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“Stay patient, but don’t hesitate!” — Five underrated songs that encourage and inspire you to get the job done

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Don’t you just hate staring at a blank page? Or a blank canvas? Or a blank Microsoft Word document, that tiny blinking cursor mocking you the entire time? [Sometimes, I swear the computer is rapidly telling me “YOU SUCK YOU SUCK YOU SUCK” to the beat of that pesky cursor]

Maddening, isn’t it?

Whatever your creative pursuit — photography, funk dancing, equestrian jumping, screenplay writing, anime illustrating, mushroom farming — the message is exactly the same: if you don’t get started, the metaphorical / literal cursor will keep blinking.

My love of music has come in handy many times over the years, and I have accumulated a small collection of songs whose rhythm and lyrics set off the fireworks of my creativity.

I shall share them with you now, but bear in mind: these are obscure. They are not current well known Top 40 songs, and they come from a host of differing genres.

If you want to listen to any of the five songs, just click on their name: it’ll take you straight to the YouTube clip!

Let’s dive in! In no particular order…

1) Illy – “The Chase”

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Why it’s so important:
The first time I heard this was 2010. I was working a 40 hour week in Brisbane, Queensland Australia. I was doing data entry for a major health insurance company, and I hadn’t written a thing for nearly 12 months.

When I heard this, my spark for writing returned.

I was still a bit of a newbie at that stage, so was working on building my portfolio. I bit the bullet and did some of those “GAIN EXPOSURE!!!” gigs, ignoring the awful taste in my mouth and instead replacing that taste with humble pie. All the while, I had stars in my eyes as I dreamt of being a paid contributor for Rolling Stone magazine.

I have not had a 12 month dry spell since.

Key lyrics:
🎵Don’t view it as failure if I miss it
I just figure I proved that that way gets turfed
In the process of elimination gotta keep proving wrongs til the right one works
So we’re persevering, polishing the tracks til it hurts to hear em
’bout to embark on the journey of an era🎵

🎵Do the hard yards, step by footstep’
cause with opportunity comes effort🎵

🎵for those who didn’t know how close they were when they gave in
Stay patient, but don’t hesitate
’cause everything comes to those who hustle while they wait🎵

🎵and I aint gonna wake when im old
and regret that i woke out of a dream, just to chase the gold🎵

2) Bliss N Eso – “Never Give Up”

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Why it’s so important:
Mid-2012, I went into another funk with my writing. I had recently moved interstate after my life as I knew it imploded.

I had had this song in my collection for quite a while but had never gotten around to listening to it. After several initial listens, I began churning out at least one article a week.

Not bad, considering I was previously on zero articles a week!

I was still redefining my long term goals and dreaming of a better life, but this song, once again, reignited my creativity.

Key Lyrics:
🎵They won’t clip my wings I will not conform🎵

🎵Never give up for your day will come🎵

🎵ride a magic carpet weaved out off positive thoughts🎵

🎵With the fight of a gladiator I write on my pad and paper

I trot through time canter where the path’s leading,
Work hard and use my head to hammer through the glass ceiling🎵

3) Husky – “History’s Door”

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Why it’s so important:
This is a deeply personal song for me. I cannot pinpoint a precise moment where everything clicked into place after hearing this, but let’s just say it inspired me to make some very tough decisions, way outside my comfort zone.

Since I first heard it in 2011, it stays with me. We would be here all day if I listed the multiple ways this song has nurtured me over the years.

I still listen to it ad nauseum. It still guides me to my true purpose as a writer. It helps me soldier on, even when it feels impossible to rise from the ashes.

Hopefully, it can do the same for you!

Key lyrics:
🎵Find your hope forget your home
Heed that feeling in your bones🎵

🎵Don’t look back
There is no use in wondering
Just how or why
If you leave now
You might just make it home
Before the morning light
Tired and poor
You kneel at history’s door tonight🎵

🎵*folk guitars and “ooooohweoohhh” chanting, to really set the wistful mood of adventure, while conversely making you feel as though you’re sitting on your front porch, sipping hot cocoa, and looking out at the amazing lush green views. Both unsettling, and settling, at the same time🎵

4) Death Cab For Cutie – “You Are A Tourist”

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Why it’s so important:
Oh my, yet another song where I don’t even know where to begin.

