Friday, December 28, 2012

Triple J Australian Music awards

Yep, they happened and as much as people may love or hate The J's, no one can say that their unearthed radio or Oz music awards are bad things. Unearthed radio is really great news for local unsigned artists. The J Awards similarly recognise and celebrate Australian music, both signed and unsigned. Yes, the winners are often Triple J's 'usual suspects', but still, they are Australian.

According to the Triple J website, "The J Award is for an album of outstanding achievement as an Australian musical work of art - for its creativity, innovation, musicianship and contribution to Australian music. The inaugural J Award back in 2005 was won by Wolfmother's self titled LP. Other past winners are; The Hilltop Hoods - 'The Hard Road' (2006), Pnau - 'Pnau' (2007), The Presets- 'Apocalypso' (2008), Sarah Blasko- 'As day follows night' (2009), Tame Impala- 'InnerSpeaker '(2010) and Gotye- 'Making Mirrors' (2011).

This years nominations were:

-Tame Impala - Lonerism
-Alpine - A Is For Alpine
 -Hermitude - HyperParadise
- Ball Park Music - Museum
- The Rubens - The Rubens
- Bertie Blackman - Pope Innocent X
- Regular John - Strange Flowers
- Oh Mercy - Deep Heat
- Urthboy - Smokey's Haunt
- The Presets - Pacifica
- Sarah Blasko - I Awake
-Parkway Drive - Atlas

The winner, was unsurprisingly: Tame Impala - 'Lonerism'

Here is a very cool track and clip from that album.
Tame Impala- 'Feels like we only go backwards'

Only because I really like Alpine's album 'A Is For Alpine', I want to share a track off that. I turned on the radio one day and was half listening to a concert that was being played and suddenly found myself thinking, wow, this band sound great live and the tunes are good as well. That band was Alpine and based on what I heard of that live concert played over the radio transistor, I went out and brought their album 'A Is For Alpine'. I was not disappointed! They are a great Melbourne band.  Support Aussie music. Support local music. Go and buy a record today! In fact, go and buy several records today!

Alpine- 'Gasoline' (unofficial video)

The Nominees for the Australian Video Clip of the year were:

-Alpine - Hands
- Gotye - Easy Way Out
- Flight Facilities - Foreign Language
- Kirin J Callinan - Way II War
- Bertie Blackman - Boy
- Hilltop Hoods - Rattling the Keys to the Kingdom

The winner of the Music video of the year was Kris Moyes clip for Kirin J Callinan - 'Way II War'

If you have not seen it, it is pretty cool and well worth a look, In fact if you only look at one clip in this post, make this the one! I would go on about how I find this clip invigorating, inspiring, forward looking, yet reminiscent of the 80's and DIY/underground music, but it is probably best if I stop rambling and let you make your own minds up.

Kirin J Callinan - 'Way II War'

I'd like to also share the film clip from Video of the year nominees, The Hilltop Hoods. I like their idelogy behind the clip. For the clip they said that  "Not only did we want to do something unifying, we also wanted to use the platform we have to promote artists that we think deserve more exposure. Of course, not everyone involved in the filmclip needs exposure, as many of the artists involved have huge followings in their own right. But having these artists involved in the filmclip just further serves to unify and consolidate the scene".  Nice! I like their inclusive attitude. I also like the great beats and production in the tune, but will say that I cannot help but notice only a couple of female hop hop artists in this clip.

Hilltop Hoods - Rattling the Keys to the Kingdom

The Unearthed artist of the year nominees:

- Flume
- The Rubens
- Chance Waters
- Kingswood
- Thelma Plum

The winner of the Unearthed Artist of The Year award was ' The Rubens'.

Here is a track of theirs. The Rubens- 'Don't ever want to be found'

Australian music, great stuff. get into it!

Friday, December 21, 2012

It's christmas time again.

