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Friday, January 31, 2003

spiritual lessons - l.a / australia - end 2002

August 7 - The album Launch of Woman Well, it was the end of a perfect North West Tour. But it wasn't over yet. On Wednesday 7th the whole band, Gordie, Evan, Jeff, Tim and I loaded in to the Derby for the WOMAN album launch, presented by A year and 2 months ago we launched Temperamental Angel at the Mint. How time has flown, how things have changed. A whole new set of songs, emotions and stories to tell. I was tired from the trip but at the same time, very energized to do this show. The place filled to the brims, the bar was happening and the femmuse artists began to play. It was a great night. We went on about 10pm and i would have to say the sound, the feeling the whole buzz was exciting and enjoyable. We did a great show although i nearly fell off the stage 3 times trying to get around from the grand piano to the front. I must say, the highlight of the night was meeting Mary Guibert, JEFF BUCKLEY'S MUM. WOW! She introduced us. What a wonderful woman. After my show of piano, songs and also painting (the SensuArtist came alive!) Mary and I talked for the longest time about life and music and doing it the indie way. I really want to get to know her, as she I and I am so blessed to have met her. I told her I listen to GRACE nearly every morning! August 8 - the letter Boy, after sleeping in the clouds after a wonderful album launch at the Derby, I was immediately thrown back down to earth with a giant jolt when I received an anonymous "hate" mail in the post dated July 31 with the US Post stamped from Hollywood. Now get this, this person (he/she I don't know so I'll write 'they' (although I don't know if a woman would say "you've got a nice rack"), this person tried to emulate the "hate" mails in the classic way: using the opposite hand to write my address on the envelope so i can't work out who it is, no return address, and a typed letter inside with no signature. You can read this letter here, titled Walkin' on the Moon. I think it's important to post negative fan mail as well as positive to show the balance, to be fair. If you want to respond to this, write it here on the message board At first I thought it was a practical joke by a friend. Then I realized this person truly wanted to piss me off. My first impressions of it were this: If you put yourself out there, people only want to knock you down. If you put yourself up on any pedestal, they will certainly knock you down. It's a lesson in humility and I admit this humbled me. If I've over-exposed, over-exaggerated, over... myself, then this has certainly stopped me in my tracks. Without a name, a return address, not even written but typed, this anonymous letter has been an example of someone trying to dig at me, yet really without a real point. As they find the oxymorons in me, I can only say they have the height of contradiction. Why would they spend so much time on my website, knowing my songs, reading my diary, if it bores them so much? Obviously what I do has caused a reaction (whether positive or negative) - art's aim is to evoke some kind of reaction. So I guess I've achieved the goal, n'est pas? Unfortunately they haven't spent enough time learning about me to really understand where I'm coming from... that weight doesn't matter nor the curves or "chubbiness" they so deliberate on. ("I've got these hips, these thighs, these curves...." song 'Woman.') It seems, like Susan Sontag writes in the book "Women", that "Women are judged by their appearances as men are not, and women are punished more than men are..." If I was a man, I doubt I'd be getting this kind of backlash on my image. They only write about the image really, not the music, the story, the message. I've never painted a picture of myself being skinny or glamorous, claiming wisdom, or better than anyone else. I don't think their comments have any evidence either. They've really written a letter that null and voids itself. This person talks about a "second chance", whilst I proclaim I'm still waiting for my first.. I have no servants, I know what I see in front of the mirror every day. Perhaps they don't see themselves? For whilst they throw these accusations at me, I can only serve as a mirror to their own plight. All I can say is that I've made such an impression on them to write that I feel sorry for them. Yet to be so spiteful to someone you don't even know, leaving no opportunity to respond directly, is cowardly. So I respond on my web site, a place that they attack, and yet I feel they will return to only to see if I have responded. How ironic and magical at the same time. Let it be said that I retaliate with kindness for they teach me only lessons: 1. Be humble 2. Don't self glorify 