Happiness as Anarchy #211: Wine mystery solved

The wine mystery has been solved and resolved. Grant Burge are kindly sending me a replacement bottle for the leaky one, requesting that I send the offender back with its cork. So I opened it and it turns out there’s nothing wrong with the cork, but the neck was cracked – when I twisted the cork the glass came off in a big splinter. There’s nothing happy about yesterday’s flat sparkling, so the contents are destined for sauce.

Happiness as Anarchy #210: Wine Mysteries

It shouldn’t make me happy that a bottle leaked in my delivery today, but I do like a mystery. Feeling the soggy cardboard, I expected to find a broken bottle, but found that all the bottles were intact. There was no sign of damage, not even to the foil on the sparkling tops, yet one of them leaked. I am going to blame the weather and call the winery tomorrow to see how they might be able to help. I’m grateful that of all the bottles, the one that sprung a leak was the cheapest bottle in the box.

Happiness as Anarchy #208: Looking for the Heart

If you’ve been reading my anarchist blog for a little while you would know that I love learning new songs. Especially when they are for a particular project and suggested by a collaborator. This week’s mission is ‘Looking for the Heart of Saturday Night’ from Tom Waits’ 1975 album of the same name. There’s an irrepressible groove and the signature gritty Waits lyrics.

Happiness as Anarchy #207: Country Communities

When I left Melbourne for the country, I remember people saying to me that I was leaving any hope of a musical career. What they didn’t understand is that country audiences are wonderful and while it may be a different musical career, it’s a more connected one. I find country audiences are more varied – people come together when something is on because there’s not so much choice as the city – and often they’re more open to what is presented. With that comes a richer, more connected experience for all of us. My Leonard Cohen gig in the south-western Victorian town of Terang on Saturday night was just that – connected, full of heart and happy. Lovely, warm people in a lovely, warm venue. Thanks Terang!

Happiness as Anarchy #204: Gracias a la vida

Mercedes Sosa was a legendary Argentine folk singer with an incredible voice. Known as ‘the voice of the voiceless ones’, she was a musical activist, even getting arrested on stage at a concert in 1979. A friend in Buenos Aires has been sending me songs to listen to, including Gracias a la Vida, written by Chilean Violeta Parra and one of Mercedes Sosa’s signature songs. I love this live version with Joan Baez in 1988.

Happiness as Anarchy #203: Finding my name at the top of the page

I just found myself unexpectedly on the front page of my favourite conference’s website. I hopped on the Symposium of Australian Gastronomy’s website to send a link to a winey colleague and found my name front and centre. I know it’s pure chance for the order of uploading, but it makes me smile nonetheless. It’s a post with the lyrics from the songs and spoken word I performed at last year’s conference (which I’m planning to record them over summer).