Tag Archives: olywa

(Disjointed) Musings about Kurt Cobain (2014)

Re: Cobain, 2014 / disjointed miscellaneous annotations 

Thinking of poor dead Kurdt today.

Barely bearable. So many memories:

Accidentally fortunate enough to be dialed in to the Nirvana zeitgeist.

I saw Nirvana at a perfect time, before Nevermind but after Dave Grohl joined. They opened for Dinosaur Jr. at the Pompadour (an old church) in Salt Lake City.

Went away with nothing but the thoughts that they were the *most perfect* band i’d seen: i could hum the songs right away (“gramma take me home, i wanna be alone”) and they were loud (i love loud but Dino Jr. afterwards made everyone huddle in a mass at the back with bleeding ears), and *dareisay* charisma & confidence oozed from all three. They knew what they had ready.

I’ve met Krist a few times since and had him sign the poster from that show, he was surprised to see it as it was part of a few show run to stretch the band out before the whole world changed (for them and us) when Nevermind dropped.

My fave jukebox track was playing the last song on NM which was followed by 10 minute-ish of silence to confuse the bar patrons before the psychedelic mystery track melted their heads.

At Subpop HQ
At Subpop HQ
At Subpop HQ

Living in Olympia after he died, his ghost was everywhere and people always spoke in hushed tones about him.

His old house (from where he used to shoot at the Lottery bldg.) was right by my (OlyWa.net / Zhonka) office – the current resident was a customer even – i saw the graffiti he put on the walls of their jam space, drank at the bars he did, spent a year driving to Aberdeen on weekends for college classes and sadness of that town was palatable.

I learned he was dead weeks after it happened. I was in Japan working high in the remote mountains as a mushroom farmer and a pithy Brit mentioned it in a “good riddance” tone around a campfire at a log home builders party. I had to walk away.

{As an aside, i can’t thinking about another Olympia refugee who met an early self-inflicted (yet somewhat mysterious) demise, Elliott Smith. These dudes were more or less my age and i think my best work is still ahead of me at 43 and feel cheated from the songs we’ll never hear from them.}

But the strongest emotion is one is empathy and how i wished i could have helped them navigate the pitfalls of the “machine” which turned their outward projection into something they didn’t want to be.

And we all want to be known as who we really are.

The relentless photo, tours, hangers-on, pressure, misunderstandings. Let him breathe!

Be kind to artists, be kind to battered souls, be nurturing to those who dull the pain with the easiest escapes.

Here’s a peace pipe for us all to pass and remember a remarkable lightning bolt.

The 5 albums (counting Unplugged & Insecticide but not the endless bootlegs, other live, compilations, reissues blah blah blah) are all significantly different and explore so much musical territory in such rapid time is rather remarkable – reacquainting his muse with each release.

We missed the Kurt album with the 20 minute jams, the one where he played with Roma, the one where with spoken word stories, the one with lullabies, the one where he went surrealist, the one where Dave sang the songs, the one when they added an accordion player or a melodica, the one where he played right handed.

PS If you haven’t seen it, watch “About A Son” – a curious doc with intimate voice recordings with Cobain overlaid with scenes of Aberdeen, Olympia and Seattle. His voice oozes sincerity, intensity, sadness, elation and confusion.

“HempenRoad: Activism in OlyWa” Uncle Weed Storytime for Cannaverse Club

Blurb: In the historic kura barn studio in provincial Japan, digging into the archive from 1996/7 documentary film “HempenRoad”, Uncle Weed shares the backstories of the project with a binder full of artifacts, reviews, plans, scripts, etc

Then plays a “producer’s cut” of a segment from Olympia, Washington featured Dennis Peron on the road promoting ground-breaking California Prop 215 at the Capitol Dome – along with diligent activists out the rain and Lt Governor candidate Bob Owen of WHEN. 

Next a visit to a pioneering Internet Service Provider (OlyWa) for a peek at a (now vintage) data center with modems(!) and remarks about the importance of the (new) word wide web for disseminating information about cannabis.

Finally, riffs about how the film was produced with analog and digital tools, the importance of “showing up” and working with all parties to effectuate positive change and a personal manifesto of sorts about UW’s objectives and edicts when becoming a dedicated activist in 1990. 

Questions welcome about the film – segments from Vancouver, Victoria, Portland, Eugene and more to come – as well as logistical inquiries about making creative projects.

Gist: I’m collaborating with some pals on a new Cannabis Community project – its all metavers-y and NFTs and such as and while that’s not my forte, sharing stories from rambles, campaigns, and creative riffs is (fer sure) so here’s the firestarter video to spark the project series. Links below to get in on the hi-jinks. So happy to be getting studio barn set-up with all the wires, dongles, adapters, extenders, lights and mics. Catch all the topics in the riff below and come on along!

