Friday, March 29, 2013

chilling out to the sounds of the 80's

A few weeks back a couple of us drove up to Daylesford for Chill Out's carnival day. One of the passengers kindly made a mix tape (ok,  a mix on the i-pod) and accommodated another passengers specific request of some 80's music.. Well, I have to say that when the 80's tunes came on,  there was lots of singing and toe tapping. This Easter weekend a mate and I are driving up through Western Victoria to take some landscape photos and she may do some sketches. In aid of this trip and in remembrance of the fun we had a few weeks back, an 80's mix was made up for the journey and as I am in an 80's kind of mood, I thought I'd share some of the tunes that will be playing loudly as we relive our childhoods and drive down country back roads tapping out toes and singing loudly (off-key of course)!. Yes, there could be a billion or more great tunes added to what is here (ok, slight exaggeration), but I have only posted a couple... Let me know your own 80's favourites and why!

Pat Benatar- 'Love is a battlefield'

Bruce Springsteen- 'Dancing in the dark'

Cyndi Lauper- 'Time after time'

Bananarama- 'Cruel Summer'

The Bangles- 'Walk like an Egyptian'

A-ha- 'Take on me'

The Dream Academy- 'Life in a Northern Town'

Big Country- 'In a Big Country'

Friday, March 22, 2013

Chill out.. well kind of.

This year like most years, we drove up to Daylesford for Chill Out's Carnival day.
The atmosphere was great... as it always is. We found the best place to camp under some trees (no pun intended!), which meant that we had shade all day!
Last year's pirate theme lead to a lot of really interesting people  to photograph, this year not so...
but that's ok, as I stumbled across some great new abstract images whilst waiting for a friend to use the loo (long story)..

Here are some photographs from the day:

What is probably expected to be seen on the day- Men in drag:

Something not so expected of the day-a scorer's box from a nearby playing field:

Something inspired by the scorers box, a series called 'keeping score'. These were taken on the day and as is what happens with my abstract work, sometimes people mistakenly think I have photographed a painting.. which is kind of flattering ;-)

                                                       'Keeping score #1-4'

And, just becasue it is Chill Out, a faux double exposed digital image of some hot bod chilling under a tree (and the tree itself), surely is a must?:

All photographs copyright matthew schiavello 2013

Friday, March 15, 2013

The BBQ, the 'housemate' and yet another failed date.

The lawyer had hardly spoken to me over the course of the year.

He lived in Sticksville. You know the place, the one that you had to go to yourself that time, which was way out of town, not quite in the country, but not quite the suburbs, not even the outer fringes. It took you forever to get there and when you finally did, you found yourself thinking loudly 'why would anyone live way out here?', and the other person with you said 'where the fuck are we?'. When you mentioned your trip to your friends, they asked if you had taken a packed lunch. Well, that was the place the lawyer lived.

So, suddenly after a brief conversation, which had come from out of the blue, I was being invited to a BBQ at 8.30pm in a few days’ time. Me, being me, said it was too late for me to eat…. you know, by the time you get there and the BBQ actually starts, it is at least 10.30pm before you are sitting down to eat. I suggested that as it was too late for me to eat, that instead I come over for a drink and chat. He agreed. Upon my asking what should I bring, he said 'washed rind cheese'. Not only had I no idea what that was (apart from it being food and cheese), I was feeling a little annoyed. I mean, what part of  'I am not eating' did he not get, and then I am asked to bring food?! Was this something from his shopping list he had forgotten to pick up on his latest trip to the shops? Did he want me to pick up his dry cleaning as well? The next day he called me saying we wanted to bring the BBQ forward an hour and promised we would not eat late. As I was already bringing food stuffs he had forgotten to pick up during his weekly shopping trip, I agreed to eat. Why not?

I went to the Italian deli near my work,… as their cheese section is HUGE they would surely know what this washed rind malarkey is. The thing was, they didn't. Instead they asked what was it for, who was I seeing and what nationality he was (sticky beaks I know!), The moment I said he was an Aussie they were racists as all buggery and said 'Give him some provolone, 'they' love it!'. I replied that I just use provolone on my everyday sandwiches and the hilariously racist deli lady said, 'yeah but 'they' don't know that and think it's gold! GOLD!'. What else could I do? I took the provolone and then headed to the refrigerated section (where milk and dairy is kept) and saw some soft danish cheeses as well as Camembert and Brie, so I bought one 'just in case'. Fifteen dollars and a phone call to my brother later and it turned out that the soft cheeses (yep, those with the washed rind), was what I was meant to buy in the first place. Maybe I should apply for a job in the Deli? Attitude?-check, sticky beak?-check! racist- check (aren't we all to some degree?), knowledge of soft rind cheese- check!

