Peter Newbegin is the program coordinator for employment and economic development at the International Rescue Committee, a non-governmental organization in Tucson working with the U.S. Department of State to aid and resettle political refugees. He writes short stories and love songs for secret performances at porch shows.
What was the first concert you ever saw?
My mom took me to see Weird Al open for the Monkees (minus Nesmith).
What are you listening to these days?
Tamaryn, Warpaint, and Field Trips (from Oakland, Calif.).
What was the first album you owned?
Nirvana's Nevermind. I remember telling my friends that I already had Bleach, but that was a lie. I went and bought it later, but it made me sound cooler, which was the point when I was 12.
What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone seem to love, but you just don't get?
I really, really hate Bright Eyes. I would stab him if I ever got close enough, but I wouldn't ever get close enough, so I probably won't stab him. The next time a 16-year-old starts complaining about his rough life and broken heart, somebody get him a job at a steel mill instead of a record deal.
What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?
Leonard Cohen in 1975, before (Phil) Spector ruined it with all that other crap.
Musically speaking, what is your favorite guilty pleasure?
Garth Brooks, with a dash of Rihanna.
What song would you like to have played at your funeral?
The march from the end of "Two-Headed Boy."
What band or artist changed your life, and how?
Eef Barzelay of Clem Snide taught me that every word is important; every note counts; and the end is near for all of us.
Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?
The Ghost of Fashion by Clem Snide travels with me in every stage of my life through every journey I've taken since it was released. I love it so goddamn much.