Auriol Hays

Awareness through music

Archive for February, 2010

That’s what friends are for…

Everyone gets drunk and stomps around to really bad tunes. I most certainly did…and lordy lord, it was a country song! Did I enjoy myself? – hell yeah. Did I wake up feeling as drunk as I was the night before? – you better believe it! All in all it was a fantastic night out with great friends and by the end of it…I had no ball hairs or stress left! LOL

Why am I talking about this? Hell, I had one busy week. It was a week of firsts. I sang on live radio with my guitarist, Shaun. I did my first corporate gig. Nerve wracking as all hell. And the live tv performance went down okay. Now do you get why a night out on the town was needed?

I guess I am lucky that way. The friends I have are all amazing. There is no pretence, no bullshit. I don’t have to be on my best behaviour or watch what I say. I had this one friend who would speak about herself for hours on end. And the one day I called her because I was feeling seriously depressed, she rocks up and talks about herself for a full hour and a bit. Needless so say she is no longer a friend or acquaintance.

Yes, I will pick up the phone at 3 in the morning for my “people”. I will sit and listen for hours on end to their problems. In short I will indulge in the bullshit also because they do the same for me. And that, I reckon is what matters most. Giving out what you want to get back.

And that is never an easy task. Seeing the person’s flaws and shortcomings is. Knowing when they will fuck up and let you down is. And when those relationships are difficult you don’t always remember the good stuff that easily either. This is why having friends matters. Friends who have been through rough patches, fell on their asses and got back up again. They give you balance and perspective when you need it most. And getting motherlessly drunk in Mellville, dancing and singing to country songs also counts for a great deal…lol! Surely, that’s what friends are for….

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I was a sheltered kid. I was kept in doors and even though there were a fair number of dangerous characters in our area, I never saw them and my parents rarely spoke of them. No one smoked. No one drank. Everyone went to church. The only people I had regular dealings with were family members. Mind you, I do have a big extended family.

Back then I hated my parents for making me feel trapped. This was made even worse by the fact that I was painfully shy. All I wanted to do was go “out there” and dammit-all… stuff. Only now do I realise that what they taught me something very valuable – discernment.

I am trying to teach this to my daughter. Just the other day she asked me to write a letter to her principle about her friends. She was tired of hearing about religion. My response, “This world is filled with people who have different ideas. Look at Ouma! Nothing wrong with that. Only do something if they try to convert you!”LOL!

I am always shocked by the amount of people who let their parents or religion dictate the course of their lives. One friend was given the following reasons why he could not marry his girlfriend. “She does not attend the same church. She’s divorced and has two kids. You deserve better.” He only married her when his parents died.

Learning to discern between what I want and don’t want is never easy. The last time my mother tried telling me what to do it ended badly. She visited us when we were living in JHB. After a few days we had a massive argument about religion. I kinda chucked her out of my house and she was so upset that she wanted to sleep on the train station (and this during a storm!). My daughter negotiated the truce. Yes, I will fill my life with things I like – whether it’s food or people.

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All you need is Love

My family really cheeses me off! No matter how educated or old we all get – some things never change. A few years ago I had beef with my sister-in-law. In fact I would cross the street if she was walking on the same side. Then I didn’t speak to my father for 2 years while we lived in the same house. My sister and I just came out of a two day cold war. And let me not get started on my parents! I don’t like having drama with my family but drama always finds us….

Someone once said that if you want a better world start making peace with the people closest to you. Now in my head this just makes sense. If you can deal with those mad lunatics then you can deal with just about anyone.

And seriously why would I want people in my life to share the same thoughts or opinions as I do? That is so very boring. My mother firmly believes that the dead will physically rise up when the Lord comes (and that could be any day now). My father believes that what she believes is crap….lol! This makes life very colourful and fun on my side. I have learnt that their issues are none of my business.

Still every time something happens with the family I do get upset. I am no saint. Only when I step back do I get to see some kind of meaning behind the drama. When the sister-in-law and I had beef, I learnt the value of being honest. Yes, I was hurt. Yes, I did miss her and yes, I was a bitch to her. Only after admitting those things to myself and then to her could I reach out. Now I can’t wait for her to have babies! And so it goes with each family member…

And that’s how I find a measure of peace. By stripping away all the surface emotions and getting real about what I feel and how I contributed to the mess. It’s never easy and sometimes it doesn’t always work but I can’t and won’t waste my time being angry at people that I love – well…..most of the time…

posted by auriol in on the wild side and have No Comments

Crawling Kingsnake

I think I offended Heather… Heather who loves my music and who always comments on my blog posts. In fact every time I see one of her updates I am overcome with guilt because I think I am certain  I offended her. See, I can swear a tad bit much….and I did so on my podcast.