 So, there I was driving in 40 degree heat to the ends of the earth. It was so hot that my car air-con needed it's own air-con. I think I stopped to fill up with petrol twice on the way there.. yeah ok I am exaggerating just a tad, but if my tank like car did not have such a HUGE petrol tank, I am certain I would have had to have filled up at least twice!! I did have to stop several times to check my map, Yes I use a hard copy of the street directory!! I don't trust those confounded electronic talking maps!!! Once I was with my sister and her talking GPS had us looping round the block! Give me a compass and map any day! .. Anyway, finally I had arrived in Sticksville.

The lawyer opened the door and the first thing I realised was that he was shorter than I thought he would be and much older than his internet dating profile stated. Short was ok, in fact he was my height, I was excited as I don't think I have ever dated anyone my own height! I would however normally be annoyed by the lying of ones age, you know the whole foundation built on lies thing.. but as I already knew he was a lawyer...I guess it kind of goes with the territory. Anyway, he invited me in and showed me around his mansion like home. Of course he had a grand piano and, no, he didn’t play. Apparently it was for atmosphere. When he told me that he had decorated the interior himself, I wondered if I should have told him not to tell anyone else that.... At every step in the tour, he told me how much he had spent on the house, both the ongoing renovations and the interior decorating.. I couldn't help but say, 'you've really over capitalised for the area'. He froze for a moment and then mentioned how he didn't care, as he saw himself dying in the house.. I couldn't help but wonder when this was going to happen., Was it soon and did he know something I didn't? After being shown around the mansion for what seemed hours, I felt like I needed a drink or twenty. My date must have read my mind, because he suggested we sit down and open a bottle of champagne (which was followed by several bottles of wine). I don't count other peoples drinks, but this guy seemed to drink a bottle to my glass. Mind you I was counting time and making sure the food didn't go on the BBQ too late... I cannot eat after a certain time you upsets my whole routine!

So there we were, making small talk, getting to know each other and me being me, I had to know why it took a year of infrequent chatting to finally decide to meet...

He: "I've been really busy with work."

Me: " ok... look don't get me wrong, I am really happy to be here and that you asked me over, but it kind of came out of the blue and I am a bit surprised by it".

 I should mention at this point that in all the time we have been chatting, his internet dating profile clearly stated that he was a SINGLE GAY MALE, but he responded with...

He: "Yes, well work has eased up a little, and as my housemate has just gone away on holiday, I thought it would be a good opportunity to invite you over."

Me: 'Your housemate? I didn't realise you had a housemate. How long has he been here with you?'

He:' Oh.. he and I shared before I bought this house.'

Me: 'Oh! So is he just a housemate or your partner?'

He:' oh.. well umm.. partner I guess, but we aren't so close anymore.'

 Me: 'Hmm.. do you still consider yourself a couple and still share a bed?'

Yes I do go in hard and fast with my questioning.. take no prisoners I say!!!

He:' ah.. yes.. but we don't have sex as often as we did at the start of the relationship.'

Me: 'You know that your profile says that you are single.'

He.. feigning innocence:' Does it?'

 Me: 'I am wondering how your partner would react to being referred to as your housemate?'

Unsurprisingly he didn't respond to that question. I guess he knew it was rhetorical. So there I was in Sticksville with this freaking soft rind cheese and provolone (which cost me $15!) and not sure what the heck was going on. The next several hours became a quasi counselling session as he talked about everything that was wrong with his life and with his several failed relationships, as well as what he saw as being problematic with this current one. Or should I say with his current 'housemate'? I asked if he had talked about his concerns with his partner/housemate, and he replied 'No'. I asked how he expected his partner to know what he was thinking and feeling if he didn't share his thoughts and feelings with him... He agreed with this point and said I was brilliant. Despite all the other issues, at least this man was able to recognise my brilliance! He then asked if I would come back another day and talk to his partner about their relationship, as I had with him. I said “Sure” and half joked, but was mostly serious about how much I charge per hour, in cash.... He went deathly silent and never mentioned my counselling services again.

