The World is Not Flat checks in from The Netherlands

I don’t know Lee and Sachi personally but seems i am only a degree or two of separation apart … either way, I’ve been following along on their round the world trip and they’ve recently come ’round to Europe and into Amsterdam.

With my particular interest in the social policies of The Nederlands – having visited Amsterdam (Flickr tag) several times – (listen to Choogle on with Uncle Weed podcast episode #27), i read Lee’s recent missive with great interest.

Yup, it’s all about the harm reduction and tolerance and it turns out that decriminalization and normalization does statistically reduce abuse and use – perhaps getting high and screwing whores really are less enticing when the risk/thrill factor is removed ;-).

Thick snippet below but read the whole piece at Sex and Drugs in Liberal Holland.

 I described Amsterdam to my Mom as “A bastion of hedonism”. Sure, it has beautiful canals, nice people, amazing sights, about a billion bicycles and a ton of charm, but what is truly impressive about Amsterdam and what differentiates it on a worldwide scale is the liberal policies of the Dutch government concerning drugs and prostitution.

For instance, we stayed in a guesthouse in the Red Light District and within two blocks of our guesthouse, anyone with the money can legally buy “soft drugs” like marijuana, mushrooms and hashish in small quantities and sexual services from a host of licensed prostitutes who display their wares in large windows under red lights. I suppose you could also see some music and complete the hedonists triumverate of sex, drugs and rock-n-roll.

The view from our place:

For the visitor to Amsterdam, these elements of the city can be surprising and intimidating – we talked to some people who would not step foot into the Red Light District. However, I think it is more surprising that the city doesn’t have the overall feel of a “bad neighborhood” with a high frequency of drugs, sex shops and prostitutes. There is a ragged and depressing element to the Red Light District, but I don’t think it is much different than any other city – it is just that tourists are exposed and invited to participate in activities that would otherwise be managed in dark alleys and controlled by criminals instead of government agencies.

The Dutch policy seems based on the idea that people are going to do what they are going to do, regardless of the government or the potential for punishment. And if this is true, their only tools are regulation, taxation and tolerance. It makes sense to me and the Dutch folks we talked to about it.

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Recommended Aural Pleasure

I subscribe the various KEXP feeds for hours of podcast entertainment. This terrestrial and virtual radio station put out a song of the day, live performances and a killer experimental show called Sonarchy Radio recorded at the non-profit Jack Straw studios.

Their “flagship” podcast “Music that Matters” (iTunes)has a revolving host seat and a variety of contexts and usually quite good. Episode #26 however, blew me away. Hosted by engineer Scott Colburn, the show sounds amazing with eye candy headphone mojo flowing and unique bands busting it out – noe of which i’d ever heard of and all of which i enjoyed.

A combo with marimba and vibraphone, well forget it, … here’s the track list, go download it, torch a fatty and put on the headphones as Scott takes you through the recording process with relevant anecdotes and commentary about the engineer’s art.

Tracks: 1. Miracle Chosuke – Gonkulator, 2. David Russell And The Sideshow Symphonette – Letters, 3. Emblematic – Let It Out, 4. Transmissionary Six – Powder Burn, 5. Firebrat – Mojo,6. Elba – A Pilot’s Art, 7. Arkade – Boarding Pass Only, 8. Christian And Miho’s Mallet Jazz – Ni To Roku, 9. Ota Prota – Clams Holding Hands, 10. Yam – Dub Fear, 11. Cerberus Shoal – Sole of Foot of Man

Scott ColburnScott has produced a smattering of noteworthy acts (from the mighty Mudhoney to legends The Sonics and The Wailers), he’s a hands-on producer/engineer since he is also a musician (he plays in Sun City Girls) and lives and records in a giant old church in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle as you can learn in this article from the Seattle Weekly. from which i also borrowed this photo of the engineer in question.

Hockey Night in Iceland

Richard Eriksson (Just a Gwai LoCanucks NationUrban Vancouver) is visting his ancestoral homeland of Iceland and went out for a good ole hockey game while kicking it in Reykjavik.

Hocjey night in iceland

Turns out, after getting ejected after fighting, the culprit swapped his skates for shoes and came to sit in the stands to watch the rest of the game sitting between Richard and his cousin Arnþór and brother (in the hat).


