Category Archives: Films + Vids

dossiers of content about feature length documentaries including Hempenroad, With Glowing Hearts and Generation Social along endless ephemeral videos of street music, wanders and oddities

Time-shifting Train for “The Belle Game” – Tracks 10 years, part 3

Behold: the enchanting “Belle Game


An ensemble is solving puzzles: metaphorical about how to play in different circumstances, logistical about how to deal with power outages, and practical like this puzzle has 500 pieces and three waterfalls. Yet, The Belle Game solves all the problems with courage and grace while shifting styles and eras – is this 50 years ago or 50 in future?

Starting with trackside sparklers at a “water stop” at an undisclosed location then segueing into unabashed joy playing with balloons, streamers and shine in the packed “activity car”… as Canada rolls past in endless twilight, the band builds layers like an art school thesis submitted for professors Eno and Bowie.

The band candidly discusses their apprehensions and concerns yet all the trepidation evaporates once they pick up instruments and launch into song – you’ll feel the emotion of “yes i will wait up for you”. Later, they squeeze into the caboose car, along with oboe and bassoon from Sidney York, and a clapalong crowd for a intimate performance to bookend their transcendent offerings.

Together, vocalists Andrea Lo and Katrina Jones (also keys), guitarists Adam Nanji and Alex Andrew – plus Marcus Abramzik on bass and drummer Rob Chursinoff – find ways to solve the puzzles: sing differently, change instruments, and switch approaches to find the infinite possibilities in constraints.

So, c’mon and oll through the “S curves” on this train adventure from Vancouver to Toronto complete with a cadre of bands, fans, documenters, and other free radicals in part 3 of Tracks on Tracks, more to come, more is past.

by daveo for Green Couch

All the goodness at Green Couch Films YT:

Vancouver station to Winnipeg crossroad with “Portage and Main” – Tracks 10 years, part 2

The videos from that Vancouver to Toronto train trip with the rock ‘n’ roll bands 10 years ago started coming out in a series of 10 – here’s part 2 with “Portage and Main” / I think you will really enjoy.

10 years distant, songs were sung – for children & mothers – beards were combed, tracks were rolled. You wanna come along?

Blurb: “we’ll find him in the park with a kite.. . blowing bubbles” 

As the Canadian scenery flashes by in impressionistic hues for greens, box cars and rain, the affable fellas of twin acoustic guitar folk rockers ”Portage and Main” talk about their wonder, disbelief and excitement about being on this “Festival Express-esque” journey while sharing their heart felt Canadiana songs.

So continues the Tracks on Tracks journey, a 2012 Vancouver to Toronto train adventure with 10 bands and dozens of music enthusiasts exploring the Canadian landscape aboard the classic VIA Rail Canadian. Fortified with a spirit of camaraderie and pure creative expression, the bands head towards NxNE festival with the mantra of “Every night! Every night!”

Named for the fabled Winnipeg intersection, their songs evoke themes of searching, growing up, being away and coming home. John, Harold, and George move from upper deck dome car with spontaneous collaboration with chartreuse Adaline, to activity car with wide-eyed audience noting the serendipity of the experience paired with the song, to a jam packed sleeping berth with late-night improvs including a sizzling fiddle solo.

Yup, it’s all happening, all at once. Produced by Green Couch Films and now available to spark your dreams of adventure. Get aboard, there’s more to come.

daveo for Green Couch
take a break Driver 8, on the way to Winnipeg (PS evidence i was there :) dvo)

Epilogue: I mostly really glad that George gets a lot of screen time, he’s a really top-notch dude (check out his digital recording demonstration videos, often out in nature in his VW bus) … In other news, John as “Johnny 99” has a new album out shipping *today* on vinyl, and Harold has done some wonderful online sing-along/a cappella/piano lessons on IG.

“Topless” Dance party on the train – Tracks 10 years, part 1

The videos from that Vancouver to Toronto train trip with the rock ‘n’ roll bands 10 years ago started coming out today in a series of 10 – here’s part with “Topless Gay Love Tekno Party” (AKA Topless AKA TGLTP) / I think you will really enjoy.

Splash! It’s all happening (as the train risks going off the tracks like a glitter piñata into InterGalactic space)

Blurb: “I like the place the music creates” 

A train car packed with sweaty shirtless dancers, streamers and balloons, and a dance groove sextet called “Topless Gaylove Tekno Party” bursting like a glitter explosion compelling the effervescent passengers dance so hard there was *a legitimate concern* the mighty VIA train could launch into an intergalactic stratosphere as they sing full-throated along with the band – all of them in utility-grey onesies, “I’m not a diamond, I am not cold to the touch” dancing to the sway of the rails. 

So begins Part 1 of 10 of the long-awaited Tracks on Tracks video series, a 2012 Vancouver to Toronto VIA Rail journey with 10 bands onboard, exploring the Canadian landscape and creating culture through performances and collaborations from dome cars to sleeping berths to whistle-stop shows. 

Along the way, the “Topless” members discuss their song-making process, the importance of naps, the logistics of wearing onesie uniforms, sleep-over steam-rollers, Ulysses as a bedtime story, and the joy they find when making something magic together.

