Category Archives: Pods + Songs

a variety of current and archival podcast feeds – includes most episodes with realted art, links and show descriptions – topics: cannabis, travel, literature, art, culture, hockey, and social media > community building

“This Time Tomorrow” (with apologies to The Kinks) on baritone ukulele

Did you know goats love music? They are social creatures and lack ability to tell me to “stop it already” so while darling wife and adorable son went to visit the pig (update: eaten), i played this decidedly un-good version of a vastly underappreciated song.

the goats were amused and that’s what matters

Yep, it’s a trainwreck – fits and starts, off key, dropped chords – but hey, it’s at a goat farm and it’s well-intentioned…

Smart listeners will recognize this as *yet another* song from Wes Anderson’s Darjeeling Limited soundtrack.

Smart folks may well avoid listening in general, but this is what you call “not getting better” but having a good time.

“Barefoot Hugo Hamilton (gone, gone, are we gone)” on ukulele

“Barefoot Hugo Hamilton (gone, gone, are we gone)”

[demo of original, on baritone ukulele]

Within a brief window of time, 3 people died – one I knew, one I knew of, one who didn’t know me – yet, in my meditations, realized I could draw a gossamer line between the three. And somehow I kept coming back to these tenuous but verifiable connections.

Please, watch till the end (and remix as needed)

And, watching the aftermath of their passing – announcements, reactions and whatnot – all on various ephemeral “platforms/channels”, couldn’t help but to think they deserved a song, not only about just “them” rather the importance of remembering and how fleeting memories are when not “carved into stone” or, made into a folk song, to be passed along, possibly changed along the way to fit circumstance.

I meant to record this “properly” (tracked with drums at which I’m reasonably competent, tidy up the ukulele, add guitars, proper singing etc. – though not necessarily competent and any of those skills) instead of this hasty demo type spontaneous recording in which my hundred dollar baritone ukulele (which my three-year-old son often uses for caber toss) and me fumbling chords, buzzes and hums, changing tempos / time signature, tripping over my own lyric and so on.

Eventually, will receive a better treatment but for now: perfection is not the intention, yet celebration of impermanence is key.

This is for three families, hundreds of friends, thousands of admirers and mostly for the future. Let no one be forgotten.

Please accept my humble offering on those terms.

{Originally written on Ushimado Beach while vacating Tsuchida Cottage due to a tatami might infestation and subsequent fumigation, recorded in “Giggling Piglet Studio” Okayama Japan.

Fondly, daveo

Eventually, I’ll record this more pretty, with help but for now…
Lyric (D.A.T. Olson, 2023)

V1

Barefoot Hugo Hamilton
Drifting so far from shore
Can't see you with my
periscope
Guess need something more

V2
Fine-tuned to spot the roots
branches and twirling vines
Catch cryptic fleeting runes
From Montreal to the Seine

Pre
They say you're gone
But still I wonder
Are any of us ever here?

C
(but) I lack capacity to be existential
But well tuned to care
Only thing I know for sure is
"we are the stories
we share"

V3
Artifacts and creations
More than momentary reaction
The Egyptian's got it right
Not dead til they're forgotten

B (spoken)

Craft an archive
From a shoebox
Filled with incense and receipts
Leveled and spaced
with precision
Framed with gentle grace

Each took a different path
Towards exit velocity
Trousers, rants and plays left behind
Before you charted your trajectory

C

V4
The obits followed on schedule
Timed in zeros and ones
Dispatched with gentle nuance
Pathos sure, but just gone gone & are we gone?

C

“Where do you go to (my lovely)” by Peter Starstedt, on baritone ukulele

At our friends annual musical party “Kojo piano club” where I added a bit of a “charming train wreck” to the evenings festivities.

Just look at that jacket though

While my (usually) adorable son “accompanies me” by attempting to decapitate the audience with an ukulele of his own, I stumble through an abbreviated version of Peter Starstedt’s lovely song on a baritone ukulele with a few buzzes (seriously, it’s not me… Right?) and some dodgy singing (yikes) but still, it’s fun-ish.

And dang, my red embroidered coat makes up for everything. Thanks Andrew M!

Keen observers might recognize this song from Wes Anderson’s “the Darjeeling Limited” film.

