Amoeblog

(In which we go north, young man.)

Posted by Job O Brother, September 25, 2012 12:29pm | Post a Comment

The author, the boyfriend, the other dude

Oh, hello! Where the heck have you been?

I myself have split the last two months between Nevada City, California and New York State; I’ve been away from home so much that when the boyfriend made himself a latté in our kitchen I was pleasantly surprised to remember we had an espresso machine at all.

“I love this place!” I exclaimed.

“Uh, yeah…” he said, “It’s our home.”

“Well I’m totally going to give it a good Yelp review.”

We flew in yesterday after week-long preparations for the wedding of our friends, Cameron and Anna. It was a very romantic ceremony, even to someone like me who hates love. (I’m being hyperbolic – I don’t hate love, I just think it’s difficult to wear well and makes most people look fat.)

That our dear friend Cameron got married is nothing short of a small miracle. This is the man who spent nearly every day I knew him locked in his room playing cello - not exactly the best way to meet chicks. Only occasionally would he leave his bedroom to make Blanquette de veau and watch Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!

Despite his young age and good looks, his social life was like that of a senior, upper-middle-class, Jewish couple – Friday nights spent at LACMA seeing rare showings of socially significant films about oppressed lower classes (played by gorgeous actors, of course) of some foreign country, or else sipping champagne at some new sculpture garden somewhere. It was at such a sort of event he met Anna.

Continue reading...

(In which we wish you were here.)

Posted by Job O Brother, June 14, 2010 11:12am | Post a Comment
 
Yes, please!

It’s an unfortunate reality that not everyone in the Universe can know Jaime Lefcovich. Those of us who do have the pleasure miss her awfully, as she has escaped the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave for the adventure of discovering Thailand, where she can master the art of ayurvedic medicine (which is not Thai in origin, but is what she’s practicing there) while eating all the เนื้อผัดพริก she can fit into her purdy mouth.

Continue reading...

(In which Job introduces the character Ryan.)

Posted by Job O Brother, February 21, 2010 06:56pm | Post a Comment

Ryan "Mouth-hole" Cassano

This weekend I played host to a friend of mine, Ryan “Mouth-hole” Cassano, who was visiting from my beloved home town of Nevada City, California. He had come to investigate 1980’s video arcade games and literature concerning it for some future enterprise that I’m not at liberty to divulge but involves alcohol, supermodels, and rooms of plastic balls.

He met me after my hard but spiritually fulfilling shift at Amoeba Music Hollywood, waiting out the last few minutes of my shift by browsing the clearance section of soundtracks, where he found two items that made him squeal like a flame-covered, 500 pound, chocolate gorilla who sounded like a happy little girl: the soundtrack to the film Kill the Moonlight (which features some very early work by Beck), and to the documentary King of Kong: Fistful of Quarters.

The latter was serendipitous, as it was related to his arcade quest. In fact, he was traveling with a copy of that very film and insisted I watch it with him. I told him he wasn’t the boss of me and I can do whatever I want and I hate I hate him I hate him, then we drove back to my place for a home-cooked dinner of gimlets.
Just like Ma used to make!

I introduced him to the refined art of Tom of Finland, who’s work is so lovingly collected in my Taschen art book. He found it deeply educational and oftentimes frightening. Imagine my embarrassment when, half way through flipping through the book, I realized it was a souvenir photo album of my trip to the Anne Frank House! A common mistake, sure, but no less silly.

Puzzler: Can you tell which one is which?

After half an hour of explaining to him the difference between gay sex and the methodical genocide of six million people, we decided to go to bed.

I had a dream in which I was at a garden party and ended up befriending Petula Clark. We casually chatted about mutual interests while noshing on celery sticks and cucumber sandwiches. I woke up feeling refreshed and utterly disappointed by the profound wholesomeness of my subconscious. What happened to my suppressed anxieties of homelessness or the crippling self-doubt that’s sabotaged my sense of worth? Them’s always make for the juiciest dreams.


The next night was swell. We went to see Brett Shady and Golden Shoulders play in Hollywood. Both sets were awesome, and I eagerly await Brett Shady’s debut album, due to come out “in two months,” he said. He didn’t mention what it would be called, but let’s assume the title of it will be Mr. Brother’s a Rad Guy.

Once home, we went to bed again. (We’re totally into that.) Then I had a dream that an FBI agent was pinning me down and slamming coat hangers into my face!!! Way to go subconscious! Welcome back!

The next day we went to the LACMA and perused the Joseph Beuys exhibit, which makes me hungry every time, I guess because he incorporates so much butter into his work.


Just like Ma used to make!