( categories: canucksnationfightsiceland )


Crazy Canucks talk about well, … the crazy Canucks

Episode Three of the Crazzzzzy Canucks podcast is up fresh and ready.  This time with me (Dave) Skype-ing in with RadioZoom John,Miss 604 RebeccaAlanah Op-Ed, and JJ Canuck.

I – somewhat inadvertantly – play the role of the optimist as the gang chortles and guffaws through the last three games (SJ, EDM, EDM) mixes in the usual goalie and coach banter (dang that Alain is a snappy dresser) and then take turns looking ahead to impending and important (aren’t they all?) St. Louis and Nashville games – the latter on HNIC.

Plus i give mad props to Salo and call Kesler a rabid monkey – what more do you need to know?


DOA’s Classic collection “Bloodied But Unbowed” Re-released Today

DOA frontman Joey Shithead Keithley’s record label Sudden Death is re-releasing the seminal collection of kick-ass punk today. DOA's bloodied but unbowed I’ll be picking one up for sure though i’ve owed the vinyl and CD before but both are MIA – lent to some friends, somewhere – rock on, enjoyed i hope.

DOA at NY Theater

Along with The Clash and The Ramones, DOA showed that you could write good songs, which rocked and had something to say.

I was 13-ish when i first heard them as a frustrated kid in the suburbs and over the next several years saw them many times. Often taking the bus to way out venues and street-hiking long distances after the last bus to the burbs had rolled.

When they played Bumper’s, an all-ages venue in Surrey – i got to chat with them and they treated me like one of them, not some fan kid in specs and a mac jacket.

In those days, i collected their vinyl like holy artifacts – from the toe-tagged 7″ to the General Strike John Peel Sessions 12″ EP (the best ever). Even the uhh… not so good albums as they sorted through a few line changes – but there was always something that mattered on every disc. Gregg, Goble (Sunnyboy Roy), Dimwit, Biscuits, many more … all through the revolving door.

DOA Spores AOT in Surrey fro pUnk History Canada Years later, i hung out with Joe on the set of a music video he was making with Randy Bachman – some goofy thing with scaffolding and searchlights and safety vest and hardhats. I saw him then as a sharp-as-a-tack professional who remembered everything and worked efficiently so he could get on to other things – “there’s shit to get done man.”

He bantered with me about some rock and roll reminicenses – dingy clubs he’d played in Germany where i been tagging along with the Bad Yodellers on a tour and saw Gwar amongst jack-booted, German acid-heads and he wondered what new bands i was listening to.

DOA by Bev Davies
Photo by Bev Davies

Again, years later in Olympia, Joe got me up on stage at the 4th ave Tav to sing Taking Care of Business in my Canucks jersey – yup i rocked it too. The band and crew came to watch the game on the replay tv (Canucks lost to Avs in Game one of playoffs on a controversial offsides non-call by Chris Drury IIRC).hockey lounge

In the Hockey Lounge, we drank kegged beer and then moved to Kokanee or Canadian cans while gravelly voice Randy Rampage drank Scotch from the bottle and told rock n’ roll stories from Japan and Joe broke down the hockey game with focused concern.

They made lovely houseguests (maybe i should keep this a secret) … they even folded their towels and tidied up before leaving (thanks).   BTW, As i talked about on a Clubside Breakfast Time episode, i ended up meeting the roadie’s brother in Granada, Spain and having a good laugh about the coincidence as i crashed at his place.

Sure they can play their instruments decent but the passion and vigor is more important to their stew. Virtuosity is often overrated when the songs are good enough to carry the day – tough as East Hastings concrete but with a (shock) melody and a structure under the noise.

But as much as the rock rocks, the social messages are what gives their music soul … Not overt but strongly worded, no subtley here but not preachy either ~~ global trade, environment, voting, nuclear proliferation, music theory (disco sucks) ~~ all sacred cows are all up for hitting with the bulldozer.

If the message don’t open yer mind, the fuzz will lever it open like a greasy tire iron prying off a hubcap.  What i think he’s saying is … whatever decision you come up with is probably OK as long as you aren’t harming anyone innocent, you got a reason to do it and you actually do something about it.

