Blipper since: May 27, 2009
Pete Dulin: What part of the world do you live in?
spacespencer: After living in the city of Cologne (which some may know) for a long time I moved to the countryside a few years ago in the western part of Germany. It's a very rural region close to the Eifel mountains, but I've got company in the form of a residential community with my boyfriend and some good friends (and loads of animals). We share a house that used to be a former moated castle outside a tiny village. Very romantic.
Dulin: Do you remember the first music you ever purchased? What was it? Format (record, tape, CD, mp3)? Why did you buy it?
spacespencer: When I was a kid I heard Kate Bush's "Wuthering Hights" on the radio and was blown away. Actually I thought it was also a child singing it because of the very high voice. Luckily my older sister had the single on vinyl so I could steal it from her. Does that count as "purchase"?
Dulin: What kind of music bores you?
spacespencer: I can't really listen to Hip Hop or Rap tunes. Maybe it's different when you're English and get all the lyrics, but the mostly monotonous rhythmic schemes and the use of samples doesn't convince me that much. Besides that I can't really find an approach to latin music (e.g. Salsa etc.).
Dulin: What music do you listen to when relaxing? With friends?
spacespencer: Loads of all the indie folk and alt-country bands are brilliant to listen to when I want to sit back and relax. Also most of The National's excellent slower songs make me relax and unwind. I usually don't listen to music just as a background noise, for example when having friends around. Much more I like to play songs to the friend who's with me and discover them together. Or be a DJ at a party and make the folks dance.
Dulin: What is your most treasured possession or favorite memory? Tell us a little about it.
spacespencer: Hmm, I guess you're referring to memories connected to music. Well, as many others I associate a few tunes with certain situations with lovers and friends. Of which I won't tell more of in detail here … but, I clearly remember the song that was playing in my car (on cassette) when I had my first car crash (nothing serious). So "Birdmad Girl" from The Cure always makes my foot hit imaginary breaks.
Dulin: Where do you learn about and hear new music?
spacespencer: I follow several music blogs on tumblr and listen to the songs posted there, and of course I get lots of inspirations from the Blip.FM DJs. Since I've joined Blip.FM I discovered an incredible amount of artists and bands. It's so sad that you don't get to hear any of those on the radio stations over here. How many good musicians deserve the chance of being played more often to a broad audience and don't get that opportunity because the radio keeps playing the charts up and down or some crappy casting bands?
Dulin: If you could blip one song that could reach everyone on the planet, what would you choose?
spacespencer: Oh, that's a tough one. There are many, and at the same time none that fits all. So maybe "Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want" by The Smiths is a nice way to make you really feel something and see what a good little song can do and mean to you. Time to get more sensitive!
Dulin: Pick a song by one of your favorite artists/bands. If you were a producer, then who would you pick to cover that song?
spacespencer: It would be interesting to hear some German bands cover English songs and translate the lyrics, just to know what's going on in the songs.
So what's Frightened Rabbit's "Snake" really about? ;) The other way 'round: Scottish band Camera Obscura should cover some songs from our very own "Wir sind Helden" or Arcade Fire could do "Verstärker" from "Blumfeld."
Dulin: What song or type of music makes you want to dance?
spacespencer: I can dance to a lot of the stuff from the '80s and '90s (keyword: at the indie disco! @Dolittle), but I also don't have a problem to make a fool of myself when jumping around to a good disco tune. I enjoy shaking my hips to some good tunes in public, but no one should really be allowed to see how I express myself in free dance when on my own … *ahem*.
Dulin: What musician, singer, or band would you most like to meet? Why?
spacespencer: At the moment I'd like to pick some of the singing Scots who made such brilliant music over the last two years or so. With the cute, cuddly and bearded ones I'd stand on some deserted, foggy scottish hill and just listen to them having a chat with each other and I'd enjoy the most lovable accent. :)
Dulin: What song or lyric do you wish you would have written? Why?
spacespencer: Oh well, I may be the wrong one to judge qualified all the lyrics written and sung in English. But I guess that Robert Smith was a pretty good lyricist on the early albums of The Cure, and I understand that Guy Garvey of Elbow uses some amazing ways to express himself, together with his fascinating voice.
Dulin: Do you play any instruments? If not, what would you like to play?
spacespencer: I play the guitar a bit for I needed it when I was a teacher for the little kids in primary school. So I can accompany "Good morning, good morning, good morning to you" and others. Besides that I kind of taught myself to torture the piano. I'd love to be able to play it really good so I could improvise or play along to my favorite piano tunes.
Dulin: Name 5 songs that would be essential on a road trip mix.
spacespencer: I'd pick anything of The Shins or Arcade Fire. You'd certainly find songs by them that fit any speed or scenery you're driving by.
Dulin: Do you have any thoughts about the anonymity of a social medium like Blip.FM and how people connect and/or get to know each other in that online music community?
spacespencer: Well, it does make the world a smaller place. It actually doesn't matter where the other one is – it may be around the corner in Denmark (Hi mermaid @mettee!) or down under. Apart from the damn time zone thing it's too nice to be able to get in contact with people from the other side of the world, and not just for a chat but because you share the love for music. When getting in touch to someone in Australia or the US West Coast via a band or a song we both like the distance doesn't matter much, because you're connected by the tunes. So it's not very anonymous when sharing your feelings, is it?
Dulin: What are your favorite things to do when not listening to music?
spacespencer: I'm on the Internet a lot. I'm a freelance graphic designer working from my home office. So procrastinating is easy when being in front of the monitor all day, for example, going to my favorite blogs or trying to catch up with the feed reader.
Far too often I don't take my time to find a balance for that and go outside with the dogs and enjoy the countryside. I need to be distracted by friends and guests coming around and who will make me get off of my chair and say "Hello" to the world outside. Luckily living together with 5 friends in our house makes this happen more often. And when I've finally made it to get out of my office I like to take lots of photos from everyone and everything over here, so I did a kind of pictured documentation over the last six years of everyone involved.
Dulin: Do you prefer to focus on only songs by an artist that appeal to you or do you give the whole recording time to grow on you?
spacespencer: When I was younger I used to be a collector of everything a band or artist had published, from the worst bootleg recording to all available b-sides and things. This doesn't happen much today, so it seems I finally got over my teenage fanboy phase by now (which is good, since I'm 40 – Haha).
Dulin: Any other thoughts to share?
spacespencer: I'd like to say "Thank you!" to @DChain who introduced me to Blip.FM (Bütz!) – I can't tell how much I would have missed without discovering that site.
And a special hug goes out to @JTMaustin who became a very good friend, and guess what: I met him on Blip.FM. (Hey bear!)
And thank you, Pete, for doing these interviews and having me.
Pete Dulin is the co-publisher and editor of www.presentmagazine.com and writes freelance for magazines, websites, and newspapers. Always looking for the next great song, he can be found in the Blip Nation at http://blip.fm/slipperydistortion. He can be reached at Twitter.com/petedulin, http://www.facebook.com/pete.dulin and www.petedulin.com.