Music Mondays: Carolaoke Song #40

I’ve been listening to a lot of Cuban music on Pandora lately because trumpets. You cannot be in a bad mood when you listen to trumpets. I am a sucker for horn sections in songs so I chose Ring of Fire for today’s Carolaoke track. I added harmonies/backing vocals to this one and if you listen real closely (not that close), you’ll hear that Toby added his vocals (screams and shrieks) here and there. It’s Summer Solstice and if ever there is NEVER a time to record music in your house as a bird owner, this would be it. My birds have been off the hook crazed by the 24 hours of daylight lately. If there never was night, I’m convinced that birds would never sleep. Ever. Darkness is their Kryptonite and the only thing that makes them quiet. They are seriously like Gremlins and turn into monsters when the sun is involved. Like a child that was fed too much candy and caffeine all day. So today they had impromptu covered cage naps so that they would calm down the F down and I could finish recording. While listening to this ditty today, consider pretending that I’m singing live from a zoo festival.

Carolaoke Track: Ring of Fire

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Music Mondays: Carolaoke Song #39

Today is a scratch track “sample” and not a full song. Why only a sample, Carol? Because some discoveries were made in the production of this ditty today. The “full album version” of this song is not available on iTunes as a karaoke track. Perhaps it’s a radio edit version, I don’t know, but it really threw a wrench in my Music Monday. After listening to other versions on iTunes, they are all the edited version and leave out the best part of this song which are these lyrics:

I’m gonna soak up the sun
While it's still free
I'm gonna soak up the sun
Before it goes out on me

Don't have no master suite
But I'm still the king of me
You have a fancy ride, but baby
I'm the one who has the key

-Sheryl Crow (Soak Up The Sun)

I am not in the headspace to Frankenstein the inside of this karaoke track today to match the music of the full album version (or even if I could for that matter) so I’m only offering a small Carolaoke sample today. As a lot of you know, I continue to try to make friends with summer this year; summer is making that difficult but I will still try. This song always makes me feel hopeful about summer.

Carolaoke Soak Up The Sun Sample

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Music Mondays: Carolaoke Song #38

The lyrics for today’s tune say tarot cards to me and you cannot convince me otherwise. You can do a tarot card reading using a regular deck of cards, you just won’t have the Major Arcana cards available to you. But that’s ok! You have the entire deck of the Minor Arcana within a regular deck of cards.

Hearts = Cups
Clubs = Wands
Spades = Swords
Diamonds = Coins, Pentacles

Suzanne Vega also has an awesome tune about tarot cards - “Fool’s Complaint” which is a nod to the first Major Arcana card, The Fool. And then the Queen of Pentacles. The lyrics in that piece are super clever as always when we’re speaking of the amazing Suzanne Vega. I highly recommend it. In the meantime, please enjoy Carolaoke Scratch Track #38, Sting’s “Shape of My Heart” and thank you so much for stopping by today.

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Music Mondays: Carolaoke Song #37

Everyone will be happy to know Toby (small parrot) was most excellent while recording today’s Carolaoke tune. He had to have a couple gentle reminders here and there to keep all his screams and outbursts inside his tiny orange pants while I recorded, but I didn’t need to close the door at all this time(!) He’s also been demonstrating that he’s starting to get the word “no” when I say it. I’ve noticed he doesn’t “like” to be scolded and is really sensitive about it, so I’ve amped up the positive reinforcement when he’s doing something good instead.

Today’s Carolaoke song is my scratch track version of Dido’s , “Thank You”. Please enjoy and thank you so much for stopping by today!

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Music Mondays: Carolaoke Song #36

Today I’m going to talk about my recording process for Carolaoke Music Mondays. There is a reason why birds are not part of the audio engineer’s recording suite, I get that now. I have three birds (1 Caique, 2 parakeets) and they are not quiet. They shouldn’t be, they’re birds singing songs and screaming to their special planet the sun all day. But this doesn’t exactly make for a good environment to record vocals in. Which means I’ve had to seriously step up my bird training skills lately in order to navigate between screams so I can record during the day. My small parrot Toby is only 8 yrs old but he had 5 other owners before we rescued him and he’s been intensely traumatized by that. After 3 years, he’s finally letting me pet his head and scratch his neck but he remains very guarded and cautious. I admit it hurts that he still doesn’t fully trust me yet or screams over and over again when I leave the room, but I’m always reminding myself that I have no idea what his past was like. Considering he freaks out around brooms, loud noises, loud talking and sudden hand motions, I’m assuming he was part of some really bad scenes. So! The good news is that birds like routines and through this pandemic and quarantine, I have started to notice that Toby likes Music Mondays! The routine is, he wakes up with one single loud scream every morning at 7:00am. He gets his breakfast and snacks prepped shortly after which means he’s pretty quiet for about an hour eating his snacks. Then he’s ready to be really loud and annoying for attention. Any attention is good attention! So we’ve been playing the good attention verses bad attention game a lot lately and let me tell you he’s really good at his side of the attention game.

On Music Mondays he and his cart are outside the room I record in but with the door open so he can see me at all times. If he can’t see me, there will be screams that can wake the dead for days. So as I test out levels and vocals, I let him scream it out and record anyway. If he gets too out of hand once I decide that I’m recording for real, I shut the door and say “NO.” And continue on ignoring him, still singing, until he’s quiet. Then I open the door, praise him and he’s happy and quiet for pretty much the rest of the day. Soon we will try harness training so I can take him outside safely. It also has to be warm enough to take him outside (75F) for him to realize that the reward is going outside for wearing a silly and probably uncomfortable outfit. That’s the plan anyway. Please enjoy my Carolaoke scratch track of KT Tunstall’s “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree”. Toby was excellent being mild mannered and quiet this Music Monday and deserves a shoutout! (ironically)

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