The rain didn’t dampen the red carpet vibes.
Imitation is the finest form of flattery.
Gurl’s going to own 2016 and beyond.
Admit it, you’re not really there for the music.
Marvin Gaye and Chris Isaak exist for a reason: the bedroom. Whether you religiously press play before you jump into bed, or have never reached for a sexy soundtrack, listening to good music before, during, or after sex can be fantastic.
- It gets you in the mood
Instead of wondering who’s going to make the first move or whether your partner is in the mood tonight, putting some music on can act as a signal which takes the guesswork out of it. A lovers’ code, if you will. Not only this, but once you know your partner’s keen, the right tunes can help get you a little tingly too.
- You can keep the beat
Have you ever been mid-rhythm, completely lost in the moment, only for things to come to a halt because of a frustrating loss of momentum? It could be an awkward slip, a phone call, an unsubtle adjustment, but for whatever reason, you both lost your groove and need quick repositioning/restart. Music isn’t going to stop the interruptions, but it will help you find a beat and get back into it faster than you can say ‘libido.’
- It can hide the awkward sounds
Sex sounds are inevitable. There are a lot, from creaky beds and squeaky springs to groans and body fluid squelches. You don’t want to cover up all of them, but you’ll probably feel more comfortable about the involuntary body sounds if there’s music on to help hide them. Plus, you’ll feel more relaxed and less self-conscious about making them in the first place if you’re lost in the moment with Frank Ocean crooning out of a speaker next to you.
- It mixes things up
If you’ve been with the same partner a while, there’s nothing worse than sex feeling like a chore, and for it to be the same every time it does (eventually) happen. Music can be a simple way to change things up a little, with a different sensory experience happening. Maybe you went to a gig for an early date so you put on that album. It doesn’t matter what the music is, as long as it’s different to what you’ve been doing the past 1/4/10/30 years.
- It can break the ice
On the opposite end of the ‘mixing things up’ scale is breaking the ice. For a first encounter, self-consciousness can be high and nerves can be running wild. The right music can help you both relax, and if things are looking a bit shaky, can work as a conversation starter. There could be a common interest there, it could bring up an old story, and if you like their choice of tune, could give some assurance they’re normal.
- It heightens sensations
A study from McGill University found that when we listen to music, we release dopamine – the “feel good” chemical. So put that together with sex, and there are a lot of pretty “feel goods” out there. Science doesn’t lie.
Congratulations, if you’re one of the millions of Aussies who have purchased digital content from iTunes, Microsoft or Adobe, you’ve paid the suckers tax – aka The Australia Tax – and have possibly been overcharged more than 400 per cent for your digital content than residents in places like the US and UK.
Now, if you’ve never heard of The Australia Tax I’m not surprised. It’s not exactly something big corporations like to boast about or even admit to. If you’d like some proof that we are paying more checkout this video of Shantanu Narayen – he’s the CEO of Adobe.
Back in 2013 he did his absolute best to avoid answering questions relating to massively inflated prices, specifically for Australian residents. It was almost comical the way he tried to pay dumb, but it’s our cold hard cash at stake here, so it’s really no laughing matter.
So what is The Australia Tax?
So, what is this mysterious Australia Tax? Well, remember how Australia basically dodged that global financial crisis thing a few years back? Apparently because we didn’t crash and burn, global corporations who specialise in digital content came up with a plan for Australians to fill their coffers.
The rationale behind this idea was that Australian consumers could afford to pay more than citizens of the US and other countries. So since then, any digital purchases made from devices with an Australian IP address are charged at what’s become infamously known as The Australia Tax.
How much more are Australians paying?
So just how much more are we paying? Generally it’s around 50 per cent more than people in other countries for exactly the same music, software and other digital content. So if you have a Photoshop subscription with Adobe, you’ll pay AU$9.99 per month while US residents only pay US$4.99. Now that may only sound like a few bucks, but if you add it up over a year or so, it soon mounts up.
