Sunday, August 24, 2014

Damien Leith

Today I'm going to learn about Damien Leith, the singer.

I have a few of his songs on my Spotify list. I think most, or all of them, are covers.  I don't know if he writes any of his own music.

I like his voice, though, and I happen to like a lot of the songs he covers.

I looked at his blog once. There was a post about listening. I disagreed with a point he made, and I  made a comment on it. I forgot what he wrote exactly. I'm pretty sure it was along the lines of, if you have a problem, talk to someone. I see that advice often and it annoys me. The thing is, there are many good and prolific talkers in the world. There aren't many people who are willing to listen and show compassion and understanding. But I'll get back to that later...if I run into Damien Leith's blog.

For now, I'm going to consult Lord Wiki.

He says that Damien Leith was born in Dublin on January 18, 1976. So, Leith is Irish-Australian.

He became a citizen of Australia rather recently—January 2007.

Leith's wife is Australian. Maybe that's why he moved to Australia and became Australian. Or did he move to Australia and then meet his wife?

Leith and his wife have three kids—two sons and a daughter.

Lord Wiki has some more information about Leith's childhood. His father was an engineer and the family moved around a lot. At one point they lived in Libya, and another time they lived in Botswana.

Leith had a band with his three siblings. They called themselves Leaf. Is that because Leith sounds sort of like Leaf?

In Sydney, Leith did some performing, and he also worked on science stuff—chemistry to be exact. In Ireland, he got a Bachelor of Science degree.

I'm guessing science was his backup career? Or maybe he loves science as much as music.

Leith was the 2006 Australian Idol winner. I don't think I knew that. The person he beat was Jessica Mauboy. Well, he won against a lot of people. But she was the closest behind him.

Lord Wiki says his win was controversial, because at the time he wasn't an Australian citizen.

I don't know how I feel about that. Well, actually I do. Unless someone convinces me otherwise, it seems to be you SHOULD be a citizen of Australia to become the Australian Idol. I think it's mainly because of the title of the show. I think with something like The Voice or X Factor, you can be more lenient.

Lord Wiki says that Roy Orbison's family was so impressed with Leith's cover of "Crying" that they asked for a copy. I was going to say, couldn't they just buy it off of i-Tunes? But it's not always easy to buy music from another country. The Orbison family is American....I think. Are they?

Lord Wiki says yes. So yeah. Sometimes it's not easy for us in America to buy music from Australian talent shows.

Though I think the idol shows should be prejudice when it comes to nationality, I wish they were less prejudice when it comes to age. Lord Wiki says Leith won at the age of 30 and at the time he was the second oldest of any Idol series in the world.  I really hate the ageism of that show. It's bad enough when you have the unstated bigotry, but to actually have rules telling people they're too old to compete?

Lord Wiki says to enter Australian Idol, you have to be between the ages of 16-29. So what are they saying?  In order to be a singer worth idolizing you have to be under 30?

I'm guessing Leith entered the contest when he was 29 and was 30 by the time he won.

Now I'm reading about Leith's career after Australian Idol. He signed a recording contract and released a song called "Night of My Life". From what I understand, the song was written for the show. Both Jessica Mauboy and Leith did a recording of it. The plan was that the winner's version would be released as a single. That sounds like a fun idea...gimmick.

Lord Wiki says Leith's version of the song did very well, and was #1 for awhile. What chart? Maybe ARIA?

In the beginning of 2007, Leith performed in Canberra on Australia Day. He sang "Night of my Life" and also did a cover of "Tenterfield Saddler". I love that song. I hope I can find Leith's cover on YouTube.  I might have actually heard it before. I've listened to several covers of it before. Leith's version may have been one of them.

Later in 2007, Leith released an album called Where We Land. I kind of like that name.

Leith wrote many of the songs himself. So he DOES write his own songs.

In 2008, Leith was the host of a TV show called Saving Kids. It was about children being treated at Sydney's Children's Hospital.

I wonder how long the show lasted.

Lord Wiki has the answer for me. There were eight episodes. I wonder if it was a good—informative and inspiring. Or did they resort to sensationalism? Although in order to inspire viewers, TV programs often resort to sensationalism.

