clicking HERE.

Everybody tells me that this is most “Beach Boys” sounding song I’ve written. And to tell you the truth, as with all of my songs, I didn’t write it with a specific style in mind. I never sit down and go, “Okay, Jim, time to write a Beach Boys song.” But, even I’ll admit that this is a Beach Boys-sounding song, especially with that interesting strumming pattern. It’s tough to play that and sing with it at the same time, but I’ve been playing this song for so long that I don’t even think about it anymore. This video was Take 1.

I wrote this song after my then-girlfriend (and now fiancee) Becky said the phrase “Happy Tears” and I found it so interesting that I put those words to this great tune that popped into my head one day. I think we were going through a time in our relationship where you’re thinking, “Man, I do NOT want to mess this up.” There’s always going to be issues to iron-out, and when you finally do, it’s almost hard to believe that everything worked out. But, looking back five years ago, it almost seems obvious that it would all work out.

Enjoy tonight’s Laptop Session and come back tomorrow for another great acoustic cover song by Chris Moore. Jeff will be back for a special Independence Day Session on Friday- will it be a patriotic song? I hope not- they’re always so cheesy. But, that’s my opinion. See you then!


“Wilted Rose” by the Vanity Project – Chords, Tabs, & How to Play

To see how it’s played in the cover song music video, CLICK HERE!

“Wilted Rose”
The Vanity Project

Intro:  Am   F   G   C – G – Am   F   G   Em

Am        F                 G                       C  –  G  – Am           F          G        Em
I almost cried on the day my country died;          I almost tried to care.
They built a wall to protect them from us all; we should have left them there.

Am – G – C                Dm     G    Am – G   –   C            Dm      E
Rev   o   lution is the first to go;   the rest is forced to stay…

A                       D                     E        F#m             Bm       D          E
Shall I cast this out, this wilted rose?  Yeah, yeah, yeah — no, no, no.
Like Pierre Trudeau’s walk out in the snow, can it be time to leave?

I spent my youth thinking people spoke the truth; now it’s hard to think.
Was I naive to say I do believe that none of us should sink?

They sold us out, and they sold us short.  And we’re the ones who’ll have to pay…

Shall I cast this out, this wilted rose?  Yeah, yeah, yeah — no, no, no.
Like Pierre Trudeau’s walk out in the snow, can it be time to leave?

E       Am       F             G                      C              G        Am          F           G     Em
Don’t go; you know, it’s all the same to me these days, I swear it’s hard to care.

SOLO: over intro chords

Revolution is the first to go; the rest is forced to stay…

Shall I cast this out, this wilted rose?  Yeah, yeah, yeah — no, no, no.
Like Pierre Trudeau’s walk out in the snow, can it be time to leave?

Shall I cast this out, this wilted rose?  Yeah, yeah, yeah — no, no, no.
Like Pierre Trudeau’s walk out in the snow, can it be time to leave?

Don’t go; you know, it’s all the same to me these days, I swear it’s hard to care.

** These chords and lyrics are interpretations and transcriptions, respectively, and are the sole property of the copyright holder(s). They are posted on this website free of charge for no profit for the purpose of study and commentary, as allowed for under the “fair use” provision of U.S. copyright law, and should only be used for such personal and/or academic work. **