Saturday, October 9, 2010

Its No Meat Dress

My new catchphrase and benchmark for crazy is the MEAT DRESS worn by Lady Gaga... when someone says 'that's crazy' I just shrug and say 'Eh, its no meat dress'. I don't think I'll find anything for a long time that surpasses the meat dress. Not only was it repulsive, it sounds downright unhygienic to me!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Win Handmade Earrings

I have a contest on my other blog you can win these earrings by guessing the number of butterflies in my room, there are hints and tips to help you guess, and all contest details are in the post. Simply leave a comment below the post stating the number you wish to guess!

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Life Cycle of the Guitarist Across the Street

I have had the same neighbours across the street for perhaps fifteen years now, decent people, no domestic arguments, only one or two really HUGE parties... but sometime in that first year, the man of the house bought a guitar. Its been a long road for him and for me as the person primarily at home to hear his progress. This is, as I see it, the life cycle of the guitarist across the street.

In the beginning he cannot play an entire song. Cannot, in fact, play an entire verse. Having learned to play a number of musical instruments I can diagnose his problem immediately... he does not play on from an error, but starts at the very beginning, again and again. You'll never get anywhere that way mate I'd think, and groan at the monotony of it all.

In the early stages of his life cycle I cannot identify which song or even style of music he is trying to play. But it could be worse, it could be the piano and it could be Chopsticks over and over, though I probably wouldn't be able to hear that in my house so moot point.

I think I can't wait for him to improve.

After a few months, his family welcomes a newborn infant. Wifey lays down the law - he is not allowed to play when the baby is home as its too loud - so he doesn't play as often. For 10 years he plays only when I am studying for an exam, have a uni assignment, am on holiday and trying to read a book for the pleasure of it, I'm sick, or I'm trying to write.

He joins or forms a band, now he brings other people home to join in. Beware, this is a direct result of improving, another illustration of be careful what you wish for.

The children get older and he has a free rein on when he can play. He begins to improvise for large quantities of time, it seems to be some kind of blues music. He plays so often I think he surely cannot own a tv set or a game system.

Recently he has begun to think he is experienced enough to learn to play music by ear alone. He is now playing Chris Isaaks 'Wicked Game' over and over never making it past a certain point, just like in the early days only now I can hear in my head the correct music and want to run over and hum it for him till he gets it right.

I'm now anticipating the kids will begin to learn to play... in which case, I might want to move closer to the highway.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Can Rock Stars Do Anything They Want?

Hey, I'm not going to go into trashing hotel rooms, brushes with the law, or anything like that... but I was listening to The White Stipes cover of Jolene, and thought to myself, cool people can do anything can't they? I mean here is a guy singing "I'm begging of you please don't take my man" and I'm singing along. I've never done anything but cringe when Jolene comes on the radio... sure its catchy but daggy.... but ever since the White Stripes cover, I admit, I love to belt out my own accompaniment to the song. And even my teenage nieces and nephews don't say 'ooh that is so gay!" as they are prone to do.

What about Michael Jackson and the single white glove, yes many people said 'hey Michael that's a bit weird' but hasn't it become an iconic piece of music history. He gets away with it because he is a creative genius. RIP and I hope heaven has a decent glove shop for ya.

I am really stuck on the song Your Ex Lover Is Dead by Stars at the moment, totally missed it when it came out, just found it because I was researching songs used in the tv series The OC. Well it opens so dramatically with "when there is nothing left to burn you have to set yourself on fire", love it, so dramatic! sounds like it might be taken out of a horror movie but I'll have to get around to researching that... maybe they did it all themselves.

I guess I'm just amazed by what some people can be praised for and other people can be totally panned for. Bjork, so hot one minute, wearing a swan for a dress to the Oscars the next... so was she ever cool? Will Lady Gaga ever just totally misread what we are willing to put up with in the 'fashion' stakes?

And what do you think is cool that might otherwise be considered dicey at best, lame at worst?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Even Muzak Has Its Time and Place

Muzak is terrible right? Too artificial sounding, they pick the worst songs or compositions ever and on the occasion they take a classic they ruin it! But I was thinking just recently, that even muzak has its time and place. Sometimes its the perfect last piece of the puzzle when you fantasise about your own demise, sometimes its the music that completes the filmishness of your life..... because if your horrible moment in time was a movie, it would have to have horribly bad, depressing music to illustrate just how mundane and terminal your life situation is. Even if this is an over reaction, at the time its what you were feeling.

For instance when the Mr Whippy ice cream van's 'music' broke down for three weeks, I didn't think Greensleeves could get any worse, but believe me, it CAN. And it was the summer school holidays so he was driving around my neighbourhood for hours each day.... and one afternoon I was buried in paperwork and in tears, I considered giving the kids a $50 note just so the van would be stopped long enough for me to finish - magically when the van stops so does the music - and I realized, that my life is god's movie.... and that my situation was funny. Or at least I was so tired and overwrought that I thought it was funny, and laughed like a madwoman... and you know what, the next day he had new music... because my moment had passed.

I also had to fill out the War and Peace of hospital surveys..... as a former patient of the burn unit they wanted to know all about my current pain, my pain during my stay, how satisfied I was with the information about my condition and care given to me..... and the options were very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, neither satisfied nor disatisfied, I would have liked more information, and this I WOULD HAVE PREFERED NO INFORMATION. Instantly, I imagined the doctors and medical students gathered around a patient's bed rattling off information about their condition, and the patient daydreaming about Hawaii while a really bad rendition of The Girl From Ipemana played in their head, totally obliterating the sound of the gory details about their treatment and prognosis.