I guess what I'm wondering is would I like the show. Would I think it was well done—respectful and mature. Or would I have found it to be over-the-top and manipulative?

Leith released another album in 2008. This was called Catch the Wind. Leith did covers of well-known folk songs. I think the songs I have on Spotify come from this album.

I'm looking at my Spotify now. Five come from that album. I have three from Where We Land and one song from each of the albums I haven't gotten to yet.

Oh...and there are even albums beyond that.

We have Remember June was released in 2009.

In 2011, Leith did a whole album of Roy Orbison covers. This was called Roy.

In 2012, Leith released Now and Then. In 2013, he released Chapter Seven. It looks like those albums didn't do as well as his earlier ones.

One of the songs from Now and Then, "Beautiful" was used in an American Estee Lauder commercial. Here's a video of the song. According to the uploader, Leith wrote the lyrics to the song.

This lyric website agrees with the uploader. They say the lyrics were written by Leith and someone named Alex Wasiliev.

Interesting. When I looked up Alex Wasiliev, Lord Wiki took me to the page of Alex Lloyd, another Aussie music star. I have some of his songs on my Spotify list as well. Alexander Wasiliev is his birth name. I'm guessing he's the one who helped Leith write the song. Or it's some kind of coincidence?

I'm looking at the lyrics now. I don't love them. There's nothing offensive or outrageous about them, but there's also nothing that really grabs me.

I think I'll listen to some more Damien Leith music. I'll listen to a few covers, but I mostly want to hear his original stuff.

Here's the Australian Idol winning song. "Night of My Life".

Do many people really have a night of their life? I would think most of us have many important nights.

Out of curiosity, I'm also going to watch Jessica Mauboy's rendition of the song.

I wanted to say I like Mauboy's version of the song better, but it might be because it takes time for a song to grow on me. The first time I heard it, I didn't like it much. But I think it was secretly growing on me. So by the time I get to Mauboy, I liked it a little more.

Here's Leith singing "Tenterfield Saddler".  It's such a beautiful song.

Here's another upload of it, and if I'm understanding things right, Leith took the citizenship oath before singing it. Okay. That touches my little heart a bit, and it makes me feel a little guilty for thinking you need to ALREADY be a citizen to win Australian Idol. Maybe it's okay to win if you're planning to become a citizen in the near future.

Okay. I'm not exactly right. He didn't take the pledge right before singing. He did it earlier that day with John Howard. Then I think they showed it on a screen before he did his singing.

I want to hear Leith sing "Hallelujah". He sang it for Australian Idol. I love that song. You know the first time I heard it was from an Australian singer. I forgot which one. Someone female....

Here's a Leith original. It's called "All I Want Is You". I didn't recognize the name (outside of it  also being a U2 song title),but I've heard it before. I have it on Spotify. I listen to songs and don't know what I'm listening to.

I'm looking at the lyrics. They're romantic and intense. It's basically about loving someone more than anything else.

If I lost you then I would surely die. That's a wonderfully romantic thing to hear if you're in love with the person singing it to you. But it would be an awful thing to hear if you were contemplating breaking up with them.

Here's a City Homicide video with a Damien Leith song. "Shine Like the Sun".

I don't understand the lyrics. When your defenses come down Then I see you still shine like the sun Brighter than anyone Yeah you shine like the sun.

I guess maybe he's saying when this person is truly being themselves and not hiding behind a mask or wall, then they're at their best.

It's a nice thing to say...and feel. I appreciate it because I have people in my life who seem to feel the opposite about me. If I put up a lot of defenses and hide behind a fake sweet demeanor, they prefer that version of me.

To be fair, I can be an emotional overly honest bitch when the walls come down. But that's usually because I've held my shit in for so long. I sometimes end up exploding.

But yeah. I really appreciate those who seem to love the real me versus the fake me.

Here's another Damien Leith original. The Long Way Back. I like how the song sounds. It's one of those rare times that I like a song the first time hearing it. Or at least I think it's the first time I've heard it.

I can't find the lyrics. But from what I hear, they sound nice.

I'm already tired of listening to music, and I haven't gotten past his first album.

