Dylan Smith is the editor and publisher of TucsonSentinel.com, a nonprofit, independent news site. He was the online editor of the Tucson Citizen before the evil empire of Gannett shuttered the newspaper. He tossed away his drumsticks long ago, but is still known to bang on a guitar on occasion.
What was the first concert you ever saw?
Jefferson Airplane. I was a baby and don't remember a thing, which is probably for the best. First big show by choice: U2.
What are you listening to these days?
Mostly old standbys: Hüsker Dü, Warehouse: Songs and Stories; The Clash, London Calling; Big Country, Steeltown; Minutemen, Double Nickels on the Dime; Al Perry, Losin' Hand; Billie Holiday and old jazz comps.
What was the first album you owned?
Got Live If You Want It! The Stones were never that good again—raw rock at its most manic.
What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone seem to love, but you just don't get?
Lady effin' Gaga. Utterly without talent, charm, meaning or even a stick-in-your-head hook. The veneration of the disposable has reached an apex—or a nadir.
What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?
Hüsker Dü. I kick myself constantly for missing them.
Musically speaking, what is your favorite guilty pleasure?
Early/mid-'80s new-wave pop. There are songs by Bananarama, Thompson Twins, Human League, et al., that never got much critical love, but stand with the best Motown or British Invasion pop.
What song would you like to have played at your funeral?
"Danny Boy" on the pipes.
What band or artist changed your life, and how?
U2. Before they were the biggest band in the world, they were the best. They proved music could mean something without being tired, pseudo-folky schlock. Then Bono started wearing sunglasses and kickin' it with popes and presidents, and you know what happened.
Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?
I should pick something obscure to seem more hip, but (U2's) The Joshua Tree does it for me.