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Peanut Butter Vibes and Eight-Second Video Clips

Originally posted on Every Dragging Handclap:

Oh I like this song. Wait, what? The hell is everyone doing?

JDG was in town from UCSB for a few days, and wanted to check out Glass Animals at Rickshaw Stop. No arguments from me. I kinda dig their sexy jungle-by-way-of-Oxford vibe, even if every track on the album sounds pretty much the same. I figured it’d be music best appreciated live. And I was right.

Now… I’ve got nothing against taking pictures at a show. Before every phone doubled as a camera, we used to sneak SW’s little Sony into Bottom of the Hill, The Fillmore, Slim’s, and every other venue that once upon a time clearly printed “No Photos” on their tickets.

Before I deleted my Facebook, I felt compelled to document every live show with at least one snapshot; I still do that, to some extent, on Twitter. Now that I’m blogging again, I do it for…

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True Sons Of Chiptune

Originally posted on Every Dragging Handclap:

At 9:00 last night I was eating a sandwich on the sidewalk parklet outside DNA Lounge when DH texted me: “Dude come up here you are missing something weird.”

Coming from DH, that meant something.

The “something weird” was the last entrant in the open mic portion of the 8BitSF evening. A weathered Tina Yothers meets Michael McKean from Spinal Tap in a flowy pirate shirt dropping a David Byrne staccato over aggressive video game beats. Not just weird, but also awesome.

Glad I swallowed my sandwich in two bites and ran upstairs to see the tail end of this guy’s set, but I was also happily marveling at the crowd assembling street level for the show in the main auditorium.

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Record Store Day Sucks

Originally posted on Every Dragging Handclap:

I stood in that damn line, and nothing. That sea of people swept through the aisles in a mad rush, grabbing anything and everything that had the RSD label. Despite being maybe 100-people deep, I still missed out on all the LCD boxsets. I left Amoeba without spending a dime, on principle.

At one point, I just stood on the upper level, staring down at the chaos in the aisles below. One girl, couldn’t have been more than sixteen, stood in the eye of the hurricane with tears streaming down her face. Happy Record Store Day.

Within minutes, eBay was full of those boxsets. Upwards of 200 bucks. My disdain grows.

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Peelander Z Are Not Human Beings

Originally posted on Every Dragging Handclap:

The first show I attended this year was back in January at The DNA Lounge. It was one of 8BitSF‘s monthly shows, this one featuring a reunion of Oakland band The Glowing Stars. DH sold them as fronted by a “hot singer,” but I didn’t need any convincing. Going anywhere sounded great, especially to see some live music again. Even though I felt a hundred years old when I got home from work and sat on the couch, thinking how nice it would be to just stay right here until the morning and pretend that I was going to crack my books and begin studying, I made it out to SoMa.

I think the only other person in his thirties was the bartender, and I’ll bet I had at least five years on him. The place was full of eared animal beanies, technogeek t-shirts, and highlight-color hair. During the…

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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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Something new off the album or buttrock!? Buttrock? Okay.

Originally posted on Every Dragging Handclap:

In Idle Time’s earliest days, I was tasked with creating a punk rock primer for JH (not to be confused with JLH), who himself grew up on early 80’s SoCal punk and was, like me, interested in a retrospective. This was back when we played around with “The Institute” moniker as being truly indicative of a place of learning. Course materials included CD Stompers, crayons, and cover charges to countless pilsner-soaked dive bars.

One of those bars, Thee Parkside, is still soaked in beer and loud music, and, with the recent patio expansion, is one of the best places in The City to hang out and see live bands.

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M Section straight outta the mean streets of Rohnert Park

Last night, while scanning venue calendars for a show, I came across The Angry Samoans headlining a punk rock triple-bill at Thee Parkside. Were these the same Angry Samoans that appeared as a footnote…

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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 Worldhe’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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Zeppo Marx, 1933

Zeppo = Zero? A Totally Unexamined Life

Originally posted on Holy Bee of Ephesus:

PRODUCER: Can you get some more variety into your part?Zeppo Marx, 1933

ZEPPO: How many different ways are there to say “yes”?

(Allegedly overheard during Animal Crackers Broadway rehearsals, 1928.)

“Zeppo Marx is a peerlessly cheesy improvement on the traditional straight man.” – James Agee, legendary film critic.

“Oddly enough, it proved to be Zeppo who was the most difficult to track down in terms of his post-team life. Perhaps if I had more time and money…though I expect that would have a pretty minority appeal.” –  Simon Louvish, Marx Brothers biographer.

One thing that comes from a reading list like mine that consists mostly of biographies is you get a glimpse of the difference between a well-known person’s public image and what he is like out of the spotlight. A seemingly simple, straightforward persona can hide immense depths of complexity (and vice versa).

It seems clear that no one is ever…

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Avengers: Endless Wartime

Avengers: Endless WartimeAvengers: Endless Wartime by Warren Ellis

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The origins of the graphic novel are widely debated. While most of us nerds point to Will Eisner’s seminal A Contract with God as the first of its kind, without a unified definition of the format, or indeed of the comics medium to begin with, it’s easy to make an argument for ancient cave paintings and codices.

For the term graphic novel, however, we can thank Jim Starlin and the good folks at Marvel who, in 1982, killed off the trippy cosmic hero in the company’s first ever original book-length, lushly published comic book, The Death of Captain Marvel. The material was brand-new, not a collection of republished individual monthly issues. Today, the term graphic novel is used for any funnybook dressed up for the bookshelf and, for Marvel, that has traditionally meant collected editions of storylines from the monthly periodicals.

Now, for the first time in what seems decades, Marvel is back in the original graphic novel business (DC has already been doing this for some time, both with capes-n’-tights heroes and many of its Vertigo titles). Warren Ellis, who gained comics fame with DC’s Transmetropolitan and flexed his Marvel muscles with the excellent “Extremis” story in Iron Man, writes an Avengers melee that will appeal to both new fans lured in by the movies, as it features all the cinematic characters, as well as existing fans who have been loving the inclusion of Wolverine (and, to a lesser extent, the new Captain Marvel) into the roll call.

And, really, it is, for the most part, a big, gorgeous superhero slugfest. Tony Stark sets it up pretty effectively:

Mike McKone’s art is pretty great, and Ellis is fantastic with the dialogue. Throw in a parallel to modern drone warfare, and the moral question as to the validity of weapons manufacturing, and you have an effective use of the heroes of modern mythology to bring into focus the fallacies of modern society. And it looks pretty nice on the bookshelf.

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