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Grow Up, Find Yourself a Nice Acoustic Guitar, Settle Down

Originally posted on Every Dragging Handclap:

When our favorite musicians grow up, does it force us to grow up a little too? Or does the presence of music in our lives, invariably tied to a certain time, a particular chapter, make it difficult to stomach the maturation of the artists responsible?

Or maybe there’s a cosmic biorhythm that undulates among us. We’re drawn to music and the musicians that make it  because of a more personal connection than we’d ever even considered.

When Joe Strummer found the Mescaleros, I found myself in college with two kids and a mountain of debt. The Clash was a high school crush, too tenacious and too much trouble to take seriously.  In Davis, surrounded by Birkenstocks and protest signs, I encountered a world perspective that was more about reggae than rebellion.

Just a few years later, The Promise Ring was everything my rollercoaster psyche needed. But, just as suddenly, Davey…

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Hey Scenester – Your Favorite Band Hates You

Originally posted on Every Dragging Handclap:

Saw Mr. Little Jeans at Rickshaw Stop last night. She was adorable, and the set was pretty fun. But the night ended up being about a lot more than Scandinavian pop music (won’t hear me saying that too often), and the clear, black skies over Hayes Valley were humming long after the monitors got unplugged.

Truthfully, I’m in too optimistic a mood to complain about anything, but I’m also nursing a brutal hangover, so channeling that irritation into a mini-rant seems appropriate.

So setting aside how fantastic my Thursday night was, let me instead talk about how shitty it is to still be dealing with scenester scalpers.

I’ve been going to shows for a long time. A long time. And, of course, I’ve had to deal with plenty of sold-out issues: found out too late; didn’t have my act together; no money at the right time, etc. And after paying way 

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Bart Davenport Made It Happen

Originally posted on Every Dragging Handclap:

As a member of the local band Honeycut, Bart Davenport was a live favorite here in The City. As a current LA resident, now touring to support his new LP Physical World he’s earned a place in the annals of my favorite live performances of all time.

The album is pretty good, and the first single, “Wearing the Changes,” has maintained its place in my New New Stuff playlist despite kicking around for a few weeks. It repels reorganization.

Last night at The Chapel was a good night. Reminder: I’m out of the pseudo-music-reviewing biz. All of us at Idle Time are. I’ll sum this up in The Point sometime in the near future, but suffice to say that the Institute’s efforts to rate, quantify, and chronicle pop music started to feel like homework right around the same time that real-world shit got crazy. Seemed like a foregone conclusion:…

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Ghostmann’s Top 50 Movies of All Time! Part 4: #20 – 11

I made a list of of my favorite 50 films of all time – with #1 being my most favorite. Here are the films that make up numbers 20 through 11.

For Part 1: #50 – 41, click here

For Part 2: #40 – 31 click here

For Part 3: #30 – 21 click here

Before he talked to empty chairs, Eastwood shot the hell out of people.

#20. Unforgiven (1992)

Why? Clint Eastwood’s last western could just be his best. I love Fist Full of Dollars and High Plains Drifter, but those movies just focused on kicking ass - Unforgiven on the other hand has a lot more going on with it (although it does have a few kick-ass parts too). This is a film about redemption and if it’s still possible to attain it after a lifetime of sin. Can William Munny lead a normal life on the farm and put the past behind him? Or will temptation lead him back to his evil ways? Beautiful scenery dominates this film and Eastwood lets it alone tell the story for many scenes. A perfect end to his westerns – Unforgiven is a classic.

Best Scene? When Will comes back to Big Whiskey during a thunder storm to avenge Ned’s death and we finally see the person he’s tried to make amends for. But Will knows it’s too late and so does Little Bill – “I’ll see you in Hell William Munny.” Will’s response? “Yeah.”  He knows he is damned.

Best Quote?

“We all got it coming, kid.” – William Munny

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Shining 11

Ghostmann’s Top 50 Movies of All Time! Part 3: #30 – 21

The countdown to my number 1 favorite movie of all time continues with the next 10 films on my top 50 list. Here are numbers 30 through 21.

Click here for Part 1: #50 – 41!

Click here for Part 2: #40 – 31!

This is what happens after Kubrick makes Jack do 103 takes of one scene. But it works and it’s take 103 where Jack really has “lost his mind” and it’s that take Kubrick will use!

#30. The Shining

Why? It may not be anything like Stephen King’s novel, but I think that’s a good thing.  Stanley Kubrick made it his “own” and The Shining will forever belong to him and Jack Nicholson. Both of those dudes brought to the table a perfection for their respective arts and turned a great early King novel into a pulse pounding exploration of the descent of the human mind into madness. From the opening shot of this movie there is a noticeable build up in tension that finally explodes when Jack comes smashing through the bathroom door with that ax, looking for Wendy. Like bricks, each scene builds on the last, and each one holds more and more DREAD until it all comes crashing down.

