Words & Music

by monicadockery

Archive for the category “Blogroll”

Updates, Nerds, and a Sneak Peak for Feature Friday

Hellooo!  The summer is running away from me!!!! Man, time flies when you’re in the sun.  Anyway, thought I’d give a little update on the music making.  I have three songs that I’ve been working on with two different SoundClouders.  All of them are hip-hop…..so excited about these.  I have been wanting to do a hip-hop collaboration for a long time now and finally…:).  The guys I’m working with are cool cats and let me run away with their tracks and do as I pleased.  Now, it’s their turn to do they’re portion and then….voila!  Magic.  I say magic because it is pretty amazing how music can bring worlds together.  Ireland, London, Brazil, Puerto Rico.  These next two have the touch of all different parts of the world and that is awesomeeeeeee.   In addition to wanting to do hip-hop, I’ve been wanting to get into some Spanish songs.  I grew up around the Spanish language and it is near and dear to my heart because it brings back memories of me as a little awkward, nerdy child.

Yes, NERD.  Four eyes, skinny, too-tall-for-my-age, no sense of style and all (if I had a picture available, I’d post it).  It’s ok, don’t feel bad for me.  I’ve come to love the “nerd” in me.  And though now I’ve learned a few things about how to dress and show “what my momma’ gave me”, I’m still that girl who loves to learn, to read, to write.  I’d rather be at the beach staring at the ocean than at a house party.  Don’t get me wrong, now…..every now and then, I looooove to get myself out on the dance floor and burn the house down:), but more often than not, I’d rather be alone.  So, there, now you know a little more about me than you were probably wanting to:).

Anyway, keep an ear/eye out for those songs…..I should have at least two up by the weekend.  Also, I forgot to mention that I started a new SoundCloud account.  I still have my old one, but I was running out of space, so I decided to open another and keep the new one for all the collaboration stuff.  So, all the collaborations that I have done thus far and the ones that are coming up can be found on that page.  Here is the link…..http://soundcloud.com/camille-leone.  If you’re wondering why the name is different, it is because I am working on hip-hop stuff right now and was thinking it would be fun to come up with my own pseudonym and since Lil’ Wayne is taken, I picked Camille Leone.  I thought it was fitting.

Ok, as promised..sneak peak for this Friday’s Featured Artist.  I found this absolutely gorgeous music!!!  I love it.  It has a hint of Cold Play, but stands on its own feet…..come back on Friday to check it out…..I’ll give you a hint….man on the moon.  That is all.  Come visit me on facebook or my new soundcloud account.  Gracias!

If I find a nerdy picture, I’ll share it later.

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Musings Past Midnight – Thank you…

It’s 1:30 am my time. Can’t sleep. Just sitting here thinking. I was thinking about how music tells the story of our life…or at least it should. I go back and listen to some of the first songs I put on here – way back last October – and as I go through them, it is as though I am revisiting my past lives. It is amazing all the things that can happen over the course of a few months. How our mind states change, the people that enter in and exit out of our lives. If nothing else comes of this…of me writing and sharing these songs…I will still be thankful for having put them down. Why? Because they are a running record of the things that move me, the people that inspire me, the pain that improves me, the love that heals me, the heart that beats in me. I see myself on the page — the good, the bad -the broken pieces. I see me clearly and have no choice but to own up to who I am, there’s no hiding or running away from it then.

And no, not every song I write is about me directly, but the ones that I’ve written based on another’s experience can still be counted as one of my own. Because what happens to the ones I love and what happens to the world I love….it IS a part of me. We are all connected to each other in more ways than we will ever fully be aware of. I’m glad life has led me to that lesson (and it is one I have to re-learn from time to time), because without it, I would have no empathy. Without empathy, I would have no love. And without love….what would matter?

