Amoeblog

Party Like It’s 5772!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 28, 2011 01:05pm | Post a Comment
Shana Tova, y'all!


The Wisdom of Teeth: Part I

Posted by Job O Brother, July 19, 2009 06:24pm | Post a Comment

Yours truly, smiling as big as possible.
(Note the janky wisdom tooth on the bottom right!)

It’s kinda Christmas Eve-y to me today. Why? Because tomorrow I get to go to the oral surgeon and have all four of my wisdom teeth pulled out!

Granted, most people don’t get excited by this prospect, but tomorrow will see me living out a life-long dream of mine: to be put under general anesthesia.

Ever since I was a kid, I thought it was so cool and mysterious that one could be knocked completely unconscious, and longed for the experience. Sadly, and to my continual chagrin, I have lived my life with no real medical emergencies whatsoever. I got my first cavity this year, I’ve never broken a bone – nothing. I did once get appendicitis, but – and to the astonishment of my physician – I somehow “got better” before I got a chance to be cut open.

(I did once cut into my thigh with a chainsaw, but I just put a bandage on it and popped some dog tranquilizers my brother-in-law had on hand.)


So, while I am a little nervous about spending the money to have this procedure done, the actual operation itself is pretty thrilling. Just think – tomorrow, at a little after ten o’clock, my consciousness will be disappeared, and then, about an hour later, I will return, like Lazarus from the grave; a grave with cheap wallpaper, fluorescent lighting and awful smooth jazz piped in, but a resurrection nonetheless!

I will be returning to you tomorrow, post-operation, to blog about the experience. Stay tuned!

(For which we beg your forgiveness)

Posted by Job O Brother, April 6, 2009 03:12pm | Post a Comment
I spend a lot of time walking; it’s my favorite mode of transportation, except for maybe riding a train, but riding a train from my apartment to, say, Amoeba Music Hollywood, would require either walking half the day to the train station, spending lots of money on a ticket to the next nearest destination which would be somewhere on the outskirts of Los Angeles, at which point I would either have to walk back, which would take a couple days (stopping for food/bathroom/weeping breaks) OR a couple hours in a cab (which would cost more money than I make in a week) OR require walking to a bus-stop and a day-long bus ride. I could do all that, or I could walk the 10 minutes from my apartment to Amoeba.

So, while technically riding a train is my favorite mode of transportation, context is of some consideration, and that results in walking sometimes being my favorite mode of transportation.

Please accept my apologies for the above two paragraphs; they were a complete waste of both our time.

While walking to various destinations, I often enjoy listening to books that have been recorded. People, myself included, still most often refer to these as “books on tape,” even though compact discs are the preferred vehicle for said recordings (“said recordings” – get it?).

I am really hating my journalistic “voice” in this article. Like, a lot. But, going on…

Amoeba Music has a hearty supply of used, “books on tape” and other spoken-word gems. In the Hollywood branch, they’re located in the jazz room, tucked between the classical and experimental sections. We put them there because they kept getting picked-on by the rock/pop DVD’s and vintage posters, both sections known for their name-calling and general rowdiness.

At the time of this writing, there is only a vague organization of the section, and if you come into the store in a hurry – let’s say you’re in labour and your cervix is dialated about 3 centimeters – and you want a copy of Dianetics on CD, as read by Ruth Buzzy, you’re bound to be intimidated by the task of finding it. That’s the bad news. (Well, that and the discovery that you weren’t really pregnant at all – it was merely a splinter, not a fully gestated fetus, and now you have to return all those baby shower presents and cancel the placenta burying ceremony you had booked at Shakey’s Pizza who refuse to refund the deposit you paid even after you explain it to the manager who should have more compassion because she’s pregnant herself and shouldn’t be so quick to judge.)

THE GOOD NEWS IS that most every item in Amoeba’s “books on CD” section is inexpensive. I am constantly finding wonderful books to hear that are under five bucks. Five bucks! That’s less than a small pizza at Shakey’s!

(The above sales pitch may explain why Amoeba’s never hired me to work in the marketing department.)

Anyway, come check the section out, sometime when you’re not in a hurry.

In other news, The Advocate has published the article I wrote about my recent cruise to the Caribbean. You can read it by clicking on the picture below:


For those of you who didn’t click on the picture but instead continued on by reading this sentence, I apologize once again, as this sentence is only going to be another waste of your precious time, though of course by now it’s too late and you’ll never get the seconds lost back, which may not be a great tragedy in the scheme of things, but even so stands testament to the fact that fate is often unjustly impacted by silly fools who have nothing better to do than steal the attention of others in vain efforts, whatever they may be, and regardless of how these actions impact others.

