Tag Archives: bev davies

“On the Road to Creativity” talk notes (Pecha Kucha NIght, Vancouver, 2010)

Dave Olson - Story Maker/Writer/ Producer (uncleweed.net) speaks at Pecha Kucha - photo by Melissa Gedney

What follows are my notes for a talk called “On the Road to Creativity” for Pecha Kucha Night Vancouver. The format includes 20 slides for 20 seconds each, auto-changed. As such, the pace is brisk and a bit of a high-wire act. No audio/video exists but there is a “roundup” of photos, tweets, and other artifacts including the hand-crafted “paper-point” collage slides. See “Consider Perusing” below.

1 – On the road

I’ve spent much of my life wandering around the globe working odd jobs including mushroom farmer in Japan, grape picking in Germany, beach club host in Guam and even following the Grateful Dead – all these experiences provided lots of time for thinking mostly about the meaning of art and importance of documentation – here’s what i cam up with

2 Art makes the future

while the history we learn is laden with the stories of kings, conquerers, popes and rulers, the only reason we know anything about how people lived, loved and thought is because artists took the time to chronicle the the stories through paint, words, carvings, and song. From the earliest cave painters to bloggers, there is vast evidence for the importance of storytelling.

3 Art Craft Schwag

No doubt today like olden times, there is a tremendous amount of disposable pop culture created to satiate common interest but the best stuff created by diligent artisans rises above the layer of schlock into the territory of craft and then transcends into a rarified area of art which will last centuries rather than 15 minutes. But who decides what is art? And don’t give me that “i know what i like” answer.

4 Craft + Intent

Instead I’ve made a formula to sort out these largely subjective criteria – first off, take Craft – skill honed from thousands of hours of consideration, then add Intent – which, while subjective, can be gauged by heart of the creator, and then multiplied by the artist’s Integrity as seen by an audience. The audience who truly breathes life into a story, no matter the medium. This formula doesn’t work for you? Cool, make another, but be sure to share. Art does not live in a vacuum, art yearns to be shared.

5 Audience / Awesome

But this can be tricky for artists who must balance their internal desire and, dareisay mission, to create authentic art with the often debilitating practical need to make a living. I’ve found that my projects which garner the biggest audience, are not necessarily the ones which i maximize my artistic potential – find where you audience and awesomeness intersect and try to find a way to hang out there.

Here’s how:

6 Upgrade your Heroes

First upgrade your heroes – history is scattered with underknown world-changers, and the present is too. Dig beyond pop culture, politicians and sports personalities to find remarkable predecessors to your work – for me, my heroes range from writer of “Confessions” and “The Social Contract”, Jean Jacques Rousseau, to current day punk rock photographer bev davies. Who are your historical dopplegangers?

7 Personal Archaeology

Next, embark on personal archaeology – dig into your closet to find forgotten dreams from those black white photos you took in yellowstone to graduate thesis to 4th grade book reports to your journals from hitchhiking down the coast. Take the risk to share these artifacts with your small slice of the world and let them breathe life into your work.

8 Embrace Translucency

Transparency isn’t interesting – instead share the parts of you which are compelling and you are capable of backing up – accept risks but protect the parts of you which are too delicate to expose. Create interest through scarcity and self-editing and be prepared to deal with any reaction which comes along.

9 Express with vigour

You are an expert on something, don’t rely on others to create the historical record – everyone has access to remarkable publishing and promotion tools so step it up and dig deep to tell your unfiltered opinions and don’t let cynics bring you down – if you can’t surprise and impress yourself, no way you can evoke emotion from an audience.

10 HST

I think of “Express with Vigour” as the “Hunter S Thompson rule” – while his reputation has been somewhat maligned through hollywood movies, the fake Doctor was the finest social commentator since Samuel Clemens and offered significant discourse about Jimmy Carter, Hell Angels, 9/11 – and did it with a significant buzz – but always had a job because he expressed himself wisely and vigorously.

11 Cross Training

Now sometimes the pressure to create awesomeness can be debilitating – staring at a white sheet of paper and all that – rather than stressing, experiment with other mediums and get interdisciplinary with cross training skillz and your stories will manifest through the other tools – i contend V. Van Gogh c/would’ve made it as a writer if the painting hadn’t worked out.

