1. Who is your favorite singer/musician? Why?
It’s probably REM, I guess. I go through periods of obsession with other groups, but I buy every record they put out and I think they’re consistently one of the best bands in the world. They’re also the only group whose fan club I’ve ever bothered to join.
2. What one singer/musician can you not stand? Why?
Celine f**kin’ Dion. I loathe her music. Every Celine Dion fan I’ve ever known was a complete idiot. (That’s not necessarily cause-and-effect, just an observation.) Her silly chest-thumping and oversinging just make me cringe. Jewel runs a close second, mostly because of her psychotic tendency to switch between her breathy baby voice and her big brassy Celine voice in the same damn song.
3. If your favorite singer wasn’t in the music business, do you think you would still like him/her as a person?
I think I’d like Mike Mills, Peter Buck, and Bill Berry. They seem like cool guys. Michael Stipe is a total fruit loop though and I think he’d probably be a jerk if you met him. I saw him on a documentary recently (about some artist friend of Bono’s in New York) and Stipey wore some crazy Afro wig through the whole thing and just mumbled incoherently everytime anyone asked him a question. Yeah, I think he’s a little weird.
4. Have you been to any concerts? If yes, who put on the best show?
Yep, lots. I think my favorite shows ever were James (London 1998), Ani Difranco (London 1998), Reel Big Fish (1999) and They Might Be Giants (Sydney 2001). They were all in small venues with just great vibes and so much fun for the audience.
5. What are your thoughts on downloading free music online vs. purchasing albums? Do you feel the RIAA is right in its pursuit to stop people from dowloading free music?
I look at it as an issue of being an informed consumer. Yes, I bought more music back before I discovered the joy of downloading mp3s. That was because I’d sign up for a stupid BMG club and spent hundreds of dollars on discs I didn’t like and didn’t ask for. Now I only buy discs from artists I know I like and want to support. (I’d buy more singles except the only ones that ever seem to be in stores are crap hip hop and rap that I’d never buy anyway.) The record industry is unhappy because people used to buy their stuff regardless of whether it was crap, and now we’re all finding out ahead of time how crap it is. Too bad. I refuse to pay $25 for one good song and ten sucky ones any longer. The Constitution is not supposed to guarantee anyone’s business model continues making a profit. Living overseas also complicates matters. Often it’s the case that I’m willing to pay for something (TiVo, Silpat, mp3s, etc.) but these things simply aren’t available in Australia. If the RIAA wants my money, they better start helping Apple roll out the iTunes Music Store to other countries. I got an Australian credit card burning a hole in my pocket but I can’t actually buy the things I want! That’s ridiculous.