When you put your key in the ignition and turn on the radio, what station would play right now? No radio, not now, not ever. I'm actually on a huge podcast kick. If you have a smartphone, I highly suggest downloading the Stitcher app. It streams all of my favorite podcasts. I suggest Hollywood Babble-On with Kevin Smith and Ralph Garman, Mohr Stories with Jay Mohr and the Nerdist Podcast with Chris Hardwick, Jonah Ray and Matt Mira. Also, check out S&M Comedy Podcast from right here in the Valley with hosts Steve Marek and Jamie Sanderson. Geez, that sounded like a total plug -- I should ask those guys for some money.
What's the first album you bought? I think the first "album" I bought was the Wayne's World soundtrack on cassette, but I had a lot of tapes already. My parents were super-young when they had me, so I was surrounded by music since I was an infant. I think I was the only 5-year-old who had two Iron Maiden posters in his bedroom, one over my bed and one at the foot of my bed. I think falling asleep to morbid pictures of "Eddie" was not the best thing for early childhood development.
What's the first concert you saw? First concert I ever saw, from what my parents told me, was The Monkees when I was 3. My dad took me to concerts all the time when I was a kid. A fun and embarrassing fact about me: I went to every Bon Jovi concert that came to Cleveland until I was 11.
What's your favorite concert you've ever been to? That's like asking me what's my favorite roller coaster I've ever ridden. It's not fair. They are all amazing -- actually it's the Millennium Force at Cedar Point in Ohio -- but my favorite concert would have to be Converge, Cave In, and Between the Buried and Me at the Brickhouse in 2005, I think. Favorite fest? Stress Fest in Cleveland.
What's the last song played on your music player? "Sweet Georgia Brown," by Daughters, off their self-titled album. I like weird people singing weirdly over weird music -- I like weirdoes. They make the best art.
Preferred format: CD, vinyl, cassette, 8-Track or digital? I know a lot of people say vinyl, but I think that's extremely pretentious. I want my music everywhere I go at all times. I'd have to say digital, but I love when albums are recorded in analog format. Witchcraft, Baroness, Vaux, anything that comes out of God City Studios.
What's your favorite album? I refuse to even consider the possibility of having one favorite album. Music has basically shaped me into the person I am today, and I would be doing so many albums a great disservice by not choosing them. So here is a short list -- sorry for breaking the rules. Converge, Jane Doe. Murder City Devils, Empty Bottles, Broken Hearts. Codeseven, Dancing Echos/Dead Sounds. Coheed and Cambria, In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 (sidenote: I'm a huge Coheed nerd). Saul Williams, Amethyst Rock Star. On The Might of Princes, Sirens. The (International) Noise Conspiracy, Survival Sickness. Even picking those albums was excruciatingly hard to do because there are so many albums that made me who I am.
Who is your favorite singer or band? Hands down, no pause -- Brandtson. Check out Fallen Star Collection and Trying to Figure Each Other Out. Those are two albums that will always get me through any rough patch.
Does you computer track how many times you've played something -- if so, what's at the top of the list? "Smooth Criminal," by Timmy Wiggins off of The 90's Joint. That's about as hood as I get -- and it's not really hood at all, but then again, neither am I.
What was your favorite new or new-to-you album from 2011? The Bronx, Mariachi el Bronx (II), . It is probably one of the best albums to cruise around on your bike to. I highly suggest it. An album that's new to me is Marina and the Diamonds, The Family Jewels. I have absolutely no idea why I like it, but I do -- it's infectiously catchy. I dare you to listen to it and not dance to "Shampain" or "Oh No!"
What one song would you play if you had a world-wide radio audience? "Dopesmoker," by Sleep. The entire song is more than an hour long with drowned-out guitar riffs and gritty vocals. I figure if the radio makes me listen to cookie cutter pop songs written for 14-year-olds all day, everyday, I should be able to irritate everyone with my music for as long as possible.
Who is your favorite local artist? Shepherds & Sailors. I cannot urge you enough to check this guy out. Youtube, SoundCloud, Facebook, Myspace, Google, do whatever you can to check him out. One of my favorite singer/songwriters.
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What is your favorite local venue to see music? Crescent Ballroom, not just because it's right down the street from my house, but because the sound is amazing, the food is amazing, the staff is crazy friendly, and the bar manager Michelle is a total babe! Also, they hold comedy shows, as well as concerts.
What is your favorite music video? My favorite music video would have to be Every Time I Die's "Logic of Crocodiles". It was filmed at Peabody's in Cleveland during a show they played with Norma Jean, MeWithoutYou , and NSDWHOA!, a band I had just quit to move to Flagstaff, Ariz. for college. Every time I would get homesick at college, I would watch the music video and see all of my friends' faces back home. Now when I watch the video, it reminds me how insanely full of energy and angst we were at 18 years of age.