I'm going to listen to one more. It's one of my favorites. It's called "Stronger than Superman".  I'm not sure if he wrote it or not.  I'll try to find out.....

Spotify says the song is from his most recent album. Chapter Seven. I still haven't looked to see who wrote the song.

Well, I looked.

I couldn't easily find an answer.

Now I just Googled the song without Leith's name to find out if it has connections to another singer or band. I ended up finding this rap song.  It's not quite the same song.

And here's another Stronger than Superman song. It's a Jesus song that someone wrote for their Bible camp. I kind of like it.  It has some cute cultural references and the tune is quite catchy.

Do I agree with the lyrics? Is Jesus stronger than Superman? I don't know. Does it matter? Is it a competition?

For now though, I'm going to conclude that Leith wrote "Stronger than Superman". Or someone wrote it for him. I don't think it's a cover.

I was just thinking about all that. I love to sing, but I can't write songs. I don't see the point in just singing covers. What would be cool is if I could find a songwriter who had the unfortunate inability to sing. We could work together.  Even better if he or she could play an instrument...because I'm a failure at that too.

That being said, I'm not really into singing lately. I'm more into writing...and watching Australian television.

Maybe what I should do is sing my blog posts!

It's sad. I can write novels. I write blog posts. I can write screenplays. I love to sing, but I can't write songs.

I'm looking at Damien Leith on Spotify now—thinking of adding more songs to my long list.

His most popular song on Spotify is "Beautiful". Maybe the perfume commercial helped it become popular?

I know I said I'm tired of listening to music. But I keep finding more stuff. Well, and that's my fault, because I keep looking.

I searched for Damien Leith duets. Here he's singing "A Thousand Years" with Danielle Spencer.  It's nice as a duet.

Okay. Now I'm done. For real. Well, I'm done with listening to music. I'm not done with Damien Leith. I'm going to have a swim, and then I'll look at his Internet stuff and maybe read a few interviews.

I'm back. I treaded water and saved a large bee from drowning. (Yes. I AM bragging about my good deed)

Here's Damien Leith's website.  It's nice because it has links to all the other stuff I'll want to look at, such as Twitter and Instagram.

Here's the blog post I commented on. I love the title of the post. "It's ok not to be ok". That's very true. I think we forget that sometimes.

He talks about listening to a man. Leith says, All I could really do was listen, the personal nature of his troubles didn’t warrant any advice or opinion on my part, it was just important that he got it off his chest and obviously needed to talk to someone.

I'm not sure how to interpret that. I have two opposing pictures in my mind. In the first, Leith stands there like a stone and just lets the guy talk. He says nothing, so it's like the guy is talking to a wall. In the other, although Leith doesn't share his advice or opinion, he does actively listen. I mean he responds in a supportive way. Really. She did that? Oh, that must have been hard. So what did you do?

I personally wouldn't find the first kind of listener helpful at all. But I would definitely appreciate the second one.

I believe some people are different than me in that regards. Some people just need to hear the sound of their own voice. They don't care how you respond to their vocalized troubles. They don't even really care if you're truly listening. Maybe this would be people who don't write at all. Because if you write, either for yourself or others, you're getting the words out that way.

I personally think we need more people who don't just keep quiet so the other person can talk, but also show support, compassion, and interest.

One of the other commenters on his blog says something touching. I was at the checkout and the lady looked sad serving me so I asked if she was ok and she said in the weekend her nephew took his own life. I reached over and gave her a hug. She said thank you she really needed one. Im a big believer of asking people of they are ok.

I believe in it too, and I'm also a big believer in simply noticing that someone's not okay. I was watching McLeod's Daughters the other day, and something really annoyed me. It was Jodi's wedding to Alberto, and it was obvious that she was unhappy. Well, it was actually the night before at the hen night. She was very quiet and anxious, and even tried to express her doubts. The other women listened, but didn't really take notice of how deep Jodi's concerns were. Then at the wedding, she was obviously not a happy bride. But no one seemed to notice or care. They were all too busy having fun. No one really gave her attention until she took off and ran away on a horse.

