When you put your key in the ignition and turn on the radio, what station
would play right now?
I actually listen to a lot of NPR when I'm buzzing around the Valley. I don't typically have time to sit down and watch the news, so NPR is definitely one of my main resources for keeping up with what's happening in our world.
What's the first album you bought?
Honestly? Green Day's Dookie. I think I was in 5th grade and attempting to be really punk rock, but mostly I just liked the album art...and possibly had bit of a crush on Billie Joe Armstrong.
What's the first concert you saw?
I can't remember if it was James Taylor or Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Either way, I was really young and my mom had impeccable taste in music and the wherewithal to share it with me.
What's your favorite concert you've ever been to?
Wow, that's a tough one. I think my favorite music experience as a whole was Coachella 2010. Phenomenal, back-to-back sets along with some solid quality time with a few of my best friends definitely made for a winning combination.
What's the last song played on your music player?
"Slow Lights," by Sin Fang, an Icelandic artist I got hooked on earlier this summer. I stopped in a small record shop in Reykjavik and bought a handful of discs for a solo road trip around Iceland. Sin Fang's latest album, Summer Echoes, has definitely crept into my recent favorites.
Preferred format: CD, vinyl, cassette, 8-Track or digital?
Digital, because I can take it with me anywhere and easily share tracks with friends.
What's your favorite album?
Yikes. That's really hard to choose because it changes every couple of months, especially with the seasons. In the winter, Sigur Rós' Takk; in the spring, Death Cab For Cutie's Transatlanticism; and in the fall it's The Avett Brothers' I And Love And You. Summer is generally the season where festivals and tours have a great influence on the different music I have in rotation. Bottom line, I can't choose a favorite and would be screwed if I found myself in a "If you were stranded on a desert island..." scenario.
Who is your favorite singer or band?
The last time I answered that question honestly, my boyfriend at the time broke up with me because I didn't tell him that he was my favorite songwriter and that his band wasn't my favorite band. The two things I learned from that is to avoid dating musicians and, more importantly, avoid answering loaded questions.
Does your computer track how many times you've played something -- if so, what's at the top of the list? A track called "All the Big Trees" from Jónsi & Alex's album, Riceboy Sleeps, comes in at the top with 1,648 plays. Jónsi is the lead singer of Sigur Rós who has recorded albums with a couple of his side projects. Riceboy Sleeps is an incredible ambient album that creates an introspective backdrop for concentration, relaxation and sleeping. I live near the train tracks in Tempe, so this album has definitely come in handy.
What was your favorite new or new-to-you album from 2011?
I'm absolutely hooked on Foster the People's latest album, Torches. My friends and I saw them at Sail Inn earlier in the spring when they were on their way back to L.A. from South by Southwest. A few weeks later, one of my friends at Sony sent me a promo copy of their album, and I was instantaneously hooked. It has, without a doubt, become my soundtrack of this summer.
What one song would you play if you had a world-wide radio audience?
I'm going to avoid the easy response of John Lennon's "Imagine," because that's all too obvious of an answer. I think I would play Mutemath's "Typical," because it's a song that reminds us of how easy it is to fall into a rut and live a life that is convenient, easy and 'typical.' I think it's really important to rise above society's general expectations and push your limits in order to grow as a human being and create a life that you can reflect on and be proud of in your old age. There's always something more out there to pursue and incorporate into your life's experiences, so why settle for the typical?
Who is your favorite local artist?
What Laura Says, no question. They just released their latest EP, Talk, earlier this summer, and I can't get enough of it. Rumor has it they'll be heading into the studio soon to work on their next full-length, which I'm really excited about.
What is your favorite local venue to see music?
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That's a difficult call because to me, it's more about who's on stage than anything else. I really like Yucca Tap Room and Sail Inn because they're both in my neighborhood and within biking distance from my place. Sound-wise, I adore Mesa Arts Center. There's nothing like seeing a band perform in a beautiful theater that was built for quality sound. Lastly, word on the street is that Stateside Presents is preparing to open a new venue in downtown Phoenix (Crescent Ballroom) that will cater to both the 21-and-older and all-ages crowds. It sounds like it's going to be a really versatile space that will definitely enhance performance opportunities for both local and touring bands, so I'm excited to see where the project goes.
What is your favorite music video?
I'll have to revert to a previous answer for this one because I haven't watched many music videos since MTV canceled TRL. Mutemath's video for "Typical" was shot entirely in reverse, and it has some pretty mind-bending effects. The band actually had to learn how to play their instruments and sing the lyrics to the song in reverse for the filming of the video. The finished product is really fun to watch because you see everything that has been done and undone, and I like that idea...being able to rewind a moment at finish where you started. The video also reflects the antics of the band's live performance, which I really love.