Category: Music

Tamworth Country Music Festival

So unfolds another Tamworth Country Music Festival. A ten day period where people manage to keep on smiling, while ignoring the extreme summer heat. It is a marathon to survive so seasoned festival goers plan their days accordingly.

This is the thirty-eighth Tamworth festival and as a Tamworth girl myself, I have experienced more than thirty of them. Some of those years missing were given to living in other countries. But I have managed to travel back for most of the others if living interstate or elsewhere.

Memories of my first festival, then a three day event, are somehow some of the clearest of my childhood. As a young girl wearing a long floral dress, I sat in the front row at the 1973 Golden Guitar awards at the Tamworth Town Hall. I watched the stars collect their awards, while swinging my little legs, too short then to reach the ground. I knew everyone on the stage though and every word to their winning songs.

My father was very involved in the early days of the industry and these ‘stars’ were family friends, dropping in from time to time to play music with the folks. In those days, the life of a country artist was to tour for about nine months a year, towing their caravan around this great land. Then it would be a time to rest, regroup a little and head off for the next year.

Our farm was rarely without a caravan sitting in a paddock. Buddy Williams, Stan Coster, Rick and Thel Carey, Jimmy Little, and numerous others dropped in regularly, some staying on for a few months. One morning, Thel Carey came in from her van, talking about waking at two in the morning with a new song in her head. I stood there, listening to her, and thinking how great it would be to write a song. I was about six years old. Almost three decades passed before I finally wrote my first song.

Things have certainly changed in the thirty-eight years of Tamworth festival. No longer do I recognise every second person walking down the street for example. Mind you, with all of my years of roaming, I do run into someone I know at every venue I go to. This is a great joy of Tamworth for many people, running into old friends, catching up, hearing fabulous music and sharing in the good will of the festival.

There are so many festivals within the festival too. There is the mainstream one where, if you are a follower of commercial radio and country music video clips, your wishes will be satisfied with opportunities to see all of the stars, live in concert at various places. There is also the glamour of the Golden Guitar Awards attached to that scene, with the red carpet and all that stuff.

There are poet’s breakfasts every day in the clubs. These draw a huge crowd. So do gigs for the loyal fans of traditional Australian country music, in the bush ballad scene. Both of these experiences are an integral part of the festival.

Of course there is also the rapidly growing scene of modern music in Tamworth now too, which is horrifying and enraging many country music devotees. In order to attract a younger audience to town, many popular acts from mainstream music are being invited in. The amount of energy being put into this debate is pretty interesting at the moment and there are valid points from both sides.

Personally, even though my own tastes in music are very diverse and not at all limited to country, I do miss the old flavour of the festival, with old timers singing ballads in the main street, the chook man with his menagerie of friends, the one man bands who wandered around delighting everyone and the guarantee of hearing songs you would recognise from years gone by.

As far as the debate goes though, I do find it interesting that Nashville type music has been accepted completely into the Australian Country Music scene, yet so much hoo-ha is going on about other music coming in. While the Nashville sound is not particularly to my own personal taste, I am respectful of it as music and of those who are drawn to it. There is certainly an audience for the Nashville music at Tamworth Festival. Yet this style is also responsible for hugely changing the face of the festival and has been accepted without too much debate. It is not Australian Country Music, though many artists now feel a need to sound this way, perhaps to attract a more international audience. And that is their choice.

Australian Country Music was originally more about ballads, and stories of the land and its people. But all genres are merging more and more each year. And we cannot hold back change. Change is inevitable, a guaranteed part of life.

So it is not surprising that different styles of music have been creeping in over the years. Some of the talent on Peel St is phenomenal, coming from the more indie sounds. These days, there is an audience for all types of music in Tamworth, not just traditional country music. There is definitely an audience here for indie, folk, blues, pop, jazz, rock, anything. That is the beauty of the Tamworth crowd. It may be mostly country music fans, and that is the ideal for a country music festival, but it is not only country fans anymore. These additional people also bring goodwill and money into the town.

I guess it is about finding a balance for the continued success of the festival. I don’t know all of the answers, but I do know that Tamworth is one of the most friendly and joyous festivals. And if it can be managed well, with country music still being the main theme, then the fringe festivals that are growing within the festival can still work. This will satisfy the needs of all who come to town.