Produced/directed by Green Couch Films, you’ll see unique points of view including verdant greens in the ever-changing scenery, freight trains whisking by, and views of the spectacular art-deco rolling stock and so many amazed and enthusiastic faces chanting  “everynight! Everynight!” in joyous disbelief this is actually happening. Get on board, quickly, there’s more to come.

daveo for Green Couch

(Almost) cross Canada Rock n Roll Train / Flashback and Preview

Such goodness coming

10 years ago, I was on a train going from Vancouver to Toronto with 11-ish rock ‘n’ roll bands, CBC Radio 3, mixed media documentary film crew and other free radicals + I was on board as Svengali-like guru ;) / advisor. It was our own 90 person indie rock Festival Express co-mingled with the usual passengers and doing ridiculous / ill-fated whistle stop shows along the way and ended up at NxNE festival for showcase and I presented a keynote talk about social media disasters… And finally, the documentary is coming out in chapter/band parts starting June 8th iirc. Consider yourself warned, amused and excited.

Continue reading (Almost) cross Canada Rock n Roll Train / Flashback and Preview

Kura Scrapbook Hangout w/ cards & letters

come along for a hangout, no big deal

Adding recent postcards, cards and letters to an “accordion” style scrapbook with various tapes and stamps in kura barn studio while listening to records (Aztec Camera and Belle and Sebastian) and discoursing on recent trip to Shimane, the role of monarchy in commonwealth countries, importance of friends, fondness for invitations, sending postcards to self, putting everything on casters, discarded records, and hats – many many hats.

Kura Scrapbook Hangout – Japan Cottage Musings

Musing: Painted into corner (of a blank canvas) #video

Spontaneous riff with usual lousy video and dodgy audio but solid stories

Diary musings including: brain fog; trips to Shimane and Kyoto (Minka Summit); pals Ted and Ed and a big dog; recent books (Alex Kerr, Robert Whiting, Miles Copeland, Dave Bidini) + classic Japonica books; ++ sorting out my head about “what comes next” (answer equals anything; seitai treatment; MECFS awareness (and other awarenesses month); sortganzing ephemera; new records, old records; how are you? etc – all from kura barn a spontaneous rambling blur on another sunny day in Okayama.

Accidentally features Leonard Cohen and Mxmtoon.

Did you notice my sweet black globe and green ship lantern?

Dim Sum: Ambient Sortganizing in the kura barn studio #video

It’s just me tidying up, please keep expectations in check

Absolutely Nothing of interest, just tidying up – like Japan’s version of Marie Kondo – in the “Giggling Piglet Studio and Consulate” in a re-purposed storehouse barn in provincial Japan.

Music incidentally plays in the background by “John K Samson / The Weakerthans” something something ++ “Back Country New Road” album “Ants from up Here”.

Really nothing, except for a Nepali Topi hat and moving scissors and papers I suppose.

Takisakiyama Funicular ride (with monkeys!) #video

Take a (sped up) ride up Takisakiyama single track funicular train dealio in Oita, Japan (near Beppu Onsen in Kyushu) with monkeys frolicking on the tracks. Also, a painting (by me) of the funciular (or funiculaire if you prefer) in action.

At the end of the line are 2 troops of 100s of monkeys who run the mountain like crime lords but you only get 1 snap of a sweet mamma and kiddo.

funiculaire paintings in process (Quebec City and Japan)

Just put together for space cruise for my funicular loving pals with music snippets by Daniel Allen (aurora sect) and enhanced train noise samples from Sri Lanka to go along with the Japanese PA announcements.

Continue reading Takisakiyama Funicular ride (with monkeys!) #video

Curiously Punctuated (and Ready) ~ Beat Sushi with Jason Emde

Curiously Punctuated (and Ready) ~ Beat Sushi with Jason Emde

Spontaneous riffs and readings from world rambling renegade letter writer with a new master’s thesis, Jason Emde who, as it goes from his home in Gifu also makes a podcast called “writers read their early sh!t”. 

oh Hi, let’s try on hats and listen to records

From the Kura barn studio, Dave meanders about Japan geography and “things not done” and hat selections for Kyoto before reading Jason’s letter to Molly, then rambles on about similarities in geography, points of view, adventures whilst recounting how he came across Jason’s work stretching over a decade or more (and including naval officer Bob), oh then 2 freeverse poems (after Gary Snyder) with Jason’s streams about “usual days” in Gifu and Vernon.

Beat Sushi with Jason Emde at daveostory (art by Ichiro Stanley)

Plus name checks for James Joyce’s Ulysses, Christopher Trottier, Marshall McLuhan, Ken Babbs, Ken Bole, music bits from Bachman Turner Overdrive Live at Budokon, John K Samson (of The Weakerthans etc), hooray for ampersands and em-dashes! Also Amsterdam, London, Vancouver, Bali and most points in between, except Africa, haven’t gone there. 

Continue reading Curiously Punctuated (and Ready) ~ Beat Sushi with Jason Emde

Community & Correspondence ~ Beat Sushi for Dan in Mass & Jack Kerouac 100

Thanks to Dan for the package of friendship, ephemera, artifacts and goodness

Taking a break from chainsaw noise cutting down bamboo, DaveO rambles on about the importance of community and correspondence (yes spelled incorrectly) – especially while in a rough patch with a chronic and complex illness #MECFS – and shares a remarkable package sent by Kerouac enthusiast Dan Bacon in Massachusetts including: scrapboook, artifacts, ephemera and memorabilia from Lowell, Jack Kerouac’s 100th birthday, and other events including the impending Town and the City music festival which inspires playing of lovely blue Tanya Donelly and Parkington Sisters vinyl record. 

Also shows new-ish Cascadia passport and meanders about Gary Snyder in Japan years ago and his recent convos with poet Wang Pang ++ love of maps, letters, stories, and how we’re all part of the erstwhile Beat tradition if we are living intentionally, respecting others’ voices and creating goodness. 

Happy to be your fan, fondly etc. from Giggling Piglet Studio in a historic Kura storehouse in Tsuchida, Okayama, Japan.