HITS FROM THE GONG!!!! Next week! We get to do our thing in the tent of spiegels AKA The Melba Spiegeltent in Wollongong.... and we have a very special pop up choir moment planned for you with Elana Stone and @butternutsweetheart new choir busily learning a couple of our tunes. Come stomp the floorboards with us! See you there our Wollongongian loves. #spiegeltentwollongong Spender 📸 @w_i_l_k #choirs #choir #singingisgoodforthesoul #ibangondrums #loudnoises
Last week at The Seed Fund was MASSIVE. Check out these golden hearted people!!! We delivered our 11th management workshop: The Future Makers. We facilitated and massaged 4 days of big convos with 30 participants and around 45 Special Guests. We dug deep. We kept pulling the conversation back to the heart of the matter... the why? Questioning and re evaluating the kinds of questions we ask ourselves. Assessing the inherited rules and standards we abide by in all parts of our lives to see who they are imposed by and whether they suit us and if not how they can be shaken. How complicit we are in our own restrictions. Reimagining challenges and blockages as doorways to our wildest most creative selves and inventions. This year we ‘owned’ every aspect of the delivery. We curated every micro detail of the experience. The result was transformative. Then boom. Slam on the brakes and I’m hurtling through the air. Coming down from all those deep reveals and real feels. I’m on a family holiday now. I don’t really even know what that means. We never did family holidays when I was a kid. I don’t really know how to rest. I think I have rest shame. Laziness was drilled out of us as kids as the most grotesque affliction. I still hold some shade of this. ‘Chilling Out’ just for the sake of it, even when I really need it, seems to activate an eruption of latent paralyzing fatigue and self doubt. Yuk. I try to meet it. I try to sit with it and integrate the resistance but generally I feel agitated. Then I feel lame for feeling agitated while on the one planned holiday we have after busting ass for freakin ages! Oh the circular pressure loop. What a drag!!! Does anyone else experience this?? Do I just allow a few days of the full wallow? Will I re emerge??
Can’t wait to be back with these wonders for a special show for Bleach The Gold Coast Festival 26th April. Audience participation up the wazoo with a pub choir option, or just come soak up the wonders of multiple voices in harmonic pocket with the HOTA Choir for our beach front show! And. It’s. FREEEEEE!!!! Go community events!!! Vinnie Ramone AKA Virginia Bott:::: Virginia Bott Tango AKA Tommy Spender:::::: Spender Dingo... ME!!!
@spendermusic and I are writing new songs. But ultimately we love writing stories. We do daily writing exercises. Writing to a theme and time limit. We are going to start sharing some snippets of our favourite COMPLETELY UNEDITED excerpts from our daily writing. Hope you enjoy. “Kindly donated by the McKinley Family in adoring memory of their Patriarch Mr Robert McKinley.” I run my fingers over the brass plate, the engraved letters. I imagine 3 siblings sitting together deciding on the correct wording. I imagine them disputing the word ‘adoring’ as too flowery, but the youngest one fights for it “He loved flowers and poetry”. I wonder what it would be like to be so adored by anyone that they would think or bother to name a park bench after you. A hook catches in my heart as I register again the utter absence of such adoration in my life. I imagine Robert McKinley smiling and pondering the adoration of his family, smug as fuck at the state of his life. I wonder if he would have upped and left the park bench had I sat next to him. Most of them do. I imagine he might have been different. In my comforting repose as I slowly nod off, the sweet forgiveness of heroin fading the loneliness in my blood, I imagine him offering me half of a tomato and cheese sandwich his wife made for him. He is pouring me a cup of sweet milky tea from his thermos. Strong and Hot. This guy knows his tea. Sometimes when he gets up to leave he leaves a bag behind, discrete like, with a freshly washed, folded woollen jumper in it, Eucalyptus Oil and Lavender Detergent, or sometimes a pair of woollen socks. A pair of jeans. He never asks me how I am. He never asks me anything. He doesn’t insult me with his charity. He only offers humanity and dignity in tiny gestures that I never have to thank him for. We meet here every day. Sometimes he points out a squirrel. We always sit side by side. Our skin has never touched. Our eyes have never met. Yet I return to this perch every day like it’s feeding time at the zoo. One day he left me a pair of boots, I can’t work out how he knows my size but they fit like love and I didn’t take them off, save for my showers at the shelter,
