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

We Love Stanley – #BCinvasion, part 3

More outings to Stanley Park for picnics with pals and explorations including Earth Day excursions, aquarium visit, and horse carriage circumnavigation – after a few topsy turvy days – plus eats back at HQ with Ryoko, Ichiro, and free radical visitors before seaplane escape to Vancouver Island.

We <3 Stanley – #BCinvasion, part 3

Exceptional humans who followed our cryptic geo-coordinate dispatches to various willow tree hobbit camps included:

* Rebecca B, on Stanley Park Eco committee

* Mikala F, of Backstage Rider fame, etc.

* Jess and Stewart M, ”the Antlers” #KBO

* Simon, Barb and Roland – creatives all, coming by bicycle with cake in Tupperware carrier

* Jon, Michy with son A – we’ll see these brilliant folks again

* Marcus with wife K and son O – yet another kid from the same era as our Ichiro… I’m hoping they all start an international club/band

* John and Elena– with commemorative meta-mug 

* Vanessa T – with Weblos medicine

* Kei B – with New Town Bakery boxes

* Jess W & daughter L. – joining us on a horse carriage commentary circumnavigation

* Jason S. and Višnja M. – adorable brilliant newlyweds (among other qualities)

* Finlay – young poet, emerging hockey-ist and possible future pilot (son of Monique and James, met previously)

* David D. – modern classical composer

* Betty-Ann and daughter P. – from back in the olden Surrey days

* Jerry Kroll – super entrepreneur with a new book https://www.jerrykroll.ca/

BC Invasion, part 3, We <3 Stanley (and Harbour Air Seaplanes)
BC Invasion, part 3, We <3 Stanley (and Harbour Air Seaplanes)

Unsurprisingly, impossible to provide adequate commentary on each of the wonderful folks who took the time to commune with us, and my apologies to anyone who wasn’t able to find us or otherwise missed a snapshot in this dispatch. I’m doing my best, we did our best.

Topics & places, amongst others, include:

  • Food – so much gifted (thanks!), ordered, prepared etc & all savoured at 1234 Hornby HQ with flowers and sometimes hockey
  • Commemorative postcards preview
  • Earth Day excursions
  • Horse-drawn carriage ride with “plenty of commentary” about smallpox and horses
  • Reminisces of childhood birthday, teenage hi-jinks and adult sojourns
  • Sulphur pile (giant and unwavering in size) and floating gas stations
  • Glimpses of Rose Garden, Robbie Burns statue, Lumberman’s Arch, and other scenes before… 
  • Glorious Totem Poles, a homecoming of sorts
  • Japanese WW1 cenotaph, an important place of remembrance 
  • Zoo grottoes (abandoned & i wanna make a music video or concert here)
  • Vancouver Aquarium sidequests
  • Olympic torch assortment dealio
  • Postboxes and shoelaces, as usual 

And a riff about places we didn’t go: Gastown, Railtown, Chinatown, Seabus, as well as Vancouver’s bewildering lack of public restrooms & note to myself about “its about the future!” and reminder of theme “Family, Friends, Parks and Gardens” plus a special dedication to the memory of Darren Barefoot.

Finally cappuccinos and a flight via the wonderful Harbour Air from Downtown Vancouver to Downtown Victoria with the glorious Gulf islands and Cascadia scenes flashing below the pontoons – with water taxis, Legislature building and Seattle Clipper in the inner harbour awaiting us on the sunny docks. 

BC Invasion, part 3, with cappuccinos
Continue reading We Love Stanley – #BCinvasion, part 3

Downtown + West End Vancouver and Stanley Park / #BCInvasion flashback, part 2

Moving north across the Fraser river to downtown/West End, Vancouver, settling into a kitchenette hotel for several days, enjoying tea ceremonies, hotel picnics, coffee times and pleasant times with friends, plus our initial foray into Stanley Park.

