New Single From Grammy Nominated DJ, Andy Caldwell, Out Now!

Andy-Caldwell

From dusk ’til dawn, Grammy Nominated DJ Andy Caldwell, carries you on a musical journey through life. With a consistency that’s hard to match, the accomplished California electronic music impresario produces dance floor classics that emanate undeniable energy. His intoxicating DJ sets have won over fans everywhere from London and Berlin to Los Angeles and Las Vegas. His most recent work brandishes a House music spark, while emphasizing his classical training and immersion in club culture.

Now the Grammy nominated DJ has teamed up with one of my long time co-writing partners, the dynamic singer/songwriter, Lisa Donnelly, to create his beautiful new single, “Melody Like A Drum.”

Originally written by Lisa and I, Andy worked his sonic magic on the tune – that first appeared on Lisa’s super cool album, “Home” earlier this year – adding his signature deep house vibe to his remix. Personally, it makes me wanna head to a chic hotel in say Palm Springs, slip into my best party bikini and do some serious chillaxin’ poolside!

Andy premiered the track last September during his set at Robot Heart and it has been a favorite on his setlist ever since. *A full remix package from Anthony Attalla and Wild Culture completes this gorgeous EP.

Click here to buy this exclusive single on Beatport.

Find out more about Andy on Facebook and at his official site.

An Expert Beagle And His Best Friend Have Great Taste In Music!

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Have you heard about “Animal Extra”? It’s a fun, new Aussie TV show all about animals and pets. And guess what? My song, “You Can Call Me Baby”, is the show’s theme song!

I was psyched to hear the news – and learn more about the show – from producer and presenter, Walter Collins. Walter explained that “Animal Extra” takes an intelligent approach to finding the best way of making sure your pets and animals are healthy, balanced and behaved. After all, it is the adults who make the choices around purchasing for our critters! The show puts the most innovative, creative and interesting products, gadgets and services from the pet industry in front of viewers who are crazy passionate about their pets.

Walter recently co-hosted Healthy Homes Australia and fronts this new series with his best buddy Nugget. (That’s Nugget above, with the yellow headphones on!) I think you’ll love how Walter is relaxed, down to Earth and not afraid to poke fun at himself. I know he and his team of animal experts will make sure the show really is fun, stylish and informative.

Then of course there’s the ridiculously cute Nugget, Walt’s American Beagle. He’s cheeky, inquisitive and has a nose for a great bargain. Nugget will join the team for most of the filming and be the first to put his paw up to try the latest food, toy or treat from the pet industry.

Sounds fun, hey?

“Animal Extra” will go to air in August, broadcasting on the Seven Network’s digital channel 74 (4ME) on 74 in metro areas and 64 in regional areas – and later in the year on the major network channel Ten.

Get ahead of the pack – and get all the inside goss from filming and behind the scenes when you LIKE Animal Extra on Facebook!

 

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Handy links to more good stuff:

Lots of my songs, including “You Can Call Me Baby”, are available to preview and purchase on iTunes worldwide. For the U.S store link click here.

To check out my magical realism short stories, cruise by my Amazon Author Page here. 

To read more about songwriting, and to meet some of my co-writers and friends, you might love my other blog, “The Song Mistress”. Check it out by clicking here.

“You Can Call Me Baby”, the “Animal Extra” theme song, is out on my record, “Shadow Wine And Truth Lilies”, available on Amazon and iTunes worldwide.

SW&TL album cover

Shadow Wine And Truth Lilies album cover

For the U.S store link, click here.

For the Australian store link, click here.

Hot Doctors And Songs

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I keep hearing that Youtube is now one of the biggest “music discovery” platforms, and it seems true, to me. It’s where I keep hearing about the often unpredictable ways my songs are being used, and finding fans as they find their way into the world.

Often someone who likes a song they’ve heard in a show will track it down and post it on YouTube, along with writer or performer credits, so it pops up in my feed. It’s always a pleasant surprise, proving how interconnected we all are, and what a small place the world’s becoming thanks to the net and our speed of communication in new world where traditional radio is no longer the only way to be turned onto new songs and artists.

