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.

(In which we consider Paul Robeson.)

Posted by Job O Brother, February 7, 2010 03:22pm | Post a Comment
houdinilaurie anderson houdini
Harry Houdini vs. Laurie Anderson

My actual heroes in this world are few and disparate. From Harry Houdini to Laurie Anderson, from John Lennon to Mrs. Mary Eales, they reflect people who may inspire and impact me with their art, their political activism, their bold-faced chutzpah, or any combination thereof.

But perhaps no one embodies all these traits to such heightened super-awesomeness for me than the great Paul Robeson.

paul robeson smiling
Rad.

Robeson was born in Princeton, New Jersey, in 1898. His father was an escaped slave-turned-church minister; his mother was from a Quaker family, and died tragically when Paul was six, which isn’t funny at all, so don’t laugh.

Paul received a full academic scholarship to attend Rutgers University, which I hear is a pretty good school, though I’ve never been there myself because I’m allergic to schools. Seriously. If I even step foot on a campus I start itching, sweating, and my head comes completely off and falls to the ground and rolls away.

APRIL 23RD: THE BARD'S DATE:

Posted by Billyjam, April 23, 2008 10:24am | Post a Comment

Today, April 23rd, is the date most associated with William Shakespeare since it was on April 23rd 1616 when the great English bard died and it was also on this date, April 23rd, that most literary historians guesstimate that he was born in 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon. You see, records prove that he was baptized on April 26th of that year - typically then two or three days after a child's birth -- so the agreed upon guessed date of Shakespeare's birth date is April 23rd -- also the date celebrated in Britain as St. George's Day.

William Shakespeare was a most prolific writer, who penned thirty eight plays, including the likes of Hamlet and Macbeth, four times that number of sonnets, plus numerous poems, including two long narrative works or poetry.  In fact, he was so prolific that there has oft been speculation that he didn't even author all of his own work -- but personally I suspect that those rumors were perpetuated by jealous playa haters of the time. (remember they spread the same rumors about Bob Dylan).  But more importantly, William Shakespeare, whose work has been translated into virtually every living language around the world, has also had his plays performed more times than any other playwright in history.

For more on Shakespeare online there are countless sites meticulously dedicated to the man's work including the AbsoluteShakespeare.com  and PlayShakespeare.com, which has a lot of great information and links, with each and every Shakespeare play detailed and including forum discussions linked to each. There are also approximately 250 versions of Shakespeare's plays that were made into movies over the last eighty years -- a number of which are on DVD and available at Amoeba Music (ask if you cannot find) including the modernized setting, 1996 Baz Luhrman directed William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet starring a very young looking Claire Danes and Leonardo Di Caprio (see clip below of Act III, Scene I):

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