4 years employment
ME: What was the first thing (band/song/moment) that got you into music-- like, really into music?
KL: The Beatles and The Beach Boys are my earliest music memories. Actually, I still have a Shirley Temple record that was the one record I would beg my dad to play for me. “The Good Ship Lollipop” was my song!
ME: Seeing as you are one of the biggest Beatles fans currently working here, I think this is a really important question for you: Who is your favorite Beatle and why?
KL: George. I wept the day he died. I think I always identified with him. John was wonderful, but in a more outspoken way, whereas George was always thoughtful and understated. He lived his live quietly and peacefully. I once cut a quote out of a magazine where George tells what he said to the intruder who stabbed him at home: “I just shouted 'Hare krishna, hare krishna!'” Oh, George.
ME: Yeah he really was the Dark Horse. Which Beatles track is your favorite?
KL: Well, there is a different answer every day, but “For You Blue” on Let It Be is one of my favorite George tracks. “Cry Baby Cry” on the White Album. “I’m Only Sleeping” on Revolver-- I dig the backwards guitar.
ME: One of the more underrated George songs in my opinion is "Long Long Long." I think it gets lost on the White Album cause there's so much else that commands attention on there. Do you have a favorite ex- Beatle solo album?
KL: I’m going to be totally honest here and tell you how much I love Cloud Nine, George’s album from the 80’s. I love this album! It’s actually the last album before his final album, Brainwashed, which was released posthumously. It’s got “Got My Mind Set On You” and “When We Was Fab,” his Beatles tribute song. Brainwashed is really good too!
ME: Yeah I'm glad you brought up that record-- I have so many childhood memories based around tracks off of that one! My parents bought me a tape deck for my 9th birthday and that was one of the tapes they bought to include with it. That and Debbie Gibson I think! Hah!
Ok, anyway, so what brought you to Amoeba? Why did you want to work here?
KL: I’ve worked at record stores for years, and the only store I wanted to shop in was Amoeba, so I turned in something like 5 applications before I was interviewed.
ME: I turned in two myself! What is the best concert you saw this year and why?
KL: This has been one of the best years for shows that I can remember. The best show was probably the 4th of July show at the Independent. SunnO))), Earth, Wolves in the Throne Room and Weedeater played. It was my first SunnO))) ritual, and it blew my mind. Everyone who loves music “feels” it in their heart or soul ... or whatever. I literally felt the rumbling in my bones from the wall of amplifiers they had.
ME: I want to talk to you about your interest in metal and drone. What are you listening to these days?
KL: I’ve been listening to the new High on Fire, Death Is This Communion. They really found something good with this record. That 9 string guitar that Matt Pike plays sounds so good.
ME: Tell me about black metal, how you got into it and what bands you are into. What would you recommend to someone who has never listened to that type of music before?
KL: I grew so very bored with the state of current “rock” music and I’ve been curious about metal for a while, so I decided to ask my fellow record store folks to help me explore metal. I started with doomier, stonier metal like Earth, Sunno))), Electric Wizard, Sleep, etc.
I’ve always loved my rock loud, hard and dirty, so when I heard this stuff it was like I found something I didn’t even know was missing from my life. I quickly found black metal and that was it. Darkthrone, Burzum, Craft, Leviathan, Carpathian Forest, Wolves in the Throne Room ... oh the list just goes on.
ME: Cool. Now let's talk White Stripes-- another band we both adore. What White Stripes record do you like best?
KL: De Stijl. It reminds me of riding the ‘F’ streetcar from 4th and Market to the Castro at midnight.
ME: I think if it came down to it I'd say that is my favorite too. Describe the best White Stripes show you ever saw.
KL: Well, I’ve only seen the White Stripes once, but it was amazing. They played 2 nights in a row at the Warfield, and I went the second night with my best friend, Corrie. We waited in line like the fans that we are, and we got right up front for the entire show.
The place was packed, and the show was perfect! At the end of the show, Jack threw out a couple dozen red roses into the crowd, and I caught one. When we were outside on Market Street, I found a t-shirt that some poor soul dropped. AND I realized once we’d begun our journey home that I got 2 posters somehow. I dried the rose and still have it as well as the t-shirt, which I wear all the time. I have one of the posters and gave the second to one of my younger brothers for Christmas because he is the person who got me into the White Stripes.
ME: Awesome! I was at that show too and I think it's the best one I've ever seen. What do you think about Jack White's move to Nashville?
KL: I was so very happy to hear about it. Detroit seemed to turn on him, and he certainly has friends down in Nashville. Jack is a gentleman. He’s also a bit old-fashioned, and Tennessee seems a better fit.
ME: Since the Holidays are upon us, do you have a favorite Christmas record or Christmas song that gets you in the spirit?
KL: I don’t enjoy Christmas music very much, but I do love a good holiday movie. My family have a few movies that we watch every year: Gremlins, White Christmas.
ME: As a child of the 80s I am a bit ashamed to admit this, but I have still never seen Gremlins! I have no idea how it relates to Christmas, but I'll roll with that as your response! I need to seek that movie out one of these days. It was all the rage when I was in Kindergarten, I remember. I've done pretty well catching up on all the 80s movies my sheltering family kept me from seeing, but Gremlins must have slipped through the cracks somehow!
Let's round this interview up with a couple more work-related questions. What has been your best find here at Amoeba?
KL: I love records. Looooooove vinyl! I found A Blaze in the Northern Sky by Darkthrone, and that made me very happy.
ME: What is your favorite thing about working at Amoeba?
KL: I’ve met some of the best people in the world inside record stores. And did I mention I love records?
ME: You are our main staff photographer. Who has been your favorite band to photograph?
KL: Earth was really fun, and so was High on Fire, more recently. But the Tura Satana ‘Faster, Pussycat! Kill! ... Kill!’ DVD signing was really fun. She seemed to have so much fun, and the pictures were really silly.
ME: She was truly fabulous. Can you think of any band you didn't know much about but were particularly impressed with and thought your photos turned out great?KL: Lee Rocker played recently and I didn’t know much about him. He played a great set, and was great with the fans. His bandmates were pretty fun, too.
ME: Glad to hear that one went well. He was a truly kind person, and so was his band. They made that event exciting and energetic! What's been your favorite instore here?
KL: Meeting Dylan Carlson of Earth was pretty amazing, but when The Raconteurs played, I was in heaven. After the show, there was no signing or meet and greet, but they allowed a few of us fans up to meet them. They were so cool! After years of being a fan, I was still amazed by how friendly and laid-back they were.
ME: That whole day almost gave me a heart attack! It was unreal. Well Kaitlin, I could go on forever with you about Jack White, but we should close for now. Thank you for your time!