Amoeblog

Mannequins

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, June 25, 2010 09:35pm | Post a Comment
Mannequins, parts of mannequins & women who look like mannequins.

(Wherein your neon's flashin & your one-arm-bandits crashin.)

Posted by Job O Brother, March 8, 2008 08:47pm | Post a Comment

"Say cheese"

Oh, hey! Fancy writing you here.

Where? Vegas, baby. Yours truly is currently 29 floors above desert level, tucked inside the golden, looming Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino on The Strip of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Corey, the dude I’m totally in a relationship with, and I left early this morning (if you ask him) or late this morning (if you ask me) and hit the freeway.

His car’s stereo plays MP3’s, and I’m notorious for making gigantic mix CD’s for the slightest road trip. (“Oh, we’re driving to Trader Joe’s? Better burn a ‘Going to Trader Joe’s’ mix!”) Corey, who finds my ravenous appetite for music overwhelming, manages to be patient as I force hundreds of hours of tunes upon him.

A couple weeks ago we were driving back from a romantic getaway in Santa Barbara, listening to the mix I had made for our trip to Disneyland, because we had already listened to the mix for driving to Santa Barbara on the way there (you following?). The mix for driving to Disneyland was mostly chipper, romantic songs – lots of doo-wop, some schmaltzy kitsch, with some Disney songs here and there for good measure. One of the songs was “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond. Corey smiled and said, “Now this is music!”



What Corey would say, as he’s said to me countless times, is that he “finds an album he likes, then listens to it over and over for weeks – maybe months – until he’s tired of it”. MP3’s containing entire discographies, however, are daunting.

Then there’s me. I’m the guy who's frustrated that iPod’s can only offer me 80 gigs of memory. (I have two – one for classical music and one for everything else. How do I live without a third iPod for jazz? It’s not easy. I sing spirituals to ease the burden of it.) Furthermore, these music libraries stay on shuffle. As I go about my day, I want Leadbelly to begat Cherrie Currie to begat Betty Carter to begat Yma Sumac to begat Germs to begat De Kift, ad infinitum.

So, when I hear Corey say “Now this is music!” in response to “Sweet Caroline”, I collect six albums by Neil Diamond, burn them into one MP3, and present it to him like it’s a Christmas goose to Tiny Tim.


I am so sorry that you're having to look at this picture.

But he’s not Tiny Tim. He’s Corey, and just because he once commented about a Neil Diamond song does not mean he wants everything the man recorded. Why can’t I get that through my handsome skull?

What does any of this have to do with Las Vegas? It’s some of what occupied my thoughts as we took the four-hour drive here.


The drive is beautiful. Mostly vast expanses of desert, broken up every eight minutes by a potty break at a gas station.

We arrived at the hotel. It was windy! Like, crazy windy – skinnier bellhops were being swept away by swift air currents. We barely made it into the lobby. We checked in, found our room, and changed into our trunks, eager to enjoy the famous “beach” of Mandalay Bay.

The beach is man-made, (un)naturally, with waterfalls, a wave-generator and tons of sand. Sounds nice, right? But you’ve already forgotten, haven’t you (as we did) about the wind storm. Instead of sunbathers and body-surfers, we entered something more akin to if-Disney-created-a-Hurricane Katrina Land.

Huge billows of sand hit us – grains stinging our skin – as we sought out a pool or hot-tub that was sheltered. When we found some that were, of course they were packed. Defeated, but laughing, we retreated. We saw five or six lifeguards (who had nothing to do because the entire beach was empty) taking refuge behind a wall, sitting huddled, looking like a human re-creation of a scene from “March of the Penguins”.


"I hear they're hiring at the Luxor MGM."

After grabbing a bite to eat, we settled back into our room, which is where I am now. The front desk mentioned that we would have a “view of the lagoon”, which we do, technically. What she neglected to mention is that the lagoon is half an acre at the base of the hotel, whereas, stretching out for miles beyond it, is the airport. Oh well. She can’t be expected to tell people they have a “lovely view of Las Vegas International Airport”.

