Amoeblog

(In which Job engages in back-breaking work.)

Posted by Job O Brother, June 1, 2009 01:55pm | Post a Comment

Does the glowing spine make me look fat?

The crippling pain hasn’t exactly ruined my week. My new toy has, after all, given new life to my hobby: collecting all music in the world… except for maybe Van Halen. Let me back up a bit…

Ha! “Back up.” You see, five days ago my back gave out while I was in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, battling La Alianza Triángulo de Oro – more specifically, I was in the middle of a back-alley shoot-out with that rascal, V.C. Fuentes (or, as I like to call him El Caca Bigote, which just drives him nuts!).

As we all know, you never want to fire your M4 carbine with your weaker arm, but it was past lunch time, I hadn’t eaten, and an orphaned child I had just rescued from the local orfanato offered me a fresh sopaipilla which I wasn’t about to let go stale; so I was mackin' on that with my right arm, shooting with my left and, just as I was about to send Fuentes to see his own fatal plastic surgeon, I felt a spring go loose in my back.

“Uh-oh,” I thought, and I was right.

So, for the last half-week I’ve been popping Advil like they were Skittles and walking like I was 99. My boyfriend, sensitive care-giver that he is, has taken it upon himself to make endless jokes about my situation, just to make sure I keep laughing. At least, I think that’s why he does it.


Does this statue of Æthelswith make me look fat?

My new toy is an external hard-drive with something like 99 hergozapazillogabytes of memory (give or take 2 hurquatzobytes). This will, hopefully, be enough to contain what can only be described as an obscene CD collection. In addition to this, I have recently purchased a portable turn-table (from, eh-hem, Amoeba Music) with a USB component which will allow me to transfer all my vinyl into a digital format, just as soon as I get written permission from any and all applicable copyright owners of the music. (Eh-hem again.)

As most of you know, in addition to lording over the Soundtrack Section of Amoeba Music Hollywood, I work as a freelance writer (hence the blog you are now reading which is enabling you to  procrastinate – but don’t worry, your secret is safe with me). The hope is that someday, someone with money and power recognizes how really, really, really, really, really, good I’m at writing stuff and, you know, things, and stuff and they hire me for some rad TV show or film or simply to sit next to their pool and come up with entertaining stories for their personal lifeguard – whatever. I imagine that, even then, with new-found wealth at my fingertips and enjoying a jet-set lifestyle, I will probably still have to maintain some working hours at Amoeba Music simply because I cannot survive without constant access to its inventory. I am hooked. I have an employee-discounted musical monkey on my back. Where’s my support group?

In transferring my CD collection onto my new hard-drive, I am sometimes struck by certain selections I felt compelled to bring home in the past, and I thought I'd share some of the odder albums with you.
Evita – The Japanese Cast Recording

If you thought Madonna was a far-fetched casting as Argentina’s notorious First Lady, consider 野村玲子. I did. And you know what? Madonna is still more far-fetched.



[untitled demo] – Agnès Mrugalski

I wish I could share this with you, because it’s f-wording brilliant. I plucked this vaguely packaged disc from the library music section of Amoeba. It contains 32 tracks of sample advertisements which serve to showcase actress Agnès Mrugalski’s diverse capabilities for radio commercial work. Boasting such titles as “Fabergé (voix sensuelle, complice)” or “United Airlines (voix hôtesse, fraîche, accueeillante),” each selection is a faux commercial with a description of the “type” of voice she’s using.


Internet research on said actress yielding next to nothing. I did find this one, heavily pixilated photograph. Mme. Mrugalski, if you’re out there, please supply us with more information. Nous t'adorons!

God is a Moog – Gershon Kingsley


This is a 2006 release from Moog pioneer Gershon Kingsley, best known as half the team Perrey & Kingsley, whose 1966 release The In Sound From Way Out, is considered one of the first mainstream electronic albums.

God is a Moog is a compilation of Kingsley’s Jewish music; much of it is sacred. There’s something both spooky and hilarious about the incongruous mix of Hebrew prayer intoned over (antiquated) space age sounds.

I couldn’t find a sample on YouTube, but here’s Kinglsey’s most famous composition, “Popcorn”…


He’s Able – People’s Temple Choir

This is a grisly affair, released in 1973 by Brotherhood Records, which was created by the Peoples Temple, under the directorship of Rev. Jim Jones. Taken out of context, it is a typical, home-grown, 1970’s gospel album. It sounds like most any church’s effort. When considered within the broader scope of the Peoples Temple’s fate, however, it becomes a wince-worthy, chilling listen. The first track features a chorus of children singing:

Welcome, welcome all of you!
Glad you are with us!
Shake hands! No need to be blue!
Welcome all of you!


And so on. Not recommended for cocktail parties. Or bar mitzvahs. Or anything ever.


Into Outer Space with Lucia Pamela – Lucia Pamela

This is a gem – one of those sweet moments when, in ignorant curiosity, I took something home simply because I couldn’t guess what it would be. It turned out to be nothing but sweetness.