3. Be humble 4. Don't react negatively to hate mail 5. Be humble 6. It's not always rosie. Thank you anonymous writer for spending the time. Read the responses from the fans here. August 12 - feeling better, and then... Thank you Christopher for being the first fan and fellow songwriter to respond to the Walkin' on the Moon mail that i wrote about earlier. Chris responds on the fanclub page. So I feel better. Not so concerned about someone's near sightedness. As for me, I've been performing in Phoenix this weekend. Friday night was at Mill Avenue Beer Company on Mill Ave, with the gorgazmic Gordie Germaine on guitar, then Saturday the Phx album launch took place at Tijuana Country Club. A rowdy place but very supportive of what I do. The best show for me was at Parrot Bay last night. A small crowd but the BEST because everyone was listening and I could really play up and tell stories and make people laugh and myself too! IT was a lot of fun. I particularly enjoyed when I went back up for another twenty minutes at 11pm instead of packing up. I had the room to myself. Thanks Lance, who books Parrot Bay. I then got home about midnight with Toni and checked my messages. I was really, really sad. My dear friend and fabulous singer/songwriter, Cindy Alter, is in hospital and diagnosed with Leukemia. I am shocked. I cried for about 2 hours not knowing what to do. I feel so helpless. She is such a spiritual person and so, so strong. She's been through so much in her life that surely she doesn't deserve this. All of her friends will rally behind her. I hope to create some kind of benefit through Songsalive! or Warrior Girl Music. WOW. I will spend the most of the week with her. Time to be with another and heal them. gilli moon sleeps this week. October 21 - gone through the tunnel and i'm out the other side ... Wow. I haven't written for a while because my life has gone through a major vortex and i'm still shocked by the aftermaths, in a really good way. it's like I've been catapulted somewhere into the milky way and I'm still trying to see in the dark but at the same time the lights are shining brightly and warmly around me. When I got back from the North West Tour I was exhausted and then I had to throw myself into producing the Songsalive! Expo 2002. From registration, to panelist booking, to finding sponsors, to creating revenue, to volunteers, venue and logistics, team building, catering, goodie bags, attendees, press and press releases etc etc etc... this was my life 24/7 for 2 months solid. (and the year before too!) My right arm started to get numb from all the mouse clicking and i ended up on the chiropractors bed getting adjusted every second day just so i could live through the ordeal. Notwithstanding, the Expo was I believe an incredible success, with 700 people, 65 panelists, 45 artists, 110 volunteers, .. it was great. And more so, I felt acknowledged and recognized for the first time in my life for putting on something meaningful, for touching people's lives, for making a difference. For it's more important in this world to touch people and make a difference for others than for any self-ego back scratching. I truly felt this altruistic project made sense, for me personally and the thank you letters in return have justified all my notions that this was valuable. Having the book out, and doing the Indie Way seminars have been other self-validating examples of knowing that I'm on the right path. The live show is exhilarating, and we will be touring in 03, with the book also. Everything is falling into place. I am calm. I am loved. I love who I am now. I have gone through the tunnel and I am now on the other side, coming into the light. I am at peace. I will be in Australia from Monday for 3 months to be in touch with the child within in my old playground. I go home with a sense of accomplishment, but above all, I sense of destiny. I know where I've been, who I am and where I am going. Heck, I might even write another book! I still feel I have a void in the love area... I sense that I carry the tears of the past and turn it into an 18 hour a day work-a-holic lifestyle. But I know I'll find that sense of joy soon. In fact i feel it. I have my eye on someone but maybe he'll just have to hear about my feelings in a song. I need to write new songs. The plethora of songs in WOMAN are almost exhausting. But some are from the past. I need to write about the future now. November 18, 2002 - Down-under. That's where I am. The Sydney shows are coming up Wednesday and Thursday and in December will be in Melbourne. All tour dates here. It's nice to be home. I nearly burned out doing the Songsalive! Expo and I've run home to recouperate. Although, no sooner I arrived that media interviews took over. Stephen Green and Laura from are absolutely