Austin Alexander Counts is currently the owner and operator of the 4th Avenue Delicatessen. You might also know Counts from his award-winning student documentary "Another Side of the Border" on border issues in 2010. The UA alumnus has writen for the Nogales International, Arizona Daily Star and, most importantly, the Tucson Weekly.
What was the first concert you attended?
My first concert was ZZ Top during the 1990 Recycler Tour when I was 10 years old. Growing up with a southern father meant it was mandatory to see Billy Gibbons and the boys when they came to your town. Strangely enough, that rule didn't apply when it came to Lynyrd Skynard or the Allman Brothers since Ronnie and Duane died way too young and those bands were not worth a damn since, according to my old man.
What are you listening to these days?
Lightnin' Hopkins, Magic Sam, Bo Diddley, O.V. Wright, pretty much all old school blues, soul and rock & roll ... lots of it.
What was the first album you owned?
Iggy Pop's Brick by Brick.
What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone seem to love, but you just don't get?
Post Sept. 11 pop music, and the vast majority of hip-hop after Tupac and Biggie. Especially Jay Z and Lil Wayne. In my opinion, most pop/ hip-hop music over the past decade either sounds like it was made for a commercial or a strip club, or both. Don't get me wrong, there have been bright spots.
What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?
Easy. Sam Cooke in the early-'60s. My mind is blown every time I listen to Live at the Harlem Square Club 1963. You can tell this was what was the real Sam Cooke. It's raw, loud and everything that makes that era of soul music great.
What is your favorite guilty pleasure?
Bad '80s and '90s dancehall reggae. Anything that starts out with phrases like "lord-a-mercy" or "rum-pit-ee-bum" or "buya-ka-sha." I have no shame in saying I'm all about that.
What song would you like to have played at your funeral?
"Maggot Brain" by Funkadelic.
What artist changed your life and how?
Dr. Dre during The Chronic period. His use of George Clinton powered hooks and Bootsy Collins bass lines single handedly lead me to what I consider the band that forever shaped how I hear music, Funkadelic. Not Parliament-Funkadelic. Just plain ol' Funkadelic.
Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?
Funkadelic's Maggot Brain. No question. It was and is the heaviest funk record of all time. It sounds best when played on vinyl, from beginning to end, without interruption (except to flip the LP or get a beer).