Anjj's Blog

November 29, 2020

Anjj, possessed by spirits suddenly becomes a Reggae phenomenon

Filed under: Events,News — Anjj @ 12:08 am

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Hock- a – loogie, Hock-a-loogie, Hock-a-loogie….that was the first sounds of the morning trying to get the bronchitus bug that was surrounded in green mucus to be propelled out of my lower abdomen with such force it would bypass the clogged sink, and somehow shoot strait through the drainhole unclogging my sink in the process. Wouldn’t that be nice.

Unfortunately, the only one who was affected from that torture was my raw throat and my friend Halie O’Ryan (a rocker chic from L.A.) who WAS fast asleep on the couch but woke up in a rude hurry in order to save the poor soul who was suffering from some ungodly condition that desperately required the Heimlich maneuver.

We managed to make it out of the house with all her luggage, in just one trip. Whew….good thing she only planned to stay for a day, I’d hate to see what she actually needs for a week. (She’s staying at her aunt’s house, and just planned a little sleepover so we could work on a project at my house.) At my car, it was the race it usually is….Hey, what idiot forgot to get gas? So we’re driving towards town on empty talking about music non-stop, while I’m dodging traffic hoping to drop Halie off at her house and get to my studio appointment on time. We share gross stories, and mine with the loogie halfway stuck in my throat and drooping down nearly touching the drain, wins. So she decides to attack me with peppermint oil that we got at Down to Earth. Don’t put that on ….let me emphasize the DON’T when I say, it BURNS when you sweat, and in todays weather….it WAS excruciatingly painful.

We still needed some other things she recommended for getting my throat ready to record later that day with MAXX FX… of the best dance hall reggae rappers ever….he used to tour with Ziggy Marley…and now, he was doing a song with me…I couldn’t let him down. No, I was going to be ready…no matter what. So, Halie made it her mission to make me a grocery list of her finest cures. Listerine and Hydrogen Peroxide were at the top. We got those at longs and couldn’t wait to dose ourselves in it. I gargled 8 times while illegally parked with a guy lounging in his car watching. Halie then proceeded to assist me by pouring hydrogen peroxide in my ears….which bubbled from all the bacteria in there. Ahhhhhh….feels really good if it doesn’t scare you to death.

After two large cups of different kinds of tea, with an entire lemon squeezed in it, 2 cups of OJ, 7 cough drops, prescription antibiotics and tussionex for a cough that by the way caused INTENSE drowsiness and a shot of olive oil….my voice still sounded like a door creaking. How sexy is that? How was I going to be a baby doll. I thought to myself…I don’t even want to be a baby doll – and now I sound like I’m going to break out of prison and kill the baby doll. This sucks.

Halie passes me the phone with those sad puppy dog eyes, and I finally break down and call MAXX. I honestly tell him….I don’t think I can record today because of the coughs – they were getting juicier by the hour. Halie’s hair was a mess because she refused to ride in the car and breathe the same air. So, I was contagious in addition to sounding like foghorn on jello. MAXX was set on recording, so we went down anyway. By that time, I couldn’t take Halie home…so she came with me. She agreed to stay out of trouble, and that if I ever needed to be silent I could say “wallpaper.” I smiled and didn’t believe her, but I was hoping she would if I needed her.

What a great place….a kickask studio in the middle of industry heaven, thrown in a couple of fast food eateries and a strip club to barely liven up this duller than dull grey blocky part of town. Ugly and lackluster, Sand Island is the perfect hiding spot for this ultimate sound studio. From appearance, it looks like someone’s home studio that went delux, but it’s got all the bells and whistles a larger more expensive studio would have and an engineer to match.

The first hour was ….interesting. That’s a word that always works when what you really want to say is not going to help a single soul, but might sink some ships in the process. Basically, my raspy, cough-laden mucus gurgling excuse for a voice was not cooperating. I ended up having to do the song line by line and hacking and drinking lots of water between each. Not my idea of a good recording….but the best I could do considering. MAXX’s hands covered his face during most of the recording. Meanwhile,. the engineer, Tim smiled through the glass like I was doing a great job. My friend Halie explained later what happened. She said, at one point, when things were looking really rough, Tim left the room, he was gone for about a minute, but when he came back, a patch of hair was missing from the left side of his head. Sorry Tim….I didn’t mean to stress you out like that. I like your hair.