Then there’s content which cost Aussies considerably more. For example, Aussie artist Sia’s album went to number one in the US. Why not here in Australia? Well despite being home grown talent, the singer’s album cost us 82 per cent more because purchases were from the Australian iTunes store not the US counterpart.
Unfortunately, it gets a heck of a lot worse. Apparently, Google Play charged Aussies 219 per cent more than US Netflix subscribers to watch the second season of Orange is the New Black. At the time, Aussies couldn’t get access to Netflix so Foxtel charged their beloved Aussie customers a whopping 431 per cent more for exactly the same content!
What’s been the result of The Australia Tax?
Instead of Australian authorities standing up for residents and putting an end to this consumer madness, it’s basically created a nation of pirates. That’s right, piracy in Australia has been linked to The Australia Tax. So what’s happened is that many Aussies are sick and tired of paying inflated prices for digital content, so their way around it has been to download content for free.
This is why we’ve had a new wave of piracy laws – it makes perfect sense really. Now this hasn’t abolished the Australia Tax and according to Choice magazine authorities who have implemented the piracy laws haven’t even acknowledged why rates of this illegal activity have skyrocketed over recent years. Instead, the publication strongly believes that a better solution would have been to remove the Australia Tax, which I’m sure most Aussies would agree.
Can we get around paying The Australia Tax?
The bottom line of this conversation is; can we avoid this notorious tax? Abso-frigin-lutley! But, you’ve got to do a little bit of homework. It’s not rocket science, it is legal (for how long we need to wait and see) and it will save you money on music, movies and even essential software.
The way the tax works is that it’s added when a purchase comes from an Australian IP address. Geo-blocking systems recognise that they have an Aussie sucker on the other end wanting to download some digital content. You can get around this by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or a DNS-based service.
If you aren’t tech savvy but are tired of paying more for your digital content, Choice have a great article called bypassing geo-blocked sites. It talks a bit more in detail about the Australia Tax and more importantly, how to by pass it.
So that’s The Australia Tax in a nutshell. How it’s legal for Australians to be charged more for the same content in the first place is a mystery. However, it’s time we fight back and bypass it whenever we can.
Image via plus.google.com
Music does wonderful things for the brain. It’s a quintessential part of a breakup, to give you something to cry to by someone who relates to your pain. It’s a must have for a wedding, to convey your love through the tunes being played as your walk down the aisle or have your first dance. And it gives you thrills and chills in movies, to really set the scene.
Music plays on our emotions and we know that it can mentally heal someone who is dealing with grief. But recent studies have shown that music can actually help our bodies to heal better after surgery. How amazing is that?
Doctors have recently written a piece for medical journal The Lancet to detail how music improves the recovery time after surgery for patients in hospital. The often ignored, non-drug treatment is said to have many benefits including reducing the activity of our nervous system, thus lowering the pulse and the blood pressure of the patient.
Listening to music before, during and after surgery can affect perceived intensity and unpleasantness of pain, which enables the patient’s sense of pain to be reduced. This also reduces anxiety levels.
So what kind of music is going to help you to recover when you come out from surgery? There’s no right answer for that, it’s about what sounds good for you. As music is a personal choice, your recovery songs are all going to be different, whether you like a bit of Guns ‘n’ Roses or Taylor Swift.
This research was done to help promote non-drug related pain tolerance methods that are often ignored. Doctors are so quick to reach for drugs in order to get things done, when there may be a non-drug related solution that is better for the body.
London-based researchers found that the effect of music was consistent across many different types of surgery and music styles and that patients should feel free to request their favourite songs, as long as there was no interference with medical equipment.
If you happen to be going into surgery soon, good luck to you, for one, and ask to be able to listen to your favourite tunes to assist in your recovery process; it’s much better for your body to have music help you to heal.
Image via gettyimages.com
Ever wanted to step into somebody else’s shoes for the day and see what life is like as a magazine editor, a professional sportsperson or corporate high-flyer..? Well, SHESAID is giving you the closest thing to your very own Freaky Friday experience with our A Day In The Life Of… series.