terrific for publicity. I've been doing up to 4 interviews a day back to back. It's great. Some songs were added to Satellite Australia radio which is played on cable. The interesting thing about being down-under is the media have this idea that I had to go overseas to become "successful". Ironic because I guess they see me as "successful". And then overseas, people think I'm successful down-under. It's all like an illusion really, although I do attest to the notion that I now am successful - perhaps not in the commercial terms they define, but certainly on my own terms. I guess one hand feeds the other: U.S success feeds Aussie success / Aussie success feeds U.S success. Whatever the case, I'm having fun talking to the press about living overseas... the aussie girl alone traveling the world! Then of course, the most beautiful part of Australia is being home home. Being with the family, by the river, enjoying the birds, nature, ... I love the sound of the kookaburras at dusk. I love the fact that I'm finding time to actually read a novel or too. I truly am enjoying it. As for the void i was talking about... still there... seems like affections from afar were not returned. It's like they seem to fall between the fingers like sand lately. Funnily enough, there's never a lack of handsome men around. Just quality i guess. Hmm dunno. Again, it's in a new song. Music is such a fab way of writing out the tormented soul. So, back to touring. Toni Koch, my brave warrior girl in Warrior Girl Music, is building what will truly be a fabulous tour to Texas for March 03. Looks like we'll even make New Orleans and back through New Mexico and the trusty Phoenix again (been there about 12 times in the last year!) So 2003 seems like a blockbuster touring year of the good ol' U.S.A unless I find my magic beach pad and ensconce my there forever. Ah the dream... a house by the ocean, crashing waves, time to run along the beach, swim, paint, and a nice gig or too with the music royalties keeping me going. We can dream! December 16, 2002 - Melbourne. Wishing you all a wonderful Holiday season, Christmas, Hannukah, time with self, time with others.... All of us at Warrior Girl Music wish you the very best for 2003 and hope that all your dreams come true! It's been an amazing year for me! It started with the recording of the album "Woman" from January to March with Matt Thorne and Ken Moore plus the wonderful blue warriors of studio finesse: Gordie Germaine, Jeff Dean, Ric Craig, Brian Burwell and Evan J. Beigel. Then a quick flight to Australia to master the album with the coolest Paul Bryant in April, adding some hip remixes by Ice Jupiter Groove. May saw the beginning of the Warrior Girl Music Presents events in L.A and Phoenix, hosting a selection of fiery artists. June and July, Toni Koch and I headed up north for the North West tour to San Fran, Eugene Oregon, Seattle and Vancouver, passing Mt Shasta on the way! August was summer time, and Phoenix (who wants to be in Phoenix in the summer! and opening for Simple Minds!!! That was very cool! September saw the Songsalive! Expo 2002, the inaugural Expo, come to life with the wonderful team work of Jimi Yamagishi, Paul Lawrence, Linda Geleris, Jon Batson, Val Gameiro, oh gosh a host of wonderful songwriter volunteers (100 actually.) October was a mad rush to get ready for Australia, including a great Aussie Night at the Mint with Brother, Tim Davies and Max Sharam. Whisky a go go and the Derby also saw us grace their stages. The Blue Warriors live (my band) continued to deliver the wonderful goods with new line up Gordie Germaine on guitar, Tim Davies on drums, Ken Moore on bass and Evan J. Beigel on Keys. I choofed off to Australia end of October and have been performing down-under since, doing the big media circuit which has been somewhat therapy!! Funny how you learn about yourself when people ask about you!?! What a year it's been. We cap it off with a couple of gigs in Melbourne (for me) and Dina Gathe, new WGM artist, in L.A! See below for details. What's planned for 03? I'm going to Brisbane Australia in early Jan, back to Sydney then over to L.A for February after attending the Australian Music Week for week of Feb in Melbourne as a speaker. Libby Lavella will be releasing her album Sponge Brain in January. Dina Gathe goes into the studio on her debut album. I head to Texas, New Orleans and New Mexico with Toni Koch for March. A benefit in Phoenix in April and August will be East Coast for the IMC2003 in Philadelphia where I will host the Songsalive! Songcamp. Another tour of Aus is in the wind and perhaps a return trip to my new fave town Seattle up north. The world truly is your backyard! A special thank you to those who have made 2002 an amazing year for me personally. I wish to thank