Music News

Hunter Riley, What Are You Listening To?

Hunter Riley

Riley is director of programs for the Pat Tillman Foundation. He encourages you to run, walk and honor at the 8th Annual Pat's Run on Saturday, April 21. Sign up at Cost is $35 and benefits Tillman Military Scholars.

When you put your key in the ignition and turn on the radio, what station would play right now? I constantly change stations depending on the content, but primarily stay educational with NPR on KJZZ. Unfortunately, I don't have an RCA cable hookup, or I would listen to my own music on the 202 to and from work each day.

What's the first album you bought? Honestly, the first album I bought on CD was probably an Amy Grant one in fifth grade. That same year, the first secular CD I received was a Boyz II Men album at my eleventh birthday party. However, the most impactful album was before all of that, with the first CD I found of my parents', which was James Taylor's JT. I listened to "Your Smiling Face" as loud as my five siblings could bear. Eventually, I found a box of my parents' old vinyl, and life changed.

What's the first concert you saw? Again, to be completely honest, I think this was Michael W. Smith or Point of Grace. The first concert I attended without my parents though was Third Eye Blind and Eve 6. This was the start to my twin brother and my sticking around and meeting bands, a trend that kept up until the end of our college years.

What's your favorite concert you've ever been to? Attending a concert is not always just about the music. With that in mind, I'll list five concerts that top my list because of their geographical location, the venue's atmosphere, the acts' entertainment, the great music and, most importantly, the memories: 1) Carolina Chocolate Drops (Jack of the Wood pub, Asheville, N.C.); 2) Sigor Rós (The Pageant, St. Louis, Mo.); 3) Manu Chao (Mendoza, Argentina); 4) Coldplay (BJCC Arena, Birmingham, Ala.); 5) The Avett Brothers (Mesa Arts Center).

What's the last song played on your music player? I listen to music at work through Spotify. And recently on Spotify, I've been listening to genre-spanning Christmas albums. Last song played is Sufjan Stevens, "That Was the Worst Christmas Ever!"

Preferred format: CD, vinyl, cassette, 8-Track or digital? Vinyl -- how I listen to music at home. Then digital -- how I listen to music elsewhere.

What's your favorite album? All time? James Taylor's JT -- yes, influenced by nostalgic reasons.

Who is your favorite singer or band? Can this be plural? Lifetime has to be Johnny Cash, James Taylor, Simon and Garfunkel (Paul Simon), Kanye West, Sufjan Stevens, Bruce Springsteen, The Avett Brothers, Sigur Rós, Bob Dylan, Jose Gonzalez, Wilco, Radiohead and Christopher Denny. Recent though (past couple of years) would be Bon Iver, Mayer Hawthorne, Dawes, Fleet Foxes, The Tallest Man on Earth, Yeasayer, Langhorne Slim, Mumford and Sons, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Black Keys.

Does your computer track how many times you've played something -- if so what's at the top of the list? My personal Mac does on my iTunes, and that is The Tallest Man on Earth's cover of Paul Simon's "Graceland".

What was your favorite new or new-to-you album from 2011? Bon Iver, Bon Iver.

What one song would you play if you had a world-wide radio audience? "The
Lord God Bird," by Sufjan Stevens or "I Hear Little Rock Calling," by Ferlin Husky.

Who is your favorite local artist? I definitely like the entertainment of both Black Carl and Dry River Yacht Club (shout out to Steve O), but I'd have to say my favorite local band, musically, would be Kongos.

What is your favorite local venue to see music? I totally dig the Rhythm Room and have seen quite a few entertaining shows there, but recently I have been to the Crescent Ballroom several times and think it is a great spot. For local acts, Yucca Tap Room and for big acts, definitely Mesa Art Center.

What is your favorite music video? Hmm. It's been a while, but thinking back, probably A-Ha's "Take on Me".

Follow us on Twitter and friend us on Facebook

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Nicki Escudero
Contact: Nicki Escudero