My journey with this tune is quite strange. I heard it in 2011 — wow, big life changing year, that was!!! — and I didn’t really take to it. I knew it existed, and I didn’t hate it, but that was the extent of my involvement.

However, in the last three or four months, I have decided to begin writing my fiction series. At one stage, I was feeling sooooooo creatively restless, and this song popped into my head.

I reacquired it, and now it is on regular rotation on my playlists, receiving countless plays. Because of the wisdom within the lyrics, I know now, for sure, I’m on the right path.

The #rhythmofword speaks for itself. Observe.

Key lyrics:

🎵When there’s a burning in your heart
An endless yearning in your heart
Build it bigger than the sun
Let it grow, let it grow
When there’s a burning in your heart
Don’t be alarmed🎵

🎵When there’s a doubt within your mind
Because you’re thinking all the time
Framing rights into wrongs
Move along, move along🎵

🎵And if you feel just like a tourist in the city you were born
Then it’s time to go
And define your destination
There’s so many different places to call home🎵

*goosebumps, just writing these!!!*
If there’s only ONE song you check out on this list, please: make it this one!!!

5) Switchfoot – “Stars”

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Why it’s so important:
This was an eight year long, incredibly slow burner for me.

Now, I can’t get enough of it.

I still listen to this little gem, looking up at the stars in the night sky, and finding complete and utter peace in my entire being.

My anxiety regularly gets the better of me, and stops me from writing anything…. That damned blinking cursor returns!

But THIS, right here, soothes my soul. It brings my head, heart and spirit back into line, allowing me to refocus my efforts on my goals, and to stop worrying about that which I cannot change.

This song taught me to trust my instincts, and trust the universe, and to be content within myself.

Key lyrics:
🎵when I look at the stars I see someone else

When I look at the stars,
the stars, I feel like myself🎵

🎵I’ve been thinking bout the meaning of resistance, of a hope beyond my own
And suddenly the infinite and penitent begin to look like home🎵

🎵maybe start to wonder how the chaos in our lives could pass as sane🎵

🎵*special mention: that ripping guitar riff right at the start!*🎵

Rightyo! There it is. My top 5 “get shit done, get refocussed, step outside your comfort zone” songs, each belonging to my specialised playlist, each representing a different point in time and a different realisation about myself.

I hope some of my suggestions work for you. Test them out! They either grab you, or they don’t.

If they don’t, may you successfully find what works for you, and use the power of music to make the big changes and forever press on through this confusing maze of funhouse mirrors. AKA, life.

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All he could do was offer us the world; and he did — Prince dead at age 57

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Prince, from his 1988 hit 'Alphabet Street'

As I write this, I am once again numbed and stunned by yet another crushing blow to the world of music in 2016.

The strange sensation in my throat is a lump I can’t fight down. I feel physically ill and only now have the tears stopped cascading.

Now that the hands have stopped shaking, I can proceed.

Prince Rogers Nelson — AKA ‘Prince’ — tragically passed away today, leaving behind years of as yet unrealised musical possibilities.

I’m not going to give you a Wikipedia cut and paste biography: what an utter waste of time, and an insult to his legacy.

Instead, I’m going to give you a little back story on how I came to adore this multi-talent machine as an artist and an inspiration.

Oh, don’t get me wrong: I’ve heard numerous snippets of gossip on what a prick he was off stage. But I’m not talking about his personal life here: I’m talking about his prodigious level of genius.

My first memory of Prince was my mum telling me he was a weirdo, but that only intrigued me more. Then, slowly but surely, I’d catch tunes like ‘Raspberry Beret’ and ‘Little Red Corvette’ which both — as well as many more — became anthems for the 80s generation I grew up in.

He was a pint sized performer, full of pent up frenetic energy, redefining the word eccentric with his ostentatious clothing and androgynous look & demeanor.

But once again, I’ve always been drawn to that which is weird. Above average. Not of the norm. For they are the people who make the world sparkle. And, god damn it, Prince was an entire galaxy unto himself.

His ripping electro riffs, his haunting piano solos, his lyrics that fluctuate from heart-wrenching to cutesy shucksydoodles to sexually charged soundtracks of seduction, vocals that fluctuate from sexy tenor to piercing soprano… I could sit here and write about him all day, but still wouldn’t do the man justice.

