Words & Music

by monicadockery

Archive for the month “May, 2012”

Live Recording of Open Mic Night at the Gypsy Den….

On Thursday night, I decided to do an open mic performance at the Gypsy Den here in the OC.  I haven’t done many live performances…..in fact, this was only my second.  And, it was the first time I played the guitar myself….last time I had a friend of mine play for me (that was before I had a guitar and started to learn).  Part of the reason why there was such a big gap between my first performance and this last one (about 10 months) was because I told myself after my first performance that I wouldn’t do another one until I could play the song myself.  It was part of my way of motivating myself to finally pick up the guitar and learn to play.  I had always wanted to, growing up.  I just never did.  And I don’t have any really good reason why I waited so long.  I guess I just thought it would be too hard….then, other stuff seemed more important at the time….then, finally, I thought I don’t want to be one of those people who says, “Oh, I wish I would have…”

There are still quite a few things to check off my “Oh, I wish I would have..” list, and I’m not sure if I can say I’ve quite “learned to play” the guitar…just barely.  But, it is a start.  And, after this performance, I feel very satisfied in that I kept my vow to myself.  Although the song I picked just happened to be about the easiest one I could have chosen, I did it and it felt great.  Yes, the nerves were there….especially earlier on in the day.  I always get nervous!  But, for some reason as my turn to go up came closer, I settled a bit.  I thought, “I just want to go up there and sing.  I’m not going to stress about whether or not they like it or hate it.  I just want to sing and be in the moment and do it with heart.”  And I can honestly say that is what I did.  I took it all in.  All the sounds of the people talking, the noises of the baristas blending milk and coffee into a frothy foam, the big, happy smile of my son’s face in the crowd, the two guys up front trying to add a little harmony to the song as I sing.  Then….they are all gone.  I forget they are all there and get lost….my heart opens and is free.  Great moment….great feeling.  So glad I was able to get over the nerves and just be there.

Anyway, here is the audio of the performance (no, I couldn’t get a video this time:(.   If you listen carefully, you’ll hear a little rascal’s voice at the end:).

http://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F47623981&show_artwork=true

He’s Just a Shadow – new song/collaboration

Helloooo!  Well, I am happy to share that one of the collaborations that I had mentioned before is now – seemingly – complete (I say seemingly because I always want to go back and re-do things and make them better).  Anyway, this time the collaboration was with a duo called Hitch-Hiking 2 Hawaii.  They are like me in some ways in that they try out all different sounds and are open to collaborating with people who come from varying backgrounds and tastes in music.  As such, it would be hard for me to categorize their music and say they are this or that.  Best thing is to just check them out for yourselves and decide for yourself.  They can be found at www.soundcloud.com/hitch-hiking2hawaii.

As for the song itself, it is a ballad (at least I think it is) and is a beautiful acoustic track.  They did a great job making it and  you can tell they were thinking of the person that might be coming in and singing on it because they put distinct cues and pauses for the various parts into the track.  It made it easier for me to write and sing to. I am also quite glad that they were open to letting me take the song wherever I wanted to (btw, all the other collaborations thus far have been the same — all very cool, open minded people).  It was written to be taken as more of a metaphor than an actual story, but the story is definitely there as well.  Sometimes when I am listening to a track, I get images of a movie in my head.  The images provoke a certain sentiment and then the words follow.  That is what happened in this case.

I had the image of a woman in her room at night looking at the edge of her bed where her husband used to sit and talk to her at night.  When they first met, he gave her a jacket to keep her warm as they walked around the city.  She wanted to give it back to him when they reached her door, but he insisted she keep it.  That was the beginning of a long love story between the two.  One day, he had to go away (I’ll leave that to your imagination) and something happened to him (I’ll leave that to your imagination), and he never came back.  Before he left, he told her not to worry and that when he returned he would want his jacket back — his way of promising.  But, he never came back and so she sleeps with the jacket at the end of the bed and imagines him still sitting there.

The song doesn’t really have to be about a literal loss of life.  Sometimes people get lost in life….they lose their way, become people they weren’t.  When that happens, sometimes you catch glimpses of the people they were before (a shadow of their old selves), but they are forever changed by something.  That was what I was really trying to get to in the song too.  (some people feel they shouldn’t explain their songs, the song should speak for itself — it does, but sometimes, I like to share where it came from just like the movies give special features to let people in on the process).