So that’s what happened recently, and how I discovered one of my songs was used in a long running series in Poland, “Na Dobre i Na Zle”. (?) I know, right? The pic above is a still from the show. On air since 1995, it’s the longest running prime time drama on Polish TV. It seems complete with the all the medical drama pre-requisites: young, hot doctors, equally hot patients, scant originality and an interwoven story of two families amidst the life saving staff of a general hospital. Like a Polish Grey’s Anatomy by the look of it!

I wonder how in the world my song, “The Way”, was incorporated? And if they mix English songs with Polish? I’ll probably never know, but I am glad – and grateful – for the usage!

It’s shaping up to be a song drenched summer for me and my FK music publishing catalog, with a bunch of cuts due out in the coming months:

  • “Even Beer Tastes Better” produced by Nashville hit maker, Luke Wooten, and cut by the hit country band, The Wolfe Brothers, will be out in July on their much anticipated sophomore release.
  • “Melody Like A Drum” will be out on L.A singer songwriter Lisa Donnelly’s album, “Home”, scheduled for release June 18th.
  • The same song has been re-mixed, deep house / chill style, by the amazing and uber cool Grammy nominated Californian DJ, Andy Caldwell. It will be released as a single (I’m totally psyched about that), then included on his album due out September.
  • Then some stuff recorded by me… “The Break Up Song” will be out any minute on another Superpop produced album called “Love Hurts, You Suck”…
  • Last but not least, my song, “You Can Call Me Baby”, is being used as the theme song to a new series about pets (and the people they love) which was recently bought by both a cable station and major network in Australia, and currently in production.

Whew! I’ll post more about all of those projects soon! I hope you, too, are gearing up for a rockin’ summer!

To check out, “The Way”, the song used in the medical drama I mentioned here, here’s a Youtube link, (of course!) :))  “The Way” was co-written with JJ Farris and Anthony Snape, produced by JJ and performed by Anthony.

 

Fun Fact! :)) Anthony actually sang the wrong words in the second verse! And the song went out into the world on an Extreme Music compilation album, “Indie Pop 3″ and is doing it’s thing regardless! It makes me mental, as a detail oriented Virgo rising, but I can’t complain! The second verse lyric is:

From the lips of innocence

Love’s the only consequence

The air you breathe, the light you see

You’re not alone, no you’re with me

So let the wild winter blow

Let the levees overflow (Anthony sang “let the leaves overflow”… which makes me chuckle.)

Bring the fire, rain and doubt

Make me see, make me

Strong enough to be brave…

Confessions Of A High School Drop Out

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Albury High School

I ate a discarded fish sandwich for breakfast. I found it in the trash outside Jack In The Box. I’m a crack whore. I live under the overpass on the other side of the tracks. He said he loved me, then disappeared when I told him I was pregnant. If only I’d finished high school none of this would have happened…

Upon hearing their daughter is dropping out, those are the nightmarish premonitions likely to flash through the minds of most parents and authority figures who believe in the road well travelled, and that a piece of paper will guarantee success. Life is not always that predictable or cliche, though, is it?

I was standing in the crowd at a Keith Urban concert in 1992 when I realized I was not going back to school when the semester started in a couple of weeks. I couldn’t stand the thought of being stuck in a classroom for another year. A cog in the wheel of a system I had little respect for. Not when I could do this instead. Like what Keith was doing.  Music…  

I was one year away from graduating when I turned up at Albury High, already feeling more free in jeans and a shirt, instead of the plain light blue dress that was our school uniform. That bloody thing could have been a nurses uniform, complete with the rubber soled black leather shoes and white socks we had to wear. Omg. Anyway, I had to get each of my teachers to sign me out before i was “allowed” to leave. I walked around the old red brick and concrete school one last time that morning, delivering the relevant forms to each of them with a mix of rebellious pluck and chronic relief.

My science teacher, Mr Ellis, asked what in the world I was going to do. I said, “I’m going to be a songwriter”. He replied, “No, you think your going to be a songwriter”. I shot back, “No, I am going to be a songwriter.” Being fairly full of himself he had the cheek to repeat this ping-pong dialogue a couple more times before giving up with a frustrated sigh and signing his name on my release.