So I began to realize that muzak can serve a purpose.

Doesn't bad music in a bad situation (for instance the world's smelliest and slowest elevator, or being put on hold by customer service) make you feel like you have more to complain about?

Let's not forget the reason these companies do this to us..... to pacify us..... sure some of us can still go off like a firecracker when we finally get to talk to a human being, but a lot of people are simply reduced to zombified shadows of themselves, they are unable to put up resistance to bad service, to articulate a winning argument, to raise their voice....

So the next time I hear a really bad Fur Elise while on hold..... I'm not going to think that Beethoven must be rolling over in his grave, I'm going to laugh until I cry.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Songs I Absolutely Cannot Sit Still For

There are songs that give me energy, songs that no matter how tired I am in the morning if they come on when I'm least expecting it I have to jump out of bed instantly, and songs that I absolutely have got to jump up and down to!

Back in 1996 I absolutely had to jump out of bed when Savage Garden's "I Want You" would come on (cringe now!) and the Bodeans "Closer to Free".

A couple of years ago it was Mika "Grace Kelly" which has now been so totally over played I might not feel the same way for a very long time.

Nika Costa "Everybody Got Their Something" is still huge for me, I have to groove when I hear it.

Of course Fatboy Slim features, he gives me energy to clean the house, yeah for the slow meticulous jobs I need accoustic girl voices I can sing to, but for vacuuming/dusting/scrubbing toilets I need to dance around a bit. Instead of Christopher Walken coolly parading through an empty hotel, picture me wielding a toilet brush to Weapon of Choice. Vacuuming and dusting are the territory for Wonderful Night, and Brimful of Asha.

David Bowie "Rebel Rebel" is my song for getting ready to go out at night - putting make up on while singing and dancing.

"Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley is great for any instant energy boost, but I love it in the car, just like the first time I heard it.

"Laid" by James, is still a great song for belting out at the top of my lungs as long as the neighbours don't hear the part 'but she only comes when she's on top' (how embarrassing).

Prodigy "Breathe" and "Voodoo People" carry memories of cleaning house with the young people I looked after in teen rehab. Saturday mornings were clean up day and these were essential listening.

Iggy Pop "Lust for Life" makes me want to run around the block a few times.

I guess upon reflection I might be an easily excited person, and music can flip the switch between quietly creating and wanting to burst out of my own skin.... that is why when I am creating I put on accoustic girl songs so I will sit through the entire session serenely!

I'd love to know what your own energy songs are....

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

More Rainy Day Butterflies

Just decided to seek out more of what I call 'rainy day butterflies' from my music collection. These are songs I think are great for rainy days, or teary days, they may be sad, but they also have soothing and beautiful elements that make them special.

My Rainy Day Butterflies:

Bell, Book and Candle - Eddi Reader
We Build Bridges - Liz Durrett
The Sea a Dream - Liz Durrett
Isabelle - Gregory and the Hawk
Boats and Birds - Gregory and the Hawk
Hometown Glory - Adele
Pills - The Perishers with Sara McLachlan
Je ne'en connais la fin - Jeff Buckley
Now We Are Free - Kelly Sweet
Keep Breathing - Ingrid Michaelson
Farewell - Rosie Thomas
Hush Hush Hush - Paula Cole
I'll Find A Way - Rachel Yamagata

I'm always seeking more rainy day butterflies, from any vintage.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Music for the Hard Times

What do you listen to when you are sitting in a hospital chair for three and a half hours to have iron infusion, in the same ward that is potentially where your mother who was diagnosed the day before with primary colon carcinoma will come for chemotherapy?

answer: preferably not Leaving the Hospital by The Dreamer and The Sleeper.

Yes I was trying to relax and listen to my mp3 while having my iron infusion therapy and this beautiful though very bleak song came on.

I also was told my blood pressure rose when Lisbeth Scotts version of Be Still My Soul came on, this song is the best version of this sad but very soothing song (or hymn if you prefer) but yet again, wrong song for the occasion as the first time I heard the song it was used for a funeral scene in the tv series Alias.

I can't even sit in my room listening to music without looking around and seeing various candles and wondering, if one of these candles could possibly be one that I end up burning as a memorial for my mother. As soon as I think it my mind shuts down, the most important thing is not answering that question, not choosing a candle. Don't choose a candle!

So what am I listening to at this time in my life? Well some sad songs I suppose, but I have always had this link with sad songs, I need them, to help me feel, but at the same time if a sad song is beautiful - has a beautiful melody ,a beautiful voice, and a beautiful set of lyrics - it at the same time as making me tear up, soothes me. I call the songs that have this effect, My Rainy Day Butterflies.

Here are my favourite Rainy Day Butterflies:

Ooh Child - Beth Orton

The Beauty of The Rain - Dar Williams

On Saturday Afternoons in 1963 - Rickie Lee Jones

I Will Love You - Fisher

Where Is My Love - Cat Power

Stuff and Nonsense - Missy Higgins

I'll Fly Away - Serena Matthews

Hymn - Brooke Fraser

I'll Build A Home - Patrick Watson with Cinematic Orchestra


Wooden Arms - Patrick Watson

Great Escape - Patrick Watson

I Cried For You - Katie Melua (this will be me if the worst happens, 'when you went I became a hopeless drifter')

All The Wild Horses - Ray Lamontagne ('tethered with tears in their eyes' that's the bit that gets me going)

Into Dust - Mazzy Star