Amoeblog

The Employee Interview Part V: Brent James

Posted by Miss Ess, May 26, 2007 04:28pm | Post a Comment
Brent James
7.5 years employment
Information Control


Q: What was playing in your house when you were a kid?

BJ: Janis Joplin, "Mercedes Benz" and lots of  Willie Nelson, lots of The Doors, Fleetwood Mac.  Basic 70's things that are very important to my formative years.

What was your first show?

The Shirelles at a classic car show in Turlock, California.  No lies, my dad was the president of the Cam Twisters USA! He still is.  That was it!

That's crazy. ...yet fabulous. What was the first band that you were really into?

Ratt.  They made me want to be a musician.  It's true!  Why lie, you know?


What is your favorite venue here in the city?

Cafe du Nord.

Yes, I love it.  That's one of my favorites too.  What is your favorite band right now?

I just gotta say I listen to a lot of old things right now.  Ruth Etting and vocalists of the 30s and 40s is what I am listening to a lot at home, besides the usual.

Wow, I didn't even know that you listened to that kind of thing.  What do you think is the best local band?

I've got to say barbarasteele, but they are not a functioning band anymore, so my next choice would be Black Fiction.  They are amazing live, and there's lots of fur!

Well! So I know you're not really the guilty type, but do you have any musical guilty pleasures?

Amy Winehouse
-- and Charlie and His Orchestra which was a Nazi propaganda swing band.

Geez, I can see why you would feel guilty about that.  Favorite instore of all time here at Amoeba?

Let's see...The Bell Rays and Hedwig and the Angry Inch.  However Queens of the Stone Age in the Hollywood store was just amazing. [ed. note, Brent worked at the Hollywood store for a while a few years ago.]

What was the Hedwig instore like?

It was the touring program that played at the Victoria Theater here, it was just scaled down version of the film performances, and John Cameron Mitchell was there too.

What's a great record you think more people should listen to?

Good question.  I think anything you think you wouldn't like right out of the gates is something you should make yourself listen to later.  You tend to miss a lot of things with the pre-programed "I don't like it" mindset.

So what is your favorite Madonna video?

"Bad Girl".

I don't know that one!

She gets murdered in it!

What is that available on?

The Greatest Video Hits Volume Two.

Then what is your favorite Janet Jackson video?

"Escapade."



Oh I love that one!  Favorite hair band video?


Poison, "Talk Dirty To Me."



Why?


Because of they have lots of slides and silly string and it was the introduction to Poison.  Glam, glam, glam!

Favorite moment in the Star Wars Trilogy?

Um, Luke realizing that he has to leave home to help his friends.  It takes the death of his aunt and uncle to figure that out, but he realizes, "I'm done with this".

So touching!  Ok, now what is your favorite horror film of all time?

Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  The original.

That was an easy one for you!  What is your favorite part of working here at Amoeba?

The interaction with random strangers, figuring out what everybody is into ,which is always just Amy Winehouse or Lilly Allen. Friends all over the world!

Thank you for your time!  That was so fun!

You're welcome, girl!

Forgotten Warrior

Posted by phil blankenship, May 26, 2007 02:08am | Post a Comment
 




Monarch Home Video 7401

The Power

Posted by phil blankenship, May 26, 2007 01:07am | Post a Comment
 



(In which Job mourns the loss of a loved one.)

Posted by Job O Brother, May 25, 2007 11:52pm | Post a Comment
“I miss mayonnaise.”

I thought this to myself as I was walking home from work tonight. It was the sad, unfunny punch-line to a joke that began, “What should I eat for dinner?”

I love cooking for other people. Last minute, eight-course meals deftly prepared using nothing but a half-empty, bachelor’s refrigerator’s groceries? That’s a challenge I am suited for. I am MacGyver in the kitchen. And yes, smart-ass, I in fact could turn a ball of twine and a pinecone into a sumptuous dessert.

Left to my own devices, however, I am more inclined to eat simply. I like very rich foods with few ingredients. I suppose you could say I am the opposite of vegan. In fact, all my favorite foods can be traced back in origin to an udder. (And you Freudians can just back-down, because I have no patience for your antiquated psycho-babble; y’all are the Spanish Inquisition of the Modern Age!)

Cheese, yogurt, eggs – these are the main building blocks of my diet. Up until recently, though, the base of that food pyramid has been – steady yourself – mayonnaise.

Like most of you, I spent the first quarter of my life grossed out by that famous blend of stabilized emulsion of oil and yolks. I was made into a fan by a fellow punk rocker; a girl with long, curly, black tresses who’s name changed as frequently as her sexual partners, and who will remain nameless in this blog because I just said that. It was she who introduced me to the practice of smoking clove cigarettes and dipping French fries into mayo. A temptress indeed.

Tradition informs us that both of these practices are harmful, unattractive, and a good way to end a first date without making it to second base, but when you consider it was this same girl that I wanted to get to second base with, you’ll see why I had no option but to become addicted to both.

The cigarettes I quit long ago. The condiment, only recently.

I’ve never really trusted soy. Oh, I like miso soup, very much, and soy sauce too, if there’s no Bragg’s Liquid Aminos present. It’s these new-fangled incarnations of soy that trouble me.

Soybeans are cooked and ground and whipped and injected and shaped to resemble everything from a scoop of ice cream to a cube of butter to an entire Thanksgiving turkey to my grandmother. The things they do to the soy – the heavy processing – freaks me out a li'l. I am not a scientist; I have done no educated testing to support my theory; I have nothing but intuition.

