Amoeblog

out this week 11/4...all the saints...for against...barack obama...

Posted by Brad Schelden, November 6, 2008 01:45pm | Post a Comment
It is really hard to think about anything but the election this week. It is really all I have thought about for many months now. I have become obsessed with watching CNN every night. I sometimes feel like I know John King and Anderson Cooper better than I actually do. I have spent a lot of time with them. I am just glad it is all over now. The people of the United States actually impressed me this year and elected a president that I actually respect. I still remember how I felt in 1992 when I was able to help elect Bill Clinton in my first election. I have not felt this good about an election since then. Unfortunately we still have to wait a couple of months for Barack Obama to take over. I can't really imagine the last 8 years without music to help me get through it. Just try to imagine your life without the escape that music offers you. I would not have made it. Think of all the great music that came out during the Reagan and first George Bush administrations. The music that came out between 1980 and 1992 was some of the best music ever created. It still remains my favorite period for music. I am really happy about Obama but this might mean we are facing a bad period for music. Just think about all the bad music that came out during Bill Clinton's eight years in office. These were the years of Blind Melon and Crash Test Dummies, Spice Girls and Aqua. I will need to do some more research, but I am almost positive that having a Republican as president helps to create some fantastic music, while having a democrat as president makes musicians lazy and helps to create some horrible singles and albums.

The news of Proposition 8 passing really sort of ruined what could have been one of the best days of my life. I was so excited about Barack Obama but could not stop thinking about all the people that voted for this horrible and homophobic measure. I know it is just people being scared about change. I think it is really time for an updated version of the bible. We really need to move beyond the hatred, don't you think? I just don't understand why people feel they can still tell other people how to live their lives. Marriage has nothing to do with religion. Or it shouldn't at least. But I am not giving up hope just yet. The fact that we elected Barack Obama is a huge step. I am remaining positive about this whole thing. The fact that millions of people stood up to this Proposition and voted against it makes me feel better about the situation. If I had to choose between Barack Obamaall the saints and Proposition 8, I would have choosen Obama. It is more important I think. I don't think I would have any desire to be married if John McCain was our president. And I think I would most certainly have to move out of this country if Sarah Palin ever made her way into the White House.

It is November. Halloween is over and the holiday season is quickly approaching. The new releases might be slowing down a bit in December, but we still have some exciting new albums coming out later in this month, among them new albums from The Killers and Sufjan Stevens, an amazing album by a man named Jonas Reinhardt out next week on Kranky, and a new Girl Talk album out next week finally. Pelle Carlberg also has a new album out next week that at least me and one or two other people are probably excited about. Next week will also have New Order reissues and a double CD collection by The Smiths. Lots of good stuff next week. Election week is a bit less exciting for new releases, but there's still some stuff worth checking out. I still have not decided how I feel about the new a place to bury strangersTravis album out this week. I did like the last album but I feel like it just came out not too long ago. I do like the new album by Little Joy featuring one of the dudes from The Strokes, but it will not make it on to my favorite albums of the year list. The album by the WIld Beast on Domino is really interesting. Sort of a weird album but I do like it. But the album that has me all excited this week is actually an album that came out way back in May. The band is All The Saints and the album is called Fire On Corridor X. The album is finally coming out on vinyl in a couple of weeks, but the CD was put out by Killer Pimp Records a couple of months ago, so I really should have paid attention when it first came out. Killer Pimp put out my favorite album of last year, the brilliant debut by A Place to Bury Strangers.

