Thursday, July 30, 2015

Music and art.

I recently picked up an older compilation from Rough Trade Shops called 'counter culture'. I had bought one years back, loved it and had been keeping an eye out for these, but they seem to be hard to come across. They are an eclectic and great mix of  tracks their staff and customers love from the previous year. They feature more independent releases from alt country, punk and electronica. Some may find some of the tracks unlistenable or weird, but there are usually little nuggets of gold in the compilations. I picked a few up recently online and here are a few of the more enjoyable (and listenable) tunes from them.



This first track- 'The oil rigs at night', by The Delines has a lovely quality to it. It feels as if you are in this woman's head as she thinks things through. There is no grand swelling of strings or vocal acrobatics, just warm intimacy. In its story telling I am reminded of 'By the time I get to Phoenix'.
The Rough Trade compilation has the studio version, but I thought I would share this live version from KEXP:

The Delines- 'The Oil rigs at night':




This next track has a mellow vibe. I recall hearing it as I was working and immediately thought..Hmm, what was that track? I like it.

Real Estate- 'It's real'.




This next track is kind of fun and cheeky. It makes some great points and be warned- it does have a couple of swear words in it.

Dan le Sac versus Scroobius Pip- 'Thou shalt always kill'




These next two tracks you may have heard before. They both have a mellow and chilled retro feel:

The war on drugs- 'Red eyes'



Soulsavers- 'Revival':




Lastly, the Liars. They have been about for a while and this is a great headphone track. And remember, as the chant goes- 'facts are facts and fiction 's fiction'! The clip uses computer generated images to warp reality to represent different variations of 'reality'. I am not sure what is fact and what is fiction here.

Liars- 'Mess on a mission':



all music and images copyright of the respective artists.

Also, speaking of cheeky! A cheeky reminder of the group show I am in and which opens this Sunday!
I hope you can pop in for the opening or anytime while it it on. The exhibition ends on Wednesday the 12th.





Wednesday, July 15, 2015

My new exhibition: Group Show - '5 of Us.' From 02 August -12 August at Steps Gallery

Some exciting news! I am part of a group show at Steps Gallery (62 Lygon Street, Carlton.).
It is called ‘Five of Us.’
It is on from Sunday the 2nd of August -Wednesday the 12th of August.


It is a diverse group, and you will see drawing, painting, watercolour, and my experimental photographic and mixed media works.

I will have 10-13 pieces there, plus cards for sale!

Join me for opening drinks on Sunday the 2nd of August from 2pm- 6pm.

The exhibition then runs daily from 11am till 5pm and ends on Wednesday the 12th of August.

I will also be at the gallery on Saturday the 8th and Sunday the 9th of August. So pop in and say hello!

I hope you can make it!
Here is the flyer:



Thursday, July 2, 2015

Photos, film and oh, I destroyed your images!

I thought it would be fun to share a few new film photos and some photos which are not mine, but AK's. He sent them to me and I think I misunderstood what he wanted from me, as I messed about with them in photoshop and he didn't particularly like the outcomes, in fact I think his reaction was akin to me destroying his images! Talk about overreact!.... Anyway, he has given me permission to share them, so fear not. You dear reader, may be blessed with good taste, like moi! and may like my interpretations as much as I do... and yes my tongue is planted firmly in my cheek ;-)

Firstly, here is my fun, pop art inspired "Gum on a disposable coffee cup (in pink)."


Here is AK's boring original version:

Next is my subtle enhancement and crop, of a piece I have called "The artist deep in thought."

Here is AK's wider and slightly less interesting original:


Above images copyright Anson Koehler 2015.


Here are some film images I took earlier in the year, but just scanned in now.

Positive light

Abbotsford Convent.
AK never stays still long enough for me to able to correctly manually focus the camera! I think he sabotages my film shots on purpose ;-)





Lastly, I wanted AK to hold his hands up but he didn't understand what I meant, so I had to model for him:

My Hands (positive version)


All images copyright matthew schiavello 2015, except where otherwise noted.




Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Relationships and communication.

