Every March, the entire music industry descends on Austin, Texas, for the South By Southwest Music Conference and Festival March 15 to 20, and Seattle's scene is no exception. Dozens of bands are making the trip, and they'll be playing more shows and downing more free Red Stripes than can be calculated.
We normally reserve our "Reverb Questionnaire" for non-music folks like Michelle Norris and Michael Chabon, but in preparation for the massive trip south, we tweaked our standard questions and presented them to a few of the local emissaries making the journey.
Here's what we learned about Unnatural Helpers' Dean Whitmore:
SW: What music have you been listening to today? Did you like it?
Whitmore: "Just 14" by the Original Sins & I have been enjoying it every day this week multiple times a day since getting it from my friend Tim Hayes' blog. Listening to Feedtime now. I've had a good couple weeks with discovering things I've known has existed for a million years but hadn't checked out, like Killdozer, Feedtime, & Halo of Flies.
What's your preferred method for listening to music (iPod, car, home stereo, etc.)?
I mostly listen to music at work. I've got a turntable on my desk & speakers on either side of my head so it's a pretty sweet setup.
When was the last time you heard "Stairway to Heaven"? Did you turn it off?
I don't listen to the radio but if I were to be listening to the radio & that song came on, I think I'd be OK with taking that trip. It's been a while.
Do you play an instrument?
Fuck you & your drummer jokes.
Do you still listen to anything you were listening to in high school?
Yeah, lots. I had a friend who had siblings listening to the college rock of the day & we were listening to their records: Blondie, Elvis Costello etc.
What was the first band/artist you saw in concert? Would you see them again?
The first band I ever saw live was Devo. The aforementioned friend's brother took us to that show. I was 13 & couldn't believe my eyes. People were all fucked up looking & were smoking dope & making out & stuff. Was a real eye opener for me.
What was the last band/artist you saw in concert? Worth your time?
I guess it was No Bunny. They played last of 8 zillion bands after 8 zillion beers, so I was ready to go to bed. But, yes, I had a pleasant time at the concert.
When you sing karaoke, what's your go-to number?
I retired from karaoke many years ago.
How do you feel about ABBA?
I don't care.
What is the last song you want to hear before you die?
I won't care.
What's one indispensable accessory for this year's SXSW?
Hopefully someone's nearby hotel room key so I can get a break & watch some TV.
How are you getting down to Austin, and how sure are you that your mode of transportation will get you all the way there?
Flying. I'm kinda banking on it getting me all the way there.