Thursday, April 19, 2012
Okay, so I know that to many of you it may have looked like, since coming here, I have abandoned my musical endeavors in favor of working all the time. That is only partly true. Yes, I have been working all the time (welcome to New York), but on the musical front I have not in fact pissed my dreams away. I have been pushing the project forward, in tiny increments, aided by a small crew of helpers. (That's one of the cool things about New York. There are always talented people around who are totally amped for helping you with your creative pursuits.) Anyway, today I received something awesome in my inbox - the latest remix of a track of mine called Never Never, done by a couple of producers in Osaka, currently known as paul and bob. I think it's wicked. You should probably check it out.
Posted by Claire at 11:15 AM
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Is it March already? Surely not! I've had so much work to do lately, I completely forgot to look up. It seems the first quarter in old New York is quite a doozy. Hmmm, and today was no different, and it's almost midnight and some sleep wouldn't go astray. I would love to catch you up on the multitudinous trials I have been toughing over the last couple of months, but instead, I think I'll give you something more enjoyable: some songs. Here, for your listening pleasure, some of the tunes that have been getting me through. My "deal with it" soundtrack. Enjoy.
This video's pretty creepy. But still awesome.
Posted by Claire at 8:37 PM
Monday, January 30, 2012
There’s a reason why it’s good to have New York City on your resume. It’s because, if you’ve managed to get and keep a job here for any length of time, it means you are someone who has worked your ass off - passionately. In New York, it isn’t enough to just show up to your job. It isn’t enough to just do well at it either. In this town, it is a basic requirement that you love what you do, that you live it and breathe it, that you would willingly give your right eye if that’s what it took to make your work better. I’m probably a little slow on the uptake, but I didn’t realize this until now: this city runs on work. It’s where people come to be the best – at their jobs. It’s not about life balance, it’s not about relaxation – these things are obvious. But it’s not even really about the party. It’s about your job. It’s about what you do. So you’d better like what you do. Really like what you do. Last night (a Tuesday) I went to a party called WIParty – Work In Progress (P)arty. It was a party, on a Tuesday, to celebrate work. And it was GREAT. Once a month, people gather and hear other people present on the cool work they’re doing. Last night a guy presented this ad and the video game it advertises. His work for the past year had been making the video game and making the ad. And every part of it looked like the coolest thing ever. What a fun job. It was incredibly inspiring to see. And it got me thinking about my job, my work, and whether I love what I do. As I have gotten to understand my new job, I have been appreciating it more and more. Shaping how enormous brands express themselves to the world is a pretty effing cool thing. I even had a moment the other day where I decided I truly loved what I was doing and where I was working. The L-word associated with my job. This is Me talking. Weird. But naturally, and as you know, there are other things I love doing too, other things I would really love to be doing as my work. Like music for example. And I’ve said it before, that I know I’m in New York for a reason, but I’m pretty sure that reason is not my current job. Here’s the cool thing I think I’m discovering: the reason I’m here involves both my music and my job. Along with a couple of other work mates, I have recently had an idea that could see all the work skills I’m gathering, and all the music project things I love, rolled into one piece of awesomeness. It’s too early to share details, but if we pull this baby off, I’m pretty darned sure I will finally, truly, madly, deeply, love my work.
Posted by Claire at 10:41 AM
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Here's the situation: I am more broke than I have ever been before, my furniture (expensively shipped from Australia four months ago) has still not made it as far as my actual apartment, my winter wardrobe is showing its puniness in the face of negative temperatures, I have a pretty terrible cold, and I have a feeling that the quite awesome man I met recently may have decided he doesn't think I'm quite as awesome as he first thought. That last bit might be paranoia, but the other bits are decidedly real. However, by some miracle, I am feeling undeniably happy. While the money sitch is a bummer I definitely need to address, I have been managing to eek out a fun time anyway, doing relatively inexpensive things with some seriously cool-fun people. I have also really started to enjoy my colleagues at work, and even - shock, horror - the work itself. Mainly though, I have just been aware lately that if you have the basics in place, you're doing pretty well. If you have food, an apartment, a bed, a job to go to, a selection of wooly jumpers (sweaters if you're American), great family, fun friends to hang out with, and the odd glass of wine, you have the wherewithal for a happy life. So while I am definitely strapped for cash, and there is definitely a long, cold winter ahead, I am also definitely happy, thankful and lucky to be living this awesome life.
