Tag Archives: records

#UW53 bus ride for van Gogh and back home deer & records

Breaking into the secret stash hauled back from the BC Invasion / JJBean Railtown roast ~ “dark and smoky” like my soul :) Memories of this brew daily in the Dunlevy days (which i’ll leave at that).

Ya remember?

Anyhow, the three of us set off on a little adventure by bus.

Away we go, like a trio of sunflowers

The first place we arrived to was the wrong place so another bus to get to the place which was rather confusing to find. We were in search of a “digital” Vincent van Gogh exhibit which I had seen in spectacular reviews and pictures in other cities. This one was the “not necessarily deluxe” version but still, what if it was awesome and we missed it…?

The location featured some kind of super fancy food court on the first floor, some exhibit and retail space on the second floor, maybe some office space on the third and fourth floor… If I sound a bit confused it’s because I didn’t quite understand the “magnet” to get folks to come here & it’s not on a usual transport route and the shops were quite specialized but what do I know. I do know it was just confusing.

By the time we got there, the little guy was eager for some ice cream, me up for an iced coffee, and well since we were there just before the 12 o’clock horn signals the rampage for lunch, some lunch before hitting the exhibit.

Was quite incredible as the food court featured all reusable dishes/cutlery and all kinds of specialized gourmet type operations, again I was just confused as never heard of this place before #Shrug so hey, look at this pizza
Do you ever have a feeling you’re being watched? Someone peering over your shoulder?

The exhibit frankly was pretty underwhelming, some flatscreen TVs with some not particularly hi-res reproduction of the paintings (keep in mind, I’ve seen the two major collection of van Goghs as well as many one offs so very familiar with the works) / in some cases there was the requisite baritone voice over, filled with sadness & melancholy while slide shows of works slip by at the pace you would watch your cousin in law’s crappy vacation slides to Cabo and unnecessary “special effects” to make the photos of the paintings move very unnaturally.

You’ll have to excuse me I’m not at my best, I really need a rest

Aside from the underwhelming digital and projection works and the maudlin overdubs, there was a cool little reproduction of the bedroom Vincent prepared for Paul Gauguin which later became a painting which includes paintings, which are also paintings. So i stopped for a nap / or at least my usual cheesy pose with a floppy hat and a sunflower tie.

Old Vincent’s letters and the backstory between him and brother Theo and Theo’s widow Joanna Bognár are such an integral part of the way V’s story developed posthumously and I can barely look at the letters without seeing my own life as overblown as that sounds. I mean I see them and I know… how it feels to have your heart burn to only want to create create create, sleeping, eating, none of it is interesting, just a feeling of putting a thing out into the world… ahhhh forget it – blerg

Yeah we hit the gift shop, I bought a handkerchief (of the postman) and a postcard (of the husband and wife farmers nestled in a straw field taking a rest).

I’m not the only one capable of a cheesy pose

As I do – duh – I observed a few oddities like a vending machine selling salad dressing. Look at that luscious shade of seafoam green!

And, behind a net (because the bike shop inexplicably on the second floor of a strangely positioned pavilion and closed on a sunny summer day) was a magnificent Kona long tail Ute displayed with a coffee station on the back wooden bench. Oh the dreams!

While Ichi and Mama had their alone time, I was treated to a half-hour foot massage which was quite exquisite. I love massage yet live in the “East Asian country without Asian stuff like massages and pedicures everywhere” – I mean, a lot of countries which are our geographical neighbors have entirely different routines when it comes to night markets and self care but anyhow, this was quite lovely aside from the noise of the, did I mention, very strange building.

Then back on two buses as we talked about the upcoming routine in which I will pick Stanley up from “mountain preschool” and we will ride street car and then bus back home to the cottage. {There are 3 local bus companies with franchise agreements for serving different areas of the region but the one that comes to our house is by far the best. The bus loop at the Okayama train station is terribly designed and they should be redesigning that instead of the other construction they have going on but no one asks me.}

At last! Home (keeping in mind, the day after the tropical storm with bright sun an incredible humidity) where Papa took a rest and Mama whipped up a wonderful feast of venison from the wild boar trapper along with corn from the wizard in Nagano and blueberry sauce with berries from our garden. She is truly a wonder!

Mac-san showed up (arriving while I was snoozing) I rallied up, made us coffees before dinner with which he was duly impressed / dude has high standards and strong opinions so that’s always pleasant.

Of course our convos covered many many topics as we broke into the JJ Bean coffee, plus fig newtons, Cadbury fruit and nut chocolate and some other almond caramel confections brought back from Canada.