Best Scene? When Wendy interrupts Jack at work and we see just how much the Overlook Hotel is affecting him. (see quote below)

Best Quote?

“Now, we’re going to make a new rule. When you come in here and you hear me typing [types] or whether you DON’T hear me typing, or whatever the FUCK you hear me doing; when I’m in here, it means that I am working, THAT means don’t come in. Now, do you think you can handle that?” – Jack Torrance

“Yeah.” – Wendy Torrance

“Good. Now why don’t you start right now and get the fuck out of here? Hm?” – Jack Torrance

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KPackPoster

Contest: Make Me a Mixtape 2012

Help me cross the finish line in this year’s Giant Race and win this limited edition “K Pack” poster!

Last year’s mixtape contest turned out even better than I had hoped. Although I didn’t make it through the entire entrant-created playlist, I am happy to report that I didn’t have to skip over a single track. Cade I. took home the Brian Wilson bobblehead thanks to the timely finish-line fist-pumper “Danger Zone” and Anthony E.’s stupid Spongebob theme song suggestion never made it into the rotation. [Although: my iTunes recently fished out that Painty the Pirate song for a Genius playlist built around The Decemberists’ “We Both Go Down Together.” Clearly the mischievous Apple AI isn’t bound to my iPod’s circuitry.)

Entering is easy: submit a song for my half-marathon playlist. I start the race, hit shuffle, and go. If your song is playing when I cross the finish line in AT&T Park, you win. This year’s prize is the “K Pack” promo given away at the recent Frank Sinatra tribute night. The only other way to get your hands on this sexy 16 x 20 poster is by scouring eBay, and them’s dangerous waters, matey.

Send one song selection to mdigino@gmail.com and I’ll add it to the playlist. I’ll announce the winner (and winning finish-line song) on the evening of Sunday, September 16th.

Another look at the fineprint:

  • Songs should be energetic and appropriately charged for running. I reserve the right to skip any song that is making me want to stop moving. Or a song that might incite me to dropkick my shuffle in the direction of Alcatraz (so please pick something other than “Church on White,” Erik).
  • Songs need to be five minutes or less. Sorry, Rob, can’t accept that Digitalism remix this time around.
  • I’m taking the first 40 song requests, and after that the contest is locked.
  • I’ll definitely be padding out the playlist with some songs of my own choosing, but if one of my picks is the last thing I’m listening to, I’ll award the prize to the most recent reader-nominated song that comes up in the shuffle.
  • If your song choice is obscure and I don’t have it, and it can’t be tracked down via all the usual outlets (iTunes, emusic, etc.), you may have to send it to me. After securing all the appropriate permissions, of course.
  • If someone already recommended your pick, I’ll email you back for a second choice.
  • If the prize needs to be shipped, winner is responsible for shipping costs.

Good luck!

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Ghostmann’s Top 50 Films of All Time! Part 2: #40 – 31

The countdown to Number 1 continues!

I made a list of the Top 50 films I love the most – with # 1 being my favorite of all time. Out of a Long List of 250 movies here are the films that made #’s 40 through 31.

Check out part 1:  #50 – 41 by clicking this link

Now, back to the list…..

Jay going “circus seal” on Bob

40. Clerks (1994)

Why? El Mariachi may have ushered in the “Do It Yourself” age of film-making, but Kevin Smith’s Clerks made it clear that it was here to stay. Made for pennies and shot at the video store that Smith was currently working in at the time, it once again proved that if you had the talent (in Smith’s case, it was his flair for dialogue not his cinematography) you could make a movie. Smith would go on to make bigger movies but it’s this one that is his finest work and stands up the best.

Best Scene? Randal’s brilliant rant about Return of the Jedi.

Best Quote?

“My love for you is ticking clock BERSERKER! Would you like to suck my cock BERSERKER!” – Olaf Oleeson

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Ghostmann’s Top 50 Movies of All Time! Part 1: # 50 – 41

I wasn’t going to arrange my list of these 50 movies in “best to least best” fashion, but then I said fuck it and decided it would be cooler to list my  favorite films in order of the ones that are my favoritist. So after weeks of going over my Long List of 250 movies (which I will post later. and yeah, most of them are American films. What can I say, we make awesome movies)  I have come up with my top 50 films IN ORDER (With #1 being my most favorite film of all time. Natch)!

Ok, let’s go!

50. High Fidelity (2000)

This is what our Idle Time meetings look like – just not as cool.