The alt. country scene, for example, has been steadily growing for years and is the one I spend the bulk of my time enjoying. It blends country with blues, folk, swing and soul. The talent in this genre is fantastic, with each act developing their own sound, rather than ending up sounding like everyone else. I am always open to seeing any new music at Tamworth, but especially in this category. Check out The Junes, Cyndi Boste, Karl Broadie, or Den Hanrahan if you would like to get a feel for this music. My own music also fits into this category a little, with a folk influence.

And of course in Tamworth, we cannot forget the camping world. Some of the best music I have heard here over the years has been from the campground. As I visit friends who camp in the same spot each year, swimming daily in the gorgeous river, music permeates from all directions. It truly is a wonderful, fun time.

My own main gig this year was beautiful. I am not interested in gigging every day of the festival. I enjoy being a part of it, definitely, but I also like to enjoy some freedom of time during the ten days, to discover unexpected hidden joys. So I did a few enjoyable spots, as part of other gigs, and I loved my main gig greatly. I rarely play at pubs these days, they are just not my thing. The venue I chose was perfect, a small theatre with beautiful acoustics and a welcoming vibe. It was an intimate gig, as intended, and I loved every minute of it and the bond shared with the audience. I am so glad to have chosen to do it this way.

I sit now in a great café that serves organic tea and coffee. It is somehow peaceful in here despite the waves of music floating in from Peel St, where buskers sing day and night. By day, it truly is a cacophony. A different sound emanates from every ten metres or so. Some musicians have power and amps, some brave souls try to be heard acoustically. The tree-lined streets are closed off and pedestrians wander block after block, listening to all that Peel St has to offer. It is a wonderfully crazy thing to experience.

My favourite time to experience Peel St, however, is late afternoon or early evening. The heat of the day has departed, as have many of the poor exhausted buskers. Then there is music only every fifty metres or so. Bands set up and play for hours in the cool of the summer nights. While many people are sitting in the air conditioned clubs at this time, eating their smorgasboard dinner, I prefer to grab some noodles, wander the street until I find the right music and a tree to sit against, and make myself at home. As I did this a couple of nights ago, I was delighted to come across The Slimy Brothers, some friends from a previous festival. They entertained with their great tunes and harmonies, as the summer night unfolded all around me. After that we wandered down the street hearing more sounds, particularly enjoying the Perch Creek Family Jugband. They have been enjoying fast growing popularity in recent years and anyone who has heard them will know why.

So if you have been tempted to get yourself to the Tamworth Country Music Festival, I do hope that you treat yourself to the experience in coming years. Every January this lovely Australian country town more than doubles in size, accommodating the warmth of its visitors. There is music for everyone, even those who don’t like country music. And let’s face it, in the cities and coastal areas there are plenty of people who don’t. But in the inland areas of Australia, there are very few who do not love the sound of country tunes.

Media in the Limelight

A newspaper to begin a day with, even two or more when one chooses to. The importance of media in our lives has tremendously grown as a means of giving news to an essential tool we have come to love over the years. And most people are finally realizing just how much influential newspapers have become. That is not just saying it but a real fact.

There was a time when people were okay without the thought of it. Today that is simply a sound of the past. Much more than electronic media can do the print version of media and entertainment have gained significant importance. Of course, television and radio have faithful audiences and listeners and I’m sure they are well loved. But at the rate newspapers are going, it looks like they are here to stay. From giving us sad and happy news to enlightening our minds with a series of entertainments, here is something that amazingly holds a range of interesting things.

It is no wonder then, that the morning tea is not complete without the newspapers to accompany you. It gives you a great package and has everything that your mind is in search of. Sometimes, it’s more like reading a great book. The only difference is, it’s got more colours, having a little bit of everything put together to fit into everybody’s taste. Politics, national and international happenings, sports, cartoons, crimes of sorts, human interests, life’s valuable lessons, reviews and sorts of entertainment. Yes, you name it! Imagine, it must be some real hard work to bring up something like it everyday.

What more can you ask for? You get to voice your opinions too. And the best part is, it works for the truth-a report of facts, whether it’s music to the ears or some ugly truths. Though it is hard to realise the importance newspapers play in our lives, it goes without saying that we are passing everyday, dwelling in its glory. No matter which corner of the world you are in, you don’t have to worry about losing track of the things happening beyond your reach. There is this faithful media to give you glimpses of everything even when you are not there to witness the show.