“Fairytale of New York” – on baritone ukulele (for Shane & Kirsty)

A spontaneous, obviously-unrehearsed, snack-sized-version piratey bit of “Fairytale of New York” baritone ukulele stylings – with a with fond dedication to the late Shane MacGowan and Kirsty MacColl (with brief appearance by my fan #io just before bathtime)

its not “good good” but kinda “bad good” and better than all other videos *not shared*on the internets
Continue reading “Fairytale of New York” – on baritone ukulele (for Shane & Kirsty)

“Postcard” spoken word in Winterkeep’s ambient musical postcard

postcards inside of postcards

“Winterkeep is the artist name of Mat Tyrrell, currently living in Queenstown, New Zealand”

Backgroundr: in the blur of all the Internet communiques, a musician from New Zealand reached out asking permission to use spoken word from my “Postcards from Gravelly Beach” pod – which i think of as audio collages delivered via RSS.

I was slow in returning his request (travelling) but of course the answer was “fill yer boots”. Due to the delay, the track is not on *the album* but can listen via YT above. Of course, the album tracks all being named as “postcard #x” is appropriate.

I was very curious to see what he would come up with and while i of course recognize my disembodied voice, somehow removed enough to where i don’t recall what and where the reading emerges. Such curious joy – somehow the music often fits the foggy riffs my brain talks to itself with (if’n ya know what i mean): explorations, traveling outside of time and constraints and contexts, dream state in between gasps of breath.

Winterkeep’s Blurb: Taken from an upcoming album exploring discarded postcards from another time. Absolutely inspired by discovering Richard Skelton recently, it’s given me a new direction to take my music. I hope you enjoy ☠️ Words courtesy of Dave Thorvald Olson – Postcards from Gravelly Beach

I replied:

Holy smokes, I have arrived back from a ramble in my erstwhile home country (Canada) to my accidental home (Japan) and here is my voice, recorded somewhere I can’t quite remember… On a ramble by train, by ship, by tuk-tuk… Was it the Himalayas? Arabia? The Mediterranean? or was it here in my backyard barn? The details don’t matter, the impact, I’m hearing myself remixed and floated back while I am wiped out in bed under a mosquito net – is a uniquely powerful intrigue.

Dig in on all channels:

Depreston – on baritone Uke (with apologies to Courtney Barnett)

one of these days, i’ll get *un-buzzed*

In a *lovely garden* (in process) following a morning picnic (off camera) with darling wife and adorable son planting tulip bulbs, and distant echos of chainsaws and birds, i stumble through Courtney Barnett’s “Depreston” about rebuilding, real estate, coffee, and loss – with usual digressions and annotations along the way about rebuilding on a piece of ‘dirt field’ where a road ain’t going through, instead fences made of pallets to keep the wild boar out and bamboo leaning over.

Fondly from Tsuchida Cottage ‘back 400’ in Okayama, Japan.

*actual* Courtney Barnett: https://courtneybarnett.com.au/

more cb at dvo: https://daveostory.com/tag/courtney-barnett/

Peace, Rain & Hallelujah (on ukulele)

Me & L. Cohen – matching & scaffolding

With thunder, lightning and rain brewing outside and chaos and confusion in the world at large, wearing in pajamas at Tsuchida Cottage, i reflect about Billy Bragg’s “I Keep Faith” song about thwarting cynicism when all seems for naught, and my fellow Evergreener Rachel Corrie (and her mother pouring the sand from the boots in which she died for what she believed in) before banging out a decidedly mediocre version of a song which so many have sung so well so many times: Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” before finishing with a few more thoughts about hopes that the greater goodness of humanity comes out in the end (and that the cottage doesn’t collapse).

sure it’s *not good* but it “exists”
Bonuses:

“Ahead by a Century” for poet Gord (on ukulele)

Ahead by a Century (or maybe behind by two centuries)

For “the man who walks among the stars” the great poet Gord Downia on anniversary of his untimely passing with brief soliloquy about the importance of supporting the indigenous peoples of the land colloquially known as Canada.

And special appreciation for my favorite album/book “Coke Machine Glow” + special regards to survive in the band mates of The Tragically Hip who are telling stories, making songs and re-issuing albums (tyvm).

my favorite of Gord’s recordings… well for now, i can change my mind anytime right?

