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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Oh Holy Crap!

Alice and Olivia Sequined tank Dress
This gorgeous and comfy dress is from http://www.shopbop.com/ a great site that has world wide free delivery! If you can find something on sale in your size it's really worth it. The picture doesn't do the rich deep olive color justice. I wore it with a little Free the People cropped hoodie and a pair of Steve Madden wooden sandals also from ShopBop.
Now, I was dared to post this church song and I had a massive migraine during this gig  (I missed the next gig and Christmas entirely as it lasted four days) which means I missed the last opportunity to bring out the sparkles. (Except for NYE) but since it will a hundred and ten degrees that day....
Here's my little attempt at Oh Holy Night. Try and find Stan Walker doing it! We are at opposite ends of the scale. He is utterly amazing.
Have a great NYE!
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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Ring a Bling Bling



My sequined legging came in the mail on Friday in time for my gig so I had to rethink my outfit for that evening. I wasn't sure if the leggings that I found on ideeli.com                      http://www.ideeli.com/closed    
(I'm sorry, I don't remember how I became a member)  were going to look any good but because they have un-sequined strips down both the inside and out side leg, they look great.  Ideeli doesn't ship overseas (damn them!) so my mother who lives in Ca. sent them over for me. I could have gone very rokstar with the look but this is a jazz gig so instead I put a sheer Cohen et Sabine http://www.cohenetsabine.com.au/  black scooped neck dress over the pants and it soften the look right up but still great for the Christmas shows we've been doing. I found the dress on Ebay and had yet to wear it. Mind you, some boots and long t-shirt, a frilly vest and Ring a Bling Bling! Cool.My clip this week is Have Yourself a Merry Christmas. Pete my drummer had to leave early so we did it as a trio which was lovely.

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

123,223, 323,423!

We're doing Christmas shows at Cap Kitch 3 days a week up until Christmas Eve and it isn't until you do that many Christmas songs in a row that you realize most Christmas tunes are in 3/4. Waltzes.  I'm going to spend 2011 writing my own! Just so we can swing.
Still, I can't complain because I get to pull out my collection of 60's to 80's fully sequined and beaded dresses that I rarely get to wear.  The one I'm wearing in the video is a lovely deep blue. I did discover though, that they are very uncomfortable to sit on for any length of time. The Cap only has metal stools and since so many Christmas tunes are slow I decided I would sit for these gigs. But it hurt after a while! So for this tune, I'm standing. I love this tune,
What are you doing New Years Eve? Diana Krall does it and Ella.
Enjoy!

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sequined Insanity

I'm just mad for sequins. Not great big gawdy sequins, but dark gold and bronze.
I found this little number on a little site called Modnique:
http://www.modnique.com

Not a great deal of good clothes but when they do they're a good price. The only drawback is that the items take at least six weeks to arrive. Supposedly this little dress, and I use the term lightly as it really is a long top, was designed by Lindsay Lohan.
I surprised tht I found one that would fit!!
Here's a live version of my cover of the song Crush originally by Jennifer Paige.



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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Walking on By in Scratchy Pants

I'm still trying to get the perfect version of Walk on By and this is the best so far, I think. It wasn't as hot as I thought it was going to be so I put my new See by Chloe mustered and apricot pin striped dress pants on with a Fleur Wood top that used to be a dress. Also a lovely apricot color. I was pleased that I had something that was the perfect "go with" for the trousers. The trousers have a mustard base with metallic apricot pin stripe which looks great. It just doesn't show up on the video. I bought the Fleur Wood cotton dress a couple of years ago because it was so on sale and beautiful material but a bit of a sack, a shape that doesn't really suit me. I had been planning to make it a top and finally the pants gave me the motivation. I tried to get a photo of the fabric up close but couldn't capture it. Unfortunately, lovely as these trousers are...they are the scratchiest things I've ever felt. I had to wear thick Lycra leggings underneath to cope. Oh the price of beauty!