Posted by Claire at 7:42 PM
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Ah, another blue-sky Williamsburg Saturday. Rustically attired hipsters filter past my window, rugged up against the brisk air and carrying potted cactuses/secondhand danish designer chairs etc they've picked up from the local markets and junk shops. And what am I doing? Sorting out my life again. But all is well. As you may have guessed from previous posts, my first three months living proper in New York have been what one might call monumentally challenging. Every survival faculty of my body and brain has been called upon to negotiate the crazy-scape that is planet NYC - the swarming hives of jobland, the gassy mechanics of the city's ever-whirring operations, and the alien breeds that variously march, crawl, limp or float the streets. And there have definitely been moments when I have thought my delicate, oxygen-softened tubes may not be built to breathe whatever it is they call air around here. But as is my pattern, I have chaotically battled my way through the demon zone, and have come out the other end a somewhat new beast myself. A recent visit from my angel sister Anna has rejuvenated me, and restored my belief in my ability to achieve great things in this town. A positive 3-month Performance Review at work has confirmed I haven't been doing as terribly as I might have sometimes suspected - in fact I've actually been doing quite well. And all of it together has awakened a clear vision of my plan for the next little while. My next phase is a time for ordered hard work. With my head a little clearer on what I'm actually doing, I can better focus my energy in the right areas. With the temperatures plummeting, I can get more into my day-life indoor activities than my night-life rampaging-about ones. More sleep, more exercise time (in the brand new, very pleasant and handy gym down the hall from my apartment), more time spent on projects and productiveness. It all feels like a happy plan for my winter months. So today I'm cleaning up my house, re-blonding my hair, catching up on a little blogging, and doing a little work and a little exercise. And then I'm going out for a relaxed dinner with some Aussie pals. Nice. And so the next phase begins.
Posted by Claire at 10:03 AM
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Over the last more than little while, my family, friends, and yes even you (are you still with me?), could have been forgiven for thinking I'd fallen off the planet. In fact, trying to think back, I'm not really 100 percent sure where it is exactly I have been. Well no, naturally I've been in New York - where else? But "being" in New York is quite a different thing to being anywhere else. I may have mentioned before that I think NYC is built on magic rocks. They're the rocks that give this city that crazy, heady gas cloud of wow energy that hangs in the air. But now I have an addition to the theory. I now have a hunch as to where those rocks get the energy from. It's from us. The fevered worker ants teeming the streets, jerking nervily from workplace to watering hole, saturating zizzy stress vibes with blurring wines and whiskeys, clambering home in some gangle-limbed fashion, then landing in bed to grasp at wispy tufts of sleep and elusive dreams before it all begins again. Those rocks fill us with excitement, spur us on with the promise of big things, then laughingly suck every gasp of useable energy back out of us in return. And if they're feeling a little nasty, they belch a puff of exhaust and pollution for us to gulp down as we clamour for air. So, if you were wondering, that's where I've been. Galloping wildly along some treadmill that doesn't make you thin or healthy, but instead drives you to drink, delirium, and various foods containing melted cheese. The melted cheese is awesome. The drink and crazy thoughts not so much. Now of course, it's not all bad. I've met and continue to meet some top-notch, interesting and hilarious characters. And I seem to have become almost complacent about the absolutely everything that is on offer here in terms of world class entertainment, art, events, minds etc - but my complacency doesn't make it any less totally cool. Only I have a sense at the moment that there is a crucial change I need to make to truly come alive here. I know I'm on the right track, but maybe I got off at the wrong station. The good thing with that of course, as one discovers here, is that a wrong station stop isn't too hard to fix. You just get on the next train and you'll soon be where you need to go. So I'll be working on that. And I may be wandering around in the wilderness for a small time. But that's okay. It may be wild and crazy and taxing as hell out here, but last time I checked, adventures were all pretty much built that way. And until I find out why I had to come on this one, you definitely won't catch me running away.
Posted by Claire at 1:16 PM
Monday, September 19, 2011
There's a popular phrase down under: "Toughen the fuck up". I have had cause to think of this phrase often, living in this town. Moving countries isn't easy. Moving countries and changing jobs is even less so. Doing it all in New York Fuckin City takes the cake. Don't get me wrong, this city is one of the greatest. It's exhilarating to be here, right up against so many amazing possibilities and amazing actualities every day. But therein also lies the problem: you're up against it. New York has a way of showing you at extremely close range just how sensational things can indeed be, while simultaneously making sure you're aware just how hard it will be to get to a point where those sensations are your own. Even when you're not trying to reach the lofty heights, just trying to get your basic shit together takes a lot of hard work. Holding down a job, getting an apartment, getting from A to B (via the L if you're me), finding people you want to hang out with, finding time to hang out, finding time to sleep, exercise, take any care of yourself whatsoever. It's a struggle. And I'd be lying if I said it hasn't been stressing me the fuck out. That's probably one of the reasons my skin has been breaking out (city grime hasn't been helping), which has also been stressing me the fuck out. I routinely wonder if I may have made an enormous mistake, or if today might be the day I discover the joys of having my first panic attack. But I keep reminding myself this isn't meant to be easy, and I'm doing okay. Next week I will move into my own apartment - my first fixed abode in six months. That's progress sister. So toughen the fuck up.
Posted by Claire at 7:53 PM