What was the first concert you ever saw?
The Cowboy Junkies at American University, in Washington, D.C., in 1999. Also, the first band T-shirt I ever owned.
What CDs are in your changer right now?
No changer, but current stuff on iTunes is: Darren Hanlon, Hello Stranger; David Bowie, Pin Ups; Jenny Lewis, Rabbit Fur Coat; Vic Chesnutt, West of Rome; Mirah and the Black Cat Orchestra, To All We Stretch the Open Arm; Lou Barlow, Emoh; Nellie McKay, Get Away From Me; and a number of King Floyd singles.
How many total albums do you own (CDs, vinyl, cassettes, 8-tracks)?
We've got about 1,000 CDs, 500 LPs, 100 7"s, unknown numbers of cassettes and DATs.
Do you download music, and if so, legally or illegally?
Of course?! I consider it a great way to find new and old music. ... I love well-edited MP3 blogs. We all know that musicians deal with tremendous barriers to making a living, so I'm interested in policy think tanks like the Future of Music Coalition.
What was the first album you owned?
I believe that would be Madonna, Like a Virgin (1984--I was 12 years old). I felt like I needed to take it home in a brown paper bag.
What song would you like to have played at your funeral?
"Stardust Memories" by Hoagy Carmichael.
Musically speaking, what do you love that your friends don't know about? What's your favorite guilty pleasure?
Some people don't know that I own every Echo and the Bunnymen record.
What band or artist changed your life, and how?
My life's been changed many times by music, but a time of great significance was experiencing Fugazi and the D.C. DIY scene. Being a part of that era taught me that independent music existed and that it mattered.
Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?
It's far too hard to pick one. How about: Sam Cooke's Night Beat; American Music Club's Everclear; Replacements' Let It Be; Nina Simone, Live at Ronnie Scott's. Oh god, I'm gonna hate myself tomorrow ... damn you, word limits!