Jesse Arenstein studied poetry at the UA and was a participant in Tucson's brief but beautiful performance-poetry scene in the '90s. An avid music fan but a "sub-amateur musician," his 15 minutes of musical fame came a few years back while standing in with Muddy Bug on harmonica during KXCI FM 91.3's tribute concert to The Kinks. He's a sales and applications engineer at Alicat Scientific.
What was the first concert you ever saw?
Peter Yarrow at a public school in Brooklyn, N.Y., at age 8. As a somewhat coherent teenager, Soul Asylum and Meat Puppets at UA Spring Fling.
What are you listening to these days?
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, MGMT, Two Gallants, First Aid Kit, and Arctic Monkeys. Also, Blitzen Trapper's Furr has been really haunting me.
What was the first album you owned?
My first album was The Muppet Movie soundtrack, but the first one I acquired for myself was Surrealistic Pillow by Jefferson Airplane.
What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone seem to love, but you just don't get?
Björk, Radiohead and screamy hard-core stuff. Cocteau Twins can cause blood to flow from my ears, but I think that's a deviation from the base premise of the question.
What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?
The Afghan Whigs. I've seen the Twilight Singers, but it's not the same.
Musically speaking, what is your favorite guilty pleasure?
Heh, probably House of Pain and Everlast's solo work.
What song would you like to have played at your funeral?
Somber moment: "While You Were Sleeping" by Elvis Perkins. Fun moment: "Rockaway Beach" by the Ramones. And depending on the circumstances, The Killers' cover of "Romeo and Juliet" by Dire Straits.
What band or artist changed your life, and how?
Dylan taught me how to tell a story. Leon Russell taught me the blues. The Chili Peppers' Blood Sugar Sex Magik grabbed me by the spine at age 14 and never let go.
Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?
Blood on the Tracks by Bob Dylan.