12 Don’t Get Precious

With all this goodness you are creating, it’s easy to get protective of your thoughts and work. Rather than waiting for someone to make you an offer you can’t refuse, share your work openly and willingly – learn about creative commons, find collaborators, encourage remixing and your work will create a culture of its own. It’s not always fair but it is usually fun.

13 Ignore Gatekeepers

The established business models for artists are relatively modern and designed to create value for the shareholders of corporations. The goal of landing a major label record deal or a big publishing advance are no longer needed or valued – be your own imprint, chart your own course, the gatekeepers may look intimidating but they are made of stone so walk on by.

14 Cross Pollinate

When your work is released to the world to an audience – no matter the size – you’ll see a culture begin to grow around it – In the hills of Japan, I learned that once inoculated, Shiitake mushrooms propagate their culture from one log to the next – as the older logs rot away and stop producing, new logs down the line are fruiting fungus. Ditto with your audience.

15 Get more drummers

One dude drumming alone can make some noise but is not a party – recruit more drummers to amplify your story in their own way and spread your message across continents and oceans while building relationships and playing well with others. More fun, more effective plus you need others to have your back from time to time. Your momma told you are 1 in a million – that means there are at least 30 people just like you in Canada alone – go find em.

16 Formula for creativity

The old Edison maxim suggest success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration – this isn’t my formula – my formula for creative expression is 80% meditation, 10% execution and 10% inebriation – what i mean by that is the real work comes in the white space of life where you contemplate your story – the inebriation part is about pushing yourself to where you get a little scared.

17 Collect notes along the way

Travelling light means not accumulating much – for me gathering ephemeral objects along the way can be a short cut to remembering where you were mentally, emotionally, artistically decades later – a train ticket or dried flower can leap you back to a place in time which can benchmark how much you’ve remained the same while constantly evolving and spark new creative pursuits.

18 make it for yourself

Everyone else is just eavesdropping – this ain’t your job – its for love not money so make it exactly how you want it. Push out the nagging naysayers in your noggin and create something with integrity and for the love of all things decent, don’t cheese out for the quick win. Be sell out proof and make things you’ll want to read when you are old and grey.

19 Reap Rewards

Making stories for the future isn’t a way to gain the material trapping of perceived success. You may never see your reward beyond the admiration of a small tribe of others – but that’s enough. Success will be a surprise you likely don’t expect. Don’t wait for your ship to come in, instead realize it might get lonely out waiting for your bus to roll in so get comfy and settle in.

20 Hang loose

I’m dave, i’m all over the internet – i have a killer job so you can’t hire me but you can buy me a beer – thank you and hang loose vancouver

“Fck Stats, Make Art” Talk Transcription (Northern Voice 2008)

Dave Olsen Reads Rousseau

What follows is transcription of a talk called “Fck Stats, Make Art” at Northern Voice, 2008 in Vancouver, BC. Original audio (record by Jay Stewart who is identified as Speaker 1 below) exists, as does a “round-up” of photos, tweets, artifacts, and so on. See “Consider Perusing” below.

Speaker 1: We’re at Northern Voice 2008 in Vancouver BC at the University of British Columbia Forestry Science Center and I’m about to record Dave O’s presentation.  What is the name of the presentation?

Speaker 2: Fuck Stats Make Art.

Speaker 1: Fuck Stats Make Art.  It’s going to be a little bit controversial because he’s going to give a call to up the ante on quality of stuff people are posting.  He’s like, “It doesn’t matter if people are looking, it matters if it’s good content, that’s more important.”

Speaker 2: Certainly good content comes first and then you really [inaudible 00:01:06].

Speaker 1: I don’t need to know when people’s cats are going to the bathroom.  I see a lot of that on Twitter and other sites and stuff, you know?

Announcer: So, it’s my pleasure to introduce one of my best friends here Dave Olson.  He also works with me at Raincity Studios and I’m really excited that you guys get to hear him talk today.  I think this talk would be quite a bit different from everything else that you hear at Northern Voice.

I dragged, Dave, kicking and screaming in the world of Google Analytics and I just didn’t get it, just like every moment I spent either looking at my viewers or attracting new ones is one less moment I’m writing or doing something else that I love.  So, I always respected that about him.