Next I remember going to see my English teacher, Mrs Drew. She was a lovely, portly, dark haired lady with small spectacles she’d wear on the end of her nose as she pondered her charges from up the front of the room. I always suspected she was thinking far more than she could say. She seemed quietly dismayed but knew me better than to argue. She said “You were always a bit beyond all this anyway…” and signed her name with a faint smile that I knew wished me luck.

My decision to leave high school didn’t create much drama at home. Back at the ranch–that is our brick house on a hill, overlooking the racecourse on the semi rural edge of a suburb in our semi rural small town–I’d revealed my plan to mum and dad. Me “dropping out” wasn’t a source of potential shame or disappoint for them at all. It was more like I was coming out of the closet. See, I’d refused to sing or get involved in the music industry. That was an act of true rebellion, going against the grain in my family’s world. Until now. So in a way it was a load off to join the ranks and take my place alongside my eldest brother, Lee, who was in pre production on his first major label album and my sister, Tania, who was a touring veteran at 22 and following in his footsteps.

In all honesty, my mum and dad, perhaps naively or for whatever their own reasons are, never had much respect for “school”. The children of farmers and drovers, they’d each left school at 14 to make money and contribute to their family’s income sooner rather than later. My mom became a home-maker of mythical proportions and dad became a milkman, truck salesman, country singer, entrepreneur, Jet Truck driver and owner, Karaoke distributor and real estate developer. I think you’re probably getting the picture now, right?

So when I ‘fessed up to mum and dad about the new plan and my goals they barely raised an eyebrow. Mum said, ‘Ok, but just don’t sit around the house all day…” And just went on being mum. Then I did sit around the house all day. A lot. Or, more specifically, I was holed up in my room getting better on guitar, working on the craft of songwriting and rehearsing for cover gigs I’d started doing with my sister. And so my real education finally began. From the nuances of songwriting gleaned from little industry guidebooks brought back from Nashville like exotic bounty from the Gods, to how to pack a band trailer in less than an hour, how to book enough gigs to prosper, how to keep them on the dance-floor at the local RSL club, – and eventually how to brake the cycle of cover gigs and find your voice as an artist and creative in your own right… it was all there waiting to be decoded. That last part was the most life-changing and holds the key to unlocking new skills and businesses in each phase of life. But that’s a story for another post. My education continued when I moved to Sydney, got a publishing contract and a record deal, and played bigger venues with artists like Kate Ceberano and Chris Isaak. Then Graduate School, for me, took place in Nashville, where I became a staff songwriter.

Post graduation, the last decade has been a lesson in unilateral growth. I like to blame it on an Artist’s Way course I took at a bookstore in Venice, but I know it’s my soul’s journey and my own weird karma that I’m voracious and want more than one piece of the media pie. Because, whether it’s songs in TV, songs on albums like The Wolfe Brothers next one, making my own albums, doing live gigs, self publishing and story telling through things like my short stories , screenwriting, or even recording with Red Bull and Cirque Du Soleil athletes, it all boils down to one beautiful thing. Communication.

At the end of the day, and to bring it full circle (pardon the pun, lol), I’m still just a cog in the wheel of another system. But I’m ok with that. This is a system I’m proud to contribute to. The arts and entertainment industry is an eco-system of dreams. I’m obsessed with the mechanics of making dreams come true and the infrastructure of global entertainment capitals. So of course I’m gonna be fascinated by places like Los Angeles, my little City Of Angels, where art and commerce collide in a cosmic lap dance dance for dollars, and happiness.

Oh, look. Here we are at the bottom line…

Drop out of high school, change your degree, get tenure if that’s your thing. The learning never ends.

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The Art Of Staying In Bed

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When it comes to bed sheets, If you’re sleeping in anything under 500 thread count –you’re camping. I learned this over many years of trial and pleasure, I mean trial and error. You know what else I’ve learned? Sunday morning is not for the faint of heart.

You must resist the urge to go out for breakfast with the traditional hoards. Go against the crowd. Savor the fact that your neighbors have shut the fuck up. Your apartment building is quiet… No dump trucks outside, no street cleaners, not even the usual morning whir of L.A commuter traffic. What a perfect time to put on your own pot of that fair trade, organic, anti-oxidant boosted hipster coffee you splurged on at Whole Foods. Come back to bed and watch that Ted talk you’ve been meaning to get to for forever… You deserve it.

