Amoeblog

(In which we... Wait... Did you hear that? Hold on and AAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!)

Posted by Job O Brother, October 30, 2012 01:10pm | Post a Comment


"What you should be scared of is Romney's plan for those of us in the working class!"


It’s been just long enough since last year’s Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup hangover to allow me to look forward to another Halloween. Assuming I will have learned nothing from previous celebrations, I’ll undoubtedly be purchasing an extra big bag of candy under the pretence of preparing for trick-or-treaters, knowing full well that, in the five years I’ve lived here, I’ve gotten exactly one caller.

Let me tell you though – that one trick-or-treater made me so excited I gave him three huge handfuls of candy; enough that both he and his mother looked a little concerned; there was almost certainly an after-hours comb-through to search for pins and poison in the hoard I’d bestowed.

I’m digressing here, but why hasn’t anyone invented candy pins? Am I alone in thinking that would be neat?


Still better than Necco Wafers!

Every year I assemble folks to watch horror films and eat candy. I don’t yet know what we’ll be watching (last year it was Susperia) but I am ready with a playlist of atmospheric Halloween music, some of which I’ll share with you…

First, nothing fills out a Halloween playlist better than a hearty dose of organ music by the baddest mutterficker of baroque: Johann Sebastian Bach.

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Cruise to Mexico: Part 4

Posted by Job O Brother, November 1, 2010 01:22pm | Post a Comment
Day 3

Tuesday. September 14, 2010

CABO SAN LUCAS

 


The Glamorous Life

I woke up too full from the previous night’s dinner for breakfast.

Since the boyfriend likes to sleep-in until it’s time to go to bed for the night, I gathered up a few essentials: my book, spectacles, a Sharpie® brand felt tip marker, and my iPod; with these I made my escape from our darkened cabin and braved the outside world of the ship.

My goal was to find some nook, some cranny of the ship that wasn’t imbued with jolly, sunshine-soaked “good times” – a place where a second-generation Swede with deeply-rooted angst and a taste for Michael Gira side-projects could curl up and relax.

First and foremost, I was gonna need coffee, so I headed straight for the belly of the beast: the ship’s main mall. 

It really was a mall – a mall with upper stories that revealed people’s bedrooms; an odd combination of your local “galleria”, topped with layers of motel. You could sit outside the mock British pub next to the Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop and watch sun-burned, middle-aged people change into their fluorescent, flower-print swimwear. …If you’re into that sort of thing.

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Swans Are NOT Dead

Posted by Aaron Detroit, January 11, 2010 05:20pm | Post a Comment

According to the group's official Myspace page, Swans are back! Michael Gira --who has most recently performed as Angels of Light-- has announced a reconfigured lineup for the group, as well as plans for an LP (their first in 14 years) via Gira's Young God imprint and a new tour.  Strangely, no mention is made of longtime Swans member/colloborator Jarboe.

From the Swans Myspace Blog:

principal players on the swans album are (and there will be many special guests):

Michael Gira / gtr / voice / mendicant friar act  (original swans)

Norman Westberg – Guitar (original swans)

Christophj Hahn – Guitar (mid period swans and most angels)

Phil Puleo – Drums, percussion, dulcimer etc etc  (final swans tour and most angels)

Chris Pravdica – Bass and gadgets (flux information sciences / services/ gunga din)

Thor Harris, Drums, percussion, vibes, dulcimer, curios,  etc etc... (angels, now also with shearwater)

Angels Of Light is temporarily on hold while gira pursues his “new” project...

Exciting and excellent news! Let's celebrate with video!!:

Swans' Industrial-era with the awesome Ted Parsons on drums:

(In which Job interviews Neal Morgan...)

Posted by Job O Brother, October 20, 2009 02:22pm | Post a Comment
Due to some unfortunate miscommunications between the staff here at the Amoeblog, two of us ended up interviewing the same musician, Neal Morgan, about his solo debut.

Fortunately, the interviews are vastly different, due to my professional and honed skill as a journalist devoted to hard-hitting storytelling and dedication to factual analysis, and the other interviewer, Miss Ess, who prefers a more “whimsical” and, shall we say, lying-er approach to writing.

You can read this other "interview" by clicking on this link right here.

Due to his tight schedule of touring and promoting the new album,
To The Breathing World, Neal was under the weather and frequently distracted during the following interview, which resulted in many of his answers being garbled and unintelligible. (Confidentially, I think alcohol may have been a contributing factor to this. That’ll teach me to get drunk before an interview!) I therefore had to rely on memory and occasional paraphrasing in transcribing the following Q & A. Even so, I was able to capture the spirit of our conversation, from Neal's obsession with "crushing" to the revelation of his suicidal fantasies. Read on…


Neal Morgan before the plastic surgery

How did you pick up playing the drums? What is it that drew you to them so strongly - so much so that any other attempts to follow other dreams were crushed?