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Performing 'Little Red Corvette' - 1982

I veered off track. Apologies. Now, leaping back to my early teen years: the more songs I heard, the more I wanted to learn about this enigma named ‘Prince.’

I once read in a Smash Hits magazine that he taught himself how to play piano at age 9! What the??? He added more instruments to his arsenal, until eventually he could flawlessly play 27 different instruments.

When I turned 14, I couldn’t stand it any longer. I had to own his music for myself. For Christmas that year, I got his ‘The Hits’ collection on cassette tape. It was the greatest moment of my life, because I finally had a piece of him I could hold in the palm of my hand.

Yes, I buried myself in his music. I listened obsessively and repeatedly, snagged myself on every single hook and sung along to every single syllable.

This man is the reason I love music so much, and closely following the rest of his catalogue slowly steered me away from the mainstream pop music that girls my age were supposed to enjoy.

Fuck being put into a category, and fuck doing what society expects of you.  Prince taught me that, too. Not in a rebellious, law-breaking way. More in a: ‘yes, I listen to Prince and play with Tonka Trucks, NO I will not sit with my legs crossed, NO I don’t care if it’s not ladylike, YES I’ll wear jeans and T-shirts instead of dresses if I want to!” kind of way.

He helped me discover my true self, sns encouraged me to pursue my passions instead of doing what was always expected of me.

That, right there, is why I love him so.
That, right there, is why I will continue to celebrate his entire catalogue til the end of my days.

Oh and PS: he writes about 99% of his own songs, too. Oh AND, he has written songs for other performers, launching some of them from obscurity!
* Sinead O’Connor – Nothing Compares 2 U (personally, I prefer his version)
* Tom Jones – Kiss (same again)
* Martika – Love, Thy Will Be Done

Yep, they were all Prince’s.

Please, if you aren’t too familiar with his music, do the world of music a favour and check out his stuff. I bet you find yourself saying: “ahhhhh! I didn’t know this was him!” more than once.

Later, I will be listening to all my favourites and having another silent weep for him.

This is a void that simply cannot be filled, no matter how hard the music industry will try.

Prince was an international treasure, incomparable and unmatched, and so shall he always be.

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Album review! Tacocat – Lost Time (oh and some other catch-you-up tidbits)

Just a reminder because the blog has been a little cold and inactive of late: one of my biggest loves is music. More to the point, one of my biggest loves is to show new music to people and for them to respond with enthusiasm and a thirst for more music.

Like I said: my bloggy endeavours have been on pause since the start of the year but I am aiming to revive the movement.

On that note, here’s my latest review. They’re Tacocat; a riotgrrrl band from Seattle, USA. Lost Time took me back to late 90s female pop punk like Skulker and L7.

The link takes you through to my article on the Cultured Vultures website, and there are YouTube clips for a couple of their tracks.
Have a click!

I plan to post more reviews and more musings about music, as well as life in general and how to unstick yourself when you find your feet rooted to the ground while the minutes turn into decades.

Oh, and I’ll talk about my journey into writing and publishing my first book series! This is another huge bucket list item I need — and want — to tackle this year, and hopefully I can impart something resembling wisdom along the way.

Welcome back to HB Perspectives ๐Ÿ™‚

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As The World Falls Down – how many more musicians are we going to lose?

First, there was the inadvertent trend-setting Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver.

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Then, Motorhead metal icon Lemmy Kilmister.

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Soul queen Natalie Cole was the next shock passing.

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This is all too much already. But now, there’s been yet another crushing blow to the world of music. Such a gaping hole in our hearts and eardrums now that David Bowie has left this earth.

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That unmistakable face, and unmistakable sound. This man was true class, and was in a class all his own.

Hell, he was the freaking headmaster.

Sorry for the ramble; I’m still very much in shock. He is really gone, and right now it still doesn’t feel real.

I’ll backtrack to the start. Scott Weiland was the frontman for the Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver, as well as some other projects. His charged, gravelly voice and passionate stage presence always made for one heck of a show.

“Plush” and “Fall to Pieces” respectively are my own personal standouts, but his impressive catalogue is one incredible legacy.

Right. Lemmy. Motorhead. Hard and fast. Head-bashing, insane moshing beats and a steady stream of drawling lyrics were the signature style for this stalwart.

