26 October 2014

Cherry Wine

Sitting in my loungeroom with whiskey in hand assessing the feats of a weekend that is coming to a close. The Hunger Games sequel is on television but I've got headphones in listening to music. I feel like even if I was paying attention, I would struggle to understand what's going on. I'm not built for it.

So instead I'm listening to Hozier's acoustic version of Cherry Wine. As I watch this madness on television it's only making me appreciate this gorgeous song even more. Such a beautifully honest piece of music.

But I want it, it's a crime
That she's not around most of the time
The way she tells me I'm hers and she is mine
Open hand or closed fist would be fine
The blood is rare and sweet as cherry wine

19 October 2014

Past Found

Recently I wrote a post after a good friend made me realise how much my writing has changed. Well, today I stumbled across an old note-book full of writing and oh lordy it was some rubbish.

However one interesting part from the note-book was a set-list. It was 2006 and a friend of a friend had asked me to play acoustic guitar as background music at her 40th birthday party so I obliged. I had been playing guitar a lot, a short stint practicing with a band and one gig with a singer-songwriter. If I'm being honest I wasn't very good and I'm still not very good, although I enjoy the music and guitar much more now. So I sat in the corner and fumbled my way through these tracks; or as much of them as I knew. No singing, just playing... and I'm reminded of how much I've forgotten I could play. Not to mention a handful of originals that I threw in of my own (majority of which I have no idea what they are now). 

Good love is on the way - John Mayer
Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin
Nothing else matters - Metallica
Hallelujah - Leonard Cohen/Jeff Buckley
Lover, you should've come over - Jeff Buckley
House of the rising sun - The Animals
Fields of Bali - Eva Cassidy
Larry's Lullaby - Dean Brown
Playing a season - Dean Brown
Old Love - Eric Clapton
To be with you - Mr Big
Do or die - Rita Marchant
Accidents and Accusations - Dixie Chicks
Whole hearted - Extreme
So Beautiful - Pete Murray
Wind Cries Mary - Jimi Hendrix
Untitled Jazz - Dean Brown
Take Five - Dave Brubeck Trio
Better be home soon - Crowded House
Crying Shame - Diesel
Let's get it on - Marvin Gaye
Untitled Blues - Dean Brown
Purple Haze - Jimi Hendrix
Don't dream it's over - Crowded House

Glad I stumbled across this, finding a piece of my past I'd forgotten all about.

Gee baby, ain't I good to you

There's something so genuine and unapologetically dreamy about old love songs. So simple in approach, yet so generous in sentiment and romanticism.

'Love makes me treat you the way that I do, gee baby ain't I good to you' 

15 October 2014

If I was to write you a letter

I was recently told that I regularly say and write these perfectly phrased statements of honesty and openness.

Wow. Way to silence and humble me; and I usually have all the words. 

This compliment from a wonderful friend not only stopped me in my tracks but it's had me thinking ever since. For most of my 20s I stumbled in and out of creative phases writing music, lyrics and poetry. Most of it was forced, overdone rubbish... just absolutely terrible but the intent to write was there. However in this life now things are different. The writing comes easier, the words flow, the confidence is greater and nothing is forced. I'm not always poetic or eloquent but there's an honesty to my writing that makes me happy.

I feel like the honesty in my writing has become honesty in my words and actions. I don't have the inclination to sensor myself, weigh up whether I should say what I think or feel. It doesn't even cross my mind to stop, to hold back, to proceed with caution. Think of when you write a letter to someone; it's written as soon as it hits the paper. There's no editing, it's not contrived and they whom receive your letter know exactly what's on your mind. When I was told of my 'perfectly phrased statements of honesty and openness' I realised just how honest I've become in my words and interactions.

It brings to mind the Ray Lamontagne song, 'Write you a letter'.

'Then maybe you could understand me a little better, if I was to write you a letter'

Living life as if I'm putting pen to paper, thanks for seeing that in me.

13 October 2014

I can't hear you

I can't hear you
You're talking to yourself
And what you're used to
It don't work on no one else

I'm gonna teach you
And keep you for myself
Gonna take you by the hand
And walk you to my house
So I can hear you

7 October 2014

A change is gonna come

It's been a long time comin but I know a change is gonna come
Oh yes it will

29 September 2014

Music in a Brown Life - BL05

Have been listening to a lot of funk, electronica, beats, soul and even a little reggae lately. Some predictable sounds like Daft Punk, St Germain, Beastie Boys and Fat Freddie's Drop. But also some more obscure like Jackie Mittoo, Cymande and the Lafayette Afro Rock Band.