The deal Halie made with me, earlier, didn’t seem to work….I mean, don’t get me wrong, she is a more experienced singer, she’s toured internationally and done huge concerts. She knows what she’s talking about….that isn’t the problem. She just had too much good advice to give when I couldn’t afford to listen. So, reluctantly I said, “Wallpaper” through the mic, and both Tim and Maxx look at me confused. Halie looked at me with that “but, but, but…I want to say 10,000 more things…. look. She can’t help herself. If she sees an injured bird, she will climb a tree in order to rescue it and will nurse it to health herself. She just couldn’t sit there and watch me butcher myself and the song. So, luckily, the peeps and squeaks she made during the recording will probably contribute to it becoming a hit. Her most valuable tips to me: ” Feel each word”, “breathe, don’t rush”, “smile”, “pronounce ‘alone’ like ‘a-l-own’.” Again, during recording, she was talking to the engineer and they were having a good ole time. I looked at the clock ticking and said, “wallpaper” in vain….it wasn’t working. After Maxx came in the studio and we waited for Tim and Haley to finish their conversation, I told Tim to tell Haley, “wallpaper”. She stood up with her hands in the air like there was a gun pointed at her and she didn’t do anything wrong….so I left the sound booth and pulled her outside to ask her to “shhh” with a whole bunch of little “shhhh’s” where that came from.

Halie was there to step in and do some backup vocals, too which was really cool. We finally finished the song…of course it took longer than we expected and we all lost some hair….unfortunately, the loogies were still all intact hanging tight. I was exhausted and hungry. Maxx, Halie and I went out to eat, later. The song was great, very catchy and MAXX was happy. He called Augie T as we headed to town and agreed to send him the MP3. What an amazing day. Maxx said later that he was testing me, to see how far I could push myself. He said, he got really worried when we first got there because he saw me fall asleep. (it was the drugs) but after we started rolling, he said he thought I did great. Cool, I love passing tests and rising to the expectations of people I admire….like MAXX and Halie, and now, my new friend Tim. Thanks guys for being so patient and supportive of me. 🙂 anjj

November 28, 2020

Anjj announces the release of her new CD

Filed under: Events — Anjj @ 11:58 pm

CD PhotoAnjj released her latest CD entitled “Highway” in June. All the songs on this CD are Anjj Originals (music and lyrics by Anjj Lee).

Click Here To Listen To 90 Second Exerpts.

Anjj feeling sad about leaving Arnolds

Filed under: Events,News — Anjj @ 11:53 pm

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

….I’m leaving my musical nesting ground called Arnolds Beach Bar. A place where white collars, blue collars, no collars, dog collars, come to chill out and let loose. All walks of life pass through that joint (no pun intended).

It’s time. I’ve progressed, travelled with music through the world, and still came back to dwell in Arnolds old familiar feel, for a little longer. I knew I’d have to leave sooner or later.

I saw Johnny Helm play tonight at Lulu’s tonight and his music – it makes me so happy, even though most of his songs are kind of sad. He came over to say ‘what’s up’ and commented, “eveytime I see you, you always have this big smile – you always look so happy….it’s creepy.”

Ho wow, lau lau…. tanks eh braddah! What a charmer.

…..Well, excuse me, but first of all I have lots of teeth.

Secondly, cheerfulness comes from keeping the inner child, alive – and mine has ADD and wants to escape and rule the rest of me. Pain is only pain if you dwell. There’s a difference between feeling and dwelling. Change is like a world of playgrounds. You have to face the sadness of leaving one to go to another. Sometimes, you are not the one who leaves the playground – others leave you. But…death is something I have a very hard time with … I’m definitely a dweller, there. I’m still grieving the loss of my cat Oscar and can cry at will just by thinking about him dying in my arms just over a month ago. He was my friend and opera partner.

