Posts tagged ‘2012’

New site launched!

So I am graduating from the WordPress blog to a .com site…..not sure how long this wordpress.com site will still be up and running…but I am officially moved to:

www.dezdonnell.com

Unfortunately, I can’t transfer my subscriber list and followers so please PLEASE go and subscribe to the new site and drop me a comment and let me know what you think about the look of it. I am still tweaking and making small changes to it but wanted to go ahead and get it up and running.

Have a great weekend everyone!

 – Dez

Opening Act – new tv show discovering YouTube talent

Have you guys caught this new show on the E! channel, Opening Act? I caught a re-run episode last night and really enjoyed it. There is a team of industry experts – not sure if they change or are the same team from show to show, but this one had Martina McBride, Jason Derulo, Pete Wentz, and a vocal coach I’m unfamiliar with, the executive producer Nigel Lithgoe (from So You Think You Can Dance), Rock Mafia (songwriter/producers) and I think one or two others I can’t remember right now.

Anyhow, the premise is that they scour Youtube and find talent and match them up to headlining acts and get them prepared in a weeks time to open for artists like Rod Stewart, Lady Gaga, and LMFAO. Yeah, MAJOR players. So the first episode they show the Youtube videos of the artists they like and were finding an opener for Rod Stewarts show in Las Vegas. They surprise their pick in their hometown and whisk them away to LA to record, meet with the team, get all dolled up and then perform as an opening act. Pretty cool, huh?

A girl named Arielle from Allen, TX was the feature I saw and I really loved her voice – very reminiscent of one of my favorite artists, Ingrid Michaelson. She was super humble and so grateful to be chosen for such a huge opportunity, which made her even more endearing! Just a sweet person, you can tell. Here’s the video from youtube that awarded her this huge opportunity:

You can check out more info about the show online at http://www.eonline.com/shows/opening_act/ . Now, I need to get busy recording some videos for youtube with the songs they are looking for!

APPROVED MUSIC:
Your video must contain you or your favorite local singer or band performing one of the songs listed below. You can sing a cappella or perform the music using your own instruments, but entries featuring pre-recorded background tracks will be disqualified! Read Official Rules.

If I Ain’t Got You – Alicia Keys
Rehab – Amy Winehouse
Goodbye Earl – Dixie Chicks
Cry – Faith Hill
Lips of an Angel – Hinder
Big Star – Kenney Chesney
Don’t Let Me Get Me – P!nk
My Girl – The Temptations
The Greatest Love of All – Whitney Houston
I Want You Back – Jackson 5
Lady Marmalade – LaBelle
It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday – Boyz II Men
I’ll Be Loving You Forever – NKOTB
Ain’t Nothin Like the Real Thing – Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
Do You Really Want to Hurt Me – Culture Club
Free Your Mind – En Vogue
Hold My Hand – Hootie & the Blowfish
Always On My Mind – Willie Nelson
Straight Up – Paula Abdul
Be Near Me – ABC

 
 
 

July…..are we really halfway through 2012??

Wow this year is flying by.  Where are you with the goals you set for this year? I’m pretty pleased with what I’ve accomplished to date…but still have a long way to go with hitting my 2012 goals. Now that it’s the halfway mark, I need to kick it up a notch!!

My gigging calendar has slowed down and I am excited to get back into the studio this weekend!!! Looong overdue… Out Roun’ Back is wanting to complete our debut album that’s been several years in the making…you hear 3 of the un-finished tracks on my music tab….so I would LOVE to have a completed project by the end of the year. I’ll be heading to Shreveport this weekend to get back in the studio with ORB and see if we can pick up on the mojo where we last left off. Funk voice….activate.

The end of the month also brings The Voice auditions….gonna give it a go….I’m open to any audition song suggestions! So far I’m thinking about Jessie J’s “Mama Knows Best”, Seal’s “Kiss from a Rose”, Teena Marie’s “Loverboy” or “Kiss” by Prince. Song choice is key and yet soooo hard to decide on! Thoughts?!

Would love to get some comments from you guys, anyone out there??

Wishing everyone a happy and safe July 4th!

Dez

Home concerts?!

So my brother in law was telling me last week that I should make myself available for home concerts…like, actually book myself to perform in someone’s livingroom. Has anyone ever done this? I’m not talking about a party either, an actual concert at someone’s house. This sounded so bizarre to me, but I started thinking about it and realized when people invite me to dinner…they’re always like…can you sing us something? Or…I’d love to hear you sing this song…blah blah blah. Apparently this is becoming a popular thing….and I think I’m gonna make myself available for it…..as long as you have air conditioning, no smoking and some drinky drinks for me…hee hee. That’s my rider.  Apparently there’s an entire website devoted to these types of bookings…..

http://www.concertsinyourhome.com/

Could someone PLEASE invite me to perform at their home in say, Morocco? Or Spain? Or Playa Del Carmen??

By the way, Saturday’s Juneteenth show was incredible! Here’s 2 pics:

Me with The Inspiration Band , Juneteenth Show 6-16-12

Me with The Inspiration Band , Juneteenth Show 6-16-12

100 Greatest Singers of all time…per Rolling Stone…

I ran across this article today, not sure how old it is (2008?) but I thought I’d pass it along to see what you think.

