Jessica Lansdon coordinates the Optimist Club every Thursday night at Club Congress, where guest DJs work in shifts controlling the turntables, dance floor and mood of the room. "Being a disc jockey, you have a lot of power," says Lansdon, "but in the end, after the moment has passed, it's a really finite and innocuous kind of control: a little like social experiments without the nasty ethical dilemmas." Lansdon co-DJs with DJ Buttafly on Saturday nights at Congress. She's also an artist; her work will be showing in November at the New Platform Gallery.
What was the first concert you ever saw?
Taj Mahal (I still have an autographed ticket stub). First of my own volition: Debbie Gibson Electric Youth Tour. First "show": Jawbreaker and Jawbox.
What CDs are in your changer right now?
Jimmie Rodgers, OMD, Deerhoof, Greg Ashley, the Xanadu soundtrack, The Fiery Furnaces, Donna Summer, Kitty Wells, Franz Ferdinand, Nancy Sinatra, Vetiver, Pete Drake, 45 of Linda Ronstadt's "Different Drum" over and over.
How many total albums do you own (CDs, vinyl, cassettes, 8-tracks)?
CDs--more than 400. Vinyl--less than 1,000. Tapes--less than 200.
Do you download music, and if so, legally?
Downloading music is illegal?
What was the first album you owned?
I grew up without TV, so records were my Saturday morning cartoons. My favorites were: The Royal Guardsmen, Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron; The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, Edd "Kookie" Burns' Kookie, Star of 77 Sunset Strip.
What song would you like played at your funeral?
I bet a children's choir singing "Georgy Girl" would really get the tears going.
Musically speaking, what do you love that your friends don't know about? What are your guilty pleasures?
Ummm, xenophobic country Western songs?
What band or artist changed your life, and how?
Wings, Brian Wilson, Dolly Parton. These days, Yoko Ono is on my mind; her songs are remarkable, noisy, beautiful, amazing.
Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?
Tie: The Sweetheart of the Rodeo, The Byrds; Surf's Up, The Beach Boys.