Segarini: The Return of the Weekend Roundup

I am beginning to believe that time speeds up as you get older. When I was a boy growing up in Stockton, California, the summers seemed to last forever. Disney days and Spielberg nights strung together over a Norman Rockwell landscape like a string of Christmas tree lights, where doors went unlocked and the air was always fresh and scented with flower gardens that proliferated in people’s yards, planted and cared for by doting mothers, pies cooling on kitchen windowsills, and the sweet and sugary smell of backyard trees laden with ripening plums, loquats, and peaches, wafting on the Delta breezes.

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There was always time to do everything. Days filled with exploring the neighborhood with friends, riding our Schwinn and Huffy and Raleigh bikes, seeking out new adventures and unexplored places with the endless energy of youth and the curiosity of a box of cats. Our families were friends and our friends were family, and we were protected from the harshness of the adult world by parents who loved us, and we were happy in our ignorance. Without the worries to distract us from the business of living, we were free to live life in a straight line. Experience it. Embrace it. Our time was our own, and we were always in the moment, and time lay before us like an unending road that would lead us to more discoveries, more adventures, more experiences.

And to us, like everyone when they’re young, it seemed we had all the time in the world.

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Yesterday, I discovered (or remembered) something that shook me awake. Although it seems like we’ve only been doing this for a short while, Don’t Believe a Word I Say turned one year old on September 5th. How is that possible? Where did the time go? If I may haul out an old cliché, it seems like only yesterday that a group of like-minded friends and strangers decided to band together and write about their lives and the things that they were interested in, and hope that people would read what we write, and be entertained, or educated, or given a certain comfort in knowing that yes, someone liked what they liked or had experienced what they had experienced, or found something new that engaged them, just because a stranger took the time to share the discovery of something they had not discovered on their own. That was our mandate, and our mission statement was simple; Write about what you are passionate about and speak from the heart. No rules, no judgment, no limit to length or subject. No shit…no kidding. Oh…and no money. Money was (and is) not the driving force behind this experiment. DBAWIS is a platform for creating something out of whole cloth. Pure creation cajoled, or retrieved, or wrenched from the heart and the mind and put into words to share with others.

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There is a certain mindset I looked for and have been more than rewarded with, by the ongoing contributions from those who joined me and have proven their understanding of what this is all about. There was one unspoken hope that could either make or break the concept of individuals being themselves without interference, and being part of a greater whole that depended on its ability to expose their work, for them to be happy with it, and to genuinely enjoy the process.

I hoped there would be no drama…and for one year and 11 days, there has not been any.

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Drama (negative input into a positive environment) is a killer. It can suck the life out of even the most solidly rooted joy and turn a labour of love into a drudgery filled chore. Negative energy is a far more dangerous threat to the pursuit of happiness and a contented life, than any other obstacle you will ever encounter. I have seen it destroy relationships, bands, businesses, and people. I have seen it cripple the most creative minds, and the most earnest and eager people. I have seen it corrupt the spirit, and paralyze even the most enthusiastic and motivated individual, and I have seen it destroy a person’s confidence in a heartbeat, confidence so hard earned, yet so fragile, that when lost, can take years to be recovered…if ever. Drama, the manifestation of our insecurity (and we are certainly all capable of it, because we are all, at the root, insecure) is a very palpable form of negative energy, and people who use negativity to get their way (are you listening Mr. Harper? Are you listening Mr. Romney) should be excised from your environment as quickly and as precisely as a malignant tumor, because that’s what they are.

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I want to let Nadia, and Cameron, and Frank, and Jaimie and Geoff know how much I love, respect, and appreciate their hard work, their positive attitude, and their talent. I want to extend the same to our newest additions, Gary ‘Pig’ Gold, Doug Thompson, and Darrell Vickers. The same also goes to Jade ‘Pie’ Dunlop, Emer Schlosser, and Jim Slotek, who have all contributed some wonderful columns here.

I also want to acknowledge our growing list of sponsors. Cherry Cola’s Rock and Rolla Cabaret and Lounge for being the first to get behind us, Cameron’s BreweryShanghai Cowgirl, Mediazoic, and Radio That Doesn’t Suck, and our latest additions, UpCountry, and 94.9 The Rock. Please click on their ads on our home page and seek them out. All are of outstanding quality and we endorse their products and services 100%.