I could go on and on with my ramblings…especially at this hour, but I won’t. I’ll simply say, thank you to those of you who have taken the time to walk through my life by listening to my songs. You’ve “seen” me sad, you’ve “seen” me happy. You’re there when my voice is weak, when it is strong. When I have felt unsure and when I have felt unstoppable. Who am I, but just another voice in the crowd? There are sooooo many people who can sing, who write songs. Am I any better? Certainly not – I do not think so. I’m just me, that’s all any of us are. We’re just us. That’s it. So, if you have taken the time to hear me, to care about finding out who I am….I am humbled, I am grateful.

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:)

New Song: In a HeartBeat

Hellooooooo! Well, I have some good news and some better news. Good news is, I finally picked which song I’d share this week and it happens to not be any of the ones I wrote about in the last post. I actually just wrote it and so since it was fresh on my mind today, I thought I’d choose this one for today. It is called “In a HeartBeat” and was written from the perspective of a friend of mine. She’s had some pretty rough experiences lately with love and it seems she could go down the route of some people in her position and just close herself off to the idea. But, if the right guy came along, I know that all the walls she built to protect herself would just crumble to pieces and she would be ready “in a heartbeat.” I love you my dear amiga, and hope when love comes, it will find you happy and secure about who you are – because you are awesome:)!

The lyrics to the song:
Been slow on this road called love
Haven’t had a reason to trust
Till you caught my eye and now I
feel like its time to run
But I won’t run
until you ask me

chorus: I could be ready in a heartbeat///
If you’d just ask me

Girls in white dresses and lace
flowers all over the place
I never did care till you came
And I imagined a change in my name
but it won’t change
unless you ask me

Chorus

If you’d ask me
I would leave it all
If you’d ask me
I would trust you to catch me if I fall
If you’d ask me
I would give you everything
If you’d ask me
I’d give it to you in a heart….beat

Chorus

Have a great weekend everyone!!!


In a HeartBeat

I almost forgot the better news!!

The better news is I am in the middle of another collaboration…this time with someone from Canada who I will tell you more about soon. I REALLY like the song we’re doing, the track is sooo smooth. So, I hope to get that on here soon:)

Messin’ Around – Instrumental tracks


I hope everyone is having a wonderful Easter/Spring Break! This whole week it was just me and my son and I was running around town with him keeping busy. We went to the La Brea Tar Pits in LA, as he is hoping to be a paleontologist in the future (of course, he’s four and who knows if it will stick, but just in case it does we are doing the necessary training:) ). We also went to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). We had a great time! There was so much to see and the best part was both were free that day:). That was nice. My little niece and nephew came along too (age 5 and 6). It was a loooong day, but so worth it to see their faces light up with excitement at seeing what treasures awaited them behind the big doors that were at each section of the museum. I even heard my nephew say, “Wow, this is the coolest place I’ve ever been too!” I just love that. I’m so glad they came and that we got to experience all the art from around the world and to see the different perspectives outlined in each of the works. I hope it inspires them to find their own way of expressing their own unique take on life. Good times!

Anyway, I thought I’d share something a little different this week. I have several tracks that are purely instrumental. Usually, I’ll just start messin’ around with different sounds. Try something here, try something there. I really have no idea about the technical part of making a good track, I just see what happens and if I like it, I keep it. The first one is called “I dunno” because I didn’t know what to call it. I thought it would be cool to see a live show with four grand pianos and a person on the drum machine in the middle of them, each playing their part. Then, their parts would start crossing over and get more and more complex and intense as the song went on, but what I have on this track is just what I think the beginning of something like that might sound like. Here it is.
I dunno

This second was something I did one evening before bed. I thought I’d call it “Scat-Rat Chase” because I pictured a cat chasing a rat around an old house and because there is some scatting on it (for those of you who may not know, scatting is what is used in a lot of jazz songs where sounds and syllables are put together that don’t really mean anything — Ella Fitzgerald and Louie Armstrong were and are Queen and King of this style). It was just fun to do. Here you go….
Scat-Rat Chase

Again, thanks for checking in every now and then. Next week–sometime– there will be two postings, one is a new song and the other a spotlight on a charity of my choice that I’d like to share with you. Happy Easter!