Toni Koch, A&R/Promotions and dedicated right hand gal and wonderful friend who exudes passion and fire like a Warrior Girl should; Ernie Campagna, marketing and distribution extraordinaire and dear friend and mentor; Stephen Green, of Australian Music Biz, highly professional Aus publicist with the mostest (this Aus trip wouldn't have happened without you!); The Diamonds for their L.A and North West Pr support; Janine Marsh and Wollombi Valley Artists for such a wonderful making of the Woman Music Video, as well as being able to contribute to the recent Wollombi Commedia; Guyo from Eiozine Northern California for working no a documentary and soon some cool radio promotion; Songsalive! for, really, the best support and friendship among the coolest songwriters one could ever wish for. You are a wonderful family of talent! Thanks mum and dad and well, happy new year everyone!!!!!!!!! Oh I forgot to mention winning Best Solo Artist at the Rockies in LA, Best Pop Song in the Netherlands and publishing the BOOK! Woah, way too much information!! Anyway! Here I am in Melbourne. First time in 10 years and first time I will be performing here, tomorrow night at the Espy. I love Melbourne for it's style, sense of fashion on just down-to earth mentality. Plus the Victorian architecture is beautiful and i love the tram rides. I'll write more about the gig after but I've met some REALLY interesting people here! December 23, 2002 - Sydney Meditation is what's called for over the christmas break. i have been traveling so much. it's time to be still. to listen to what is really going on. to understand ourselves. and allow others to understand us for who we really are. respect. envision. mpwr. i like these words... m..p..w..r.. toni koch told me this. i like it alot. i found melbourne to be a lively city. very classy. very business like but ultra friendly. many artisans doing their thing. art exhibitions, music shows, architecture on display, shop windows full of fabulous fashion, also adorned by the citizens of melbourne. they come and go like fashion models in the night, ultra arty, and with smiles. everyone is ready to help you find your direction on the tram, the train, the street. they are friendly. the show at the Espy was magical. a small setting, and a very old pub. Neil Wedd had me talk about Doing it the Indie Way and the various ramifications of signing a deal. "to sign or not to sign" was the question discussed. Then I performed a half hour set on a very tinny new Casio keyboard. I had to buy one as I couldn't find one to borrow or rent cheap. I endd up taking the lightweight back the next day as it was such a bad piano sound. But thanks to Allans Music anyway. Read Neil Wedd's review of the talk and performance here. I was thrilled and honored to have a receptive audience. And I met some kindred warrior girl spirits such as Jess McAvoy, Barry Swayne (who will run the Melbourne chapter of Songsalive! from 03 and Mike Puskas, all who are self-empowered individuals. The Friday night was special also as my parents came down and we headed to the showroom of the Crown Casino where my mate Jim Manzie performed with his band now doing a reunion called Old 55. It was a blast. I'll have photos up on the site soon. Under the guidance of Michael Gudinski, Old 55 also includes Wilbur Wilde and a now very slim and trim Frankie J Holden (both from Hey Hey It's Saturday.) We were an audience of 1000 and then Jim emailed me yesterday to say they played to 5000 at the old drive in. I think times are a changin' for Mr Manzie!!! Having caught up with dear friends Christina Hyde, Kate Shaw, and and old mate Andrew Block, I said my lovely goodbyes to what I thought was the best city I visited all year. Yes, it topped Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego, Phoenix and Los Angeles, and even Sydney in my books. I'll be back in Melbourne first week of February before flying to L.A, as I will talk at the Australian Music Week on Thursday 6th Feb on "Taking Control of Your Career." 2003 is will be a busy year, but for me, it will be done with calm, enjoyment, organization and much passion. Because as you know from me, Optimism + Organised = Opportunity. December 24, 2002 - South Tacoma, by the river, north of Sydney I've been meaning to write to everyone around that have so supported me this past year, to thank you all, artists worldwide, for being such kindred spirits on this musical journey we are all taking together. Whether we move forward independently or as a united front, I am overwhelmed by the strength, passion and energy that exudes my fellow music compadres in this so-called music revolution. It's not easy going out there and making it happen for yourself. It's a long and hard road, a life long journey of becoming who we want to