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