–Monica

The Dance (Prequel to “Little Star”)


Hello again. I have to say that I really look forward to post days. When I first began this blog, I wasn’t exactly sure what my motivations were. Now, though, it has become more clear to me that this is not something that I want more than it is something that I need. I need to share. I need to show my heart. To be open, transparent. Why? I think because I am such an introverted person…I hold everyone at a distance and guard myself so vigilantly. And despite the fact that anyone in the world can see this, it is here where I feel safe enough to be exposed. That is why, I think, so many of us are so drawn to the internet, to social networking sites. It allows for disclosure, but also allows us to pick and choose what we disclose, how much of it we disclose, and the manner in which we disclose. And, if you don’t like what I share or something doesn’t make sense to you, my ego is protected by the fact that I can’t see that in your face or hear it in your voice.

I think people just want to be known….really, truly known. We want to do what we can to make sure that when we die, we will have given enough of ourselves, shown enough of ourselves, for someone to say, “I knew her.” Maybe that’s just me, though.

Anyway, this is this week’s song. It was written as a sort of prequel to another song I posted a while back called “Little Star”. If you listen to both this new song, “The Dance” and “Little Star”, you may hear some similarities, but they are about two different, yet related things. Give it a listen. I posted two links because I noticed that the other songs I’ve been posting from SoundCloud are not directly accessible from phones and I-Pads. It may be that I am posting them incorrectly, but nevertheless, here they are, hopefully at least one of them works for you! Catch you this Friday for a new featured artist!

here are the two links to “The Dance”

http://w.soundcloud.com/player/? url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F41302977&auto_play=false&show_artwork=true&color=ff00bf

New Song and Soundcloud


(not actually my old house…just a pic:) )

Hello there! I took a week off, but have continued messing around with songs. I don’t believe I have done a true R&B type song here yet and I thought it would be good to do one since it happens to be one of the genres I grew up with as a kid. It is something I first wrote as a poem when we left our first home and all the emotions that I was feeling at the time (sometimes a poem turns into a song and sometimes a song — music — turns into a poem). It was the same mix of emotions I felt when I left home for college for the first time, when I left Hong Kong behind, on my wedding day. Saying goodbye to the past and hello to what lies ahead.

I decided this week I’d start sharing my songs through SoundCloud. I absolutely love it! Thank you to Raphael BlueWolf for putting me onto it. I’ve found such great music from some pretty cool people and have been able to share mine. I do not have all of my songs up on there, but there are a select few. You can find them all at www.soundcloud.com/monicadockery. Part of the reason I decided to start using it is because it is supposed to be better for sharing music, so please let me know if it accomplishes this task (any problems listening to the track or takes too long, etc.). I’d appreciate that very much. Hope you are all having a wonderful week! I’m planning on doing another “Feature Friday” this week, so stay tuned. Here is this week’s song called Nothing Lasts Forever

p/s —- Here are the lyrics ( I decided to start putting the lyrics in my posts to make it easier for you to find them, but the lyrics to other songs previously posted — most of them– are still at the “The Songs” tab at the top of this page.)

Nothing Lasts Forever

So many memories here we first made our home
Where he took his first steps
Tiny little footprints painted on the front porch steps
The lessons learned, the music of our lives filled
Our small and cozy space
And I know we’ll never hear the same music in another place

Forever forever nothing lasts
Forever forever nothing lasts

But it was time, as time always comes for change
We could try to delay, we could try to escape
But, it’d find us all the same
So instead of hiding from, we chose to run towards
The dwelling of our fate
And take the risks that come our way
Possibilities of a brand new day

Forever forever nothing lasts
Forever forever nothing lasts

Empty boxes, empty boxes all around
Stretched across, stretched across on the ground
We’ll fill them up with new dreams
Until they bust at the seams
Yes, the best has yet to come
And so we say goodbye with one last look
And one last cry
We knew this chapter of our lives
Could not go on

