Tag Archives: music

Party on, Papillon!

My new album ‘Party on, Papillon!’ is finally out!

I got an itchy finger and published it to my Bandcamp on Sunday morning. A few folk have purchased it so far but mostly it’s been streamed but that is the 21st century way I guess. Hopefully it will be up on iTunes/Spotify/Deezer etc in the coming weeks if I can scrape some cash together.

Link to it is here – ‘Party on, Papillon!’ by Anna Secret Poet

https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=1890023517/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/transparent=true/

Although it has taken a year from start to finish in truth it has only been a few actual recording sessions which I held mainly in the comfort of my bedroom. It’s my favourite place to do it – folk are often surprised when I tell them how I do it.

It’s priced at £5 (not including VAT) on Bandcamp so grab it while you can as it will probably be around £7.99 from the other retailers. I plan to get 100 CD’s made up which I will sell through Bandcamp and possibly eBay so if there are any interested parties do contact me for more information 🙂

Album Excitement!

I have been very busy these past few months and I am now ready to release my new album! My third under the name Anna Secret Poet, it is entitled ‘Party on, Papillon!’

The front cover is a photograph taken by my friend Debbie McCall on a shoot we did in Glasgow Green at the start of the summer. I’m still not used to other folk photographing Anna but Debbie is brilliant and I did relax after an initial bashfulness. The full shoot can be viewed in HD from this link Galactic Carnival Photoshoot 26/6/18. This is what the back cover looks like, also includes full tracklisting.

I have since remade it for the text to be sharper. I expect to have it up on Bandcamp next week followed by a limited run of CDs (100 projected) and by the end of the month it should be on iTunes, Spotify etc. Expect another post sharing and celebrating this occurence.

I am rather excited about this, so much so I’m already planning my next project. ‘Anna and the Secrets’ – a 3-piece garage band that will release a surf/garage/psychobilly style EP in the new year…hopefully! During the sessions for the album I recorded a couple of songs that I’ve put up as a separate non-album single on Bandcamp and Soundcloud respectively. My Halloween song ‘Annaween’ backed up with an old song called ‘Boobies’ 😉

‘Annaween’ on Soundcloud

‘Boobies’ on Soundcloud

‘Annaween’ on Bandcamp

Excuse the cover it was done in a hurry. Actually it was a rejected photocopy of a self portrait I did a while back. I was using it as scrap paper but I ended up liking the half face and coloured it in 😄

Another thing I’ve been getting into recently is Deezer the streaming service. I never envisaged using something like that but it has opened up these dusty old ears to a whole world of music I’ve never before heard. I prefer it to Spotify I have to say which I do have too but only the free version with adverts. Because my last album ‘Tits of Steel’ is up there I began to seek out other people I know or have played with over the years. I found I decent amount of them on Spotify and Deezer and was moved to make playlists including them as a supportive gesture. I made 2 in September and here are links to them if you’re sufficiently intrigued.

Anna Secret Poet and Friends (Spotify)

Anna Secret Poet and Friends (Deezer)

Anna Secret Poet and Friends Vol. 2 (Spotify)

Anna Secret Poet and Friends Vol. 2 (Deezer)

It was really exciting for me to group all these folk together in the one place. Apart from playing with and seeing them live this is often the first time I’ve heard recordings of them. Obviously I’m in the playlists too! First track on each haha. I’m still proud of ‘Tits of Steel’, out of all the music I’ve made in the last quarter century it has reached the largest amount of people. Performing songs from it is a constant joy too. Invariably audiences know some of the songs and cheer when I mention the titles (‘Eyebrows!’ in particular gets the most excited response – I’d probably be lynched if I don’t sing that). I really can’t wait to unleash the new stuff! Watch this space…

Album Review: “Tits of Steel”

Many thanks to Eleanor Burns for this very awesome review of my latest album! I’ve already began work on the follow-up 🙂 You can find it on iTunes, Deezer, Spotify, Amazon and many other reputable digital outlets! X

Persephone's Playpen

A brilliantly eclectic combination of performance poetry and punk …

I was lured to this album by C. T. Herron’s glowing review that gave me very high expectations for it, and they were not disappointed … much to my relief, as Anna has been a supporter of this blog since its early days, so it is really nice to be able to write of her work with heartfelt praise.

