Segarini: Mondays, Music, Movies, and Me

Bob hosting Late Great Movies 1985I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am stumping for a 36 hour day. 24 is never enough. If I could just cut out sleeping, bathroom visits, eating, and having to mix drinks or make the trip to the fridge to get a beer, 24 hours might do, but as it stands, it is just not enough time to get done in a day what needs to get done. Maybe some of you are better at using your time, more organized than I will ever be. My problem is that I am interested in so many things that it is hard to fo…oh look! A bunny!

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where-the-fuck-are-youWeekends are another poke in the eye when it comes to getting stuff done.

Everybody disappears.

Not disappear like The Rapture or cement shoes, or a cloak of invisibility, but disappear as in ‘Can’t be Found by Phone, Email, Texting, or Running Around Tracking Them Down’. All those people who decide that the world stops turning Friday at 6:00 and doesn’t start spinning again until Monday morning. I think it’s called “Living for the Weekend”.

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For you older folks who love the end of the week, here’s another take on it…

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…and for all you “classic” rock nostalgists…

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The weekend concept also screws the pooch for those who can’t or don’t disappear.

Because so many people are in the habit of waiting for the weekend to enjoy themselves, there are lineups, delays, and annoying hurdles for the vast throngs of people who want to give their noses a respite from the grindstone, enjoy a meal out with no cleanup, dance, hear some music, see a movie, or sit in a bar or on a patio and pretend it’s the office Christmas party with no management or bosses around. This fantasy may sometimes end with you desperately searching for a Xerox machine to sit on with your pants down, or asleep-on-subwaya storage room to make out with someone you have picked up. You also may wake up in your car when the sun comes up, or a janitor on the TTC kicks your foot when he finds you asleep on the subway or bus when they shut down. Hey…it happens.

The point of all this being, the worship of the weekend has a subtext, and that subtext seems to be; “My life sucks, I hate what I do to pay the bills, and the only way I can survive it is to forget all of that every five days and either DISAPPEAR or PARTAY

I find this to be one of life’s most perplexing mysteries…like living somewhere and running off to a cottage or camping or anywhere  other than where you live to ‘get away from it all’, or feeling obligated to blow it out on the weekend like a teenager/twenty-something. The question here is, why do you live somewhere you can hardly wait to get away from, and why don’t you go out on, say, Tuesday?

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I belong to the group of people who love what they do, love where they live, and love their lives. In fact, in Toronto, the fourth largest city in North America (we just kicked Chicago’s ass) there is so much to see and do, even weeks of 36 hour days wouldn’t be enough time to see and do it all…ever. Still, the weekend love stems from a long battle between work and leisure.

From Wikipedia…

The workweek and weekend are those complementary parts of the week devoted to labour and rest respectively. The legal working week (British English), or workweek (U.S. English), is the part of the seven-day week Homer on Sundaydevoted to labour. In most Western countries it is Monday to Friday. Weekend is a time period including Saturday and Sunday. Some people extend the weekend to Friday nights as well. In Christian tradition, Sunday is the “Lord’s Day” and the day of rest and worship. Jewish Shabbat or Biblical Sabbath lasts from sunset on Friday to the fall of full darkness on Saturday, leading to a Friday-Saturday weekend in Israel. Islam declares Friday as a day of rest, so Muslim-majority countries usually have a Thursday-Friday or Friday-Saturday weekend. The French Revolutionary Calendar had ten-day weeks and allowed decade, one out of the ten days, as a leisure day.

The present-day concept of the weekend first arose from the Dies Solis (Day of the Sun) decreed by Constantine and from Biblical Sabbath.[citation needed] The Christian Sabbath itself was just one day each week, but the preceding day (the Jewish Sabbath) also came to be taken as a holiday in the twentieth century. This shift has been accompanied by a reduction in the total number of hours worked per week, following changes in employer expectations. Proposals have continued to be put forward for further reductions in the number of days or hours worked per week, on the basis of predicted social and economic benefits.

In North America, the evolution dividing the week up into work and leisure time went like this…

    The first five-day work week in America was instituted by a New England cotton mill to afford Jewish workers the ability to adhere to their own religious Sabbath.

In 1926 Henry Ford began shutting down his automotive factories for all of Saturday and Sunday. In 1929 the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America was the first union to demand a five-day work week and receive it. After that, the rest of the United States slowly followed, but it was not until 1940 that the two-day weekend began nationwide

You can read the complete history, benefits, and drawbacks of the concept of weekends here.

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working at home 3I do love my work.

It is something I never anticipated, never worked toward, never even thought about. Like a nap, it took me by surprise, and turned out to be a joy, a calling even, and very rewarding in every way except financially.

I really need to change that last thing soon.

Writing also affords me the luxury of working at home…and I LOVE being home. Spending the day dressed as a bunny or a homeless person, not being persecuted for lighting a cigarette, beer and bourbon breaks if necessary, bathroom breaks whenever, and nobody Working at home 2looming over my cubicle demanding that I join the office softball team or contribute to the 80 year old mailroom guy’s retirement party…and no rush hour traffic. No traffic at all. I am commute-less.

That’s the other thing. I make my own hours. Sometimes I put in more than 8, other times, I don’t…but the work gets done. Sometimes late, sometimes at 6:00 in the morning, but it always gets done and gets done well.

