Perfect Sound Forever

Time line
The history of popular music, part 1

Favorite Music of our Interview Victims

King Sunny Ade
I admire all musicians that I've met in my life. I really, really appreciate their attitudes towards me. I somewhat believe in traditional musicians, most of whom are dead now (Ishola, Nightingale, Daniel, Chicago). James Brown is the godfather even back in Nigeria. My father played us a lot of music like Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington and Frank Sinatra- we couldn't make ANY noise while he played them or he would deal with you. I love every good musician who is really playing his own music.
Afrika Bambaataa
It's hard for me to say 'cause there's so many different fields of music that I love so much. I also like salsa.
Terry Allen
I always loved Beefheart. Just the nerve and courage he had at the time that he did it was huge, much more to me than Zappa. I just the got the Alvin record and I've been playing that a lot. I like everything that Joe (Ely) and David (Byrne) has ever done. They're my two favorite stage performers of all time. I think the reason for that is I've never been with them where they're playing a new song that they didn't play it with the same intensity that they'd be playing it on the stage. They'd go for broke every time. I think that energy totally shows up on stage.
Ron Asheton (The Stooges)
New records? Don't listen to 'em. Don't really care. I just don't care about all the new female singers. I don't wanna know what you ate for breakfast and that you got up. FUCK YOU! The only way I could watch MTV was when Beavis and Butthead was on, when they ripped everything apart.
Robert Ashley
There must be dozens more that I don't know but these are the people that who I know that I really like. There are also so many young composers in America that I like: Maggi Payne, Sam Ashley. At the same time, I think it's so sad that the situation in America is so conservative now that we have no idea about what's happening in Europe. We don't even hear of pieces that were written by people of my age like Berio and Stockhausen.
Bachir Attar (Master Musicians of Jajouka) Eric Bachmann (Archers of Loaf)
It might sound a little pretentious to include Satie but what the hell. Richard Pryor is good to have around so I can laugh at something. (ED NOTE: We didn't get a whole list from Archers drummer Mark Price but he did say he was a big Magnetic Fields fan)
Blixa Bargeld (Einstürzende Neubauten) Lou Barlow (Sebadoh)
I like songs (more than than records) and there's just so many songs that I like. I'd rather just listen to the radio or play a song on my guitar. What I think is a great record today, I might not think is a great record tomorrow. There's certain things that are great but I've totally burnt out on them. I'd rather listen to my compilation tapes that I made of all my favorite songs.
The Bats  (Robert Scott) David Behrman
In earlier decades I spent lots of time listening to recorded music, but that has changed in the Nineties... I think one reason is that (being a New Yorker) I have stopped driving... it seems that only in a car these days is there time for relaxed listening to music. The other thing about living in New York is that there are always interesting live performances to seek out. And in general I prefer attending live performances to listening to recordings. If there were 96 hours in a day I'd do both.
Tim Berne
Joe Baiza (Saccharine Trust)
Too bad only 10 can be chosen but all this brings to mind my first real listening experience. I must have been about 2 or 3 maybe 4 years old and every morning I’d wake up very early, well before my mother, and watch our big giant black and white TV. This thing was like a big block shaped piece of furniture. I’d take a blanket and build a kind of tent in front of the screen. Most of those early morning TV shows entertained me but after a while I’d become bored. One morning, I pulled on a handle under the screen and discovered a drawer. Inside was a record player with 45's stored along the side. Somehow I figured out how to turn it on and watched the small black disks spinning around. Finally, I swung the short stubby arm over and placed the needle on the record. Music came out and it was so strange to me at that time. There I sat in my tent listening and I felt as if I’d discovered a special mysterious private world.

Keith Brammer (Die Kreuzen)
This is in no particular order - subject to change at will. And lest we forget: Pere Ubu - Dub Housing; Cheap Trick - In Color; Nuggets box set; Johnny Cash - At Folsom Prison; Jefferson Airplane - Surrealistic Pillow; Germs - GI; Velvet Underground and Nico; Wire - Chairs Missing; Miles Davis - Sketches of Spain; Roxy Music - Siren

Burning Spear
I've listened to so many records over the years. I'll be listening to more African music more than reggae because it's so honest. Blues also. I listen to a wide mixture of music. There are so many artists today that are doing good reggae music. You hear so many different musics and sometimes I'm not familar with the names of these people. I think Israel Vibration is a good group. There's a lot of performers that are coming up. I saw Luciano performing in Europe. I also run into Ziggy (Marley) in Europe too. There are just so many people and I don't quite remember their names. I think we have some good music out there away from Burning Spear. A lot of them might get the chance or the opportunity.