The lyrical breadth (big words for punk rock but deal with it) is recently more evident as i’ve mined the DOA catalog for snippets to use on podcasts and most any controversial topic is dissected and set to loud guitar.

My old t-shirt spells out the root of the DOA mantra: Talk-Action=Zero.

This past year has been a busy one for Joe and the gang, films, tours, a more tasty reflective seasoning sprinkled from this era of Vancouver hardcore – read Suddendeath for current chronicles and don’t forget that the legendary Bev Davies has a photo calendar too. Punk History Canada is a trove of documentation – if you got any olden punk stuff, scan it, send it, no excuses ya hear.

Lanterns for Welsh Miners – Postcard #34

Postcard from Gravelly Beach – Nepal trio of postboxes

Dave reads a smattering from Gary Snyder, Jack Kerouac and original verse written in Germany in 1992, joined by Trauben the hitchhiking acupuncturist (who toils to understand a Welsh miner’s lantern), the lads chat about flowing chi, Cascade mountain lookouts the author as a young writer while attempting to communicate with racoons – possibly bearing gifts.

Light a match for: Lanterns for Welsh Miners – Postcard #34 (.mp3, 21MB, 20:29)

Continue reading Lanterns for Welsh Miners – Postcard #34

Immovable mass of cannabis thwarts modern military means

What a tremendous effort to thwack some cannabis – seems sad in a way – too much work for little purpose or possible benefit.
Hemp field in Afghanistan

Canada troops battle 10-ft Afghan marijuana plants

Thu Oct 12, 4:52 PM ET

Canadian troops fighting Taliban militants in Afghanistan have stumbled across an unexpected and potent enemy — almost impenetrable forests of 10-feet (three metre) high marijuana plants.

General Rick Hillier, chief of the Canadian defence staff, said on Thursday that Taliban fighters were using the forests as cover. In response, the crew of at least one armored car had camouflaged their vehicle with marijuana.

“The challenge is that marijuana plants absorb energy, heat very readily. It’s very difficult to penetrate with thermal devices … and as a result you really have to be careful that the Taliban don’t dodge in and out of those marijuana forests,” he said in a speech in Ottawa.

“We tried burning them with white phosphorous — it didn’t work. We tried burning them with diesel — it didn’t work. The plants are so full of water right now … that we simply couldn’t burn them,” he said.

Even successful incineration had its drawbacks.

“A couple of brown plants on the edges of some of those (forests) did catch on fire. But a section of soldiers that was downwind from that had some ill effects and decided that was probably not the right course of action,” Hillier said dryly.

One soldier told him later: “Sir, three years ago before I joined the army, I never thought I’d say ‘That damn marijuana’.”

Print Story: Canada troops battle 10-ft Afghan marijuana plants on Yahoo! News

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Thinking about Typing in Olympia…

Just my type

Just last night, I was trying to tidy the closet in the studio/guestroom/boysroom – sorting out containers of art supplies, scrapbooks unassembled, frames seeking art and projects in process – making some room since guests from Japan were imminent.

Came across my old typewriter, a black  Underwood beast which was my tool of choice when living my my VW bus in Salt Lake City trying to work my way through a creative writing program at U of U (to no avail).  With cracked cracked and dried ribbon, the ole gaffer is looking a little wabi-sabi.

The sturdy unit pictured isn’t my typewriter, but one of the many at Olympia’s notable Last Word Books – a collective run by some damn fine dudes who keep the shelves stocked with the good stash and vend olden typerwriters to boot.  I blab on about their noble efforts on the Postcards from Gravelly Beach podcast.

LWB is also the home of the “Uncle Weed collection,” a permanent shelf of hemp and cannabis info from classic tomes to useful magazines and journals (i’d best check up on that next visit).

This pic is from Terry Z’s photostream (the coffee-nista) as part of a sweet stroll down the signs of OlyWa’s 4th ave.

Roadtrip Continues from the Tavern – Canucks Outsider #40

DaveO’s season kick-off roadtrip continues with Dan Funboy driving the bus at a busy tavern in Olympia, Washington.  Along with Buddy Lance and a noisy jukebox, they offer analysis of most every Canuck player and breakdown the first two wins vs. Detroit and Columbus.

Canucks Outsider #40 (31:08, .mp3)

Dan Funboy and Buddy Lance – Canucks and beverage enthusiasts


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