I was going to start this blog with an unseasonal Bah! Humbug! But I won't. I do fear that I am but half a moment away from becoming that cranky old man in the cardigan, waving his walking stick menacingly and raving on about disrespect and how things were so much better in 'my day'. OK, maybe I'm not QUITE THAT bad, YET. I do really enjoy buying gifts for loved ones and this is the season to indulge. While things have been a little tight financially this year, that doesn't stop me from being able to share some lovely christmas things with you all:

Something kind of cruel but, some of it is so very, very funny! Parents intentionally giving their children crap presents and filming the reactions!

Jimmy Kimmel: I gave my kids a terrible present.

Part 2:

Something musical and Christmasy that I never get sick of:

The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl- 'Fairytale of New York'

Something to remind us of others that need our help:

A starved girl.

"There are about one billion people suffering from starvation in the world today. One in seven people doesn’t have enough nutritious food to eat and their bodies are literally feeding on themselves.
Here’s a basic overview of what happens when someone doesn’t have enough food. First, their bodies will use up energy stores in their muscles and fat. Once that’s depleted the body will feed on internal organs. Eventually the person will die from diseases because of their weakened body, or the organ failure from the starvation itself.
There are many horrible ways to die, but I can’t imagine many worse than having your body feed on itself.
I also can’t imagine what it must be like to watch your child succumb to starvation and be powerless to help them."

The above picture and quote was from I do not know enough about this organisation to endorse them personally, but I do support any message that reminds us all of the plight of the less fortunate.

Lastly, something to fill our hearts and souls:

Ode to Joy- flash mob style:

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and what ever your religious beliefs, may you be safe, warm, fed and content this festive season and beyond. May we all appreciate what we have and be thoughtful enough to share what we can with those that are less fortunate.

And for those that believe in 'Festivus', let the airing of  grievances begin!

warm wishes all round,
matthew schiavello.

Friday, December 14, 2012

People and faces - December 2012

As much as I love abstract photography, I also love photographs of people and in particular, their faces. I thought I would share some recent shots with you:

An unknown waitress in the city, looking Zorro-esque!:

Silhouettes at NGV (Ian Potter Centre):

Coffee in a city arcade and Tom's reflection in the window:

A couple of photos I took of my friend F's very cute and bubbly daughter:

Brad's Birthday in Melbourne:
My mate Dean and a waiter at Pellegrini's... we ordered and ate, I pulled out the camera and then it suddenly became very... umm what is the word the young un's use... random?

All photographs copyright matthew schiavello 2012

Friday, December 7, 2012

Stanley William Cooper

You  and Bill were together for fifty years. Fifty years of love, of trails & tribulations, of smiles and winks across a crowed room and fifty years of being with the man you loved. Fifty years, and you told me that you would do all over again, warts and all. Bill died a few years back and now you have too. I only met Bill when he was sick, when he was blind and in a wheelchair. You were his lover, his partner and at the end his carer. When you finally had to put him into a hospice, you practically lived there as well. You made sure that you still ate your meals together, because that was what you always did.

You were born in 1936 and had met Bill when you were in your early twenties. He was a little older. You braved society's intolerances and dared to love. You found yourselves traveling overseas in a Morris Minor van/kombi van. You were two young men from working class backgrounds travelling europe and sleeping on a mattress in the back of the van. I recently heard that on that trip you and Bill had suits kept under the mattress, to keep them pressed so that you could attend evenings at the opera or theater in style. I wasn't surprised at hearing that, in fact I smiled from ear to ear, it was so you. Many years later upon returning back to Australia, you brought a house together and made it your home. You had so many wonderful stories and whenever you shared any of them with me, you glowed as did I. Your joy was infectious. I hoped that I would one day have as wonderful memories to share.

Stan, you have been such a significant person in my life. You generously gave me honest and sage like advice. You laughed alongside of me, you encouraged me, you showed real interest in my life and where I was heading. You comforted me over my own relationship struggles. You made me realise how we all have to work at things in a relationship, how we have to compromise and that you must never, never forget to have fun. You gave me tips on the what and the how. You told me things like, "when you  can, wink or smile at your partner across a crowded room" or "when you can, wherever you are, steal a touch or gently squeeze his hand". You told me that it was important to make the man I loved feel special and important. You shared what you and Bill had done for each other. You told me that it will get tough at times and be hard, but you work at it. You said that if you value the relationship and your partner, that if you really loved them, then you will put the effort in. I guess that's why you and Bill were together for fifty years, with death the only force powerful enough to separate you, at least for now. You always said that before you died, you wanted to see me attached and happy. I loved your support of me and I drank it up. You were a friend, a mentor, a grand fatherly figure, a gentle man and a gentleman. Everything about you was as genuine as it was generous.

