In an earlier post, I described my experience watching the new David Bowie documentary Moonage Daydream and how it had affected the way that I viewed myself, my music and the creative process in general.

As a songwriter/musician who is about to step back into the world of live performance, the opportunity to see this film could not have come at a better time for me.

This is because seeing the film had firmly reinforced some of my tightly held views on live performance, the music played at a live performance and the relationship between the performer and the audience.

This can all be encapsulated into one phrase… 

Don’t just be an entertainer, be a “creator of experiences” for your audience.

So, what does that mean to me? Well, first of all let’s look at what I think a live performance is (or should be in a perfect world).

A live performance should be a seamless and meaningful conversation between the performer and the audience. 

It should go a bit like this…

The performer is on stage to deliver a message to an audience who is there to receive it. The audience upon receiving the message then acknowledges the performer indicating that the conversation is now complete with the end result being both parties (ideally) enriched in some way by it.

At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter whether you perform your own songs, other people’s songs or a mixture of both, just don’t seek to merely entertain your audience, become a “creator of experiences” for them. 

Don’t get me wrong though, I personally know of some very talented cover musicians who are wonderful entertainers and do an amazing job of showing people a good time through their live performances

However, this “entertainer” label has never sat very comfortably with me. You see, I don’t want to be just an entertainer. I want to be one of those performers that creates an experience for their audience.

I want the audience to come away from one of my gigs being able to look at the world that they’ve “escaped” from for that moment in time, in a much different way.

As a performer, I reckon you create these experiences if you utilise the following in your live performances…

  • Musicianship – You’ve got to have the musical skills to do it.
  • Vulnerability – You’ve got to fully put yourself out on a limb while doing it
  • Desire – You’ve got to really want to do it
  • Enjoyment – You’ve got to find your happy place doing it
  • Mindfulness – You’ve got to be fully aware of what you’re doing
  • Professionalism – You’ve got to know what you’re doing as you’re doing it
  • Humility – You’ve got to be humble as you’re doing it

Yes, I know it all sounds a bit lofty and maybe even arrogant of me, but this time around I would much rather set my own live performance bar as high as I can rather than just show up, go through the motions, take the money and go home again.

Of course this is irrespective of whether I am playing covers, originals or a mixture of both in my repertoire.

As Norman Vincent Peale once said… “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars” and that is what I intend to do. 

Watch this space and you’ll find out more of my upcoming gigs very soon and finally, do yourself a favour and catch Moonage Daydream before its season runs out.


Corey 🙂

Last Friday night (September 23rd, 2022) I went with my mate Steve to see the new David Bowie documentary Moonage Daydream and it totally BLEW MY MIND! I didn’t know much about the film but I knew that I had to see it. 

Actually, let me rephrase that last sentence… 

I didn’t know much about the film but I knew that I had to experience it. And what an experience it was.

What I had experienced was a 134 minute aural and visual masterpiece with not one second wasted on fluff, padding or irrelevant content. Everything had its place and every place had its thing.

What did take me by surprise was how the film made me feel afterwards about David Bowie and his music as well as how it might relate to me and my music. 

Now, I am in no way directly comparing myself to Bowie as a person and as a creative genius (although he is a Capricorn whose birthday is a day after mine) but not many films inspire me to ask myself questions about me as a person, my music, my creative process/output and what I’m doing about it right now.

Off the top of my head, what I initially took away from this experience was…

  • A much deeper appreciation of Bowie and his creative output
  • A greater need to examine my own life and creativity on a deeper level
  • A realisation that I just want to do my stuff
  • A realisation that I don’t “do” other peoples stuff very well and that’s not a bad thing
  • Creation is much better than imitation
  • Giving the audience what they want is not the best thing to do as an artist

Over the days, weeks and months that follow, I’m sure that more realisations and moments of clarity will appear to me and I’ll make sure that I document them here but for now, I have a lot of stuff to unpack.