By the time we finished talking, it was 2.30am. I said I had better leave and he suggested I stay over in the spare room, though he referred to it by name.Yes, the spare rooms had names. Each room’s name reflected its own uniquely decorated theme. Uniquely of course meaning ......... (Dear reader, please fill in the blank with your choice of adjective, I'd suggest something like 'hideous' ). Anyway, I lied and said I couldn't stay over as I didn't bring my toothbrush. Little did he know that the boot of my car has a suitcase filled with spare clothes, shoes and bits and bobs just in case my date and I hit it off and we decide that I should move in there and then!

So there I was driving home from Sticksville in the early hours of the morning, scratching at the twenty two itchy-as-hell mosquito bites covering my arms and legs, which were still bothering me a week later. Though I had been eaten alive as we talked and ate 'al fresco', I guess I was still a little confused about his situation, and to be honest, I was still attracted to him and so, I didn't want to be seen as a complainer and just sucked up the pain of those bloody mosquito bites instead of asking to move indoors. More fool me......

To add to it all, we never even opened up and nibbled on these bloody cheeses, not even the soft rind one!!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Some new images- March 2013

I thought I would share some of the new images I have been working on. A few of these have been posted online already.

                                       'The discarded and forgotten #64'

                                                     ‘City life #106

                                               ‘P, G & R  #30

                                                               ‘Layers #32

                                                ‘Pink and Black #41’

                                               ‘Pink and Black #42’

                                                    'Eeh #13 '

Friday, March 1, 2013

New music- Feb 2013

When I say I rock it ol' school, I look and sound like an utter and complete dag, which is half the fun. I mean if you can't take the piss out of yourself, who can you take the piss out of? So, you know that when I say that I am both cool and a complete snob for buying new music on vinyl, it is said with tongue firmly planted in cheek....Anyway, I went two steps beyond my already cool, hip and groovy self and went 'underground' (man!) when I recently purchased a new album on cassette! Why underground? Well I mentioned it to a few people who quizzically asked what do you mean 'cassette'? yep, I may as well have said on wax cylinder... Others who faintly recalled them, had an air of derisiveness when asking 'does anyone have a cassette player nowadays?.. yep I do.. Three infact! But that still doesn't really account for the underground bit in full. Ok, while I am bucking the expectations of the mainstream, the act of buying on cassette was made more 'underground' because the album was the new one by noise pop group 'Deerhoof'. The main-streamers will say 'who?' and the indie darlings will say, 'they are far from underground'...and me in the middle with my cassette player will write a blog on the whole thing, from my cramped little home, with old newspaper sticky-taped to the windows to stop summers hot breeze from coming in through the gaps between the window frame and where the glass window used to be. I may as well be squatting, hence my feeling underground, while really and lets be honest here,  I am a bourgeois home owner tapping away on his lap top with wireless internet, sipping on Italian coffee after coming in from brunch with friends ... Hmm I guess it's all about perspective.

Anyway this is supposed to be about new music:

On Cassette:
Deerhoof: 'Breakup song".
From the LP Breakup song, comes the cute and noisy track 'The trouble with candyhands'.

On Vinyl:
The Smiths: Unreleased Demos and Instrumentals   (bootleg and a double album on blue vinyl!).

From the album is the rawer (and all the better for it) track 'Ask':

What I am loving on the radio and on youtube:

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. If you thought you knew Nick, then give this track a listen, yeah it sounds like him, but the music is so spacious and yet has a whiff of claustrophobia at the same time! From the new Lp 'Push the sky away'- 'we no who u r' (yes, please forgive Nick for his Gen Y text styled spelling):

Smith Street Band- 'Young drunk' . I am loving this band at the minute...(oh, and if you are not able to catch the name of the venue in this clip, it's the Tote!):

Billy Bragg!!!!  OMG is all I will say.. well ok, and this... I love the man, I would marry him in a flash and have pre-ordered his new album on vinyl!!!!!!! The clip to this track sees Billy looking his age and that beard doesn't help.... When we marry I'll definately shave that beard off... there is only room under my roof for one bearded man and that is obviously me!  Also, dear friends, please forgive Billy his grammatical craziness... between him and Nick Cave I don't know who is worser-er!

Billy Bragg- 'No One knows nothing anymore':