He’s a poet, a filmmaker, an author, photographer and many other awesome things.  Anyway, I’ll leave it up to him to go with the rest.  So, welcome to Fuck Stats Make Art.  

Continue reading “Fck Stats, Make Art” Talk Transcription (Northern Voice 2008)

Revolutions, Punks & Poets: Vancouver’s Forgotten Stories

Storymaker Dave uncleweed Olson shares an eclectic variety of stories from Vancouver’s counter-culture history on a stage adorned with a record player, campfire & cub scout blanket, art easel, flowers and an Expo 86 mug – plus pulls artifacts from an old-timey suitcase to illustrate forgotten past of a city which is/was much cooler than most realize.

Presented at Northern Voice, June 2013 in Vancouver, Canada, his 11th presentation to this noted personal expression conference (and his last talk before a medical “retirement”).

Filmed by Bruce Sharpe and Andrew Lavigne
Edited, Directed, Produced by Andrew Lavigne (also: With Glowing Hearts and Generation Social).

Music: Derek K Miller (RIP) “(You’re the) Big Sky”

Dave uncleweed Olson shares Forgotten Vancouver Stories
Dave uncleweed Olson shares Forgotten Vancouver Stories


  • Frederick Varley – Group of 7 painter who lived in Vancouver for 10 years
  • Grateful Dead – (tried to) play free shows at Second Beach and Kits Beach in 1966
  • Bob Masse psychedelic poster artist
  • Gastown Riots, March on Blaine, Rock Against Racism
  • bev. davies – rock n roll photographer, community chronicler, punk rock mom
  • Blues in Vancouver – Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee at the Bunkhouse
  • Vancouver punk rock glory days DIY spirit and fanzines (+ final days of The Clash and importance of ephemera)
  • Clayoquot Sound logging blockades
  • Jake Milford and the Canucks recruiting Swedish players in the 1970s
  • United Empire Loyalists + Burner Boys bringing jam band culture
  • Venues of note: Afterthought, Retinal Circus, York Theatre, the Cave, the Bunkhouse
  • Cubscout campfire blankets
  • Howard Hughes, Errol Flynn
  • ++ bits of Kris Krug, Bob Kronbauer, Rebecca Bollwitt, Dan Mangan, Jason Vanderhill and campfire helpers: Mark Blevis, Kemp Edmonds, John Biehler, James Lester, Ariane Colenbrander, Nicholas Demers

Continue reading Revolutions, Punks & Poets: Vancouver’s Forgotten Stories

“Return to the Scene of the Crime” Punk Rock Photos at Smilin’ Buddha with bev. davies

At the iconic Smilin Buddha Cabaret and Restaurant in Vancouver’s downtown Eastside, legendary punk rock photographer bev. davies (sic) shows the photos in her recent “(Return to the) Scene of the Crime” exhibit featuring photos taken at his landmark venue between 1979 and 1983.

Bev Daviesbev. davies by Kris Krug

Dave uncleweed Olson — with attorney Lindsay Lazlo Bailey — asks about her process, the stories behind photos, anecdotes about the subjects and flashbacks about the shows.

Plus, they discuss:

* various parenting tips and stories with heavy metal warlords (Bruce Dickinson, Lemmy Killmister, Dee Snider)
* ideas for a book of bev’s photos (form, cost, etc)
* the history of her remarkable calendars with Nardwuar
* some friends who’ve died (RIP Dave Gregg, Brain Goble)
* hollandaise sauce and skateboards ramps

Note: As a fan and supporter of bev’s work, i’ve also interviewed her (along with new-school photographer and activist Kris Krug) at Northern Voice in a talk called “Building a Scene — Rock n Rock Photos” and another interview to appear soon.


* Smiling Buddha Cabaret Restaurant
* bev smilin buddha photoset
* Rock n Roll Photo talk video
+ videographer’s notes
* Rock n Roll photo recap
* Rock n Roll Photo talk slides
* Bev on Twitter
* Miss 604 annotations from talk
* DaveO photos from 144 punk photos


More bev. davies articles:

BEV DAVIES AND DOA in the Skinny Magazine

Bev Davies and D.O.A.: Returning to the scene of the crime in Beatroute magazine


Vancouver Stories from the Museum on @TheRushTV show

After a recent appearance discussing HootSuite culture, i sat down with Fiona Forbes and guest host Peter Verge to share a few of my favourite – somewhat-forgotten – Vancouver-centric stories. This time, the set was on-location at the Museum of Vancouver.

