Fifteen Years of Idle Time: The Bonfire

Last month, on a characteristically can’t-make-up-its-mind Saturday, with spring sunshine jockeying with wind and fog, we assembled on Ocean Beach to celebrate fifteen years of Idle Time nonsense. The original three hadn’t been in the same place since a fantasy baseball draft in 2014, and our core four likely hadn’t been together since those traumatizing rock ‘n roll roulette sessions in the back room of Ink way back in 2012.

LDG: "This is what you look like. Crazy people."
LDG: “This is what you look like. Beach surgeons in an outdoor operating room. Or crazy people.”

This was also the first ever in-person assemblage of both the O.G. Idle Timers and the next-generation of enthusiastic souls, plus friends and wayward, woebegone blog contributors. It’s never easy to get perfect attendance (heretofore impossible, really), and the Doodle calendaring went on for weeks. But, for this particular get-together, having us all together was essential. We were finally going to do it. After three failed attempts dating back to 2009, Idle Time’s Ultimate Mixtape was so close to realization. And we were going to stay on that goddam beach until we had ranked the whole fucking thing.

Our 150 favorite songs of the last fifteen years. Doesn’t sound contentious, or particularly hard to validate. These are favorite songs, after all. We know the lyrics by heart and the car stereo volume can’t ever be turned up loud enough. But, as with anything, we can’t just list the songs, we must rank them as well. Before any of us drunkenly shuffled away from that firepit, we were going to have one little index card representing our favorite song of the Idle Time era, and we would have burned all the rest, the smoke rising to the heavens like symbolic offerings to the Gods, or to the Universe, or to David Bowie.

Lebronald, Jedi Master of Excel, was entrusted with the survey ballots as well as the precious little stack of index cards. He diligently ranked our bottom hundred, subsequent to a cockamamie veto process and various rule modifications, and even had a set bit planned for delivering the news of the fallen favorites. That little routine went by the wayside (but reared its ugly head in confusing liner notes scrawled on the back of certain cards), when lebronald instead passed off the responsibility to rengstorff. No offense, but our pal rengstorff is one of the most notoriously irresponsible humans you’ll ever meet. The fact that he saved the day and delivered the promised documents will live on in Idle Time lore, especially given the fact that he strode triumphantly across the hillocks of dirty charcoal-strewn sand soundtracked by Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep.” We then proceeded to repay the favor by ignoring him completely in order to play our silly game. (See video) “Gee guys, thanks for inviting me to your bonfire.”

tyrannoflores would like to remind everyone that Rich Boy beat out 13 other songs

I overestimated (perhaps purposefully) how long the whole process would take. Hltchk somehow got third-degree sunburns. Anything edible became instantly sandy as soon as it was exposed to the open air.

It was a blast. Even tyrannoflores, who had lobbied repeatedly against bringing back the roulette process for any kind of ranking, admitted later, “I’m happy to say roulette has stolen its way back into my heart.” One by one, as songs were eliminated from the beer-and-salsa-coated table, the cards were committed to the flames.

So where’s the damn list, then? It’s coming. I’d like to say this long drawn-out reveal was planned for dramatic effect. In truth, getting some Idlers to compose a blurb — even about a treasured tune — is an arduous task. That, and we’ve got sixteen other projects going. Also… it’s for dramatic effect.

But in the meantime you can get a taste of the bottom 50 via Idle Time’s new Mixcloud page!