Stopped by the delightful Last Word Books in OlyWa (Olympia, Washington) – one of my faves in the world and holds loads of memories for me, as well as curates the “Uncle Weed Collection of Cannabis Books” (unofficial name). The location is onto the 4th in downtown Oly and is laden with both trad lit and all sorts of grassroots publications including from their in-house Last Word Press. Oh years ago they purchased the inventory of famed Port Townsend anarchistic publisher Loompanics iirc. The proprietor Sky Cosby is as eclectic and energetic as they come running bookshop, publishing imprint/press, also circus activities, perma-culture homesteading and other renegade community activities and initiatives. Rather remarkable fella indeed.
In tumultuous and confusing times, optimism and activism are the powerful antidotes for cynicism and fear. Two Bills share songs to assist in making this point.
First B/William Lenker plays a spontaneous Squatters in Zion from his Steamboat Island woodshop, then Dave spiels about courageous – and sadly deceased Olympian – Rachel Corrie, followed by Billy Bragg vehemently spieling on stage before a rollicking snippet of his Great Leap Forward from Vancouver’s Vogue Theatre.
Activate + edify thyself with: Leaping Beyond Cynicism – Postcard #64 (14:24, 26MB, .mp3, stereo)
Cover art: Smashed plaque which marked where Benito Mussolini was shot, as seen at The Coliseum, Rome.
My pal (and frequent collaborator) Wm. Lenker wrote this song but didn’t record it for his fine West of 101 album – i liked it so much that one cold January evening, i showed up at his house on Steamboat Island Road at the end of the Puget Sound and *demanded* that we go into the woodshop and record for my entertainment.
He kindly obliged and laid down various tracks, with guitar, vocals and banjo. I recorded and mixed down the rapidly recorded takes to suit my own old-timey taste, complete with heartfeltness, loquaciousness and longing – background noise of fire and beers included.
Billiam does all the instruments and most of the singing (little bit of my ghost vocals) and i’m on the hook for the recording, producing and mixing.
En route to breakfast at SXSW, Uncle Weed recounts a night of arts and crafts burlesque and barbarians at Emo’s Jr. and forays to various Austin bars and various dot-com parties for tasty beers.
Stops include smoothies at The Hideout, Counter Cafe for pancakes, plus field notes about lanyards and badges, making marketing envelopes, living on appetizers, creekside flora, joys of the quaffable Shiner Bock, magicians and performance troupe, beat/stump boxer, pedi-cab escapes, and closing down an elegant hotel loaded with drunkards in disarray.
Come along for Anecdotes about Burlesque and Beer – Choogle On #89
Visiting the Woodshop on Steamboat Island amidst hayfever and national holidays, Dave and Wm. Lenker exchange spontaneous musical freeverse tales of Pennsylvania, Agana Harbour (Guam), Jericho Beach (Vancouver), and Lake Crescent (Washington) while wounded Samson howls along.
Weigh anchor for: Howling at Land and Sea – Postcard #53 (128k mp3, 17:51, 16MB)
Starting at the Steamboat Island Woodshed, Dave rambles salty original freeverse with Wm. Lenker on banjo and traces personal poetic lineage winding through French impressionalist/symbolist and Brittany sea-coaster Tristan Corbière (prefaced by Victor Hugo).
Then – as sleet, slush and hail beats down on the Mosquito Creek studio skylight – rolls into the beat American 50s and 60s with John Sinclair‘s chronicle Brilliant Corners, Jack Kerouac riding trains from Atop an Underwood, and Gary Snyder arriving from sea from The Backcountry ~ fortified with jazz, joints and hot sake.
Hunker down for: Banjo Sea Shanties and Beat Train Rambles – Postcard #51 (28:10, 23MB, 112k mp3)
Back home on the North Vancouver porch, Dave reads from Clay Mcleod’s essay Why I Don’t Wear a Poppy while sending peace and resistance towards the decent lieutenant Magnum in Iraq and the Philippines along with earnest comrades at arms and peaceful strangers in war torn lands. Plus he admonishes the Canadian Legion for blocking the sale of white poppies while banjo-ist Wm. Lenker sings from the woodshed and The Grateful Dead leave this Brokedown Palace… on my hands and my knees, I will roll roll roll…
Sit for a spell with Peace to Soldiers and Strangers – Postcard #48 (.mp3, 16:58, 13MB)
Down on Lenker’s farm, Dave O checks in on the animal inventory and riffs his own freeverse poetry about canyon exploration, a groaning generation, and tense search for authenticity and truth – all re-mixed with Bill’s Pennsylvanian poetics about frost heaves and nurturing life accompanied with his salty guitar jamble.
Then, in the woodshed, Dave tells a story about a blissful moment of time in Peliliu, Palau – where under the southern cross, everything stopped – while lambs, dogs, rams and a dead chicken go about their lives, seemingly unaware of the literature spieling or the-soon-to-blossom magnolia tree.
Dig in for: Geological Storytime with Sheep – Postcard #40 (11.6MB, .mp3, 20:06)
Edited and mixed by Bread the Producer
Along with Mr. Lenker of Steamboat Island and his guitar, large hounds and varied livestock, Dave reads poems “Refined, Not Created” and “Aye Carpathia,” while Bill sings about the “Man with a Rebel Soul” – followed by reading of “This and That” with guitar improvisation… from deep in the woodshop studio.
To the boats for: Sea Rescue Spontaneity from the Woodshop – Postcard #35 (.mp3, 19MB, 17:16)
Contemplating the edge of the (then known to Western folks) Earth with Henry the Navigator in this sixth instalment of the Woodshed Session featuring Bill Lenker’s guitar stylings / singing and me wondering why he went out into the unknown instead of turning right (or even left).
Sail into the unknown for: Henry Going to Galicia from the Woodshed – Postcard #26 (6:00, .mp3, 5MB)
The fifth Woodshed session choogles along with a free verse extravaganza with Bill Lenker playing on the guitar and singing in-betwixt as I spiel forth words, memories, ideas and rhymes – topics include George Washington bridge, Providence parks, postcards to friends, and going nowhere.
No umbrella needed for: Curiosity in Rainstorms from the Woodshed – Postcard #25 (11:00, .mp3, 12MB)
Go on a trip for this next Woodshed session, again Bill Lenker on guitar and singing, and Dave busting some narrative about items on a bookshelf and reminiscing about Caye Caulker, Belize.
Runaway to a Caye for: Belize and Bookshelf Observations at the Woodshed – Postcard #24 (7:22, 7MB, .mp3)