My mate Steve had seen Moonage Daydream three times before going to see it with me and he indicated to me beforehand that for me to get the most out of the film, I would need to see it multiple times as well. 

I don’t normally feel inspired to see a movie more than once but with Moonage Daydream, I would gladly make an exception.

The film is a montage, anthology, historical document and a multidimensional homage to the beauty and wonder of the creative mind all rolled into one movie experience.

Moonage Daydream is something that all musicians need to go and experience at least once. Whether you’re a David Bowie fan or not.

I am glad I had my opportunity to see it and I’m a better person, musician and creative individual for doing so.


Corey 🙂

With the 2022 AFL Grand Final done and dusted, this time of year between the end of the AFL season and the beginning of the Cricket season is in my opinion, absolutely wonderful.

No more wasting precious oxygen on innocuous and irrelevant patches of small talk revolving around the footy. Who wins, who loses and the stats in-between are of no interest to me at all.

As a professional musician for many years who played in pubs with huge flatscreen televisions pumping out sport in all directions to a mindless audience, I was at war with sport for the attention of the masses.

(No doubt, I’ll be facing that very same fight again when I’m back out gigging but hopefully with a fresher perspective from being a little older and wiser)

I do remember the gigs I played post footy season. Those were the one where the punters actually listened… That was a refreshing change.

Personally, I don’t understand the concept of pubs with so many TV’s as it seems to defeat the whole purpose of going to a pub in the first place. Isn’t a pub a place to meet and have a conversation with others?

Maybe I’m just becoming a cranky old bugger.

I do see it time and time again though, a pub full of people but no-one talking to each other. All eyes are glued to the sport, or the TAB or whatever else is flashing up on the multitude of screens around the place.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t really dislike sport per se, I just think there’s a time and a place for everything.

Looking back on my time as a professional musician, I noticed a disturbing trend of being hired solely as a de-facto jukebox politely playing in the background while the punters are simply watching TV or, rudely texting on their mobiles.

To me, it seemed that a lack of a multitude of ambient background noise/images was the enemy to the audience and I have no idea why.

Another thing I had noticed was that the amount of clapping (or at the very least, polite general recognition that there was live music in the room) had decreased dramatically and trying to communicate to people through live music was becoming harder and harder to achieve.

I really don’t want to sound like I’m having a whinge. I mean, live music is awesome and I’m still looking forward to playing music for a living again. I do realise that with every occupation there are good days and not so good days to experience.

I get that.

However, I just want to be part of a live music scene that makes a difference in peoples lives rather than just being a functional accompaniment to watching sport on the TV.

Is that too much to ask?

Oh well, AFL is over for another year, Summer is just around the corner and things are looking up and even though I’ve just gone on a bit of a rant about Sport vs Music, I do love my cricket


Corey 🙂

Yesterday, September 23rd, 2022 marked six months since I made the move down from Dudley Park to my parents’ place in Goolwa on the Southern Fleurieu Peninsula as a temporary measure until I found a place of my own.

In that time I’ve been busy setting up my temporary work/recording space in Dad’s shed and re-establishing my web design business ZenWeb plus getting myself ready for live performance and songwriting/recording as well.

On the house hunting front, I’ve not had that much luck of late mainly due to the current economic climate and how it’s affecting the housing market in general.

I am, however, using this situation as a perfect example of my life being the greatest teacher and it allowing me to test my patience and resilience. Although, I did think that I would be in my own place by now.

I’m also finding out pretty quickly that the SA real estate market is a fickle, ultra-competitive and ruthless game of chess mixed in with a dash of smoke and mirrors for good measure and I thought the music business was bad when it came to game playing.

Try buying a house at the moment.

In an earlier post I did write about my initial thoughts of life in Goolwa and how different it is to living in Adelaide. 