And to all of you, Dear Readers, our gratitude, and thanks for coming here as often as you do. Over 100,000 of you to date from all over the world with more joining in every day. We will continue to do our best to keep you entertained, amused, and informed as best we can. We love your comments and emails and they truly do inspire us to be better at what we do. If not for you, we would all be dancing in the dark.

“The only thing worse than writing…is not writing”

Robert Heinlein 

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To kick off the return of The Weekend Roundup every Sunday, here is the inaugural column from September 5th, 2011. I still can’t believe it has been over a year….

Segarini: Welcome Back…and Welcome Aboard

It was several years ago that David Farrell invited me to start scribing for his FYIMusic.ca site, and nudged me onto the road to becoming a bonafide writer. Not knowing whether or not I was even capable of becoming a writer was reason enough for me to say ‘yes’, because I needed a challenge (and a paycheck) at the time, and David is an old friend and one I respect and whose company I enjoy. I signed on.

So here it is almost 4 years later, and a lot of water has flowed under the bridge. After 2 years of writing for David, we parted ways and I found myself writing for another concern. It turned out that I had been spoiled by Mr. Farrell. My new home seemed inviting at first, but became an environment within which I became increasingly uncomfortable.

I resigned.

Now the question loomed, What the fuck am I going to do now? Well apparently, I’m going to keep doing what I’ve been doing…write. A second question popped into my head; Where? And then an old idea reared its pretty little head and I had my answer.

What if, I have thought over the past year or so, there was a site on the internet that was like a ’50s rock and roll radio station, or a ’60s underground/freeform radio station? You know, where the jocks brought in their own records, played what they wanted, said what they believed, let their passion guide their words and their music, and related their personal connections to the things they love. Is there anything like that out there? Is there?

I looked around…and except for the sites where celebrity and gossip are paramount (seriously, do any of you give a rats ass what the Kardashians are up to this week?) I couldn’t find anything remotely like I’m suggesting. After I left my recent employer, I made some phone calls, asked some questions, and made a decision; we have the technology…let’s do this thing.

So…

Joining me here at DBAWIS are some of my favourite people who also happen to be wonderful writers. I’m not going to spoil your joy of discovery, you can read these folks and get to know them just like I did. Remember these names and days:

Tuesday: Nadia Elkharadly

Wednesday: Frank Gutch Jr.

Thursday: This week’s guest columnist Jade Dunlop

Friday: Geoff Pevere

…and of course, I’ll be here every Monday.

Some of these names may be familiar to some of you, some may not be, but all are passionate, well thought, and bright individuals whose words have enlightened and entertained me. They share my love of pop culture, everything from music, television, movies, and books, to food, drink, personal experiences and life as we know it.

In the months to come, we will expand to 7 days a week, and try our best to have new content on site every day. We will share our discoveries with you, post our favourite music both old and new, and strive to be as informative and entertaining as we can be.

You can chime in as well. We will be having guest columnists on Thursdays for the time being, and you can submit articles to us by putting “DBAWIS” in the subject header and sending them to segarini@rogers.com for consideration. Also keep us posted as to shows (both concert and club) coming to your respective cities and towns, and any info, music, or YouTube videos from your favourite local artists, or acts you consider to be overlooked or under the radar.

I hope you join us in this grand experiment. Any suggestions as to how we can monetize this site would be greatly appreciated. We are looking for investors and sponsors for the site and the individual columns. Meanwhile, this is (and always has been and always will be) a labour of love. Your input is important to us, so stay in touch either by commenting on the site, or emailing the above address.

Join us tomorrow (September 6th) for Nadia Elkharadly’s first column, and let me know if you would like updates emailed to you.

Please continue to get your industry news from the wonderful FYIMusicwhere David Farrell busts his ass to keep you up to date in all things pertinent to today’s music industry, and look to us to amuse, enlighten, and entertain you with personal opinions on all aspects of pop culture from hipster chic to mining the past glories of all that has come before.

You can find me at Cherry Cola’s, or sitting in front of this computer in my underwear most days. I would suggest seeking me out at the former…the latter is not a pretty sight.