As you became sicker, I kept meaning to visit. On one of the few visits I did make, you played me Nilsson's 'Without you'. You sang along and told me that you missed Bill. Tears welled up in both of our eyes.

When I visited you in hospice, you said that before you died, you wanted to thank me for my friendship and for being in your life, Though I had practiced my thanks to you all the way in to the hospice, I lamely replied "and the same to you", I may as well have said 'ditto' or "right back at ya!". I don't know why I was at a loss for words, as I had so much to say in response. You had done so much for me, been a role model for me to aspire to. You still are. When I stood waiting for the tram after leaving the hospice, for some unknown reason I started singing 'Amazing grace' and cried. I turned my back to the traffic to hide my tears. I wanted to go back inside to tell you how important you are to me and that I loved you, but I didn't want to make this all about me. You were dying, you were in pain and you had long known how I felt about you.

I am saddened that you are gone, not just for me, but for all those that will never get to meet you and be blessed by having such an amazing man in their lives. You are from a time of manners, a time of  grace, graciousness, humility and family. You manged to carry those values into the present and to share them with us all. You modeled them for us and reminded us of their importance and of the need of them still in todays world. All the while when I was with you, you laughed, you smiled and your blue eyes twinkled. I am comforted in knowing that your pain has ended and more importantly, that you and Bill are reunited.

Stan, thank you for being a kind and generous human being and for being my friend. Men like you are few and far between. In the time you have been with us, you have brought happiness to many. You have lent a kind ear and given many an encouraging word. You have been kind. Because of you, I am a better person. Because of you, I want to become an even better person still. You are in my heart and I'll never forget you.
matthew laurence schiavello.

               "What do you think has become of the young and old men?
               And what do you think has become of the women and children?

               They are alive and well somewhere,
               The smallest sprout shows there is really no death,
               And if ever there was it led forward life, 
            and does not wait at the end to arrest it,
               And ceas’d the moment life appear’d.

              All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses,
              And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier."

          (Extract from section six of  Walt Whitman's 'Song of myself'.) 

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Shambelles at the Lomond Hotel.

A few Fridays ago I saw one of Melbourne's premier party and good time bands the Shambelles play at the Lomond Hotel in East Brunswick and boy was it a great night! A musician friend of Jody (the singer) had just passed away. Her name was Jackie and that night's show was dedicated to her rocking memory. Jody also managed to wear a wedding veil all night as a tribute to Jackie! It was a fun celebration with the dance floor filling up very quickly! Here are a few snaps I took on the night:

Rock goddess Mon on guitar!

More Mon is never enough!

As above, so below!

Umm, as this is about the Shambelles, I guess I better introduce the rest of the band!

Here is Julia on Drums.. and umm Mon on guitar!

Here is Jody on Vocals..... and guitarist Mon!

And now....only because I should, here are some Mon-free pics:

Jody on Vocals:

Alics on Bass and Vocals:

Julia on Drums!

Jody and Alics:

Someone had said that Jody had the best pins in town, they obviously had not seen mine (by the way, the below picture is of Jody's 'pins' not mine!).

Dare I even make a pun on how cheeky this shot is?

The Shambelles, they came, they rocked and we all had a blast!
Their facebook page can be found here: Shambelles

More of my Shambelles related ramblings and pictures can be found here:
The Shambelles
The Shambelles at the Union Hotel

All photographs copyright Matthew Schiavello 2012

Friday, November 23, 2012

Being inspired.

