What was the first concert you ever saw?
The Beatles in 1965. It was impossible to hear the music with all the screaming fans, but you could hear a few chords if you screamed, too.
What CDs are in your changer right now?
Nocturnes by Rainer; Laundry Service by Shakira; La Boheme; Creole Love Call by Nils Landgren and Joe Sample; Sour Milk Sea by Momono Mikoto; and Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks.
How many total albums do you own (CDs, vinyl, cassettes, 8-tracks)?
Four dusty boxes of vinyl, about 100 CDs and about as many cassettes, and a library card.
Do you download music, and if so, legally or illegally?
Downlow? About an hour's drive south of Memphis, you're into Delta blues territory, or you can get there on the Illinois Central goin' up to Chicago. Wherever there's a string of deep blues riffs.
What was the first album you owned?
Bach's Brandenburg Concertos featuring Yehudi Menuhin.
What song would you like to have played at your funeral?
"She's Trying" and "My Problem"--both live versions by the Dance Hall Crashers.
Musically speaking, what do you love that your friends don't know about? What's your favorite guilty pleasure?
There's that long liminal moment of coming out of the hall or club and having that music reverberating in and out of your entire body. And then the allowing blanket of common woven sounds, the comparative silence to enjoy. ... I'm guessing my friends don't know how important that is to me.
What band or artist changed your life, and how?
Jiminy Cricket's theme song for the "Encyclopedia" series from The Mickey Mouse Club: It merged social justice, pop-dance rhythms, insect liberation, pointing to the sweet light of knowledge and, possibly, emotional reason.
Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?
The Real Folk Blues by Muddy Waters; Live/Dead by the Grateful Dead; "White Album," the Beatles; Cheap Thrills by Big Brother and the Holding Company; Sketches of Spain by Miles Davis.