The Employee Interview Part IV: Obsolete

Posted by Miss Ess, May 11, 2007 05:35pm | Post a Comment
9 years of employment
Visual Merchandiser

Q:  What's the first music you remember hearing as a kid?

O: The Moody Blues, In Search of the Lost Chord.

What is the first album that made you super into music?

It was probably that Moody Blues album.  When disco rolled around I was hooked.  I was 7 years old and hooked on disco.  I loved Donna Summer and The Village People.  I was so into The Village People.  I thought they were a real representative of people in society getting together, getting along and making disco music, that The Village represented America and in this "land of the free", a cop, a sailor, a construction worker, an indian, and a leather daddy could get together and rock!

Pretty deep thoughts for a 7 year old.  Impressive.  What was your first live show?

Unfortunately General Public.  My mom dropped me off with my friend at the Universal Ampitheater at Universal Studios, California!  It was the only place I was allowed to see my first concert, being 15.

When did you start creating music and why?

I think I started creating music on my tape recorder as a kid.  It wasn't till I moved to San Francisco in my early 20s that I met more like minded people to create music with.

What was your first band?

I would say The Agent for Allied and The Subtonix at the same time.

So you were not faithful?

No I wasn't, I was seeing two different bands at the same time.

So what did you play in each band?  What did they sound like?

I played keyboards in The Subtonix and we were compared to everything from Christian Death to X-Ray Spex.  The Agent for Allied featured Brad Schelden on keyboards and me on vocals.  We were influenced by Echo and the Bunnyman, The Chameleons, and Tuxedo Moon

What were your vocals like?  That musta been awesome.  What were Brad's outfits like?

People told me I reminded them of Rozz Williams of Christian Death and Yoko Ono, mostly.  Brad pretty much dressed the same as now, but with more black and he was clean shaven with jet black hair.

Yoko Ono!  And Brad with black hair!  This sounds phenomenal.

We were pretty phenomenal. 

Sorry I missed all that. 

I think you were in Santa Cruz or under age.

Don't remind me.  What is your current project called anyway?


What is your favorite venue to see a show at in town?

The G3 Lounge on Geary and 3rd Ave.

What goes on there?  I've heard people around here talk about it but I've still never been.

These people EXP FOLX put on fantastic Noise events.  You should check out their myspace page at

What's your favorite venue to play a show at?

I recently played at the above venue and it was great!  Very glamourous and classy.

Just like you!

Thank you, as are you.

Best local band?


Favorite Scottish band of all time?

Wow!  That's a tough one.  Off the top of my head I'd have to say Strawberry Switchblade or early Simple Minds, pre Breakfast Club soundtrack.

Of course, understood.  What's your favorite record today, right now?

Favorite record that I keep playing right now?  Let me think, what am I playing the hell out of?

Right now today I keep listening to Antony for some weird reason.  I haven't listened to his record since it came out but because I heard the new Bjork record in the store with his voice I thought of it and threw it on [Antony's I Am A Bird Now].  I love his voice so much and all the drama in his records.

I think Antony's simply divine!  As of right now I keep playing Simple Minds, Celebration.

Do you have a musical guilty pleasure you'd care to comment on?

Samwell, "What What In the Butt".  It's been flagged on YouTube for explicit content.  It's rather tame though.

What about all those times we've watched R. Kelly videos?

That was for art!  He is a modern day Orson Welles, keeping people riveted to the radio.

Something about him is definitely riviting.  Speaking of R. Kelly, do you think it is at all easier for women trying to create music these days than it has been?

Yes and no.  I think women still have to deal with people thinking they can't play their instruments or write songs. 

Very true.  Do you listen to cds, vinyl?  Why?

Both.  All forms are fine by me.

Name a great record you think most people have not heard of before and tell them why they should like it!

Lansing-Dreiden's The Incomplete Triangle.  It's really beautiful and varied, sometimes it sounds like some Phil Spector "Wall of Sound" type thing, other times like New Order and other times like some old tyme punk.

What is your favorite:  creating music or playing or recording?

Creating and playing.

What's been your best find here at Amoeba?

The Naked Civil Servant, the film about Quentin Crisp's life starring John Hurt.

I love Quentin Crisp, I haven't heard that name in ages!  Now, what is your favorite part about working here at Amoeba?

I love seeing the younger generation getting excited about music.  Their innocence and enthusiasm is refreshing.

So your record is dropping in the fall, right? 

Indeed it is.  Check for all one needs to know!

Thank you for your time.

Thank you for your time.


