Amoeblog

SOUNDTRACK SERIES #1

Posted by Job O Brother, April 29, 2008 11:13am | 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:



So, I was at Target the other day, looking to see if Method had launched any new cleaning products (which they had – a new toilet bowl cleanser, so I was happy), when I found myself looking at the pet toy section with fresh interest.

I decided to purchase a cat laser. That is, a little plastic mouse which shoots a red laser point; the idea being that the cat will think the red spot is some kind of living, flying, glowing thing and chase it around. Not every cat registers the laser, however, so spending the four dollars was a real risk on my part. You know me, though – I live on the edge. Cat laser? Purchased!

Before I left Target, I put my courage to the sticking place and ventured into the men’s restroom. The men’s restroom at the West Hollywood Target reminds me of jail, somehow. And yes, I’ve been to jail, thank you for asking.



Everything was going well – if not for my olfactory sense. I was washing my paws. A few sinks over from me was an old man in a porkpie hat. I watched, transfixed, as he removed both his upper and lower teeth and set them on the very public, men’s restroom sink.
I quickly left. I didn’t want the janitor to have to clean up any regurgitated Vitamin Water on my account.



I walked home and fantasized about the different kinds of bold and delicious sandwiches I could make using doughnuts for bread. I’ve never actually done this, but I think about it. A lot. No matter what I contrive, however, I always come back to this fantasy of a simple glazed doughnut, cut in half, holding a few slices of warm ham and Swiss cheese. This obsession of mine is made all the more odd when you consider I don’t like doughnuts and actually hate sliced ham. For this reason, when I dream this recipe, I imagine feeding it to someone else, and watching them love it. Why do I want this to happen? I don’t understand. Sometimes I even imagine I own a restaurant, and the doughnut/ham/Swiss sandwich is an entrée. This is a long paragraph. Way too long for a blog. Unless, of course, it’s a blog entry about Guantanamo Bay, in which case, lengthy paragraphs are justified, if not because the subject matter is complex, then simply because the name of the place is so long. Guantanamo Bay, Guantanamo Bay, Guantanamo Bay, Guantanamo Bay… See how much room that took up? And I only mentioned it four times!

I’m drinking coffee right now, obviously. Corey and I stopped by his favorite café, Stir Crazy, on Melrose.



It is rad, I must say. It reminds me of the coffeehouses that dominate the northern half of the West Coast. The barista was this charismatic lass with curly locks who gushed over how soy milk bleeds into the coffee, leaving Corey envious that she could so lose herself in a moment. Meanwhile, I was studying the covers of the magazines they had displayed and doing what I always do – looking into the eyes of the cover models and trying to discern how they were “really feeling” when the photo was taken, as opposed (if opposed) to how the photographer wanted to portray them.


"Hmm... A taco would sure hit the spot..."

I just got an email from our new blog editor. You didn’t know we had an editor, did you? (This rhetorical question is meant for those of you who didn’t know. I want those of you few readers who did know to know I knew you knew, because I care about you and never want you to feel alienated. Now kiss me!)

Through her email I learned that she loves Pinkberry, which reminds me of the time I went to Pinkberry with Corey…



See, I had tried Pinkberry but Corey had not. So we went to the new location at the Farmer’s Market at The Grove. That’s pretty much the story. He got some and I didn’t, ‘cause I’m not that into it. But he liked it. I didn’t say it was a good story – only that her email reminded me of the story. Not every single thing I do is fat-with-a-ph.

Oh! I almost forgot - the cat laser? Fangs LOVES IT. Thank you for asking.

Here’s what’s playing as I’m about to save, edit and post this entry:

(In which brave employees face dire visions.)

Posted by Job O Brother, April 15, 2008 12:01pm | Post a Comment

10.30 AM - Time to open Amoeba.

I’ve been working at Amoeba Music for over three years now (although I often still feel like a newbie) but it wasn’t until last Thursday that I had co-workers over to my house for the first time.

The reasons for this are many, and complicated. For one, whenever you have humans over to your house to visit, there’s all sorts of things one must do, like… talk to them… and… well, talk to them. It’s daunting! Nevermind the fact that my cat, Fangs, is only one moment away from figuring out how to eat someone.


My cat Fangs. (It's always hard to get him to be still long enough to get a good picture.)

You’ll remember (unless you won’t) that some time ago I blogged about the film crew of “Alvin & The Chipmunks” using the front of Amoeba Music Hollywood for a shoot, for which I was an extra (cast as a bouncer).

Charlie, who works in the classical music department, and Smithy, who works soundtracks (with me) and pop vocals, and I had tried to goad each other in going to see the movie in the theatres to find out if either Amoeba or I were actually in it, but none of us were willing to pay the huge (if justified) price of an ArcLight Cinema ticket, especially considering the film looked painful.