I’m not ashamed to admit: the first time I heard Motorhead was while playing Tony Hawk Underground when “Ace Of Spades” started up. That opening riff, though. You can practically DRINK it!
RIP, Lemmy.

Ah, the “Unforgettable” — yep, that was deliberate. Nope, I make no apologies — Natalie Cole. The iconic moment when she performed that duet with her departed father Nat King Cole was a sheer four minutes of joy. Despite your musical leanings, I think it’s almost physically impossible to not smile on the inside when you hear it.

Come to think of it, my earliest Natalie Cole memory was in 1990, one year prior to the timeless duet release, when she performed the jaunty uplifting “Wild Women Do.” Her smile is so warm, so familiar and welcoming.
What a lady she was. Such an awesome, beautiful in a dozen different ways, lady.

Geez, what a rollercoaster! Listening to these classics is bringing a lump to my throat, I don’t mind admitting.

I’ll do my best to maintain composure, but no promises ๐Ÿ˜‰

Where do I even begin with David Bowie?

Labyrinth. Perfect place to start. Want some goosebumps? You’re welcome. Hey, look! It’s mid-80s Jennifer Connelly! Wow, those masks used to scare the shit out of me when I watched the movie as a kid.

I tried, really I tried, but still, I just cried. There isn’t enough space in this blogosphere to describe how incredible this gentleman was.

An activist, a humanitarian, a huge inspiration to so many people afraid to be themselves, and really just a whole lot of heart as well as boundless class all the way.

He was heavily involved in causes such as Save The Children and Every Mother Counts. (source) He didn’t fake it, either.

You know how some people pretend to give a crap about something to increase their publicity, and nothing more?

Not sir Bowie. You could tell he was passionate and strong in his beliefs and convictions.

And no, I never met the man but I’ve had plenty of experience dealing with phonies. He never gave off that vibe, in my humble opinion.

Needless to say, he also spearheaded the 70s glam rock movement with his Ziggy Stardust alter ego.

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Glitter, eyeliner and bright colours were no longer taboo in the world of rock, thanks to this man, along with acts like T-Rex and Roxy Music.

Here’s a bit of “Rebel Rebel” for you, at the height of his glam rock phase.

Not only that; he was so full of energy! He had a break from album releases from 2003 to 2013, but apart from this, he did. not. stop. making music! In fact, Black Star was released on his birthday, a mere two days before his death.

His first album was the self-titled David Bowie and came out in 1967.

That’s nearly 50 years of churning out the tunes. Think about that for a minute…

There is no end to what I could tell you about this stellar human being, but right now I’m a bit of an emotional wreck thinking about how many artists we have lost in the past five weeks.

Right now, I’m going to enjoy cranking the Bowie and drowning in his voice. (one more here, “Ashes To Ashes,” yet another personal favourite)

Here are my final thoughts:

1) Disclaimer: we may not all share the same opinion of the artists I’ve discussed, but let’s keep it respectable.

2) While the musicians have passed, their legacy lives on in the hearts of those who loved them. Play their music, reminisce on the good times and moments in history when you first heard them, and rejoice in the fact they were generous enough to leave such an awesome gift behind.

3) These are some mighty big musical shoes to fill, so it’s time for the industry to lift their game and continue to fill our lives with heart and soul, just like those before them.

4) Don’t be afraid to grieve. Music is a constant, it pumps blood through our veins and puts a spring in our step. Any loss of those feelings is surely going to take a while to process. Keep loving what you love, and keep being touched by the #rhythmofword !!!

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I still can't believe you're gone.
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Just chill! – why you DON’T have to do your thang seven days a week, 52 weeks a year

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“If you want to be a writer, you have to write every day.

“If you want to be a basketball player, you have to play basketball every day.

“If you want to be a property manager, you have to sell a house…”

Yep.

“EVERY DAY.”

Sound familiar?

No matter your calling, it has been drilled into us that we need to practice until our hands, legs or brain explode.

With that kind of self-imposed pressure, it’s no wonder people are too scared to take the first steps toward achieving their vocational goals!

Yes, you need to work hard.

Yes, you need to be dedicated.

Yes, you most certainly need to see your craft as a labour of love and not a means to an end.

But that doesn’t mean you need to kill yourself to get there.