It could be that the other characters noticed, but were deluded in thinking if they kept quiet about it, the problem would go away. It's like what they say in suicide. Don't be afraid to ask someone if they're thinking of suicide. I'm guessing they give that advice because a lot of us ARE afraid.

Here's a more recent blog entry from Leith. Though I don't know how recent. I don't see a date. It's about traveling with his three kids. He talks about how it's so much easier when you are traveling without younger children. So much simpler.

It's true. I complain about the long flights to Australia, but compared to other people, what we have is a luxury.  Jack's old enough to keep himself busy. The only person I have to worry about entertaining is myself. And sometimes that's actually hard. But then I look at the mother and father struggling to get their toddler to sleep and I realize I have it GOOD.

I was going to look at interviews later, but maybe I'll just read more blog posts instead.

Well, some of the posts aren't that interesting to me. It's more promotional stuff. Although there was a post that mentioned there being a ton of rain. That was kind of interesting...I guess.

Here's one that's more personal. It's about his children and how they're growing up so fast. I can relate to that, as can most parents, I imagine.

I like Jack more and more as he gets older. But there are some things I miss. It's kind of random stuff, like him playing with his upstairs toys. I miss walking out in the playroom and seeing a bunch of blocks and figurines on the floor. I guess it's just a symbol of the past, and I'm reluctant to let go of that.

Here's Leith's Instagram account.

His most recent picture is of his family (parents and siblings?) visiting his studio. They all look so much alike!

This post is from the same day. It's a video from Dublin. So is he in Dublin. Is that where the picture of the studio was taken? Anyway...Leith is adorable when he's talking.

I'm looking at more photos and getting the idea that yes, he's visiting Dublin. I wonder if he went alone or if he children and wife are with him.

Here's a picture of his sister. He says they're going to do a duet together. That's so sweet. I love that he's involving his family with his music.

Well, this post answers my question about his wife and kids. They didn't come with them. He was missing them before even boarding the plane. I have bad dreams about getting on a plane to go to Australia and being sad that Tim and Jack aren't coming with me.

Someone commented on Leith's photo. Just think every moment is one moment closer til you're all together again. That's true. And a lot of times he'll be having a lot of fun and the moments will pass by quickly. Also, when he gets home, though he'll be super happy to see his wife and kids, he'll probably then be missing his Dublin family.

Here's his daughter singing. Too adorable.

I just looked at Damien Leith's Twitter account. Nothing excites me enough to talk about it. It's a lot of promotional stuff. Well, there's stuff that's interesting to me, but it's links to Instagram. And I already saw that.

You know what I want to read about. The hospital show.

Here's a message board about it. Someone says they had a little girl who needed a nose, and the doctors used part of her ribs to build it. That's fascinating. I like hearing stuff like that.

I'm reading that the show was pretty graphic...in terms of the surgery scenes.

I'm thinking, though, it's not what stories are on the show that makes it sensational or not. It's how they're presented. It's the ploys that some shows use to get people to not turn the channel. And I don't like when shows are too intrusive with the family. Let people cry in private. I mean some people are okay crying on television, and that's fine. But it's bad if the producers of the show make an effort to get people to cry because they believe that will get them more viewers.

I'm not sure if Saving Kids was like that or not.

YouTube has a clip. So far it's music with scenes of sick children. I wanted to say seeing the sick kids makes me feel lucky that I have a healthy one. But it's more like it makes me anxious that one day we'll be one of those families. Because at one time, the families in the video might have been in the lucky, healthy camp.

I guess what I feel is a cautious thankfulness and a wish that we remain healthy. And I wish for as many sick kids as possible to get their health and strength back. I like hearing happy endings to scary stories.

You know, I don't know if this is the Leith program, or just a promotion for the hospital. The video does say 2008 and the show was in 2008. So maybe it is?

No....

This might not be the Leith program. I think it's a plea for money. There's a guy singing in the beginning, though. It might be Leith. I'm not quite sure.

I'm going to Google the lyrics.

Yep. It's Leith. It's his song "Not Just For the Weekend".

I'm going to watch a Rove interview, and then I'll quit. I haven't watched Rove in so long!