Tell us a bit about what you do?
I write produce and present music/fashion/pop culture segments on channel V Australia. I’m also a host on Channel 10’s Movie Juice.
Give us a snapshot of your career journey. Did you always want to be where you are now?
My background is in performing arts as a trained singer, dancer and actress. I have wanted to be in the entertainment industry since I was 4 years old. My dad is a singer so I grew up around music. I went to NIDA and completed a 1-year acting course and 1-year presenting course, which helped me get to where I am today.
Where do you find your inspiration? Who has had the most impact on you and your career?
I think music is in my blood and I’ve always looked up to my dad in that department so I would say he’s had the most impact. My parents were very encouraging to follow my dreams and I never had a plan B – I just went for it.
What has been the highlight of your career so far? Is there a moment or person that has resonated with you?
I have to say meeting some of my favourite musicians and actors on a daily basis is a dream come true. Achieving great interviews by really connecting and getting a story out of people is very motivating. Most recently I interviewed Cara Delevingne. That has been my highlight this year as we connected and could have spoken for hours.
Your workdays are much more exciting than the average 9 to 5. What does a day for you involve?
6:30am: I wake up early and eat breakfast- I never leave the house without eating…
7am: I spend an hour or so getting ready and then I play with my dog Romeo before leaving the house.
10am: On a shoot day it can get pretty hectic – I’m writing, learning scripts and interviewing artists so I’m very focused as things move and change very quickly and you need to be able to adapt. Fast!
3pm: In terms of outfits I do all my own styling and I really enjoy putting looks together. My audience loves to know my outfit choices for the shows, so I post Instagram photos after shooting to show the brands I like to wear.
6pm: I love ending the day with a hip hop dance class [if I’m not too tired] or just going home to relax, maybe a bit of meditation or a hot bath. Its important for me to chill out as I’m ‘on’ 24/7 and it can be draining.
What are your goals for the future? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I have learnt that the world changes quickly, so as long as I’m happy that’s all that matters. Its cliché but I’ve realised it’s the simple things in life that are pretty special. Ill always be doing what I love and what I’m passionate about – that’s all I know.
What advice would you give to someone following the same path as you?
Have patience and learn from your mistakes – they make you stronger, wiser and prepare you for your next project.
Everybody is on the hunt for young up-and-comers and here at SHESAID we have been lucky enough to meet a selection of them. These ladies are on the road to success and generating waves within their chosen field. Whether they be creatives, sporting talent, founders of start-ups or someone striving to make a real difference, these young women are definitely ‘Ones to Watch’.
At the tender age of 22, singer/songwriter Gordi is not your average musician. With brains to match her talent she studies medicine full time, however it is music that has really stolen her heart. Born and raised in country NSW, the now Sydney native is creating talk within the music scene. Featuring in March as a Triple J Featured Artist, there is no denying that Gordi’s unique and ethereal sound is taking her places. This week we managed to find a spare moment in her busy schedule and see what she’s been up to.
Tell us a little bit about you. Where are you from, what is it that you do?
I’m Gordi, a Sydney based singer-songwriter. I’m originally from a little town called Canowindra where I grew up on a farm called ‘Alfalfa’. I’ve always loved writing and playing music but released my first single “Nothing’s As It Seems” at the end of last year and since then music has become more like a career than a hobby (albeit financially it looks more like a hobby than a career).
When did you discover your talent? What made you want to follow it into a career?
As soon as I knew what words were I started to sing, and along the way I picked up guitar and piano. In high school I sort of found my feet in terms of performing and absolutely fell in love with it. There’s no other feeling like playing your own original music to a crowd who wants to listen.
Describe your sound.
In a word – folktronica (please excuse the wankiness of that term). The production we’ve explored for my tracks has combined acoustic instruments with more synthesised sounds with the main focus on the vocals.
As a singer/songwriter, where do you find your inspiration?