Grammy sent us this chocolate and I resisted the urge to be snacking on it at midnight and instead kept it in the freezer. Behind are some newly hung paintings by John Ferrie

Plus we sampled some curious Lecure from Sons Of Vancouver which is usually used in fancy tiki drinks but we just did a little sipping from Sasquatch cups.

Mac and I went out to the kura and sifted through the stacks of records i keep on meeting to make videos about and properly clean, categorize, inventory and enjoy. Listened to REM “automatic for the people” and Lou Reed (listened to Leonard Cohen, Sunny Day Real Estate and Bocephus King during dinner by the way)

Also I had some “dude time” to talk about a few things that have been weighing on my mind since coming back from BC, his dreams and schemes for the goat farm, and while doing so, sifted through stickers, posters, papers, ephemera from the trip, sent him home with an envelope and I also assembled some mic stands and attached some microphones for some well… Dreams and schemes

I turn off the birthday notifications on the so-called social channels and trying to kind of hang out here when have something to say but still, of course friends remember and my buddy Banghi in Olympia remix’d a photo from a very strange night at Mr. Fredrikson’s house somewhere in Thurston County, burning artifacts to close a chapter. Now, I seem to be existing in the midst of an animated, articulated, quasi-realistic future scape with my phwa phwa hair and beverage intact. Thanks for that surprise.

So there it goes, 53, now to be worn by Teddy Blueger of Latvia for the Canucks.

Addendum: the morning of August 17 here in Japan is obviously still August 16 in North America so spent some time on the phone catching up with some friends and opened a few well-timed letters from Rancho Mirage, California and Austin, Texas. Thank you friend so very much.

“The present is an unfinished poem…”

Tidying Up Vinyl Records in the Kura (find the right neighbourhood to spark joy

All these records bring me joy so i am tidying up in the wake of a super enjoyable visit from Rice Field Records and a used record fair in nearby Ushimado.

Tidying Up Vinyl Records in the Kura

So, I putter along talking about how i organize the records into “neighbourhoods” so they have pals to hang out with, pull out some box sets, try to find where i put that “one thing” and where *exactly* this one fits best while wearing an moth-eaten cardigan and noticing my beard is compensating for my thinning noggin (still cute :)).

Finishes with flipping through some 7 inches while playing a live clip recorded at Ubud Jazz festival.

So name checks for fave artists including Courtney Barnett, Bill Janovitz / Buffalo Tom, Buffalo Springfield, David Bowie, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Joe Jackson, Talking Heads, Lone Justice, Ramones, Pixies, Weakerthans, more more more… and extra affection for compilations and soundtracks from Nardwuar, Flipside, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Urgh a Music War, Life in European Theatre, Easy Rider, Times Square (movie) etc infinity.

Continue reading Tidying Up Vinyl Records in the Kura (find the right neighbourhood to spark joy

Sort-ganizing Ephemera by Post (with Royal Dudes & the Muffs)

Yup, i ramble on about items arrived by post and think you should hang out (i’ll make tea)

Opening a big santa sack of recent items by post including aerogrammes/ aerograms, passports, international driver’s licenses, documents, hotel letterhead, records (namechecking recent interview on Rice Field Records), postcards, etc from Nepal, Monaco, East German DDR, probably i dunno… Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, United Nations, others i don’t quite understand.

Also mail from Ukraine which allows mention of intrepid postal workers delivering despite war and displacement, + blabbity blah about guest coming to visit, feeling discombobulated after #MECFS “crash  mode” – that’s it except the parts i forgot. Argh prob a ramble about the “passport forgery project” {recalling i riffed about taking “intimate documents” and adding life to them}

Bonus: Rice Field Records Interview

{this should and will be a separate bonus post but in the meanwhile…}

Continue reading Sort-ganizing Ephemera by Post (with Royal Dudes & the Muffs)

Courtney Barnett xx Uncle Weed #vinyl #poster

A couple very special treats now in the kura barn studio from @courtneymelba & @Milk_Records / kind of over the moon so I looped Courtney’s 3 stellar LPs while working on arts and crafts today #swoon

The poster is from Primavera festival in Barcelona with art remixing the “lizards“ at Gaudi’s Park Güell which has a whole other backstory for me.

Seems to fit right in with Joe Strummer and Billy Bragg (reminds me of the fantastic performance of Billy and Courtney doing velvet underground “Sunday morning“ on RocKwiz in Australia.

