It’s fair to say that these two albums by GoGo Penguin are currently changing my life. When I don’t know how to feel, I listen to these (especially driving in the car!) and they just make sense to me. Their new album came out in February too and it’s just as amazing. I mean, who could not love a band where one of their songs is called ‘Garden Dog Barbecue’?
Whilst it is one of my favourite genres of music, I find jazz music quite difficult to listen to at times – especially avant garde jazz and the styles that tend to be more frenetic and less controlled. As a vocalist, I whole-heartedly LOVE to to improvise but sometimes when there isn’t much of a melody to hold on to, things can get tricky to listen to and I end up more stressed out than when I started listening to it.
Being introduced to the likes of Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone and a range of other influential female vocalists of that era was like a flashing 60’s neon light going off in my head – STOP Leona! You need to pay attention to these girls. Whilst my own vocal style is not overly similar, they showed me how to respect music; not only just enjoy it or do it because I could and it was something I showed skill in.
When I stayed with Carolyn and Clive at Cowwaar Arts Space earlier this year as an artist in residence, we had a few really interesting conversations about the creative process and how projects come about. I will never forgot a passing comment (some passing wisdom?) in which Clive made as I was exploring their gallery exhibition at the time. I was struggling with my own writing and getting quite frustrated with myself and he said something along the lines of ‘the creative process isn’t a luxury’, in that in needs to be regarded as work. It was that moment that I knew I had been looking at my own creative process in the wrong perspective – as a luxury. I didn’t give it the respect it deserved, and I expected that I would just churn out a prodigal amount of music and writing and be this new-age creative.
Uh. No. Not the way it works.
So in a round-about way, GoGo Penguin help me to remember what I need to keep in mind; respect music = respect your own creative process. Perhaps that’s why it makes sense to me. I hope so because it’s working.
The Alley by E^ST: song of the moment. Whilst it’s pretty raw and a little intense, we share some similar tones at the moment.
The ‘F’ word. No, not that ‘F’ word; the other one. The one that tends to stop us in our tracks the moment we feel like we’ve got it all together, for once. Or maybe that’s just me? I’ve sky-dived in the Swiss Alps. I’ve performed in front of 2,000 people. I’ve done a few things that would be deemed ‘SCARY’. Yet, these are not the things I am really afraid of. The truth is, there is so much ‘UN-scary’ about the things that I would do if I didn’t have this incredible, sometimes-irrational/all-the-time ridiculous fear circulating around.
I feel slightly unsteady today (can you tell? haha). Kinda unsteady in a ‘2 steps forward, 15 steps back’ way. I debated whether to even write up this entry for FEAR of who might see it. The ‘F’ word comes in so many different guises too – frustration, anger, sadness, anxiousness, unsettlement and just straight up dread. Perhaps I’ve just got Sunday-itis? Monday morning will make things better when I get back into routine and get distracted once more, I’m sure.
And then next Sunday I’ll be back at the start again – frightfully sprinting away from what I keep running from. Myself. No crazy monsters, no person with an axe, no dare-devil stunts. Just me.
Mondays are a wonderful day to start again.
I love Winter. Whilst it’s a terrible time for my poor circulation (my toes and fingers!), I find it to be one of the most quietly calming times of the year. We tend to ponder indoors a little more, nature’s also having a little rest before blooming out in Spring and it’s just at the point where we may start to feel a little restless with where we’re at. A time to reflect and regenerate for the next part of the year. Just having returned from an absolutely amazing road trip from Melbourne to Adelaide and it’s surrounding regions, I was able to reflect on a few things that I need to recalibrate, now. Whilst I know I go on about the “simple things” in life, I’m also very well aware that I’m not one to commit to this – as much as I yearn to. Well, after traversing throughout endless sweeping canola fields, spiny vineyards, mountainous seas of green and grey, nothing has spoken to me more loudly than ‘natural simplicity’. I need to find warmth and inspiration within my surroundings, and I feel so blessed to have been on the journey that we took and to have seen the ruggedness and rawness of where we travelled.