Now that six months have passed, the novelty of the move has most certainly worn off but I still really appreciate the slower pace and the general sense of peace and serenity that comes with living down here because after all, Goolwa is Australia’s first Cittaslow town

“What the hell does that mean?” I hear you ask. Click here to find out.

With any situation that you find yourself in whether it be where you live, the relationships you’re in or the job you work at, there are always good and bad points to experience along the way. 

It’s so very easy to find fault when you’re in a temporary situation such as mine but really, when I look at where I’m at right now, right at this very moment… I’m pretty lucky.

I’m lucky because I have the luxury of time to really seek out the best place to start the next part of my journey from and there’s so much potential ahead of me, I just can’t wait to get there.

That is what I focus on when I start feeling frustrated or doubting whether I made the right decision. In the meantime, if any of you local readers are selling a house in the vicinity of Sellicks Beach to Goolwa or, know of anyone who is… Let me know.


Corey 🙂

(PS: Yesterday was also the 17th anniversary of the day that Mara and I first met but I’ll save that for another post)

As you may know, besides this blog, Corey Stewart Online, I have a number of other blogs that I try to manage.

These blogs deal with topics such as songwriting, the music business, home recording and spirituality but with everything that has been going on in my life over the past six months or so, these blogs have not been getting the attention that they should.

I have been really wanting to start writing again but it has been a real struggle to do so of late because every time I come up with an idea for one of my blog posts whether it be of a personal nature or about songwriting, the music business, home recording or even spiritual topics such as meditation or buddhism itself, I immediately get stuck.

I get stuck because as soon as I start to write questions start flowing through my head such as…

  • “Is what I’m writing about going to be on-topic for the blog I’m writing for?”
  • “Is what I’m writing about relating to the last thing I wrote about?”
  • “Am I jumping around topics too much?”
  • “Am I relevant or important enough to share this information with the world?”
  • “Is this idea going to be good enough to share?”

These questions, assumptions and statements that my inner voice shouts at me before putting pen to paper simply paralyses me and I get so exhausted from all of the overthinking.

Initially, I would let it go and think to myself that everything will be alright. I was confident that this was a temporary thing and that my writing flow would come back.

Except that it hasn’t.

Over and over again I would just keep talking myself out of starting but I think I may have come up with a solution to my problem.

It seems that in my attempt to separate all of the different facets of my life into different niche blogs, I have instead created the perfect environment to not write by paralysing my writing process through having too many blogs to write for.

Phew… So how do I remedy this?

Well, I think the answer is to distil all of my content into one blog (this one) and get rid of everything else.

I know this sounds drastic and it smacks of me doing my “wiping the slate clean and starting again” routine again but I don’t really know what else I can do.

Of course I’ll be saving all the content that I’ve already created/curated on my other blogs and will be drip feeding them into Corey Stewart Online. My hope is that by doing this will free myself to refocus on my writing.

The challenge now becomes finding a way to make all of the condensed content make sense within the Corey Stewart Online framework and I think the answer to the challenge lies with redefining what this site is.

I tried to do this very thing a few years ago but I got scared and separated everything again based on the assumption that not doing so would confuse the reader by having too many topics to read about on one blog.

This time, it will be different because I no longer care about Google algorithms and online marketing theories about niche blogs and monetising content. I just want to write again, get a flow happening and deal with all of the other stuff later.

I’m much more interested in reconnecting with people online, building a community, a tribe of people who “get me, my music and everything else in between” and I want to start re-examining my life again through documenting it online, Socrates style.

So, what happens next?

I will back up all of my content on my other blogs and then delete the sites and the social media attached to them.

After that I’ll transfer/repurpose the content onto Corey Stewart Online while at the same time, start writing new content with the knowledge that the only choice for publishing my thoughts, feelings, theories, rants and music is right here, right now.

I’m feeling excited and daunted all at the same time but at the end of the day my sanity, my sense of purpose and my creative flow will be the winners out of all this but that means that you dear reader will have a lot more things to consume.


Corey 🙂