We caught up with one of the founders of General Assembly, Alexander Keith, to talk all about his music aesthetics and get a curated playlist of some of his favorite songs.
Tell us about when you first got into music- what were you into back then?
I'm 27, so I tuned in during the weird window of post-grunge, which was actually a great time to get into music because everything I was listening to was so obviously referencing stuff that had come before it, which made me dig deeper almost immediately. I remember hearing Bush (the band) and lapping it up and then having older brothers/cousins tell me how lame it was that they were aping Nirvana. Suddenly I was into Nirvana. That sort of stuff happened a lot. I also got really into MTV and caught the tale end of 120 Minutes' glory days, which was just stylistically bananas. I remember being 12 and wondering where I could buy cardigans and ringer tees for school dances.
How would you describe your taste in music now? I have these seasonal Spotify playlists that I make for myself, which start out cohesive and then inevitably get totally schizophrenic. I'm a pretty awful DJ in that way, where I'll kick off with a certain vibe and then ruin it by throwing in a string of jams out of left field. No sequencing. So, hard to answer, but I've been pretty into Sic Alps, Neil Young, Guided by Voices and Hype Williams recently. Take that for what it's worth.
Where and how do you prefer listening to music? It's always on. Work, gym, subway. I will run back to my house if I forget to bring my iPod before getting on the subway. It's bad.
What medium do you prefer to listen to music? Outside of live music, I'm an iPod or laptop-to-stereo guy. I love vinyl but am frankly too lazy for record store Sundays.
Where do you go to find new music? What attracts you to a new song or band? At this point, I know local record labels more than I know new bands. Those are my teams, and I find out about new players through them. Sacred Bones, Uno NYC and 100% Silk out in L.A., are all great. I check Pitchfork and what not, but I haven't discovered anything through it recently. Maybe I'm just an old grump.
Do you have any all-time faves? What makes them your favorite?
Neil Young, New Order, David Bowie. Those are really the top dogs for me.
What's playing now?
Right now, on the dot: "London Loves" by Blur.
Alexander Keiths Playlist
Jane and Jeff Hudson / Mystery Chant A$AP Rocky / Goldie Liars / No. 1 Against The Rush Holy Shit / Written All Over Your Face Los Saicos / Ana Sonic Youth / Becuz The Fall / Frightened Guided By Voices / Motor Away Neil Young / Don't Let It Bring You Down
Photograph courtesy of General Assembly