Guilty Pleasures and Irrational Aversions – Round 1

We’ve all got ‘em – things we dig that we shouldn’t, and things we should dig but for one reason or another, do not. Dig. There are dozens if not a hundred bands and artists I used to like which now make me cringe. Billy Idol, for example. The difference between a cringe-worthy, passing infatuation, and a guilty pleasure can be summed up neatly: I … Continue reading Guilty Pleasures and Irrational Aversions – Round 1

Jukebox Antagonist – Episode 8: A Long Story About Regulars, Vultures, and Compilations

The term “album” originally applied to a compilation of documents, manuscripts, or other items assembled and preserved in a “book” format, i.e. photo album.[1] Beginning in the 19th century, the word was related to anthologies of printed sheet music and poetry. The invention of the gramophone gave rise to what we now call records or simply, vinyl. In the early 20th century, collections of related … Continue reading Jukebox Antagonist – Episode 8: A Long Story About Regulars, Vultures, and Compilations

Jukebox Antagonist – Episode 7

Fantasyland. It was just like being home except home wasn’t terribly enthusiastic about having me around. Despite a litany of things to do, people to see, and places to be, it was inevitable that I would spend some time at Baltimore’s Inn. One night Freddie was behind the bar. It had been over a year since I’d been back, but very little had changed. A … Continue reading Jukebox Antagonist – Episode 7

Jukebox Antagonist – Episode 6: Scotch Clickbait

Every time a controversial international political issue takes hold in the mainstream, it inspires me to learn something about the place in question. Perhaps this silly obsession is a result of knowing so very little about the world at large, despite being a citizen thereof. The Scottish independence referendum is a matter to be decided between Scotsmen, no doubt; but we’re all welcome to discuss … Continue reading Jukebox Antagonist – Episode 6: Scotch Clickbait

Jukebox Antagonist – Episode 5

To save everybody the trouble of reading or referencing Episode 3, during the mid-Oughts, I used to hang out at a joint in Fantasyland called Baltimore’s Inn. The jukebox at The Balt was something of a conundrum. It was a situation that refused to resolve itself. Here was the rub. The owner of the bar, Earl, had final say over everything in the joint, rightly … Continue reading Jukebox Antagonist – Episode 5

Jukebox Antagonist – Episode 4: The Manager

Back in 2007, I briefly managed a bistro-type joint in an unfamiliar neighborhood of San Francisco. The gig lasted about two months before I went back to waiting tables at my old job, which was infinitely more amenable to my lifestyle. Deeply humbled by failure, I was relieved and yet more determined than ever to escape the restaurant industry, once and for all. Anyway, one … Continue reading Jukebox Antagonist – Episode 4: The Manager

Jukebox Antagonist – Episode 3: Special Pinball Edition

From Chicago to San Francisco to L.A. to Manila to Taipei to places beyond and between, my favorite places to drink are dive bars; unpretentious, bread n’ butter, good old-fashioned “watering holes.” The drinks are cheap and equitable, the bartender is vaguely congenial but no-nonsense, and the regulars seem like a rough bunch of characters, but once you get to know them, they’re a bunch … Continue reading Jukebox Antagonist – Episode 3: Special Pinball Edition

Jukebox Antagonist – Epsiode 2

That was a real cliffhanger back there in Episode 1, wasn’t it? I was threatening to name my “best” Nirvana song, with a hint that it wasn’t by Nirvana. It was one of those tropes that sounds good when you toss it out there, but completely impractical or even imaginative. See, I went back and basically rifled through the Nirvana catalog, and came away with … Continue reading Jukebox Antagonist – Epsiode 2