Amoeblog

(Which sees our author recovering.)

Posted by Job O Brother, March 21, 2010 12:55pm | Post a Comment

Whew! Am I glad to see you! Because it means that it’s a new week, and let me tell you – I used last week until it was nothing but a grey and tattered rag. So I can’t wear last week anymore, but I can use it to clean my car.

But I don’t have a car.

Life is complicated.

Since I arrived in Hollywood five years ago, a young and vibrant crackerjack of a kid with high hopes and boundless dreams, I have used my wit and spunk to cultivate a lifestyle wherein which I spend most of my time hidden away in my spooky study, hunched over my laptop and writing scripts about young and vibrant crackerjack kids which I ceased to resemble about five years ago. It’s a circle of muthuhfuggin’ life.

As a result, I haven’t ever actually developed a circle of friends. I’ve just kind of Yoko Ono’d my way into my boyfriend’s social circle, hoping no one would notice. People from my hometown find this hard to believe.

“Job, how is it that a young and vibrant crackerjack like you hasn’t been surrounded by fawning admirers?” they collectively ask.

“Well gang,” I answer as I mix up a batch of my famous celebrities, “I’ve just been so focused on my writing career. I’ve already met the person I want to be in a relationship with for the rest of my life, so unlike my single friends I’m not driven out to socialize in order to find a mate; plus there’s something about fun and laughter and good times that gives me a tummy ache.”

But it’s 2010, the year I make contact. I’m done with being a reclusive writer. A writer, yes – I’m that by nature more than choice – but reclusive, no. While I love Virginia Woolf’s books more than I love most people, I don’t want to end up like her. I will rise from her watery grave! (metaphorically speaking) I will walk the Earth and meet it’s people! I will… well, I guess I’ll be a Virginia Woolf zombie? (metaphorically speaking)

A zombie needs a room of her own and brains if she is to write.

Ugh… I hate it when I lose control of these blogs. I’d take medication for my ADD but I always get distracted.

Anyway, last week I uncharacteristically went out for St. Patrick’s Day. Like, to a bar. Where people were.

I know, right?

And here’s the kicker: I had a great time! It turns out that fun and laughter and good times are as enjoyable as they say. Who knew? I still got a tummy ache, but that didn’t come until the next day, after consuming more beer than I had blood in my body.


Did you know if you drink too much beer you get drunk? No one tells me these things! And it gets worse: the next day you feel awful. Like… like… (I’m searching for words to describe how it feels.) Like you've been hung… over some… thing. I don’t know. Hung over something. Hung? Forget about it. It feels gross – let’s leave it at that.

I suppose I should have anticipated this would happen considering that the MC of my evening was my new friend, Señor Danger. The name’s a tip off, I suppose.

Señor Danger picked me up in his truck, which is roughly the size of the state from which he came, and we spent the next two hours looking for parking (I didn’t realize we were looking for parking until about an hour in; I just thought we were taking a really complicated route to his house).

We relaxed in his apartment, drinking some preparatory bruskis, and waited for a taxi. It was my first time at his place, so I quickly snooped his book and music collection, which is always the best way to discover who someone is. Titles like How to Win Friends and Influence People into the Back of Your Windowless Van and The Holy Bible, King’s African Riles Version, would perhaps prompt lesser people to question Señor Danger’s character, but I perceived a diamond in the rough.

No, really. There was this rough patch in his linoleum, and stuck inside it was this perfect, glittering diamond. I showed it to Señor Danger and he said I could keep it! I was so excited. He muttered something more about some curse or something: “…life around me… crumbling into ruin… monkey’s face… etc…” I was too hypnotized by the beauty of the gem to pay attention.

His music library consisted of a lot of country and Latin jazz, and that’s something to be proud of.




The taxi came, and after a classic verbal exchange with a heavily accented driver wherein which each party repeated directions – with neither driver nor passenger fully understanding the other – until everyone gave up and assumed it would all work out (which it usually does), we cruised into Boys Town. All the while the taxi radio blared…


...Which is a song that always makes me kind of sad, because they played it at my Grandma's funeral. But I digress...

We met up with a couple of Señor Danger’s pals, St. Andrew and The Nurse.