When I visit an art gallery I leave inspired. I should visit one more often. Recently I went along to the National Gallery of Victoria's "Radiance: The Neo-Impressionists" temporary exhibition. There were pieces from Georges Seurat, Paul Signac, Théo Van Rysselberhge, Henri-Edmond Cross and Maximilien Luce, to name but some of the artists. While I am not a huge fan of this style of painting, some of the pieces really speak to me. Unfortunately Georges Seurat's 'A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte'  was shamefully absent from the exhibition. This piece has become a part of my psyche, all because of the 1986 film 'Ferris Buellers Day Off' . Tragic? Yes. There is a brillaint scene in the film where one of the characters is transfixed by the almost blank face of a girl in the painting...He identifies with her as he questions his own sense of self and his direction in life. To accompany this is a beautiful instrumental cover of The Smiths track 'Please, please, please let me get what I want'.

Georges Seurat:  'A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte'A (1884).

Anyway, while Seurat's masterpiece was not there for us, there were more than enough amazing works to fill me with inspiration! Here are two photographs where I have chosen to capture only a small detail of the larger piece.

Paul SIGNAC, (detail of)  Saint-Tropez. After the storm, 1895.

Paul SIGNAC, (detail of) Juan-les-Pins. Evening (first version), 1914.

Moving on to something more local and as inspiring, is an exhibition a friend strongly suggested I go to see. She thought I would like it and boy was she bang on the money!

"Control study" is a joint/collaborative exhibition by Vivian Cooper Smith + Jon Butt

It is on at the St Heliers Street Gallery at the Abbotsford Convent, until the 2nd of December, so make sure you get in before you miss out!

Here is a snippet from their information sheet (which is well worth the read): "Both artists work in a way whereby the landscape is firstly absorbed and then re-imagined through the creative process. This action takes many forms including literally cutting or crumpling the image, filtering colours, using random artifacts and paring back formal elements to a pure state"

If that in itself isn't enough to make you want to saunter down to the convent, crab a coffee or a bite to eat and stroll through the galleries, then here are a couple of images I sneakily of took of some of Vivian Cooper Smith's work (p.s. If someone wants to donate a pile of cash to me, so that I can buy some of these pieces, St Peter will note it in the great book above!):

Lastly, whilst at the Convent I also checked out the really cool c3 contemporary art space.
It is a lovely and inviting gallery. I fell in love with a few pieces from the current exhibition by Interact Arts called 'Retroactive'.. again offers of cash to assist me in buying some of these works are welcome ;-)

I have forgotten the names of these artists (who's images I cheekily photographed for the purposes of this blog), but go and check the exhibition out, as the pieces are so much better than these photographs suggest!

So a huge thank you Emma Langridge for not only suggesting this exhibition, but also for making great art! If you haven't already seen any of Emma's works, you can right now via her cool website:

If you need to be inspired, picked up, perked up or just want something different in your day, then think about visiting an art gallery. National or local it doesn't matter, just go. The art works are always changing, so you can never ever become bored, and you may even leave feeling inspired, just like me!

Photographs by me, but copyright of art work belongs to the artists, 2012

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and Something Blue: November 2012

Something Old:

Steve Reich "Octet"

I have this on vinyl and love it, although I do have to be in a certain mindset to listen to this. This recording is from 1979. Around 1983, Reich re-scored this for more instruments and called it Eight Lines, as it was obviously no longer an Octet! Someone has put together a Jackson pollack slide show to accompany Reich's octet. As I love both artists, this works for me, I hope it does for you also!

Steve Reich "Octet"

Matt and Kim: "Daylight"

Matt and Kim  are from Brooklyn and on an independent record label called Fader label. They are not polished throwaway pop, but rough indie jewels. Kim looks like the kind of fun person you would want to have as a friend. Over the years I keep coming back to this track and this clip. The tune is boppy and the clip is fun and cool. Say no more!

Matt and Kim: "Daylight"

Something New:

The Xx: 'Tides'

The Xx have a new Album out called Coexist. I love the minimal approach with this album. More stripped back then the previous one and while they already had a bare sound, with this album the instruments and voices have even more room to breathe and be.
Great stuff!