I shared anecdotes about rock and roll photographer Bev Davies, the Group of 7 bohemian painter Frederick Varley, and the elusive Grateful Dead shows in 1966 + name check for Janis Joplin and Big Brother and the Holding Company.

The show also broadcasts a livestream which includes all the in between banter and offside comments and anecdotes from the Twitter stream.

Questions + Answers from the Hero Dossier – Feasthouse Podcast


Questions & Answers from the Hero Dossier (7:33,.mp3)

At Fresh Media conference at W2 Arts + Media Centre, participants riff a spontaneous blurb about a hero from a Dossier of Importantcy in a workshop about storytelling + podcasting by Dave Olson (AKA Uncle Weed).

Features Samuel Pepys, RMS Carpathia, Amber Case, Thomas Paine, J. Garcia, Mudhoney, JJ Rousseau, Geoff Berner, Ed Abbey, The Numbskulz, DH Lawrence, Tin Tin, HD Thoreau, Jer Crowle, Bev Davies, Gary Snyder, Vaclav Havel, Lou Reed, Cory Doctorow, Dr. Seuss, Dead Kennedys, Theo Van Gogh & Derek K. Miller, Gillian Shaw and other personal luminaries liberated from an envelope. Thanks to @shermanscorner for tunes.

More about Podcasting:

Bev Davies in Discorder – Play it Loud

Bev Davies in Discorder – Play it Loud

SXSW Stories from Middle Earth – Choogle On #79

Both a preview and recap of SXSW 2009 as Uncle Weed and the Quebecois Correspondent discuss the noted media conference and extravaganza featuring UW’s spiel F@ck  Stats, Make Art – a soliloquy for quality and integrity in creation. Along with live recordings of Geoff Berner, and The Black Angels comes a recounting a perfect day of upgrading heroes, tasty food, and Austin Psychedelic Music Fest plus more highlights including: RiP Remix Manifesto film, micro-brews at Gingerman, Bruce Sterling, and hugs with new friends.

SXSW Stories from Middle Earth

Head out to Austin, Texas for SXSW Stories from Middle Earth – Choogle On #79 (.mp3, 33:12, 45MB)

Musically Noted

Geoff Berner, renegade accordionist– “No Tobacco” recorded at The Biltmore in Vancouver, BC on Feb. 28, 2009

Bev Davies – Vancouver Rock Photographer

The Black Angels – “Better off Alone” recorded at SXSW 2008

Austin Psychedelic Music Fest – March 13 ~ 15

The Golden Dawn

The Golden Dawn started out in the murky time and space of Austin, Texas in late 1966, along with many other wild groups now holding legendary status, but most notably with the kings of the Texas Psychedelic scene, the 13th Floor Elevators. George Kinney and Roky Erickson of the Elevators grew up together and played in high school bands with each other, and by the time of the Great Mind Expansion, the Elevators and the Dawn were in close contact.


Pitches for SXSW 2010 – Hitchhiking to the Boardroom & Rock N Roll Photography

Recap of F@ck Stats, Make Art at SXSW 2009

Recap of F@ck Stats, Make Art at Northern Voice 2008

Recap of Rock N Roll Photography at Northern Voice 2009

SXSW 2008 Choogle on podcasts – 6 tasty episodes!

More Podcast Goodness

Postcards from Gravelly Beach – Literature podcast – FeediTunesBlog

Out n’ About with Uncle Weed– Travelin’ man vidcast – ShowFeediTunes

Ephemeral Feasthouse – Miscellanea & notes – BlogFeedPodcast

Clubside Breakfast Time – OlyWa Rock and Punditry – BlogFeediTunes


Uncleweed.net for more writings, podcasts, paintings and photos

Follow along via Twitter @uncleweed

25 Hour Day: Rock ‘n’ Roll Photo

25 Hour Day: Rock ‘n’ Roll Photo

“Building a Scene – Rock n Roll Photo” panel – w/ bev. davies + KK at NV2009

Iggy Pop decades apart by Kk and Bev Davies at NV09
Iggy Pop, decades apart – by bev. davies and Kk at NV09


Photography isn’t always clean, in a studio with great lighting, patient models, or beautiful subjects.