“Who names their kids these things?” I wondered to myself, until, and to my relief, I remembered that these were just pseudonyms I was making up for my blog.

After a meal of ground beef patties served on rolls of baked bread, garnished with vegetables, melted cheese and various sauces, plus a few more preparatory brews (see a pattern forming here?) we set out in search of a party.

We ended up at some cantina where beers were $1.00 each, which sounds like a great idea until about $20.00 later. Señor Danger and I were accused of being brothers on a few separate occasions (us white people all look alike), and we alternately answered that we were brothers, or that we were lovers, or on at least one awkward occasion, combined these two answers into one.

Time passed. The bars in West Hollywood seem to match the volume dials on their sound systems with their clocks, so with each passing hour the music grows louder, until about one o’clock ante meridiem, when you can feel the music more than you can hear it. Señor Danger noticed a slight trickle of blood dripping from my ear, so we decided to call it a night.

We walked back to his home in Beverly Hills, all the while discussing what was most broken about us, both emotionally and spiritually – a topic that, as a man of Swedish decent, feels as natural to me as discussing weather.


After safely seeing him home, I set out for my own abode on the Miracle Mile. It was a pretty straight-forward route; from Beverly Hills you head east on Wilshire. Even so, and even with the aid of Google maps, I managed to set forth for what would have eventually been Santa Monica, had my compassionate boyfriend not intervened with a late night car rescue. Did you know that when you’re drunk it makes you more likely to make poor decisions? No one tells me these things!

The next morning I had to go to work at Amoeba Music Hollywood. Here’s where working in a record store has a real advantage: if you show up looking hung-over, you pretty much look like everyone else. I spent the day begging my co-workers to select headache-friendly music choices, such as these:






...All of which is stuff you can find in the back room at Amoeba Music.

My search for new friends and experiences outside my home continues. If you’re interested in being rad with me, do drop me a line. (metaphorically speaking)

SOUNDTRACK SERIES #3

Posted by Job O Brother, February 28, 2010 12:35pm | 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:

The other day, while I was counting my number collection, I was interrupted by a knock on my front door. As is customary in my country, I went to see who it was. Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be none other than myself.

“Oh!” I said with a start, “How did you get out there?”

“You mean,” I said with a sly grin, “How did you get out here.”

“That’s exactly what I said,” I retorted.

“But not what you meant,” I corrected.

I slammed the door in my face and went back to my numbers. I don’t have to take that kind of snarkiness, you know – not even from myself.


Hours later I was eating some broccoli that the Lord My God made, when a second knock came – this time at the back door. Worried that I was up to my own tricks and hoping to avoid another awkward confrontation with myself, I peaked out the kitchen window to see who it was.

To my delight, it was filmmaker and performance artist, Miranda July. Most people know her from her critically acclaimed debut feature Me and You and Everyone We Know. What they may not realize is they can also find some of her albums at Amoeba Music, as I have. While not the best music to play at parties (unless you exclusively party with Yoko Ono), Miranda July’s albums are certainly an adventure, and one is never sure what will happen. They’re almost like listening to old radio dramas while peaking on purple micro-dots. (That’s a good thing.)


I quickly combed my hair and opened the back door.

“Hello, Miranda July,” I greeted, trying not to appear too excited. But then I threw-up, because I was too excited. And then I was so shocked that I’d vomited that I peed my pants, but as all this happened I pretended to be sneezing, hoping she wouldn’t catch on. I mean, a sneezing fit is embarrassing, but less so than excreting every juice the bowels have to offer from both ends of my shivering body.

“I don’t know who you think you’re fooling,” snarled Miranda July, “Unless it’s yourself!”

The full meaning of her admonishment didn’t reveal itself until she removed her latex mask and feminine attire, at which point I discovered it wasn’t Miranda July at all, but myself in disguise.

“How did you manage to find such stylish clothes in your size?” I asked, trying to appear unperturbed (which I was, of course, and very!).

“Easy,” I answered, “I had them custom made by a fantastically famous fashion designer whose name escapes me. He’s done all the great women of rock – from Polly Jean Harvey to Muslimgauze.”