The Xx 'Tides'

Father John Misty: "Nancy from now on"

Father John Misty used to be the drummer for brilliant group 'Fleet Foxes". He had been recording under his own name of  J Tillman for yonks and is now calling himself Father John Misty! His new album is called 'Fear Fun'. I do love side A of this album and am letting side B grow on me. Obviously I am talking Vinyl! On side A of the Lp is a track called 'Nancy from now on'. I am definitely loving the opening line to this track "Pour me another drink and punch me in the face, you can call me Nancy".

Father John Misty: "Nancy from now on"

Something Borrowed:

De La Soul: 'Eye Know'

Rap/hip hop is often criticised for sampling other artists and just "ripping them off and not being original"...Which I have always thought to be a very odd way of looking at what is being done. Why people didn't see it as borrowing or playing with ideas and reinterpreting/ representing them, I'll never know. Anyway, back in 1989 De la Soul, released what is widely considered to be a 'game changer' of an album called '3ft high and raising'. This album still sounds fresh and here is a track from it!

De La Soul: 'Eye Know'

According to trusty wikipedia, the 'borrowed' samples on this track are:
  • "Get Out of My Life, Woman" by Lee Dorsey
  • "Sing a Simple Song" by Sly & the Family Stone
  • "(Sittin' On) the Dock of the Bay" by Otis Redding
  • "Make This Young Lady Mine" by The Mad Lads
  • "Peg" by Steely Dan

Something Blue:

INXS- "Don't Change"

The very recent offical end of INXs has left me feeling blue. While Michael Hutchence died way back in 1997 the band still played on. I won't go into what they tried, the replacement singers etc... At the time I recall thinking, why?, but good on them for giving it a red hot go!

Ten years before Michael died, INXS released their album 'Kick'. At the time, I brought it on cassette played it to death! It was an album that help define my teenage years, alongside Bruce Springsteen's 'Born in the USA', The Beastie Boy's 'Licensed to ill', Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' and George Michael's 'Faith'... ahh youth and days spent dreaming of a better life as I gazed out of the bedroom window, or lay in the backyard looking up at the clouds and singing along to what ever was on the cassette player.

More recently, Double D (D and Dani) and I were driving around the Kinglake, and Yarra valley area taking photos and playing INXS tracks really loud (as well as tracks by the pet shop boys, but we have already talked about a big puffy cloud of pet shop boys!). It was cool. As a tribute to the official end of INXS, I am going to post D (the older one) and my favourite INXS song- 'Don't change'. I know that I have previously posted this track... but you know I just have to do it again, because it makes perfect sense and even when you are feeling blue this track still manages to take you somewhere special!

p.s. I still want to date the keyboard player! Sensibly attired men will get me everytime! Or should that read as 'you had me at sensibly attired'?

INXS- "Don't Change"

Friday, November 9, 2012

Things that my dates and my friends think I need to stop doing… on dates.

A while back I sent out an email to men I had dated and asked what they thought I should stop doing when on a date...Yeah, huge I know.. I am really opening myself up here, but hey, you only live once, or something like that....Anyway, a few people responded with 'we haven't actually been out on a date'... yeah, embarrassing!! We had, but I wasn’t going to get myself into an email war! Well, at least not another one (too many good people were taken out by friendly fire in the last one). Anyway, there is the point that maybe, just maybe, I have dated fewer people than I think I have, or maybe, just maybe I was such a bad date that these people have suppressed the memory of me and the event. Both of these are of course highly unlikely and the true answer is probably that these crap dates were too lazy to write!

 Because I am a glutton for punishment, I also sent an email to my friends asking them what they think I should stop doing when on a date. My friends after all have repeatedly heard all about my disastrous dates. The most common response from dates and friends alike was "I haven't got enough time to write it all!!!" Second most common response was (and I am guessing this to be a highly sarcastic response), "Gee... That would be hard, you are the perfect date."