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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Frill Seeker

I seem to be going a little nuts.  Last Friday was cool-ish  and I was looking in the shop that is my closet which should be the master bedroom... but it's not... it's the closet.  I had an outfit already picked out for the gig, a  cute little ruffled sweater dress from Review. It was probably the last time I could wear it before next winter. But the day before I had removed the sleeves from am Anthropologie ruffled thigh length sweater. The problem with the sweater is that it is too hot for mild weather and not warm enough when it's really cold. But I was in need of more vests so off came the sleeves and I was very pleased with the outcome. Then my eye caught a little black lacey tunic, also with ruffles at the hem and threw it on, just for a second, and tossed the my new "vest" over that, belted it and there it was, Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan, only more frilly! I slipped into the green Jeffery Campbell boots (pic in previous post) and I couldn't take it off. It was pretty wild thing to wear to jazz gig. But hey, what the hell?

I like to give them all something to talk about.  It's a shame we don't start a little later. With daylight saving time and the days getting longer so the sun shines pretty brightly so the film is a bit bright.
But, it's about the music, isn't it? Isn't it?????
 Here's Everything Happen to Me (the whole song because the lovely Ben 'loglin is soloing on the bass and it's great.
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Monday, November 15, 2010

Stormy Weather

I love wild weather as long as Mother Nature doesn't take it too far. I just thought I'd post this as I've never experienced a storm inside a venue before. It was very hot and muggy all day then wham! The wind blasted and the rain came in horizontally. The boys tried to keep playing but rain started to pour down the walls and into the sound equipment and amps so we had to abandon ship for a while.
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I love the outfit I was wearing, a Basilik stretchy cotton black maxi skirt with the only thing I've ever bought at Country Road.... a nude silk top with a layer of matt black sequins and tied up with black bows at the back. I wore it with some groovy high heeled sandals from Wittner that I've had for ages. It looked great in person but a bit chunky on film, such is the smock effect. Oh well!! Still, the lovely owner and his family was in having a pre-Christmas get together so I was glad I was kind of elegant. I teamed the ensemble with some Wittner high heeled sandals that I've had for ages. They are still in fashion! This tune is It's Alright With Me with Vince Hopkins on guitar, Ben O'Loughlin on bass and Pete Hodges on drums.

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Monday, November 8, 2010

Not Always to Plan

Who would think in a city full of good musicians that we couldn't find a bass player to fill in for Vince. But that's the thing. All the good ones get booked quickly and I don't like working with students and the ones that have just graduated because they have terrible attitudes. Like you owe them something.
So, even though Tom HATES HATES HATES working without a bass player, we were stuck. But it gave me a chance to get my favorite trumpet player in, Tommy J.
He's such a lovely boy and and just scored a scholarship at Berkeley School of Music in Boston. Here' s just one example of his lovely work. And girls, he's single.
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Isn't he gorgeous?

My outfit this week, as it was still chilly, allowed me to finally wear the green Jeffery Campbell boots.
I wore them with a review ruffled skirt and one of those thin stretchy T-shirts with this green color in it, that I found in an outlet shop in Ventura, Ca. Someone told me I looked like Taylor Swift. OMG! I don't like dressing like a child but I often find myself looking at items of clothing on the net only to discover they are kids clothes! I'm shaking my head in shame.
Here's chilled version of Blue Champagne.
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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Round Midnight

When I heard Lind Ronstadt sing Round Midnight I was completely taken. I've always loved Linda and her greatest hits album was played relentlessly. So, one of the advantages of a regular gig or a residency as it's called, is the chance to keep working towards great takes of my favorite songs. Although, every single tune I do at my gigs is one of my favorite songs.