In a panel with two noted Vancouver photographers Bev Davies and Kris Krug, host Dave O explores how they find inspiration, develop a differentiating style, capture atmosphere, and form relationships with the artists, plus technical tips to make a great rock shot.


NV09: Rock ‘n’ Roll Photo from Singular Software on Vimeo

Thanks to Bruce Sharpe – 25 Hour Day who also sets up the clip in Rock N Roll Photo:

Using several well-chosen photos of rock ‘n’ roll stars as a backdrop, Dave Olson finds out from noted Vancouver photographers Bev Davies and Kris Krüg how they are permitted access (or not), how they work with the musicians (or not) and what it takes to get that iconic, memorable photo. From Northern Voice 2009.

It takes a minute or two for the video to settle down. Stick with it, it’s worth it!


They’ll also discuss sharing your work to build a common experience and a “scene” for fans to self-identify with and participate in as well as compare and contrast favourite shots.


Complete Rock N Roll Photography slidedeck (Google) by Dave Olson featuring photos of Kris Krug and Bev Davies.

Live blog

Northern Voice 2009 Rock and Roll Photography Kris Krug Dave Olson Bev Davies by Miss 604 Rebecca Bollwitt

Excerpt: I first started delving into the works of the legendary Bev Davies only just over a year ago but after discovering what I have (which is simply scratching the surface) I realized what an important person she is to rock and roll history, along with Vancouver history.

Along with Kris Krug, whose rock photography is recent yet not any less inspiring and captivating, Dave Olson will guide these two through a journey of their craft both on and offline.


Northern Voice – Dean H (SubPop New Media)

I also saw a great talk moderated by Dave Olson on rock ‘n roll photography featuring Kris Krug and Bev Davies. Both of Kris and Bev take fantastic pictures (that you should really take a look at) but, in particular, some of Dev Davies’ early pictures (there are some in a Flickr set here) are must see if you’re a fan of early ‘80’s punk and hardcore. Bev was basically the only one taking pictures at these shows in Vancouver in the early ‘80’s and her collection of shots of DOA, The Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, The Adolescents, Gang of Four, Duff McKagan-era Fastbacks (and on and on and on) are amazing. You may have seen her photography in the punk rock calendar that Nardwuar put together a couple years ago—all the photos in the calendar are her work.

Bev Davies - Northern Voice 2009Randy Stewart at Stewtopia: Northern Voice 2009 – Vancouver’s Finest

Dave Olson’s interview with Kris Krug and Bev Davies about rock and roll photography was fantastic. I had met Bev the day before after an intro by Peter Andersen and I had a lovely conversation, but had no idea she was so punk rock. Her pictures speak volumes.

Maryam ghaemmaghami Scoble says:

Finally, I especially enjoyed watching Dave Olson interview Bev Davies and Kris Krug about taking photographs from Rock and Roll bands and watching all the historic and amazing photos reel on stage.


KK + Bev Davies in Rock N Roll Photo by Penmachine
KK + Bev Davies in Rock N Roll Photo by Penmachine

Moderator Dave Thorvald Olson is a writer, podcaster and documentarian who frequently appears in media from High Times to CBC to BBC discussing counter-culture, art, hockey, and public policy. He’s seen hundreds of rock shows, published punk rock fanzines, followed the Grateful Dead… plus Elvis died on his 7th birthday.

Bev Davies photographed most every punk rock band in, or through, Vancouver in the 1980’s from DOA to The Clash. Her intimate and distinctive B&Ws, which appeared regularly in the alternative press, captured both the sweat of the band and the excitement of the audience and together form a compelling chronicle of Vancouver’s music history. (Bev on Flickr)

Kris Krug shot dozens of bands at the last 3 SXSW Music fests along shooting everything from fashion shows to tech conferences. Known for his x-processed style, at SXSW he captured evocative, gritty shots from well-known artists like REM and Flaming Lips to emerging acts and shares his shots with Creative Commons licensing to help bands and fans enjoy the experience. (KK on Flickr)