AMOEBLOG: How'd you end up working at Amoeba and what exactly is your job there?
PAUL VASQUEZ: I started working at Amoeba in March of 2006, a year and a half ago. I was fed up with the record store I used to work for, so I spoke to a friend of a friend, and the rest is history. I work in the World Music section, helping our customers and maintaining the section.
AMOEBLOG: What makes working at Amoeba unique compared to previous jobs?
PAUL VASQUEZ: Working at Amoeba has been a huge thrill for me. I've never had a job that I look forward to every day. I know that as soon as I walk in the building, I'm among friends...no, scratch that: among family. I feel like the employees are respected and valued for their contributions to the store. The owners and managers have created a mellow and open environment where we feel that we are taken care of. Being an Amoeba employee has changed my life in so many positive ways; it's hard to imagine not having the support structure the store and its employees provide.
AMOEBLOG: What are the Top Three Items at Amoeba this week that people are seeking out?
PAUL VASQUEZ: M.I.A. - Kala, Buika - A Spanish singer recently profiled on NPR, and The Fania Reissue Series - The classic Salsa label finally gets a proper
AMOEBLOG: Best places to eat nearby Amoeba Music Hollywood?
PAUL VASQUEZ: For a quick bite, I think Sharky's (Hollywood & Cahuenga) can't be beat. Super vegetarian friendly. But when I have time for a mellow sit-down experience, I dig Magnolia (Sunset & Vine). They have a mac & cheese that will bring tears to your eyes.
PAUL'S ALL TIME FAVORITES + FIRST ALBUM HE BOUGHT:
AMOEBLOG: First record ever bought and do you still like it?
PV: I had hand-me-down records when I was a kid, like the first KISS album and the
Grease soundtrack, but the first real album I bought was called Elvira's Vinyl
Macabre -- a compilation of horror/sci-fi themed songs hosted by the Mistress of the
Dark. It had it all: the spooky surf guitars of The Markettes, vampire disco
provided by Red Lipstique, a new wave rendition of The Munsters theme provided by
The Comateens; it even had a track by The Shaggs! I still have that record, and
although I usually skip mainstays like "Flying Purple People Eater," I still put it on the platter every once in a while.
AMOEBLOG: Best album or albums of all time in your opinion?
PV: Wow, that's really difficult. Didn't you ever see High Fidelity? And bear in mind, these could all change by lunchtime tomorrow.
James Brown - The Payback
Os Mutantes - Os Mutantes
Serge Gainsbourg - Histoire De Melody Nelson
Shocking Blue - At Home
Bow Wow Wow - The Early EMI Singles
AMOEBLOG: Best album or CD cover art of all time?
PV: Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass - Whipped Cream And Other Delights.
This album cover has been copied and parodied many times. According to Wikipedia the cover model was Dolores Erickson, wearing only what appeared to be whipped cream. In reality, Erickson was wearing a white blanket over which were scattered artfully-placed daubs of shaving cream--real whipped cream would have melted under the heat of the studio lights (although the cream on her head is real whipped cream). In concerts, when about to play the song, Alpert would tell the audience, "Sorry, we can't play the cover for you."
AMOEBLOG: Fave movie and fave movie soundtrack?
The 1978 movie and soundtrack starring Olivia Newton John and John Travolta featuring the No. 1 Hits "You're The One That I Want," "Grease" and "Hopelessly Devoted to You." Upon its release in the summer of 1978 the soundtrack hit the top of the charts.