Hi all your lovelies out there.... Little something for all of you good people in the Wollongong area.. WE ARE COMING BACK ON THE 24TH OF APRIL! to play the AMAZING Spiegeltent Wollongong which will be all kinds of special... we have some special treats organized for the event. Can't wait to see you there!! https://spiegeltentwollongong.com/what-s-on/mama-kin-spender Spender Elana Stone
My Darling friend Clare Bowditch has released this beautiful song and video today. I love how this video and song sings to and captures the vulnerability and the wildness that is inherent in all the women I know and admire. I love you Clare.. I love how you strive to raise us all up. You are a truly hearty, generous and expansive person and I love you very much. Thank you for this gift!!! Here is what Clare says about her journey to arriving at this song: "One Tuesday night back in 2014, I went out with my girlfriends for a shandy. Such a rare treat – being out like that on a school night - but I needed it. I’d been juggling three jobs, three small kids, and so much anxiety I could feel it in the front my neck. When my husband Marty came home from work, I said “Mummy’s going to see her friends. Don’t wait up!” and walked (don’t skip!) out the front door. God it was good to see them; my girls. This feeing – the relief of being in the company of other women, of being able to tell the truth, of speaking all those pieces of ourselves we tuck in during our normal working week - this has been my saviour for as long as I can remember. Giddy with the adult company, I said way too much, and so did they. What began as a chat about eye-brow threading soon morphed into a rollicking conversation on guilt and hope and politics and periods and our secret self-doubt: that niggling inner-critic who promises to keep us safe but ends up robbing us of our chutzpah. “No more!’ we said, charging our glasses like lunatics. On the way home, I noticed that the anxiety that had been stuck in my throat for weeks… was gone. In its place, a song appeared, a rhythm – “We spend our whole lives trying to fit in, trying to get thin, trying to be enough… for who?” In our girlhood, we can’t help but swallow the stories the world tells us – the ones about why we matter, and who we need to be in order to “belong”. But in our womanhood, we have a chance to sing a different song, to tell a bigger story for ourselves and for the girls and women who don’t yet have that privilege. This work is not comfortable or safe, but in its wake comes all the feelings we’ve been longing to feel; a sisterhood, a world where we care for each other, and that caring is recognised as the super-power it is. Once home, I tip-toed to the piano, put on the mute-pedal (so as not to wake the kids), and sang with all the courage I could muster. I sang out all the parts of myself I’d tucked away, all the times in my life I’d told myself I was too big, too ambitious, too angry, too much, not enough. I sang for my daughter, and my girlfriends, and the woman and men who show up at my shows. I sang the words my girlfriends sung to me every time the feeling in my neck got too much. This is “Woman”. It took a long time to get here, because I was waiting to feel ready, and I’m still not ready, but I’m not waiting any more. Life’s too short. We got too much stuff to do."
With the taste of NZ’s kiss still lingering on our lips we are launching straight into a WEEKEND OF WA BANGERS. Back with @waapagospelchoir on Saturday the 2nd March for Music in the Park Concert #2 Hillarys and then Sunday the 3rd of March back with The Chorale Sea led by Michelle Spriggs Music for the wonderfully family friendly Augusta River Festival where you can also catch my brother in full flight @nickybomba7 with his Mento Ska Delight... Bustamento!!!! YES TO LONG WEEKENDS. YES TO COMMUNITY FUELLED EVENTS!!!!