The interesting thing is that the media is like a power tool. Everything it does is for the good of the public. It is a voice of the society that rings out their views and opinions. Apart from being a faithful news provider, it goes on to lift up those who seem to have no stand in the society in the public eye. It encourages people to do well by featuring those who have achieved well in life, not be dishonest and unfair means but by hard work, crossing obstacles and struggles. Newspapers carry the voice of the youth and those who have a heart to make our land a better place to live in.

Today, more than ever, we rely on this news-giving instrument that does more than its part. It is widely reaching out to bring more light to our society. How would we know of any wrong or unfair practises that raised an undeserving person to a higher platform if there were no media to tell us so? Lesser care for the dying human beings, those without a home would have remained in the shadow if issues like this one have never been highlighted. Or any good undertaken by the government will also be an untold story in the absence of media.

Most of us would be living in our own closed worlds without an idea of what’s going on beyond our borders. Maybe it’s time we acknowledge how well they have played their game. The nicer thing being, they will continue to shower us with more than we can ask for.

Bridging the gaps of a thousand miles, even expanding the joys of small events taking place in our own towns, the role of the media is beyond description. The hard work they stitch together to produce a daily newspaper will always be our morning anticipation that lights our paths.

How to Create Stability in Our Lives

How do we create the environment of stability? Especially if our lives have been wracked by upheaval and chaos? Everyone has their challenges, the waves of the sea are always churning and some storms are more destructive than others. Some waves are just hitting the shores with negligible damage and are enjoyable to watch and listen to on the beach, while others can be an outright disaster when they build up to the level of a tsunami and obliterate everything you have worked for in the blink of an eye.

Clearly, the objects, people, that are most firmly anchored, have the best chance of surviving and thriving despite the crashing sea.

We have to learn how to drop anchor. We have to create stability by being stable, by repeating certain habits till they become part of our daily routine and anchor us in a meaningful (for us) and positive way.

Most people would agree that smoking is definitely a habit, but not much of a positive one, nor an effective anchor because it continues to damage the ship (your body) while a true anchor protects the ship from being destroyed by the wild nature of the ocean.

And no offense to those who are already ensconced in this habit, because I still have plenty of my own damaging routines which have been built up over the years, but I am adamant to do my best to replace them with good anchors that preserve the ship for the journey.

Find an anchor, find one activity which is healthy for your body, mind and spirit and keep at it. Try to keep at it even when you are faced with challenges, perhaps you will not be as tranquil in your mind, but this activity will help to anchor you and get you through the waves when they rise up to the level of a storm as we know will happen one time or another in life.

Without firm boundaries and anchors, nothing really has any form. Without walls, there can be no home and without walls, there can be no pool, so building boundaries, is a good thing, whether it be for a vineyard or for a house, that is the way to establish your place and your domain in your world.

So, perhaps you already have all of your anchors lined up. And that is great. This idea though has been somewhat new to me, maybe not in terms of understanding it conceptually, but from experiencing it in practice.

Over the last year now, I have been building anchors so to speak, despite my inbred nature of depression, whether it be genetic or learned, it has been my nature for many years but I have been pushing against that wave through volunteering, going to school, studying for a new career and now swimming. Those are all good anchors that have been good for the ship to stay a course of helping others and myself.

I do not think it matters whichever one a person might choose, whatever type of anchor it is, as long as it is one that you enjoy and that you do your best to commit to. Maybe it is music, maybe art, maybe a specific field (there is that field again, remember the vineyard) that you work in, maybe it is volunteering, mentoring, working out, you pick it, but at least get one that can serve as a strong anchor.

We do see this concept in nature, our solar system revolving around the pull of the sun, our own bodies, held close to the earth by gravity, our personal lives, which have probably revolved around the relationships with less than ten people, whether they have been great relationships and whether they have been stormy, the point is to start today to enhance the good anchors in our lives. And if we do not have any, pick at least one to start with and build from there.

I see an incremental improvement in most areas of my life because I have dropped some powerful anchors to protect the ship. There is no perfection, just trying to keep making progress and having these anchors is definitely contributing to staying a productive course.

A Whole New World of Music

Mobile phones are a very essential part of our daily life. It is not just a gadget we use to stay connected but has a variety of functions attached to it which is making our life even more comfortable and entertaining. We can download latest music videos, graphics, and games, songs on our cell phone from various online website either for free or for very nominal monthly charges.