Although a rough recording, what you get here is an eccentric blend of swing and early rock ‘n’ roll, led by Lucia Pamela – Miss St. Louis 1926, featured in Ripley's Believe It or Not for memorizing a record 10,000 songs – as she sings songs detailing her trip to the Moon and the adventures she has there.

Fans of Tiny Tim absolutely must check this out, as it features a similar sense of whimsy.


Now then, the Advil is wearing off, and there’s still thousands more albums to transfer, so I’m gonna say goodbye for now. Well, I’m gonna to type it. Well, I already did.

(In which Job explains his long absence.)

Posted by Job O Brother, June 17, 2008 10:46am | Post a Comment
Oh… (gasp!) …thank God! You would not believe what happened to me!

As my faithful readers* will attest to, I haven’t blogged in a record-length of time. You know that there’s nothing I love more than blogging – except maybe getting a CPBF** – so you know something dramatic must have happened to keep me away for so long. Here’s the story…


I was at Canter’s with my good friends Bob, Rupert and Fiona, discussing the possibility of a Hearts of Fire reunion tour.


Fiona was in the middle of her usual rant about how Tori Amos stole her thunder and how “Me and a Gun” had been her idea for years; how she had a list of perfect words to rhyme with “rape”… blah blah blah… The rest of us kind of tune her out when she gets like that.
Suddenly, I started choking on my poppyseed rugelach (they make it so dry!) and Fiona starts yelling for help while Bob just kind of zones out and watches – so typical, he’s never sure what’s actually happening in front of him or whether it’s a flashback of some kind. Rupert was the only one to have the sense to give me the Heimlich Maneuver. It worked, and the buttery crust that deemed to kill me coughed out like a cannonball and hit the back of the head of some trollop du jour that Hugh Grant was treating to a Marilyn Monroe Special.
We’d all been avoiding making eye-contact with Hugh because, at the slightest provocation he’ll bore you to death with some complaint about “ladies and their oral hygiene". I mean, honestly Hugh, we know you’re European but you CAN kiss on the cheek to greet people – you don’t have to go plugging your tongue in like a hose to a Hoover.
It was awkward because Rupert and Hugh have a long-standing grudge between them. Something to do with a game of capture-the-flag at Julia Roberts’ house that took a turn for the ugly.


America's Sweetheart: Julia Roberts

Anyway, Rupert had badly bruised my ribcage. No fault to him, of course, he saved my life after all. But then Hugh sweeps in and is all touchy-feely with my torso and tossing out medical terms like “musculoskeletal injury” and basically making Rupert feel like a jerk for being so rough. While Rupert, who was totally focused on me, sweetly ran for some water to clear my throat, Hugh calls for an ambulance, like he’s some hero or something.

The ambulance comes and Rupert and Hugh are arguing over who’s going to ride with me, but they’re doing it in that passive-aggressive British way – like, what they mean is, “Get the hell out of my way you bitch” but it all sounds like, “Would you care to join me for a round of cricket?”
By now, of course, Fiona has completely disappeared as she usually does before the bill arrives. And Bob doesn’t even have a wallet on him – honestly I don’t know how he makes it through a day. I finally asked if anyone was interested in what I wanted, which was to forgo an ambulance altogether and simply get someone to drive me in their car. It’s not like I was dying anymore – these actors are such drama queens, I swear.
So, after convincing Hugh that he’d better stick to his date (whose name I still don’t know because he never introduced us – between you and me, I don’t think he even remembered her name), Rupert gave me a ride to Cedars where we waited in the lobby for what seemed hours.
To pass the time we played the trivia game on my iPod. Would you believe, he had no difficulty naming every single track by Diamanda Galás…


…but couldn’t remember who sang this…?


Anyway, I was in and out of the medical exam quicker than I had waited for it. The doc hooked me up with these amazing pain pills and Rupert insisted that we swing by Madonna’s palatial Bel Air estate for a game of “pill poker.” I was confused – hadn’t Madge cleaned up cold turkey on the set of Evita? And anyway, I thought she and Rupert were still “on the outs"? Well, they are, but he’s apparently still buddy-buddy with Guy Ritchie, who was alone at the house while Madonna was off somewhere in Japan filming a billion dollar commercial for vaginal ointment.
So we did. And for the last month that’s where I’ve been – in a drug-induced haze with Rupert and Guy and Natalie Portman, who doesn’t pop pills but can’t say no to a game of poker.

But I’m sober now, kids, and ready to blog. Let’s do this!
*that is, my Mom & Sisters

**CPBF is a Chunky Peanut Butter Facial. Simply smear a jar of chunky peanut butter on your face (I think Laura Scudders works best). The nuts exfoliate dead skin cells, while the oil rejuvenates new skin. It’s cheap, it’s easy, and best of all, it’s delicious!