Among the world’s great un-Google-able band names, Family’s near the top of the list. Fortunately, they dropped their debut album Portrait on the very Google-able Pelagic records last fall, so those of us so inclined can track them down. Family vocalist, bassist and supreme geek Kurt Applegate took some time recently to answer our Geek Music Survey.
1.) The Beatles or Elvis (or Joni Mitchell)?
Kurt Applegate: I was introduced to the music of Elvis Presley at an early age. My dad listened to a lot of Elvis when we rode around in the car. Obviously, I love the King and what he did for rock and roll. But when I grew older and discovered the later, drug-influenced music of The Beatles I fell in love. I’m constantly amazed by the musicianship and creativity of their later albums. As far as the classic rock artists that I admire the most, Led Zeppelin has always been at the top of my list. Over the last few years, Thin Lizzy has become one of my all time favorite classic rock bands. Their catalog is incredible beyond their most popular single “The Boys Are Back In Town.” With incredible songwriting, solid riffs and “guitarmonies” for days, Thin Lizzy is where it’s at. I can identify most with their front man, Philip Lynott. He was a bass player and a vocalist with a penchant for the finer things in life like whiskey and women. Check out the album Fighting or the live version of “Still In Love With You.”
2.) James Brown or Al Green (or Mos Def)?
I have a particular love for old school funk, soul and hip hop. Even though I’m a metalhead through and through, I enjoy the music from The Godfather of Soul, the Rev. Al Green and Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def). Sam Cooke is one of my favorite soul artists. It would be interesting to see a biopic about the controversy surrounding his unfortunate death. As a musician, I grew to appreciate many different genres of music. Recently, I’ve been listening to a lot of Gang Starr. Their beats and lyricism are so true and fresh. It’s a shame that Guru passed away in 2010. Definitely a tragic loss for the hip hop community. ‘90s hip hop has become the soundtrack for most of my work shifts.
3.) Radiohead or Pavement (or Bikini Kill)?
Radiohead. The Bends and OK Computer are some of my favorite alternative rock albums. Both records came out while I was in high school, and every time I listen to them, I am automatically transported back to a particular time in my life. This is one of the beautiful things about music that I certainly cherish. I have always had a deep respect for Radiohead because they do what they want and keep reinventing themselves with each release. And they continually sell records because of it.
4.) Star Wars or Star Trek?
Definitely Star Wars. Empire Strikes Back is one of my favorite movies of all time. As far as a sequel goes, this has to be the best one ever made. No other movie leaves you wanting more, while destroying all hope for the “good guy.” The original Star Wars trilogy was a huge part of my youth. My friends and I used to play a lot with Star Wars figures. Unfortunately, the more recent installments of Star Wars have been disappointing as I’m sure most of you know. But, the newest Star Trek movie was incredible, even with all of the lens flares. And I just recently saw the trailer for Star Trek Into Darkness and it looks amazing. The trailer was so long that my date and I thought we were in the wrong movie.
5.) Kurasawa or Hitchcock?
I was always a big fan of Hitchcock. His movies are inundated with such dark suspense and imagery. I particularly like the movie Vertigo with James Stewart. Hitchcock’s use of the dolly zoom to create a sense of disorientation was truly amazing. Speaking of Jimmy Stewart, I love Frank Capra’s It’s A Wonderful Life. Not only is it a great holiday movie, but it really examines the strength of the human spirit and the value of the individual life. My mom and I used to watch it every year while decorating the Christmas tree. I truly enjoy films that instill a sense of nostalgia.
6.) David Lynch or Quentin Tarantino?
This might be one of the hardest questions of this Q&A, because these are two of my favorite directors. I can’t get enough of Tarantino’s unabashed brutality, both with his dialogue and his gore. He’s one of the more groundbreaking directors of the modern film age. With his sense of humor and incredible soundtrack selections, Tarantino satisfies everything that I look for when I watch a movie. I discovered David Lynch with his interpretation of Frank Herberts Dune. In the last 10 years, I have tried to watch all of his movies. It would be hard to find a director that has a stranger approach to filmmaking. From the incredible characters in Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive and Wild At Heart to the bizarre mind-fucks of Lost Highway, Eraserhead and Inland Empire, Lynch has never ceased to amaze me with his imagination and ability to truly confuse the moviegoer.
7.) Sci-Fi or Lo-Fi?
Science Fiction was huge to me growing up. I love a sci-fi creator’s ability to make up an entire world of names, places, creatures and weapons. I’m always blown away by the power of imagination. And everything from The Matrix to Flash Gordon really satisfies my entertainment thirst.
8.) The Walking Dead (the comic) or The Walking Dead (the TV show)?
I haven’t gotten aboard The Walking Dead train yet. However, I really dig movies or shows about zombies. 28 Days Later was probably one of my favorite zombie flicks that has come out in the last 10 years. As far as comic books go, Batman is the one for me. I loved coming home after school back in the early ‘90s so I could watch Batman: The Animated Series. I still enjoy watching those episodes to this day. The characters and story lines are absolutely amazing. And the fact that Mark Hamill does the voice of the Joker is just an added bonus.
9.) Beer, Wine or Spirits?
All three. Certain times call for certain libations. There’s nothing like pairing up a gourmet meal with a stellar glass of wine or having an ice cold beer with a slice of hot pizza. I enjoy trying new wines, beer and liquor but, for the most part, I’m a man who likes his whiskey. Neat.
10.) Margaret Atwood, Toni Morrison, Thomas Pynchon or David Foster Wallace (or Shakespeare)?
I’ve never been one to read a lot of novels. I guess I just don’t have the time or the attention span. In school I read a lot of classics that I enjoyed like One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, To Kill A Mockingbird and Of Mice And Men. Most recently, I read The Road by Cormac McCarthy. It was an excellent post-apocalyptic story that was great to read while listening to the Deftones on my way to work. I’d really like to get into Blood Meridian, but I’ll probably just stick to reading Decibel Magazine and the articles in Hustler.
Editor’s Note: Artists were asked to fill out an arbitrary series of geeky questions. They could answer as many or as few as they wanted. Additionally, the artist was given the freedom to muse on anything related to the question, if they weren’t feeling the original question.