If you want to download ringtones online for your mobile phone, than there are certain key facts that you should keep track of. Many online ringtone companies automatically lock you for monthly subscription without your consent once you download ringtone from their sites. Always carry out necessary research before you decide on buying anything online. Read through the fine prints and the terms and condition you are agreeing to.

Jamster is an authentic website which provides various categories of ringtones, video games, graphics, songs etc to its users. They update the selection list very often so you can get the latest ringtones and songs. At Jamster you can choose from thousands of MP3 ringtones, video ringtones, fun tones etc for your mobile. Make a stylish statement by downloading from the cool categories dance, rock, hiphop, country music ringtones etc.

Jamster also has live chat facility. If you have problem downloading to your mobile phone, you can always chat with their customer service representative and get a quick solution to your problem. By subscribing to a monthly plan of 9.99$ you get access to 6 ringtones/videos, 10 graphics and 4 games/apps.

Some ringtone companies do not make it clear as to what you will get when you subscribe to their services and many of them require that you have internet access in order to download the ringtones. Also another very important factor that you have to check is if they support your cell phone provider to buy the ringtones.

Cancelling your plan at Jamster is also very easy. You just have to forward a sms “STOP” at 75555 or you can also call there 24/7 toll-free number. The best way to shop for an ringtone online is to by researching first before you dive in for making the purchase and wasting your money. Also make sure to read through reviews of what other people have experienced about the site.

Setting the Mood For Romance and Love

We all want more romance and love in our lives. To get it we need to actively make the effort to foster these things in both our daily lives and in our relationships. Words are never enough, since romance and love can’t be defined and bound by words alone. We need to go beyond words to express love and get more romance in our lives. Because romance is a mood, it is greatly influenced by nonverbal elements, body language and the environment.

So how do we create more romance in our lives? If you listen to a woman describe a romantic evening you’ll notice rarely mentions what was said. If she talks about what was said at all, it will be a very small part of her description. She will talk about the lighting, how the room was decorated, the food, the smells, and the various sights and sounds of the evening. Romance is about creating a mood that entertains the senses and sets the scene for flirtation, seduction and courtship.

So how can we use the nonverbal elements of communication to set the mood for romance? First off, let’s define nonverbal communication as that which communicates a certain message without words. It’s more than just body language; it includes the elements of the environment around us in which the communication is taking place. The meaning of our communication is defined by the context in which that communication takes place so the physical space around us and the environment has an enormous impact on the messages we send. And as you know, some settings are definitely more romantic than others. This means we can create more romance in our lives and in our communication by designing and structuring the environment around us. Here are some ways to do that:

Physical Space – As discussed above, the physical space and the environment around us affects our moods and opinions greatly, especially in the romantic arena. Because its impact is so powerful, the first area we need to look at is the physical space in which we want to experience more romance.

Now there is no one definition of the perfect romantic environment. As individuals we all have different tastes and preferences so each person’s idea of romance is unique. It’s up to you to figure out just what it is that certain someone you’re interested in considers being romantic. For some it will be a cabin in the woods by a roaring fire, for others a hammock somewhere in the tropics. I suggest you look inward and define the perfect romantic environment for yourself, then create it. This projects the authentic you and this will also appeal to someone compatible with whom you are and with what you like. Once you do this finding the right physical space is easy.

Color – Color affects us both physically and mentally so we need to choose the colors of our environment carefully. To create more romance it’s best to find or adorn a location with peaceful and calming colors like blues, greens and browns. These tend to have a calming, tranquil effect and are much more likely to create a romantic mood. For romance to flourish, especially in the early days of a relationship, it’s best to avoid bold colors like yellow and red as studies have shown these colors increase blood pressure and muscle tension…not very conducive to romance.

Music -Music has a powerful affect on our mood, which is why of course we have “mood music”. Few people however, fully understand the effect certain types of music have on our physiology – your choice of music can “make or break” the romantic mood. Here’s some good news, music played at a fast tempo can actually make you appear more attractive. A study conducted at North Adams State College (May and Hamilton, 1980) found a direct correlation between listening to rock music and attractiveness. In this study women who listened to Rock music, with its driving beats and fast tempo, rated photographs of men more attractive than they did when mellower music or no music was played. If anything the results of this study show that your choice of music can have a huge impact on how you are viewed and on how you view others.