This incident really got me thinking about the importance of one’s online presence.  The internet gives you reach and power to get your point across. Everyone seems to be a socal media expert and they all have strategies so that you can reach your audience and keep them. And all that jargon comes down to this: if they are not listening to you – it’s your fault not theirs. Change what you say – don’t shout it out louder.

In my mind it this social networking business really does come down to good old fashioned manners. If you have a friend and want to keep them – be nice, engage them and do not treat them like idiots. Yes, I have learnt a great deal from Heathergate. When I am on stage or talking on a podcast I will be a lot more thoughtful about what I say and how I say it. Not because I want more people to buy my music or because I want them to like me but because it all comes down to manners…

The fact is I would not swear like that if Heather were in my house. I would be respectful. Offer some coffee and biscuits and then ask about her family and moan about men. Mind you, a little swear word might work itself in here and there (no one’s perfect)…lol! In short I will just remember to be myself.

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Pill Popper

I use to think I don’t get shocked easily but when I saw a YOUTUBE video where kids were singing along to Lil Wyte’s song called  Oxy Cotton – a song that was essentially about popping pills – I was a bit alarmed.

The first thought that went through my mind was, “Where the HELL are their parents. Look, I am not going to preach about drug use and all its causes. Everyone knows what they should and should not do. And that they should monitor their kids. This was one of the responses to the video, ” i take drugs and i give them to kids so fuck you parents i dont need to? post up a fucken video to get my shit done”. Yes,  people are going to do what they want to do…

The next thought was, “Does this musician know what he has done? On Twitter he said something along the lines of, “Oh my God, I am destroying America”. Who knows what went through his mind when he wrote the song, if he was writing from personal experience or mere observation. We have all listened to deep, dark and even violent music at times but what do you do with musicians who write songs like this?

Take another loritab to calm me down and let me see
Body be relaxed – muscles be loose, and you have stopped the pain
No more bitching ’bout your day and work and driving in the rain
Put up wit’ the fussing and discussion – I plant in your brain

Hypnotize ya minds, like all the rest but I come through the veins
Take a chill pill to slow me down and git back in this game

See I’ma pill popper – so I’ma keep poppin’ ‘em
Gimme 20 Xanax and I’ma start droppin’ ‘em

The video inspired me to talk to my daughter a lot more seriously about drugs. I started off easily with the movie Dude Where’s my car and then talked about friends and family and how they struggled with drugs. She was so shocked.  I had to tell her that people who do things like that or make mistakes are not “out there” or bad people. They are very normal people. Then I will show her this video so she can come to her own conclusions….

posted by auriol in human nature and have No Comments

Radio Gaga

These days everyone’s talking about Lady Gaga or Die Antwoord. And let’s be straight – it’s not about the music. It’s about the creativity that grabs people by the balls. You can’t help but wonder what they will come up with next. Now every man and his mother is trying to copy them or adapt their ideas.”There isn’t one original thought left” some say. What bullshit! Some of us have just become lazy.

In interviews Gaga admits to always being a weirdo with the costumes and outrageous ideas. Die Antwoord have a long history of performance art. Now they just gets to do it on a grander scale. It’s their ballsy-I-don’t-give-a-fook- attitude that gets people’s attention. And some of their fans (not all) want a bit of that in their lives. So they sneak it in through music. And there is nothing wrong with that at all…

Personally I don’t want to be a Lady Gaga or a performance artist. It’s just not my thing. But what sets them apart from others is that they dare themselves to be a bit braver than the rest of us. I have come across so many artists who are still doing the same thing year after year. Still playing the same shows, mixing with the same people, watching the same boring ass tv series. How the heck are they ever going to get ahead with that attitude?