The Lafayette Afro Rock Band were originally from New York, USA; however for whatever reason they couldn't crack the market so relocated to Paris, France where they killed it. Such a fat beat in this track, probably been sampled more times than I've had hot dinners. Just funky as hell.

28 September 2014

Day out with RG

As part of my 34 @ 34, I wanted to do a photographic series where I did some portraits of my friends. I had the idea a little while ago after doing portraits of my mate Craig. Then I decided that it would be better to do it in a more social setting whilst hanging out. I don't really like the idea of heavily posed photos anyway so shooting my people in more casual poses and environments would give me the sort of images I want. So I was thinking more along the lines of spending a day/half day together out doing something fun and I'd document that photographically (providing that doesn't make me sound like a wanker). And why? Well, cause I dig the concept creatively to photograph and blog about; and I also think it would be great for my friends to have some (hopefully) great shots of themselves. Not to mention, a chance to have a day out with some of my closest friends.

So first out the box, my boy RG. We had a shootaround in the sunshine, then found a secluded little spot to hang out, drink a bottle of wine and talk about life. We then capped off our day with a visit to the local Canberra Greyhounds. Needless to say, a great day out. 


17 September 2014

Adelaide Noir

Recently I did a few days in Adelaide for work and whilst I was there I took the opportunity to walk around the city at night. There's something about Adelaide's alleyways that I find beautifully haunting. They are dirty and grimey but they have something. To me they are almost of person, it feels like I'm being watched and we're getting to know each other.

So I left the corporate entertainment for a night of walking around with camera in hand being courted by Adelaide's darkness. I hadn't photographed anything for over 6 months so not overly stoked with my images but it was nice to steal a creative moment out of an otherwise heavy professional/work few days.


8 September 2014

I'm the man I make of and for myself

Recently I purchased from a local auction-house a 'lot of household items'. It was a bit of a gamble; a bit of a laugh. As it turned out, most of these household items were extremely ugly novelty mice trinkets. Ugly, novelty mice trinkets that I gave as gifts to a bunch of my friends and whilst they were terrible gifts, the humour value was priceless.

Buried in the bottom of this box of knick-knackery was a small book not the size of an iPhone. It was Sesame and Lilies by John Ruskin which was originally published in 1865. Ruskin was a writer, artist, thinker, philanthropist. Sesame and Lilies is a book comprising of two separate lectures he delivered called 'Of King's Treasures' and 'Of Queens Gardens'. I'll be honest I'm not some learned scholar of historical artistic figures. In fact I know nothing of Ruskin other than what I've read in a lonely little book I found stashed underneath a pile of mouse figurines.

It's not easy reading. It's all over the place, a little rambling but when you pull it apart there's some great theories. Such as 'Advancement in Life' where Ruskin outlines his theory of success v recognition that we desire...

'...not the accomplishment of any great aim, but being seen to have accomplished it. In a word, we mean the gratification of our thirst for applause.' And he uses the example of a Sea Captain, 'The seaman does not commonly desire to be made captain only because he knows he can manage the ship better than any other sailor on board. He wants to be made captain that he may be called Captain.'

I think there's truth to the notion that we seek success not because we desire success as an individual but because we want the recognition of being successful from others. Whether it be from our peers or from total strangers, we care what people think. Acceptance, recognition, praise, award, respect. Conscious of it or not, for most of us it's the commendation we seek. Would we want the success or advancement in life if it wasn't accompanied by an acknowledgement that 'gratified our thirst for applause'?

How would the decisions we make in life change if the recognition of our community was not for consideration? Would you want the promotion at work? Would you want to be awarded for excellence in your field? Would your friendships change? Would you donate to a charity? Would you leave a tip at the restaurant? What would you do if the opinions of others were truly irrelevant?

I'm very glad I happened across Ruskin's words as this is something I've counseled myself on and struggled to find the words. In the past few years I've aimed to be the decisions I make for myself and not the decisions when considering the recognition of others. If we want to achieve a goal it should be of a desire from within ourselves; not a desire for the applause that follows the goal. I think I'm at a point in life where I'm there. I trust in myself that I'm a good person, with good values, I know myself and what I'm about better than I ever have; and I know that that is enough. I don't measure myself by the acknowledgements of others. My aspirations in life are there even stronger and more definite than ever before. But the difference?

Now I'm the man I make of and for myself, not the man others see me as. And it's a great place to be.