Now, individual tastes may change, but choosing the right music can easily set the scene for romance. Choose your music with care.

Lighting – Soft lighting is associated with romance and seduction and for good reason. Lowering the lights causes us to grow quiet and enter into a more relaxed state. This is what makes candlelit dinners so romantic. Lower, softer lighting improves our sense of privacy and, just like fast tempo music, makes us appear more attractive, as the subdued light levels soften our appearance and cause us to look younger.

So there you have it, three ways to structure the environment around you to effectively increase and improve the chance of creating romance in your life and in the lives of others. Keep in mind that romance isn’t a science with clearly defined rules and procedures. Romance is relative and unique to the individual. If you’re looking to increase romance in your life go ahead and explore a little. You’ll find creating romance to be fun and exciting. Go out and create a little more romance for yourself and in all the relationships in your life. I guarantee you’re going to like it.

Reach A State of Ecstasy With Trance Music

I can hardly describe what trance music does for me. It completely relaxes mind and body, and it delivers me to a euphoric state. Those of you who have listened to this genre of music know what I am talking about.

Trance music provides us all with a necessary escape. We all need an escape, some sort of pressure release that can remove us from the struggle and stress of our daily lives. It is very unhealthy to keep all that tension bottle up, it raises blood pressure, makes it almost impossible to get a good sleep, and ultimately can have very serious/fatal effects on your health.

While trance music relaxes and in a way desensitizes us, it also energizes and awakens us. That is a very contradictory combination but again for those of you who have experienced its effects you know precisely what I am talking about. If you allow the music to take you away it can and will deliver you to a state of ecstasy.

Trance music is healthy, and now with beat software it has never been more enjoyable. Beat software allows you to record meditative music right on your computer. That way it is one hundred percent catered to your specific needs and tastes.

We all have different mental and emotional triggers, which is why it is hard for commercial music to touch all of us powerfully. With beat software you can make trance music that was designed specifically to relax and transport your mind and body.

The best part about all this is how inexpensive and easy to use beat software is. Even a complete newbie to beat software could record a professional sounding trance track within half an hour of downloading the software! After you record your music you can just burn your tracks onto CD and take them to a party, club, or just enjoy them yourself.

TV Stands For All Office And Home Living Needs

Believe it or not, TV Stands in recent years have been revolutionized to accommodate the new Plasma and LCD TV’s that are now very much a part of our daily lives. Television stands of today have been designed and manufactured to help a modern TV produce that best possible sound and viewing experience it can deliver, by utilizing a new technology that uses sturdy solid spikes or points to connect shelves of a TV stand together as one, thus protecting your electronic equipment from vibration given off from the sounds. This design results in clearer music and voice with powerful sound effects and a tighter, deeper bass sound.

The aim of this article, is to guide you while your choosing your television stand. We are dedicated to sourcing quality products from the most popular and respected companies online who have designed these stands to enhance your living entertainment area, while helping to produce the best performance from your audio visual components.

Modern day TV stands are available in a variety of sizes, styles, colors and materials from the very simple to the elite. Stands are small or large and feature design elements with clean lines to the most elegant of details. Steel, aluminum, wood and safety glass are the common construction materials used for strong support, a cable management systems to protect, hide and out of the way from little curious hands.

Television technology has evolved quite a lot in the recent years, with flat-panel televisions, LCD, DLP, SDTV to plasma HDTV televisions, and have now become a part of every household and almost all aspects of life. Having mentioned this, TV owners should choose stands that are compatible for their TV so that they can handle their weight for safety reasons. Additionally, a nicely designed TV console will add beauty to the room by reflecting the décor of it’s surroundings.

Plasma stands and LCD stands are designed and built to harmonize with some of the largest screen sizes while maintaining a stylish and stable entertainment console for office or home living. These types of stands are recognized as high tech, modern additions to a room, and in great need for many people today.

TV cabinets with open architecture designs allow cool air to flow through to your equipment preventing any overheating issues, while at the same time providing easy access to wire management.

Naturally, it’s important to consider how much you can afford to spend on a TV stand. It is suggested you look for good quality, solid TV stands to prevent your valuable electronic audio visual components to go tumbling to the floor due to the excessive weight of the TV. We recommend that you speak to a professional, who will be able to inform you of the best possible television stands durable enough to stand up to the job.