Music Mondays: Carolaoke Song #7

Back in Sweet Jelly times, people used to ask me what we sounded like. I used to tell them "Weezer" meets "Barenaked Ladies" meets "No Doubt". I told them that because those were the three main influences that came from three of the band members. Aaron Johnson was a hardcore Weezer fan, I was a huge Barenaked Ladies fan and Lance Dobersek was a huge No Doubt fan. Truth be told, I had no idea No Doubt even existed so when Lance shared his enthusiasm of No Doubt with me I of course was blown away and became a hardcore fan as well. I mean, Gwen Stefani is a Hollywood goddess in every single way. Her voice is amazing, her stage presence (along with the band's) is amazing and I really love the lyrics to her songs and could certainly relate to them in so many ways.

So for today's Carolaoke offering, please enjoy my scratch track version of No Doubt's "Just A Girl". These lyrics are spot on for any gal trying to be seen and heard in this world.

Read more

Music Mondays: Carolaoke Song #6

Everything about this song written and created by Sara Bareilles is a work of art. The lyrics, the music, the harmonies, the instrumentation - all of it is a perfect musical package. She's also an amazing and dynamic performer as this clip certainly showcases. You can't help but feel like you're part of her world and not "just the audience" making it a complete experience. Not very common in this current world. Her voice is amazingly beautiful as she sings out the words of finally being able to stand up for herself and stop secretly hurting and hiding. It's as if this song gives her some power over always being polite and listening to everyone else's opinion but her own. I really relate to this. I have been going through similar experiences forever since my time began. Rewiring the perpetual chatter of your inner self is sometimes WAY harder than tuning out the words and thoughts of others.


But you have to in order to survive on this planet.

Please enjoy my Carolaoke scratch track version of Sara Bareilles' "King Of Anything".

Read more

Music Mondays: Carolaoke Song #5

I find myself in various stages of completion and agitation in the Carolaoke music department this week so Music Monday will be another blast from the past.

"Used To Be" is a tune I put together on my own about 12 years ago solely using Garageband. Including instruments. It was a grand puzzle to conquer. I had even less audio engineering prowess than I do now so keep that in mind.

The second "Used To Be" is a recorded acoustic version of the tune featuring Mark Miskelly on guitar and Aaron Johnson on upright bass.

Please enjoy.

Read more

Music Mondays: Carolaoke Song #4

Annie Lennox has been a musical hero of mine since she was of course part of the Eurythmics. ALL of her solo albums are amazing. My voice and her voice are polar opposites I fully realize, but I wanted to give this one a try despite straddling my comfortable vocal range into my falsetto voice within the song. Something I did not consider when embarking on this tune.

This song is one of my absolute favorites of hers along with the music video that features John Malkovich(!) I added harmonies and backing vocals to this scratch track as well as there were none on the backing karaoke track.

Please enjoy my scratch track version of Annie Lennox's "Walking On Broken Glass"

Read more

Music Mondays: Carolaoke Song #3

Today's Carolaoke tune pays homage to Canadian Rock 'n' Roll!

A long time ago, I was supposed to go to Ontario's Sheridan College International Summer School of Animation program. I think it was a two or three year program if I remember correctly. You needed two years of art school to get in, I was in fact accepted based on the portfolio I submitted, but that year there was some type of trade embargo between Canada and the USA which more than doubled the tuition for United States students and made it impossible for me to attend.

Before this, all through junior high and high school, I made animated films on my grandfather's Super 8 camera and dreamed BIG TIME of getting into that school. During high school, the animation studio I was working at at the time (Karen Johnson Productions) had many alumni from Sheridan, and they'd fill me in on how amazing it was to attend. Most of them were alumni from the 1970's (tuition was dirt cheap apparently) but this was now the 1990's.

Not being able to attend the program crushed me on multiple levels. I'd stare at my acceptance letter thinking what a cruel joke that all was. Luckily I was working at the animation studio as an assistant animator at the time, but my spirit was seriously crushed. Even my grandmother was super excited at the prospect of me going to Ontario Canada to continue my education, which is where she was actually born and spent her early childhood.

Why does this matter even in the slightest? It created a type of affinity in me for our northern neighbors, their culture, art and music that never left my heart. And in later years, a deep appreciation for their music (especially pop) and their musicians. This song was extremely popular in the states while starting my band. It's important to point out that all members of Sweet Jelly worked at that Racine, WI animation studio. I loved singing along with this tune to warm up for band practice in the car while commuting the two hours (one way, once a week) it took me to "get" to practice from where I live. It's feisty, snarky, angsty and just a really fun song to sing.

Please enjoy my scratch track version and rudimentary recording skills of Avril Lavigne's "Complicated" and all the baggage that comes with it.

Read more