Ironically, I rejoice in Johnny’s what-you-see-is-what-you-get persona, his hard-edged demeanor when he compliments you as he frowns, and his light-spirited ease with which he flows through life.

Hey, I’ll take the truth any day. So cool…he and Jack also sang “Happy Birthday” to my niece, YVONNE, TwICE!!! She was so happy. ( Don’t ask me what she was doing at a bar on a Monday night at 11:30pm – it’s very complicated and I have half-bitten fingernails to file.)

Well….anyway, enough ranting @ 3:00 am … Mom, and Brad, I guess this means you won’t have to bring the bars of soap and hand sanitizer to Arnolds for me anymore. 🙂

Anjj on TV with Andy Bumatai

Filed under: Events,Music,News — Anjj @ 11:48 pm

I spent 37 hours preparing for 5 minutes of broadcast television to an estimated 200,000 people watching, the show.  From the moment Jim Bryan, the producer of NightTime, Hawaii’s First Talk show called, my hands didn’t stop shaking.

View here: NightTime Video

I arrived at the Hilton Hawaiian Villiage, on-time, which is ‘early’ for artists.  I said hello to everyone and saw my ex-boyfriend there on the camera dead center.  Oh my god.  He was the inspiration for 18 of the 18 angry, I’m-going-to-get-you-back break-up songs I wrote that were never produced or sang in public.  As if the nerves weren’t enough of a challenge….  yeah, it was just kind of awkward.
I had my make-up done by someone who could have been a model herself.  Her name was Hailey Natto.  She has a famous father that played music for years in the islands, you may have heard of him…Richard Natto.  She did a fantastic job and I walked out of there like a mask with feet – my mom didn’t even recognize me (that’s what TV make-up feels like.)  What’s really amazing is that I already overpainted my face before I got there. I thought, television make-up has to be really packed on. So I got out the primer and put on two coats. But Theresa, the set manager/woman who tells everybody what they – should or should not be doing and whether you can go to the bathroom or not, said, “Okay an-juh-juh, let’s get some color on your face.”  By the time Hailey got through with me I could barely see through my eyes because the armour of mascara on my eyelashes stuck together like a shield protecting me from the blinding stage lights.

                                                                                       Photo by Dustin Larson

I waited in the backroom with some of the other guests.  The most interesting was a 15-year-old acrobat who was stretching/preparing for her show. I’m sure she had bones and an entire skeleton….but if you saw what I did, you wouldn’t think so.  Her dad was “helping” her stretch, but if they weren’t in the circus business, you would think he was doing anything but helping.  Ouch!

I was dying to do a soundcheck, but everyone kept saying, we’ll do it later…you’ll have time.  Five minutes before I went on, they said, “mike her”.  It sounded more like I got selected out of a line-up of criminals.  Todd, who was supposed to be helping me set up my monitor said….”we’re just going to have you go directly through the board.”  Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!! I calmly said, “that’s fine, but what about my monitor and effects for both my voice and guitar?”  He said, “Oh, we’re not going to use that because it sounds different on tv.  It sounds too distorted and feedsback and stuff.” 
I let a whimper out.  “help….”  My guitar is much louder than my voice, and without a monitor all I can hear is the guitar. Yikes! Again, I pleaded with the nearest engineer.   “John, please, I need to hear myself.”  John said, “I wish I could help you, we’re planning on getting ear monitors for talent in the future…we just don’t have the budget for them, yet. Don’t worry, you’ll be fine.” I start to feel heat in my chest, my stomache is making noises and water begins to well up in my eyes. I look up and see the camera man right in front of me (you know who) and take a deep breath.  Then I look at my mom, and she’s smiling ear-to-ear and it makes me smile because she doesn’t have a clue of what’s going on.  To her, everything is as perfect as perfect can be.  And really, besides the little inconveniences and awkwardness….I couldn’t be happier.   Ahhh, I’m in a happy place, oh, such a happy place.  Ohhhhhmmmmmm…………
Andy finishes with his previous guest, the fitness instructor who lit some chips on fire and segues over to me by the mike and introduces me as “….and now Hawaii’s top solo JAZZ artist.”  One of my eyebrows lifted ….jazz? I was stunned, then remembered the time was running, and my song was fairly long…. so I played my song without being able to hear myself and prayed the whole time that I would be in perfect pitch.  I only made 37 mistakes on the guitar.  That’s a little less than the previous week when I performed on a television show that was being broadcast to Tokyo.   I’ve only played my song “fire” over 365 times.  Sheesh.  I’m still hoping practice will make perfect.  I wrote that hard to play piece…what was I thinking?
Of course, all the non-musicians in the house congratulate me on being superb.  How they’ve never seen such talent. Where did I learn?  Can I take a picture with you so I can tell everyone I knew you when you before you got famous… How did I get so good? ….Meanwhile the professional studio musicians : Adriano, G-Money and the other cool looking guy that refused to give up his name I think his name was Mike, conspired in the back on how they were going to take me out of my misery when nobody was looking. 

