Track Marks is a weekly questionnaire for people who make music or just love listening to it. The people change but the questions remain the same.
This week we pitched our questions to Hugh Masterson, bass player for Milwaukee countrified rock outfit The Wildbirds. Masterson and his band are coming off a trip to Toronto for a Canadian music festival and will be playing Cafe Lulu Saturday at 9 p.m., along with openers Greatest Lakes.
The Wildbirds also recently recorded a live E.P. entitled "When I'm with My Friends" in Masterson's living room, with help from Alan Cote, Nathaniel Markman from Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes and Mark Waldoch from The Celebrated Workingman.
The record will soon be available, first on vinyl with a digital download and then on iTunes, and video of the recording is already available on the band's Web site.
We talked to Masterson about finding Springsteen in a tornado, seeing Dylan with his dad and his Uncle Bruce play at Wrigley Field. Oh, and you can add him to the list of people that don't get Ke$ha.
OnMilwaukee.com: What was the first tape/CD/record/8-track you ever owned?
Hugh Masterson: Bruce Springsteen, "Born In The USA." A bad tornado came through a town that I grew up near. My family drove over to survey the damage and my father helped clear the roads with his chainsaw. I found the tape in a pile of somebody's lost items and I later got in trouble for stealing. The first CDs I got from my mom for Christmas were Taj Mahal "Senor Blues" and George Clinton "Parliament Funkadelic" (sic).
OMC: What was the first concert you attended?
HM: The first real concert I attended was in Duluth, Minn., I was 19. Bob Dylan grew up in Hibbing, Minn., and split for New York City via Minneapolis when he was old enough. People didn't really understand him while he was growing up and because of it he said he wouldn't come back and play anywhere near his hometown. Fortunately, he did, and I was there with my dad. Dylan played hard, sounded great and looked old and frail. I was as worried as I was excited by the thought of him dying on stage that night.
OMC: What was the last concert you attended?
HM: The last real concert I attended was Tom Petty at Summerfest this past summer. The last show I went to was The Constellations at Mad Planet on Saturday.
OMC: Who is one popular musician or music act you just can't understand?
HM: Ke$ha. Whatever it is she's doing, she shouldn't do it anymore.
OMC: Musically, what are you into that you're embarrassed to admit to?
HM: I don't think there is anything that I'm embarrassed about listening to. I do notice that my friends, for the most part, do not enjoy the experience of AM920 The Wolf while driving in my truck.
OMC: What are you listening to right now?
HM: The Sheepdogs. Prairie boys from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. They play old school rock that seems to draw from the Allman Brothers, Creedence, Humble Pie, CSNY, The Beatles, and the Stones.
OMC: What song do you want played at your funeral?
HM: "Cosmic Dancer" by T. Rex. I like the idea of "dancing myself into the tomb."
OMC: What artist changed your life and how?
HM: Probably my Uncle Bruce. He had a band called The Dairyland Aces out of Chicago. They had a contract with the Chicago Cubs and would play on the field before every home game. That was legendary to me as a kid. My older brother played guitar and was the gears behind getting my twin brother and I a drum kit and bass when we were 8. We became his rhythm section.
OMC: If you could see anyone perform past or present who would it be?
HM: I would like to see The Faces open for The Beatles, and for them to play at The Globe East.
OMC: If you could spend one day with any artist living or dead who would it be?
HM: Kurt Vonnegut. I think I would learn a thing or two about everything.
OMC: If you were stranded on an island with one record for the rest of your life what would it be?
Are you sure I can't just bring my iPod? Hmmm ... Serge Gainsbourg. I could make up what he's singing about every day.