I haven't been out in ages; my album has taken up most of my spare time and cash over the last 8 months. So to be invited out for a night of birthday celebrations was just the ticket to shake off the "lack of socialising" shackles. From the very start all the way to the end I loved every minute.
Driving to the venue meant that sobriety was paramount. It was even better then since I was able to view nightlife from a different perspective. How funny was it to see the drunks trying to get their kebabs and their mouths in sync? How brilliant was it to catch up with other musicians and writers I hadn't seen in ages. The best bit was being there to support a lovely friend who had gone to so much trouble to give EVERYONE a fabulous night out. The birthday girl looked absolutely drop dead gorgeous, which matched her personality like a well fitting glove. She danced, entertained and, fed us all. Hugs and joy was the mood in the venue and to say that it was an excellent start back into socialising would have to be an understatement.
Thank you to those I caught up with and spent "silly" time with. Thank you to the new people I met and those I hadn't seen in ages. Most of all, thank you to the birthday girl for including me in a special night for her.
Saturday, 23 July 2011
Monday, 18 July 2011
Yesterday I hosted an acoustic launch for my album. I chose my venue carefully and hoped that of the invitations sent out that some would come along to share a few moments of their precious lives with me. It was a lovely afternoon filled with so many smiles that the power of that room alone could have solved so many problems and shown how much fun life can be when you take a chance. It filled my heart with joy to see so many familiar and new faces in the audience and once again I was able to meet and make new friends.
One of the most treasured moments was with a special person who gave me a chance and helped start so much for me. To see her there in the audience was a bit daunting at first. We hadn’t seen each other in ages and this was the first time she had been able to see me sing my own songs.
This beautiful soul taught me not only how to find my singing voice, but also to believe in myself. We had a bit of a chat afterwards and laughed at how little I thought I could do that first day of lessons. She was right, I had convinced myself that I was not able to hit a B flat (above middle C) and from my first lesson onwards I would bounce in and exclaim to her how brilliant I felt each time I sang better. I feel it was a fantastic journey for both of us, as I could see she also gained a new insight to her own talents. This gorgeous woman is not only a talented singer she has a gift for encouraging her students to believe in themselves. That is half the battle with many things and singing is just that little bit more personal as most singers will testify.
I am on a buzz that will stay with me for a long time. B flat eh, the irony is that my first single release was written in B flat. I’ve only just realised that too he he.
Wednesday, 13 July 2011
I sit, each day in a bakery near work eating breakfast, and watch the world fly by. It’s lovely and I’m glad that I get up that little bit earlier so I can indulge myself. Some days I get to wave to people in their cars and I’m always nicely surprised when someone waves and smiles back. A man in an executive car did so the other morning and it gave me a lovely feeling. Here was I engaging but for a brief moment with a stranger; someone who belonged in another world who had let me in for a moment.
Monday, 11 July 2011
I own a floor-drobe, I’ll admit to it right here and now. “Domestic” goddess I ain’t but I can tell you from experience it makes the whole burglary thing more interesting. When I was broken into over Easter the great thing was that so many things didn’t go. Yeah, I was a bit heartbroken that some of my precious 21 st presents were taken. For the most part the invaders would have been frustrated by the time it took to dissipate some of my floor-drobe and wade through the rest to get to their prizes. They must have been exhausted by the end and a bit pissed off too.
Can you imagine if wars could be stopped by masses of floordrobes? How world history would be different if Sir Isaac Newton was stuck trying to find his stocking when the apple fell from the tree. Or if Einstein could have found his comb? He would have looked like so many others and perhaps his image would not adorn so many tee shirts. I know that my own history was modified when I surprised myself by finding $150 once in a pair of jeans that had been half under my bed for months.
I’m over the devastated feeling of having strangers invading my home and it’s a bit more secure than it was. I’ve also gained a new perspective of the things I value the most too. Anything to do with the creation of my music is vital. You can take my telly, oh please do it’s a cumbersome cathode ray tube. You can steal my backgammon set: yup they took that too. Just don’t take my music away from me because I will track you down and get it back. That, I promise.
To me facebook is a sociable and fun way to promote my music and contact those who are geographically too far away for me to engage with face to face. For the most part I don’t like to post things that are too political or serious. I don’t know why really. Perhaps it’s just that I like to keep some part of me personal and private. Or maybe it’s because I would prefer to keep things light and cheerful on the web.