This week, I wore a pair of dark blue harem pants with a really old top I found at Myers in the miss department years ago. I remember seeing it and thinking wow. How did such a great item get here?  It's a thick cotton halter top with large metal circles sewn like a large necklace. What makes it great is the the bling is metal and bronze. I have a pair of fantastic bronze platform pumps that go prefectly.  I wasn't wearing the top much at all but I never parted with it because it was inexpensive and fantastic. I've often thought they made a mistake with the pricing! Now of course, it's the perfect top with harem pants.
I teamed this with a little cropped denim jacket which was a great find as it looks great with dresses too and works whether it's hot or cold.
So, enough of the fashion, I hope you enjoy the clip.
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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Butterfly Princess

You may or may not know that I started and fronted an all girl big band for a while called The Sisters of Sass. We were a tribute to the all girl big bands of the 40's when the men went to war and the world discovered that women could swing more than their hips.



One of the reasons I started the band (besides my absolute love for the sound of the 40's and singing with 18 musicians) was that I have a huge collection of beaded tops from the late 50's and beaded butterfly tops from the 70's. My collection is pretty massive and the butterfly top I'm wearing in this clip is very rare in color (I paid way way too much for it) so I thought I'd bring it out and just team with a little black skirt and leggings with black sandals by Robert Robert that I got for $150 off at Myers. (I guess that almost counteracts the fact that I paid too much for the butterfly top). It was always a treat for me to see all the girls glittering away under the lights as they played.
This clip is one of my favorite Blossom Dearie numbers, from Guys and Dolls, If I Were a Bell.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Love the new 80's

I'm still trying for the ultimate white girl version of At Last. I mostly sing it when Vince Hopkins is on guitar because I feel the country side of that song. So here's the latest version. I put it up into G from F.

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This weeks out fit was fun. New harem-ish cropped black silky trousers by Armand Basi one of my favorite designers featured on Outnet.  First rule of Outnet: do not talk about Outnet! and son on. You get it. It's hard enough finding the bargains in my size already. I don't want more people to discover the secret!
I topped the pants with a $5 Target T-shirt in cobalt blue to match the cobalt blue heels from De Cuba. Then I topped that with a severely beaded cropped Tuxedo jacket that I found in an op shop a few years ago. There you have it...update the 80's silhouette.
Here's Blue Champagne as well. Love this tune!
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

IT'S TUNIS!

I was very exited to receive another picture today from one more my Jango Radio friends. This is Mohammed Ashour from Libya and it's lovely to see once again that music can travel freely thought out this world. No passport or visa's needed.   Mohammed just informed me that this great photo was taken  on Jerba Island TUNIS, and I love it! If you look up behind Mohhammed you see stacks of hand woven carpets. I have these carpets in my home and they look beautiful on the wood floors.I also like this style of pottery. Just gorgeous. Thank you Mohammed. My list of international friends is growing.
I'm also a little late posting the video as I went down with a four day migraine. But I'll get there!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Two New Friends

I am always so delighted when my fans send me their photos.(Always nice ones). As I've said, they see my picture everywhere so it's not fair that I can't see all the lovely people who click me on Jango. Here are my two newest  friends!
This is Steve, a man with superior taste in music and motorcycles.
Steve says this beautiful thing is his wife. Thanks Steve!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Still Cold

For the last few weeks I've been ready to get into my pretty spring dresses and ditch the sweaters but it's just not happening. It's still freezing at night. I've been watching the forecast and the whole week is beautiful and warm except for Friday when the temperature is set to drop and the skies open.  So, winter outfits still reign supreme.

This week, I'm posting a comp of Smile (did you know that Charlie Chaplin wrote Smile???) and Sometimes I'm Happy.  Smile always gets a great response and I love to do the songs people really know. In fact, I put together a show of only the most well known Standards and ended up giving away many cards. Hmmm? I couldn't do it every week even though our audience changes. We play in a large cafe that refuses to advertise the fact that we're there and so our audiences aren't expecting to be an audience! That's our challenge every week, to delight and amaze the people who show up in an effort to get them to stay and drink more. I think we do all right.


