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Showing posts from May, 2009

Dry

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I've finished reading Augusten Burroughs' Dry last night, his second memoir written after his runaway hit Running with Scissors. I loved both books instantly. I loved reading Dry and wished it didn't end. I have ZaraMeow to thank for putting me onto Augusten because he is without a doubt one of my favourite writers. (And people). One of my other favourite books is by another of my favourite authors and that's Last Drinks by Andrew McGahan. I seem to have a fascination and a seemingly inexplicable attraction to reading about alcoholics; inexplicable because I'm not much of a drinker myself. Besides, I've suddenly developed this romantic notion of going teetotal for a while, the influence of Dry no doubt. No more beers at the pub, no more sharing bottles of wine, just soda and lime thanks, or plain godly water. I'll be able to say to people ~ no thanks, I don't drink. Then I'll feel like Augusten Burroughs whose books I love and who's writing I&#…

Diamond life, diamond decade...

I listened to Sade's Diamond Life last night. I'm not sure why, but there's something in this music that highly evokes my senses and feelings. It kind of takes me away to this kind of neon blue spaceship bar where it's permanently 1984. I feel like I'm trailing the galaxies when I listen to this album. Granted, it is very much 80's r&b, it sounds great and the songs are very well crafted. Songs that hit at the heart and at the feeling centre of body. 'Frankie', 'Your love is king', 'Sally', 'Smooth operator' etc do the whole cruisy Major 7th thing over pleasant beats that slide under sinewy sax lines that ooze a kind of snaky sexuality.

I have this thing about the eighties. When I was in it - from age 10 to 20 - the decade felt like it could never end. It felt like the "right" decade. The music was poppy, the images were glam yet clean and despite what's often said, great music did come out of that dec…

Mt Victoria songwriter night

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Society member Pennie Lennon, along with her partner Bruno Koenig, run a singer-songwriter night right up at the heart of the Blue Mountains, at the old Imperial Hotel in Mount Victoria.You can’t miss the Imperial, it’s a foreboding white pub/hotel to the right as you’re coming up from the east into Mount Victoria.More information about the gig and the pub, and contacts, are in Pennie’s words at the bottom of this article.Mount Victoria is about a fifteen minute drive west of Katoomba and sits at a regal 1000 plus metres above sea level, or 3,500 feet.Pennie and Bruno, of the duo My Hearts Dezire, run this gig every Tuesday night.It invariably features a full night of performers and 3 songs are given to each act with more songs given to a feature act for the night.Most of the performers are local singer-songwriters although occasionally Sydney people come up for the gig, which in this instance, comprised of ZaraMeow and myself.At any one time we had up to about 30 people in the room w…

that spiritual feeling...

I feel this need to qualify my standing as far as spiritualism goes.

You see, I consider myself a very spiritualistic man although I am as far away from dogma and religion as the ends of the earth are (although where i live it happens to be close to the ends of the earth..)

In my opinion there is no spiritual 'life'. There is only, ever, Life. And if life is an experience of spirit then the encompassing moment-to-moment experience of life must be all spiritual and this includes the death, the torture, the agony, starvation and misery that is the trodden, unmovable fingerprint on this earth of ours for our times.

It also includes the beauty of the natural earth and all that is on it. Nature, animals and humans, when they are true and being what they are rather than acting out the infestation and stench of unhappiness and greed.

Religionists believe in God in some form or other. Not only is "belief in God" a pointless pursuit, it is also responsible for the untold deat…

Secrets

I've uploaded a freshly recorded track onto MySpace, a song called Secrets that I'd written some six years ago. It's the last of my "production" songs that didn't make my Sea in June album of 2006, partly because I felt that it was too much of a musical and thematic departure from the songs that comprised that album. The other reason for not including Secrets on that album is that it's quite a "big" song, ie quite linear and almost complex, thus deserving in my mind a standing on its own. I plan to put this out on an EP with some other recordings that are subsequent to the album.

Pleasingly it only took us about 2 1/2 - 3 days to record this song. I was expecting the recording to take a little longer. I teamed up again with Stewart Havill who recorded and engineered the track at his Sound Dog Recording Studios in Lane Cove. Stewart created the drum track with my assistance, otherwise the track is totally my performance. Stewart again assis…

the recording process

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I'm well into day 2 now of recording a song at Stewart Havill's Sound Dog recording studio. I had to cancel one day of recording due to this slow-recovering flu I have, nonetheless I'm pleased with the progress made thus far after two solid days of recording, throat bug and all.

I've recorded all the guitars, bass & keyboards and Stewart has almost finished the drum programming. All that's left to record are some backing vocals. This afternoon I performed the arduous (nee onerous) task of recording the lead vocals, a process I almost ditched half-way through because my voice was husky and I just didn't feel up to it. Thankfully I persevered and did six takes of the song. By the last three takes I was quite getting into the flavour and character of the song. The first two takes were warm-ups really and we ended up using track 5 as our main take with a lot of cutting and pasting from other takes for all the dubious bits. Right now as I type this (and I&…

CW wrap-up

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I've finished my creative writing course, and have done so triumphantly. After a shaky start, I found myself improving week-by-week so that my last submission received a very positive accolade from the tutor. This thrills me, because I wasn't sure if I could do creative writing prior to starting this course. I know now, in my heart-of-hearts, that I can. I may not venture forward with creative fiction, but at least I'm now armed with some new writing tools, concepts, and greater confidence. Writing creative fiction, I've discovered, is a buzz actually. The bug has bit me and I may well indeed come back to it at some point in the future.

Here are the tutor's comments for my final submission:

"A powerful piece, which has strong underlying tension in spite of the apparent passivity of the scene. You have created a believable agent, and a prospective tenant who gives mixed messages with her dress sense juxtaposed with her decisiveness and cool possession of s…

The Agent

The agent shuffled his way through the creaky picket-fence gate, his suit sagged with the weight of work and worry.Agnes followed close behind, upright and resolute.The shimmering early-morning sun illumined the poplar trees that lined the street, although the houses, as well kept as they were in their post-colonial weatherboard splendour, remained curiously still and silent.Sleepiness and silence seemed the constant in this historic, leafy Australian town.“The main bedroom’s window faces the street, the second and third bedrooms run along the hallway”.The agent glanced over at Agnes wondering if she’d need the three bedrooms.Agnes remained silent throughout the tour, her eyes were bulging, her head perked in all directions, a tight, bird-like smile remained pasted to her lips the whole while.Her demeanour and colourfully loud dress sense unsettled the agent.He’d never known anyone who wore violet velvet skirts – certainly not in this township - and not since being a teenager in the 1…

like the furniture...

My parents were like the furniture.
I recall this quote from an interview with Bruce Springsteen that I must have read some 20 years ago.  This quote sure has stuck with me.  My parents were like the furniture.  Springsteen had a point, and perhaps a universal one.  Basically, in a nutshell, the olds would sit in front of the teevee, not saying a word, and i'd sit there too, in front of the teevee in that gloomy front room, numb and silent.  Sometimes mum would cover my eyes if boobies or bums came on the screen (this was the seventies??!)  This ghastly situation remained like this for a number of years, from about the age of 7 to 12, where i'd be the mute, restless and anxious boy silently and subconsciously wondering what the fuck was going on.
Mum was inherently sweet, yet she was negative and anxiously caring, communicating silently through narcy vibes.  Dad was chipper when he got home from his daily dose of hard-yards at the St Peters brickyard - of which he'd later gr…