Anyway, enough “talking” — the song….hope it means something.

http://soundcloud.com/monicadockery/hes-just-a-shadow-collab-w

Mother’s Day and some music

Well, last week seemed to fly by. Mother’s Day came and went and I didn’t even get to post a Happy Mother’s Day wish to all the beautiful mommies out there. I had so many thoughts going in my head the day before and I put them down in words. I thought I’d share them here again with you all…

I have been so blessed to have the opportunity to be the mother of such a beautiful little soul. When I first became a mom I wasn’t so sure about it. After the shock of what it REALLY meant to have a child settled, then I realized just what a great treasure I had on my hands. He makes me smile, he drives me crazy, he keeps me on my toes, he keeps me questioning, he reminds me of the wonder in every moment, he makes me keep my promises and to be careful of what promises I make, he allows me to exercise my natural desire to nurture, he challenges me to have good reasons, he’s given me more heart, more soul, more strength, he’s emboldened my desire to be better, he’s made me a little sillier, a little bit more free, he’s encouraged me and cheers me on, he showers me with all the little hugs and kisses a mommy could ever need and some. He is our son and shares the very best traits of my dearest and most beloved person. I hope he will grow to be a man who loves deeply, lives thankfully, and can transform the ugly in this world into something as beautiful, if not more beautiful, than the heart he already has in him. And, I hope that I will grow each and every day to be the mother he needs to help him on his way to becoming that man. What an honor and what a quest. May we all conquer and rise to the challenge. Happy BELATED Mother’s Day to all you wonderful mommies:)

p/s – I have just been in touch with these guys in Boston called “Hitch-Hiking to Hawaii” — I love their stuff…they are VERY different from anything else out there. They sent me an absolutely beautiful track and I immediately vibed with it. I love it when that happens. Anyway, the song is written. Now, I just have to record and have them mix it. Can’t wait! The two other songs I’m collaborating on are also on their way soon, so keep checking in…..or follow me on facebook to keep updated on a daily basis:).

Another SoundCloud Collaboration, feat. RekOps

As I mentioned earlier, I have been getting involved in some collaboration projects with a few people on SoundCloud lately.  The latest one is with this guy….

He goes by the moniker RekOps and is a rapper/producer/beat-maker from Canada.  I found his tracks on SoundCloud and loved the chill – almost eerie vibe of one in particular called “Ducking Ambient”.  He had mentioned that he was looking to do some collabs with female and male vocalist, so I sent him a temp track for that song and he wrote back saying he was interested.  I am so glad we were able to do this, I think it turned out great.  I cannot make tracks like the one he made (at least I haven’t tried to) so it is awesome to be able to hear someone else’s sound and connect to it and be able to get a feeling from it enough to write some lyrics down.

The song is very basic – minimalistic in terms of the lyrics – but I really wanted to pull back on the lyrics and let the track shine.  We’ve both gotten some good feedback on the track since posting it so that is nice.  It is always good to get that, but really….I just like it so much myself.  I think that is what matters for everything we do.  Is it something we enjoy, something we can stand by and be proud of?  We want people to like it – yes…. but, it has to come from a genuine place.  When you are doing something you don’t really feel yourself – people will sense it and that is a disservice to both yourself and them.  At least, that is what I think, merely an opinion.  Anyway, here is the link to the song.  If you like it, it would be great if you could leave a comment for RekOps to give him feedback on our collaboration effort.  His soundcloud link is http://www.soundcloud.com/RekOps.  He also has a link to his facebook on there and several other crazy tracks to listen to.  Hope you all have a great week!

http://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F45510567&show_artwork=true

http://soundcloud.com/monicadockery/its-done

Lyrics:

Late at night I lie awake here

And think of all the things I’ve done

All my skin and bones will be laid bare

When my secrets cannot hide from the sun

All those times I lied to you,

They’ll never be undone

All the tears I’ll cry for you but

This web won’t be unspun

Oooh, it’s done   oooh it’s done

I wish I could go back in time…..

Oooh, it’s done…

Oooh, we’re done…

Feature Friday: Diane Birch………and a tribute to Adam “MCA” Yauch of the Beastie Boys and Junior Seau


First things first…. RIP Adam “MCA” Yauch and Junior Seau. I grew up listening to the Beastie Boys…I still remember three of my friends in middle school singing “Brass Monkey” at the talent show and how excited I was when they tried to come back years later with “Sabotage”.

