Words & Music

by monicadockery

Archive for the tag “feature friday”

Settle Your Mind….vlog

Hellooooo! So, I decided that since I did not do ONE SINGLE vlog last year even though I had it as one of my goals to do vlogs, I’d make up for it to myself and do one.  Here is a new song I’ve been working with.  It’s a rough cut, still very much a work in progress, but wanted your thoughts.  Here it is:

Also, I wrote a Feature Friday blog post on Man on the Moon, Arvid Lizell a while back.  I looooove his sound.  Something so pure about it.  And speaking of “pure”, he has a younger brother who has formed a new group called “PURE” and they are a wonderfully talented group.  Check out this videos from them.  The first one is a collaboration with Arvid. Young, fun, pure.  Enjoy and show them some love by leaving a comment or following at https://soundcloud.com/arvid-lizell or https://soundcloud.com/musicbypure.

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Feature Friday: Man on the Moon (Arvid Lizell)

This is Arvid from Sweden. I do not know him……but I do know he is a beautiful soul. How do I know this you ask? Well, if you listen to 30 seconds of his music, you will hear it hidden in there. From the very beginning of listening to his “Falling through the Sky”, you get this happy, light and lifted feeling. The bouncy beat starts off with sounds that give you a feeling of being a child on the playground, maybe swinging on a swing and feeling the wind on your face. There are touches of Cold Play and Owl City in the music and in his voice, but still there is something very much his own in there. My favorite part of the song starts at about the 2.40 mark where he begins “I’m shaking, my head is aching….it’s all breaking, all the mistakes I’m making, will you catch me as I’m falling through the sky.” Such a smart and effortless flow to it, lovely.

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Then, there’s “Drive On”. I could imagine myself just getting into a car, driving very slowly, at a snail’s pace. He sings, “you think you’re alone, but that’s where you are wrong” and then I can feel a little push in the song, starting to move now. Then he continues, “street lights, all blur together from the teardrops in your eyes”. I picture someone driving late at night trying to run away from something. Finally, the gear shifts into third at about 2.18 and he’s saying “drive on….travel on for what your worth.” Now, the person isn’t driving away but driving towards something….a better life maybe. What I love about this song (and all his songs, really), is his use of space. He leaves nice, quiet pockets in there where people can just feel what they are feeling and process. I like that. That is actually something I could do more of in my songs….using space wisely and not trying to fill up every bit of it.

The last songs on there are “Death is not the End” and “Little Darling” (which is the one in the video above). These, I think, express two things that have touched me personally. I have had a lot of death around me in the last two years and, at times, when death is so close it does feel like you are “scatter[ing] out your dreams like broken glass”. And then, you think, there has to be something. There just has to be. I can’t just lose this person….they can’t just be gone, they have to be continuing on in some way. Also with death, you think of life and how precious it is – how important it is to see the big picture and be thankful. So on days when I’m complaining about the small stuff and I’ve “miss[ed] the bus”, I try to remember that I’ve “never seen the dark side of the world” and that whatever small thing I’m dealing with…..it ain’t that bad in the grand scheme of things. There are people suffering, fearing for their lives every time they walk outside their door…people who don’t even have a door. So, yeah, it really isn’t all that bad even though it may feel like it is.

Thank you, Arvid. In a world of messages about “ho’s” (sp?) and “shaking your ass”, it is good to come across substance. Something you can chew on and feel good about consuming. Wish you the best…may your music feed the masses. The end.

***Please show your love, support, check out this guy’s music, follow him, comment…..check him out at www.soundcloud.com/arvidlizell

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:)

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