The very first time I met Michelle, late last summer at , there was music involved in our conversation. (And, oh yeah, there was also that stuff about contributing to a hyperlocal news site in La Jolla—that too.) You get the picture though. From day one, I could clearly tell she had at least two things on the brain: news and music.
In writing for Michelle, I’ve repeatedly reaffirmed her obsession with the former (sometimes daily), but it wasn’t until I asked her to go under the gun for Tune Tracker that I realized how deep her love runs for the latter.
Some of Michelle’s earliest memories are of her parents singing to her, and some more recent melodic recollections include weekend evenings spent listening to albums on vinyl with her father and attending live shows starting in eighth grade. She admits to being moved to tears, both purely from the music and sometimes from the memories it triggers, at various concerts since then. One example: Rage Against the Machine. (I didn’t ask).
Her musical tastes have evolved over the years, from a one-time attempt to purchase the Milli Vanilli album (squashed by her brother’s wise advice) to reverence for artists like the Pixies and A Tribe Called Quest. Whatever the stage of life, though, she’s always kept an ear open.
Now, with sound waves dominated by a continuous combination of NPR and tunes to suit her current mood, you might find Michelle singing herself from place to place. At the gym, in the grocery store—maybe even a coffee shop in town. Join in if you catch her. I’m sure she would welcome the duet.
And now, the Q&A:
Name: Michelle Mowad
Occupation: Editor of La Jolla Patch
In a word, sum up your taste in music: “One word? Really? Even Twitter gives you 140 characters. I am gonna say ravenous.”
What is the one CD or album you would take with you to a deserted island? The Best of Elvis Costello: The First 10 Years
Favorite live music performance: artist, venue, year: From Michelle’s list of 10, a random sample:
- Descendents at City Gardens, Trenton, NJ, 1993.
- The Cure at Nassau Coliseum, Long Island, NY, 1992, and at Cox Arena, San Diego, 2008.
Other acts Michelle mentioned: Pixies, Bruce Springsteen, Lifetime, Black 47, A Tribe Called Quest, Blondie, Bouncing Souls, Siouxsie & the Banshees.
If you were an instrument, what would it be and why? “Bagpipes, because they are simply awesome.”
Your guilty music pleasure? “I hate this question. I am 99.9 percent prideful. Doesn't matter if I am belting out some Carpenters or making an idiot of myself shaking it to Parliament. Ohhh ... maybe Bernadette Peters.”
The three artists getting the most airtime on your iPod right now:
- J Mascis (his new album was released last week).
- Black Star (because I am excited to see them next month).
- Jenny Lewis (because it is mellow enough for me to work to, and I am working a lot).
Note: Due to the fact that Michelle is my editor, and therefore partially responsible for my livelihood as a writer, her responses were given what we’ll call an “extended format” option. Surely, you understand.