This arrangement also affords me another luxury…my leisure time coincides with how I want to spend it. In other words, I am writing this column and working on Monday’s Bobcast today (Sunday), so I can go see my friends Katy and Finny’s band play the Tattoo Rock Parlour tonight. The Mahones working at home 1are a not-to-be-missed one of a kind aggregation, with Finny rockin’ the guitar and Katy just owning the accordion to the point of making it rock AND sexy, in front of a band that just kicks Celtic-Punk ass. I don’t have to get up at 6:00 am and doze on the DVP or 401, sooo, I get to spend Sunday night with the most Irish people I know.

The Mahones

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I watch TV and movies on the ‘puter when I take a break or have the time. I pay a ridiculous amount of money I can’t afford for internet and cable, so I don’t feel guilty about downloading commercial free HD content and watching it at my leisure. Someday, the movie and television people will figure this out and let us pay them to download their stuff so we can watch it when WE want to, HOW we want to, as soon as it hits theatres or the tube. That is how the world works now, and the old-school giants are dwindling in size by not joining us in the present, having learned nothing from what has happened to the “Major” labels and the record business in general…but I digress….

The bottom line?

You can have your leisure time any time you want to if you plan ahead. Having a good time is not restricted to the weekend, and work is not restricted to the rest of the week. Sundays and Mondays were my weekends for years when I played in bands. There were no lineups at movies, less traffic, no reservations needed for dinner, and always easier to park. I strongly advise you to break out of the pre-conceived notion of The Weekend and make your own rules. You will find it a rewarding experience.

…and screw you, Geldolf, I LOVE Mondays.

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Movies

In theatres…

Oz the Great and Powerful – The reviews are iffy, some are downright scathing, and after the trouncing of Jack the Giant Slayer by hostile critics, unfairly prejudged by jaded movie critics who are still offended by CGI effects,   escapist entertainments, and bemoan and dismiss 3D as a fad with no merit. Ignore the yapping dogs and go see this. It is not Shakespeare, nor does it try to be. What it is, is an absolutely beautiful re-imagining of the Land of Oz, its wildly diverse assortment of flora and fauna, and it adds to the mythos with loving respect for L. Frank Baum’s indispensable body of work concerning the mythical land. Now if they will just continue to film the existing books that followed the Wizard of Oz, I will be ecstatic.

Oz the Great and Powerful

Watch this sequence. In 3D, it is breathtaking. In fact, the immersive quality of the sets and action in 3D makes the land of Oz seem almost real.

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For Download or Purchase…

Not Fade Away – David Chase (the creator of The Sopranos) delivers his first motion picture about a group of friends from New Jersey in the early ‘60s who start a band. It is as accurate a depiction of the era and the people inspired by music so much they want to devote their lives to it as I have ever seen. The cast is stellar all around, and James Gandolfini (Tony Soprano) is perfect as a hard working, blue collar everyman who is blindsided by the changing world, his kids, and his growing concerns dealing with those changes, his family, and mortality. It really is a fly-on-the-wall vantage point view of what it was like when the societal fabric was ripped asunder and re-sewn in a new and (for some) harrowing pastiche of unsettling changes. A great soundtrack (chosen by musical director Steve Van Zant) and note-perfect musical moments interject a realism that most films on this subject lack…and the actor who plays Douglas, John Magaro, is a dead ringer for me when I was starting out. Being told that by friends who had seen the film led me to watching it in the first place. They were right to a certain extent. Watching it, I slowly replaced the other actors in my mind with musicians I had worked with early on and found counterparts to every one of them. The only person who didn’t resonate was the mother, who was almost the exact opposite of mine. It is a great, small, personal movie, and if you grew up in or love that time period, THIS is what it was like. A must see film for the readers of this blog.

Not Fade Away

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On Television, Purchase, or Netflix…

Ray – Jamie Foxx delivers an amazing performance as Ray Charles in this biopic that hits the highlights (and lowlights) of a decades spanning career by an artist who still inspires me. Sometimes painful to watch, it chronicles a time so primitive it is difficult to imagine a lot of these things actually happened. From the pain of his personal life, both exterior and interior handicaps the man had to overcome, Foxx plays it so real you forget you are watching an actor. The real star here is the music. Not many artists have this scope, and fewer will have their music live on as long as Charles’ will. Goosebumps abound, and the supporting cast seems to be elevated by both the music, and the man whose life they are trying to portray. A must see for those of you who want to experience the birth of creativity, and the triumph over adversity this man achieved. Good friend and fine actor Curtis Armstrong does a brilliant job as Ahmet Ertegan, the president of Atlantic Records, who gave Ray Charles to the world and stayed a lifelong friend. Great viewing for a night at home that will have you searching out these records and listening and remembering the genius of Ray Charles.

This is Foxx as  Ray and Curtis as Ahmet…

And this is the trailer…

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Tonight (Monday, March 18th) marks the first Bobcast at Cherry Cola’s. Be there no later than 9:00 pm when we start recording. You can make it an early night or hang around and feed your Saint Paddy’s day fun liver afterward.

The Bobcast Logo Embossed

Xprime is the house band, Tom Wilson, and Lee Harvey Osmond are the musical guests, and Director/writer  Colin Brunton, (The Last Pogo, The Last Pogo Jumps Again) and  CMW showrunner Greg Simpson are our industry guests. A great venue and way to start off Canadian Music Week. Be in the audience for the first one ever. This will become a weekly event.

Cherry Cola’s

200 Bathurst Street

Toronto

Just North of Queen Street West…look for the red door and chandelier.

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Segarini’s regular column appears here every Monday

Contact us at dbawis@rogers.com

DBAWIS ButtonBob “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.

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