#BCInvasion, part 2 / Downtown Vancouver & Stanley Park

Part 2 of this mixed-media montage series includes:

* Construction site across the street from “1234 hotel”

* Friendly Maple Leaf deli reunion and picnic stash

* Crow attacks and rainstorms on 4/20 at Stanley Park

* Excursion to Kafka coffee shop for pal hang-out, hugs & tasty snacks

* Several waves of tea ceremonies at hotel with generational bowls & significant rattle

* Special thanks to book and record “mule” from OlyWa + waffles

* Rooftop tea at coliseum-inspired library ceremony with books

* Parallel-life experience with a fella with a vintage Volkswagen bus, selling Japanese inspired stickers and patches by Vancouver Art Gallery

* Coffee catch-up with punk rawk radio/photog/cat enthusiast

* Staring down dramatic demons at St Paul’s (and marking how far I’ve come)

* Scenes of life, building, trees, gardens and sidewalks strolling and observing

* Plus hotel picnics, Cherry Garcia ice cream, Whitewood Cider, bits of dispatches, flashes of hockey games with hidden messages, silk robe lobby lounging, Mae Maes on teevee

Special greetings to all who tracked us down – including, in this wave:

* Roland (by bicycle, by bicycle)
* Lance from OlyWa (with books & vinyl)
* Wayne (in midst of a move)
* James (with real talk)
* Monique (let’s enjoy tea!)
* Danielle and beautiful daughter
* Mark, community wrangler
* Chris, sundancer & deadhead
* Eric Flexyourhead (rawk, etc)
* Kemp (popping in here and there)

thanks for alllll your planning / logistical help and friendship Monique

Music:

“Blood’s Too Rich” by Luke Doucet (Whitehorse, Veal, White Falcon etc) https://sixshooterrecords.com/artists/luke-doucet/

“Change of Scene” by The Matinée https://thematineemusic.com + new album: https://the-matinee.bandcamp.com/album/change-of-scene

Continue reading Downtown + West End Vancouver and Stanley Park / #BCInvasion flashback, part 2

OKJ to YVR + South Fraser / #BCInvasion flashback, part 1

Starting from our adorable local “Momotaro” airport in Okayama Japan, me (Dave) and my darlings Ryoko and Ichiro head to my former hometown of Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia, Canada aboard ANA (we’re shareholders but no big deal :)).

come on along with part 1 of our #BCInvasion

Part 1 mixed-media montage includes:

* first night in Richmond hotel with giant coffees and croissants

* off to “south of Fraser” for family times in Langley

* spontaneous barbecue with pals in Cloverdale and other variety of foods, more food and setting up a Japanese food corner

* making special packets of commemorative postcards with nieces and nephews

* White Rock beach for fish and chips and sunset

* Amtrak Cascades train chooglin’ through

* Surrey Eagles playoff hockey game with Zamboni

* mission to Mission for sight of Kamel Gill’s last stand with his brother Charlie (in which many mysteries are revealed)

* more food, presents, relaxing times with Grammy & brother/cousins/etc.

* plants, trees, nurseries, landscaping equipment, & spaces to run around

* stop for donairs while heading onto next “checkpoint” which is downtown Vancouver/West End for Stanley Park etc.

* finally, arriving at hotel with the sight of a construction site across the street to Ichiro’s amusement

Next chapter: exploring Vancouver downtown scenes and lots of meet up with friends – and variety of weather – in Stanley Park and spontaneous tea ceremony at hotel 

Continue reading OKJ to YVR + South Fraser / #BCInvasion flashback, part 1

New Year Card round-up flashback chit-chat #video

“With over 400 cards now posted for this new year – in four different styles/variations/purposes – I flip through a special historical retrospective collection constructed for a friend who missed out… While drinking coffee on *coming of age* day.”

Bring your own coffee, chair provided however

Note: Cards are accessorized by cancelled international postal stamps as well as a wide variety of custom and standard ink stamps.

Usual anecdotes, digressions and back stories included, as usual.