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Here’s what you should do instead, or, a rough guide on how to maintain your sanity and still pursue your calling:

1) Set boundaries. This is a big one, often forgotten but super-important. Telling your family and friends of your new venture, and the days and times you’ll be available, is essential.

And they might forget, occasionally. But reminding them of your new commitments doesn’t make you a horrible person. It just means you are taking yourself seriously!

2) Set a schedule. There are plenty of apps and programs out there, such as Asana, for just this purpose! Or, you can do it old school — which is what I personally prefer — and keep a written schedule / timetable!

Decide what you will tackle on which day and how much time you will set aside for these tasks. Don’t forget to include a weekly brainstorming / sketching / goal-redefining session!

3) Break your goals and tasks down into edible, bite sized chunks.

For example, don’t plan to “write a novel,” “run a marathon,” or “paint a masterpiece” on Thursday morning.

Instead, draft a chapter and work on character descriptions. Do some strength training and a one hour run. Experiment with colours and seek inspiration.

4) Relax! Take breaks throughout your work day, and decide which days will be work free to indulge your other interests.

Catch up with friends, call your family, or just order pizza and watch Netflix. Whatever tickles ya!!! But make the time to reward yourself and to recharge your batteries…

Because no one deserves it more than you!

Live what you love, but don’t forget to nurture yourself along the way.

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City Calm Down: responsible for album and song of the year!

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“Imagine, and apologies in advance for the imagery, but imagine a night of passion between psychedelic rockers,ย The Church, and American indie rockers,ย The National. Feast your eyes on their impressive and formidable lovechild, Melbourne four piece City Calm Down, who have produced the sterling debut,ย In a Restless House.ย 

Lead singer, Jack Bourke, gives a sense of escapism in the track themes and the overall vibe of the album through reverberating vocals, bold strings and melodies that seem to stretch on for an eternity.”

You can read the rest of my review, along with the film clip for ‘Rabbit Run,’ right here.

Ah, ‘Rabbit Run.’ That piece of audio heaven, that safe space where everything seems alright in the world. It gives you a sense of hope, a sense of passion, and a sense of melancholic calm all at the same time.

Without a doubt, song of the year, hands down.

What is your song of the year? What has wowed you so much, to the point you simply can’t wait to share it with others??

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Why All The Hate? – how music occasionally brings out the worst in people.

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Adele ’25’ – released November 20th 2015

Music should always be a safe place for fans and performers. In a perfect world, that would be the case but alas, the world is far from perfect.

Now, I don’t rant and rave very often but I have a minor dummy spit I’d like to share 😛

So, Adele’s ’25’ album dropped two days ago, and there have been mixed reviews.

Funny enough, the people with the most to say are those who haven’t listened to the album and instead find pleasure in spewing negativity about her, making fun of how ‘pop’ she sounds and also completely irrelevant — AND irreverent — digs about her personal appearance.

I felt compelled to write this today because some of the things I’ve read have been extremely disgusting and immature.

I won’t go into specifics of what I’ve read and heard, because I find the whole mentality despicable and unnecessary.

I mean honestly: is that the sort of the world we are living in, where all creativity and talent must be suppressed for fear of being condemned and ridiculed just for not LOOKING a certain cookie-cutter flawless way?

Nope, I’m not being butt hurt and biased because I’m full-blown obsessed with Adele. In all honesty, I haven’t heard the album because it’s not typically the music I choose to listen to, and when ’21’ was released 4 years ago, “Rolling In The Deep” and “Someone Like You” were. just. FLOGGED on the airwaves.

But that’s not her fault! She’s popular for good reason: you can’t deny she can hold a note, she stirs up more than one emotion, and she can certainly draw a crowd.

Its alright to have opinions, and to only be into certain types of music, but don’t be a dick about it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Keep personal insults at the door, and if you don’t like something, keep scrolling! Change the station! Flick to the next track! Block them so you don’t have to read about them!

No one is forcing you to agree with positive write-ups for musicians and bands, but why shoot down and stomp on those who DO enjoy the music?!

Adele is not taking accolades away from anyone else, and there’s more than enough to go around.

My Facebook page is always a negativity-free zone, and I intend to keep it that way.

Parting words for today, and my personal wish for all music fans: don’t let music fall into anonymity. Help the #rhythmofword thrive, share your favourite tunes and styles, love what you love & live and let live!

Rant over.

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