I was going to write a (hopefully) humorously scathing piece on bad bosses.
I have had more than my fair share of them, especially those bosses that 'talk the talk' but don't actually follow through and do anything. You know the ones, they don't communicate honestly or well. Here is a recent example:

Boss : "Tell me what I can do, to help you do your job to the best of your abilities"

Me: "Well, as I am on the road 4 days a week doing one-off visits to people living all over the city and it's outlying suburbs.. I really need a GPS"

Boss: "Sure, ummm can you email these people at head office and see if you can track a spare one down and... let me know how you go."

Me (After contacting several people via phone and email.): "No one has one. It was suggested to put a request through to I.T. They can order one for us and bill our business unit."

Boss: "OK, thanks for doing that. Can you give me some quotes for a GPS from this large chain store?"

Me (months after providing the quotes to my boss): "Hi, just wondering how you are going with those quotes for the GPS I emailed you a while back, I really need one."

Boss: "Sorry, I have been really busy, umm.. can you email them to me again and I'll look at that and get back to you"

Me: "Ok, just to remind you, one was $100 for a year of maps and then you pay to update your maps after that, and the other one was $150 for a lifetime of maps."

Boss: "Yeah thanks, if you could send me another email, that would be great."

Me (again, months later): "I know you are busy, but I really need a GPS and am wondering how you are going with that request?

Boss: "why do you need a GPS? no one else needs one?"

Me: " I am on the road traveling to new locations 4 days a week in various suburbs of Melbourne. I am currently printing off paper maps on Fridays for the week ahead, amidst doing all my other admin work for the visits I have just completed and doing follow up work. Going into google maps and printing off the screens is slow and time consuming, and uses lots of paper. The work i-phone has a tiny screen which I cannot properly see when driving. I have tried using the voice directions on their own, but as I am concentrating on the road and other drivers, I find that I am missing what was said.  Which means I often have to pull over to safely look at the screen and see where I should be turning, or to see which turn I just missed."

Boss: "I still don't understand why you need a GPS"



I never got the GPS, but I did leave that job after one too many similar situations (and much worse).


Anyway,
I was thinking about the importance of clear and honest communication. About how it is essential to all areas of our lives, be it work, home, friends, family, partners etc.

I was thinking of when you are in a relationship and the other person does something you are not happy with. There is that struggle: do I say something right now? If so, what is the best way of saying this so that they can hear what is being said and do not feel attacked? Is this more about me? Is this significant or important enough to raise? or... the classic - they saw the way I reacted and this is enough to let them know I was not happy and I am sure this won't happen again!

Where do you draw the line about what is important enough to raise? How do you ensure that what has not been raised, does not sit in a growing and festering pool of what has not been said, to possibly one day overflow and become much bigger than need be? In other words, how do you minimise the risk of a future explosion of bottled issues?

If you and the other person have differing communication styles, how do you find the middle ground?
Take the word 'person' out and replace it with partner, friend, boss, brother/sister etc.
Apparently, relationships don't just happen, they involve work!

I was recently listening to Billy Bragg on ABC's 'In conversation' and he talked about being with his partner for 22 years. He said that the really big challenge in relationships is to maintain them. His song 'Chasing Rainbows" off his 2013 LP "Tooth and Nail", is himself at 55 years of age, exploring questions such as: trying to keep up with your partners expectations, and also how to try and manage these expectations.

Billy is a great lyricist and this track has some great lines, such as:

"I know you think if I just tried
We would never fight at all
But I know there will still be days into which some rain must fall
So I'll do my best to meet the test
But darling don't forget
If you go chasing rainbows
Then you're bound to end up getting wet."


Billy Bragg - "Chasing Rainbows"


I would add that we should also be asking ourselves 'how do we also manage our own expectations of our partner/boss/friend/family member and our own expectations on how our relationships SHOULD be?' Yes, 'should' and according to whom?

I recently found myself with one of those classic thoughts, that we all have at some point. A thought that I am glad I caught early on, before it had a chance to become something more than a small thought: "Why should I keep putting in the effort when the other person doesn't. 'They' need to step up and put in as much effort as I do!". Yep, and you know what happens once you stop making an effort.