Includes:

* 2024 Ichiro airplane special edition “see you again” w/ JAL at Okayama Momotaro airport

The Inaugural Ichiro special edition “see you again” airport card

* 2024 “Kinome 10th anniversary” 2 variations, both from Varley Trail, Lynn Canyon {to follow}

* 2023 “Baseball Halloween squad” with Japan, Mariners (both Ichiro) and Canada uniforms + persimmons and tiger and rabbit haiku on reverse plus Noto

* 2023 “BC invasion” coming soon! commemorative card on NHK Taro-man set (shared with friends met along the way)

Taro-man NHK teevee set “BC invasion!” Preview movie poster

* 2023 “Japan normal life” Tsuchida cartographic signpost / representative item (1/30 designs bundled into sets of 5/ea envelope)

* 2022 “Linda Lindas” shirts & swag at Tsuchida yard with insta-cam & dymo label

“Linda Linda’s fan club” before and after adornment by Dymo label

* 2021 “Steady on Time Travelers” featuring Fluevogs, vintage dress, typewriter, red horse and 101 day old Ichiro

* 2020 “pink collage” with typewriter messages, photos from Shinto shrine wedding ceremony, goat farm wedding party, Ceningan honeymoon etc.

“Pink collage” along with other enveloped items

Note: eventually reference copies of original art may appear here so you can “make your own” if you missed out on any of the series – because I know some of you must be really fretting about an incomplete collection :-)

rounded up, how many do you have?

Making of New Year Card, 2024 + archival nengajyo treats

Overhead view of arts and crafts-ing New Year card “nengajyo” for 2024, or Reiwa 6 in Japan.

Such arts & crafts fun times

Starting with a substrate of elephant dung paper from Sri Lanka, adding various inky stamps – including one designed by Nick Bantock – then writing postcardy prose with fountain dip pen, adding daguerreotype photo by Ken Miner, peeking at various inspiration sources, cutting, pasting, rolling, more stamping, mistaking, remixing, fiddling….

Then flashing through international , domestic and unique stamps, stacks of addressed cards, postboxes utilized for dispatching, sneaking a few hand deliveries to special recipients, *and* a montage of previous 4 new year cards – displaying completely different techniques – finishing with exquisite time travellers from Tsuchida Cottage.

Thanks to:

Daguerreotype: kenminer.ca

Dragon + crab stamps: nickbantock.com

Shodo calligraphy: Takushi Fujita

Logistics: Neal Cropper

Music by: Mark Olson (guitar, vocals, music) and Dave Olson (drums, lyrics) recorded OlyWa, 1996 to Tascam 4 track cassette, otherwise unreleased

Good night & good year / Reiwa 6 Ahoy

So tired, heading to bath and bed.

Just thinking about you…

PS while the bath is running however, a few brief remarks about a year of reunions – both inbound and outbound – (seems like too much but it’s never enough), gratitude for quality healthcare after so many hospital visits, and hooray for a great “forest preschool” run by the YMCA for Ichiro.

more to say about next year and the theme of “calm” and other schemes and dreams but we’ll save that for another chitchat, shall we?

Grateful for you and your friendship, quite sincerely and seriously.

{all the tabs will not be closed, many emails unreplied, various messages and conversations left dangling, flip the page, carry-on}

So we go on… Reiwa 6 ahoy!

gn & gy

“Little Blue Truck” Halloween storytime with *uncle daveo*

For Halloween enthusiasts, especially with kids and especially living far away from usual trick-or-treat traditions, I offer you: “Little Blue Truck” Halloween storytime with Uncle Dave

With a special hello to the little human friends around the world and especially a little girl in Dubai comes a spontaneous conversation about Halloween memories in Canada, yesterday’s Halloween in Tsuchida, Okayama, Japan including our family’s costumes then reading Ichiro’s brand new book “little blue truck’s Halloween” with a bit of a beatbox :) finally a request for kids’ Halloween costume photos and flipping through a stack of books to solicit request for future storytimes.

Sort-ganzing Global Postcards into Folios

Ya like postcards? Oh good! Handwritten Letters abound (with related anecdotes and digressions)

Let’s take a world tour with postcards, c’mon

Delightfully and gratefully, so many postcards and letters over the past few months, from Vietnam, Ireland, Ukraine, Germany, Bahamas, Croatia, Spain, Austin Texas, St John’s Newfoundland and St John Arizona, San Francisco via Prince Edward County (not island), Austria (by way of Himalayas) various British Columbia islands and mainland, of course around Japan (Gifu especially), and heck Cape Cod and more.

Each comes with a story, some with sketches so – in a poorly lit bedroom with a strange machine at side – riff about each and share the stamps and stories which stashing into a folio. Folios really as some go in “general”, others have a separate binder, others into a special collections, others to be considered at a later point.