“I’m pretty sure Muslimgauze isn’t considered a ‘great woman of rock’,” I corrected, popping eight pieces of gum in my mouth, the scent of which had suffered from my retching. “Anyway,” I continued, slurring for the chewy gob now lodged in my mouth, “How did you afford that? I barely have any money.”

“True,” I sighed, “That part was difficult. I’m afraid you’re gonna be receiving some disturbing letters from various credit card companies. Also, you should get tested immediately.”

I didn’t know what I was implying, but I knew I didn’t like it. I slammed the door in my face and returned to my broccoli, which was, by now, cold. This made me sad, and I wept over my plate; tears drenched the broccoli and made it salty, which made matters worse, as they’d already been perfectly seasoned with Bragg’s Liquid Aminos. Now it was too salty.

There was nothing to be done. I would have to prepare more broccoli. Thankfully, God made more. I put on some Annette Funicello records and set to cooking.


Most people know Annette Funicello from her critically acclaimed debut on the Mickey Mouse Club. What they may not realize is they can also find some of her albums at Amoeba Music, as I have. While not the best music to play while making sweet love (unless you exclusively have sex with Yoko Ono), Annette Funicello’s albums are certainly a delight, and one is never sure what will happen if you listen to them while locked in a cage full of tigers and monkeys.

Night came, and I put on my pajamas and brushed my teeth, making sure to use my tooth brush and not the more unwieldy chainsaw that had caused me so many dental problems in the past.


As I was pondering the magical properties of fluoride, I heard a rapping on my bathroom window. I left the underwater dungeon (where I always care for my hygiene) and went upstairs to the bathroom, only to find myself precariously balanced on the window ledge, grinning madly and looking disheveled.

I gesticulated for me to open the window, but I was hesitant. So far, every conversation I’d had with myself that day had been annoying and in some cases disturbing, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to hear anything more from myself, especially just before bedtime.

Against my better judgment, but worried after all that I was trapped outside, I opened the window.

“How did you get out there?” I asked.

“You mean, how did you get out here?”

I was already wishing I hadn’t opened the window.

“Well come inside, in any case.”

I tumbled onto the bathroom floor, giggling.

“Are you drunk?” I asked, furrowing my brow.

“No,” I answered, “I just remembered how funny floors are.”

I didn’t respond, because I didn’t understand what was funny about floors, and also because I felt that I was only saying things for the sake of themselves – a pretense.

Me and I went to bed, and while I’d been unhappy with my behavior, it was nice to have someone to curl up with.

“Would you like me to sing you a lullaby?” I asked.

“Why yes,” I answered, surprised at such a lovely thought.

I cleared my voice and snuggled close, and this is what I sang:


By the time I finished, I was fast asleep, dreaming that I was at a sex party with Yoko Ono. It was nice, and it only goes to show that for all the trouble I cause myself, at heart I really am supposed to pay my rent today.

The end.

Twenty nine years ago tonight ...

Posted by Whitmore, December 8, 2009 11:15pm | Post a Comment

Twenty nine years ago
tonight I was at home, safe in my tiny triplex, watching Monday Night Football, lounging on a very ugly, distastefully yellow and brown recliner, recently found near the dumpster at the local Jack in the Box where my girlfriend worked. We lived together, right around the corner on lucky 13th Street in Newhall, California. I worked at a nearby liquor store in Saugus, which explained our extremely diverse bar in our dining room. Anyway, I was drinking cinnamon schnapps, intent on just wasting away another Monday night watching football. The Dolphins and Patriots game had gone into overtime when Howard Cosell announced to the nation that John Lennon had been shot in New York City. (A guy named Smith, I believe, won the game on a field goal for the Miami Dolphins.) Seconds later the phone started ringing off the hook, there was a lot of confusion and tears and lame hopeless jokes.

Anyway, here are some John Lennon quotes:
 
“Music is everybody's possession. It's only publishers who think that people own it.”
 
“I'm not afraid of death because I don't believe in it. It's just getting out of one car, and into another.}
 
"If being an egomaniac means I believe in what I do and in my art or my music, then in that respect you can call me that... I believe in what I do, and I'll say it."
 
“I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky. I believe that what people call God is something in all of us. I believe that what Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and all the rest said was right. It's just that the translations have gone wrong.”
 
“As usual, there is a great woman behind every idiot.”
 
"Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that
ruins it for me."
 
“Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.”
 
“If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there'd be peace.”
 
"Possession isn't nine-tenths of the law. It's nine-tenths of the problem."
 
“Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.”
 
“Time you enjoy wasting was not wasted.”
 
“Part of me suspects that I'm a loser, and the other part of me thinks I'm God Almighty.”

The Beatles Part 4

Posted by Amoebite, September 2, 2009 10:41am | Post a Comment
We are kicking off the celebration in honor of the digitally remastered Beatles reissues set to hit Amoeba September 9! We present to you today the final segment of The Beatles' biography. Also, this week will be marked here on the blog with a number of Beatles related posts with a huge variety of topics! You can begin with Part One of the fabled band's history if you missed it by clicking right here; then check out Part Two right here; and finally, Part Three. Now, without further ado, Part Four:

beatles maharishi mahesh yogi

DISORDER, FINAL TRIUMPHS, AND DISSOLUTION
magical mystery tour
In the late summer of 1967, at the behest of George Harrison, The Beatles traveled to Bangor, Wales, for a retreat sponsored by the Spiritual Regeneration Movement, an organization founded by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, an India-born self-styled guru and teacher of the spiritual discipline of transcendental meditation. It was there, on Aug. 27, that the musicians received a phone call from London: Brian Epstein – who had grown increasingly uncertain about The Beatles’ future and unhappy in his closeted gay lifestyle -- had died, at the age of 32, from an accidental overdose of sleeping pills mixed with alcohol.

Continue reading...

I no longer live, but was raised in, a Yellow Submarine.

Posted by Job O Brother, August 31, 2009 05:49pm | Post a Comment

I have seen the movie Yellow Submarine more than any other film. This is because, as a child, I had a BETA copy of the film that had been taped off our TV. Without exaggeration, I’ve seen the movie over 200 times. Unfortunately, my taped copy also contained the commercials that played on TV when they showed it, which means I have also seen this…


…over 200 times. (If I, in the future, ever do anything absolutely crazy that lands me in trouble with the law, please remember this fact and use it in my defense.)

It’s also because of this movie that I was acutely aware of who The Beatles were. While most of my 1st grade friends were learning the hard way that Strawberry Shortcake dolls do not taste as good as they smell, I was phoning local radio stations and pleading with them to play songs off of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.


I was six when John Lennon was shot, and remember the moment when I found out. I was channel surfing (back then it was “switching the dial”) when I happened upon the news. I heard that Lennon was dead and starting sobbing. It was all so confusing. My primary association with him was as a cartoon character, and on some level I didn’t understand how that piece of animation had been murdered. It was all so complicated and awful. And probably why I genuinely feared for Scooby’s well-being from then on.

Seeing Yellow Submarine on a weekly, sometimes daily, basis as an impressionable youngster left an indelible mark on my mind and eventual artistic output. And speech choices. For my whole life, and to this day, if someone asks me a “how much” or “how many” themed question, I will at least think, if not say, “Enough to fill the Albert Hall!” in a squeaky, Liverpudlian accent. If I do not know the answer to a question, I will often answer, “Rimsky-Korsakov?” in a sheepish, groveling tone and, if the asker doesn’t say anything in response, I will follow up with, “Guy Lombardo?” (My friends almost never ask why I’m saying these things. What does it say about me that most people don’t think twice that these are my answers?)


Nothing can really be written about The Beatles that hasn’t been written before. Unless you were to write an article about how they saved the Moon from exploding and how Ringo was actually a made out of penne pasta & zinc/Eiffel Tower sauce, but that’s because those things are not true, and exceedingly silly.

So I eschew a more intellectual blog about the Fab Four in lieu of the above mentioned childhood experiences. I hope that’s okay with you, dear reader.

Also, I wanted to mention that Yoko Ono’s made some really neat albums, you guys. Particularly Approximately Infinite Universe and Feeling the Space. I’d like to think that we younger generations could start to give this broad her due. I’m just sayin’.

I still love The Beatles and am happy that technology now allows me to enjoy Yellow Submarine on DVD. It’s out of print as of this writing, but used copies often pop-up in the film depot of Amoeba Music. Although I must say, I do miss little vignettes like these…

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