From personal experience. As a songwriter you really have to abuse your own emotions. If I’m feeling upset or angry about something I make myself sit down and channel that into a melody or lyrics. If my life starts is going through a mundane or uninteresting patch then I turn to film and poetry. Anything can trigger an idea and then you just have to let that idea take hold of you and lead you where it will.
Who has had the most impact on you as an artist? Do you have a mentor?
Musically my two main influences are The Tallest Man on Earth and Asgeir whose styles of music and writing have really inspired me. Megan Washington and Missy Higgins are two people who I see more as mentors as they are two female artists that have really shaped the musical landscape in Australia and have had such an impact on me and my interest in pursuing music as a career.
What have been your stumbling blocks, initially getting started and since then? How did you overcome these?
My main stumbling block has been trying to balance music with uni and the rest of my life which I’m still overcoming. The course that I’m studying at uni is quite demanding and music is becoming more so, so it’s hard to give 100% of myself to everything all the time. I’m just taking it as it comes and I have a great support system with my friends and family so just make it work. Though unlike other musicians who are getting drunk before shows, I’m often whipping out my laptop to do a few readings. Rockstar or what.
The music business is known for being cutthroat and a hard industry to crack. How do you deal with the pressure to continually create, preform and impress?
I have to constantly remind myself why I have chosen this career, and that is because I love writing music and performing it. Occasionally I get too caught up in trying to write something that other people will like it that will fit a mould, but the best songs are always the ones that I write without an agenda. It is a tough business but I’ve had some great fortune so far and enormous support from people and organisations whose opinions I really value. The deeper in you get, the more the pressure seems to build, but who doesn’t love a bit of pressure!
What drives/motivates you to keep going?
The fact that I can’t imagine not doing this. I can’t imagine not writing music or playing live shows. I really love doing it, it’s loads of fun and writing music keeps my head from exploding. Funnily enough the only time I really relax and let go is when I’m on stage.
Outside of music what do you get up to?
Between music and uni, I find I don’t have an abundance of free time, but when I do I spend it catching up with friends or heading home to Canowindra to see my family.
What are your plans and goals for the future? For instance, where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hopefully I’m onto my second album by then! My main goal is to build up a bit more of a fan base, get a few music festival slots and work towards putting out an album. In between now and 5 years I’d love a few international tours too but one step at a time for now!
To listen to Gordi’s music and to receive updates on show dates and locations click here
When was the last time you took time out for yourself? Well according to a new survey conducted by Officeworks, it wasn’t recently. Through their survey, the giant office supply store discovered that 95 per cent of us are at our happiest when we are participating in an activity that we love, however only 20 per cent are making the time to engage in these pursuits and activities.
As the Easter break fast approaches, why not schedule some time to re-discover or discover your passion. Whether your interests be creative, energetic, free, or costly, there is no doubt that your mood and mentality will reap the benefits. Dr Paula Watkins from the Happiness Institute shared her top 5 activities that will certainly keep you busy and entertained over the holidays, and the best part is that all these are kid friendly – so no excuses!
- Getting Outdoors
When was the last time you spent some quality time outside? And no, walking to work from the bus stop doesn’t count! This Easter why not get outdoors and enjoy discovering parts of your city or region that you didn’t know before.
It may be a lazy afternoon spent reading a book under a tree, some time in the park with you’re your family, or if you’re looking for something more physical, why not try a long walk or bike ride through local National Parks and reserves? A little Vitamin D never hurt anybody and according to Watkins, increasing the amount of exercise you do “stimulates dopamine and other happy hormones.” Like they say, the best things in life are free!
- Art and Design
Remember how much you loved art at school? Well why not pick it up again this Easter break as a hobby and introduce it to the whole family. Painting and drawing is a great way to relax and is extremely therapeutic. “The precision required, paired with quality family time, will leave you feeling connected to your mind, body and soul” says Watkins. Painting and decorating your very own Easter eggs is a great way to celebrate the holiday.
Photography is an art and can be the perfect way to document special moments as well as gain a new perspective on familiar landscapes. Yet taking photographs doesn’t have to be a solo hobby and can be a fun way to get everyone involved, particularly over Easter when a lot of extended family spends time together.
