Kevin Dexter’s sound advice 

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Most 719-ers know Kevin Dexter from Shuga’s restaurant, where he has spent an obscene amount of time over the past decade-plus. He has played keyboards for dearly defunct local music projects Men of Deep Throat and Loverleigh, while maintaining a cute one-performance-a-year tradition with his collaborative project, Mister Showgirl, with Lisa Schoenstein. Last year he played Fred Schneider in Schlock Lobster, a B-52’s tribute band for the beloved COS Halloween event Monsters of Mock. A repeat offender, this Halloween he will be portraying Morrissey in a tribute to The Smiths called This Charming Band. Mister Dexter is also a dedicated beekeeper.

Essential Saturday night listening: Out of NYC-slash-nowhere popped Autre Ne Veut in 2010. If I didn’t love him, I would sarcastically classify his music as hipster R&B. He has four albums, but he got better with time and his latest two releases, Anxiety and Age of Transparency, really stand out and I adore them both. In that order. On Saturday night, starting @ 9 p.m., as per tradition. Mere moments ago, he announced that the aforementioned records are the first two of a trilogy with the conclusion on the way and I am melting.

Essential Sunday morning listening: A lot of Joni Mitchell and Ani DiFranco get thrown around our home on Sunday mornings, a fact likely obvious to anyone even casually acquainted with my husband and I... but the song “Everyone’s Dead” by The Homophones is essential Sunday morning listening to this overly socially stimulated listener and my introverted better half. With a refrain like, “there’s no one around, let’s pretend that everyone’s dead,” it is perfectly evocative of my ideal blissful Sunday morning, albeit slightly cynical.

First record I bought with my own money: The first album I ever bought I still have and listen to frequently: the Beetlejuice Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. This is an orchestral masterpiece by Danny Elfman (my longest-running and most intense musician crush) with two songs by Harry Belafonte peppered in — because, yes! I know this album backward and forward; if you put it on I’m likely to start flawlessly and ceaselessly inserting memorized dialogue from the movie script.

“Wish I’d written that” song: Easy! “Red Curtain” by Constellation of Cars, an old local project by Kellie Palmblad and Andy Tanner. Have you ever heard that song? It is literally the most beautiful slice of music to ever come out of this town. I love it so much that I coerced Lisa Show into covering it with me as a duet during a performance at Shuga’s while a wide-eyed Kellie was actually in the crowd gushing. Sidenote: Performing a song for its creator is a unique class of amazing.

“Wish I could unhear that” song: “Fireflies” by Owl City. Not because it’s annoyingly uplifting and cheesy. Not even because the singer is blatantly ripping off Ben Gibbard... There’s a line in the song that requests 1,000 hugs from 10,000 lightning bugs. That’s specifically 1/10 of a hug per bug! Or maybe it takes 10 bugs to achieve one human-sized hug? Either way it’s maddening! Although, I admit, I recently saw a video of a first-grader singing it at a school assembly and the whole thing clicked and made more sense than ever.

My latest online discovery: Truthfully, the World Wide Web doesn’t typically introduce me to much music, though it does introduce my discerning friends to plenty of tunes who then filter out the rubbish and pass the gems on to me. Most recently, I was introduced to a darling li’l tune called “The Hedgehog’s Dilemma” by 8bit bEtty. Sounding a lot like old lo-fi 8-bit NES game music, this song is so adorably sweet, sensitively honest and I love it. Oddly enough it sounds as though the internet itself wrote a duet and then performed it with itself.

Guilty pleasure: I love the B-52’s, which really just happened last year. I find myself spellbound by their quirky old videos from the late ’70s and ’80s, inevitably wondering what the hell drugs they had to be on back then to conjure such oddball energy. (and where they went clothes shopping?! They were so well-dressed!) “Love Shack” might be the worst thing to happen to the B-52’s, even though I secretly love that song, too.


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