The Employee Interview Part XIV: Jimmy

Posted by Miss Ess, January 9, 2008 10:51pm | Post a Comment
2 years Employment
Cashier/Behind the Scenes/All Around Rad Dude

ME: What music was playing around your house when you were a kid?
pointer sisters
Jimmy: My parents weren't really into music, but I do remember listening to and watching The Wiz a lot. A LOT! I loved it. In my mom's car, it was the Pointer Sisters. In my dad's car it was talk radio, or Metallica's Black Album, which is really psychotic because my dad is hella Catholic, and it was one of the only albums he owned!

Do you remember the moment when you suddenly really really got into music?  What was it that made you GET IT?

patti smith horses cover
As soon as I discovered punk, my life totally changed forever. It wasn't just the music: I began a love affair with extreme politics and aesthetics. It was the high of using art (music, zines) and politics to go somewhere unknown. It's super weird how important music is when you're a teen. Recently, I listened to Patti Smith's Horses again, which I hadn't heard since I was a freshman in high school. I kinda freaked in my head! I remembered listening to this album, thinking I might die like Johnny in the song at any moment and that seemed really normal. Basically everything was so literal then: the music was the same as real life. Anything could happen. ('Cause I was crazy and wasted and only fifteen!)

Yeah, when that intensity of youth starts to die out, it's such a strange feeling because by then you've lived with it for so long. You grew up in Alaska. What was the music scene like in Alaska when you were growing up?  What were people into? Did they form bands? What style of music did they play?  Were there any venues in Anchoramaximum rock n roll magazine cover punkge?

The music scene was very small, only a couple punk bands that would sound like either The Ramones or Crass. (There was an all ages club in Anchorage called, stupidly enough, "Gigs." Bands would sometimes come to Alaska to play and when they did it was a big deal! I mean a total fucking hootenanny!) In high school, I was reading Maximum Rock and Roll religiously so I knew we were way behind the times.

BUT! We were way ahead in terms of personality, and we were punk without being self conscious about it. I thought when I moved away I would meet all these weird people into alternative lifestyles, but the weirdest and craziest kids I grew up with in Alaska. We did some cool things, like zines and music, but we also did a lot of really bad things! I think you just learn creative ways to entertain yourself, and no, they don't all involve drugs and drinking, but those were very popular activities with us bored Alaskan kids!

How and when did you develop your current (and amazing!) project, 100s of Dismembered Handbags?

I have been super into zines since the moment I laid my hands on one. I did a zine I started in high school, called Hairaffair, which was like the written form of what I do now. But sadly the zine scene died cause of the internet. I'm not a computer nerd so I stopped that shit. A few electronic noise bands were starting in the cockettes performance drag san franciscoPortland, and I started doing weird little plays to a very simple beat.

At that point in my life, I was really into fashion, and my shows involved extreme costumes that I would make out of weird crap I'd pin together or glue to my face. (Man, I spent so much time on every  single costume!) I'd also find the harshest noises on my synthesizer and choreograph dance moves to every single sound. Looking back on it, it was like Wolfeyes meets the Cockettes! I stopped performing when I moved to San Francisco. (It's so hard to survive here!) But now I've been playing again. Right now it's about the story and the people I become. You can't fuck with the narrative! ('Cause it's already fucking with itself.)

What, if anything, is running through your mind as you are performing?

I think about this question a lot because I have really bad stage fright, but I think the answer to this question is changing. Often I experience complete panic that makes me wanna concentrate on not puking. But lately, I've been able to live with the characters a little more. I've been trying to forget myself, which works if I don't make eye contact with anyone who knows me. Sometimes, it just feels so good to be someone else!

I think I would have to just concentrate on not puking too. There's a reason I've never been able to get up and play in my fantasy Fleetwood Mac cover band at Amoebapalooza!  So now, what song is guaranteed to get you dancing, every time?

monster mash bobby pickett
"The Monster Mash!" Sadly, I've only danced to it once in public. It's tragic isn't it? I think Justin Timberlake could learn a thing or two from Bobby Pickett.

Why? Because monsters are SEXY!!!

What is your pick for best release of 2007? (Reissues count!)

Charles Burnett's Killer of Sheep totally rocked my world this year. It's weird because a lot of critics were comparing it Italian Neorealism, and true, there is a gritty feeling to it, but to me it was so delicate. It was more of an American Stalker because the camera and the location both become characters in the film. It seems so out of place as an American film, and I really like that about it. I'm glad it made it out of the vaults finally!

What is your favorite thing about working here at Amoeba?
the village people
I actually like the registers because of the amazing people that come in from time to time. My first week on the job, this very old woman walks up to my register, and with her hands shaking, passes me a Village People Greatest Hits CD. After I rang her up for it, I asked her if she wanted a bag, and she answered, "Yes, to protect it!" I instantly made like five movies in my head about this old lady in two seconds flat. It was like magic information. It's like you hand people their bag, and then they go into their own special universe that we can only try and imagine.

I love that feeling! Fantastic! Thanks for your time!

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