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Queer Lip Syncing

Queer Lip Syncing

The queer community has a long love affair with lip syncing. For some of us, lip syncing has been about gender expression, for some it’s a tongue-in-cheek perversion of mainstream culture. It’s an ordinary and somewhat expected sight at our festivals and parades. And it’s not just the men dressed up as women or the women dressed up as women, or those of us who express androgyny, it’s the women dressed up as men. Drag King style. It shocks me when someone hasn’t heard of Drag Kings before.

This photo is from a Drag King Battle that was held in Melbourne and hosted by the notoriously handsome, Rocco D’Amore. Through the sheer power of crowd persuasion, I won the battle and left with $100 and a trophy in my hand. My song? Set it Off by our own, Timomatic.

I always wanted to do live drag – where I actually sing. Laurie Anderson style. Performance art has a long love affair with gender.

In love with Christine & the Queens

In love with Christine & the Queens

I wonder if being an artist means being true to oneself, being so authentically and wholly oneself that when art is expressed it is as an expression of Self.

Christine gathered her Queens from the stages of drag, dedicating many of her creations to them and to all transgender individuals.

Could the presence of art arise inside of community and what would that look like?

Thank you Kimberlite for introducing me to my newest artist love affair!

Love

Danica

Body Party

Body Party

I first met Luke Wilkie on the set of the Australian television series, Offspring. We were both hired as dancers from the Body Electric crew to dance in a club called “Tuff Muff“ (I kid you not) behind Deborah Mailman (**in awe**), Asher Keddie and cast. (Spot the leopard print dress!) I love falling in love with people on the dance floor.

A while later I discovered that Luke had a skill set and impressive library, not only as a much loved and followed instagrammer, but in music production. He did a remix of one of the songs off my debut ep micromovements and our collaboration has been growing. We essentially create electro-pop music that makes you move. We’ve created a couple of original tracks, some covers and have performed at a few underground warehouse parties in Melbourne. We are called Body Party. I look forward to sharing more of our journey with you…

Body Party walk 281012

Love

Danica

The practice of love

The practice of love

Listen on Soundcloud: You Owe Me Nothing in Return (Cover) Alanis Morrisette.

I recorded this song sitting at home with my guitar. It’s one of my favourite covers –it’s the spirit of the lyrics that touches me. The practice of love without attachment and yet with devotion; love as acceptance of another exactly the way they are and exactly the way they are not and to have the capacity to be with any kind of communication inspires me.

Why do I call it a practice? Because you gotta practice it. We are not wired this way. One of the best ways I’ve discovered to true myself up to the practice is to notice wherever and whenever I’m not that. Luckily I have a rich ground of opportunity to see where I’m not being accepting, where I’m filled with my own judgements or stuck in the rightness of my position or point of view.

I remember the story of two colleagues – one was on a path of destruction called, getting myself fired and the other was standing for his greatness. She goes up to his desk and leaves him a note that reads, I love you and you can’t stop me. She wasn’t talking about romantic love, she was talking about loving another human being and relating to him as bigger than he was relating to himself.

What if we loved anyway?

Edo & Jo

Edo & Jo

Every morning I wake from sleep to the sweet dulcet tones of Jo’s voice singing:

asato ma sadgamaya

tamaso ma jyotirgamaya

mrtyorma amrtam gamaya

Oh lead me to the truth

From darkness to the light

This body to eternal life

Oh lead me to you

https://soundcloud.com/edoandjo/asatoma

Together with her beloved, the mantra music of Edo & Jo is the most peaceful re-awakening into daily life.

Last night she passed away, surrounded by loved ones. Jo is VAANI which means Goddess of Creativity and she has left a much loved legacy of recordings and touched the hearts of many people. As integral members of our spiritual community at Shanti Mission, Edo and Jo introduced our Guru, Shakti Durga to Sri Sakthi Amma in India who embodies the Divine Feminine.

Edo says:

I found this note she wrote on Sept 8 one of her last diary entries before the pain and weakness got too much…

Jo wrote: 
I asked Amma “how can the whole universe be within me? Please show me”. Amma took me on an astral travel moving from “me” to the city, to the country, world, universes, galaxies, where so many planets exist. We kept flying through space. “But Amma, how does this all exist within me?” I ask Her. Just then, the travel continues through the galaxies and then ends in my heart. “see Jo, there’s no separation, Jo is there “pointing to the origin where I am the size of a mustard seed. “and Jo is here too” – with the entire universe within me. She took me for a good ride that night…

[Full Facebook post here]

Listen to their music here

Om Namo Narayani

Before crowd funding…

Before crowd funding…

10 years ago, I was crowd funding my music before I even knew what crowd funding was. I got the idea from one of the Indi women’s groups I followed on the folk festival circuit. They asked for people to pre-purchase a copy of their upcoming CD as a way to fund it.

I had friends in Melbourne who used to write letters to me and ask, ‘Danica, could you record some of your music and send it to me? It would help me to be able to listen to some of your songs.’ During The Artist’s Way I realised that I could let my fear stop me for the rest of my life, or I could do it now, fear or no fear. I looked for ‘synchronicity leads’, as Julia Cameron calls them, and I found one – a business card given to me by Jac Carlin.

We’d met at the National Folk Festival in Canberra – I got myself up on the chalk board with my guitar and some songs and she was the techie. Something went wrong with the sound during my set and she gave me her card saying, ‘I loved your songs, let me do sound for you again and do it properly.

The Angel Train was a home based recording studio in Canberra run by Jac and Greg Carlin. I’d drive 2.5 hours along dirt roads from Moruya, NSW, bearing organic home grown vegetables and stay over. Jac and I would do Dru Yoga before entering the recording studio and in there, I recorded my first ep, ‘micromovements’. It was a gift back to my community. (msg me here if you’d like a copy – $10 +p&h)

This track, ‘u deserve’ was selected to be on a female compliation CD in LA called females on fire orchestrated by musician and entrepreneur, gilli moon.

https://soundcloud.com/danica-lani/u-deserve

photo credit: Gitta photography