Live music is the lifeblood of our artistic connection. This is where we gather. This is where we find each other IN REAL TIME. This is where we connect. If you’ve ever been to a gig and felt the chills. If you’ve ever been to a festival and discovered a new act that became the soundtrack to an era of your life... we need you to stand now to protect live music! #dontkilllivemusic #dontkilllivemusicaustralia Check out the full threat to our culture and art here: www.dontkilllivemusic.org
Today we arrived in Hamilton NZ. We walked down to the Waikato River and this was one of the many golden scenes that our eyes drank in. Summer in full swing with a pier full of young people doing synchronized Bombies into the river, only to clamber out, line themselves up and do it all again. I am loving this trip TO PIECES. Can’t wait to play Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival Wednesday night with Hamilton Choir Nick’s Britches set in the beautiful Hamilton Gardens. Feeling so freakin Lucky to be sharing the Golden Magnetic vibes with brand new audiences almost a year to the day we released it. So grateful. Thank you. I’ll be swimming in that river tomorrow morning. I’ll be doing bombies and the odd belly whacker... I’ll be as ungraceful AF while being grateful AF. Goodnight!
WESTERN AUSTRALIA!!… We want to come and play music for you and your friends.. in your house (or backyard, or shed, or gazebo or purpose built amphitheatre).. IN WA.. IN MAY.. for our Parlour Gigs house concert tour.. aptly and genius-ly named WA IN MAY. http://parlour.tours/mamakin-spender It is super easy.. you just say to yourself “Ohhh i do like the sound of that.. that would be such a fun time of frivolity and stories and all round good vibes” and then you just follow the links and apply to host! Sorted! Done! Dusted! Mama Kin Spender WA in May is coming your WAY!! Get your apps in QUICK STICKS.
FLASHBACK FRIDAY! Back when I was in a band with one of my other best friends Emily Lubitz of Tinpan Orange, Dave Mann (The incredible gentle wonder) of The Nomadics and 7 month old Sammy! We Two Thieves ... stealing moments to write, record, promote and tour between morning sickness, breastfeeding, food, epic car rides, sleeps, joy and desperation. We would all sing huddled around one mic, no fold back on stage, swooping in to add our harmonies to each other songs, my heart was constantly swollen. My cheeks hurt with the sheer width of my smile. I miss you my darling Emi. I miss laughing with you. I miss our voices spooning each other. I don’t miss how ridiculously far I would go with my humor just to keep you laughing (actually I do). Please kick me off! If you haven’t heard the album we made check out At Midnight We Ride by We Two Thieves in all the places where music is on the offering!!!! Happy Friday my peeps.
Got Peeps in NZ... SEND THEM OUR WAYYYYY! Pretty pumped to be skipping across the ditch for this TRIFECTA OF NZ AWESOME next week! 3 NEW CHOIRS AHOYYYYYYY!!! The Vocal Collective - Formerly The Christchurch Pops Choir Supertonic Nicks Britches Can’t wait to hit the road again with my sweet gang Vinnie Virginia Bott and Tango Spender FOR: Nostalgia Festival Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival Coastella WITH::: Trinity Roots C.W. Stoneking The Beths The Miltones Holly Arrowsmith Adam Hattaway and the Haunters Soaked Oats Deep Water Creek BULLHORN Rosy Tin Teacaddy Ha the Unclear Richter City Rebels
Next stop ENNNN ZEDDDDD! Mucho excite about skipping the ditch with my primo buddies Spender and Virginia Bott taking our choir collab vision even further afield! Nostalgia Festival with The Vocal Collective - Formerly The Christchurch Pops Choir Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival with NICKS BRITCHES CHOIR Coastella with Supertonic . . YESSSSSSSSSSSSS. 📸 Nick McKinlay
Backstage. @spender and I in matching Hampton beach attire. Last show of the USA Canada tour with @johnbutlertrio... 5 shows a week for 7 weeks. . Well deserved stop drop and get your hands down your @dickies end of tour photo. 2018 was a massive fkn year. 2019 is lookin goooooooood. #mamakinspenderbender
I warned you... mapesto! 1. Pluck basil leaves from stems leaves... for extra smugness basil should come out if your garden... as these did... shameless smug plug ohhhh that’s a new one #shamelesssmugplug 2. Wash em 3. Put handfuls in mortar and pestle and start banging adding olive oil salt and lemon juice as you go keep adding more leaves and banging 4. Chuck in some raw garlic 5. Chuck in some dry pan fried pine nuts 6. Bang bang bang taste bang stir taste salt oil lemon bang bang 7. Chuck it in a jar 8. Feel smug