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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Death from Above

Posted by Amoebite, May 1, 2018 01:55pm | Post a Comment

Death from Above What's InMy Bag? Amoeba Music

Death from Above's Sebastien Grainger couldn't help but show some Canadian pride on a recent visit to Amoeba Hollywood, picking up records by two legendary fellow-countrymen, Leonard Cohen and Glenn Gould. "You know, Glenn Gould is a Toronto guy, I'm a Toronto guy," Grainger wryly points out. Holding up a copy of the Goldberg Variations, Grainger notes that the eccentric concert pianist "totally shreds on this, like Satriani style shredding, but on piano." It wasn't all Canadian nationalism for Grainger, who had an eclectic stack of records, as well as a lot of great insight and personal anecdotes about each one for our What's In My Bag? episode.

Canadian duo Death from Above (formally known as Death from Above 1979) formed in 2001, setting themselves apart early on as one of the loudest and most aggressive acts in what was then termed Death from Above Outrage! Is Now"dancepunk." The band consists of drummer/vocalist Sebastien Grainger and bassist Jesse F. Keeler. Their first EP, Heads Up, landed in 2002, followed two years later by the Romantic Rights EP, which served as a teaser to their acclaimed debut LP You're a Woman, I'm a Machine.

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The '80s List: Part 10

Posted by Amoebite, September 2, 2011 12:46pm | Post a Comment
Wipers One day at Amoeba Hollywood I proclaimed that Aztec Camera's 1983 release High Land, Hard Rain was one of the best records of the '80s. This single statement eventually led to over 200 Amoebites ranking their top 10 favorite albums from the ‘80s.

From the beginning we realized that it was impossible for most of us to condense our favorites from all genres into a tiny top ten list. So, we limited our lists to Rock/Pop and its sub-genres like punk, metal, goth, and new wave. Even so, it was a difficult selection process because not only are there hundreds of amazing records to consider, there is also the added dynamic of time.

The '80s were a long time ago and the music has had many years to gestate. We have a deep sense of nostalgia and sentiment with these albums as our fondest memories are associated with them. These are albums we LOVE.

- Henry Polk

P.S. We'll be posting new additions to the '80s list project from Amoeba staff members on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. See all entries in our ‘80s list series.

P.P.S. The '80s List Book is available for sale at Amoeba Hollywood.


Heather Long

Pixies Doolittle (1989)
Husker DuZen Arcade (1984)
Judas PriestBritish Steel (1980)
X – Los Angeles (1980)
PretendersPretenders (1980)
The Cure – Disintegration (1989)
The ClashLondon Calling (1980)
Duran DuranRio (1982)
Iron MaidenThe Number Of The Beast (1982)
Adam And The AntsKings Of The Wild Frontier (1980)

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(In which the author recounts another November, long ago...)

Posted by Job O Brother, November 15, 2010 07:52pm | Post a Comment

Happy Thanksgiving!

At age 17, while most of my friends were either studying at high school or studying how to get high at school, I spent leisurely days brainstorming new and creative ways of annoying our local Sheriff and his deputies.

Living in a tiny Gold Rush town tucked in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains – a quaint dot on the map named Nevada City, California – with a population of less than 3,000 people and a downtown district that could be circumnavigated in a brief jog, the only trouble a teenager could get into was trouble he made himself.



Nothing's changed. Except the colors are brighter now.

I had a partner in crime – the prettiest girl in town and my best friend, Autumn. We were soul-mates, mutual muses, and best of all, we were both enrolled in the independent studies program, which meant our actual campus time was reduced to a single 20 minute session a week, leaving the rest of our schedule open for adding to our collection of abandoned lawn ornaments, inventing new kinds of candy, and devising “experiments” to test the moods and reactions of our fellow man. Some people called us practical jokers, but we fancied ourselves social anthropologists.

It was late September and very hot. Autumn and I lounged in a swimming pool, which was conveniently located in the middle of her upstairs bedroom. In a moment of brilliance fueled by heat-stroke, we constructed the pool there so we could watch TV or toast bagels while we soaked. We drank water from margarita glasses, snacked on Joy-Pops (an unpleasant tasting but texturally exciting confection we assembled from parts of Almond Joys, Pop Rocks and wasabi), listened to polka music and played Trivial Pursuit.

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Photographic Memory, Part 1

Posted by Job O Brother, September 7, 2009 01:17pm | Post a Comment

"Please conjure sheets of paper to come floating out of the laundry basket below"
The author, circa 1996

I have recently come into possession of my adolescent photo collection. There was, for a period of about five years, a time when I owned a fetching Ricoh camera which had been given to me by a rad woman whom I lived with on a mountaintop commune on the outskirts of Santa Fe, New Mexico. She used to regale me with stories from her years as a hot-shot publicist, and explained to me which lines from David Bowie’s “Drive-in Saturday” had been written about her by the Thin White Duke.


Were these claims true? Who knows. But it did distract me from the profound and crippling nervous breakdown I was experiencing at the time, fuelled in part by excessive use of ecstasy as a means of spiritual enlightenment and by living with my then step-father who made such helpful suggestions as, “Maybe you have alien implants in your brain.”

“Oh, yes. Well thank you for that.”

I thought it might be fun to dip into the box and see what musical and/or cinematic associations they bring. Kind of reconsider my colorful past in terms of stuff you could purchase at Amoeba Music. For I am a salesman, ladies and gentlemen.

