Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Kent Fackenthall!

Next up we have Kent Fackenthall. I was put into contact with Kent through Crash from the 105.3 The Fox (see Crash's interview here). Turns out Kent lives right down the road from me so I look forward to meeting him in the near future. He has a great collection of cd's, but even cooler is his framed concert tour posters!

Here we go!

Introduce yourself!

Name: Kent Fackenthall

City/Town: Penniac, NB 

Job: Graphic Designer

Maritime vinyl (MV) - What do you collect? Vinyl; CD’s; Cassettes; 8 tracks; bootlegs; music memorabilia; magazine; etc..

Kent Fackenthall (KF) - CDS. I also have a box of cassettes somewhere in the garage. I also sort of collect screenprinted concert/tour posters.

Sam Roberts Tour posters. For Love At The End of the World tour, they commissioned two different artists to do posters based on same theme with same colors, so they each came up with their own design for the 2 legs of the tour.

Black Keys Toronto Poster

Poster from a couple of now defunct WashingtonDC bands - one of which - Channels - featured J. Robbins. Some folks may have heard of him. Give him a google

MV - Do you prefer one audio format more than others? (example: vinyl more than cd’s)

KF - When I was a kid and started buying music, CDs were new and becoming all the rage. So I’ve always bought CDs. Even once I got pretty serious (whatever that means) about collecting and listening to music, I never really went back and got into vinyl. To me, I never really got the huge difference in audio quality and I always figured it sound quality was going to depend on what you were listening to the music on and where, so it never seemed that big of a deal to me. The album in the car was gonna sound different than in your headphones etc. etc. What was always important to me was the tunes themselves.

Later on I got to be a big fan of picking apart production quality/techniques and became a bit of a gear head in that regard so I’d listen to how things were recorded and mixed and took a real interest in that, but still never really worried about the format. I’m not one of these guys that really gives a shit what bitrate my MP3s are ripped at either. Seems pointless.

MV - What is your favourite genre of music? Some of your favourite artists?

KF - Specific genre is kind of tough. It’s changed over time really and still changes daily. Probably I fall into a ‘rock/alternative rock’ mold. I dunno. I’ve often laughed at the whole ‘genre’ thing. One man’s ‘alternative rock’ is another man’s ‘neo-punk’ or whatever. I find the whole ‘genre’ thing in iTunes to be pretty silly actually. Most times I never agree with what someone else has labelled an artist. I guess if I had to list artists I’ve listened to pretty consistently over the years it’d be something like this, in no particular order:

Rush, The Afghan Whigs, The Twilight Singers, Alice in Chains, Oingo Boingo, Big Wreck, The Cult, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Sam Roberts, The Tragically Hip, Tool, Matthew Good (band and solo), The Hold Steady, Foo Fighters, Morphine, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Police, A Tribe Called Quest, Sunny Day Real Estate, Catherine Wheel, Cake....shit. I could just keep going.

Ask me next week and get a different list. It would probably have some Duncan Sheik, Blinker the Star, Failure, Rage Against the Machine, Alkaline Trio and Soul Coughing on it.

Or I might replace some of them with Filter, Everclear, Green Day, Jeff Buckley, Matthew Sweet, PJ Harvey, Sugar/Bob Mould, The Walkmen, The Smithereens....bah. I give up.

MV - How big is your collection?

KF - I’ve got probably around 850-900 CDS. Maybe 100 cassettes. 10-15 posters.

MV - Do you concentrate your collection on one or more artists in particular?

KF - Not really. There’s certain artists who I’ll buy their new albums as a rule, regardless of whether I’ve even heard anything off the record. I think with the exception of maybe Rush and Matthew Good, I don’t own complete discographies by anyone (well, anyone with say, more than 3 albums).

MV - What is the first album you remember purchasing? Do you still have it?

KF - The first album I bought on cassette was ‘Metal Health’ by Quiet Riot. LOL. I think I actually still have it. First album I bought on CD was Oingo Boingo’s ‘Dead Man’s Party’ and I know I’ve still got that.

