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'.)