Yeah, just waking up, in bed under a mosquito net (with adorable pajamas) in a cottage in provincial #Japan with apologies for mediocre unrehearsed baritone #ukulele playing and marginally acceptable “singing” / croaking. It’s the sincerity that counts, right? Right.

Please donate to the Downie Wenjack fund {https://downiewenjack.ca/} and write your own poems to share your story.

Fondly, dvo/uw

what it looks like to *walk among the stars* (in my kura barn library/lounge)

The Smugglers ‘at Japan’ pod-idio book (+ audio cameo, train mayhem & storytime foreshadowing)

Gist: My occasional co-conspirator, CBC dude and fellow mixed-media storymaker Grant Lawrence is reading his stellar book “Dirty Windshields – the best and worst of the Smuggler’s Tour Diaries” as a rock n roll enhanced *pod-idio book* (which is a dude who spends a lot of time stuck in bed, is a format i totally dig).

Grant and I at a CBC open house, *yeeeeears ago”

I spread the word about recent segment which chronicles their misadventures in Japan in the chapter called “Sushi and Squats” or is it called “Lost in Japan” or “Bishy Bishy”…? I’m so confused

Ears On!
Listen via Grant’s “Super Feed”: Dirty Windshields – Ch 34 – Diode City &/or Apple Pod

In the subsequent episode,

“More tales from highways & alleys of Japan ~ mayhem and good times with @GrantLawrence & @ItsTheSmugglers / still getting lost but because of a lousy tour manager driver but fun with Supersnazz makes up for it / plus a special hello for “ole pal Dave Olson, from Vancouver, living in Japan”

https://twitter.com/uncleweed/status/1703288235567571019
Dig even more goodness: Dirty Windshields – Ch 35 – Bishy Bishy! (Apple pod)

and no, i am not the Canadian Dave who got lost in the previous story

And about all the Japan oddities:

It’s so hilarious!

The whole slipper routine is still a constant source of confusion for newcomers to Japan. And even folks have been around a while, will accidentally wear the toilet slippers out into the “other room” or heaven forbid wear any kind of slippers into tatami room. #shock!

{Important to note that if your feet are bigger than I like size 5, you can really only jam two or three toes into the slippers and you waddle around like a penguin.}

And the mistaken word for that ‘bowel conundrum’ does have a pleasant rhyming repetitive feel but it’s definitely a different word.

Aside: Now that Japan’s borders opened up for several months, (they were hard closed) for several years, a barrage of “legacy” western artists are back on the tour circuit from Bob Dylan to Sting to Jackson Browne to Howard Jones (yup)… All finding great receptive audiences despite almost no promotion that I ever see.

And like you talked about in the Tokyo show when the audiences are singing along to every word, there ain’t no fans like Japanese fans which is why so many bands record their live albums here.

Also noticed Wilco are coming but only playing two shows… I’m no promoter but it seems like the cost of the logistics of flying across the vast Pacific to play only two shows in a country with three times the population of Canada and a highly efficient transportation networks and super eager audiences and loads of venues is a bit wrongheaded but what do I know… I’m just a guy who folds laundry and writes postcards in a minor provincial capital that no one’s heard of (but has a great jazz, reggae, etc. music scene).

PS thanks for the kind name check in the last episode. Makes my virtual friends in Japan think I’m somehow relevant ????

Long and stumbling Road:

The book spends lots of time in Vancouver of course but also another one of my “hometowns” of Olympia Washington (especially for the international Pop underground event in 1991) as well as European tours (which reminds me of my time tagging along with the Bad Yodelers in Germany).

As such, pals on both sides of the Pacific (and maybe some across Indian and Atlantic oceans) will dug it big time. Hooray!

Bonus Riff from Uno Port:

I wrote about reading this Dirty Windshields book, and some of the memories associated with his adventures, with Nardwuar, Beez and others, while on a trip to Uno Port en route to Naoshima art island (which has a dossier of its own coming, also eventually).

Coffee and dirty windshields, appropriately about to catch a ferry

Also: there is apparently a DIY documentary called “The Smugglers at Japan” floating around on VHS… trying to get my mitts on a copy – which might require buying a VHS deck at (splendidly named used goods store chain) Hard Off, but I need to get one anyway… (I’ve got projects, you know)

Usual digression, this time from a train:

Grant and I both rolled on the now-semi-legendary “Tracks on Tracks” trip – am indie rock Festival Express of sorts on Via Rail from Vancouver to Toronto with “whistle-stop shows (which like the original Festival Express, all went “horribly wrong but just right” somehow.).

