Tag Archives: records

Diary: Feeling Grateful for *possibly-accidentally-well-timed* kind words

Feeling grateful for a few very possibly-accidentally-well-timed kind words which reminded me that my personal archeology and creative arts n crafts projects are well, notable endeavours to others beyond me.

Fck Stats, Make Connection #fsma
“5x fans can’t be wrong”

(original snap by R. Scales at a record fair at Croatian Cultural Centre i think… maybe 2008, maybe 2010, maybe not)

 

Diary: Kura record spins & hangs / round-up

You know by know about my splendid and semi-secret “kura” grain barn turned mixed-media studio and lounge filled with artifacts and oddities and media from my rambling years. And you’ve seen my various “round-ups” of re-discovered whatnots. 

Here’s another in which I offer a variety of snapshots captured for no particular reason of records listened to from the variety grab bag. There are hundreds of records, this is not comprehensive representation, though it is representation that this experiences existed in some space and time. This is all,  just evidence of lounging time w/ Strummer, Bragg, Bowie, Keithley and Assoc, Cobain and cohorts, Lightfoot, Fitzgerald, Mangan, Janovitz and Co, and many others. Pull em out, rack em up, repeat. So many, just a few here. 

As an aside, before lil incredible Ichiro arrived, I was spending several-hours-long sessions in here getting projects captured and queued up for #daveo50 but now, the time is delightfully scant so it’s usually just focussed on sitting, enjoying a beverage and listening to a record or two.

Also, I’ve now had 3 guests (note to self: make a guest book) Continue reading Diary: Kura record spins & hangs / round-up

Diary: Kura studio hangout with records, cds, pins, plaques, flags and whatnot

fiddling with the typewriter (needs some work) with smoking jacket (of course) and pipe (posing)

Do you know how when a project gets underway and it’s all exciting and then it just kind of becomes “usual”? Well this was not like this, each day is still tremendously exciting but it *is* sort of a routine meaning: …every couple of days I go into the kura (grain barn) studio for a little work session which includes opening up some boxes and sorting out a few things and a bit of hanging. 

Noting: I do have to limit my time as to not get “sensory overloaded” as dealing with a lot of nostalgia/memories, plus just the desire to savour the process is “work” and wipes me out.

Anyhow, in brief, I go out, do the complicated unlock process, plug in the power, turn on some lights, fire up the stereo, drop needle on some lovely slab and then work on a task whether it be sorting out a few collections, stacking up some books, climbing up a ladder to organize suitcases… and then take some time to just sit in the chair, flip through a book or a magazine, look through some pictures, or sit down with the typewriter (granted it needs a little bit of work).

not in the Kura studio but rather showing off a shirt i got from Cmdr Bob before he split to Diego Garcia (custom made in Thailand but doesn’t fit him, so score for me)

I have a few coat rack set up for handy smoking jacket, top hat and beaded necklaces, also there are some slippers so i can change like some sort of psychedelic Mr. Rogers.

A couple hours in there flashesback a lifetime of goodness and well, I have a whole lifetime of goodness more to go as a barely cracked into doing “anything” with the stuff, just kind of getting some air onto it for now.

With all this in mind, a few bits of evidence follow to support the above, minimal annotations as most are self-explanatory, ya know… stick and some pins on displays, stack some books, hang some pictures, pull out some records. (despite some duplicates from previous communiqués perhaps…)

The Clash’s London Calling “exhibit” and other goodness in situ
a barrage of empty suitcases on the upper shelf, well some are storing collections of things for the time being… yes 3 same-sized green travel bags – all from different sources – interesting…
a bottom shelf of poetry notebooks, middle with pig banks, clocks (for decor) and a top shelf with Miss Stevenson (my Mom) desk sign and Robert L Stevenson (my Grandpa) United Airliness 100,000 mile club plaque and a load of cigar boxes awaiting items, and a Penguin Jack Kerouac “On the Road” bottle Continue reading Diary: Kura studio hangout with records, cds, pins, plaques, flags and whatnot

Artifacts and Birthday Greetz to Dan Mangan

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(?)

Diary: Records and Books in the Kura Studio / Music Mode = On

Continuing with chronicling collections of Collections in the Kura Grain Barn turned studio (needs a new name) / now featuring: a working stereo and shelves laden with goodness, including: scrapbooks, journals, collections, vinyl, more vinyl and lederhosen.

Here’s a little overview: 

Your buddy here has a new TEAC analog manual turntable, a now-working six disc CD changer, Onkyo amp & tuner, working L *&* R speakers and a few hundred LPs / Not to mention endless CDs, a few boxes of cassettes (mostly by garage bands and so on), buncha 7” & 10” vinyl / also has a line-in 3.5mm jack if needed. Going to have fun up here with the new kiddo!