So, because it was still cold I ended up wearing my FCUK long beaded tunic with a blue cardi and some new James jeans from the Outnet, my new favorite online store. They were touted as being skinny jeans but I had to take them in at the ankles to make them fit properly. I've actually pulled out the sewing machine this week and I'm committed to doing all the alterations needed so that nothing goes unworn! I'm getting ready to start and Ebay store too.  I bought the first tunic when it first came out (paid full price) and then ended up cutting it to make it a shirt which worked out well. But styles change, leggings became huge and I really wanted to have it mid thigh again. To my delight, there it was on Ebay, so now I have a shirt length and a tunic length. Mind you the girl selling it on Ebay quoted the price as double what I actually paid and I felt it was my job to reprimand her for telling a lie. Don't tell lies on Ebay. It goes against the spirit and someone will know the truth!
Enjoy the video.
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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

All the Way from Mexico

This is my newest friend, Gerardo Arriaga who has moved from Mexico to North Carolina to get an MBA. He then wishes to live in an exotic Asian country. May I suggest Laos? The amazing Mekong River is it's lively hood but it needs champions to protect it from damming. There is a very rare species of dolphin, only 100 left, that will be destroyed if they put a damn in their way.

I'm very pleased Gerardo like my music and I wish him all the best!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

I Love Harem Pants

I love when a a new "line" is introduced or reintroduced into the fashion arena. I don't mean a new fashion line. What I mean is that we've been living with skinny jeans for a long time now and suddenly...we have HAREM PANTS! I know that many will hate them, steer away from them but I had an instinct that they would suit me. Actually, it's more what style mogels are calling draped pants...  tight on the calves and lower thighs and the draping comes right at the upper thighs to disguise them. LOVE IT!! In this video, a comp of Walk on By and a song that I'm dedicating to Barry Thompson my A #1 fan and friend from Detroit called You Hit the Spot...waz up Barry? 
I'm wearing the most comfy pair that I found at Fat. I wore them with some cheap, but great, gladiator high heel sandals, a dark grey/green Tee with sequined bunnies on it from FCUK and a really old designer black suit jacket that I never wear and now I'm so happy I already had it! I was so inspired by this look that I went on line and found another pair in a brown color from ShopBop (free International  shipping) and found a a black pair of Robert Robert gladiator heels down from $240 to $40!!!!!  Honestly, I have a shopping guardian angel. I really do.
I hope you enjoy the clip. I left all of Jon Wade and Petey in You Hit The Spot because it's so lovely.
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Ebay International

Last week, my drummer decided to actually have a look at this blog and decided he really liked it. Go figure. Still, at gigs he has never gone near the microphone, though in real life, he's hysterical. So you can imagine my surprise when he suddenly popped behind the mic and made a very loud announcement.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I think you will all agree that Connie looks spectacular tonight. Her outfit  is brought to you by Ebay International".  I nearly fell over. I went bright red and I couldn't stop laughing. I was just upset the tape wasn't running. The whole audience was laughing as I felt myself go red. It takes a lot to make me blush but he exposed my secret! So, I left in my admonishment of him as I berated him. I mean come on. It's a gorgeous fully sequined Scanlan & Theodore that, yes I did get on Australian Ebay. I wore it with a purple shrug, tights and heels but you can't see the color in the tape which is a shame because it was a great contrast.
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Monday, September 27, 2010

End of an Era

I love my vintage collection of beaded and sequined dresses. I feel bad when they hang in the closet, neglected. It was one of the reasons I started an all girl big band. Seeing those girls looking great in the 70's beaded butterfly tops AND playing really well was always a  treat.



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But, that's not the end of the era. The end of era is my piano player, Jonathan Wade moving to another state and Friday the 1st of Oct. will be his last gig with me.  He helped me come to grips with jazz  over the last five years and we always had fun! He's definitely is one of a kind.  I will miss him!                                                                                                                  

