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greetings good people!

i know i don’t update this blog regularly. hardly at all, actually. but on this occasion i bring great tidings of goodly joy. what these tidings look like i’m not absolutely sure. but you’ll know them when you see them. i guess …

my new record (still untitled) is being tracked as i type. mr marlon patton is furiously pounding skins down there in atlanta, and come tuesday (may 12) i’ll be boarding a train bright and early (6:10 am. oh dear!!!) at penn station here in nyc to take me to the friendly folk at miner street recording down in philly town for a day of overdubs. there, the most amazing josh stamper (who also played on both “central state” and “of memory”) will again be supplying the bass and guitar duties. i so love to see what other people bring to the musical table. this time the talented multi-instrumentalist, levon henry, will also be playing woodwind and sax on a few tracks.

10325209_753596728025197_9091747934564564521_n-3but to the work itself … most of the tunes were written while on a “secret” hideaway writing retreat to colorado back in may 2014. i was fortunate enough to spend a week at the rather upmarket oxford hotel in the historic lodo district of denver and spent my days writing lyrics and happily wandering the 16th street mall and surrounding areas on foot. i drank awesome coffee, sampled incredible gourmet food and even got to sit under a big ol’ pine tree to cool off, on what i later discovered was “stoner hill.” the place where all the cannabis tourists (and local homeless and unemployed young people) congregate to smoke discreetly … despite what you’ve seen on tv, public consumption is still a no-no in progressive denver. mmm. i guess that’s why the police kept driving across the park and up the grassy slopes each afternoon!

anyways, the sound of this one melds sixties flavored, psychedelic folk/pop, with generous smatterings of gothic melodrama and piano-based art-rock goodness. can’t wait for you to hear it! more soon …

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the new record – Of Memory And The Dark Night – is nearing completion! finally. it’s mixed, and was mastered at sterling sound here in NYC by the legendary Greg Calbi. what a long haul it’s been though! 🙂

part of the delay has been life. again. (continually getting in the way of the ways of art!). but perhaps also my reluctance to confront some “creative” demons, like… well,  just how confrontational should art be?! as artists, when does our work cease being “entertainment” and enter the realm of “therapy”… to help us (and our audience) confront and make sense of the pain and tragedy of life? is it even an appropriate place for this… for catharsis (whilst traversing the covert lanes and dark night of the subconscious…)? or is that merely self-indulgence? i still can’t fully answer all that. mostly, my songs are concerned with other people’s stories (real or imagined) or an entangled mess of truth and “lies”…

i’ve also spent time pondering the point of writing, recording and continuing to release music to a virtual, invisible (and largely unknowable) audience, as well — not to say i don’t value my small, but devoted group of supporters (i do!) — but does anyone really need more “new” music? and do i have anything of value to add to the conversation? if indeed it still is a conversation.

but back to those demons… and an advance warning. one particular track recounts the true story (told from the victim’s perspective, in first person) of a childhood sexual abuse case, involving an eight-year-old boy and an off-duty policeman/boy-scout master. it’s not explicit, but it is a tough listen. and i apologize ahead of time for that. after weighing up the appropriateness of including such heavy content, i decided it needed to be on the record. but feel free to skip this one, if you need to. playlists are good for that. but if you persevere, hopefully the expression of this sort of trauma — whilst painful — may prove in some way beneficial to your soul, or at the very least help you face this dark subject. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men, after all, are sexually assaulted as children… so (whether we want to look at this or not) the earth’s full of those whose voices were taken from them when they were small… many never get them back. the song is in no way gratuitous or sensational. just profoundly disturbing. life’s like that sometimes.

despite the above-mentioned, the new record contains much beauty and light, as well. these days, however (and this may change) the light doesn’t seem as bright as i remember it.

till next time. M.

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social sickness.

will likely cease updating (or delete) my facebook and twitter soon.

sick of maintaing all these virtual lives. sick of my thoughts being fodder for advertisers and data harvesters to feed upon, repackage and on-sell, to people like me, who are similarly uninterested. sick of living in the shadow of NSA surveillance… all the paranoia that comes with that… and no longer feeling free to raise my voice. living in times where the occupy movement is considered “terrorism.” and freedom-of-speech heroes  are labeled “un-american” and “enemy spies.” and it’s legal to stalk, shoot and kill unarmed (black) boys in “self defense.”

though i’ve nothing to hide, i’m sick of the shaky ground i live on, not being a citizen, but merely a “permanent” resident. despite the rhetoric, we all know how this country has historically treated its immigrants… its activists, its non-conformists, its minorities, its protestors… its indie journalists… especially when they shine a light on corruption in high places. sick of all the shallowness, the self promotion the game-playing… and all the time wasted keeping up this facade. it ultimately means nothing. if you like my music, thanks so much. i do appreciate it. but maybe just scrawl my name on a sticky note and google it every now and then… i may release another record one of these days. you may like that too! 🙂 cheers.