Let’s begin now…


Here’s a picture of me caked in drying mud on the banks of the Dead Sea. Taking the picture is my Mom, who is also slathered in earth. Supposedly there was some physical benefits in doing this, but honestly I didn’t need a reason beyond getting to rub mud all over my near-naked body. Who needs the added incentive of a health boost? What you don’t see in this picture is the gaggle of Japanese tourists shrieking with laughter as the women in the group got smeared with mud by their husbands. And what you don’t hear is that the spa where this all took place is playing Marianne Faithfull’s album Broken English over the loudspeakers. Because when you’re soaking in mineral baths and having the toxins flushed from your body, what else do you want to hear but this…


Yes, the spirit of the Essenes is alive and well on the banks of the Dead Sea.


Here’s a picture of Emilie Autumn. Emilie was famous in our hometown for a variety of reasons, one of which being that she would do things like, say, dye her skin green and wear Christmas tinsel hair extensions. This isn’t body paint, folks. This is skin dyed green, and over the course of weeks it would gradually fade away, as though Emilie were transforming from Frankenstein monster to human girl.

I spent a sizable chunk of my youth locked in Emilie’s room, smoking pot, drinking Thunderbird, eating pot, and making art with her. Music was always playing, and the most popular tunes were (in no particular order):














After being best friends for three years, Emilie and I began having sex, which made the next three years of our relationship a more stormy affair. Her creativity extended into ways of breaking my heart and I finally stopped talking to her. She was one of the great loves of my life and a part of me will always be in love with her. Green skinned or not.

Aw... More to come!

SOUNDTRACK SERIES #2

Posted by Job O Brother, April 21, 2009 07:30pm | Post a Comment
Directions: Imagine Mr. Brother living another day, as always, with music playing. Whether it’s one of his trusty iPods, or his home stereo, or working the soundtracks section of Amoeba Music Hollywood, Mr. Brother is eating, sonically, with the mouths of his ears.

To simulate this experience, as you read the below story of a day lived, you will be given certain music clips to play. These are inserted to provide you with the same tunes Job was hearing as he was doing what you’ll be reading.


For example, while he was writing the above directions, he was listening to this:


I’m moving. My boyfriend and I are finally shacking up together. We had to pick between our two homes: my tiny bachelor, located in the heart of Hollywood, with decaying floors, rotted walls, and endless episodes of water and power failures – you know, what real estate agents refer to as a building “with real character and Old World charm,” or his two-floor townhouse on the Miracle Mile, a building so nice that even the landlord keeps a room in it, and the only creatures that crawl around are the snails in the pretty gardens out front.

I said, “How about I move in with you.”

So, I’ve been packing up my collections of antique religious paintings, record albums, spooky bad-luck charms, record albums, various flavors of vinegar, record albums, biographies on various dead people I have crushes on, record albums, and plants.


Because I own so many framed pictures (my goal has always been to have enough wall hangings so as to never reveal what color my room is painted) I found that I needed some string to bind armfuls of them together, so as to move them. Since I also needed some boxes, I hooked myself up to my iPod and headed to my local Staples.


After scanning the aisles and being temporarily distracted by the multitudes of Sharpies that are available these days (“It’s not like when I was a youngster!”) I found that string was nowhere to be found. I asked the cashier:

“Where can I find string?”


He furrowed his brow.

“String?” he asked, confounded.

“Yeah. String.” Now my brow was furrowed, too, because I didn’t understand why he seemed so bewildered. He turned to a fellow co-worker.

“Do we have any string?” he asked him. This other co-worker, a supervisor or something, walked towards me.

“You want string?” he asked me.

“Yeah,” I said, surprised that this simple request was causing so much commotion.

“What for?” he asked me.

At this point, I stuttered. I was so overwhelmed with all the many uses of string that I could barely mention one. Besides, why was this even a conversation? When you ask for milk or eggs at a grocery store, they tell you an aisle number and you’re done – there’s no mental pow-wow over the why’s and wherefore's.

“To… to tie things together,” I faltered, feeling so stupid that I had to explain what string was for.

“We have twist-ties,” the supervisor offered.

“No,” I answered, “I need string. To tie bundles together.” He shook his head.

“We don’t have string.”


I bought the boxes and left, astonished that they didn’t have string at an office supply mega-store, and annoyed that they made me feel as though I were requesting an item that was preposterously obscure. I mean, gimme a break people – I was asking for string, not a hinge for my pewter inkwell!


Fearing the worst, I dared to shop at my nearby Wrong-Aid. I call it “Wrong-Aid” because I never get in and out of there without some kind of cockamamie challenge. Either there will be an old man in line in front of me who disputes the price of York Peppermint Patties -- “This coupon says they’ll be five cents each – not six!” or the only flavor of chips they’ll have is “tripe ‘n’ marshmallow” or I’ll slip on a pool of urine that a set of toddler twins left near the beer section, or I’ll be trying to figure out which type of Advil is best for my headache when a ghost ship of pirates will fall on top of me. Whatever it is, whenever I shop Wrong-Aid, the only guarantee is that I’ll leave with a frown and a story.


And yet, lo and behold – they had string! I was so happy that I let my guard down and was startled when the cashier informed me that they were “out of coins” so I couldn’t use cash. I would’ve committed suicide, but I still had things to pack and a blog to write. So I guess you sorta saved my life, dear reader. So thanks. Thanks for life and everything.

Hopefully this is my last report from Hollywood. Miracle Mile, here I come!

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