By Jim Fusco:
Welcome to another week of the Laptop Sessions with me, Jim Fusco! Tonight, I bring you the week’s first video in the Beach Boys’ classic song, “The Trader”.
First, let me say that tonight’s video is potentially the last that I’ll record here in the condo, as we’re hoping everything is still on track for moving in to the new house next Friday. You’ll notice that this is the first video I’ve done since the studio was painted back to white- it’s sad, but I hope to rebuild bigger and better (and smarter) someday!
Onto tonight’s video: Carl Wilson wrote, in my opinion, one of the greatest songs of all time in “The Trader” for the Beach Boys’ 1973 album, Holland. I love the album, too- they were just so cool in 1973. Dennis’ contributions to the album were great and Mike Love gave his best song of all time in “Big Sur”.
But, Carl really stole the show with “The Trader”, a two-part masterpiece about an explorer finding a new land and claiming it for “velvet robes” (royalty). In the process, he kicks-out the natives from the land and builds shops, roads, etc. through their beautiful countryside. So many times things like this have happened through history, just because (as the song says) someone comes in, sees someone else already there, and is threatened because they say, “They’re not like me.”
The second part of the song, in my opinion, is supposed to be from the point of view of the natives. How they see the world is so much different from the imperialistic visions of the “Trader” and, honestly, I always lose myself in the second part of this song. The imagery that Carl and co-writer Jack Rieley put into their lyrics make me feel so bad for these people that were driven out of their homes and native land. It’s such an odd idea that the evening breeze, the merging streams, etc. can all be valid “reasons to live” as we all (myself included) rely on such materialistic things.
Obviously, Carl lends an amazing vocal to this track, as he pretty much always did with his songs and others. I tried to replicate it best I could here and believe I got the vocals down pretty good! The second part of the song is sung much softer than I had anticipated, but I decided to keep it because it allowed me to sing a bit “sweeter” without having to project my voice. Believe it or not, after just two false-starts, I was able to record this take. I guess it helps when you’ve heard a song about 200 times over a span of fifteen years.
I’m currently racking my brain for some ideas on how to increase traffic to the site. Our numbers are still up over last year’s numbers, but I fear for next year’s numbers. It’s going to be tough to get back up there again without my ability to bug the other guys to step-it-up (which, in turn, makes me step-it-up). So much has changed since I started this blog. It’s hard to believe what’s gone on in the past two years. Looking through our Original Wednesday posts, it was so interesting to get a once-a-week view of the three of our lives. One minute, you’re best friends with someone, the next you barely know them. And one week someone is missing someone, and a few weeks later, they’re not anymore. So, if you’ve been visiting the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog recently, maybe you should take a look back through the archives and see where we were all at during the past couple of years. You’ll learn a lot about us and learn how much things can change in such a short period of time.
Until next week, I hope you have a much less stressful week than I’m going to have! 🙂