Musician and pal Dan Mangan shares a birthday (april 28) with my sweet wife Ryoko (he’s a year older) and while we were in birthday mode for wife, and in the the kura (barn) studio, whipped him up a friendly video with various records and posters of his and other amusements for his, and possibly your, amusement.
Bonus: here’s me and Dan and (at the time) Mayor Gregor Robertson at a charity street hockey game in Vancouver (Five Hole for Food) in 2011(?)
Various trains and trams (streetcars or trolleys if you prefer) to and around Nagasaki on Kyushu in Japan including: Kamome limited express, several unique carriages (both modern and classic) rolling the electric tramway network, the classic Sea Side Liner (so pretty!) and more notes about “tokyu” class trains with comfy seats and lounge areas as compared to “super express” shinkansen.
No narration but some ticker scroll information and observations. Music snippets by Dan Mangan + Ryoko, and some coffee-house free jazz recorded live in Ubud, Indonesia.
Stanley Park is the crown jewel of my sorta homecity of Vancouver, not just because its a huge urban park almost surrounded by water and jutting majestically into a working harbour and host all manner of artifacts from Japanese cenotaph, empty zoo grottos, running ovals, cricket lawns, pitch and putt golf course, totem poles and more more more… but because its *real history* is hardly know to most folks: First Nations for centuries, lepers, undesirables, loggers, “homeless”, fiends, hidden communities, lost artifacts and monuments (plus the stories behind the known ones), the construction of the seawall.
Anyhow, this “Scene O Graph” photobook (found at Monastiraki shop in Montréal) captures a genteel and classic incarnation of the park. This is one version of the park, everyone has another.
My memories include petting zoo and totem pole forays at childhood birthday parties, sad Polar bears in grottos, “breaking into” the zoo late night in teenage escapades to tease monkeys, writing a story about walruses which didn’t exist, Remembrance day at Japanese cenotaph, illicit activities on most of the beaches, mediocre golfing, Vancouver 125th anniversary party with the mayor on tuba and Dan Mangan singing Robots, the windstorm which blew down so much and caused a tizzy in the city, more illicit activities in the woods, nonsense about “saving” a hollow tree, always finding a new trail, always getting lost when needed, concerts in Malkin Bowl, smelling roses, longboarding the seawall, riding seawall on a bicycle rented with someone’s lost credit card on a hungover New Year’s day… picnics, parties, treasure hunting.
This book’s cover has a place for a stamp though i am unlikely to mail this (except to Jason Vanderhill but still i’d pack it in another envelope first).
Christmas isn’t really an “event” in Japan, more of a marketing campaign and a prelude to New Year’s Eve which is laden with tradition, nostalgia and routine. It’s kinda my speed as i am def turned off by rampant commercialism quasi-religious sabre-rattling which comes around.
Regardless, with new family (and more family arriving in 2020) i wanted to wrangle a bit of festiveness – also acknowledging been a long while since i had vaguely “regular” christmas and while this was atypical, established some new routines, scratched an itch… after all, with the turmoil in my life the last years, there is admittedly some misgivings and rather tough emotions which come around during all this hoolpa. Most importantly, got to show love and respect for wife and in-laws.
What follows are a few poorly-photographed artifact of activities from Dec. 24 – 26 JST. Carry On!
First off, Dec. 24 (christmas eve) we made dinner of grilled mackeral, squash, pickled cucumbers and tsukemono carrots, greens, miso soup, tea, rice, lotus root, and whatnot. Yup, not off to a very traditional start – ha!
Christmas morn, we opened our stockings (pictured above) purchased from a 100yen store ($1), nothing but the best! and enjoyed toast with cream cheese and my kaki (persimmon) jam which i am always talking about, and nashi (pear). My sock had snacks, Ryoko’s had expired 35mm film and a necklace and snacks.
Then we went to post office (one of my fave activities of course) and i wore a Santa cap (borrowed from Ryoko who wore at Mae Maes Christmas concert) to the amusement of the post office staff and the kids at the grocery store which was our next stop. Folks are stocking up for New Years time during which many stores are closed or scaled back hours and folks generally wanna hunker down.
Then we picked up a pre-made feast from a great lil cafe called Sakura-mi we had ordered a while back when we went on a little lunch date. Here’s the café’s post box.
And i got to make a fire in the wood stove. So yeah, post office and fire making in the same day! Pleased.
Took the grub home and set up at parent’s house (next door).
Often times, I make scrap journals for no particular reason, just for enjoyment of gathering interesting paper tidbits and ephemera which I enjoy… or in some cases, specific slices of inspiration which intrigue me for specific projects, remixes, or just recount times of life – what i was receiving or thinking about or even watching/reading/listening.
Sometimes a “theme” or story of some kind emerges – more like a thread of interconnectedness, whether content, medium, colour, aesthetic or tactility.
Presented here-in are two books which contain items which inspire or amuse me, connected by size, form, colour, theme or otherwise.
The first (named “Kindling & Matches, Tinder & Sparks”) is an accordion style book (a preferred format for these types) filled with beloved postcard &/or postcard-sized items. A few decorations on the cover (1970s era lettraset rub-off lettering, dried flower and my name clipped from a hospital envelope), inky stamps for easy identification.
The second (named “Dark Arts for Lighter Hearts”) has more variety of size and shape and contains a set for photos sent to me by a young artist named Simon among other objects d’art. Decorations include hotel luggage tag, insta-photo of a painting (self re-mix), snippet of poetry from a Lebanese wizard, and my name from a forgotten red-ink typewriter.
Best thanks to the assortment of Global Free Radicals who contributed music via video for Creepers and Chums. This playlist contains all of them with the addition of “pre-roll” and “post-roll” artifacts collected from various place, simply to amuse and surprise without context.
Kindly consider reaching-out/following/fan-ing/liking any of the bands you particularly enjoyed via social channels of your choosing. They are all part of your life narrative too as they participated in this memorial for our departed loved ones. Continue reading Creepers and Chums: global musicians→