Most of my favorite albums tend to be albums that sound like they came out 15 or 20 years ago. You have probably noticed a trend if you have read any of my blogs. Despite that, I don't like albums that feel dated or just like imitations of greats albums of the 80s and early 90s. I like when bands create albums that somehow sound both new and old at the same time. These albums are sort of reinterpretations of older genres and sounds. With millions of albums already created it becomes increasingly hard to create a new sound. It is the albums I love that manage to sound somewhat nostalgic and forward thinking at the same time. When you hear this new album by All The Saints you could easily be convinced that it was released in 1989 or 1991. The album reminds me of the band For Against. I highly recommend one of their reissues that have come out over the last couple of years if you have not yet picked them up -- a little bit of Jesus and Mary Chain mixed with some Dandy Warhols. It is a new sort of Dark Psychedelia. All The Saints are from Atlanta, Georgia. For Against are from Nebraska. Just in case you were wondering, both Georgia and Nebraska are traditional red states and went for McCain in this election, but almost 2 million people voted for Obama in Georgia. I like to look on the bright side of things. I quickly fell in love with the A Place to Bury Strangers album when it came out last year. This album does not quite hit me in the same way. It was not instant. It obviously took me a couple of months to even listen to it for the first time, but after listening to it many times over the last couple of weeks, I have fallen a bit in love with it. They might be the perfect mix of what I love about A Place To Bury Strangers and My Morning Jacket. Sort of psychedelic shoegaze. Fire On Corridor X is one of those album that grows on you as time goes by. I recommend a couple of listens before you make your decision, but check it out. It is better than anything that actually came out this week. I hope it will not be left behind and forgotten for too much longer. It is an album worth your time and worth your love.

also out this week...






Drippers by Black Moth Super Rainbow












Trying Hartz by Danielson











Fordlandia by Johann Johannsson










Little Joy by Littlle Joy











Berlin: Live At St. Ann's Warehouse by Lou Reed











Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fungus by Omar Rodriguez-Lopez










The Emanator by Shitdisco











Money by Skeletons











Ode to J. Smith by Travis











Twilight Soundtrack











Limbo Panto by Wild Beasts












(K)no(W)here by The Wilderness





(In which Amoeba goes on a field trip to see Hall & Oates.)

Posted by Job O Brother, September 14, 2007 11:01pm | Post a Comment

Resistance is futile - John Oates & Daryl Hall

Normally, when I get off work at Amoeba Music on Friday evenings, I rush home, remove most clothing, scold my cat for not accomplishing anything while I was gone, fix myself a salad and watch some DVD (right now it’s the original “Twilight Zone”, season 3) before attending to any writing projects I have, after which I cuddle up with my iPod and listen to David Sedaris until I either fall asleep, or the Grays abduct me for a night of cavity-probing and “Small Wonder” re-runs (they love that show).


"May I please have some Oreos and a cool glass of your DNA sample?"

However, last Friday night I was abducted in a different way.

Logan had called me earlier and asked me what I was “doing” that night and I, like a fool, said I had no plans. (My boyfriend was in Canada at the Toronto Film Festival.)

“Well,” she said, sounding particularly devious, “You’re coming with me and Karen and some other Amoebites to see Hall & Oates at the Hollywood Bowl.”

She paused then, and I think she was waiting for me to squeal with delight. Instead, I quietly waited for a punchline to what was obviously a whimsical joke. When no punchline came and I realized she was telling the truth, I started to choke.

“Are you okay?” she asked.

“I think you gave me throat cancer,” I answered.

What had started as a moment of fantasy between a few co-workers had organically morphed into a large-scale field trip to the Hollywood Bowl. Karen had managed to secure a bevy of tickets and transportation. (I think she has mafia ties.)

Logan explained that she and Karen wanted me to go along and blog the event.

Why couldn’t my first assignment as an in-the-field Amoeblogger be something a little less dangerous? Like, testing SCUD missiles in Pakistan, or opening a gay bar in Tehran?

Logan was disappointed in my bad attitude. For those of you who don’t know her, she has these big, blue eyes that go all Justine Batemany on you when she’s sad and it’s more than a guy can take. So I buckled.

Which meant that, instead of spilling wayward arugula onto my knit-boxers as Rod Serling smugly narrated surreal half-hour segments, I departed work and turned left onto Cahuenga Boulevard where I saw a classic, yellow schoolbus, parked. Outside it, my boss Karen waited with open arms, like Saint Peter welcoming me to the Pearly Gates.

(Anyone who works for Karen knows she is an enthusiastic and skilled hugger. Whenever she greets you at the beginning of your shift, you’d swear it was your surprise birthday party.)

The Cahuenga Side.


Welcome to your future.


We waited at the bus as employees and their dates eventually made their way on board. Kara and I pondered the new, high-gloss, metal siding on the base of the CNN skyscraper, wondering if its new “Studio 54” make-over served a purpose other than looking like it was trying to get laid.

In the distance, the Sun set. It all sounds rather poetic, only Karen was, at this point, anxious to go. She had started her metaphorical engines an hour earlier and was in danger now of flooding.