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it’s been a while between posts. life gets in the way like that sometimes… but just wanted to update everyone on the new record. delayed (as per usual) but nevertheless progressing slowly. i have 10-11 songs well and truly mapped out, with piano, vocals and guitars. just need to finish off tracking by adding drums/percussion and bass and various other overdubs… slow. but we will get there. moving house twice over the last 6 months hasn’t helped! not to mention relocating to NJ, hurricane sandy, and moving the studio with me. more updates soon. please don’t give up on me, or this project quite yet! 🙂 peace. M

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although born and raised in a country called australia (and while i won’t deny having lived there most of my life) i maintain that i am not australian. a “g’day” may slip from my lips after a few glasses of wine… but i am no more australian than i am american. although, as it happens, i now live in this country called america. americans like to call australia “downunder”. but it is here, in america, that i have learnt to drink cold tea, say “y’all” and believe “the south will rise again”.

i am unlikely to visit my local flag store… but it’s not what you think. i am not some sort of subversive anti-nationalist… if such a thing exists. more like dwelling, or even floating between several planes. indeed, at times i feel as though my head is being gently drawn, by the limitlessness of all that is eternal and “above”. into hidden realms. a sort of upper, upper-stratosphere, perhaps. but it could just be that i haven’t slept right for several years.

i am happily married with a neat collection of small children. i love them very much. i also love music. especially writing, recording and mixing it. other people’s as well. i feel honored to own a mix room/recording studio in athens, georgia. i call this roomfiftythree. there is an atticus finch swinging seat on the porch of my home. but no boo radley in the cellar.

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i’ll hopefully be looking in more depth later at the issue of “free” music and who’s really paying for it… but till then, 8 simple (and hopefully obvious) ways you can support your local music scene.

1. ATTEND SHOWS. actually attend the shows of the local bands you like. don’t just say you will, and never turn up… bands need moral support as well as financial!

2, BUY DIRECT. buy the records of the artists you like… from them direct, if possible. don’t forget — although convenient — buying an artist’s record online usually deprives them of up to 50% of what they would otherwise earn.

3. JUST BUY. buy the records of the artists you like. that’s right… BUY. never ever (however tempting) copy an artist’s CD without their permission or download it illegally.

4. TIP. bands earn next to nothing for playing shows… how about tipping them? seriously! we’re used to tipping in other service-related industries… why not? especially after a particularly awesome performance! or if you’re too shy to contemplate throwing money at your favorite band… offer to pay a few dollars more for their latest record… or entire back catalog (that’s been bundled with a t-shirt) for only $5!

5. DON’T BE TIGHT. that’s right,”tight” as in: mean, miserly, niggardly, close-fisted, parsimonious, penny-pinching, cheeseparing, Scroogelike, cheap and mingy etc!  just because you know someone in the band doesn’t mean you should expect (or ask) to be put on the free list… how about showing them some love by stopping your whinging, shutting up and agreeing to pay the measly $3 at the door?! only a suggestion mind you… 🙂

6. BE GENEROUS. if you’re in a band, offer to pay guest musicians on your next recording… don’t just ask (or assume) they can do it for free. even if you can’t afford industry rates (whatever they are!)… something is better than nothing!

7. THINK LOCAL. if you’re in a band, consider raising money on “Kickstarter” or “IndieGoGo” to pay a local, professional recording studio to operate the boards. not only will you end up with a much better sounding record… studios (as much as musicians) struggle to make a living doing what they love!

8. NO ROCKSTARS. if you’re in a band, treat your fans really, really well! take the time to get to know them, both online and in person after shows. buy them a beer every now and then! invite them to house parties. don’t just contact them when you want something. and please don’t be the guy that only ever tweets or updates his artist page with: “we’re gonna be rockin’ & kickin’ some at the [insert venue name] friday night! bring it people, bring it!!!”

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i’d never been “foreign” until i moved to america. it’s a strange concept really. i’ll never forget the first time i visited athens, ga… i joked with a guy in a bar that i was enjoying my time in the US… apart from all the weird accents… i thought i’d made it clear enough that i wasn’t serious. but apparently i hadn’t. “accent?!” the guy shouted back at me. “accent?!”… “you’re the one with the accent! i don’t have no accent!”

it was then i first became aware that i was indeed a “foreigner” here. i was “other”. this guy seemed to think (quite seriously) that he spoke “normally”. that he had no accent whatsoever… i was the one pronouncing things strangely. he spoke, apparently, the way one was meant to speak. in hindsight, i wished i’d gently suggested to him that actually all of us have accents. and all of us are “foreigners”… somewhere.

a brief video blog then! for the edification of the body. and the cleansing of the soul:

America. For This I Am Truly Sorry.

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