Jon Halperin

Owner of Newport Beach-based Indie Label Vegas Records

Photo by Jeanne Rice"I think a lot of people assume I only listen to ska or punk, which is absolutely false. I generally listen to whatever I like, be it rap, indie, '70s or '80s music, or whatever. The older I get, the more eclectic my CD/record collection becomes. I actually bought a Barry Manilow record (for $1) because it had 'Mandy' on it. My roommate thinks I'm a freak when it comes to music—the Go-Go's one minute, Ice Cube the next, then some Helmet, then Rick Springfield (you can't go wrong with 'Jessie's Girl'). This is what I'm into today, but tomorrow is another day. . . . "

> Rocket From the Crypt, RFTC (Interscope). "I've heard rumors that Rocket got dropped [from its label]. I've also heard they haven't. This could be the last record for a while. It stays in my car (that's a good thing). I would suggest 'Scream, Dracula, Scream!' for the newer Rocket fan, but this release is a must-have as well."

> Len, You Can't Stop the Bum Rush (Sony/Work). "A 16-year-old kid online told me to buy Len, which I got the next day at the CD swap meet for 75 cents. I didn't even realize their single was on rotation at KROQ and that they had a song in the movie Go. The CD is so good that whenever I play it for people, they can't believe it's 'that band Len.' A little rap, a little '80s new wave, a little funk. I would have paid $15 for this puppy, but I didn't, so I have lunch money."

> Run-DMC, Together Forever: Greatest Hits 1983-1998 (Profile). "I got this CD outside Paris (Jeffries Fan Club had a show with Hepcat there while on their European tour). The Euro release of this CD has the Jason Nevins remixes of 'It's Tricky' and 'It's Like That,' which are awesome. I can listen to 'Christmas in Hollis' any time of the year. Incidentally, the record store had X-Members as well. Weird."

> Limbeck (demo tape). "Limbeck are the 'boy band' of punk rock. The catchy, punky riffs of Green Day, without the juvenile obnoxiousness like other pop-punk bands these days. 'Invisible' keeps me humming for at least a day. The tape hasn't left my deck since I bought it at a Chain Reaction show months ago. I heard a snippet of their new EP, and they cover the Backstreet Boys. So damn good."

> Charlie Parker, Best of the Bird (Legacy). "I go to sleep nightly to Charlie Parker. He was brilliant. After seeing the movie Bird, I saw Charlie in a much different light. I could appreciate his music on a different level. He was nuts, and that's what I love about him. I also listen to a lot of Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane—only at night."

> Dub Pistols, Point Blank (PGD). "I borrowed this from a friend, who was going to sell it, and it ended up being one of my favorite CDs this year. It's electronic dub—I suppose that's how you'd describe it. It's just really good."

> 'NSync concert, April 18, 1999. "Okay, four guys in their mid-to-late 20s at an 'NSync show at the Arrowhead Pond —yes, we went for free. It had been a while since I'd laughed so hard. All in all, it's nice to see an actual 'concert' once in a while, with costume changes, multimedia, etc. Errrr, and yes, I have the CD, but I didn't pay for it. Yeah, that's it—I didn't pay for it. The same guys went to see the Spice Girls last year. And isn't there a Backstreet Boys show coming up?"

> Save Ferris (the new stuff). "I've only heard three of the new songs, but it's so damn good. Mo's [lead singer Monique Powell] voice is huskier, similar to the Muffs (whom I love). The guitar is full and the horns are tight and pushed a bit back, with some keyboards added. I was really impressed. Definite musical maturity from their previous two CDs. Our little boys and girl are growing up."

 
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