18solo.jpg
Jenny Jimenez
Watch Jenny Jimenez's Seattle People slideshow from Saturday nigh at Solo Bar, featuring Ralph Portillo.
Every week, photograph and conversationalist Jenny Jimenez ventures

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Questions for Ralph Portillo: Leonard Cohen, Richie Valens, and Black Music For White People

18solo.jpg
Jenny Jimenez
Watch Jenny Jimenez's Seattle People slideshow from Saturday nigh at Solo Bar, featuring Ralph Portillo.
Every week, photograph and conversationalist Jenny Jimenez ventures out into the city and brings back photos and notes about the folks she encounters. This week she bumped into Ralph Portillo of Glazer's Camera while she was at Solo Bar for the opening of Laura Musselman's "Give Me a Moment."

Photos and Interview by Jenny Jimenez:

What is your favorite album?

Ralph Portillo: From what era? I'm 62 years old!

What is your all-time fave?

Screamin' Jay Hawkins' Black Music for White People, because the things he wrote in the early years were picked up by Queen Latifah, Creedence Clearwater and others.

What were you listening to in high school?

Ritchie Valens, more Screamin' Jay Hawkins, the Del Rays...You ever heard of a guy named Pierre Henry? He was a musical innovator and one of the first to involve ambient sounds in his recordings. He had a certain beat that, you know, appealed to me. We're talking about 1961.

What are you listening to these days?

I've been listening to Leonard Cohen. He just brings some old feelings back to me when he talks about passion, about women, about life, that I had forgotten about. I'm also now starting to get into new Japanese pop. I've also been listening to an artist that uses ping pong balls as drumbeats.

 
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