While Los Angeles has a vast array of venues, most in this city would agree that Amoeba Music is the true paradise when it comes to music. Endless aisles fill the first floor with ancient artifacts known as CDs, and there’s never not a time of day when there aren’t a ton of people in there with baskets full of albums, both old and new. On top of still selling physical copies of music, this store puts on events such as signings and live performances. The Used stopped by not too long ago and pretty soon they’ll have all the goodies on Record Store Day this weekend. All of which could not take place without the insanely talented team backing Amoeba, one of them being Ilene.
A music industry veteran who’s spent time at labels and in radio, she joined the Amoeba family just a few months before the store celebrated their one-year anniversary. Today you’ll find her doing a number of things, she says, “I handle sponsorships, festivals, selling advertisements, dealing with special projects, contests, increasing tourism to our store, I also work on our weekly newsletter as well as our MWL Book and yearly calendar.” When Ilene isn’t busy working, she does enjoy exploring the store’s Jazz Room, as well as the electronic and R&B sections. While it’s her job, music has always meant so much more to her. After working at her college radio station she noted she “really felt like music was where my heart was.”
While talking music is always a fun time, I reached out to Ilene to get her take on being a woman in the record store business. What she brought to the table was so much more given her history with labels. When it came to the difference in leadership roles and gender she said, “I don’t notice a difference at all here at Amoeba. I do see more males in specific positions at labels. I see more males in A&R positions and in production. We have a female and a male owner at the Hollywood Amoeba location. We have several management positions that are spread out between males and females. A lot of effort is put into our hiring and there is no difference here when it comes to men or women in a position.”
So Amoeba keeps things pretty even and likely just focuses more on the right person for the job. Which is why they’re likely one of the most popular music stores out there. Ilene loves the store and feels a sense of pride working there, saying, “So many folks know about Amoeba and love the store. I’ve never worked anywhere where I have heard nothing negative about it ever.” How could they have anything negative to say when they’re bringing you actual music, and events like Paul McCartney back in 2007, which just so happens to be Ilene’s personal favorite. For more on Amoeba and all the great things they have going on, check out their site and if you’re ever in LA – make it a priority to stop by.
The Wolfgang Press- “Going South”
The The- “Infected”
The White Stripes- Hello Operator
The Raconteurs- “Store Bought Bones”