                                                                                       Photo by Dustin Larson
When the commercial break ended and I was sitting down with Andy Bumatai, I was able to mention some of my musical influences….mom, dad, stepdad brad, Dave Lawrence (who educates me on Classic Rock), Johnny Helm who is just a phenomenal artist I’ve recently met and had the pleasure of sharing the stage with – YOU ROCK JOHNNY!!!!, and Dr. John Hart, of course I would have said a lot more, but I only had a minute, and Andy had to do his thing….so he offered me a chip from the collection that his last guest had set on fire to prove that the fat content was immense.  So I took a chip and threw it over my shoulder for good luck to infer that the salt content was immense.  Unfortunately, I was told later by my mom that I inadvertently threw the chip at the other guest sitting behind me, and she so-wanted to have a food fight.  She left before I was made aware of that and was not able to apologize.  And here I was thinking everyone got my joke about throwing salt over my shoulder.

All in all, it was a great show, challenging, stressful, but a great great experience. ..

                                                                          v          photo by Dustin Larson

Anjj rocks out at a castle – Burg Satzfey

Filed under: News — Anjj @ 2:22 pm

Jul, 03 2007

What an awesome experience.  I was an hour early to the Blues event that was held in the middle of a mystical little town with a beautiful castle.  I walked around this monumental artifact and thought it should be protected behind glass, it was soooooo beautiful. Arches in the walkways, roses everywhere, a beautiful moat surrounding it and a quaint garden that decorated the perimeter of the moat saying, “time doesn’t exist”.

The castle was built of brick, the windows with red and white diagonal striped panes, large beautiful windows and doors that a giant could walk through.  Absolutely stunning. What an honor to play in such a timeless magical place.

It was good to see Harry again.  He puts on such grand events and the people who come to his events are always very appreciative of the music.  They simply sip their beer and watch, nodding their heads and bouncing slightly to the beat of the music. There is rarely any dancing.  It is definitely a crowd that appreciates music.  They watch as though they don’t want to miss anything. And they clap after every song.  Awesome.

The concert hall had so much character.  As I did my soundcheck, I looked around the dark room, fascinated by the decor. Lamps made from the headpieces of medieval knights’ armor, candles stuck in wine bottles illuminated the room beautifully and the flames cast shadows that danced upon the worn red velvet curtains covering the concert halls walls. Gothic chandeliers with candles were lit before the event began, and it was like Dracula could have walked in and felt right at home. Dark, ominous, red, rustic, elegant….stimulating….

Surprisingly, someone knew me and called me by name.  “Anjj!” he cried. I looked around thinking, what an odd place to have someone recognize me.  I looked carefully, and it was Herr Leucht, my fifth grade teacher from the Hauptschule in Bad Munstereifel.  He read the article about me in the Kolnische Rundschau and came to see me.  Press is great.  There were also 6 photographers there that evening.  Thank you Thomas Schmitz from the Stadt Anzeiger, Johannes from the Kolnische Rundshau, Heins Waldukat, Tom von internet radio, and Marco Schlaeger for the wonderful photos!!!!

It was an awesome rocking time.  How else is it possible to be dripping wet with sweat in 13 degrees Celcius?  Life is good.

🙂 anjj