Welcome to the world of Max Garrone.
Made in San Francisco, California.



2020 in music

02.04.21 Posted in Music by

The year that was sonically, at least according to all the songs that I saved to my Spotify playlist. The rules were pretty simple, songs came out in 2020, I liked them. I still like them after listening to them again for a good chunk of January. The 2021 playlist is already underway. Enjoy.




Cinematic walls

05.26.20 Posted in Movies by

Max Garrone | Max Garrone

It’s fascinating to watch what changes in times of crisis. Examples are legion from the past ten weeks but the over-the-top direct to TV film releases turns an entire industry on its head. While Netflix and others have been doing some of this now it’s the movie theaters getting in on the action.

Just in the past weeks Alamo Drafthouse launched on Screenplus while other indie theaters like our own Roxie in San Francisco launched on VIMEO. It may not seem like a shift because the distribution model is the same, what’s really different is the sensibility, the packaging because most what I pay Alamo or Roxie for is the movies they choose. Their home screening options deliver the same sensibility but at home. I would have never found Lucky Grandma if Alamo hadn’t recommended it and it turns out to be one of the funnest and sharpest movies I’ve seen in a long time. Remember when Netflix had a million dollar bounty for whoever could approve its taste matching algorithm? It’s still a major problem but indie theaters solved it the old fashioned way.


Pick and roll

05.24.20 Posted in Obituaries, Sports by

Jerry Sloan never won a championship mostly because of one man, Michael Jordan, but he created a truly amazing system.



If you bitch long enough

02.10.20 Posted in Movies by

The people in charge listen. That or the world changes of its own accord. The Criterion Channel is now featuring Wim Wenders’ magnum opus, a 287 minute version of Until the End of the World that hadn’t been available in the US. It comes along with a short documentary on Nick Cave recording his contribution to that amazing soundtrack and a variety of Wenders ephemera. Of course it’s also available on Blue Ray with all the extras.


The hits, they just keep coming

01.06.20 Posted in Food by

With yet another local Italian specialty spot closing, this time in Eureka, it’s starting to feel like the old world won’t be around much longer. The nostalgia factor is driving plenty of revisionist red sauce restaurants but where’s the soul in that?


Remembering Burt Williams

12.13.19 Posted in Obituaries, Wine by

Burt Williams, co-founder of Williams Selyem died Wednesday. The obituary that Williams Selyem sent around does an amazing job of summing up his life and is a picture of a different time in the California wine world. Give it a read.


Streaming at the service of radio

12.13.19 Posted in Media, Music by

I got lucky and grew up in a place and era rich with community radio. It ends up that the Monterey Peninsula in the 80’s had more than you could handle. Hell, I probably still have crumpled pieces of paper sitting around of bands that I need to look up because my cassette and, then, CD budget just wasn’t rich enough to explore all the music that was coming out of my boom box. Napster really juiced that experience, Spotify legalized it, then I washed up on the shores of Spotify’s discovery which is ok as these things go but so flat that the same artists are continuously recommended and there is so little real exploration.

I never really abandoned radio, Sonos has been a godsend because it makes digital radio so easy, and now I find myself listening to WWOZ many nights, David Byrne radio others, but ever since the New Yorker profile I’ve been a weekly listener to Iggy Pop’s BBC6 radio show “Iggy Confidential.” He has such an eclectic ear that now accounts for most of my new music. How’s that for going back to the roots?


Giant fluffy puppies, soccer, and Ronaldo

12.12.19 Posted in Movies, Uncategorized by

Max Garrone | Max Garrone

All of that and more in Diamantino, a gigantic satire of Portugal and its star number 7 now available on Criterion. Perhaps this marks a new step in their evolution as a streaming service, over the top distributor for films which fall through the cracks. It seems like yesterday but Netflix used to occupy a similar role.


Diluting the brand

11.12.19 Posted in Food by

California Olive Ranch is big. They have at least 13,000 acres of olives in Northern California and have been aggressively marketing their bottles as reasonably priced local olive oil. It seems to have been successful, visit markets of a certain ilk and you’ll see their bottles. But this weekend I noticed that they’re no longer Californian. Despite the company name which receives the major presentation on the label.

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“California” is oh so prominent…

They’re now blending oil from other countries like Argentina, Chile, and Portugal. Apart from the bit of flattery at being on the same pedestal as three countries, the contrast between brand name and identity, and the actual content of the bottle is pretty dramatic. I had no idea, everyone at dinner had no idea, we’re just lambs to the slaughter in this marketing hustle.

Max Garrone | Max Garrone

One state, three countries.

A bit of research reveals that this has been going on for at least a year and that the company is trying to bake it into their branding without exactly trumpeting the difference. Aside from the marketing issues here – clearly most people aren’t reading the fine print and believe that they’re getting something purely Californian and possibly paying a premium for that impression – the change points up bigger issues like climate change.


No, not that Willie Brown

10.23.19 Posted in Obituaries, Sports, Uncategorized by

Obit du jour from football’s golden age.