Tag Archives: ukulele

“This Time Tomorrow” (with apologies to The Kinks) on baritone ukulele

Did you know goats love music? They are social creatures and lack ability to tell me to “stop it already” so while darling wife and adorable son went to visit the pig (update: eaten), i played this decidedly un-good version of a vastly underappreciated song.

the goats were amused and that’s what matters

Yep, it’s a trainwreck – fits and starts, off key, dropped chords – but hey, it’s at a goat farm and it’s well-intentioned…

Smart listeners will recognize this as *yet another* song from Wes Anderson’s Darjeeling Limited soundtrack.

Smart folks may well avoid listening in general, but this is what you call “not getting better” but having a good time.

“Barefoot Hugo Hamilton (gone, gone, are we gone)” on ukulele

“Barefoot Hugo Hamilton (gone, gone, are we gone)”

[demo of original, on baritone ukulele]

Within a brief window of time, 3 people died – one I knew, one I knew of, one who didn’t know me – yet, in my meditations, realized I could draw a gossamer line between the three. And somehow I kept coming back to these tenuous but verifiable connections.

Please, watch till the end (and remix as needed)

And, watching the aftermath of their passing – announcements, reactions and whatnot – all on various ephemeral “platforms/channels”, couldn’t help but to think they deserved a song, not only about just “them” rather the importance of remembering and how fleeting memories are when not “carved into stone” or, made into a folk song, to be passed along, possibly changed along the way to fit circumstance.

I meant to record this “properly” (tracked with drums at which I’m reasonably competent, tidy up the ukulele, add guitars, proper singing etc. – though not necessarily competent and any of those skills) instead of this hasty demo type spontaneous recording in which my hundred dollar baritone ukulele (which my three-year-old son often uses for caber toss) and me fumbling chords, buzzes and hums, changing tempos / time signature, tripping over my own lyric and so on.

Eventually, will receive a better treatment but for now: perfection is not the intention, yet celebration of impermanence is key.

This is for three families, hundreds of friends, thousands of admirers and mostly for the future. Let no one be forgotten.

Please accept my humble offering on those terms.

{Originally written on Ushimado Beach while vacating Tsuchida Cottage due to a tatami might infestation and subsequent fumigation, recorded in “Giggling Piglet Studio” Okayama Japan.

Fondly, daveo

Eventually, I’ll record this more pretty, with help but for now…
Lyric (D.A.T. Olson, 2023)


Barefoot Hugo Hamilton
Drifting so far from shore
Can't see you with my
Guess need something more

Fine-tuned to spot the roots
branches and twirling vines
Catch cryptic fleeting runes
From Montreal to the Seine

They say you're gone
But still I wonder
Are any of us ever here?

(but) I lack capacity to be existential
But well tuned to care
Only thing I know for sure is
"we are the stories
we share"

Artifacts and creations
More than momentary reaction
The Egyptian's got it right
Not dead til they're forgotten

B (spoken)

Craft an archive
From a shoebox
Filled with incense and receipts
Leveled and spaced
with precision
Framed with gentle grace

Each took a different path
Towards exit velocity
Trousers, rants and plays left behind
Before you charted your trajectory


The obits followed on schedule
Timed in zeros and ones
Dispatched with gentle nuance
Pathos sure, but just gone gone & are we gone?


“Where do you go to (my lovely)” by Peter Starstedt, on baritone ukulele

At our friends annual musical party “Kojo piano club” where I added a bit of a “charming train wreck” to the evenings festivities.

Just look at that jacket though

While my (usually) adorable son “accompanies me” by attempting to decapitate the audience with an ukulele of his own, I stumble through an abbreviated version of Peter Starstedt’s lovely song on a baritone ukulele with a few buzzes (seriously, it’s not me… Right?) and some dodgy singing (yikes) but still, it’s fun-ish.

And dang, my red embroidered coat makes up for everything. Thanks Andrew M!

Keen observers might recognize this song from Wes Anderson’s “the Darjeeling Limited” film.

Depreston – on baritone Uke (with apologies to Courtney Barnett)

one of these days, i’ll get *un-buzzed*

In a *lovely garden* (in process) following a morning picnic (off camera) with darling wife and adorable son planting tulip bulbs, and distant echos of chainsaws and birds, i stumble through Courtney Barnett’s “Depreston” about rebuilding, real estate, coffee, and loss – with usual digressions and annotations along the way about rebuilding on a piece of ‘dirt field’ where a road ain’t going through, instead fences made of pallets to keep the wild boar out and bamboo leaning over.

Fondly from Tsuchida Cottage ‘back 400’ in Okayama, Japan.

*actual* Courtney Barnett: https://courtneybarnett.com.au/

more cb at dvo: https://daveostory.com/tag/courtney-barnett/

“Ahead by a Century” for poet Gord (on ukulele)

Ahead by a Century (or maybe behind by two centuries)

For “the man who walks among the stars” the great poet Gord Downia on anniversary of his untimely passing with brief soliloquy about the importance of supporting the indigenous peoples of the land colloquially known as Canada.