I’m not sure which airline it is, but one of them has airplanes painted like orcas. It’s a surreal thing to be looking out on a desert horizon and suddenly see a Killer Whale go flying across the sky.

Anyway, I’ll be keeping in touch. I’m only sorry I didn’t make a “blogging from Las Vegas” mix to listen to…

(In which Job fails to complete the

Posted by Job O Brother, January 9, 2008 05:07pm | Post a Comment

"Eat this plate, you'll feel better."

I’ve been ill again. Ever since I moved to LA, I get sick all the time. Oh, well. That’s the price I pay for getting to nosh with Posh and Becks every Tuesday.

…Okay, technically, only Becks and I do any actual “noshing” – you get the idea.


Victoria Beckham: "No thanks, I couldn't possibly eat after that huge dinner I had. In 1982."

Yesterday was my boyfriend’s birthday. I got him a rad gift. (I know what you’re thinking – “Job, what better gift could you give him beyond your hacking, disease-ridden body?”) An AMOEBA GIFT CERTIFICATE, that’s what I gave him. Who doesn’t want one? Even I want one for my birthday, and I don’t even need one! Because, as many of you know, all Amoeba employees are allowed as many free albums and DVD’s as they want. In fact, we’re PAID to take them home! We drive them home in the cars our bosses buy us, which we park in our gold-plated garages with matching tiara encrusted, truffle-flavored diamond mines.

I’m delirious. I have no idea what I’m writing. We’ve been through this before, dear reader. This is how my sick day blogs read. If you feel inspired to pray for me by the end of it, please do. It’ll give you something to do while you’re waiting for Limewire to finish downloading a crappy copy of that Rockwell single.




See? I know what you hipsters are doing with your free time. For instance, I know that you have recently started reading the nutrition facts labels on groceries; you read them almost obsessively, even though you don’t really understand what they mean.

I’m not judging you; I’m the same. I, too, once suddenly felt compelled to hear “I Always Feel Like Someone’s Watching Me”, not because I had a hankering for Rockwell, per se, just that one hit.

I’m always looking for (sometimes improbable) works of genius by otherwise forgettable artists. Oftentimes it’s because I remember the song from childhood, and for we Americans born after the 1960’s, pop culture is pretty much what passes for roots. Why else would we scramble to buy complete box sets of Voltron?

Because face it, Generation X, Y and Z, that cartoon is not good. It’s not. It hurts to hear it and believe me, hurts more to say it, but it’s true. Even Posh agreed with me, and God knows that woman could deny fire on the face of the Sun. (And yes, I’m including the Lion version.)

Sometimes a personal, one-hit wonder is from a legitimate artist or group that you usually don’t like. Joe Jackson’s “Steppin’ Out” qualifies in all of the above categories I’ve mentioned. For my ex-roommate Mat, he admitted to really liking this one song by Erasure, a band he would otherwise equate with the fatty slime that sticks to the lid of cat food tins. (The song, FYI, was “Breath of Life”.)




(Mat and I usually got on well, musically speaking, when we lived together. He introduced me to This Mortal Coil and I turned him into a fan of ABBA [I was only 16 at the time and he, a glamorous and mature 23, had a decided edge on me.] Our only irreconcilable difference was his love of Neil Diamond and my admiration of The Chipmunks. Either were off-limits when we were both at home.)


But... Who will take New Hampshire?

Some songs are just guilty pleasures. I have nothing in my history to justify liking Mel C’s “I Turn To You”. Perhaps it was because I first heard/saw it on Dutch TV, high out of my mind on hashish, but could that explain why I own a copy of it? Again – I don’t own anything else by Sporty Spice, just needed that one song.

There’s been mention of two Spice Girls in this blog entry so far, which really bothers me, considering I didn’t sit down to write about any of them. I didn’t even enjoy them when they were A-list. I was busy having a nervous breakdown in New Mexico, listening to Native American flute music, mastering East Indian cooking and sobbing uncontrollably.

Is this still my blog?

I don’t remember my name.