It’s a such a lesson to realise we (and some of our worries) are just so small in comparison to what else is present within a moment. It’s not a view for everyone, nor does it fit every situation of course, but it’s something that greatly settles the overwhelming feeling of lead-winged butterflies in my stomach when I’m anxious, completely unsettled and lost within my own mind – which I’ll be honest, something I’ve been feeling for quite awhile.
One of my favourite moments during our trip, was visiting Port Fairy. We arrived into the town after driving for about 3.5 hours, and it was almost dusk. We drove to one of the beaches and watched about 10 surfers playing with the surf; or rather we watched the surf playing with them, whilst the sun set beyond the hills behind us. The smell of the ocean, the pure natural enjoyment of those surrounding us, was just so simply beautiful. And the breath I took felt like the first I’d taken for the past 3 months. Such a freeing moment. The below photo doesn’t give it justice, but it’s nice reminder to look back on and remember. It’s for me.
Paris – Little Dragon
Wow. Hold a press conference – I’m back from being crap for a bit! I’m not going to lie; I’ve felt guilty about not updating this however, in my crazy world, the time just hasn’t seemed right. Coupled with the fact that I couldn’t really ‘nut out’ exactly how I was going to tackle the updating, content seeking or just plain commitment, things with the ol’ blog just weren’t happening. But they are now. Pretty convenient as I’m currently on Term 1 school holidays which makes for good updating time!
I’m in the process of getting my thoughts together – I have a few things to say regarding the #2015 (exciting!) and just general ‘rad day out’ stuff to share.
For now, I’m dreaming.
Aerial Love – Daniel Johns
This week, whilst getting back into the swing of work and feeling a little to and fro with new routines and such (hence my tardy updates), I managed to tune in to Triple J and hear the world premiere of Daniel Johns’ new solo material in about 8 years. As a Silverchair fan, it was something that I was looking forward to but also really curious about.
Whilst I know it will (and it since has) cop quite a lot of flack for being so different from his previous musical offerings (and let’s face it – it’s quite over-indulgent), I actually think it’s brilliant. It’s definitely a new direction for him but it’s honest and raw both lyrically and instrumentally; it’s off-centre and it’s not perfect. And that’s why I love it so much. Thoughts?
Josh Pyke & Elana Stone cover Endless Summer by the Jezabels (Triple J Like a Version)
I figured I’d post a song today that reflected the end of my summer break. How fitting! I love this cover by Josh Pyke and Elana Stone. It’s already such a fantastic song and to hear it performed differently by two brilliant musicians (and with accordion!) is pretty special. Coupled with the fact that I absolutely LOVE and ADORE amazing covers that make me reminisce my own musical endeavours, it’s just another thing to help keep me motivated. Oh, the yay!
Heading back to work tomorrow will be a good thing and I’m looking forward to jumping in, head first.
Side Note: Progress report for today’s ‘Get Shit Done’ list
Make frittata using crazy amount of kale left-over from veggie box Doctor’s appointment Coffee (duh)
- Trek to Richmond (yay, adventure times)
- Mandatory ‘clean everything before returning to work in order to feel organised and complete’ on first day back
- Pack bag and get ‘stuff’ organised for first day back
Conclusion: On track but need to stay focused or I will fall in a heap by 3pm and end up watching ‘The Doctors’ on Channel 10. Not ideal nor helpful.
Today was meant to turn out differently. But it was a reminder of how things can change; regardless of how sorted you think are. And that’s okay. Because it helps to keep us on our toes. It helps us to keep paying attention. To be accountable.
After a pretty self-indulgent week, I had another ‘brain-pop’ moment – another sign from myself to pay attention to. Unfortunately, it was not pleasant in the form of a migraine, however, as someone who gets these pretty regularly, I am okay with that.