I feel the same way about waltzes by Johann Strauss, Jr.; I don’t know they’re harmful, I simply don’t trust them.

So when, out of sudden and ill-advised curiosity, I turned a jar of my favorite mayo* around to read the ingredients, I was shocked, appalled, and, as though I had been transported back in time, grossed out to learn that my beloved glop was mostly made out of soybean oil.

I was torn. I wanted to forget I had ever read it. Maybe I had judged soy too harshly? No. No, I couldn’t feel right about soy. But maybe, since I had already enjoyed it for so many years, I could make an exception, just for mayonnaise?

I tried that for a jar, but it was too late. It weirded me out now. I was Adam and Eve, once happy in oblivion and free to enjoy myself; then I succumbed to the Condiment of the Hot Dog Stand of Knowledge, and now I saw that I was naked. And I was sore ashamed.

I discovered Trader Joe’s Canola Oil mayo, but I was living a lie. It wasn’t the mayo I loved. It was smooth as silk and tarter. Not clumpy and subtly nasty like Best Foods. Besides, even without the soy, I had also taken a quick glance at the fat content of mayo. When I did the math and learned that one of my serving sizes equaled about a week’s supply for the Food and Drug Administration, my heart almost stopped then and there.

So, with a great sadness reserved for British soldiers who discover in court that the Chinese woman they’ve been married to for years is actually a man and that they’re going to write many awful plays and films about you, I said “zài jiàn” to mayo.



Love means never having to say 'I'm sorry I have a womb and a Y chromosome.'

It was only then that I realized how much I had come to depend upon it to make simple meals a pleasure. A bland burrito could be made festive with mayo and Chinese spicy sauce. Uninspired linguine with marinara because decadent when mayo made it a sweet-tomato cream sauce. A can of tuna, carrot sticks, peanut butter and crackers – all these things worked fine as an entire meal when paired with mayo. What now?

Well, it’s been some months since I axed mayo from my diet (though I still enjoy it with fries when I go out to eat – it’s like the difference between a glass of wine with friends and a box of wine alone). I can say that I’ve adapted well. I’ve even lost weight.

But on these evenings when I'm particularly tired and I don’t feel like steaming “this” or layering slices of “that”, I am reminded of how convenient, inexpensive and fulfilling mayo was for me. Oh sure, I’m still MacGyver – but these days I feel like I don’t even have a pinecone option, to say nothing of twine.

I determined to take myself out to eat. I rarely do that alone. There’s a sushi restaurant near my home that I wanted to try out, so I headed there, giddy for my impulsive adventure, only to see that it was graded a ‘C’ by the health inspectors. Raw fish and filth? Um, no thanks.

Of course, raw fish, filth, and mayonnaise – now that’s got some possibilities…



My sweetheart in happier times...

[Incidentally, I realize this blog entry has little to do with music, films, or anything else that Amoeba sells. So allow me to say that I really like all albums by Moondog and that you should listen to them. Thank you.]

*I have been a loyal supporter of Best Foods Mayonnaise. Those of you east of the Rockies will know it as Hellmann’s Blue Ribbon, although I’ve seen Hellmann's for sale on the West Coast, too, at Target. Also, Sysco brand is acceptable, which is good, because it seems to be the default of many West Coast restaurants.

GUERILLA ARTISTS CREATIVELY REDECORATE PUBLIC SPACES

Posted by Billyjam, May 25, 2007 08:08pm | Post a Comment
 
'I'm like the Rainman of the F train now because I now know every speck of that train,' laughed New York public space guerilla artist & recent subway prankster Ellen Moynihan. "Sixty seats, eight doors, and seven poles. And the overhead ads are exactly seventy inches by ten inches," said the ring leader of the spirited and highly creative four-woman House Of Malcontents crew, made up of Ellen and three other New York artists with a shared desire to reshape public spaces such as a subway car to make it more homey. This they accomplished last month when all four boarded an early morning F train in Brooklyn headed into Manhattan, and briskly and artistically made it over to look and feel more like ... home.

'No Train Like Home,' they dubbed the installation that took the four guerilla artists 40 minutes to carry out during early morning New York City commute hour. Carol Tessitore was one of the collaborators. The other two wish to remain anonymous because of the illegality of the maneuver. The idea for the 'No Train Like Home' came to Moynihan, who is also a writer (currently working on a book about Patti Smith), after checking out Mark Ecko's controversial graffiti on subway event in Chelsea a couple of years ago. Later, as she was riding the bland, drab, New York subway, she fantasized about how great it would be to make over the institutionalized-looking subway car into something warmer, to make it feel and look like your living room -- especially since so many New Yorkers spend so much time commuting by subway daily.

     

At first she thought, "How cool would it be to get a grant and get a lot of money and a subway car of my own to redecorate?" But soon after she gave up on the difficult task of trying to get a grant, and also on the idea of asking for permission. So she studied the subway to learn "every speck" -- taking photos and measuring in preparation for the perfectly plotted makeover morning (April 6th) when Ellen and her three fellow Malcontents went to work on the train. They put a runner rug down the center of the subway car and taped down 'welcome' mats near the sliding train doors, covered the windows with curtains, tied flowers to the poles, put pillows on the usually uncomfortable hard seats, scattered magazines around to read, and nice art to look at instead of the ads already there. "We made copies of family portraits or paintings you'd see at home," said photoshop expert Carol, who also 'stitched together' on computer photo images of books on a shelf and later printed them out on the long reams of paper they had purchased.

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