Photo by James BunoanTHE NEGRO PROBLEM, POSTMINSTREL SYNDROME:I'm fucking obsessed with Stew's lyrics—what a pop culture aficionado! "Someone left the crack out in the rain"? That shit is funny! It's the one thing I always end up coming back to every month to cleanse my musical palate.
APOCALYPTICA:Four cellists who play Metallica. All just chucking away—I like to put this on when I'm at a club, and people just go, "Huh?" RUFUS WAINWRIGHT, POSES: He plays piano so well, but the melodies and everything are very simple, very float-y and haunting. And his sister sings backup for him—you can feel they've been singing together all their lives, sitting there in their back yard when they were 5 years old, just harmonizing. I saw him live, and I was just, like, out of my body! POVERTY LEVEL: They're a duo—upright bass and acoustic guitar—and they're like a punk Elvis Costello. Everything the guy sings is really sarcastic and funny and dark: "Hey, this is a song about sex and paranoia, and those two things always go hand in hand." AMON DÜÜL II, BEST OF 1969-1974: They were a German band from the '60s who were all drummers and who decided one day, "You know what? We don't need other musicians! Let's make a band!" It's so prog, like prog punk. They didn't have all the toys we did today—they did all their effects by hand, just sitting there twisting knobs. THE SHARP EASE: They're explosive! When they're onstage, they just let it all go—the singer's underwear is, like, cracking through her pants!—and it's so good to see that. THE MARS VOLTA, TREMULANT: Every city needs a band that's representative of the whole fabric of what a scene is about. And Long Beach is certainly not Sublime, certainly not Snoop Dogg—those are two extremes. The Mars Volta is more psychedelic, more representative of what I've heard as a person who has lived in Long Beach all my life. And it's cool to pick up something you really like that says, "recorded in Long Beach." CARLA BOZULICH: Here's somebody who represents women who says, "I'm going to do exactly what I hear in my head." Her band the Geraldine Fibbers broke up, but she's still on tour—she does tributes to whole albums live! To me, she's a musician's musician for women. LALO SCHIFRIN, THE MANNIXSOUNDTRACK: It's hilarious but brilliant—like 007 funk! SEE ALSO: Waking Life, a film by Richard Linklater; Giant Ant Farm, Fortune; Tom Waits, Blood Money; Ennio Morricone, Malena; Freddy Hubbard, New Colors; Squab's self-titled album; Reny Collette, Road Less Traveled; and Tindersticks, Curtains.