Nine Questions

After a half-decade in finance, San Diego transplant Raul Michel bailed on a promising future as a mortgage broker to pursue his love of music. He signed on as a doorman at Plush, and with a group of friends, he founded a local music magazine, SodaPop. Alas, the magazine fizzled, but he says, "It left me with the love for writing and the desire to get a journalism degree instead of a broker's license." Meanwhile, count on him for great tips about shows to see and bands to check out. And don't forget to tip the bartender.

What was the first concert you ever saw?

Janet Jackson, San Diego Sports Arena. I was 12; what was I supposed to do?

What CDs are in your changer right now?

The A-Sides, Silver Storms; Bob Dylan, Bringing It All Back Home; The Creation, Our Music Is Red--With Purple Flashes; Os Mutantes, Os Mutantes; Peter Bjorn and John, Writer's Block; and always something by the Kinks.

How many total albums do you own (CDs, vinyl, cassettes, 8-tracks)?

More than 500 all together. I have a lot of stuff back in California, so I can't get an exact figure.

Do you download music, and if so, legally or illegally?

I used to, illegally, until I got a letter from some publishing company. I don't know if it was real, but it scared the shit out of me.

What was the first album you owned?

Duncan Dhu. I was 8 and really into rock from Spain. It was a bootleg from a swap meet in Mexico.

What song would you like to have played at your funeral?

"Ceremony" (a Joy Division song), by New Order.

Musically speaking, what do you love that your friends don't know about? What's your favorite guilty pleasure?

I don't really feel guilty about anything, but no one really knows I listen to José José or Juan Gabriel. They are Mexican pop stars who were huge in the '80s.

What band or artist changed your life, and how?

The first time I heard The Beatles, all my friends were listening to rap. It was then I knew I was going to care more about music than anything else in life.

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

The Beatles, Rubber Soul.