Words & Music

by monicadockery

Archive for the tag “acoustic”

Help me win the Guitar Center Contest!

bedhead

Helloooo!

I’ve been M.I.A. for a while on this blog, but for a good reason. I am nearly finished with my album!! It will be available October 15th! So excited. Now…..

I have also been busy trying to gain support for my entry into the Guitar Center Singer Songwriter Contest 3 w/ Don Was. The more online activity on our contest page, the better our chances. So, it would be WONDERFUL, FANTASTIC, AWESOME, if you took some time to watch my two videos that are up on my page. Note: the link only works from a desktop, no mobile devices. By you simply watching my videos on the contest page, you will be helping me come that much closer to a dream! Please show your support, watch and share with as many friends as you can. You can even view it multiple times for multiple votes. Thanks so much! Can’t wait to share more of my project with you soon! And btw, the contest ends Nov.9th, so please keep checking back on the site as I will be uploading at least one more music video there before the release of my album. Cheers everyone! And, thank you so much in advance.

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Album Song Preview – Youtube Video for “Birthday”

Helloooo!  So, I have been wanting to share a little more about the album I’m working on, so I decided to do a video preview of one of the last ones that I wrote.  I chose to share this one first because it is one of the more playful, lighter ones and I thought it would be fitting for a summer weekend release:).  Hope you like it!  If you do, leave a little comment to let me know….feedback is always much appreciated.  Thanks!  Have a wonderful weekend!! …and a few more videos to come in the future, so keep checking in!

—Monica

In the Mood….for Love (video)

Helloooo!  Well, I have some good news.  I think that I have finished the writing portion of the album I’m putting together:).  Of course, that may change.  But, for now, I think I’ve said what I wanted to say.  Now, the hard part of tracking/recording, adding backup vocals, adding other instruments, missing, mastering, etc, etc, etc.  Ay ya!  Lots to do.  But, I promise you this, I am enjoying myself.  So, I thought I’d share one of the songs that may (or may not) make the cut for the album.  It is actually one that I wrote to accompany a track that a fellow SC Hero/Producer, Jaze Baqti made.  I love that version, it has a different tone than this acoustic version though.   I included both my video/acoustic version and the produced/audio version so that you can compare.  Here you go, may you feel the love: and pass it on!

 

 

Btw, don’t forget! This is the last week to join the “Audiobiography ” project put out by the Soundcloud Heroes!

Sam I Am

Hellooo! Hope you had a great weekend.  I spent mine in sand and surf:).  Perfect.  A quick update.  As mentioned before, I have decided to go forward and put together an album – a complete set of works.  So, much writing and thinking and resting happening.  Yes, resting.  The best stuff happens when you just stop and rest….take a moment.  I’ll be taking as many moments as I can because I want the album to reflect the deepest parts of me….the things I love, the people I love, the life I love.  Can you see a theme developing?:).  I only plan on doing one album.  No more.  I do not intend to make a career of this as it really is just something that I enjoy and that brings me peace and I don’t want for it to become a “job” for me.  I think when it becomes a job, the magic slips away.  So, this album is it.  So, may my heart and soul be poured out all over it.  I have about 7 songs down now and am still writing.  Then, there’s a whole hell of a lot of stuff I have to figure out how to do….like mixing and such;).  We’ll see how things end up taking shape. I’ll keep posting updates as things progress.  Thanks for taking this journey with me!  Here is a rough, acoustic version of a song called “Sam I Am” I just wrote that may or not make the cut.  Let me know what you think.  Have a great week!

 

New Youtube Video/Song: Two Moons

Helloooooo!  Here is a new song I wrote.  It may turn into a collaboration with another  male SoundCloud Hero.  I haven’t really done a duet yet, so I’m glad about that.  It won’t be for a while, but be on the look out.  Here it is (the lyrics are below):

Is it me or you that is pulling us apart?
or am I pushing you out of orbit
floating far from my heart
oh the space is wide, but not quite wide
enough, I fear
for two moons to live together
too much pull on the atmosphere
so let’s drift apart

can’t you feel the orbits shifting
and the weight pulling down?
wish that I could stop this feelin’
make our love rebound
but the pull is strong and
harder still, to ignore
and I know the time has come
can’t keep pretending anymore

so let’s drift apart
let’s drift apart
let’s drift apart
let’s drift apart

though I loved the light you shined
though it felt good on my soul
though I loved the light you shined
though it hurts me to say so

let’s drift apart
let’s drift apart

Hope you enjoy!  Have a wonderful week everyone!

New Youtube Videos….finally:)

Helloooo!  Happy weekend all!  Just wanted to make a quick announcement.  I have some new videos up on my youtube channel called “The Monica Dockery Late Night Sessions.”  I decided to call it that because they were all done tonight, here at my folks’ house (I’m visiting for the weekend).  I was in my PJ’s chillin’ before bed and thought it was finally time to put up some new stuff.  The older videos that I had up were, how do I say it……well, I just needed some new ones that’s all.  I’ve gotten a little better at the guitar since then (mind you, just a LITTLE) and have newer songs.  Two of them on there are ones you may have never heard….they are brand spankin’ new.  One is spice and the other nice.  There is “All is Fair” (which is actually an extended, acoustic version of a piece I did for another collaboration I have coming up with Rick O’Shea).  And there is “The Color White” ….which I love, but I’m not sure if others will get.  So, let me know if you get it!:)  Enjoy! Have a great weekend…thanks for stopping by.