I should point out, though, that the title claim of Track 4, “I Don’t Know Any Funny Songs,” is a blatant lie, or at any rate unwarranted modesty, as this album is a masterpiece in ironic wit. There seems to be something about Celtic accents that lend themselves nicely to that, so that we can hardly concur when Anna sings later on the album, “I wish I was French but I’m Scottish instead.” (Track 7, “Anna en Francais”) Somehow, her combination…

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Tits of Steel

I am extremely excited to announce that my new album ‘Tits of Steel’ is now live on Bandcamp. It’s free to stream or listen to the tracks but to download it as a high quality mp3 or any other type of file you may wish for £5. I reckon that’s a reasonable price having never technically charged for my music before. On my Bandcamp page it’s generally set up so you can pay what you want but I thought I’d give this a try for a while. During the week I plan to make some physical copies up in time for my show at McChuills on Friday the 13th of October. At this show I also intend to try a set aided by awesome backing tracks culled from the album in question. It’s going to be a fun week all in!

The link for the album in question can be found here…

‘Tits of Steel’ by Anna Secret Poet

The front and back images are courtesy of Debbie McCall from our shoot at the Britannia Panopticon Music Hall in August. Regrettably I had to crop my legs off the picture but no matter. Folk should hopefully get to enjoy them live. The Wicker Man tattoo is courtesy of Erin Jo Mac at The Bees Knees in Clydebank.

This is the back cover (I’m not putting it in a jewel case as yet, pvc sleeves only). It’s from the same shoot and was chosen amongst other reasons for it’s colourfulness. The sleeve will be printed in full colour this time. I normally just do black and white printing but I figured it would be a more attractive proposotion that way.

On the whole I reckon I’m pleased with the results. It’s a brief collection again, clocking in at around the 33 minute mark. Roughly the same length as your average Beatles album. It’s a lot more abrasive than I intended and I hope this puts no one off listening to me. I trust they’ll know that it’s predominantly meant in jest and that I don’t take myself too seriously!

I can’t breakaway!

This is just a wee post to share some footage from the Rio Café gig I did some weeks ago. I knew someone was filming but didn’t expect to see the results any time soon.

The entirety of my performance of the Big Pig song ‘Breakaway’ is now available on Youtube for you viewing displeasure. If the title and band doesn’t sound familiar then know of it as the song from the beginning of ‘Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure’…which is also the closing track on my new album (hint hint).

For anyone who may have missed it here is also a gateway to the aforementioned album…

https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=652853821/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/transparent=true/

Many thanks to Jon the Hat for filming, editing and ultimately putting it out there! He’s a cool guy who also makes his own instruments, here’s a link to his website http://www.haufcut.com/?m=1

Vowel Movements

This is just a mini-post to announce the release of an Anna Secret Poet mini-album! It’s just under half an hours worth of poems and songs that I’ve been performing these past few months. Recently I thought it would be a good idea to record them and have them on a CD I could distribute at gigs if anyone was interested enough. ‘Vowel Movements’ is the title of this collection and is available to stream and download for free from my Bandcamp page. There is an option to pay for it if you like but to be honest don’t feel you have to ;).

https://chairmancow.bandcamp.com/album/vowel-movements
It all came together surprisingly quickly. I admit I cheated a little by using some previously issued recordings though I know most people won’t be overly familiar with them so I should just get away with it.

This is the photo I chose as the front cover. It only happened because a few folk on Instagram reckoned it would make a good cover. I’d have liked to have taken a specific posed one but I suppose if I make a follow up I could do it then! 😄

B-Side Boy vs VHS Girl

Hello there everybody, I’m very excited as today I decided to drop my new album. I’d be most gratified if anyone of a musical disposition would run it by their ears. I’ve elected to embed it in this post and also attach a link to my Mixcloud page to which I uploaded the entire album. That means it can enjoyed (hopefully) from start to finish.

BSIDEVHS COVER 1

As you can see I ended up going through with my cover idea. I got a PC literate friend to try joining the pictures together properly and although his results were astonishingly better than mine most folk preferred my Microsoft Paint one. Below are the his contributions, one of which I retained as the inner sleeve and I added the track titles.

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symeys version 2.JPG

On the whole I’m pleased with it, I did spend a while sequencing the tracks into the right order etc. They run as follows; I IMAGINED I DIED TODAY, LEARNING TO WALK AWAY*, UNLOVED, THINGS I’VE NEVER DONE IN THE RAIN, IT’S BEEN A SHIT YEAR, NASTY BONE, I DON’T WANT TO SHOOT THE BREEZE, HOORAY FOR EVERYTHING YOU NEVER WANTED*, SHOOBY DON’T*, LOST A FRIEND, MY HEART SONG, NO PRESSURE*. The songs marked * have had their lyrics put up as previous posts masquerading as poetry. ‘Shooby Don’t’ was posted as ‘Ode from a Toad’ but I decided to change that title when I came up with a chorus.