It’s interesting then how things can feel like they have gotten out of hand when you do post a question about a serious topic. Mostly I’ve not been tempted but on a few occasions I have. These have seen me post something that is slightly controversial; then wait to see who bites. The crazy thing is that I never expect that people will get uptight, upset or petulant at one another for each person’s view. I guess that could be a naive way of looking at the world of social networking. We are all entitled to our opinions and places like facebook can thrive alongside normal activities in the 3D world if we let them.
So, I’ve learnt my lesson and removed the wall post. For me there’s way too much angst and negativity out there and I have no wish to dwell on that. I think we need more silly, and I’m just the girl to do it. So from now on I am going to concentrate on mirth and fun when I post on my wall.
Posted by Susan Lily at 18:57
Saturday, 9 July 2011
It’s funny what comes into our heads when we are homesick. For me it’s times where I used to escape down the river with my dog Snoopy. He was a runt and destined to be sent to heaven so I put him down the front of my jumper and snuck him back home. What a cracker of a dog he was. His breed could only be described as “happy bitzah” and he was truly that. He looked a little bit like a cowboy dog cos his front legs had long hairs that stuck out like chaps.
He was my loyal friend and companion. I used to get on my pushy and go for long rides around town. There he’d be in the basket at the front, my little trainer. Cheeky monkey used to bark at any big dogs that would then chase my bike. So I learnt how to sprint on an old clapped out thing with no chain guard.
Sadly, we lost Snoopy to a snake bite. He was only middle aged too. I wasn’t home at the time but cried rivers when I came back to find he was no longer a part of my life. He was a great dog, nay more than that. Snoopy was to me, a loyal and happy friend.
The song "Miss You Much" is dedicated to his memory.
Darling Snoopy, my happy little bitzah
Friday, 8 July 2011
My CD’s arrived yesterday; all 1000 of them. I’m not sure what the delivery guy thought of my excited ramblings as we took them all to the car. The feeling was a little bit surreal, like waiting for a baby to arrive and then holding it and watching it and wondering how real it truly is. The boxes this lovely man was helping me with contained 4 years worth of work and a lifetime’s experiences. Amazing really how you can condense something to mere boxes.
Inside are multiple clones that represent hours of songwriting, vocal training, studio time and money saved. They are the finished product of a team of dedicated people and a more grateful girl you won’t find. From the artists who gave up their time to contribute to my recorded songs to the guys at the replicating factory who carefully put together the artwork with the pressed CD. There’s the team who took delight in creating the artwork, the friends who eagerly took photos of me and the wonderful man who took on the role of producing my debut album. These individual cases of music and artwork contain more than a physical being. They represent the most fabulous thing that’s happened to me yet.
On Saturday a bunch of really lovely people and I will take to the stage in celebration of this event. The musicians I will be surrounded by are true friends and I will always be grateful they decided to join in my craziness. The audience will be a mix of family and friends and I’m probably going to have a sookie lah lah moment or two knowing they all came to spend their valuable time with me.
Yeah, these boxes look like regular ones, yet it’s these boxes that will potentially assist me in becoming a more recognised part of the music industry and help me to fulfil a promise I made to myself.
They are my boxes of dreams.Susan
Thursday, 7 July 2011
I’ve never been a fan of gymnasiums. Not since the time when I all but had to feign a terminal illness to get out of the direct debit contract. There is something that is just “not on” about dressing in figure hugging gear and jiggling up and down in front of a mirror in a public place. I’d rather do all that once I’m dead or with someone special and, in private.
I’ve even tried to join an all female gym to get away from the “he” men. Instead of feeling comfortable I felt like I did not own enough makeup or acrylic nails to fit in. So in protest I used to dress in the most daggy track pants and big oversized tee shirts with sayings like “I saw Stevie Starr Vomit” on them. I actually did see Stevie Starr regurgitate stuff. He came to Australia years ago when I was just out of my teens and I just had to go see if the rumours were true about what he could do with coins, sugar and, a billiard ball. I digress.