Get creative with how you take your annual family photo – create a photo booth with props and a theme. Alternatively, for those who are passionate about photography, allow time to produce a photo-shoot with friends and family. As Dr Watkins highlights: “Special moments like these with loved ones will leave you feeling connected and content.”
Sick of hearing the top 40 on repeat every time your turn on the radio? Are you still listening to that same old album you purchased 2 years ago? Those who are passionate about their music know that there are hundreds of artists across all genres that are amazingly talented and produce music that does more to the soul than any medicine could do. According to Watkins, “listening to music stimulates the brain, boosts mood and serves as an emotional and stress release.” All that from just listening to music – we should do it more often!
Remember all of those photos you took of your most recent birthday that are hiding in the dark corners of your computer? Why not retrieve them along with all the other photos that hold special meaning and create a scrapbook? Officeworks spokesperson, Watkins highlights the benefits of reminiscing: “It is known to be good for our health. This kind of nostalgia can boost mood and helps to provide a sense of meaning.” Scrapbooking can bring your memories to life and let your favourite moments be more regularly recognised and appreciated.
From the cool to the questionable – the ARIAs red carpet saw some dramatic hits and misses this year.
Back in black, Delta Goodrem scored a definite hit with her stunning Steven Khalil gown. Cutting a killer figure in her fitted bodice with cascading train, Delta stylishly led the trend of the night in mixing sheer with bold body-con elements.
Lisa and Jess Origlasso aka the Veronicas looked striking in J’Aton Couture. With all of the beautiful beading and intricate detailing to their outfits, the twins looked sexy yet sophisticated.
Monty Cox looked flawless wearing the vibrant Souls in Motion dress by Alice McCall. The interesting print was so well styled with slicked down locks and elegant drop down earrings.
Renowned for her fun red carpet choices, Katy Perry’s arrival was eagerly anticipated. To her credit she opted to support an Australian designer, Jaime Lee Major. The heavily embellished cropped top and skirt reportedly took over 400 hours to make! I’m digging the dark lip, but I’m not wild about the retro headscarf.
I was left feeling underwhelmed (and disorientated) by Kate Peck’s and Charli XCX’s red carpet form.
But who could compare with dynamic duo Alex Dyson and Matt Okine channeling SIA and Chet Faker?! Best dressed every time!
With a background in publishing, Allison Voight has written for numerous local and international fashion magazines. She also has her own style blog, StylistaSister. She is Creative Director at Voight Photography and Design, which she co-owns with her photographer husband. Their work has appeared in publications including Vogue Australia, Cielo, Elle, En Vie and Fashion TV. Catch her on Instagram at @stylistasister
The brand new cover of 1984 BandAid hit, ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ was finally unveiled on last night’s episode of the X Factor UK.
One Direction, Ed Sheeran, Chris Martin and Bono are among the line-up of musicians in one-time super group, Band Aid 30, tasked to record the remake of this pop hit/Christmas carol/charity anthem.
Organiser and music icon, Bob Geldoff, called upon some of the biggest names in the music industry to lend their expertise to the hit, and help raise awareness and funds for the Ebola crisis, which has claimed at least 5,000 lives since March, mostly in West Africa.
The original version of ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ was released 30 years ago as an effort to combat poverty in Ethiopia, and featured musicians like Boy George, Sting and George Michael.
The full list of stars in the 2014 version include: Midge Ure, Clean Bandit, Sam Smith, One Direction, Ellie Goulding, Sinead O’Connor, Underworld, Roger Taylor, Paul Epworth, Ed Sheeran, Disclosure, Olly Murs, Jimmy Napes, elbow, Emeli Sande, Angelique Kidjo, Rita Ora, Paloma Faith, Chris Martin, Bono, Bastille, Jessie Ware, Fuse ODG.
The song will be available for download on Monday. Purchase or donate at BandAid30.com
Warning: video contains images of Ebola victims which may be distressful for some.
Feature Image via BandAid30.com