Happy Labour Day, have a corndog at the CNE for me, and remember to visit the clubs and comb the ‘net for the music that matters. Meet my fellow writers all this week, and I’ll see you again next Monday with my brand new column.

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We do hope to monetize DBAWIS at some point, but frankly, I haven’t figured out a way to do it that wouldn’t upset my somewhat surprising scruples. I know there must be a way, and someday we’ll figure it out. In the meantime, I look forward to the day when the hard working crew here can be paid what they deserve…which is far more than they are making now, and will probably be more than what they do eventually make. To me, they are all priceless. Hopefully, some of the projects we are discussing may bear fruit. A series of books and ebooks with sound and moving pictures, a television and radio version of the blog, a TV series based around my life in entertainment, a movie based on one of the serials that has run here, and a documentary based on the ‘When Radio and Records Ruled the World’ series.

If anyone has any ideas or suggestions toward that end, or any of you want to invest in us, please let us know.

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Quick Cuts

The Toronto International Film Festival wraps up tonight, the bars go back to a 2:00am closing, and my liver gets to spend a relaxing vacation away from alcohol and become knee deep in Hydrating Vitamin Water (“It Tastes Like Kool-Aid!”) and I may eat something that didn’t have a face at one time or come wrapped in plastic. Highlights of all the fol-de-rol? Being so close to Bill Murray I could have spilled my drink on him. Being within a yard (there may someday be a restraining order) of my long time crush, Melinda Clarke, she of Nikita and CSI fame, (where she played Lady Heather over 8 seasons), not once, but several times, and even though managing to make a fool out of myself every single time, she still smiles that wonderful smile, always has time to say a few words, and is as beautiful and charming as you could hope for. It’s not her fault she reduces me to a tongue-tied yokel when I get within 10 feet of her. Having a laugh with Michael Pitt, who plays Jimmy on Boardwalk Empire, and, as always at Cherry Cola’s, many more recognizable faces from TV and motion pictures.

The lowlights? The incredibly out of touch ruling body of this city of 5 and a half million people who shut the transit down to a crawl just about the time everybody that goes out in this vibrant and exciting burg needs to get home. At 2:00am, the subway is closed, the buses and street cars are in limited supply on few routes and most routes are shut down, and people are inconvenienced, bars lose money, and there are even safety issues for some. If you want the tax dollars from alcohol sales, yet don’t want people driving if they’ve had so much as a glass of wine, and want local hospitality providers to have healthy and thriving businesses, how can you continue to treat the citizens of this fantastic city like children? Hurumph.

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If you are in Toronto, make time to go see Fraser/Daley at the Intersteer on Roncesvalles on Wednesday nights from 8pm till 11pm. You will not find a more uplifting musical experience in this city as unique and just plain entertaining as these two. Great venue, terrific food, and a wonderful staff.

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Congratulations to Rock 95 in Barrie for being awarded the 88.1 frequency in Toronto for an Indie Music radio station. There is more on this in Cam’s column from last Thursday. You’ll find the link on our home page.

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Tonight (Sunday) Boardwalk Empire returns for its third season. Next week (Sunday, September 23rd), head down to Cherry Cola’s to catch the debut of Xprime as Cherry’s new Sunday night residency. Watch these kids. Like Courage My Love and Harlan Pepper before them, they are worthy of your attention.

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Segarini’s regular column appears here every Monday

Contact us at dbawis@rogers.com

Bob “The Iceman” Segarini was in the bands The Family Tree, Roxy, The Wackers, The Dudes, and The Segarini Band and nominated for a Juno for production in 1978. He also hosted “Late Great Movies” on CITY TV, was a producer of Much Music, and an on-air personality on CHUM FM, Q107, SIRIUS Sat/Rad’s Iceberg 95, (now 85), and now publishes, edits, and writes for DBAWIS, continues to write music, make music, and record.

3 Responses to “Segarini: The Return of the Weekend Roundup”

  1. You rock Bob. Keep it coming.

  2. YOU’RE WELCOME :P. but seriously, it has been my pleasure to write for DBAWIS for this past year. I’m still so grateful for the opportunity and hope I can continue to come up with content week to week that doesn’t bore people to tears.

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