Courtney Barnett hanging out with Billy Bragg, Joe Strummer and me in a barn studio in a provincial corner of Japan / thanks @milkrecords for the sweet sig

PS to you, yes you: “I’m thinking of you too” fondly

Records: things to say about these albums, but for now…

I have things to say about each of these albums.

Very different things in each case but important things.

Things about reinvention, transitions, kindness, confusion, discovery and comfort.

Stashing here for now to remind myself to tell you later.

shrine to help the passed along their way

rip Kim S & Paul J #peace

Vinyl: cultural curated bonanza pack & bard poets

An incredible act of kindness showed up at our door – dense and heavy, and maybe a little bit weary after a long journey across the Pacific – filled with this glorious assortment of records and CDs. So well selected and will be so savored in various circumstances.

Plus, loads of books for all of us, postcards, brochures, ephemera, artifacts, maple candies, fantastic hats… All of it. More to say about all of these, but for starters, got them taken out to the kura, snapshoted and will remark more thoroughly in video form at some point.

{Completely overwhelmed by the gesture. Truth is, quite struggling recently mentally so really appreciate this kindness // but I hardly know what to think I did to deserve this goodness.} Thanks N&J

Unrelated, but you know *related * are two other records by Canadian bard poets:

First, a special Leonard Cohen collection acquired in solidarity with others collectively humming Hallelujah in memory of a remarkable 18-year-old man who passed away under unwarranted circumstances. Peace to HT

The other is from my longtime acquaintance and occasional correspondent Dan Mangan, who just released a new album and with this completes my collection of his releases on vinyl – from his reissue debut “postcards and daydreams” and including the originals and 10 year anniversary additions of “nice nice very nice” and “oh Fortune” and several others in between.

Typing Liner Notes in the Kura (with Joe Strummer vinyl)

really, that’s it, just typing some small items while listening to records

Ambient hanging out typing liner notes (on an Olivetti Lettera 34) for mixed CDs and cassettes while listening to Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros box set and War on Drgs vinyls in a kura storehouse barn studio in provincial Japan.

looks sort of like this once it’s all stamped up and decorated

Yes, lousy typing technique, non-ideal posture, nice elephant dung paper, great hat, hemp shirt, easy vibes –0vaguely ASMR clackety clacking if that’s your groove.

Vinyl Records – Japanology Plus | NHK #video

Vinyl Records – Japanology Plus | NHK brings an enjoyable program (in its own quirky way) presented in English about vinyl records, specifically: how Japanese folks handle records with care, visit to a record pressing plant, many records shops of all kinds, notes about obis and city hop, records store day, needle making, laser listening and more.

includes a visit to one of only two lacquer producing facilities in the world (the “other one“ was involved in a big fire a couple years ago which is one of the reasons vinyl supply has slowed down).

oh, notes about “listening cafés“ as well (my *retirement business plan* :))

Source: Vinyl Records – Japanology Plus | NHK WORLD-JAPAN On Demand

Diary: Ramblin’ Ted visits the shed (& farm)

My friend Ted came to visit – he lives in Kyoto but was doing some tour guide reconnaissance/spiels on Kyushu & our home with the waystation before heading Shikoku.

me at the giggling piglet studio and consulate, photo by Ted, minor crop and edit by me

Notably, he is my first multi-time visitor to the Giggling Piglet studio besides Mac Kobayashi. Also, we went to Mac’s Goat Farm for lunch, coffees etc.

Listening to Leonard Cohen in the thunderstorm, thankful for the relatives who built this mighty store house

Dude is keeping up an incredible pace in an exceptionally hot and humid summer.

I mean, it’s really perfect mixed media creation studio

Overall, we discussed many topics. Thanks to my sweet in-laws for setting up the comfy room for him complete with the family altar/shrine open for o-bon. It’s a very special time of the year here when our passed away relatives can come back to visit for a while.

the hi-fi system is sounding great after a couple of tweaks by the piano tuner & this snap is a great angle cause you don’t see my balding spot :)

Thank you for visiting Ted, I really enjoy time with you.

Memo: You might enjoy Ted’s snapshots of the experience in general (snaps are stashed on facespace but this is a note to add some more here down the line // Right now I’m at the doctors office, my battery – phone & human – is/are plummeting so, you know how it goes…)

[update: photos added, mostly unannotated]

These snapshots should have captions/annotations but at this point they don’t, but *they exist* thanks to Ted. At some point I’ll add a link to his “notes from the nog” blog.