Me, relating the preview I saw of the movie in question.

We decided, therefore, that when the movie came out of DVD – which it recently has – we would congregate at my apartment, drink enough booze to buffer any psychological damage that watching Jason Lee interact with CGI rodents could have and face the beast.


Jason Lee chides the Chipmunks for messing up his kitchen.

That was last Thursday. Let me just say, there isn’t enough vodka in Russia to prepare you for this movie. It’s excruciating. Like, it should be used to the waiting room at Guantanamo Bay. I normally wouldn’t blog about something if I don’t like it, but I’ve also gotten very good at avoiding things I wouldn’t like. This was a special circumstance.

In case you’re wondering, Amoeba Music Hollywood and I both appear, yes, about forty-five minutes into the film, for about two seconds - you see a crane shot showing our front-side. If you look in front of the doors, two men in black, Amoeba-logo t-shirts, stand. One of the men turns his head. That’s me. WHERE’S MY STAR ON THE WALK OF FAME?!

We stopped watching the film a little after that. Maybe it was only forty-five minutes, but forty-five minutes in a black hole is a long time.


Me, Charlie and Smithy, deciding that next time, we'll just play cards.

Here then, for those of you unfortunates who don't know how wonderful the original Chipmunks were, are some snippets of their original TV show. Note the complete LACK of any "Chipettes."







(In which the group's adventures come to a close.)

Posted by Job O Brother, June 11, 2007 09:14am | Post a Comment
Everyone awoke a little gloomy. It was our last day, and check-out time was only four hours away. Logan in-particular was not okay with this and sought out the front desk to plea our case. The result was a new check-out time of four o’clock, at no additional charge.

I’m not sure what Logan had to do to get this sweet deal; knowing her, they were probably just charmed, but that makes for a boring blog, so let’s pretend she seduced the owner’s wife, or at the very least threatened them with rad karate moves.


"Hit me with your best shot" - Logan in control

With only half a day left, the majority agreed that the best thing to do was give me a haircut.

Uh, wha...? Really? It’s that bad?

What I saw as my sexy, shaggy mop – so hip and suave was, unbeknownst to me, something akin to Eric Stoltz’ hot look in the movie “Mask”. Apparently I had been unwittingly turning Greek adventurers into stone with my mere hairdo. Who knew?


Bad hair daze: Eric Stoltz, Medusa, and me

Carrie was adamant. She was going to cut my hair. My boyfriend immediately switched to publicist mode, yelling demands and controlling events from his chaise lounge. “Short!” he kept shouting, “Short… short!”


BEFORE: Carrie assesses the situation


The Master Hair-stylist can adapt to any situation


Beauty and the Beast

My own opinions were merely tolerated as flights of fancy. I had been reduced to a pre-Suffragette woman with hopes of one day earning a living for herself, winning the right to vote, or at the very least, opening her own door without being seen as a dangerous lesbian.

“All I want is a room of my own,” I implored, “Or a beer and a smoke. Get me a beer and a smoke!” I transformed into a high-maintenance star. I demanded fresh, cold bruskis and lit cigarettes. Logan, who photographed the event, became my unwitting slave.

“I want music!” I howled.

“The turntable’s in the living room,” Logan explained.

“Then move it into the kitchen!” I screeched. I reasoned I could afford to be so petulant, because I had subjected myself to the group’s desire to convert my coiffure. Suddenly, the cliché roles of Hollywood celebrity-versus-production company made new sense to me. They wanted to use me as a product; as such, my body/mind must succumb to their vision, the payoff for which is the need to keep me happy, lest I sabotage everything.

It’s a circle of life.


AFTER: Apparently I gained 15 pounds during my haircut

To her credit, Carrie gave me what I honestly believe to be the best haircut I’ve e’er had.

(For the last six or seven years of my life I have cut my own hair. I began doing this out of spite. Every time I went to a barber, I would carefully and clearly explain what I wanted, then they would proceed to do whatever gruesome scheme had been dictated them over the night by the dog down the street. Hair by Son of Sam. And for this I would pay money. Actual money! Finally I snapped and refused to stay in such an abusive relationship.

“I may well f**k up my hair by cutting it myself,” I reasoned, “But at least I won’t be paying for it, too.”)

After the styling, Corey couldn’t keep his hands off me, which is exactly the sort of behavior I encourage.


"Get that camera out of my love life!" - Job & Corey, post-haircut

The four of us milled around our beloved bungalow and lamented losing it. The time came to pack and we did. It was the first time in three days we had to do something we didn’t want to do, and we were little, whinny, crybabies about it.

Logan spoke of returning to Los Angeles as though she were being returned to Guantanamo Bay.

With heavy hearts and a loaded car, we left 29 Palms. We set course for an hour-long detour through scenic Joshua Tree. Carrie took it upon herself to play DJ with my 80-gig iPod, causing sonic whiplash as she segued from “Miss Clare Remembers” by Enya to “Nasty” by Janet Jackson.


