What musical experience most set you on the path to a career in radio?
I was around six years old and rifling through my parents’ records in the basement. I played my mom’s copy of Introducing The Beatles and had a bonafide religious experience. Nearly the same thing happened with my dad’s Creedence Clearwater LPs. Once I ran out of records to play, I reached for the radio to discover new music, much like I do now.
What’s your favorite Austin music experience so far?
The Tom Waits SXSW show at the Paramount in 1999 will never be topped, but one of my favorite memories was at another SXSW. I was at the Empanada Parlor on Dirty Sixth watching Grupo Fantasma for the first time and thought I had discovered the future of Austin music. I frantically called my friend who was watching the White Stripes across the street at Emo’s and convinced him to leave that show and join me. We’ve both been fans ever since.
Why public rather than commercial radio?
As a young man, I wanted nothing more than to host a radio program. I worked at my high school station and a few college stations, as well as other community radio outfits. By the time I graduated, I discovered that commercial stations didn’t let the disc jockey choose the songs they played. The idea of having no agency in what I could play was preposterous to me. Public radio saved my soul.
How do you spend your time when you’re not spinning records on the air?
When I’m not spinning records on the air, I’m spinning them at home. I collect rare vinyl, geek out on deadwax, and perform audio shootouts between various pressings. Besides the nerdy stuff, I like to read, curse, collect shoes and pretend I’m a bon vivant.
Finish the sentence: “Austin Music Is ….”
…as diverse as you can find in any city. For every garage and Americana band, there’s an equal amount of Afrobeat and Hip-Hop. On any given night, you can watch terrific music of any genre in just about any part of town. We’re lucky that Austin is still a magnet for creative and talented people and I’d like to think that KUTX helps in that regard.