Amoeblog


(In which we bid a tearful goodbye.)

Posted by Job O Brother, March 7, 2010 01:06pm | Post a Comment
Today marks the final shift of one of my most favorite Amoebites of all time, the glamorous and enigmatic “Smithy.”

veiled woman
Dearly departed Smithy (artist's depiction)

Smithy is not her real name, though it is one of her nicknames, and that’s about as close to “the facts” as most of us are likely to get. Smithy shrouds herself in mystery, and even if all her acquaintances pooled their knowledge of her past, it would scarcely be enough information to provide a decent Wikipedia entry, to say nothing of a biography. I keep the snippets of personal detail that I’ve acquired in the past four years of working with her like a jealous secret; a precious baseball card that I never remove from its protective plastic.

I don’t even know what she’s going to be doing after she leaves Amoeba Music Hollywood. For all I know she’s gotten a job lion taming, apprenticing to a witch doctor, or going deep undercover for the CIA in Beijing. All seem possible; all would hold some amount of appeal for her.

lion tamingafricaspy
See: Craigslist > job opportunties

One thing we, her co-workers, have been privy to is what she’s keen on in music and film. Even someone as secretive as Smithy has dorked out with the best of us music store geeks when the conversation’s turned to our product. This blog entry will be a brief exposé of some of Smithy’s pop culture paramours. In considering them, we may perhaps glean a little insight into this unknown soldier, but even if not, we’ll still get to hear some perfectly ginchy tunes.

First, and perhaps most importantly, we must present the character Maria from West Side Story as portrayed by Natalie Wood. In her, we find not only a woman who rather closely resembles Smithy physically, but emotes in perfect balance, a youthful effervescence, a pining for romance requited, a profound sense of familial duty, an awareness of the potential cruelty of life, a Latin American heritage, and a penchant for being surrounded by hella gay dudes. That Stephen Sondheim, her favorite composer of musical theatre, had a hand in creating the musical is important. That the story takes its cues from Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet bespeaks Smithy’s being an Anglophile. It’s really spot-on as a cinematic metaphor for our beloved subject.


The following is a sampling of the music that Smithy would often play while working at Amoeba. I always looked forward to her selections as being an extension of my own…






















…With this one exception. While I value extreme minimalism in classical music in theory, and certainly accept it as a valid form of art, I can happily work retail without having to hear this:


I might get into trouble for revealing this, but I wanna explore Smithy’s celebrity crushes. Personally, the men of cinema that make me swoon are pretty classic and predictable: John Gavin, Rock Hudson, Vince Edwards – these are the guys that’ll be invited to my orgy in the afterlife (along with you, dear reader, whose beauty surpasses all others).


See: Craigslist > m4m

Smithy’s taste in men runs, well… How shall I put this? She and I will never fight over a man – that’s for sure. Skinny, poised, old fashioned, and maybe a hint of doom – these are attributes that seem to make her giddy. I once jokingly told her that the best place for her to find a date would be in a tuberculosis ward in a hospital. She nodded thoughtfully, taking this more as sound advice than the biting funny I intended.

Here’s some eye candy for you, Smithy…




I’ve been sick with a head cold for a week now, and as a result, I have missed (rather cruelly) Smithy’s last week at Amoeba Music Hollywood, in lieu of sneezing, coughing, and watching way too much Chelsea Lately. I never got to awkwardly tell her, amidst the aisles of shoppers, how much I will miss her, how much she lit-up the jazz room where we resided, how happy I am for her that she’s moving on to bigger and better things, and how bloody awful this turn of events is for me. Los Angeles is a mean place to shop for friends, and she was the best value I’d yet found. She's designer label, all the way. Tonight I will toast her with a glass of our cocktail, Campari and soda with a twist.

kitty

Te amo, la Rosa Negro! El toro! El toro! El toro está en usted!


Relevant Tags

Jimmy Stewart (3), Vince Edwards (3), Rock Hudson (2), John Gavin (3), Amoeba Music Hollywood (104), West Side Story (1), Natalie Wood (1), Stephen Sondheim (2), Musicals (6), William Shakespeare (3), Minimalism (1), Gwen Verdon (1), Damn Yankees (1), Diana Ross (12), Dionne Warwick (4), Jordi Savall (1), Patsy Raye & The Beatniks (1), Gene Pitney (2), A Little Night Music (1), Delia Derbyshire (1), Man Of La Mancha (1), Sophia Loren (1), Jeri Southern (1), Rocky Horror Show (2), Ian Bostridge (1), Philip Glass (4), Franz Schubert (3), Chelsea Lately (1), Campari (1)