Not the Rosie part but the Matinee part and of course there’s Grant but there’s also me tucked in there

During the trip in a late night dining car sign-a-long, my pals from The Matinée pulled out “Rosie” – probably the closest The Smugglers ever had to a hit I’m not sure – and encouraged Grant to sing… When he said, “but I don’t remember the words” they even had a lyric sheet ready for him.

My “story board” from the tracks on track train trip

There is always a reunion tour: the events on the train possibly subsequently kind of sparked a resurgence of the band in part and anyway Grant who was on a roll with his stories from desolation sound book and another one about his life in hockey, then rocked out this great dirty windshield and then did ‘reunion shows’.

“Lonely end of the rink” on a bookshelf made from an old canoe on a tiny island near Bali Indonesia

First at a Lookout Records (tip: read Larry Livermore’s “how to ruin a record label” book) event in Berkeley, another at Amigos in Saskatoon (coincidentally where I was born), and an event – which doubled as a book release party iirc – at the Commodore Ballroom with Chixdiggit and The Muffs (might’ve been their very last show, RIP, Kim).

I was there, groggy from just arriving from Nepal or Sri Lanka, or Istanbul or something. Anyway, click the things above and dig the stories and the garage rock and “colorful” to say the least characters met along the way.

Coming, Eventually:

So funny figuring out how we were constantly crossing paths around the world but slightly different years… I was in Japan in the early 90s but by the time you were there on tour, I was in Guam then Olympia (where I became the Internet provider guy for K records, Kill Rockstars, Subpop, Ladyfest, yo-yo a go go, Sunnyside music fest, Capitol theater, Tropicana > Metropolis, east side club, and well… Every other music going on

We crisscrossed CBGB’s (which was past its prime and I spent most of my time at Wetlands with emerging “jam bands” in 1989), later in Europe where I was a “roadie” (freeloader who didn’t do anything) for the Bad Yodelers on a similar circuit as you all – plus seeing Gwar and staying at punk rock squats extolling stories of DOA, No Means No, SNFU who were all legends in Germany.

When you were in Olympia for the international Pop underground, i split two weeks before (after getting sent to attend evergreen college which turns out got put on hold for a decade or so) & had split for Jerry Garcia and Grateful Dead show in California – but earlier that same year I was watching Beat Happening in Salt Lake City (as well as Nirvana opening for Dinosaur Jr at a converted church) – maybe was that the same run of shows you promoted the Nirvana show with Screaming Trees etc.?

Even back in the 80s in Vancouver, ‘you can cross one river/inlet but crossing two is quite literally ‘a transit bridge too far” – so I was also sneaking in to Commodore and Town Pump (never could get into the Buddha) but reveling in the all ages shows at the York theater / so many!… but getting up to the SeyLynn hall for shows was a literal transit impossibility from Whalley (though I saw Fugazi around that same time you were promoting them but in Washington DC – on a meandering road trip in yup, a VW bus, which took me from Harvard to Sun studios and all points in between).

Anyway, I made a long rambling video that kind of talks about these weird connections pulling out all kinds of artifacts, handbills, records, ephemera in a freeform stream of consciousness riff and maybe I’ll eventually edit it and put it out into the world cause the connections are kinda hilarious.

We were however, in the same gymnasium at those Mudhoney shows at UBC but strangely I have no recollection of the Smugglers (definitely my fault, not yours I was probably in the parking lot having a safety break).

This is just a long way of saying “I’m really enjoying the podcast, (especially as I am laid out with that “popular public health conundrum plague”) and seems like lots of my pals in Japan are getting a good kick out of it too”.

Rock on etc

Me, elsewhere
Addendum:

“Illegal Smile” at Nishiwaki Beach (w/ baritone ukulele)

just trying to have me some… quiet (and fun)

Strumming along to classic John Prine tune “Illegal Smile” – a song, in this case, about the desire for a peaceful, easy morning at the beach, but, being surrounded on all sides by revelers, amateurs, and machines. But hey, gotta have me some fun (hot dog bun, your sisters’ a nun)