Nick Cain (Oppobrium) Robert Christgau
There are fewer records from recent years because I have less time to listen to music in a pleasurable way. In order to be in this category, a record has to prove itself over a long period of time. Mysterioso is my favorite record of all time and the bonus CD tracks are great. I've listened to the Steely Dan a lot of time with my wife. The Stones album was the first record of theirs I bought even though I like Aftermath a lot too. All those singles from the early 80's mean a lot to me because it was special time in my relationship with my wife. I play those records 100s of times. In the nineties, Guitar Paradise of East Africa (compilation on Earthworks) is the record I play the most. It's my favorite Afro-guitar album, even more than Omona Wapi (by Franco and Rochereau). Somewhere I should also mention Chuck Berry, especially "Promised Land" and "Almost Grown."

Mark Clifford (Seefeel, Disjecta)

John Coxon (Spring Heel Jack)

Kevin Coyne Chris Cutler (ReR/Recommended)
This is a today-only list restricted to rock type stuff that's not too recent and excluding ReR or anything I'm personally involved in. Here's 10 'classicals' too, again today only: Stockhausen Carre/Mikrophone 1, Stravisnsky Les Noces, George Antheil Ballet Mechanique, Messiaen Turangalila Symphony, Iancu Dumitrescu Edmn 1001, Frank Zappa London Symphony Orchestra Set, Varese (any collection)/Deserts, Agon Ensemble Czech New Music of the 60's, Kagel Orgel Mit Obbligati. For recent favorites (no ReR, no repeats), John Wall Alterstill, Peril Multiverse, Mikolas Chadima Pseudodemokritus, Andrea Rocca Heartsounds, Harry Partch Enclosure 2, Hi Speed Eroika Con Animac Plenetico, Phew Himitsu No Knife, Agon Ensemble Graphic Scores and Concepts, + 1+1=+, James Wood Village burial..
Holger Czukay (Can)
Apollo had many wonderful melodies, especially "Ending." I like Brian Eno because he's interested in very different aspects of music. Give me any tune of James Brown- it doesn't matter what. When I first heard James Brown, it was in the beginning of Can and Jaki said listen to this. Jaki said 'man, you should give up!' The biggest (rock) influence was "I Am The Walrus." The whole piece of music sounds like a radio tune. I must say that The Velvet Underground were my heros.

Delta Rhythm Boys (Carl Jones)

Bo Dollis (Wild Magnolias)

John Fahey

I got so many CD's that I can't think too well. I'm still listening to a lot of old blues.

Jad Fair (Half Japanese)

I pretty much like the first albums by people. For more recent stuff, I like Iris DeMent quite a bit- her music is quite a bit different from most of the musicians that I'm around. I think she's very talented. Calvin Johnson too though he's been around for a long time. Grace Brown I think is very talented. Yo La Tengo is a fine band.

Mick Farren

This is in no particular order- they tend to change each time someone asks. Favorite singles include Elvis Presley "Heartbreak Hotel," Gene Vincent "Be Bop A Lula," Bob Dylan "Like A Rolling Stone," Rolling Stones "Satisfaction," Sex Pistols "Pretty Vacant."

Andy Gill (Gang of Four)

The Grifters

* chosen by Scott Taylor
** chosen by Tripp Lamkins

David Grubbs (Gastr Del Sol, Red Krayola)

Tom T. Hall

"El Paso" is a good story song. I like "I'm Not That Good At Goodbye"- it never was a hit. I like all the beautiful old songs with an ending.
Butch Hancock

Jon Hassell

I've played AmOroso probably a thousand times in the last month. THE VOCAL PHRASING IS AMAZING. OF COURSE, There ARE lots of "ethnic" favorites but I don't listen to them because of "DEEP FOREST"-LIKE APPROPRIATION . I feel like a mother bird whose babies have been touched by humans and don't want to have anything to do with them anymore. IN GENERAL ,I'm not big on listening- I don't saturate myself with music. I TRY TO PREPARE FOR LISTENING EXPERIENCES SO THAT I CAN MAXIMIZE THE POSSIBILITY OF FRESH PERCEPTIONS. I SCARCELY EVER listen to my own WORK.

Charles Hayward (This Heat, Massacre, Quiet Sun)

I've tried to cut this down to ten but I find it impossible and this doesn't include Coltrane or Satie or Feldman or Eno or Dylan's 'Time Out of Mind' or Duke Ellington, this is the best i can do.

Richard Hell

I couldn't give you a definitive list--that'd be a major undertaking, probably blow circuits in my brain- but these're from the stack that's kind of the top rotation the last month or two, and they're all great... Dylan's my all-time favorite. I knew him for the first electric records he made and I was so full of aggression myself when I first started playing music that I really didn't understand anything else. I wanted music that just RIPPED through you. Everybody, except people who are really ignorant, knows that Dylan's the fucking man. That new CD (Time Out of Mind) is so fucking good. He's in a class of his own. Miles is really dependable- he had a lot in common with Dylan in his approach of playing. Their sound is so different though. Dylan is about being rough and Miles is about being... gorgeous though he undermines that himself. You can recognize the sound of his horn immediately- it's heart-rending. I love Blind Willie Johnson on the Smith anthology- I got to get everything he did. On those soul collections, I really like Besse Banks who does the original 'Go Now' (later redone by the Moody Blues).

