Saturday, April 28, 2007

Five For Ten

I am totally jazzed to be interviewed by Beth from Cup of Coffey. As a fellow college radio alumni, I feel a connection to the music addiction it instilled in both of us. I've never given up my ravenous appetite for alternative/indie music and Beth must know that given the heavy hand of music questions she's dealt me.

What's your theme song?
You know, I think theme songs can change during the course of one's life. I think in the past I might have said either "Cynical Girl" by Marshall Crenshaw or "American Dream" by Love and Rockets. These days it's all about what do I really want from this life? What am I still passionate about? Have I compromised any of my dreams? I think some of these wonderings are explored quite nicely by Jeff Pezzati of The Bomb in the song 1000 Tons of Ice. This song is about second chances at dreams, something Jeff knows a lot about.

What are your five favorite albums and why?
You know, I think I've answered derivatives of this question before or maybe even this exact question, but like the theme song or any favorites list, I think my answers change over time. There are always a few that I think will live there forever, but some cycle in and out of this list.
1. Hunky Dory-David Bowie
This one is always at the top of the list. I will listen here. I will listen there. I will listen everywhere. This album displays the flexibility of David Bowie's voice and writing style. Bowie has several different variations of tone and delivery and deftly moves through all of them on Hunky Dory. Additionally, my love for Bowie includes his ability to write lyrics that sprawl from nods to Nietzsche to simple lines about his son. The music on this album flexes from one of my all-time favorite silly diddys "Kooks" to the hard rocking "Queen Bitch."
2.Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven-Love and Rockets
I guess this one is at number two because of its importance in my life. This is my college awakening album. I was already well immersed in the alternative scene at this point, but this was the album that struck a chord somewhere inside me. I have always joked that I have a Bauhaus brain trapped in a Go-Go's body. Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven slithers around in the darkness in a most gloriously beautiful way.
3.Throb Throb-Naked Raygun

Not as experimental as the preceding Basement Screams EP but still more experimental than many, Throb Throb is a post-punk touchstone. Gritty, grinding guitar pushed aloft by great sing-along choruses and you have the beginning of the Naked Raygun formula. They stood out from your average neighborhood post-punk outfit with their rolling rhythms and their toying with various genres of music, usually evident in their song structure. This is fun smart punk/post-punk.
4.London Calling-The Clash
I don't know what I thought I was going to hear the first time I heard this album from start to finish. For sure, I thought it would sound much more aggressive than it does in many places. What I realized is that the punk cred that The Clash carried was captured in more than just guitars and drums. Their cred came from their social and political commentary that fills this album. The icing on the cake is that The Clash are one of the most versatile bands with regard to songwriting ability. They stand alone as far as I am concerned.
5.Quadrophenia-The Who
Before I became an alternachick, I was simply a rock chick. I spent my youth cutting my teeth on the classics. I quickly became especially drawn to The Who. They were a little more anti-establishment than other bands. In Quadrophenia, I found the story of someone questioning their life, wondering who they were. To this day, I have a hard time listening to just part of Quadrophenia. I want to listen to it from start to finish. Musically, I think it contains some of The Who's best material. I can't pick a favorite track because in my mind it exists as a whole. If Pete Townshend set forth to write a rock opera, I believe he succeeded.

If you could play on stage with one band, who would it be?
This is an easy one for me. Either Naked Raygun or The Bomb. I love their music and they are my friends (and I already know almost all of the words!) I've seen these two bands more than any others in my life and feel a deep connection to my local heroes.

What's the best concert you ever saw?

This is a hard one. I've seen so many concerts in my life and so many have been amazing for different reasons. I'm going to say seeing Love and Rockets on the Seventh Dream Tour at St. Andrew's Hall in Detroit. Love and Rockets were unlike anything I had ever seen before. I'd seen everything from huge arena shows to local punk shows at VFW's. Love and Rockets came on in a mist of fog and a blaze of strobes and completely sober I had an experience that was totally intoxicating. They were all so intense and I can't begin to tell you what Daniel Ash and his guitar do for me (distortion is the way to my heart). Their music went so far inside my head that night that I really have never been the same.

Why did you pick a Southern College? What did you like the best/least about the South?
I started undergrad at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. While I loved my friends there, I had a really hard time with a lot of the hypocritical Christian students there. They'd tell me I was a heathen and then have drunken bashes that rivaled Roman orgies and head off to church in the morning throwing beer cans out of their car as they left. I had already started working at the campus radio station and went to the IBS (Intercollegiate Broadcasting Society) convention in NYC Spring of my junior year. While I was there, I met a ton of people from WUSC, the University of South Carolina radio station. I found out that they had one of the top college radio stations in the country at the time. A couple of weeks later, I went with my family to visit my grandparents in Charlotte, North Carolina (the Southern connection). I took a couple of days and went to go visit USC. I loved it. I was ready for a change and so I transferred the following fall. I don't regret a second of it. I needed a change and I ended up being Program Manager at WUSC and had a wonderful two years there. The thing I liked best about the South, particularly where I lived was the nearness of the coast. I loved heading out to the Isle of Palms on the weekend with our crew and hanging on the beach drinking lime daiquiris and eating fresh from the ocean shrimp and crab. I also loved spring down there. It's just so beautiful with all of the flowering plants. What I liked least about the South were the large quantity of racist individuals and the cockroaches. Damn, those things get big down there!

Anyone who would like to be interviewed, just leave a comment. I'd be happy to pry your secrets out of you!


lulu said...

When I think about you in high school, I always think about the Who.

I think you should interview me, even though I've answered someone else's questions, just because I would be curious as to what you would be curious about.

Anonymous said...

Should I be ashamed to admit I didn't even know radio HAD an FM band until it was the very height of the Disco era? Should I be ashamed or proud of my hi weirdness??

Anonymous said...

OH, and you can't fool me, Flannery told me what you do for a livin' and no amount of rock-n-roll writing can outcool THAT.

Tenacious S said...

Lu-Questions coming at ya! Check your email.
Big Orange-Welcome! I don't outcool you, though. I'm just part-time cool at my job. You're full-time cool.

Beth said...

I knew you'd have impressive answers

We should start our own band ...

Tenacious S said...

Beth, if I had any musical talent at all I'd have been in a band a long time ago, but we cold be in a kickass pretend band. Glad you're impressed. I aim to please. This was fun in my world. Thanks!

Grant Miller said...

I think my wife is more goth than you. But I'm definitely more emo.

Tenacious S said...

Grant, with that hair and those pants, no doubt.

Beth said...

I have no musical talent, either. Sad, isn't it? But I guess God knew fans were as important as musicians.

Dale said...

You and Beth should have been promoters for Grant's band.

Tenacious S said...

Dale, I do minor promotions stuff for The Bomb. My salary last year for services rendered=passes to Naked Raygun super secret show. I believe I was also promised a copy of their album on vinyl (only 500 copies). I don't know about Grant's band....Grant was in it, right?

Dale said...

They may have just used his name for kicks, I'm not sure. The guy had eyebrows, I know that.