Then all tidies up with sharing postal address and a Dymo Label.

Includes backgrounder about Wade Davis’ stellar book about early approaches to Everest from Tibet side “Into the Silence”.

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:

Rice Field Records: 3x video vinyl stories + 1 more to spark joy

Background: Rolling back to March 2023 when Michael (txtr @mschool) – who i noticed online doing video tours of records shops in this minor provincial city of Okayama and then met at a used record fair in Ushimado (post coming) – came over for a visit to talk about records, records, and more more.

don’t click this, watch the vids below, but dang, what a pose :)

How it started: I met him at the parking lot near the Tsuchida cemetery and the camera was rolling from the hop. I don’t get to talk about *all of this stuff* much and he and i had so many common checkpoints (including Internet Service Providers in the modem days!) that our convo turned into a heavy jam session which was released as a 3 part’r – all shared below with his blurbs + a sorta”part 4″ i made while tidying up all the records pulled out during the frenzy.

So, hold onto your toques, sharp turns ahead! All the records, all the time, so much more to say but this will get you started. Many stories, digressions, non sequiturs, a few missteps, mistaken dates, changes in latitude, fogging out mid-sentence as I remember something else meant to tell you about another time.

nope, don’t click this either… just a little bit more then you an click and watch ≠ look at that mess of records eh

Really though, give all 3 a watch, ask me questions, tell me *I’m totally wrong*, tell me you were there, and do the whole click and subscribe for this affable gent Michael of Rice Field Records who let me ramble in my “show n tell” (PS vid from the great record fair in Ushimado where i met Michael).

Part 1: “a 150 year old Japanese barn, vintage audiophile gear, and a very eloquent and happy man”

We meet Dave Olson, an EXPAT who is a music lover and record collector. Dave lives in Higashi (East) Okayama, in a Japanese home which has a 150 year old Kura (barn) that Dave has restored and repurposed to be his art studio and listening room. Featured is a 1980’s rare vintage Yamaha “Gigantic & Tremendous” GT-2000 turntable as part of his listening system.

Part 2: “a fascinating entrepreneur with stories told through a vinyl journey, tales from around the world”

“A decades long vinyl collection journey that begins in Canada, Dave Olson moves to the Pacific NW. Then criss-crosses the USA. Goes to Japan, Bali, and Europe. Records recently shipped from various storage rooms abroad to this resident of Japan. A fascinating story of music with a first hand knowledge of many Seattle and Canadian, bands, promoters and independent labels beginning in the early 1990’s.”

Part 3: “a 1990’s dial-up Internet ISP, a world traveller, a fantastic record collection, a very happy man”

“Anyone who knows my work history has a big smile on their face the moment this video begins. While Dave was the engine behind OLYWA.NET, I was the the Internet Service Provider marketing manager for Ascend Communications, who was the market share leader of access technology for ISP’s. Dave and I were marketing some form of dial-up access, ISDN, frame relay, and T-1 lines at the same time. There was so much excitement in our first meeting. I don’t know if this video deserves any more introduction. You have to be smitten by this guy’s infectious enthusiasm in the first 30 seconds.”

Bonus

Tidying Up Vinyl Records in the Kura (find the right neighbourhood to *spark joy*)

All these records bring me joy so i am tidying up in the wake of a super enjoyable visit from Rice Field Records  and a used record fair in nearby Ushimado. I putter along talking about how i organize the records into “neighbourhoods” so they have pals to hang out with, pull out some box sets, try to find where i put that “one thing” and where *exactly* this one fits best while wearing an moth-eaten cardigan and noticing my beard is compensating for my thinning noggin (still cute :)). Finishes with flipping through some 7 inches while playing a live clip recorded at Ubud Jazz festival. 

So many name checks for fave artists including: Courtney Barnett, Bill Janovitz / Buffalo Tom, Buffalo Springfield, David Bowie, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Joe Jackson, Talking Heads, Lone Justice, Ramones, Pixies, Weakerthans, more more more… and extra affection for compilations and soundtracks from Nardwuar, Flipside, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Urgh a Music War, Life in European Theatre, Easy Rider, Times Square (movie) etc infinity.

More: Vinyl specific goodness from my Kura barn doing arts and craft