Join in the hijinks at the #uncle-weed-storytime on the Cannaverse Club discord server and/or https://Cannaverseclub.com & Cannaverse Club Youtube

#AlwaysBeKind

#daveo50 ~ 2018 / 50 years > days > photos

#daveo50 ~ 2018 / for passport, visa, or other ID, Vegas (photo Andrew Olson)

Project: Upon turning 50 years old on August 16, 2020, Dave Olson (me, hello) is posting a photo (or maybe photos) a day / per year – starting with 1970 with intent of chronicling existence through various primary evidence sourced from studio portraits, class photos, ID / passport photos, or occasionally other “casual/group/random” shots when the above don’t exist in my archive (note: not “artificial intelligence,” really me, pulled from shoeboxes, journals, wallets and whatnot – diligently scanned and dated via glasses and haircuts, lightly annotated).

Continue reading #daveo50 ~ 2018 / 50 years > days > photos

Media: “Zhonka ISP…” (at Clubside with Jay) / The Olympian, 2003

Media: “Zhonka ISP…” (at Clubside) / The Olympian, 2003 / p.1 (business cover)
Media: “Zhonka ISP…” (at Clubside) / The Olympian, 2003 / p.2 (inside)

Riff: The Hockey Lounge, OlyWA (2000-200x)

The Hockey Lounge, OlyWA / tab board (still mostly not paid despite super cheap for best beer)

Around 2000 in Olympia Washington, my colleagues and I sold a renegade pioneering Internet service provider (OlyWa.net) to an (evidently) evil national corporation (ATG) who quickly imploded allowing me the sensation of losing *big paper money* before i hit 30 – ugh .Anyhow, I managed to put a down-payment on a house – which had a semi-finished basement (and was also stumbling distance to downtown bars) which is the reason for this riff.

The Hockey Lounge, OlyWA / Dave inspecting the proceedings

The aforementioned basement was rapidly converted into “the Hockey Lounge” a speakeasy/smoke easy/crash space for touring rock ‘n’ roll bands as well as a resource library for Hemp Lobby activities.

As the name applied, this was about watching hockey games as, in Washington state at the time, the sport was not popular and bars were filled with cigarette smoke an early season baseball games instead of pungent herb and Stanley Cup playoffs. The Hockey Lounge rectified these conundrums.

So, with a couple of first generation time-shifting devices, two satellite dishes and a cable feed and other electronics cobble together by brother Dan – who also procured couch, bar, fridge etc. from various auctions – and extensive hockey and punk rock artifacts decorations, a conversion of the fridge into a 2 tap keg-e-rator, the eventual addition of a toilet, wiring the house with ethernet connected to redundant broadband connections (note this was early 2000s) this became the scene of much frivolity.

The Hockey Lounge, OlyWA / the noted 2 tap-handle keg-er-ator with room for a 3rd on storage (with freezer for glasses)

There were rules:

  • Wash your glass (everyone had their designated glass which was store in the freezer compartment) 
  • Pay your tab (note beer was always top-end craft from a brewery in exchange for making a website, we were on the regular route for a beer delivery and well let’s just say people drink more than they paid for.
  • No cell phones, camera etc. / no talking about other shit besides hockey and music

and these rules were not followed very well unfortunately.

Occasionally we would host various contest/pools during the playoffs or Olympics in which everyone would enter with a high-quality six pack (they were sent away and shunned if the quality was not sufficient) and winner would take most, second place slightly more than they pitched in, and third place their ante back.

Several times noted touring rock bands crashed out but most memorable was my hometown heroes DOA, who i sang BTO’s “takin’ care of business” onstage (at 4th Ave Tav) while wearing a Canucks jersey.  The band – including now-Burnaby city councillor Joey “Shithead” Keithley, now deceased hard drinking storyteller Randy Rampage and the road manager (who was so happy about the high-speed Internet) and roadie who, years later, i met his brother coincidentally in Granada, Spain – all watched Canucks playoffs time-shifted and told tales into the night, signed my Hardcore 81 album, tidied up after themselves. 

The Hockey Lounge, OlyWA / wall of grand decorations

Of course, many travelling friends crashed out and enjoyed the space including Maddog Mike of Pacifica who destroyed so much Grand Crü beer and was still up early for his business meeting in Portland, Dane came by too (who i think took these photos), we had a “hippie on the couch” from CT or CO for a long time, others who came by at all hours expecting the place to be open like it was there own clubhouse, some disrespect, some sloppiness, some heat started to outweigh the frivolity. A lot of dishes to wash, but also a lot of fun backyard bocce games.

Of course there was the infamous High Times photo shoot in which many regional growers and vendors came by with copious amounts of wares in hopes of being featured in the magazine. Many were, i was rewarded with a massive mess to clean up and a photo/write up in the article which well… caused some community angst and notoriety (possibly covered elsewhere in this archive).