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/100-greatest-singers-of-all-time-19691231

I don’t know who this “panel of 179 experts” is….but this list is pretty jacked up in my opinion. Christina Aguilera above Mariah? Bob Dylan above Stevie Wonder? Barbara Streisand, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Celine Dion, Pavarotti, Bocelli and Chaka Khan completely left off? I know it’s hard to rank singers that are from different eras and genres, but still the innovators should be before the copycats. And true vocalists above showmen….showmanship and entertainment value doesn’t equate a greatest singer of all time in my book….that needs its own list so they can place Madonna, David Bowie, etc…on that one. Bob Dylan has a terrible voice…great songwriter and performer? Sure….but SINGER?

Top 25 for me would be:

  1. Aretha Franklin – they had this one right.
  2. Ella Fitzgerald
  3. Barbara Streisand – she’s not my personal fave, but I have mad respect for her huge range and control
  4. Stevie Wonder
  5. Bobby McFerrin – yes the acapella genious – don’t judge off “Don’t worry, be happy” – check out his youtube performances and you’ll be BLOWN AWAY of what he is capable of producing out of just his body and a microphone.
  6. Michael Jackson
  7. Whitney Houston
  8. Kim Burrell
  9. Sting
  10. Prince
  11. Mariah Carey
  12. Chaka Khan
  13. Tina Turner
  14. Celine Dion
  15. Louis Armstrong
  16. Steve Perry
  17. Phil Collins…yes, mainstream, but I have always been a big fan.
  18. Yolanda Adams
  19. Steven Tyler
  20. Anne Wilson
  21. Sarah McLaughlin…why? Because she was the first person I heard to mix yodeling into mainstream music and her breathiness is beautiful too
  22. Mavis Staples – that low range with the feel and “stank” she put on everything!
  23. Jill Scott – to mix spoken word, soul, opera and jazz….she is a HUGE inspiration to me
  24. Anita Baker
  25. Patti Labelle

It was almost impossible to put these in any kind of order….but they are my personal faves as far as innovating style within their genres, vocal techniques and ranges. This list has NOTHING to do with their stage presence or entertainment value….just vocal abilities. Frank Sinatra and others would have definitely made my list of top 50, but….I don’t have all day to ponder these things!

Bye Bye X Factor, Bye Bye The Voice auditions……

Well, as most of you know I had a little health scare with a large cyst/mass and have been recovering slowly from surgery 3 weeks ago. Me being the stubborn person that I am always tries to do more than I should…I don’t like to moan about pain and always try to keep right on trucking along.

So…I was really hoping I’d be up for The Voice auditions in Atlanta this weekend….but this being my first full week back to work,  going to Atlanta was out of the question, I opted to shoot for The X Factor season 2  audition next week in Austin. Well, I got a reality check when I sang 2 songs last friday night at Button’s with the K2K band. No stamina, huffing and puffing. The audience really loved me and several people asked if I was going to sing anymore songs that night…which really made me feel great…but sadly I was done. 2 had did me in physically. I had a long talk with myself this weekend and decided I am not in shape for auditions right now. Very hard to admit that. I wouldn’t be giving my best audition and don’t know if I could even make it TO audition after standing in line for hours and hours ….and HOURS. Does standing in line for hours count as “strenuous activity”? Because there is “no strenuous activity for 6 weeks after surgery” per my doctor. Crap, I think that would be strenuous.

2 huge opportunities for 2012 passing me by.

So I am forging ahead. Maybe it was meant to be, right?! Timing is everything.

Goal: Get stronger, healthier. Gain stamina.

Goal: Improve vocal range. *side note* Oddly…..through this surgery I discovered a vocal hinderance I had no idea about. Once they got the camera in my abdomen, they discovered an entire blanket of scar tissue that had pushed organs to places they shouldn’t be…..like pushing on my lungs and diaphragm. So now that the majority of the scar tissue has been removed, I am able to breathe a lot deeper and that should help vocally!

Next goal:  learn an enormous amount of cover songs (like 3 hours worth). I have a couple of bands that want me to gig with them but my reperoitore is very limited from being “out of the game” for 2 years. Now it’s like I’m cramming for a final exam trying to learn new songs, songs from 2 years ago, figuring out the arrangements, keys, etc.

Yet another goal: Record more videos of me singing to amp up this blog and my YouTube channel! This one should be FUN! I plan on some videos with Zetti, doing one with my Mom, one  with my hubby, and some other musician and singer friends I have….collabs are always fun 🙂

One more music goal and I’ll stop for now…..write some new material! This past weekend my producer friend, G-Jack, let me hear some of his amazing tracks and wanted me to do some recording. Well, one thing led to another and the song about “Young Girls” he had written to this track….well, let’s just say I shouldn’t be singing about young girls. So…that prompted me to get out my book o’ lyrics. It’s been probably 5 years or more since I’ve penned a song. I’ve been dead in the water. Uninspired, depressed, not interested. This was really exciting…..we started working on melodies, got a fully written bridge and even laid some scratch vocals and almost have the 2 verses and chorus written! I’ll be excited to share this with you soon!

So raise your imaginary glass with me to Spring and Summer and all the wonderful things STILL ahead for this year! It’s not too late to get some big things done…..Dez.

2012 Planner – The First 30 Day Challenge

2012 Planner – The First 30 Day Challenge.

I want to invite my friends, family and followers to join me in this challenge to begin and end your day balanced!

I downloaded this 2012 planner which really helps getting things organized – your time, spiritual growth, family life, house, budget and more….love it.  I am ADD so it’s hard to stay “on task” and I constantly have to rely on lists so I don’t forget what it is I need to be doing. I am using this planner to help keep on track with my music and career goals, budgeting and more.

Let me know if you are joining and we can keep each other updated on our progress!

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