Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Blip Nation Interview: Meet froh

Blipper since: May 19, 2009

Pete Dulin: What part of the world do you live in?

froh: South America, Brazil, Rio de Janeiro.

Dulin: Imagine you're 14-years-old browsing through a music store. What band/artist do you wish you had discovered that was so great you want to tell all of your friends about them. What would you say?

froh: I take it you mean an artist I wish I had discovered when I was 14? Then it'd be Bowie. Took me a few more years to find him, along with the whole '70s glam movement. I would tell my friends back then: "Hey guys, see, we can use all the make up for other things than just drawing dark eyes!"

Dulin: Do you have a favorite genre of music or preferred era of recorded music?

froh: I listen to pretty much everything, from opera to pop. If we dig deep enough, we can always find something to like in any genre. On the other hand, I must confess I have a strong connection with late '80s post-punk, the bands I enjoyed when I started buying my own records and going out. Smiths, Siouxsie, Joy Division, Cocteau Twins, those are serious references in my life. 

Dulin: Do you listen to local/regional music in your much? Favorite artists?

froh: Not much, but some, and almost everything at least 20 years old: Mutantes, Tom Zé, Clara Nunes, Caymmi. Occasionally something from Brazil's vibrant but regrettably short indie rock scene in the late '80s - Fellini, Mercenarias, Vzyadoq Moe; great bands that really struggled to make good music those days.

Dulin: What features from other streaming music site or online media (i.e. Netflix, Rhapsody, Twitter, Facebook) would you like to see incorporated into the Blip.fm experience, if any?

froh: A desktop application for blipping such as Last.fm's would be cool, but as far as the web experience goes I'm pretty satisfied with Blip.fm's features. Maybe text messaging between DJs. Not everyone has Facebook or Twitter and some find that these social networks disclose information that is too personal to be viewed by people you only share musical tastes with.

Dulin: If you could invite any band/musician over for dinner, who would you invite, what would you serve and what music would you play throughout the evening?

froh: 'The Age of Adz' left a strong impression on me, so I'd love to have Sufjan Stevens over. I'd serve pasta and wine and play, hmm, Nick Drake maybe? Bah, I'd let him choose.

Dulin: If you were on a world tour as a Blip.FM DJ and ambassador, what three countries or cities would you visit first? What DJs would you like to meet?

froh: This is a rather embarrassing question. If I name any DJs, it would feel like I'm ranking my favorites. But I guess I can mention three countries I would very much like to visit: Chile, Canada and Sweden.

Dulin: What song(s) inspire you?

froh: Anything I blip inspires me, or anything I can get a hold of in my computer or on the shelves in my bedroom. In my life, there's little I can do without music, it's just a matter of finding the right thing for the right mood. The list would be too long.

Dulin: What's your dream job?

froh: I am a professor of philosophy and I love my job. But I think I would have been very happy as a musician in an orchestra. I find it absolutely fascinating how individual talents can blend together to produce such amazing music as, say, a Beethoven symphony. There's a level of commitment to team work I don't see anywhere else. Unfortunately, it's very hard to pursue this career if you don't get formal training early, which I didn't.  

Dulin: If you have a wife, girlfriend, partner, or significant other, do you have a special song that makes you think of them and a moment in your life? Tell us about the song, the moment, and person.

froh: Funny enough, I can't think of any particular song. I guess I don't associate songs with people, but rather with feelings.

Dulin: Do you have any favorite song lyrics? What are they? Tell us about the appeal of those lyrics.

froh: As far as lyrics go, I believe Morrissey's work with The Smiths remains unsurpassed. His poetry captured the whole spirit of my generation, it surprises me when I see younger people connecting to it. I'm particularly fond of their first album, songs like 'Reel Around the Fountain', 'Miserable Lie' and 'The Hand That Rocks the Cradle' still make my heart race when I listen to them.

Dulin: Name your favorite cover song, the original artist, and who covered it.

froh: That's a tough one. I'll go with Magnetic Fields rendering of Bowie's "Heroes." That song seems to have been made for Stephin Merritt's deep bass.

Dulin: If you could blip one song that could reach everyone on the planet, what would you choose?

froh: I don't think I could find something that absolutely everyone would like to hear and I don't presume to have a message that absolutely everyone should receive. I treasure diversity.

Dulin: What has been the most pleasant discovery, experience, or aspect of Blip.FM? The most frustrating?

froh: The pleasure, for me, is really about discovery. One of the greatest aspects of blip is how it constantly puts you in contact with new music. The frustration is probably shared with everyone else: the song you desperately want to blip but cannot find, the blip you forgot to check and has bad audio or ends after one minute.

Dulin: What song reminds you of being in love? Of being heartbroken?

froh: Love: Cocteau Twins' 'Domino'. Heartbroken: too many to fit here.

Dulin: What song or artist do you never tire of hearing? What is special about that song or artist?

froh: I don't get tired easily. What often happens is that, when I like something very much, I tend to hear it constantly, and after some time I need to give it a rest. But if I return to the album a few months later, it's like a new listening, I notice things about it that I hadn't before. The first record I ever bought was The Queen Is Dead by The Smiths, and after 25 years I still have great pleasure with it.

Dulin: Any other thoughts to share?

froh: Well, just that I'm very happy to be a part of this community, and very thankful to every blipster for keeping it going. Blip has been a real presence in my life for the last 2 years, and a very good one at that.

Pete Dulin is the co-publisher and editor of www.presentmagazine.com and writes freelance for magazines, websites, and newspapers. 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.

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