Posted by phil blankenship, May 11, 2007 01:45am | Post a Comment

Video Treasures SV9833

Paying Respects - Black Sheep Live @ The Temple Bar 5/9/07

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, May 10, 2007 12:09pm | Post a Comment

So I rushed over to the Temple Bar in Santa Monica on a late Wednesday night thinking, “I hope I get in.” The reason I wasn't sure was because Black Sheep was making a rare L.A. appearance in a place that doesn’t hold that many people. Maybe it’s because I live under a rock, but I was thinking the place was going to be packed. My first inclination that it wasn’t was when I found parking right in front of the club. As I walked in Tre Hardson from The Pharcyde was setting up. He’s been doing his solo thing for a minute now. I saw him perform a few years back when he had members of The Rebirth in his group, but they are no longer with him. Trey’s music is not bad; it reminded me of something that I would have heard in a club on Telegraph Ave in Berkeley in the 1990’s, adequate at best. The half-filled room seem to feel the same way, as the only reaction he got from them was when he launched into two Pharcyde classics, “Runnin’” and “Passing Me By” at the end of his set. That seemed to wake people up.

Black Sheep is just Dres now, with Mr. Lawnge long gone from the group. After his DJ did a brief set, Dres came out with a few classics before launching into some of his newer material. I like Dres's new material. His new style is sharper and more aggressive, but he still has his signature flow. Unlike many of the older MC’s who stick to their style for years, Dres sounds like someone who has evolved as Rap music has evolved. Everyone at the show seemed hyped for the new stuff as much as the classics. Black Sheep closed with “The Choice Is Yours” and the place lit up. Where were you when you first heard that song? Can it be 15 years old already?

Dres is your next MF Doom, Kool Keith & Del The Funky Homosapien waiting to happen -- rappers temporarily forgotten until a whole new audience rediscovers them. Until then, Black Sheep will be touring in your city soon, playing to half empty clubs and waiting for people to catch on.

(Dans quelle Job feint pour savoir le fran├žais.)

Posted by Job O Brother, May 10, 2007 11:17am | Post a Comment
My cat is driving me crazy.

So anyway, about French pop music. A lot of you hipsters know and love Edith Piaf and Serge Gainsbourg and, though technically not French - we’ll not poils fendus – Josephine Baker. But the newness of discovery is spoilt when you realize that all your hipster friends have the same “obscure” French records you do and are just as prepared to profess their love of them over Jack & Cokes at whatever red-wallpapered hole-in-the-wall bar y’all frequent.

You want an upper hand. You want to show your dear, dear friends you’re a little better than them. And you want to sleep with one of them, but they don’t know it and you can’t tell them because, for one, it would wreak havoc with a couple of your friendships, and two, in your heart of hearts you know that they would never really love you back. Not really.

My cat seems to think that everything in this house is a scratching post except his scratching post.

So anyway, about French pop music. I’m no expert, but I’ve been around, and can offer a few new voices to enjoy that, though well-known in France, aren’t quite as obvious a choice stateside.

A particularly glamorous option, and one that lends itself well to barroom conversation (i.e.: showing off) is that blonde bombshell, Suzy Solidor.

She opened a Parisian nightclub in the early 1930’s, Boite de Nuit, which became all the rage. She held the [questionably factual] title of “most painted woman in the world”, with portraits being realized by some dude named Picasso, and the most famous by Tamara de Lempicka...

See? You knew the painting, but you assumed the woman in it was just another cabaret-cruising, syphillus-spreading harlot that took a break from swilling back absinthe to get her portrait painted, when in reality she was a successful businesswoman and popular chanteuse.

Recordings by her can be found in the world music section of Amoeba Music. And while you’re there, check out Lucienne Boyer.

Of the two singers, Boyer’s is the voice I more adore. You may recognize her most famous recording, “Parlez-moi d’amour” as the first track on the “Henry & June” soundtrack, located in the heavy metal section of Amoeba Music.

I mean, soundtrack section. Sorry, but my cat keeps jumping into the kitchen sink, which is distracting. He apparently thinks he’s going to do some dishes or something, which is improbable since he’s got no thumbs. You’d think he’d learn from his “I’m going to knit a scarf” fiasco, but no.

So anyway, about French pop music. I realize both these singers hail from an earlier time period than Piaf or Gainsbourg, but it’s what I’ve got for you today. I already mentioned contemporary artist Jorane in a previous blog, and you still haven’t even gotten one of her albums, so don’t get all snippy with me. I swear, between you and my cat…

Is that it? Are we done for today? Okay. Well, as they say in France, “Un fromage est un aliment moulé, obtenu à partir de la coagulation du lait suivie ou non de fermentation. C’est un aliment riche en calcium. On fabrique du fromage à partir de lait de vache principalement, mais aussi de brebis, de chèvre, de bufflonne.”

Gotta love them, no?

This weekend? You bored?

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 10, 2007 01:46am | Post a Comment
see. you. there.

unless i see you fierce.
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