—Monica

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

Earth Day 2012 and Midnight Musings.

Part I – Earth Day

Today was Earth Day! …in case you forgot. We never really “celebrated” this day before because it made more sense to just be conscious of how our decisions leave their mark on our planet and to appreciate/respect it on a daily basis. But, this year, my son was old enough to understand things a little bit more and he was excited about going to experience the local Earth Day fairs around here. So, out and about we went. We spent the first half of the day at Newport Bay (near Newport Beach, CA) at the fair and did art with recycled materials and learned about the animals and plants in the surrounding wetlands and how to protect their habitats. We did a mini-hike around the wetlands and then headed to Crystal Cove beach nearby. My son really wanted to do a beach clean-up and I’m glad he suggested it. I had always thought about it before, but never did until today. Though we made only a small contribution, and it felt like there was just way too much trash around to ever be able to REALLY clean up the beach, I am glad we did it for two reasons. 1) Doing something to help is usually better than doing nothing. 2) My son felt proud and important and I know that he will remember that feeling and that it was connected to doing something good.

Part II – Midnight Musings

I would like to do more beach/park clean-ups from now on. Besides the fact that we are taking the time to care for the places we like to visit, it also is just a good opportunity to be OUT…out in the world that I love so much. I can’t tell you how many times nature has brought inspiration to me in one way or another. I just love things that are beautiful. They move me in a way that is indescribable and where can we find more perfect and imperfect beauty than in the world that surrounds us? I see a gray sky, a yellow poppy, I hear the ocean, I feel the sand under my feet….and I am ALIVE! I’m here. I’m here and what will I do with my time? What will I say? What can I share? Why am I here? All of these things run through my head and as I sit and think about it all….words&music come. So many many songs on the brain lately.

There are three that I’ve been working on recently and they are all WORLDS APART! The first is acoustic. I have the rhythm down – the timing (well, almost), but there are a few holes in the lyrics that I am trying to patch up. The second is another acoustic song. I wrote it over a year ago, but couldn’t get the music for it because I didn’t know how to play the guitar yet. I’m so glad that I can finally do it now and that I can do it on my own. I have been working on the right chords and getting the timing down. I really like how it sounds so far, I just need a little bit more practice with it before I record it. I think this will be the one I share this week coming…maybe. It is called “Think Too Much”. The last is…well…I guess you can say it is a departure of sorts. I wanted to try writing something from the perspective of an alter ego. Kind of like Beyonce’s “Sasha Fierce” or Cee-lo’s “Gnarles Barkley” characters. Sometimes you get a song that comes from another place…outside of your normal self. Even the music is different from most of what I do (although the song “Over” is along the same lines in some ways). Most of my songs come out of my fondness for minimalism. But, this newest song “Look, Look” is overdone…but it is overdone on purpose. And the lyrics seem to be about something very superficial, but the point of the song is not.

So there you have it…my teasers for what’s coming. I’m hoping to make up my mind on which one to put down first and to get a quiet enough house to record it soon!!! Until then…feel free to review some of the previous posts or to share your stuff with me:).

Janet Jackson’s “Again” (Acoustic Cover)


Good Wednesday to you!! It is finally SPRING!!!!!! I love it! The sun makes me smile. Anyway, this week I wanted to try out the recording feature on SoundCloud where you can record on your I-Phone or I-Pad and it posts directly to your soundcloud page. The song I chose to test it out with was Janet Jackson’s song “Again” —- one of my absolute all time favorites because of the vulnerability and the tenderness of the song.

Besides the fact that I love Janet and the song, I also just wanted so badly to learn how to play it on the guitar. It has a few chords, but the pattern of the chords keep changing and figuring the strumming pattern, for me at least, was a challenge. Actually, it still is a challenge because I have a lot of work to do before I can be happy with my playing. But, I got the bare bones of the song down and the way I wanted to play it enough for a rough draft.

I was REALLY hesitant to share it on SoundCloud and on here, but I thought I’d just do it because it is…well…honest. It IS where I am right now, at this moment, in terms of musicianship and acquiring a new skill. We aren’t supposed to be perfect from the moment we pick up an instrument. It takes time, years and years of practice. So, I am posting this….rough as it is….in hopes that when I look back in a few years and give it another listen, I will remember what it was like when I first began this venture and I hope I will be proud at how far I have come since. I hope the same for any new ventures you may be embarking upon or are thinking about beginning. It may seem daunting, the steps that must be taken, the effort and energy required, but if it is something that you truly have a desire for, do not let it deter you. Cheers, kudos, high fives to all of you who are brave enough to pursue your desires despite the challenge, despite how silly they may seem to others, despite whatever. Thank you for keeping up with me and checking in and for the kind words. I am so thankful to have a way to share my heart with people. Here’s another piece of it…

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