Exfm User Spotlight: 1000xpm Tue, Sep 11, 2012

User Spotlight


This week we caught up with Phil Collins! (ok not that Phil Collins), but an even cooler one. PJ from Michigan who runs the wonderful 1000xpm music blog. We chatted about fellow Michigan Sufjan Stevens, hidden Beach Boy references and the under-appreciated band, New Animal. Enjoy.

What is one of your favorite/most magical musical experiences?

I’m sure everyone always says there are too many - it’s probably the same with me, but there are a couple I have in recent memory. I got to see Sufjan Stevens at the Chicago Theatre, managing somehow to get tickets day of. I was struggling with The Age Of Adz, his latest release, but seeing it performed in concert helped it make complete sense to me. Many are probably familiar with the 25-minute track Impossible Soul - well, I was at the concert with my bro who hadn’t heard the song at all, and getting to see his reaction as the song moved from the space-like vocoded portion of the song straight into the celebratory dance-portion of the track was awesome. He was so overwhelmed by the energy that he ran up to the front and started jumping along with everyone else who managed to escape their seats and pile into the aisles. Ever since then, the album has been one of my favorites of Sufjan’s.

If you had to pick a favorite artist(s) who would it be?

As a kid, my dad would constantly listen to the Beach Boys. I think I subconsciously look for them in everything I listen to, either in harmonies, melodies, or that sensible pop that manages to reach down to something deeper than skin-deep. In college, my tastes started to develop a lot. I love Sufjan, both as a fellow Michigan resident and because I consider him a creative genius. I was able to spend a few years in Japan and Thailand, and two of my favorite bands of all time are from those countries: Asian Kung-Fu Generation and Silly Fools, respectively. Even though everything they sing is in another language, I’m impressed by how much can be communicated through the songs anyway. Lately, my favorite artists have been New Animal (see below), Bon Iver, Joe Pug, The Dodos, and several others. My full name happens to be Phil Collins, so I’ve come to appreciate a good portion of Genesis/Phil Collins material as well. He knew what he was doing!

If you had to share one artist right now who would it be? Why?

New Animal, no question. I can’t quite explain it, but when I first heard these guys by way of a fellow music blogger’s site last year and then subsequently heard them via Bandcamp, they latched onto me so intensely that it’s been hard to go long without listening to any of their music. They probably fit well into the lo-fi, experimental indie genre, but for me, any band of any genre that can ace the “makes-me-want-to-sing-along” factor has made something that’s truly worth listening to. It’s doubtful they’ll hit the mainstream radar (perhaps even the mainstream “indie” radar - I hope so!), but this is one of the best-kept-secrets in recent memory. I hear they’ve got some new material coming soon, and it’s definitely my most anticipated musical release of 2012. You can check them out on Bandcamp here: newanimal.bandcamp.com - they’re giving everything away for free.

What genres of music are you into most?

Lately I’ve been listening to a surge of lo-fi, indie music. New Animal, Observer Drift, Spirit Spine… all bands that I’ve discovered through bandcamp and absolutely LOVE. But at heart, I really appreciate singer-songwriter/acoustic music, which can range anywhere from Bon Iver to Joe Pug, Chris Bathgate, Will Stratton & Auditorium. There are times I venture into the electronic indie forest as well: Stepdad, Black Light Dinner Party, NewVillager. All of it’s great, it mostly depends on what mood/season of life I’m in.

Anything else music or hobby related you’d like to share?

Two things:

1) Bandcamp and places such as ex.fm are the new places to discover music. I can’t explain how many times I’ve found something that feels uniquely my own because I took my time scrounging for the good stuff through those great services. There are others out there like them, but those two are premiere, in my opinion!

2) I think negativity burns people out - I’ve seen a lot of it among music bloggers and fellow music-listeners and it can really bum me out. Everything we get to listen to is essentially a gift from the artist to us, and while there’s always going to be more out there that is not our cup of tea than is, I feel like it’s always better to focus on what’s good, rather than what’s bad. Or, at least, being critical in moderation. In other words, go out and enjoy music!

Recently Loved Tracks from 1000xpm:

And be sure to check out his fantastic music blog of the same name1000xpm.com.

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