Jhon Sanders moved to Tucson from Seattle in 2003. Since then, he's found himself dedicated to creative and community-building pursuits around town, including a seven-year-and-counting stint with festal culture enthusiasts Many Mouths One Stomach, facilitators of the All Souls Procession. A reverse snow bird of sorts, Sanders leaves us every summer for Ketchikan, Alaska where he works the salmon season to fund his pursuits at home in the Sonoran Desert. His latest dream, however, is bodywork and he has a vision of converting an old bus or motor home into a mobile Thai massage studio. Get involved and donate to All Souls. That would make him very happy, so go to allsoulsprocession.org.
What was the first concert you attended?
My mom and grandma took me along to see Jose Feliciano and Henry Mancini at the Hollywood Bowl in the summer of '78. I remember complaining bitterly to a friend about it earlier that day, but looking back on it now, I think it's absolutely fantastic. I did look forward to hearing Mancini bust out with the Pink Panther Theme though. He did not disappoint!
What are you listening to these days?
I'm playing M.I.A.'s "Matangi" an awful lot ... she just keeps getting better and better. Black Pus' "All My Relations" and Malaikat Dan Singa's "Open the Crown" are still in heavy rotation a year later. Falling asleep to SPK's "Zamia Lehmanni" and Stars of the Lid's "The Ballasted Orchestra" quite a bit. Miró Belle is a fun new discovery; I just love loopy, repetitive things. And a Japanese crate-digger dude that goes by the handle Lee, who does these lurching cut-and-paste sound collages that, despite their turn on a dime quality maintain a seamlessly smooth beauty. The soundtrack to Ralph Bakshi's animated sci-fi/fantasy classic "Wizards" was released in limited edition on CD earlier this year: I bought a copy a few months ago and have been playing it all summer long. And I just found my copy of the Sublime Frequencies release "Radio Phnom Penh" after I thought I'd lost it somehow, so that makes me happy.
What was the first album you owned?
The Beach Boys' "Endless Summer." My mom bought it for me by my request when I was five. My neighbor friend Patrick did two things for me: taught me how to cuss and turned me on to "Endless Summer." It was a perfect soundtrack for my life at the time.
What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone seem to love, but you just don't get? Most of them?
What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?
This is a toughie, but if I had to narrow it down I'd say either John Coltrane or Nico (or the two of them paired together?!). Swans shows in their earlier days were a visceral event of epic proportions, I hear.
What is your favorite guilty pleasure?
Do I feel the slightest twinge of guilt for my love of pre-'80s muzak instrumentals or '70s Top 40? No, not a chance on earth.
What song would you like to have played at your funeral? If someone could pull off a mashup of the Credo from Antoine Brummel's "Missa et Ecce Terra Motus" and ELO's "Livin' Thing," then maybe that.
What artist changed your life and how?
Electric Light Orchestra. Because Electric Light Orchestra. We just listened to AM radio all the time driving around in the Gremlin, but the sounds and arrangements of ELO just totally punched out from the rest, and so it was the first band I was really enthused about. I could recognize their stuff instantly, even if I'd not heard it before. It made me feel happy and really alive.
Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?
ELO's "New World Record." Always been there, always will be.