John Cafiero works as a technical editor for a local archaeology firm. He has written and recorded songs on his own since he was 16. Forty years young, he dreams of being recognized as one of the best new writers younger than 60. He also dreams of touring the country with his wife and two young sons as a family band, à la the Partridge Family—only the father's not dead. He makes wisecracks at twitter.com/magicalrobot and posts sweet music at soundcloud.com/j-cafiero.
What was the first concert you ever saw?
Eurythmics' Touch tour, at the Mud Island Amphitheatre in Memphis, 1984.
What are you listening to these days?
Cotton Candy, The Dirty Projectors, Grizzly Bear, various Billy Childish projects, calypso (Mighty Sparrow vs. Lord Melody!), Jonny "Huddersfield" Helm, and Fleet Foxes.
What was the first album you owned?
Twofer: David Bowie, Heroes, and The Psychedelic Furs, Talk Talk Talk.
What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone seem to love, but you just don't get?
1. Reggaeton. Oy, with the reggaeton. 2. Doo-wop. "Bom-b-b-bomp, b-bom-b-bom-bomp, b-b-dang-d-dang, b-ding-a-dong-ding?" Seriously? 3. Eric yawn Clapton.
What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?
The Clash. Or the Sex Pistols. Or maybe Genesis with Peter Gabriel. Talk about hedging your bets.
Musically speaking, what is your favorite guilty pleasure?
Pretty-boy new wave: Scritti Politti, Spandau Ballet, Haircut 100, early Wham!, et al.
What song would you like to have played at your funeral?
Tie: Robyn Hitchcock's "The Speed of Things," or XTC's "Rook." Or, if I die in a funny, ironic way, the "sad trombone" sound effect.
What band or artist changed your life, and how?
The bands I was in with my brothers Renzo and Mauricio. Good times with the bros. Also, Robyn Hitchcock has colonized my brain and colored my outlook since I was a lad.
Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?
I'm sorry. I can't do it. This is like Sophie's Choice to me.