Hell, I think we all could do with an extra dose of bravery. Whether it’s in your personal life or on a stage. Sometimes we all need to say, “I don’t give a fook, and I am doing this my way!” Oh…and then actually acting on it. And so what if it doesn’t work out the way you planned it? At least you get to have a little fun along the way.

posted by auriol in on the wild side and have No Comments

Jail Song

When the writing is on the wall, what can you do but read it? I realised last night that some things just have to be faced head on. It’s like going home to visit your parents. If you are lucky they will see you for the grown ass adult you are and not a snotty nosed kid. But most of us are not that lucky…

I have been going on and on about my daughter. She is funny, temperamental and crazy as all hell. I just like her a lot even when we are shouting at each other at 6 in the morning – but the realisation that I have to change, ever so slightly, the way I relate to her is a bit alarming.

I reckon that’s true for anyone you care about or love. You have to pay attention and notice the small things. Watch them carefully and be there for them in any way you can. So my daughter no longer watches movies in the lounge. Instead she now chills in her room with her PSP and watches movies there.

I made the drastic decision to get the Eclipse book (she is a twilight fan) and read it to her at night – even though it will pretty much kill me. I will do it not because I want to but because she matters that much to me. My mother did that for me. My father can’t and I am okay with that, but that’s life – you can’t have it all. And when you can’t, you have to make slight adjustments to fit the things and people you need into it.

posted by auriol in human nature and have No Comments

Queen of Pain and Suffering

My husband made porno jokes at our wedding. In fact he made it while the preacher was marrying us. So if you look at our wedding video you and see me smiling, it wasn’t because I was overcome by emotions. I was sitting next to a man with a very filthy mouth! Half the wedding party got lost because our chauffeur, Aunty Isabel, was driving fast as hell. And my father who promised to walk me down the aisle bailed on my wedding day.

Where am I going with this? No matter how much your plan and want things to be just right – shit happens. That’s true for weddings, funerals and everything in between.  I had every intention of being a good mother when I discovered I was pregnant…but when the daughter popped out I did whatever felt right to me. Classical music my ass! We danced to tango music she was a few months old. I would sing her the most depressing songs when she let me. Then there were those days when we listened to loud music and just danced till we could no more.

See, I was never interested in being the perfect anything. Everyone these days has something to say about how one should live one’s life. Self help books and gurus are all over the show. After years of reading and listening to other people crap, I made a very important decision. I decided to get on with my life despite my flaws.

I am riddled with imperfections and make mistakes all the time. Some mistakes I can forgive myself for, while others I am just going to have to live with. That’s the beauty of having a creative outlet. When I write music I take all those broken bits of myself and try to find a place for them; try to find meaning for them. Once I do I can let them be…

What I really do care about is being real. This applies to friends and the way I do everything. I followed an American comedian on twitter for about 3 days. That guy has 18 000 followers and every few minutes he would be tweeting. Even though some of the tweets were funny, after a while it lost its appeal. The connection simply didn’t feel real enough for me.  So I unfollowed him.

I know that people use twitter to connect and network but honestly…I dig knowing what Brendon and Mikey are up to or seeing where my sister-in-law’s chowing sushi. That’s real to me. That’s what matters more..

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Painted Black…

If you are Colored in South Africa and your hair is straight, eyes blue or green and your skin lighter –people are going to make a fuss about you. Lord, you can have the foulest mouth or be the biggest skank in town, the fact that you look a certain way means you have a bit of room to manoeuvre in. I am not here to preach but sometimes this shit is so funny and can get out of hand…

A few days ago my brother brings his new girlfriend to meet us. Now honestly, if you saw her you would make all kinds of assumptions. Her hair, her skin, that gold tooth in her mouth, the red hair piece, her not so fluent English. …and you would be WRONG. I have never met anyone so in love with my brother, someone so willing to take on any dragon and slay it on his behalf. And I wonder what old granny would say if she saw her….lol! In fact I should call up my father who once threatened to divorce my mother because she allowed my sister to get braids…

And let me state (for the record) that I am not as evolved as you think. Once a friend brought a musician to our house. Lordy lord, this dude looked as though he belonged to a murder squad…. had bodies stashed in his walls and plans to murder some more innocent people. My daughter was so freaked out that she hid behind me and whispered behind her hands. I hardly said a damn word. My friend picking up on this left our house and continued his conversation somewhere else. I felt so ashamed of myself afterward….

We all evolve and what we want changes with time and experience. So, yes, I married a white dude (granny was pleased with that) and will pop out cream brown babies with soft curly hair. I do speak well and live in a nice area…and sometimes, when I am having a really bad day, I think of revisiting those old aunties and having my hair done. Like I said, I am far from perfect and dammit-all I am okay with that…

posted by auriol in sanity's overrated and have No Comments