So I have my own gym. It’s called Sooz’s Jammin’ Gym. It’s great! I own a few pieces of equipment to play on when the mood takes me. That’s how I exercise, when the mood takes. I would feel confined any other way. So I have a cross trainer set up in front of the TV so I can yell at the politicians on the news whilst ellipsing to my heart’s content. It’s great fun. I get to yell at the nut jobs on the telly and oxygenate my body at the same time. When I get sick of that I get off and grab one of my musical instruments and play a song that I’m either working on or have just learnt. Oh, and I do have hand weights as well so that I can keep my guitar playing arms toned and ready. In my gym you can have chocolate without guilt, take a break to watch a movie and even just look at the machine once in a while if that’s all you want to do. My gym is on the ground floor, has a nice view and no mirrors.
In my gym laughing out loud means never having to hold onto your mirth ever again.
In my gym having wobbly bits means there is more to belly dance with, but that’s another story ;)
Tuesday, 5 July 2011
It’s a truly beautiful thing when one of your close friends finds love. Aglow in their newfound zest for life they transform everyone's day by proxy. No matter what kind of day you are having you will find yourself swept up in the afterglow if you allow it to happen.
We should let more of that to happen in our lives, it’s so rewarding.
It’s also a blessing.
I was in primary school when ABBA first hit the big time. We never had much money so for us to ask for “The Best of ABBA” album was like telling mum and dad we didn’t want to eat again. I wasn’t all that popular at school then, either. I know, hard to believe, eh. Me: with my long straight mousy brown hair and Nana Mouskouri glasses. There was a mad rush for someone in town to be the first person to get a copy of the album, and when mum said we were driving two hours to my uncle’s place I knew it was my time.
I came so close to being the most popular person at school. So close to rising up from the depths of dorkdom to finally become “someone”. We’d actually bought the record in Leeton and had played it on my uncle’s record player just to prove to ourselves that we’d made the big time.
My dream of class adulation faded rather quickly into obscurity when it became apparent that after driving 2 hours back to Hay the record. . . the record was still on the turntable of my uncle’s record player. It may as well have been 10 light years away because we weren’t scheduled to visit again until I was menopausal.
There I was Friday afternoon at school having to listen to Snotty Scotty bragging about how he was the first one in town to have a copy of the album. My life was to be the same from then on.
I did move on, though it was a struggle. The next big musical act to affect my family was fabulous Boney M. Their tape got stuck in our car stereo so we kids spent a lot of time in that vehicle. We’d fight over the back seat as we listened to our favourite songs. Sometimes we’d even have imaginary road trips back to Leeton where we’d pick up the ABBA record.
“Hooray it’s a Holiday” was my favourite, though “Belfast” was also great. We thought they were all singing “belt up” and, as we weren’t even allowed to say “shit” in our household we’d sing along with gusto. We were such rebels then. Years later I remember laughing “with” a friend who sang along with a Roxette song, “I’m gonna get fresh, for some sex”. She’d sing it really loudly in the pub and was a rather popular girl. Though I don’t know why, she couldn’t sing for nuts!
When I was 16 a major tragedy hit the family like a head butt from a randy ram. Our telly blew up and we didn’t have the money to get another one. So, back to radio we went. At first it was torture. It took us ages to get past “Gilligan o’clock” and “Goodies time”. It was as though someone had taken away our best friend and sent them to boarding school forever.
There was a plus side to it, though. I became more interested in music: all kinds of music: in particular, country. Yeah, I realise “they” (whoever ‘they’ are) say country is only about dead dogs and recalcitrant wives. For me it was like being on high doses of St John’s Wort (Hey! I told you I was a rebel).
Let’s face it there’s nothing more educational than listening to a bunch of drunks sitting around a jukebox bellowing through “The Gambler” like a mob of poddy calves. There’s no greater feeling than to know your pub DOES have beer. . . and I’ve always remembered to check the toilet seat for arachnids before I sat down for a constitutional.
Music can soothe the soul and, apparently, stop people stabbing each other at train stations. It can encourage the horrendously shy and tone deaf to jump on stage and mutilate the top 40. Music is an icebreaker and a peacemaker and, a powerful tool of love and hate. Let’s face it, if you hate a music genre nothing and nobody is going to change your mind. This becomes most apparent when your neighbours are playing really loud “doof doof” music 16 hours a day. . . thank goodness for 100 watts of pure Dolby surround sound and Slim Dusty, I say.
So, no matter what type of music you’re into, turn off those tv sets and get those legs moving. If nothing else it’ll reduce your chances of getting a DVT.