be, making some sense of our creative urges, and hoping others understand and enjoy what we do. More and more when I tour around I am meeting such wonderful artists who are empowering themselves and their art, believing in themselves, and understanding the art of promotion and the art of business. I am really excited at what lies ahead for all of us who are going out there and making it happen. I read the press daily about what's going on in L.A, San Fran, Seattle, Vancouver, New York, Phoenix, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, London.... acoustic music, folk music, alternative music, rock, pop, whatever the inclination... being taken to the people, the masses, in a movement that is surely to be THE way.. the indie way. Not ignoring the "system" of the music industry or even the Majors, for they do bring great business to the industry, but working with, in tandem, those in the industry, creating a circle/network of our own we can call our "industry" and being business savvy and strong in our affairs while retaining artist integrity. We've come into a world now... although masked by fear, threats of war, threats to our stability, ... but a world that is also encouraging freedom of creativity, where with simple tools we can create the music, manufacture the music, upload to cyberspace and cost effectively distribute it. We live in a new renaissance where we are not only able to (and even forced to in the current economic climate) look within and analyze who we are, but we are able to create our own opportunities simply by working hard, remaining true to our goals, and not giving up. We can have everything we want, if we truly believe it, focus and enjoy every single day. We can work alone, we can work with our teams, we can work with the status quo, or change it all. There are no longer rules. I look forward to the times when radio (in particular), tv and media are accessible and open to new, good music without any barriers except the acceptable rating of what is good, and not by any other immoral persuasions. I believe in a system where music on the Net is paid for, where people understand the concept of either subscribing to music downloads at a reasonable rate, or that they buy the Cds once listening to the free tracks - but that takes education of the masses to learn to respect music as a service and respect of the artist as a service provider that is worthy of earning as much as any other service provider. I look forward to a time when venues (and promoters of music venues) respect artists of original music, and pay reasonable and fair rates for performances, for we all work hard to entertain and are worthy of such payment. There is much to change in the music industry, but at the same time, I see many changes, and those are emanating from artists themselves who, like artists through the ages, are overcoming obstacles small and large to create their own opportunities, share their creativity and create a lifestyle that allows them to continue making their art. I am really delighted to be surrounded by individuals such as these, and at times like Christmas, this spiritual season for all inclinations, I want to wish everyone a good one, a prosperous one (for we are all rich in heart) and let us think about PEACE because that is what this world needs right now. With peace of mind in our own hearts, brings peace to the world. Be passionate one and all! Thank you every one for making my dreams come true, which is, to be living my dream everyday, as an enriched, loved, and creative artist. Everyone at Warrior Girl Music and Songsalive! wishes everyone a wonderful Christmas and may your dreams be coming true right now. Much love to one and all. January 31, 2003 - Queensland back to Central Coast I've been to Coolangatta and I've found my resting place! yay, right on the beach. But more importantly, I had 3 wonderful gigs in Brisbane mid January thanks to the awesome agency team of John Shelley Entertainment. Thanks to John, Mark Spillane and Jane. The first night was CLUB ACOUSTICA at the Elephant and Wheelbarrow, right in the heart of China Town. You could hear a pin drop. When asked, "shall I play one more, two..?" all I got as a response was... "um.. sure... keep.. on playing Gilli!!!" Peter Cupples played after me and Ian Moss of Cold Chisel (who I humbly bowed to and said he was one of my inspirations) was in the audience. They were to do a Coolangatta show together the next night. On Friday I played the lounge of the Trans Continental in town for a few buckaroos and then Sat was at the Brekky Creek Hotel. Apart from competing with the loud speaker (Mr Bloggs, your steak and chips are ready...) I had fun and overall I thoroughly enjoyed the Brisbane experience.

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