Once home, we cuddled up with my boyfriend and watched King of Kong, which proved to be utterly gratifying. If you like things like that, be sure to check it out.


It came time for Ryan “Mouth-hole” Cassano to leave. We hugged and said goodbye. I mentioned that I would blog about his stay, and he told me to tell you "hi," but I told him it would be better if I assigned him an arbitrary, vaguely disturbing nickname which would hopefully stick. He didn’t like the idea at all, but that’s ol’ “Mouth-hole” for ya.

By now he’s descending into Sacramento International Airport, enjoying a stomach ache from eating a $9.00 Snickers bar from LAX. And isn’t that what family is all about?

No. But it’s a nice way to end a blog, right? And isn’t that what family is all about?

(In which Job picks his favorite album of 2009.)

Posted by Job O Brother, December 14, 2009 12:13pm | Post a Comment
Aloha, humanity! I’m back from my all-too-brief vacation on the Islands of Hawaii, about which I will tell you soon, but not now, as the time has come for my contribution to the Amoeblog Best of 2009.

As many of you know, I don’t exactly ride the cutting edge of the music scene, and most of the music I listen to was made by people who either died of a smack overdose on the balcony of some plush hotel over twenty-five years ago, or they died trying to free their brothers and sisters from Southern slavery, or they were assassinated in the French Revolution. These are roundabout ways of saying I listen to dead people.

So when I’m in a position to name my favorite picks from the current year, I’m normally a deer in headlights, hoping I can somehow convince people that Helen Kane didn’t actually die in 1966, and has just released this awesome new single…


Really! Morrissey produced it. I know, it sounds like it was recorded decades ago, but that’s because… of… things and… stuff.

This year, however, I am happy to report I have a favorite album that really was released in 2009 by someone who’s really alive and the album is really good!

The album is Get Reasonable and it was recorded by Golden Shoulders, a poetic name that cloaks the identity of Adam Kline – the brains behind the outfit.


"So delicious! And nutritious!"

Get Reasonable is the natural progression of music that blossomed from the ashes of grunge; it is rock music and it is sincere. While a huge swath of people have invested in acts that are devoutly escapist, such as Lady Gaga, Adam Lambert, or the cast of Glee, Golden Shoulders has amassed a loyal following of music enthusiasts who value craftsmanship over craftiness and witty lyrics over easily learnable ones. Golden Shoulders’ sound is fresh, inventive, smart and completely devoid of so many of the production gimmicks that plague the airwaves currently.

Adam Kline’s music is at once accessible without being cliché. Obvious influences are The Kinks and pre-disco Bee Gees; he’s also influenced by the folk traditions of the Pacific Northwest, more so in instrument choices than tunings.


The aforementioned brains.

Of particular note are his words. Ever-aware that lyrics are an opportunity not to be taken lightly, he deftly warbles on matters of personal and social conscious in a way befit of master-lyricists such as Morrissey, Dylan, or Phil Ochs – in fact, I would venture to say Golden Shoulders is what Phil Ochs would sound like if he was today instead of yesterday.

This is not to say that Kline is preachy – he’s too pithy to be anything but delightful, but he doesn’t shy away from giving voice to matters more complex than cell phones or botched three-ways.

Get Reasonable covers a lot of sound-territory but remains cohesive. There’s not a single, skipable track on the record; it doesn’t repeat itself.

I recommend putting it in your car stereo and listening to it loud. It will give you better gas mileage. I don’t know how, but it does! This and the reasons above make it my favorite album of 2009. Why not see what all my fuss is about and get yourself a copy? After all, you totally love music that is awesome, d'accord?

(In which Job kills the radio star.)

Posted by Job O Brother, May 2, 2007 06:44pm | Post a Comment
I spent the best and most embarrassing years of my life in the Pacific Northwest, specifically, a tiny Gold Rush town called Nevada City (located in the state of California – don’t make a fool of yourself at the next cocktail party, acting like you’re all hip to the Nevada City scene, then make the common mistake of assuming it’s in Nevada).

The population is less than 3,000 people. About 2,500 of those people are young folks, and 2,000 of them are musicians, but only about 1,580 of those musicians are geniuses.

Sure, I’m bragging. But I’m not exaggerating. I promise on my eight inch rod.

…of yarn. I knit. Why, what did you think I meant?

Anyway, dirty bird, it behooves me to introduce one particular singer/songwriter that is, how you say, rad. His name is Adam Kline, and his band is Golden Shoulders. And here is the video for one of his songs, off his album “Let My Burden Be”. But don’t stop here, enjoy his other recordings, too.

You rabid Joanna Newsom fans will get particular joy in the backing vocals. Aw, yeah.