Here is the link for Bandcamp 🙂

…and here it is for Mixcloud 😉

https://www.mixcloud.com/widget/iframe/?embed_type=widget_standard&embed_uuid=73bdbecb-fe3b-4b2d-a7a8-5a5298ea00f9&feed=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mixcloud.com%2FChairmanCow%2Fb-side-boy-vs-vhs-girl%2F&hide_cover=1&hide_tracklist=1&replace=0

<p style=”display: block; font-size: 11px; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;,Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; margin: 0px; padding: 3px 4px; color: rgb(153, 153, 153); width: 652px;”><a href=”https://www.mixcloud.com/ChairmanCow/b-side-boy-vs-vhs-girl/?utm_source=widget&amp;utm_medium=web&amp;utm_campaign=base_links&amp;utm_term=resource_link&#8221; target=”_blank” style=”color:#808080; font-weight:bold;”>B-Side Boy vs VHS Girl</a><span> by </span><a href=”https://www.mixcloud.com/ChairmanCow/?utm_source=widget&amp;utm_medium=web&amp;utm_campaign=base_links&amp;utm_term=profile_link&#8221; target=”_blank” style=”color:#808080; font-weight:bold;”>Chairmancow</a><span> on </span><a href=”https://www.mixcloud.com/?utm_source=widget&amp;utm_medium=web&amp;utm_campaign=base_links&amp;utm_term=homepage_link&#8221; target=”_blank” style=”color:#808080; font-weight:bold;”> Mixcloud</a></p>

I do hope you get a chance to check it out, in spite of some of the grim titles there is much to enjoy, and it gets groovier and diverse as it moves along. Often I use Rock as a starting off point and then I like to spread out a bit.

Purge

The embed of this song appears to only show up on the web version of WordPress, here is also a direct link: https://chairmancow.bandcamp.com/track/purge

‘Purge’

Anxiety returns
My cup it overflows
Though angles may vary
Just like appreciation,
Although my neck is cracked
I will soldier on
No hiding places left
I’ve used them all up now

Positivity is conspicuous by it’s non-appearance
Long minutes of silence punctuated with occasional excitement
Or is it excrement?

Abandoning my love
An indecisive gesture
Though it’s not intended
To upset or dishearten,
Gradually I learn
To survive these feelings
Gain a louder
And more ominous perfection

Negativity is abhorrent and it’s right in front of us
Long hours of nothing disturbed by sudden activity –
Am I drowning in rhetoric?
In passing have you read me?
So many questions I forget them all
Although I hope you don’t
I feel a purge coming on
Someone says it’s clinical but I don’t know

I won’t abandon anything
Unless it truly deserves it
I close a book to earn a break
And forgot where I put it,
I’ll accentuate the positive
When I know I mean it
It’s the only lie
I can’t bring myself to be a part of…

In lieu of the new album which I shall share in the coming weeks, here is a track from my 2009 album ‘Ole Spider Plate’. This was the first song (and one of few) where I’m singing about my curious hobby. If you’re just reading the words sans the music I bet you’re thinking “How the hell would you sing these words?”. Well I somehow managed. Fear not – it’s not as depressing as it seems. It’s kind of uplifting 🙂

Cover girl at last!

I’ve been making an album on and off since July and I finally finished it last week. The tracks are all sequenced in order and the gaps between songs have been applied with maddening precision. The title and front cover however pose a tiny problem. The only idea I had for it months ago was to call it ‘B-Side Boy vs VHS Girl’ and have me facing off with my femme self on the cover. An audacious idea indeed and one that I attempted on Friday afternoon, moments before filming the video that I shared at the weekend. So far I’m going along with it and have even enlisted a friend (who knows about Anna) to help me knit the photos together as they will need a bit of work…

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Perhaps I’ll have a comic book style lightning bolt in the centre

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Unfortunately as you can see the light changed in the ten minutes or so it took to get ready after my man pics were taken. A new record, ha! In the main that is because I’m hyper-aware of how this could be construed by people I know who aren’t necessarily in the know. I deliberately did a sparse make-up job (eye shadow, lipstick and some powder), my least favourite wig and a gorgeous black dress. Given that I generally wear a dress, tights and heels on stage these days a wig and some make-up probably isn’t going to stretch folks imagination too far. I do wish I didn’t worry about how I am perceived but I just can’t help myself. Combining my twin loves of dressing up and guitars is something I’ve been wanting to do for years and at the time of writing it’s been two years – around the time of starting this blog actually. I’ll admit that both bolg and performing in a dress has helped me come to terms with it and accept myself a whole lot more. Having been able to share it in these ways and have a bit of a laugh with it has helped enormously too. I take my overall femme look and appearance seriously but only to a point.