Also:

  • Secured a couple of cheap and cheerful bookcases to the wall with “L” brackets for safety
  • Started loading up with my *elegantly curated literature assortment* ™
  • Unboxed some selected CDs / mostly box sets and signed specialty items so far
  • At least everything is out of cardboard boxes and starting to readjust to the (dim) light
  • Also got a bit of art on the walls with a Bev Davies corner > stereo situation still need some love but… one revolution at a time

See anything that interests you? Continue reading Diary: Records and Books in the Kura Studio / Music Mode = On

Assorted Vinyl Treats: The Jam, Oingo Boingo, The Specials and “All Quiet…” compilation

Rollin on with albums from the archive, I present these treats for your amusement:

The Jam, Snap!- 2 LP This seminal trio at their finest – well it’s a collection of their finest. Sounds so fresh and explosive even now. Great gatefold deco and liner note copy-writing. Explodes out of speakers and especially love the ambient tube sounds of “Down in Tube Station at Midnight”.

Oingo Boingo, Only A Lad 10 inch, 4 song EP

No other band sounds anything like Oingo Boingo — started as something like a 15 piece, whittled down to more like six, with marimbas and percussive elements along with electronics to make a completely new and extremely danceable heady brew (for you youngsters, this was Danny Elfman of every Tim Burton soundtrack fame)’s band. Also the 10inch 4 song EP is the best music format ever created.

Danny Elfman and me, SLC UT, circa 1985

The Specials, The Specials From the opening track “message to you Rudy”, the drum sound is massive and hollow and upfront, the guitars are crisp and restrained, and the stories are all songs (or vice versa) — while they lost their drummer this year, this band is touring, played the Warfield in San Francisco just recently. As an aside, I was fortunate to share a speaking gig with the guitarist Lynval Goulding at SxSw.

Lynval Goulding (guitar, The Specials) and me in Austin, TX 2012(?)

Life in the European Theater, Compilation Opens with The Clash’s London Calling and just rocks on from there with aforementioned the Jam & the Specials, plus XTC, Au Pairs, Echo and the Bunnymen, Madness, The Beat, The Undertones (all of the above of UK bands of course), with The Doors’ almost forgotten Peace Frog as (somewhat inexplicably) the only American entry. This was released in 1981 so the first sample of a lot new sounds for this West Coast kid.

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For the record, in Sept 2016, picked up a couple of crates of vinyl which I left in a friends dad’s basement in Salt Lake City when I left Grateful Dead tour in 1991 and ended up in Europe, Japan, Micronesia, Cascadia and many departures between. Collecting them now, feels like 20-year-old self wrote a letter for me to receive just when I needed it most. #MusicHeals

Jack Kerouac Spoken Word, 4 LP + book collection

I worked at a bicycle shop outside of Vancouver in 1990 and I lived in my VW bus out back of the store some of the time so didn’t have a record player.
 
 
Saved my Canadian dollars and bought this four disc Jack Kerouac set – which includes a thick and beautifully designed booklet – at A&B sound on Seymour Street.
 
 
Was stashed away with the rest of the stuff in 1990 and never has never had a needle drop on it yet.
 
This will change very soon when I spend a bottle of wine with dear ole Jack and other pals.
 
 
He’s a true revolutionary, much more than in the stereotypes,…
 
 
And like many, was a critical erstwhile mentor for a young, mostly Canadian, train rolling, world-travelling writer.
 
 
I have a quite lovely collection of his works and artifacts and very happy to have this in my hands. I need it, truthfully.
 
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For the record, in Sept 2016, picked up a couple of crates of vinyl which I left in a friends dad’s basement in Salt Lake City when I left Grateful Dead tour in 1991 and ended up in Europe, Japan, Micronesia, Cascadia and many departures between. Collecting them now, feels like 20-year-old self wrote a letter for me to receive just when I needed it most. #MusicHeals

Forgotten Vancouver Stories (aka Poets, Punks and Revolutions) / collage art boards

Forgotten Vancouver Stories: 1 - Everything is ephemera
Forgotten Vancouver Stories: 1 – Everything is ephemera (maps, tickets, pins, pennants) #daveostory

Artifact dossier: Collage art boards from “Forgotten Vancouver Stories (aka Poets, Punks and Revolutions)” spiel presented in various formats at Pecha Kucha Night Vancouver, All-start edition, and Northern Voice 2013 closing keynote. Video and roundup of both prezos exists elsewhere in this archive.

