When you put your key in the ignition and turn on the radio, what station would play right now? I am proud to be car-free! But when I did have one, it was NPR in the afternoons, KSLX in the evenings ('specially Gettin' the Led Out at 7 p.m.), and KJAZZ on Sunday nights for the blues.
What's the last song played on your portal music player? Frog Eyes, "One in Six Children Will Flee in Boats."
What's the first record you bought? My first purchased piece of music was a Bette Midler 45 -- "Wind Beneath My Wings." For this, I blame my mother and Days of Our Lives.
What's the first concert you saw? The first concert that I went to of my own volition was Jimmy Eat World, '99-ish, Erie, Pa. The first concert my parents hijacked my common sense for: Alan Jackson and Deana Carter.
What's your favorite concert you've ever been to? Ah, my two experiences here say a lot about aging. When I was a teenager, I went to an X-Fest in Pittsburgh. We'd stood all day in the heat, the dust sticking to us in varying stages between caked and grimy, and some time after dark, it started to drizzle. I can't even remember what band was playing, The Used maybe, but the lot was packed with our hot and tired, but jumping and writhing, bodies...that all started to steam with the rain. Coolest visual ever. And what a relief. On the opposite of the physical comfort scale, I saw The Shins at Celebrity Theatre for my birthday a few years ago. Free birthday tickets, free birthday booze, and we lucked out by sitting right in front of the pit, which means no room for "front rail standers," so we were able to sit and chill the whole show. My joints have put in all the time they're going to in lines and standing for hours on concrete floors. I'm old. I will if I have to, but man alive, I enjoy the show so much more when I don't.
Preferred format: CD, vinyl, cassette, 8-Track or digital? I'm split between vinyl and digital. I prefer the process, the ephemera, the art, and the atmosphere of vinyl -- but I'm attempting to pare down my physical life. There isn't much that I have to own, so digital music subscriptions are very appealing these days. I'm digging the new feature on Pandora that lets you infuse your stations with other artists.
What's your favorite CD? If we're speaking strictly format, CD's would put me in the era of The Distillers' Sing Sing Death House and, a bit later, Bright Eyes' Digital Ash In A Digital Urn. That last album, aptly, was maybe the last CD I ever bought.
Who is your favorite singer or band? David Bowie. Really? People say anything else?
What was your favorite new or new-to-you album from 2010? Well, I think it's a new-to-me album, but I've been queuing up a lot of tracks from Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros' Up from Below. The Suburbs by Arcade Fire really helped put those folks where they should be -- in front of the biggest audiences possible. And with a brilliant interactive video by Chris Milk -- although, warning, if you're from a teensy, podunk town like me, where Google vans don't venture, then you might want to key in a different city.
What one song would you play if you had a world-wide audience? "All for Fame," Hani and a Thief.
What is your favorite local music venue? I am a huge fan of The Trunk Space's mission and their heart, Char's Has the Blues for the intimacy, but, The Lost Leaf nabbed this category early on. If I'm having a rough night, or too good of one, I can pull a stool up to the bar (and skirt the ordering line the rest of the evening), lean back with a stout, and enjoy local, traveling and ecclectic musicians. I go for bands I know, and I go for bands I don't. And the beer makes it all okay.
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Who is your favorite local band? Aw, jeez. Obviously from my above answers, I'm both lazy and eclectic, so I'm sure I haven't seen all of the local groups I'd love, and of the ones I have seen, it's even hard to choose. I guess at this present moment I'd lean towards Fatigo...but, Tobie Milford,Michelle Blades, and Sonorous are all superbly talented. On a different sort of keel, RPM Orchestra. They move through gritty and engaging visual and aural performances in a "band" format, though their musicality might be accepted as such only by a niche audience. And, of course, the Samson Says duo are incredibly fun -- but playing for the already warmed-up audiences within the chaos that is Firestage and in-between sexy, Provocatease burlesque acts...well, that doesn't hurt their sets.
What is your favorite music video? I don't catch many -- I've always been sans cable, for a long time now I've been without a TV, and more recently, no personal computer. However, I come across a few here and there and am particularly enamored with Thom Yorke and Radiohead's work. It seems like he's on a quest for honesty: he tried to force it in creating an unavoidable moment in "No Surprises" (the drowning video), and he is it in "Lotus Flower" (his "dance" video). If that one is more of a studied production than it seems, no one burst my bubble. No one.