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

More Friends Again

 I've been really sick with the flue and then a very bad migraine to follow up. I've had 3 gigs while being so sick so I'm only going to post video with the view of just  continuing my documentation of the fashion. You have realized by now, I'm sure that half the fun of gigging is the dressing up bit. I was very naughty and ordered two!!! pairs of Jefferey Campbell boots because I fell in love. Do not even consider trying walk in them. Oh no. Just stand and then loll around with you feet out in front so everyone can see how utterly cool these boots are. The first ones with the yellow socks is what inspired the search. They are DSquared an cost over $600 US and that's on sale so Jefferey Campbell was the next best thing! (I had to go out and buy socks!)
Yes????? Anyway enough of that, In this video I wore the brown boots with an old Sportsgirl silk dress that I saw someone wearing on a TV show! I teamed it with brown knee socks and a belt I got in an op shop the exact color. The since it's still freezing, a Brown cropped jacket I picked up in the Sates a couple of years ago. AND...here's another of my new friends. Val Tims is from Russia. I always think of Russia as being cold and snowing this looks like a lovely spring day. Thanks Val!

OK, here's the latest vid but it's a bit hard to get the full effect of the boots.
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Friday, September 10, 2010

More Friends

This is Barry Thompson my number 1 biggest fan and all around great guy. Such a big fan is Barry that I gave him my whole album for free. Mind you, it's a well kept secret that most artist would gladly give you there CD for free because they're so happy you like them. It's only their business managers that won't let them! And...how else will they make their next album if you don't buy there first one????
All  can say is, that if this is Barry's wife...way to go Barry!
There is nothing prettier than a smile and these two prove that.





























Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Newest Friend

I have asked all the lovely people who click the iLike or the Fan buttons on all my music sites to send me pictures because I love to look!  I think it's only fair since there are pictures and videos of me all over the place. A few have responded, I know we're all busy. Here is my newest friend, Barbara,"I am from Sydney, I have been living in  Sydney for 6 years now, I am actually from Poland.  I have friends in Melbourne and go to visit once a year". Melbourne is where I'm living too which really is a great city. We have beaches and great restaurants and live music all over the place.



I think that's lovely!


cheers,
Connie

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Getting Serious

Most people don't realize that most jazz outfits do not rehearse! They think it's a well kept secret but I can tell you if you listen closely, it shows!!! I will be shot for saying that.
I don't like to play by the rules, I like to do my own songs and pop songs which most jazz guys wouldn't know.  A good example,  I guess I should bite the bullet and show you... Ok, I will show you how a lack of rehearsal ruined my segue idea. In the video you will notice how between Whisper Not and Blue Skies, they ignored the fact I was setting up a different tempo.

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It's frustrating when, through lack of rehearsal a good idea fails. Rehearsal isn't for learning songs, a good jazz musician will know the song or have a high level reading skill. Rehearsal is to blend artistic ideas and temperaments. Just so the same Standards that all jazz bands do can be done with fresh ideas.  For next week, I've put 3, three song segues into the show! The boys are going to have to really pay attention.
Of course, keeping good jazz musos on their toes is essential!! Here's a clip of a great tune called An Occasional Man. Oh and I'm wearing a cute little Cue dress with Italian cloth lavender boots.
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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Gig and Gap at the Cap!

We just got our first Gap store next to my regular Friday night jazz gig at Capital Kitchen here in Melbourne thus...Gap at the Cap! I never shop there when I'm in LA so I can't see it holding any interest for me here. Not enough sequins!
Here's some footage from Aug 20 2010. The first song you'll know the second is one of my own jazz tunes called Twinkle Twinkle.
I loved this outfit. A Basque sequined skirt that was 50% off the 50% off price and also on sale, the top, which has big black sequins down the front from, believe it or not, Laura Ashley.
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Monday, August 23, 2010

People are just the Cutest!

I actually really enjoy the human race. Without exception I believe that one on one, you can find good in everyone. Or...at least a reason for their dis-function. I live to gig because in this world that is my best method of connection. Internet is all well and good but it is not a conduit for the information carried by the personal vibration of an individual.  Anyway..... I have pictures and video's everywhere and my persona is out there for all to see. But I feel it should be a two way st. SOOO... I asked all the fans from jango radio to send me a picture of them so I could post it on my blog and website. I haven't worked out yet how to edit the website but I can start right here!
This is the lovely Amanda from North Carolina. If I ever get to NC I can take her out for a drink!
This is the fabulous Mississippi Heat from Evanston Ill. You can check them out here     http://www.mississippiheat.net  and I hope they'll let me sit in with them one day!