Forever forever nothing lasts
Forever forever nothing lasts

The First Time

Good day to everyone!  I am loving how gorgeous it is outside and I plan on getting out there and spending the rest of the day with my son.  Looking forward to that.  As promised, though, I am posting that song I said I would before we head out.  It’s another one on the guitar.  I’ve been doing more on the guitar lately because I’m trying to practice more and get better at it and as I do that, I end up messing around and find something I can use for a song.  This one is very simple, most of the song is two chords (like some of the others;) ), but I kind of like it that way.  It is fitting for me since I see myself as somewhat of a simple kind of girl.  In fact, I hope that as I get older, I will become even more of a simple person.  Please don’t confuse simple with simple-minded.  By simple, I mean, someone who doesn’t need much and is content in every moment.  It is one of my truest desires, to learn to live more and more simply…to love simply…  

Here’s the new song, hope you enjoy it!

Oh, and don’t forget to stop by on Friday and check out this week’s featured artist!

Dreamin’ A Way

A few years ago, I had the privilege of taking care of a group of special young ladies. Many of them had to deal with some pretty tough circumstances at a very young age….things most of us have never had to deal with. I was always amazed by them. How resilient they were. How hopeful they were for the future. How they were able to cope. Many of them had great dreams, great imaginations…a by-product, I think, of what had happened in their life.

It was clear that the touch of tragedy left its mark on them, but at the core, there were remnants of their unaltered selves. Rarely, would they let anyone see that self, though. That part of them was kept deep within….far away from danger. But, at times, you could catch a glimpse and I couldn’t help but hope that with time, with healing, they would be able to let that true self back up to the surface for good. Wherever they are now, I hope they are well, that they are pursuing the dreams they had and so graciously shared with me. They touched my life and taught me so much about the best and worst parts of our humanity. They taught me to try to see people from the inside out. For that, I am truly grateful to them. Thanks girls. This song was written with them in mind. The audio might be low, so the words are down below.

Also, thank you to Blair at http://gomofo.wordpress.com/ for posting my site on his own…check him out, he’s a REAL guitarist… I ‘preciate it mister:).

Dreamin’ A Way

Broken glass on the window pane
She sits and stares at her shoes
Memories of fists and pain
Stick to her mind
Just like glue
And she can’t tell you how
Or even why
All that she knows is now
Is the last time
The window’s not the only broken thing
But still she tells her shoes its time to go
She’s got herself a plan to kill the pain
That’s taking way too much of her soul

She’s dreamin’, dreamin’ her way
Dreamin’ a way away

Violent clouds filled with fear hate
Billow over in bloom
Words that sear as the lightening strikes
Trying to cause her wound
And she can’t tell you how
Or even what
All that she knows is she
Can’t let them touch
The center of her heart…won’t feel the gloom
Hard as they try she just won’t let them in
She’s got herself a ticket to the moon
Where they can’t take her soul away again

She’s dreamin’, dreamin’ her way
She’s dreamin’ her way away

Away, away

Away, away, away, she’s goin’ away
She’s building a rocket in her mind
Away, away, away, she’s goin’ away
She makes it to the moon just in time

But, she’s still dreamin’, dreamin’ a way
dreamin’ her way away, away, away

Summertime


This is my first ever time doing a cover song on here. And who else would I choose to cover than the GREAT Ella Fitzgerald! One of my top 10 favorite songs in the world is her version of Summertime. And since it is rainy and cold out there, I thought it would be the perfect song to help me pretend like it was a warm day at the beach in June. Now, there is noooooo way in the world that I would ever compare or want to be compared to Ella and so this rendition is entirely different than her own. In addition to changing the tune, I also switched up a few lyrics here and there and added a little something different at the end. Also, I thought putting in a little hip hop-infused rhythm to it would be fun and modernize it a bit. So, it is definitely different from the original, but done with great love and respect in my heart for her. Here is my homage and my version of Summertime

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