It is 'ok' and completely normal to feel tired or exhausted from time to time. I know that. If you did decide to stop making an effort, that is completely fine as well, as long as you are really honest and clear with yourself about why you stopped and what the implications for the relationship are due to this. Be really honest, did you stop because you are game playing? Is it tit for tat? Or do you simply not care anymore? Is not making an effort, in line with how you want to be in a relationship? Whether it is your boss, friend or partner? By acting in this way, are you living in integrity?

I guess that is one of the key questions. How do you remain in integrity in your communications and in your relationships.  Be it boss, partner, friend, brother, sister, whomever.

Being in a relationship, being one imperfect human with another, means that there will be difficult times. There will be times ahead where you may feel that communication could be better and that one or both of you are not living up to 'expectations'. The trick is how you manage these times. How you uncover what the issues are, what the expectations are and how you work through them together. Just like any team effort, sometimes that means that one person puts in a little more, in order for the team to reach the goal. Sometimes only one of the team members have the necessary skills needed to successfully deal with that particular issue. Sometimes it is the other way round. The important thing is honest, clear and respectful communication.


Anyway... Now to work out what it means to manage 'those times'.

I should finish on something light. Perhaps a joke?

Q: why did the chicken cross the road?

A: to get it's boss a quote for a GPS.










Friday, June 5, 2015

New images June 2015

I thought it time to share some new-ish photographs and abstract photographic works.


These two were seen on a wall in Fitzroy. I love how the image of the skull has been torn and you can see layers where different people (and the elements) contributed to what I captured with the camera.




Bricolage is, in basic terms, work created from what is around you and at hand. These next three images were created with what I had in my studio. They are an exploration of colour and light.



 

These next two images are studies. One is of organic plant life, and the other is of feathers.They are photographs.






all photographs copyright matthew schiavello 2015

Thursday, May 21, 2015

New images on film

I Shoot film. Sometimes for fun and now, more so for experimental reasons. I like to destroy the film and then scan in the results. Sometimes I use a damaged camera (I generally forget it is damaged and how I have been meaning to bin the camera or donate it). These images are from a damaged Olympus trip 35 camera. Some of the images have marks from where the camera has damaged the film as it was wound. Some images are the positive version. Some of them have turned out blue...for some bizarre reason.  I haven't done anything fun or weird to the images. These were taken early 2015.

A.K. & D.G.


City lane.
 A.K.


Powerline.



all images copyright matthew schiavello 2015.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

new music- May 2015

Some new and not so new, things I am listening to.


Laura Marling:
I love this woman's work. This track, is off her her fifth LP titled 'Short Movie'. I have all of them and just added this to my vinyl collection. I also downloaded this track off i-tunes and it is played on repeat as I walk the streets!

Laura Marling-False Hope:




Sylvan Esso.
This group kind of slipped by me. Their self titled Lp was released mid 2014. This track came up on my radar recently and I had this nagging feeling I had heard this song before. I am really enjoying this track and especially the sounds used in it.

Sylvan Esso- Coffee.




TV On The Radio.
I haven't loved much by TV On The Radio over the past few years, but stumbled across this great live version of their track - 'Careful', originally off their latest LP 'Seeds', this recording is from the brilliant program 'Morning becomes Eclectic'.


TV On The Radio' 'careful (live):




The Twerps.
Melbourne group, doing well overseas in Indie circles. I like this track, but whenever I hear the opening to it, I can't help but think that it reminds me of another song, but I can't figure out which one! This track was released late last year.

The Twerps- 'Back to you'



Shelby Lynne
A friend put me onto 'live from Daryl's' house' a while back.. but I kind of forgot about it till now. Daryl is he of Hall and Oates fame. The premise is simple and well executed, he invites musos into his space and jams with them. This is Shelby Lynne and her beautiful song Leaving (off her 2000 LP 'I am Shelby Lynne)', which has not aged one bit!

Shelby Lynne- Leavin' (live from Daryl's house)




Alabama Shakes.
Their first Lp 'Boys & Girls', was brilliant and their follow up 'Sound & Color' show they are definitely not one trick ponies, but are a musical force to be reckoned with. I was listening to the Lp recently and kept getting distracted by bits and thinking 'this is brilliant!'

Alabama Shakes- 'Don't wanna fight' (Live on Letterman).





all tracks copyright of the respective artists.