(In which you might enjoy a fever.)

Posted by Job O Brother, March 9, 2009 03:02pm | Post a Comment

The American shad or Atlantic shad, Alosa sapidissima, is a species of anadromous fish in family Clupeidae of order Clupeiformes.
It is the State Fish of Connecticut, enjoys foreign films and candle-lit dinners for two.


Not that long ago, a customer came into Amoeba Music Hollywood and approached me sheepishly. She uttered that accustomed customer opening line:

“I’m looking for a song… I don’t know the name of it, or who did it…”

If Amoeba Music employees had a dime for every time we heard that sentence, our bosses could dispense with payroll and we’d all live comfortably (hint, hint, Gov. Schwarzenegger).

Oftentimes, we Amoebites will know what the human’s looking for. That’s because we’re mostly socially awkward music geeks who’ve traded in awesome housing and reasonable hair-styles for choice, Italian soundtrack LP’s and an ability to name-that-tune of obscure mouth-harp blues artists.

The song the woman was looking for was “Fever,” which has been covered by many artists, though most famously by the great Peggy Lee


“Fever” was written by Eddie Cooley and Otis Blackwell and published in 1956. At first the songwriters had little success with the song, until they decided to re-write it using words and music. These proved to be the magic ingredients, and soon people took interest. It first became a hit for the (unfortunately named) Little Willie John...


For a while, it was taken under consideration that “Fever” should replace the notoriously difficult to sing “Star Spangled Banner” as the National Anthem of the United States, but as “they” who were considering it only numbered two and spent most their time sleeping under a bridge, drinking from storm-pipes, and screaming “Go back to toyland, Eisenhower!” at airplanes, the idea gained little merit.

What follows here is a sampling of the many versions of “Fever” that exist. You can almost certainly find one that suits you, regardless of your taste. And then, once we’ve all found a cover of the song we each like, we can finally come together as one people and… well… I dunno… listen to the song, I guess.

Can I get an amen?!







































Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas

Posted by Miss Ess, December 26, 2008 05:21pm | Post a Comment
Somehow since I wasn't allowed to watch much TV when I was little, I missed ever seeing what has now become my favorite Christmas-themed special: Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas.


I realize it's kinda late, seeing as Christmas was yesterday, but this little movie is so extraordinary and unique, it really could be watched any time, year-round. It was created in 1977 by the much missed Jim Henson, features his imaginative and irresistable puppetry and sets, and was based on a children's book by Russel and Lillian Hoban. The special also features music by the inimitable Paul Williams, including such classics as "When the River Meets the Sea." If you've never seen it before, you can get a great idea of what the production and characters look like by watching this YouTube video which features clips from the special edited together with Emmet and Ma Otter (plus John Denver, who does not appear in any form in Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas but who covered the song with the Muppets on their Christmas album -- A Christmas Together!) singing "When the River Meets the Sea":


The storyline focuses on the simple but happy lives that Emmet Otter and his Ma lead in their small home by the river. They have no money because Pa died a few years back, but they remember the good times and still find meaning and joy in life despite the loss. Each have odd jobs to make ends meet: Emmet does carpentry work and Ma is a laundress. They long for more security and both love music. When they hear about a talent contest in a neighboring town, Ma and Emmet both scramble to compete independently of one another. They each want to win the $50 prize in order to buy one another special Christmas presents. But they each have to sacrifice mainstays of one another's job to have a chance at winning: Emmet needs Ma's washtub to make his washtub bass for his Jug Band and Ma needs to sell Emmet's tools to buy fabric for a new costume. They put everything on the line in order to hopefully bring some Christmas happiness to one another. But what if they both lose?

The story is sweet and well-told, but my favorite parts are all the little details put in just for kids (and adults) to enjoy -- the inexplicably and fabulously expressive faces of each of the puppets; the slide into the river that Ma and Emmet enjoy; the ducks that curiously paddle by as the otters row along the river; Ma and Emmet's fantastic and ultimate talent show competition, The Nightmare band, and their apparent enjoyment of Glam Rock. These charming details are the hallmarks of a Jim Henson production. I see something new and endearing each time I watch this special. It's especially great for kids, I think, with its touching songs, winning message and cool bad guys.

If you enjoyed watching this as a child, you'll be pleased to know (if you didn't already) that there's a special edition DVD of Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas that includes a making-of documentary. It definitely makes Christmas merrier...and post-Christmas to
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