That’s an excellent question, Mr. Brother. I am impressed with your professional and honed skill as a journalist. And, might I add, your pectoral muscles are rad.

Who are your favorite drummers and how will you crush them in the inevitable drum wars?


I don't think I'll have to crush them. I think the drum wars will be humans versus drums, ala humans versus robots in Terminator. There will be a small drummer resistance led by Ginger Baker, who by then will have machine guns for arms.

This record is a gutsy idea – what made you want to create a drum and voice album instead of making a piping hot plate of delicious waffles? ‘Cause – and maybe you didn’t know this, Neal – waffles are not only easy to make, but less likely to attract snarky criticism from a cynical music press.

I'm not super big into waffles.

You know what? Let’s continue this interview at the Waffle House.

Um…

LATER ON, AT THE WAFFLE HOUSE...

When and how did you begin writing these songs? Like, did you go with a pen and lined paper? Or are you one of those people who writes better curled up in the corner of a coffee house with a worn journal and a thin-tiped Sharpie©, somberly writing lines of poetry while casting sly glances at whoever walks in the door, each time hoping it wiil be a super-cute girl whose taste in post-grunge, neo-folk garb is matched only by her ability to hold her own in a conversation about 1970’s rock ‘n’ roll and thinks Tim & Eric’s Awesome Show (Great Job) is funny, not annoying, and who’s passive enough to wait backstage at shows for you to not only finish your set but help strike the stage AND gracefully endure the endless, awkward post-show conversation with the opening act (and their girlfriends) and visiting pseudo-celebrities (and their girlfriends) and friends (and their girlfriends) as you all aimlessly try to figure out where to go for a late-night dinner “in this town” but TOUGH enough – when the two of you are behind closed doors – to make you forget your sensitive, artist ways and make you feel like a virile, passionate, carnal MAN. Or do you just use a laptop?

...A laptop.
 
How did you make the arrangements? Were they all there in your mind, with all their many parts, waiting to get out? And have you considered seeking medical attention for this? ‘Cause you’re probably a paranoid schizophrenic.

Broccoli is Satan spelled backwards.

High in vitamins C, K, and A

What kind of technology did you use to record the album? How did you shape the various sounds? Actually, nevermind. Miss Ess will probably ask you those questions ‘cause she’s such a nut about those technical details. Like, she’ll ask a guy that on a first date. It’s weird. Pass the syrup, please.

I’m uncomfortable.

PASS THE SYRUP OR I’LL EAT YOU!!!

[Neal passes the syrup.]

Thank you. I feel the influence of Nevada City in your words (I've experienced those salamanders!) and creativity. What affect do you feel growing up there had on you and your work, and have you forgiven the townspeople for it?


Why is this the hardest question? I think I gave Miss Ess a very so-so answer, now that I'm thinking back. I don't know what to say about the creative process or the result of the creative process in terms of having come from Nevada City.

Just say what we’re all thinking: It’s the reefer.

That’s not what I was thinking.

I didn’t say it was. I said it’s what we are all thinking. This Boysenberry syrup tastes like sugary cow blood.


Now on to your new town: What affect do you feel Papua New Guinea has on your work and creative output.


I brought all these sea shells down there, packed inside the drums in their cases, only to find I can't pay for anything. WHAT? So I'm broke and in a really dry spell, creatively.

Tell me about your tour plans and how you are going to bring this record to life on stage! You have a female singer who will be joining you? Tell us something secret about her that no one’s supposed to know! Something dark we could use against her if she crossed us.


Damaris Peterson, who’s performing with me – she’s a man, plain and simple. And my great grandfather.

Are you messing with me?

No. I’m taking this interview seriously.

Then that’s fantastic.

What have you been listening to lately? Besides music, I mean.


The roar of the road, my man, the roar of the road.

Wow. I never noticed how exactly you sound like Bob Seger, Neal.


I get that a lot.

It’s eerie. God rest his soul.

Bob Seger isn’t dead.

So?

[Long, awkward silence.]

What is your most prized piece of double helical gear?


Huh?

What song best describes your life right now, if you had to choose between “Suicide” by Suzi Quatro or “My Suicide” by Michael Gira?

Uh, Suzi, I guess? ...Why do I have to choose between those two songs?

Name a record you love that you think more people should listen to and explain why you think it’s important to be so bossy about it.


Zach Hill's Astrological Straits. I'm bossy for your own good.

What's next for you to "crush?"


I don't do a lot of crushing. I'm starting to think maybe I should crush a lot more. Wasn't there a rap song about crushing a lot?

What's been your best find at Amoeba to "crush?"

OK, I'm going to crush something at Amoeba. I promise you I will. It starts here.

Can I finish your waffles?

Knock yourself out.

Neal's album To The Breathing World comes out today, October 20, 2009, and will be available at Amoeba Music. As an added incentive, any customer who purchases the album at Amoeba Music will also receive a free handshake from me, while supplies last.