Tag Archives: canadian

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: https://www.youtube.com/greencouchfilms

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

Aside: Steven Heighton, Governor General’s Literary Award-winning poet, dead at 60

I keep thinking about this poet, he was a dashing Canadian “award winning” (though I’m not sure what those words mean anymore) poet, roughly my generation, he died, I know nothing about him.

Steven Heighton received the 2016 Governor General’s Literary Award for poetry for The Waking Comes Late. (Mark Raynes Roberts)

There were some articles on CBC and then he is just gone. As a poet, he reached the “pinnacle of success” which can be expected without going into the *cough cough* pop-culture mainstream and then you “achieve” this, feted with awards which only other poets in that circle know about, you get an article and then you are just dead.

The Kingston, Ont., writer published six books of poetry, debuting in 1989 with the provocatively titled Stalin’s Carnival. It promptly won the Gerald Lampert Award for best first collection and set him up as a new and exciting voice in Canadian poetry.

“Steven Heighton introduced a new basis into Canadian poetry: an approach to traditional formal rigour that was entirely original and personal,” said poet A.F. Moritz when Stalin’s Carnival was reissued in 2013.

“It became the seed of what in the new Canadian poetry is most truly experimental and restlessly seeking.”

CBC Books · Posted: Apr 20, 2022 

I’ve made a note to acquire his books although I’m not sure what that does anymore. I can’t participate in his story (goodness knows, I mostly read books by dead people) but what’s to be expected for the life of a poet size just writing poems and then just dying rather young and undramatic. So we go on.

He does seem rather interesting… yet completely in a world i don’t know.

“Some of the poems in this book are translations of other poets. I call these translations ‘approximations,'” said Heighton in a 2017 interview with CBC Books.

Source: Steven Heighton, Governor General’s Literary Award-winning poet, dead at 60 | CBC Books

Scenes of Life from New Year (shrine, Osechi, cards)

Up the hill to the shrine
Various bells, 5¥ coins and claps
Greetings to neighbours 
Evidence follows

Here are the festive cards received so far arranged on a string with help from my miniature assistant. Expecting a load of New Year’s cards arriving today. Yes I love this arts and crafts part of the holidays.

Once I rode this train when I was Canadian.

Now I’ll always know what year it is. A year for making “a circumnavigation, of sorts” >> free verse poetry, snippets of diaries, fragments of letters, unspoken musings, lists and annotations, compiled and abridged – printed, bound, stamped and shipped #Intention

So, how’s your New Year’s day going? We ate osechi variety platters of (often mysterious) food but most is so tasty and all is elegantly and deliberately prepared (despite what the whiners say)

More to follow as we go along, as we go along… tigers roar meow

Ichiro: cards #61~65 “5ive Set / Farm, Minako, Canadian, Rice, Superstar” 12.2~9.2020

5 – count ’em 5ive – new #Ichiro cards for your on-going collection from early Dec. 2020 (Reiwa 2), series includes:

Ichiro: card “Farm guys” hanging out at uncle Mac’’s goat Emporium Rural Caprine Farm with a haiku post box in the sunshine
Ichiro: card “meeting Minako-san” the remarkable elder lady proprietor of the finest tiny restaurant with ridiculous Okonomiyaki & a completely psychedelic painter (minus the psychedelics)
Ichiro: card “Officially Canadian“ no big deal, came with an awesome sweater and a citizenship certificate
Ichiro: card “Let’s try rice!“A.k.a. “Snacktime“ or “spoonful of wasabi…“ Yep, trying a little bit of sort of solid food in the form of smashed up rice soup. Next step, pierogies
Ichiro: card “Okayama superstar” our prefecture ain’t so famous (unless you count peaches, peach boy legend, denim and school uniforms…) but that’s changing with this dashing dude

Portrait: Canadian Campers

Canadian Camper: daveo disguised
Canadian Camper
A hybrid of sorts, classic Canadian outdoorsman with his puffy trucker’s vest, proto-hipster snapback hat, one of my dozens of “Run for Fun” champion T-shirts ( #HumbleBrag), brass pig belt buckle, and yet another fresh set of glasses.
As usual, brother Bob is trying to get into my groove, but I’m patient and understanding.