We stopped along the way to take photographs. At some point during the shoot, Logan and Corey spotted a rattlesnake relaxing nearby. At the exact moment they announced this, I was snapping a picture of Carrie, and the face I captured is hilarious! But to keep her from deleting it, she made me promise not to post it. Let me tell you, you are missing out. But a promise is a promise and you won’t see it here on my blog.

HOWEVER, send $17.00 and a blank t-shirt to me, c/o Amoeba Music Hollywood, and I will make you a “Carrie reacts to news of a rattlesnake” t-shirt; destined to be a collector’s item and quite possibly the end of her friendship with me.


Christine McVie & Stevie Nicks... oh wait, it's Logan & Carrie.


"We'll build the next Amoeba Music on that rock, there" - Logan & Job

By the time we made it through the desert, night had fallen. It wasn’t long before we were once again engulfed in neon lights and acres of strip-malls.


This is what a Manager of Amoeba Music looks like. Apply within.

We stopped at In-n-Out Burger. Carrie and I could have sworn we saw a customer order “peppers” and receive some from behind the counter. She and Logan were also wowed by my fries, which I had ordered “animal-style”, an option they weren’t aware existed. I also order my double-double “protein-style”, which is sans-bun for those of you not in-the-know. It led to us pondering what secrets In-n-Out still has.

“What other options are there?” we wondered. Could I order my milkshake “Full House” and receive it with an autographed 8x10 glossy of a nude John Stamos?

Dude… that would rock...


[Insert a few minutes of silence here as the author ponders this, before sudden embarrassment snaps him back to reality.]

Logan was beginning to suffer from her recent sunburn, but gallantly drove us the whole way, cashing in on that private-reserve of stoic determination that God bequeaths all Daughters of Sappho. We played games of 20 Questions the whole ride home.

(I was unjustly ridiculed for some of my answers, dear reader. You would be horrified to learn of the way my fellow travelers abused me during this game. It was inevitable that my best friend and my boyfriend, meeting on this vacation for the first time, would eventually join forces against me. It was cruel, oh my brothers, so that even the Angels would weep for my soul as it was tormented by my friends’ total poopy-facedness.)

It’s moments like now that make having a blog so worthwhile.

Logan and Carrie dropped Corey and I off at his home, and we said our good-byes.

The next day, Carrie and I rendezvoused one last time for a brief shopping stint on Melrose, then we walked to Amoeba, where a taxi took her away from us. John Doe was playing an in-store, but even that couldn’t lighten Logan or my heart.

Huge, grey storm-clouds appeared and began drizzling. Babies cried, and mothers went out in a vain search for food. Men stood in unemployment lines, as cattle died of disease. Stock markets crashed and World Trade Centers crumbled again and again. French fries turned cold. In short, all was lame.

Until ten minutes later when I began watching season two of “The L Word”.

The end!

(In which Job abides a leisurely Sunday.)

Posted by Job O Brother, May 6, 2007 12:00am | Post a Comment
It is Sunday. There’s a warm breeze that skims our skin outside, keeping us from breaking a sweat, though the sun shines brightly. Even now, as I sit in the living room of my lover’s house, listening to a suite written by my favorite classical composer for a spring day, Delius, the light shines through windows and hits the blonde wood floor and white walls, casting a buttery glow; keeping it balmy, as though this room is an extension of some lazy park.

Upstairs, my lover snoozes; his body sprawled out and touching every corner of the bed. Napping on a Sunday afternoon – he is in Heaven.

I f***king hate it. I HATE SUNDAY! I hate the warm breezes and clement temperature that elicits such ridiculous adjectives as read above! Blonde wood and buttery glow? What the hell is this anyway – a porn story for an Ikea catalogue?!

All my life and especially as a child I have regarded Sundays as the day that fun “takes the day off”. When you’re a kid and still in prison… did I say “prison”? I meant school. Sorry.

When you’re a kid and still in Guantanamo Bay, Sunday is the day before you have to return to class. As if being a kid in the 1980’s wasn’t bad enough. Double whammy!

I am grumpy. The good news is that I took my last dosage of antibiotics this morning. For those of you who haven’t read my previous entries, I have been battling a nasty case of breast cancer.

(Regular readers will know it’s actually just an ear infection, but first timers need to be drawn in with something a little more dramatic and compelling.)

Anyway, I am listening to the British composer, Frederick Delius. You Kate Bush fans will recall a track on her enigmatic effort, “Never For Ever” a song that bears his name, which is her love song for this composer. Or maybe it’s just a metaphor for her angst over her bunny slippers. Or maybe it’s about a ‘shroom trip she had while churning her own butter. It’s Kate Bush, so how are we to know?