Milan Hlavsa (Plastic People of the Universe)

I really don't know what's happening here (in Czech Republic) with music.  Usually, there are good, interesting bands playing around here but no names I can remember.

Randy Holden (Blue Cheer/Fender IV/Sons of Adam)

Peter Holsapple (Continental Drifters, the dB's)

Linda Hopper (Oh OK, Magnapop)

Ron House (Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments)

Richard D. James (Aphex Twin)

Drexciya are from Detriot, part of Underground Resistance- I really like them. Return of the DJ's is music from California- it's avant-garde hip-hop, taking it to another extreme with a lot of excessive scrathing and cutting up. Batucada are from South America with really, really fast rhythms with screaming and shouting with no songs. Best of Acid 1 is old school from '88 with all of these Chicago producers and acid tunes.  I love Ween- I really, really like them and everything they do.  I'm well into Les Baxter- a right weirdo. I have this double CD by Gainsbough that I like a lot with 'Lemon Incest' on it. I've got CD's by Nurse With Wounds and Harry Partch with me but I haven't listened to them yet.

Linton Kwesi Johnson

Glenn Jones (Cul de Sac)

I have only included those albums that were conceived of as albums and not collections of these artists' material. (For a "desert island" selection, I'd probably substitute the Love box set for any of their single albums, a temptation I have resisted here.) Also, no collections of 78s appear here, since they weren't conceived of as albums, regardless of how strongly I feel about the music. Kind of an arbitrary decision, I guess, but, thus no Blind Willie Johnson, Robert Johnson, Greek rembetika, American old-timey, the recordings of the first classical guitarist/composer ever to record (the astonishing Augustin Barrios), the Stanley Brothers' Rich-R-Tone recordings, etc. Likewise, though I'm a devotee of surf music, I could find no single album to include, though a number of surf music anthologies could have made the grade.

Tim Kerr (Big Boys)

That's off the top of my head. This is really hard for me because I listen to a lot of stuff all the time. This is my top 10 for today...

Wayne Kramer (MC5)

The Temptations record is my favorite. Nobody knows about it and it hasn't been reissued on CD. It is really one of the highest energy, exciting live records. Not too many white guys here- most white guys suck. To be fair, I've played on Was(Not Was) records. Those are my guys and David (Was) is my bru-tha.

Tuli Kupferberg (Fugs)

Other influences include Phil Ochs, Jerry Brown, Wilhelm Reich, Karl Marx, Peter Kropotkin, Joe Penner, Prof. Irwin Corey (even though he's a Stalinist), Noam Chomsky, Alexander Cockburn (though he's an arrogant and insulting egomaniac) and everyone else I've forgotten.

Keith Levene (Missing Channel, Public Image Ltd, the Clash)

There's so many, aren't there? I used to think that Steve Howe was God- the most incredible fucking guitarist there ever was. It's great that he's still with us and still doing it. There's also a bunch of hip-hop stuff that I love that I can't actually name.

Arto Lindsay

I've been listening to a lot of hip-hop like Cool Keith and Wu Tang. Before I was listening to Tricky and Goldie. I think it's going through a really cool period even though a lot of it is commercial.

Lydia Lunch

Raeo are from Spain, their record will be available here in the States next year. All of these are instrumental because I find that with instrumetal music allows my brain the space to breath. I have too many words going through my head and flowing from my mouth. The last thing I need is more words spinning around my head. I really listen to music. Most people use it as a backdrop to their life. I love silence. I live on a giant park. I like hearing NOTHING. I like hearing the trees rustle. I'm already too exuberant.

Ian MacKaye (Fugazi)

Kawabata Makoto (Acid Mothers Temple)

Barbara Manning

I would love to do a cover of 'Paperhouse' (Can) but I can't figure out the words. 'Stardust' is my favorite song- I want to do a cover of that someday but I don't think I'm good enough yet. It's a difficult song that needs to be done really well.

Christian Marclay

Among many others... Basically I like a lot of different things, I'm not a very discriminate consumer of music. Actually I don't listen to that much music. There is music for every situation in life, the context makes the music appropriate or not. Some of these people were featured on More Encores, and I've liked them over the years for so many different reasons. Gainsbourg has been an inspiration not just for his music but for his great words and his attitude. He was an entertainer but he did it by annoying people and still managed to stay popular. I love this picture disc that the band We put out on Asphodel, with different color bands or rings and each one has a different 'flavor' to it, it's one of the most original use of a record I've seen in a long time --and it's really a tool for DJ's to use.
See some favorite music from the rest of our interview victims


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