This is the very dashing Paul. Definitely "all that" in his day. He didn't tell me anything so a man of mystery!

Now this Eddie and his mates. Eddie is on the left. He's coming to Melbourne to see a show which is lovely! Only, I'm not sure he realizes I will be doing a fair amount of jazz tunes!

And just look at this gorgeous smile! This is Rico. And if he lets me know where we can here him play I'll let you know.

This is the very joyful Carlos who is a movie buff, www.guion.com.br
check it out!

 Here is the latest pic. This is Justice Trillin (isn't that a great name!) from California. I asked him to find a venue near him for me to sing in when I get to California.

Thanks guys!

Capital Kitchen

I just love having a regular gig and Capital Kitchen is a great place to try out new tunes, originals and some of the more difficult standards. I also get to get dressed up!  Here's a compilation of outfits over the weeks to my cover song Crush.
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I've been doing black and white a lot which is unusual for me but it has been very cold and black tights are a must! First clip a lovely Alanah Hill (on sale) with a fantastic little short sleeve jacket from shopbop.com I think. Clip 2, dark blue harem pants with a shortened French Connection dress that I made into a top. The next 4 clips are just a small sampling of some of the amazing  vintage beaded and sequined stuff I have collected. Clip 7, what can I say. I saw it on the outnet.com and it was fairly inexpensive. Last pic is an Ebay purchase a lovely rich red Laundry dress I wore for the original show at the Cornish Arms.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Both Sides Now

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This is from a lovely quiet (I let the drummer off to play for the Hell's Angels that night) gig where it was just guitar and bass. This is one of my favorite songs. I had a dream that I should record it.  It was recorded on a Zoom Q3 which I feel doesn't really pick up the bass very well.  I'm also wearing one of my vintage sparkly tops. Very art deco. I hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Do the Dresses mean Hope?

I think, that deep down I must believe I'm going to get somewhere with this music caper because I keep buying dresses off Ebay. I sold 2 singles this week, both original so also a good sign.

"Got me some high expectations,
not a lot of natural talent
so I stumble along
trying hard not to loose my balance
and I've run into so many walls
I got me a mansion
And I'm living here all by myself
Well, that's my intention.
What am I doing this for?
What am I doing this for...."
(from High Expectations)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Social Media Sucks

I have to admit, keeping a blog is like having to cook every single night. I want good food but I wish someone else would do it.
I have a new piano player and it's interesting because this piano player seemed way out of my league two years ago. I heard him play at a festival and my ears couldn't take in what he was doing. I loved it and his vocalist is in my opinion Australia's very best jazz artist. I thought at the time wow, I don't think I could work with him. He's so complicated. But at the same time I wanted to work with him. And then, suddenly my regular guy, who I love, started to overplay horribly. Just no space at all, not even in the slowest of ballads. Why???? I was either boring him to death or his loyalty became split when his wife decided she wanted to sing with him. I couldn't find the words to tell him to stop so I just put up with it. When audience members started to comment on his overplaying I knew I had to be brave and call the other guy. I did call, he had just split with his fantastic vocalist and now he's my regular guy. What does this mean??? Is the Universe telling me something? I hope so because really, I think social media is a croc. Who are all those people I follow on Twitter and who are all the people following me? Aren't we all just trying to sell each other something? I don't understand a word anybody is saying on twitter or what it has to do with me. I just want to play live gigs, which I do regularly and get better and better at what I do. If social media gets people out of their homes and into the venue where my band is playing then well and good. But so far, I have not seen that. I think I have just as much chance by doing everything I can to be prepared for the opportunity the Universe may bring my way. This great pianist comes over to my house once a week and records new songs for me to learn. I don't play an instrument so this is the thing I've needed and I learned two new songs in a week! It usually takes me two weeks to learn one.
If you know what twitter is good for and can tell me oh please enlighten me.
cheers,
Connie