So to put a version of my female self on the cover or not? I think I’m going to have to as otherwise I’ll be left with a fairly uninspired idea instead like these…

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Push my Dirty Button’

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‘Shadowy Bastard’

 

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The Orange is Watching Us All!’

I reckon I may just get away with it as it’s predominantly friends and acquaintances who will end up with copies of it. I don’t tend to mass produced them. Oops I’ve just convinced myself! When I get it all sorted I’ll share it with you if you like. It’s quite a strong set this time around; robust, edgy, humourous, emotional but not saccharine, playful, melodic, funky and rocking. I’m even planning to promote one of the tracks as a single and produce a shoddy music video to accompany it. Just need to decide now what combination of pictures to use on the front 🙂

A wig and a song!

I’ve always loved the written word, and it’s only music I love more. That I have more or less mastered to the best of my ability. Words and their usage is still a developing area. They can create whole words from nothing – now that’s immensely powerful. My awe of them has led me to aspire to master them. That’s one of the reasons I decided to start a blog, outwith songs I always had some difficulty deciding what to actually write about. It became clear that I should write about what I know, which seems a partial contradiction as I don’t really know why I crossdress. There was a smal shard of of hope though that through writing it all down I could pick through it and examine the fragments.

The latest news in Anna’s world is the arrival of 2 new wigs. Since the great purge of 2010 I have been (mostly in vain) trying to find a suitable replacement red wig. This attempt I’ll admit was not an ecstatic success but the closest I’m probably going to get, hence why I greedily ordered 2 different types. A nice shoulder length strawberry blonde (read: ginger) one that brings back fond memories of a girl I used to sit next to in 3rd year maths. Only years later did I discover that she felt the same about me. To be wistful and harbour little regrets like this is inappropriate but I’m only human after all.

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The other wig is a longer red one but the tone is more…crimson for want of a better description. It looks a bit more fake than the ginger one and kind of makes me look more than a little bit like a Pussycat Doll. The longest serving one, I cannot recall her name at the moment. But it sits nice and cascades beautifully over the sides of my face, past my shoulders creeping a little down my back.

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I’ve only had a brief try out session with them as I inevitably reached for my brown one, that’s probably the one that’s the most ‘me’. Not a lot of opportunities just now as I am trying my best to be reasonable. There have been ill-feelings towards my habit of late in the house, partly due to the fact that I owned up to my wife about the breast forms I purchased. She can’t understand and I can empathise with that. Another thing was a song I wrote a few weeks ago that I called ‘All dressed up and nowhere to go’. I hadn’t intended to write a song celebrating the joys of transvestism – it just turned out that way. I was really pleased with it but upon hearing the finished article, on track 8 of my new album, she flipped! Understandably so, it is ever so easy to be self-absorbed in both my music and my crossdressing. I hastily rewrote it and called it ‘The Elephant’ but after a few days it was no longer hot topic so I shrugged and decided I’d get away with it. Not many people would probably hear it I thought – I’m not especially well known. Some of the people who know would get it, laugh perhaps, then move on. Other people who don’t know may not necessarily always pay attention to lyrics and if they do hopefully it’s tongue-in-cheek enough to not invite serious suspicion.

Here is the song in question, followed by a transcription of the lyrics…and pictures of me with short black hair;

 

 

‘ALL DRESSED UP AND NOWHERE TO GO’

I found a window in my Diary

time to myself is a finite luxury

shaved my legs and shaved my face

so bring on the satin – bring on the lace uh huh huh

I’ll draw the curtains and the blinds real tight

I don’t want anyone to see me tonight

you ask me why my heels are high

and why I can’t just be a guy?

Do my eyeliner with particular care

I’m getting better – now what should I wear?

the transformation is almost complete

I bet you didn’t think I could look this sweet uh huh huh!

Another choice now – redhead or brunette?

I’m going to be the hottest girl you never met

I’m very greatful and feel very blessed

to get to lounge around in my favourite dress

 

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