Category Archives: Spoken + Song

sometimes i record these sorta spoken word / sorta sung songs and sometimes i record other people playing songs or sometimes people record songs i wrote

“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)

“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)

“Carey (you’re a mean old daddy)” on Baritone Ukulele at Nishiwaki Beach

hey yeah, ain’t *good* but goodtimes, rightyo daddyo

With a straw hat and giggles at a windy beach, I plough through fellow Saskatoon-born Joni Mitchell’s “Carey” while thinking about hanging out with her, Leonard Cohen, and you somewhere in the Greek Islands decades ago, or maybe decades from now. Features cameo by Ryoko Olson :) at Nishiwaki Beach (map) next to the groovy Iwaburo café.

oh yeah, Ichiro was there too: