Michael John Serpe combines creative instrumentation with lo-fi aesthetics and interesting album packaging: His new album, A Night in Gins Hollow, released through his own Home Recorded Culture, folds out into a gin bottle and actually smells like gin; hear songs from it Saturday, May 6, at the Red Room, 100 E. Congress St.
What was the first concert you ever saw?
AC/DC for the Flick of the Switch tour. By far their best album with Brian Johnson as their singer, and totally overlooked.
What CDs are in your changer right now?
Will Elliott's new EP; a mixer of Jose Gonzalez; Devendra Banhart, Rejoicing in the Hands; Mark Lanegan, Field Songs; Ian Moore, Ian Moore's Got the Green Grass; Laura Veirs, Year of Meteors; Colin Spring's new demos.
How many total albums do you own (CDs, vinyl, cassettes, 8-tracks)?
Two hundred-ish. All my vinyl is stashed in the back of my pop's bedroom closet up in Phoenix, where there is climate control, and my brother can't get his thieving hands on it. That's right! I said it! THIEF!
Do you download music, and if so, legally or illegally?
I'll download a free song to get to know an artist. I like albums and album art. If someone burns me an album, and I like it, I'll go buy it to have the full experience.
What was the first album you owned?
I saw the cover to Kiss, Rock and Roll Over, and sold my soul right then and there. The first album I went out and bought on my own was AC/DC, Powerage.
What song would you like to have played at your funeral?
First of all, no crying and carrying on ... throw my ash into the water, eat, dance and laugh 'til dawn. When you're all good, buzzed and coming down you can play Nina Simone's "Feeling Good" or Nick Drake's "From the Morning."
Musically speaking, what do you love that your friends don't know about? What's your favorite guilty pleasure?
Guilt?! Love me for who I am!
What band or artist changed your life, and how?
In 1993, I was given a cassette tape with Nick Drake on one side and Bert Jansch on the other, both saying and doing more with just an acoustic guitar and a single voice than most bands say with amps, drums and 400 watts between them.
Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?
Kelly Joe Phelps, Sky Like a Broken Clock.