Native Tucsonan Xavier Otero is a musician, songwriter and all-around lover of the arts. A former Tucson Weekly staffer, Otero was the event coordinator for the first-ever Tucson Area Music Awards (aka TAMMIES). He now works in health care at University Medical Center.
What was the first concert you ever saw?
Kiss, in 1977, at the Tucson Convention Center. Cheap Trick, the veritable Dalai Lamas of power pop, opened the show.
What are you listening to these days?
Atoms for Peace, The Big Pink, Broadcast, Crocodiles, The Dead Weather, Kronos Quartet, The London Apartments, and Ólafur Arnalds.
What was the first album you owned?
Elton John's magnum opus, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, was my first vinyl LP. I was 10.
What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone seem to love, but you just don't get?
I can't quite get my head around the production trend of using the vocal effect Auto-Tune. WTF!
What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?
To have been in Greenwich Village at Cafe Wha? during the 1960s and to have experienced Jimi Hendrix unleash a hailstorm of distortion, feedback and ridiculously amazing guitar histrionics would have indelibly scarred my psyche.
Musically speaking, what is your favorite guilty pleasure?
Thanks to a certain Facebook friend, I have developed something of a fetish for the music of Khia.
What song would you like to have played at your funeral?
An instrumental rendition of Radiohead's "Fake Plastic Trees" performed by a string quartet and an acoustic guitar.
What band or artist changed your life, and how?
Circa 1981, a little-known Los Angeles quartet, The Plimsouls, fronted by Peter Case, opened my eyes and ears to a new aesthetic. Practically overnight, the longhaired, self-indulgent bombast of 1970s hard rock/heavy metal became passé, and was replaced by a pompadour, black clothes, eyeliner and the angular, jagged, minimalist sounds of power pop, punk and new wave.
Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?
Radiohead, The Bends, is the album that has provided me with both catharsis and joy.