And though I don’t follow sports too much, I do know that Junior Seau was a beloved, gregarious person. And since he was here in SoCal his death has hit the people around here a little hard.

It seems like so many YOUNG people have been dying lately. Why is that? What’s going on in the world….we are polluting our air and water, we are stressed out about money, we are disconnected in a real, tangible way and are devaluing our relationships, we aren’t taking care of ourselves? Or is it all of the above? Whatever it may be, it is not the way it should be and we should all be looking for ways to do what we can to change the pattern. No, we cannot hide from death….but, we can keep ourselves from running to it. Take care of yourself, your world, and your people — same goes for me. In honor, I’m posting this absolute classic piece of hip-hop history…

For a live performance of this song, click on the link below…

http://videoplayer.vevo.com/embed/Embedded?videoId=USCA30500079&playlist=false&autoplay=0&playerId=62FF0A5C-0D9E-4AC1-AF04-1D9E97EE3961&playerType=embedded&env=0&cultureName=en-US&cultureIsRTL=false
I hope that made you dance…..if not, play it again!

On a lighter note – today is a Feature Friday and I wanted to introduce you to this lady…

Her name is Diane Birch….and she is awesome! If you’ve been following this blog, you know I loooooove lyrics and this lady is no stranger to them. She was raised in Zimbabwe, Africa and Sydney Australia. She started writing and singing her songs here and there, and in 2006 she was approached by Prince to come sit in with his band. After that, she moved to London and scored a record deal. Her first album entitled “Bible Belt” came out in 2009 to rave reviews. Two of my favorites – “Nothing But a Miracle” and “Mirror Mirror” are below.

Two things stand out to me. 1) You can definitely hear the “church” in her voice. 2) She has a way with words. My favorite line is in “Mirror Mirror” that says, “Mirror mirror, is it me or you that’s lyin’ – mirror, mirror – is it me or you that’s cryin'”. It gives the listener a sense of how someone who has become so detached from the core of who they are that they fear they may have lost themselves completely might be feeling. Great music. Sadly, though, the current music industry doesn’t often reward great music. As such, she has kind of fallen off the map. In 2010 she was the opening act for Stevie Wonder — did you hear that? STEVIE WONDER!!! Anyway, after that gig was over, she came out with another album entitled “The Velveteen Age” that didn’t quite match her success with her first album. However, it is still worth a listen.

That is all. If you want to find out more about her and what she is up to now, she does have a website @ http://dianebirch.com/ and periodically does some touring/shows. Look her up. Support good music and talented songwriters!!!!

p/s – no word on that new track yet, but it shall be done soon:)

My New FaceBook Page….and preview of Featured Artist Friday

Helloooooo! The summer is almost here and I can feel it “coming in the air tonight.” I love the summer!!!! I love the sun, so when it starts to warm up, it feels just perfect for me. Anyway – to the announcement. I finally decided to get an artist/musician/band page on FaceBook. I didn’t really want to before because I don’t quite see myself as a “band” or a “musician”, really I am just a girl who likes to write songs and likes to share them. But, there have been some people who have wanted to contact me on Facebook and rather than give access to my personal account, I thought it would be a good idea to have a page. So, if you are on Facebook and would like to get updates on there on songs and posts, feel free to “like” my page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Monica-Dockery/376943485684998. I don’t really have much up on there yet as I just opened it today, but I’ll add stuff periodically, so stay tuned:)!

On another note, today I just finished sending the vocal track I did for another SoundClouder! He is a producer/beat-maker/rapper from Canada. I am so excited about it! There are not many lyrics – but the lyrics I did write, I think, fit the song’s vibe. I didn’t want too many words to take over the track – I think I did that on the last collab. I did, so I wanted to showcase the track a little more on this one. I am hoping he will have it up soon and I can share it! I am thinking this weekend for sure.

Whether it gets done this weekend or not, I will be posting again. I am going to be featuring another artist on here tomorrow. It is not a soundclouder this time, although a soundclouder is the one who put me onto her. She had an album out a while back, but has since kind of fallen of the map. How this happened? I have no idea because she is crazy talented. As soon as I saw the first YouTube video of her, I was in. Tune in tomorrow to check her out (I usually post later in the evening due to the fact that I am running around a little four-year-old all day)! Till then…

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