MV - What is your favourite item in your collection?

KF - I have a lot of favourites, in many cases either ‘cause they’re obscure bands I may have known members of or because they have kind of come to ‘represent’ a certain time period in my life. So that’s kind of hard.

In terms of just sort of coolness factor, I’ve got a box set of Cult singles/outakes that I really dig. There’s some cool tracks, a booklet with a sort of ‘family tree’ of the band members and a disc with all tunes they recorded initially for ‘Electric’ that they then dumped which is kind of interesting.

Cult Box Set

MV - Do you still actively collect or was this something you concentrated on in the past?

KF - I have to admit with the advent of digital, I don’t buy/collect anywhere’s near as much physical music as I used to. There was a time period when I was on a 10-15 cd purchase a week pace (pre-marriage/kids/adult-responsibilities, when I could just eat Kraft Dinner all the time in order to pay for music). I still have artists I’ll buy physical CDs for, but for the most part, I’m happy with digital now. As a designer I do miss the artwork/liner notes/unique packaging ideas a lot though. I have some favourite CDs just for the packaging. Over the years I’ve sold a lot of CDs as well. I’ve probably sold at least as many as I currently have, if not more. I used to be a big fan of used CD stores and would sell stuff I didn’t dig/wasn’t listening to anymore. In some cases, I’m kicking myself now.

MV - What is your preferred way of adding to your collection? Shopping online? Flea Markets? Independent music stores? Etc… Any favourite store or websites?

KF - As I said, I’ve kind of progressed into the digital realm -for better or worse - so I’m not ‘collecting’ as much anymore. I mean, I buy digital albums, but to me it doesn’t really have the same feel as ‘collecting’. It seems like a lot of the caché of owning kind of hard to get or cool physical records/cds is gone from the digital world when everything under the sun is pretty much easily accessible whether you want to pay for it or not.

I don’t have any favourite stores no. I have lived in Fredericton for almost 6 years and I even know Eric, the manager of Backstreet, but I have yet to set foot in the joint as I know my old habits will kick in and I’ll be a total junkie again. Like a reformed crackhead walking back down the alley....

Everyone tells me it’s a great shop though, maybe I should....

MV - How do you store your collection? Shelves? Boxes? Your attic?

KF - My cassettes are all in a box in the garage. Some time ago I relegated them there due to the fact that they respond better to dust/contaminants/gooey shit that would otherwise render a CD inoperable. Makes it easier to jam tunes when you’re working on dirty stuff if you don’t have to worry about damage. There’s still albums I ONLY have on cassette too (not even digital) so it’s fun to go out there and rediscover stuff I haven’t heard in a long time while wrenching on bikes.

I built a custom/home made shelf for my CD’s. It’s not that fancy, but I knew what I wanted and just did it up.

CD Rack

MV - Does your significant other support your collection? Did you have to convince him/her?

KF - She doesn’t NOT support it. She’s a music fan too, though different genres and not as hardcore as I am. I think we have an understanding. As long as the bills are paid and the kids have shoes and there’s food on the table, all is good. I have 4 kids so that usually leaves about $1.34 for actual investment in said collection.

MV - What is on your “wish list” at the moment?

KF - I don’t really have one. I’m looking forward to the new Rush record. A new Tool record would be nice...

 postcards from (L) Neil Peart and (R) Dave Bidini - both of whom I wrote to about how much I enjoyed their books, ironically enough. The one from Bidini is a photo from an exhibition of rock photos featuring Bon Scott of AC/DC back in like 1976. Very cool.

MV - Do you know any other collectors?

KF - Not really, no. Just Crash and my buddy Bob Mersereau who works for CBC I guess. I know a lot of people who are what I’d call ‘more than average FANS’ of music. Whether we’re collectors or not, I guess that depends on your definition of the word. To me a collector seeks out rare, obscure or highly valuable stuff. If someone has 1,000 albums, but it’s all top 40, or mainstream stuff that you could easily find, are they a collector? I guess it’s all subjective.

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