While you’re in bed with your (de)vices, you might also check out The Voluptas Butterfly on Amazon for Kindle. It’s a poetic and slightly spicy modern fairytale for grown ups about a goth chick, her mega crush and what she coughs up on the street in Santa Monica that changes everything.

Happy Sunday.

There’s A Butterfly On My Kindle!

I’ve often wished I had something very particular to listen to or read at night before falling asleep… Not another new age or self help book, not a homely Chicken Soup style story… Something else. I could never find just the right thing to entertain, inspire and transport me. So I decided to write my own modern, adult fairytales.

Years later, with my writing unleashed, my first short story e-book, The Voluptas Butterfly, is finally out! It’s available now exclusively on Amazon for Kindle. My brother, Lee, has been a Kindle devotee for years and now I see why. It’s so easy to use, the text and layout actually looks really nice, and not so different at all to an old fashioned book.

You don’t need a stand alone Kindle device. Download the free Kindle app for Mac or your iPad, (like I did) and a free sample of The Voluptas Butterfly can be yours in one click – here.

 

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So what’s it about?

The Voluptas Butterfly is modern fairytale about desire. This unconventional romance connects the psyches of two unlikely lovers–Emma, a shy Goth beauty from Los Angeles, and the unwitting object of her unexpressed affection–the young Indian English author, Devendra.

After Emma’s secret passion gives birth to a powerful enchantment, Devendra retreats from reality, longing for a woman he knows only in dreams, while Emma discovers the strength to take charge of her life, in an act of willful lust– and total trust, in love.

For fans of stories in the style of Laura Esquivel, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Sarah Addison Allen this lyrical tale is a quick escape to a sensual world where secrets of the flesh are the most magical of all…

The Voluptas Butterfly is available on Amazon worldwide. To swing by the US Amazon store click here

I hope you like it!

I Never Thought I’d Show Anyone This…

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This is the handwritten mind map of early lyric ideas for “I Don’t Want To Remember”.

I write everything–stories, screenplays and song lyrics, on my Mac, in writing programs and word docs. I love the freedom the delete key, and cutting and pasting in a snap, gives me as I trawl for phrases that sing.

The new tools we all have at our fingertips are incredibly efficient, aren’t they? But they leave no trace of how we got to that upload worthy final draft; that satisfying piece of work that’s going to live on, frozen in digital time on iTunes or Amazon or wherever.

I was thinking about this after reading on Nillu Nasser Stelter’s blog this morning, “Research has shown that writing by hand taps into the right side of the brain, linked to intuition and creativity.” I think that’s true– and why I still journal by hand every day. So partly out of nostalgia, partly out of curiosity, I pulled out one of my old songwriting books to see how I used to do it.

If you can read my chicken scratch hand-writing in the pic above, or if you know the single it led to, you’ll see I had a pretty firm grasp on the set up and first two verses, but the rest was just desperate, inky grasping at ideas and phrases, waiting for the right ones to crystalize and sum things up like a good chorus should. See how certain words are circled? In my first, “get it all down” splatter draft that means I’m planning on coming back to those, thinking they’re worth a second look, or are pointing the way to what this could be.

Back when I was writing this, and looking at the thought process again here, I cringe at a lot of it. I smile, too. Like a patient parent waiting for their kid to figure something out. That part of me watches over my own shoulder as I settle in to any kind of writing. It’s gotta be the same for all of us, right? That self compassion and blind faith that keeps you pushing through the crap lines, reaching for the good ones that have an honesty, a freshness, and a resonance about them. You gotta believe that deep down they’ll come!

If you’d like to see how this finally turned out, “I Don’t Want To Remember” is available to preview and purchase on Amazon and iTunes worldwide. I hope you like it!

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Here are direct links to the U.S stores, ’cause hey, who doesn’t like some instant gratification?

“I Don’t Want To Remember” (for 0.89 cents!) on Amazon U.S and on the iTunes in the U.S.

Here’s a link to Nillu’s blog, too!