Why? Because if you didn’t know by now, we here at Idle Time live and breathe by this movie. It perfectly captures nerding out over music and movies and making lists.

Best Scene? The Break Up Scene. We’ve all been there. Some of us more times then we would have liked.

Best Quote?

 “What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?” – Rob

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R.I.P. Nathaniel Essex

AvX Contest: Weeks 19, 20, 21 Scoring Update

It’s the fourth quarter, ref. Swallow your whistle and let ‘em play. Give us the highlights, update the scoring, and let us enjoy the last two installments of Marvel’s Avengers vs. X-Men event.

Week 19

  • New Avengers 29

Week 20

  • Avengers vs. X-Men 10
  • Avengers 29

Week 21

  • Uncanny X-Men 17
the Invaders were a loooong time ago, Cap

Bendis returns to the Mamet-ian dialogue-driven tension that made his contributions to Civil War so successful in week 19′s issue of New Avengers. Gene called it “the best issue where nothing happens.” True: no developments pertinent to the event showdown, and the conversation even pre-dates what eventually goes down with Namor, but these are the kinds of character interactions missing from the focal series. Read.

A week later, however, Bendis drops the worst issue where nothing happens. Or, rather, the issue where something had already happened. As in the Rachel Summers ambush. Sure, Avengers 29 provides the added Professor X insight, which seems as important as finding out where Reed Richards stands (a week earlier), but maybe we could have done it without the irritating sense of deja vu. Avoid.

R.I.P. Nathaniel Essex

The Sinister-Phoenix showdown comes to a resounding climax in this week’s Uncanny X-Men. No surprises here; we all knew any real threat to the Phoenix Five would be reserved for the main storyline. What we weren’t sure about was whether or not the Victorian ponce would survive. He does not. Is he dead? Hell yeah he’s dead. Or, at least, as dead as a character gets in comics. And what does that mean..? Coupled with Captain Marvel’s resurrection and re-death in Secret Avengers, we’ve now satisfied the “two or more characters die” scoring opportunity. This was one of the most popular selections on the ballot, trailing only the reciprocal “two or more characters come back from the dead” and “Wolverine kills Phoenix (whoever it is)” options. One contest entrant who did not elect the two deaths plot twist was last week’s leader Chris B, which means Carly W has quickly leapfrogged back into the lead.

Someone else who didn’t see this coming was Brien B, who, with an almost incredulous 8 total points, continues to make himself at home in the basement as the King of Last Place.

Leaders through week 21:

  • Carly W. 42 pts
  • J.R. W. 39 pts
  • Chris B. 39 pts
  • Ricky V. 36 pts
  • Josh D. 34 pts
  • Maricus C. 33 pts
  • Devin T. 33 pts
  • Josh M. 30 pts
  • Daniel S. 30 pts
  • Brian H. 30 pts

SNIKT Counter: 16

Next update… MVP predictions! Remember? There are two ways to win Idle Time’s AvX contest!

judges table featuring all nine Bloodys

2nd Annual Sunday, Bloody Sunday

I do enjoy a good Bloody Mary. And while the International Bartenders Association sets specific parameters regarding the composition of Brunch’s Best Friend, its interpretations and modifications are almost as numerous as the bartenders who serve it. No wonder it’s been called the world’s most complex cocktail.

judges table featuring all nine Bloodys

This past Sunday, Scala’s Bistro in the Sir Francis Drake Hotel played host to the 2nd Annual Sunday, Bloody Sunday competition. Bartenders from restaurants and hotels all over San Francisco unveiled their signature twists on this classic recipe in the hopes of claiming the title of this year’s Best Bloody Mary. Convention was thrown out the window as nine very different cocktails were served to an eager crowd of thirsty patrons and a panel of judges. I’m not an expert by any means, but I’ve sampled more than my fair share over the years (enough to be in the process of finalizing my Top 5 Bloodys in SF) and was eager to cast my vote (by dropping a Sir Francis Drake bottlecap into the appropriate vase) for a worthy candidate. Here, then, are all nine drinks ranked on my scorecard worst to first.

9. “Indian Summer” by Kate Bolton of Maven

I’m not exactly a purist when it comes to this cocktail, but I do have certain expectations. Like tomato. Like spice. Savory and pickle-y. This strawberry wine cooler that somehow managed to sneak into the contest by virtue of a splash of “tomato water” and perhaps a dash of “aged balsamic vinegar” was about as close to a Bloody Mary as my morning coffee. It was a decent enough summer beverage, and I didn’t mind fishing out the honey-kissed strawberry slices floating around in my plastic cup, but… “not a Bloody” is all I really had to write on my scorecard. Continue reading

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