Each collage “slide” was handmade (obviously) with ephemera from my personal collection (exceptions credited on final “slide”) then, arranged on hemp cloth “storyboards”, photographed by Rachel Ashe, then disassembled. An analog to digital remix of sorts. Presented here in rather large size for your printing/screensaver/ amusement and posterity.

Forgotten Vancouver Stories: 2 - Young time stories
Forgotten Vancouver Stories: 2 – Young time stories

Continue reading Forgotten Vancouver Stories (aka Poets, Punks and Revolutions) / collage art boards

Day-job skills and ideas for musicians

The Matinee Set list
Bands need helpers on tour to spread the social vibes and make cool arts n crafts

Canadian broadcaster Grant Lawrence posted a bit on CBC Radio 3 blog (now disappeared from internet and not archived) about “Backup Job Plans for Musicians” and i chimed in with unsolicited advice, [the article seems to be lost from the internets as cbcradio3 has ummm… disbanded] anyhow, ergo:

My advice is to have a backup plan which used your skills to help other bands. Keeps you in the mix and gives you an opportunity to share your knowledge and skills with other band folks who are on similar path/mission/trajectory as your own.

A few good ideas:

Silkscreen T-shirts / Merch Master:
Every band needs these and a lot of bands fuck this up or pay too much. Not just T-shirts, but other smart merchandise. At my day job, we made passports, tubes, guitar picks, stickers, scarves, flags… Get creative with your merch and people will buy it. Seriously, they want to give ya bread to keep participating in your culture.

Graphic design:
I mean being a real designer, not just someone with Photoshop on a computer, to make poster art and album covers and so on. Packaging and March are too critical elements about the music business which are often overlooked. Look at the career (Vancouver legend) Bob Masse has built for himself since the mid 60s making awesome posters.

Social media promoter/community builder:
Fans are communities who desperately want to learn more about their favourite musicians, spend their money and rock out. Social media is the best way to build this community. Labels, bands and promoters are just catching on… Perhaps you can help them.

Recording engineer:
This one seems obvious and as difficult as making it as a musician but, with radical changes in the way music is recorded and released, there is huge potential for someone who understands both analog and digital recording methods.

Bookers/promoters:
Most bands have someone that kind of knows this game or they become too reliant on the labels, managers etc. If you are a touring road warrior who has built relationships with clubs, venues etc. but aren’t up for it anymore, work the phone and help emerging bands set up tours. You won’t get rich doing it for one band but doing it for 10 will pad your stats, especially when one of the bands hits big.

Band mentor:
This seems a little reality TV-ish but many bands don’t have someone to instruct and advise them and care about them. Managers and labels usually don’t have the resources to dedicate to merging bands and so they are left to making mistakes and put in their career in someone else’s hands. Bands often need someone who has a deep long history with the music business but also has the empathy and insight to counsel and advise them on band dynamics. The right advisor can make the difference between a two album “flash in the pan” band and a generational band who last for decades.

Vinyl: Happy Jack, The Who

 

“I Saved Latin” meets Mike Watt and The Secondmen at Winter’s Tavern, Pacifica

4-up view of I Saved Latin" from American Laundromat Records
4-up view of I Saved Latin – A Tribute to Wes Anderson” from American Laundromat Records

As a fan of Wes Anderson movies, indie rock and vinyl, this rare unique gem from American Laundromat Records was a must have. Its like they conceived the project with me as target market. Ergo: songs featured in Wes Anderson’s eclectic-as-fck oeuvre, but performed/covered by indie rock bands.

Mike Watt and The Secondmen at Winter's Tavern's – Pacifica, California with The Freak Accident opening / marquee
Mike Watt and The Secondmen at Winter’s Tavern’s – Pacifica, California with The Freak Accident opening / marquee

The album is filled with surprises no doubt but, I managed to provide a surprise for the goodly Mike Watt and his Secondmen at a show at my favourite dive bar Winters (@nocrapontap) in Pacifica, California on Dec. 6, 2016… (by the way, after a rough stretch – death of Mom – my buddy “Maddog” Mike McCarthy went with me for which i was grateful – i have a snap of the ticket somewhere too).

Continue reading “I Saved Latin” meets Mike Watt and The Secondmen at Winter’s Tavern, Pacifica

Vinyl: Double double Elvis (for Julian)

This double #Elvis goes out to one of the few dudes who can *easily* kick my ass at the “… Yeah I saw that band back in…” Julian Hannabuss
 
 
Original photos by Robert Scales
arted up by daveo