There's so much to report...just from the intro! Leith has written a novel, and he DID move to Australia for love. I was wondering about that before.

Here's the novel. It's called One More Time. It's gotten only two reviews. That kind of surprises me. I would think with his fame, he'd have a lot more readers and reviewers. Or maybe people are reading and not reviewing. It makes me feel a little bit better about my book's lack of readers and reviews.

Sometimes I'll think, well, I have all these people coming to my blog. Won't they want to read my novel too? If they like my blog, they should like my book!

But it doesn't always work that way. People who like reading blogs might not like reading novels. Or at least the type of novel I've written. People who like listening to Damien Leith music might not like reading his type of novels.

Also...his Kindle novel is a bit pricey. He might have more luck selling it if he lowered the price a bit.

He might not care, though. He might be much more into his music.

Rove and Leith are now talking about shaking hands with people when your hands are wet from washing your hands. The awkwardness of it all. Do you explain the wetness or just assume the other person will understand?

Leith had OCD. I saw that mentioned in one of the novel reviews. The character has OCD.

Leith says he had it when he was young...washed his hands a lot.

I wonder how he got better.

Rove asks how do you know if you have it. Leith says if you leave your house and then return because you think you left the light on, you probably have it.

I sometimes worry about things...not lights. But I worry I forgot to turn off the stove. And for awhile I was having to get out of bed each night to make sure our freezer and refrigerator were closed. Sometimes when we're leaving for a few nights and I lock up our cat with food and water, I have to recheck after I've locked him up to make sure I really did give him the water and food. Sometimes I worry that I dumped the water and forgot to refill it with fresh water.

Sometimes after we've left, I get a little anxious about various things, but I'm usually able to reassure myself that things are probably okay.

I would think most people are like this? Or many, at least.

Maybe the line is crossed when you actually return home to check on things. And when you check on them, they're usually fine. If you return all the way home and see your stove WAS left on and you actually did forget to leave food for the cat. Well, maybe that's not OCD. Maybe that's just self-awareness of the fact that you're a bit of flake sometimes.

I like Leith. Rove asks him if he has fans that are nutters, and Leith refuses to call them that. I mean there are crazy fans out there. And sometimes, unfortunately, they're scary, bad crazy rather than amusing crazy. But I don't like it when celebrities concentrate on those types when talking about fans.

Leith says he has had underpants thrown at him, and one time he accidentally took a pair home. His wife had some questions about that.

There's a woman there who asks a good question. Do women bring underpants to throw, or do they throw the ones they're wearing. I'm betting it varies. And how many women throw their underpants?  Is that a common thing. If I go to a Damien Leith concert someday, is there going to be a ton of underpants flying over my head?

Rove asks Leith if he hopes that the next Australian Idol winner will be less successful than him, I don't think that's the thing that's going to get an honest answer. I mean if Leith did wish such a negative thing, I can't imagine him admitting it to the huge television audience. It's kind of petty.

You know what I'm a petty person and overly competitive at times. But I think even with my awfulness (in that regard), if I'm doing well, I'm fine with other people doing well. I think if I was in Leith's shoes, since I was doing so fantastic in my career, I'd be happy for the next idol to do great too. If I was doing awful...if my career was sinking, I think my dark evil side would want the next idol to do bad too. And I'd be jealous if they did better than me.

Leith should have tossed the question back to Rove. When a new talk show appears on television, are you hoping it fails?

Rove is doing the thing where he asks 20 fast questions. One of them is, what would you have done if you lost Idol.

Leith says he'd get trashed. I like that answer. It's very honest. I mean not that I'm a big fan of drinking away your problems. But it's like he's admitting he'd be very disappointed. It's better than saying something corny like I would have been totally fine with it. I'd just be happy for Jessica.

Rove asks something like Do you pig in the shower? What does that mean? Is it what I think it means?

Leith says he'd turn gay for Chris who is one of the guys sitting and talking with them.

Well, this is very long. I will finally shut up. I won't be doing another biography post for a few days because I have to work on my OTHER novel—the old Neurofibromatosis one. I've been very slowly re-editing it this summer and am going to re-Kindle it again soon.