Amoeblog

Song to the Siren

Posted by Whitmore, June 29, 2008 03:07pm | Post a Comment


On this date in 1975 one of my all time favorite musicians, Tim Buckley, died of an accidental overdose of heroin; he was 28 years old. Today he is mostly remembered as the father of Jeff Buckley, but
Tim should also be remembered for his brilliant songwriting, his extraordinary voice, and for being one of those rare musicians who relentlessly pushed boundaries, whose experimentation was often mesmerizing and sometimes disquieting. Some people get him, some people don’t, which is how it should be.

Tim Buckley was one of my very first musical discoveries of something I couldn’t find on the radio. I was a prepubescent, guitar plucking Catholic school boy with some stolen change from my mom’s piggy bank when I bought a used copy of Blue Afternoon at Platterpuss Records on Hollywood Blvd for under a dollar. Blue Afternoon was a revelation, and over the course of the next couple of months I tracked down the rest of his albums, and played them all till I knew every nuance to every breath to every note to every chord to every song. A couple of years later when Buckley died, it was my mom who told me; she had heard the report on the radio. And I think she was a little nervous in breaking the news to me.

Anyway, one of his greatest, most beautiful and famous compositions is “Song to the Siren” from his 1970 album Starsailor. Here is a peculiar sampling of some of those who have covered the song: I’ve included the original version performed live by Tim Buckley on the final episode of the Monkees TV show (and with the original lyrics-- he eventually changed the ‘oyster’ line because someone once laughed). Of course I’ve included the famous hit version by This Mortal Coil, the Cocteau Twins side project. Probably my favorite version, with the original lyrics, is by Damon & Naomi (whose version is probably one of the few that reflects Buckley’s and not This Mortal Coil’s). Susheela Raman version is magnificently striped down to the bone. I’ve also included two versions which surprised the hell out of me: George Michael’s (drenched in reverb, but holy shit, I have to admit he nails it!) and Robert Plant, who oddly enough sounds just like Jeff Buckley at times… I know that doesn’t make sense but give it a close listen …

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(In which Job writes in two worlds.)

Posted by Job O Brother, February 25, 2008 11:14pm | Post a Comment

"Look Marge - I soaked in it!"

My right hand hurts. I keep bending my fingers back, trying to stretch it, but I’m “double-jointed” – the fingers go all the way back to my wrist – so it takes a lot of muscle-power to stretch the hand, causing me to worry that, in my effort to stretch my right hand, I’m going to injure the left.

I’m pretty sure there’s an ancient, Chinese proverb about this exact situation. If only I’d have paid attention in third grade, when they teach Chinese mysticism and philosophy – then I could quote it. Alas.


My 3rd grade class. Can you find me?

I suppose I should explain why my right hand hurts. God knows I don’t trust you to come up with a reason yourself. I know you, dear reader, and know that your twisted imagination has already concocted an offensive reason for why my right paw aches; something like:

“I’ll bet he was trying to knit a scarf with thick, Rowan ‘Big Wool’ yarn using only a 10 inch, single-point needle!”


You’re sick, y’know. You need help.

The reason my right hand hurts is because I have been addressing envelopes for wedding invitations, using large, calligraphy pens and ornate lettering. It’s my wedding gift to Carrye and Jared, who’s wedding it will be.

(In which Job fails to complete the

Posted by Job O Brother, January 9, 2008 05:07pm | Post a Comment

"Eat this plate, you'll feel better."

I’ve been ill again. Ever since I moved to LA, I get sick all the time. Oh, well. That’s the price I pay for getting to nosh with Posh and Becks every Tuesday.

…Okay, technically, only Becks and I do any actual “noshing” – you get the idea.


Victoria Beckham: "No thanks, I couldn't possibly eat after that huge dinner I had. In 1982."

Yesterday was my boyfriend’s birthday. I got him a rad gift. (I know what you’re thinking – “Job, what better gift could you give him beyond your hacking, disease-ridden body?”) An AMOEBA GIFT CERTIFICATE, that’s what I gave him. Who doesn’t want one? Even I want one for my birthday, and I don’t even need one! Because, as many of you know, all Amoeba employees are allowed as many free albums and DVD’s as they want. In fact, we’re PAID to take them home! We drive them home in the cars our bosses buy us, which we park in our gold-plated garages with matching tiara encrusted, truffle-flavored diamond mines.

I’m delirious. I have no idea what I’m writing. We’ve been through this before, dear reader. This is how my sick day blogs read. If you feel inspired to pray for me by the end of it, please do. It’ll give you something to do while you’re waiting for Limewire to finish downloading a crappy copy of that Rockwell single.




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