Logan was the final animal to board our ark. What took her so long? She was doing her job, apparently. Her priorities are totally whack.

Welcome to the jungle.



A few employees watched from the sidewalk as the schoolbus of cheering Amoebites pulled out into traffic. It was kind of like leaving port on a cruise ship. A really tiny cruise ship that smelled like Hello Kitty erasers and pee.

Anyone who’s driven to a show at the Hollywood Bowl knows that it’s something akin to salmon spawning. Our driver, Nick, deftly managed the ebb and flow of cut-throat drivers which flanked our long, yellow craft, as we inched toward our destination.

En route, being at the front of the bus where all the good kids sat (i.e., old people) I only heard about the following two events:

1.) We drove past a gaggle of men all dressed as “Oates”, replete with matching mustaches and mullets. Thank God I only heard about this, because, had I actually set sight on such a thing, I would have surely perished.

2.) One of our employees mooned on-lookers from the bus window. Rumor informed me it was Jackie, but I don’t know this for certain. Even so, I’m just a blogger, not a news journalist, so let’s decide it was Jackie and write her many letters accordingly.

In the course of the evening, I would be consistently wrong about how Karen’s mind works. It was educational for me. For example:

Logan had been charged with photo-documenting the event (many of the pix you’re seeing here were taken by her). As we neared the Bowl, Logan suddenly wondered if cameras were allowed inside. We panicked, and Karen, brow furrowed, began to look around for (I thought) someone who might know whether or not cameras were permitted, so we could be certain to behave accordingly.

“That’s a good question,” she muttered. Her eyes settled on Paul Jones’ baggy pants. “Who can we hide that [camera] with?”

It’s not the only time that evening when her sense of responsibility proved more mutinous than maternal.

Whether or not she’s following the rules, she’s certainly always following her heart. Our intimidated bus driver must have been pleasantly surprised when Karen offered him a ticket and invited him to join us for the concert, which he did.

Once our group left the bus, it was every man for himself. Like retarded homing pigeons, we checked and re-checked our tickets, trying to find our seats. I imagine it’s what first-time customers go through upon entering Amoeba.

The group had splintered, but we eventually made it our corner of the Bowl. Some came laden with concessions. Karen had brought the only survival gear I needed: bottles of wine. Logan and I selected a bottle of Californian cab-sav (“Ooo, March – that was a very good month for wine!”) and were happy that the person who was carrying the cups hadn’t made it to us yet, because it gave us an excuse to drink straight from the bottle.


My one-man jug band.

The opening act was The Spinners. They shuffled out onto the stage in matching, yellow-and-glitter suits that would be the envy of every middle-aged woman in Florida, circa 1989.

They began singing the National Anthem, and when I automatically stood to join in, Logan and Amoeba manager, Alyssa, got all embarrassed – like I was making some kind of spectacle of myself. When the rest of the audience also stood, I had the last laugh.

“Stand up and sing, you Commie finks!” I snickered.

Some Amoebites even knew the words, though I think most would have proved better versed in a round of “Don’t Stop Believin’”.



The Spinners. Right round, baby, right round.

The Spinners proved to be a sweet but confusing act. Didn’t most of the members die? Who were these young bucks singing the key parts, anyhow?

Their dance moves proved tame in the extreme, and one couldn’t help but wonder if their break-dancing had been tailored to keep them from break-hipping. Even so, anyone who knew and appreciated the history of the surviving members were jubilant. Some Amoebites audibly sighed and swooned when a new song began, and there was some ecstatic arm-waving going on.

The Spinners were temporarily upstaged by a lone man who crept into the Amoeba area for a… nap?




A nap. Everywhere around us there’s screaming and dancing and general Dionysian behavior, and this dude plopped next to cashier Jessie and proceeded to nod-off!

My theory was that he was the husband of some Hall & Oates fan; as his wife got tipsy on Zima and Trader Joe’s chocolate-dipped cotton swabs, reveling in the soundtrack to her glory days in college, he escaped her slurring, lip-glossed laughter in search of some peace.

Instead, as soon as he was asleep, he was surrounded by tittering Amoeba employees who proceeded to pose for photographs next to him, like he was a costumed character at Disneyland.

“Look, Mommy! It’s the Sleepy Husband of Hollywood Bowl!"




Between these antics and the half-bottle of wine I’d sucked down, I was laughing so hard that my spleen began cracking. And it was only the opening act.

