Amoeblog

TOM LEHRER - HAPPY 80TH BIRTHDAY

Posted by Whitmore, April 9, 2008 08:42am | Post a Comment


When I was growing up, my grandmother had a pretty good record collection. She owned all the albums you’d expect from a former party girl-Hollywood starlet-blonde bombshell who liked her mixed tropical drinks: Yma Sumac, Chaino, Esquivel, Julie London and of course every Martin Denny, Arthur Lyman and Les Baxter you could find at the May Company on Wilshire and Fairfax. And when I got little older, I dug a little deeper and conveniently found all her stag party albums on Fax Records featuring cover art of lovely and beautifully naked women, and at age eight discovered the musical charms of Terri “Cupcakes’ O’Mason! … but I digress! The best records she owned, that for me have stood the test of time, were the Tom Lehrer Albums.

Today the great man turns 80. Happy Birthday Tom Lehrer!

Music historian, record geek and novelty song guru, Dr Demento, has called Tom Lehrer “the best musical satirist of the 20th Century”. Even Mr. Lehrer, a Harvard Graduate, who taught mathematics at UC Santa Cruz until retiring in 2001, has been somewhat amused by the longevity and impact of his music career, though he retired from that vocation back in the Sixties. He’ll be the first to point out that his ‘career’ consisted of 109 live shows and the writing of 37 songs in a twenty years span! But these aren’t just any old songs! Songs like “Poisoning Pigeons in the Park”,  “I Hold Your Hand in Mine”, “The Masochism Tango” and “The Vatican Rag” are all timelessly classic, (at least in my interpretation of the construct called the space-time continuum, being three-dimensional and timelessness plays the role of the fourth dimension-- actually I should just ask a mathematician about that…)

Continue reading...

Amoeba Hollywood’s Auction this Saturday

Posted by Whitmore, February 29, 2008 08:57pm | Post a Comment


This Saturday is the first Saturday of the month and therefore, it is time once again for Amoeba Hollywood’s Auction, hosted by the inimitable Brently Heilbron.

Amoeba Auctions started as an on-going event to help raise money for the Gulf Coast Relief Efforts. Our auctions have included every conceivable kind of memorabilia from the entertainment world and beyond. Collectibles, promotional items, concert tickets, tour jackets, t-shirts, celebrity underwear, puzzles, toys and all kinds of swag that can make your heart go pitter-pat, have been won. And on top of that, Amoeba matches all individual donations and winning bids up to $1,000. Everybody is a winner!

There will of course be many interesting items to bid on this week, but we have one very special item to auction: An autographed copy of the classic comedy album, Weird Al Yankovic In 3-D.

Weird Al Yankovic was spotted in the Amoeba mezzanine perusing DVDs by yours truly. I mentioned it casually to Brently, who sprinted off as only a former track star and Texas State Champion can do, and I have to say Brently accosted Mr. Yankovic in the most courteous and polite manner I’ve ever seen. Weird Al gladly autographed the record even as we twisted one of his arms behind his back. Actually, he was incredibly gracious and happy to sign an album for the Amoeba Auction, personalizing it, “To the lucky highest bidder.” That can be you! Yes, you sitting at your computer! So come on down this Saturday March 1st @ 4PM. It's not everyday you get to bid on a rare chunk of vinyl, actually autographed by the artist as they shopped in Amoeba while at the same time helping the ongoing relief efforts for the Gulf Coast. Thanks, good luck and happy bidding.

son of hysteron proteron: part two

Posted by Whitmore, December 14, 2007 07:17pm | Post a Comment


Many, many questions … mostly about the space-time continuum. I imagine it doesn’t actually run in a straight line, but in a vertical spiral, spinning in several directions simultaneously and at undulating speeds, analogous to a surging elliptical orbit, gyrating and wobbling like a mountain of dradles as they lose momentum. Think of ‘time’ as one of those old turntables that change a stack of records by dropping the next platter, except this turntable twists unpredictably forward and backwards, erratically spiraling and switching speeds, coughs up the record done, spits out a new one. Better yet, think of ‘time’ as a turntablist who is sandwiched between two turntables stacked on top of each other spindle to spindle, and the DJ is simultaneously scratching, looping, cross fading, juggling beats, rubbing, bugging, juggling the thing of a thing of a thing, cutting and pasting, grinding and humping, downbeat sweeps, creeps, bumping and slamming, twiddle, diddle, tweak, zig zag, squirrel, scribble scrabble, kif lift, willy nilly, dada, nada, dodo, zoot horn rollo, zither zather zuzz, hepcat swinging over a Euclidian three ring circus gumbo, without a net, without a tent, without an answer, up shit creek, without a gift on xmas day hallelujah.… then the record changer drops another disc on the other turntable and the tone arm continues all over again.  

This is also how one might explain paranormal phenomenon. If the ‘time’ spiral spin’s in conflicting and inconsistent directions, on occasion this spiral inter-splices momentarily into a singular part of the coil. In that collision, we could experience a virtual and distinctive time door, opening briefly, accounting for ghostly apparitions, UFO sightings, déjà vu and even disappearing socks.

Continue reading...