Stopped by the delightful Last Word Books in OlyWa (Olympia, Washington) – one of my faves in the world and holds loads of memories for me, as well as curates the “Uncle Weed Collection of Cannabis Books” (unofficial name). The location is onto the 4th in downtown Oly and is laden with both trad lit and all sorts of grassroots publications including from their in-house Last Word Press. Oh years ago they purchased the inventory of famed Port Townsend anarchistic publisher Loompanics iirc. The proprietor Sky Cosby is as eclectic and energetic as they come running bookshop, publishing imprint/press, also circus activities, perma-culture homesteading and other renegade community activities and initiatives. Rather remarkable fella indeed.
In tumultuous and confusing times, optimism and activism are the powerful antidotes for cynicism and fear. Two Bills share songs to assist in making this point.
First B/William Lenker plays a spontaneous Squatters in Zion from his Steamboat Island woodshop, then Dave spiels about courageous – and sadly deceased Olympian – Rachel Corrie, followed by Billy Bragg vehemently spieling on stage before a rollicking snippet of his Great Leap Forward from Vancouver’s Vogue Theatre.
Activate + edify thyself with: Leaping Beyond Cynicism – Postcard #64 (14:24, 26MB, .mp3, stereo)
Cover art: Smashed plaque which marked where Benito Mussolini was shot, as seen at The Coliseum, Rome.
My pal (and frequent collaborator) Wm. Lenker wrote this song but didn’t record it for his fine West of 101 album – i liked it so much that one cold January evening, i showed up at his house on Steamboat Island Road at the end of the Puget Sound and *demanded* that we go into the woodshop and record for my entertainment.
He kindly obliged and laid down various tracks, with guitar, vocals and banjo. I recorded and mixed down the rapidly recorded takes to suit my own old-timey taste, complete with heartfeltness, loquaciousness and longing – background noise of fire and beers included.
Billiam does all the instruments and most of the singing (little bit of my ghost vocals) and i’m on the hook for the recording, producing and mixing.
Alongside raging Lynn Creek, Dave remarks about boulders which are indeed interesting as the sign pointed out, then reads a haibun about books and statues on a curly maple shelf, and poems about buying hardware and fruit in Bucerias, mysterious curves and clouds, and solace for weary delirious travellers, while Wm. Lenker sings the traditional folksong Moonshiner (Rye Whiskey).
Perch yourself atop a rock for: Chronicling Interesting Boulders – Postcard #55 (128k mp3, 16:35, 15MB)
From a skunk-scented perch along Mosquito Creek, Dave spiels about feverish dreams in a Mexican clinic, personal archeology, mirages about the Wonder Hotel, and reads verse about late trains, dammed rivers, watching ships, and men in white coats walking past.
Take your vitamins for: Post-apocalyptic Skunks and Fevers – Postcard #54 (128k mp3, 16:35, 15MB)
Starting at the Steamboat Island Woodshed, Dave rambles salty original freeverse with Wm. Lenker on banjo and traces personal poetic lineage winding through French impressionalist/symbolist and Brittany sea-coaster Tristan Corbière (prefaced by Victor Hugo).
Then – as sleet, slush and hail beats down on the Mosquito Creek studio skylight – rolls into the beat American 50s and 60s with John Sinclair‘s chronicle Brilliant Corners, Jack Kerouac riding trains from Atop an Underwood, and Gary Snyder arriving from sea from The Backcountry ~ fortified with jazz, joints and hot sake.
Hunker down for: Banjo Sea Shanties and Beat Train Rambles – Postcard #51 (28:10, 23MB, 112k mp3)