Amanda Shauger, KXCI's long-time community engagement director, says one of the cool things about her job at Tucson's community radio station is that the small staff get an opportunity to do a little bit of everything and she jokes she's like a utility infielder—community outreach in the northwest and foothills area and leading the Amplify KXCI Capital Campaign, along with volunteer orientation and hosting her own two-hour Music Mix from 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays. For more, go to kxci.org.
What was the first concert you attended?
Simon and Garfunkel, 1983 in Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh during that glorious summer between high school and college. What are you listening to these days?
Whatever all the cool kids at KXCI are listening to. KXCI still gets 100 CDs a week from the labels and by local musicians, and that doesn't include the digital downloads. It's hard for any one person to keep up with. So, I like to tune in to see what everyone else is excited about, and with 70 regular weekly volunteers doing shows, they are always turning me on to lots of great artists. Some of my recent favorites include: Temples, Quilts, Ana Tijoux, Quantic, Nick Waterhouse and La Luz. What was the first album you owned?
Well, in the early years I remember "Mister Rogers Tells the Original Story of Josephine the Short-Neck Giraffe," and Woody Guthrie's "Let's Go Riding in My Car, Car." Then when I was 10, my brother and I got a portable cassette player and a few cassettes: "Court and Spark" by Joni Mitchell, Dylan, and The Beatles' "62-66." I was so sad to discover that they had already broken up. And this is when I made my first spoken-word recordings.
What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone seem to love, but you just don't get?
There are a few things that aren't my cup of tea. But, what I really don't get is when people only like one genre of music from one time period and claim that is the best, that they don't make music like that anymore. I feel sad for them that they shut themselves off from the rest of the wide world of music. I love all of my old favorites, but sometimes I go years without listening to them. Then, I dust one off and play it. I think the world would be a better place if more people would be more into checking out music outside of their comfort zone.
What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?
One of the really great things about living in Tucson and being a part of KXCI is that I get to see my share of great artists. Mozart ... I would kind of like to see what all the fuss was about.
What is your favorite guilty pleasure? Well, my loved ones are often treated to my acapella snippets of the Carpenters or Eric Carmen and other '70s AM hits, especially those penned by Burt Bacharach ... "Why do birds suddenly appear" ... Guilty as charged!
What song would you like to have played at your funeral?
"The End," by The Beatles from "Abbey Road," but I won't make a scene about it if it doesn't get played. I wonder what format people will be playing things on then?
What artist changed your life and how?
Well there are so many artists who I've gleaned insights from. I really enjoy socially/politically conscious music with a message that has a good beat, that isn't cloying or overly obvious with its message. I've been really impressed by watching Michael Franti's career and seeing him when he comes to town. His music has run the range of punk, hip-hop, funk, reggae, jazz, folk and rock. He is a voice for the downtrodden and the common working person. He has been critical of various policies and he is pro-peace and justice. He supports the causes that are important to him. I love that people experience so much unity and joy when they come to his concerts, and they get a workout! Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?
Well, there are so many great albums, and the best one may not have even been written yet. I do enjoy throwing on "American Beauty" and "Yellow Submarine" every now and again.