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What are you listening to? Joshua Allen

Guitar/vocals for Various Blonde

Joshua Allen

Ink

Along with pals Nick Organ and Luis Arana, Joshua Allen formed Kansas City experimental band Various Blonde in 2008.

Since then, the group has opened for a host of national acts, put out two albums and played regularly around the city.

Allen will perform with Various Blonde at 9:45 p.m. Saturday at the Riot Room in a fundraiser for MidCoast Takeover, a KC-centric band showcase held during the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas, in March.

1. What’s the album that influenced you the most?

As a child: Michael Jackson’s “Bad.” As a teen: At the Drive-In’s “Relationship of Command.”

2. What’s the first album you bought with your own money?

Dr. Dre’s “The Chronic.” The “Nuthin’ But a G Thang” video made me buy it.

3. What’s an album you’ve never gotten tired of listening to?

The Mars Volta’s “De-Loused in the Comatorium.” I heard that album at a point in my life where I could take or leave most rock. That album has so many amazing moments on it. It’s easy for me to listen to it over and over again. It’s like having a favorite roller coaster.

4. What’s an album you thought you’d never get tired of listening to but did?

Soundgarden’s “Superunknown.” I used to listen to that album religiously because I wanted to learn to shred like Kim Thayil. Over time, I think I just broadened my interests and my tastes changed. Nothing personal.

5. What’s the most recent album you’ve fallen in love with?

Zechs Marquise’s “Getting Paid.” I love this album because it’s good all the way through, and it makes me want to dance.

6. What kind of music did your parents listen to when you were growing up?

My parents actually listened to a very eclectic mix. I was exposed to everything from Stevie Wonder to Santana, on up to the Rev. James Cleveland gospel tapes my mother would always play.

7. What song helped you find your voice as a musician? Why?

James Brown’s “Superbad.” I got soul and I’m superbad.

8. What’s the first song you memorized?

I’m almost 100 percent sure it was a song called “Compromise” by a punk band from KC called the Excuses. After that, it was like Metallica’s “Four Horsemen,” a bunch of Ramones songs and handfuls of Hendrix and Page riffs.

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