And special appreciation for my favorite album/book “Coke Machine Glow” + special regards to survive in the band mates of The Tragically Hip who are telling stories, making songs and re-issuing albums (tyvm).

my favorite of Gord’s recordings… well for now, i can change my mind anytime right?

Yeah, just waking up, in bed under a mosquito net (with adorable pajamas) in a cottage in provincial #Japan with apologies for mediocre unrehearsed baritone #ukulele playing and marginally acceptable “singing” / croaking. It’s the sincerity that counts, right? Right.

Please donate to the Downie Wenjack fund {https://downiewenjack.ca/} and write your own poems to share your story.

Fondly, dvo/uw

what it looks like to *walk among the stars* (in my kura barn library/lounge)

Changes in Sanity (& Latitudes) – Japan Cottage Musings

Yes, I’m a little bit baffled.

I’m not sure what I’m doing with this or why I’m doing this or who I am but whatever

In bed, confused, rambling slurring, fiddling with ukulele, remembering Jimmy Buffett, Jamaica, “all the places I’ve been” (Nepal, Suez, Istanbul, Grand Canyon… criss-crossing continents). gratitude for friends (that’s you), especially those who pick up the phone and send postcards, talking about ice packs, eye masks, hot pillows, more postcards (especially from Sri Lanka), envelopes with 13 queens, concerts i won’t go to, folding laundry, and a memo I need to write for the hospital.

“Illegal Smile” at Nishiwaki Beach (w/ baritone ukulele)

just trying to have me some… quiet (and fun)

Strumming along to classic John Prine tune “Illegal Smile” – a song, in this case, about the desire for a peaceful, easy morning at the beach, but, being surrounded on all sides by revelers, amateurs, and machines. But hey, gotta have me some fun (hot dog bun, your sisters’ a nun)

“Carey (you’re a mean old daddy)” on Baritone Ukulele at Nishiwaki Beach

hey yeah, ain’t *good* but goodtimes, rightyo daddyo

With a straw hat and giggles at a windy beach, I plough through fellow Saskatoon-born Joni Mitchell’s “Carey” while thinking about hanging out with her, Leonard Cohen, and you somewhere in the Greek Islands decades ago, or maybe decades from now. Features cameo by Ryoko Olson :) at Nishiwaki Beach (map) next to the groovy Iwaburo café.

oh yeah, Ichiro was there too:

Diary: expedition with Mac to ohaka

waiting for friend to pick me up to go visit his dear late wife’s grave on the side of a mosquito infested mountain which I can’t figure out how they managed to get the granite ohaka stones up there – I’m bringing incense and an ukulele

As is my normal role in such endeavors, I prepared coffee, choice of hot or cold, Mac-san swooshed in at usual top speed in his Puegout and off we went with mosquito prevention supplies and flowers along with aforementioned items.


We expeditioned, sweated through two shirts, avoided mosquito bites with preventive measures – so sad though, as many many/all of the graves showed no evidence of joy, cleaning or maintenance from recent O-bon >> heck of a trail to get up here though

No concert T-shirts available but still, I played a song on the baritone ukulele + left some words to say her husband is doing all right on this side and we’re keeping an eye on each other #Grateful

Mac added his tender words via IG

My note to Mac-san: “You are a wonderful father, grandfather and pal. I want to go with you every year until we are 120 years old”

Note to Self: Realizing i have another post in ye ole “draft folder” crammed in with 300 other inmates so gotta tidy it up and put it out into the world like incense smoke

Small repair: gluing a ukulele ‘wing’

My “cheap and cheerful” baritone ukulele has a sort of wooden overlay bird design which sort of became unlaminated and vibrates to make my *not particularly good* playing even a little bit buzzier on certain tones. Had tacked it down with an air mail sticker which, wasn’t quite getting the task done.

As such, with a toothpick, a bottle of household/school glue which is well past its best by date, and a bit of colorful washi masking tape, enacted a small repair.

This is not an important project and clearly not a quality Lutier ha ha, however I call these “mental health projects” – what I mean is: projects which can go from beginning to middle to end in one session and allow practical enjoyment of the fruits of the labour quickly and easily.

Avast! Unencumbered by perfection, side quests and trips to shops not required, very little risk of escalating into something more complicated – thars a bit of dopamine and satisfaction at the end from completing a practical task.

{When I’m struggling mentally or emotionally or both, I get a little bit manic about doing projects like to calm to chaos a little bit.}

Note: I spent a lot of time in bed, a lot of time meditating, and a lot of time listening to audiobooks filling my head full of ideas & filling up notebooks with schemes and poetryand sometimes just need to do simple tactile actions are that aren’t epic, not multi-faceted nor interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary or minorly revolutionary. Just simple and hey, dopamine hooray.

Do you? (also thanks to my darling who did actually most of the work)

Sunny came home with a list of names
She didn’t believe in transcendence
It’s time for a few small repairs she said
Sunny came home with a vengeance