Epilogue: As it goes, economic situations changed with the *great collapse*, I couldn’t find work in any form, and then domestic situations changed with people moving in, people moving out, various tenants and domestic intrigue, then renters, a sewage flood and then a renovation and what not. [I had tried to finish some college, start a new business and relationship and hard to do all of that i suppose.]

The Hockey Lounge, OlyWA / brother Dan behind the bar

In amongst much of this transition, aforementioned brother Dan became their “sole proprietor” of hockey lounge as it became his apartment. As things descended into malaise,  various pieces and parts were sold off for cash to pay the mortgage, eventually the house sold, and I headed north and continued hockey culture with the Canucks Outsider podcast, then Dan later heading north as well to attend UBC engineering school. The Hockey Lounge still lives in the way/spirit at his current abode. 

There is scant photographic evidence of this era though the legends live on throughout the streets of Olympia (or so I tell myself) plus at Olympic Plaza in SLC, and oh yeah if you’re reading this pay your fcking tab – this means you!

Hockey Lounge 4:20 24/7 / commemorative brick at Olympic Plaza in Salt Lake City (2002)

Media: “Evergreen Culture…” (re: High Times article) / The Olympian, 2002

Media: “Evergreen Culture…” (re: High Times article) / The Olympian, 2002, page 1 (cover)
Media: “Evergreen Culture…” (re: High Times article) / The Olympian, 2002, page 2 (inside)

Memo: “outrage” in The Olympian newspaper in 2002 about High Times magazine declaring Evergreen the top cannabis college in USA. yup, upset the college, legislature, heads, smugglers, suits, cops, pretty much everyone / i just washed the dishes & caught the blowback.

PS did a screening of hempenroad at evergreen with q&a to show my face to the haters & invite to spew their ridiculous vitriol in person

See also: High Times names Evergreen Top Cannabis Collage (featuring Dave and “Cosmo G Spacely”)  & High Times reaction in Business Examiner

Poster: “Go With The Flow” – doc film about Olympia WA, 2002

Poster: “Go With The Flow” – doc film about Olympia WA, 2002

In 2002, I participated in a documentary film called “Go with the Flow” about the capitol city of Olympia… at the time, Time Magazine called Olympia “the hippest city in the west” or something (note: I have the Olympian newspaper article about that magazine article somewhere…)

Excerpt clip:

Anyhow, the full blurb is below but in brief: I was interviewed in reaction to the recent High Times magazine article calling Evergreen State College the top cannabis culture in the USA which provoked much consternation from both the suits and the heads. Lots of other neat Oly folks in there including: Slim Moon (Kill Rock Stars records), Calvin Johnson (K Records), Evergreen Grad ceremony and contrasts of Procession of the Species and Lake Fair parades.

Regardless, the film is amusing and I was in attendance at the premiere at Capitol Theater (the poster above is promoting this screening), and along with this rather battered poster, even have a DVD around here somewhere…

Blurb:

Go with the Flow is the story of Olympia, Washington, a place in the Pacific Northwest so vibrant and unique, Time Magazine once called it “The hippest city in the West.” Nestled on the southernmost tip of Puget Sound, Olympia’s scenic beauty is surpassed only by its intriguing history and eclectic subcultures.

GO WITH THE FLOW

  • DISTRIBUTOR: Pacific Communications
  • PRODUCER: Jim Jenner
  • DIRECTOR: John Paget
  • FEATURE DOCUMENTARY: 85 minutes
  • DATE: 2002
  • ON DVD: Buy Here (or Amazon?)

Note: Oh and it seems that film has a FB Page is now available on Vimeo if you’re so inclined (requires login and purchase or password, (i dunno). #GOFLOW

Media: Candid Q&A / Business Examiner (WA) March 4, 2002

Media: Candid Q&A / Business Examiner (WA) March 4, 2002, part 1

Media: Candid Q&A / Business Examiner (WA) March 4, 2002, part 2

Media: OlyWa offices empty / Olympian (WA) May 7, 2002

Media: OlyWa offices empty / Olympian (WA) May 7, 2002

Memento: Map to Quince St (Olympia) house

Memento: Map to Quince St (Olympia) house

Somewhere along the way, someone came to visit me when I lived in Olympia in a dark and dingy duplex on Quince St (near the OlyWa.net, later Zhonka) office. Maybe it was brother Bob? Maybe it was buddy Mike? Or Brad? Anyway, someone who had done something pleasant to Christmas previous. And somehow they were coming to visit and I got this map to them / I’m not sure how any of this worked out, especially with the cryptic map.

I’m not a cartographer it seems, regardless this map survived the decades and here it is now. Mysterious and no longer relevant (like Terry Z’s noted internet café).