By Sarah Bennett
By Adam Lovinus
By Jena Ardell
By Nate Jackson
By Gustavo Arellano
By Nick Keppler
By Nate Jackson
By Alex Distefano
Photo by Jeanne Rice> Mendee Ishikawa. "Mendee is the perfect combination of indie-rock girl and hip-hop shorty. She's a 6-foot-tall half-Japanese girl who's got an amazing voice and great style. She'll be featured on the upcoming Radiolistener album (my solo album) as a bassist and vocalist."
> Jabbz Music Co. "Jabbz is just about my favorite place in the whole world. They've got plenty of great compressors, EQ and preamps, so everything sounds great. I've taken tracks there that sound like total crap and walked out with a great-sounding mix. Everyone there is really nice, and they make you feel like you're in your own home."
> Mos Def, Black on Both Sides. "Everything about this album is amazing. What other rapper has a song about the politics of water and its impact on world economics? Listening to Mos Def makes me very proud to be young, black and a part of the hip-hop nation. Every time the 40-year-old white guys in my office talk about all the stupid stuff they read in the news about Snoop and Puffy, I just want to lock them in a room and blast Black on Both Sides. Mos Def is the Gil Scott-Heron of our generation."
> Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Echo. "It's funny how everyone is talking about the '80s. All they think about from that era are A Flock of Seagulls and all those really bad one-hit wonders. But what about Tom Petty? His latest album is amazing. It's full of floaty guitars and perfectly understated keyboards. I was spinning at a party in Eagle Rock a while back, and I slipped in a couple of Petty tracks from this album between UNKLE and Portishead, and it fit great. It's so ambient, but it still rocks."
> 89.9 KCRW-FM. "This is quite possibly the perfect radio station. On Saturday afternoons, I turn on KCRW and listen to Weekend Becomes Eclectic with Ann Lit while I clean my apartment. And, of course, there's Chocolate City and This American Life. On the off-chance that I miss any of my favorite shows, I just go to their website and listen to them on RealAudio."
> My Roland JV35. "I LOVE MY KEYBOARD!!! When I first got into Teen Heroes, Pete tried to get me to play a Moog. Now, don't get me wrong—I love Moogs, ARPs, B3s. And all that old stuff is great, but nothing beats my JV35. I've used it on everything from Long Beach Dub All Stars to Teen Heroes sessions. I've dropped it from as high as 10 feet and spilled my drink on it at almost every show I play. One time a whole beer spilled on it and I still finished the show, beer pouring out of the keys and everything! I've probably broken 20 keys and it still keeps working. I can make it sound like anything I need. The only thing I wish is that Roland would've put better organ sounds in it. I play really rough and I don't believe in pampering my equipment, so I need something tough for live shows. I'll leave the Moogs and vintage stuff to little girls in Silver Lake who play with one hand, and to all the ex-horn players who are trying to figure out what to do now that ska is dead."
> Peepshot. "It seems like everyone in OC is obsessed with how rock & roll they are, but most of them couldn't even name all the members of Led Zeppelin (in my opinion, the greatest rock band of all time). Peepshot is the real deal—simple, heartfelt rock & roll, delivered without pretense and played by four men who can all handle their instruments. I love getting a nice Jack-and-Coke buzz and jamming with Peepshot. I can't wait until the next show!!!"