During intermission, Logan and I braved the concession stand. I was still reeling with unpleasant high school flashbacks from the bus-ride over, and waiting in line for a tray of over-cooked food sent me into a mild anxiety attack. Faced with paying something like $699.00 for a lackluster Caesar salad, I panicked and ordered two hot dogs.

Now, normally I don’t eat pork because it’s not Kosher and my Rabbi would not approve. He’s already annoyed with me for not being Jewish. But hot dogs were the only item on the menu that I could afford without taking-out a small loan from Washington Mutual, so I went for it.

Once I was faced with the… “food”, I was temporarily confused. Was I really supposed to eat this? Like, with my mouth?

Logan laughed hysterically as I grabbed three handfuls of mayonnaise packets. (In my experience, few things are so distasteful that enough mayo can’t transform it into a culinary delight.)



Logan eats the hot dog... I eat the Logan... it's a circle of life.

Back in our seats, we began force-feeding ourselves. I donated my second hot dog to Alyssa, who’s blood-sugar had dropped so low she was starting to confuse the ushers with picnic baskets. I was afraid she might try and open one of them.


Look! Up in the sky! ...It's Daryl Hall!


Hall & Oates opened with “Maneater” and there was much rejoicing. Oates had shaven off his trademark mustache, and I think it was a while before anyone knew who he was.







I have to be honest. I’ve never been a fan of Hall & Oates, but I am a HUGE FAN of people rocking out and having a swell time, so I was well entertained. One thing I can never make peace with, however, is a 1980’s pop-song, sax solo.

I hate the sax solo. When it finally fell out of fashion, along with Reaganomics, I heaved a hearty sigh of relief. I don’t know why it bothers me as much as it does; it strikes me as some intentionally bland bridge between catchy pop coasts, and I always think a song could be improved by cutting it out. Imagine my horror when Kenny G did exactly the opposite.

I mention the sax solo because, more so than Oates, a purple-clad sax player dominated the evening’s concert. It was he, and not the headlining duo, who walked out into the audience to enthusiastic spectators; like some pied piper, collecting throngs of coked-out forty-somethings and leading them to a land of saxophone nirvana.



Note the purple-clad sax player looming above me. 'Nuff said.

I would have barfed, but I had drunk a lot of wine, and I needed those calories.

We laughed, we cried, we shouted and doubled-over as Hall & Oates played their hits and, every once in a while, snuck in a song they weren’t sick of.

When they played their closing song, we kept clapping – everyone smug in their assumption that they would eventually give us an encore in the form of “Private Eyes”. It never occurred to us that…

Lights up.

Huh? No encore? What…?

Show’s over.




The natives began to grumble. Admiration gave way to ire as the hundreds of people unified in a feeling that they had been short-changed by not hearing “Private Eyes”. As for me, it was one less opportunity to endure a sax solo, so I was cool.

I barely remember the walk back to the bus. I was, by this point, drunk, as were the people in charge of leading us back. There were moments of desperation as our one large group began to lose each other in increasingly small cliques, and I had flashbacks of “Sophie’s Choice”.

I was one of the first groups to make it back to the bus, along with Karen and Logan and Nick, the bus driver, which was no small relief.

Karen offered our bus driver some wine before thinking better of it.

Finally, everyone except Paul Jones was accounted for. Those of us who know Paul felt assured that he was not only okay, but had probably swindled his way into some celebrity’s limo and was smoking reefers in a Jacuzzi overlooking the Hills. But some kind-hearted (if naïve) co-workers felt we should wait and make sure Paul was safe.

When he was finally reached on a cell phone, he was already long gone from the Bowl. I hope the limo ride was smooth, Paul.

The ride back to Amoeba was as loud as the concert. The back of the bus regaled us with a confused sing-a-long of songs so random, it would cause an iPod shuffle to freeze.

When we pulled up next to our beloved store, there were some cops parked there, and Karen urgently began to quiet everyone down. After all, we don’t want the police investigating us. Once she got the bus silenced, she announced:

“Now let’s hear it for our bus driver, Nick!”

Everyone cheered, and once again I realized I was wrong about what Karen had been thinking.




Everyone poured out of the bus and began hugging. Drunk on wine and good times, I plodded home.

My cat hadn’t folded a single piece of laundry.