Uh… All this was headed to a listing of songs I love that are guilty pleasures. It was going to tie in with the fine art of making mix-tapes, which I recently did for my friend Rosa… who, upon reflection, probably wouldn’t want me to use her real name (I’m pretty sure she’s an undercover agent) so, for the sake of anonymity, I’ll just refer to her as Valerie Plame.

Ech… I’m still sick, though, and I’m exhausted. I’ll have to finish this later. Sorry folks. I know I have a few fans left out there (though I might be related to them) and I don’t mean to leave you hanging, but I’m starting to see flying toasters on my computer screen, and I don’t use a screen saver.

I’ll try again later…

Fontage

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, December 6, 2007 03:25pm | Post a Comment
Incorporating the dramatic fonts used in the design of the album cover being promoted, the designers of these fine stickers created a nice compliment sure to garner extra sales.



Used to promote Robert Plant's
top 20 hit
, this sticker furthers the classicmodern rock feel of the
album cover. Cool 80's pink lifted from the artful embellishments
found to the left of the photo...









up next, R&B top 20 hit from George Clinton...


Sticker gets a little lost
as cover is already quite busy






Up next, a foreign selection...



Nice gold foil sticker promoting the lovely Geula Gil's version of the "Jerusalem of Gold", which is a huge song in Israel...











OK, Heartlight was truly a smash hit, but I am working on a collection of promo stickers that grossly overstate a song or artist's importance...

Oh, you can almost see the matching sticker reaching out to make contact with the cover, only to be prohibited by the shrink wrap....we'll maybe you can't but I can...you can however reach out a click on any of these images to see them enlarged, which is sort of like getting a healing touch from ET.
or Neil...





A Bargain Bin favorite, with the matching ransom note fontage....



Good comp kiddies, pick it up next time you see it in the CLR section...that's insider lingo FYI...









Aaah....

A deviation...

Faux stickerage from Germany...



btw, "We Are Detective" was a big hit overseas, so in this case, there is no hyperbole in the use of this imitation promo sticker...






Finally, a perfect compliment to Hyaena's layout.  Dear Prudence was a huge success in the UK, but Dazzle and Belladonna are just great songs....

GOOD TIMES NEVER SEEMED SO GOOD. BUT WHY?

Posted by Billyjam, November 25, 2007 03:49am | Post a Comment
sweet caroline neil diamond
What is it about that song, "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond that people like so much? Because people really do like that song. I've seen many the person (despite whatever their core musical preference might be) just let loose and howl along with those well worn lyrics: "Where it began, I can't begin to know when...touching me, touching you." 

You'll hear em sing along with "Sweet Caroline" at parties and in bars. You'll even join in. I just heard it the other day at a Thanksgiving party in the Mission with everyone cheerily chanting along. And you always hear "Sweet Caroline" in sports stadiums -- mainly the Boston Red Sox fans at Fenway stadium games (see/hear clip below). It's also plneil diamond hot august nightsayed at New York Rangers hockey games.

The song has becaroline kennedyen a part of popular music and culture since it was first released as a single in September 1969, when it went to #4 on the Top 40 charts and sold a million copies. Since then it has continued to sell (most people get it on one of the Neil Diamond hits packages) and of course Neil has continued to perform it. 

Earlier this year Diamond performed the song for Caroline Kennedy at her 50th birthday celebration. She was the inspiration for the song, he said in an interview this year.

 
"Sweet Caroline" has also been featured in many movies, including the 2001 film Saving Silverman with Jack Black, Amanda Peet, and Steve Zahn. The film, about fanatical Neil fans, features a cameo from Diamond himself.
                                                                                                                          
Beside a million karaoke versions of "Sweet Caroline," numerous artists have also covered the song over the years, including Waylon Jennings, Dave Matthews Band, Frank Sinatra, and Bobby Darin, who did it a bit slower and Elvis Presley, who did it a bit faster (see his performance below).
    
But what is it about "Sweet Caroline" that people like so much? That's not a rhetorical question. Is it that melody or is it those lyrics?