So far, no surprises, I mean seriously, I am single for a reason, and you know that haters are gonna hate... apparently. ;-)

 I’ll also admit that there is some truth in some of what was sent to me, such as: 'He fusses over the small things' and the spot on: ‘You over-analyse things too much’, an obvious pitfall of dating a counsellor! One friend and fellow counsellor actually told me I needed to stop counselling dates, when out on a date! But if I stop doing this, how else do I drum up new business? This friend also suggested that to better give me some helpful responses, she best observe me on a date and then write up a report outlining her recommendations! Yep, counsellors! They're a weird mob! So while I am big enough to admit that there was some truth in those comments... seriously, where does 'stop picking your nose at dinner' come from? Anyone that really knows me, knows I use a handkerchief!! I think people were just making stuff up because they could, like this next response demonstrates: ‘Stop dating unicorns off the internet’ WTF??? 

Speaking of 'stop dating' and 'internet', there was an overwhelming response from just about all of my friends, for me to stop meeting men online. They felt that guys who were online (and using the same sites that I am on), are of a poor quality and possibly all mentally unwell… which kind of made me unsure what my friends were saying about me, considering I am also on said sites!  As for improving my chances of meeting someone, my brother in-law suggested that I start going to the gym (and stop being overweight). Another friend similarly suggested that I desperately needed to improve my looks, but as that was not possible (poor me!), I needed to get rich as this would apparently make me 250% more attractive. Is it just me or are my friends shallow??

 Other practical suggestions were to relax my dress standards, because according to one friend “moccasins, trakkie dax, towelling shorts are all perfectly acceptable attire”..Hmmm I am still not sure how to respond to that one (and yes, I was just calling others shallow ;-))… Most disturbing of all though was one dear friend who suggested that I start “Exploring the other half, and thereby increasing the dating pool by 100%”. Fortunately none of my dates suggested this, otherwise I would really be worried!

So there it is, and whatever that 'is', I have no idea except that maybe I need to just keep doing what I am doing, because obviously no one else has given me decent suggestions. I'd say that if it ain't broke don't fix it, but I am not sure how that will help me find a nice decent, down to earth, smart and funny man to date and maybe start a family with.....Hmm, if only they could clone me, for me. That would be a definite win-win! ;-)

Mind you, I do recall previously blogging about how dating myself might not work... 

Friday, November 2, 2012


I know that Spring is coming to an end, but that is no reason not to share some Spring photo's from local areas!


Carlton:  Pride of Madeira (Photo is practically 'as shot').

North Fitzroy:  These pictures are practically 'as shot'.

Bird of Paradise:


all photographs copyright matthew schiavello 2012

Friday, October 26, 2012

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and Something Blue: October 2012

Something Old

After seeing the great movie 'Moonrise Kingdom' by Wes Anderson, I have fallen in love with this tune by Benjamin Britten,  "Songs From Friday Afternoons, Op. 7: 'Cuckoo!'" (1935).

Songs From Friday Afternoons, Op. 7: 'Cuckoo!':

Many years ago I stumbled across a singer called Vicki Carr and her album 'The Best of the Liberty years'. Woah!!! She is great and I still play that album.

Vickki Carr- 'Going out of my head'

Something New

The Pet Shop Boys have a new single called 'Leaving' and I'm really enjoying it.
With great lines like:"... I can still find some hope to believe in love"

 Pet Shop Boys:'Leaving'

The Smith Street Band- 'Sunshine and Technology'
Not only do I like the bands name, cause Smith Street has played a big part in my life, but I like this raw aussie indie rock (and they mention the term 'first world problems' in their song!). This tune does have a language warning for those with sensitive ears!

The Smith Street Band- 'Sunshine and Technology'

Something Borrowed

Ray Lamontagne & Damien Rice - To love somebody. Two great singer/songwriters and a great cover!

Ray Lamontagne & Damien Rice - "To love somebody" (live)


Something Blue

Another Track from the Moonrise Kingdom soundtrack is Hank Williams Snr's 'Long gone lonesome blues". This is great.

 Hank Williams Snr: "Long gone lonesome blues"

Friday, October 19, 2012

South West Victoria.

A few weeks back I went down to South West Victoria with a friend. Of course I took my camera and snapped away. Actually, I snapped away quite a lot and spent more time with my camera than with my mate! Here are some of my snappy results:

 On the way there- Clouds in the side view mirror:

On the Farm:

 Fields of canola:

All photographs copyright Matthew Schiavello 2012